Is the multiverse Inner-Sea-centered?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Is it just me, or are there things, here and there, that make it look like the whole multiverse is Inner-Sea centered?
I haven't read anything about the Dragon Empire's deities, so dunno if the matter is discussed at all, but as far as I can see with my current knowledge it seems that:
1) Most if not all of the eastern Gods, are relatively pointless in the great mythology. I mean, who placed the stars and everything in the void? Desna. Who was rampaging Golarion, causing most other Gods to ally? Rovagug. Who beat Rovagug? Sarenrae. Who encaged Rovagug? Asmodeus. And so on. All Inner-Sea deities. Looks like all the others didn't play any really important role.
2) Since it were those Inner-Sea deities to do all the important things, then maybe their cults should be spread in the whole world and it is relatively pointless to worship additional Gods, unless they're very specifically related to a race/territory/something. This extends not only to the east, but also to Arcadia and every other place of the world.
3) Looking at other planets, well, shouldn't the denizens of Akiton (random planet) worship (or at least know and pay respect) to those same deities? Which brings us to...
4) Almost all of the core Deities (and many others, I suppose) have a strong Humanlike appearence. And Outsiders of most kinds also do.
Yet, the Material Plane is full of life and diversity in its many planets, it seems, so what about all those aliens (which, summed up, would supposedly be an immense number, compared to the number of Humanlike creatures) who die and find themeselves in an otherworld full of Humanlike beings, first of which is Pharasma? Like "hey, they're all so akin here... seems like my species and many others I knew look like an abomination to the multiverse..."

Well, a little chaotic, but I hope you get what I mean by all this, and other implications.

Liberty's Edge

1. This has to do with the fact that we've heard a lot more about the Inner Sea deities, it is both possible and, indeed, likely that the Dragon Empires gods have done equally important things...we just haven't heard about them since, y'know, we haven't heard too much about their histories at all.

2. Kinda answered by #1.

3. A lot of the stuff you mention is pretty Golarion-centric (anything to do with Rovagug)...or metaphorical (Desna hanging the stars). Why should someone on Castrovel care that Rovagug was bound in the center of Golarion by Sarenrae and Asmodeus?

4. Deities appear as whatever they like. Desna, for example, appears as either a Human or Elf depending on her audience, and has been strongly implied (and stated by James Jacobs) to have been something very non-human prior to her stay on Golarion. Possibly something butterfly-like.


A few things, in the case of desna I think she is basically so old she transcends the whole idea of being claimed by any one group. Secondly in terms of the worlds history when earth fall happened I don't think there were any humans in Titan Xia.

So they either showed up later or simply did not have anyone to wo ship them. ( maybe this is a deific chicken or egg conundrum)

I get the impressions n the older dieties have not always existed in the form we know them as. Desna being one and eras til being another. I think also the general explanation for outsiders being human like is the majority are formed of human souls.


Mojorat wrote:
in terms of the worlds history when earth fall happened I don't think there were any humans in Titan Xia.

Was this mentioned in the Dragon Empires Gazetteer/Primer (or in some other book)?

Mojorat wrote:
I think also the general explanation for outsiders being human like is the majority are formed of human souls.

But the multiverse is teeming with life, and Humans (and everything that looks very similar to them) is only in one world of the supposedly countless inhabited ones...

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Desna, for example, appears as either a Human or Elf depending on her audience, and has been strongly implied (and stated by James Jacobs) to have been something very non-human prior to her stay on Golarion. Possibly something butterfly-like.

That's good to hear.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

1. This has to do with the fact that we've heard a lot more about the Inner Sea deities, it is both possible and, indeed, likely that the Dragon Empires gods have done equally important things...we just haven't heard about them since, y'know, we haven't heard too much about their histories at all.

2. Kinda answered by #1.

That's a good point for #1, but doesn't answer for #2 (maybe I didn't explain it well, but here's another shot): if Sarenrae is the Goddess of the Sun, she's the Goddess of the Sun for everyone on Golarion (or even in the whole solar system), or am I wrong? But she isn't worshipped in the east (or is she?), in Arcadia, in the other continents and on the other planets... why?

Also, her cult would be limited to Golarion's solar system, while others would all-spanning.
Plus, she was once an Angel, and Angels are Humanlike (yes, they too can use magic to change shape, but their basic forms are Humanlike); since she seems to be older than Golarion, Angels in general must have been older than it, and... well, that brings a huge series of implications with aliens of Golarion's solar system...

Deadmanwalking wrote:
3. A lot of the stuff you mention is pretty Golarion-centric (anything to do with Rovagug)...or metaphorical (Desna hanging the stars). Why should someone on Castrovel care that Rovagug was bound in the center of Golarion by Sarenrae and Asmodeus?

Nothing, of course, but it's not just Rovagug's ravagings. As said, Sarenrae is the Goddess of the Sun, and the Sun shines upon all the planets of Golarion's system, so they should care about Sarenrae. As well, Asmodeus is the God of Devils, and Devils crave for any soul, not just those of Golarion's inhabitants. As so on for many other Deities; Pharasma, Urgathoa, Torag, Abadar, Zon-Kuthon... they're not just Golarion-focused. Or at least, they have no reason to.


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Why are deities geographically constrained at all? Tian Xia should just be worshipping the same core 20 as everyone else. It’s not like Desna can’t cross an ocean. In the real world, different religions have different deific representations because they are imaginary and people come up with what suits them. In Golarian the gods are real, they really exist, and are not constrained by oceans or borders that their followers haphazardly create.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Every culture sees itself as the center of the world.

For us it's the Inner Sea Pantheon because that's the center of activity, it's where the Pathfinder Society is centered and the bulk of relevant politics and history are shown.

For someone in Tian Xia or the Eastern Empire of which Osiria is only a satrap, their cosmologies would look very different but be equally if not more valid to them.

There is no objective observer who lays down an all encompassing timeline, it's all from local points of view.

Silver Crusade

One thing to keep in mind is that the planes are huge, and perhaps its just the angels(or art) we've seen so far that are mostly human-like. :)

A lot of the gods have crossover with the other planets too, as was mentioned upthread. Some are much more focused on Golarion and are actually hardly known at all outside of it, such as the Starstone crew. But folks like Asmodeus and especially Desna and Zon-Kuthon are known on many worlds, viewed through the specific lens of their people.


Mikaze wrote:
One thing to keep in mind is that the planes are huge, and perhaps its just the angels(or art) we've seen so far that are mostly human-like. :)

That's true (for most Planes) but has some kind of side-flaw, unless you have a fix for it (which I'll welcome, because I'd like things to all make sense).

I'll take Axis as an example, since, being the smallest Plane, it's the easiest to understand. Axiomites, which form the majority of its population, look like physically perfect verions of Human or Elves. Alright. If anyone from Golarion planeshifts to Axis, they'll see familiar forms. But if anyone from the rest of the material plane (where Golarion is just a single, relatively insignificant world) shifts to Axis, they'll see what to them looks like total aliens. Perhaps even foul-looking.
On that way, if I shift from Golarion to Heaven, I should end in that portion of the Plane where Angels are Humanlike, while a Yautja, using the exact same spell in the exact same way, would end in a portion of the Plane where Angels look totally different? Or would aliens find themeselves in the same zone as I do and say: "Hey, we're countless and all different, why do the powers above look just like those Humans there?"

Liberty's Edge

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Astral Wanderer wrote:


That's good to hear.

Indeed. :)

Astral Wanderer wrote:

That's a good point for #1, but doesn't answer for #2 (maybe I didn't explain it well, but here's another shot): if Sarenrae is the Goddess of the Sun, she's the Goddess of the Sun for everyone on Golarion (or even in the whole solar system), or am I wrong? But she isn't worshipped in the east (or is she?), in Arcadia, in the other continents and on the other planets... why?

Also, her cult would be limited to Golarion's solar system, while others would all-spanning.

Ah! Gotcha. The answer is no, she isn't the Goddess of the Sun, just a Goddess of the Sun. As Shizuru demonstrates, there are others (also Gods, Demon Lords ala Nergal, etc.) Who are worshipped in other places. A place without such a deity might be odd, but one simply following a different one is more or less normal.

You're thinking too big when it comes to Gods (sorta anyway). No God in the universe of Golarion is the being that defines a concept, instead being defined by said concepts. They are vastly powerful, but killing a Solar Deity doesn't put out the sun, y'know?

Astral Wanderer wrote:
Plus, she was once an Angel, and Angels are Humanlike (yes, they too can use magic to change shape, but their basic forms are Humanlike); since she seems to be older than Golarion, Angels in general must have been older than it, and... well, that brings a huge series of implications with aliens of Golarion's solar system...

Most dominant aliens in Golarion's solar system appear roughly humanoid...so angels are no more divergent from them than they are from humans. Non-humanoid aliens presumably have different kinds of Angels to look out for them, who are a bit more physically suited to interacting with them.

Astral Wanderer wrote:
Nothing, of course, but it's not just Rovagug's ravagings. As said, Sarenrae is the Goddess of the Sun, and the Sun shines upon all the planets of Golarion's system, so they should care about Sarenrae. As well, Asmodeus is the God of Devils, and Devils crave for any soul, not just those of Golarion's inhabitants. As so on for many other Deities; Pharasma, Urgathoa, Torag, Abadar, Zon-Kuthon... they're not just Golarion-focused. Or at least, they have no reason to.

Some deities can be strongly argued to be pretty well known over various areas...but that doesn't necessarily mean they'll be frequently worshipped in all of them. The Dragon Empires' dislike of Asmodeus might have a hundred reasons...and the moment 20 other Gods have more worshippers...he's out of that 'Top 20' list.


You could assume like with e everything in religion its always tailored to the particular group of worship. But I did think of some things.

First, from what I understand daemons are human soul centered. Before humans I think abaddon was a wasteland, I don't have my book handy to do able check this. Secondly isn't the central concept of the conflict between old vs new abyss about the inclusion of humanoid souls?

So I think at the very least the information we have is golarion centred.


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Astral Wanderer wrote:
Plus, she was once an Angel, and Angels are Humanlike (yes, they too can use magic to change shape, but their basic forms are Humanlike)

This is where I houserule a few things. I prefer my angels' base forms to be pretty darn near unfathomable, Old Testament style (wheels within wheels, bestial creatures covered with eyes, that sorta freaky stuff) and their "base" humanoid shapes just how they allow mortal-kind to perceive them. In a realm with nonhumanoid entities as the primary lifeform, they'd be understood as something akin to them instead.


just to play devil's advocate. You're assuming that Golarion is the only place that produces humans. Maybe humans are the most populous species in the PF universe on other planets outside the gol solar system and alternate prime material planes(due to adaptability, birth rate, etc etc). Not saying its the reason, but it could be a reason.

alternate explanation as far as outsiders. What they look like could be different depending on what race you play. The bestiary was written with the core race in mind so we get the view of outsiders as seen by humanoid bipeds with very "humancentric" worldviews-every core race is easily understood from a human cultural perspective-I'd like to think that if a party of less human like races would see an angel(basically movable LG) as something completely different. It would probably depend on how different the race's world view and shape was from human.


proftobe wrote:
just to play devil's advocate. You're assuming that Golarion is the only place that produces humans. Maybe humans are the most populous species in the PF universe on other planets outside the gol solar system and alternate prime material planes(due to adaptability, birth rate, etc etc). Not saying its the reason, but it could be a reason.

Tought about that, but I'm not a fan of theories where a single race is spread across most of space, especially if it's Humans. Not for some kind of hate, just that we're Humans ourselves and I don't like that we center the vastity of the stars on us.

Anyway alright, it seems that some of the books I don't have (starting with the Dragon Empires ones) give an amount of answers to the questions I had.

But an unrelated issue came up, which no book, I fear, can fix. People who shift from Golarion to any other Plane. And then, from that Plane to the Material one again. But in a world far, far, far away from Golarion.
Aliens do the same.
Aliens everywhere.

Liberty's Edge

Astral Wanderer wrote:
Tought about that, but I'm not a fan of theories where a single race is spread across most of space, especially if it's Humans. Not for some kind of hate, just that we're Humans ourselves and I don't like that we center the vastity of the stars on us.

You may be doomed to disapointment in regards to Golarion, then. As it's been officially confirmed that it's in the same universe a Earth (though very far away in another galaxy). So that's at least two planets...

Astral Wanderer wrote:

But an unrelated issue came up, which no book, I fear, can fix. People who shift from Golarion to any other Plane. And then, from that Plane to the Material one again. But in a world far, far, far away from Golarion.

Aliens do the same.
Aliens everywhere.

Okay. So?

Mostly, they're going to want to go to their own planet or one nearby...so ones from further afield are likely to be quite rare, and only by those who already know about the planet in question.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
You may be doomed to disapointment in regards to Golarion, then. As it's been officially confirmed that it's in the same universe a Earth (though very far away in another galaxy). So that's at least two planets...

Put aside the fact that it is along the lines of a funny easter egg where reality and game are mixed, I knew, and two is alright. Elves too are in at least two planets. And you could change "two" with any number, it'd still be fine. As long as that number doesn't represent the majority of the Material Plane's inhabited worlds. AND depends on a common source from where all Humans came. I mean, Elves came to Golarion from the Green, they didn't pop spontaneously and independently on both planets.

Astral Wanderer wrote:


Okay. So?

Mostly, they're going to want to go to their own planet or one nearby...so ones from further afield are likely to be quite rare, and only by those who already know about the planet in question.

Mh, that was also a technical issue with Interplanetary Teleport in between, and other things, but let it be.


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Mojorat wrote:
First, from what I understand daemons are human soul centered. Before humans I think abaddon was a wasteland, I don't have my book handy to do able check this. Secondly isn't the central concept of the conflict between old vs new abyss about the inclusion of humanoid souls?

Actually, both came about because of mortal souls, not human/humanoid-specific souls (as described on page 2 of Lords of Chaos and of Horsemen of the Apocalypse). Even our shark overlords may be damned.


Going back to the Golarion/Pantheon part of this topic it should be noted that some of the "bigger" gods are worshipped outside of the Inner Sea. Desna (known by different names) seems to be worshiped in Tian Xia and most of Garund and probably elsewhere on the planet as well. Sarenrae is worshiped fairly heavily in Casmaron (in fact, her worship seems to have originated from there). Irori is known on four, maybe five, continents (if you count Vudra as it's own continent). I think the same goes for Pharasma, Rovagug, and a few others as well. So there's definitely cross-over between the various continental pantheons.


Astral Wanderer wrote:

But an unrelated issue came up, which no book, I fear, can fix. People who shift from Golarion to any other Plane. And then, from that Plane to the Material one again. But in a world far, far, far away from Golarion.

Aliens do the same.
Aliens everywhere.

Actually, I think they covered this with the Distant Worlds book. Basically said it was theoretically possible to use other planes to transport between worlds, except that each spellcaster *does* have a region-centered view of his own. So when the Inner Sea spellcaster in Axis thinks, "Material Plane," he thinks of the Inner Sea. Meanwhile, the critter next to him from a thousand light years away will be thinking of a totally different planet. And when they cast their respective spells to return home, they'll wind up back on their own worlds of the Material Plane.


Astral Wanderer wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
One thing to keep in mind is that the planes are huge, and perhaps its just the angels(or art) we've seen so far that are mostly human-like. :)

That's true (for most Planes) but has some kind of side-flaw, unless you have a fix for it (which I'll welcome, because I'd like things to all make sense).

I'll take Axis as an example, since, being the smallest Plane, it's the easiest to understand. Axiomites, which form the majority of its population, look like physically perfect verions of Human or Elves. Alright. If anyone from Golarion planeshifts to Axis, they'll see familiar forms. But if anyone from the rest of the material plane (where Golarion is just a single, relatively insignificant world) shifts to Axis, they'll see what to them looks like total aliens. Perhaps even foul-looking.
On that way, if I shift from Golarion to Heaven, I should end in that portion of the Plane where Angels are Humanlike, while a Yautja, using the exact same spell in the exact same way, would end in a portion of the Plane where Angels look totally different? Or would aliens find themeselves in the same zone as I do and say: "Hey, we're countless and all different, why do the powers above look just like those Humans there?"

Maybe humans were designed by these creatures, or descend from them, not the other way around


That leaves the poor Yautja feel unloved.
"Why did you make them look like you and me look like an ugly riverfish?"

Liberty's Edge

Astral Wanderer wrote:

That leaves the poor Yautja feel unloved.

"Why did you make them look like you and me look like an ugly riverfish?"

But they wouldn't think anything like that, since we'd be as strange looking to them as they would be to us, so they'd think "Wow. You guys all look really silly, thanks for makng me look awesome instead."


Just a quick point- the Tian Xia pantheon (or "core 20") does include some Inner Sea deities. At least Abadar, Desna, Irori, Lamashtu, Pharasma and Shelyn have prominent roles. It stands to reason that some people also worship Sarenrae and Asmodeus.

As for the rest of the universe, who's to say that human (or at least humanoid) creatures aren't the most prominent beings in the universe? Since most creatures were supposedly created by the deities (often in their own image to boot), why wouldn't they be?


Nephilim from Legacy of Fire also appear human, nothing weird about them except they're tall

Liberty's Edge

Read Mark Twain "Report from Paradise". When Captain Stormfield reach paradise he go at the wrong gate and there is no trace of humans, but plenty of strange species. Only after asking he discover where is the gate for the humans and get there. At that point he find himself surrounded by specie Homo sapiens (but most of them are not white people).

The same thing happen in game when we shift to other planes: we shift to the section of the plane that is more comprehensible to us and whit house creatures that are compatible with our world view.

Shadow Lodge

Of them all, I think Asmodeus would have the most multiversal prominence. He is, after all, the overall ruler of an entire plane. I don't really know that any of the others can make that claim.

It's one of the problems I have with the way they set up the dieties. The Four Horsemen should dwarf the power of any "new" god like Iomeade. They're multiversal powers. She's just the newest god on a relatively insignificant little backwater planet in the middle of nowhere.

Dark Archive

Kthulhu wrote:

Of them all, I think Asmodeus would have the most multiversal prominence. He is, after all, the overall ruler of an entire plane. I don't really know that any of the others can make that claim.

It's one of the problems I have with the way they set up the dieties. The Four Horsemen should dwarf the power of any "new" god like Iomeade. They're multiversal powers. She's just the newest god on a relatively insignificant little backwater planet in the middle of nowhere.

Similarly, Asmodeus, Lamashtu, etc. are said to oversee *infinitely large* planes. If the plane is 'infinite' anything, it, pretty much by definition, has centillions of worlds *much* more interesting than Golarion, so why the heck would any of them give a rodent's rump about Golarion?

"Yeah, Golarion. I've got an infinite number of those that I already own. Big whoop. Y'all can have it. I'm taking my infinite ball and going home."

Shadow Lodge

Lamashtu doesn't really rule the Abyss in the same way that Asmodeus rules Hell though. No matter where you go in Hell, the devils you find there will almost certainly at least pay lip service to Asmodeus. In the Abyss...well, the further you get from Lamashtu's layer, the less likely any demon is to give a damn what she thinks.


Set wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:

Of them all, I think Asmodeus would have the most multiversal prominence. He is, after all, the overall ruler of an entire plane. I don't really know that any of the others can make that claim.

It's one of the problems I have with the way they set up the dieties. The Four Horsemen should dwarf the power of any "new" god like Iomeade. They're multiversal powers. She's just the newest god on a relatively insignificant little backwater planet in the middle of nowhere.

Similarly, Asmodeus, Lamashtu, etc. are said to oversee *infinitely large* planes. If the plane is 'infinite' anything, it, pretty much by definition, has centillions of worlds *much* more interesting than Golarion, so why the heck would any of them give a rodent's rump about Golarion?

"Yeah, Golarion. I've got an infinite number of those that I already own. Big whoop. Y'all can have it. I'm taking my infinite ball and going home."

Common misapplication. Infinite does not necessarily mean it contains everything. Two mathematical examples - first, the set of all polygons is infinite, but contains no four-sided triangles because those are logically impossible. The set of all primes is also infinite, but contains only one even number.

Maybe Golarion is like the number 2 in that set of primes - simply one among a countless number, but singularly unique in some property.

Dark Archive

Derek Vande Brake wrote:
Common misapplication. Infinite does not necessarily mean it contains everything.

I didn't say (or mean) that an infinite dimension had to include exact copies of Golarion, but that an infinite dimension that contains planets, etc. would be almost guaranteed to have trillions of worlds more interesting than Golarion.

Liberty's Edge

Set wrote:
Derek Vande Brake wrote:
Common misapplication. Infinite does not necessarily mean it contains everything.
I didn't say (or mean) that an infinite dimension had to include exact copies of Golarion, but that an infinite dimension that contains planets, etc. would be almost guaranteed to have trillions of worlds more interesting than Golarion.

Why? I certainly find Goarion interesting, why might some Gods not do so as well? There are effectively infinite worlds to play RPGs in, but I still run and play games in Golarion, as do a host of others, so why wouldn't some Gods make the same decision?

Liberty's Edge

Set wrote:
Derek Vande Brake wrote:
Common misapplication. Infinite does not necessarily mean it contains everything.

I didn't say (or mean) that an infinite dimension had to include exact copies of Golarion, but that an infinite dimension that contains planets, etc. would be almost guaranteed to have trillions of worlds more interesting than Golarion.

And trillions of worlds that are less interesting.

And somewhat there is a hierarchy of interest and something is on top and something at the bottom.
But then, by your logic, that something at the top has an infinite number of things that are more interesting, so it is not at the top.
Recursive logic.

Dark Archive

Diego Rossi wrote:

But then, by your logic, that something at the top has an infinite number of things that are more interesting, so it is not at the top.

Recursive logic.

The point I was trying to make is that Asmodeus, etc. have total control of infinite planes (indeed, each of the subplanes of the hells and abyss have been called infinite) that contain an approximately infinite number of worlds. Expending a single quanta of effort on a single world in another dimension, that at least nineteen other deities of equal power are also fighting over (and then there are the native deities of the plane, the Great Old Ones), when you can never actually control it, since it's in another dimension anyway, is kind of nonsensical.

By defining the planes as infinite, the motivation for the entities in charge of them to care at all about the material plane is silly. It's like being an internet billionaire and risking it all to dash out into traffic to pick a penny up off of the street. The mortals on the material plane are more valuable as petitioners / larvae after they die anyway, and it's not like they need food or water or resources. Anything they could possibly want from the mortal plane, they already have, several zillion times over.

If the Hells were finite, the desire to expand into the material plane would make more sense.

Liberty's Edge

He wouldn't be getting those souls without involving himself in Golarion or the prime material plane.

"Infinite" is a so malleable word. A infinite plane isn't necessarily a plane with an infinite number of things or an infinite number of variations of something.

An infinite empty space is infinite and empty.
A finite space with a single sun and a single planet would be more interesting than a infinite empty space for most creatures.


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I think only Maelstrom is truly infinite, all other planes started at some point in time, meaning the number of beings inhabiting them is finite.


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Er, unless something's changed since the last post I saw made on this topic, Numerian, at least according to James Jacobs, is correct. All of the outer planes are finite. They're ridiculously huge, mind you, but finite.

For example. The abyss is noted by JJ has having 666 layers. Why 666? Because that's a spooky number. Now, no one in Golarion (and, in fact, most... things... in the Abyss itself) knows this, necessarily. But it's a part of the canon of Golarion, as it's currently conceived. Asmodeus isn't the ruler of nine infinitely large sub-planes, but rather nine extremely large, but still-finite planes.

Of the places that are infinite, only the Maelstrom as definitely being infinite (and that's up for some debate) and the Material Plane may or may not be (I'm unsure, and I'm unsure if this has ever been discussed).

Even so, that's a lot of variety and a lot of material plane. But here's the other thing you've got to think about.

The material plane is the source - the source - for mortal souls. It's the thing that makes the omniverse spin round. No, not that way, though that's kind of close. And it also contains things so alien, so awful, so cosmically wrong on so many levels that an honest-to-goodness chaotic good god of beauty was driven mad and corrupted into a lawful evil god of torture by one of those things.

Asmodeus? Like all good villains, he probably doesn't consider what he's doing to be the "wrong" thing, in the grand scheme. He might apply the moniker "evil" to himself, and may bear it proudly, but for him that's like someone proudly proclaiming themselves a "Geek" or "Nerd" or other formerly-derogatory word which, after all, only makes sense in the grand scheme of things. And honestly? He may see his work as that of a savior. Sure, he's damning people to an eternity of torment and servitude under himself, but at least they're not stuck with those things. Better to be a devil for all time than... whatever that is. Besides, as he continues to pull mortal souls into the swirling outer planes - even if most of those he rakes are pulled into hell - he's actually keeping the universe in balance. See, it wouldn't work without him and his. I mean, without hell, the only place for evil souls to go would be Abaddon, and no one wants that, or... even worse... the Abyss (and thank you very much Abaddon for making that possible and ruining everything for the rest of us, too. Jerks.).

So yeah, his work on the material plane is important. "But!" the inevitable counter comes, "He's evil! Why would he care?" Quite frankly: he's self-interested, self-centered, and very much so out to keep himself his own. He's a god of pride: ergo he must (to himself) be the very pinnacle of everything that's ever existed. He likes himself and cannot accept that anything would be "better" than he. Accordingly, if he ever changed by virtue of someone or some outside force or effect forcing him (rather than by his own choice) he would be less. Thus, he could never submit to something else (like the, as he probably thinks of him, "weak-willed fool Dou-Bral"). With that in mind, he's going try to make sure that the material plane keeps providing souls for his own sake. He's completely uninterested in having hell ever end, and certainly not at the hands of whatever it is that Groteus is or plans, and even more certainly not because those creepy Material-plane "gods" did something dumb. So he's going to interfere, to stave them off as long as possible, interfering wherever (like in Golarion) they even look like they're getting a foothold.

Further, he's aware of the other gods. He knows about their machinations and manipulations. He knows that, where they're active, they're dealing with mortal souls (because they actually "care" - or some such insipid, stupid, and terribly antiquated ideals - about the pitiful mewling pieces of perfectly-good building materials/trade goods/money called "souls") and, as the worthiest creature in the omniverse, he's going to be on hand to make sure he's getting some of the profits.

And as for why Golarion so much? Simple: Rovagug. Deep down, Asmodeus does have one fear. The Rough Beast. The god that was capable of murdering scores of gods. Sure, Asmodeus outsmarted him (and all the others) once. But Rovagug's prison is on the prime material, too. And not just anywhere on the prime: Golarion. Sure, sure, Asmodeus has the only key, and only he can touch it, and it's completely impossible to get into or out of that prison without the key. You know. The one Asmodeus keeps in his pocket. But... what if it wasn't. Well. Then there would be one, very angry, unbelievably powerful godkiller who has two primary targets right in his sights. The freakin' stupid angel (whom he could care less about)... and himself. And if there's anything that really gives Asmodeus night-terrors for the hags and the the moon beasts, and denizens of Leng to feast on, it's this thought. That maybe, just maybe Rovagug learns how to forge a new key to his prison, and that he doesn't even give Asmodeus the time to scream. At least, not before he swallows him...

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The way I see it is that the multiverse isn't actually so Inner Sea centric, its just that most of the material we've seen done is on the Inner Sea. Ergo, since that's the best reference point Paizo has given us, it makes far more sense for them to provide stories/myths/information that pertains to the Inner Sea and its gods/goddesses. The most we've ever heard of Tian Xia, for exaple, is comprised in one 64 page booklet and a single AP. What we know of the Inner Sea Region, on the other hand, spans an entire 400 page hardcover, a good 75% of bth the Campaign Setting and Player Companion lines, etc. etc. Of course more of the material we're given would circle back to the Inner Sea. The Inner Sea is far more relevant, since most stuff the players will experience will take place in the Inner Sea. I'm sure the stories and stuff EXIST, they just weren't relevant to most events that players would encounter canonically (i.e. in published material rather than what a freelance DM might run). Plus, despite how the gods function, never forget that religion is still religion. A lot of the things the gods are credited for are essentially myth. While they may have basis in reality, people can believe a vast variety of things. Rovagug's sealing is relevant because his cultists and spawn cause trouble in the Inner Sea anyway, so what business do Tian Xia clerics have with that stuff?

Also, most gods/goddesses do not have a "true form" per se. Every race percieves them differently. Halflings depict certain deities as Halflings. James Jacobs once said that even though catfolk worship familiar gods, they depict them as being cat-like (even when they clearly weren't, such as Cayden Cailean, who is an ascended human). Since the gods are essentially malleable based on who is praying to them, they can look like whatever they want. They "take a form most pleasing" to their worshippers, so to speak. I'm entirely sure that Pharasma will appear as whatever the soul she's judging believes her to appear. i mean, their gods for crying out loud. Alter Self is a 2nd level mortal spell. I'm sure a god can look like whatever they want, whenever they want, to whoever they want. That's just how they're depicted by Golarion's residents, because, well, Golarion's residents are predominantly humanoid.

As for Outsiders...most Outsiders actually aren't humanoid. Angels and most archons are, but then look at the azatas. Those can look pretty weird. The agathions sometimes don't look humanoid at all (silvanshees or whatever those cat agathions are quadrapeds). Gelugons look like giant bug-men. Nalfenshee demons are enormous boars-things. Lemures are heaving sludge. And don't even get me started on qlippoth and rhakshasas. And the kytons? Have you seen those things? The majority of outsiders are indeed humanoid (because I assume a majority of sentient races in the multiverse are somewhat humanoid), but not all of them. A very good number look pretty freaking weird.

It's also a matter of perspective. Maybe bug-people from the plant Zog might look at angels the same way a human would look at a flumph. Both are good aligned beings, but their respective observers would be going like..."what a weird thingy. Helpful, sure, but man oh man is that thing ugly."

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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For the context of a campaign set in the Inner Sea region, yes, it might seem that the multiverse is Inner-Sea-Centered. But it's not.

The Great Beyond is larger than a human mind can comprehend. And that means there's enough out there to focus on EVERY world. No matter which world you go to, be it Golarion or Earth or Oreth or Athas or Droffa or Toril... that world's faiths and deities and civilizations will focus on that world, and when you drill down to continental regions, those will do the same.

For now, it certainly seems like the Great Beyond is Inner-Sea centered, but that's just because almost all of our products have been Inner-Sea centered.


I hope I quoted you right referencing the Abyss, James!

(I did, didn't I?)


Tacticslion: That big post was fantastic.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Tacticslion wrote:

I hope I quoted you right referencing the Abyss, James!

(I did, didn't I?)

Pretty much. Although we haven't gone on record yet regarding how many Abyssal realms there are in the Great Beyond...


James Jacobs wrote:
be it Golarion or Earth or Oreth or Athas or Droffa or Toril...

Droffa?


Interzone wrote:
Tacticslion: That big post was fantastic.

Thanks! (I pretty much usually write too much!)

James Jacobs wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:

I hope I quoted you right referencing the Abyss, James!

(I did, didn't I?)

Pretty much. Although we haven't gone on record yet regarding how many Abyssal realms there are in the Great Beyond...

Cool. Thanks a lot, Mr. Jacobs!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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QXL99 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
be it Golarion or Earth or Oreth or Athas or Droffa or Toril...
Droffa?

That's my homebrew world's planet name. See how I snuck that in there?

Liberty's Edge

I like to think of the Material Plane being far more important and vast than the Outer Sphere, regardless of what denizens of the Outer Sphere like to portray. The strange and abhorrent "gods" and forces far between the Stars seem to be of a different and indifferent kind to the spiritual aspects of reality. The relationship between the distant parts of the Material and the Outer Planes has not been explored yet in canon, and I am curious to hear opinions on it, official or otherwise.

On another note, The Outer Sphere is flashly, but it's also based highly on metaphors and ideas taking form. I think it is an unknown truth that the power of souls themselves craft the Outer Sphere into what it is, and all (or most) of the beings and realms there based upon not only the energy from the souls themselves but the hidden Will of the souls as a whole for their very existence. Perhaps without living souls, with no-one to notice, the entire Outer Sphere would simply sink back into the Maelstrom? Maybe logic does not matter as much there, and each conflux of souls generates its own center of the universe, even as others assume and thus sustain their own individual 'centers'?

Liberty's Edge

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So, for an alternate perspective on this, let me get all real-worldy on you:

There's this guy. His name is Ralph. He works for Google and lives in Silicon Valley. He wonders if the tech world is silicon-valley-centric. After all, he uses a cell phone that runs his company's operating system (and competes against another cell phone brand from just down the street); every cool new startup he's heard of is here in the valley; he works on a desktop that was made by HP, which is just down the street. So, clearly the center of the tech universe is Silicon Valley.

In South Korea, there's this guy. His name is Jung and he works for LG and lives in Seoul. He wonders if the tech world is Seoul-centric. After all, he uses a cell phone that his company made (and competes against another cell phone brand from just down the street); every cool new startup he's heard of is here in the valley; he works on a desktop that was made by Samsung, which is just down the street. So, clearly the center of the tech universe is Silicon Valley.

They're both right, of course.

The interesting thing to ask is: what's the equivalent of the Silicon Valley resident who thinks about where his phone's OS was made, but gives no thought to where the phone's hardware was made? I'll note that there are many deities and powerful outsiders in Golarion's pantheon who are called out as being particularly strange and alien. Perhaps they are the core deities on other worlds? Are the central gods of some alien, aquatic world Gozreh (who alternates between all 10 genders) and Dagon (whose mastery over the Abyss is only rarely challenged by obscure land-dwelling demons of strange and alien origin)?


Nice. That's a pretty sweet perspective, ajs.

EDIT: I could actually see a pretty similar argument made for India, considering almost every technical help phone line I've seen redirects to call centers in India. Very interesting.

Liberty's Edge

ajs wrote:
In South Korea, there's this guy. His name is Jung and he works for LG and lives in Seoul. He wonders if the tech world is Seoul-centric. After all, he uses a cell phone that his company made (and competes against another cell phone brand from just down the street); every cool new startup he's heard of is here in the valley; he works on a desktop that was made by Samsung, which is just down the street. So, clearly the center of the tech universe is Silicon Valley.

Oops, that was supposed to be "... heard of is here in South Korea;..." and "... clearly the center of the tech universe is South Korea."

Obviously, I cut-and-paste the paragraph and then forgot to edit part of it.


Heh, I read it that way anyway.


Lol, I noticed that but figured it was a copy-paste mistake and didn't figure it was worth bringing up.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Astral Wanderer wrote:

That leaves the poor Yautja feel unloved.

"Why did you make them look like you and me look like an ugly riverfish?"
But they wouldn't think anything like that, since we'd be as strange looking to them as they would be to us, so they'd think "Wow. You guys all look really silly, thanks for makng me look awesome instead."

That was not the point. The point was: "Why did the creators, almost all of whom look more or less akin, made all those creatures look similar to them and me completely different?"

Kthulhu wrote:

Of them all, I think Asmodeus would have the most multiversal prominence. He is, after all, the overall ruler of an entire plane. I don't really know that any of the others can make that claim.

It's one of the problems I have with the way they set up the dieties. The Four Horsemen should dwarf the power of any "new" god like Iomeade. They're multiversal powers. She's just the newest god on a relatively insignificant little backwater planet in the middle of nowhere.

That's it. Planes may be incommensurably huge, but there are powers there larger than just Golarion (or the mere Inner Sea region) who, despite that, seem to be focused on Golarion only.

Just to make a note about the "they can appear as they wish or as the people they address better like them" theory. That may be true for Gods, but if we talk about Outsider lords, it's often mentioned what their true form is like, and with the exception of Qlippoth, the occasional Demon lord (I think of Juiblex) and few others, 70% of them (I was prone to say 90%, but wanted to leave much more room open) either look very humanoid, have a humanoid general shape (arms, legs, head and all) or have at least some humanoid feature (like beasts with humanlike heads and that sort of things). How many can you mention, so far, having an entirely different shape, like Qluppoths (which are few of the few who give the feel of "all-spanning, not just Golarion", and are also the least interested with the Material) or Juiblex, compared to the number of humanoid ones?

That so far we've seen Golarion-only (almost) books and thus we have a Golarion perspective is a basic and obvious thing. Fact is that if I write a book about Japan and then a series of books about its people, cities and so on, the reader won't have the feeling that the rest of the world all depends on Japan and constantly has its eyes on it, caring little for anything else. Yet, that is the feeling I get from what I read about Golarion.
The planes still remain as a "bridge" for very, very far away corners of the Material Plane, and yet it feels like only Golarion has ties to them.
Let's take the "Planes are sectorized for beings from different worlds" theory. Any Horseman's (main) palace is in one precise location of Abaddon. And reading things around it feels a lot that it's in the Golarion-sector of Abaddon. If a guy from Akiton (not to say a much more distant planet) wants to go eat marshmallows with Szuriel, he'll have to go out of Akiton's sector and into Golarion's one. Apply this to all Outsider lords, Gods or whoever, and for all the inhabited planets of the Material Plane, and you get a great chaos. And look, instead, nothing like that can be perceived from the books, but also there doesn't seem to be a consistent reason for such "calm".
Let it be said, that I haven't read all the books, but I've read some of the most relevant ones about the whole planar matter (The Great Beyond, The Inner Sea World Guide, etc.) and some other things in Golarion's wiki, and what I said above is the general feel I get from all of them.
Mind you, from a developer point of view, I understand it's very hard to have everything seeming consistent to readers, but still, that's what I get from what I've read.

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