Poking around in 1e sources, and the Serpent's Skull Player's Guide floats the idea that Half-Orcs are seen as a good omen to Bekyar mothers, a blessing from Lamashtu.
Do we have any clue who the Orc half of that equation might be? I can't see the demon-slaying Matanji being fond of the Lamashtan Bekyar beliefs mentioned here, but I don't know that we know other Mwangi Orcs. While it's easy to chalk this up to 1e's style (what could be edgier than an orc-blooded baby born to the demon cultists?), I do think there's a seed of something interesting there in seeing a non-Matanji group in the Expanse or further to the south (where we know there's Bekyar cities).
The Bellflower Network still exist and still work to secretly move people out of bad circumstances, it’s just that many of those Halflings in Cheliax are now conscripted or in debt slavery, rather than regular slavery. They work closely with the Firebrands, as both hate tyrants, but one is an underground railroad and the other is a movement big enough to include fashionista pirates.
As for the non-mechanics question in the OP: the newest Lost Omens release has a meaty section on Cheliax, including how Thrune has replaced classic slavery with more subtle means of oppression.
People love to kick up a fuss about that one article that says “Paizo is getting rid of slavery, will refuse to ever speak of it again,” and the sensational latter half of that has repeatedly proven to be false. Golarion has been a living setting from the jump! It continues to change as it steadily approaches 20 years old.
Age of Ashes has likely seen Hermea turned upside down, and contributed to the turning of the tide against slavery in Katapesh. Strength of Thousands has likely returned the Magaambya's legendary founder to their ranks. Other than that, 2e APs have been a little more "status quo" than "shake up the world" - but I think that makes good sense, between trying to showcase the 2e state of the setting and the shift to more APs that end at level 10.
That said, we're four years in now, and I think we're seeing them tell 'riskier' stories to reflect that; while Sky King's Tomb is a 1-10, I think it'll have some significant impact on Dwarves and Orcs both, and Stolen Fate sounds like it's playing with some big-deal cosmic stuff.
Would anyone care to cite some specific examples of where the Lore/canon was known to have changed?
Do you mean by plot advancement, or things that were rewritten?
The former is easy; every 1e Adventure Path happened in-setting and was “won” by nameless heroes… so Reign of Winter means Anatasia Romanov is on the throne of Irrisen, while Iron Gods saw the Technic League broken, Kevoth-Kul return to lucid rule of Numeria, and Casandalee’s ascension to godhood. I think the biggest thing that wasn’t AP-based was the revolution that turned Sargava into Vidrian.
The latter has mostly been clean-up, things like tidying some godly alignments (no non-Evil Asmodeans, no non-Good Iomedeans, etc), shying away from certain Ancestries as monstrous kill-on-sight critters, and the like.
Pretty sure we discussed it somewhere in this thread in a different context, but Kalashtar from Eberron are the result of a symbiotic relationship between host and possessing spirit. Not quite the fungal parasite angle, but something to draw inspiration from.
They're a little weirder than that - they're the result of a handful of willing symbiotic relationships, thousands of years ago, between willing human monks and outcast spirits... who have since proliferated into a true-breeding Ancestry where each of the original spirits is preserved as fragments across the whole bloodline descended from those hosts.
Kalashtar are so cool, and also idiosyncratic enough that emulating them in anything else quickly becomes tricky.
Both are awesome - thanks for the share!
Numeria has been relatively quiet across 2e stuff so far, so I'm mostly just glad to see the region get a mention at all. Here's hoping the Circuit Breakers can enjoy the spotlight soon!
Again we see the notion of "the interior" beyond Segada, also mentioned on an upcoming PFS scenario's store page, which paints an interesting portrait of the area between that coastal city and the easternmost bit of the Deadshot Lands.
If it can scratch the Warlord itch of "buffing allies from within the fray," I'm all for it. The 1e Skald's "give the party Rage" gimmick was cool!
Oh, wow! Canon’s been unclear on Khari - that’s fascinating.
I’m still hoping we get an Alghollthu intrigue plotline across the Golden Road as an AP someday.
Katapesh, again, was about as foreshadowed as you could ask for.
Qadira, your access to Casmaron-spanning trade routes and the bottomless coffers of the Kelesh Empire, puts the kibosh on the slave trade - your largest customer is now gone. Kibwe, your trade partner to the southwest, no longer trades in slaves. Cheliax abandons the practice. I haven't seen any mention of slavery in Rahadoum or Thuvia in 2e, and it was already effectively gone outside of as a state punishment in Rahadoum.
Andoren privateers have been on a war footing with Okeno for ages now, and the Pathfinder Society has likewise been tangling with the slavers there for years. Getting your fleets burned and your markets infiltrated by daring 'heroes' makes you look like you can't protect your investments, and scares off buyers.
So who, exactly, is Katapesh meant to sell their slaves to - just Geb? Should they just accept raiding and reprisals from the north forever to protect a dying business model? The Pactmasters aren't stupid, and they aren't going to keep pumping resources into a trade they've literally watched collapse over the last ten years.
Personally? Being annoyed at how elite-led and un-disturbing of elite power all of this was, when it could have been a social revolution - and likewise annoyed at Lost Omens's skittishness (like Pathfinder's before it) around and about social revolution generally.
These are imperfect, frustrating reforms so that player characters have things to crash into. Cheliax's role as The Obligatory Evil Empire of Avistan means that they're always going to be enshrined as bastards, and this is explicitly yet another act of Asmodeus-inspired LE trickery. If you're unhappy with the result, good - go run a campaign about an actual revolution in Cheliax! Paizo's not gonna publish it because they need the villain to stick around (and also, it would be too close to Hell's Rebels again).
Vidrian is where you get a proper bottom-up, solidarity-driven revolution in this setting. Galt shows you the bloodiest, most misled and self-defeating vision of the same. Ravounel wins a form of freedom through a lot of compromise, and is also where an individual table experience can and should trump the necessity of finding a canon outcome for 2e. I remain convinced that the big "on-screen" revolution story of the edition will be the Bright Lions, down in Mzali, which should absolutely come from the common local people against their own oppressors.
Golarion's not a real world, and it's not trying to be; they're aiming to hit as many genres and feels as they can. I'm sorry it's not all molded into the shape of flawless ideology... but that would be pretty boring to swing a sword around in.
Leon Aquilla wrote:
So... where were you when the LOWG mentioned four years ago that Katapesh was struggling to find local buyers for slaves? Or the year after that, when LO: Legends set up that the Shahiyan of Qadira was leading an abolitionist movement in the region's largest empire? How about last fall, when the Travel Guide already told us Katapesh had outlawed slavery?
This stuff is only coming out of left field if you aren't reading 2e books.
Very few 2e NPCs have stats. If you aren’t meant to fight and kill something, it often doesn’t get a full writeup like that.
That was also outright said to be happening in an interview a while back.
I increasingly think the Darklands are too big for any one book to tackle without pissing someone off.
What about a Highhelm-style book on a specific locale, perhaps one where multiple Ancestries might be found? The kind of place where you get the Protean cults of the Drow, but also a ghoul embassy might be in the nice part of town.
There’s no need to be willfully obtuse. Akira Kurosawa made “samurai movies” even though nobody in those is a bureaucrat, and it’s that mold of samurai being discussed here.
Much like how Druids and Paladins are miles away from their historical equivalents.
I don’t think Samurai has the legs for a class, but intentionally ignoring what people are asking for just isn’t fruitful. Everyone in this thread asking for a Samurai wants a person with a cool sword/polearm, not a provincial administrator - why not talk about what they actually mean?
I'm inclined to think they put off the Hellknights book for as long as they can since there's just not a lot fun about the prospect of "let's be extra fashy cops, but with like an infernal and spiky aesthetic."
I imagine trying to address that is a reason to try and tackle them sooner, if anything. They've been scaffolding a split between some of the 'proper' Hellknights and Cheliax/Thrune for a while now, which I'm sure will be paid off eventually.
Luis chatted about the idea in a video interview some months back, but I don't remember precisely where. I felt pretty similarly, but he makes a good case for presenting the organization post-Strength of Thousands and showcasing the wider sweep of their operations in the world. We know they're not just doing stuff down in the Mwangi like SoT shows, but also contributing a lot to the efforts against the Gravelands and sending a team to the Ruby Phoenix tournament - a treatment of them as a world-spanning organization like that could be a lot of fun.
Now, maybe he was just being tricksy to throw us off the scent of a Hellknights book... but enough enthusiasm was there that I'd totally believe we'll see more of the Magaambya someday. They'll also likely be tangentially attached to the inevitable Bright Lions story, which is one I'm drooling over.
I mean, it's not just here - Luis Loza has done informal Reddit polling and Arcadia is always at the top of the list there. With him recently taking the helm of the Lost Omens line and being a bigger fan of Arcadia than even me, I really don't think it's unlikely at all. Paizo's got a good number of Native/Indigenous folks on their roster, and outside of Coyote & Crow, the TTRPG space is really hurting for any kind of non-awful representation on that front; after nailing the Mwangi Expanse (and now, Tian Xia), why not continue going for under-utilized cultures in fantasy and doing them right?
The theory floated previously that an Inner Sea book (likely the Saga Lands) happens in-between the two certainly has some merit, but I think Paizo knows Arcadia is the thing both their writers and fanbase are most fired up for.
We'll see in a year! Here's hoping we're all laughing over a Shaman playtest here in the coming months.
Xidao is the ocean trench nation, Wanshou is the flooded land ruled by a kraken. I’d love to see either.
The haunted clockworks of Pan Majang are my favorite threat on the continent! I hope they get a lot of love. A Southern Tian AP focused on heroes from Dtang Ma, Nagajor, and Xa Hoi would be a dream for me.
Widespread public opinion is that it's dumb. Paizo's had quite a headache trying to resolve that and other "the Drow are defined by Evil" snarls for a while now - but have made progress in 2e, between retconning them to have lilac skin and showcasing more Chaotic Neutral Drow who aren't bound to demons at all. We've seen them be Protean cultists and crossbow desperados with pet spiders!
There's a lot of hope we'll see them as a PC Ancestry soon.
Not sure I would make that assumption...we've seen AP's go offworld, and that argument could also be made for Tian Xia, Arcadia, the Planes, etc. Lost Omens is very Inner Sea centric in general, and I remember back in the 1E days the idea of Tian Xia hardcover was considered a pipe-dream by many.
We've seen APs spend less than one book on other planets, and both times in 2e have been paired with pretty comprehensive gazetteers of those settings - which signals to me that they aren't planning on covering them in detail again any time soon. The crowd that dislikes any hint of sci-fi in their fantasy is a very vocal one, and it's a niche enough flavor that most tables probably won't pick it up.
I say this as someone who would be the first in line for a Lost Omens: Castrovel - there's much more likely things to hope for. A Broken Lands book doesn't have two many other Ancestry options begging for print, so at the very least playable Lashunta might sneak in there.
Tian Xia got two setting books, a major part of the pitch for a six-volume AP, a standalone Adventure, and a ton of representation in Pathfinder Society (a Faction, a Year, many scenarios) across 1e. It's not really comparable to the level of support Numeria and other planets have gotten if you count them together (less than 5 Society scenarios, IIRC).
I desperately wish it weren't so, but the average fantasy table is more welcoming to a samurai (or an Indigenous gunslinger) than they are to an alien.
Guild Wars: Factions (and the Fantasy African setting of Guild Wars: Nightfall) both soured me on traditional, faux-European fantasy forever when I played them young. The mutant-haunted sprawls of Kaineng City, the petrified Echovald Forest, the sold Jade Sea with leviathans frozen in its jeweled depths... genuinely some of the coolest stuff I've ever seen. I loved earning We no Su from the zodiac animals!
GW2 didn't measure up, IMO, but I might just be old.
That said, Golarion's always been a mix of the obvious homage living happily alongside the genre pastiche. In the same way that Galt is French Revolution Land (or was, until recently) while Numeria is a sword-and-planet theme park relatively nearby, we'll have both the unique fantasy (flooded, kraken-ruled Xidao) bordering some familiar faces (Minkai is probably remaining pretty Japanese).
The stuff that straddles both is probably my favorite: Xa Hoi has a lot of Vietnamese inspiration, but is also a nation defined by 3,000 of open rule by sovereign dragons.
[...]I was under the impression that they were a lot more egalitarian than anything else, where living in small tribes where everyone have to contribute by doing a bit of everything meant that there weren't strictly defined gender role.
Can I ask where you got "small tribes" from? LO:ME doesn't say a ton about the shape of Anadi society, but it does talk about many cities in their homeland of Nurvatcha.
Mostly found in their home nation of Nurvatcha, anadi settlements are traditionally built with techniques developed before the discovery of transformation magic. As a result, these cities have often been built upon cliffsides or in dense jungles that can support anadi webs. In the capital city of Domithari[/b], a council of elected officials congregate around the Empty Throne, an honorary seat reserved for Grandmother Spider, though no one expects her to assume the mantle of monarch. In the city of Majabi, the finest scholars among the anadi people make homes above and below the surface. Majabi also houses the First Weave, a tapestry of arcane infused webbing that documents the earliest anadi transformation spells.
It reads to me like the Anadi are a people with a pretty complex culture and an awful lot of architecture going on. There's no mention of them being tribal at all.
Feurin Longcastle wrote:
I wish I could understand suspending my disbelief far enough for aliens, dragons, elves, mammoths, and nanomachines all sharing a setting, but drawing the line at ”women in charge in some places.”
I think the struggle is less "this steps on Starfinder's toes" and more "most games will be set on Golarion, so detailing other planets and associated options is 'wasted' compared to other uses of effort." A 2e Distant Worlds feels very unlikely to me - but a Lost Omens: Broken Lands may well give us a few alien Ancestries via Numeria, which I imagine has a better shot of happening.
I'm mostly fiending for info on the south: Dtang Ma, Nagajor, Dtang Ma, Valashmai, and Pan Majang beneath it all. More than anywhere else on the continent, it feels like you can do classic fantasy adventures (ancient dragons, underground dungeons, jungle ruins) but through a super unique lens.
Mechanically, I'm quite pleased to get Samsarans back. I'm a child of D&D 4e and the Devas in that were one of my favs, so having most of the concept back is lovely.
Also, I suspect if we get the Saga Lands, then that opens the door for us to get an Arcadia World Guide in 2025/2026.
This is actually a sneaky-clever line of reasoning. I expect the Ulfen-Arcadian link to only grow stronger as the setting looks west more often, and you're right that it makes a great 'hinge' between there and Tian Xia.
Y’know… Tian Xia has a lot of deities who could use LN Champions. Both Shizuru and General Susumu allow for them, and that might scratch the 'mystical samurai' itch in a roundabout way - while also helping out the likes of Diomazul, Nalinivati, and Yamatsumi.
Maybe 2024 is the year of the fabled Divine Book, as the rulebook offering coming after these?
We have a single line about vague reforms in a nation that previously existed to be a nightmare caricature of Asian Communism. I don’t think there’s any need to complain without seeing more, but a change was desperately needed.
The LG Champions of Asmodeus were tied to a 1e Trait associated with Holomog (where some old lore said they viewed him as an LN goddess of contract-writing, part of the celestial bargain that rules that nation). Between staff saying that lore is gone and the recent 2e trip to Holomog made no mention of such a thing, it's safe to say that's gone the way of the dodo.