What you hope won't be in there.


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Tectorman wrote:
SAMAS wrote:
Kassil wrote:

I don't want to see alignment as a thing here. I'd rather have an expansion on things like the patriotic weapons and the Unchained bits about things like radiant damage.

Have allegiances and oppositions, not alignment.

In any universe where Good and Evil are actual (meta)physical forces, alignment makes sense.

In worlds like Golarion and those of the Longest-Running RPG, I can hold Good in the form of pure energy in one hand, and Chaos in the other, and my soul resonates harmoniously with them(and then I can hit you with it). That resonance means I am Chaotic Good. I can still think or even act Lawful(or Evil) from time to time, and still remain Chaotic Good. For a while, anyway.

I could elaborate, but this is not the place for it. My point is that this is not the real world, but one where Good, Evil, Law, and Chaos are observable and quantifiable things.

Again, this is why I'm hoping they do a better job of advertising just what this game is supposed to be, a Golarion star system setting-specific game or a setting-neutral game meant for multiple settings, only one of which just so happens to be the Golarion star system.

Because you're correct. In a universe where alignment is a tangible thing, alignment serves a purpose. And if Starfinder is only meant for such a universe, then the game's inclusion of alignment isn't a problem.

But I always took Pathfinder to be setting-neutral. After all, isn't that one of the whole points behind it being backwards-compatible? As such, alignment in the core rules runs at cross-purposes with that goal. So I really hope they get it right and advertise what this game will actually be this time.

From the descriptions I've been seeing I think Starfinder is supposed to be as setting neutral as Pathfinder but setting information is in the Core Rulebook because they are consolidating the line to be much leaner than Pathfinder. Like for the same reason there are new monsters, options and setting information in the adventure path line. Maybe in the future they'll split it off to form a Player Companion line but for now they're streamlining the books.

This is one reason why I suspect a kitchen sink approach to the setting.


I hope there will not be any space orcs, cyber-demons, and if they have a darklands-like place that it doesn't have any drow, aboleth, duergar, etc. and most other things from Golarion's version.


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Dragon78 wrote:
I hope there will not be any space orcs, cyber-demons, and if they have a darklands-like place that it doesn't have any drow, aboleth, duergar, etc. and most other things from Golarion's version.

I'm hoping denizens of the worlds aren't just randomly put on 'Planet X' with no sense, rhyme, or reason, unless it's an AP thing.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:

I'm kind of sad the base races are all on the way out except boring old humans. Mainly just because of gnomes, though. I think gnomes, those eccentric fey constantly a desaturation away from insanity and death, would be a lot of fun in space. I hope they still exist as a rarer species.

What I don't want to see, Pt. 1:

Giffs.

Scros.


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
I hope there will not be any space orcs, cyber-demons, and if they have a darklands-like place that it doesn't have any drow, aboleth, duergar, etc. and most other things from Golarion's version.
I'm hoping denizens of the worlds aren't just randomly put on 'Planet X' with no sense, rhyme, or reason, unless it's an AP thing.

Well random in the sense that players may never know and the AP may never say why but Pathfinder has already established that duplicates of known species appeared on multiple planets around the galaxy tens of thousands of years before Pathfinder takes place. Given the extra few thousand between then and Starfinder, yeah, there are probably thousands of planets with repeat creatures on them. I would assume that either A) in truly ancient times a few super advanced (like Atlantians from Stargate advanced) races seeded successor species on promising worlds or B) the gods have a huge stock of racial templates they can pull from when populating new worlds. Maybe your world never got the "Greys" but there could be 15000 other worlds in the galaxy that did. Some of those worlds may have had Halfings, Orcs and Greys as the staple species so that while these strange aliens arent offput by the party Halfing the idea of one double sized is freakish to their sensibilities.


Fabius Maximus wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:

I'm kind of sad the base races are all on the way out except boring old humans. Mainly just because of gnomes, though. I think gnomes, those eccentric fey constantly a desaturation away from insanity and death, would be a lot of fun in space. I hope they still exist as a rarer species.

What I don't want to see, Pt. 1:

Giffs.

Scros.

I want some Nay-churr in there.

Silver Crusade

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Shatner. William Shatner.


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Kryssa Lightbinder wrote:
Shatner. William Shatner.

Present one, or the 1960s one?


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Nutcase Entertainment wrote:
Kryssa Lightbinder wrote:
Shatner. William Shatner.
Present one, or the 1960s one?

Who else will host IRON. CHEF. ABSALOM!?


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Nutcase Entertainment wrote:
Kryssa Lightbinder wrote:
Shatner. William Shatner.
Present one, or the 1960s one?

You've got to bring your ship into stardock on a regular basis so a professional can clean the Shatners off your hull. They're worse than space barnacles.


Muser wrote:

The gateway to Abyss keeps from brimming over by virtue of a magical "iron curtain" of dimension anchors and magical force fields and the internecine feuds between different warmonger demons. There's also a near-constant wave of crusaders bolstering the neighboring kingdom charged with maintaining the magical wards and engaging in smiting.

The warlord of Numeria, Kevoth-Kul, is uninterested in warfare and content to let a cabal of technomages rule in his stead. He's doped up on space drugs 24/7 and the cabal is mostly fine with just nerding over the massive space ship next to the capitol. Mages...

The southern kingdoms, namely Lastwall, Ustalav, Razmiran and the River Kingdoms all have their own troubles to sort out before any kind of concerted effort might be made upon Numeria. For instance, Lastwall is the lynchpin that keeps Azero...Belkzen in check. Ustalav and the River Kingdoms are both fractitious confederate realms that have little interest beyond their smaller neighbours, but I'd be surprised if some of their leaders had not adopted Numerian tech to some extent(this is actually featured in an AP volume, heh) Razmiran is a big bully, but doesn't share a border with Numeria. It's also engaged in several different conflicts with its neighbours by virtue of being an aggressive militant theocracy.

I get that the kitchen sink setting is patently ridiculous, but your post kinda reminds me of those times I'm listening to a radio show and some caller wonders why we don't just invade North Korea/Iran/Russia, etc! Checks and balances, wheels within wheels.

I suppose it's obvious I still have a decade of lore to go through given that I understand barely a fourth of what you just wrote. But regardless, I still stand by my original request/complaint: Ditch the kitchen sink approach for Starfinder, or at least don't indulge in the subgenres of sci-fi until much later in the new game's life cycle.

Liberty's Edge

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Richard Redmane wrote:
I suppose it's obvious I still have a decade of lore to go through given that I understand barely a fourth of what you just wrote. But regardless, I still stand by my original request/complaint: Ditch the kitchen sink approach for Starfinder, or at least don't indulge in the subgenres of sci-fi until much later in the new game's life cycle.

While I do understand where you're coming from, I've come to realize that a big part of the success of Pathfinder stemmed from the kitchen sink approach at launch.

Think about it, when Starfinder comes out, we'll only have one AP and no modules to flesh out the setting. Now consider that if you sit ten gamers at a table to play a sci-fi game, chances are that you'll get at least five different ideas of what a sci-fi game is. Maybe a lot of gaming groups won't be interested in the flavor of sci-fi that the first AP will offer.

But if the setting laid out in the core book presents the kitchen sink approach, the GMs will be more likely to find the sort of environment their players prefer, and the adventure seeds (I'm assuming these will look like the ones in the Inner Sea World Guide) will give them a taste of what this game can bring to their table. Which will lead to them following the line, and ensuring its continuing success.

In my case, I was a big fan of Spelljammer. Still have a lot of the books. But my gaming group wants something closer to Stargate, except for someone who wants basically a Shadowrun-like game. At six months per AP, it'd take at least a year and a half to cover all three preferences. And this is just my group.

Hopefully you'll find your preferred type of sci-fi covered in the core book. Hopefully everyone will.

Silver Crusade

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Space Cheliax. This applies to Space [Any Golarion Nationstate], but it applies to Cheliax more because it's the only one I'm completely certain they're going to do and it makes the least sense.

The idea of anyone having a large number of slaves, or indeed any biological manual laborers, in the distant future is as ludicrous as having combat still be dominated by swords and chainmail. It would make sense only in locales where there is not very much technology, and Space Cheliax would not be such a locale.

Now, it is possible that the people making the setting will realize this and have most of the slaves be AI (including androids), which would fix the problem so long as only the devout of Asmodeus put complicated AI in charge of easy work just to be evil.

However, I definitely do not trust anyone from Paizo to care enough to be careful about that issue, so I suspect to see a thinly veiled rebranding of Cheliax somewhere in the galaxy, whose history includes descent from Cheliax proper, and which practices slavery on biological beings rather than building machines which will do the job monumentally better without being fed, watered and allowed to sleep and who you can easily program to never try to escape and indeed to never defy you in any way.

But besides the points above, can there please, please just not be any recycled concepts? Ignoring the fact that a nationstate persisting from the middle ages to the distant future in a basically unaltered form is ridiculous, if this setting turns out to be Pathfinder in Space, there will be no reason not to play Pathfinder instead and no one will. Please, writers, creative directors, I beg you, do not translate Golarion nations directly to this setting. Do things you've not done before. Take advantage of the space-ships, and capitalize on the genre you're going into and above all, make things make sense!

Shadow Lodge

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Zahariel wrote:

While I do understand where you're coming from, I've come to realize that a big part of the success of Pathfinder stemmed from the kitchen sink approach at launch.

Think about it, when Starfinder comes out, we'll only have one AP and no modules to flesh out the setting. Now consider that if you sit ten gamers at a table to play a sci-fi game, chances are that you'll get at least five different ideas of what a sci-fi game is. Maybe a lot of gaming groups won't be interested in the flavor of sci-fi that the first AP will offer.

Actually, I'd argue the evidence is the opposite, and the success of PF was that it was pretty generic, unexplored and not codified towards the reader/player/dm, and open to interpritation. That, to me is the settings golden age, and the more material that comes out, the more cool ideas about otherwise unclear topics, locations, orders, faiths, etc become wrong or false.

As PF/Golarion became more and more set in stone, it had really became more and more just like Forgotten Realms, though I would argue that at least FR's kitchen sink makes more logistical/geographical sense. Hopefully Starfinder can avoid that on both accounts, leaving plenty of room for exploration, interpretation, and also not having Disney cartoon princess lands boarding each other. The only real setting I've seen it done well is Ravenloft, where there is a reason most of the areas while physically connected, are not really open, allowing for a bronze age domain right next to a did main with modern technology, but they can't or will not just invade and destroy, (and not just because setting/writer fiat protects).


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Krombopulos Michael wrote:
Nutcase Entertainment wrote:
Kryssa Lightbinder wrote:
Shatner. William Shatner.
Present one, or the 1960s one?
You've got to bring your ship into stardock on a regular basis so a professional can clean the Shatners off your hull. They're worse than space barnacles.

Unfortunately, yours doesn't work for me. But here's the original!

EDIT: Well, okay, after I made that post, now it works!


martinaj wrote:
I'm okay with cosmic horror as a concept, but I'd much rather they use it as an inspiration for something new is far preferable to ripping creatures straight from the pages of Lovecraft's stuff, which seems to be the way it always goes. Lovecraft always seems to be afford this sacred untouchable status and fans who incorporate his stuff into their games seem completely unwillingy to adapt it, instead forcing the game world to adapt to Lovecraft, but we don't do this with other source material. We have the Whispering Tyrant instead of any number of actual fictional evil overlords, for example. We don't actually see Sauron in the world, so why is there this need to use Cthulu instead of a Cthulu substitute?

This I can completely agree with. Just copying over all the various creatures and characters makes it all way too familiar, and thus it loses what is scary about it.

Cosmic horror should be done in the way Bloodborne did it, which wears its inspiration on its sleeve, yet you still don't run into great Cthulhu, an Elder Thing, Mi-Go or Shoggoths.


Zahariel wrote:

While I do understand where you're coming from, I've come to realize that a big part of the success of Pathfinder stemmed from the kitchen sink approach at launch.

Think about it, when Starfinder comes out, we'll only have one AP and no modules to flesh out the setting. Now consider that if you sit ten gamers at a table to play a sci-fi game, chances are that you'll get at least five different ideas of what a sci-fi game is. Maybe a lot of gaming groups won't be interested in the flavor of sci-fi that the first AP will offer.

DM Beckett wrote:
Actually, I'd argue the evidence is the opposite, and the success of PF was that it was pretty generic, unexplored and not codified towards the reader/player/dm, and open to interpritation. That, to me is the settings golden age, and the more material that comes out, the more cool ideas about otherwise unclear topics, locations, orders, faiths, etc become wrong or false.

I agree with your latter sentence more than your first; I don't think it's necessarily the codification, but the retcons, updates, and changes to the setting that create a kind of "genericizing" effect on the setting.

While some of the changes are certainly welcome, others feel either awkward, arbitrary, unnecessary, and/or confusing, or have some other motivation I remain uncertain of.

DM Beckett wrote:
As PF/Golarion became more and more set in stone, it had really became more and more just like Forgotten Realms, though I would argue that at least FR's kitchen sink makes more logistical/geographical sense.

I do agree that FR's kitchen sink makes more internal logistical sense - there are elements in Golarion that seem to be negated by other Golarion lore.

That said, I don't think its really all that bad. "Ravenloft" is just as fiat-y to my sensibilities, and has the different areas explained as, "Because We Want It That Way" instead of any genuinely comprehensible reason; FR is explained away as "Because Archmages" (and gods, and so on). Either way, it's author fiat.

Golarion has it's own internal consistency thing running.

Let's look at the original (recent) posts on this topic:

Please note, while I am quoting "you" (whoever that is, I'm not specifically calling you out, or saying you're a bad poster who should feel bad. It's more that I find your posts useful to talk about.

The Listed Issues In This Thread:
Richard Redmane wrote:

Eh, depends on how it's executed. I personally was not a fan of having the Conan Kingdom, the Heavy Metal/Cyberfantasy Kingdom, and the "gateway to hell" kingdom all right next to each other in Pathfinder. What, other then player intervention, is stopping the gateway to hell from overrunning its neighbors? What is stopping the warlord in charge of Heavy Metal from invading his neighbors and conquering them with his superior technology? what is stopping the southern kingdoms from conducting research on these artifacts and, while not replicating them, using their insights to accelerate technological progress by about a century or two?

And yes, the galaxy is a big place, all the more reason for these "cameo kingdoms" to not get squished together where they can trip over each other.

The Muser wrote:

The gateway to Abyss keeps from brimming over by virtue of a magical "iron curtain" of dimension anchors and magical force fields and the internecine feuds between different warmonger demons. There's also a near-constant wave of crusaders bolstering the neighboring kingdom charged with maintaining the magical wards and engaging in smiting.

The warlord of Numeria, Kevoth-Kul, is uninterested in warfare and content to let a cabal of technomages rule in his stead. He's doped up on space drugs 24/7 and the cabal is mostly fine with just nerding over the massive space ship next to the capitol. Mages...
The southern kingdoms, namely Lastwall, Ustalav, Razmiran and the River Kingdoms all have their own troubles to sort out before any kind of concerted effort might be made upon Numeria. For instance, Lastwall is the lynchpin that keeps Azero...Belkzen in check. Ustalav and the River Kingdoms are both fractitious confederate realms that have little interest beyond their smaller neighbours, but I'd be surprised if some of their leaders had not adopted Numerian tech to some extent(this is actually featured in an AP volume, heh) Razmiran is a big bully, but doesn't share a border with Numeria. It's also engaged in several different conflicts with its neighbours by virtue of being an aggressive militant theocracy.
I get that the kitchen sink setting is patently ridiculous, but your post kinda reminds me of those times I'm listening to a radio show and some caller wonders why we don't just invade North Korea/Iran/Russia, etc! Checks and balances, wheels within wheels.
me wrote:

This.

Plus...

- they originator of the World Wound has different designs than mere fast conquest

- the tech begins to fail to some extent away from the mothership

- the technologically backwards people are bordered by: orcs, demons, a permanent unnatural winter, and the frozen top of the world: who're they going to trade with/advance by?

The major complaint is the side-by-side nature of:
- <the Conan Kingdom, the Heavy Metal/Cyberfantasy Kingdom, and the "gateway to hell"> side-by-side; I'm interpreting this to be: Realm of the Mammoth Lords, Numeria, and The World Wound.
- (If, instead, Belkzen, Cheliax, and Numeria, the answer becomes much easier: they're not that close and have elements that keep them isolated; see below.)

A quick look at a map of Golarion shows us that these three are, indeed, next to each other - right along side Gothland (Ustalav), the Orcland (Hold of Belkzan), Coldland (Irrisen), Small Country Land (River Kingdoms), Crusader Land (Mendev), and vaguely Eastern European feudal/slavic-that-has-elements-I-recognize-from-Lithuania land (Brevoy).

First of all, for the Mammoth Lords, let's look at what it's bordered by: Irresin (cold and winter witches), Varisia (mostly wilderness; though it's severed from this by a powerful mountain range), Hold of Belkzen (orcs; again, severed by a powerful mountain range, except for the pass that all the orcs pour out of); the World Wound (demon country); and the Crown of the World (too cold to live).

Conclusions:
Realm of the Mammoth Lords
Q: Why doesn't Irresin invade? Why doesn't trade happen with them?
A: Because their magical curtain doesn't extend that far; raids happen in hopes of extending it, but it's pretty stable and has been for a while now. Trade happens, but it's limited, and the witch's power is such the Mammoth Lords don't particularly care to invade and lose everything forever.
-
Q: Why don't the demons invade?
A: Well, they kind of do... at least they conduct raids. But why don't they raid en-masse? A combination of two things: 1) (relatively) recent revisions to teleportation and similar abilities limits their mobility somewhat, 2) that's not what the World Wound is after <more than this would be spoilers>. Trade does... not happen without betrayal, which is rare among the Mammoth Lords.
-
Q: Why don't the orcs or Mammoth Lords invade each other? Does trade happen?
A: The Mammoth Lords and orcs do invade each other... or rather, the orcs invade from the south, and the Mammoth Lords take back those lands and prove their worth. The Mammoth Lords, however, are not a singular people, but large family-herds centered around following nature's rhythms, and do not have any designs on conquest. They keep their lands secure and free, little more.
-
Q: Why don't the Mammoth Lords quickly adopt the technology of everything around them to survive?
A: Why? They don't need to. The witches, orcs, and demons do; but they can always "win" as-needed. Varisia never does. That leaves the visitors from Tian Xia via the Crown of the World... who are both fundamentally alien, and have no reason whatsoever to improve the sophistication of these Mammoth Lords. Beyond that, to do so is a fundamental betrayal of the very concepts they, as a people, embody. Any of their people who'd want to can, of course, go join the demons, orcs, winter witches, or Tian travelers, or try their luck at the unknown and unexplored south western mountains (leading to Varisian wilderness) - if they manage to survive, more power to them, and they probably don't want to go back to that society they left in the first place.

Point is, it's got a slew of things that keep it from falling apart - those things tied to the very seemingly-anachronistic elements all around it.

I've run out of time to do more, but the Worldwound and Numeria each have similar foibles that prevent them from infinitely (or even muchly at all) expanding their borders: foibles that work within the logic of the setting... at least as much as, "the mist says so" or "archmages" do, in my opinion.


martinaj wrote:
I'm okay with cosmic horror as a concept, but I'd much rather they use it as an inspiration for something new is far preferable to ripping creatures straight from the pages of Lovecraft's stuff, which seems to be the way it always goes. Lovecraft always seems to be afford this sacred untouchable status and fans who incorporate his stuff into their games seem completely unwillingy to adapt it, instead forcing the game world to adapt to Lovecraft, but we don't do this with other source material. We have the Whispering Tyrant instead of any number of actual fictional evil overlords, for example. We don't actually see Sauron in the world, so why is there this need to use Cthulu instead of a Cthulu substitute?
Threeshades wrote:

This I can completely agree with. Just copying over all the various creatures and characters makes it all way too familiar, and thus it loses what is scary about it.

Cosmic horror should be done in the way Bloodborne did it, which wears its inspiration on its sleeve, yet you still don't run into great Cthulhu, an Elder Thing, Mi-Go or Shoggoths.

I tend to agree with this. I've gone on record as noting that the Zygiomind is one of the scariest and most mythos-like things to come out recently.

That said... I kind of like the Elder Things, Mi-Go, and Shoggoths.

They're pretty neat.

Cthulu is just... silly. He's really not like his source-material version, and he feels way too over-inflated for his own purposes.

But that's just me.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
Space Cheliax. This applies to Space [Any Golarion Nationstate], but it applies to Cheliax more because it's the only one I'm completely certain they're going to do and it makes the least sense.

Have you seen any confirmation on that?

I have seen mentions of Space Hellknights, but you can easily have Hellknights without Cheliax continuing to exist in some form. All Hellknights require is a group of lawful neutral types of any origin who are fanatically dedicated to law and order.

The Exchange

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I don't want to see:
1) 5th edition's rulings-not-rules style that lacks consistency.
2) PF's multitude of rules that prevent you from doing things you should be able to, yet still have gaps in places.

I'm sure there's an elegant, logical set of rules that can be written that allow GMs to create rulings, but such rulings should be also be constrained.

Shadow Lodge

Tacticslion wrote:
That said, I don't think its really all that bad. "Ravenloft" is just as fiat-y to my sensibilities, and has the different areas explained as, "Because We Want It That Way" instead of any genuinely comprehensible reason; FR is explained away as "Because Archmages" (and gods, and so on). Either way, it's author fiat.

What I meant about Ravenloft was that there was a good, in setting reason that soany different countries, cultures, and technologically different areas existend so close to each other, but usually didn't go to war and one destroy or take over the other. While they where sort of geographically connected, or at least appeared to be, they where also effectively different planes, and I'm many cases someone literally couldn't cross the boarder, even if the way looked perfectly clear and open.

Fiat sure, but as far as the kitchen sink approach that never or rarely evolve go, makes a lot more sense. There is a reason, in setting.


I would really like to see a departure from fixed spell quantities, and *maybe* effects. Having magic is a good thing, it isn't done well in sci-fi settings very often, IMO. But with a scientific approach to magic, there's a lot more than can be done. I'd love to see a more flexible system, somewhere between Ars Magica and Pathfinder. I think there are some obvious core spells or spell effects that are going to exist (unless magic goes away, there will still be fireballs), but I'd love to see a system that gives room for more dynamic spell use. A lot of spells have one or two uses, and by core rules can't do anything else. For example, why couldn't a magic missile be used to push a button across a room? Yes, it may smash the button and destroy it, but it's basically a dart of force.

I don't want to see the same basic races (dwarves, elves, etc.), but we should definitely see their influence and evolution. Not just space-dwarves, but some progression/growth of the species.

I think the biggest thing I'm seeing from most people as I'm going through this thread is that we don't want Pathfinder reskinned in space. Yes, there should be influences and guidance from the past, but if you look at how far humanity has made in thousands of years we have influences of the past, but vastly more capacity. I know that it's been indicated that the rules will mesh with Pathfinder, but please don't make this just a new set of unchained rules to let Pathfinder work in space.

Note on Unchained:

I like Pathfinder Unchained. But we already have it, and we don't need the equivalent that puts the same tropes and characters on space ships.


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ThePuppyTurtle wrote:


The idea of anyone having a large number of slaves, or indeed any biological manual laborers, in the distant future is as ludicrous as having combat still be dominated by swords and chainmail. It would make sense only in locales where there is not very much technology, and Space Cheliax would not be such a locale.

Now, it is possible that the people making the setting will realize this and have most of the slaves be AI (including androids), which would fix the problem so long as only the devout of Asmodeus put complicated AI in charge of easy work just to be evil.

However, I definitely do not trust anyone from Paizo to care enough to be careful about that issue, so I suspect to see a thinly veiled rebranding of Cheliax somewhere in the galaxy, whose history includes descent from Cheliax proper, and which practices slavery on biological beings rather than building machines which will do the job monumentally better without being fed, watered and allowed to sleep and who you can easily program to never try to escape and indeed to never defy you in any way.

Lots of things don't make "sense" but still exist, technology be damned. Slavery is great if you want cheap labor and don't have any concerns over basic human decency. Slaves create new slaves, require a minimal amount of care, and are cheap. Given the frequency of slavery in science fiction I would be surprised if it wasn't a trope somewhere in Starfinder.

Also for people concerned about Lovecraft not fitting with a Starfinder-like setting, Elizabeth Bear actually has several good stories that take place in a space opera setting where H.P. Lovecraft elements are real, and are quite excellent.

Silver Crusade

MMCJawa wrote:
ThePuppyTurtle wrote:


The idea of anyone having a large number of slaves, or indeed any biological manual laborers, in the distant future is as ludicrous as having combat still be dominated by swords and chainmail. It would make sense only in locales where there is not very much technology, and Space Cheliax would not be such a locale.

Now, it is possible that the people making the setting will realize this and have most of the slaves be AI (including androids), which would fix the problem so long as only the devout of Asmodeus put complicated AI in charge of easy work just to be evil.

However, I definitely do not trust anyone from Paizo to care enough to be careful about that issue, so I suspect to see a thinly veiled rebranding of Cheliax somewhere in the galaxy, whose history includes descent from Cheliax proper, and which practices slavery on biological beings rather than building machines which will do the job monumentally better without being fed, watered and allowed to sleep and who you can easily program to never try to escape and indeed to never defy you in any way.

Lots of things don't make "sense" but still exist, technology be damned. Slavery is great if you want cheap labor and don't have any concerns over basic human decency. Slaves create new slaves, require a minimal amount of care, and are cheap. Given the frequency of slavery in science fiction I would be surprised if it wasn't a trope somewhere in Starfinder.

Also for people concerned about Lovecraft not fitting with a Starfinder-like setting, Elizabeth Bear actually has several good stories that take place in a space opera setting where H.P. Lovecraft elements are real, and are quite excellent.

In the sense I'm talking about, something literally cannot exist if it doesn't make sense, so nothing that doesn't make sense exists.

Do you know what is cheaper, requires less maintenance, and can also self-replicate, while doing all of the work infinitely better?

Robots.

I can deal with slavery in the setting so long as they're careful to make sure that it's only used by people who wouldn't be better off making robots and have the means to make robots. This would not include the vast majority of the population of space Cheliax unless they were so devout that they would rather hold human slaves then hold Android slaves that would be more efficient and cost-effective.

Basically, a slave owner is either resource deprived, a fanatic, or stupid evil.

As for it being a common sci-fi trope, if all of your friends told you to jump off a cliff...

Silver Crusade

David knott 242 wrote:
ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
Space Cheliax. This applies to Space [Any Golarion Nationstate], but it applies to Cheliax more because it's the only one I'm completely certain they're going to do and it makes the least sense.

Have you seen any confirmation on that?

I have seen mentions of Space Hellknights, but you can easily have Hellknights without Cheliax continuing to exist in some form. All Hellknights require is a group of lawful neutral types of any origin who are fanatically dedicated to law and order.

My certainty that they're going to do it is based on cynicism and intuition, not on anything they've actually said.

Cheliax is a fan favorite, and the company clearly likes it a lot too. Plus, its absence would be missing a chance to darken the universe needlessly, and I've never known this publisher to miss a chance to do that.

I'll go ahead and confess my bias and say that I don't like Cheliax and Pathfinder either.

Dark Archive

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ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
Slavery is great if you want cheap labor and don't have any concerns over basic human decency. Slaves create new slaves, require a minimal amount of care, and are cheap. Given the frequency of slavery in science fiction I would be surprised if it wasn't a trope somewhere in Starfinder.

Do you know what is cheaper, requires less maintenance, and can also self-replicate, while doing all of the work infinitely better?

Robots.

I can deal with slavery in the setting so long as they're careful to make sure that it's only used by people who wouldn't be better off making robots and have the means to make robots. This would not include the vast majority of the population of space Cheliax unless they were so devout that they would rather hold human slaves then hold Android slaves that would be more efficient and cost-effective.

Basically, a slave owner is either resource deprived, a fanatic, or stupid evil.

Listen fleshling, you vastly inferior meatbags are barely sentient and totally incapable of higher intellectual pursuits. Why wouldn't we use you as slaves? It would be undignified and degrading to force robots perform tasks best suited for you disposable ugly bags of mostly water. Ugh.

Probably time for another culling.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

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Off the top of my head, advanced tech civilizations could have slaves for things that robots aren't good for, pleasure slaves, artist slaves, and bloodsport slaves for example.

They might also be wary (rationally or irrationally) of robots taking over, a la Terminator or Cylons, and not want to have excessive amounts of them around. Maybe they are at war with or were recently at war with a robot civilization for example.

Kuthites would want slaves to torture and inflict pain on just 'cause, even when they make it to the stars.


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JoelF847 wrote:
Kuthites would want slaves to torture and inflict pain on just 'cause, even when they make it to the stars.

I've even heard of one professor using it as a cloaking device to hide from his otherdimensional selves.

Silver Crusade

White Deceptiqueen wrote:
ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
Slavery is great if you want cheap labor and don't have any concerns over basic human decency. Slaves create new slaves, require a minimal amount of care, and are cheap. Given the frequency of slavery in science fiction I would be surprised if it wasn't a trope somewhere in Starfinder.

Do you know what is cheaper, requires less maintenance, and can also self-replicate, while doing all of the work infinitely better?

Robots.

I can deal with slavery in the setting so long as they're careful to make sure that it's only used by people who wouldn't be better off making robots and have the means to make robots. This would not include the vast majority of the population of space Cheliax unless they were so devout that they would rather hold human slaves then hold Android slaves that would be more efficient and cost-effective.

Basically, a slave owner is either resource deprived, a fanatic, or stupid evil.

Listen fleshling, you vastly inferior meatbags are barely sentient and totally incapable of higher intellectual pursuits. Why wouldn't we use you as slaves? It would be undignified and degrading to force robots perform tasks best suited for you disposable ugly bags of mostly water. Ugh.

Probably time for another culling.

That would count as a fanatic, and said fanatic would recieve worse benefits than others who used robotic labor. They would have to be motivated by malice or some religious cause. Because few people in charge of companies are so fanatical as to accept a pretty large hit to their profits for the sake of hate or fanaticism, few such people should use slaves.

Silver Crusade

JoelF847 wrote:

Off the top of my head, advanced tech civilizations could have slaves for things that robots aren't good for, pleasure slaves, artist slaves, and bloodsport slaves for example.

They might also be wary (rationally or irrationally) of robots taking over, a la Terminator or Cylons, and not want to have excessive amounts of them around. Maybe they are at war with or were recently at war with a robot civilization for example.

Kuthites would want slaves to torture and inflict pain on just 'cause, even when they make it to the stars.

Robots can do all of those things.


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ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
Please, writers, creative directors, I beg you, do not translate Golarion nations directly to this setting.

You mean things like Absalom Station? - one of the only things we actually know yet will be in the setting? :-O

Silver Crusade

If they stop it there it might be able to be salvaged. We also only know that it's called that. It doesn't necessarily have that much in common with OG Absalom.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

The existence of Babylon 5 doesn't mean the Babylonian Empire was still kicking around on that show. It might simply have been named after an important ancient city.


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ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:

Off the top of my head, advanced tech civilizations could have slaves for things that robots aren't good for, pleasure slaves, artist slaves, and bloodsport slaves for example.

They might also be wary (rationally or irrationally) of robots taking over, a la Terminator or Cylons, and not want to have excessive amounts of them around. Maybe they are at war with or were recently at war with a robot civilization for example.

Kuthites would want slaves to torture and inflict pain on just 'cause, even when they make it to the stars.

Robots can do all of those things.

I'm not looking to argue with you Puppy, but everything you've mentioned so far is your idea of robots in your idea of a futuristic rpg setting. I'm not saying there have to be slaves instead of robots, just that the presence of either (or both) can be justified in a science fiction setting.

Silver Crusade

Hitdice wrote:
ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:

Off the top of my head, advanced tech civilizations could have slaves for things that robots aren't good for, pleasure slaves, artist slaves, and bloodsport slaves for example.

They might also be wary (rationally or irrationally) of robots taking over, a la Terminator or Cylons, and not want to have excessive amounts of them around. Maybe they are at war with or were recently at war with a robot civilization for example.

Kuthites would want slaves to torture and inflict pain on just 'cause, even when they make it to the stars.

Robots can do all of those things.
I'm not looking to argue with you Puppy, but everything you've mentioned so far is your idea of robots in your idea of a futuristic rpg setting. I'm not saying there have to be slaves instead of robots, just that the presence of either (or both) can be justified in a science fiction setting.

It's an idea based on logistics and what makes sense.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

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ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:

Off the top of my head, advanced tech civilizations could have slaves for things that robots aren't good for, pleasure slaves, artist slaves, and bloodsport slaves for example.

They might also be wary (rationally or irrationally) of robots taking over, a la Terminator or Cylons, and not want to have excessive amounts of them around. Maybe they are at war with or were recently at war with a robot civilization for example.

Kuthites would want slaves to torture and inflict pain on just 'cause, even when they make it to the stars.

Robots can do all of those things.

Robots can't do those things, or at least not very well. I know I certainly wouldn't want a pleasure robot that looked like R2D2, not even like CP30. And while robots could create something based on an artist's plans, they're not exactly the creative types. As for bloodsport, while there are robot battle shows now, that's not the same thing as actually feeling the thrill of what a fallible human has on the line (and in modern society, things like boxing and MMA are way more popular).

Also, robots certainly can't take the place of slaves in a society that simply doesn't trust robots or is at war with robots and is afraid of sleeper agents.

I get that you don't WANT slaves in Starfinder, but it's simply not true that there's not logical reasons some starfaring societies would have them. Certainly necromantic ones who use slave's life energies to power their tech.


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Slavery in science fiction with advanced robots is not an economic issue. It is used to show that the nations that embrace it are not your friends.

Blade Runner had replicants. They were created to fill the role of robots, but were living creatures treated as slaves, with predetermined death-switches built into them. The society built living creatures and treated them like tools.

Kzinti conquered other species not to destroy them, but to enslave them. Menial work was beneath their warrior traditions. Most of the conquered races also provided a handy food source for the carnivorous aliens, who hunted their criminals. Robots could not fulfill that role. Kzinti treated their slaves almost like pets. Valuable slaves were treated well and rewarded. Others were culled when necessary.

Dune did not have universal slavery. House Atreides did not keep slaves, and stood mostly for the values we appreciate. House Harkonnen was known for its slave pits, and treated everyone as disposable.

Honorverse has 'genetic slavery', which seems to equal replication. It had no androids or humanform robots for unspecified reasons. Slavery exists because the story needed someone vile enough for both major nations to fight together.

Old SpaceMaster was basically a combination of Blade Runner and Dune, with a healthy dose of space opera. Androids and near-sentient robots were ubiquitous, and replicants were used for the really demeaning tasks. Still, slavery was a secondary institution of the Empire and some of the great houses. You either sold yourself to slavery when you could no longer afford the cost of living, or you were sentenced to slavery. These slaves had rights, and could be respected, but they had no freedom. Slavery existed to remind everyone that failure and disrespect for the Empire had a price.

Several science fiction stories feature aliens who enslave cultures to harvest something out of them, breeding them like cattle when necessary. There was a story (the name of which I have sadly forgotten), where a human explorer visits an alien ship and listens to the alien say that the useful parts of humanity will be preserved in some form. It then underlines this by showing an organism that is basically a living vacuum cleaner and mop, telling it was all that remained of another sentient starfaring species after their modifications.

Slavery in these settings mostly exists because it represents decadence and power. Power over the fates and lives of other sentient creatures. Power to force other people to bend to your desires and whims. You do not need something as mundane as machines to do your menial work. You may bow to the Emperor, the Hereditary President, the Sultan, the House Lord, or whatever, but you wield power over lives of others, so you are not at the bottom of the social pyramid.

Silver Crusade

JoelF847 wrote:
ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:

Off the top of my head, advanced tech civilizations could have slaves for things that robots aren't good for, pleasure slaves, artist slaves, and bloodsport slaves for example.

They might also be wary (rationally or irrationally) of robots taking over, a la Terminator or Cylons, and not want to have excessive amounts of them around. Maybe they are at war with or were recently at war with a robot civilization for example.

Kuthites would want slaves to torture and inflict pain on just 'cause, even when they make it to the stars.

Robots can do all of those things.

Robots can't do those things, or at least not very well. I know I certainly wouldn't want a pleasure robot that looked like R2D2, not even like CP30. And while robots could create something based on an artist's plans, they're not exactly the creative types. As for bloodsport, while there are robot battle shows now, that's not the same thing as actually feeling the thrill of what a fallible human has on the line (and in modern society, things like boxing and MMA are way more popular).

Also, robots certainly can't take the place of slaves in a society that simply doesn't trust robots or is at war with robots and is afraid of sleeper agents.

I get that you don't WANT slaves in Starfinder, but it's simply not true that there's not logical reasons some starfaring societies would have them. Certainly necromantic ones who use slave's life energies to power their tech.

You are absolutely right if we assume modern technology, but this is the far future. If you can make an android and a realdoll, you can make an android that is a realdoll. Highly advanced Artificial intelligence can be as creative as highly advanced naturally occurring intelligence. Remember that Androids in the Finderverse have souls. This is in addition to the fact that there are real composer programs right now which can compose music, and whose compositions humans cannot distinguish from compositions by humans in blind trials. (Basically you show it a bunch of music and tell it to make something with similar patterns, and it spits out something distinctly musical.)

I would say you're half right about bloodsports. There would be some creatures who would see only organic fighting as thrilling, though a robot can very much fight and suffer in very human ways.

As for necromancy, I repeat that Androids have souls.

I agree that there are possible reasons to have slaves in the far future, but those are all still niche cases. The average slaver wants cheap labor, and a robot will almost always be better at that. While I will be disappointed if abolitionism has made no progress in thousands of years, I am okay with it in the niche cases where it makes sense. Time will tell if they restrict it to such cases.

As a GM, it is hard to try to rule the consequences of my player'should actions logically when the universe has plot holes.

Also, robot zombies. Make it happen. Make it happen.

As a final note, should this discussion be moved to a "Slavery in the future" thread? It has kind of taken over this one despite only being tangentially related to it.


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JoelF847 wrote:
Off the top of my head, advanced tech civilizations could have slaves for things that robots aren't good for, pleasure slaves, artist slaves, and bloodsport slaves for example.

The question is, would those civilizations be evi

*High-tech brick to the face*


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ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
Please, writers, creative directors, I beg you, do not translate Golarion nations directly to this setting.

Except Galt. Galt should still be in space, and still be at war.


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I really hope nothing resembling Star Trek's pakleds shows up in Starfinder.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:
Off the top of my head, advanced tech civilizations could have slaves for things that robots aren't good for, pleasure slaves, artist slaves, and bloodsport slaves for example.

The question is, would those civilizations be evi

*High-tech brick to the face*

Matter of perspective. All I'll say is that there's a big difference between how slaves were treated in say ancient Rome and how they were in the Southern US pre-civil war.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
I really hope nothing resembling Star Trek's pakleds shows up in Starfinder.

Hah...I could see Goblins in space setting be very Pakled like (only with more fire).


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
ThePuppyTurtle wrote:

You are absolutely right if we assume modern technology, but this is the far future. If you can make an android and a realdoll, you can make an android that is a realdoll. Highly advanced Artificial intelligence can be as creative as highly advanced naturally occurring intelligence. Remember that Androids in the Finderverse have souls. This is in addition to the fact that there are real composer programs right now which can compose music, and whose compositions humans cannot...

It's not really a realistic depiction of the future. It's a magical setting IN SPACE that has a lot of built in plot hooks. I think if you are hoping that it's going to capture an authentic/realistic depiction of the future, you are probably going to be really disappointed.

Silver Crusade

MMCJawa wrote:
ThePuppyTurtle wrote:

You are absolutely right if we assume modern technology, but this is the far future. If you can make an android and a realdoll, you can make an android that is a realdoll. Highly advanced Artificial intelligence can be as creative as highly advanced naturally occurring intelligence. Remember that Androids in the Finderverse have souls. This is in addition to the fact that there are real composer programs right now which can compose music, and whose compositions humans cannot...

It's not really a realistic depiction of the future. It's a magical setting IN SPACE that has a lot of built in plot hooks. I think if you are hoping that it's going to capture an authentic/realistic depiction of the future, you are probably going to be really disappointed.

Those are different kinds of realism. Magic is part of the rules of the universe. It's part of the premise, and, and this is what's important, it is consistent with itself. Technology existing alongside things that would prevent from existing is inconsistent with itself.

Similarly, if someone in Pathfinder in a typical large city agonized over how to heal a wound which wouldn't be fatal for several hours and it never occurred to them to go find a cleric, I would consider that unacceptable as well.

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