What do the civilizations of Golarion know of each other?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


Some questions I have concerning the campaign world.. What do the civilizations of Golarion know of each other? Do the people in hamlets just know a couple of local gods? In major cities does everybody know that there are witches in Irrisen and that there is a place called the sodden lands and that Taldor was as big as it was? If this has been answered somewhere else sorry. Thanks

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
ariddrake wrote:
Some questions I have concerning the campaign world.. 1. What do the civilizations of Golarion know of each other? 2. Do the people in hamlets just know a couple of local gods? 3. In major cities does everybody know that there are witches in Irrisen and that there is a place called the sodden lands and that Taldor was as big as it was? If this has been answered somewhere else sorry. 4. Thanks

The short answers:

1. This depends on the distance between the civilizations and education of the population. (Larger distance needs more education)

2. Due to the universality of the gods anyone who has received any sort of basic education (and especially in rural areas this often falls to religious advisers by default) will know there are many gods. They might not know fine details about most of them, but they'd know who to pray to for a desired outcome.

Extremely isolated societies with no education likely would only know of the gods if they directly intervened or sent their servitors.

3. Again this depends on location and education.
A. In major cities, knowledge like this is accessible, if not necessarily common. Furs traders who deal with the Lands of Linnorm Kings or Realms of the Mammoth Lords will have heard of Irrisen, but not the Sodden Lands. The reverse would be true for a purveyor of fine Sargavan hardwoods.

B. Taldor is an interesting case. The country is all about reliving past glory, so the government (and the aristocrats) have likely blurred the historical truth. Citizens of neighboring Andoran, Galt, and Qadira all know where their borders end, but the average untraveled Taldan commoner might very well believe their country is still the behemoth it was centuries ago. Only historians/adventurers/traders/military officers would know the truth, and only then, if their education was unbiased.

As mentioned above there are a few general factors to consider here too:

General Factors:

1. Proximity

Countries will always know their neighbors. Especially in a politically vibrant world like Golarion, countries are always trying to exert their influence around them.

On the other side of that, countries that are far away may only have heard of a given country. This is easily expressed with most people's familiarity with Jalmeray (and Vudra by extension). They think it's all very exotic because it is so far away, but they know it exists.

As for the average commoner being able to identify someone's ethnicity just by looking at them? Unlikely, given the highly rural nature of most civilian life.

2. Profession

Traders will of course have more access to information/people about/from different places. Absalom will of course have visitors from every country in the world and some from the outer planes (though those will still be quite rare.) A sailor or dockworker in Absalom is likely to have seen people from hundreds if not thousands of places.

3. Education

A rural farmer who has only journeyed to town to sell their crops is not likely to know where a far off country is, or anythihng else about it for that matter. To use the above example, a Vudran appearing on an Ustalavic farm will probably be the only one to have done so.

On the flip side, an Ustalavic aristocrat (with more access to books/scrolls/teachers) is much more likely to be able to identify the Vudran. and have him slain for trespassing and disrupting the farmers (Ustalavic aristocrats are generally a pretty awful lot)

4. Magic

Magic makes anything possible. While wizards require study to master their magic (and thus would likely have access to the education anyone else would need) other casters using divination magic would likely be able to learn about the outside world (especially with tools like scrying spheres)


Thanks for the reply. A lot of that makes sense. I am just trying to wrap my head around creating adventures in Golarion. Would an Ulfen barbarian from the North, a dwarven priest from the 5 King mountains, and a Keleshite thief who meet at a roadside inn in Andoran be able to talk to the barkeep about the God Nethys? Or ask if a Tian Bounty hunter pass this way?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
ariddrake wrote:
Thanks for the reply. A lot of that makes sense. I am just trying to wrap my head around creating adventures in Golarion. Would an Ulfen barbarian from the North, a dwarven priest from the 5 King mountains, and a Keleshite thief who meet at a roadside inn in Andoran be able to talk to the barkeep about the God Nethys? Or ask if a Tian Bounty hunter pass this way?

1. Not likely... mainly because Nethys, a god who makes a point of not answering appeals, with an almost non-existent clergy, has little love from common folk, or even most nobles.

2. Sure... especially if the Inn is in a traveled city like Almas.

General rule is that adventurers are far more knowledgeable than their parochial neighbors.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

My general sense is that the Inner Sea region is generally pretty cosmopolitan, and so most areas are going to know about the various major nations/races/ethnicities/knowledge. There are of course some exceptions..I would guess that sort of knowledge is more limited in more wild areas such as the Realms of the Mammoth Lords, the Sodden Lands, parts of the Mwangi expanse, etc.


MMCJawa thats the conclusion I am coming to from reading the modules, campaign books, and novels. Pretty knowledgeable about nations/races/major deities unless from a wild remote area... cool. Thanks for chiming in.

Liberty's Edge

In the book Inner Sea Races there is a section for each race and ethnicity listing common stereotypes for each that is common for NPC.


I just got the Inner sea Guide and saw that cool. I am in a old school Castles and crusades campaign also and its very different then Golarion. You don't know whats in the next valley and most people don't know anything out side their kingdom or more likely a days travel.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

If you're a castles&crusades kinda player, imagine that as being medieval times, and Pathfinder happening a few hundred years later during the Renaissance/Age of Exploration. Lots of tech advancement (firearms chief among them, though only one country in Golarion can make them), and the advancement of cosmopolitanism.


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Alayren's first post covered thins so well that I had NOTHING to contribute at first.

ariddrake wrote:
Thanks for the reply. A lot of that makes sense. I am just trying to wrap my head around creating adventures in Golarion. Would an Ulfen barbarian from the North, a dwarven priest from the 5 King mountains, and a Keleshite thief who meet at a roadside inn in Andoran be able to talk to the barkeep about the God Nethys? Or ask if a Tian Bounty hunter pass this way?

There are some base things that everyone knows regardless of education, there are some things that are common enough knowledge (knowledges with a DC10 or less), and there are things that only educated individuals(be it general education or specific study) know (trained only skills with DCs higher than 10).

As classist as it might be to say, think of adventurers as college educated individuals(though they may be varying colleges, from community to ivy league), with random NPCs having various degrees of education(from grade school dropout to multi-doctorate).

To put it in the real world, could a Scandinavian sports star, a Japanese Shinto priest (since we lack a dwarven race), and a Middle Eastern conman who meet in Philadelphia talk to the hotel service desk about Buddhism?
Maybe.
The service desk employee probably knows that Buddhism is a religion(common knowledge) and that it revolves around Buddha and reincarnation(DC10 knowledge), but unless she studied Buddhism or was herself Buddhist she probably doesn't know too much beyond that and couldn't discuss the principles of dharma or various subsets of Buddhism(Knowledges with DCs above 10).
Then again, she may be a religious studies grad who was unable to find employment due to issues in her family shortly after she graduated who's working the service desk until she can find employment in her field. It's entirely possible that she DOES have the necessary ranks in Knowledge(Religion) to have that conversation.

Asking if an Asian businessman checked in earlier in the day?
A much easier task, though she may not answer it due to customer privacy, and she may not know if he was Japanese or Thai without Knowledge(local).


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:

Alayren's first post covered thins so well that I had NOTHING to contribute at first.

ariddrake wrote:
Thanks for the reply. A lot of that makes sense. I am just trying to wrap my head around creating adventures in Golarion. Would an Ulfen barbarian from the North, a dwarven priest from the 5 King mountains, and a Keleshite thief who meet at a roadside inn in Andoran be able to talk to the barkeep about the God Nethys? Or ask if a Tian Bounty hunter pass this way?

There are some base things that everyone knows regardless of education, there are some things that are common enough knowledge (knowledges with a DC10 or less), and there are things that only educated individuals(be it general education or specific study) know (trained only skills with DCs higher than 10).

As classist as it might be to say, think of adventurers as college educated individuals(though they may be varying colleges, from community to ivy league), with random NPCs having various degrees of education(from grade school dropout to multi-doctorate).

To put it in the real world, could a Scandinavian sports star, a Japanese Shinto priest (since we lack a dwarven race), and a Middle Eastern conman who meet in Philadelphia talk to the hotel service desk about Buddhism?
Maybe.
The service desk employee probably knows that Buddhism is a religion(common knowledge) and that it revolves around Buddha and reincarnation(DC10 knowledge), but unless she studied Buddhism or was herself Buddhist she probably doesn't know too much beyond that and couldn't discuss the principles of dharma or various subsets of Buddhism(Knowledges with DCs above 10).
Then again, she may be a religious studies grad who was unable to find employment due to issues in her family shortly after she graduated who's working the service desk until she can find employment in her field. It's entirely possible that she DOES have the necessary ranks in Knowledge(Religion) to have that conversation.

Asking if an Asian businessman checked in earlier in the...

I love the comparisons you made with the Scandinavian sports star and such.


LOL thank you guys for chiming in. The comparison that Castle & crusades is medieval and Pathfinder is basically the renaissance helped alot. Also I just got the hardback to the comics city of secrets and the iconic priest of Senrenrae with her Kelish garb was not balked at and the local guard knew who she worshiped. I am sure if a wizard from garund showed up they would know who they are. Maybe not the city or village but generally who they were while somebody from the pathfinder lodge would probably know more. what about way out on a farm in varisia? Thanks

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