A Look at Cultures in Inner Sea Races

Thursday, September 3, 2015

With the release of Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Races just around the corner, we're kicking off previews of the new content heading your way today! Here's a look at one of the books new features:

Each human ethnicity and non-human core race has a sidebar giving tips on how to play a character from that culture. These tips include both elements that are common to that culture, such as the likely educational background and religious attitudes for characters from that culture, and descriptions of the way other residents of the Inner Sea region are likely to view them. Above are examples from two human ethnicities and two non-human races.

Look out for more content sneak peeks of Inner Sea Races in the coming weeks!

Jessica Price
Project Manager

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Tags: Elves Golarion Half-Orcs Pathfinder Campaign Setting
Silver Crusade

Awesome! This will super helpful.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

These are brilliant.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Are the core races the only ones that get these?

Project Manager

Yup.


Jessica Price wrote:
Yup.

:( I was looking forward to more love for the Changeling and Plane-touched races. Oh well.

Project Manager

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Larkos wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
Yup.
:( I was looking forward to more love for the Changeling and Plane-touched races. Oh well.

They each get at least two pages (aasimars, geniekin, and tieflings each get six). They don't have the sidebars, though, to save room for actual running text.


Jessica Price wrote:
Larkos wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
Yup.
:( I was looking forward to more love for the Changeling and Plane-touched races. Oh well.
They each get at least two pages (aasimars, geniekin, and tieflings each get six). They don't have the sidebars, though, to save room for actual running text.

Well that's a horse of a different color. Thanks, Jessica!


Very nice! This inspires me with some ideas for introducing players to my own campaign settings. Inner Sea Races seems like it will be a great book for fans of the Golarion setting.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Athel wrote:
Very nice! This inspires me with some ideas for introducing players to my own campaign settings. Inner Sea Races seems like it will be a great book for fangs of the Golarion setting.

Especially serpentfolk, from the sounds of things. :P


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Kalindlara wrote:
Athel wrote:
Very nice! This inspires me with some ideas for introducing players to my own campaign settings. Inner Sea Races seems like it will be a great book for fangs of the Golarion setting.
Especially serpentfolk, from the sounds of things. :P

My typo immortalized before I could fix it!! KALINDLARAAAAA!!

Sovereign Court

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Athel wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Athel wrote:
Very nice! This inspires me with some ideas for introducing players to my own campaign settings. Inner Sea Races seems like it will be a great book for fangs of the Golarion setting.
Especially serpentfolk, from the sounds of things. :P
My typo immortalized before I could fix it!! KALINDLARAAAAA!!

Bwa ha ha!


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If only I wasn't blind, I might actually be able to enjoy this a bit more... Still, visually inclined previews aside, I'm looking forward to this one.


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I'd like to see something that helps with roleplaying more unusual races. Like Samsaran. Or Wayang.

There are plenty of examples of elves, dwarfs and humans etc in books and novels but nothing for the more exotic races


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Very cool!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This preview sold me on the book. Just pre-ordered from Amazon. Looks great!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

This could have been a chapter all it's own if it went beyond the core races.

I hope we will get a art preview soon.


The one on half-orcs paints a rather cynical view of people as a whole. But on the other hand, I know a bit too well about how many negative images can be painted by others regarding certain types of people.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This looks interesting!

I just hope that the book differentiates between ethnicities and nationalities, unlike the Inner Sea World Guide and similar sourcebooks, where the description of Taldan humans seemed to swing between the inhabitants of Taldor (nationality) and the Taldan ethnicity (also found in many places outside of Taldor proper these days). (The Chelaxians were treated in the same way.)


The list for half-orcs validates my view on how cheesy it is that players so often choose them...optimizing vs. role-playing--though not in every case. There are those few who actually attempt to accurately role-play conflicted races and not just optimize. If GMs kept that list in mind and put effort into social encounters... I am always cautioning my sons about what race they choose because there WILL be social repercussions. It's the nature of a world full of conflict.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

if you are playing a rare inner sea race, the "Others Probably..." section is going to be mostly "Are confused about what the hell you are" or "Mistake you for a weird member of X more common race"


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Heh, the changeling bottom half would be "Others Probably: Mistake you for a member of your host race/ethnicity, and treat you accordingly."


Really like these. Looking forward to the book!

Cheers!
Landon

Paizo Employee Developer

16 people marked this as a favorite.
Valantrix1 wrote:
If only I wasn't blind, I might actually be able to enjoy this a bit more... Still, visually inclined previews aside, I'm looking forward to this one.

Well that wasn't very accessible of us, was it. If you can access spoilered content, I've put the words from the shared sidebars below. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Playing a Garundi:

Playing a Garundi
Builders of empires and keepers of ancient arcane traditions, Garundi make gracious hosts and gregarious neighbors. Their communities can be found throughout the Inner Sea region.

IF YOU’RE GARUNDI, YOU LIKELY:

  • Enjoy the comforts of urban life and easy access to renowned places of learning.
    Have studied under a mentor in a chain of scholastic traditions stretching back for centuries.
  • Do not consider the process of education a finite one, instead seeing it as a lifelong pursuit.
  • Take pride in your people’s history of building empires, the mark they have left on the Inner Sea region, and the influence they continue to wield in the present.
    Consider long-time colleagues and companions to be as much your kin as are your blood relatives.
  • Assume most non-Garundi want to take advantage of your people’s discoveries, though you doubt they would actually be able to understand them.

OTHERS PROBABLY:

  • Believe you live in a pyramid, in the desert wastes, or among ancient monuments to long-dead rulers.
  • See your people as never satisfied with the land or the magical accomplishments they control.
  • Expect you to be an expert on magic, history, urban planning, and the mysteries of the desert.
  • Believe you have seen a mummy, answered a sphinx’s riddle, or know someone who drank the sun orchid elixir. Assume you worship Pharasma, Nethys, or some obscure Osirian deity.
  • View you as either a dusty scholar, a deep desert explorer, or a practitioner of powerful (and probably dangerous) magic.

Playing a Keleshite:

Playing a Keleshite
Sophisticated empire builders and savvy traders, Keleshites are known across the Inner Sea region as urbane and courteous hosts, providers of opulent goods, and economic savants.

IF YOU’RE KELESHITE, YOU LIKELY:

  • Are widely traveled, and have at least a passing familiarity with most major cultures even if you haven’t visited their lands.
  • Can make use of a family network of trading contacts scattered across the world for help or just to keep up with current events.
  • Have a thorough grounding in economics.
  • View horses as noble partners more valuable than gold and more reliable than most humans.
  • Feel a strong sense of obligation toward your blood relations. View most non-Keleshite cultures as a bit quaint and lacking in sophistication.

OTHERS PROBABLY:

  • Respect and are even a bit intimidated by your elegant taste and worldliness.
  • See your confidence in the superiority of Keleshite ways as arrogant.
  • Expect you to be an expert on genies and elementals, or even outsiders in general.
  • Suspect you serve the interests of the Padishah Empire, even if your family hasn’t lived there for generations. Assume you worship Sarenrae.
  • View you as either a desert nomad or a pampered city- dweller, or—paradoxically—both at once.

Playing an Elf:

Playing an Elf
Elven society follows a stately course of highs and lows— despite their relatively recent resurgence, elves have lived on Golarion as long as humanity, and love to laugh, make friends, and try things on a whim.

IF YOU’RE AN ELF, YOU LIKELY:

  • Live in harmony with your surroundings, take inspiration from the environment, and seek to improve the world. Have spent decades studying areas of interest to you and feel no pressure to master your skills quickly.
  • Prefer pursuits that give you opportunities to express your creativity and explore aesthetics, be they your own or those of another people.
  • Take pride in your people’s ability to adapt to new environments with grace and poise.
  • Value family and close friends as beloved treasures, but remain wary of forming strong attachments with those who don’t share your longevity.
  • Assume non-elves are impatient and impulsive, but are worth getting to know better.

OTHERS PROBABLY:

  • Believe you look down on them and don’t take them seriously.
  • See your people as unconcerned with current events and hesitant to provide aid to non-elves.
  • Expect you to be an expert on archery, magic, and art.
  • Are jealous of your grace, beauty, and long life.
  • Assume you worship Calistria or Desna.
  • View you as either a guardian of nature or a haughty magic-using enigma.

Playing a Half-orc:

Playing a Half-Orc
Half-orcs are often treated as objects of derision and hatred. Their inner conflicts make them prone to resentment and loneliness, but they have a burning desire to survive.

IF YOU’RE A HALF-ORC, YOU LIKELY:

  • Have experienced a lifetime of unearned hostility and prejudice; you are wary of trusting others, but once your loyalty is given, it’s unassailable.
  • Struggle to find a place in society, and even if you have proven your value, you are accepted only tenuously by others.
  • Are self-taught, because the only teaching you received at others’ hands came in the form of insults and violence.
  • Worry that some aspect of your blood makes you a monster, or feel shame due to how others react to your parentage.
  • Value close friendships enormously—perhaps even more than ties with your blood kin.
  • Assume most non-half-orcs would rather see you dead than be seen in public with you.

OTHERS PROBABLY:

  • Fear your passions and temper, expecting you to erupt into violence at the slightest provocation.
  • See you as shameful evidence of orc violence or human indiscretion, or as a victim of a war-torn society.
  • Expect you to be an expert at fighting, enduring pain, and wrangling wild beasts.
  • Believe you are happy only in the throes of battle, and are incapable of self-reflection, civil conversation, or anything involving delicacy or gentleness.
  • Assume you worship Gorum or Rovagug.
  • View you as either a blood-drenched killer, a pitiable brute, or a skulking troublemaker.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Moreland wrote:
Valantrix1 wrote:
If only I wasn't blind, I might actually be able to enjoy this a bit more... Still, visually inclined previews aside, I'm looking forward to this one.

Well that wasn't very accessible of us, was it. If you can access spoilered content, I've put the words from the shared sidebars below. Sorry for the inconvenience!

** spoiler omitted **

[spoiler="Playing a...

Wow! You didn't need to do that, but it sure is appreciated! You guys rock!


Any chance Pureblooded Azlanti will get included ?

Scarab Sages

Shadow_Charlatan wrote:
Any chance Pureblooded Azlanti will get included ?

Doubtful since they're extinct in modern Golarion except for the rare high level ancient NPC in an AP.


You know people would pay for a book with these rp sidebars on the outside core races like the uncommon, and Featured races.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Wow! That's solid. This really addresses a small gripe I've had with some of the ways lore is explained in certain books. This is really showing me a race instead of telling me. Thanks! Keep it up with this writing approach in your future books!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

I would pay for a book that has this for all the non-core races.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, I'd love to "see" this treatment in future releases. It's a great way of shoing how everything fits together in Golarion. Brilliant, whoever thought of it.

Project Manager

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Shadow_Charlatan wrote:
Any chance Pureblooded Azlanti will get included ?

Azlanti get their own section, yes. The section talks about pure-blooded Azlanti, and gives some suggestions about how one or two of them might have survived into contemporary Golarion, but it focuses on modern-day Azlanti--that is, people of Azlanti descent who claim to be Azlanti.


Will there be any of the half-race templates ? like Half-dragon, Half-Janni or Half-Celestial ?

Would any new Sub-races for any of the core races that haven't been covered yet be added?


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I liked the part about the elves, especially how it points out how the stereotypes that've been lingering since the Complete Book of Elves are just that: stereotypes, and inaccurate at that.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
AlgaeNymph wrote:
I liked the part about the elves, especially how it points out how the stereotypes that've been lingering since the Complete Book of Elves are just that: stereotypes, and inaccurate at that.

And excising those that crept into Golarion during the writing of Elves of Golarion and Second Darkness.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Fourshadow wrote:
The list for half-orcs validates my view on how cheesy it is that players so often choose them...optimizing vs. role-playing--though not in every case. There are those few who actually attempt to accurately role-play conflicted races and not just optimize. If GMs kept that list in mind and put effort into social encounters... I am always cautioning my sons about what race they choose because there WILL be social repercussions. It's the nature of a world full of conflict.

No kidding. My only half-orc so far is a bard who does Maori hakas. He worships Lissala as she used to be because, as a half-pinkskin from Belkzen, he has a very fatalistic view on life. I've gotten a lot of compliments about him and I *think* I've inspired a few people to be more thoughtful about the roleplaying aspect of character creation.

Dark Archive

Also, Garund=academia? o_o

Contributor

CelticDragon38 wrote:
Also, Garund=academia? o_o

Why is that surprising? Garundi empires number among them some of the most technologically and magically advanced in Golarion's history: the ancient Osiriani, the Shory, and the Jistka to name just three. In modern times, the sophisticated metropolises of Katapesh and Sothis are just two of the many centers of learning populated largely by Garundi. If one wants to play the real world analogues game, then Garund, to my way of thinking, might at least somewhat fruitfully be compared to North Africa and the Levant, two areas with rich histories of academic development and excellence.

Project Manager

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Christopher Rowe wrote:
CelticDragon38 wrote:
Also, Garund=academia? o_o
Why is that surprising? Garundi empires number among them some of the most technologically and magically advanced in Golarion's history: the ancient Osiriani, the Shory, and the Jistka to name just three. In modern times, the sophisticated metropolises of Katapesh and Sothis are just two of the many centers of learning populated largely by Garundi. If one wants to play the real world analogues game, then Garund, to my way of thinking, might at least somewhat fruitfully be compared to North Africa and the Levant, two areas with rich histories of academic development and excellence.

People often seem to forget that the Library of Alexandria was in Africa. <wry>

And it wasn't just the area around Egypt/the Levant. Timbuktu was home to a university from which over a million manuscripts have been unearthed, covering science, medicine, history, law, etc.

At its height, the University of Timbuktu had over 25,000 students, and by the 1300s, it was sending out roving satellite campuses that traveled between nearby cities. (Read about it here.)

For that matter, Africans invented the university: the first known university, Al-Qarawiyyin, is in Morocco (founded by Fatima al-Fihri).

Lantern Lodge

Jessica Price wrote:

And it wasn't just the area around Egypt/the Levant. Timbuktu was home to a university from which over a million manuscripts have been unearthed, covering science, medicine, history, law, etc.

At its height, the University of Timbuktu had over 25,000 students, and by the 1300s, it was sending out roving satellite campuses that traveled between nearby cities. (Read about it here.)

Was this the inspiration of Magaambya or just awesome coincidence?

Project Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jayson MF Kip wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:

And it wasn't just the area around Egypt/the Levant. Timbuktu was home to a university from which over a million manuscripts have been unearthed, covering science, medicine, history, law, etc.

At its height, the University of Timbuktu had over 25,000 students, and by the 1300s, it was sending out roving satellite campuses that traveled between nearby cities. (Read about it here.)

Was this the inspiration of Magaambya or just awesome coincidence?

Not sure. It was definitely the inspiration for some stuff in ISR, though. :-)


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I love the sidebars for the races. Quick and tight! I did bits like them ages ago, but much more abbreviated and less helpful. Think of an index card for each race. I particularly like the 'how others see you' aspect, something I missed.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jessica Price wrote:
Christopher Rowe wrote:
CelticDragon38 wrote:
Also, Garund=academia? o_o
Why is that surprising? Garundi empires number among them some of the most technologically and magically advanced in Golarion's history: the ancient Osiriani, the Shory, and the Jistka to name just three. In modern times, the sophisticated metropolises of Katapesh and Sothis are just two of the many centers of learning populated largely by Garundi. If one wants to play the real world analogues game, then Garund, to my way of thinking, might at least somewhat fruitfully be compared to North Africa and the Levant, two areas with rich histories of academic development and excellence.

People often seem to forget that the Library of Alexandria was in Africa. <wry>

And it wasn't just the area around Egypt/the Levant. Timbuktu was home to a university from which over a million manuscripts have been unearthed, covering science, medicine, history, law, etc.

At its height, the University of Timbuktu had over 25,000 students, and by the 1300s, it was sending out roving satellite campuses that traveled between nearby cities. (Read about it here.)

For that matter, Africans invented the university: the first known university, Al-Qarawiyyin, is in Morocco (founded by Fatima al-Fihri).

You're both mistaking my response for something it's not. I'm well aware of the history of scholarly contributions by North African and Middle Eastern cultures. I haven't delved into the history and culture of all the Golarian nations, Garund being one of them, so I didn't know what its real-world parallel is. I unfortunately don't have time to immerse myself in Golarion lore right now because I'm a very busy graduate student. My reaction is amusement at one of the nations (It could have been any nation and my reaction would be the same. Seriously.) being something I'm, at the moment, knee-deep in and simultaneously love and hate.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jessica Price wrote:


People often seem to forget that the Library of Alexandria was in Africa. <wry>

And it wasn't just the area around Egypt/the Levant. Timbuktu was home to a university from which over a million manuscripts have been unearthed, covering science, medicine, history, law, etc.

At its height, the University of Timbuktu had over 25,000 students, and by the 1300s, it was sending out roving satellite campuses that traveled between nearby cities. (Read about it here.)

For that matter, Africans invented the university: the first known university, Al-Qarawiyyin, is in Morocco (founded by Fatima al-Fihri).

After reading Drake and Flint's Belasarius series, I've developed an interest in the Axumite empire. Facinating

Community & Digital Content Director

Removed a post and the replies to it. Blog discussion threads really aren't the place to debate real world nomenclature/status of real world establishments. Keep the discussion focused on Golarion and Inner Sea Races, folks!

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