Racial stereotypes and Golarion.


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Hey, everytime I see a picture of the Paizo writers and staff all I see are pictures of pasty white guys. How about inserting some diversity into the mix?

I think some diversity could help expand the hobby and introduce some new ideas and viewpoints. I'll give you a perfect example of why you need some diversity:

Explain to me why all of the black people have to come from a jungle-somewhat-tribal civilization around the Mwangi Expanse? Why cant the Chelaxians have been black, or the Taldans, or even the Azlantis? Do we always have to portray black people as tribal jungle dwellers? Hell, they did the same thing in Forgotten Realms with the Jungles of CHult, so dont feel too bad. You arent the first to make this mistake. Sure, there are a few exceptions in Golarion, but the stereotype is there and it really doesnt need to be. Same goes for Asians; do they always have to come from a culture that mimics our reality? Why not make an Asian-influenced culture, but populate it with black or even white people to throw in an interesting curve?

Its just so damn predictable that it's painful. Its a racial stereotype carried over from the world we live in, but its fantasy, so why cant we challenge the norm?

I'm sure it wasnt intentional at all, but this is why I think you need some diversity. I understand that its a hobby mostly dominated by whites and run by whites, and so alll human beings naturally create things in their own image (without malicious intent), but it doesnt have to be. You're thinking too much inside the neat little prepackaged boxes called stereotypes.


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Oh by the bloody nine sheet stained pants of the lord of the nine hells, another one of these???

I could go on with this, but the Taldan's are not white skinned they are bronze skinned.

furthermore there are no white,black what not in golarion.....

there is only the avistanians and the Garundians and the tian.


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Maybe blacks are jungle dwellers because they just are...just like Eskimos live in the cold, and so on and such with all the different races of humans...Our racial differences are actually used to adapt and live in our chosen locations. It is the same with animals...it is just geography and has nothing to do with oppression. I think this is used the same way every game system out there has a 24 hour day and a 365 day year...it is just what people are familiar with.


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I don't think they DO " all come from a jungle-somewhat-tribal civilization" if I'm remembering things right. The Garundi have dark skin and their favored regions include such major cities as Absalom itself. Their alchemists in Thuvia are perhaps the most skilled in the craft thoughout the known world. As Fantasy settings go, that sounds pretty advanced.

The notes on the Mwangi are different people lumped together by those that don't know any better IIRC. Of the 'sub groups' you have sailors and tradesmen, more dwellers in Thuvia, and even the ones who fit your complaints now apparently had ancient cities that date back hundreds (or more) years.

And both Garundi and Mwangi have other nations elsewhere in the world that hasn't been covered yet IIRC. We could be missing whole empires.


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Some answers from a non-pasty, Puerto Rican gamer:

1) Did it ever occur to you that they hire people based on their credentials as a writer and not on race? I'd rather they look at a person's resume and previous work as a writer and hire on merit, rather than try to make some 'racial equilibrium'. If anything, hiring solely on race is a form of racism itself. And hell, it's actually quite rude to call them "pasty". I just think it's pretty hypocritical for you to call them out for racism, but then suggest they hire people based on race.

2) The Mwangi culture is actually not just tribal. In fact, if you read Pathfinder's Heart of the Jungle, you'll find that the Mwangi have several great cities and empires in Garund. Kibwe, Nantambu, Osibu, and Senghor are some examples of cities that are fairly big and based on some of the North, West, and East African cultures (Songhai, Mali, Aksumite Empire, etc) in addition to the more jungle cultures of Africa. By the way, much of Garund is based on savannas and deserts in addition to jungles. Seems very close-minded of you to assume that all of African culture is simply in the jungle...

3) In addition, they actually make an effort to point out that there are different ethnicities of African peoples besides 'black', just like in real-life. They showcase ethnicities of Northern, Western, Eastern. Central, and Southern Africa. Currently, we don't see much of Central of Southern Garundi (yet) but expect that to be fully fleshed out.

4) In addition, some of the biggest movers and shakers in Golarion are black. Jatembe, for example, is regarded as a very powerful wizard that led his people towards discovering civilization and fighting off the evils of the world. Nex is one of the most powerful casters and has left a nation and a powerful school of magic as his legacy. He reminds me of Greyhawk's Mordenkainen. He is also black. Artokus Kirran is the creator of the sun orchid elixir (an elixir of immortality) and gets the beck and call of other leaders that crave his alchemical concoction. And, he's black. These guys (and more) aren't some level 2 loser. They are all level 20+ legends that have helped to shape Golarion. In fact, if it wasn't for Jatembe, civilization wouldn't have returned to the world after the Earthfall. And without Nex's magical research and expertise, magic wouldn't be as powerful and advanced.

5) Besides these guys, the NPCs in Golarion are not tied to one region. There are several Mwangi men and women that are in various areas of Golarion and various positions of power. Mayors, sheriffs, leaders of districts. Hell, we even have a black woman as the iconic paladin. Paizo mixes all kinds of ethnicities in their books for both the good guys and bad guys.

6) Finally, the reason Golarion is based on Earth is because it is familiar to readers. They do take liberties with the cultures and add cool spins to them. This makes them exotic to the reader while still being familiar to them. This kind of setting tends to work a bit better to the average reader. Plus, it is really cool to spot the culture references and learn more about the culture they are based off of. Hell, because of Heart of the Jungle, I did research on many of the empires of Africa.

In the end, I think that Paizo does a great job with their setting and NPCs. Furthermore, I'd suggest actually looking at their setting more as well as the cultures of Africa before making erroneous blanket statements about a company that does its best to try and break the social barriers in RPG gaming. I myself get bothered by accusations like this because as well-meaning as they try to be, they do more to spread racism than halt it. Hiring based on race instead of merit in particular infuriates me. You're essentially telling the new employee that their hard work and dedication isn't what got them hired, but they're skin color is all that mattered. And THAT pisses me off more than anything.

To really expand your perspectives, you don't have to be black or white or brown or whatever. You need to do some research and read about these cultures. Make an effort to learn about the Songhai empire or Ethiopia or whatever other culture you which, and then teach about these cultures using your game worlds. There is a wealth of knowledge of different civilizations, cultures, and religions available to all races and the only way to truly expand the perceptions of yourself and your audience is to show them.

Silver Crusade

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Odraude wrote:

4) In addition, some of the biggest movers and shakers in Golarion are black. Jatembe, for example, is regarded as a very powerful wizard that led his people towards discovering civilization and fighting off the evils of the world. Nex is one of the most powerful casters and has left a nation and a powerful school of magic as his legacy. He reminds me of Greyhawk's Mordenkainen. He is also black. Artokus Kirran is the creator of the sun orchid elixir (an elixir of immortality) and gets the beck and call of other leaders that crave his alchemical concoction. And, he's black. These guys (and more) aren't some level 2 loser. They are all level 20+ legends that have helped to shape Golarion. In fact, if it wasn't for Jatembe, civilization wouldn't have returned to the world after the Earthfall. And without Nex's magical research and expertise, magic wouldn't be as powerful and advanced.

To add to that, according to the artwork in Inner Sea Magic, Aroden himself was much darker skinned than the image many might have expected from the Azlanti write-up. (this nicely murderfaces the grating problem that came with Azlanti cities in the Mwangi Expanse area and the unintended Victorian/pulp-style "ancient civilizations built by white-skinned folks that the dark-skinned natives could never manage" baggage that came with it)

Granted, a frequent complaint I've had about a lot of other fantasy settings is that it seems that while plenty of "white" ethnicity analogues can get entirely fantastic cultures not heavily based on their real world analogues, darker skinned ethnicities seem to always be rooted in "real world culture with the serial numbers filed off".*

But in Golarion this isn't necessarily the case. Besides insanely-weird, high-magic-as-@#$% Nex and Geb, there's also Dehrukani of South Garund, an entirely fantastic culture based on azata patronage and crystal spire architecture. There was also Lirgen...but....yeah... And then there's the Shory. Flying cities.

*Not that I have a problem with the presence of those cultures. I love Osirion to death. It's only when they're the only options certain ethnicities get that grates.


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I'm not sure how having fantasy Africans living in fantasy Africa is racist.

Is it racist that real life Africans live in real life Africa?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

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Oops_I_Crit_My_Pants wrote:

Hey, everytime I see a picture of the Paizo writers and staff all I see are pictures of pasty white guys. How about inserting some diversity into the mix?

Funny, I judge a writer by the content of his work, not the colour of his skin.

Maybe it is you who should step back, as the other posters here have mentioned, Golarion is not as you say, so maybe it is your own racism that colours your perceptions.

(Aside, I find it funny that the art for Valeros is right handed, but his mini is left handed. Thank the Divine for photo flips, may we have more?)

Grand Lodge

hogarth wrote:

I'm not sure how having fantasy Africans living in fantasy Africa is racist.

Is it racist that real life Africans live in real life Africa?

No but its...TERRORISM!!!!!!! *robot chicken voice*


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Matthew Morris wrote:
...I find it funny that the art for Valeros is right handed, but his mini is left handed.

<with Spanish accent> I know something you don't know. I... am not left-handed.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Golarion was written as a distant reflection of our world. So, you get Viking barbarians in the north and Arabs/AfroAmericans in the south. You get Roma culture and you have Italian renaissance.

Why? Deliberately, in order to make the world easier to absorb and present for both players and GMs. "This is Mwangi Exapnse, it is basically mythic heart of darkness sub-Saharan Africa with primitive natives, mokele-mbebe and a lot of Indiana Jones stuff" is much easier to run than "This is Zomborgi Empire, it's like ... you know it's pretty similar to ... well here's a 64 page book that explains that place, but you really need to read 2 novels and 1 adventure from the early 80s to get a hang of it". And if you have the Heart of Darkness meets Indiana Jones place, you expect black skinned natives with spears and shields or else things will just feel ... not right. Like role-playing in Soviet Russia populated by Inuits, or Charlemange's France filled with Asians.

James and Erik did explain several times that one of their goals was to make sure you can explain every place in Golarion using a quick gist of real world and fantasy trope analogues, and that "wholly made up original" places are kept at a reasonable level (Hermea, Alkenstar, etc.)

Project Manager

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Oops_I_Crit_My_Pants wrote:
Hey, everytime I see a picture of the Paizo writers and staff all I see are pictures of pasty white guys.

I am thrilled to learn that Sarah, Judy, Crystal, Liz, Lissa, Jenny, Sonja, Sara Marie, Chris, Kunji, Heather, Lisa and I* are pasty white guys.

*I feel like I'm forgetting someone...sorry if I did. It's early.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Oops_Jessica_Crits_OP's_Stereotypes

Shadow Lodge

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Aaron Bitman wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
...I find it funny that the art for Valeros is right handed, but his mini is left handed.
<with Spanish accent> I know something you don't know. I... am not left-handed.

As many times as I've seen pictures of Valeros dual-wielding I always figured he was straight-up ambidextrous.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Jessica Price wrote:
Oops_I_Crit_My_Pants wrote:
Hey, everytime I see a picture of the Paizo writers and staff all I see are pictures of pasty white guys.

I am thrilled to learn that Sarah, Judy, Crystal, Liz, Lissa, Jenny, Sonja, Sara Marie, Chris, Kunji, Heather, Lisa and I* are pasty white guys.

*I feel like I'm forgetting someone...sorry if I did. It's early.

But are you pasty?


Gorbacz wrote:
Oops_Jessica_Crits_OP's_Stereotypes

Wouldn't this be a Sneak Attack? Seems to be caught flatfooted.

Senior Editor/Fiction Editor

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Thanks to everyone in this thread (including the OP). Diversity in our products is something we're all really passionate about, and it warms my heart to see that by the time I stumbled across this post, folks like Odraude and Mikaze had already pointed out some of the more awesome black characters we have in the Inner Sea region. (And for the record, the reason folks in Garund have darker skin is because it's closer to the equator. Ulfen are paler than Taldans for the same reason, though there are also northern ethnicities like Kellids and the Erutaki that tend to be darker due to their environment, in the same way that folks like the Inuit in our world have evolved to have darker skin.)

The fact that folks can easily point to awesome and non-stereotypical black (or gay, or female, etc.) characters in our game warms my heart. There's always room to grow, and it's a major priority for us, but it's nice to see that we're clearly doing something right.

(P.S: If the Mwangi Jungle seems particularly pulpy, that's because it is--from the beginning, our mission with that region has been to show that it's possible to have awesome pulp jungle adventures WITHOUT the racism inherent to many of those old stories.)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules Subscriber

Well, there's always the iconic paladin Seelah-- who's a black woman in heavy armor fighting for truth, justice, the Iomedean way! I don't see any racial stereotyping with her at all-- she's a powerful marital character who happens to be black and female.

And there's Kyra, the iconic cleric who's from Qadira-- the Middle East analogue-- and she's middle eastern in appearance. Including never seeing her hair. Again, she's portrayed to be heroic, no-nonsense, and really tough in a fight: a powerful paragon of good that happens to be female and middle eastern.

Neither of these characters suffer from the "chainmail bikini" overtly sexual portrayal, as well. I don't detect a shred of racial stereotyping or sexism in either of them.

EDIT: ...and NINJA'd by James Sutter!


Matthew Morris wrote:
But are you pasty?

I know I am!


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Pathfinder is played internationally, it's player base is incredibly diverse in gender, sexual orientation, politics, and ethnicity.

The fact is Paizo has recognized this and does its best to be inclusive of all cultures. Speaking as the great grandson of an Australian Aboriginal, I am very happy they included Sarusan I can explore the Dreamtime stories of the native Australians should I wish.

Haladir you forgot the Iconic monk who is an analog of a person from India. I can't remember his name because monks suck :-b

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

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The 8th Dwarf wrote:
Haladir you forgot the Iconic monk who is an analog of a person from India. I can't remember his name because monks suck :-b

I think it's Sean Reynolds, isn't it? ;-)

Liberty's Edge

Troll thread is troll.

Golarion has a ton of ethnic diversity.

Seriously. Check out the wiki.


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Odraude wrote:

Some answers from a non-pasty, Puerto Rican gamer:

1) Did it ever occur to you that they hire people based on their credentials as a writer and not on race? I'd rather they look at a person's resume and previous work as a writer and hire on merit, rather than try to make some 'racial equilibrium'. If anything, hiring solely on race is a form of racism itself. And hell, it's actually quite rude to call them "pasty". I just think it's pretty hypocritical for you to call them out for racism, but then suggest they hire people based on race.

Are you saying that an all-white staff means they're hiring on merit and that people of color would only be hired for "racial equilibrium"?

I don't think that's what you meant, but "We hire and promote based on merit not race" has been a standard defense of many racist companies.

Now the disclaimers: I don't know anything about Paizo's hiring practices. I have no reason to think they discriminate. Given their record of racial and other diversity in their products, I strongly doubt they would. I suspect any lack of diversity in staff probably reflects the general lack of diversity in the hobby as a whole more than anything else.


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thejeff wrote:
Odraude wrote:

Some answers from a non-pasty, Puerto Rican gamer:

1) Did it ever occur to you that they hire people based on their credentials as a writer and not on race? I'd rather they look at a person's resume and previous work as a writer and hire on merit, rather than try to make some 'racial equilibrium'. If anything, hiring solely on race is a form of racism itself. And hell, it's actually quite rude to call them "pasty". I just think it's pretty hypocritical for you to call them out for racism, but then suggest they hire people based on race.

Are you saying that an all-white staff means they're hiring on merit and that people of color would only be hired for "racial equilibrium"?

I don't think that's what you meant, but "We hire and promote based on merit not race" has been a standard defense of many racist companies.

Now the disclaimers: I don't know anything about Paizo's hiring practices. I have no reason to think they discriminate. Given their record of racial and other diversity in their products, I strongly doubt they would. I suspect any lack of diversity in staff probably reflects the general lack of diversity in the hobby as a whole more than anything else.

Don't worry. That's not what I meant.


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Speaking of Nex, does anybody else see him as a sort of Prester John analogue?

Sovereign Court Contributor

Voltron64 wrote:
Speaking of Nex, does anybody else see him as a sort of Prester John analogue?

Funny, I always took Old Mage Jatembe as inheriting the "African" version of Prester John and Khiben-Sald the "Indian." (For various reasons, Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa were considered part of India, because they were on the Indian Ocean and east of the Nile, though the earliest versions of the P. J. myth associate him with Iran, India and Central Asia and link him to places scattered across Asia).


Haladir wrote:
And there's Kyra, the iconic cleric who's from Qadira-- the Middle East analogue-- and she's middle eastern in appearance. Including never seeing her hair.

Not true. Legacy of Fire, Chapter 3 - Jackal's Price, pg. 31.

Project Manager

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Matthew Morris wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
Oops_I_Crit_My_Pants wrote:
Hey, everytime I see a picture of the Paizo writers and staff all I see are pictures of pasty white guys.

I am thrilled to learn that Sarah, Judy, Crystal, Liz, Lissa, Jenny, Sonja, Sara Marie, Chris, Kunji, Heather, Lisa and I* are pasty white guys.

*I feel like I'm forgetting someone...sorry if I did. It's early.

But are you pasty?

Yes, on that, guilty as charged. I started out ethnically pasty and have become more so living in the Land of the Hidden Sun. :-)

Even my Hispanic SO is pretty pasty after living here for a while.

I blame melanin vampires.

Grand Lodge

Sheriff Hemlock in AP #1 is black and a Varisian in Sandpoint.

That's pretty early.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
W E Ray wrote:

Sheriff Hemlock in AP #1 is black and a Varisian in Sandpoint.

That's pretty early.

Not to mention the LGBT Paladin,

Roma (Varisians) everywhere,

Asian heroine in making and her troubled family from Japa...I mean, Tian Xia,

Hillbilly rapist ogre degenerates... (hey, you can't discriminate against someone just because he has an extra arm, smells funny and sleeps with his mom and grandma at the same time!)

Shadow Lodge

Gorbacz wrote:


Asian heroine in making and her troubled family from Japa...I mean, Tian Xia,

What, Ameiko is Asian? But she's got red hair and blue eyes and all. Wait, her name is all Japanese-like, so I must be mistaken. Right, so her hair is actually black and she wears kimonos everywhere...

Because the OP must be right and Asian-types don't look like white people.

Grand Lodge

W E Ray wrote:
Sheriff Hemlock in AP #1 is black

Then he somehow "changed" later on...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules Subscriber
InVinoVeritas wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:


Asian heroine in making and her troubled family from Japa...I mean, Tian Xia,

What, Ameiko is Asian? But she's got red hair and blue eyes and all. Wait, her name is all Japanese-like, so I must be mistaken. Right, so her hair is actually black and she wears kimonos everywhere...

Because the OP must be right and Asian-types don't look like white people.

She's got black hair (with a white streak) and dark eyes in the official art now...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules Subscriber
Digitalelf wrote:
W E Ray wrote:
Sheriff Hemlock in AP #1 is black
Then he somehow "changed" later on...

Hemlock's description in Pathfinder #1 says he's Shoanti, but he looks a lot like Samuel L. Jackson in the artwork. His portrait in the Anniversary Edition looks more Native American. He's Garundi in my game.


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And here I thought this was going to be an interesting thread about the actual stereotypes the people of Golorian have about the other races...

Oh well, it's still a readable thread.


ok, i guess because the mellanine:

i know the world of golarion is made from our own world and culture. its too much fantassy for me ignoring that fact:

Ulfen people lives in a thundralike place, and M´wangui lives in a tropical area... so if the sun do theyre job, its obviously they become as they are...

in other therm, i think they can expand all of this kin for more flavoured ones (maybe adding to them some favored class for region, skills and feats more deeply selected)
Varisian: harrowing feats, bard favored class, craft, knowledge nature class skill

Liberty's Edge

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Golarion is the most racialy diverse campaign my players and I have ever known. For the first time in my 30+ years of playing, folks are actually putting great thought into they type of human they are, not just 'human'.

It makes for a better game, and Paizo's done it.

Grand Lodge

DM Jeff wrote:
Golarion is the most racialy diverse campaign my players and I have ever known. For the first time in my 30+ years of playing, folks are actually putting great thought into they type of human they are, not just 'human'.

You didn't play much in the Forgotten Realms during 3rd edition I take it?

The "human race" in the Forgotten Realms (in 3rd edition anyway) was extremely diverse, with the various setting books going into extreme detail on each of the various human “race's" history and culture; and in most cases going into much more detail than Paizo has with their human races (however, in their defense, this is more than likely due to Paizo’s limited page count per book). And if I remember correctly (as I don't have my 3rd edition FR books handy), some of the human "races" or ethnicities of the Forgotten Realms even had different stat adjustments than the standard Player's Handbook "human" did. There were different cultural and national languages as well; with some nations/cultures sharing a language. So, not to take anything away at all from them, Paizo however, was not the first to do this...

Shadow Lodge

Digitalelf wrote:
DM Jeff wrote:
Golarion is the most racialy diverse campaign my players and I have ever known. For the first time in my 30+ years of playing, folks are actually putting great thought into they type of human they are, not just 'human'.

Didn't play much of the Forgotten Realms in 3rd edition I take it?

Not only was the "human race" extremely diverse (with some human "races" or ethnicities having different stat adjustments than the "standard"), there were different cultural and national languages as well (though some nations/cultures shared a language). So, not to take anything away from them, Paizo however, was not the first to do this...

There was also Greyhawk before the Forgotten Realms, with the Baklunish, Suel, Oeridians, Flannae, and Olman. I used a photo of a Papuan for my Flan wizard.

Shadow Lodge

Jessica Price wrote:

Even my Hispanic SO is pretty pasty after living here for a while.

I blame melanin vampires.

Ha! As a "pasty" Hispanic myself, I totally get that.


InVinoVeritas wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:

Even my Hispanic SO is pretty pasty after living here for a while.

I blame melanin vampires.

Ha! As a "pasty" Hispanic myself, I totally get that.

Alas, only my elbows are pasty. And sandpaper-y :p

Sovereign Court Contributor

In Cornwall, we eat pasties.


in Absolam we facebook palm


Oops_I_Crit_My_Pants wrote:

Hey, everytime I see a picture of the Paizo writers and staff all I see are pictures of pasty white guys. How about inserting some diversity into the mix?

I think some diversity could help expand the hobby and introduce some new ideas and viewpoints. I'll give you a perfect example of why you need some diversity:

Explain to me why all of the black people have to come from a jungle-somewhat-tribal civilization around the Mwangi Expanse? Why cant the Chelaxians have been black, or the Taldans, or even the Azlantis? Do we always have to portray black people as tribal jungle dwellers? Hell, they did the same thing in Forgotten Realms with the Jungles of CHult, so dont feel too bad. You arent the first to make this mistake. Sure, there are a few exceptions in Golarion, but the stereotype is there and it really doesnt need to be. Same goes for Asians; do they always have to come from a culture that mimics our reality? Why not make an Asian-influenced culture, but populate it with black or even white people to throw in an interesting curve?

Its just so damn predictable that it's painful. Its a racial stereotype carried over from the world we live in, but its fantasy, so why cant we challenge the norm?

I'm sure it wasnt intentional at all, but this is why I think you need some diversity. I understand that its a hobby mostly dominated by whites and run by whites, and so alll human beings naturally create things in their own image (without malicious intent), but it doesnt have to be. You're thinking too much inside the neat little prepackaged boxes called stereotypes.

They don't often appear that way in the art, but Garundi are "black", according to the description in the Inner Sea World Guide. This means that the vast majority of people in Nex, Geb,Osirion, and Alkenstar are "black", and a good portion of the (mostly Keleshite, I believe) nations of Thuvia, Rahadoum, and Katapesh would also be "black.

Full disclosure, I and several people in my gaming group are non-white, and one of the things that I appreciate about Golarion versus other popular fantasy settings is the diversity. Yes, most of the iconics are white, and most of the art is of white/asian/middle eastern people, and it would be nice to have an AP that really focuses on one of the Garund nations, or another AP set in Mwangi that actually focuses on the people there, but let's give credit where it's due. Golarion is probably the most diverse campaign setting in pen & paper roleplaying.


spectrevk wrote:
Oops_I_Crit_My_Pants wrote:

Hey, everytime I see a picture of the Paizo writers and staff all I see are pictures of pasty white guys. How about inserting some diversity into the mix?

I think some diversity could help expand the hobby and introduce some new ideas and viewpoints. I'll give you a perfect example of why you need some diversity:

Explain to me why all of the black people have to come from a jungle-somewhat-tribal civilization around the Mwangi Expanse? Why cant the Chelaxians have been black, or the Taldans, or even the Azlantis? Do we always have to portray black people as tribal jungle dwellers? Hell, they did the same thing in Forgotten Realms with the Jungles of CHult, so dont feel too bad. You arent the first to make this mistake. Sure, there are a few exceptions in Golarion, but the stereotype is there and it really doesnt need to be. Same goes for Asians; do they always have to come from a culture that mimics our reality? Why not make an Asian-influenced culture, but populate it with black or even white people to throw in an interesting curve?

Its just so damn predictable that it's painful. Its a racial stereotype carried over from the world we live in, but its fantasy, so why cant we challenge the norm?

I'm sure it wasnt intentional at all, but this is why I think you need some diversity. I understand that its a hobby mostly dominated by whites and run by whites, and so alll human beings naturally create things in their own image (without malicious intent), but it doesnt have to be. You're thinking too much inside the neat little prepackaged boxes called stereotypes.

They don't often appear that way in the art, but Garundi are "black", according to the description in the Inner Sea World Guide. This means that the vast majority of people in Nex, Geb,Osirion, and Alkenstar are "black", and a good portion of the (mostly Keleshite, I believe) nations of Thuvia, Rahadoum, and Katapesh would also be "black.

Full disclosure, I and several people in my gaming...

If I remember correctly, I believe the Garundi were based more off of the North African peoples. So Egyptians, Maghrebis, and Berbers I believe.


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and...? The term "black" isn't terribly specific, and Africa is Africa, to some extent. I've never understood the insistence that we treat Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa as completely different regions, as if the desert is impassable, or the people wholly unrelated for the entirety of history.

Besides, I don't see why the Garundi would resemble ancient Egyptians any more than ancient Nubians, who were active in the same area. Remember, the Egyptians of today (post-Arabization) are not the same as the Egyptians that were likely one of the influences for the Garundi.

And anyway, getting back to Mwangi, aren't they a pretty big part of the population in the Shackles and the Sodden Lands? So they aren't all tribal people; apparently a bunch of them are also pirates. :P


it to ahrd to ask, that we stop with white and jsut use pale skinned and dsrk sknined for black.... those terms are best left burriedin the past anyway....


Jeff Erwin wrote:
In Cornwall, we eat pasties.

I love a good Cornish pastie, they blow empanadas away any day.


The 8th Dwarf wrote:
Jeff Erwin wrote:
In Cornwall, we eat pasties.
I love a good Cornish pastie, they blow empanadas away any day.

What kind of Empanada? It must be something special if can blow Empanada Gallega.

Liberty's Edge

Digitalelf wrote:
You didn't play much in the Forgotten Realms during 3rd edition I take it?

I did, during its entire run. And I know they did that in the Realms, it's just for whatever reason none of my players ever had any interest in any of them to be anything but 'generic human'. Now, in Golarion, they do. I couldn't tell you why!

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