Campaign Setting Summary

Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

Our gaming group is brand new to Pathfinder. Our GM has decided to set the game in the Pathfinder Campaign setting. Many of our players don't have the time to read the massive collection of setting material due to work and school obligations. Is there any place to get an outline or bullet point list of essential information about Golarion?

There is the Inner Sea Primer (a supplement in the Player Companion line). It will give new players a half-page summary for each country/region, a brief run-down on deities, races, an abbreviated time-line of "relatively well-known events that a reputable sage might be expected to know", plus a few other informational tidbits of interest.

Liberty's Edge

Golarion is what people call a 'kitchen sink' setting in that there is a little bit of everything so it's not so easy to give a quick rundown of the entire place. Do you want vikings, genies, wuxai, gothic horror, cave men vs woolly mammoths, post-apocalyptic steampunk, or barbarians wielding super science? Yeah, they've got that in there.

I find that they do this kind of thing extremely well and make it work in ways that other developers have never really done and I find the variety the setting's strength. It is easier to give some bullet points on a specific part of Golarion than on the whole thing.

If you want a bit of info on each of the different settings, I also recommend the Inner Sea Primer. For a detailed look at the whole place take a gander at the Inner Sea World Guide.

Paizo Employee Developer

In addition to what bellona and Joshua suggested, the Pathfinder Wiki is a great resource for an overview. You can use it as an outline of sorts to see what areas you'd like to dig into more.

Welcome to Golarion!

This is the document I threw together to introduce my players to the Skull and Shackles AP. We're all new to Pathfinder so some of the information is probably hilariously inaccurate. Four page wall of text follows.

wall o text:
You've worked as a sailor before and seen a bit of the world in your time. Your world calls itself "Golarion". Golarion's history stretches back more than ten thousand years. Here's what you need to know

The history of Golarion as you know it begins many thousands of years ago. The mighty human Empire of Azlanti was the center of power and culture in the world. In time Azlanti was brought low; The sky fell to earth in a cataclysm now called "Earthfall". This incredibly destructive meteor storm utterly destroyed the continent of Azlanti, blasting it apart and sinking much of it beneath the waves. The fires of this destruction blackened the skies for almost a thousand years. This Age of Darkness saw the first emergence of the Orcs and the Dwarves from beneath the earth. During the thousand years of darkness, warfare, and strife much of human civilization was destroyed.

The Age of Darkness ended when a man – Aroden – the last living Azlanti, raised a great meteor call the Star Stone from the depths of the shattered Azlanti continent. The stone held power – Aroden was elevated to godhood and took on the mantle of patron of humanity. Aroden travelled to the Inner Sea and founded the city-nation of Absolom. For almost five thousand years he guided and protected humanity.

The world changed again a hundred years ago. After a few centuries of absence from mortal affairs Aroden was prophecied to return to the world to usher in a new golden age. Instead he died. The cataclysmic results are still echoing around the world. Aroden's entire priesthood lost their divine magic in the course of a day. In the far north the trauma of the God's death ripped a tremendous gash in reality – The World's Wound – And the demons of the Infinite Abyss spilled out like blood. To the south west the Bay of Abendego was consumed by a massive, permanent hurricane. This Eye of Abendego drowned entire nations and continues to spawn destructive daughter storms. In the East of the Inner Sea the ancient human Empire of Cheliax, shocked by the death of their God, descended into civil war. The war ended when the noble House Thrune entered into a bargain with the devils of the Nine Hells and fought their way onto the throne with the aid of devlish armies and fell magic.

A hundred years have passed and the world has calmed, somewhat. For your own reasons you have travelled to the Shackles. The Shackles are a chain of islets and islands that stretches out from the face of the continent of Garund. The Eye of Abendego directly to the north shelters the seaward approaches to the Shackles. The entire region is thick with pirate bases.

Shackles Pirates will sail north, hugging the coast or heading out to sea to evade the Eye. From there they can hunt shipping traffic off the coast of Cheliax or bound north to Varisia. Closer to the Shackles they may prey upon ships returning from the profitable colonies on the Garundi mainland. Captains often have to choose between sailing close to the blasted, haunted ruins of Azlanti or chancing the attentions of the Shackles pirates; Most choose the pirates.

The Shackles aren't completely lawless. There exists a loose federation of powerful individuals – the Free Captains. Lead by the Hurricane King of Port Peril they spend most of their time engaged in piracy or bickering amongst each other. When an external threat looms the Free Captains will put aside their quarrels and meet it together. No one pirate fleet can challenge the national navies of the Inner Sea but the combined might of the Free Captains, combined with the protection of the Eye of Abendego and the natural maze that is the Shackles, is sufficient to keep the pirate nation free of most external meddling.

The Hurricane King rules by having the mightiest fleet and the most political connections. Each Free Captain holds a letter of Marque from the Hurricane King that gives them the thinnest legal pretext to "Protect and Patrol Ye Seas of Ye Shackles". Merchants that ply the Shackles will often simply pay protection to a Free Captain or to the King himself and fly under that Captains flag. Attacking such a flagged ship is tantamount to declaring war on that Captain. Any who do not sail under a Free Captain's flag are considered fair game for any who can take them.

Having found yourself in Port Peril you may be close to achieving your personal goal. Unfortunately your choice of drinking companions leaves something to be desired – After becoming far too drunk from far too few pints the last thing you remember seeing is a cosh swinging towards your head.

Nations of Inner Sea
Cheliax is a mighty empire ruled by House Thrune. They consort with devils and wish to emulate the perfect orderliness of the Nine Hells. Asmodeus, Lord of the Nine Hells, is their Patron and Queen Abrogail II is their ruler. The capitol is Egorian. Cheliax has the most powerful expeditionary military in the Inner Sea at this time.

Absolom – A massive, powerful city state on it's own island in the Inner Sea. Absolom is home to the Pathfinder Society – A vast network of explorers, spies, adventurers, merchants, and agents that roam the entire world seeking knowledge and working to the advantage of Absolom. Absolom is an important center of trade.

Taldor – A large empire on the north shore of the Inner Sea. Like many of the nations of the Inner Sea it is falling on hard times in the wake of Aroden's death

Andoran – Another nation on the Inner Sea. Andoran is a powerful republic with a radical abolitionist mission. It seeks to export it's ideals of egalitarianism, trade, and freedom. Notably – They f*@&ing hate Cheliax.

Rahadoum – South across the sea from Cheliax the nation of Rahadoum is notable for being agressively secular. Founded in the aftermath of devastating religious wars Rahadoum forbids the worship of Gods within it's borders.

Thuvia – Another Inner Sea nation. Primarily desert and notable for being the only place in the world that produces, and exports, a functioning elixir of youth. Within the nation all respect the will of Pharasma, the death goddess, and resist the temptation of the elixir. The sale of the elixir to outsiders supports the entire nation.

Osirion – Another Inner Sea desert nation. Currently experiencing something of a rennaisance.

Sodden Lands – Formerly nations, now swamps and marshes innundated by the Eye of Abengego

Geb, Nex, and Alkenstar – Geb and Nex were ancient sorcerors or demons or something of that sort. Enemies since time out of memory each built a nation around himself to wage war on the other. The blasted wasteland that formed between their two nations became known as the Mana Wastes and is a nearly uninhabitable region of dangerous wild magic full of monsters and undead. Alkenstar is the only settlement in the Wastes. Well fortified and with adequate resources it is known as the birthplace of the gonne – A new form of weapon that can place the power of a wizard in the hand of a commoner. With guns, mortars, and cannon Alkenstar protects itself from the Wastes and buys what it needs from it's neighbors.

Garund is the continent on which Geb, Nex, Alkenstar, Osirion, Thuvia, and Rahadoum stand. It is a continent of many radically different cultures from the populous and urban Osirion to small, nameless villages and petty states in the jungle interior. Imperial exploitation of middle and southern Garund, a region knowns at the Mgwani Expanse, is currently an important source of weatlh for the Inner Sea nations. All of the Inner Sea nations have some colonies on Garund. They extract many things from the continent – Fruit, spices, ivory, slaves, ancient artifacts and powerful magics. Many a pirate's plunder was taken from a ship plying the waters between the Garundi coast and the Inner Sea.

Various Races Live on Golarion. Expect to see:

Gnomes, Elves, Halfings, Orcs, Men, and Dwarves. Less common are Hadozee (Half organutan half flying squirrel),

The Goblins: Goblins, Hobgoblins, Bugbears, Barghests, Ogres, and other such creatures

The Lizard Peoples: Lizardfolk, Kobolds, Troglodytes, Feathered Raptors, and others

Giants of all sorts, including Ogres, Ettins, Trolls, Jotuns, and others

Dragons of all sorts

The Sea Peoples: Undines, Gillmen (water breathing humans), Locathah (fish-men), Mermen, Tritons, Sea Elves, and more sinister creatures – Grindylows, Sahuagin, Eelmen, and others. Kraken, Dragon Turtles, Leviathans, Whales, and many other creatures live in the seas.

Abominations – Ancient, terrible Aboleths are said to dwell in the ruins of Azlanti ruling kingdoms of Gillmen and mutants.

Plane Touched: There is only one thing that the angels, devils, demons, devas, gith, slaad, azata, azir, and other creatures of the inner, outer, and elemental planes hold in common – They all love to visit the prime material plane and f+$! the locals. Almost any mortal creatuer may carry the blood of the planes within them. Perhaps the most common plane-touched are Tieflings of Cheliax – A rare few Chelaxians have a devil somewhere in their ancestry and manifest certain devilish traits as a result. Much less common are Aasimar – The scions of mortals and angels or deva. Adventurers often report encountering monsters of the wild that seem to have a touch of the planes in them and many suspect that the so called "Dire" creatures are the offspring of lesser demons and mortal beasts.

And a vast assortment of other speaking peoples.

I. Your Character
1. Who are you?
1. You should pick a name!
2. What species are you? What do you look like? Are you tall? Short? Thin? Fat?
3. Where do you come from? Are you a native of Port Peril? Did you come here from somewhere else?
4. What about your family and friends? Who are they? Do they still live where you grew up? Is there a family business? Are you on good terms with them?
5. What do you do for a living? What's your job? Who do you work for? Do you like your work? Have you learned any neat skills from your job?
6. What about your class skills? Where did you learn fightering, or rougering? When did you realize that you were a sorcerer? Who taught you the tenants of your religion or walked you through scribing your first spell?
7. Where do you expect to find yourself in five years? Do you want to become an adventurer? Go into politics? Become a pirate? Become a merchant captain? Maybe just settle down to a small shop and a family?
2. So you want to be a pirate
1. Okay, so here's the beef: You are going to become a pirate. Spoilers, I know. But one way or another you will A.) Be on a sailing ship and B.) Steal things from other sailing ships.
2. That doesn't mean you have to be evil! You might be sailing around robbing things but ultimately you'll get a say in what you're sailing and who you're robbing! You could chase down merchants, steal their goods, enslave the crew, and burn the ship to the water line! Or you could sign on with a national navy as a privateer and escort merchants safely to their destinations and occaisionally raiding pirate ships and strongholds!
3. A word on Paladins: Paladins are probably a bad idea. Even the nicest, most socially conscious pirates aren't likely to live up to the ideals of Lawful Goodness. I believe in using the Alignment system as a rough and ready way to gauge someone's ideals instead of a straight-jacket, but alignment as a straightjacket is kind of the point of Paladins – They are unswervingly obedient to a very high set of standards and ideals and won't abandon that even in the face of pain and hardship. Which, in the Shackles, means they'll probably get keelhauled in fairly short order or else end up doing something that costs them their paladin class abilities. In short: If you are really, really set on playing a Paladin talk to me and we'll see if we can work something out, but expect it to be tricky.

If you have any questions please ask me!

Paizo (The guys who publish pathfinder) have a huge amount of information posted their wiki! Pretty much anything you want to know about the rules or the setting can be found just by searching. For instance if you wanted to know more about Cheliax just type "Pathfinder Cheliax" and a wealth of information will pop up. Please do look at things that interest you and use them to come up with a backstory for youre character! Who knows – If you write an interesting backstory then people from your past might show up during the adventure! Your lost lover might turn out to be crewing another ship or you might be forced to work with your bitter enemy to survive some quest!

Liberty's Edge

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This is a little unorthodox, but this particular image got me interested in Golarion.

Even if it's a little tongue in cheek, it gave a very clear "at a glance" view of the continent, and the caricatures got me curious about how true they were, so I started reading up...and the rest is history.

... That's hilarious!

Thanks for the link! :D

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