Adding new races to Golarion


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

Liberty's Edge

I love Golarion, but I was wondering about customizing it. Namely, I have so many sourcebooks with additional new Pathfinder Races (Remarkable Races, the races from Psionics Unleashed, Fursona, etc), that I really wanted to add to Golarion.

Now, concerning the addition of new Races to a setting, I think the best advice I've read would be from the GURPS sourcebook "GURPS Banestorm", where it is suggested that new races added would either be secretive and rare, living solitary lives in the wild, or fairly low-impact.

In your experience, how hard or easy is it to add new races to Golarion, outside of the core races and other suggested races in the Inner Sea World Guide?


It's really your world, dude. My new campaign has taken my players to the distant shores of Arcadia so I created a couple of new races and monsters so the land feels truly exotic. But really, you can add whatever race you want and justify it however you wish.

Although, as written, psionics don't seem to exist on Golarion, but they do hint that psionics exist on, I believe, the Venus analog planet.


Thomas Gerlick wrote:
It's really your world, dude.

Words of wisdom.

Thomas Gerlick wrote:
But really, you can add whatever race you want and justify it however you wish.

More such words.

Since once you start playing in your own home campaigns, Golarion becomes your world, you don't have to fidget overmuch about whether it's alright to add races you want, however you want.

If you want to stick to the original feel of Golarion, though, the advice you were given was not too bad:

Low impact races should work especially well, since on Golarion, humans dominate. Even elves, dwarves and other standard races don't have that high an impact. It's easy enough to add other races that are no more influential than those races. Maybe a bit less influential still, but generally, the setting did some of the work for you.

My advice for the Psionics Unleashed races:

  • Blues: This special brand of goblin can be easily added as a savage race. I'd say that they share the Golarion goblins' typical madnesses and develop their psionic powers accordingly. That means, for example, that most will develop some psychokinesis powers that let them play with fire first.
  • Dromites: Easily the most monstrous PU races in appearance, I'd say they'd work great as dwelling in somewhat remote places not much settled by the standard races, as well as the Vaults of Orv. Intelligent insectoids with strange powers sounds a lot like an experiment conducted by the strange Vault Keepers.
  • Duergars: They're already there, as the dwarves that remained underground when the rest of their race went upstairs. The race fell under the fell influence of the evil god Droskar, but the darklands are a weird place, and they could have fallen under the influence of stranger things down there. Maybe psionics were something that was common in dwarf society but that atrophied once they settled on, or close to, the surface, and they just never speak of it.
  • Elans: They're extremely easy to incorporate. They're basically a secret society. They could have been there all the time, just keeping their existence a secret. Who knows, maybe there are rulers of great nations of the Inner Sea Region who aren't humans at all, but elans. Maybe they're even the ruling class in some of those places, or part of it.
  • Half-Giants: Giant/human crossbreeds that were probably not a natural occurrence and were originally slaves of someone else? Is anyone thinking Thassalion furiously? As such, they belong to Varisia, of course. Put tribes of them into the Kodar Mountains mostly, but the rest of Varisia can have them, too. Make them foes of ogres.
  • Maenads: I could see them not as a completely different race, but rather as a human variant. They could have their whole nations in southern Garund, for example - there is a nation with a sort of "amazonian pirate" vibe down there, and they even tried to invade Geb once - the Field of Maidens, where great numbers of female warriors were turned to stone by Geb, is composed of those girls. Other than that, the sea-faring part would put them into locations like the Sodden Lands, the Shackles, and maybe the Steaming Sea/old Azlant.
  • Ophiduans: Golarion already has its snake men - serpent folk. I'm not sure there needs to be another one, but they could be a serpentfolk off-shoot or something like that.
  • Another race I could see as variant humans. With their graceful, cheerful way, they would make sense as Vudrani, especially given that Vudra is a great place for psionics in Golarion. Maybe they're a caste of Vudrani society.

    Thomas Gerlick wrote:


    Although, as written, psionics don't seem to exist on Golarion, but they do hint that psionics exist on, I believe, the Venus analog planet.

    Actually, it's more a "We don't mention this stuff much, since it's not exactly core (and we haven't even made a PFRPG book for it to boot) but we don't mean it's not supposed to exist.

    The old Campaign Setting book even had a short article on psionics in the Pathfinder Chronicles game world, though that was 3.5, which had psionics rules.

    Anyway, in addition to Castrovel the Green, Vudra is a great place for psionics.

  • Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

    My two C-bills on psionic races.

    Spoiler:

    Blues - seperate tribe of goblins, maybe with Vudran origins (I used a goblin soulknife in my aborted RotRL game. They lived under the other tribes and called themselves the 'dungswimmer tribe')

    Dromites - Native to Castrovel. Some small colonies have 'migrated' to remote areas of the Darklands and other parts of Golarion.

    Duregar - See KaeYoss above.

    Elans - My Elans are Azlanti survivors who escaped the destruction of their empire by going to Castrovel. They became Elans to survive. Elans on Golarion are often sent to find out how the world is changing, or to look for new 'recruits'. Some (PCs) might not even know why they're there. (Think Boomer in BSG)

    Half Giants - Again KaeYoss's idea seems to fit. Another option would be if they were 'bred' to either attack Osiron by the Runelords, or by Osiron as a defense (either would explain the heat resistance)

    Maenads - I make then another Azlanti offshoot/mutation. They're at 'war' with the Gillmen, so they don't come into the inner sea much. I like KaeYoss's pirate nation in Garund. Good catch!

    Ophiduans - I'd say they're serpent folk slave caste, maybe *gasp* interbred with humans.


    Matthew Morris wrote:

    Ophiduans - I'd say they're serpent folk slave caste, maybe *gasp* interbred with humans.

    Those humans, is there anything they wouldn't do?

    Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

    KaeYoss wrote:
    Matthew Morris wrote:

    Ophiduans - I'd say they're serpent folk slave caste, maybe *gasp* interbred with humans.

    Those humans, is there anything they wouldn't do?

    The Doctor: Relax. He's a fifty-first century guy. He's just a bit more flexible when it comes to 'dancing'.

    Rose Tyler: How flexible?
    The Doctor: Well, by his time, you lot are spread out across half the galaxy.
    Rose Tyler: Meaning?
    The Doctor: So many species, so little time.
    Rose Tyler: What, that's what we do when we get out there? That's our mission? We seek new life and...
    [weakly]
    Rose Tyler: and...
    The Doctor: [nodding] Dance


    This does sound like a good thread, though I'm hoping folks branch out more into races from the various Rite Publishing books, such as the Giants and Minotaurs, and the "beastfolk" books like Fursona or Remarkable Races: Anumus.

    Taking a stab at some of these myself...

    The Minotaurs from Rite's In The Company of Minotaurs are basically more settled and civilized versions of the normal Minotaurs, who they despise. Indeed, the in-character part of the PDF describes how "civilized" Minotaurs of the Labyrinth despise the savage demon-worshipping savages others of their race are. They're described as being rather Roman-esque in many ways, save that they live in an underground kingdom called the Ivory Labyrinth, close enough to surface dwellers to buy slaves from them. I had figured that between the Classical tone to them and the slaving, they were probably living beneath the mountains on the Isle of Absalom. That might also explain where that one albino minotaur came from who's listed in the Absalon guidebook.

    The elementally-powered, size-changing Jotuns from In The Company of Giants are even easier. Just put them in the northlands. Who'd notice a jotun among the peoples of the Mammoth Lords or the Linnorm Kings? Both of those cultures tend to be in regular contact with giants as it is. Jotuns would fit right in.

    Of course if you're ambitious one idea given in the Fursona book that can work with any new race it to make their introduction a point in the campaign or adventure. Basically, overnight everyone in some city or town gets turned into members of whatever new race you want to introduce. Depending on how much upheaval you want in your campaign, it can be a small town like Falcon Hollow or Sandpoint, a city like Magnimar, or a metropolis like Katapesh or Absalom (though I'd recommend against using the latter unless it'll be the point of an entire campaign).

    And now that it's done, the trouble starts: How did this happen? Did someone cause it, and if so, then why? Will it happen again? Is it somehow "contagious"? Is there a cure, and if so, what if the affected people don't want it? How will neighboring rulers and peoples react? This can be the basis for an adventure or an entire campaign.

    And it would be even better (read: more trouble for the heroes) if it turns out that the PCs are somehow responsible for it all.

    So, good ideas, bad ideas, or what?


    KaeYoss wrote:
    Thomas Gerlick wrote:
    Although, as written, psionics don't seem to exist on Golarion, but they do hint that psionics exist on, I believe, the Venus analog planet.

    Actually, it's more a "We don't mention this stuff much, since it's not exactly core (and we haven't even made a PFRPG book for it to boot) but we don't mean it's not supposed to exist.

    The old Campaign Setting book even had a short article on psionics in the Pathfinder Chronicles game world, though that was 3.5, which had psionics rules.

    I can see that. I guess not having psionics on Golarion is kind of my personal preference.

    Although there is an alien ship that crashed in Numeria. It could have come from a place where psionics exist.


    lonewolf23k wrote:

    I love Golarion, but I was wondering about customizing it. Namely, I have so many sourcebooks with additional new Pathfinder Races (Remarkable Races, the races from Psionics Unleashed, Fursona, etc), that I really wanted to add to Golarion.

    Now, concerning the addition of new Races to a setting, I think the best advice I've read would be from the GURPS sourcebook "GURPS Banestorm", where it is suggested that new races added would either be secretive and rare, living solitary lives in the wild, or fairly low-impact.

    In your experience, how hard or easy is it to add new races to Golarion, outside of the core races and other suggested races in the Inner Sea World Guide?

    Hhehhehe, methinks I know this Lonewolf from SJGAMES.

    Golarion seems so big, diverse, and lightly-detailed that new races could easily be fitted into the setting.

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