Tropest Place in Golarion


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


I've been playing Pathfinder for years but aside from a couple short lived games using AP's, I've never played in Golarion.

I've been asked to run a game for beginners. Never ever played a RPG before beginners and I want to give them the classic "D&D experience". I'm just not sure which part of Golarion is the most appropriate.


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I would say nearly every trope exists within Golarion.
Want pirates? - The Shackles are for you.
Want the Cold North? - Irrisen or the Land of the Linnorm Kings.
Want an Egypt like treasure hunt through old tombs - Osirian is what you seek.
Want a no frills dungeon crawl - The emerald spire offers this.

If you name a trope, I will tell you where it can be found.


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Yeah, what kind of adventure do you want? The classic experience might be best found around Varisia or the river kingdoms.


I'm thinking just classic "D&D".

I was thinking Varisia or River Kingdoms but I wasn't sure if there was a better option that I had overlooked.

Liberty's Edge

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The early APs fit the bill pretty well. Rise of the Runelords (battling goblins, giants, and later arcane horrors) and Second Darkness (lots of drow and demons) immediately come to mind.


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The Dragon's Demand module starts off fairly classic, investigating a wizard's disappearance and encountering some classic monsters in the dungeon beneath a collapsed tower. It's a great module for beginners, too, culminating in a confrontation with the titular dragon.

Dark Archive

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I'd suggest going with Varisia for this. It's got ancient wizard-tyrants returning from an age-old slumber, tribes of goblins, giants, and other humanoids, city states rather than a major centralized government, lots of wilderness terrain ranging from frozen mountains to deep forests to blasted wastelands of ash and cinder, and ruins aplenty.

Taldor also could be pretty good if you wanted more of a knights-and-empires thing going on, but Varisia is my knee-jerk reaction here.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I second Rise of the Runelords. The AP was originally published under the 3.5 rules (with a few custom things thrown in) so it has obvious ties not only to the PF system's predecessor, but also many of the themes echo 3.5's mentality (though some of the books have dark topics not usually present in D&D, so make sure you read the adventures first.)

If this is for beginners though, you'll definitely want to check out the Pathfinder Beginner Box It has simplified character sheets that are easier to read (And look way less intimidating, they even have color coded guides) a bunch of pawns to represent the PCs and plenty of monsters, a premade adventure designed specifically to teach the players important game mechanics (that takes place in a dungeon and has the players defeat an evil dragon), and it takes place close to Varisia's town of Sandpoint, the most detailed town in the setting and the starting point for the Rise of the Runelords, Shattered Star, and Jade Regent APs. It is also regionally close to Riddleport and Korvosa, starting points for the Second Darkness and Curse of the Crimson Throne APs respectively.


Rise of the runelords is classic, and comes in a single hardback volume as well, cheaper than buying individual volumes of an adventure path.


Tollak Vargsson wrote:
I've been asked to run a game for beginners. Never ever played a RPG before beginners and I want to give them the classic "D&D experience". I'm just not sure which part of Golarion is the most appropriate.

Giantslayer.

Maybe Rise of the Runelords.

Sczarni

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Guys, he's asking for what part of Golarion, not what premade adventure.... I agree, for the "plain old fantasy experience" either the river kingdoms or Varisia are best. Varisia is more fleshed out, with both Sandpoint and Falcon's Hollow being detailed enough you could have multiple sessions exploring the town and not see everything.


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Ditto the above, River Kingdoms or Varisia. Maybe Ustalav, on the border of the Hold of Belkzen. Get your horrible undead and orcs all in one convenient location!


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Varisia "here be adventurers"


Thanks for the advice. I've decided on Varisia.


Varisia is a great choice.


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Varisia. It's the "baseline fantasy/D&D" region of the kitchen-sink world that is Golarion.

I highly recommend getting your hands on The Inner Sea World Guide for an overview.

The gazetteer for Varisia is in the Anniversary Edition Rise of the Runelords Players Guide (which is free). Also useful is the Players Companion Varisia: Birthplace of Legends.


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dragonhunterq wrote:
Varisia "here be adventurers"

That joke map you linked is not particularly funny, kind of offensive, and more than a little bit racist. I don't approve.

Scarab Sages

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Haladir wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:
Varisia "here be adventurers"
That joke map you linked is not particularly funny, kind of offensive, and more than a little bit racist. I don't approve.

It's a slightly cynical reductionist satire of the Inner Sea's cultures - it's based on this. I think you're being overzealous/unfair. I only see one segment that might risk being worthy of your reaction. The question is, is it racist, or is it observing racism? I can see a bit of a chain of pointing fingers from here. That's the trouble with racism: To recognize it, you must first be tainted with it.


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Yeah...the most "racist" thing is its description of the Mwangi Expanse/Sargava which, let's face it, IS an observation on how Paizo has described it.

Its description has ALWAYS been the most stereotypical colonial British "Dark Continent" description possible.

Likewise, you really can't argue that its description of Cheliax and Qadira aren't apt. Those are also EXACTLY how those two have been portrayed.

Unintentional racism, perhaps, but the "blame" if any is necessary lies on Paizo for making those countries so stereotypical.


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Given the tone of many of the entries I'm inclined to think the creator may not have cared to be politically correct. Whether or not their racist titles are accurate to how Paizo wrote those regions I think it's possible to say the map itself is racist in its own right considering it could have been written using less-offensive language.


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The real question is what is the dopest place in Golarion. That answer seems to be Thuvia for quality, Katapesh for quantity.


Slithery D wrote:
The real question is what is the dopest place in Golarion. That answer seems to be Thuvia for quality, Katapesh for quantity.

I hear the best green comes from Abken.


SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
Given the tone of many of the entries I'm inclined to think the creator may not have cared to be politically correct. Whether or not their racist titles are accurate to how Paizo wrote those regions I think it's possible to say the map itself is racist in its own right considering it could have been written using less-offensive language.

You say that like it's making fun of living people, the jabs are aimed at things that happened in the past or things exclusive to that universe. You really need to be less sensitive.


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HyperMissingno wrote:
You say that like it's making fun of living people, the jabs are aimed at things that happened in the past or things exclusive to that universe. You really need to be less sensitive.

Not until the people telling me its racist stop telling me that.


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That map IS terrible. Not a very good representation of Golarion at all.

And it is racist.


captain yesterday wrote:
That map IS terrible. Not a very good representation of Golarion at all.

I'd say it's a pretty good representation of what kind of campaign you'll be having in any given location.

You'll go to ARAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA (no, too long) Qadira for your desert dwelling nomads and genies (hey like that AP Paizo wrote)

You'll go to Transylvania Ustalav for your Frankenstein's monsters, vampires, and other horror trappings (hey like that AP Paizo wrote)

You'll go to Here be ice witches Irrisen for your cold weather and Russian folklore based campaign (hey like that AP Paizo wrote)

...See where I'm going with this?

Golarion's setting does have a decent amount of depth to it, but each place was quite purposefully made to be recognizable at a glance as something else.

And not to harp on it, but the Mwangi is especially bad. It reads like they listened to "Witch Doctor" on a loop when they wrote it.

Project Manager

Sundakan wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
That map IS terrible. Not a very good representation of Golarion at all.

I'd say it's a pretty good representation of what kind of campaign you'll be having in any given location.

You'll go to ARAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA (no, too long) Qadira for your desert dwelling nomads and genies (hey like that AP Paizo wrote)

You mean Katapesh? We haven't done a Qadira AP.


That's the one. Qadira is the other other desert, where the Dawnflower Cult hangs out then?

That would make a neat AP too though.


We have the Arabian Desert AP and the Egyptian Desert AP, the latter of which was fairly recent. XD So we might need to go a bit longer before a third one.


True, true.

Hopefully that logic will also hold true for Cheliax going forward since every second AP has SOMETHING to do with that damned country.


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Yet more exaggerations.


captain yesterday wrote:
Yet more exaggerations.

Okay, yeah, the whole country technically isn't damned, but the government is which is all that counts.

Project Manager

They're basically both Egyptian desert APs, since Katapesh is just south of Osirion, and both on the Africa-analogue continent. :-)


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I don't really remember any deserts being involved in Legacy of Fire, though.


Nor Cheliax.


Zaister wrote:
I don't really remember any deserts being involved in Legacy of Fire, though.

Well, it takes place in Katapesh, a nation comprised almost entirely of desert...

Admittedly I've only read the first book, but there are several references of "Go into the desert and get me this" and "Desert bandit scum" in there.

As for Cheliax, off the top of my head these APs deal with it in some way shape or form:

Hell's Rebels/Vengeance (Setting)
Skull and Shackles (Primary antagonist)
Curse of the Crimson Throne (HEAVILY tied into the backstory and political ties of the AP)
Council of Theives (Setting)

There may or may not be more. So, 5/18. Not exactly half but very nearly 1/3 of all existing APs.


Sundakan wrote:

As for Cheliax, off the top of my head these APs deal with it in some way shape or form:

Hell's Rebels/Vengeance (Setting)
Skull and Shackles (Primary antagonist)
Curse of the Crimson Throne (HEAVILY tied into the backstory and political ties of the AP)
Council of Theives (Setting)

There may or may not be more. So, 5/18. Not exactly half but very nearly 1/3 of all existing APs.

Well, they are the primary antagonists on Golarion, and tied into most of the major lore. They're like SPECTRE in Bond movies or the Daleks to Doctor Who. They're one of Golarion's most iconic and defining nations, so their presence in a lot of the stories told doesn't feel out of place for me.

And the Crimson Throne connection is not that heavy.

Spoiler:
Ileosa is from Cheliax, but that's about it. Her motivations for her actions are not that closely tied to her home nation... although I guess the PC perception early on is that they are. There's really no connection to Thrune or worship of Asmodeus, which is what defines Cheliax to me. Maybe I'm missing, or have forgotten, something, though.


Korvosa was founded by Chelish settlers, and was a prosperous colony before Aroden disappeared, so it's very much a part of Chelaxian history. Also IIRC a major order of Hellknights makes its home there as well.

Dark Archive

Sundakan wrote:
Korvosa was founded by Chelish settlers, and was a prosperous colony before Aroden disappeared, so it's very much a part of Chelaxian history. Also IIRC a major order of Hellknights makes its home there as well.

Sargava is in the same boat, but I don't really consider it a 'Chelish' region, anymore than I consider everything set in Andoran (another former chunk of Cheliax) to be Chelish, or Cheliax itself (a former chunk of Taldor) to be Taldan.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Sundakan wrote:
Zaister wrote:
I don't really remember any deserts being involved in Legacy of Fire, though.
Well, it takes place in Katapesh, a nation comprised almost entirely of desert...

Well, my Katashesh map from Dark Markets has about 75% that's either green plains or mountains.

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