Let's collect retcons!


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Where did the Slohr originally appear?


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Ghostbusters.

Project Manager

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DominusMegadeus wrote:

I understand how it can send the wrong message to have a definitively Lawful and Good divine being who thinks of women that way, but it really was an interesting and appropriate flaw for a god like him to have.

Women who don't conform to the ideas old-fashioned people have of them do, in fact, disrupt that community. Now, that's a problem with the community being overly strict and traditional, of course, but you can see how a well-meaning old timer trying to provide for every family in the multiverse could have that mindset. You can see how an impossibly old man could have such an impossibly outdated view of gender roles.

It could have even been left in as something he grew out of after spending enough time with Iomedae and the other (relatively) recent goddesses. Female clergy would still be rare and his worshipers would be as uncomfortable as he was about the whole thing, but they'd be making an effort to understand, no matter how long it took their overly Lawful thinking to change.

Basically anything is more interesting than just saying it never happened.

Except, in terms of Golarion's history, it's correct that it never happened.

Golarion doesn't have a history of misogyny like Earth does, so "traditional" communities, in most cases, don't involve constrained roles for women. (In fact, the cultures that do have those sexist elements tend to be newer than the ones that don't--e.g. Amiri's Kellid tribe, which is from a culture considerably younger than cultures like Thassilon, which had male and female leaders in equal numbers, or, taking a step further, the matriarchal cultures of southern Garund, or the matrilineal Keleshites, or heck, the elves.)

So how "old-fashioned" you are has nothing to do with sexism. If a deity is misogynist, it has nothing to do with his age. He's not carrying on any widely understood tradition.

Grand Lodge

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I'm pretty sure the whole dragon genealogical royal bloodlines as well as The Obelisks, both mentioned in the original version of Fortress of the Stone Giants were written out.


Jessica Price wrote:
DominusMegadeus wrote:

I understand how it can send the wrong message to have a definitively Lawful and Good divine being who thinks of women that way, but it really was an interesting and appropriate flaw for a god like him to have.

Women who don't conform to the ideas old-fashioned people have of them do, in fact, disrupt that community. Now, that's a problem with the community being overly strict and traditional, of course, but you can see how a well-meaning old timer trying to provide for every family in the multiverse could have that mindset. You can see how an impossibly old man could have such an impossibly outdated view of gender roles.

It could have even been left in as something he grew out of after spending enough time with Iomedae and the other (relatively) recent goddesses. Female clergy would still be rare and his worshipers would be as uncomfortable as he was about the whole thing, but they'd be making an effort to understand, no matter how long it took their overly Lawful thinking to change.

Basically anything is more interesting than just saying it never happened.

Except, in terms of Golarion's history, it's correct that it never happened.

Golarion doesn't have a history of misogyny like Earth does, so "traditional" communities, in most cases, don't involve constrained roles for women. (In fact, the cultures that do have those sexist elements tend to be newer than the ones that don't--e.g. Amiri's Kellid tribe, which is from a culture considerably younger than cultures like Thassilon, which had male and female leaders in equal numbers, or, taking a step further, the matriarchal cultures of southern Garund, or the matrilineal Keleshites, or heck, the elves.)

So how "old-fashioned" you are has nothing to do with sexism. If a deity is misogynist, it has nothing to do with his age. He's not carrying on any widely understood tradition.

Thanks for the clarification.


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Mark Moreland wrote:
LordOfThreshold wrote:
This thread is like a graveyard where cool things go to die.

Alternatively, it's a place where you can see some of the "cool things" that you can use in your game as you see fit that you otherwise wouldn't find in a new book we put out. Just because Paizo changes course on canonical matters doesn't mean that the original is forbidden at individual GMs' tables, just that we won't be retreading the topics in future products.

So if there's something you see in this thread that you like, feel free to run with it. Ultimately no idea is bad if it makes your game more fun, but doesn't mean we can't work to perfect the unified vision of what our campaign setting is in our own products.

For example, I'm running a Sarenrae redemption game with a strike team of redeemed creatures. Having a place where Sarenrae is banned is making for a fun undercover intrigue adventure in Taldor.

Dark Archive

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If you didn't know, due to the events of XMen: Days of Futures Past. XMen 2 and 3 did not happen...... am I using this thread wrong?

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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I always liked how Pharasma was retconned in Inner Sea Gods as having an unorthodox sect of worshippers that dress like clowns in order to explain the creative liberties Carolina Eade took when illustrating clergy of the gothic goddess of life and death.

The Exchange

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James Jacobs wrote:
Furthermore... I'm also frustrated at the idea that these are "retcons" and not "errata." There's a weird disconnect RPG players have between a company fixing a rule that's broken ("Oh good, they fixed an error and now the game works better!") and fixing flavor that's broken ("What? They robbed content from my game!").

I guess part of the problem is, that (from a customer standpoint) rule fixes actually improve the game (and apart from that, setting guys like me don't care for the rules anyway^^) while flavor fixes (as long as they don't fix glaring inconsistencies) rather change the setting in another direction. And most of the time, you don't hear from those people liking the change but from those who actually liked the former state of the art.

Though, personally, rather than complain about those minor fixes I just tend to ignore them for my own version of Golarion if i don't like them. I mean, I already change so much (i.e. integrating stuff from other settings) that it doesn't matter if you're doing some changes on your own.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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WormysQueue wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Furthermore... I'm also frustrated at the idea that these are "retcons" and not "errata." There's a weird disconnect RPG players have between a company fixing a rule that's broken ("Oh good, they fixed an error and now the game works better!") and fixing flavor that's broken ("What? They robbed content from my game!").

I guess part of the problem is, that (from a customer standpoint) rule fixes actually improve the game (and apart from that, setting guys like me don't care for the rules anyway^^) while flavor fixes (as long as they don't fix glaring inconsistencies) rather change the setting in another direction. And most of the time, you don't hear from those people liking the change but from those who actually liked the former state of the art.

Though, personally, rather than complain about those minor fixes I just tend to ignore them for my own version of Golarion if i don't like them. I mean, I already change so much (i.e. integrating stuff from other settings) that it doesn't matter if you're doing some changes on your own.

In fact, I view the fixing of flavor errors (such as what happened with Erastil) as improving the game as much (if not more) than simply fixing a broken rule.

The Exchange

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James Jacobs wrote:
In fact, I view the fixing of flavor errors (such as what happened with Erastil) as improving the game as much (if not more) than simply fixing a broken rule.

Yeah, but you (at least I think so) are looking from a designer's standpoint at it. Something didn't came across as intended, you fixed the error, and that's it. As a customer, I only see the result, not what actually was intended and especially not how it had been for thirty years in your home campaign.

Meaning that to me (as a customer), the whole Erastil thing didn't look anyhow wrong (and actually still doesn't). I fully understand why you changed it, but personally, I consider it as an alternative rather than as an improvement.

Now it's not as if I can't relate to your position; if I change anything in my homebrew setting, it's most certainly because I think that it improves the setting. Still, my players' opinion may differ, if they liked the original state better (or don't like the new one).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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WormysQueue wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
In fact, I view the fixing of flavor errors (such as what happened with Erastil) as improving the game as much (if not more) than simply fixing a broken rule.

Yeah, but you (at least I think so) are looking from a designer's standpoint at it. Something didn't came across as intended, you fixed the error, and that's it. As a customer, I only see the result, not what actually was intended and especially not how it had been for thirty years in your home campaign.

Meaning that to me (as a customer), the whole Erastil thing didn't look anyhow wrong (and actually still doesn't). I fully understand why you changed it, but personally, I consider it as an alternative rather than as an improvement.

Now it's not as if I can't relate to your position; if I change anything in my homebrew setting, it's most certainly because I think that it improves the setting. Still, my players' opinion may differ, if they liked the original state better (or don't like the new one).

And that's why I feel that it's so much more important to get flavor right the first time—because it's so much more open to interpretation, and I'd rather not create content that folks can interpret as a good-aligned deity being misogynistic, because that's not what I nor Paizo wants to do.


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Wait, does Groetus not eat souls at all now? My cleric of Groetus has suddenly become that much crazier as it seems his mission to delay the apocalypse is ill informed.

If I might ask, which text specially made that change to his mythos?

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

It's not mentioned at all in Inner Sea Gods, and I'm guessing it won't be in Inner Sea Faiths either.

Even the basic idea may be a misinterpretation...

Shattered Star wrote:
It is known that the souls in Pharasma's Court draw his moon-realm closer, and a few know that the crystallized souls of true atheists repel him-both incidentally by their proximity, and sometimes directly when the Lady of Graves "feeds" him the essence of one (though whether this is a literal feeding or a transfer of essence is unknown) to push him farther away.

That's pretty vague.

In addition, as Mr. Jacobs has said multiple times, they try not to repeat these ideas - even in the form of denial - to keep them from hanging on to life. So, in-print citations aren't always available under these circumstances.


I'd say less vague in the module where PCs are supposed to return these souls to Pharasma to prevent the end of the world. Though it's my understanding that the older materials are more likely to have non-canon material.

Sovereign Court

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p-sto wrote:
I'd say less vague in the module where PCs are supposed to return these souls to Pharasma to prevent the end of the world. Though it's my understanding that the older materials are more likely to have non-canon material.

Indeed... a 3.5 module (written before the inclusion of psychopomps, even!) is probably no longer a reliable source on the Boneyard. ^_^


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Thanks for the insight, Kalindlara. Going back to your previous point I have to admit I'm not fond of Paizo's habitual errata by omission. It makes it somewhat difficult to discern when something has been excluded for brevity and when Paizo is trying to bury an idea that devs felt didn't work.

Sovereign Court

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p-sto wrote:
Thanks for the insight, Kalindlara. Going back to your previous point I have to admit I'm not fond of Paizo's habitual errata by omission. It makes it somewhat difficult to discern when something has been excluded for brevity and when Paizo is trying to bury an idea that devs felt didn't work.

It bears mentioning that the policy isn't universal. For example, the rewrite of Asmodeus's article in Inner Sea Gods specifically calls out so-called paladins of Asmodeus as being fakes, liars, and charlatans. I'm surprised Erastil's section didn't do something similar, gender equality-wise.

I'd definitely keep an eye on Inner Sea Faiths. ^_^


When did the beard/no beard thing happen?

Also, what is this canon/non canon elves stuff? Which books are aligned with the culture and which are not?


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Kalindlara wrote:
p-sto wrote:
Thanks for the insight, Kalindlara. Going back to your previous point I have to admit I'm not fond of Paizo's habitual errata by omission. It makes it somewhat difficult to discern when something has been excluded for brevity and when Paizo is trying to bury an idea that devs felt didn't work.

It bears mentioning that the policy isn't universal. For example, the rewrite of Asmodeus's article in Inner Sea Gods specifically calls out so-called paladins of Asmodeus as being fakes, liars, and charlatans. I'm surprised Erastil's section didn't do something similar, gender equality-wise.

I'd definitely keep an eye on Inner Sea Faiths. ^_^

Also Paths of Prestige specifically calls out common folk frequently mistaking Hellknight armigers as Asmodean paladins, and the armigers themselves tend more toward evil than normal hellknights due to all the devil summoning and such.

So they kind of have provided multiple ways around the whole Asmodeus Paladin thing


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BobTheCoward wrote:
When did the beard/no beard thing happen?

According to this highly reputable source, 2007.


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p-sto wrote:
Thanks for the insight, Kalindlara. Going back to your previous point I have to admit I'm not fond of Paizo's habitual errata by omission. It makes it somewhat difficult to discern when something has been excluded for brevity and when Paizo is trying to bury an idea that devs felt didn't work.

This is why this thread is a good thing. It serves as a repository for laying to rest those old misconceptions and errors in a way that people can find. A bit like snopes.com. It would be nice to have it better organised, of course. Maybe a link in the first post to a google doc.


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Agreed, Mudfoot. A good example would be the concept of Erastil the misogynist. Fact is that locally that's pretty much accepted as the prevailing lore. I've heard it repeated multiple times by players more experienced than myself and never contested. When new publications don't go to any effort to refute what was written in the old ones it's pretty much assumed that what's written is supposed to compliment the previous lore not replace it.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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p-sto wrote:

Wait, does Groetus not eat souls at all now? My cleric of Groetus has suddenly become that much crazier as it seems his mission to delay the apocalypse is ill informed.

If I might ask, which text specially made that change to his mythos?

Nothing about Groetus has changed.


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Is it cannon that catfolk can be found on Castrovel?

So it has never been said that elves are originally from Castrovel?

Sovereign Court

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Dragon78 wrote:

Is it cannon that catfolk can be found on Castrovel?

So it has never been said that elves are originally from Castrovel?

Neither Distant Worlds nor Inner Sea Races suggests that catfolk have any presence on Castrovel.

I believe it is currently known that elves were on Castrovel before they came to Golarion, but that Castrovel is not their planet of origin. Even Distant Worlds merely refers to the idea as plausible - saying that elvish similarity to the lashunta makes "a compelling case" for elves being native to Castrovel.

Sovereign Court

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Interestingly, while researching the previous post, I was reminded of another case of evolving canon.

The lashunta have undergone some redesign from their original description in Children of the Void and Distant Worlds (both in the appearance of the men and the general depiction of the race's garb). See People of the Stars and Inner Sea Bestiary for contrast.


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James Jacobs wrote:

While this thread is kind of amusing, it's also kind of frustrating, because the more folks talk about these things, the longer they stay in the mind and the more traction they seem to gain, even over actual real content. It seems to me that everyone knows about Erastil and the inappropriate section in his writeup that made him misogynistic and that's what folks seem to always talk about, but no one ever seems to talk much about the REST of the deity, and I actually think he's a really cool and interesting deity with a lot going on. Of course... I did invent him about 30 or so years ago for my homebrew, and over the course of those 30 years he was always a god of community and family who treated all members equally, so it was doubly frustrating to see folks react in a way that was completely off base for the deity's character.

Furthermore... I'm also frustrated at the idea that these are "retcons" and not "errata." There's a weird disconnect RPG players have between a company fixing a rule that's broken ("Oh good, they fixed an error and now the game works better!") and fixing flavor that's broken ("What? They robbed content from my game!"). To a certain extent, that makes me MUCH more nervous about publishing non-rule information, because of this condition that once we publish non-rule content, folks seem to think it can never ever be changed. Despite the fact that it's just as easy to make an error designing a rule as it is designing flavor or fiction.

End rant.

you are remembered for the rules you break, not the rules you follow.

Sovereign Court

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In my case, it's more that Erastil just isn't my kind of deity. I appreciate his inclusion, though - it's nice to have a more peacefully inclined LG deity to contrast Torag and Iomedae.


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Blackbot wrote:

Hi there!

While reading the Pathfinder TVTropes entry and looking up some stuff about Taldor I noticed some retcons in Golarion.
Now, James Jacobs has said numerous times that if they decide to change something about Golarion they just "phase it out" and stop talking about it.
I think this is confusing - if something is described in a source book but not in the next one, did it change or was it just ignored for space reasons?
For that reason (and because I find it fascinating to see how Golarion changed over the years) I'd like to collect retcons, big and small ones.
Sources would be appreciated.

  • Paladins of Asmodeus - Let's start with an error. As far as I can tell it was Mother of Flies, a module in the Council of Thieves AP that Asmodeus has paladins. Obviously kicked out because of alignment problems.
  • The Darklight Sisterhood - From what I can tell the Darklight Sisterhood were some kind of Chelaxian anti-pathfinders. The Aspis Consortium got the job.
  • The bearded/unbearded class structure in Taldor - Deemed needlessly complex and silly, thus removed (or it was in place once, but is not in modern times).
  • Erastil's misogyny - This seems to have been added when building Golarion on James Jacobs' original notes and has been retconned out later.
  • Tiefling/Aasimar ages - A minor one because this seems to have been an error, plain and simple.
...

the Darklight Sisterhood is very much alive in my game.


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I dunno, if you got a better way of getting Catfolk to Castrovel then using a giant cannon, I'd like to hear it.

Also, if Catfolk take over, Castrovel turns into Catrovel so easily. :-)

Community & Digital Content Director

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Removed a post and the replies to it. Let's not derail this thread with accusations of censorship. If you have an issue with how an aspect of our campaign setting has been changed, you're free to alter it to the needs of your own game.


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James Jacobs wrote:
WormysQueue wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Furthermore... I'm also frustrated at the idea that these are "retcons" and not "errata." There's a weird disconnect RPG players have between a company fixing a rule that's broken ("Oh good, they fixed an error and now the game works better!") and fixing flavor that's broken ("What? They robbed content from my game!").

I guess part of the problem is, that (from a customer standpoint) rule fixes actually improve the game (and apart from that, setting guys like me don't care for the rules anyway^^) while flavor fixes (as long as they don't fix glaring inconsistencies) rather change the setting in another direction. And most of the time, you don't hear from those people liking the change but from those who actually liked the former state of the art.

Though, personally, rather than complain about those minor fixes I just tend to ignore them for my own version of Golarion if i don't like them. I mean, I already change so much (i.e. integrating stuff from other settings) that it doesn't matter if you're doing some changes on your own.

In fact, I view the fixing of flavor errors (such as what happened with Erastil) as improving the game as much (if not more) than simply fixing a broken rule.

Indeed. I'm fascinated by the world content and love presenting the setting, as much as I can, in the fashion intended by the creators. Meanwhile, I pay zero attention to errata files and FAQs. If a rules question or issue comes up we just issue a ruling and move on. Nothing bogs down fun at the table more than rules discussions...


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Chris Lambertz wrote:
Removed a post and the replies to it. Let's not derail this thread with accusations of censorship. If you have an issue with how an aspect of our campaign setting has been changed, you're free to alter it to the needs of your own game.

I can't fathom the mindset that sees a company choosing what they want to put out in their own publications as 'censorship'.

One of the games I'm currently in is using the misogynist version of Erastil because one of the players is using that as the character's major conflict. Nobody's coming into the play-by-post forum and making our GM stop portraying Erastil that way.

Sovereign Court

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Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
One of the games I'm currently in is using the misogynist version of Erastil because one of the players is using that as the character's major conflict. Nobody's coming into the play-by-post forum and making our GM stop portraying Erastil that way.

No... You fool!

James Jacobs' great burning eye turns its gaze toward Play-By-Post forum

Dark Archive

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By Crom!

A lot, if not most, of the stuff that has been "retconned", has or has had an impact of some sort in my games. Some of it was even a major point.

I feel like living the weird alternate universe from The Fringe. I'm playing in doppelganger-Golarion.


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Like for example golem101?

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010

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MMCJawa wrote:

Also Paths of Prestige specifically calls out common folk frequently mistaking Hellknight armigers as Asmodean paladins, and the armigers themselves tend more toward evil than normal hellknights due to all the devil summoning and such.

So they kind of have provided multiple ways around the whole Asmodeus Paladin thing

Just did a quick word search on Paths of Prestige. The only time the word paladin turns up is in the Champion of Irori prestige class. The word Asmodeus doesn't appear at all. You are probably thinking of text from a different book.

Dark Archive

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Dragon78 wrote:
Like for example golem101?

Dragonfall has been one of three adventures I used as a campaign ending, and it's pretty much canon in draconic lore.

The Slohr still has an eerie influence in Andoran, both in the Arthfell and in occult circles.

Asmodeus has paladins. Of the LG type. Master of trickery and all that follows.

The cult of Sarenrae is banned in Taldor, and the faithfuls of the Dawnflower actively persecuted. Pretty much half a campaign of mine revolved around this.

Erastil still has debatable elements, which are enforced in the more isolated communities and toned down in civilized areas. Again, this is canon, accepted (and somewhat expected) at my table.

Avistan, and to a lesser extent Garund and Casmaron, are way more human-centric (the way Golarion was presented at first) than it is now.

Half-elves often have a disturbed psyche.


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James Jacobs wrote:
And that's why I feel that it's so much more important to get flavor right the first time—because it's so much more open to interpretation, and I'd rather not create content that folks can interpret as a good-aligned deity being misogynistic, because that's not what I nor Paizo wants to do.

If its any consolation Mr. Jacobs, as someone who basically acts as lore keeper for my group (to the point where my usual GM has threatened to throttle me if I ever again play a character with high knowledge Geography, History and Local in a Sandbox game, since my character basically knew where everything was at), we've never had any problem with any of the ret-cons (or corrections, your preference) made as Golarion goes along.

If anything, conflicting information and a bit of wiggle room gives PCs and DMs more room to pick and choose how things work in their own Golarion.
Every time something conflicting comes up (Or unknown/without an explanation), our group basically gets together and sound boards ideas until we come up with something that works with the canon and I honestly think our game is better for it.
Be it the true daughter of Urgathoa being the reason for Bastardhall's curse, Dragonfall being the graveyard of choice for more traditionalist dragons not the be all and end all one (And one of several), or non-necromancy created undead being able to be non-evil since Urgathoa tainted Undead-creating necromantic spells with a flair of her own evil, when there are conflicts, there's just more room for interesting stories.
Where there's ambiguity, you find the question why, and then you start thinking of cool answers.

In other news, I believe that there was originally an afterlife for non-religious folk who weren't necessarily cruel or unpleasant in life, which Pharasma had set aside for them and which was all in all pretty pleasant. I believe it was mentioned in Great Beyond and since has been changed into a sort of Odd-sock drawer type situation where those souls that no one collects are forgotten and slowly fade and dissolve, abandoned to the aeons, which was in the River of Souls article.
Which is a shame since the idea of Pharasma having a kind of Shepards heaven for those who go before her with wool pinned to their lapels was one of the reasons I've always been fond of her.


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James Jacobs wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Wha??? Atheist souls are no longer the only thing keeping the world from ending? That is... sad.

Not as sad as us at Paizo taking the position that if you're an atheist, your only option is to become enslaved in the afterlife. Forgotten Realms did that and it was the wrong call and several folks rightly were annoyed by it.

The original intention for atheist souls was that two things could happen to them—in the same way religious souls have two options. They can end up being punished for failing at life, or they can end up being rewarded.

In the atheist's case, the punishment is being sent to the Boneyard to help bolster against the end.

The reward is being set free into the universe as a free-roaming spirit to observe and revel in the various realities.

What you saw creeping into the setting's canon was, I believe, influence about how atheist souls are handled in the Forgotten Realms.

Well, I am a diehard atheist, and I would be okay with either. It has to be more interesting than mere oblivion, right? Thank you for the clarification. The worst take on it would be the 2nd edition Guide to Hell, which saw atheist souls gathered up directly by Asmodeus to fuel his plans, in Hell.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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One of the things removed was the Demonscope from the module The Demon Within. That module was my introduction to Golarion and inspired me to run my first campaign set therein. Loved the idea behind that artifact, which was also the main focus of that campaign.


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It is a shame that the Ghostbusters movies/series never showed us what a Slohr is or what it could do. I have always pictured it as a slug like monster of great size and power.

Golarion is already very human centric, it does need to be anymore so.

Golem101, what is Dragonfall? and what is cannon for you in draconic lore?


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Dragon78 wrote:
It is a shame that the Ghostbusters movies/series never showed us what a Slohr is or what it could do. I have always pictured it as a slug like monster of great size and power.

I believe you fight a Slohr as a boss in the ghostbusters video game if I'm not mistaken.


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I will have to look that one up, thanks JackBlack.

Sovereign Court

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Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
One of the things removed was the Demonscope from the module The Demon Within. That module was my introduction to Golarion and inspired me to run my first campaign set therein. Loved the idea behind that artifact, which was also the main focus of that campaign.

I don't think it's been removed from canon - the events of the module are specifically listed in the timeline presented in The Worldwound.

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