Monday, May 20, 2013


The revenant is pretty much the restless dead at its most basic—as long as its killer lives, it lives.  (And it gets hasted if it sees its killer.  Bitchin’!)

So…obviously, a revenant can be an enemy of the PCs who really, really hated them.  More likely, though, the PCs will run into a revenant by happenstance.  This may actually lead to some interesting moral quandaries—here’s an undead they don’t actually have to kill…but how do they know its target?  Is the hate deserved?  How many people might the revenant injure along its way (particularly if its self-loathing trigger is a common sight or occurrence)? 

(The self-loathing trigger is also a major reason why a revenant may target PCs it would otherwise ignore—the more diligent they are about disguising themselves as the enemy or cleaning out every room in the dungeon of magical and valuable items, the more likely they are to possess some artifact of the revenant’s former life that will either overwhelm or upset it.)

And if the revenant and the party share the same target, truly tactically minded PCs might go out of their way to speed the spirit in its quest.  One can imagine them leading a revenant to its target, locking the door behind it, and waiting for the screaming to stop…

PS: When a monster showed up in a Pathfinder product before it showed up in a Bestiary I try to flag that, but I fail more often than not.  (I missed the raktavarna, for instance.)  Props to the PathfinderWiki for reminding me the revenant dates all the way back to Pathfinder #2: “The Skinsaw Murders.”  Going back to the original source is worth it, since those entries are often longer and more detailed.  Case in point: Worshippers of Calistria actually consider it their duty to help revenants achieve their ends.  That’s delicious.

The easiest way into the treasure hold of Karnak Keep is to sneak in wearing the blue tabards of the Karnak Guard, then break through the poorly done brickwork separating the cellar from the vault.  Unfortunately, this reveals why the brickwork was poorly done—one of the original Guards was drugged and bricked up behind the wall by his fellows, so they could abscond with his wife.  He died of starvation, and his revenant has been scratching its way out ever since.  Of course, seeing the tabards of his betrayers might throw the undead guard into a frenzy…

Murders on the Pilgrimage of Silk are sadly common, as offerings of coins are traditional and many pilgrims save their entire lives to make the journey, only to run afoul of brigands.  This means revenants are common along the road as well—the souls grow irate at being caught between their homes and the shrine with their pledges unfilled.  A ronin or otherwise unobligated samurai who meets a revenant is honor-bound to help it in its quest for the next 24 hours, making for many an odd pair along the road.

An acolyte of Ferris the Dawn has sworn to slay any undead she meets.  But when she meets a revenant her oath is tested—the revenant is her mother, slain while the acolyte was at seminary.  Worse yet (investigation will reveal), it hunts a bishop of her order.

—Pathfinder #2 90–91 & Pathfinder Bestiary 2 235

I made it all the way through this write-up without mentioning that the revenant’s “Self-Loathing” and “Reason to Hate” abilities basically make it the most __________ of any Pathfinder monster.  (Fill in the blank: goth/emo/AV club/any middle-schooler ever.)

Yes, I missed my radio show for the second week in a row.  Being sick sucks.

I am also not excited about this.  The fact that they explicitly had to promise not to screw it up tells you everything you need to know.  Yahoo! does not know how to run…things.  Any of the things.  At all.  It especially does not understand communities.  At all.  Pardon me while I pour out a 40 for Yahoo! Clubs/Groups.

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