What about Golarion bugs you?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Aotrscommander wrote:


Again, I don't buy any of that as a genuine reason, just as the rationalisation why things haven't changed.

And, to be brutally honest, a bit of a lazy one at that, since there is no good reason NOT to have time moving on and things changing, especially as Paizo tends to only set their advantures is the "current" time of Golarion - so you aren't too worried about having to balance ancient equipment up too much. Aside from ensuring there are plenty of ruins to explore and loot (which only needs hundreds, not thousands, of years to accomplish) I don't see any benefit, mechanical, narrative or otherwise to non-advancement.

You could compress Golarion's ancient history by a factor of two to four, making it span a period from 10k plus to 5k or perhaps better 3000-2500 years and the flavour of the world would lose nothing, save for the numbers wouldn't be as big.

(While I will happily agree sometimes bigger numbers are more fun, this is not one of those times.)

You'd have to rely on the crutch of dark ages much less to keep things straight (as at that point you're talking a period of not far off Earth civilisations for up to the middle ages).

If Paizo lost all sanity tomorrow and decided to put me in charge of Golarion's timeline tomorrow (or if I could be arsed in my own games), that's what I'd do: have someone in the Pathfinders uncover evidence in some ruins somewhere that the world is not as old as everyone thought (this has happened both ways in history after all!) and squeeze the early end of the timeline a bit more compact.

It is a massive, massive point in Golarion's favour that the way it is presented, unlike most gaming worlds, in a lot of ways as "the people of the current time think", rather than a factual "this happened then", that you could actually do that if you were inclined enough.

Which, as I say, despite the niggles, I am not quite.

OK, it's been one of those weekends... adjunct duty, company, college age children living out of town with car issues (which kept me on the road for 4 hours today)... so, rather than reply to a post that's a day or two old I'll pick it up here :)

You say technology in Golarion "should have advanced" or the timeline should have been adjusted to match real world data eliminating large amounts of time from the current cannon timeline. You don't see any reason why technology shouldn't have advanced within their time frame and you'd like to change Golarion timeline cannon to fit your rationale of change along real world patterns. Correct?

In a previous post you described magic as another science and a replacement for technology. You've gone over real world timelines for technical advancement. You've laid out every reason why technology "should" advance at a certain pace. Your knowledge of our history and your background as an engineer support this. And you haven't looked at the timeline for Golarion and asked "why hasn't it worked this way on Golarion?" Take the cannon timeline as correct and ask why? There are a number of possible reasons. As in all things, ymmv.

What's the single most glaringly obvious difference between Golarion and Earth? I'd say magic. It works on Golarion, not so much on Earth. You indicated that people on Golarion would have to be,charitably, a bit slow for the pace of their technical advancement to be correct. What about us? Are we stupid because magic hasn't been developed as a working science? Irl, the answer is obviously no because magic does not exist. In "game life" maybe the reason is simple. The rules of the universe are different there. It may look similar on the surface but, to use a metaphor, what's under the hood (too much time spent with cars today...) may be quite different.

If the rules are different and that accounts for the slow pace of technical development it makes sense. What if the replication of experimental results, the cornerstone of experimental science, isn't a given in Golarion. What if it's as much "art" as science. What if there are influences which no scientific observer could account for? Chaos, for example. In a previous post you cited Wizards studying magic as a reason to believe it too was a science. Artists study art, musicians music, theologians theology. None of those is a precisely repeatable science. But they are studied. When a Wizard comes across another Wizard's spellbook or a scroll the most obvious long term benefit is copying the spells into his own book. But he can't do so without effort. Because the other Wizard's written "formula" differ from the one he has to create / use. Similar in the gross form, but different in details. The only time it's 100% is when the other Wizard is there to help you "interpret" his book. It's as much art as science. And maybe that's how "science" is in Golarion. Things are similar on the surface level but unpredictably different in detail. Detail that has to be felt and learned like an art. That could account for a slower pace of development in "science" / technology.

You can just say, "that's just rationalization" and it should work the way real life does. I find it more interesting, and intriguing, to think of why it doesn't work this way. Why is the world "stuck" at this stage of development? Why does magic work the way it does? How do magic and science coexist in this world? Are they different? Are they the same? What, in short, would make the world work this way. That's where it gets fun. I've been working on my own campaign for almost 40 years. I have degrees in history and cultural anthropology and experience in archeology. I have a good layman's grounding in real world science. And, instead of saying "this couldn't be" (and you've done a good job of laying out why it couldn't) I have asked "why is it this way?" And spent a lot of time reasoning it out / rationalizing it. It's like reverse engineering a technology from a machine, or a program.

As in all things, ymmv and there is, of course, no "one true way". And that's a good thing imo.

*sigh* Back to grading papers...

Grand Lodge

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My biggest issue with Golarion?

Do we really need 5 adventure paths and several more modules set in Varisia? There are corners of the region, let alone the world, that are just begging for an adventure path! I'd love to see one set in Rahadoum, or Hermea, or Alkenstar, or lets get a little crazy and explore Vudra, or the Pit of Gormuz, or even Sarusan! But we get yet another one, set in good ol' Sandpoint... c'mon, really??

Aside from that, I'm honestly pretty okay with everything else, for the most part. Personally, I really do love having the ability to bring robots into my fantasy game, or gunslinging elves, should I want to... but then, I was also a huge fan of Piers Anthony's Apprentice Adepts series, and a huge steampunk enthusiast.


I think the devs kind of backed themselves into a corner on this point. There are good business reasons to set up most of your APs in a sort of "Generic D&Dland" setting.

The problem is that Varisia is that setting, and it's become far too detailed for that purpose.


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It's a matter of taste really (as ever). I'd much prefer one region to be thoroughly fleshed out via a focus from the APs while the other regions have campaign sourcebooks and the odd module.

For my preferences, the focus on Varisia is about right.


The problem with using campaign modules for other settings, is they almost have to be mini APs to tell some of the stories there. Plus, unless you're just reading them for the info, you'll never know the info contained unless you play it.

A lot of the campaign setting books also only give a sort of rough overview of an area. The only time those books are really good, is when they are the "Guide to XXX" books. Some of those, even, can be really lacking.

Guide to the River Kingdoms, for example, basically gave a rough overview of each 'kingdom' that consisted of a page or two. Not a lot of information for what amounts to a mini-country.

I'd like to see a Guide to Andoran, a Guide to Cheliax, a Guide to Taldor, a Guide to Osirion, a Guide to the Mwangi Expanse, etc. etc. etc.

There is so much of the Inner Sea, let a lone Golarion, that needs fleshing out.

I am, personally, looking forward to the Iron Gods and Mummy's Mask APs. I doubt I will ever play (or run) them, but I plan on buying and just reading them so that I can learn more about those countries that have so little about them out there.


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Tels wrote:

The problem with using campaign modules for other settings, is they almost have to be mini APs to tell some of the stories there. Plus, unless you're just reading them for the info, you'll never know the info contained unless you play it.

A lot of the campaign setting books also only give a sort of rough overview of an area. The only time those books are really good, is when they are the "Guide to XXX" books. Some of those, even, can be really lacking.

Guide to the River Kingdoms, for example, basically gave a rough overview of each 'kingdom' that consisted of a page or two. Not a lot of information for what amounts to a mini-country.

I'd like to see a Guide to Andoran, a Guide to Cheliax, a Guide to Taldor, a Guide to Osirion, a Guide to the Mwangi Expanse, etc. etc. etc.

There is so much of the Inner Sea, let a lone Golarion, that needs fleshing out.

I am, personally, looking forward to the Iron Gods and Mummy's Mask APs. I doubt I will ever play (or run) them, but I plan on buying and just reading them so that I can learn more about those countries that have so little about them out there.

Yeah, me too. I'd just also still like to see a Kaer Maga AP, a Varisia hardcover, a super module to Ilvarandin...

Personally, I like having some areas with a sketchy outline a la the campaign settings and other regions (like varisia) more thoroughly detailed. As I said though, it's all just a matter of preferences.


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Tels wrote:
The only time those books are really good, is when they are the "Guide to XXX" books.

... what Pathfinder books have you been readi-

Tels wrote:
Guide to the River Kingdoms

... huh that place got racier than I thoug-

Tels wrote:

I'd like to see a Guide to Andoran, a Guide to Cheliax, a Guide to Taldor, a Guide to Osirion, a Guide to the Mwangi Expanse, etc. etc. etc.

There is so much of the Inner Sea, let a lone Golarion, that needs fleshing out.

Oh. Oooooooooooooohhhhhhhh. I see. You're a Calistrian.

Nevermind. Carry on.

(What? YES, I'm twelve!)


The black raven wrote:
I dislike that we have to wait for an AP to eventually take place there before we get any kind of detail on what is there. even though these are clearly prime locations for extraordinary adventures.

This. So much this.

In fact, I would take it one step further and say that I don't like the way we do get information. Inner Sea Magic talks a bit about old empires. But then Dungeons of Golarion talks about things. And Humans of Golarion. It's all spread out, very haphazard.

But it's more than just that.

The designers like to say that the current inhabitants don't know about the past. Very few know about Thassilon. But then we have had multiple APs, including the very first one, dealing with the ancient, no one knows about it *wink, wink* empire. It may be that the inhabitants don't know much about Thassilon but the players do! And sometimes it's tough to deny player knowledge.

I have been told that the designers have a plan. I'm ready to see that plan. I'm ready for a "boxed set" of Golarion that starts putting things into context. That starts explaining things. That puts all information into one place. At the moment, it's very tough for me to understand how remnants of Thassilon, which is at least ten thousand years old, are still around but remains from the past three hundred years aren't. (Unless someone can tell me what was in Varisia between the runelords fall and now.)

This also goes to gaming and to details. I really expected the dungeons book to explain how >this< dungeon by >that< group is different from >that< dungeon done by >this< group. Is it by traps? Types of traps? Dangers used? Size? materials? Tools used? Varisia has been called the frontier. But . . . but . . . but they are surrounded by areas populated with humans! How is that the frontier? Golarion is too old to have a frontier, even with the apocalypse (what's the plural) that has happened.

*deep breath*

I like Golarion, though, because it's new to me. Having played in FR for decades, I am looking for something new and Golarion excites me about it for many reasons. It can still frustrate me, though.


Case in point:

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2qbrw?How-Many-Runelords-Were-There

They list two APs, Curse of the Crimson Throne and Shattered Star, without mentioning Rise of the Runelords. They also list Pathfinder Society modules, and two or three other books. I could easily add more books, the least of which is Inner Sea Magic, to get details on Thasslion.

Again, several years from now if they have published a book that brings all of this data together, I will be fine. Until then, it bugs me.

On another note, I am torn on the ideas introduced by previous posters (I don't have their names in front of me) on the timeline of the world. I'm leaning toward agreeing with the poster who said that the timeline could be compressed and not lose anything. I am doing so because in the absence of the designers/writers explaining why (technological) development was slowed/stunted, I have to default to my only source, which is the real world. And that tells me the timeline is too long. Again, easy for it to be clarified!

I still really enjoy the world but as the OP said, there are things about it that bug me.


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I wonder if part of the extended timeline is to allow for the older races. After all, if everything happened in the last thousand years (taking a 'divide by ten' solution, I've seen advocated) then some elves are going to be able to refer to their parents' firsthand accounts - kind of negating the 'information lost in the mists of time' trope that is often useful in terms of motivating PCs to go visit ancient ruins.


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The thing that all of you that are saying that things would be more advanced are missing is that things are amazingly advanced. Its just personally advanced instead of societal advancement. PC types have access to the ability to teleport be raised from the dead instant healing wands/staffs that alter reality in a thousand ways personal flight in potion form cloning planar travel swords and arrows that could literally cut through battle ship steel like its butter. Magic in the context of PF makes the individual more powerful not society. Think of it as the differeance between real world tech and the technology that superheroes have access too. The stuff the fantastic four and iron man have access to is ridiculously more advanced but its personal because they don't want to/don't trust everyone to have access to it.

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proftobe wrote:
The thing that all of you that are saying that things would be more advanced are missing is that things are amazingly advanced. Its just personally advanced instead of societal advancement. PC types have access to the ability to teleport be raised from the dead instant healing wands/staffs that alter reality in a thousand ways personal flight in potion form cloning planar travel swords and arrows that could literally cut through battle ship steel like its butter. Magic in the context of PF makes the individual more powerful not society. Think of it as the differeance between real world tech and the technology that superheroes have access too. The stuff the fantastic four and iron man have access to is ridiculously more advanced but its personal because they don't want to/don't trust everyone to have access to it.

Which might be true if the ten thousand year old civilisations didn't have access to exactly the same sets of magic (and/or better magic) than the current time.

Apparently, no-one had been able to improve on Magic Missile/Fireball/Cure Light Wounds in ten thousand years...


Aotrscommander wrote:

Which might be true if the ten thousand year old civilisations didn't have access to exactly the same sets of magic (and/or better magic) than the current time.

Apparently, no-one had been able to improve on Magic Missile/Fireball/Cure Light Wounds in ten thousand years...

I thought those were called "higher level spells".

EDIT:
Cure Light Wounds -> Cure Moderate Wounds -> Cure Serious Wounds, etc
Fireball -> Delayed Blast Fireball
Magic Missile -> well okay, you got me, here (older editions had the Missile Storm spells, though, which were basically "magic missile plus")

In addition to normal higher level spell increases, there's also metamagic... all of which reinforces the idea of magic as personal power rather than societal power.

Could magic function as societal power? Yes. But it would take an awful lot of extremely selfless and very powerful individuals working in concert to make it happen. And a single generation that wasn't selfless or willing to work in concert, basically ruins the whole thing.

To make a better comparison, no one was able to make a "better" copper than, well, copper in ten-thousand years (at least not to my knowledge) because copper is a basic element. They might have learned ways of extracting or refining it better, but the nature of copper is kind of absolute. It has a certain number of protons, and no more - that's what makes it copper. You can't change copper* or what copper is capable of* without making it no longer copper*.

Similarly (but not too similarly), specific spells have certain spell levels. That's what makes them a spell of that level. You can't change a spell level or what that spell level is capable of, except by changing the spell level.

* Okay, you might be able to add more neutrons or stip electrons away from it or something, but that's really, really expensive, I don't know how that changes copper's properties, and, frankly, the fact that it's not in wide circulation probably means it's not useful enough to counter-act the cost, even though we can, theoretically, do so.


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Aotrscommander wrote:


Apparently, no-one had been able to improve on Magic Missile/Fireball/Cure Light Wounds in ten thousand years...

Azlanti Wizard wrote:
Ahah! i have it,! the secret to the ultimate power even an apprentice can master! I'll call it the image...hey, whats that ball of light in the sky?

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Tacticslion wrote:

I thought those were called "higher level spells".

Which the ancient civilisations also had access to. I picked lower level spells because the would be a statistically higher proportion of user bases compared to, say, Wish or Teleport.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Azlanti Wizard wrote:
Ahah! i have it,! the secret to the ultimate power even an apprentice can master! I'll call it the image...hey, whats that ball of light in the sky?

Again, TEN THOUSAND YEARS.

I simply find it very hard to believe that EVERYONE one who might have innovated technology or magic at any time in the last ten millenia was conveniantly killed before their discovery could get out. (And if there was some magical force doing that, how come they missed Alkenstar...?)

Or that none of all the numerous civiliations, in the whole SOLAR SYSTEM not all of which HAS had catacylsms every so often, are incapable of innovation without being lead to it by humans. (I am prepared to accept a human-bias for Golarion nations, but I draw the line at humanocentric superiority; we get enough of that crap in sci-fi as it is with humanity virtually always been the special snowflake race.)


Aotrscommander wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:

I thought those were called "higher level spells".

Which the ancient civilisations also had access to. I picked lower level spells because the would be a statistically higher proportion of user bases compared to, say, Wish or Teleport.

But that's the problem. You're saying, "Why has no one built a better first level spell?"

I'm saying, "They did: they're called 'higher level spells'!"

You don't make a better first level spell than a first level spell.

You can't make hydrogen with more than one proton. If you have more than one proton, you have something other than hydrogen. This is the logic of spell levels.

(You can, however, have more or less neutrons or electrons in a single-proton system: it's all hydrogen, but it has (comparatively) slightly different properties.

Aotrscommander wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Azlanti Wizard wrote:
Ahah! i have it,! the secret to the ultimate power even an apprentice can master! I'll call it the image...hey, whats that ball of light in the sky?

Again, TEN THOUSAND YEARS.

I simply find it very hard to believe that EVERYONE one who might have innovated technology or magic at any time in the last ten millenia was conveniantly killed before their discovery could get out. (And if there was some magical force doing that, how come they missed Alkenstar...?)

Or that none of all the numerous civiliations, in the whole SOLAR SYSTEM not all of which HAS had catacylsms every so often, are incapable of innovation without being lead to it by humans. (I am prepared to accept a human-bias for Golarion nations, but I draw the line at humanocentric superiority; we get enough of that crap in sci-fi as it is with humanity virtually always been the special snowflake race.)

First: it was comedy.

Second: it follows a good point by setting a precedent, not by covering all bases. (In other words, it's a single example of how and why in some cases, not a complete list of all reasons.)

Not all people were killed, necessarily. Some may have been killed. Some may have been selfish. Some may have gone mad. Some may have taken their ball and gone home (in other words, they simply left). Some may have been actively destroyed by outside agencies (such as Nethys*) for specific purposes (such as keeping the Rough Beast sealed*). Most have never figured it out in the first place. Some of what you're asking for simply isn't possible in any sort of a real way (unless a given GM deems it possible, in which case it's on the GM's plate as to why it hasn't come to exist).

Let me put it this way, you're actively ignoring the cataclysms that are, in fact, super-cataclysms in favor of keeping your "it doesn't work" philosophy, while ignoring contrary evidence. This is normal, but it's weak as an argument against the setting - it's pure preference rather than an inherent problem with the setting.

That said, pure preference is fine. There's nothing wrong about that. However our answers to your point are not to say "you're wrong in feeling that way", but rather because it's not a flaw in the setting, per se, so much as a preference on the part of the person looking at it - we're giving various examples of how.

One of the major things you seem to be missing here, however, is the individual nature of magic.

It's like saying, "Some people are born double jointed. Why haven't we improved on double jointed people by now?" or "Why haven't we increased the absolute value of human body tensile strength over the last 10,000 years?" or "Why haven't martial arts been developed that can counter missiles**?"

I mean, just looking at historic inventions makes me kind of marvel at the rapidity of technological change.

I mean, 1,754,600 years (or so) from fire to the wheel?
Wait, they had cloth, flutes, pottery, and lacquer before the wheel?! Bedding was created after glue?! Which was also before burial?

HOLD ON: they had beads five thousand years - FIVE THOUSAND YEARS! - before the wheel?!

There were... four thousand years... between the invention of the arrowhead and the invention of the bow...? (To be fair, though, I'm pretty sure this one is merely because arrowheads endure longer than bows.)

And the most interesting thing about all of this, of course, is that it's all reproducible by anyone anywhere - it's social improvement, instead of individual improvement.

Magical power is more akin to someone figuring out how to, say, catch three coins placed along their elbow to wrist when they whip their arms around really fast.

Nifty, but not everyone can (or should bother) doing so.

The difference, of course, is that magic is usable by other people. Doesn't mean that others have the capability of doing it.

You might as well ask why everyone isn't a PC class in the first place.

Power being personal versus social.

* The fun thing about Nethys is that he's nuts. And magic. Thus you don't actually have to explain it for two reasons. And it might not actually make sense. It might not even be correct. Funny things, magic and insanity.

** I was going to say, "guns", but then I remembered Krav Maga. Even still, Krav Maga requires you to be really, really close, whereas guns do not... so in any non-close environment, guns win.


Aotrscommander wrote:
proftobe wrote:
The thing that all of you that are saying that things would be more advanced are missing is that things are amazingly advanced. Its just personally advanced instead of societal advancement. PC types have access to the ability to teleport be raised from the dead instant healing wands/staffs that alter reality in a thousand ways personal flight in potion form cloning planar travel swords and arrows that could literally cut through battle ship steel like its butter. Magic in the context of PF makes the individual more powerful not society. Think of it as the differeance between real world tech and the technology that superheroes have access too. The stuff the fantastic four and iron man have access to is ridiculously more advanced but its personal because they don't want to/don't trust everyone to have access to it.

Which might be true if the ten thousand year old civilisations didn't have access to exactly the same sets of magic (and/or better magic) than the current time.

Apparently, no-one had been able to improve on Magic Missile/Fireball/Cure Light Wounds in ten thousand years...

first you cant compare divine spells because those are set by the gods and if erastil doesn't want to grant a better cure light wounds you don't get a better version no matter how long. Once again you are locked into the idea that magic is science/technology its not. There probably have been wizards who had better versions of these spells (mythic casters) the issue is that the better version of the spells cant be used by lesser wizards. IMO magic is like music rather than science. Most musicians can play a song that others have written but how many can write a masterpiece while performing solos that other musicians cant duplicate. You forget that these spells have to be rediscovered/rewritten by literally every caster every time.


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I don't understand why you have such a problem with accepting that cataclysms can adversely affect the progression of technology and/or magic.

Earthfall wasn't just a cataclysm, it was also 1,000 years of darkness as it threw ash and dust up into the atmosphere. Not only that, but during that time the Orcs emerged and ravaged the surface of Golarion.

The sacking of Rome was basically the start of the medieval ages, a time period where some cultures regressed in knowledge and technology. They actually forgot whole aspects of knowledge during this time, and rediscovered them later.

Rome was a major empire, yet on Golarion it wasn't just Rome that fell, it was the Azlanti, the Thassilonian, and the complete loss of arcane magic. Those are some seriously major events. You have entire race of, essentially, monsters, rampaging across the surface at an incredible rate, killed and slaughtering everything, with seemingly no way to stop them. It wasn't until the skies cleared that the Orcs were really driven back, and even then, they have a huge country all to themselves in the Hold of Belkzen.

================================

As an aside, it really is entirely possible that the advancement of technology is being deliberately suppressed by the magical users. In order for a Wizard to cast a fireball, he has to study and train for years, before he can do so. Conversely, any peasant with a match can light a fuse and detonate a keg of gunpowder and get the same effect.

We already know that peasants were forbidden from possessing certain kinds of arrowheads, because they could pierce armor in the real world. Why? Because it threatened the status quo.

Do you really think nobles would want their peasants to be able to sling spells around, spells that aren't stopped by armor? Even something as simple as Ray of Frost could be used to focus fire trained knights and warriors. Warriors that spent years learning to fight, and years perfecting their art of war, while a couple of peasants could just zap him with a little frost ray and kill him, training or naught.

Peasants outnumber the nobles by a lot, giving them access to things like firearms or magic drastically changes the balance of power.

Look at things like castles. Casltes were only really effective against infantry. Once you start putting siege weapons on the board, things castles weren't so useful. Catapults and trebuchets especially could destroy castles.

Then along comes gunpowder and the cannon.

Nobles that had spent huge amounts of money, building and maintain castles. Nobles that have generations of history in those walls, suddenly has all that destroyed because some people mixed some dirt together and it goes boom.

Mages and Nobles alike would find it terrifying that the peasants could wield the same power they do, without first learning what that power is capable of.

An arcane user knows that there are consequences to using his magic. He knows exactly what his magic could do to the populace. Imagine, for instance, what common every day people might do if they had access to a Fireball spell.

Some kid might be getting teased by bullies, only to toss out a fireball and annihilate scores of children.

Human beings can't be trusted with power. Give a person some power, and watch as they go crazy with it. The larger the gathering of people, the less intelligent they all become.

Look at things like the French Revolution, or riots in the 60s, or any other aspect of civil dispute. Can you imagine what would happen if the rioters had access to something as simple as Flaming Sphere? You could have entire cities burned down in a night, because only a couple of them didn't bother to think about their actions.

There are many reasons why the over-all technology of the world hasn't progressed in thousands of years. You've got immortal world-ending death machines (like the tarrasque), interstellar abominations (Oliphaunt of Janderlay), races of monstrous rampaging murders (orcs), apocalyptic events (Earthfall), actual gods dying, portals to the abyssal realms opening.

It's very possible that one of the largest factors in the loss of technology, is the people who discover it, just. keep. dying.

Sovereign Court

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Don't get me wrong, I love Golarion. But, like any setting, there are a few things which I don't much care for. Primarily, I dislike how Paizo handles Dwarves. This race has long been a staple of fantasy gaming but for some reason Paizo doesn't deal much with them. I wonder if his is due to Eric Mona's confessed and intense dislike for fantasy Dwarves. YOU HEAR THAT, ERIC MONA? I have called you out, homeboy!


Err.. I thought James Jacobs was the one with the intense dislike of dwarves? As the creative director, he has quite a bit of power in limiting their over-all involvement in Golarion. If he doeans't want a dwarf module or AP done, he kind of has the power to just say, "Nope!" and that's that.


Tels - The problem with your good arguments is that what we see in the books doesn't back this up.

In our world, we progressed from various ages, based on the major material being used. So stone age, bronze age, iron age and from there the middle ages (although that's bad nomenclature). The reason we had that progression is that's what was used as tools. It was "easy" to pick up a rock and use it as a weapon or to shape a rock into an arrowhead. Copper melts easily, but it's not until we discovered alloys and created bronze, did humans have a low melting point metal that they could forge. Once they understood that, then they could use iron.

Having said that (and it was not my intent to lecture but to make sure we are on the same page), here is my problem.

Azlant technology was nearly Steampunk/Magitech level of technology, from what we have seen in the various modules. Again, it's scattered, but the spellbooks described in Shattered Star are nearly holographic computers, capable of displaying any spell they contain! Further, not only did Azlant have steel, but they also worked with the various skymetals to make things as well.

Then we have Earthfall. That's all well and good but we have no resulting loss of technology! There is no mention of going back to a stone age for a thousand years and then bronze and forward. Weapons are mostly assumed to be steel or other similar materials. The 6000 year old empire of Taldor, built from Azlanti refugees, has iron or steel items as well.

That's the problem with the technology and timeline. They may have huge catastrophic events but the write ups show them having no loss of technology. Yet still it stagnates.

As an aside, as I look at the Taldor book, I'm reminded of the problem of the way information is presented to us. Instead of us being told all about a city under the cities listing, we also have to remember that something is mentioned about the city's religious holidays in the geography section, and that its population is mentioned under another heading due to something there! It makes it tough to look these things up when the information is scattered around like that!

Thanks for the good answers!


Jon Goranson wrote:


Tels - The problem with your good arguments is that what we see in the books doesn't back this up.

In our world, we progressed from various ages, based on the major material being used. So stone age, bronze age, iron age and from there the middle ages (although that's bad nomenclature). The reason we had that progression is that's what was used as tools. It was "easy" to pick up a rock and use it as a weapon or to shape a rock into an arrowhead. Copper melts easily, but it's not until we discovered alloys and created bronze, did humans have a low melting point metal that they could forge. Once they understood that, then they could use iron.

Having said that (and it was not my intent to lecture but to make sure we are on the same page), here is my problem.

Azlant technology was nearly Steampunk/Magitech level of technology, from what we have seen in the various modules. Again, it's scattered, but the spellbooks described in Shattered Star are nearly holographic computers, capable of displaying any spell they contain! Further, not only did Azlant have steel, but they also worked with the various skymetals to make things as well.

Then we have Earthfall. That's all well and good but we have no resulting loss of technology! There is no mention of going back to a stone age for a thousand years and then bronze and forward. Weapons are mostly assumed to be steel or other similar materials. The 6000 year old empire of Taldor, built from Azlanti refugees, has iron or steel items as well.

That's the problem with the technology and timeline. They may have huge catastrophic events but the write ups show them having no loss of technology. Yet still it stagnates.

As an aside, as I look at the Taldor book, I'm reminded of the problem of the way information is presented to us. Instead of us being told all about a city under the cities listing, we also have to remember that something is mentioned about the city's religious holidays in the geography section, and that its population is...

And some people are assuming experimental science works as it does on Earth and that progress should have been made (the way it has been on Earth) and that Golarion should be different. But, according to the cannon it's not. It simply is the way it is. So, maybe your assumptions on how things work there (just like they do irl) is the problem?

As I said in a previous post, take the cannon Golarion as fact and try to figure out why it is, not just dismiss it as "wrong". Unless you do your own homebrew world, then it's all up to you. Or do your own version of Golarion's history for your home game.


R_Chance wrote:

And some people are assuming experimental science works as it does on Earth and that progress should have been made (the way it has been on Earth) and that Golarion should be different. But, according to the cannon it's not. It simply is the way it is. So, maybe your assumptions on how things work there (just like they do irl) is the problem?

As I said in a previous post, take the cannon Golarion as fact and try to figure out why it is, not just dismiss it as "wrong". Unless you do your own homebrew world, then it's all up to you. Or do your own version of Golarion's history for your home game.

I get where you are coming from but again the evidence of Golarion itself does NOT back this up.

Released modules have the world in a solar system. They have moons, other planets and they revolve around their sun. They have established this themselves.

They use the term knight and define it the same way it was used in Earth's history. Same for phalanx, cavalry, chivalry. These are concepts with specific meanings in our world and they aren't changing them for their own world. If they had at least put Egypt, er, Osirion in a cold climate or a forested one, that might give them some leeway. But they even converted the Nile!

Further, there is only one place where they have gone beyond medieval technology, which is the repeating rifle and pistol that can be found in Alkenstar. Everything else we see, from clothing styles, wooden ships built, architecture, except for Azlanti ruins, fits in the Medieval time period. There is no place that uses magic in place of technology. Everything I have read shows that magic either enhances technology or is an individual endeavor, as other's have pointed out. There is also nothing that we have seen to show that earth sciences wouldn't work there. Indeed, Numeria and the Mana Wastes show that technology CAN work on Golarion!

Given all of that, I don't see how it can be on the reader to infer anything but an earth like progression and therefore wonder at the stagnation or the long time interval.

I get that I can do my own thing in my game. I'm saying that I am trying to do as you suggest and see a way to make what has been put to print to work. It's tough to do that when everything points to an earth like progression but then they have too long of a timeline.

But that's me. Good points! Thanks!


Dont forget its an earthlike world where ridiculoulsy powerful being(outsiders gods your pick of aberations) are all making sure that things dont change to much(they dont want them too for their own reasons) is just as valid an argument. Its the old gunpowder doesn't work on greyhawk because the gods say so.


Jon Goranson wrote:


I get where you are coming from but again the evidence of Golarion itself does NOT back this up.

Released modules have the world in a solar system. They have moons, other planets and they revolve around their sun. They have established this themselves.

They have solar systems, moons, planets... magic. Obviously there are gross similarities but something different as well. Leading to my assumption that the laws underwriting what goes in this universe are different. I've said this before; it may look like Earth but what is "under the hood" may be quite different. Hence, the long "stagnant" period of technology. What if "science" has hit it's end game? Maybe the price of "magic's" existence.

Jon Goranson wrote:


They use the term knight and define it the same way it was used in Earth's history. Same for phalanx, cavalry, chivalry. These are concepts with specific meanings in our world and they aren't changing them for their own world. If they had at least put Egypt, er, Osirion in a cold climate or a forested one, that might give them some leeway. But they even converted the Nile!

I doubt they actually speak English on Golarion. The translation into English terms (knight etc.) is for the gamers benefit. I can't really comment on the Earth history analogues because I have some in my own homebrew world. I've read about Golarion but I have my own campaign world.

Jon Goranson wrote:


Further, there is only one place where they have gone beyond medieval technology, which is the repeating rifle and pistol that can be found in Alkenstar. Everything else we see, from clothing styles, wooden ships built, architecture, except for Azlanti ruins, fits in the Medieval time period. There is no place that uses magic in place of technology. Everything I have read shows that magic either enhances technology or is an individual endeavor, as other's have pointed out. There is also nothing that we have seen to show that earth sciences wouldn't work there. Indeed, Numeria and the Mana Wastes show that technology CAN work on Golarion!

Given all of that, I don't see how it can be on the reader to infer anything but an earth like...

And the place where they developed guns, Alkenstar, is near a place where magic doesn't work (the Mana Wastes)... there's a coincidence :) As for the super science of Numeria, I don't know what the basis for it is or the laws that underwrite it. Earths? Something else?


Technically speaking, assuming that Golarion is also composed of "Atoms" or "elements" and "molecules" is also just speculation. It seems more likely to me that it functions off of foundational magic that constructs a matrix that resembles the laws of physics in some ways, and definitely not in others.


Well Remember Earth actually does exist out there, and a person from Golarion can visit it with the right magic. Granted it is a "Pulp" early 1900's version, but presumably the physics and properties of the Universe are pretty similar to our own, barring magic of course.


We are getting into details on this and that's not my point. The point of this thread was what about Golarion bugs you. My bigger gripe is that all information about a place isn't in one place but instead is spread out over multiple source books. I hope that at some point, they collect that information.

As for the science and age of the planet, that was me liking a good discussion! I do think what I said is true. Again, going back to the OP, my point is that it would be easy for the developer's to clarify this by saying how technology works, why the timeline is so long and other items. I do think it's on the developer to say where things differ from earth. I'm putting the burden of clarification on them! I do that because it doesn't seem unreasonable to me that in the absence of any other explanation, I look to the real world to clarify questions that I have.

Thanks for the discussion!


proftobe wrote:
first you cant compare divine spells because those are set by the gods and if erastil doesn't want to grant a better cure light wounds you don't get a better version no matter how long. Once again you are locked into the idea that magic is science/technology its not. There probably have been wizards who had better versions of these spells (mythic casters) the issue is that the better version of the spells cant be used by lesser wizards. IMO magic is like music rather than science. Most musicians can play a song that others have written but how many can write a masterpiece while performing solos that other musicians cant duplicate. You forget that these spells have to be rediscovered/rewritten by literally every caster every time.

No.

Magic is technology, it works empirically.

If you take ten wizards of fifth level and have them each cast fireball, each will produce a 20-foot ball of fire at a range of 600 feet doing 5d6 points of damage. There is no variance besides the damage, which is a known factor of "randomness" confined to numeric formula and probability.

There have been wizards who produce different kinds, they use homebrew spells which are fine but outside of "cannon" there is not a altered version.


Journ-O-LST-3 wrote:
proftobe wrote:
first you cant compare divine spells because those are set by the gods and if erastil doesn't want to grant a better cure light wounds you don't get a better version no matter how long. Once again you are locked into the idea that magic is science/technology its not. There probably have been wizards who had better versions of these spells (mythic casters) the issue is that the better version of the spells cant be used by lesser wizards. IMO magic is like music rather than science. Most musicians can play a song that others have written but how many can write a masterpiece while performing solos that other musicians cant duplicate. You forget that these spells have to be rediscovered/rewritten by literally every caster every time.

No.

Magic is technology, it works empirically.

If you take ten wizards of fifth level and have them each cast fireball, each will produce a 20-foot ball of fire at a range of 600 feet doing 5d6 points of damage. There is no variance besides the damage, which is a known factor of "randomness" confined to numeric formula and probability.

There have been wizards who produce different kinds, they use homebrew spells which are fine but outside of "cannon" there is not a altered version.

it produces the same affect. Its NOT the same. If if was the same it would be faster to copy spells or it wouldn't be faster with assistance. To go back to my metaphor every skilled musician can hit a high C not everyone of them can incorporate that into an extemporaneous solo or use that to write a masterpiece.


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Sure, a fireball spell is predictable and repeatable. (Though I agree that magic is "art like" in the sense that each individual spellcaster has to adapt the techniques to make it work for them.)

But the flip side of that is that you can't make "a better fireball" without making it higher level (or mythic or whatever. But not a better one that is as easily accessible.)

So the nature of magic pushes away from innovation and toward learning what's always worked. Magical research is less about experimentation and more about digging through libraries and ruins to find lost spells from Thassilon or whatever.

Spells now are probably basically the same as those before Earthfall, minus some that got lost and plus some that got developed to fill the gaps. But the most common spells -- a low-to-mid level wiz/sorc's basic toolkit, those least likely to get forgotten -- probably haven't changed since Golarion's Neolithic.

---

I don't really believe that tech innovation is necessarily "natural" even in our world. The leap to an industrial age only happened once, it just ended up spreading to most of the world.

China in say 1200 or Rome in say 100 was probably 'as advanced' in most ways as Europe in Copernicus' day. But only one of those three societies went on to produce a Scientific Revolution and then an Industrial Revolution.

It seems to me that that 'leap' required a particular social or cultural setup. Without that, innovations still occur, but they don't get combined and built on in the way you need to get industrialization. Gunpowder came from China, but guns were really perfected in Europe, weren't they? The Byzantine Empire had Greek fire, but they kept the secret so closely it was eventually lost. The Greco-Romans of 100 AD had primitive steam engines ("aeolipile") and complex clockwork mechanical astronomical calculators (the Antikythera mechanism) -- and being able to build that implies an existing technology of clockworks -- but nothing ever came of them.

I read history more as civilizations getting "stuck" at what I would call a 'high steel age' level (EDIT: being as likely as anything else. So I can totally buy Golarion being that level for ages upon ages. And guess what? Alkenstar seems to have started to break out of that being "stuck" -- in a magic poor/unreliable magic area. Which strongly suggests that Golarion also has magic acting as a brake on tech.)

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Game Mastery Guide wrote:
The temptation with dates is to make the numbers large and sweeping - cities 10,000 years old, legends stretching back a hundred generations. Avoid this impulse! History is a lot shorter than you might think... If it only took the march of technological process 150 years to go from the first internal combustion engine to a man on the moon, how come nobody's invented a better plow in the 7 millennia the serfs have been tilling your kingdom's fields?

Somebody at Paizo knew this could happen; they even labeled it a world-design trap. Apparently, the temptation was just too strong when it came time to design Golarion.

Part of the reason Golarion's tech level is frozen is because fantasy role-playing tends to focus on late medieval/Renaissance settings, with the aforementioned roving gangs of thugs (er, I mean noble bands of adventurers). As written, Golarion is actually pretty far toward the end of that period. Firearms are well-developed, and the printing press has been invented.

Harry Turtledove's Darkness series (beginning with Into The Darkness) uses many of the high fantasy staples to create a world that closely resembles Earth during the 1930s and 40s. Instead of rifles, the infantry are armed with Wands of Magic Missiles. Dragon riders fill in nicely for fighter planes. Theoretical magicians are close to unlocking something on the order of a magical atomic bomb. To me, a setting like that seems pretty plausible. Given the rules for item creation feats, I would expect most half-way prosperous nations to issue at least a +1 sword to every soldier, with +2 swords for officers (assuming they didn't drop swords altogether in favor of wands and/or guns).

As I see it, the bottom line is that the nations of Golarion haven't industrialized magic because it was written to be a high fantasy setting, not because magic is inherently uncooperative or non-reproducible. The history is 15 or 20 thousand years long so all kinds of different creepy, cool, ancient things can be unearthed to threaten or reward the PCs, not because the developers thought it should logically take 10,000 years to recover from Earthfall and reach the Renaissance.

Golarion is clearly intended to be a kitchen sink fantasy world, with room for every trope from decades of fantasy writing and gaming to exist somewhere in the world. It works on Rule of Cool, not historical accuracy. Luckily, if we want to run homebrew games that compress the history, or bump the world's tech level up a few notches, we can.


I'm liking the idea that the best minds (highest INT) are all busy trying to copy what came before instead of innovating/advancing.

Also, at this point I think it's again coming to standard magic being aristocratic rather than universal.

proftobe wrote:
it produces the same affect. Its NOT the same. If if was the same it would be faster to copy spells or it wouldn't be faster with assistance. To go back to my metaphor every skilled musician can hit a high C not everyone of them can incorporate that into an extemporaneous solo or use that to write a masterpiece.

Nah, copying is pretty mechanical with a spellcraft check. It does not require any form of "art" beyond fluff or how the player/gm describes it.

To play with analogies, skilled musicians can hit a high C but each time they do it will not be identical, however spells will. A light spell for example will each time cast cause something to glow. There is no variance beyond external forces and CL.

Chemical reactions, not singing.


KarlBob has the right reasons for why - in a real-world sense - Golarion is as it is. Doesn't mean that's why - in Golarion's world - it functions that way!

Journ-O-LST-3 wrote:

Nah, copying is pretty mechanical with a spellcraft check. It does not require any form of "art" beyond fluff or how the player/gm describes it.

To play with analogies, skilled musicians can hit a high C but each time they do it will not be identical, however spells will. A light spell for example will each time cast cause something to glow. There is no variance beyond external forces and CL.

Chemical reactions, not singing.

Actually, I have to say, it's not "identical" whenever a wizard casts fireball. That's what the "xd6" is for.

Starting with 3d6 (minimum of 3, maximum of 18, random each time) and capping out at 10d6 (minimum of 10, maximum of 60) is a pretty heavy individual variation, based entirely on a combination of personal skill and power and a local instance of luck, making huge swings in variance.

And, uh, High C is pretty solidly defined, so (and I can easily be wrong, here, so let me know) it seems a bit more solid than we're giving it credit for.

Anyway, while there is 'empirical' evidence of level, hit dice, and so on, it's worth noting that all of this information is extremely vague from anyone's standpoint... except someone using very specific magic.

Spells can measure intelligence.
Spells can measure hit dice.
Spells can measure a creature's current hit points, even!

All that means little to nothing to people in the world at large.

Unless they're using those spells (and that last set is a pretty nasty move), you can't be sure exactly what a person's capabilities are.

All that said, magic, at it's core, I'd put most closely as a combination of art and science. It's neither. It's both. It's magic.

Spell levels with reproducible, consistent energy states with known levels of variance akin to chemical properties? Check.

A (usually) consistent set of rules that can be understood (though not necessarily reproduced) consistently by those who study it carefully? Check.

Absolute reliance on personal power and individual skill? Check.

The ability to tell science (and art, for that matter), "Shut, I'm in charge, now go cry in a corner, you little baby!"? Check.
(Technically, the last should be, "the rules of reality", but "science" sounded funnier.)

To me, that seems both like a science and an art, and like neither of those, though leaning toward art manipulating science.

So basically, magic is bards.


Journ-O-LST-3 wrote:


I'm liking the idea that the best minds (highest INT) are all busy trying to copy what came before instead of innovating/advancing.

Also, at this point I think it's again coming to standard magic being aristocratic rather than universal.

proftobe wrote:


it produces the same affect. Its NOT the same. If if was the same it would be faster to copy spells or it wouldn't be faster with assistance. To go back to my metaphor every skilled musician can hit a high C not everyone of them can incorporate that into an extemporaneous solo or use that to write a masterpiece.

Nah, copying is pretty mechanical with a spellcraft check. It does not require any form of "art" beyond fluff or how the player/gm describes it.

To play with analogies, skilled musicians can hit a high C but each time they do it will not be identical, however spells will. A light spell for example will each time cast cause something to glow. There is no variance beyond external forces and CL.

Chemical reactions, not singing.

Most people would find the necessity of deciphering another mages spellbook / scroll and writing it down, essentially, in your own terms complete with a check for failure in your own spellbook to be a bit odd for a "science". Heck, even cookbooks don't have that problem :) Formula being formula and experimental results being repeatable and understandable is at the heart of science in real life. I guess they could all have lousy handwriting or something...

And of course, the results of a spell aren't identical. Damages vary, durations vary, etc. in short results vary for some spells (within a certain range). The fact that they are grossly similar doesn't mean they are identical / repeatable even for the same practitioner the way a science experiment is. Damage and duration variation could be explained by circumstances, or it could just be variable results from the same "experiment" / spell. Personally I think saving throws account for variation in circumstance and a weak fireball is just a weak result for that attempt. Ymmv.

Scarab Sages

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I find the length of Galt's revolution a little odd. Revolutions tend to fizzle out as the combatants kill each other and destroy the infrastructure needed to support a war. Brushfire rebellions have some lasting power, but sustaining a French Revolution-style "cascade of governments" across multiple decades strikes me as unlikely.

Scarab Sages

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I'm also not a fan of the fact that there is one country of dwarves, one country of elves, one country of orcs, and dozens of countries of humans (and halflings).

It's not a gripe about the world itself, but I'd love for Paizo to cover some areas of the world about which we know very little. Casmaron, Vudra, Arcadia, etc. The Inner Sea is obviously the focal point of the campaign, but Paizo has written more about other planets than about the other continents of Golarion.


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Well, to be fair, the Elves, Orcs and Dwarves are only relatively recent when you look at the Golarion Timeline.

The Elves mostly abandoned Golarion before Earthfall, and then didn't return until over a thousand years later. They've only recently begun re-taking their lands from the Humans that were living there, and the Demons that infested the lower regions.

The Orcs emerged after Earthfall because the Dwarves drove them from their subterranean homes as they started their 'March for the Sky' quest. This is a really cool video on the History of Orcs in Golarion.

The Dwarves, don't really live in countries like we think of them. They have a bunch of City-States around Golarion called Sky Citadels. While they have a large number in the Five-Kings Mountains (named because of the 5 Dwarven Kings that ruled there), they have other Sky Citadels located elsewhere, like Janderhoff just outside of Korvosa, or Kraggodan in Nirmathas. Many of the Sky Citadels have fallen, several are still occupied by Dwarves though.

Think about Dwarves in Forgotten Realms or in Lord of the Rings. There was never really a 'Dwarf Country' so much as there were Dwarven Mines that functioned as kingdoms and mega-cities. Look at Erebor (the Lonely Mountain in the Hobbit) or Moria (Khazad-dum), or Mithril Hall (Forgotten Realms) or Citadel Adbar (also Forgotten Realms). Each place was a Kingdom in-and-of-itself but they never really controlled huge swathes of land like Humans, or even Elves do.

Dwarves in fantasy settings almost always rule from under-ground Castles that function as giant city-states. They control enough of the land around the Mine so as to have warning from attacks and gather supplies they can't get underground (like wood or food), but little else.


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Jon Goranson wrote:


At the moment, it's very tough for me to understand how remnants of Thassilon, which is at least ten thousand years old, are still around but remains from the past three hundred years aren't. (Unless someone can tell me what was in Varisia between the runelords fall and now.)

I can explain at least some of this, at least how it's worked in real life in the UK.

We have the ancient stuff like Stonehenge (2000-3000BC?) and other standing stone structures and burial mounds and the like.

Then a fair amount of Roman ruins - mostly foundations, sometimes fairly intact mosaic floors and the like, from about 1AD up to maybe 300-400AD?

Then very, very few Anglo-Saxon remains, because they mostly built in timber, which doesn't last, not for centuries.

Then the arrival of the Normans in 1066. And they built castles and fortifications in stone (to protect against the Anglo-Saxons) and demolished a lot of Saxon churches to rebuild their own stone churches on the foundations.

Then later, as cities outgrew their walls (and the need for walls) they were used as sources of building stone. When the monasteries were dissolved (1536-1541) there was active government encouragement to essentially turn them into quarries.

And in all the cities and towns and villages, there's rebuilding of buildings in need of repair, or burnt down, or sometimes just old fashioned, or no longer fit for purpose.

So yes, 10,000 year old Thassilonian buildings, that survived Earthfall, and are protected with magic are still there, when there are no really old timber buildings, or newer, less protected places have been scavenged for building materials.


SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
That it's another humanocentric, conflict-torn, dark-and-edgy game world. Everybody was already doing them before Golarion came along, and right now that's about all anyone ever seems to make. I'd probably at least consider everything else about the world if only it didn't have those three elements. But seeing as it does it's not worth my time: I'm not going to buy the thing just to have to change the entire entrenched tone.

Pretty much this =) Anything for less prominent humanity.


KarlBob wrote:
I find the length of Galt's revolution a little odd. Revolutions tend to fizzle out as the combatants kill each other and destroy the infrastructure needed to support a war. Brushfire rebellions have some lasting power, but sustaining a French Revolution-style "cascade of governments" across multiple decades strikes me as unlikely.

One of the really interesting things, to me, about this, is Golarion lore specifically addresses the fact that it is very odd... at least a few scholars have been wondering how it's still going on. Some people blame Calistria (she's also noted as possibly being a powerful spirit active in one of the River Kingdoms populated by ex-Galten nobility), while others suspect something like Pharasma (for all the death) or Norgorber (... for all the death). Some even think its possible that Milani is behind it, although I find that unlikely, given her alignment and ethos.

If there was rather heavy-handed divine intervention, it may make more sense.

Otherwise, though, I entirely agree with you.

(I tend to be more of the view that it's Norgorber, or that if Calistria is involved, Norgorber is also involved somehow - the final blades are just too antithetical to Pharasma's nature to really have her behind it. Similarly, Milani just seems too much an "over-and-done" sort to be the source of the Eternal Revolution, in my take on her.)

Reference Golarion's humanocentrism: I can see what you mean, but I think that Golarion does it in enough of a different way to be highly interesting. Especially because the greatest powers that Golarion humans wielded tended to come entirely from other sources (which then took those powers away).

Scarab Sages

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Tacticslion wrote:
KarlBob wrote:
I find the length of Galt's revolution a little odd. Revolutions tend to fizzle out as the combatants kill each other and destroy the infrastructure needed to support a war. Brushfire rebellions have some lasting power, but sustaining a French Revolution-style "cascade of governments" across multiple decades strikes me as unlikely.

One of the really interesting things, to me, about this, is Golarion lore specifically addresses the fact that it is very odd... at least a few scholars have been wondering how it's still going on. Some people blame Calistria (she's also noted as possibly being a powerful spirit active in one of the River Kingdoms populated by ex-Galten nobility), while others suspect something like Pharasma (for all the death) or Norgorber (... for all the death). Some even think its possible that Milani is behind it, although I find that unlikely, given her alignment and ethos.

If there was rather heavy-handed divine intervention, it may make more sense.

If people in Golarion have noticed how odd it is, that makes me feel a little better about it. Maybe a future module or AP could involve the characters solving that mystery.

That brings me to another gripe/preference: I like worlds with an ongoing history/metaplot (a fantasy example being Seventh Sea). Golarion seems stuck in the moment when the World Guide was written. I wonder how much the need to stay in that unchanging moment constrains the Adventure Paths. Building one more River Kingdom doesn't necessarily affect the rest of the Inner Sea, but settling the conflict in Galt might.

On the one hand, a metaplot can steal the PCs' thunder, making the actions of NPCs seem more important than PC actions. On the other hand, the PCs can't be everywhere, and there's no reason for the entire rest of the world to freeze in stasis until the PCs arrive.

Edit: Affect vs. Effect is complicated!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
KarlBob wrote:

I'm also not a fan of the fact that there is one country of dwarves, one country of elves, one country of orcs, and dozens of countries of humans (and halflings).

It's not a gripe about the world itself, but I'd love for Paizo to cover some areas of the world about which we know very little. Casmaron, Vudra, Arcadia, etc. The Inner Sea is obviously the focal point of the campaign, but Paizo has written more about other planets than about the other continents of Golarion.

Elves are actually from Castrovel, where they inhabit an island/continent.

In Golarion, there are at least five elven "nations": Kyonin, the Mordant Spire, the elves of the Mwangi Expanse, the Snowcaster elves of the Crown of the World and Jinin in Tian Xia.


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The only thing I'm not really a huge fan of in Golarion is the Pathfinder Society, and how revered it seems to be.

They really come across as... well... EVIL, and yet being in the society kind-of gives you a freedom to get away with things you really shouldn't be getting away with. I certainly have no idea why the society seems to be widely-regarded as heroic when (in spite of having some good aligned members) most of what they do basically just seems to involve stealing other peoples' property in the name of history.


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Orthos wrote:
SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
That it's another humanocentric, conflict-torn, dark-and-edgy game world. Everybody was already doing them before Golarion came along, and right now that's about all anyone ever seems to make. I'd probably at least consider everything else about the world if only it didn't have those three elements. But seeing as it does it's not worth my time: I'm not going to buy the thing just to have to change the entire entrenched tone.
Pretty much this =) Anything for less prominent humanity.

Taslantia has humanish, but distincly non human races predominant. There is of course, lots of Bumpy-Head Syndrome ala Star Trek but it is worth a look.

Sovereign Court

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The conversation about Golarion's technological development is really interesting (whether it's artificially retarded for sake of setting, or if magic has some profound, if subtle, anti-predictive effects). Something that should be added to this discussion, though, is the influence of predatory monsters and intelligent, evil races. Judging by the APs, the civilized, intellectually curious people of Golarion are constantly menaced by appetites that could destroy regions, if not entire civilizations. We should assume that not all plots and rampages are stopped by heroes - and that many villages, townships and countries succumb to the tides of an extraordinarily dangerous world.

Unlike the real world, where one tribe/kingdom could conquer the other but usually assimilate the people and adapt the technologies, there's no guarantee that the victors have any interest in technology or culture, and may actively wish to scour the land of any seed of (demi)-human endeavor.

Humanity (and the good demihumans) are by no means the apex predators of Golarion, and they do not possess the luxury of uninterrupted technological advancement. They may have been hunted, decimated and driven back many times, to such a degree that their dark ages last much longer than ours.

Dark Archive

One thing that bugs me about Golarion is some of the names they choose for their countries. Like the name of the world Golarion which I really dont like. Some random person or mage most likely could be walking around with the name Golarion Silverhand for example. You couldn't really name a person Jupiter or Earth simply because those are names of planets and the names themselves dont even sound like something you'd name a person.
Same thing with Andoran or even Taldor. They can be country names I guess but still someone could be walking around with the name Andoran Blackthorn or something like that. I would like them to look to dnd and give better names like taking some inspiration from "the sword coast" or "Thay" for instance as to me those names sound way more country'ish and believable than what paizo puts in their worlds.


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xLegionx wrote:

One thing that bugs me about Golarion is some of the names they choose for their countries. Like the name of the world Golarion which I really dont like. Some random person or mage most likely could be walking around with the name Golarion Silverhand for example. You couldn't really name a person Jupiter or Earth simply because those are names of planets and the names themselves dont even sound like something you'd name a person.

Same thing with Andoran or even Taldor. They can be country names I guess but still someone could be walking around with the name Andoran Blackthorn or something like that. I would like them to look to dnd and give better names like taking some inspiration from "the sword coast" or "Thay" for instance as to me those names sound way more country'ish and believable than what paizo puts in their worlds.

You do know Jupiter (and the other planets in our solar system) was named for a Roman god, right?

And if you don't think Andoran can be the name of a country, we-ell... let's just say that if you drop the last two letters you get a word that appears as a country in two of the best-selling fantasy series ever published. To which we can add a planet in the Star Trek universe, and oh... how about the actual, real-world country of Andorra!

Dark Archive

Kajehase wrote:
xLegionx wrote:

One thing that bugs me about Golarion is some of the names they choose for their countries. Like the name of the world Golarion which I really dont like. Some random person or mage most likely could be walking around with the name Golarion Silverhand for example. You couldn't really name a person Jupiter or Earth simply because those are names of planets and the names themselves dont even sound like something you'd name a person.

Same thing with Andoran or even Taldor. They can be country names I guess but still someone could be walking around with the name Andoran Blackthorn or something like that. I would like them to look to dnd and give better names like taking some inspiration from "the sword coast" or "Thay" for instance as to me those names sound way more country'ish and believable than what paizo puts in their worlds.

You do know Jupiter (and the other planets in our solar system) was named for a Roman god, right?

And if you don't think Andoran can be the name of a country, we-ell... let's just say that if you drop the last two letters you get a word that appears as a country in two of the best-selling fantasy series ever published. To which we can add a planet in the Star Trek universe, and oh... how about the actual, real-world country of Andorra!

Well I like the name Andorra wayy better than Andoran. It sounds more of what I'm talking about. Like you say it and you know its the name of a country you don't mistake it for the name of your friend next door.

Another example, Faerun. I like that name because simply it just doesnt sound like something you would name somebody. And its the name of the continent in the forgotten realms so to me that helps to make me feel like the world is more believable.

And yes I know about the roman gods but those are gods. I'm talking about people in general. You wouldnt try to invent a religion and call your god Dave or John. Those are peoples names and would just make the god outright unbelievable.

But again its just stuff that bothers me about "Golarion" and its just my humble opinion. Ill just stick with "the inner sea".


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Gluttony wrote:

The only thing I'm not really a huge fan of in Golarion is the Pathfinder Society, and how revered it seems to be.

They really come across as... well... EVIL, and yet being in the society kind-of gives you a freedom to get away with things you really shouldn't be getting away with. I certainly have no idea why the society seems to be widely-regarded as heroic when (in spite of having some good aligned members) most of what they do basically just seems to involve stealing other peoples' property in the name of history.

Well, let's be honest, not killing other people and not taking their stuff didn't real take off in popularity until nearly the end of the 20th century.

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