What about Golarion bugs you?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Son of the Veterinarian wrote:
Set wrote:
Drakli wrote:
it'd be nice to actually get some hob-nobbing with hobgoblins so they could get some dialogue outside of death-screams.

Heh, nice wordplay.

My bugbear pirates will be buccaneyes, because they realized that, unlike ears, it's impossible to tell a left eye from a right eye, and they can get paid twice for each kill!

And really, who'se gonna argue with a bugbear pirate with a jar full of eyes, when it comes time to pay up?

Hellknights?

Hellknights don't argue.


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Set wrote:

10,000 years of history. That's rather a lot. I remember disliking that in Eberron as well (much more so, there, actually).

Cutting timeline ages by a factor of ten (or at least five!) would neatly streamline that, I think.

Considering that the Epic of Gilgamesh is at least 4000 years old and there is evidence of writing systems around 5000 years old in the real world, 10,000 years is really only about 2 or 2.5 times the timeframe of known/documented real world history. (ancient literature) That doesn't even cover what we know about non-written history from archaeology.


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Mikaze wrote:

Needs more detailed CN orc tribes in Belkzen what with Gorum worship being on the rise among that population.

Or details for any tribe of orcs that aren't just evil... Anything to have some actual decent orc culture for heroic half-orcs/orcs to pull from so that they aren't forced to be "lone rebel against their own kind" again.

Flintyreach in Lands of the Linnorm Kings (Ironbound Islands).


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Beckett wrote:
I have wondered who sponcered most Paladins before Aroden went away.

Sarenrae and Abadar, probably. Shelyn likely had a fair amount, as well. Paladins of Erastil and Torag would not have been as common, but could be found; they would be more practical/down-to-earth, rather than "knight in shining armor" types. Aroden had his own orders of paladins, of whom Iomedae was the most notable before her ascension to divinity.

The Exchange

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Dragonchess Player wrote:
Set wrote:

10,000 years of history. That's rather a lot. I remember disliking that in Eberron as well (much more so, there, actually).

Cutting timeline ages by a factor of ten (or at least five!) would neatly streamline that, I think.

Considering that the Epic of Gilgamesh is at least 4000 years old and there is evidence of writing systems around 5000 years old in the real world, 10,000 years is really only about 2 or 2.5 times the timeframe of known/documented real world history.

And the Real World didn't have races with lifespans 2 to 5 times the length of humans to account for. 10k of years is only 25 generations of elves or so. That same number of human generations only gets us from roughly the end of the Middle Ages to the present in our history.

Shadow Lodge

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Ash_Gazn wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:


Considering that the Epic of Gilgamesh is at least 4000 years old and there is evidence of writing systems around 5000 years old in the real world, 10,000 years is really only about 2 or 2.5 times the timeframe of known/documented real world history.
And the Real World didn't have races with lifespans 2 to 5 times the length of humans to account for. 10k of years is only 25 generations of elves or so. That same number of human generations only gets us from roughly the end of the Middle Ages to the present in our history.

But at the same time, you have periods where cultures are fairly static. For example, while 1500 to 2000 have had a lot of changes in human culture, but from 500 to 1000 not near as much, though some.

With Elves, they have 5-6 'cultures' that seemed to have evolved at different rates due to the varied responses to the fall of the Starstone.

That seems like a reasonable rate of change and better than the typical tolkienish static elves. Going back with further seems less than important because the world is human-centric. It rather like (fair or not) the history of Native Americans is rather neglected in our high schools.

Shadow Lodge

Dragonchess Player wrote:
Beckett wrote:
I have wondered who sponcered most Paladins before Aroden went away.
Sarenrae and Abadar, probably. Shelyn likely had a fair amount, as well. Paladins of Erastil and Torag would not have been as common, but could be found; they would be more practical/down-to-earth, rather than "knight in shining armor" types. Aroden had his own orders of paladins, of whom Iomedae was the most notable before her ascension to divinity.

My point was along the lines of the setting "works" right now, but by changing the time frame, it gets a bit wonky.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

That the nations of Sarkoris and Lirgen were destroyed. I like the little bit of info we had on those two areas and rather bummed that we won't be able to learn more about them.

Shadow Lodge

You never know. . .

Silver Crusade

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Dragonchess Player wrote:
Mikaze wrote:

Needs more detailed CN orc tribes in Belkzen what with Gorum worship being on the rise among that population.

Or details for any tribe of orcs that aren't just evil... Anything to have some actual decent orc culture for heroic half-orcs/orcs to pull from so that they aren't forced to be "lone rebel against their own kind" again.

Flintyreach in Lands of the Linnorm Kings (Ironbound Islands).

I had high hopes, but that place is half-orcs only.

At least half-orcs finally got something nice, though it still doesn't give them their own distinct non-always-horrible culture to pull from, which is the really frustrating thing when you're told "if you want heroic orcs, that's what half-orcs are for".


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Katapesh, one of the areas that is basically a free market is next to saltwater not freshwater.refrence to freshwater and saltwater schools of economic thought

Dark Archive

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Fabius Maximus wrote:
Son of the Veterinarian wrote:
Set wrote:
Drakli wrote:
it'd be nice to actually get some hob-nobbing with hobgoblins so they could get some dialogue outside of death-screams.

Heh, nice wordplay.

My bugbear pirates will be buccaneyes, because they realized that, unlike ears, it's impossible to tell a left eye from a right eye, and they can get paid twice for each kill!

And really, who'se gonna argue with a bugbear pirate with a jar full of eyes, when it comes time to pay up?

Hellknights?
Hellknights don't argue.

Depends on whether I have been asked to act as counsel.

But not with Bugbears no.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
neverminding wrote:
Matthew Trent wrote:


Really? I don't even see a singe point in real world history that is anlalogous to the world struggeling to recover from the death of God and the end of prophecy. ;)

Varisians = Gypsys/Eastern Europeans

Keleshites = Hollywood Arabs/Persians
Mwangi - Sub-Saharan Africans
Ulfen - Nords
Tians - "Asians"
Vudrani - Indians (they even have three spiritual books...)
Osirion - Egypt

And these are the obvious ones.

It's just like the Realms with all of the Earth analogs. Ever check out the Talislanta world books? The game itself was horrible, but the each nation/culture/race was original. I would like to see more of that instead of Golarian's derivative fantasy.

Aren't Garundi also similar to Sub-Saharan Africans? Perhaps Ethiopians?


I really like the setting of Golarion. I like the kingdoms, the critters, the NPC's, the technology level. The one thing I really hate about the Golarion setting is the word "Golarion". I despise that name. The way it sounds and flows off the tongue is horrible. So I just renamed the planet to Yrth.
But other than that fantastic setting with many skilled writers. Wish I could create a setting half as good as Golarion or Eberron.


Long thread, I haven't read it all so if someone has already mentioned my point I'm sorry.

The biggest thing that bugs me is the immense periods of time they throw around without seeming to think about it too much.

10,000 years (that's how long ago Azlant fell right?) is a huge chunk of time on a human scale.

I'm too lazy to go into it, but 10,000 years is enough time for all of Varisia, Garund, and Avistan to be filled with farming cultures from sea to sea to glacier.

Most of these ruins we see so frequently are going to be covered with dirt or become dust in this amount of time. There aren't too many human structures, even stone ones that have lasted too long. Most of the big ones you think of that are from say 4000 years ago are in special climates like deserts.

I could go on about it more, but I this is just the kind of thing that bugs me. I like fantasy, hippogryphs and owlbears don't bug me.

But if you are going to play the immense eras of time card, I don't think they did it well.

Personally I think if they had said Azlant fell two to three thousand years ago it would have made much more sense, and fit the time scale of the development of civilizations much better.

Also Irrisea bugs me. Covered in eternal winter, and people still find enough to eat. The animals somehow too. This is just the kind of thing I don't like. I've got no problem with magic covering a kingdom in endless winter, but I like to see what that would imply if it actually happened.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
sunbeam wrote:

Long thread, I haven't read it all so if someone has already mentioned my point I'm sorry.

The biggest thing that bugs me is the immense periods of time they throw around without seeming to think about it too much.

10,000 years (that's how long ago Azlant fell right?) is a huge chunk of time on a human scale.

It's a perennial complaint, and I agree with you. The most popular answers that get thrown around when it pops up are "magic" and the presence of creatures, magic users, gods, etc... that can live for thousands of years and keep things stable.

Dark Archive

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sunbeam wrote:
Also Irrisen bugs me. Covered in eternal winter, and people still find enough to eat. The animals somehow too. This is just the kind of thing I don't like. I've got no problem with magic covering a kingdom in endless winter, but I like to see what that would imply if it actually happened.

The Witches use of trolls (who will eat *constantly* if not prevented from doing so) and winter wolves (who aren't exactly strict conservationists when it comes to managing their supply of game animals) does kind of leave one wondering where all the meat comes from. They're gonna run out of humans eventually, and all the herbivores must have died in the first six months (from starvation, if nothing else).

I remember something about herds of caribou being driven across parts of Irrisen for some unfathomable reason, but there's no food for them in Irrisen, and only a thousand thousand things desperate to eat them, so I can't imagine that would happen more than once...

The secretest secret of the Winter Witches? They have a meat generator. Some colossal supernatural critter chained below Whitethrone creature that regenerates no matter how much meat they carve off of it, and doesn't taste like troll. Perhaps there was a local demigod-ish 'Wild Huntsman' figure in Irrisen before Baba Yaga came, and he had a huge elk that he rode into battle, and some large sized 'hunting hounds' that all regenerated if slain, and after she kicked his butt and bound him up and took him away (in an EPIC battle), she left the perpetually-regenerating hounds and steed to be a never-ending gobstopper for her children and their armies, since they'd otherwise run out of food in a month or two.

Adventure Seed!

If only some heroes could discover this (and the Witches have done a fairly thorough job of stamping out all references to this event, even if one or two of them may have gotten a little careless and bragged about Little Grandmother *beating the local god up* after two many cups of mead), and sneak into Whitethrone and either free the creatures, or, if necessary, arrange their final deaths, the Witches of Irrisen would suddenly find themselves with the mother of all food riots on their hands!

Sczarni

sunbeam wrote:
Also Irrisea bugs me. Covered in eternal winter, and people still find enough to eat. The animals somehow too. This is just the kind of thing I don't like. I've got no problem with magic covering a kingdom in endless winter, but I like to see what that would imply if it actually happened.

I have the same problem with Westeros in Game of Thrones. Multi-year-long winters should mean complete population destruction, unless possibly the humans devote nearly all of their non-winter time to preparing stockpiles, which would result in a completely different kind of economy and social structure than the one in the books. And Westeros doesn't even have (much) magic to handwave the problem away with.

I like Set's solution to the Irrisen problem. :)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Set wrote:
sunbeam wrote:
Also Irrisen bugs me. Covered in eternal winter, and people still find enough to eat. The animals somehow too. This is just the kind of thing I don't like. I've got no problem with magic covering a kingdom in endless winter, but I like to see what that would imply if it actually happened.

The secretest secret of the Winter Witches? They have a meat generator. Some colossal supernatural critter chained below Whitethrone creature that regenerates no matter how much meat they carve off of it, and doesn't taste like troll. Perhaps there was a local demigod-ish 'Wild Huntsman' figure in Irrisen before Baba Yaga came, and he had a huge elk that he rode into battle, and some large sized 'hunting hounds' that all regenerated if slain, and after she kicked his butt and bound him up and took him away (in an EPIC battle), she left the perpetually-regenerating hounds and steed to be a never-ending gobstopper for her children and their armies, since they'd otherwise run out of food in a month or two.

In fact there are several creatures in myth that are used like that. Sæhrímnir is the name give to a beast (possibly a boar) that is slaughtered every day to provide meat for the nightly feast in Valhalla then resurrected so he can be re-slaughtered the next day, and Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr are the goats that pull Thor's chariot who he will occasionally kill for meat then resurrect after eating.


Trinite wrote:
sunbeam wrote:
Also Irrisea bugs me. Covered in eternal winter, and people still find enough to eat. The animals somehow too. This is just the kind of thing I don't like. I've got no problem with magic covering a kingdom in endless winter, but I like to see what that would imply if it actually happened.

I have the same problem with Westeros in Game of Thrones. Multi-year-long winters should mean complete population destruction, unless possibly the humans devote nearly all of their non-winter time to preparing stockpiles, which would result in a completely different kind of economy and social structure than the one in the books. And Westeros doesn't even have (much) magic to handwave the problem away with.

I like Set's solution to the Irrisen problem. :)

They talk about this in game of Thrones a little bit. People either move South for the winter, keep large stock piles of food, import food from places not as effected, or starve. In Westeros winter is not so bad outside The North, so even though the southern areas productivity is diminished, it is not obsolete. They also have long Springs and Falls, so it probably helps with the stock piling aspect. Although I am not sure if it would hold up to the real world, it does seem plausible.

As for Irrisen, there are parts of the world that are pretty much in constant states of winter, and life manages to survive. It would be harder to believe if it did not start off in the North to begin with, If it went from Tropical to Always Winter, then I could see pretty much everything dying, but since it was already set up for the cold climate, it has a fighting chance. On Earth we have had long lasting ice ages, not really sure if there is a huge difference. Trolls and the like do sort of add a bit of a problem I suppose. But I guess magic can also help.

Dark Archive

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Son of the Veterinarian wrote:
In fact there are several creatures in myth that are used like that. Sæhrímnir is the name give to a beast (possibly a boar) that is slaughtered every day to provide meat for the nightly feast in Valhalla then resurrected so he can be re-slaughtered the next day, and Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr are the goats that pull Thor's chariot who he will occasionally kill for meat then resurrect after eating.

Yup, that's kind of where I was going with that. :)

Saehrimnir seems to have the suckiest job in the universe, until you factor in that this is the Norse 'heaven,' and *everybody up there is doing the same thing,* getting killed every day in glorious battle (by each other, nonetheless) and then getting ressurected afterwards.

Yeah. That's one culture's interpretation of paradise, getting gorily butchered by your best buds every single day until Ragnarok, when you, they, and your gods all die 'for reals.' Hardcore.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

At the risk of sounding like a jerk, one big thing that bothers me is... all the people complaining about real-world analogues in Golarion. It just... irks me.

There are two or three major reasons this bothers me:

1) Most D20 and fantasy campaign settings in general come across not as original world or settings, but generic rehashes of Idealized Medieval Eastern Europe, usually with really goofy names for everyone and everything. It's very hard to find honestly original fantasy settings, and people often call them too gonzo when you do. Apart from the sameyness this gives the genre, see criticism (2)

2) Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but mostly that makes it sound like cultures other than Medieval Eastern Europe are just not welcome in D20 fantasy. This may not actually be intended, but that's what it sounds like.

3) People have problems with analogues of real-world cultures on Golarion, but they're okay with creatures based from various different cultures of Earth mythology like trolls, dragons, goblins, sphinxes, minotaurs, rakshasa, manticora, vampires, and oni; (that's setting aside the Earth creatures like dinosaurs, tigers, and humans, if it's realism we're complaining about.)

So... to end this post on a positive note, I'd like to praise Paizo for including inspirations from real world cultures, ethnicities, folklore, and mythology in their fantasy world. Thank you!


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I'm personally with Drakli on this one. I don't mind all the real world parallels as the real world is all that we can truthfully pull from. People may want to complain about how Osirion is Hollywood Egypt or Ketapesh is Hollywood Mesopotamia, but the fact is, most of the European-esque countries are Hollywood settings as well.

I mean, when it comes down to it, we should see peasants working their butts off all day, every day, with little to nothing to show for it but making enough to get their family through to the next day. They are completely submissive to their local Lord and are uneducated followers of God. Anything and everything happens in life because God wills it.

The nobles aren't going to be knights riding around in shining armor, more often than not they lived in dirty, cold 'castles' that were little more than wooden forts. They largely wore clothes made of the same stuff peasants did, just made to look nicer. When visiting lords and nobles came by, they pulled out the nice stuff, but other than that, not much happened.

This of course depends largely on which time period you're looking at. If it's the age of viking raiders, there weren't even forts or castles to really speak of. Most people fled to the nearest building or place that was somewhat large enough for many people to gather in. Often times it was the local church and people hid inside there until the Vikings left. They lived with animals sleeping inside the house with them during the winter, were dirty and filthy and prone to disease. There weren't many nobles to speak of, more of clan leaders, and every once in awhile someone would get enough followers and declare himself king of the region.

Honestly, there were no adventurers, peasants didn't speak up against nobles and lords. If a guy owned a sword, he either inherited it, or killed someone and stole it. Blacksmiths didn't make weapons and armor unless the local lord commanded it because only the local lord could buy it. There wasn't really a common coin of the realm as most people traded livestock or supplies for things they needed. Only in cities was their a currency and the value of that currency was apt to change, it's why people weighed and measured gold instead of just accepted the coin.

There was no buying and selling of things from people just randomly walking in because one couldn't really trust the veracity of the sale. They bought from people they knew could be trusted, and the only time one could actually sell something if they weren't a merchant was at things like caravans. Even then, they really didn't carry much money as that was apt to be stolen, so you were more likely to get something in trade.

None of this sounds anything like what we're used to in a 'medieval' setting, but it's closer to what the real world was like than anything we normally play. I, personally, do not want to play in a 'medieval' setting, I want to play in a Fantasy setting. We draw from history for inspiration because history shows what works. The people of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and other desert locations wore turbans and shawls and other such clothes because it protected them from the harsh environment.

When you develop a desert setting, one must adopt things that we know work, and the fact that wearing a turban has been fairly standard in our deserts for thousands of years shows that turbans are not just a fashion statement, they are a practical solution to the stinging sand. It's the same reason you don't use big ol' claymores in the desert. Traditionally, slashing weapons like scimitars were used because they're light and you don't get as tired when using them. One didn't wear much armor in the desert, if any, because the temperature was too high, so a weapon like a scimitar doesn't have to worry about things like chainmail which was all but impervious to slashing weapons, but vulnerable to piercing or thrusting weapons.

Anyway, enough ranting about historical inspirations for Golarion. I'm personally all for drawing from history, it helps me connect in a way I never could with other realms. When I read about things happening in Golarion, it is believable to me because often times it mirrors events that happened in the past. Bloody uprisings and beheadings? Actually happened. Destabilization and collapse of major empires? Actually happened. Destruction of civilizations or cities due to cataclysmic events? Actually happened. Lack of unified leader or ruling king and instead a collection of city states? Actually happened, in many places.

I like seeing France in Galt, Rome/Byzantium in Taldan and Cheliax, Gypsies in Varisia, revolutionaries in Andoran, Egyptians and Mesopotamians in Garund. These all make Golarion come alive to me. They make me want to buy every product, read every page, play every Adventure Path. They pull me in, entomb me in the mythology and history of our actual past. It entrances me and makes the fantasies of my youth come alive in ways I've of only pictured since I was a small boy sword fighting with sticks. For me, Golarion will more than likely always be my 'Home' world when it comes to RPGs as I love the setting.

However, I've drastically gone off topic with this post, and I'll not continue going any further. At least no in this post.

Silver Crusade

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Another vote here for "I like to see under-represented real world cultures and ethnicities getting some play". I like to see completely fantastic and alien cultures as well, so it doesn't have to be one or the other.

Now to just get that Osirion or Vudra/Jalmeray AP.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Drakli wrote:
At the risk of sounding like a jerk, one big thing that bothers me is... all the people complaining about real-world analogues in Golarion. It just... irks me.

I am curious - this is a thread for complaining about stuff that we don't like about Golarion, surely you don't expect everyone to dislike only the things you also dislike? Presumably you were expecting people to dislike some stuff that you are okay with, or even like.

So why does this particular complaint bother you so much? Is it because you think we are hypocritical for our dislikes? We may indeed be contrary, but that is our prerogative, I like Strawberry jam but am not a big fan of strawberries, I like vampire films but roll my eyes at the Twilight series, and I can enjoy some inspiration from real world cultures but don't like how Golarion (or Faerun for that matter) implement them.

Drakli wrote:
So... to end this post on a positive note, I'd like to praise Paizo for including inspirations from real world cultures, ethnicities, folklore, and mythology in their fantasy world. Thank you!

I don't mind inspirations, its when it is made too obviously an analogue that it can break my immersion. I guess I go into a fantasy game with the conceit that it is like a medieval society with monsters such as dragons and chimerae but anything beyond that which too closely resembles a real world culture just doesn't work for me.

My favourite setting is Eberron and it seems many people believe the nations of Khorvaire have real world analogues as well, for example Thrane is apparently meant to be Spain. And while that may have indeed been the inspiration (I don't know if it was or not) I didn't see it as Spain.

Now Thrane did have the inquisition but that wasn't enough to jump out at me, but if the Eberron books had stated that every male in Thrane used the prefix Senor and the females Senorita and that bullfights were a common sporting event - that would have not sat well with me.

I guess that is why Osirion isn't my cup of tea. Yes it has pyramids but that isn't so bad, so does Dark Sun, and in the real world so did the Incas and Aztecs, but then the name of the nation sounds like Osiris, the rivers are the Sphinx, Asp and Crook, a city is called Sothis, the title of Pharoah is used, the use of the Scarab motif (and even the carapace being the Black Dome) - its also too much for me and I can't help but think they may as well have just called it Egypt.

But that is just me, for others using all that nomenclature may actually make it easier to get a handle on the setting, in which case what is a bug for me is a feature for others.


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DigitalMage wrote:
I like vampire films but roll my eyes at the Twilight series

Everyone I know that likes vampires and vampire films in general rolls their eyes (or worse) at the Twilight series; including this one creepy girl who has a wonderfully unhealthy appreciation for Ann Rice based media. >.>

EDIT: The saddest thing I've seen in recent years concerning the genre was a Twilight fan suggesting that the original Dracula was a cheap knockoff of Twilight's "real vampires". Something inside me broke that day, and it was all I could do to avoid something outside me breaking as well. :P


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
DigitalMage wrote:


I am curious - this is a thread for complaining about stuff that we don't like about Golarion, surely you don't expect everyone to dislike only the things you also dislike? Presumably you were expecting people to dislike some stuff that you are okay with, or even like.

So why does this particular complaint bother you so much? Is it because you think we are hypocritical for our dislikes?

Well, probably the best way to think of it is as a meta-dislike. I understand that not everyone likes what I like or dislikes what I do, and I don't think my post is about denying that any more than other posts are about people bugged by real life analogues saying that Paizo's insistence on using them is not their prerogative.

My awareness that I, myself, may come across as contrary, was part of the reason why I prefaced the post by acknowledging I might sound like a jerk. ;)

It's just something that's been bubbling in my head for a long while, listening to people talk about distaste for real world analogues.

This thread is mostly about what bothers us about Golarion, and maybe I'm cheating a bit (or a lot) by playing the meta-card. But I feel like trends in the fandom of things I enjoy do sometimes color my experiences with the things I enjoy... and so I somewhat seized upon the opportunity to issue my counter-argument against the concept that fantasy worlds with real world elements are lacking.

DigitalMage wrote:


I don't mind inspirations, its when it is made too obviously an analogue that it can break my immersion. I guess I go into a fantasy game with the conceit that it is like a medieval society with monsters such as dragons and chimerae but anything beyond that which too closely resembles a real world culture just doesn't work for me.

I think that's perhaps the stress point for me. I hear how real world bases break immersion and don't make sense, but I see a lot of D20 fantasy as being a close real world analogue, except that it's a real world analogue of a very localized area. Like... a super-idealized England/Spain/France area with the conventions of a Renn/Medieval festival, occasionally with a vaguely Norse nation somewhere on the borderlands because viking raiders are awesome. And in fact, in a lot of D&D and D20, these other real world cultures and people get to contribute only their bits and pieces that read as super-awesome and cool... like pyramids and mummies, kung-fu monks and ninja, rakshasa and manticore; while the rest of the culture stays comfortably far off or nonexistent because people can come up with a reason for elves, or goblins, or European analogues to have invented ninja and shuriken.

And I think these cultures have more interesting elements to contribute than that.


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Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
Set wrote:
Son of the Veterinarian wrote:
In fact there are several creatures in myth that are used like that. Sæhrímnir is the name give to a beast (possibly a boar) that is slaughtered every day to provide meat for the nightly feast in Valhalla then resurrected so he can be re-slaughtered the next day, and Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr are the goats that pull Thor's chariot who he will occasionally kill for meat then resurrect after eating.

Yup, that's kind of where I was going with that. :)

Saehrimnir seems to have the suckiest job in the universe, until you factor in that this is the Norse 'heaven,' and *everybody up there is doing the same thing,* getting killed every day in glorious battle (by each other, nonetheless) and then getting ressurected afterwards.

Yeah. That's one culture's interpretation of paradise, getting gorily butchered by your best buds every single day until Ragnarok, when you, they, and your gods all die 'for reals.' Hardcore.

Aren't you glad we've mellowed down in the past thousand years?


I don't complain about pilfering real-world cultures for ideas. I'm complaining about copying them and then adding a bit of magic, so to speak, so it's not exactly the same. That approach is just lazy.

As I said, Taldor is a pretty good adaption of a (or several) real-world culture, and it doesn't beat you over the head with the analogies.

As for Irrisen: I can imagine that the witches get their food from another plane. They have ties to dark fey, and Baba Yaga is a notorious plane hopper, so knowledge and partners to work with are there.


Generally I think Golarion is a good setting, but far from perfect.

What bothers me:
-too many countries with not much relationships to each other

-almost all countries have a similar size

-the world is way too big

-the world is again designed as a planet - I would prefer it more "fantasy-like" ...eg. flat (as is mentioned in a post before) and carried by a mythical god-turtle :)

-no typical medieval kingdoms

-too much history which fits not very well. For example Taldan Empire was founded -1281 and its army reached (distance 500 miles) Lake Encartha "only" 1600!y later in 499. And then it last another 1000!y till it reaches the other side of the continent to found Corentyn. This means Taldan exploration armies needed 2600y to reach western cheliax. (distance 2500 miles)

-the setting authors make the mistake (like in many settings before them) just to throw in thousands of years of history without much thought if this is authentic. they seem to think "the more years the better"! The result is that often even simple events last for centuries or millenias.

-Andoria and other 18th century influence (like Galt or Ustalav) unfortunately sucks - these countries are too modern. Eg. the uniforms (pfui). If I want to play post-renaissance steampunk with monocled generals I use other settings.

-Andoria - how does the democratic/political process work exactly in this country? Even in the sourcebook there is only a vague description but no illuminating facts. Thats bad.

-concerning Alkenstar and Numeria. Well until the sourcebooks are out its impossible to judge if its too much modern technology or not.

What I like in Golarion:
-great artwork from Wayne Reynolds & Co. Just to say "thank you" is by far not enough for Golarions stunning pictures. Best art ever in any rpg series. Bravo!

-cheliax - best description of an evil country I ever read. very inspiring

-cultures related to real world but still a little different. Great and very sensible concept. Easy to understand and play in practice.

-convincing description of ethnic cultures like the Mwangi, North Garundi and Dragon Empire.

-orcs/goblins are evil and this is fine. I dont like these whitewashing of traditional evil creatures to neutral or good ones, as it is often done in other settings

Liberty's Edge

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Kerney wrote:
Ash_Gazn wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:


Considering that the Epic of Gilgamesh is at least 4000 years old and there is evidence of writing systems around 5000 years old in the real world, 10,000 years is really only about 2 or 2.5 times the timeframe of known/documented real world history.
And the Real World didn't have races with lifespans 2 to 5 times the length of humans to account for. 10k of years is only 25 generations of elves or so. That same number of human generations only gets us from roughly the end of the Middle Ages to the present in our history.

But at the same time, you have periods where cultures are fairly static. For example, while 1500 to 2000 have had a lot of changes in human culture, but from 500 to 1000 not near as much, though some.

With Elves, they have 5-6 'cultures' that seemed to have evolved at different rates due to the varied responses to the fall of the Starstone.

That seems like a reasonable rate of change and better than the typical tolkienish static elves. Going back with further seems less than important because the world is human-centric. It rather like (fair or not) the history of Native Americans is rather neglected in our high schools.

I just wanna point out that there wasquite a bit of technological advancement between 500 and 1000 CE but modern history education, especially in the US ignores everything between Caesar and Richard II (and after him they jump to Columbus)

Shadow Lodge

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Coridan wrote:
Kerney wrote:
Ash_Gazn wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:


Considering that the Epic of Gilgamesh is at least 4000 years old and there is evidence of writing systems around 5000 years old in the real world, 10,000 years is really only about 2 or 2.5 times the timeframe of known/documented real world history.
And the Real World didn't have races with lifespans 2 to 5 times the length of humans to account for. 10k of years is only 25 generations of elves or so. That same number of human generations only gets us from roughly the end of the Middle Ages to the present in our history.

But at the same time, you have periods where cultures are fairly static. For example, while 1500 to 2000 have had a lot of changes in human culture, but from 500 to 1000 not near as much, though some.

With Elves, they have 5-6 'cultures' that seemed to have evolved at different rates due to the varied responses to the fall of the Starstone.

That seems like a reasonable rate of change and better than the typical tolkienish static elves. Going back with further seems less than important because the world is human-centric. It rather like (fair or not) the history of Native Americans is rather neglected in our high schools.

I just wanna point out that there wasquite a bit of technological advancement between 500 and 1000 CE but modern history education, especially in the US ignores everything between Caesar and Richard II (and after him they jump to Columbus)

There was some, like the stirrup, but it was at a much slower in comparision to the period between 1500 and 2000 (there are a lot of books on why this is so, 1493 by Charles Mann is one I recommend). At the same time much more was lost, at least in Europe, and the culture evolved, again at a slower rate.

Dark Archive

Given that one of the dominant gods of the last couple thousand years was Aroden, who, among other things, was god of innovation, it's surprising that society didn't advance by leaps and bounds until his death, and that, with his death, it hasn't been suggested to be entering a 'dark age.'

Instead it appears to be going the other way. Taldor, Osirion, etc. had fallen into near-irrelevance, during his reign, but seem to be 'waking up' and attempting to restore past glories, while new technologies (like guns) and new magical traditions are springing up, in the wake of the death of the god of innovation.

It doesn't 'bug me,' particularly, but it is intriguingly counter-intuitive, as if Aroden was, counter to his 'sphere of influence,' somehow holding humanity back and trapping them in the iron age for ten millenia.


Set wrote:

Given that one of the dominant gods of the last couple thousand years was Aroden, who, among other things, was god of innovation, it's surprising that society didn't advance by leaps and bounds until his death, and that, with his death, it hasn't been suggested to be entering a 'dark age.'

Instead it appears to be going the other way. Taldor, Osirion, etc. had fallen into near-irrelevance, during his reign, but seem to be 'waking up' and attempting to restore past glories, while new technologies (like guns) and new magical traditions are springing up, in the wake of the death of the god of innovation.

It doesn't 'bug me,' particularly, but it is intriguingly counter-intuitive, as if Aroden was, counter to his 'sphere of influence,' somehow holding humanity back and trapping them in the iron age for ten millenia.

Golden Road? Stiffling innovation for millenia to make the humankind spring with innovation when the shackles are gone?


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Hmm, I'm not so sure I agree with you Set. I'm by no means an expert on Golarion, but I was under the impression that Aroden led Taldor to prominence, then when the church of Aroden abandoned Taldor and moved to Cheliax, Cheliax took Taldor's place. Then when Aroden died, Cheliax fell, and Taldor fell even further. Of the two, Cheliax is only now regaining strength and only through the assistance of devils is this taking place. Taldor is more or less just surviving, similar to how the Byzantine Empire strung along after Rome collapsed.

Not only that, guns were invented during the time Aroden was a god. I'm basing this off the fact that the Gunsworks was founded in Alkenstar in 1903 AR with Aroden ascending in 1 Ar and dieing in 4606 AR. Granted, blackpowder could have existed prior to Aroden ascending, but it seems logical to say that they really didn't come up with more than fireworks until after he ascended. I'm not sure what other technologies 'sprang up' in his death, nor what magical traditions have either. Traditions, though, aren't really innovations so much as they are a cultural/regional habit.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

4620- The Gunworks of Alkenstar are completed - the first firearms begin emerging from Alkenstar to be purchased by rich collectors and curious scholars.

Inner Sea World Guide page 37

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

They retconned the Gunworks date when they released the new Campaign Setting book.

It was listed as 1903 in the old 3.5 Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting.


It was deliberate change by James Jacobs and rest of the devs to make guns a relatively new invention to explain their rarity on Golarion.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I admit that one of the things that bugs me... or at least, sometimes feels hard for me to mentally resolve, is the Golarion ecosystem. Golarion's ecology is an evolutionary riot.

You have fauna, mega-fauna, magic-fauna, giant vermin-o-fauna, and dinosaurs all in the same environment (say, the Mwangi,) without somehow driving each other extinct or consuming all the resources.

Frankly, I LOVE Pathfinder Bestiaries and LOVE that they include real animals, monsters, and prehistoric animals. I don't want them to stop.

Sometimes I think there's a problem in my brain because I can't just enjoy it all without wondering how it all fits together without major extinctions.


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Drakli wrote:

I admit that one of the things that bugs me... or at least, sometimes feels hard for me to mentally resolve, is the Golarion ecosystem. Golarion's ecology is an evolutionary riot.

You have fauna, mega-fauna, magic-fauna, giant vermin-o-fauna, and dinosaurs all in the same environment (say, the Mwangi,) without somehow driving each other extinct or consuming all the resources.

Frankly, I LOVE Pathfinder Bestiaries and LOVE that they include real animals, monsters, and prehistoric animals. I don't want them to stop.

Sometimes I think there's a problem in my brain because I can't just enjoy it all without wondering how it all fits together without major extinctions.

I'd say that there were major extinctions along the line except, unlike on Earth (as far as we known, at least) there were small populations that survived but were never capable of reclaiming their dominant position in the ecosystem. Or maybe some of them were deliberately protected by one force or another, like in Mystara/Hollow Earth setting where Immortals saved certain species, races and cultures from extinction by transplanting them to artificially created world in the hollowed innards of the planet... Uh, maybe Vault Builders (or whatstheirname) created Darklands with its great Vaults as a repository of species that were to be extinct and later transplanted some of them back to the surface?

Liberty's Edge

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Drejk wrote:
I'd say that there were major extinctions along the line except, unlike on Earth (as far as we known, at least) there were small populations that survived but were never capable of reclaiming their dominant position in the ecosystem. Or maybe some of them were deliberately protected by one force or another, like in Mystara/Hollow Earth setting where Immortals saved certain species, races and cultures from extinction by transplanting them to artificially created world in the hollowed innards of the planet... Uh, maybe Vault Builders (or whatstheirname) created Darklands with its great Vaults as a repository of species that were to be extinct and later transplanted some of them back to the surface?

I'd also assume Golarion is really fertile, for whatever reason. More, and more nutritious, plants per square mile and all that. It really helps explain the preponderance of large creatures, and even helps to explain the degree of biodiversity.

Heck, you can even explain why it's so fertile readily with 'the Gods make it that way', and all Rahadoum's environmental problems stem from the Gods having withdrawn that blessing.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The map looks a tad too much like the real world for my taste, but most of my specific foibles aren't so much with the campaign setting as with some of the people...

Incidentally, these aren't criticisms for the authors behind them, I'm sure their ideas made sense, and these thing sod to, they just bother me on a personal level.

Firstly: Numeria. An enormous metallic creation from beyond the stars crashes into my back/front/everyyard. Oh, groovy. I'm going to go lick the strange slime coming off its walls on the off chance that it's an awesome hallucongin, and not a radioactive super-toxin from another dimension that'll cause my inside to rip inside out...seriously, whose idea was it to sample strange fluids seeping out a freakin' spaceship's walls?!

Secondly: I understand the "humanity" in the construction of the actual guillotines of france (a quick, effective death with no chance of making "Nearly-Headless Nicks", or unnecessary Inquisitional torture), but whose bright idea was it to think that trapping their immortal souls forever inside said guillotine's would be humane? Seriously? Resurrection magic can't force you to come back, so it isn't like anyone was going to paw your soul afterward...

"But, Mr. Mayor, that doesn't sound humane!"
"It is for the witnesses, because it's not boring!"
*calm, bored clapping*
-Futurama


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
The Drunken Dragon wrote:
Firstly: Numeria. An enormous metallic creation from beyond the stars crashes into my back/front/everyyard. Oh, groovy. I'm going to go lick the strange slime coming off its walls on the off chance that it's an awesome hallucongin, and not a radioactive super-toxin from another dimension that'll cause my inside to rip inside out...seriously, whose idea was it to sample strange fluids seeping out a freakin' spaceship's walls?!

Reminds me of that age old question:

"What was going through the mind of the first person to milk a cow?"

Liberty's Edge

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The Drunken Dragon wrote:


Secondly: I understand the "humanity" in the construction of the actual guillotines of france (a quick, effective death with no chance of making "Nearly-Headless Nicks", or unnecessary Inquisitional torture), but whose bright idea was it to think that trapping their immortal souls forever inside said guillotine's would be humane? Seriously? Resurrection magic can't force you to come back, so it isn't like anyone was going to paw your soul afterward...

Actually, it is. Souls can be traded, bound, pawed at, and stolen. Daemons explicitly havethis as their economy, for example.

And you must remember that Galt's original rebellion was against Cheliax, and was specifically because they had begun dealing with Devils. One of the books even uses the line "No Galtan soul will end in a Chelaxian Devil's hands!" (or something very close to that) as part of the explanation for their existence.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ah, thanks deadman, I forgot that Galt was actually revolting against Cheliax, so I didn't make the mental leap...

As for the cow thing, at least that's biologically more feasible than licking random stuff off the walls. You know what udders are generally for, and can be pretty certain to obtain nutrients. I'd guess no one knows what strange oils and fluids seeping out of metal are though...

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

But what about the tribes in South America that discovered by mixing two different plants together in a tea produces a hallucinogenic effect, while neither plant on their own does any thing of the sort.

And all over Central and South America are combinations like this, but using different plants native only to each specific region of the rainforest.

Also, the spaceship in Numeria has been there since before the Age of Darkness, so 10,000 years is a long time for someone to discover that.

Maybe someone had been out of water for a few days, and found a piece of wreckage oozing the goo. If thirsty enough, most people will try to drink just about any liquid they can find.


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Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

The aberrations. I'm just not into that particular brand of fantasy.

(Unless it involves a Scotsman trying to get someone to do something about the pest-problem in his basement, that is.)


lordfeint wrote:

1) That elves had a big dump taken on them in the name of "We can't be like Greenwood elves, because that would be BAD!" Eradicating the green hair (despite that half the elves in the avatar database on this very site have green hair) and the elven reverie. (because sleeping is the ONLY thing one can do in a bed) Pretty much elves are just long-eared humans now.

2) That Gnomes were given ridiculous hair colors like pink, purple, green and blue. Seriously? The designers will abandon concepts that were purely created for the use in D&D games (and this IS a D&D game) or have basis in myths or faerie tales and embrace a concept coined by World of Warcraft?! I would hate this much less if certain designers didn't work so hard to take all the individuality from elves.
3) Pathfinder Hobgoblins. These things just look AWFUL! Great race. But they look plain terrible. Look at the regular old hobgoblins. You remember the blue-nosed ones? The ones in Samurai armor from the old Ral Partha figs or the MM1? I really like what Paizo did with goblins, and even bugbears and ogres, but what the heck with the Hobgoblins? They look like dumb grey stooges.

Everything else I can deal with. Not fond of the guns, crashed spaceships or about half of the gods, but its not so bad I disregard it entirely.

Second!

Shadow Lodge

1.) Elves "meditating" is not part of the OGL, and so Paizo CAN NOT use it. Paizo, (and this goes for #2 also) did invent their own backgrounds and story, so feel sure? Greenwood Elves? uh huh? PS, don't even bother looking up PathFinder Drow. . .

2.) Reread #1 and transplant Gnomes/Elves. There is a lot of background and story reasons that Gnomes are what they are. Read up on the Bleeching, for example. I do not understand your 2nd sentence at all. Paizo actually made an effort to reapply some of the Fae/elemental aspects to the race, and WoW? Ok?

1 & 2 have a little personal preference, but #3 is pretty much just that. I disagree?

I'm also not fond of guns, spaceships, and more than half the gods. :)


Um... They actually took steps to make the elves look a little less human and more like the aliens from a neighboring planet that they are. I can't say as I'm fond of the look of Pathfinder elves, but they are not long-eared humans.

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