Let's collect retcons!


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Silver Crusade

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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. Aasimar and Tieflings are supposed to age at the same speed as humans do but have quite a long lifespan statted out in the ARG.

This are some things I found.
Please do add your own!


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

The Slohr fed well in Nirmathis, once.

Silver Crusade

  • The Slohr - A ghost busters reference. Potentially legally actionable according to James Jacobs. Phased out.


  • Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    The isolationist arrogance of the elves of Kyonin as depicted in Second Darkness has been described as something that wasn't strictly intended.


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    By decree of Mr. Mona, The details about the Starstone from Aroden's article in PF # 100 override whatever they contradict in the Starstone section of Mythic Realms.

    (The Starstone Cathedral is merely the deathtrap that Aroden built to protect the Starstone. The real test of the Starstone doesn't even start until you navigate the Cathedral and touch the Starstone, at which point the Starstone itself pulls you in and subjects you to a series of incredibly lethal martial trials and brutally taxing moral quandries. Passing the test was the hardest thing Aroden ever did, and he'd done some pretty crazy things before then.)


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    Dragonfall Graveyard from The Guardians of Dragonfall module has been deemed noncanon to Golarion.


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    Blackbot wrote:


  • Erastil's misogyny - This seems to have been added when building Golarion on James Jacobs' original notes and has been retconned out later.
  • Paizo never put in misogyny as part of Erastil's character. It was certain fans that insisted he was misogynistic because of assumed preferences for hetero marriage in building stable family units.

    More of a matter of what TV Tropes calls "Fan Dumb".

    Sovereign Court

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

    Or maybe it was this passage:

    Rivers Run Red wrote:
    He believes the strength of a man’s will makes him the center of a household, and while women can be strong, they should defer to and support their husbands, as their role is to look after the house and raise strong children (consequently, there are few female priests in his church). Independent-minded women, he believes, can be disruptive to communities, and it is best to marry them off quickly so their duties as wife and mother command their attention.

    Also, please do not attack other posters, sweeping generalization or no. ^_^

    Paizo Employee Creative Director

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    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.

    Silver Crusade

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    It was not my intent bringing up content with a "We were robbed of this!" outcry. That's absolutly not what a retcon is for me.
    I think it's more the different perception of crunch and flavour: Both things fix errors that have been made, but one thing seems to only exist in the present (as in "That's the rules now, they changed") whereas the other thing changes the world how it always has been - a retroactive change, thus retcon. The changes happen in subsequent books, not in an errata document attached to the original (Like "In Book X, change "All gnomes have green hair" to "All gnomes have green hair until adulthood" or something like this).
    I'm not saying these changes are bad changes - in fact I think most changes fix errors or problems with the world.

    I've seen time and time again people digging up older material as evidence for things that have been changed since then and nowhere to point them to and say "Yeah, but in official right-now Golarion this has been changed."

    I thought it would be cool to point out these things as "Look at how much Golarion has changed, how it evolved, how the canon changed to remove errors that have been made."

    It's something that is rarely seen - most worlds I know tend to sweep things under the rug but not really change them (Uberwizards who just don't get mentioned anymore, for example) whereas Golarion actively gets changed to a new, improved state with a blatant "Yes, we thought this was a cool idea, it didn't work, so now we changed it."
    So quite the contrary, I believe some elements gain traction because they don't get mentioned and many game world tend to do that with content they'd rather forget, not with content that is deemed changed. So often times people will say "Yeah, it's this and that way, I read it in an old campaign setting book!".
    I think it can be important pointing out that certain things have changed because that's part of what makes Golarion such a great world, that you guys tend to rethink aspects that don't work.


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    Wait a second,

    "1) The whole bearded/unbearded thing has been retconned for some time now. It's not a thing in modern Taldor—like the church of Sarenrae being outlawed, it's now a part of Taldor's history that's been abandoned by the people of Taldor for the most part. The nation still has a class structure, though. It's just not mired in a silly beard/no beard thing."

    Taldor doesn't discriminate against Sarenrae anymore? What the hell, that's just begging for the Cult of the Dawnflower to slip in and set up shop.


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    Mr. Bubbles wrote:
    Taldor doesn't discriminate against Sarenrae anymore? What the hell, that's just begging for the Cult of the Dawnflower to slip in and set up shop.

    Inner Sea Gods, Sarenrae entry, Page 134:

    "The church is strongest in Absalom, Katapesh, Osirion, Qadira, Taldor, and Thuvia.

    Cult of the Dawnflower sidebar, same page:

    "Never one to turn their back on a good deity, the nation of Taldor supports a number of temples devoted to Sarenrae."


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    This thread is like a graveyard where cool things go to die.


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    I actually only read info on Erastil in Rivers Run Red and always thought his preference of men was awesome 'cause it led to a lot of possible rich character development.

    Given I haven't read mostly any of the old books and the rest of the "corrected" tidbits seem awesome, I'd really love to have them all in one place so I can pick and choose for my group. Thanks!


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    RussianAlly wrote:

    I actually only read info on Erastil in Rivers Run Red and always thought his preference of men was awesome 'cause it led to a lot of possible rich character development.

    Given I haven't read mostly any of the old books and the rest of the "corrected" tidbits seem awesome, I'd really love to have them all in one place so I can pick and choose for my group. Thanks!

    I thought the same thing. Having a LG deity with such an obvious character flaw made both him and his faith feel a lot more real to me. One of those things like the chicken or the egg; is Erastil's faith male centrist because the Erestil is that way or is Erestil a little narrow minded because that's the traditions of his faith? It would give a lot of opportunity for RP, say if you played a female Cleric and the struggles to be acknowledged by local clergy or the story of a town who recently suffered the loss of their high priest and must turn to his wife, another Cleric, for guidance and learn to be more open.

    Nothing wrong with the Gods having little foibles and failings to make them unique. Even just as a quirk of the faith, at least it makes them different from the other LG deities beyond domain choices. Just because a faith is LG doesn't mean they can't have failings or imperfections.

    Also, they're less 'corrections', and more like 'sanitation'.


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    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.


    LordOfThreshold wrote:
    RussianAlly wrote:

    I actually only read info on Erastil in Rivers Run Red and always thought his preference of men was awesome 'cause it led to a lot of possible rich character development.

    Given I haven't read mostly any of the old books and the rest of the "corrected" tidbits seem awesome, I'd really love to have them all in one place so I can pick and choose for my group. Thanks!

    I thought the same thing. Having a LG deity with such an obvious character flaw made both him and his faith feel a lot more real to me. One of those things like the chicken or the egg; is Erastil's faith male centrist because the Erestil is that way or is Erestil a little narrow minded because that's the traditions of his faith? It would give a lot of opportunity for RP, say if you played a female Cleric and the struggles to be acknowledged by local clergy or the story of a town who recently suffered the loss of their high priest and must turn to his wife, another Cleric, for guidance and learn to be more open.

    Nothing wrong with the Gods having little foibles and failings to make them unique. Even just as a quirk of the faith, at least it makes them different from the other LG deities beyond domain choices. Just because a faith is LG doesn't mean they can't have failings or imperfections.

    Also, they're less 'corrections', and more like 'sanitation'.

    Agreed, good-aligned gods having each flaws of their own gives more flavor to their character than just 'I have no flaws' beings that just happen to focus on one aspect of life. I mean, there's Iomedae and her WotR blasting of people that disagree with her (And no, healing them afterwards doesn't make it even), or Ragathiel, who might be a bit too zealous on the "smite evil" part of goodness.


    I guess threads like this one are a good thing, because rules are open content, but flavor belongs to Paizo, so there is not a place to check if the information still is valid or not.

    Silver Crusade

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    Mr. Bubbles wrote:
    Taldor doesn't discriminate against Sarenrae anymore?

    This is exactly why I wanted to start this thread. If most people (me included) read a thing once it will be "valid" in our heads until we read a contradiction.

    Also, please not let this thread devolve into ANOTHER discussion about why Erastil's (or any other) change was good or bad. As James said, it was an error, plain and simple. An interesting one perhaps and nothing prohibits you from using him this way in your own campaign, but an error.

    Silver Crusade

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    It's like appealing to anonymous people on the Internet for them to drop the subject has ever worked ;)

    Paizo Employee Creative Director

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    And the reason this thread is sparking up old and kind of obnoxious arguments is not only one reason why I really hated that inappropriate bit of lore that accidentally got created in error for Erastil, but also why threads that continue to pick at almost-healed wounds tend to open them back up to fester.

    The main reason I object to giving Erastil a flaw like this is that it makes it look like Paizo is saying "It's both lawful AND good to behave in this way." I have no problem at all with a lawful good non-deity character having this sort of flaw, but giving this specific flaw to the DEITY OF FAMILY AND COMMUNITY is an outright fundamental design error that flies in the face of what Paizo stands for AND Erastil's 30 year history—even if he's only been in print for a third of that time.

    So yes... this thread is fine as a place for folks to look to see if a bit of lore has been corrected... but please keep it to that purpose and do not use it as a place to reopen old and tired and pointless arguments.

    And yeah I know appealing to folks to drop a subject is a fool's game on the Internet, but if folks can't keep to the topic's actual subject, I'll just have the thread closed. Feel free to start up a different thread with the subject of "I prefer Erastil this way..." or something like that. It's just not an appropriate topic to dwell on in this one. Thanks!

    Liberty's Edge

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    Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

    Once upon a time, Clerics of Pharasma were forbidden from controlling undead and from using some domain spells.

    I am happy that this has been retconned :-)


    I got tired of the Erastil thing a long time ago but I would love to hear about other things that got retconned.

    Liberty's Edge

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    Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    Blackbot wrote:
  • 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
  • This is now possible with the Pact Servant trait in Distant Shores, though apparently this was not its intended purpose

    Paizo Employee Creative Director

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    The Raven Black wrote:
    Blackbot wrote:
  • 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
  • This is now possible with the Pact Servant trait in Distant Shores, though apparently this was not its intended purpose

    Absolutely not the intended purpose.

    Sovereign Court

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
    James Jacobs wrote:
    The Raven Black wrote:
    Blackbot wrote:
  • 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
  • This is now possible with the Pact Servant trait in Distant Shores, though apparently this was not its intended purpose
    Absolutely not the intended purpose.

    Arguably not even legal. That discussion has already been gone over twice, though.


    Kalindlara wrote:
    James Jacobs wrote:
    The Raven Black wrote:
    Blackbot wrote:
  • 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
  • This is now possible with the Pact Servant trait in Distant Shores, though apparently this was not its intended purpose
    Absolutely not the intended purpose.
    Arguably not even legal. That discussion has already been gone over twice, though.

    Not legal because Paladins don't get their abilities from Gods, so the Trait doesn't apply to them?

    Sovereign Court

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
    LordOfThreshold wrote:
    Kalindlara wrote:
    James Jacobs wrote:
    The Raven Black wrote:
    Blackbot wrote:
  • 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
  • This is now possible with the Pact Servant trait in Distant Shores, though apparently this was not its intended purpose
    Absolutely not the intended purpose.
    Arguably not even legal. That discussion has already been gone over twice, though.
    Not legal because Paladins don't get their abilities from Gods, so the Trait doesn't apply to them?

    That's also a potential point. It's certainly appropriate to the context in which the trait originally appears. ^_^

    The argument that was used at the time was that, because it says "cleric, inquisitor, or other divine spellcaster", and since paladins aren't spellcasters at 1st level, it couldn't be used for this purpose in PFS (the primary subject of the argument). It requires some quibbling over the wording... but it's Asmodeus, so it felt appropriate.


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    Getting around that would be as easy as waiting for Paladins to get their spells at 4th level and then take Extra Traits as a feat at 5th, choosing Pact Servant as one of your bonus traits. That would be kind of a jerk-ass move, though.

    Perfect for Asmodeus, as well.

    The argument to that is either Asmo WON'T grant Paladin abilities, or CAN'T do so, though I think Old Scratch would be delighted to have Paladins running around and doing his bidding either in their misguided zeal or ignorance.

    Ahh, Pathfinder Society. I always forget that 99% of the hypothetical situations that are presented here take into account that you're playing in an 'official' game.

    Sovereign Court

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
    LordOfThreshold wrote:

    Getting around that would be as easy as waiting for Paladins to get their spells at 4th level and then take Extra Traits as a feat at 5th, choosing Pact Servant as one of your bonus traits. That would be kind of a jerk-ass move, though.

    Perfect for Asmodeus, as well.

    The argument to that is either Asmo WON'T grant Paladin abilities, or CAN'T do so, though I think Old Scratch would be delighted to have Paladins running around and doing his bidding either in their misguided zeal or ignorance.

    Ahh, Pathfinder Society. I always forget that 99% of the hypothetical situations that are presented here take into account that you're playing in an 'official' game.

    Yup. Otherwise, GMs can just do what they think is best... just like before. ^_^

    I think the official answer at this point is "can't"... and I believe it's for the reason you noted earlier. Your paladin powers don't come from the god, and worshiping the wrong god can put them in jeopardy.

    The original source, Distant Shores, is pretty excellent, and gives the trait some necessary context. I recommend it if you're interested in seeing some of the rest of Golarion.


    Tiamat got errated out of Golarion ?

    Sovereign Court

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
    Draco Bahamut wrote:
    Tiamat got errated out of Golarion ?

    Not exactly. Last I knew, she's still there in the distant past, just in case someone wants to do something.

    Paizo just doesn't do anything with her.

    Paizo Employee Developer

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    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.

    Paizo Employee Creative Director

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    Draco Bahamut wrote:
    Tiamat got errated out of Golarion ?

    Our god of evil dragons is Dahak. Tiamat is from real world mythology (same as Dahak), but her incarnation as a five-headed dragon is pure TSR/WotC, and as such we can't do anything with that version. So instead we're just not using Tiamat in Golarion in print, so that a GM can use her as he sees fit without having to deal with anything we would say in print about her which would HAVE to present her in a different way than she's been classically represented in D&D.

    For the same reason we don't use Bahamut in our game, and instead use Apsu.

    And we have Lamashtu as the boss demon lord, not Demogorgon.

    And so on.

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

    Juju mystery no longer creates non-Evil undead. I am quite happy with this.

    Atheist souls are no longer used as Groetus repellent. I liked the older version because it gave me some weird ideas about them becoming godslayers when the End finally comes. But I understand perfectly why the new version is better :-)


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

    In the original Worldwound write up in the 3.5 Campaign Setting, there was some kind of magic fairy dust mixed into the river borders that kept the demons from leaving the former Sarkoris.

    Wardstones are SO much cooler!


    Is it cannon that the Lashunta can be found in/around Kyonin, maybe even a small colony?

    Wasn't there a three eyed dragon that was supposed to be a spawn of Rovagug or was that changed as well?

    Is there anything mentioned in the Great Beyond book that was changed?

    Sczarni

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    Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

    I'm surprised Dragonfall hasn't been mentioned

    Paizo Employee Creative Director

    Cpt_kirstov wrote:
    I'm surprised Dragonfall hasn't been mentioned

    In fact, Dragonfall came out in a weird time where we were trying a "not set in any particular world" thing for the modules line. It's not set in any specific world at all; there's nothing in there that says where it is on Golarion because it was never really intended to be ON Golarion. We did the same thing for a few others around that time... of course, that we've adopted those into Golarion but not Dragonfall may be part of the confusion... but Dragonfall ended up taking things in a direction we didn't want to canonize in the end. And shortly after, we decided to go back to setting all our modules in Golarion and its Great Beyond, since the "generic module experiment" kinda didn't work out as well as we'd hoped.

    Paizo Employee Creative Director

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    Dragon78 wrote:

    Is it cannon that the Lashunta can be found in/around Kyonin, maybe even a small colony?

    Wasn't there a three eyed dragon that was supposed to be a spawn of Rovagug or was that changed as well?

    Is there anything mentioned in the Great Beyond book that was changed?

    There are Lashunta on Golarion, and Kyonin is indeed the most logical place for them, but there's not a lot at all; they're very very rare, to the point that they almost aren't worth mentioning in most contexts until we actually do something directly with them.

    The three eyed dragon spawn is still out there, but we've not done much at all with it either yet.

    The only thing with the Great Beyond of note that's adjusted is stuff that changed between 3.5 and the Pathfinder RPG. The main one that comes to mind is that formians went from being an outsider race to the alien/monstrous humanoid race that is much closer to their original roots from the pulps. They're no longer natives to Axis, although there's still versions of them out there, in the same way there are axiomatic versions of other things on Axis.


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    Oh, infernal dukes (though this is more an errata or update than a retcon) -

    As of Inner Sea Bestiary, infernal dukes were in the CR 21 to 25 range, being of similar power and status to daemonic harbingers and nascent demon lords.

    As of Hell Unleashed in 2015, infernal dukes now go all the way up to CR 30, with CR 26+ dukes following the same divine realm/mythic rules that demon lords and empyreal lords do.

    The obvious reason for the change to infernal dukes is that mythic rules didn't exist at the time of the Inner Sea Bestiary, and so Hell Unleashed updates infernal dukes to match their demigod peers.

    (Hell Unleashed also implied that the archdukes are pretty similar to infernal dukes in terms of raw stats, and some infernal dukes are actually stronger in straight combat than some of the archdukes. But Breaking the Bones of Hell makes clear that an archduke has amazing control over his layer of Hell, well beyond what a demigod can normally do (and possibly on par with what an actual god could do). Though that might be unique to Mephistopheles.)

    I'm looking forward to when we finally get an official malebranche stat block, which may show that malebranches now occupy the CR 21 to 25 range shared by harbingers and nascent demon lords (previously,IIRC, malebranches were side-grades to pitfiends occupying the CR 18 to 22 range).


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

    The Golarion lore that the devs want to step away from is like a first draft of story. Especially the really early Golarion lore, from the first few years: They were throwing things at the wall to see what stuck. Some things they put out there didn't mesh well with later elements that had more support, so these bits were modified or abandoned as the devs saw fit.

    Every individual GM's version of Golarion is their own version. I have a bunch of things in my home-game version of Golarion that are different from the published base-line, but is canon for my home game. I'm running a semi-homebrew campaing set in Korvosa four years before the events of Curse of the Crimson Throne. Some of my changes include...

    • A still-single (and still healthy) King Eodred II rules the city.
    • My St. Alika is a fusion of the official version and the historical figure of Saint Naratha from TPK Games' city of Maerh-Varza, including an elaborate but run-down reliquary in Bridgefront.
    • A zombie uprising in Old Korvosa happened about four years before the events of Curse of the Crimson Throne (and was put down by the PCs).
    • There's a run-down Sarenite mission in Old Dock called "St. Casperian's Mission" that I lifted from the Set Piece "St. Casperian's Salvation" from Shadow in the Sky.
    • There's a department of clockwork constructs that I put into the University of Korvosa so that I could use some encounters from Kobold Press' City of Zobeck.
    • The Jeggare Museum seems to have the same sorts of strange goings-on that PFS players normally associate with the Blakros Museum...and wouldn't you know that one wing has the same layout!

    So, as Mark mentioned up-thread, if you like some of the early ideas that Paizo decided to walk away from, add them to your version of the world. You're the GM! What you say goes!


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    Wha??? Atheist souls are no longer the only thing keeping the world from ending? That is... sad.

    Paizo Employee Creative Director

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    Zhangar wrote:

    Oh, infernal dukes (though this is more an errata or update than a retcon) -

    As of Inner Sea Bestiary, infernal dukes were in the CR 21 to 25 range, being of similar power and status to daemonic harbingers and nascent demon lords.

    As of Hell Unleashed in 2015, infernal dukes now go all the way up to CR 30, with CR 26+ dukes following the same divine realm/mythic rules that demon lords and empyreal lords do.

    The obvious reason for the change to infernal dukes is that mythic rules didn't exist at the time of the Inner Sea Bestiary, and so Hell Unleashed updates infernal dukes to match their demigod peers.

    (Hell Unleashed also implied that the archdukes are pretty similar to infernal dukes in terms of raw stats, and some infernal dukes are actually stronger in straight combat than some of the archdukes. But Breaking the Bones of Hell makes clear that an archduke has amazing control over his layer of Hell, well beyond what a demigod can normally do (and possibly on par with what an actual god could do). Though that might be unique to Mephistopheles.)

    I'm looking forward to when we finally get an official malebranche stat block, which may show that malebranches now occupy the CR 21 to 25 range shared by harbingers and nascent demon lords (previously,IIRC, malebranches were side-grades to pitfiends occupying the CR 18 to 22 range).

    This was actually a misunderstanding of Wes's intents for the infernal dukes on my part. For demons, the CR 26–30 band is occupied by demon lords. For devils, I'd assumed that was ONLY the archdevils in that band, but in fact, it includes archdevils AND infernal dukes—in a way, archdevils are merely infernal dukes who have control over a layer of hell. There's a limited number of archdevils (8 in fact) and as such, Wes created the role of infernal duke to allow for more variety in the CR 26–30 range.

    So, archdevils are generally going to be in the CR 28–30 range (but one or two might be as low as CR 26), while infernal dukes are going to generally be in the CR 26–28 range (but I could see the argument for one being higher).

    The maelbranche are an analogy to the nascent demon lord, and they fill the CR 21–25 tier, along with various unique pit fiends.

    So, not a ret-con, but a correction to an error I introduced into the game in Inner Sea Bestiary. It's all fixed now, though!

    Silver Crusade

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    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    Orcs Of Golarion stated that Orcs wore masks in battle and that there was a great deal of cultural significance attached to this. Subsequent publications have made no mention of this practice, with Scarred Witchdoctors being the only Orcs who use masks in a practical extent.

    Paizo Employee Creative Director

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    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. We actually had a fair amount of that type of thing creeping into our earlier books, particularly as we started branching out beyond in house authors and using out-of house authors who hadn't yet quite grasped the differences between Golarion and the traditional D&D tropes or setting implications. Once we switched over to the Pathfinder Rules, and soon thereafter managed to get someone into a Creative Director role, we were able to get a tighter grip on the setting and had less of a problem with unintentional additions in this manner, but they were still out there and were thus still confusing.

    Sovereign Court

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

    I believe that bit about freelancers is also how the elves got all dickish and Tolkienized. ^_^

    Paizo Employee Developer

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    Caius The Disillusioned wrote:
    Orcs Of Golarion stated that Orcs wore masks in battle and that there was a great deal of cultural significance attached to this. Subsequent publications have made no mention of this practice, with Scarred Witchdoctors being the only Orcs who use masks in a practical extent.

    This is an example of one source making sweeping statements about a subject, in this case a race, without that sweeping statement making its way through to the entire creative team, including the art staff. Prior to the publication of Orcs of Golarion, we hadn't really illustrated or discussed orcs wearing masks, and there had been orcs in other adventures and such up to that point. When authors, developers, and artists went forward with using orcs in other adventures, the detail of them wearing masks sort of slipped through the cracks.

    It's not so much a retcon as a continuity trap we set for ourselves. It's an easy one to fix, however, by simply treating the information on masks from OoG as describing the traditions of some orc tribes, but not the entire race or culture. This way all the orcs we've detailed elsewhere are simply orcs that don't observe this tradition, rather than a superlative exclusion of any mask-wearers from the setting.

    Paizo Employee Creative Director

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    Kalindlara wrote:
    I believe that bit about freelancers is also how the elves got all dickish and Tolkienized. ^_^

    More "Treated like elves are in Forgotten Realms/Greyhawk" but yeah. Same exact thing.

    Silver Crusade

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    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. We actually had a fair amount of that type of thing creeping into our earlier books, particularly as we started branching out beyond in house authors and using out-of house authors who hadn't yet quite grasped the differences between Golarion and the traditional D&D tropes or setting implications. Once we switched over to the Pathfinder Rules, and soon thereafter managed to get someone into a Creative Director role, we were able to get a tighter grip on the setting and had less of a problem with unintentional additions in this manner, but they were still out there and were thus still confusing.

    And I thank you and Paizo for this. Endgame for Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of The Betrayer made me... angry, to say the least.

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