Is there actually a reason why chainsaws exist in Golarion?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


It's actually been bugging me since the Technology Guide was put up on PRD and probably annoys me more than it should but I would like an answer if there is one.

For context my understanding of why advanced technology exists in Golarion just in case my understanding is lacking. As far as I know advanced technology has two sources. First from alien spaceships crashing to Golarian, the most significant of which is possibly the Silver Mount but this is definitely not the only such incident.

And while not very common a secondary source of advanced technology would be mages and other scholars who studied these crash sites in enough depth that they actually managed develop the knowledge to reproduce and possibly innovate some of their own technology.

So this explains robots and ray guns are on Golarion but I can't really wrap my head around why aliens would have chainsaws on their ships or why mages or Technic League would have any interest in advanced arboriculture.

So is there actually a cool story to this or was it one of those things where the devs said "yeah it's kind of dumb but chainsaws are fun so we'll toss them in there".

Shadow Lodge

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because trees


But did the aliens come for Golarion's rich forests and jungles or did Karamoss invent them because he needed to clear a forest for the Red Redoubt or what?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Chainsaws exist because the developers knew that the Paizo gaming population would throw a fit if they weren't included.


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Why WOULDN'T aliens have chainsaws? Even if you're a technologically advanced alien, you never know when you're going to have to deal with a zombie attack.


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Golarion is zombie rich and chainsaws are a slashing weapon...


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Because ray guns and arc rifles aren't worth squat against most evil outsiders.

Perhaps, after Androffa's equivalent to a Phobos lab incident, chainsaws became surprisingly popular as the weapon of choice for dispatching devils and demons.

When questioned, the troops insisted that using a combat-grade chainsaw over, say, a machete, was good for morale.

(Disclaimer: have not played Iron Gods, don't know why the Book 2 cover orc has a chainsaw.)

Also, I don't normally do this, BUT..

LazarX wrote:
Chainsaws exist because they are awesome.

Fixed it for you =D

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Zhangar wrote:

Because ray guns and arc rifles aren't worth squat against most evil outsiders.

Perhaps, after Androffa's equivalent to a Phobos lab incident, chainsaws became surprisingly popular as the weapon of choice for dispatching devils and demons.

When questioned, the troops insisted that using a combat-grade chainsaw over, say, a machete, was good for morale.

(Disclaimer: have not played Iron Gods, don't know why the Book 2 cover orc has a chainsaw.)

Also, I don't normally do this, BUT..

LazarX wrote:
Chainsaws exist because they are awesome.
Fixed it for you =D

It works.


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Rule of cool

Warhammer 40K

Army of Darkness

Would be my guesses...


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Lumberjacking WITH Chainsaws is damned hard work. Without? Probably takes 5-10 times the man hours to bring down the same lumber-sized trees.

EDIT: as a reminder, those using the chainsaws are going to be Commoners or Experts with one or two levels, not a character with massive strength who could pull a Paul Bunyan.


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Because they give +10 to intimidate checks against Dryads.


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Because handheld tools are still a thing even when you have ray guns.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Space battles against the Dark Tapestry often seem to involve boarding actions as their creatures get onboard the ships. Fighting in confined spaces on board a ship were there are delicate systems may encourage the use of melee weapons.
The Divinity and its crew did not use magic so technological melee weapons look like a potentially useful idea, and Chainswords are popular in the genre so the Divinity had chainsaw weapons on board, note that the chainsaws are balanced for combat and so are not just repurposed tools so they must have been intended as weapons and defense against boarding actions looks like a good idea. Make them of adamanite and they overcome most DR as well

Lantern Lodge

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"Because the concentration check for casting a spell is significantly increased by having the 'cut in half' condition."


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Ash asked that they be included as when his request for shotguns was turned down.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

The larger ships still had gardens with a variety of plant life - including trees. The result is gardening tools (even if only to be used by gardening robots).


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I have a (RL) polearm chainsaw. I hope there are stats for that, because that's even more awesome.

Besides, Alkenstar might produce steampunk chainsaws to deal with the hordes of zombies over the border in Geb.


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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Realistically, it's probably because a lot of people think chainsaws are cool.

In regards to in-universe reasons, it's probably a tool for cutting wood, stone, concrete, and similar things that just so happens to make for a useful weapon. I doubt they generally used it as a weapon since they had ray guns and such, but I imagine it was adapted for that use by people who uncovered them from the ship...with the limited power they had, while the monowhip is more powerful, the chainsaw drains power a lot more slowly, so...

Edit: You could also blame gnomes, since they invented the ripsaw glaive, essentially a primitive chainsaw that happens to be a polearm.


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Harden the chain and there's no reason you couldn't cut through metal.


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If I remember properly most chainsaws presented in Pathfinder are supposed to be industrial chainsaws for cutting concrete or stone. In real life these sort of chainsaws wear down very quickly, but Pathfinder's are super tech. Additionally super tech chainsaws could probably be used similarly with metal or other structural materials in the spaceship.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

It's so they could draw Amiri wielding a chainsword throughout Iron Gods, bisecting robots. Because who doesn't want to see that?

Silver Crusade Contributor

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Also, note that the Androffans had no shortage of skymetal. If they wanted an adamantine-toothed chainsaw, they could have one. :)


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... and who wouldn't?


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The GM in my last campaign is now firmly in the not wanting Adamantine Chainsaws wielded by Space Marines camo


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There's a magic-dead area that has guns. Chainsaws aren't that much harder to figure out than that, especially with them crazy gnomes around.


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Because without a chainsaw it would be hard for me to create Ash from The Evil Dead movies.


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Trinam wrote:
There's a magic-dead area that has guns. Chainsaws aren't that much harder to figure out than that, especially with them crazy gnomes around.

Gunpowder-powered chainsaws. Just because.


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Trinam wrote:
There's a magic-dead area that has guns. Chainsaws aren't that much harder to figure out than that, especially with them crazy gnomes around.

Except that guns were designed as weapons and practical in that role. I am enjoying all the chainsaw speculation though.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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I'm enjoying the speculation too.

Of course... the real reason they're in the Technology Guide is...

Spoiler:
...because they're such iconic weapons, be it Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Evil Dead, Gears of War, or Doom, they've kinda stuck in my head forever. When I first built Unspeakable Futures, my (still unpublished) d20 based postapocalyptic RPG, I threw chainsaws in there for the same reason, and in the 3rd session, a PC was critically hit by a thug with a chainsaw and died SPECTACULARLY. And it was such a spectacular death that it galvanized the entire party to finish the fight; even the guy whose character died was impressed and delighted with the over-the-top way his character bit the dust. They were, in other words, one of that game's earliest "WOW" factors.

In world, they're in the Technology Guide as one of the VERY FEW melee weapons. The culture that built that tech was very much one that used ranged weaponry for most of their warfare, and that was a specific design choice to give them some flavor and to keep the book to 64 pages, but I wanted to put in at least a few melee weapons. A weasponized chainsaw was a no-brainer.

And all of the above is why they grant a bonus on Intimidate checks, of course. Because, dude, it's a chainsaw.


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Because in Episode V: The Abyss Strikes Back, Treerazer learns he must travel to the flying city of Yjae and face Lord Cyth-V'sug to complete his training. Once there, they climatically duel with +5 brilliant energy chainsaws.

Radiant Oath

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

I'm enjoying the speculation too.

Of course... the real reason they're in the Technology Guide is...

** spoiler omitted **

AH, CHAINSAW! THE GREAT COMMUNICATOR!


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Did someone call for CHAINSAW CHUCKS?!

(made before the tech guide came out, I believe, - or at least before I was aware of it - so probably not synching up with that... yay for variety! :D)


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Man my monk/witch needs to get her hands on a set of those wand chucks. That moronic magical instability is just what she`s missing.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Lumberjacking WITH Chainsaws is damned hard work. Without? Probably takes 5-10 times the man hours to bring down the same lumber-sized trees.

We definitely want our lumberjacks to be OK.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Lumberjacking WITH Chainsaws is damned hard work. Without? Probably takes 5-10 times the man hours to bring down the same lumber-sized trees.
We definitely want our lumberjacks to be OK.

.. and hang around in bars?


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Oh you guys just made my day :D

Sczarni

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Now I just have to figure out a way to homebrew a bazooka that fires chainshaws.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Ulfen Death Squad wrote:
Now I just have to figure out a way to homebrew a bazooka that fires chainshaws.

Just use stats for a rocket launcher but have it do slashing damage.


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There is a very good reason for the technology guide being in the PRD and that reason is for allowing people to play the Iron Gods without being required to also buy the technology guide. I did buy the technology guide but I really appreciate the fact that Paizo did such thing.

Liberty's Edge

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In our Iron Gods campaign our party barbarian has an enchanted, adamantine-chained chainsaw with a gravity clip.

The carnage is vast and glorious... and well worth the fact that anything can hear us coming from at least a room away. Plus, in some of the adventures, you just don't really feel comfortable touching the walls or doors...

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