Taldor


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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I think the call for a Glory of Taldor game has a lot more to do with allowing players to feel like Big Damn Heroes as they lead a once mighty empire back to their roots. Just as many people want to throw down a tyranny, some people want to be the ones to lead a nation into a new glory age. It's not a bad thing that it gets done on the backs of your enemies.

Coanan said it best.

Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women.

Let's also keep in mind, both Taldor and Qadira are True Neutral, so it's not like anyone can claim they're the Good guys in the fight. Taldor may be a stodgy aristocrat filled quagmire but Qadira is an expansionist nation that supports a heavy slave trade and props up puppet governments. No one would be innocent in that war. And siding with Taldor is natural since they are the nation in decline and everyone loves to support the underdog. I think it would be refreshing to support the nation you live in as a PC rather than try to tear it down or replace those in power with someone of your own choosing.

Liberty's Edge Assistant Developer

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captain yesterday wrote:

So Galt is still cool tho, I mean you're thinking about it maybe. :-)

Just look at it on the map, just begging to be filled in. :-)

The biggest problem with deciding what to do with each AP is that each developer has a least a dozen ideas they REALLY want to develop into an AP. Galt is still on the list. The only drawback is that we've just done two very political APs in a row (Hell's Rebels and Hell's Vengeance), so we'll want to look at something more traditional before we jump onto something political again.


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I can wait :-)


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LordOfThreshold wrote:
Just as many people want to throw down a tyranny, some people want to be the ones to lead a nation into a new glory age. It's not a bad thing that it gets done on the backs of your enemies.

But Taldor's hardly the only place that it would be appropriate. The Inner Sea is littered with empires in decline and states under heavy threat.

Nirmathas is an underdog potential up-and-comer pretty unambiguously presented as being in the right.
Cheliax is just as much of a hollow echo of itself- moreso than Taldor, actually, since it lost its "soul" when Aroden died.
Osiron is a shadow of its former self.
Geb and Nex, tidally locked in endless hatred.
Galt, a revolution that degenerated into self-perpetuating lunacy.

So... why Taldor specifically? There are plenty of horses to back just in the Inner Sea region. (See Crystal Frasier's post two steps up from this one)


I have a name, I'm not just one step, although only being a degree separated from Crystal Frasier is quite exhilarating... what now?


Cole Deschain wrote:
LordOfThreshold wrote:
Just as many people want to throw down a tyranny, some people want to be the ones to lead a nation into a new glory age. It's not a bad thing that it gets done on the backs of your enemies.

But Taldor's hardly the only place that it would be appropriate. The Inner Sea is littered with empires in decline and states under heavy threat.

Nirmathas is an underdog potential up-and-comer pretty unambiguously presented as being in the right.
Cheliax is just as much of a hollow echo of itself- moreso than Taldor, actually, since it lost its "soul" when Aroden died.
Osiron is a shadow of its former self.
Geb and Nex, tidally locked in endless hatred.
Galt, a revolution that degenerated into self-perpetuating lunacy.

So... why Taldor specifically? There are plenty of horses to back just in the Inner Sea region. (See Crystal Frasier's post two steps up from this one)

We've spent enough time in Cheliax. With three separate APs within it's borders and the specter of the place all over Crimson Throne, I think we can explore other places of Golarion for a little while.

We've had an Osirion AP, an excellent one.

As for Geb, Nex, Galt and Nirmanthas, none of them have had the history and impact on Avistan that Taldor did. Taldor at one time was almost all of Avistan and it's been almost totally unexplored in any source material. Much like Absolom, it gets mentioned a lot but has almost no representation. We had a little bit of Nex in Legacy of Fire and, forgive me, but APs in Galt, Geb and Nirmanthas would be so self explanatory that there would be little need to explore them. We've had plenty of APs where the players take on the role of rebels fighting a superior tyranny, I don't think we should visit that story line so quickly for the umpteenth time.

As for Nirmanthas specifically, it would be a more intriguing story to place the PCs in Molthune and play it out from there. Flip the trope on it's head for once.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It's sad when anything that isn't "room A: 2d6 ogres, room B: 1d4 wights" is "non-traditional".

Sovereign Court

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LordOfThreshold wrote:
We've spent enough time in Cheliax. With three separate APs within it's borders and the specter of the place all over Crimson Throne, I think we can explore other places of Golarion for a little while.

Gotta agree completely with this. Don't get me wrong, Cheliax is all sorts of interesting, and devils are my favorite evil outsider. And I get that writing political adventures that also appeal to the highest breadth of tables is easier when there's more a black-and-white baseline beneath all of the intrique... But Taldor just seems to be begging for a similar opportunity all its own. As a country, it spans the breadth of "hard-working poor peasants besieged by monsters" common to most old-school settings, all the way to "semi-Victorian nobility playing a shadow war of power in the termite-ridden, gilt-covered seat of power."

More than any other AP (except perhaps Jade Regent and Kingmaker), this could easily provide a story where players actually feel like they are helping shape history, or even taking command of it themselves, rather than just reacting to some large threat that seems to emerge just as they happen to get high enough level to handle it. Or for an added layer of twists for players to deal with, some large yet subtle threat could be behind the entire chain of events, from whatever cracks the current status quo and starts the plot, possibly even all the way back to the beginning of Taldor's decline. Lots of big nasties with life-spans long enough would benefit from the fracturing and decline of the largest empire of humanity known to Avistan, and possibly Golarion. Could Cheliax's split from Taldor, and the taking of Aroden's primary "seat of power" from it have had some part to play in the death of the Last Azlanti?


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Kyrand wrote:
LordOfThreshold wrote:
We've spent enough time in Cheliax. With three separate APs within it's borders and the specter of the place all over Crimson Throne, I think we can explore other places of Golarion for a little while.

Gotta agree completely with this. Don't get me wrong, Cheliax is all sorts of interesting, and devils are my favorite evil outsider. And I get that writing political adventures that also appeal to the highest breadth of tables is easier when there's more a black-and-white baseline beneath all of the intrique... But Taldor just seems to be begging for a similar opportunity all its own. As a country, it spans the breadth of "hard-working poor peasants besieged by monsters" common to most old-school settings, all the way to "semi-Victorian nobility playing a shadow war of power in the termite-ridden, gilt-covered seat of power."

More than any other AP (except perhaps Jade Regent and Kingmaker), this could easily provide a story where players actually feel like they are helping shape history, or even taking command of it themselves, rather than just reacting to some large threat that seems to emerge just as they happen to get high enough level to handle it. Or for an added layer of twists for players to deal with, some large yet subtle threat could be behind the entire chain of events, from whatever cracks the current status quo and starts the plot, possibly even all the way back to the beginning of Taldor's decline. Lots of big nasties with life-spans long enough would benefit from the fracturing and decline of the largest empire of humanity known to Avistan, and possibly Golarion. Could Cheliax's split from Taldor, and the taking of Aroden's primary "seat of power" from it have had some part to play in the death of the Last Azlanti?

Let's not forget Skull and Shackles where they were the main antagonist (sort of) as well.

I love Devils, they are the best, but there are plenty of playgrounds to try out in Golarion and I want to ride different attractions in this amusement park.

As for Taldor, absolutely. It could go as far back as you want. Is Taldor's slow demise the work of Veiled Masters playing Taldor and Qadira against each other to wipe out the last vestige of Azlant? Maybe shed some more light on the time that Aroden walked among mankind and reveal clues as to his death? Is Taldor's demise due to the work of the subversive Dawnflower or does it have to do with Nyarlathotep's spurring of the Armies of Exploration that presaged Taldor's fall?

Is a new Army being gathered and the players have to prevent the Grand Prince's foolish decision to save Taldor?

The PCs are ripe for social advancement and their deeds would be easily reflected in more and more privileges and titles granted to them by the nobility. Maybe it could culminate in the granting of a true noble title where the players find their own noble house.
Dare you attempt to vie for the hand of Eutropia herself?

It would also be a great chance to make use of the Reputation, Honor and Contacts systems from Ultimate Campaign as well as Downtime as the players build their resources and their vast wealth of gold and political power.

I feel like anything that could be done in Cheliax could be cranked up to 11 in Taldor if given the opportunity. It would be nice for once for the players to be a part of the nation they live in and encourage stability, rather than outside elements for change.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Whereas I feel like anything that can be done with Taldor can be done with more zest almost anywhere else. Its cultural influence is entrenched in its successor states, its deities are widely venerated, and it doesn't even seem to be doing the old Byzantine job of serving as a meaningful bulwark between two different and mutually hostile cultural zones.

*shrug*

Clearly, mileages vary.

I will say that part of my issue with Taldor is the paucity of specific information- right now, it barely seems worth saving, and certainly isn't bad enough to bother overthrowing when its own gradual collapse seems to be moving apace.

An AP could do much to correct that (it's how Varisia got fleshed out so much- how many people gave a toss about the place before Karzoug's plot had groups traipsing all over?), but there's not much in place to make the place noticeably more enticing than <insert-interesting-but-underdeveloped-region-here>.


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Cole Deschain wrote:

Whereas I feel like anything that can be done with Taldor can be done with more zest almost anywhere else. Its cultural influence is entrenched in its successor states, its deities are widely venerated, and it doesn't even seem to be doing the old Byzantine job of serving as a meaningful bulwark between two different and mutually hostile cultural zones.

*shrug*

Clearly, mileages vary.

I will say that part of my issue with Taldor is the paucity of specific information- right now, it barely seems worth saving, and certainly isn't bad enough to bother overthrowing when its own gradual collapse seems to be moving apace.

An AP could do much to correct that (it's how Varisia got fleshed out so much- how many people gave a toss about the place before Karzoug's plot had groups traipsing all over?), but there's not much in place to make the place noticeably more enticing than <insert-interesting-but-underdeveloped-region-here>.

Paucity of information may also be due to that Taldor exists and influenced most of Avistan but hasn't gotten any spotlight since so much time has been spent on Varisia and Cheliax, clearly the two darlings of AP focus. Also, a lot of what we knew about Taldor has been getting thrown out piece by piece over time or ignored. When the main source book of the place is considered to be full of holes by the developers, it's their job to give us a more accurate view or replace it with something new.

Again, I don't think people who want to play in Taldor want to make it something else or overthrow it, the appeal and glamour of the place is seizing the glory of past days and bringing it into the future. Instead of An Ancient Evil Awaken or Plucky CG Rebels, a Taldor game would be shades of gray, political intrigue that goes beyond the point of a sword and a chance to be a part of Golarion's history rather than define it. Taldor ascendant would drastically alter the face of Avistani politics and would be a good foil to stop Thrunes ambitions, while avoiding any clear cut Good Guy/Bad Guy dichotomy such as between Andoran/Cheliax, a murkier line in the sand with more room for exploration.


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LordOfThreshold wrote:
Again, I don't think people who want to play in Taldor want to make it something else or overthrow it, the appeal and glamour of the place is seizing the glory of past days and bringing it into the future.

Those bolded words are the issue here... 'cause from what we do get in Inner Sea Races and the like is that the glamour is like that of a traveling carnival- it flakes off if you pick at it even a little.

Even the title of the Taldor books, "Echoes of Glory," indicates just how much of Taldor's flair exists entirely in the heads of of its noble class. They're hardly a spent force- if they were, the revolution would have spread from Galt, or Qadira would have rolled over them- but the tone we get is that of grim desperation hiding behind gaily painted faces.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I think what we really need is a new Taldor book. All we have is a 32-page Player Companion, and it's older than the Pathfinder RPG.

That said, I wouldn't mind a Path, either. I like the idea of being on the government's side for once (and not in something like Hell's Vengeance).

Sovereign Court

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I mean, they just gave us Andoran, Birthplace of Freedom, and that book had pretty much nothing of value to impart.

We get it, you vape democracy. Try to have a plot hook next time.


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Cole Deschain wrote:
LordOfThreshold wrote:
Again, I don't think people who want to play in Taldor want to make it something else or overthrow it, the appeal and glamour of the place is seizing the glory of past days and bringing it into the future.

Those bolded words are the issue here... 'cause from what we do get in Inner Sea Races and the like is that the glamour is like that of a traveling carnival- it flakes off if you pick at it even a little.

Even the title of the Taldor books, "Echoes of Glory," indicates just how much of Taldor's flair exists entirely in the heads of of its noble class. They're hardly a spent force- if they were, the revolution would have spread from Galt, or Qadira would have rolled over them- but the tone we get is that of grim desperation hiding behind gaily painted faces.

The goal of the AP would be to justify those thoughts, to recapture the old glory and strengthen it. Turning around the decay of Taldor would be a more impressive accomplishment than just replacing one temporal power with another.

I see Taldor as a sleeping giant that's been passed over and ignored by the rest of the Inner Sea as time goes on. It would give the chance to have a large, powerful nation (in it's own way) be portrayed as something other than the villain in an AP and let the players be the vanguard of that change. Those accomplishments would be even more profound in the face of that grimly-painted face and demonstrate those feelings of superiority Taldor clings to are more than just paper tigers.

>Kalindlara
Agreed. If Paizo is going to 'phase out' material and not tell anyone until it happens to come up in a thread to wag a finger and say, 'that's not true anymore', they should keep up with their own revisions and offer bite sized updates. If pointing out an inaccuracy is worth it in the threads, it should be even more important in the material itself. I already said it, we get errata for mechanics, if they insist on doing the same for setting, it should be made clear what parts of their own setting they no longer support.

This is partly why I prefer Faerun/Ebberon over Golarion for my megaworlds.

Imagine if your GM kept changing the details of his homebrew setting but never told anyone until it came up in-game? That would be really frustrating to deal with.

>Andoran
When your Ameri-can in Golarion, ALL YOU NEED IS DEMOCRACY!


Kalindlara wrote:

I mean, they just gave us Andoran, Birthplace of Freedom, and that book had pretty much nothing of value to impart.

We get it, you vape democracy. Try to have a plot hook next time.

They've stated the point of the book was to get past the "Freedom, and Eagles, and Free puppies for everyone! America, yay!" There are evil factions in the nation and Andoran isn't always in the right.

I also think there are plenty of plot hooks. The shadowy conspiracy of former nobles, the Fey who are upset at overlogging, their precarious political situation, the Bellflower network (though that shares a hook with Cheliax), and the Grey corsairs all offer plot hooks.


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Kalindlara wrote:

I mean, they just gave us Andoran, Birthplace of Freedom, and that book had pretty much nothing of value to impart.

We get it, you vape democracy. Try to have a plot hook next time.

The plot hook is FREEDOM. You're obviously just unAndoran.


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I second an AP where James is unhappy you play as Lawful Neutral-Good cultural heroes that bring back the glory of the old days. Claiming noble birth is no longer a joke. The flag doesn't stand despite the state of the nation, but because of it.

We're going to make Taldor great again!

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Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

Taldor is like Gondor: they're waiting for The Return of the King to pull them out of irrelevance.

Project Manager

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Crystal Frasier wrote:
I guess that's... one way to interpret what he said. No one's talking about "plucky CG rebels" OR eliminating "dawnflower scum." I've never seen Rob or James advocate for either of those positions re: Taldor

Seriously, that reading's a massive stretch.

Neither side is really talking about "plucky CG rebels" (given Taldor's extreme social stratification, the only way the "plucky CG rebels" win is if the empire collapses entirely--in no sense are Taldan nobles plucky underdogs, and Princess Eutropia, while progressive by Taldan standards, is hardly a Power To The Proletariat Populist.

And given that Rob (inexplicably :-P) believes that Taldor's sorta the good guys, I can't see him advocating for Alhambra-Decree-style religious purges.

Shadow Lodge

It's actually not that hard to see Taldor (as a whole) as the good guys in many ways, but it also depends on just how long back you've read about Taldor and what parts in print you consider true.

There was a lot of effort early on painting Taldor as an incredibly rich, if otherwise politically powerless, (or at least weakened), empire that went out of it's way to act as patrons towards those that improved the world, spread the old Taldon ideals, and helped others.

There was also long history of the country being the ones that would rally everyone else to step up and stop b&&&$ing about unimportant politics when major events where coming to a head, or put up the money and men and women to protect the rest of the world from dangers no one else could or would.

The major issues with Taldor though, is that, like other have pointed out, most of the information on it is pretty old, and there has also been a good deal of "stealth" errata/retconning involved, leaving everyone with some pretty different views on how it actually is.

Personally, I'd love to a reveal (in an AP?) that Princess Eutropia was basically Emperor Palpatineing it the entire time. She makes for such a better villain than the overdone savior-heroine. It would make some sense in reconciling the Sarenrae Outlaw thing as well if she where actively instigating it in the background to increase instability and instill fear and grudges. Perhaps she is responsible for herself being an only child, knowing when the time comes, civil war will only strengthen her support and ideas of change (that she has been undermining the whole time).


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Kyrand wrote:
LordOfThreshold wrote:
We've spent enough time in Cheliax. With three separate APs within it's borders and the specter of the place all over Crimson Throne, I think we can explore other places of Golarion for a little while.
Gotta agree completely with this. Don't get me wrong, Cheliax is all sorts of interesting, and devils are my favorite evil outsider. And I get that writing political adventures that also appeal to the highest breadth of tables is easier when there's more a black-and-white baseline beneath all of the intrique... But Taldor just seems to be begging for a similar opportunity all its own. As a country, it spans the breadth of "hard-working poor peasants besieged by monsters" common to most old-school settings, all the way to "semi-Victorian nobility playing a shadow war of power in the termite-ridden, gilt-covered seat of power."

okay, but here's the kicker: Cheliax has everything that Taldor has PLUS devils.

So, why bother with Taldor if you have something so much better right there? If you have an idea for a Taldor AP that can't be run in Cheliax OR that devils wouldn't make better, I'd really like to hear it, because I can't think of one.

Project Manager

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DM Beckett wrote:
It's actually not that hard to see Taldor (as a whole) as the good guys in many ways, but it also depends on just how long back you've read about Taldor and what parts in print you consider true.

Sure, assuming you don't consider blatant abuse of lower classes -- which has been a part of Taldor since Day 1 -- to be a bad thing, then sure, they could totally be the good guys! I mean, the idea that greed and distrust and exploitation are the hallmarks of Taldan politics, and that betrayal and assassination are the preferred means of getting ahead, have been part of it since the Inner Sea World Guide.

I mean, the oldest major source on Taldor (2009) specifically points out that the crushing taxes in Taldor are designed to ensure the poor ("unbearded") stay poor.

The idea that Taldor was originally portrayed as some sort of virtuous unifying force that got the Inner Sea to focus on Real Priorities instead of politics and later got retconned into being an exploitative, decadent empire is, um... inaccurate.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯


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Jessica Price wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:
It's actually not that hard to see Taldor (as a whole) as the good guys in many ways, but it also depends on just how long back you've read about Taldor and what parts in print you consider true.

Sure, assuming you don't consider blatant abuse of lower classes -- which has been a part of Taldor since Day 1 -- to be a bad thing, then sure, they could totally be the good guys! I mean, the idea that greed and distrust and exploitation are the hallmarks of Taldan politics, and that betrayal and assassination are the preferred means of getting ahead, have been part of it since the Inner Sea World Guide.

I mean, the oldest major source on Taldor (2009) specifically points out that the crushing taxes in Taldor are designed to ensure the poor ("unbearded") stay poor.

The idea that Taldor was originally portrayed as some sort of virtuous unifying force that got the Inner Sea to focus on Real Priorities instead of politics and later got retconned into being an exploitative, decadent empire is, um... inaccurate.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Presumably an AP about them would involve moving past their previous decadence. The thing is, Taldor is a withered appendix of an older, more savage age, when humanity was still reeling in the shadow of Earthfall and an aeon of enslavement by the orcs. In the south, Osirion is faltering and Nex and Geb are tearing reality apart, to the west humanity is getting a toe hold in the land of Linnorms.

The only true contemporary of that time to compare them to? Nidal.

Outside of Taldors walls? Basically anarchy and unconquered land on every side apart from the East. Taldor was the ancestor that founded most of the larger civilizations of the era, directly or indirectly.

And to the east you have the Kelesh empire, which is just as bad, if not worse, with hungry eyes looking west, a warmongering attitude (They claimed Zimar for 500 years and are directly responsible for the rise of Cheliax, some would say), a constant stream of human suffering supporting a decadent noble class (Slavery being more than the norm) and equally backwards attitudes (Kelesh sends 300 women as concubines to Qadira a year.)
Say what you like about crushing poverty, it isn't literal slavery and Taldor is one of the safer Kingdoms in Golarion,, according to the Inner Sea.
They have mostly religious freedom, to the point where even the Dawnflower isn't illegal despite her strong association with an enemy who actually does want to consume the entire empire.

And for all their sins, many and varied, Taldor worked and dragged humanity painfully out of an age of exploitation and savagery, you can't do that just by being nice.
They reclaimed so much of the inner sea after the anarchy of the Age of Darkness that Taldan is the common language of the land.
They spear headed the shining crusade and pushed back the Tyrant.
Work pretty well with the druids of Verduran, which is more than Andoran can say.
They did have their priorities in order, cleaning the land out before slipping into Byzantine-level politics. The things they did worked.
All that greed and distrust and exploitation is the reason the Tyrant doesn't rule the land, because the Taldorians threw an entire generation of their young men into the meatgrinder without hesitation, because Taldorians can be generous and brave without hesitation, when given the chance, as well as decadent and arrogant.
They do have problems, mostly with arrogance, but they also do have some things to be very, very proud of as a nation.

It isn't hard to see how people could want to see such a people rise again and do it properly this time, to finally push themselves beyond the confines of their culture so they can be proud of the present as well as the past, rather than falling to a nation that's just as arrogant, just as cruel and just as blinded to their evils by their own achievements.

Sorry if that was a bit long, long story short, Taldor was and is a product of its time I guess, when there were greater evils than being a bit snobby and people having to put their dreams to one side in the face of not being consumed by Orcs every night and they have enough good points that it isn't unreasonable to imagine they could grow to be better than they are. Doubly so when compared to other empires in Golarion of equal size and power.

Minor Edit: That and there aren't many-to-any APs about being intrigue-ish, it wouldn't be unreasonable to do an AP about being a bunch of nobles, trying to trim the fat of the nation before it crumbles from within as the King stubbornly refuses to budge an inch on matters of tradition, wolves at the borders, bringing justice to the common man from within the system, so on, so forth. With Ultimate Intrigue coming out soon, it'd be a riot.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Jessica Price wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:
It's actually not that hard to see Taldor (as a whole) as the good guys in many ways, but it also depends on just how long back you've read about Taldor and what parts in print you consider true.

Sure, assuming you don't consider blatant abuse of lower classes -- which has been a part of Taldor since Day 1 -- to be a bad thing, then sure, they could totally be the good guys! I mean, the idea that greed and distrust and exploitation are the hallmarks of Taldan politics, and that betrayal and assassination are the preferred means of getting ahead, have been part of it since the Inner Sea World Guide.

I mean, the oldest major source on Taldor (2009) specifically points out that the crushing taxes in Taldor are designed to ensure the poor ("unbearded") stay poor.

The idea that Taldor was originally portrayed as some sort of virtuous unifying force that got the Inner Sea to focus on Real Priorities instead of politics and later got retconned into being an exploitative, decadent empire is, um... inaccurate.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Personally I think in a fantasy setting everything is better if taken with shades of gray. Is Taldan as a whole a "good" Empire, meaning to improve the lot of humanity as a whole? Of course not. But I dare say there's no such thing in Golarion. Sure, Andoran may loathe slavery and fight it wherever it takes place but it also has things like the lumber consortium chopping down forests with reckless abandon to feed andoran's navy needs, just to make a single example.

At the same time Taldor is the empire who fought off the orc invasions along with the dwarves and later managed to defeat and imprison Tar Baphon himself. It's not all good, and it's not all bad, Taldor is clearly neutral as far as allignment goes imo.

As for a Taldan AP, what I'd like to see is something where Sativan the 3rd is assassinated and Taldor is suddenly invaded by Quadira, quickly followed by Cheliax troops (acting on a certain demonic claim), Galtan ones ("death to the aristos!!!") and Andorens acting against Cheliax (can't have them opening an eastern front...). All the while the remaining taldan nobles bicker a squabbel ineffectively (or just retire and hold their fiefs with their own private armies). The Empire is on the brink of collapsing and the PCs are the only ones who have a chance to save it and maybe make it great once more.
Personally I'd build the AP as follows:

My Taldan AP idea:
1st book: The characters start in Zimar and for various reasons are forced to work for princess Eutropia on some eraands (they are not informed of this but she's of course searching for ways to cement her place as her father's heir. After a few missions all hell breaks loose with the news of the crown prince's assassination. Immediately after Quadiran troops invade. The final part of the Ap is about the PCs escorting Eutropia to the poert and escaping by ship in the midsts of the invading enemy forces. Hints point at a larger conspiracy at work.

2nd book: The PCs escort Eutropia to Absalom and they have to start planning their next move. Taldor is in chaos as quadirans have invaded the south while Chelish and Galtan troops have somehow appeared in the north and west of the country (the chelish by teleport). War has also exploded between many other countries (Andoran vs Cheliax, Brevoy plunged in a new civil war, Nirmathas is invaded by Molthune again... someone or something is clearly orchestrating a grand scheme here and the death of Sativan was one of the main triggers for it to unleash chaos and war all over Avistan)
Taldan nobles clamor for Eutropia to come home... so she can marry one of them making them the new crown prince. In the middle of this mess the PCs have to secretely travel back to Taldor and try to forge alliances with influent and powerful people, salvaging what they can while following the trail of the mysterious conspiracy they managed to notice. Book ends with them gathering enough support for Eutropia to make it possible for her followers to have a fighting chance. Ideally this bok should have a lot of elements about intrigue and detective work.

3rd book: It's time for the PCs to lead some incursions against the main opponents to Eutropia's rule, while following the trail of some powerful artifact that could help rally even more taldans to her cause and facing down another of the secret conspirators behind the attempt to collapse Taldor.

4th book: In the first part of this adventure the characters have to rush back to Absalom and save Eutropia from kidnappers from the conspiracy. Once they recover her it's time to make the good work done in the previous parts of the AP count: they return to Taldor and reach Oppara, where they must crown Eutropia as the new Crown Princess. Before they can do that they need to get rid of the last opposition among the nobles (fomented by the shadowy conspiration).

5th book: With Eutropia crowned, the time as come to push out all the invading forces and make Taldor whole once more. This book should be about grand mass battles and court intrigue in equal parts, by the end the Taldan nation should be scarred and wounded, with huge changes having happened, but freed from foreign domination once more. In the final encounter the conspiration tries to assassinate Eutropia but the PCs stop them (or not...) and then expose it for all to see.

6th book: The PCs hunt down the remaining powerful conspirators and help stop the fighting in other nations (calling on the allies they might have made in the previous parts of the AP). The final confrontation sees the PCs stop the main cabal of conspirators before they can use the energies they gathered from the carnage they caused to unleash something truly terrible on Golarion...


Yakman wrote:


okay, but here's the kicker: Cheliax has everything that Taldor has PLUS devils.

So, why bother with Taldor if you have something so much better right there? If you have an idea for a Taldor AP that can't be run in Cheliax OR that devils wouldn't make better, I'd really like to hear it, because I can't think of one.

Because we've spent enough time in Cheliax and the rest of Avistan could use some fleshing out. Without the Devils, Cheliax has few major points of interest that haven't been explored to death. They're been the guys the players fight, the guys the players will be fighting for, the guys the players have to get along wit and the guys the players hear about, it's about time to move on! Fighting devils loses it's charm after a while.

Either we'll run out of places to explore in Cheliax, which is already happening since we'll be going to Westcrown AGAIN in Hell's Vengeance or the rest of Avistan will be forgotten. There are a lot more interesting places to explore than a LE empire that every campaign setting has some variation of. I would rather not adventure in Thay every time I play in Faerun, I'd like to get some flavor once in a while.

Saying you can play any story in Cheliax that you could in Taldor does not make it a good thing. That just means Cheliax is so bland, any story can be mashed into it with only a few name changes.

Taldor would be a new approach and give us the chance to actually see Avistan from another view point the only one we've had so far being a Chelaxian view, both from the perspective of the Good Guys and soon the Bad Guys. It's about time to move to a nicer neighborhood.


Jessica Price wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:
It's actually not that hard to see Taldor (as a whole) as the good guys in many ways, but it also depends on just how long back you've read about Taldor and what parts in print you consider true.

Sure, assuming you don't consider blatant abuse of lower classes -- which has been a part of Taldor since Day 1 -- to be a bad thing, then sure, they could totally be the good guys! I mean, the idea that greed and distrust and exploitation are the hallmarks of Taldan politics, and that betrayal and assassination are the preferred means of getting ahead, have been part of it since the Inner Sea World Guide.

I mean, the oldest major source on Taldor (2009) specifically points out that the crushing taxes in Taldor are designed to ensure the poor ("unbearded") stay poor.

The idea that Taldor was originally portrayed as some sort of virtuous unifying force that got the Inner Sea to focus on Real Priorities instead of politics and later got retconned into being an exploitative, decadent empire is, um... inaccurate.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

That's why it would be important to whoever was writing the AP to avoid the typical stereotypes that have been used in APs regarding who is good and bad and make a Taldor game interesting. Taldor is True Neutral, they are far from the Bad Guys, they just don't care enough about being the Good Guys to do anything about it. Wide class/social distances suck, but they exist and are a part of Taldor's society. It's a lot more interesting to explore that than to make wide generalizations about it and paint all of Taldor as bad.

Does everyone in Taldor agree with it? Definitely not, there must be thousands of wealthy merchants trying to buy their way into the nobility, so they have an interest in bringing the social orders closer together.

Again, framing the plot of an AP doesn't mean that the Good Guys have to be Good. In a Taldor game, the players could be fighting to protect the crown. That doesn't make them bad or Evil, they're protecting their home. It may not be a perfect home, but it is their home. Neither do villains have to be Evil for the players to oppose them. When two countries have opposing interests but aren't demonstrably locked into Good or Bad, it makes a more interesting story and allows some variety in how the players feel about the things they are doing. Besides, at the end of the AP, whether they fight for stability or change, they would be powerful enough to direct the nation in a way that they would approve of, including the much needed social changes in Taldor.

As far as a Taldor game goes, if the players are supporting the country or trying to make it better, the villains could easily be within their own borders, political rivals who want to ensure their own power, again, not Evil, just different goals and motivations. Not every adventure has to have you fighting a cackling Half-Fiend who wants to eat babies. It may just be a callous noblewoman who doesn't care if her plots cause political turmoil or a nobleman who doesn't mind reaching higher authority on the backs of others.

More ideally, a Taldor game would have a Taldor vs Qadira setting, which is what I think would be the best. Both places are in desperate need of some attention, especially given how much has been changed since we got the books that first described them. If Qadira continues on with what it has been doing, it's easy to see them as the bad guys without being Evil. They've taken Taldor land, instigated rebellions, slipped saboteurs and encouraged instability in Taldor and other nations like Osirion. On top of that, it has a highly regimented society divided on gender lines with a strict matrilineal property basis. Qadira isn't a fan of equality either and lords it's strength just as much as Taldor, the difference being Taldor is descending while Qadira ascends, sometimes with violence or foreign occupation/colonialism.

Let's not pretend Qadira has it's hands clean, they did run a puppet government in Osirion for a great length of time, treating the native population as second class citizens while destroying their ancient culture and history. They support slavery and regularly send tributes of concubines to the decadent courts of the Padishah, which I'm sure are no better than even the most opulent and corrupt of Taldor's nobles. Qadira is incredibly colonialist in it's agenda and, again, in a fight between them and Taldor, it seems Taldor, despite it's flaws, would be the injured party and the one the players would sign up with, Eutropia being the perfect symbol of the change Taldor needs, spurred on by the actions of the players.

Just because Taldor isn't Good doesn't mean it can't be the good guy.


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The Taldor/Qadira binary divide is, I think, part of the problem...

"Who wins?"
"Eh, they're both imperfect systems with raging jerkwads in charge from time to time. Prop them both up, if either one goes down, it'll destabilize things too much."

While I am record as wanting an "moral ambiguity is the rule during wartime" AP, you should still have a side you're passionate about backing... and for a LOT of people, the passion to back Taldor against Qadira simply isn't there. And vice-versa.

Maybe if they had Taldor try its hand at stabilizing Galt... not militarily, they haven't got the resources to burn on a lengthy war of intervention. But having a chaotic revolutionary basket case on their northern border shouldn't be ignored, either. If only there were some murderhoboes... er... adventurers... on hand to remind the people of Galt of the virtue of just and meaningful law and order! Aroden might have ended up being big on Cheliax, but whose laws and political culture survived his demise, hm?


@LordofThreshold

I could go for a split adventure. One path where the party supports Taldor and the other where they support Qadira. Both have some claim to being right to let the party choose for themselves.

It could be two whole separate APs like Hell's Rebels and Hell's Vengeance or there could just be a part in the later game where things split. They get called by someone to help Taldor. It could be Eutropia or even some outside force looking to strengthen Taldor as a bulwark against the East or perhaps to check Cheliax. Then after much moral ambiguity, there comes a point where they must choose to fulfill the mission or jump ship (after meeting some sympathetic Qadirans I'm assuming.)

Shadow Lodge

Jessica Price wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:
It's actually not that hard to see Taldor (as a whole) as the good guys in many ways, but it also depends on just how long back you've read about Taldor and what parts in print you consider true.

Sure, assuming you don't consider blatant abuse of lower classes -- which has been a part of Taldor since Day 1 -- to be a bad thing, then sure, they could totally be the good guys! I mean, the idea that greed and distrust and exploitation are the hallmarks of Taldan politics, and that betrayal and assassination are the preferred means of getting ahead, have been part of it since the Inner Sea World Guide.

I mean, the oldest major source on Taldor (2009) specifically points out that the crushing taxes in Taldor are designed to ensure the poor ("unbearded") stay poor.

The idea that Taldor was originally portrayed as some sort of virtuous unifying force that got the Inner Sea to focus on Real Priorities instead of politics and later got retconned into being an exploitative, decadent empire is, um... inaccurate.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Like I said, it depends on what aspects and "facts" you consider to be true from the material published. The beard/bearded part was part of that "stealth retcon". Note I didn't say this was my view, only that I could see that angle.

And honestly, attempting to keep power and wealth as it is, especially in a society where earning nobility is a massive reward, I just do not see as evil in and of itself. Keeping the working class poor could just as easily be a way to keep them busy and avoid idleness or becoming too city mfortable, (rather than compliant, cowed, or ground down). Adversity encourages growth. Unlike other nations, (every other nation), Taldors citizenship has not rebelled, and does have multiple avenues for earning a better life.


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DM Beckett wrote:
Unlike other nations, (every other nation), Taldors citizenship has not rebelled

Galt... Andoran... Cheliax... Isger... Molthune...Nirmathas...

Taldor's citizens have absolutely rebelled. In nation-sized chunks.

Shadow Lodge

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Sorry, to clarify, they have not rebelled in the streets to overthrow the current government. Sections have broken away or been removed. However, its worth noting that many of the ones you mentioned rebelled against Cheliax rather than Taldor directly.

Galt - Cheliax at rise of House Thrune

Andoran & Cheliax - broke away after Qadira began invading, Cheliax abandon post and convinced what would become Andoran to follow offering protection to the outlying wilderness lands. Andoran then broke from the rest of Cheliax with the civil war and House Thrune.

Isger - Cheliax took Isger by force in the Even-Tongued Conquest as a means to show strength, but has not been able to free itself from oppression as many others have from Cheliax.

Molthune & Nirmathas - both broke with Cheliax from Taldor, only to be treated extremely poor by the nobility of Cheliax leading to a brutal civil war after the rise of House Thrune causing one nation to splint into two.

Last wall - When Cheliax broke away, Lastwall stuck to their sworn duty rather than take political sides.

Silver Crusade

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From Echoes of Glory ... "Eventually, Taldor’s government
grew so large and spread itself so thin across the length
and breadth of the empire that corruption and vile excess
plagued its outer prefectures. The disease of corruption
spread quickly, infecting every level of government. The
prefectures farthest from the gilded capital of Oppara
began to revolt, throwing off the chains of their degenerate
and moribund governors. The Taldan Horse and Taldan
Phalanx responded brutally, struggling to close an iron
fist on the revolution brewing in the distant holdings." (p. 2)

Anyway, Taldor is a moribund craphole which exists only because it still has more gp than a medium-level adventuring party, and trying to paint it as a liberal-conservative dream come true where a lowly peasant can rise to great heights owing to strength he or she gains while enduring a hungry life in a crumbling country is ... well, it's your Golarion, after all.


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DM Beckett wrote:
However, its worth noting that many of the ones you mentioned rebelled against Cheliax rather than Taldor directly.

So they rebelled in an EMPIRE-sized chunk. Even better.

The Polish talking bag has the right of it. Taldor as written is not exactly a meritocracy.

It's more like what it says on the tin- the crumbling remnants of a once-mighty Empire.


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@Larkos

I would LOVE to have a game like that, but when I had imagined it, it would be a really big undertaking that wouldn't likely turn out. It would have to be two seperate paths like Hell's Rebels/Vengeance, otherwise if they were generic mission, the route could suffer from being to generic to fit into both sides. It could be done, but it would be difficult. I really wasn't willing to beg for two APs either since we just got a duel-sided adventure path, even though Vengeance and Rebels have little to do directly with each other. Having an AP or module where the players take two different sides has been done before, in The Frozen Stars, so it's a possibility.

@Cole/Garbacz
Paizo has changed plenty about Taldor without really telling us, it wouldn't be outrageous for them to make Taldor slightly more palatable or present it in a better light in order to make it the protagonist in any AP.

Taldor totally is a meritocracy.... from the perspective of the players, that is. They're perfectly positioned to the be ones who can get elevated in social status and that would be a major part of any AP set there. Again, just because Taldor doesn't have a Good alignment doesn't mean that the players can't take their side in a fight.

In Legacy of Fire, the players go to Katapesh and not one single word is mentioned that Katapesh is a horrible place because it's the center of the slave trade. The players even indirectly help the city out in stopping the big bad guy of the AP, but again no one is made to feel bad for propping up a bunch of slavers.

Again, it seems people are hung up so much on what Taldor has become rather than what it could be. We're talking about a dramatic restructuring while still keeping a national identity. Taldor is not an Evil nation nor does it have an Evil leadership. Refusing to have an AP there because of that is no different than complaining about having an AP in Cheliax, an obviously Evil country. We play in Westcrown where they kill people on stage for entertainment, I don't think anything Taldor does really deserves that much more criticism.

The point, again, isn't to justify what Taldor is, it's to make it what it could be again. This was the seat of Aroden, the shining star of humanity and it could be that once more.


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LordOfThreshold wrote:

@Cole/Garbacz

Paizo has changed plenty about Taldor without really telling us, it wouldn't be outrageous for them to make Taldor slightly more palatable or present it in a better light in order to make it the protagonist in any AP.

And what changes do you think would alleviate the existing problem- that Taldor is not good enough to get fired up about saving and not bad enough to get fired up about toppling?

And how would those changes work without deforming Taldor so much we'd be better off just using someplace else in the Inner Sea? Yes, yes, Cheliax has been visited quite heavily, but the fact remains, it's always been a more interesting place- "rotting Empire fallen from its past glories" is pretty much a fantasy standard. "Rotten Empire in league with Hell in a desperate bid to cling to its former glory" just has more zest.

Want a more "let's rally behind our government, hoping to fix its flaws" scenario?

Andoran.

"A weak shell of a state in need of heroes to remind its citizens that they have something to be proud of while surounded by neighbors who have all but written it off"?

Isger.

"Fight a war to keep those jerks across the border from walking all over the values we hold dear"?

Nirmathas.

"Address the systemic ills of the place you live in an effort to make it a place worth dying for"?

Sargava.

Political intrigue and backstabbery?

Putting the well-worn Cheliax aside, Brevoy (who also have an angle on "aristocracy with some panache")

There just isn't much that Taldor has that other places don't have a more flavorful angle on. What specifically does a focus on Taldor let us do? Make them the center of the world again? Why? That by itself is a pretty bland agenda, honestly.


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LordOfThreshold wrote:
Yakman wrote:


okay, but here's the kicker: Cheliax has everything that Taldor has PLUS devils.

So, why bother with Taldor if you have something so much better right there? If you have an idea for a Taldor AP that can't be run in Cheliax OR that devils wouldn't make better, I'd really like to hear it, because I can't think of one.

Because we've spent enough time in Cheliax and the rest of Avistan could use some fleshing out. Without the Devils, Cheliax has few major points of interest that haven't been explored to death. They're been the guys the players fight, the guys the players will be fighting for, the guys the players have to get along wit and the guys the players hear about, it's about time to move on! Fighting devils loses it's charm after a while.

Either we'll run out of places to explore in Cheliax, which is already happening since we'll be going to Westcrown AGAIN in Hell's Vengeance or the rest of Avistan will be forgotten. There are a lot more interesting places to explore than a LE empire that every campaign setting has some variation of. I would rather not adventure in Thay every time I play in Faerun, I'd like to get some flavor once in a while.

Saying you can play any story in Cheliax that you could in Taldor does not make it a good thing. That just means Cheliax is so bland, any story can be mashed into it with only a few name changes.

Taldor would be a new approach and give us the chance to actually see Avistan from another view point the only one we've had so far being a Chelaxian view, both from the perspective of the Good Guys and soon the Bad Guys. It's about time to move to a nicer neighborhood.

yeah, but Cheliax a) is a big place, and b) is just a better place to run adventures than Taldor.

Taldor is the bland location, if anything. It's intrigue and decadence - Cheliax has that, plus lots of other stuff AND devils.

Now, I'm fine in moving APs out of Cheliax - whatever works for the storyline of a compelling AP. But Taldor, on its own, just doesn't offer anything unique for an AP like, say, Numeria or Cheliax or Varisia do.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
LordOfThreshold wrote:


Again, it seems people are hung up so much on what Taldor has become rather than what it could be. We're talking about a dramatic restructuring while still keeping a national identity. Taldor is not an Evil nation nor does it have an Evil leadership. Refusing to have an AP there because of that is no different than complaining about having an AP in Cheliax, an obviously Evil country. We play in Westcrown where they kill people on stage for entertainment, I don't think anything Taldor does really deserves that much more criticism.

The point, again, isn't to justify what Taldor is, it's to make it what it could be again. This was the seat of Aroden, the shining star of humanity and it could be that once more.

I agree. The fact that Taldor may be a bad place to live in unless you are a noble (one that matters at least) is besides the point.

Is current Taldor oppressive of the lower classes? Yes, without doubt. Is it a "decadent failing empire"? Yes, that's how the place is advertised in the ISWG after all. But does an AP giving the players a chance to change all that have a lot of merits? Yes, in my opinion (and many others I guess).

The idea of AP I outlined above tries to give the players a chence to change the fate of Taldor. To reverse the state of things. It's not about defeating Quadira specifically. It's about a larger conspiracy in which Taldor's decadence has been used as the trigger point for a larger conflict. This gives the players the opportunity to fight to save Taldor CHANGING its fate. The players may choose to install Eutropia on the throne, but they may also decide they want to run the place themselves (harder but doable), or they discover they want to back another contender, or even strengthen their ties with Andoran or even Galt or Cheliax (!) and turn the place into a different political system.
Ideally a Taldan AP should not be about Taldor getting its empire back (that's someting you can put in the "continuing the campaign" section of the AP as a possible path for the players to take) it's about THE PLAYERS making choices that matter and changing the place FOR BETTER OR WORSE. It does not need to be about "the good guys", it just need to give the players and DM a meaningful and possibly deep roleplaying experience, making them all feel capable of changing the fate of a once great and proud empire or even to hasten its demise.

P.S.

About why Taldor over other places: a couple of reasons actually. Taldor is one of the main nations of the Inner Sea (the others are Cheliax, Andoran, Quadira and Osirion), but despite this it lacks definition and most of the material about it is really outdated. Also the place lends itself splendidly for a campaign of intrigue but also open mass combat and kingdom building (or restoring).

Edit:

@ Yakman: Taldor being "a bland location" is arguable, but even if it were true that just means it needs an AP and a new Campaign Setting book to be made more memorable and interesting, not the opposite.

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Yakman wrote:

yeah, but Cheliax a) is a big place, and b) is just a better place to run adventures than Taldor.

Taldor is the bland location, if anything. It's intrigue and decadence - Cheliax has that, plus lots of other stuff AND devils.

Now, I'm fine in moving APs out of Cheliax - whatever works for the storyline of a compelling AP. But...

Why is Cheliax more interesting? Probably because they have had, what, 4 APs set there and a lot of the country is fleshed out.

Heck, we haven't even seen a map of Eastern Taldor yet.

We have 2 sources for Taldor, the ISWG which gives it about 2-3 pages. And 'Echoes of Glory' which came out before the Core Rulebook.

So it is still a blank slate as far as adventuring and APs go.

I like the idea of a Taldan AP.


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Tim Statler wrote:
Why is Cheliax more interesting? Probably because they have had, what, 4 APs set there and a lot of the country is fleshed out.

I dunno man, I remember way back when the Campaign Setting dropped and the PFRPG was just a glint in their eyes... and Cheliax was just the place Varisia's city-states had nebulous but ill-defined ties to.

Even then, Taldor was-by design, apparently- more "generic."

Most of the people pushing for a Taldor AP seem to be saying, "we should see it because it's important."

There are two major problems with that...

Firstly, "important" is largely meaningless... its importance is that it underpins a lot of the cultural stuff we're alreadyloaded down with- its deities, its basic concepts of government- when everybody else is the way they are because of the way Taldor is, that... doesn't leave a heck of lot to "discover." Varisia, home to the first three APs, and still reigning champion in terms of "stuff happens here," owes a lot of that to its lack of "importance."

Secondly, even assuming an AP on the finer details of Common grammar has some appeal, its importance is historical- and even in that context, it got eclipsed by Cheliax centuries before the setting's default- note how the center of Aroden's worship moved west.

It's not a problem with "good guys/bad guys"- Cheliax is an awful place, but playing there has presented no real difficulties, has it? It's a problem with "flavorful/tepid."


Numeria: Iron Gods, Technology Guide, Land of Fallen Stars, People of the Stars (arguably)

Cheliax: Council of Thieves, Hell's Rebels, Hell's Vengeance, Empire of Devils, The Infernal Empire, multiple sources throughout other APs and Modules

Varisia: Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne, Second Darkness, Shattered Star, multiple sourcebooks, multiple modules

The squeaky wheel gets the grease or in this case, the AP setting gets the lore.

And in the case of Varisia, you can't get more generic and bland than an entire nation which is DungeonLand.

Saying Taldor is bland isn't a reason not to set an AP there, it's bland because there haven't been any APs there. It's an effect, not a cause. Saying it's boring and Cheliax is cool is an incident of so much time and effort being spent on it. Varisia and Cheliax are obviously the dev favorites and that favoritism shows. It's gotten so bad in Cheliax's case that we've now had two AP in that nation that follow the exact same plot line, leading a rebellion to liberate a city.

If you think Taldor is uninteresting, that's fine, but that's your opinion. Cheliax was boring before we actually went there and it was just a name we heard about while running around Varisia. Once we actually got there, it became a pretty cool place, but now we're stuck there for two APs in a row with one AP already under our belt. Stack that on top of the Chelish influences throughout Curse of the Crimson Throne and Skull and Shackles and we're getting a bit repetitive in our material.

I'm certain this is the same problem that came up when people heard about Iron Gods. I was one of the people who was not interested in the least in having a sci-fi themed AP for half a year and considered not buying it at all. I was surprised by how well written it was and got sucked in. Afterwards, Numeria became one of my favorite places because it wasn't some name with a loose theme attached to it, it was a real, breathing place that I now cared about. Visiting Taldor is even more important since it's not an out of the way nation with a niche theme like barbarian and robots, it's the major cultural influence in Avistan.

If the argument is to have a Taldor AP, a country we haven't visited yet in Golarion, or another AP where we go to Cheliax and play through Council of Hell's Vengeful Thieves 2, I'll pass on the reheated leftovers Cheliax offers until I get something different. Eventually, if you eat the same thing over and over again, everything starts to taste the same.

You like Cheliax? You should, you have three APs and a profuse amount of source books for it.

Spread some of that love around.


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Don't confuse a disinterest in Taldor with a devotion to Cheliax- what is being pointed out is that anything that can be done with Taldor can be (and has been) done elsewhere.

The comparison to Numeria actually casts the problem into sharp relief- even as a tabula rasa, Numeria had enough distinctive background that people got passionate about it (true, a decent chunk of that passion was hatred, but...). Taldor generates no particularly strong feelings- it's so bland even the people at Paizo can't come to a consensus on what should happen there.


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Cole Deschain wrote:

Don't confuse a disinterest in Taldor with a devotion to Cheliax- what is being pointed out is that anything that can be done with Taldor can be (and has been) done elsewhere.

The comparison to Numeria actually casts the problem into sharp relief- even as a tabula rasa, Numeria had enough distinctive background that people got passionate about it (true, a decent chunk of that passion was hatred, but...). Taldor generates no particularly strong feelings- it's so bland even the people at Paizo can't come to a consensus on what should happen there.

I'm curious, how is you are so certain of this? Because I can see there are several people interessed in Taldor and wanting it to be fleshed out further right in this thread while you keep repeating people are not interessed in Taldor at all. Even if that was the case (and it's not IMO) the argument is the same as above: if the setting is too bland it needs more detail and resources devoted to it, not less!.

As it is the impression I have reading you is that you just don't like Taldor and for some reason you don't want an AP or a setting book devoted to it.


Rogar Valertis wrote:
Cole Deschain wrote:

Don't confuse a disinterest in Taldor with a devotion to Cheliax- what is being pointed out is that anything that can be done with Taldor can be (and has been) done elsewhere.

The comparison to Numeria actually casts the problem into sharp relief- even as a tabula rasa, Numeria had enough distinctive background that people got passionate about it (true, a decent chunk of that passion was hatred, but...). Taldor generates no particularly strong feelings- it's so bland even the people at Paizo can't come to a consensus on what should happen there.

I'm curious, how is you are so certain of this? Because I can see there are several people interessed in Taldor and wanting it to be fleshed out further right in this thread while you keep repeating people are not interessed in Taldor at all. Even if that was the case (and it's not IMO) the argument is the same as above: if the setting is too bland it needs more detail and resources devoted to it, not less!.

As it is the impression I have reading you is that you just don't like Taldor and for some reason you don't want an AP or a setting book devoted to it.

I feel the same way. If there's interest in Taldor, we may get a setting book for it, which would lead to more interest and possibly an Adventure Path for it.

I mean, this is a Taldor thread, so clearly there is a call, and if you look at the themes of many of Paizo's products, a need for it.

It's time to show that Cheliax isn't the only place to live in Avistan.

And as far as things already been done, we have not had an AP that delves into political intrigue, gray morality and the resurrection of a dying empire that could include both covert and mass combat. At the same time, we haven't had an AP where the players engage in social climbing, gain noble titles and holdings, become filthy rich through means other than murder while having the chance to stab a few backs along the way.

On the other hand, even if there was only a little interest, we desperately need a new book to update Taldor since Paizo keeps altering it in-house without any new material.


I like Taldor because it's the best representation of classic Medieval Fantasy in the setting. I know it's been done before but I like the fact that Taldor has its warts. It doesn't shy away from the fact that Medieval society was built on the backs of the poor and the poor were far more numerous than today. They were also dwarfed in many ways but the Middle East (represented here by Qadira and Kelesh.)

Noble politics and mass combat are also easy to do in Taldor which helps. I would love to see how a society so seeped in RL Medieval European structure and social mores is affected by the more modern values that Paizo champions. The fact that the sole Princess legitimating inheriting the throne could cause a civil war is already heading in that direction. How do Good PCs, who would obviously sympathize with the Unbearded, championing peasant rights work with the specter of Galt above their heads?

Taldor represents a clash of classic and modern fantasy better than any other setting on Golarion. (Well except maybe Numeria but they already got an AP.)


Another thing to keep on the books is that unlike Cheliax, Taldor isn't, well, Evil.
It's TN, not LE, while there is exploitation its not as organized, shameless or constant, people can advance slowly and unlike Cheliax, where hell rules, the law is filled with loopholes and there's complete exploitation (See the background of that one Hellknight from Skulls & Shackles who's father got basically raped, anything involving Hells Rebels, or the fact that a Pitfiend has to tell the current ruler to calm down and stop being evil, now and then)
Taldor isn't The Big Bad Empire, Mwhahahahah, its a crumbling bastion, based on outdated rules, too proud to admit its problems. But its people can still be decent people, kind and generous, or cruel.
They're not constantly planning to conquer their neighbours, just now and then, as shown by the fact they get on better with the druids and fey than the NG Andoran do.
That means that people can play nobility from it without feeling that they're either not playing to the culture correctly, or going to be obliged to eat a kitten to advance, the nobility of Taldor might be decadent, but they're (Mostly) just arrogant and detatched, not actually evil.

It'd be so refreshing and interesting to see a fantasy empire that isn't evil and to work for one, help it rise again. Backing the good (or ambiguous) Queen and helping direct her first few years of rule could be fantastic.
Mentally, the only comparison I can think of for an AP in Taldor relating to the civil war is Dishonoured, both in tone (Good and bad people, ambiguous allies, having to choose if you're going to do the easy thing or the right thing and that deciding the fate of the land) and plot (Civil war, intrigue, probably a lot less sneaking around and assassinating people and more setting up Balls to avoid battle, or setting up battle to avoid the darn Balls, knowing that if you fail the land is going to slip into either the hands of exploiters or complete anarchy.)

And that'd be fantastic.


BLloyd607502 wrote:

Another thing to keep on the books is that unlike Cheliax, Taldor isn't, well, Evil.

It's TN, not LE, while there is exploitation its not as organized, shameless or constant, people can advance slowly and unlike Cheliax, where hell rules, the law is filled with loopholes and there's complete exploitation (See the background of that one Hellknight from Skulls & Shackles who's father got basically raped, anything involving Hells Rebels, or the fact that a Pitfiend has to tell the current ruler to calm down and stop being evil, now and then)
Taldor isn't The Big Bad Empire, Mwhahahahah, its a crumbling bastion, based on outdated rules, too proud to admit its problems. But its people can still be decent people, kind and generous, or cruel.
They're not constantly planning to conquer their neighbours, just now and then, as shown by the fact they get on better with the druids and fey than the NG Andoran do.
That means that people can play nobility from it without feeling that they're either not playing to the culture correctly, or going to be obliged to eat a kitten to advance, the nobility of Taldor might be decadent, but they're (Mostly) just arrogant and detatched, not actually evil.

It'd be so refreshing and interesting to see a fantasy empire that isn't evil and to work for one, help it rise again. Backing the good (or ambiguous) Queen and helping direct her first few years of rule could be fantastic.
Mentally, the only comparison I can think of for an AP in Taldor relating to the civil war is Dishonoured, both in tone (Good and bad people, ambiguous allies, having to choose if you're going to do the easy thing or the right thing and that deciding the fate of the land) and plot (Civil war, intrigue, probably a lot less sneaking around and assassinating people and more setting up Balls to avoid battle, or setting up battle to avoid the darn Balls, knowing that if you fail the land is going to slip into either the hands of exploiters or complete anarchy.)

And that'd be fantastic.

>Dishonored

Holy moly, I had never even thought of the comparison until you mentioned it. That would be a fantastic basis to represent a corpulent empire gone down the poop chute. Instead of the Empress being killed though, you could serve a new one who was still getting used to the pressures of rule surrounded on all sides by people who want to exploit her or replace her while at the same time trying to pilot the Titanic of countries away from the inevitable iceberg everyone know they're heading towards but choose to ignore.

The tone of such a game would be incredibly dark and grim while at the same time letting the players grasp at a tiny glimmer of hope and greatness.


LordOfThreshold wrote:
oly moly, I had never even thought of the comparison until you mentioned it. That would be a fantastic basis to represent a corpulent empire gone down the poop chute. Instead of the Empress being killed though, you could serve a new one who was still getting used to the pressures of rule surrounded on all sides by people who want to exploit her or replace her while at the same time trying to pilot the Titanic of countries away from the inevitable iceberg everyone know they're heading towards but choose to ignore.

Come to think of it, one possible angle could be the AP/civil war being the crux of a sort of, industrial revolution.

Either Gunpowder arriving in Taldor, or some other source of technology advance. Szuriel could be involved somehow (Cults of Szuriel are all for spreading weapon plans) on the other side and nothing shook up the class system, historically, as much as civil war, plague or the spread of black powder.
Heck, I might write up a 6 book summary later for this idea if I get time and post it here.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Which brings me to my earlier question...

Quote:
And how would those changes work without deforming Taldor so much we'd be better off just using someplace else in the Inner Sea?

As a general rule, the powers that be have pretty concrete ideas about what they want a given region to be about.

I will mention, however, that the Dishonored reference means literally nothing to me-I don't mean it's a bad comparison, I mean I have literally no idea what you're referring to. Someone fond of the comparison got a link I could use to educate myself? 'Cause Google gives me the entire phone book. If it gives me something that feels uniquely "Taldan," I can walk away from my share of this discussion with a grin.


Cole Deschain wrote:
I will mention, however, that the Dishonored reference means literally nothing to me-I don't mean it's a bad comparison, I mean I have literally no idea what you're referring to. Someone fond of the comparison got a link I could use to educate myself? 'Cause Google gives me the entire phone book. If it gives me something that feels uniquely "Taldan," I can walk away from my share of this discussion with a grin.

And the Worldwound was closed over WotR; Korvosa lost its king. Every AP starts with a bit of a change in the local status quo.

If you haven't played Dishonoured, its a very good computer game and certainly worth playing, based in a sort of Psudo-Victorian England type setting, just after the assassination of the empress. Really its all about the feel of the game that makes me compare it to Taldor, that the poor suffer under the feet of the rich and through intrigue, the cruel and ruthless can claim power; but things can be made better if you do the right thing and there are good people in the world no matter how dark it gets. It's really worth a look in.
For a few examples, have a nose here http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Heartwarming/Dishonored

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