Is there a point to getting Inner Sea Races?


Lost Omens Products


...If I already have the Advanced Race Guide?


Yes. They serve completely different purposes.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Inner Sea Races is mostly about the background and flavor of the various races and human ethnicities in Golarion. There is very little game mechanics in this book.


It has options that allow dwarves to get toughness as a bonus feat, aasimar to gain natural attacks, and tieflings to cast every cantrip in the game at will. Among other things.


Have you ever asked yourself "How does this race actually fit into the world?" If yes, get the book, if no... don't.


Well it does have some nifty alternative racial traits and racial/ethnic teamwork feats + traits.


It compiles and updates a lot of the previous race books into one place, as well as adding some new content. If you already have the 'X of Golarion' books, where X is 'Dwarves', 'Kobolds', etc., then it probably won't give you much new information. If you don't, then it's a good way to get that content, plus some newer things, all in one book.


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

Of course, if you are interested in the different human ethnicities of Golarion, you should still get this book even if you already have "Humans of Golarion". This book adds a lot of information beyond what that player companion had.


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Foeclan wrote:
It compiles and updates a lot of the previous race books into one place, as well as adding some new content. If you already have the 'X of Golarion' books, where X is 'Dwarves', 'Kobolds', etc., then it probably won't give you much new information. If you don't, then it's a good way to get that content, plus some newer things, all in one book.

This might give the impression that the book is a collected reprint. This is not the case. While a lot of information is similar to the earlier books, this is all new text.


Foeclan wrote:
It compiles and updates a lot of the previous race books into one place, as well as adding some new content. If you already have the 'X of Golarion' books, where X is 'Dwarves', 'Kobolds', etc., then it probably won't give you much new information. If you don't, then it's a good way to get that content, plus some newer things, all in one book.

As a follow-up question, if I get Inner Sea Races, can I skip over picking up the (race) of Golarion books?


Echo Vining wrote:
Foeclan wrote:
It compiles and updates a lot of the previous race books into one place, as well as adding some new content. If you already have the 'X of Golarion' books, where X is 'Dwarves', 'Kobolds', etc., then it probably won't give you much new information. If you don't, then it's a good way to get that content, plus some newer things, all in one book.
As a follow-up question, if I get Inner Sea Races, can I skip over picking up the (race) of Golarion books?

Really depends on if you want more in-depth race details or not.

Silver Crusade Contributor

Echo Vining wrote:
Foeclan wrote:
It compiles and updates a lot of the previous race books into one place, as well as adding some new content. If you already have the 'X of Golarion' books, where X is 'Dwarves', 'Kobolds', etc., then it probably won't give you much new information. If you don't, then it's a good way to get that content, plus some newer things, all in one book.
As a follow-up question, if I get Inner Sea Races, can I skip over picking up the (race) of Golarion books?

It depends which one, and how worried you are about canon.

The game material will be different. Dwarves of Golarion is the only place to learn about the dwarven dorn-dergar - one of the most tactically interesting weapons in Pathfinder.

The world material may be different, and sometimes outdated. For example, I love Elves of Golarion, but parts of it are no longer considered canon (such as the Brightness).

Was there a specific book you were thinking of?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If your sole interest is mechanical crunch.... you have very little reason to get this book. There are some items and feats, but you'll feel that you overpaid for them, and they're all very setting specific.

If you enjoy good reads and have an interest in how races fit into the setting.... it's a must read.

Note that I did not use the rightly-despised term, fluff, in the above text.


Kalindlara wrote:
Echo Vining wrote:
Foeclan wrote:
It compiles and updates a lot of the previous race books into one place, as well as adding some new content. If you already have the 'X of Golarion' books, where X is 'Dwarves', 'Kobolds', etc., then it probably won't give you much new information. If you don't, then it's a good way to get that content, plus some newer things, all in one book.
As a follow-up question, if I get Inner Sea Races, can I skip over picking up the (race) of Golarion books?

It depends which one, and how worried you are about canon.

The game material will be different. Dwarves of Golarion is the only place to learn about the dwarven dorn-dergar - one of the most tactically interesting weapons in Pathfinder.

The world material may be different, and sometimes outdated. For example, I love Elves of Golarion, but parts of it are no longer considered canon (such as the Brightness).

Was there a specific book you were thinking of?

I was largely wondering about Elves and Dwarves, as they're a bit on the older side. Especially Elves of Golarion - since that has a lot of 3.5-based information that has been expressly changed in current Golarion, I'm kind of hoping for an excuse to ignore it.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Kalindlara wrote:
Echo Vining wrote:
Foeclan wrote:
It compiles and updates a lot of the previous race books into one place, as well as adding some new content. If you already have the 'X of Golarion' books, where X is 'Dwarves', 'Kobolds', etc., then it probably won't give you much new information. If you don't, then it's a good way to get that content, plus some newer things, all in one book.
As a follow-up question, if I get Inner Sea Races, can I skip over picking up the (race) of Golarion books?

It depends which one, and how worried you are about canon.

The game material will be different. Dwarves of Golarion is the only place to learn about the dwarven dorn-dergar - one of the most tactically interesting weapons in Pathfinder.

The world material may be different, and sometimes outdated. For example, I love Elves of Golarion, but parts of it are no longer considered canon (such as the Brightness).

Was there a specific book you were thinking of?

Actually... the Brightness IS still considered canon. It's just not one of the "big deals" about elves; overall, it's an elven philosophy that still exists in Golarion but isn't a big part of elven society. The same goes for most other content that we don't specifically actually fix/change in print.

For example, we've never printed something like "The Brightness is a now extinct philosophy" or "The notion of the Brightness is an outdated belief the elves have abandoned" or even "There's no such thing as the Brightness and never has been."

It's still part of the world even if we never ever say anything else about it in print. It's just not a big part of elven culture.

When we first released Elves of Golarion, there were all of 32 pages about elves in print, more or less, and 2 of those were about the Brightness. That gave a weirdly skewed perception that it was more important to the culture than it is. Now there's a LOT more than 32 pages about elves in print, but what we've said about the Brightness remains there... it's just increasingly becoming marginalized as an outlying belief system among elves.

Why do we do this? When we first started building Golarion, we were scrambling to get information out there for the world, building it as we went in large part. Often, we didn't have time for everyone to vet something and things got into print that took the world in directions that, ultimately, we decided weren't 100% on target for where we wanted to go with things. In most cases, we've adopted a non-disruptive take on the forward momentum of the game. Some folks do like the Brightness, and we don't want to say in print "You're wrong" or "The Brightness is wrongbad/badwrong fun" or whatever. We just won't say anything more about it, and focus our in-print stuff on the elements we DO want to focus on.

This increasingly builds a world that is varied and interesting and multilayered, and with each new product, more and more closely approximates the majority of our vision but also increases the number of corner cases and other unusual "side elements" that, while we might not think they're right to focus on for the stories we want to tell, don't do any harm in the world and might be things that some GM out there might want to expand upon.

Incidentally, this means that older products still remain viable for folks who want to dig deeper. And it means we don't self-obsolete our products. From a strictly business viewpoint, that's not a good idea, after all, and from a world-building viewpoint it's a shame to invalidate the hard work of what's come before.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Echo Vining wrote:
I was largely wondering about Elves and Dwarves, as they're a bit on the older side. Especially Elves of Golarion - since that has a lot of 3.5-based information that has been expressly changed in current Golarion, I'm kind of hoping for an excuse to ignore it.

You don't NEED an excuse to ignore any product we produce. If there's a book that doesn't interest you, or a product you don't want to deal with because it's for 3.5 and not Pathfinder... just ignore it. One of the goals of a book like Inner Sea Races is, in fact, to present a book that gives you what you need to know about elves (or whatever) in Golarion as a baseline in a format that, once it goes out of print, is economically viable to reprint so that we can keep that information available in print as long as we want.

If you come at the world as a completionist and want to include everything we've published in your version of Golarion... you really DON'T get any excuses to ignore previous publications.

Because the more folks out there who buy everything we publish, the better for Paizo, after all. That's how business works. We don't want to FORCE any one person to HAVE to buy everything... but if you do, we love you!

Silver Crusade Contributor

I see. Thank you - I always liked the Brightness! ^_^

I may have gotten confused because of Second Darkness - I know there's some stuff there that needs correcting.


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Buying everything Paizo publishes is totally overpowered!


Some of the stuff in ISR is pretty overpowered as well, I think.

The elven spell focus thing is very nice. The Comprehensive Education ART for humans, at least as it appears on the d20pfsrd, is straight up broken. I don't know if that one was fixed yet, though.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I like the Inner Sea Races, but wish more time was spent fleshing out the Arcadians, Caldaru and some new races.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Echo Vining wrote:
I was largely wondering about Elves and Dwarves, as they're a bit on the older side. Especially Elves of Golarion - since that has a lot of 3.5-based information that has been expressly changed in current Golarion, I'm kind of hoping for an excuse to ignore it.

You don't NEED an excuse to ignore any product we produce. If there's a book that doesn't interest you, or a product you don't want to deal with because it's for 3.5 and not Pathfinder... just ignore it. One of the goals of a book like Inner Sea Races is, in fact, to present a book that gives you what you need to know about elves (or whatever) in Golarion as a baseline in a format that, once it goes out of print, is economically viable to reprint so that we can keep that information available in print as long as we want.

If you come at the world as a completionist and want to include everything we've published in your version of Golarion... you really DON'T get any excuses to ignore previous publications.

Because the more folks out there who buy everything we publish, the better for Paizo, after all. That's how business works. We don't want to FORCE any one person to HAVE to buy everything... but if you do, we love you!

James, as a sales and technical guy, I see your point and agree. If we don't buy products, eventually you guys don't exist as a company. Keep on hitting us with new products and keep us wanting more. That is the sign of a successful company ;)


Not for me, no but your group might be different.

I'm the only GM and world-builder for our game so books that are just "interesting reads" are providing information that's too incidental for my players to acknowledge and money is getting too tight to buy hardbacks that don't have an immediately serviceable use.

Most stuff that comes out now is just ported to my homebrew anyway. I've been buying PF since the beginning and I've still lost track of half of what has come and gone.

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