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Weeping Waste (CR 10)

Weeping Waste CR 10
XP 4,800

There are places of desolation and loneliness in the wild— trackless regions without a trace of intelligent habitation to be found. In such places, the sense of desperation and isolation can crush the spirit of a sentient being, reducing victims to tearful hopelessness and unending despair, but few such regions are as dangerous as the weeping wastes.

A weeping waste can be found in any kind of terrain, though they are most common in deserts and plains. Always sizable, they might be a few miles across or might stretch on for hundreds of leagues. Some weeping wastes are shrouded in an endless, gray drizzle that chills and soaks to the bone, while others are utterly cloudless, with no change in the vast and empty dome of the sky above.

The sinister influence of the weeping waste blurs the horizon in every direction both above and beyond the natural bleakness of the land, obliterating any trace of mountains or natural landmarks more than 1 mile away unless the viewer succeeds at a DC 20 Will save; this is an illusion effect. A creature failing this save takes a –10 penalty on Survival checks to avoid getting lost. Spells that aid navigation such as know direction, locate object, or find the path (or the ability to sense direction and distance from a status spell) function in a weeping waste only if the caster succeeds at a DC 20 caster level check. Natural tracks left by creatures fade with astonishing swiftness within a weeping waste, increasing the DC to track by 1 for every minute that has passed since the tracks were made, rather than increasing by 1 every 24 hours.

The privations of surviving in the wild are felt more keenly in a weeping waste. A creature that fails a Survival check to avoid getting lost or a sentient creature with Intelligence of 3 or higher that fails a Constitution check or Fortitude save to avoid taking nonlethal damage from a cold or hot environment, hunger or thirst, or a forced march or other exertion must succeed at a Will save against the same DC. Non-humanoids gain a +4 bonus on this Will save. Creatures that fail this save are driven to melancholy and are affected as if by crushing despair, which persists until either the nonlethal damage is removed or the affected creature spends 24 hours outside of the weeping waste, whichever comes first; if no save is allowed to avoid nonlethal damage, no save is allowed against this crushing despair either. In addition to the spell’s usual effects, affected creatures cannot benefit from morale effects.

Even for creatures able to resist the depths of depression, traveling through a weeping waste instills an insidious loneliness and melancholy that leaves sentient humanoids desperate for friendly contact. They become blindly trusting, taking a –5 penalty on Sense Motive checks and a –2 penalty on saves against charm effects, and they take a –5 penalty on initiative checks if combat begins directly after they converse with an intelligent creature. This lonely desperation persists for 1d4 days after leaving the weeping waste.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Wilderness © 2017, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Alexander Augunas, John Bennett, Robert Brookes, John Compton, Dan Dillon, Steven T. Helt, Thurston Hillman, Eric Hindley, Mikko Kallio, Jason Keeley, Isabelle Lee, Jason Nelson, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Alex Riggs, David N. Ross, David Schwartz, Mark Seifter, Jeffery Swank, and Linda Zayas-Palmer.