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  1. - Top - End - #151
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    I don't know Justice Archons, but: Might they do for Earathol? Earathol's role could be expanded to general sage: seer, scholar, judge and other such positions.
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  2. - Top - End - #152
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    To avoid the issue of archons returning from the seventh layer, perhaps the archons are "between" layers, with each variety of archon concerning itself with helping souls/archons ascend from the lower layer to the higher one and each of the Hebdomad dealing with the archons above and below their layer? That would reinforce the themes of ascension and walking the path to enlightenment while not tying archons and Hebdomad too closely together that the Hebdomad can't have their own forms and goals.

    Lantern archons are petitioners and I believe canonically are not allowed above the First Heaven, so they would in a sense be "below" the First Heaven; Barachiel would be responsible for them because trumpet archons (the archons between the first and second layers) are associated with him as well as Eldan described and trumpet archons, being the collectors of souls, would be the ones who worked with new souls and petitioners. Domiel, the slayer of evildoers, would have dominion over the trumpet-greatsword-wielding trumpet archons below and the evil-hunting hound archons above. And so on and so forth.
    Last edited by PairO'Dice Lost; 2010-10-04 at 02:47 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #153
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Fair enough. Pyramid, then:

    Zaphkiel
    -Thrones?
    Sealtiel
    -Wardens?
    Raziel
    -Swords?
    Phistis Sophia
    -Is there some kind of monk or sage archon somewhere in the splatbooks?
    Earathol
    -Hounds (how are hounds connected to seers?)
    Domiel
    -Trumpets
    Barachiel
    -Lanterns
    Last edited by Eldan; 2010-10-04 at 02:54 PM.
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  4. - Top - End - #154
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Phistis Sophia
    -Is there some kind of monk or sage archon somewhere in the splatbooks?
    Not sure, but if we use justice archons and give them the ToB treatment as proposed earlier, they'd be a swordsage-y and monk-y kind of archon, which could work.

    Earathol
    -Hounds (how are hounds connected to seers?)
    Well, hound archons seek out evil, right? So the justice archons would have the whole "knowing and judging evil" thing going on and hound archons would have the "seeking and finding evil" theme, giving philosophy and farseeing, two facets of a seer's knowledge. Does that work?
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  5. - Top - End - #155
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    That seems to work fine.

    We can also make a variant of Hound Archon especially adept at seeing through illusion and trickery, which ties them nicely to Earathol.

    Now, we can also make Justice Archons Swordsage-y and Sword Archons more Warblade-y. Iron Heart Sword Archons as frontliners, White Raven Sword Archons as Sergeants, Stone Dragons as siege experts and so on.
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  6. - Top - End - #156
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Update:
    I'm starting a thread on Lunia, the Silver sea, by writing up what I could find in Planes of Law and a few ideas of my own.


    Also, an idea forum member Matar had: seven varieties of Lantern Archon, representing different emotions. The red archon would have damage rays and perhaps a rage aura, the other different kinds of aura. I certainly want a Light of Hope and a Light of Truth, but I need more ideas and some help tying those to colours.
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  7. - Top - End - #157
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Also, an idea forum member Matar had: seven varieties of Lantern Archon, representing different emotions. The red archon would have damage rays and perhaps a rage aura, the other different kinds of aura. I certainly want a Light of Hope and a Light of Truth, but I need more ideas and some help tying those to colours.
    I like the idea. Maybe based on the seven virtues to counter the seven sins?
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  8. - Top - End - #158
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Fair enough...
    Of course, when we discussed it on Skype, the first thing that came to mind was "Green Lantern". Yeah.

    Let's see: Wikipedia says:

    Chastity: not only the obvious, but also cleanliness and healthy living, honesty, purity, education, refraining from distraction.
    Temperance: restraint, justice, self-control, prudence, moderation.
    Charity: Generosity, self-sacrifice, love, kindness.
    Diligence: zealous and careful nature, steadfastness, fortitude, conviction.
    Patience: peaceful solution of conflicts, forgiveness, mercy, moderation, stability.
    Kindness: Compassion, friendship, empathy, trust, cheerfulness.
    Humility: selflessness, modesty, courage to undertake difficult tasks, acceptance, reverence for wisdom, faithfulness, confronting fear.


    Some could be difficult to put into game terms.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2010-10-06 at 05:34 PM.
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  9. - Top - End - #159
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Also, an idea forum member Matar had: seven varieties of Lantern Archon, representing different emotions. The red archon would have damage rays and perhaps a rage aura, the other different kinds of aura. I certainly want a Light of Hope and a Light of Truth, but I need more ideas and some help tying those to colours.
    I like it. I was going to be the one handling the alternate archons, so just give me ideas and I'll see what I can do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Fair enough...
    Of course, when we discussed it on Skype, the first thing that came to mind was "Green Lantern". Yeah.
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    Quote Originally Posted by abadguy View Post
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  10. - Top - End - #160
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Fair enough...
    Of course, when we discussed it on Skype, the first thing that came to mind was "Green Lantern". Yeah.
    That's what I thought; so what CR are you going to be aiming at with these?

    Hope could be green, the color of life that springs eternal.

    Truth could be white, which is blemished by even the slightest darkness (or if you want to keep normal ones as white, maybe blue since I associate it with truth).
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Okay. I posted this above, but got double-ninjad during the edit. So, this is what Wiki says on the seven virtues:

    Chastity: not only the obvious, but also cleanliness and healthy living, honesty, purity, education, refraining from distraction.
    Temperance: restraint, justice, self-control, prudence, moderation.
    Charity: Generosity, self-sacrifice, love, kindness.
    Diligence: zealous and careful nature, steadfastness, fortitude, conviction.
    Patience: peaceful solution of conflicts, forgiveness, mercy, moderation, stability.
    Kindness: Compassion, friendship, empathy, trust, cheerfulness.
    Humility: selflessness, modesty, courage to undertake difficult tasks, acceptance, reverence for wisdom, faithfulness, confronting fear.


    Some could be difficult to put into game terms.
    Chastity lanterns could have a healing ability, purification to heal diseases, poison and ability damage.
    Temperance: calm emotions, perhaps?
    Charity: no idea.
    Diligence: perhaps temporary hit points and healing fatigue, but that's awfully combat focused.
    Patience: no idea.
    Kindness: zone of truth aura on the one hand fits, on the other hand it's a sign of lack of trust. Difficult.
    Humility: huh. Won't ever work on player characters.
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  12. - Top - End - #162
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Well diligence (I recognize it as zeal, but whatever) could have an aura that grants a minor buff to Fort and Will.

    Humility could have an aura of courage like a paladin's, or maybe an aura of inspire confidence.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Keep in mind that each lantern archon variety could have multiple abilities, so we wouldn't have to sum up a virtue in one ability. Two would be good, at least for now, since these are the weakest archons, but variety is good.
    • Temperance, in the vein of self-control and moderation, could have something similar to damp power, where it minimizes (or perhaps averages?) variable effects in a small radius.
    • Charity could have a handful of those "sacrifice X HP to do Y" abilities.
    • Diligence could prevent fatigue and turn exhaustion into fatigue, and then do something with take 10 or take 20 to represent caution and dedication.
    • Patience should probably have the calm emotions effect, given the peaceful resolution and mercy aspects. Maybe something granting additional skill checks over time after one is failed, along the lines of "if at first you don't succeed..."?
    • Empathy and trust...Kindness might have some sort of telepathic bond/affinity field thing going on with other LG creatures.
    • For Humility, anti-fear effects would be good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by abadguy View Post
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    I don't know how helpful these are, but the Principality is essentially finished. The SLAs aren't done and the spells probably need some tweaking as this is my first spellcaster homebrew, let alone my first epic spellcaster homebrew.
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    Principality, the Patrons of Civilization
    Large Outsider (Archon, Extraplanar, Good, Lawful)
    Hit Dice: 29d8+261 (395 hp)
    Initiative: +10
    Speed: 50 ft. (15 squares), fly 150 ft. (Good)
    Armor Class: 46 (-1 size, +6 dexterity, +10 armor (+5 moderate fire resistance mithril breastplate), +14 natural, +7 deflection), touch 22, flat-footed 40
    Base Attack/Grapple: +29/+41
    Attack: +6 defending, merciful quarterstaff +42 melee (1d10+18) or +4 flaming, holy, keen adamantine longsword +39 melee (2d6+12+2d6 against evil+1d6 fire) or slam +39 melee (2d8+8)
    Full Attack: +6 defending, merciful quarterstaff +42/+37/+32/+27 melee (1d10+18) or +4 flaming, holy, keen adamantine longsword +39/+34/+29/+25 melee (2d6+12+2d6 against evil+1d6 fire /17-20) and slam +39 (2d8+8) or 2 slams +39 melee (2d8+8)
    Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft.
    Special Attacks: Spell-like abilities, spells, turn evil
    Special Qualities: Aura of Menace, damage reduction 15/epic and evil, darkvision 60 ft., immunity to electricity and petrification, low-light vision, outsider traits, protective aura, spell resistance 39, teleport, tongues
    Saves: Fort +25, Ref +22, Will +30
    Abilities Str 26, Dex 22, Con 28, Int 30, Wis 38, Cha 26
    Skills: 16 skills with 31 ranks and 1 with 26 ranks
    Feats: Augment Summoning, Empower Spell, Heighten Spell, Improved Initiative, Purify Spell, Quicken Spell, Spell Penetration, Widen Spell
    Epic Feats: Improved Metamagic (x2)
    Environment: The Seven Mounting Heavens of Celestia
    Organization: Solitary, pair, or delegation (3-5)
    Challenge Rating: 25
    Treasure: No coins, double goods, standard items
    Alignment: Always Lawful Good
    Advancement: By class level
    Level Adjustment:

    This mighty being is at least half again the height of a tall man and swathed in both billowing robes of green, blue and white and shining armor emblazoned with designs of feathered wings and a seven tiered mountain. The only exposed parts of its body are its stern gray-featured face, topped with a magnificent seven-pointed crown, and its gleaming bronze wings, which catch and reflect the surrounding light in such a way that a corona blazes at its back. It holds aloft a long metal rod in its hand, the design a cross between a royal scepter and a holy symbol; but the jeweled hilt of a sword protruding from its robe shows it to be far from helpless. Feelings of order and respect for the strength of civilizations sweep over you just by looking at it.

    It is said that every mortal of good virtue and moral character, demonstrating the traits of both good and law, has an archon who watches over them. The same thing holds true for nations who embody these virtues; but as they are both much rarer and faced with problems far beyond those of individual mortals they receive proportionally stronger patrons. These are the Principalities, the weakest of the Archon High Castes and the protectors and teachers in equal measure of lawful good societies.
    Each Principality is assigned a civilization by their superior in the Dominions, three castes up the ladder, and are charged with teaching them the virtues officially sanctioned by Celestia as being the best way for mortals to conduct their civilizations. Upon receiving an assignment, the Principality is left to his own devices for the most part for a period of 343 years. Once this period has passed, the Dominion in charge conducts an inspection of the civilization. If it is judged to be demonstrating the proper virtues in the proper quantities, then the Principality receives a promotion and is assigned to a new city. If a Principality reaches the pinnacle of its caste; it is judged as to whether it led more by forcibly removing evil and protecting the populace, at which point it is promoted to an Authority, or by serving as an example and teacher to the people as to what true goodness looks like, at which point it becomes a Virtue.
    As the Principalities were both relatively weak and numerous, many of them were corrupted by Triel, Belial, and Eblis before the Great Fall. However, since they kept their basic peaceful nature, not many actually participated in the battles and as such were not noticed until their inspection came up and their societies were revealed to be corrupt and despotic. Although the more overtly evil civilizations were fixed in time, many of the more powerful Principalities were subtle with their actions to the point where Erathaol was forced to personally establish a bureau dedicated to finding and rooting out the corruption.

    Combat
    As befits beings primarily concerned with the growth and patronage of mortal civilizations, Principalities are not particularly inclined towards combat and will only fight if pressed. Still, they are no cowards and will not hesitate to draw their blazing swords in defense of their pupils.
    They will first attempt to talk an aggressor down before resorting to their Aura of Menace to try and scare them away. Failing that, they use Hold Person or Hold Monster on the one they perceive as the leader before again trying to talk them down; this time with more menace in their tone. If the whole group is a potential threat they will attempt the Mass versions of the hold before using other nonlethal spells and their staffs, including the Rod of Command effect. Only against fiends and those truly driven to do evil will they use their swords or most powerful spells, first whisking away innocents or attempting to take the battle somewhere collateral damage is not an issue.
    Anyone taken alive, with the exception of fiends who are generally slain outright, are likely to undergo a lengthy program to rehabilitate them and make them produce members of the Principality’s chosen society. In most cases this is just a matter of showing them true mercy and kindness along with the efforts of the other members of society; but particularly nasty or stubborn individuals will likely receive a Mark of Justice to keep them on the straight and narrow. In the most extreme of cases the Principality will use Sanctify the Wicked, but they are required to either defend any such use to their supervising Dominion or receive prior approval from said supervisor or higher.

    Aura of Menace: As per the Archon ability, save DC is 34
    Spells Principalities can cast divine spells as 22th-level clerics. A principality has access to two of the following domains: Air, CommunityBOED, Good, Law, and Protection. The save DCs are Wisdom-based.
    Typical Cleric Spells Prepared (6/8/8/7/7/7/6/5/5/5; save DC 20+spell level))
    0—create water, detect magic, guidance (2), resistance (2); 1st—bless (extended) (2), cause fear, detect evil, divine favor (extended) (2), entropic shield, sanctuary*, shield of faith; 2nd—align weapon, bear’s endurance (2), bull’s strength, consecrate (2), eagle’s splendor, elationBoED, shield other*; 3rd—daylight, glyph of warding, invisibility purge, magic circle against evil, protection from energy*, prayer, refreshmentBoED, wind wall; 4th—death ward (2), discern lies, dismissal, greater luminous armorBoED, greater status*, neutralize poison (2); 5th—break enchantment, commune, dispel evil, enlarged hallow, mark of justice, plane shift, scrying, telepathic bond*; 6th—banishment, heal (2), heroes’ feast*, mass owl’s wisdom, undeath to death, word of recall; 7th—bastion of goodBoED, heal (quicked), holy word, regenerate, repulsion*, symbol of stunning; 8th— fire storm (purified), greater spell immunity, heal (quickened), holy aura, mind blank*, spread of contentmentBoED; 9th— earthquake (widened), end to strifeBoED, etherealness, gate, mass heal*, sanctify the wickedBoED, storm of vengeance.

    *Domain spell. Domains: Community and Protection.
    Spell-like Abilities: At will-consecrate, cure serious wounds (mass) daylight, detect evil, dispel magic, ease painBoED, hold person, suggestion, true seeing; 3/day-[i]antimagic field, cure critical wounds (mass), heal, hold monster, hold person (mass) 1/day- mass hold monster, miracle
    Summon Archons Pending reorganization of lesser archons
    Turn Evil: As per the Cleric ability, but also functioning on evil outsiders and elementals.


    If anything other than what I already mentioned needs to be tweaked let me know.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by Iamyourking View Post
    If anything other than what I already mentioned needs to be tweaked let me know.
    I'd suggest posting this in a separate thread with a [Gates of Heaven] tag so you can get feedback from as wide an audience as possible. Also, having to explain our design goals to the forum at large can help clarify them in your own mind and help evaluate your own creation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by abadguy View Post
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Good plan, I'll do that.

    Edit: And it's up. I hope I didn't go too over the top there.
    Last edited by Iamyourking; 2010-10-07 at 12:46 AM.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    I would like to propose an odd idea for the Lantern Acherons that will chafe against people's standard "only the powerful may serve the powerful" instincts.

    It's based on a phrase that I think came from one of the many, many extra gospels: "the meekest of my flock are most alike to me in spirit."

    The acheron breed tied to Zaphkiel is not a great and powerful breed but the Lantern acheron. Truly, what exemplifies the qualities of the mounting 7 than the Lantern Acheron? They are honest, brave, self-sacrificing, modest, noble, ever willing, concerned with the least as well as the mighty and eternally obedient and deferential.

    The rub is that in my suggestion, the Lanterns are actually the HIGHEST form of acheron, after a fashion, being the remnants of the identities of those who have gazed upon Zaphkiel's perfection and been absorbed into the plane in ecstasy...

    I also advocate the use of the combined lantern effect from Pathfinder, simply because the idea of a group of lanterns coagulating into a bigger acheron or perhaps a greater form of acheron in times of need seems somehow appropriate to the "greater good in cooperation" concept that Celestia has going.

    Either that or reusing the thing that Legion Devils have going with their groups counting as a whole.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletmanalive View Post
    I also advocate the use of the combined lantern effect from Pathfinder, simply because the idea of a group of lanterns coagulating into a bigger acheron or perhaps a greater form of acheron in times of need seems somehow appropriate to the "greater good in cooperation" concept that Celestia has going.

    Either that or reusing the thing that Legion Devils have going with their groups counting as a whole.
    I like the combining effect, and the "last shall be first" angle is an interesting one. Why don't you expand on the Zaphkiel connection, so we'll have something more fleshed-out to work with?
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    Quote Originally Posted by abadguy View Post
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    I kind of agree with Lantern archons being the ones Zaphkiel's patron of- "The Illuminated Heaven" goes well with little balls of light.

    Trumpet Archons are more powerful than any of the basic ones besides Throne Archons- and their patron is lord of the 1st heaven- the lowest.

    So- seems like a good idea to me.

    Hmm- maybe petitioners start off as like Roy or his granddad, ascend layer by layer to the Illuminated Heaven, "merge with Celestia"- and are reborn as Lantern Archons?

    A bit like a much nicer counterpart to the Lemure Transformation- which turns petitioners (soul shells) into the weakest form of devil- so petitioners on Celestia eventually become the weakest form of archon?
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    2e had all petitioners of Mount Celestia become lantern archons; actually so did Manual of the Planes for 3e. It was always intended to mirror the lemure and mane transformations of the Lower Planes.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    True- but since in FC2 there was an intermediate stage between dying and becoming a lemure (petitioner- soul shell) maybe the same could apply here, and there could be a "petitioner of Celestia" as preliminary stage before becoming a lantern archon, rather than becoming a lantern archon immediately after death.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2010-10-08 at 03:31 PM.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Perhaps (of note there was an intermediate step in 2e with fiends but not with archons; no clue why though). Honestly I think having actual petitioners as well as lantern archons works better; although the immediate transformation into lantern archon did illustrate one thing that Mount Celestia did for souls, it set them onto the path of self-exploration and personal enlightenment.
    Last edited by Zaydos; 2010-10-08 at 03:38 PM.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Manual of the Planes does say for Celestia "most petitioners are lantern archons" rather than "all petitioners are lantern archons"

    Complete Divine suggests plenty of souls go to Celestia and the other Outer Planes without becoming petitioners- the just hang around as "souls" until eventually merging with the plane- and petitioners are formed from the souls of those who were somewhat exceptional in life. But then goes on to mention dretches as well as lemures as "typical petitioners".
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2010-10-08 at 03:41 PM.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Okay, it's been a while since I read MoP thoroughly (I've been reading the 2e fluff recently).
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Well, the books mention at least that the gods can set the forms of petitioners in their realms. So, say, worshippers of Moradin would stay dwarfish, while those who were lawful good, but not very devoted to any god would become lanterns.

    Of course, having them climb the mountain twice is a nice idea.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence
    Hmm- maybe petitioners start off as like Roy or his granddad, ascend layer by layer to the Illuminated Heaven, "merge with Celestia"- and are reborn as Lantern Archons?
    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos
    although the immediate transformation into lantern archon did illustrate one thing that Mount Celestia did for souls, it set them onto the path of self-exploration and personal enlightenment.
    Why not do both? Die, go to Celestia, do not pass Go, do not collect 200gp, become a lantern archon, head up the mountain. If you reach enlightenment, you merge with the plane; otherwise, you become a lantern archon again and take a slightly different path to enlightenment, repeating these variations on a theme until you are worthy to reach the seventh heaven.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    Why not do both? Die, go to Celestia, do not pass Go, do not collect 200gp, become a lantern archon, head up the mountain. If you reach enlightenment, you merge with the plane; otherwise, you become a lantern archon again and take a slightly different path to enlightenment, repeating these variations on a theme until you are worthy to reach the seventh heaven.
    Maybe you can only pass the layer of Celestia by finding some specific part of the greater understanding that comes with enlightenment? Thus, those who cannot find their way up the mountain can become Archons at their own choice, and enter service in order to find understanding.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by unosarta View Post
    Maybe you can only pass the layer of Celestia by finding some specific part of the greater understanding that comes with enlightenment? Thus, those who cannot find their way up the mountain can become Archons at their own choice, and enter service in order to find understanding.
    I like it. Archons wouldn't be promoted in power like the devils, then, but rather becoming an archon or resuming a mortal-ish form at each layer would be up to each soul.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    I like it. Archons wouldn't be promoted in power like the devils, then, but rather becoming an archon or resuming a mortal-ish form at each layer would be up to each soul.
    And gives them what seems like the freedom of choice, while still either making them go up fast, or provide manpower for the layers.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by unosarta View Post
    And gives them what seems like the freedom of choice, while still either making them go up fast, or provide manpower for the layers.
    I do hope, my good sir, that you are not insinuating that the archons are employing deception, however inadvertent it may be. You wouldn't be saying anything of the sort, would you?
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