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Pathfinder 1E Pathfinder Campaign based on Babylon 5

crazy_monkey1956

First Post
For those familiar with Babylon 5, I need some help casting a Pathfinder race/monster as the Shadows. I'm basing my campaign on the overall story arc of Babylon 5 and I need a bad guy to fill the role the Shadows played in the show.

So far I have...

Humans = Humans
Elves = Religious Caste Minbari
Half-Elves = Worker Caste Minbari (not actually "half" anything, just a type of elf)
Drow = Warrior Caste Minbari (not "dark" elves, just a type of elf)
Dwarves = Narn
Half-Orcs = Centauri (orcs are a mostly extinct "neanderthal" offshoot of half-orcs)
Gnomes, Halflings, etc = League of Non-Aligned Worlds races
Angels = Vorlons

I used outsiders in general to represent the First Ones, figuring most of them left the material plane long ago. Angels work as the vorlons because they're not tied to any of the planes specifically. Native outsiders are those "first ones" who chose not to leave for the planes millenia ago. I need an outsider race of some sort (or a race I can change to outsiders) that can be the Shadows.

Anything from the bestiary and third party stuff is fair game. Any suggestions?
 

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paradox42

First Post
The most obvious answer is, Demons. You have your Bebiliths (you could even make advanced versions of them and ignore several of the usual Demon types to make the "new Bebiliths" king), you have lots of other-formed monsters to represent the client species that live on Z'Ha'Dum, and the fact that Demons are specifically tied to the Abyss even works because you can explain it as them being forced into their original home by the last Shadow/Demon War. You can even mine 3.5 material for various versions of Demons that haven't been updated to Pathfinder yet (or are even likely to be), like the Alkilith (slime demon).

More importantly, their alignment is CE, which is a pretty close match to the philosophy the Shadows promoted in the show. Even if you don't use Demons, using some sort of Outsider with racial alignment of "Always Chaotic Evil" or "Usually Chaotic Evil" would be a good place to start looking.
 

megablake

First Post
Babylon 5 is a great place to mine for campaign ideas. One of the very first campaigns I ran (back with AD&D 2nd Ed) was based heavily off the third season. It translates well to fantasy, which is appropriate given how much it borrows from Lord of the Rings (Z'ha'dum, Lorien, even Rangers!).

Using demons to fill the Shadow roll could definitely work. I think there's some aspects that work well with devils (like Morden), and daemons could provide a nice middle ground. Most people have heard of demons and devils, but the daemons are a much more subtle and hidden race. Plus, they're not above using devils and demons to further their goals (and the derghodaemon has the look down).

When in doubt, I'd fall back on whatever outsider philosophy best fits the B5 questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you want?
  • Why are you here? & Do you have anything worth living for?
  • Where are you going
 

hopeless

First Post
B5 meets Pathfinder

So how about tieflings or you could peruse the Cheliax as a guide for those that work for the shadows as a guide?

Hmm bone devils might work as the shadows seem to be using invisibility as a normal mode for their interactions such as those two that accompanied their human operative (I forget his name).

As I recall the minbari had a way of detecting them at least their grey council could so would this show up as a way of explaining the drow as being the shadow's former puppets back in the earlier days when the elves fought them ala the minbari did a thousand years previously?
 

crazy_monkey1956

First Post
I decided to go with Aasimars as Vorlons and Tieflings as Shadows, changing the flavor behind those two races so they fit the roles a bit better.

I also switched the dwarves and the orcs around, making dwarves the Centauri and orcs the Narn.

First session of this campaign is tonight, with a murder mystery plot based on the pilot episode of B5: The Gathering. :D
 

hopeless

First Post
B5 meets Pathfinder

Humans= Well can't argue there!

Elves= I'd have split the worker, religious and warrior caste being various types of elves say the High elves being religious, the wood elves the warrior caste and perhaps the grey elves or the like as the worker caste.

Drow= As I posted before I see them as corrupted former servants of the shadow explaining the emnity the result of their bargain with the devil but they could even be used as having been trained to fight their ancient enemy!

Halfling= Centauri their fondness for the finer things of life making them ideal pawns this time round but they do have a resistance that is particularly remarkable.

Dwarves= Narn their stoic nature and inability to change along with a long history as long as the elves mean they know of the Shadow even if they didn't directly deal with them make them ideal figures to direct hate against if they can't get at the elves since their financial dealings and crafting abilities would inspire jealousy and greed towards their wealth

Gnomes= Non-aligned races? Not sure I figure this could be used to describe any number of minor races that might be available even goblins and the like simply shown to have allied with each other against the more prominent races perhaps due to an earlier conflict where they had to seek aid against a more powerful predator that was dealt with but they remain allied as it served their interests to do so whether economical or just because they're afraid of other races preying on them.
I can see the orc and even hobgoblins being a part of that.

The Shadow: hmm demons and devils do work but since they tend to work through intermediaries perhaps focus on the invisibility angle since they tend to prefer to remain out of sight making fighting them very hard and even more scary when you finally realise they're "there".
I'd say have an important agent being accompanied by say bone devils but make them more lawful inclined since the more chaotic elements wouldn't resist spreading a little fear and misery where it would be far easier to let them the races do it to themselves with a few words in the right place.

As i recall they initially were reticient because of the losses they suffered during the last great war a thousand years previously so maybe they can't act directly and need intermediaries to prepare the way for when they can.

Say they need loyal subjects powerful enough to create the means for them to invade directly and it would help to have the means to defend themselves from attack before they are ready. say they send out feelers to find suitable allies willing to turn on their people in return for a place in the "new order" of course any promises made may not be kept once they have access and of course they need to know what the populace do know since they have already tried this gambit and it failed last time.

Who knows why it did?

Or maybe their adversaries know more than they're telling and perhaps you should have the Vorlons be something far more unremarkable after all their true forms should be inspiring for those that see them but like their enemy they need to stay out of sight or at least avoid scrutiny as they prepare for what they know is coming...

Hmm, aasimar anyone?

if the shadow use tieflings as their opening agents in power how about the Vorlons use aasimar or even psions as their operatives perhaps something like the Kalashtar where they've infused with corporeal beings to do their work and have developed as a "race" to hide what they're truly there for.
 
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Liquidsabre

First Post
I'm geeking out over this lol. Fun idea!

To be honest, the older species (older than shadows and vorlons) are the angels and demons. My vote is to make the shadows and vorlons less over-used evil/good conflict angels and demons and go for more down to earth creatures that suit them. Here are my votes:

Centauri = Tiefings! (pointy teeth and tails, cmon it should be a given!)

Narn = Half-orcs, previously enslaved, not that bright, and aggressive.

Minbari = elves, a perfect fit!

Vorlon = Dragons, They aren't gods but an old race that often portrays itself to other species as one of their local gods. Unfathonly powerful and arrogant, they nurture and modify species as they see fit, acting as a guardian for some races and forsaking others.

Shadows = Aboleth - an ancient alien races with mental powers of domination and illusions and have enslaved more races than can be counted over the millenia. I'd argue against the Shadows being CE, I see them more as LE because its survival of the fittest, the strongest shall rule and they go about things very methodical and start to manipulate the other races through many dominated intermediaries such as Mr. Morden.
 

crazy_monkey1956

First Post
Although I made my "Shadows" tieflings, I went for a serious creepy factor by making Retrievers the analog to the shadow's ships (complete with using a coccooned sorcerer or wizard nestled in its abdomen as its power source).
 


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