Comprehending the Canon


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

1 to 50 of 71 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

As of late I've been finding myself becoming frustrated in keeping up with the metaplot of the Golarion setting.

I just feel flustered when the books I buy, or people on the boards, reference something that I'm unfamiliar with. Like the Hao Jin Tapestry in the Pathfinder Society Primer, which I assume was the prize in the Ruby Phoenix Tournament module as said tournament is mentioned in the Primer, or learning that Krune was killed by Pathfinders in Organized play secondhand.

I feel like events like that MATTER to the metaplot, and if I were to introduce some great sweeping event that changes things (for instance, I've been trying to run a Council of Thieves game for over a year now, and even though we've never gotten to the end, almost all the players have stated their intention to take the fight right to House Thrune. What if later something comes down the line that I want to run that requires an intact Cheliax? And how do I run such a civil war, given House Thrune was able to curb-stomp an army of copper dragons that attacked it with the intention of taking them down (see Dragons Revisited)? It would seem if the PCs tried to fight House Thrune, the rebellion would be put down in a matter of days.). Or what's been hinted at on the boards, that upcoming Organized Play events will deal with the stagnation that's been Taldor's schtick from the beginning. What if I set events in Taldor without knowing what's going on there?

Prince of Wolves possible spoilers:
According to what little information I've gleaned, it's revealed that Radovan, Count Jeggare's tiefling bodyguard is actually a Virholt, making him a possible claimant for the throne of Ustalav. I now feel like the possibility of someone wanting to play a scion of the Virholt line, like hinted at in Rule of Fear, is impossible because of what's been revealed. How can there be two "last scions" of the family line? And to those who say, "It's your setting, Radovan doesn't have to exist in it," I understand your argument, but please understand where I'm coming from. I have a thing about canon. I don't like to contradict it. So if canon says one thing and the player says another, the canon is what wins, if I am GM. It's better writing than any of the crap I could produce, that's why I use Adventure Paths in the first place.

I try to run my stuff as close to canon as possible, but I find myself frustrated by the fact that my knowledge is, quite simply, limited. I don't have all the books, I don't have that kind of disposable income, and more stuff keeps coming out so I feel like I'll never be fully caught up. I've never read any of the novels, and I get confused when they get referenced in threads. And I don't have the money or the means to attend PaizoCon or GenCon and learn any of these alleged "Secrets of Golarion" that are being talked about that supposedly involved non-disclosure agreements and talk about the truth behind Aroden's death being revealed. All of this feels so bewildering as I try to establish what I as a GM can and cannot do to avoid violating potential canon, and where to set boundaries for my players. I want to know where the boundaries are, so I can continue to enjoy the wonderful writing and stuff that Pathfinder keeps producing, but I feel like the minute I go off-script or improv something, a book will come out later that totally contradicts what I had happen, and thus will render that content unusable in my game.


I think you are confusing PFS metaplot with golarion metaplot. For the most part the campaign world has lots of suggestions of regional plots with no metaplpt.

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

But PFS is set in Golarion. That's a false dichotomy. PFS metaplot IS Golarion metaplot, at least in the sense that it may influence further products down the line.

Contributor

The problem here lies in uncertainty. It will be impossible to know what will be published in the future. No matter what you do or how lightly you attempt to tread in your home games, something will always be released that may not line up with how your Golarion is turning out. It's something that every GM has to keep in mind while playing in an established setting. Heck, even the Paizo staff stray from published canon in their own games.

As for PFS, I consider it another "home game," albeit with a massive number of players. Events in PFS are part of their own version of Golarion and have yet to be of any influence in the actual products or canon of Golarion Prime, at least that I'm aware of.

Grand Lodge

A number of folks over the last couple years have started Threads similar to this -- though most of those refer more to holes in the published material.

Ultimately there will always be some problems along these lines in a dynamic campaign setting -- and dynamic is better than static.

But yeah, it does kinda stink that those of us who want to stick to canon without owning everything -- or in more cases -- want to stick with canon but there isn't any information in the published setting beyond a place name (no info whatsoever), can't really do that without knowing that they're gonna be stepping on canon toes somewhere.

It is FAR worse in FR, though.
Unless you have read a bare minimum of 100 novels and have a good 50 or so gaming supplements, you're missing more than 50% of the setting.

Paizo said, back in '07 when this all started, that they were going to try to avoid the FR problem in their design strategy. Theirs sounded like a good strategy in design but with each passing year it seems to be clearer and clearer that their strategy of designing a setting that doesn't become too like the FR setting is ultimately not working.

At least, for gamers who want to stick with canon but don't want to exclusively play Paizo's published adventures.

I don't know how many of us are out there that are frustrated with it but at least the setting is AWESOME, the customer service is spectacular and the game is the one we love.

We can always work around the somewhat unavoidable inconvenience.


donato wrote:

The problem here lies in uncertainty. It will be impossible to know what will be published in the future. No matter what you do or how lightly you attempt to tread in your home games, something will always be released that may not line up with how your Golarion is turning out. It's something that every GM has to keep in mind while playing in an established setting. Heck, even the Paizo staff stray from published canon in their own games.

As for PFS, I consider it another "home game," albeit with a massive number of players. Events in PFS are part of their own version of Golarion and have yet to be of any influence in the actual products or canon of Gaolarion Prime, at least that I'm aware of.

My thoughts exactly.

You do occasionally run against problems when you fill out something in your home game that was kind of thin in print, then Paizo publishes something that contradicts what you established. As the GM, you then have the choice to let your version of the world stand (overriding canon) or retconning your campaign to reflect the canon.

Example in my game: I'm running "Rise of the Runelords," which I started in March 2011. At the time, I was using the original version of the AP, which I was converting to PFRPG from 3.5 on-the-fly. One of the PCs wanted to be from Magnimar, and to have been raised as an orphan at the Temple of Sarenrae. Checking the five-page Magnimar gazetteer in the back of Pathfinder #2, I said, "Sure!"

Of course, when Magnimar: City of Momuments was published two years later, it mentions that there is no temple of Sarenrae in Magnimar-- aside from the ruined shrine that was detailed in Dawn of the Scarlet Sun.

So, in my version of Magnimar, there's a moderately-sized temple of Sarenrae in Dockside, which has been there for decades. I'm not going to make a player re-write his PC's background because a canonical publication contradicts what I established in my version of the gameworld.


I was under the impression that events in novels are not canon except when mentioned in game material.


In regards to PFS i get the impression its like a large campaign that tak3s place in golarion. But staff generally make no attempt to dictate what happens in peoples ome games.

I will add there is lots of areas i want more info on. Alot of books offer is tidbits of plot hooks to work on that i wwant to know more about.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Golarion is a campaign setting, not a novel. It works on the assumption that:

A: GM's will tweak the setting by adding new towns/races/etc, or will cut out certain nations/races/technology

B: That the players are the main movers and shakers, and how they react to events will what is inform the setting. If your characters fail to defeat Karzoug, he is still alive. If they decide to launch an invasion of Brevoy after Kingmaker, they launch and invasion. Hell...if they want to bring back Aroden...then they bring back Aroden.

Nothing is canon unless you choose it to be canon. I just WOULDN'T obsess over any minor detail. If you have a player who wants as his backstory being an heir to the Ustalav throne, than let him.

Also that NDA thing in ask James Jacob was obviously a trolling post and not real.

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Haladir wrote:
donato wrote:

The problem here lies in uncertainty. It will be impossible to know what will be published in the future. No matter what you do or how lightly you attempt to tread in your home games, something will always be released that may not line up with how your Golarion is turning out. It's something that every GM has to keep in mind while playing in an established setting. Heck, even the Paizo staff stray from published canon in their own games.

As for PFS, I consider it another "home game," albeit with a massive number of players. Events in PFS are part of their own version of Golarion and have yet to be of any influence in the actual products or canon of Gaolarion Prime, at least that I'm aware of.

My thoughts exactly.

You do occasionally run against problems when you fill out something in your home game that was kind of thin in print, then Paizo publishes something that contradicts what you established. As the GM, you then have the choice to let your version of the world stand (overriding canon) or retconning your campaign to reflect the canon.

Example in my game: I'm running "Rise of the Runelords," which I started in March 2011. At the time, I was using the original version of the AP, which I was converting to PFRPG from 3.5 on-the-fly. One of the PCs wanted to be from Magnimar, and to have been raised as an orphan at the Temple of Sarenrae. Checking the five-page Magnimar gazetteer in the back of Pathfinder #2, I said, "Sure!"

Of course, when Magnimar: City of Momuments was published two years later, it mentions that there is no temple of Sarenrae in Magnimar-- aside from the ruined shrine that was detailed in Dawn of the Scarlet Sun.

So, in my version of Magnimar, there's a moderately-sized temple of Sarenrae in Dockside, which has been there for decades. I'm not going to make a player re-write his PC's background because a canonical publication contradicts what I established in my version of the gameworld.

Stuff like this is why I've been posting so much in the "Ask" threads. I'm trying to make sure my own PCs match the canon perfectly so they fit in the canon and I don't get anxiety for it. I'm incredibly self-conscious about my creative writing skills, and I feel if I go "off-script," meaning I deviate from the stuff in the books too much, the character becomes tacky or Mary Sue like. And because it'd be spam to post a new thread every time I have a question about fitting character backgrounds into the setting.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
I'm trying to make sure my own PCs match the canon perfectly so they fit in the canon and I don't get anxiety for it.

Good luck, but it sounds like a recipe for massive headaches down the line. Obsessing over details that are subject to change is building expectations on a sandy shore.


the only thing you should worry about when playing a character is if you are having fun, and to not overshadow other players. If you enjoy your character, don't worry if other people think it's a Mary Sue, and don't let canon interfere with your fun

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I'm already having massive headaches now. I feel like some ideas don't make sense when they're all bundled together. Take the upcoming Wrath of the Righteous AP. What I'd like to play is a Kellid knight looking to drive the demonic invaders from his homeland King-Arthur-style. Kellid because the indication's been given that they're the closest human ethnicity to represent the Celtic peoples of Britain. Paladin because that's by far the most awesome of classes to represent knights, and because Wrath of the Righteous is THE paladin AP. But Kellids aren't paladins. They're barbarians and druids. They don't worship gods of chivalry like Iomedae, but primal deities like Gorum or Pharasma. They don't charge in on a horse with sword in hand. They lumber in on a mammoth with a flint-tipped spear.

I could write an elaborate backstory saying his family was descended from Sarkorian refugees and he went native in Mendev, converting to Iomedae's worship as she seemed to be the only god that actually gave a crap about saving his homeland. But that seems overly contrived and wants too many things in the same character, when the simpler and probably better concept would be a Kellid barbarian or druid, keeping the ties to Sarkoris but ditching the knightly concept, or a non-Kellid paladin, doing the opposite, abandoning the narrative ties to Sarkoris in favor of being a knightly figure.

Another concept is for a Curse of the Crimson Throne character. I like the idea of tying the character to the Shoanti, as well as being a paladin, since there's a certain sword in there that works very well for them. There are lots of problems with the concept, though. Shoanti have the same issues Kellids do. Paladins and knights simply AREN'T a part of their culture, and in fact the Shoanti HATE knightly figures on principle due to the Hellknights that helped drive them from their homelands. What self-respecting Shoanti-blooded person would emulate the traditions of their ancestral enemies? What would they be doing in Korvosa, the very place they're discriminated against the most? How would they grow up under Gaedren's care, if they want to have grown up with at least a working knowledge of their cultures and traditions, which a child "raised" by a Korvosan petty criminal simply wouldn't recieve growing up? And Iomedae, the creator of said sword, is not worshiped in Korvosa beyond the eccumenical, while the closest paladin gods, Abadar and Sarenrae, don't seem to appeal to Shoanti either (one's a patron and harbinger of the civilization they despise, and the other's a deity of foreigners with strange ways and imperialistic attitudes).

No matter how I try to justify these concepts, they all smack of just plain bad writing, and that's a disgrace to my Bachelor's Degree. The best characters don't have convoluted backstories trying to justify a player's odd choices, especially when said player is actively trying to tie as many plot elements from the AP to the character as possible in a metagamey attempt to maximize the odds for getting chosen in an audition for a play-by-post game, and a compulsion to make sure the resulting game is as narratively solid as possible because I fear the other players won't play characters that support the AP's narrative themes and styles. Who asks to play a kitsune in a Council of Thieves game?! It's about the mutually abusive relations between tieflings and humans under the Thrune Regime!

What makes the game fun for me is the creation of a story. But stories have rules. Arcs, cliches, expectations. If those expectations aren't met, then I get upset, feel less for it. I don't want a session of gaming to come out sounding like a 14-year old's fanfiction! I'm better than that. And Paizo's work is too good to be sullied by crap like that.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

But some ideas don't make sense when they're all bundled together. Take the upcoming Wrath of the Righteous AP. What I'd like to play is a Kellid knight looking to drive the demonic invaders from his homeland King-Arthur-style. Kellid because the indication's been given that they're the closest human ethnicity to represent the Celtic peoples of Britain. Paladin because that's by far the most awesome of classes to represent knights, and because Wrath of the Righteous is THE paladin AP. But Kellids aren't paladins. They're barbarians and druids. They don't worship gods of chivalry like Iomedae, but primal deities like Gorum or Pharasma. They don't charge in on a horse with sword in hand. They lumber in on a mammoth with a flint-tipped spear.

I could write an elaborate backstory saying his family was descended from Sarkorian refugees and he went native in Mendev, converting to Iomedae's worship as she seemed to be the only god that actually gave a crap about saving his homeland. But that seems overly contrived and wants too many things in the same character, when the simpler and probably better concept would be a Kellid barbarian or druid, keeping the ties to Sarkoris but ditching the knightly concept, or a non-Kellid paladin, doing the opposite, abandoning the narrative ties to Sarkoris in favor of being a knightly figure.

Another concept is for a Curse of the Crimson Throne character. I like the idea of tying the character to the Shoanti, as well as being a paladin, since there's a certain sword in there that works very well for them. There are lots of problems with the concept, though. Shoanti have the same issues Kellids do. Paladins and knights simply AREN'T a part of their culture, and in fact the Shoanti HATE knightly figures on principle due to the Hellknights that helped drive them from their homelands. What self-respecting Shoanti-blooded person would emulate the traditions of their ancestral enemies? What would they be doing in Korvosa, the very place they're discriminated...

Not every Paladin is a knight in shining armor worshipping Iomedae. The Kellid one might be a rough horseman riding under the banner of Erastil, who is also a popular Kellid deity. Heck, Erastil even has a cut code for Paladins. That Paladin isn't wearing any plate armor or doesn't even look like a traditional knight, he's more of a feral protector of his community with a faithful and righteous heart. A perfect match and one that people might not expect, because it breaks stereotypes.

The Shoanti one, on the other hand. What traditions is he emulating? He's going with honor, altruism and the code of his chosen patron. Similarly to the above, he ain't no panzer tin, that's not how Shoanti roll. Instead, he's a big truck of smashing things with his divine bond greatsword. Whom does he answer to? Of course not Iomedae, not much of her these parts, he follows one of Empyreal Lords instead. Maybe Lymnieris, worshipping his aspect as caretaker of rites of passage (which are an extremely important part of Shoanti culture). Or perhaps Smiad, whose portfolio includes dragon-hunting, honor and renown. Honor and dragon hunting! What's not to love in these words for a Shoanti. And isn't there a certain turbo-evil dragon featuring prominently in CotCT backstory? Favored weapon in either case is are swords, great fit thematically, and sooo many opportunities for surprises. Ain't nobody expectin' a Shoanti Paladin! He's not a traditional "knight", but he's sure the guy to run to if bad guys are afoot.

And either of them might be a deeply religious Cavalier instead, in any case. Perhaps a member of Order of the Star?

You seem to put overtly big concern on narrow interpretation of what a class is. A Paladin or a Cavalier does not need to be a panzer knight in every case.

Your Bachelor degree shouldn't be a burden telling you "must fit into canon or else I fail at creativity". Exactly the opposite, it should encourage you to be inventive and try to look at things from different perspectives. That's me speaking from my PhD degree armchair ;-)

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

But my experiences as a GM have told me otherwise. Every time I've tried to run a game, it's collapsed within a half-hour as I have no idea where the plot's going, what kinds of challenges are too easy for the party and what's too hard, and by the time the first battle rolls around I lose track of who's doing what and where people are, and it all collapses into a morass of confusion and frustration, and I'd much rather be playing, but I can't because I'm the only one in the group that wants to play these kinds of things, so I have to run it myself.

And how does someone learn about Lymneris, an Empyreal Lord, in Korvosa? Empyreal mystery cults are a thing in Magnimar, Korvosa's greatest rival in Varisia. And I'm uncomfortable with the ritual requirement that you have to masturbate to complete it. My fellow players are much more...open...about such topics than I am. And what connection does Lymneris have to that sword anyway?

Sometimes I feel like I'm just trying to shoehorn any sort of King-Arthury concept I can into other APs because I can't do it in Kingmaker, since Kingmaker's Russian instead of British. There's no real place on Golarion to play a Romano-British knightly type seeking to bring peace and justice to a land infested with brutish invaders while straddling the line between Christianity and Paganism among his own followers.

And not wanting to play Sarenrae worshipers because I don't want to be obligated to use scimitars.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

But my experiences as a GM have told me otherwise. Every time I've tried to run a game, it's collapsed within a half-hour as I have no idea where the plot's going, what kinds of challenges are too easy for the party and what's too hard, and by the time the first battle rolls around I lose track of who's doing what and where people are, and it all collapses into a morass of confusion and frustration, and I'd much rather be playing, but I can't because I'm the only one in the group that wants to play these kinds of things, so I have to run it myself.

And how does someone learn about Lymneris, an Empyreal Lord, in Korvosa? Empyreal mystery cults are a thing in Magnimar, Korvosa's greatest rival in Varisia. And I'm uncomfortable with the ritual requirement that you have to masturbate to complete it. My fellow players are much more...open...about such topics than I am. And what connection does Lymneris have to that sword anyway?

Sometimes I feel like I'm just trying to shoehorn any sort of King-Arthury concept I can into other APs because I can't do it in Kingmaker, since Kingmaker's Russian instead of British. There's no real place on Golarion to play a Romano-British knightly type seeking to bring peace and justice to a land infested with brutish invaders while straddling the line between Christianity and Paganism among his own followers.

1. Take it easy. The objective of the game is to have fun. Don't let anything: canon, plot, rules, whatever, get in the way. Use minis and other visual aids, keep notes, and follow your instinct.

2. I've edited my above post to include Smiad, which is perhaps even a better fit for a patron of Shoanti paladins. Empyreal mystery cults are *abundant* in Magnimar, but that doesn not mean they're *absent* in other places. Heck, the Guide to Korvosa was written years before Paizo formulated their ideas about Emp. Lords and their cults, so you can fit them in as you wish.

3. That's because Golarion isn't Earth. Look, I'm seeing a pattern here. You're very quickly attaching labels to things, and then you let those labels shut you off from ideas. Kingmaker isn't "Russian". Brevoy (which plays very little role in the AP, all in all) is a distant echo of early medieval Eastern Europe, but it's not "it". River Kingdoms are close to Taldor, Golarion's "traditional Western European medieval land", an (errant) knight from round these parts could easily get tangled up in River Kingdoms. Heck, River Kingdoms are such a mish-mash of cultures and influences that it's a totally "anything goes" place, giving Shackles and Kaer Maga a run in the cosmopolitanism department.

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Then why are Brevic names things like Medvyed, based on the Russian word for bear, and Lebeda, similar to the Russan word for swan, which are on the crests of those respective families, rather than names like Segwarides, Dinadan or Ector?


Brevoy is more modeled after the Song of Ice and Fire than Russia...and there are certainly plenty of knights in Westeros. So why wouldn't a knight-like figure make sense for Kingmaker?

if you can't find a god that fits your concept, and your GM doesn't care, just rework the canon to allow it.

Bam...Sarkoris nobility had knights.

Bam...there was a tribe of Shoanti who adopted foreigner concepts


see "distant echo" of Eastern Europe.

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Because the naming conventions don't work. It's the Aerith and Bob problem. What sense does it make for a family who normally name their kids Adok, Hrunga or Purat to suddenly name the PC kid Galahane or de Hauteville?

And the books clearly state the Sarkorian people had painted warriors and stuff, more like the pre-Romanized British people.

Smiad looks like a good patron...I suppose the Shoanti would just say, "He's not my GOD, tshameks! He's my patron spirit!" Though I'm not sure how Sklar-Quah/elf relationships are viewed now. Half-elves get free EWP.

I just feel like changing things from the books is disrespecting them, like the opinion I developed of Lord of the Rings shipping fanfiction after taking a college course on Tolkien (We read through The Hobbit and the whole Lord of the Rings, with supplementary readings from The Silmarillion and Tolkien's other essays. Now when I look at fan-works I get disgusted. I mean, it's not like people insert original characters into Howard's End to romance Helen after the end, or ship Gilgamesh and Enkidu!)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Then why are Brevic names things like Medvyed, based on the Russian word for bear, and Lebeda, similar to the Russan word for swan, which are on the crests of those respective families, rather than names like Segwarides, Dinadan or Ector?

Because the authors wanted to evoke a subtle feel of early medieval Eastern Europe. But in no place did they tell you "this is medieval Russia and only things that were true in medieval Russia are true in Brevoy".

Now let's go back to what you wrote "There's no real place on Golarion to play a Romano-British knightly type seeking to bring peace and justice to a land infested with brutish invaders while straddling the line between Christianity and Paganism among his own followers."

Tell you what, I'm from Poland, that's a wee bit west of Russia but still very much a Slavic land. In medieval times, our (very much armor and horses, the West didn't have a monopoly on that I'm afraid) knights sought to bring peace and justice to a land infested with brutish invaders (Mongols, Muscovites, Turks, insert random roving bands popular this season) while straddling the line between Christianity and Paganism among their own followers (the not-so-yet-fully Christian Lithuania, not to mention our more exotic allies such as Tatar raiders).

Take that, slap it into Brevoy, voila. Instant mashup of Golarion canon and real world history. And you get to ride a full plate Paladin into River Kingdoms :)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Canon is supposed to be a jumping off point, not a straitjacket.

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:

Because the authors wanted to evoke a subtle feel of early medieval Eastern Europe. But in no place did they tell you "this is medieval Russia and only things that were true in medieval Russia are true in Brevoy".

Now let's go back to what you wrote "There's no real place on Golarion to play a Romano-British knightly type seeking to bring peace and justice to a land infested with brutish invaders while straddling the line between Christianity and Paganism among his own followers."

Tell you what, I'm from Poland, that's a wee bit west of Russia but still very much a Slavic land. In medieval times, our (very much armor and horses, the West didn't have a monopoly on that I'm afraid) knights sought to bring peace and justice to a land infested with brutish invaders (Mongols, Muscovites, Turks, insert random roving bands popular this season) while straddling the line between Christianity and Paganism among their own followers (the not-so-yet-fully Christian Lithuania, not to mention our more exotic allies such as Tatar raiders).

Take that, slap it into Brevoy, voila. Instant mashup of Golarion canon and real world history. And you get to ride a full plate Paladin into River Kingdoms :)

That...that works! Polish people are even more badass than British! Add the slightly Slavic influences inherent in Torag (A protector with a hammer much like Perun, plus it makes sense for someone who seeks to DEFEND his people and BUILD an empire) and King Artek would be good to go! Thanks, Gorbacz! :)

That doesn't necessarily eliminate all my hang-ups, though. :(

Ross Byers wrote:
Canon is supposed to be a jumping off point, not a straitjacket.

Case in point. Yes, I've been told this plenty of times, even by guys like James Jacobs and Wes. But that really doesn't help when I feel insecurities by trying to reconcile my love of well-written literature with the hobby I love, which has a tendency to drift more into comedy inadvertently. Even in the best D&D game I ever played, where I tried to play a serious paladin who wasn't Lawful Stupid and whom the other player said was the best paladin they'd ever seen...he still got called Sir Robin by the bard for advising a tactical retreat, and we still retreated from the tarrasque on segways! It...kind of takes some explaining.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Just because names are pulled from one culture doesn't make that area of Golarion a pastiche for that region of Earth.


I would use cannon as a guideline rather than a straight jacket. I can mostly adress the kellid paladin.

Sarkoris was a melting pot of religons. They litterally worshiped everything Even stuff that didn't exist. Basically it is very easy to explain kellids with paladin themes. For wrath of the rigtous a kellid descended from sarkoran refugees returning to teclaim their homeland is very appropriate.

A lot of the games cannon is deliberately vague or flexible. Other parts are just ideas left to be shaped.

Personally the only story stuff I agonize over is the neat idea I'm sure I can't get anyone to dm that probly won't be defined for a while. Eg. Wakena in mwangi. There's a lot of other cool snippets.


What Ross and Cori said. Heck, even James Jacobs has said as much.

Don't get me wrong- I get it. My favorite campaign world is Mystara, and it is chock-full of RW analogous cultures, which really appeals to my BA in Anthropology. And I know the frustration when you see what seem to be two vastly different RW cultures, perhaps even from different eras, juxtaposed next to one another with no real rhyme or reason, or thought given to the different linguistic and cultural developments that might have resulted in such a pairing.

All I can say is, you have to allow yourself to get beyond it. To realize these aren't supposed to be direct analogues, but just a possible jumping off point to developing something different and unique, or- at worst- to ignore it.

If anything, think of it as a challenge- these things didn't result that way in the RW, so what happened here in Golarion/Mystara/Urdwurld that made it so? How might things have been different? How might they be the same? Can I envision something perhaps even greater than the sum of the two parts, can I mix my fantasy in there to find a different and unique culture?

But, most importantly, as Gorbacz said, have fun.

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Cthulhudrew wrote:

What Ross and Cori said. Heck, even James Jacobs has said as much.

Don't get me wrong- I get it. My favorite campaign world is Mystara, and it is chock-full of RW analogous cultures, which really appeals to my BA in Anthropology. And I know the frustration when you see what seem to be two vastly different RW cultures, perhaps even from different eras, juxtaposed next to one another with no real rhyme or reason, or thought given to the different linguistic and cultural developments that might have resulted in such a pairing.

All I can say is, you have to allow yourself to get beyond it. To realize these aren't supposed to be direct analogues, but just a possible jumping off point to developing something different and unique, or- at worst- to ignore it.

If anything, think of it as a challenge- these things didn't result that way in the RW, so what happened here in Golarion/Mystara/Urdwurld that made it so? How might things have been different? How might they be the same? Can I envision something perhaps even greater than the sum of the two parts, can I mix my fantasy in there to find a different and unique culture?

But, most importantly, as Gorbacz said, have fun.

This. This is what bugs me more than anything else about Golarion. More and more I look at the maps of human culture dissemination, the bestiaries, and the regional languages and go "This isn't how it works at all! How could that religion be dominant in that land when it's culture's nothing like the culture it's modeled off? How can that language be spoken in one nation but not its neighbor? How do traditional philosophical and ontological questions get answered given that deities are observable beings? HOW THE HECK DOES NATURAL SELECTION EVEN PRODUCE REAL-WORLD ANIMALS WITH THE OVERABUNDANCE OF PREDATORY AND SUPERNATUAL BEINGS?!" I feel like the more I learn about history, science and philosophy, the less fun the game feels.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Take a deep breath and remind yourself this: Golarion is not real. It is a fantasy world. Events in their history are not the same as events in Earth's history. We don't have a land of eternal winter. We don't have a place on the planet where Hell has literally bled into the world and is overrun with demons (though Texas is close). We don't have people able to kill you by looking at you funny, saying a few words and waving their hands. No fantasy world can take the scrutiny you are applying to this one. Fantasy and Sci-Fi require suspension of disbelief. If you can't do that, then you will not have fun with a fantasy RPG. Maybe d20 Modern would be more your kind of thing, where you can use the real world as your setting.

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

But I have just as much trouble with the real world due to my lack of knowledge about current events. I know more about Golarion's current events than those in the real world.


Subscribe to a newspaper.


Or click this.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Or, play in an era that you are comfortable with using relevant Pathfinder rules. Celtic setting with Paladins and Druids and fighters and rangers and barbarians, but very limited spellcasting could be good.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
I mean, it's not like people insert original characters into Howard's End to romance Helen after the end, or ship Gilgamesh and Enkidu!)

One word: popularity. If The Epic of Gilgamesh spawned a whole genre of RPGs and had a trilogy of films made of it, you can bet that Gilgamesh+Endiku would be as common on the internet as Frodo+Sam.

Humour out of the way, it sounds like you spend a little too much time worrying about how your game is going to fit into the world, and not enough actually playing the game. It also sounds like the group you're playing with have very different expectations for their game's subject matter than you do. For instance:

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
But that really doesn't help when I feel insecurities by trying to reconcile my love of well-written literature with the hobby I love, which has a tendency to drift more into comedy inadvertently. Even in the best D&D game I ever played, where I tried to play a serious paladin who wasn't Lawful Stupid and whom the other player said was the best paladin they'd ever seen...he still got called Sir Robin by the bard for advising a tactical retreat, and we still retreated from the tarrasque on segways! It...kind of takes some explaining.

However, I think you're taking the wrong message from that circumstance. Sure, the character was undermined by the general frivolity that can occur when playing an RPG - as people often roll with whatever they can think of next that humours them, as opposed to what suits the story best - but you still managed to play a paladin that they thought was the best. That sounds like a success.

In regards to canon complaints/world-building logic, you've really only two options: either accept that no setting is perfect, and that RPG settings like Golarion make sacrifices to the gods of logic to ensure that they can tell the broadest set of stories available, or continue to be disappointed as they fail to live up to your expectations.

Additionally, try not to be frustrated when your campaign or characters don't live up to whatever you may regard as well-written literature. There's one great advantage that books have over an RPG session: you can edit them as many time as you want until they're perfect. With Pathfinder, or any other game, you just have to roll with what's presented to you. Loosen up and try to enjoy whatever happens. You're not writing a novel to present to other people for them to enjoy. The only audience you need to please is yourself and your fellow players. Learn what plots or characters or combats they enjoy, learn what you enjoy, and try to incorporate enough of both to make everyone happy.

And have fun. Agonising over whether a Shoanti paladin can exist in the setting? An interesting mental exercise, but not as fun as being a Shaonti paladin showing the tshameks how wrong they are as you save their hides once more in glorious battle.


Archpaladin Zousha wrote:


This. This is what bugs me more than anything else about Golarion. More and more I look at the maps of human culture dissemination, the bestiaries, and the regional languages and go "This isn't how it works at all! How could that religion be dominant in that land when it's culture's nothing like the culture it's modeled off? How can that language be spoken in one nation but not its neighbor? How do traditional philosophical and ontological questions get answered given that deities are observable beings? HOW THE HECK DOES NATURAL SELECTION EVEN PRODUCE REAL-WORLD ANIMALS WITH THE OVERABUNDANCE OF PREDATORY AND SUPERNATUAL BEINGS?!" I feel like the more I learn about history, science and philosophy, the less fun the game feels.

I think these are valid concerns regarding novels or a setting for a book or book series. But roleplaying game settings are designed for game playing first, internal consistency/realism second. See any argument about character levels and falling great distance.

I mean I do get the concerns....I get a little frustrated that the magic system isn't as well developed or detailed as it could be. And that Vancian magic really doesn't emulate how magic works in most fantasy settings from novels. But ultimately....if you get hung up on this...you are never going to enjoy any roleplaying game

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I haven't had an opportunity to actually PLAY a roleplaying game in years. I don't have a driver's license, so I can't drive to the nearest game shop to join in the PFS games there, and even then, I work most of the week and on the days I DON'T have work, none of my friends are available for such a venture, as some have work and others went and joined the military! The best I could manage was a pseudo-d20-Modern thing my brother and his friend put together, but it wasn't the kind of game that grabbed my interest at all. We had to play d20-Modern versions of ourselves as dimensional rifts opened all over Minnesota and we found ourselves battling with zombies, fleeing police officers, negotiating with dwarves and slaying trolls. My brother was really into it, but I really was left unsatisfied, as to accurately play myself I was panicking and screaming at the first hint of life-threatening danger, as I naturally would have been in that situation anyway. And my brother won't play Pathfinder Adventure Paths because he thinks pre-generated settings and adventures suck on principle compared to homebrew settings.

As to the suggestion that I loosen up and try to have fun...you ARE right. That is, from an objective standpoint, what I need to do. But I feel like such a hypocrite when I do it, extolling the virtues of the literature I read in college and then laughing at low-brow frivolity in a game based on the literature I read in college. Part of this coincides with my recent deconversion from Catholicism to agnostic-atheism and secular humanism. For the most part, as my username suggests, I played paladins and clerics of good gods, and now I'm not sure how to feel about playing such characters with my new belief system.


A couple of thoughts that may (or may not) help with your frustration:

1) As far as languages go, maybe assume that these are not strictly the languages of RW Earth per se, but just our (ie, the gamers) way of perceiving them. IE, in the absence of an actual completely new language, this is just a substitute. It may or may not be the actual culture's language, but just a bit of 4th Wall shorthand so that you can try to roleplay a bit with the culture without having to furnish a brand-new language that fits.

2) We know that the RW Earth (or a very similar counterpart) exists in the same universe as Golarion. Could the similarities of cultures be related to some external phenomenon? Perhaps the gods introduced elements of culture from one world to the next (Golarion-Earth, or Earth-Golarion). I seem to recall Mikaze mentioning that the Mask of the Mummy AP was supposed to deal with a Golarion/Earth Egyptian Pantheon. Perhaps alien beings disseminated cultural leanings from one world to another. In a world where the gods are real, and space-time can be magically or technologically folded and transversed, anything is possible.

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

1) That makes sense. There's no explicit link between Common and English, after all. It's an evolution of Azlanti, so it probably sounds a lot more like (as James Jacobs said) a hybrid of Latin and Japanese. I like the evolutions that ARE presented (Ancient Azlanti -> Thassilonian -> Varisian and Shoanti). That's more detail than most settings get.

2) I'm guessing after I get Wrath of Righteous, I should save up and turn back to get Reign of Winter, then, as well as prepare for this new Mask of the Mummy one. I've always wanted to see Osirion more fleshed out. Iron Gods will probably be next on my list. Numeria wouldn't be my first choice, but it seems to be a fan-favorite around here, and I'd like to get a better handle on it than just the one picture we have in ISWG of a scorpion robot in a desert.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

Because the authors wanted to evoke a subtle feel of early medieval Eastern Europe. But in no place did they tell you "this is medieval Russia and only things that were true in medieval Russia are true in Brevoy".

Now let's go back to what you wrote "There's no real place on Golarion to play a Romano-British knightly type seeking to bring peace and justice to a land infested with brutish invaders while straddling the line between Christianity and Paganism among his own followers."

Tell you what, I'm from Poland, that's a wee bit west of Russia but still very much a Slavic land. In medieval times, our (very much armor and horses, the West didn't have a monopoly on that I'm afraid) knights sought to bring peace and justice to a land infested with brutish invaders (Mongols, Muscovites, Turks, insert random roving bands popular this season) while straddling the line between Christianity and Paganism among their own followers (the not-so-yet-fully Christian Lithuania, not to mention our more exotic allies such as Tatar raiders).

Take that, slap it into Brevoy, voila. Instant mashup of Golarion canon and real world history. And you get to ride a full plate Paladin into River Kingdoms :)

That...that works! Polish people are even more badass than British! Add the slightly Slavic influences inherent in Torag (A protector with a hammer much like Perun, plus it makes sense for someone who seeks to DEFEND his people and BUILD an empire) and King Artek would be good to go! Thanks, Gorbacz! :)

That doesn't necessarily eliminate all my hang-ups, though. :(

Ross Byers wrote:
Canon is supposed to be a jumping off point, not a straitjacket.
Case in point. Yes, I've been told this plenty of times, even by guys like James Jacobs and Wes. But that really doesn't help when I feel insecurities by trying to reconcile my love of well-written literature with the hobby I love, which has a tendency to drift more into comedy...

It sounds more and more like your problem goes deeper than Golarion's canon changes (which to be frank is quite rare and isn't that hard to follow).

The problem sounds like a confidence issue. You aren't confident with jumping away from canon because you're worried about the quality of your own improvisations and changes when compared to the world.

Well heres a secret: Your players probably don't care about what's canon. They care about what's fun. If your players want to start a rebellion against the Thrice Cursed House of Thrune then let them and hang the history. You know that Thrune took down a wing of Copper Dragons, but that doesn't mean they can stop an insurrection of the people against the powerful (remember peasants tend to outnumber kings).

What I'm trying to say is: Don't make Perfect the enemy of Good.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
That is, from an objective standpoint, what I need to do. But I feel like such a hypocrite when I do it, extolling the virtues of the literature I read in college and then laughing at low-brow frivolity in a game based on the literature I read in college.

I understand that logically "knowing" something and actually putting it into practice are two entirely different things. However, this is the situation where you can have your cake and eat it too, as it were.

Just because something can be enjoyed in a "high-brow" way doesn't mean it can't also be enjoyed in a "low-brow" way, with both interpretations being equally valid for those enjoying them. Just go with whatever is most fun, heck, even both. There's nothing saying you can't mix puerile humour with serious roleplaying, though not everyone can pull of Tyrion from Game of Thrones.

It sounds like the main person judging you for how your roleplaying sessions turn out is yourself. After all, there aren't any deific beings judging you for your actions.

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Yes, peasants do outnumber kings, but there's lots of other stuff to consider. How can mere peasants take down an army of devils (which is what beat the dragons)? How can they even muster a rebellion when the navy's right there in the harbor and the most fanatical Hellknights are just an hour or two down the road? And what of the pact? What happens if the Thrunes are deposed and the pact is ended? Do the devils just disappear? Does a permanent portal to Hell open up in Egorian that vomits an army of devils like the Worldwound is for demons? Are the souls of every man, woman and child that claims Chelish citizenship spontaneously ripped from their bodies and dragged screaming into Hell due to a possible stipulation that says the price for Asmodeus' service is an entire empire's worth of souls? Or would that not be the price since the souls technically weren't Abrogail's to bargain with? I don't know! And there's little information in the books to suggest what would happen other than in the Hell's Pawns short fiction that indicates devils that may or may not have been working on Asmodeus' orders were trying to undermine Cheliax's nobility by inserting tiefling puppets into noble families, or end their bloodlines so the contract would end or something. Council of Thieves is deliberately vague on the issue.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It's almost as if they want you to answer those questions yourself to suit the needs of your own game.

As to your questions:

1) It's not just peasants it's a group of high level PCs and their high level allies, maybe the PCs might want to call in some help from neighbouring nations and Cheliax's enemies.

2) Players could conceivably convince the navy to side with the people over Thrune. Hellknights are mercenaries, PAY THEM OFF.

3) If the Thrunes are deposed and the Pact is ended then I would say those in House Thrune are damned a fourth and final time.

Make these decisions for yourself. If something contradicts what you rule later then ignore it or implement it. It's your game be proud of your own decisions in the face of these questions.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
How can mere peasants take down an army of devils (which is what beat the dragons)? How can they even muster a rebellion when the navy's right there in the harbor and the most fanatical Hellknights are just an hour or two down the road?

These are the sorts of questions you ask your players. Get them to come up with their most grandiose schemes to undermine the empire. Questions are just opportunities for awesomeness to occur.

How to take down House Thrune?

1. The PCs hear about a scholar who knows about a loophole in the contract House Thrune signed. He's kept alive by one of the Hellknight orders in defiance of House Thrune's wishes, as to kill him would be unlawful. Have the players enact a prison break or a negotiation with the hellknights and suddenly that loophole could have half of Hell turning their spiny backs when House Thrune calls.

2. The PCs take their leave of Cheliax - promising to return when they have the means to battle House Thrune - and scour the provinces of Varisia for ancient Thassilonian magic to assist in their cause. They manage to locate an artefact which houses powerful banishment magic, perfect for sending entire armies of devils back to Hell.

There, little bit of brainstorming and questions answered with potentially fun plot threads to continue with. I'm sure you're perfectly capable of doing the same.

As for what happens when they deal with House Thrune, I'm pretty sure Paizo left that part entirely blank because it's up to you to figure out what is best for your game. Take suggestions from your players. They're the ones who know what they want to happen in their game. If they want tragedy, they'll have half of Cheliax's inhabitants devoured by devils. If they want spotless victory, they'll have that too, with a restored Cheliax rising to holy power in the Inner Sea.

The men and women at Paizo and who write for Paizo are in the business not because they want their books to act as holy law. JJ isn't going to track you down just because you misrepresented part of Sandpoint. He's probably more likely to ask you what you did differently for your campaign and how it was awesome. The APs are just a canvas, albeit a detailed one. It's up to you to paint that with tales of glory, sorrow, and adventure, because that's the fun part.

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

More likely JJ would track me down for asking so many redundant and agitated questions. He claims it's fine, but I can't help but feel I've tested his patience. But that may be my social anxiety talking.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

I haven't had an opportunity to actually PLAY a roleplaying game in years. I don't have a driver's license, so I can't drive to the nearest game shop to join in the PFS games there, and even then, I work most of the week and on the days I DON'T have work, none of my friends are available for such a venture, as some have work and others went and joined the military! The best I could manage was a pseudo-d20-Modern thing my brother and his friend put together, but it wasn't the kind of game that grabbed my interest at all. We had to play d20-Modern versions of ourselves as dimensional rifts opened all over Minnesota and we found ourselves battling with zombies, fleeing police officers, negotiating with dwarves and slaying trolls. My brother was really into it, but I really was left unsatisfied, as to accurately play myself I was panicking and screaming at the first hint of life-threatening danger, as I naturally would have been in that situation anyway. And my brother won't play Pathfinder Adventure Paths because he thinks pre-generated settings and adventures suck on principle compared to homebrew settings.

As to the suggestion that I loosen up and try to have fun...you ARE right. That is, from an objective standpoint, what I need to do. But I feel like such a hypocrite when I do it, extolling the virtues of the literature I read in college and then laughing at low-brow frivolity in a game based on the literature I read in college. Part of this coincides with my recent deconversion from Catholicism to agnostic-atheism and secular humanism. For the most part, as my username suggests, I played paladins and clerics of good gods, and now I'm not sure how to feel about playing such characters with my new belief system.

Yeah, there's definitely a larger "thing" going on here over and above just tracking canon changes. I understand that "loosening up" isn't an easy task that one can just do at the drop of a hat. So, may I suggest you take some time and devout some of your philosophical leanings toward self-introspection, but (this is key) do it without being overly critical of yourself. To this end, some (hopefully) helpful advice:

1) Learn to take yourself less seriously. This is the most important one. Throughout life, you're going to encounter situations and ideas much more important than what's happening in some fictional canon. When these times come along, the people who learn the most from life's lessons (in my experience) are the ones who can laugh at the slings and arrows. Adaptability comes with acceptance and acceptance comes easier when you're not sweating the small stuff.

2) While education is something to be taken seriously, again, nothing should ever be too serious. It's okay to "take pride in your education", but beware of "being prideful of your education". You seem to have an issue with dichotomies and treating two ends of the same spectrum as absolutes, as indicated by your comparison of classic literature to gaming literature. You can like both, it's okay. Don't allow your higher learning to force you down singular paths. Case in point(s):

2A) I have a friend with a Masters in English. She loves the classics but she also loves comics books.

2B) Another friend of mine has a Doctorate in History and a Bachelors in English. He thinks Nazi-Zombie B-movies are entertaining. And he also loves comic books.

2C) Me. I have degrees in Business and Economics. By university standard I should be wearing high-collared sweaters, reading only Forbes magazine, and watching business-related news broadcasting, and I should like golf. I hate golf. I love comics and gaming. Sure, I watch political programming and keep apprised of major marketing news but I also enjoy casual TV shows some of which are well-written and some of which are True Blood. There, I said it, I'm admitting on this thread that I watch True Blood but I'm not ashamed of that. Okay, I'm a little ashamed of that ;).

3) Sort of an extrapolation of (2), don't let any one thing (or anything at all really) define you. Define yourself by your standards, no one else's. Or, even better, remain undefined, so long as it suits you. I grew up hanging out with nerds, basketball players, and preppy kids - did these three groups ever get along with each other? Heck no, but I didn't let that stop me from hanging out with each of them. I listened heavily to grunge, punk rock, and metal in High School but no one would have known that from looking at me since I never "dressed the part". Be who you want to be and don't worry about how you should act or dress or think just because you like something heavily associated with a certain demographic or culture. Be true to yourself and life will follow suite. . . or to apply this to your Pathfinder issue, play the game YOU want to play. No one else can tell you how to enjoy your game. You bought the books, you own it now, make it yours.

4) Rather than general practical advice, this point is a bit more specific to your Paladin and Cleric issue. You're not sure how to feel about playing them? Well, I'm an atheist and a humanist and I've got no problem playing Paladins or Clerics, in fact, I really like Clerics. You should feel fine (though the trick here is, if you take point 3 to heart, you should ignore point 4 in favor of making your own call).

5) Liking different things or experimenting in your philosophy doesn't make you a hypocrite, it makes you human. Never doubt yourself based on your personal interests. That's actual hypocrisy. The dictionary definition:

hy·poc·ri·sies 1. The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.

In other words, not being true to yourself. Enjoy the classics. Enjoy gaming. Enjoy bird-watching. Don't worry about holding yourself to standards that don't make you comfortable.

6) At the same time, be willing to step outside your comfort zone. Expand your boundaries.

7) Try some new food.

8) Once you've grown in confidence and become accustomed to accepting yourself, now try questioning yourself again but from new angles.

9) Accept your insecurities and in so doing, overcome them.

10 to 100) Live life.

101) Now, finally, you can worry about Golarion canon.

(This last bit isn't to sound flippant. I just think that by the time you get to step 7 I don't believe you'll care about step 101 anymore. And, yes, I'm a huge canon nut myself but I don't let it consume me).


Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
[serious concerns about adhering to canon in gameplay]

Hey... Take a deep breath. This game is supposed to be fun; a way to relax with friends while spinning a collective yarn about heroic adventure. If the game is stressing you out (and it sure sounds like it is), you really should take a step back.

Forget about what makes perfect sense in-world. Make a character that makes sense to YOU. A good GM will be able to either adjust the game to fit your concept, or will make a few suggestions to you to help make your concept fit the game.

I'm a huge fan of Golarion, but I regularly adjust things as I see fit, to make my game run better or for the plot lines I want to run. I've added towns, changed the leadership of areas, moved geographic locations around, and played with the historical timeline a bit. As long as I'm consistent for my players, it's all good!

e.g. There us no Duke Marlon Genteur of Kintargo in canon, but he's an important NPC in my game... And the father if one of my PCs!


Haladir wrote:
Hey... Take a deep breath.

...and a deep drink of Kool-Aid. All fictitious works - yes, even the literature you read in college - have weaknesses, and elements that don't quite make sense. If making sense interferes with telling a good story, guess what has to fall by the wayside?

Grand Lodge

Ross Byers wrote:
Canon is supposed to be a jumping off point, not a straitjacket.

For the game designers, of course. Absolutely!

And Paizo does an incredible job of designing the setting with that maxim in mind.

But think of it from the point of view of some of the customers.

Some of us see something inspiring in the canon and would LOVE to use it as a "jumping off point" -- only to find there's nothing to jump off too. (A professional designer sees it and then writes it for publication.) But we have two frustrating choices. We can make it up ourselves knowing that eventually what we design will be contradictory to the setting. Or ignore it and only use what Paizo brilliantly publishes.

Yes, many customers will buy and use only the canon -- so you know you keep them as long as the material is good.
And many customers will only buy a book here and there and make up what they want to without regard to canon -- so you know that if you keep making exciting sounding/looking books you'll get them continuing to browse & sometimes buy.

But there are a few of us who get a little frustrated.
I don't know how avoidable that is, though.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

But why is it a problem if you contradict the cannon?

If it is a big problem just confine it to one campaign, and when you start the next campaign reset to the updated cannon.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

PFS is a single campaign set in Golarion. Its internal canon is canon ONLY for that campaign. It's a very COMPLEX campaign, and since it's the official organized play campaign for Paizo, that means that it has some ripple effects on the world itself... we treat it like any campaign that anyone plays. AKA: It's canon for itself but NOT for the baseline world.

Similarly, each and every AP we publish is its own canon. The point at which any Adventure Path starts is assumed to begin at a baseline of the world canon as presented in the Inner Sea World Guide and the vast majority of our Campaign Setting products. This allows you to play the Adventure Paths in any order—you can play Kingmaker before playing Runelords and then play Skull & Shackles and then go back to do Legacy of Fire and there's nothing in the basic setup of the world as presented in the Inner Sea World Guide that should trip you up. By the point you get to Legacy of Fire in the above setup, you'll have developed your OWN world canon for your campaign, and you'll be the expert on that.

Pathfinder Society is treated no differently, but it can be non-intuitive to think of Season 0, which launched several years ago, as being the baseline for the entire campaign up to this day. But that's how we treat it.

If you try to envelop the events of the Pathfinder Society into your homebrew game, you are going to encounter the same type of problems you would get by trying to incorporate ANY home game into your own home game's canon and history. There ARE going to be contradictions, because no two campaigns, be they PFS, an Adventure Path, or a GM-designed homebrew campaign will be alike.

Folks who want to try to absorb the world's canon should basically "quarantine" the events in ANY adventure, in other words, because Adventures are how we advance the world clock, essentially, and we don't assume those adventures advance the world clock in any order at all UNLESS they are deliberately strung-together adventures, as you get in an AP or as you've seen over the past several years in PFS.

And to be honest... I'd lump our novels in with the adventures. Each novel is its own quarantine of world advancement. Several of the novels are series, and they advance their own canon as appropriate... but the timing of when the events in any one novel take place as opposed to anything else is variable.

1 to 50 of 71 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Lost Omens Campaign Setting / General Discussion / Comprehending the Canon All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.