The Dark Tapestry and how it relates to Living Pathfinder

As I said in the General Discussion Thread, I am considering creating a new character to replace Veniarus who I am considering retiring. The thing is, I am considering creating an Oracle of the Dark Tapestry. However before I do so, I kind of want to know how the Dark Tapestry itself fits into the cosmology and theology of the Living Pathfinder Campaign Setting.

First off I have looked through the Living Pathfinder Wiki's section outlining what is allowed and disallowed from Ultimate Magic. The Dark Tapestry was not on the list of items explicitly forbidden from use when the book was reviewed. Thus I can only assume that now that it is after 6 months that the Dark Tapestry is legal for use by the players. However when looking at the Cosmology of our game world the closest thing I can find to any mention of anything remotely resembling what might be the Dark Tapestry is references to "The Fourth Path" am I reading these references correctly? Is that what the Fourth Path is supposed to be in effect?

The other question is if the Fourth Path is what essentially makes up the composition of the Dark Tapestry in Living Pathfinder, then the question becomes, how do the Great Old Ones or Elder Gods or whatever you want to call them transition into Living Pathfinder? Do they also follow the same archetype model as every other god in Living Pathfinder? Or do they follow a different model since they are supposed to be in some way Alien to the world in a sense?

So I guess the question I am asking is how would I go about incorporating this into a characters background, especially one to whom it is so intrinsic as to being an actual matter of faith?
 

Qik

Visitor
Personally, the things I latch onto in the description of the Dark Tapestry on the Pathfinder wikia are chaos, madness, etc. I would be inclined to nix the bit about the "ancient eldritch horrors" and instead say that the Dark Tapestry is a space created by the intersection of the Chaotic Vertice of the Moral Path and the Darkness Vertice of the Essential Path. I don't really see anything in the Dark Tapestry description to suggest a connection to E'n's Fourth Path, although the latter is admittedly an incredibly vague concept at the moment.

If this is the accepted way we translate the Dark Tapestry concept into E'n's cosmology, then I would suggest that a PC (especially an oracle) have had some dramatic encounter with this primal force/plane. Not to self-promote, but the island I've been developing, Illi Esse, which is a place in which the other places intersect with the Material E'n, would facilitate such an experience. There are of course many other alternatives. Perhaps the Dark Tapestry has in fact given birth to beings of some sort, and that they've reached out to a character to make contact with the Material Plane?
 
Personally, the things I latch onto in the description of the Dark Tapestry on the Pathfinder wikia are chaos, madness, etc. I would be inclined to nix the bit about the "ancient eldritch horrors" and instead say that the Dark Tapestry is a space created by the intersection of the Chaotic Vertice of the Moral Path and the Darkness Vertice of the Essential Path. I don't really see anything in the Dark Tapestry description to suggest a connection to E'n's Fourth Path, although the latter is admittedly an incredibly vague concept at the moment.

If this is the accepted way we translate the Dark Tapestry concept into E'n's cosmology, then I would suggest that a PC (especially an oracle) have had some dramatic encounter with this primal force/plane. Not to self-promote, but the island I've been developing, Illi Esse, which is a place in which the other places intersect with the Material E'n, would facilitate such an experience. There are of course many other alternatives. Perhaps the Dark Tapestry has in fact given birth to beings of some sort, and that they've reached out to a character to make contact with the Material Plane?
Well its not just the Pathfinder Wiki that is the primary source for citing the Dark Tapestry as housing eldritch abominations... it's also the Oracle Mystery of the same name (the Dark Tapestry).

For example, the Read the Tapestry ability allows the Oracle to shunt his consciousness into the tapestry where in he is able to communicate with said Eldritch Abominations as per a Contact Other Plane Spell. And the Dweller in Darkness ability actually summons a minion of the Eldritch Abominations to this world which has the effect of a phantasmal killer spell at low levels and a weird spell at high levels. So in essence there is actual hard fast proof that such entities exist within the Oracle Mystery itself.

Additionally the Oracle Dark Tapestry Mystery is not the only class that can conceivably be tailored to mention the Dark Tapestry. For example the Witch's Insanity Patron, the Sorcerer's Aberration Bloodline, and even certain Cleric Domains can all be said to originate within the Dark Tapestry. So its really a matter of figuring out exactly how the Tapestry works within our cosmology, and where the Lovcraftian Horrors fit into the campaign setting as far as I can tell.
 
The Dark Tapestry and its followers fit in as the bad guys. Read the deities line for the Dark Tapestry Oracle. Death, pain, destruction, death, cruelty, greed, murder, death... The worst of the worst except for the Rough Beast, Destroyer of the Universe himself. Did I mention death? I mean, even Asmodeus doesn't go near the Dark Tapestry.

The Dark Tapestry is the force behind the evil that is slowly corrupting the world. It would kind of hard to make a non-evil character to worship that force.
 
The Dark Tapestry and its followers fit in as the bad guys. Read the deities line for the Dark Tapestry Oracle. Death, pain, destruction, death, cruelty, greed, murder, death... The worst of the worst except for the Rough Beast, Destroyer of the Universe himself. Did I mention death? I mean, even Asmodeus doesn't go near the Dark Tapestry.

The Dark Tapestry is the force behind the evil that is slowly corrupting the world. It would kind of hard to make a non-evil character to worship that force.
Correction...

The Dark Tapestry's deities are not by definition evil in carnate (unlike Asmodeus) rather they simply have so much unbridled power in the tip of their pinky finger that just touching that pinky finger to the prime material plane could end up destroying it in it's entirety. The saving grace about it is that they just don't really care about the prime material plane enough to even really bother.

In effect if left alone, these deities amount to massive blobs of Chaotic Neutral in it's most natural form. It is only when they are purposefully interfered with that they begin to manifest behaviors more akin to Chaotic Evil. And even then its only a few of them that manifest Chaotic Evil tendencies.

That said, there is absolutely nothing in the rules of Living Pathfinder that outlaws a player from worshiping a Chaotic Evil Deity. In the case of Clerics, Oracles, Inquisitors, etc... who have an Alignment Restriction based on the God they worship, the easiest way to pull this off is to make the character Chaotic Neutral even if the Deity is Chaotic Evil. This way at least the character can behave in a good fashion at least some of the time.

Oh and for the record, the deities listed in the Oracle Dark Tapestry Mystery don't actually reflect the actual Dark Tapestry Deities, for those you want these deities:

http://www.pathfinderwiki.com/wiki/Outer_God
http://www.pathfinderwiki.com/wiki/Great_Old_One
 
Okay, let's see here. Inner Sea World Guide. Not on the approved source list. Scratched. Carrion Crown as a source. Scratched. Gods and Magic. Scratched. So, the few references that are on the approved list are in the Ultimate Magic and go back to my previous list of deities. And even if we did allow those other sources, the web links you pointed to were all either massively chaotic evil or simply neutral destruction. Either way, both are out.

You don't get to worship Cthulhu or Akutu the Black Kraken, plan to destroy the world and claim you are a nice or neutral guy.

It is kind of hard to put you into an adventure to go defeat an evil cult if you happen to be worshiper of that evil deity. I realize I am being snippy, but my 1/7th of ultimate power to rewrite the rules says no. We left the door open to rip out approved items that cause grief at a later date. So, we could go the through the formal process of blackballing the Dark Tapestry mystery of the Oracle, but it seems rather obvious it is evil, and evil is not allowed.

Go find a different character concept to embrace.
 
Okay, let's see here. Inner Sea World Guide. Not on the approved source list. Scratched. Carrion Crown as a source. Scratched. Gods and Magic. Scratched. So, the few references that are on the approved list are in the Ultimate Magic and go back to my previous list of deities. And even if we did allow those other sources, the web links you pointed to were all either massively chaotic evil or simply neutral destruction. Either way, both are out.

You don't get to worship Cthulhu or Akutu the Black Kraken, plan to destroy the world and claim you are a nice or neutral guy.

It is kind of hard to put you into an adventure to go defeat an evil cult if you happen to be worshiper of that evil deity. I realize I am being snippy, but my 1/7th of ultimate power to rewrite the rules says no. We left the door open to rip out approved items that cause grief at a later date. So, we could go the through the formal process of blackballing the Dark Tapestry mystery of the Oracle, but it seems rather obvious it is evil, and evil is not allowed.

Go find a different character concept to embrace.
You do of course realize that Oracles don't explicitly HAVE to worship a deity? If I really wanted to make a case for playing a Dark Tapestry Oracle I could simply say the character worships the ideals of Insanity itself and have him be aligned as Chaotic Neutral or heck even Chaotic Good. This said however, my question was geared more towards the existence of the Dark Tapestry and how it affects the Religions of the world setting, and whether there were any way to justify having player characters of such an affiliation. Outlawing the Deities while limiting people who have access to the Cleric Domain of the Dark Tapestry, should not however be able to limit the Oracles who have access to the Mystery of the Dark Tapestry for the simple reason that unlike Clerics, I don't think Oracles are actually bound to be the same alignment as the deity that they worship at all. For example, it is from what I am reading in the SRD, entirely possible to have a Lawful Good character who worships Cthulu and has access to the Dark Tapestry, so long as that character is an Oracle and not a Cleric.

Though with regard to your points about those Source Books... I am pretty certain that 99% of the source material is actually derivative work based on H.P. Lovecraft's the Call of Cthulhu Mythos and as such the whole "ban it simply because it is in a Golarion Specific Book" just simply does not apply here. And there is actually at least one instance of a Chaotic Neutral Deity (who actually happens to be one of the stronger deities in the pantheon) worship of which would open up the possibility of being Chaotic Good in effect!
 

GlassEye

Community Supporter
You do of course realize that Oracles don't explicitly HAVE to worship a deity?
You're right in that they don't have to worship a deity. But their power comes from a deity whether they like it or not; they are in fact chosen conduits of divine power. A deity is not going to choose someone to wield their power if that person doesn't hold similar beliefs.

This said however, my question was geared more towards the existence of the Dark Tapestry and how it affects the Religions of the world setting, and whether there were any way to justify having player characters of such an affiliation.
I think that a case could be made for the existence of something like the Dark Tapestry (though it is a concept I don't personally care for) using the description that Qik used in his post above. We also have the three divine archetypes that rest outside of civilization (Storm, Stranger, & Destroyer) and their specific manifestations (Akutu and others) that could easily fit into that trope.

But, your question was is there any way to justify player character affiliation. We don't allow evil characters. I think allowing characters that aren't evil but that get their power from evil sources in getting too close to that line. For me, the answer to that question is 'No, we can't justify this for PCs'.

I am pretty certain that 99% of the source material is actually derivative work based on H.P. Lovecraft's the Call of Cthulhu Mythos and as such the whole "ban it simply because it is in a Golarion Specific Book" just simply does not apply here. And there is actually at least one instance of a Chaotic Neutral Deity (who actually happens to be one of the stronger deities in the pantheon) worship of which would open up the possibility of being Chaotic Good in effect!
Where that material comes from originally is irrelevant. What is relevant is what sources we allow. In LPF, the sources we allow that reference the Dark Tapestry is Ultimate Magic. What matters is how, and if, we want to work a similar idea into LPF.

IMO, there could be a place for the concept in LPF, but not for characters.
 
what about chaotic neutral aligned deities that follow one of the three archetypes that you mentioned GlassEye? While Chaotic Neutral is close to Evil, it is also close to Good in the moralistic approach. In a sense banning the Dark Tapestry as a player usable mystery is in essence saying the same thing as "You cannot play a Cleric or Oracle whose God is in anyway Chaotic Evil, Neutral Evil, Lawful Evil, or for that matter is in any way Chaotic Neutral, Lawful Neutral, or True Neutral, simply because we do not want to have any characters who somehow draw their powers from entities that do not in some way espouse the values of 'truth, justice, and the American way!'"

If we are banning the Dark Tapestry for the simple reason that it's deities utilize portfolio's that encompass " Death, pain, destruction, death, cruelty, greed, murder, death..." and yet more death... then would it not be logical by extention to also ban all Evocation specialized Wizards who are of the Chaotic Neutral Alignment as well seeing as how their entire specialty basically revolves around causing destruction on a massive scale?

In otherwords the way I am reading you guys, is that you only want player characters who have a moral alignment that places them squarely in the good category, or at the very least whose deities are squarely placed in the good category.
 
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IronWolf

blank
I think that a case could be made for the existence of something like the Dark Tapestry (though it is a concept I don't personally care for) using the description that Qik used in his post above. We also have the three divine archetypes that rest outside of civilization (Storm, Stranger, & Destroyer) and their specific manifestations (Akutu and others) that could easily fit into that trope.
Exactly. The Dark Tapestry seems an interesting place for someone with some motivation to world building to fit into LPF. With some tie-ins established some GMs could have a field day with some of this stuff and give us a whole new opening for plot ideas and nefarious schemes.

GlassEye said:
But, your question was is there any way to justify player character affiliation. We don't allow evil characters. I think allowing characters that aren't evil but that get their power from evil sources in getting too close to that line. For me, the answer to that question is 'No, we can't justify this for PCs'.
I agree. Dark Tapestry concepts are fine and gives GMs even more sources to draw their grand schemes from. Trying to tie a PC to this Dark Tapestry seems to be playing on that line of evil too closely for me.
 

IronWolf

blank
If we are banning the Dark Tapestry for the simple reason that it's deities utilize portfolio's that encompass " Death, pain, destruction, death, cruelty, greed, murder, death..." and yet more death... then would it not be logical by extention to also ban all Evocation specialized Wizards who are of the Chaotic Neutral Alignment as well seeing as how their entire specialty basically revolves around causing destruction on a massive scale?
Yes. (though keep in mind several of us are saying no to Dark Tapestry as player material. I think the same of us would support better support from the GM side for the Dark Tapestry).

I understand that you are frustrated that several of us think a character based on the Dark Tapestry concept plays on that evil line too closely, but I think you are starting to make some significant jumps in logic. The very essence of the portfolios you mention are death, pain, destruction, cruelty, murder, death, etc. Those are all evil tending and little good can come of it.

Evocation spells? They are a tool that can be used for good or evil. It simply isn't even in the same ballpark in my opinion.

DalkonCledwin said:
In otherwords the way I am reading you guys, is that you only want player characters who have a moral alignment that places them squarely in the good category, or at the very least whose deities are squarely placed in the good category.
I would not say that. I would say that we are having a hard time buying that one who draws their power from the dark tapestry is falling in the middle of the spectrum and strikes us as falling too far into the evil side of things. Again, I think you might be making leaps of logic based off this one specific example of what some of the judges are taking exception to.

Really - the dark tapestry looks pretty interesting to me. I wouldn't mind seeing someone develop some tie-ins to LPF and provide a ripe playground for GMs to use in their adventures. I just don't see a player character as fitting for dabbling in this area.
 

Maidhc O Casain

Na Bith Mo Riocht Tá!
I think it's entirely possible to play an Oracle connected to the Dark Tapestry without lapsing into evil, if one emphasizes the insanity aspect. Walking Dad is doing a good job of it, IMO, in a non-LPF game (ahayford's Shackled City).

I'm not ready (yet) to say I think it would be right for LPF to allow Dark Tapestry Clerics/Oracles/etc. as PCs, but I'm willing to consider it at least.
 

GlassEye

Community Supporter
I think there is great roleplaying potential in a good character 'cursed' with these sorts of dark powers.

The problem I have is with pushing a character's alignment to the closest to evil possible, then giving them dark powers. I'm not saying this is happening here but it feels to me like playing an evil character without the evil label.

Edit: deleted inappropriate comment. My apologies to all.
 
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jkason

Visitor
Very late to the party, but I think what I'd say has been covered by some of hte most recent posts. Mostly: the fact that oracles are cursed, not necessarily rewarded, by deitites (in fact, the Pathfinder iconic oracle came from an atheist home), so a person might be fighting to control 'evil' abilities in a bid to avoid being overtaken from them. I agree, though, that it's a hard line to walk.

Then again, I'm currently playing in a party that just raided a compound and seems to be in the process of slaughtering a man for stealing a couple of gems, so I *might* not have the best perspective on how much moral ambiguity we should allow. :)

As to GM's using Dark Tapestry ... Um... nobody pay any attention the Kostry Kopec adventure over there. Nothing to see behind that curtain... :uhoh:
 

Shayuri

Visitor
Wow, I almost overlooked this.

This is interesting to me, because it kind of connects to my character concept. Let me spill some thoughts on the napkin of your minds and see if it soaks in.

My character is Maia...an Oracle of the Heavens whom I have deemed is a fragment (avatar kind of) of a star that has fallen/been sent to the world. Out of curiosity and a desire to take part in all the goings-on.

In my brain, but having spoken to no one about it cuz I wasn't sure how it all worked, the stars have a multi-tiered purpose for existing in this cosmology. They were, at the dawn of creation, used to store divine power...a kind of 'cosmic fire' that is the source of their light and power to this day. Once the universe was built from primordial chaos, the stars were arranged to form a kind of sphere around it. The light of creation, the divine fire, then acts as a barrier to those Things that are outside, the chaos-forms that dwell in the eternal dark. The stars current role therefore is to be the bulwark that keeps the denizens of the Dark Tapestry at bay. It doesn't always work...hence the aboleths and illithid and nasties that managed to get through...but its success rate is pretty good given the length of time we're discussing. :)

This is also why Maia coming to the world is something she's not eager for the gods to find out about, since the portion of the Fire that was sent with her has now weakened the star...making that little corner of the cosmos less 'firm' so to speak. I'm sure the star Maia felt it was an acceptable risk, but who can say if the gods will agree? :)

THUS

While none of this is canon, and I'm totally open to redoing as much of it as needed, left to my own devices I can see how an Oracle of the Dark Tapestry could be a kind of antithesis to Maia...perhaps something snuck in that 'gap' in the protection afforded by the stars, and 'infected' someone? Maybe that's what it means when the cultists mutter 'when the stars are right.'

...

Not to give anyone evil ideas, of course.

That would be evil.
 

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