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Cross species relationships in pathfinder and cultural reactions


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

So with innersea bestiary and all the new races that have shown up I was thinking "how are inter species relationships viewed in peoples games?" I mean it's sort of an important part of our real world history and has prompted numerous political, civil, and cultural movements as well as having certain views on them depending on where you are and whom the person is and I think this would be only more nuanced and diverse thanks to the copious amounts of species and races we see throughout pathfinder. So I was wondering do any other gm's address this in their worlds and how do they handle this important chunk of human interaction when you can have characters that range from the size and weight of small children to sentient plants.


I actually wondered this. As a halfling in pathfinder, I didn't realize they were fairly scarce in population and a charismatic man gets lonely from time to time. Wonder what the world's views are on it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This is how I have it set in the world I'm developing:

Elves, humans, and dwarves are the three most common races, and relationships between the three are fairly common and generally aren't looked down upon (there is a stereotype of male dwarves pining after human women, but it's not a major racism).

Halfling and gnomes are less common, many of the other races don't actually know the difference. Relations between these two races would hardly be noticed by the Big Folk let alone looked down upon (in a manner of speaking). Relations between the Big Folk and the Little Folk, however, is seen as pretty unusual. For example, I have a human female NPC in a game that has a thing for halfling men. She keeps this to herself because even though it isn't thought of as wrong per see, it is seen as an odd kink and she might get called names or weird people out.

Half-orcs are considered an uncommon race in my world. The few that try to make ends meet in civil society usually end up pariahs, except in small communities where they manage to prove themselves to the locals. Any relationship between a half orc and a non half orc will start all sorts of unpleasant rumors, and the two would really need to love each other to be able to get through the kinds of things they're bound to hear.

The off-shoot races, ifrits, aasimar and the like, most of the time try to pass for human and don't have many problems unless their off-race traits are really overt.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Nice Lemon, good to see others who work on this as well

In mine cross species relationships vary quite a lot.

Dwarves are pretty isolationist, traditional, and pragmatic with most relationships being arranged and a duty rather then built around the idea of love and with most cross species dalliances unable to produce children or producing sterile half-breeds referred to as mules they really don't see the appeal. In short they will befriend and ally with other races but romance is very foreign to most of them outside of other dwarves

Elves in my world come in 2 varieties. First are the Exile Elves, those elves banished to the island continent millenia ago along with the human population. These elves have huge enclaves within the largest human settlements that look like cross between botanical gardens and gothic churches composed of glass domes and blackened iron. These Elves have had a large problem with breeding full blooded children for ages now with many pure blooded elves being unable to bring a pure elven child to term. This means many elves end up taking non-elven lovers at some point in their lives in order to continue their line even if it's a half elf. This means in quite a few enclaves the number of half-elves can easily outnumber the elves though pure bloods are usually given preferential treatment. It is quite rare for most elves to have pure blooded siblings that within 100 years of their age if at all, and families that manage this are held in high regard.

The second type are the indigenous jungle elves. These elves live deep in the isolated jungles of the world in the remains of their crumbling temple cities. These elves still have the strong connections to nature that the urban elves lack and have no problem with producing children but have a very isolationist view to the rest of the world after fighting multiple wars with the exiles and losing. This combined with their very small numbers in the modern day means that their really aren't as many of them any more and they really have no want to interact with the rest of the world. To them humanity is usually enemy #1 with them either wanting to just stay away at all costs or open hostility. Urban elves are looked at as traitors or lost souls wandering the earth with no concept of it's wonder. Dwarves are almost never seen since they live basically on the other side of the continent to them. Half-orcs are usually disliked for the same reasons orcs are and most elves just treat one as the other. Gnomes vary thanks to their odd contraptions of steel and lightning which intimidate jungle elves and remind them of the horrors that the goblins try to create the the exile humans weapons of war but their connection to the first world allows them to connect with jungle elves in ways other races can't. Finally halflings are one of the few exile races that are taken as friendly with many of them willing to trade with them and not judge the elves way of life. Halflings caravans are some of the only groups with reliable maps to these elven enclaves.

Halflings have can have romantic relationships with non halflings but it's usually looked at as a minority group or a slightly off fetish referred to as a short eye amongst larger folk. The discrimination here though is usually slight and most don't see anything of it but the odd short joke.

Gnomes have similar treatment to halflings though relationships are less common with most gnomes living in their central city in the north and the surrounding regions. Those that do live outside the gnomish homelands are usually students of the various arcane universities that dot the world, traveling, or working on various projects that require them to be away from home.

Half-orcs are uncommon in most parts of the world and are often treated as orcs are. The few exceptions are in the swampy west where they interbreed and intermingle with native humans and have a more diverse outlook on the world. The second is one of the human noble houses which is composed entirely of half-orcs and their descendents as well as some hungerseed (oni) tieflings and half-fiends, the results of dalliances with their erstwhile outsider allies.


I would think Half Orcs would suffer -2 on social interactions till everyone becomes sure they are not a spy for the orcs.
Half demons or half undead are -4 at least. There is a great fear that their monster half will take them over. People with the abberation bloodline, The Innsmouth Look, have been known to have this happen. PCs are one in a million, but as NPCs can't tell that, part abberations will usually suffer -6, and not be trusted by any.


Kaer Maga has a Halfing settlement that welcomes humans and the people there are even looking for a way for Halfings and Humans to interbreed.

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