CRB is a repository of all the creative things that float through my mind about the RPG Pathfinder. Two major features are random character generation and building characters based on the god they worship. Anything that seems like it adds to the creative aspects of the game will pop up from time to time, including location descriptions, adventure ideas and even short stories. CRB won't just be my own creativity, it will open the floor to anyone who has an idea sparked by what I present to you.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Lotus, Lighthouse, Prison

Here is another thought exercise I really enjoy. In worlds like Golarion that are pantheistic, the gods play a very important role. And although there are some write ups in books like the Inner Sea Gods book, a lot is left up to the imagination of the player with that in mind;

Imagine if you will you're making a character for a group. Your only instruction is that you must be a worshiper of a specific god. You do not need to be a divine casting class although you can be, but the groups purpose is going to be working toward the goals of this specific divine being. And I'd like not just a race class combo, but a little bit about why the character would choose to dedicate him or herself to this god. Feel free to make up secret or not so secret orders within the church. Or even sects outside of the church think might be interesting. With only this one piece of information that must be true let your imagination go wild with the rest.

image of a spiral with three circles balanced on its edges, Pathfinder deity KoradaToday's god
Korada NG Empyreal of Foresight, Forgiveness and Peace
Korada’s Pathfinder Wiki page 
A Korada’s Archives of Nethys Entry 

This particular exploration was shockingly not done on the facebook Pathfinder board I frequent. One of the guys in my regular group (He plays in my game, I play in his), pushed around some ideas regarding Korada over the course of an afternoon. Below I have included the Skype chat log so you can see how the thought process flowed. Names have been changed to protect the insane and I’ve also edited for spelling. Seriously I’ll admit it was bad. When we get excited we tend to skip letters wholesale.

Friend: Foresight, forgiveness, peace.
Friend: Future past present
Friend: unarmed strike... monks?
Friend: must be
Friend: Plan for the future that it may never surprise you and upset your peace.  Forgive transgressions and failures of the past that they may never upset your peace.  Experience each moment that passes through you so that you may live in eternal peace.
Friend: Paladin Order, Knights of the Holy Lotus.  Dedicated to the perfection of the physical form through combat training.  Primarily focused on Korada's aspect of Peace.  The great irony of peace via combat training is not lost on them.  It is part of the paradox of life as they see it.
Friend: When chaos attempts to force itself into the halls of peace, the Knights of the Holy Lotus are there to meet it with a calm heart and a hard fist.

Me: Are there feats that specialize in non lethal damage.

Friend: primarily Enlightened Paladin archetypes.
Friend: so... they are fist paladins

Me: Yeah I see them for the most part with mortal enemies fighting with non lethal. Attempting to reason with a being as they mostly defend themselves.

Friend: I would imagine they would try any method possible to avoid conflict before actually engaging in it.

Me: But when something cannot be reasoned with. Cannot see the peaceful solution they'll fight with force.

Friend: Harming others is not the major concern, it is the loss of peace.

Me: Except undead. By their very nature undead are never at peace. They are ripped from their final rest and need to laid back to their peaceful state.

Friend: I like that yeah

Me: I see them a lot of times going full defense, using combat reflex to up their AC and then standing there maneuvering out of the way and blocking their enemies blows as they try and talk them down.
Me: Is there a way to use diplomacy during combat?

Friend: I bet there is in the new book
Friend: the heroes of intrigue
Friend: otherwise no
Friend: but they could probably use bluff
Friend: to avoid combat

Me: Well then the proper lotus paladin build may need that.

Friend: the idea could use some more work... but I think I am drifting off to other sects at the moment here... let's see...
Friend: Foresight...

Me: Diviners

Friend: Yes!
Friend: Ascetics.  Seers.
Friend: prophecy is dead... but...
Friend: a man with two eyes can see the storm on the horizon
Friend: and a man who can see over the horizon... well...

Me: Maybe not just magical things, architects who have to plan cities for the future. Growth is inevitable but how do you plan for what will be.

Friend: yes exactly where I was going
Friend: One must understand consequence before taking action.

Me: Do we dam here or build further away? Is an immediate water sources more important or will there be future flooding?
Me: Oh man I got it.
Me: Ok there is a group of worshipper of Koroda from all walks of life. Actually no one with a magical way of seeing the future is allowed in this group.

Friend: ahh interesting!

Me: But they are game players. Chess maybe Go. Any game you need to think ten moves ahead.
Me:  When people need answers to questions they will find one of these master gamers. They will puzzle out answers to long term problems over a game.
Me: The game players don't answer outright. They ask more questions. They make their opponent actually think the answer through themselves.

Friend: Socratic Style.
Friend: beautiful
Friend: name.
Friend: um...
Friend: Enlightened...
Friend: light
Friend: The Lantern Keepers
Friend: ?
Friend: The Candle Men?

Me: Holy crap. They Uncle Iroh from avatar

Friend: The Watchtower.  The Lighthouse?
Friend: I was totally there like six paragraphs ago
Friend: as soon as you said they play games lol
Friend: I was like... yeah Uncle Iroh

Me: He he he

Friend: what was the name of his group?

Me: They need to be named after a piece from the game they play
Me: They were the white lotus
Me: They were named after a rare pai-sho piece.

Friend: in Go they just use stones

Me: This is Golarion. It's a fantasy world we can make up a game. Name it what we like name its pieces what we like.

Friend: very true
Friend: well I like the enlightened theme. Something with light.

Me: Maybe one of the pieces is a lighthouse.

Friend: I like that.
Friend: They can be the Light House
Friend: Another sect...
Friend: Builders
Friend: Temples, cities even
Friend: Architects and city planners.

Me: The thing about Empyreal Lords is they don't really have churches they have mystery cults.

Friend: Right.  It might be a group in a single area.

Me: The Light House Keepers can usually be found in the most unlikely of places... bars.

Friend: like one small group of paladins living in a mountain citadel, or a group of old men in a single city

Me: They love to sit in a dark corner with their game boards set up.

Friend: ahh yeah I like that

Me: They watch the people and learn about people that way.
Me: They usually have a special rapport with the inner keeper

Friend: or perhaps occasionally in a park.
Friend: at those communal chess boards they have
Friend: or something like it

Me: Because some times when someone has a question they will sit for days playing one game as the petitioner learns their answer.
Me: Definitely the park idea too. Problem is if a park or a city has a curfew they could disrupt the answer to a question.
Me: They need some place they can stay for minutes, hours, days depending on the supplicant's question.

Friend: It might be good for the petitioner to stop each night to ponder what he has learned that day.  The game can begin again where it left off.
Friend: or not
Friend: the spot might even be chosen specifically for the petitioner
Friend: by the wise man
Friend: you must meet me on the highest roof in the city.

Me: That might work too especially if the Light House Keeper feels the supplicant is being impatient.

Friend: or in the darkest sewer
Friend: Perhaps in the middle of a forest at noon.

Me: Yeah these guys are cool. And probably make great adventurers. Maybe an empiricist investigator.

Friend: yeah for sure
Friend: Other ideas I am kicking around....
Friend: City planners / temple builders.
Friend: Law men who focus on keeping the peace.

Me: And then we have the reformers. This group is not just worshipers of Kodoma. It is a mixed group of her cultists and worshipers of Sarenrae.

Friend: people who have done something very wrong, and now dedicate their lives to setting things right and finding forgiveness.

Me: Yup.
Me: Every last one of them has spent time in prison at some point.
Me: They have been brought to the light. They walk a path of personal forgiveness trying to right what they have done wrong.
Me: And they are specifically keen and reforming anyone whose turned from the path of good because of their own actions.
Me: They weren't thinking ahead. They never realized by killing the one man his child would turn to a life of crime.
Me: Shit I type horribly from my phone.

Friend: they must understand all effects of their wrong action, what their repercussions in the present are, and seek to prevent it from progressing into the future.

Me: Yes.

Friend: and ultimately, they should realize that the hardest forgiveness to attain is their own.

Me: Deep really deep
Me: I need to save this whole conversation to a text file or something.

Friend: I'll mail it to ya

For those of you who did not read the whole thing here are the cliffsnotes, we came up with societies within the framework of the worship of Korada

image of a lotus, Pathfinder deity Korada

Paladin Order, Knights of the Holy Lotus.

Dedicated to the perfection of the physical form through combat training. Although represent the Empyreal Lords role of peace they train for battle. Irony that is not lost on them. Much like Paladins of Irori the Knights of the Holy Lotus battle more against chaos then evil. They tend to come into any situation with the goal of a peaceful solution and are sadden when they are forced to solve a problem with combat. They will however not suffer any undead to exist. By their very nature undead are never at peace. They are ripped from their final rest and need  to be laid back to their peaceful state.

The Light House Keepers

A group of game players who use Korada’s sacred game (no I did not come up with a name for it) as a way to puzzle out problems. Whereas some people will go to a diviner for a look into the future. Petitioners of The Light House Keepers are looking to solve their own problems. The foresight it takes to think 10 or even 20 moves ahead, helps this mystery cult provide answers to those who seek it.

The Reformers

This is actually a mixed group of worshipers of Korada and Sarenrae. Every last member was a criminal who at some point was imprisoned for their misdeeds. These are people who have done something very wrong, and now dedicate their lives to setting things right and finding forgiveness. Although their missions seems to be redeeming those who have fallen from the light, giving forgiveness to those seeking redemption. The final realization that brings them true enlightenment is that the hardest forgiveness to attain is their own.

For what does your character seek forgiveness? What foresight to the Lighthouse Keepers bring to you? Of you had to make a character who’s central theme was worshiping The Open Hand of Harmony, what would this character be?

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