How have you modified Golarion to suit your game?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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I'm interested in hearing about your modifications, whether big or small. What are they, and what have been the payoffs or downfalls of those changes? For example, I've been changing a lot of names, of countries and NPCs, to better reflect my tastes. Maybe others have changed whole countries or added islands, added or eliminated races, etc. Let's hear it!


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Yep, made a lot of changes. For one, made it less human centric by adding in a lot of non-human heroes/villains. Made Tar-Baphon an elf. Made Kazavon into a Red dragon (as his actions and personality simple were not Blue in the slightest), and replaced a LOT of human NPC's in various AP's with non-humans. Thuvia is actually ruled by a blue dragon in practice, a great wyrm who enjoys making the country dance on her strings that no one knows about, thinking they have their little city-states. Oh, changed a few Archdevils into females. Charon is the first Daemon and a lot more powerful than he lets on as 'just a horseman', with a hidden secret with Pharasma. Nocticula is teetering really close to redemption/apotheosis and just needs the proper PC to bring her over. Arshea is really close to apotheosis as well. Nethys was a dhampir and Norgorber is a catfolk (seriously, who better to be the King of Thieves?).

Put Talingarde into the world too, between Garund and Tian Xia because Way of the Wicked is awesome. Just replaced Mitra with Sarenrae and Erastil.

For example in Hell's Rebels I already made Rexus a tiefling, and in Iron Gods I made Val an adopted android. Reign of Winter Mierul became a party supporter (I just couldn't let that awesome art go to waste on such a minor character).

Merged Age of Worms into Golarion, set it in Alkenstar to start, using Gunworks as the city of Diamond Lake heh.

And added my own particular demigod, a succubus-lich who's crazy good at magic and did the demonic ritual instead of dying and transferring. Name of Thuruinn and the creator of the Decks of Many Things (and all variants), along with more artifacts than any other artifact maker, god or otherwise, as that's what he enjoys doing. She's also crazy and thinks the world is run by dice and character sheets and has trouble sticking to one gender. He loves adventurers, because they constantly cause change. She hates wanton, pointless, destruction and will actively oppose it. She's chaotic evil, but of the sort where she just wants to have fun and has no qualms about taking it from others. She has stolen candy from a baby before. Generally someone you can work with, provided you're ok with letting chance be a large part of any deals, and aren't too attached to modesty. Or sanity. Amusingly simple to manipulate if you happen to know rare magic or magic items/artifacts he hasn't discovered himself. Or by suggesting some new, neat idea for a magic item for her to craft. Only don't ever underestimate her actual intelligence. While Asmodeus has the key to Rovagug's prison, Thuruinn is the one that built it. He just didn't want one of his many imps or goblin minions to find it and cause mischief. That's what the other casual items of immense power are lying around for. Almost all of the lawful deities hate him but it turns out killing a demon-lich who knows more of magic's intricacies than anyone besides Nethys, and only when Nethys is having a particularly lucid day, is pretty damn hard. Most good deities, chaotic or not, find her too disruptive. A lot of evil deities find her to creative (as in making instead of destroying). Tends to get along with other magic deities and CN ones though and has a great working relationship with many protean lords. Only being in my Golarion who's lain with Desna, Arshea, Nocticula, Socothbenoth, Calistria and Lamashtu.

The Outer Gods are 'from beyond time and space' and I tweaked Desna's history to make her similar, but not quite the same. She's a manifestation of the universe's desire to protect itself from beings like Azathoth or Yogg-Sothoth. They have enormous power and are all older than the material plane itself. Desna is also the matron goddess of a lot of starfaring civilizations, like the androffans and vercites (and the androffans are actually aliens, not humans).

WotR I replaced the woundwyrm with the resurrected Chymalia, the red dragon that died upon drinking the Nahyndrian elixirs and she's probably going to be redeemed in that campaign. Changed up Delamere to be a half-dragon worshipper of Apsu and inside her coffin was a silver orb of dragonkind the player should use with Terrendelev later. A whole lot more deific presence in the campaign. The PC's mother is Desna, and after she got her own demiplane from a Deck of Many Things, she visits the PC frequently when she's at said demiplane. Unfortunately for the PC, a shy tiefling girl who has crazy self-esteem issues, so do other deities. She's so far met the Green Mother, Thuruinn (my demon-lich and the crafter of all Decks of Many Things in my Golarion, and basically the one that made her demiplane), Apsu and Iomedae. It's amusing when Desna talks about some of them, mentioning how Iomedae is just an infant upstart girl or Thuruinn being a constant annoyance, if funny. Got a bit upset with the Green Mother though... the fey wanted to help retake Sarkoris and so gave the PC a seed to plant that would grow one to surround Drezen with a thick, vicious forest that would protect it with high lvl plants and fey, but made the PC carry it internally until it was time to be planted. There's also a cleric of Lamashtu, Lamashtu's daughter in fact, who's helping her because Lamashtu hates Deskari more than she hates mortals and wants to spike his wheel that's caused all kind of wonderful friction.

Earth I want to integrate a bit more as well, just looking for the proper (not RoW) campaign to do it.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

My GM ran one campaign in his own homebrewed world, then decided when he started the current campaign that it took place on a previously undiscovered continent of Golarion. Looking at the crude world map, we determined that the only place his earlier campaign setting could possibly fit was in the sea that apparently lies east of Tian Xia, west of Arcadia, and south of the Crown of the World.

That placement also altered the future history of my player character. He had plans to colonize a land that was open to colonization several centuries earlier, but I figured that progress in the outside world would have left him and his followers no hope of success. However, given that location, western Arcadia would have offered little if any resistance -- but his original homeland might have been in a bit of trouble when Minkai and the other nations of Tian Xia located the newly reachable continent.


Kept the Bleaching for Gnomes (immortal unless the die by violence, from afflictions or boredom). Successive campaigns affect our table's Golarion. Kept the 15 level Hellknight PrC. Kept the PF beta channel energy rules.

These I can remember off the top of my head.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

The Hobgoblins won the Goblinblood Wars in Isger, and have formed a new nation there. They also conquered much of Druma. They secretly serve an advanced race of darkland goblinoids.

Added in a wild and vicious race of wolf-men who once considered Sarkoris their homeland. Many fight with the Mendevian Crusaders.

Andoran is a benevolent monarchy/kingdom, with citizens, not serfs, though they still have nobles as well.

The Linnorm Kingdoms extend in a long peninsula to the west, and border Jotunheim, a shattered subcontinent, mostly destroyed by Earthfall.

Taldor still holds Galt.

That's all I can think of while at work.

Shadow Lodge

Turin the Mad wrote:
Kept the Bleaching for Gnomes (immortal unless the die by violence, from afflictions or boredom).

Was Bleaching eliminated from Golarion canon?

Scarab Sages

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I added an ancient dried out river running from the Pillars of the Sun up to the Inner Sea through the Sahure Wastes, and then added the entirety of the old 1980s Deserts of Desolation set of modules into that area. To integrate it with the history of Osirion, I made the Incorruptible Pharaoh's Tomb up in those mountains into the one that in DoD is the pyramid of Amun-Re. There's almost nothing up in the Sahure Wastes in the Paizo publications, so it made for a perfect place.


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Since elves are aliens, I removed their magical flavour and replaced it with Dreamscarred Press's psionics. Elves generally mistrust arcane magic; for them, it is tied to the aboleth and other powerful creatures, who all seem to have their hidden agendas. Elves suspect that arcanists traded in - willingly or unknowingly - something for their power and that they are the puppets of powerful beings.
Mordant Tower elves are especially hostile towards arcane casters (because they have more contact with aboleth than others), while jungle elves tend to use every ressource they can get their hands on, even arcane magic. Divine magic comes from the gods or through faith, so its origin is clear and the trade-off for power is transparent.

Dwarves are heavy users of arcane magic, since survival in the depths would have been impossible without it. They mostly use elemental and rune magic. They are a very solemn people whose members rarely show emotions. They use facial tattoos to show allegiance to their family or clan and even to their friends, if they trust them enough.

I've replaced the Ulfen people with goliaths from Races of Stone to get rid of the viking equivalent. Goliaths originally were a slave race; hybrids of human and giant stock bred by Thassilon that got their freedom after the meteor shattered that civilisation. Their culture is built upon competition and using everything to gain an advantage over others, including murder. No one cares if you are successful. The Linnorm Kings still exist, because killing a creature like that is such an enormous feat of strength and wits, it is the only thing other goliaths respect in a ruler without trying to remove him instantly.


Kthulhu wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:
Kept the Bleaching for Gnomes (immortal unless the die by violence, from afflictions or boredom).
Was Bleaching eliminated from Golarion canon?

The semi-immortality of it was the last I heard.


I'm always afraid to alter things. I've already seen people react very negatively to things like good orcs and other things that people post that they change. What if my players act the same way?


Barong wrote:
I'm always afraid to alter things. I've already seen people react very negatively to things like good orcs and other things that people post that they change. What if my players act the same way?

You could try working things out together.


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Changed Thassilon so the Sins were referred to by positive names, such as Confidence instead of Pride. In-world, Thassilonians and sympathizers usually use the positive names, while opponents of Thassilon typically use the sin names.

Thassilonians had extensive contact with oni. Among other things, they learned from oni how to make rune giants and had some general cultural exchange. Among other things, this explains why a lot of their cities look Tian.

The Shoanti have a lot of half-orcs.

Cheers!
Landon

Dark Archive

Barong wrote:
I'm always afraid to alter things. I've already seen people react very negatively to things like good orcs and other things that people post that they change. What if my players act the same way?

Well you could just ask if they mind homebrew. Or if they even know anything about the setting, if they don't they don't probably mind homebrew

Silver Crusade

I answered in my world the Big Questions about Norgorber and Aroden. Also devised alternate methods for Runelord stasis (because the PCs might want to take on the other ones afterward). The players don't know this stuff, but they will!

I also made Varisia much more like the Wild West, in terms of general lawlessness/toughness.


I feel much more confident now about the changes I'm making. Every GM's Golarion is an alternate reality, after all.

I originally started a homebrew world but realized I just didn't have the time to flesh it out properly, so I took the small kingdom I created (called Karnovia) and placed in Ustalav (replacing the county of Caliphas), which fit almost perfectly, both in size and theme. So from day one my Golarion was a little different.


Oh yeah, I also changed a few things to fit the mechanical changes I made. Since I made all healing back into necromancy, necromancers are not all evil, though evil necromancers are seen much the same way evil doctors are, as 'even worse' because they perverted the magic that brings life and healing to bring death and sickness. That said, powerful necromancers like Tar-Baphon or Runelord Zutha were also among the most potent healers who ever lived... sort of a 'why must you dot that when you could be such an amazing savior with your healing magic' vibe.

True elementals are not immune to their energy types, they absorb them and are harmed by positive energy. This has a few repercussions among the denizens of the Inner Planes... for one, positive energy elementals can actually harm other elementals instead of healing them with their slam attacks. Additionally, elementals now (mostly) have a feature similar to gaseous form that let's them move through tiny holes. I realized mechanically a few weeks you can apparently hold a water or air elemental in a barred cage after my players pointed it out to me. Needless to say, I found that pretty dang dumb and fixed it.


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A couple of ways. Below are most of the "game-spanning" changes I made.

1) I throw out most of the cosmology and replace it with Planescape. Pharasma is a borderline overgoddess (she's been pushing at it on a multiversal time scale, but she's not quite there), and the "Golarion sphere" is a bunch of different spheres all pushed up close to one another, with decaying sphere walls (the decay has a reason, but none of the campaigns have quite figured it out yet), all in a cluster.

1a) It's way out in the middle of Wildspace and surrounded by a lot of turbulence, so far off the "shipping lanes" that nobody cares enough to bother investigating for the most part. The distance is also why several of the planar conceptions Golarion natives have seem different.

1a.1) Somebody from Aebrynis (2E Birthright setting) showed up once. The party didn't realise until after the fact.

1b) People who do bother usually don't return, because it has a Power locked up inside whose skin sheds Tarrasques. As a result, most of its Powers have no real interest in pushing further out just yet.

1c) The Silver Maiden is in fact a spelljammer. It's an artifact because nobody has managed to decode exactly how it works yet.

1d) The World Serpent Inn has doors to Golarion. Some of the Golarion natives who know of the wider multiverse make use of them, and vice versa.

2) There are no half-orcs. This is because I swapped out "orcs" with the Warhammer/Warhammer 40K orcs. They don't breed with humans at all, period, reproducing via spores instead.

3) Elves are much more susceptible to the effects of the transformation into drow. This means that prolonged exposure to the Underdark and so on will have detrimental effects on the elven psyche. In rare cases, their skin might blacken (note that I differentiate between just dark skin and drow, where the latter is much closer to pitch-black-blue-tinted).

3a) "Redemption" for a drow will turn them back into an elf.

3b) Half-elves are much rarer, and difficult to produce. They are also sterile (or so close as to make no functional difference - it requires magic to force conception, which carries a number of problems depending on the magic).

4) Healing spells are necromancy.

5) PCs from previous campaigns may stick around as NPCs for the next campaign. This tends to vary depending on the campaign location.


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Alleran wrote:

1) I throw out most of the cosmology and replace it with Planescape. Pharasma is a borderline overgoddess (she's been pushing at it on a multiversal time scale, but she's not quite there), and the "Golarion sphere" is a bunch of different spheres all pushed up close to one another, with decaying sphere walls (the decay has a reason, but none of the campaigns have quite figured it out yet), all in a cluster.

I have had a similar idea. Basically, Golarion's multiverse exists long before the D&D multiverse. At some time in the future, something happens and The Boneyard - already connected to the various planes via portals - becomes the Lady of Pain's prison (the Lady of Pain being Pharasma, obviously).

Liberty's Edge

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I'm running Shattered Star at the moment, and I have made a few major changes to the campaign setting in doing so.

I've upped the populations of many of the major cities to make them a tad more realistic basically doubling the population of most of Magnimar and Korvosa.

I have set my campaign after the closure of the World Wound, and now most of Avistan is focused on containing the Hold of Belkzen, which is becoming a losing struggle for two reason: First, unlike Demons, orcs are not affected by Ward Stones. Second, I have essentially made the Hold of Belkzen united under the leadership of Grask Uldeth and the Empty Hand, whose banners fly from every corner of the Hold. He united the tribes through brutal conquest and integration, and properly organized an effective orcish military system à la Shaka Zulu.

As a result, the orcs have spread out from every direction from the Hold of Belkzen, taking large swathes of the largely undefended territory in Varisia, the Realm of the Mammoth Lords, and Ustalav. Only Lastwall has managed to hold Uldeth's hordes back, but only just barely.

It is this invasion that is the impetus driving the players to try and find the pieces to the Sihedron, which they have been led to believe is the key to pushing back the orcs that are pouring over the Storval Plateau. I mainly did this because the AP really lacked any real motivation for the players to risk their lives looking for the Sihedron, other than adventurous curiosity. Plus, I love orcs in the role of the primary antagonists in the Campaign Setting.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

First off, Andoran does not exists.

The players fought a revolutionary war in Arcadia, based loosely on the american revolution, with Cheliax in the role of the British Crown, and allied the Arcadian colonies (with a few addups) in a single nation, basically making another Andoran.

Right now, 15 years later Post-revolutionary Arcadia is the new setting, with the Inner Sea region being the "Old world". Cheliax tried to get revenge by develloping a superweapon (In the idea of a nuclear weapon), which blew up in the middle of Egorian, opening a WorldWound-style gap in reality in the middle of Cheliax (yeah, the players kinda failed this quest...)

So yeah, Andoran is basically located in Arcadia, and Cheliax blew itself up.

...Oh, and Kaijus and Dinosaurs inhabit the Arcadian west coast, making the wild west REALLY wild.

Silver Crusade

In my Reign of Winter campaign:

Baba Yaga experimented with intelligent constructs, creating (and introducing into my campaign) the Warforged.

Lots of important NPCs are having their religion changed, admittedly because of a whim I had at one point to make sure my players didn't get killed in a dungeon designed to do JUST THAT. Desna is the new deity, by the way.


I ran a Shattered Star campaign (that got changed a lot from the actual AP). Catfolk are native to Varisia (or more specifically the Storval Plateau region and badlands) and are constantly fighting against the Shoanti tribes.

Kobolds are not evil (well, no more so than humans usually) and are well integrated into societies. They usually serve as advisers and clerks to the scaleless humans despite their grandiose claims of draconic birthright.

I used a lot of the shadar-kai lore from 4e for the fetchlings (including the name because it like it more). They are more of a disenfranchised people among human settlements because of their ties to shadow and tend to fierce individualism and thrill seeking thanks to dulled senses (which also falls into how they seek the extremes offered by Zon-Kuthon's teachings).

The elemental planes can bleed into the Material plane through areas where their affinity is strongest, creating unpredictable and often violent incursions of elemental energy in the region.

Runelord Xanderghul built an underground city and vault inside Karzoug's territory under his nose. He left his second-in-command there to guard over it but abandoned the site before Earthfall. Created a new sword of sin for Xanderghul's new general and he ended up being the final encounter of the campaign (riding atop a gargantuan colossus that was formed from one of the submerged Irespan pillars that now stands in Magnimar's harbor).

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sigil is a thing.

Axis and Mechanus combine and transform into Mechaxis.

Drow are a fairy tale. For reals!

Blood War rages on, free from the silly mortal shackles of copyright law.

So do Beholders. But not Illithids, they've been all eaten by Neothelids.

Andoran is more Darkmoon Vale and less Team Amurica.

There's a global order of Elven Duskbl...Magis and Fgt/Wizs, because I made up one for a Duskblade player back in 2007 and if I retconned it away I would feel like if I kicked a puppy.

They're total asshats, by the way. Because all elves are ass... wait, that I actually might retcon away.

Tiamat wants her totes adorbs kids back. Yes, that means you, Dahak and Apsu.

The Sorcerer Supreme, the Tenth Doctor and Marty McFly all visited Golarion at some point.


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I think we've all voided our warranty! :D


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

For one, I hate the idea of fixed alignment for mortal races, and mostly get rid of it. Some races are still mostly hostile because there morality and minds are just too alien (Aboleths, neothelids, etc), and some races such as orcs have a predisposition to violence.

I don't much care for the depiction of Kobolds and Dwarves in Golarion, so I mostly have replaced them flavor wise with a version of those races from Midgard.

The five kings mountain dwarves are Germanic engineers and merchants, while there is a separate culture of dwarves up in the North that are more like Norse raiders (The ulfen borrowed a lot of their culture from them). The Pahmet dwarves in Osirion can stay, because they are awesome.

Kobolds are technologically sophisticated tinkers, who also labor under giant napolean complexes and some justified xenophobia. They have had there kingdoms and nations continually beaten down, and most kobolds now live in ghettos in major urban areas.

From a technology standpoint, technology is restricted but more widespread. Steampunk level tech, as well as primitive fire arms, are widespread amongst Dwarves, Ratfolk, and Kobolds. Mostly these races horde that tech to prevent it from falling into the hands of others.

Hobgoblins are basically the peacekeepers from Farscape. They are an organized mercenary culture that has a central command and hire their armies out as security for anyone who can afford it. They do keep the word of their contracts though, and don't turn on their employers. The Goblinblood wars were the result of a faction within Isger hiring the Hobs to fight against Cheliax, in which other factions were still loyal.

Drow are not completely evil, but have a "rich exploit the weak" government. Think the society depicted in Purge: Anarchy. A large chunk of the year they have an orderly society where people are on their best behavior, and random days that the whole society tries to tear each other apart in unbridled bloodlust.

Shoanti are mostly half-orcs, and were a result of the Runelords experiments at creating a superior soldier.

Petitioners can in fact remember there old lives after judgement. Outsiders generally lose a lot of there memories and identity due to the millennia it takes to forge their new being, not to mention all the torture a evil petitioner endures before descending to fiend status.


I'm wondering how to communicate the changes I've made to my potential players. E-mail everyone a document with all your changes? Get everyone at the table(or together, if you're doing online)and say "Okay, I use the planescape cosmology in my setting and hobgoblins have a roman-style empire with orcs and bugbears and they're all good-aligned"?


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Barong wrote:
I'm wondering how to communicate the changes I've made to my potential players. E-mail everyone a document with all your changes? Get everyone at the table(or together, if you're doing online)and say "Okay, I use the planescape cosmology in my setting and hobgoblins have a roman-style empire with orcs and bugbears and they're all good-aligned"?

It depends a lot on the players. If your players aren't particularly plugged in to Golarion's canon, you can just run with whatever you want and all is well.

If you do have players that play at other tables, read the novels, are wiki addicts, or otherwise know a lot about the setting, I suggest taking those players aside individually and outlining any changes.

Basically, unless people are deep in the setting, they won't have assumptions that go against your changes. They'll find out how the planes work when/if they go there and learn about the hobgoblins when they run into their empire.

Cheers!
Landon


I had to cancel this campaign due to scheduling conflicts with my players but for my Darkmoon Vale campaign I changed Golarion quite a bit.

First off, Chelaix was aggressively expansionist and was pretty victorious at it. In addition to Isger and Nidal, they had also reclaimed and expanded Sargava and conquered the Shackles. They also had expanded their Arcadian colonies and we're no longer subserviant to Hell, with Queen Abrogail cultivating a cult of personality around herself, with many Chelaxians worshipping her as a goddess.

Taldor had reawoken as well, claiming Galt and conquering half of Qadira.

Andoran was an embattled failing democracy, full of corruption and mostly controlled by corporate interests. So pretty much like the US today.

The Worldwound was closed, but the crusaders instead focused on clearing the orcs out of the parts of Ustalav and Lastwall they had occupied.

Varisia has been united into a democratic federation that is allowed with Molthune, Nirmathas, Andoran, and Rhaoudoum aganist Chelaix.

Lastly, half of the Five Kings Nountains had been conquered by Daralaxthyl and his kobold armies, forming the nation of Daraxthia which waged a war with the remaining dwarven cities, and demanded tribute from all the surrounding nations. They were going to be the primary antagonists of the campaign, having milked Andoran and Druma's treasuries dry.

Would still love to run this some day. Firearms were common place and I was going to introduce some steampunk tech in.


I kept a few of the 3.5 things that were soft retconned out of Golarion, such as Dragonfall and dragons who mingle with humans. Though with some tweaks. Basically everything I read is canon in some degree. (for example, when one book says the lumber consortium existed for thousands of years, and another says hundreds, I say there was an older one that used to exist that went under and the new one popped up a few centuries later.


I've only done a very minor intrusion to merge the race I've designed into the world. It didn't require much changing since they're highly adaptative beings from the great beyond that actually look like a modification of already existing races and in fact often cohabitate with those they mimic, or in places where they're talents are seen as useful..while being ignorant of a problem with their background.
Kindof like gnomes! Except gnomes don't wade so close to ancient horrors


Oh yeah... that reminds me of the Nattleec that I imported. Basically anthropomorphic octopi with a very LE society focused around a strict clan caste system that rules a good part of the ocean, constantly fighting with aboleths, and seen as underwater boogeymen. Those that know of 'em fear 'em as much as drow, as they're just as, if not more dangerous (much much more unified and loyal). Created a whole social structure for them.


The changes I have made so far are:

Talingarde is a thing. The island nation is located between Avistan and Arcadia. I replaced Mithas with Iomedae.

The events of the Rise of the Runelords happened and had a happy ending, so now Varisia is experiencing the same kind of rush for hidding secrets as Osirion.


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I made quite a few modifications to Golarion, mostly culture and fluff.

Brevoy is no longer Westeros crossed with medieval Russia, rather its Westeros crossed with the Northern Kingdoms of the Witcherverse (Because Slavic mythos is AWESOME). It's also much larger and made up of four kingdoms.

Not all of Galt has descended into bloody revolution. The Duchy of Arretia declared independence and escaped the chaos. It's basically late-medieval fairytale France, with wine orchards, knight errants and tourneys.

The people of the crashed Divinity were definitely not human. Androids only look human because they were the first race they encountered.

More hobbity halflings.

Elves had a much bigger role in Golarion's history.

There are three great dwarven cities in the Lands of the Linnorm Kings; Volkringard, Nanirheim and Dolinngard. They look upon the other dwarven civilizations with disdain.

The Ironbound Islands are still viking-esque, but with a heavy dosh of Irish celts.

The cult of Rovagug is more complicated than you might think. They believe that this current universe is fallen from grace and by releasing the Rough Beast they can cleanse creation and restore it too its true Eden...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I make it far less human-centric as well. Since nobody in my group ever plays human, I pretty much only have them encounter humans if they're in an explicitly, overwhelmingly human area.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Mostly added more racial ethnicities.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

My Golarion started as the normal Golarion... and then my players got their hands on it... xD Not to mention we have a rule that the events of any campaign myself or my friend run are always canon for any future campaign we run.

I'm not even sure where to start.

At the end of Kingmaker, my PCs used their wealth to start an industrial revolution, making firearms and to a lesser extent airships commonplace.

At the end of Shattered Star, my PCs decided to ally with First King Xin and rebuild Thassilon as the utopia it always should have been.

Also, the source of mortal magic in Nethys' realm was destroyed by one of my PCs (to be fair, it was starting to show signs of sentience and evilness). As a result, magic was severely weakened and 9th circle casters no longer exist.

My PCs failed Serpent's Skull hardcore, resulting in a serpentfolk empire arising.

Said empire was then swiftly crushed by New Thassilon and has since become a protectorate of the Free Kingdoms (a loose alliance of kingdoms formed by Kingmaker PCs' kingdom).

Irrisen is now ruled by Queen Anastasia (who, by coincidence, is a former PC) and has shifted to a Chaotic Good kingdom; Sarkoris has been rebuilt and considers Nocticula (now a CN Goddess) their patron; Ustalav is shaking off its long darkness after Gallowspire was nearly destroyed and the Whispering Tyrant's hold on the place greatly loosened.

New Thassilon and the Free Kingdoms are both allying with as many different countries as possible, and are both now strong enough that everyone is picking sides and a Cold War is brewing. With PCs on both sides. Often multiple PCs of the same player on different sides. xD

Currently running Iron Gods and the outcome of that will determine where Numeria falls in this whole conflict... Cheliax is currently allied with New Thassilon by virtue of both being very lawful kingdoms, but the events of Hell's Rebels and Hell's Vengeance will likely shake that up.

It's a lot to keep track of, some days. :)


xeose4 wrote:
I make it far less human-centric as well. Since nobody in my group ever plays human, I pretty much only have them encounter humans if they're in an explicitly, overwhelmingly human area.

Oh, neat! Could you give more details? I've thought of making Golarion less human-centric by putting races in Osirion modeled after the animal-headed gods worshipped there.


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The Church of Norgorber is slightly more organized internationally, and most individual cells have members devoted to all of his aspects, rather than specialized and independent cults.

Spoilers to Reign of Winter:
Rasputin Must Die! involved time travel and present-time Golarion is synchronized with modern-day Earth instead of the early 20th century. Mostly because I have plans for the party to travel to Earth during Act 2 or 3 of the campaign, and don't want to have to go through the additional effort of researching 1920s Massachusetts and NYC to the degree they'd be expecting of me.


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MaxAstro wrote:
My Golarion started as the normal Golarion... and then my players got their hands on it... xD Not to mention we have a rule that the events of any campaign myself or my friend run are always canon for any future campaign we run.

This is mostly true of us, though, as GM, I make lots of subtle tweaks and changes associated with the given campaign we're on.

Cheliax and Angel:
Had a PC travel through time (accidentally), get saved by a then-mortal Iomedae and meet Arazni who removed her demonic evil (she was a demon) as a direct result, and then retire to raise a quasi-immortal child. That PC later became a quasi-diving mythic creature who, thanks to the actions of the PCs in Council of Thieves was put in charge of a slowly-seceding southern Cheliax (they don't do anything "specific" about it until 2015, though... oh, hey, look at that, hm*). She has been crowned "empress" of southern Cheliax, and is generally the one to whom Iomedae sends important people with "big" (far-reaching) relationship/love/etc questions, allowing Iomedae to focus on the "important" things like organizing the war against all of demon-and-qlippoth-kind. Her name is Angel.

* I love fortuitous coincidences.

Harathia aka the River Kingdoms and the Rulers:
Due to Kingmaker, in our game, at present, the Arcanamirium, in Absalom, is the best place to get rings of sustenance for an extremely low price; the Arcanamirium, Bellflower Network, Bloodstone Swords, Eagle Knights, and Kitharodian Academy (and Lion Blades) all share a very notable "secondary campus/fortress" within the kingdom of Harathia (the kingdom we established in Kingmaker) in which they share techniques, cross-train their individual students, and share resources and information (as well has having lots of notable members and excellent students being issued free rings of sustenance; the Mendev Crusaders have (anonymously) received very large numbers of hallowed rings of sustenance and holy weapons that just seem to kind of... show up... in Mendev under the guise of normal weapons somehow... so mysterious; and the population explosion within the River Kingdoms (most notably Harathia) due to available resurrections, extremely high-quality lifestyle, and the 'miraculous' as commonplace (not to mention fey rubbing shoulders with non-fey everywhere, and lots of celestial-bloodlines) has been... impressive. The king is starting to be worshipped for his actions and generosity as a "lord of Life", and the Path of Light as a philosophy has been spreading outward from Harathia and gaining in popularity (though it's been stymied somewhat by the anarchy of both Galt and the River Kingdoms).

Taldor, Galt, and Dragons:
Due to actions of an Iomedaen paladin in Taldor, Belhaim (despite still being quite small) has become the center of a powerful mercantile trade "empire" (consisting of Behlaim, Dalaston, restored Talamir, Maheto, and even into Augustana in Andoran. It primarily centers around exotic trade materials and goods (such as voidglass and dragon-parts) made generally available as part of building supplies, as well as advanced training and education. The Paladin in question has ascended to Duchess status, and is a fast and true ally of Princess Eutropia (as well as the afore-mentioned Angel). These exotic trade goods have allowed for a flourishing economy in Taldor and several local places in Andoran.

A saint of Iomedae, she has ties to various bizarre and alien creatures, outcast "monsters" (such as therianthropes, tengu, lizardfolk and the like), and dragon-blooded entities (many of all three groups of which have come to settle in the Taldan lands, of late, becoming model citizens). She also is known as the Bane of Wicked Dragons and has a growing reputation as a Chromatic Killer... but also as a Dragonfriend to any who would not predate on "her" lands or territories (or otherwise predate on "innocent" folk).

Finally, she has a devoted group of warriors and cavaliers who are working to settle disputes between Five Kings Mountains, Taldor, and Galt, while hopefully bringing stability to that nation, and cleansing the countryside of disruptive and deadly influences and monsters. Dragonfall was successfully relocated to somewhere in far north (I think in the Storm Spear Mountains, though I'm not sure).

Sargava and the Mwangi Expanse:
Eleder has had much of the racial tension drained from it, as a paladin (who's name I've currently forgotten) has been worked into high-ranking social status, and has been declared Baron Utlilinus' successor. His extremely kind demeanor has made him popular among the people, and the fact that he is half-Zenj is well-hidden enough when combined with his wealth and charisma (and service record) to make him popular among the various elite. Though progress is slow, a reconciliation within Eleder is coming. Beyond that, various outreaches to other nearby "independent" groups is being made, creating a social network, granting technology and trade, as well as (more or less... ah... "incidentally" - it's totally on purpose by a few - ... "absorbing" their governments and people into Sargava), and its protection by a strange superhero-like character called "batangel" and has a surprising influx of wealth and rare items means that Eleder is heading toward a nearly unheard-of renaissance.

Kalabuto, on the other hand, is starting to suffer and fracture, heading ever-deeper towards racial disharmony; it may soon cede from Sargava as a result. Intriguingly, Sargava has another two "colony" cities in a refurbished/reestablished Tazion (a multi-racial hub and semi-independent, if loyal, military out-post) and Savinth-Yhi (a major city emptied, and slowly restored). If Kalabuto does defect, Sargava will kind of be split in half. It is uncertain if out-and-out war would follow.

There are a few burgeoning "saints" in Ustalav.

That's where we're at, so far.

Dark Archive

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This is more a modification to the rules than to just Golarion, but it was done due to my Alkenstar campaign. Mythic characters retain magical abilities within dead magic zones. It was done to give my mythic campaign set there a bit of 'bite' as in when the mythic villain(s) arrive, they are nigh-unstoppable until the PCs find a way to be like them.


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I made it easier for monsters to integrate into society. The majority are still evil, and secluded villages might still attack on sight, but most major cities accept non-humanoid creatures, as long as they behave.
I did included this because of the RotRL campaign

RotRL intro Spoiler (nothing major, only a snippet from the start):
At the begining there is a play mentioned, with a major star playing the Harpy-Queen. I made this star an actual harpy. This was also what made the edgy goblins flip, and begin the raid early.

Andoran is still a slavery-hating Democracy, but it didn´t completly abolished nobility. The democratic system is more like Victorian England, with many chances for common houses to ascend.

Dark Archive

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Landon Winkler wrote:

The Shoanti have a lot of half-orcs.

As a 'warrior race created by the Thassilonians' kinda/sorta, having *all* Shoanti being half-orcs, breeding true among themselves (which occasional human and orc members being born, as well as the rare adoptee from another race), kind of fits the lore, and gives the race something of a positive potential origin. There are humans up there, too, but the culture is ~70% dwarves and ~30% humans, with a smattering of other folk.

Similarly, my changes would be to make the core races more prevalent.

All Ulfen, and therefore most of the population of the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, are dwarves. Dwarves also have monopolies on rare metalworks (pretty much any mithril or adamantine or cold iron weapon you buy is going to have eventually come from a dwarven forgework) and control the market price of Masterwork armor, weapons and many tools / gear items. (Much like in Tolkien, 'elven' chain is crafted by dwarves!)

Halflings have no kingdom of their own, but are up to 30% of the population of Taldor, Andoran, Cheliax, Galt and Ustalav, and were the original Varisians, although it's entirely possible to run into entire 'Varisian' caravans populated by humans, half-elves or even gnomes, with nary a halfling in sight. Humans still dominate in these countries, although in Varisia, among the Varisian nomadic people, halflings outnumber everyone else.

Elves explicitly adapt to their surroundings. Keep an elf in a dark cell for fifty years, she'll turn 'dark.' An elf living in the high mountains, surrounded by little more than light and air, and he'll be pale as ice. The deeper in the woods or jungles they live, under the canopy, again, the browner they'll be. And in the depths of the sea, blue and green are not uncommon colors for the aquatic elves. Elves are alien and don't have melanin. Unlike humans, they don't get pale in the dark, or darken up in harsh sun.

Taldor has an upper-crust of half-elves. It's something of a fad to have elven blood, and elven men of low standards (by elven standards) can make good coin sowing seed among Taldan aristocrats looking to 'class up' their thinning bloodline a little bit.

Not *every* prominent spellcaster of significance in the Inner Sea is a wizard. Razmir, for instance, is a Sorcerer (Destined, of course, but perhaps not as 'destined' as he was hoping...).

Nex may well have been an arcanist. Then again, he may well have been a gnome. Reports are unclear, as he did a great job obfuscating many details about himself, and even divinations about his person give conflicting results. Geb probably knows the truth of it, being one of the few 'surviving' people who knew Nex in life.


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Set wrote:
Landon Winkler wrote:

The Shoanti have a lot of half-orcs.

As a 'warrior race created by the Thassilonians' kinda/sorta, having *all* Shoanti being half-orcs, breeding true among themselves (which occasional human and orc members being born, as well as the rare adoptee from another race), kind of fits the lore, and gives the race something of a positive potential origin. There are humans up there, too, but the culture is ~70% dwarves and ~30% humans, with a smattering of other folk.

Similarly, my changes would be to make the core races more prevalent.

All Ulfen, and therefore most of the population of the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, are dwarves. Dwarves also have monopolies on rare metalworks (pretty much any mithril or adamantine or cold iron weapon you buy is going to have eventually come from a dwarven forgework) and control the market price of Masterwork armor, weapons and many tools / gear items. (Much like in Tolkien, 'elven' chain is crafted by dwarves!)

Halflings have no kingdom of their own, but are up to 30% of the population of Taldor, Andoran, Cheliax, Galt and Ustalav, and were the original Varisians, although it's entirely possible to run into entire 'Varisian' caravans populated by humans, half-elves or even gnomes, with nary a halfling in sight. Humans still dominate in these countries, although in Varisia, among the Varisian nomadic people, halflings outnumber everyone else.

Elves explicitly adapt to their surroundings. Keep an elf in a dark cell for fifty years, she'll turn 'dark.' An elf living in the high mountains, surrounded by little more than light and air, and he'll be pale as ice. The deeper in the woods or jungles they live, under the canopy, again, the browner they'll be. And in the depths of the sea, blue and green are not uncommon colors for the aquatic elves. Elves are alien and don't have melanin. Unlike humans, they don't get pale in the dark, or darken up in harsh sun.

Taldor has an upper-crust of half-elves. It's something of a...

it's...beautiful....


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Fabius Maximus wrote:


I have had a similar idea. Basically, Golarion's multiverse exists long before the D&D multiverse. At some time in the future, something happens and The Boneyard - already connected to the various planes via portals - becomes the Lady of Pain's prison (the Lady of Pain being Pharasma, obviously).

That... that is the neatest idea I have heard in a long time.

I'm still sticking with my "the outer planes are still the Great Wheel, primes are just clueless" explanation, but your idea is truly awesome.


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Fabius Maximus wrote:
I have had a similar idea. Basically, Golarion's multiverse exists long before the D&D multiverse.

This is, to me, basically the "feel" PF's universe, if compared to D&D's, especially when you compare the "deep" histories of Hell and its masters both past and present.

(Also, the D&D world feels... tired. Weary. Like it's kind of "finished" and has seen so much, it's now not only over-the-hill, but at the bottom of the other side. Then it dug it's own grave, and kept digging until it dug into the sea, because the angle was wrong. Than it swam for a while, and landed. Now it's just beached... and still living. Seen everything, able to change and be hurt and get better. Unable to die. Unable to every truly change, no matter how much changes. Weirdly stable even in its dynamic state.)

The "largest" point of canon clash, as it were, is that the "most ancient" history of the D&D multiverse seems to be missing in the PF one (most notably obyriths, et. al.), though that can be explained away as the current group of PF folk don't know the "deep" history (akin to earlier folks not having all of the paleontology/archaeology/history/etc, yet, and thus lacking some explanations for things) while later groups (using exceptionally advanced magic, skill, and power) have puzzled out or learned truths.

It also makes it seem like Asmodeus might not be Asmodeus, in the D&D setting... like maybe some sort of "something" slithered up and ate him from the inside out, and now has a pleasant little Asmodeus-puppet doing its own hellish bidding. Heh.

Also, it's worth noting, that there is no "Rovagug" hanging over the rest of the D&D omniverse by then. But, weirdly, there is this most peculiarly... powerful... creature that sits at an alignment "hub" at the center of the omniverse, so powerful it has the ability to kill gods, that kind of looks vaguely similar to a female form and has a head that looks remarkably similar to Sarenrae's current holy symbol.

You could also spin it the other way: history's so old that by PF times, the most ancient origins are all but forgotten, and, in fact, are irrelevant. In this case, Asmodeus has degraded over time, and the current Archdukes of hell are so old and have had so many die and reincarnate that they probably just don't care anymore. They're done. Similarly, *something* (like, maybe, a Rovagug?) happened to Sigil, and the planes have been crushed, ravaged, and are falling into disorder, even as the Abyss pops up with ever-more holes in the cracks of omniversal reality. But that ravaging did have some positive benefits: much like volcanic ash, the destruction wrought left highly fertile fields for regrowth. Much like a volcanoe, it threatens to blow again.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I love the evolution and melding of canon this thread is going through right now. <3


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Myrryr wrote:
Norgorber is a catfolk (seriously, who better to be the King of Thieves?).

I'd've gone with ratfolk Norgorber (and then given him a non-evil "grasshopper mouse"-ratfolk kid).

MMCJawa wrote:
Hobgoblins are basically the peacekeepers from Farscape. They are an organized mercenary culture that has a central command and hire their armies out as security for anyone who can afford it. They do keep the word of their contracts though, and don't turn on their employers. The Goblinblood wars were the result of a faction within Isger hiring the Hobs to fight against Cheliax, in which other factions were still loyal.

Yay!

Set wrote:
Landon Winkler wrote:

The Shoanti have a lot of half-orcs.

As a 'warrior race created by the Thassilonians' kinda/sorta, having *all* Shoanti being half-orcs, breeding true among themselves (which occasional human and orc members being born, as well as the rare adoptee from another race), kind of fits the lore, and gives the race something of a positive potential origin. There are humans up there, too, but the culture is ~70% dwarves and ~30% humans, with a smattering of other folk.

Awesome! (BTW, anyone heard from Mikaze recently?)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just a couple of things:

* There is no such thing as a "good" Hellknight order. Taking a queue from the words of Kurt Vonnegut: "We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be," my version of the setting posits that you cannot accomplish good by emulating Hell, nor can you establish justice or peace through tools of terror and oppression. There are individual hellknights who might believe that they are upholding good principles by dressing up like devils and enforcing laws without regard for nuance or mercy, but they are deluding themselves.

* On a related note, it is official canon that the Hellknights were originally founded by a man emotionally devastated by his son's suicide. He became obsessed with the idea that his son had been consigned to Hell for his sins, and spent the rest of his life searching for a way to set his son's soul free -- which is to say, for a way to cheat Hell. And at the end of his life, the founder of the Hellknights set fire to his library and rode out into the night, never to be seen again. To my knowledge, Paizo has not published an official explanation for this mystery. In my Golarion, the explanation is simple: the founder of the Hellknights went mad when it was revealed to him that his son had never been in Hell, but that he had readily sold his own soul by creating the perfect tool for corrupting authoritarian-minded dupes, and Asmodeus was eternally grateful.

* As a member of the Red Mantis gains more and more levels in the Red Mantis prestige class, he removes his mantis-helmet less and less often. By the time the assassin reaches level 10, he never takes it off. By that time, it might not actually be a helmet any more.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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I mostly just divide the 'ancient' dates by 10*, resulting in a timeline with much less 'medieval stasis' (i.e. Earthfall was 1,000 years ago, Absalom was founded 470 years ago, etc.)

*:
It's more of a logarithmic scale.


Ross Byers wrote:

I mostly just divide the 'ancient' dates by 10*, resulting in a timeline with much less 'medieval stasis' (i.e. Earthfall was 1,000 years ago, Absalom was founded 470 years ago, etc.)

** spoiler omitted **

Slight problem with that. All outsider races (tieflings, ifrits, etc.), and elves now could've possibly experienced Earthfall and still be alive. And they easily could've heard of it from dad or mom. Additionally, that would mean every single great wyrm dragon lived through Earthfall. Thassilon and Azlant and Shory wouldn't be 'forgotten magics', they'd be 'oh yeah, go ask this elf here about 'em, he lived there, he could tell you all about Karzoug'.

Also, when a meteor lands on a planet, it takes a lot more than 100 years for the dust to settle. Granted, I don't think the 10,000 year medieval stasis should be that long either, but cutting it by 90% adds way to many other issues.

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