Orcs, Dromaar, and More!

Tuesday, November 07, 2023

As we cruise into the final days before the release, we’re getting to the end of these preview blogs, but we figured there’s probably still a few things we can talk about. How about orcs and the updated mixed ancestry rules?

Orcs are a common ancestry now, and appear among the Player Core options alongside dwarves, goblins, elves, humans, etc. This reflects not just a mechanical change, but also the ever-evolving state of our lore. With the undead hordes of the Whispering Tyrant seething outwards from the Gravelands, the orcs of Belkzen have seen their home transformed into one of the primary battlegrounds, raising their axes and torches high to fend off the encroaching darkness.

An Orc mage holding up fire in the palm of her hand

Illustration by Gabriel Scavariello

In becoming the vanguard of one of the greatest ongoing struggles threatening the Inner Sea, Belkzen’s orcs have also formed an ever-increasing number of alliances with their neighbors—something that is a source of contention for some of the less friendly holds…but that’s a story for later!

To help our new orcish allies with their battles, we’ve brushed up a few of their feats, as well. The old Hold Mark feat wasn’t great, especially in the context of some of the improvements we’ve made to ancestry feats; the Orc Weapon Familiarity feat now automatically gives you the benefits that used to require taking Orc Weapon Carnage as soon as you hit 5th level, without needing to spend any further feats. So, we reworked Hold Mark into a new 1st-level feat based on some of the orc holds of Belkzen that gives you training in a key skill and a constant bonus to saves against a specific type of magic—which does stack with the bonus from Orc Superstition, if you want to go that route, allowing orcs to be particularly resilient against certain types of magic!

Hold Mark Feat and table from The Pathfinder Second Edition Remaster Player Core: Hold Mark, Feat 1, You bear scars or tattoos enhanced by the mark of your community's prowess. When you selet thusi feat, choose one of the options from the below table. You are trained in the listed skill and gain a +1 statys==us bonus to saves sagainst spells from the listed tradition. You gain a large brand or tattoo in the shape of the chosen emblem or a similar concept (for example, the Burning Sun could be a torch, sun, volcano, or other fiery symbol, while the Empty Hand could be a fist of claw)

As orcish heroes have spread across the Inner Sea, the opportunities for heroes of mixed orcish ancestry to carve out a place for themselves have also multiplied. Dromaars, as children of mixed orc and human ancestry are known in Belkzen, are one of the mixed ancestry examples provided in Player Core. The word dromaar is an orcish word, referring to those drummers whose music sends the hordes marching to war; many of the current generation of dromaar adventurers view themselves as heralds of a new age for orcs in the Inner Sea region.

While most dromaars from Belkzen have either one human parent and one orc parent or two dromaar parents, dromaars from other parts of Golarion might have some other ancestral mix; orcs and dwarves in Arcadia, for example, have a much more cooperative history together than the orc and dwarf nations of the Inner Sea, and it’s possible that the dromaars on that continent might have a significant population whose ancestry is of mixed dwarf and orc descent.

Dromaar Mountaineer dressed in furs and leather, holding an axe in her hand

Illustration by Oleksii Chernik

Dromaars aren’t the only example of a mixed ancestry presented in Player Core; aiuvarins are people of mixed elven ancestry, typically having a human parent on one side and an elven parent on the other, though other mixes are entirely possible.

While introducing the aiuvarins, we took the opportunity to clean up some confusion around options like the Elf Atavism feat, which had some unclear interactions with things like the Ancient Elf heritage.

Elf Atavism Feat 1 : Your elven blood runs particularly strong, granting you features far more elven than those of a typical aiuvarin. You may also have been raised among elves, steeped in your elven ancestors' heritage. You gain the benefits of the elf heritage that depends on or improves an elven feature you don't have. For example, you couldn't take the Ancient Elf heritage (page 47) unless your non-elf  ancestry also has a lifespan measured in multiple centuries. In these cases, at the GM's discretion, you might gain a different benefit.

Previously we’d presented options like aiuvarin and dromaar as human heritages, specifically half-elves and half-orcs. By pulling them out of the human ancestry and making them the first two heritages of the new Mixed Ancestry option, we open up a whole new world of possible options to customize your characters and your worlds. Currently, if you want to make a new Mixed Ancestry that represents people of partial dwarven, gnome, goblin, or other descent, you’ll need to use the example set by the aiuvarin and dromaar heritages to create your own, but in days to come I wouldn’t be surprised to see more mixed ancestry options appearing as we push back the edges of the map and do deeper explorations of Golarion’s other continents.

Michael Sayre
Design Manager

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Tags: Pathfinder Pathfinder Remaster Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition
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Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Stormlord506 wrote:
Gisher wrote:
Would the offspring of an Orc and an Android be a Cyborc? ;)
Can androids produce offspring? We need an answer Mr. Paizo :3

I based the original design for androids on those from Alien and Blade Runner, aka "on Ridley Scott androids." Then he did a show on HBO called "Raised by Wolves" that's all about androids raising kids, among other things. The show was pretty great and strange and, alas, HBO cancelled it after 2 seasons, but at least we got those two seasons.

AKA Check out that show for one way androids could produce offspring.


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Also interesting to note - All Pathfinder Androids are effectively born as orphans. I expect that this would lead Android culture to value taking care of stray children.


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CorvusMask wrote:
Orcs make much more sense as core option than goblins do because orcs already had nuance shown to them where goblins got spontaneously overall much more nicer in much higher quantities when they became core :'D

I think the diagetic reason for this is that Goblins are *much* more culturally flexible than Orcs are. Goblins you can more or less just tell "we worship Sarenrae now, she's the biggest fire" and they will go along with you, but if you want to meaningfully alter any part of an Orc's society there are others who will throw hands that would prefer you not. Like Orc society is about strength and resolve- it can change, it's just that to change it you have to show that you're stronger and more committed than the alternative.


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Caiten wrote:
Also interesting to note - All Pathfinder Androids are effectively born as orphans. I expect that this would lead Android culture to value taking care of stray children.

I can't point to any specific bit of text but I think you're right. Androids are big on found families, so one helping a lost child makes a lot of sense to me.

Paizo Employee Design Manager

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Richard Lowe wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Orcs make much more sense as core option than goblins do because orcs already had nuance shown to them where goblins got spontaneously overall much more nicer in much higher quantities when they became core :'D
Perhaps unfortunately for those not involved an awful lot of that development was in Society, there were many scenarios over 10 years and multiple seasons showing numerous different goblins and goblin tribes working with both the society and others in helpful ways. So there was absolutely a ton of cooperation shown, just perhaps not in ways that every player would be able to see and experience.

Not even just in Society storylines. Dark Markets, which predates the PF1 CRB, and Council of Thieves, the first AP published using the Pathfinder rules, both had notable non-evil goblins in them.

By and large, goblins had notably more "ancestral character growth" in PF1 than orcs did, though there's been a conscious effort during PF2's edition cycle that started back in PF1 with introducing some key elements in the Belkzen campaign guide to move orcs away from some of the more dated and problematic tropes associated with them in a logical and coherent way.


When are we going down under in Sarusan?


Zero the Nothing wrote:
When are we going down under in Sarusan?

Isn't that misspelling of ancestry from "Tien Xia character guide"?


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I literally just noticed that bit about the origin of the word dromaar, and that's such a cool touch; I love how it implies that people with orcish blood aren't anything like a monolith because the term has a specific geographical origin. Like orcish people from The Mwangi Expanse or across the Crown in Tian Xia are almost certainly not called dromaar just because the linguistic traditions of those regions would be different, even if orcish was the same.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Richard Lowe wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Orcs make much more sense as core option than goblins do because orcs already had nuance shown to them where goblins got spontaneously overall much more nicer in much higher quantities when they became core :'D
Perhaps unfortunately for those not involved an awful lot of that development was in Society, there were many scenarios over 10 years and multiple seasons showing numerous different goblins and goblin tribes working with both the society and others in helpful ways. So there was absolutely a ton of cooperation shown, just perhaps not in ways that every player would be able to see and experience.

Its a shame a lot of the story, even summaries of society stuff or key story points are not easily (to my knowledge at least) accessible.


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Zero the Nothing wrote:
When are we going down under in Sarusan?

Sarusan's job is to be a blank spot on the map; they've said Australian stuff will go elsewhere.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Alex Speidel wrote:
Shay Snow wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
I am vaguely curious whether the new name is because "half-orc" was feared to be an infringement on WOTC or because the devs felt they just deserved their own name.
I suggested horcs and was shot down u_u
I tried to support this but I was no helf at all.

BOO ALEX BOO

Grand Lodge

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Welp now we can have Elf-Orcs

Liberty's Edge

Aristophanes wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
I'm curious if PFS will let you let you make your own hybrid ancestries or will force you to only use half-elf and half-orc.
Knowing PFS and its usual rulings : the latter.

Probably at the start, but eventually you'll be able to do something with AcP.

For future official non-Core Heritages ? Sure.

For a homebrewed custom Heritage ? No way.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Would my previously half-elf character now be Human (Aiuvarin heritage) and my previously half-orc character Orc (Dromaar heritage)?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

That's up to you? You could use either human or elf for the base ancestry for the first and either orc or human for the base ancestry for the other. The primary thing is that it opens up ancestry traits for both selected ancestries.

Dark Archive

The Raven Black wrote:
Old_Man_Robot wrote:

Is the new Mix Ancestry a generic option in the remaster, or is it specific to Dromaar and Aiuvarins?

For example, if I wanted to make a Half-Dawrf / Half-Hobgoblin, would I select Mix Ancestry as the Heritage option for either of the above and then... done?

I believe it is generic but there are only these 2 Heritages right now.

Oh okay. So the flood gates aren't open to make any combination of ancestries we wish, it must be drawn from one of the existing versions which presumably get they own feats.

I saw a video which seems to suggest it was a Mix & Match option, but I've misunderstood them then.


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I figure this is as good place as any to post my now obsolete findings a few months ago on "Can there be other non-human half heritages".

"I did some detective work to find out the exact reasons of the existence of Human-Elf and Human-Orc Hybrids, but Hybrids of other Ancestries.

It’s worth noting that when I’m talking about Hybrids, I mean mixed races born by conventional mundane means, and not creatures who come more from Outsider/Supernatural influence such as Aasimar, Tieflings, Changelings, Oreads and many others. These could be more easily compared to Vampirism, which can affect most Ancestries.

Lord of the Rings had Half-Elves, and to a lesser degree Half-Orcs (albeit produced by magical means similar to how Uruk-Hai were made).
When D&D became a thing, players wanted to play as Half-Elves and Orcs. Since Orcs were an innately villainous, the Half-Orc was popularized to give the players an option to play an Orc-like character without necessarily playing villains.
So the tldr and TRUE reason why Half-Elves and Half-Orcs are a thing, but other hybrids aren’t is because Tolkien did it and D&D is heavily based/inspired in Lord of the Rings.

Now, if we start looking at in-universe reasons we know the following.
The PF1 book “Bastards of Golarion” confirms that hybrids other than Half-Elves and Half-Orcs are “all but unheard of on Golarion”. It lists biological incompatibility as the reason. It does mention however that these Hybrids could happen as the result of powerful magic such as a Wish Spell, but strictly speaking, by mundane means, they do not happen.
The book also confirms the existence of “Influence of Outsiders” causing creatures such as Dwarf Aasimars and Gnome Tieflings. So the Outsiders Versatile Heritage concept was already existent in the Lore and just hadn’t really made it into the mechanics of the game due to PF1 being a revised version of D&D 3.5, something they corrected when they moved into PF2.

The main theory on why Humans are able to breed comes with Aboleths.
Ancient Alghollthu wall carvings claim Aboleths are responsible for humanity’s creation. They would have been created as an adaptable slave race. When the ancient Azlanti came close to discover this, the Aboleths tried to wipe the slate clean and start all over by triggering Earthfall.
It can be speculated that Humans are adaptable genetically because the aboleth experiment was left unfinished. They just happen to be compatible with Orcs and Elves “because reasons”. Maybe the Aboleths took some notes by looking at those two ancestries when creating humans. But that’s entirely someone’s guess and falls into the fan theory territory to explain a real world reason for why we have Half-Elves and Half-Orcs.

With all that said, it’s still entirely the prerogative of any GM to modify the lore of their world as they see fit.

Thank you for coming to my TED talk."

From Bastards of Golarion:
Although humans can have children with
many other races, there are limits to this gift.
Half-dwarves, half-gnomes, half-halflings,
and numerous other combinations are
all but unheard of on Golarion. Biological
incompatibility is the first and foremost
reason that such half-races cannot exist.
Simply put, dwarves, gnomes, and others
just aren't compatible with other races,
even humans.
In a realm shrouded in magic, it would
be foolish to assume no spell in the known
multiverse could produce a viable child
between a dwarf and a humanoid of
another race. Indeed, dwarven aasimars
and gnome tieflings are known to exist,
arising through the influence of outsiders or
because of magical anomalies understood
by few. A miracle or wish spell
could likewise result in the birth
of a half-dwarf, though the
individuals able or
willing to practice
such spellcraft
are few and
far between.

Liberty's Edge

Old_Man_Robot wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Old_Man_Robot wrote:

Is the new Mix Ancestry a generic option in the remaster, or is it specific to Dromaar and Aiuvarins?

For example, if I wanted to make a Half-Dawrf / Half-Hobgoblin, would I select Mix Ancestry as the Heritage option for either of the above and then... done?

I believe it is generic but there are only these 2 Heritages right now.

Oh okay. So the flood gates aren't open to make any combination of ancestries we wish, it must be drawn from one of the existing versions which presumably get they own feats.

I saw a video which seems to suggest it was a Mix & Match option, but I've misunderstood them then.

I think you have not really misunderstood. It is my understanding that the basis for creating homebrew Heritages is clearly delineated. But AFAICT for the moment we have only 2 official Heritages.

So, in a home game, it should be easy to create the Mix and Match you're looking for.

But not in PFS I think.


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Unikatze wrote:

I figure this is as good place as any to post my now obsolete findings a few months ago on "Can there be other non-human half heritages".

"I did some detective work to find out the exact reasons of the existence of Human-Elf and Human-Orc Hybrids, but Hybrids of other Ancestries.

It’s worth noting that when I’m talking about Hybrids, I mean mixed races born by conventional mundane means, and not creatures who come more from Outsider/Supernatural influence such as Aasimar, Tieflings, Changelings, Oreads and many others. These could be more easily compared to Vampirism, which can affect most Ancestries.

Lord of the Rings had Half-Elves, and to a lesser degree Half-Orcs (albeit produced by magical means similar to how Uruk-Hai were made).
When D&D became a thing, players wanted to play as Half-Elves and Orcs. Since Orcs were an innately villainous, the Half-Orc was popularized to give the players an option to play an Orc-like character without necessarily playing villains.
So the tldr and TRUE reason why Half-Elves and Half-Orcs are a thing, but other hybrids aren’t is because Tolkien did it and D&D is heavily based/inspired in Lord of the Rings.

Now, if we start looking at in-universe reasons we know the following.
The PF1 book “Bastards of Golarion” confirms that hybrids other than Half-Elves and Half-Orcs are “all but unheard of on Golarion”. It lists biological incompatibility as the reason. It does mention however that these Hybrids could happen as the result of powerful magic such as a Wish Spell, but strictly speaking, by mundane means, they do not happen.
The book also confirms the existence of “Influence of Outsiders” causing creatures such as Dwarf Aasimars and Gnome Tieflings. So the Outsiders Versatile Heritage concept was already existent in the Lore and just hadn’t really made it into the mechanics of the game due to PF1 being a revised version of D&D 3.5, something they corrected when they moved into PF2.

The main theory on why Humans are able to breed comes with...

I would treat the existence of the new Mixed-Ancestry heritage as evidence of a soft retraction of those previously hard limits, if not a retcon entirely. The year has changed and it may be the people in charge have changed their opinions on whether only certain ancestries can produce viable offspring. Or could be not and this is just a "fill in your card here" option but then again the picture for the ancestry is an elf-orc dromaar so...

Also technically changelings are a the offspring of two humanoid creatures. Hags have magic but whatever is going on with them isn't an example of planar energies or supernatural forces, it just seems to be how they evolved (biologically or metaphysically).


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There was a character who was human with Nagaji (or was it Vishkanya?) heritage in something semi-recently, which bodes well for 'unusual' combinations.

Liberty's Edge

Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:
Unikatze wrote:

I figure this is as good place as any to post my now obsolete findings a few months ago on "Can there be other non-human half heritages".

"I did some detective work to find out the exact reasons of the existence of Human-Elf and Human-Orc Hybrids, but Hybrids of other Ancestries.

It’s worth noting that when I’m talking about Hybrids, I mean mixed races born by conventional mundane means, and not creatures who come more from Outsider/Supernatural influence such as Aasimar, Tieflings, Changelings, Oreads and many others. These could be more easily compared to Vampirism, which can affect most Ancestries.

Lord of the Rings had Half-Elves, and to a lesser degree Half-Orcs (albeit produced by magical means similar to how Uruk-Hai were made).
When D&D became a thing, players wanted to play as Half-Elves and Orcs. Since Orcs were an innately villainous, the Half-Orc was popularized to give the players an option to play an Orc-like character without necessarily playing villains.
So the tldr and TRUE reason why Half-Elves and Half-Orcs are a thing, but other hybrids aren’t is because Tolkien did it and D&D is heavily based/inspired in Lord of the Rings.

Now, if we start looking at in-universe reasons we know the following.
The PF1 book “Bastards of Golarion” confirms that hybrids other than Half-Elves and Half-Orcs are “all but unheard of on Golarion”. It lists biological incompatibility as the reason. It does mention however that these Hybrids could happen as the result of powerful magic such as a Wish Spell, but strictly speaking, by mundane means, they do not happen.
The book also confirms the existence of “Influence of Outsiders” causing creatures such as Dwarf Aasimars and Gnome Tieflings. So the Outsiders Versatile Heritage concept was already existent in the Lore and just hadn’t really made it into the mechanics of the game due to PF1 being a revised version of D&D 3.5, something they corrected when they moved into PF2.

The main theory on why Humans are

...

I feel it is better to see all books about the setting as having been written by an in-setting character, with their own beliefs and convictions and prejudices. It really helps making any future correction in the lore much more palatable.

And Paizo has actually embraced this concept of in-setting authors in their recent books.


The Raven Black wrote:

I feel it is better to see all books about the setting as having been written by an in-setting character, with their own beliefs and convictions and prejudices. It really helps making any future correction in the lore much more palatable.

And Paizo has actually embraced this concept of in-setting authors in their recent books.

I don't think it necessarily makes sense to think of every book as being written in-setting, but I have long been a fan, even since before 2e, of regarding setting description as being potentially inaccurate or misrepresented. I think for me this trend first started when I noticed how many creatures in the Monster Codex were fleshed out and described in fascinating detail, only for that to be capped with a note about how they prefer sapient flesh because they believe fear makes the best seasoning or something. (Though obviously this isn't a callout post for a 9 year old book and Paizo has been consistently moving toward more varied and fleshed out monsters for many years since)

I really like the sense that the cosmos is huge, and this is only further reinforced by the fact that every now and then our understanding of some corner of it will be slightly upended by a new discovery when that topic is looked at with a closer lens. It's a delicate balance, of course, since you don't want ever to lose your audience's trust that what they know about the world won't just be rewritten whenever it's convenient, and then some changes are of a scale that treating it as a major event (such as the re-emergence of the two extra elemental planes) is the only way it makes sense, but it's definitely a thing I've come to appreciate.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Maybe its just proof that in setting fear really is best ingredient? ;D


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CorvusMask wrote:
Orcs make much more sense as core option than goblins do because orcs already had nuance shown to them where goblins got spontaneously overall much more nicer in much higher quantities when they became core :'D

We goblins were always very nice

If anyone says not, we slice and dice!
And Paizo's decision to put us in player core
Had nought to do with gold left at their door


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I suspect the goblins did every positive thing they could think of to win over the devs, offering their bestest gifts of broken, disgusting and/or flammable objects and singing their very bestest songs.

So the devs caved in to make it stop!

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Michael Sayre wrote:
Richard Lowe wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Orcs make much more sense as core option than goblins do because orcs already had nuance shown to them where goblins got spontaneously overall much more nicer in much higher quantities when they became core :'D
Perhaps unfortunately for those not involved an awful lot of that development was in Society, there were many scenarios over 10 years and multiple seasons showing numerous different goblins and goblin tribes working with both the society and others in helpful ways. So there was absolutely a ton of cooperation shown, just perhaps not in ways that every player would be able to see and experience.

Not even just in Society storylines. Dark Markets, which predates the PF1 CRB, and Council of Thieves, the first AP published using the Pathfinder rules, both had notable non-evil goblins in them.

By and large, goblins had notably more "ancestral character growth" in PF1 than orcs did, though there's been a conscious effort during PF2's edition cycle that started back in PF1 with introducing some key elements in the Belkzen campaign guide to move orcs away from some of the more dated and problematic tropes associated with them in a logical and coherent way.

Oh no, non evil goblins ALWAYS existed in 1e, I often quote the LN wannabe hellknight goblin in council of thieves.

But 2e keeps saying that goblins have absolutely atrocious reputation despite generally showing them widely accepted everywhere and outside of mentioning "varisian rasp goblins are nasty" we don't see goblins that do gremlin horror movie shenanigans anymore :'D Even though that WAS what made goblins fun and iconic

Heck the main two things 2e lore does is say that Isger goblins were always more diplomatic ones after goblin bloodwar and that after bunch of goblins helped watcher lord, they have had more better reputation in absalom and due to influence of absalom. But that logically shouldn't prevent existence of CE goblins that we stopped seeing altogether because it would be awkward to have core ancestry show up as common evil enemy group

(just to note, I've been playing in pfs since... 2014? 2015? Around that time. I feel awkward when people presume I'm not obsessive fan who has read all setting books x'D Like come one, I don't make uninformed statements :'D Research is important!)


CorvusMask wrote:
Heck the main two things 2e lore does is say that Isger goblins were always more diplomatic ones after goblin bloodwar and that after bunch of goblins helped watcher lord, they have had more better reputation in absalom and due to influence of absalom. But that logically shouldn't prevent existence of CE goblins that we stopped seeing altogether because it would be awkward to have core ancestry show up as common evil enemy group

The diplomatic goblins convinced the CE ones to enter counseling and they all came out CG.


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Like the "dropping alignment" thing makes a lot of sense for goblins in particular. Goblins were always deeply committed to "the bit" but had little interest in any sort of cosmic war.


The Raven Black wrote:

I feel it is better to see all books about the setting as having been written by an in-setting character, with their own beliefs and convictions and prejudices. It really helps making any future correction in the lore much more palatable.

And Paizo has actually embraced this concept of in-setting authors in their recent books.

This is a good way to go about it. Specially when dealing with stuff that ends up being contradictory, like Apsu + Tiamat being the creators of the Universe, which has basically bee phased out.

It goes hand in hand with Myths and legends being unreliable.

Paizo Employee Design Manager

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CorvusMask wrote:

But 2e keeps saying that goblins have absolutely atrocious reputation despite generally showing them widely accepted everywhere and outside of mentioning "varisian rasp goblins are nasty" we don't see goblins that do gremlin horror movie shenanigans anymore :'D Even though that WAS what made goblins fun and iconic

Heck the main two things 2e lore does is say that Isger goblins were always more diplomatic ones after goblin bloodwar and that after bunch of goblins helped watcher lord, they have had more better reputation in absalom and due to influence of absalom. But that logically shouldn't prevent existence of CE goblins that we stopped seeing altogether because it would be awkward to have core ancestry show up as common evil enemy group

I mean, this does play into why alignment is a bad metric of anything, though, doesn't it?

For example the "nastiness" of Varisian rasp goblins-

Goblins existed in the Rasp long before humans. Sandpoint is an invading colony that has canonically placed bounties on the native inhabitants of the area and been killing their elders for decades. Goblin maturation cycles are only 5 years. That means you've had multiple generations of goblins pass in the Rasp with no cultural memory because the elders are routinely executed by "the good guys" as part of their ongoing efforts to steal more goblin land for themselves and retain the goblin territories they've already colonized.

So rather than the idea that goblins have changed, maybe the reality is that society, both IRL and in Golarion, has changed as a matter of factors related to both the natural progression of societal evolution and the emergence of greater dangers forcing Golarion's peoples to move past internecine conflicts and unite against greater threats that put all mortal life in danger.

As an interesting data point, PF2 goblins are more popular among players than dwarves, halflings, or basically any other ancestry that's not humans and elves. The PF2 audience is larger than the PF1 audience, and the majority of people playing PF2 now have never played PF1 at all. So whatever the special spice that makes goblins magic is, has arguably only grown more rich and well-rounded during the current cycle.

(As an aside not directly related to this specific conversational chain, it struck me as borderline hilarious that I could literally post a canon way to get a defiled corpse symbol branded on your orc character's skin and someone would think orcs are "all hugs and kisses" now. Orcs and goblins are just like humans; some of them are awesome, some of them are monstrous. Some of them are rapacious murderers, some of them are unmitigated heroes. Some of them are very mitigated heroes. Which band an individual falls in is largely a matter of societal pressures and personal choice, in a cocktail no one truly understands.)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Its not purely about alignment though, its about what they did in their appearances. The goblins were scary while also being comical at same time. Now they tend to be just comical.

I know ye aren't meaning to, but ye are kinda making me feel like my opinion is meaningless because its in minority :'D


Michael Sayre wrote:

… As an interesting data point, PF2 goblins are more popular among players than dwarves, halflings, or basically any other ancestry that's not humans and elves. The PF2 audience is larger than the PF1 audience, and the majority of people playing PF2 now have never played PF1 at all. So whatever the special spice that makes goblins magic is, has arguably only grown more rich and well-rounded during the current cycle.

….

Orcs and goblins are just like humans; some of them are awesome, some of them are monstrous. Some of them are rapacious murderers, some of them are unmitigated heroes. Some of them are very mitigated heroes. Which band an individual falls in is largely a matter of societal pressures and personal choice, in a cocktail no one truly understands.

And dwarves, halflings and other races that aren’t humans, elves and goblins (and orcs) are…not awesome, or monstrous, but…by and large….more and more….forgotten. Yay! The time of the orc is at hand!


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LandSwordBear wrote:
Michael Sayre wrote:

… As an interesting data point, PF2 goblins are more popular among players than dwarves, halflings, or basically any other ancestry that's not humans and elves. The PF2 audience is larger than the PF1 audience, and the majority of people playing PF2 now have never played PF1 at all. So whatever the special spice that makes goblins magic is, has arguably only grown more rich and well-rounded during the current cycle.

….

Orcs and goblins are just like humans; some of them are awesome, some of them are monstrous. Some of them are rapacious murderers, some of them are unmitigated heroes. Some of them are very mitigated heroes. Which band an individual falls in is largely a matter of societal pressures and personal choice, in a cocktail no one truly understands.

And dwarves, halflings and other races that aren’t humans, elves and goblins (and orcs) are…not awesome, or monstrous, but…by and large….more and more….forgotten. Yay! The time of the orc is at hand!

Didn't we just have a book all about dwarves.


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A setting book and a three-book AP, to be specific.


It's really interesting to me that Elves are a top 2 most popular non-human ancestry since I look at that low starting HP and Con penalty and want to stay away.

Of course, something like 1/3 of my characters are Dwarves.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

It's really interesting to me that Elves are a top 2 most popular non-human ancestry since I look at that low starting HP and Con penalty and want to stay away.

Of course, something like 1/3 of my characters are Dwarves.

I mean elves by default are more conventionally attractive than most of the core ancestries and goblins are the best "wacky guy" so it makes sense.

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:

It's really interesting to me that Elves are a top 2 most popular non-human ancestry since I look at that low starting HP and Con penalty and want to stay away.

Of course, something like 1/3 of my characters are Dwarves.

I'm currently doing the 8 Con Elven Witch challenge. Just how long can I live with only 6 hp more than my familiar?

It makes you pay attention every moment of every session, that's for sure.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

It's really interesting to me that Elves are a top 2 most popular non-human ancestry since I look at that low starting HP and Con penalty and want to stay away.

Of course, something like 1/3 of my characters are Dwarves.

The Con penalty doesn't really matter now that you can just opt for two boosts instead of the old ancestral ability rules.


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Basically what I'm taking away from this is that Sandpoint deserves those Seven Dooms.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Anyhoo I'm back now that I've slept and sulking less about feeling being ignored upon x'D

I think one thing 2e goblins could use more of is reminders of their cultural hatred of dogs and fear of horses. Like, since people love dogs and goblins are now supposed to be likable, while dogslicers and horsechoppers are retained, we don't actually get much of references to that anymore. Like we could at least have references to goblins eating dog meat or something.


LandSwordBear wrote:
Michael Sayre wrote:

… As an interesting data point, PF2 goblins are more popular among players than dwarves, halflings, or basically any other ancestry that's not humans and elves. The PF2 audience is larger than the PF1 audience, and the majority of people playing PF2 now have never played PF1 at all. So whatever the special spice that makes goblins magic is, has arguably only grown more rich and well-rounded during the current cycle.

….

Orcs and goblins are just like humans; some of them are awesome, some of them are monstrous. Some of them are rapacious murderers, some of them are unmitigated heroes. Some of them are very mitigated heroes. Which band an individual falls in is largely a matter of societal pressures and personal choice, in a cocktail no one truly understands.

And dwarves, halflings and other races that aren’t humans, elves and goblins (and orcs) are…not awesome, or monstrous, but…by and large….more and more….forgotten. Yay! The time of the orc is at hand!

Not that I remember. Would have been exceptionally…forgettable.

Dark Archive

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Did you accidentally reply to your own post?

Anyway, highhelm book was good. Sky King's Tomb was kinda disappointing though. At least I feel like its ending didn't stick the landing because it wanted to go for meaningful ending, but the book was kinda vague about details

(that and like lot of aps, it didn't really commit to "dwarf only party has fun stuff" bit because aps try to accommodate every kind of party)


I did. I think. I’m having trouble remembering. What were we talking about?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
MadamReshi wrote:
Basically what I'm taking away from this is that Sandpoint deserves those Seven Dooms.

Come to think about it, does this mean Shalelu is now canonically a massive racist?

(I still hold that Tup the Terrible is greatest PC ally goblin npc in any of paizo material and that is because he is comically evil while still being helpful as long his pyromania is directed elsewhere from pc's houses

I guess I might as well add this since I've slept now, but I'm still feeling depressed from being dismissed: I kinda feel like current goblin fans like them for being marketable cute funny mascot creatures which is different audience than what made the paizo goblins in first place iconic and unique? So reason why I feel annoyed about them being turned into core ancestry is that I feel like I've lost my fun thing because it was turned into mass marketable thing for other audience and now the old version is being sweeped under rug as much as possible.

At least fleshwarps are allowed to have bodyhorror since they aren't made to be as marketable x'D)


CorvusMask wrote:

...

I guess I might as well add this since I've slept now, but I'm still feeling depressed from being dismissed: I kinda feel like current goblin fans like them for being marketable cute funny mascot creatures which is different audience than what made the paizo goblins in first place iconic and unique? So reason why I feel annoyed about them being turned into core ancestry is that I feel like I've lost my fun thing because it was turned into mass marketable thing for other audience and now the old version is being sweeped under rug as much as possible.)

Is there something about the current goblin rules that prevents you from playing your goblin characters the way you want to?

Dark Archive

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Gisher wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

...

I guess I might as well add this since I've slept now, but I'm still feeling depressed from being dismissed: I kinda feel like current goblin fans like them for being marketable cute funny mascot creatures which is different audience than what made the paizo goblins in first place iconic and unique? So reason why I feel annoyed about them being turned into core ancestry is that I feel like I've lost my fun thing because it was turned into mass marketable thing for other audience and now the old version is being sweeped under rug as much as possible.)
Is there something about the current goblin rules that prevents you from playing your goblin characters the way you want to?

Nope, but I'm talking about the NPCs in the published material.

I do have hope for ap #200 at least having throwback to it in undead form

Liberty's Edge

CorvusMask wrote:

Did you accidentally reply to your own post?

Anyway, highhelm book was good. Sky King's Tomb was kinda disappointing though. At least I feel like its ending didn't stick the landing because it wanted to go for meaningful ending, but the book was kinda vague about details

(that and like lot of aps, it didn't really commit to "dwarf only party has fun stuff" bit because aps try to accommodate every kind of party)

There is an awesome post by John Compton in the thread about Toragdan morality on the forum for Sky King's Tomb that helped me make my peace with this AP.

I have not read the AP itself, but what I gather is that the PCs are the people that can get Torag to take a long hard look at what happened in the past and to become a better god.

Just like the Ghlaunder incident did for Desna and Gormuz for Sarenrae. But today and thanks to the PCs actions.

It's not everyday you get to help a deity become better.


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CorvusMask wrote:
Gisher wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

...

I guess I might as well add this since I've slept now, but I'm still feeling depressed from being dismissed: I kinda feel like current goblin fans like them for being marketable cute funny mascot creatures which is different audience than what made the paizo goblins in first place iconic and unique? So reason why I feel annoyed about them being turned into core ancestry is that I feel like I've lost my fun thing because it was turned into mass marketable thing for other audience and now the old version is being sweeped under rug as much as possible.)
Is there something about the current goblin rules that prevents you from playing your goblin characters the way you want to?

Nope, but I'm talking about the NPCs in the published material.

I do have hope for ap #200 at least having throwback to it in undead form

Oh, I see. I was thinking that you might be experiencing something similar to my own feelings about gnomes. I really loved the "earthy" gnomes of 1st edition D&D, and I never really liked the flight, comedic, rainbow-haired Pathfinder gnomes. Eventually, though, they introduced the keenspark gnomes, and those are close enough to the old-style ones for me to play one.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The Raven Black wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

Did you accidentally reply to your own post?

Anyway, highhelm book was good. Sky King's Tomb was kinda disappointing though. At least I feel like its ending didn't stick the landing because it wanted to go for meaningful ending, but the book was kinda vague about details

(that and like lot of aps, it didn't really commit to "dwarf only party has fun stuff" bit because aps try to accommodate every kind of party)

There is an awesome post by John Compton in the thread about Toragdan morality on the forum for Sky King's Tomb that helped me make my peace with this AP.

I have not read the AP itself, but what I gather is that the PCs are the people that can get Torag to take a long hard look at what happened in the past and to become a better god.

Just like the Ghlaunder incident did for Desna and Gormuz for Sarenrae. But today and thanks to the PCs actions.

It's not everyday you get to help a deity become better.

My main problem with ending of ap is that its :
about censorship of critical art, but we don't ever get to see art or even hear read aloud description of it so its left at more vague level of "here is art of this topic" with all immersiveness being left up to gm's artistic descriptions I guess ^_^;

Gisher wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

It's really interesting to me that Elves are a top 2 most popular non-human ancestry since I look at that low starting HP and Con penalty and want to stay away.

Of course, something like 1/3 of my characters are Dwarves.

The Con penalty doesn't really matter now that you can just opt for two boosts instead of the old ancestral ability rules.

Sure, but over the lifespan of the data set over which "the most popular ancestries in Pathfinder 2nd edition" was collated, this was not the case. A lot of people were looking at the Con flaw and low starting HP and thinking "this is fine" which surprised me.

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