Enworld Exclusive - Planet Castrovel preview!


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http://www.enworld.org/forum/content.php?4091-EXCLUSIVE-A-Look-At-The-Plane t-Castrovel-From-The-Upcoming-Starfinder-RPG#.WQuW6tLyuCh

Nice! Space Elves look great - I really like the idea of more Xenophobic elves who question their own history! Also, I didn't think that Castrovel would be that interesting, but it is!

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Link.

I am so very happy with the sexual dimorphic retcon.

Also, xenoseeker character theme! TELL ME MORE!


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The elves honestly don't seem any different to me. Insular, bigoted jerks is how any (almost every) nonForlorn elf comes across in the novel line.


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

The reference to Damaya and Korasha as separate subspecies seems a bit strange, since any given Lashunta can choose to become one or the other, so it should be fairly common for both types to be found in a single family. Of course, that still leaves two distinct possibilities for Lashunta gender development:

1) A Lashunta is born male or female and then chooses to become Damaya or Korasha later on. In the distant past, males were expected to become Korasha and females were expected to become Damaya and rarely made the opposite choice, but nowadays all four combinations are relatively common. This option leaves open the possibility of families that are all Damaya or all Korasha.

2) Damaya are always female and Korasha are always male. Pre-adolescent Lashunta are basically sexless but eventually choose to become male or female. Presumably, there is no way to avoid making that choice -- or perhaps something really strange and as yet unrevealed happens to the few Lashunta who refuse to make a choice.

Either possibility would have very interesting implications.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Shisumo wrote:

Link.

I am so very happy with the sexual dimorphic retcon.

The Sexual Dimorphic nature was what made this race interesting and unique in the pathfinder setting. Now you basically have 2 less interesting races that are slightly different space elves and space dwarves.

Liberty's Edge

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JakBlitz wrote:
Shisumo wrote:

Link.

I am so very happy with the sexual dimorphic retcon.

The Sexual Dimorphic nature was what made this race interesting and unique in the pathfinder setting. Now you basically have 2 less interesting races that are slightly different space elves and space dwarves.

They were indeed "interesting" and "unique."

They were also "problematic" and "sexist."

Like I said, I'm pretty happy with the retcon.

David knott 242 wrote:

1) A Lashunta is born male or female and then chooses to become Damaya or Korasha later on. In the distant past, males were expected to become Korasha and females were expected to become Damaya and rarely made the opposite choice, but nowadays all four combinations are relatively common. This option leaves open the possibility of families that are all Damaya or all Korasha.

I think this idea would be perfect for smoothing over the difference between the two.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Shisumo wrote:
JakBlitz wrote:
Shisumo wrote:

Link.

I am so very happy with the sexual dimorphic retcon.

The Sexual Dimorphic nature was what made this race interesting and unique in the pathfinder setting. Now you basically have 2 less interesting races that are slightly different space elves and space dwarves.

They were indeed "interesting" and "unique."

They were also "problematic" and "sexist."

Like I said, I'm pretty happy with the retcon.

But it clearly states that they are a Matriarchal Society. Which means it's still "Problematic" and "Sexist".


Thank you so much for the retcon! I love the lashunta now. I think I know what race my technomancer will be now.


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JakBlitz wrote:
But it clearly states that they are a Matriarchal Society. Which means it's still "Problematic" and "Sexist".

When the majority of historic societies and governments are patriarchal, having one or two matriarchal ones does not make the matriarchal ones "problematic" or "sexist".

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Fire and acid, Ambrosia, that's how you handle trolls. Don't feed them. Let's not go down the same route the Navasi thread did.


Archmage Variel wrote:
Thank you so much for the retcon! I love the lashunta now. I think I know what race my technomancer will be now.

Mine is a male human technomancer.

Paizo Employee Developer

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David knott 242 wrote:
1) A Lashunta is born male or female and then chooses to become Damaya or Korasha later on. In the distant past, males were expected to become Korasha and females were expected to become Damaya and rarely made the opposite choice, but nowadays all four combinations are relatively common. This option leaves open the possibility of families that are all Damaya or all Korasha.

It's this option, as far as I understand it (as a non-member of the Starfinder team). There would certainly be a lot of pressure in a Damaya family for all the kids to be Damaya, just like a family of doctors might pressure their kids to also be doctors. But ultimately, the kid gets to choose his or her own path when the time comes.


I had never heard of the Lashunta before seeing Starfinder so I have no real opinion of their before vs. after. That being said, historical precedence doesn't determine whether or not something is sexist (a bias based on sex). Whether or not it's "problematic" (whatever your definition for that is) is up to you. It's not for me because variety is the spice of life, but if you're going to claim that a patriarchal society is sexist because it is patriarchal, it's a pretty glaring double standard to assert that a matriarchal society isn't similarly sexist.


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Yeah, but if the claim is patriarchal societies tend to be sexist because the people in charge are jerks (not 'because patriarchy,' because that's simply a tautology), there isn't a problem with double standards, unless you can prove that matriarchal societies also tend to be run by jerks.

And by 'jerks,' assuming I'm toning the language to something forum appropriate.


Voss wrote:

Yeah, but if the claim is patriarchal societies tend to be sexist because the people in charge are jerks (not 'because patriarchy,' because that's simply a tautology), there isn't a problem with double standards, unless you can prove that matriarchal societies also tend to be run by jerks.

And by 'jerks,' assuming I'm toning the language to something forum appropriate.

People in charge of patriarchal societies being jerks is not an indication of their behavior being caused by sexism, so I'm not sure how that's the deciding factor.

*Edit: left out "being jerks"

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
JakBlitz wrote:
But it clearly states that they are a Matriarchal Society. Which means it's still "Problematic" and "Sexist".
When the majority of historic societies and governments are patriarchal, having one or two matriarchal ones does not make the matriarchal ones "problematic" or "sexist".

Pathfinder has already demolished all Patriarchal societies. That's why it's curious they left these other ones.


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Well it looks like my interest in starfinder has finally been completely killed, thank you for saving me my money.


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Captain Battletoad wrote:
Voss wrote:

Yeah, but if the claim is patriarchal societies tend to be sexist because the people in charge are jerks (not 'because patriarchy,' because that's simply a tautology), there isn't a problem with double standards, unless you can prove that matriarchal societies also tend to be run by jerks.

And by 'jerks,' assuming I'm toning the language to something forum appropriate.

People in charge of patriarchal societies being jerks is not an indication of their behavior being caused by sexism, so I'm not sure how that's the deciding factor.

*Edit: left out "being jerks"

Well. No. Not 'caused by sexism.' That...doesn't even make any sense (no one is drafting weird 'healthcare' exceptions because sexism is standing over their shoulder with a gun). Part of their 'jerkishness' is _being sexist._


Voss wrote:
Captain Battletoad wrote:
Voss wrote:

Yeah, but if the claim is patriarchal societies tend to be sexist because the people in charge are jerks (not 'because patriarchy,' because that's simply a tautology), there isn't a problem with double standards, unless you can prove that matriarchal societies also tend to be run by jerks.

And by 'jerks,' assuming I'm toning the language to something forum appropriate.

People in charge of patriarchal societies being jerks is not an indication of their behavior being caused by sexism, so I'm not sure how that's the deciding factor.

*Edit: left out "being jerks"

Well. No. Not 'caused by sexism.' That...doesn't even make any sense (no one is drafting weird 'healthcare' exceptions because sexism is standing over their shoulder with a gun). Part of their 'jerkishness' is _being sexist._

Ah I see, so we're referring specifically to the US in this instance. I apologize. I was assuming you were actually wanting to talk about the topic at hand instead of devolving into a tangent about something else.


Dragon78 wrote:
Well it looks like my interest in starfinder has finally been completely killed, thank you for saving me my money.

You liked the old lashunta better? I'm actually really happy about the change. I love playing a smart wizardy character but I couldn't see myself playing a race that is basically a smart, slightly taller dwarf.


*ponders* I'm buying Starfinder. However, turning elves into the snooty jerks that everyone seems to love portraying them as... well, I think that's it for the setting for me. I'll make something of my own.

Thank you for making a science fantasy RPG, though.


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

I like that the elves have a concrete reason for drawing inward... the missing years could easily hit them harder than most, since some might be old enough to remember the time BEFORE. Wounded.

And the lashunta tweak is an interesting one. I'm kind of into it, not least 'cause it frees up some variety in conceptual niches.

Shadow Lodge

Benjamin Medrano wrote:

*ponders* I'm buying Starfinder. However, turning elves into the snooty jerks that everyone seems to love portraying them as... well, I think that's it for the setting for me. I'll make something of my own.

Thank you for making a science fantasy RPG, though.

From what I understand its less 'snooty' and more 'bitter this actually affects them personally'.

I'm not a fan of the Lashunta change, however. I'm not saying these new Lashunta aren't interesting as a playable race, but it just seems like a pointless retcon. I feel it could have been handled better than 'Cosmic retcon!'


Ninjaxenomorph wrote:
Benjamin Medrano wrote:

*ponders* I'm buying Starfinder. However, turning elves into the snooty jerks that everyone seems to love portraying them as... well, I think that's it for the setting for me. I'll make something of my own.

Thank you for making a science fantasy RPG, though.

From what I understand its less 'snooty' and more 'bitter this actually affects them personally'.

I'm not a fan of the Lashunta change, however. I'm not saying these new Lashunta aren't interesting as a playable race, but it just seems like a pointless retcon. I feel it could have been handled better than 'Cosmic retcon!'

Idk. how would you've retconned it?

Shadow Lodge

Archmage Variel wrote:
Ninjaxenomorph wrote:
Benjamin Medrano wrote:

*ponders* I'm buying Starfinder. However, turning elves into the snooty jerks that everyone seems to love portraying them as... well, I think that's it for the setting for me. I'll make something of my own.

Thank you for making a science fantasy RPG, though.

From what I understand its less 'snooty' and more 'bitter this actually affects them personally'.

I'm not a fan of the Lashunta change, however. I'm not saying these new Lashunta aren't interesting as a playable race, but it just seems like a pointless retcon. I feel it could have been handled better than 'Cosmic retcon!'

Idk. how would you've retconned it?

If I had to, I would have made it clear that, especially in Lashunta society, sex=/=gender. Either that, or have it so there are the new subspecies, but they are/were hardwired to the sexes. Hell, maybe they went through a gender revolution after the Gap, and the classification is different.


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Mark Moreland wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
1) A Lashunta is born male or female and then chooses to become Damaya or Korasha later on. In the distant past, males were expected to become Korasha and females were expected to become Damaya and rarely made the opposite choice, but nowadays all four combinations are relatively common. This option leaves open the possibility of families that are all Damaya or all Korasha.
It's this option, as far as I understand it (as a non-member of the Starfinder team). There would certainly be a lot of pressure in a Damaya family for all the kids to be Damaya, just like a family of doctors might pressure their kids to also be doctors. But ultimately, the kid gets to choose his or her own path when the time comes.

I like the new update to the lashunta in Starfinder, and I wouldn't mind it being a retcon for Pathfinder lashunta too. Although we have had so little lashunta coverage in published materials, it wouldn't be so much a retcon as just a detail that lashunta don't typically discuss with non-lashunta. I think when the lashunta expanded Starfinder lore/flavor writeup comes down the pipe, an elixer of caste (subrace) shift seems a likely lashunta option now (as well as Damayan tintures and Korashan salves).

---

I know elves tend to get fitted with the "aloof and xenophobic" trope, but I'm actually ok with it here in the Starfinder setting because 1) the setting lore/flavor reasons for it makes sense, and b) it makes me associate Sf with B5's Minbari.


Ninjaxenomorph wrote:
Archmage Variel wrote:
Ninjaxenomorph wrote:
Benjamin Medrano wrote:

*ponders* I'm buying Starfinder. However, turning elves into the snooty jerks that everyone seems to love portraying them as... well, I think that's it for the setting for me. I'll make something of my own.

Thank you for making a science fantasy RPG, though.

From what I understand its less 'snooty' and more 'bitter this actually affects them personally'.

I'm not a fan of the Lashunta change, however. I'm not saying these new Lashunta aren't interesting as a playable race, but it just seems like a pointless retcon. I feel it could have been handled better than 'Cosmic retcon!'

Idk. how would you've retconned it?
If I had to, I would have made it clear that, especially in Lashunta society, sex=/=gender. Either that, or have it so there are the new subspecies, but they are/were hardwired to the sexes. Hell, maybe they went through a gender revolution after the Gap, and the classification is different.

Doesn't that last one suggestion seem like exactly what starfinder did though? I mean it's conceivable that there was a gender revolution in which lashunta did chose not to fit a different societal role and their biology changed to reflect that. But starfinder lashunta may not even remember that.

Shadow Lodge

Archmage Variel wrote:
Doesn't that last one suggestion seem like exactly what starfinder did though? I mean it's conceivable that there was a gender revolution in which lashunta did chose not to fit a different societal role and their biology changed to reflect that. But starfinder lashunta may not even remember that.

Well, it doesn't say that, so I still find it a pointless (and therefore irritating) retcon.


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Ninjaxenomorph wrote:
I still find it a pointless (and therefore irritating) retcon.

The "point," as far as I'm concerned, is to provide some sensitive-yet-sexy space men to go along with the hawt space babes. Yowza. Hello, male damaya nurse.


So, i like the borderlands feel to the creatures and characters seen here, i think i get a stronger borderlands vibe from this than anything prior... but that is not at all a bad thing. i can easily see a game set around racing through a mold storm heavy region trying to recover an alien wreck that came screaming out of the Drift and crashed in the Jungle. The PCs being just one group of adventurers out to save or profit from the thing while fending off rival groups, isolationist elves and the local wildlife.

The space elf pictured in particular is very cool. i like the smooth curves to everything from armor to rifle but it also looks a little... WoW? still very cool overall. Weird energy Chainswords confirmed! City-states of super tech surrounded by vast and deadly wilderness confirmed!

... to get in on the inevitable argument before this gets locked... Yeah, i know there were problems with the previous representation of the Lashunta genders but i dont see this as an elegant solution, its just ignoring what could otherwise have been an interesting race to portray, they've gone from being the Lashunta to being the Not!Elves and Not!dwarves. i am sure they will be mechanically sound but they have lost a good bit of interest from me.

Edit: ok, given a few more minutes thinking about it, i am a little disappointed that they retconned the species rather than just acknowledging their previous portrayal and then giving them a backstory that over the thousands of years since they have developed into something more acceptable. A race that can choose to pursue a radially different body type upon maturity could be interesting but i would have rather seen it in a new species rather than writing over what they were.

Liberty's Edge Developer

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Mark Moreland wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
1) A Lashunta is born male or female and then chooses to become Damaya or Korasha later on. In the distant past, males were expected to become Korasha and females were expected to become Damaya and rarely made the opposite choice, but nowadays all four combinations are relatively common. This option leaves open the possibility of families that are all Damaya or all Korasha.
It's this option, as far as I understand it (as a non-member of the Starfinder team). There would certainly be a lot of pressure in a Damaya family for all the kids to be Damaya, just like a family of doctors might pressure their kids to also be doctors. But ultimately, the kid gets to choose his or her own path when the time comes.

If we're looking at getting into specifics—and I'm happy to having helped rework this aspect of lashunta biology—the lashunta evolved two distinct types of adolescent developments as a response to the severe swings in environmental pressures of their homeworld. Depending on the pressures they faced at puberty, they would either mature as hardy, combative korasha, or they would mature as adaptable, observant damaya. When their culture later developed a tradition of strong gender roles, the kinds of pressures that triggered development as a korasha fell almost entirely on males, while the pressures that trigger damaya development fell almost wholly on women.

As lashunta have move towards leaving their sexism in the past and opening social roles, education, and careers up to everyone regardless of gender, the distribution has become much more even, and many city-states even allow a child to choose how they will develop (by way of meditation and/or medication) rather than just relying on ambient environmental pressures. There are still a few conservative city-states where the gender divide exists and the subspecies are still largely divived by gender, but these are increasingly rare.


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Ninjaxenomorph wrote:
Benjamin Medrano wrote:

*ponders* I'm buying Starfinder. However, turning elves into the snooty jerks that everyone seems to love portraying them as... well, I think that's it for the setting for me. I'll make something of my own.

Thank you for making a science fantasy RPG, though.

From what I understand its less 'snooty' and more 'bitter this actually affects them personally'.

For me, it's more that I'm tired of the trope. They're isolationist, unfriendly, and aloof. To quote more directly:

Enworld Article wrote:


Elves in Starfinder are even more aloof and xenophobic than in Pathfinder.
...
Given their long lifespans, many elves never truly recovered from the pain of losing their memories, and fear and paranoia turned them bitter and insular. Today, elven society is largely restricted to their traditional homeland of Sovyrian on Castrovel, and those elves who choose to live among other races are derisively referred to as the Forlorn.

So they're derisive of those of their race that live elsewhere, they're aloof and unfriendly... honestly, the more I think about it, the more my opinion of this just plummets. I love elves. I adore them, especially the picture in the article! Most recently in modern writing, though, I've seen them portrayed as three things:

Imperialistic, arrogant jackasses who believe they're better than everyone else (See Warhammer 40k, Elder Scrolls, and at least three fantasy series)
Slaves, or previously slaves (Eberron and Dragon Age)
Barbarians and savages (Dragon Age and a number of novels)

I'm tired of it, and this just feels like more of the same. I hated the concept of the Drift. No character I played would ever use it for transport, because it's so insane. I don't care for ratfolk, but that was a minor irritation at worst. This was just for me the point when I realized that there's nothing left for me in the official setting that I care about.


I'm liking the 40K Eldar vibe for Starfinder's elves

Shadow Lodge

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Crystal Frasier wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
1) A Lashunta is born male or female and then chooses to become Damaya or Korasha later on. In the distant past, males were expected to become Korasha and females were expected to become Damaya and rarely made the opposite choice, but nowadays all four combinations are relatively common. This option leaves open the possibility of families that are all Damaya or all Korasha.
It's this option, as far as I understand it (as a non-member of the Starfinder team). There would certainly be a lot of pressure in a Damaya family for all the kids to be Damaya, just like a family of doctors might pressure their kids to also be doctors. But ultimately, the kid gets to choose his or her own path when the time comes.

If we're looking at getting into specifics—and I'm happy to having helped rework this aspect of lashunta biology—the lashunta evolved two distinct types of adolescent developments as a response to the severe swings in environmental pressures of their homeworld. Depending on the pressures they faced at puberty, they would either mature as hardy, combative korasha, or they would mature as adaptable, observant damaya. When their culture later developed a tradition of strong gender roles, the kinds of pressures that triggered development as a korasha fell almost entirely on males, while the pressures that trigger damaya development fell almost wholly on women.

As lashunta have move towards leaving their sexism in the past and opening social roles, education, and careers up to everyone regardless of gender, the distribution has become much more even, and many city-states even allow a child to choose how they will develop (by way of meditation and/or medication) rather than just relying on ambient environmental pressures. There are still a few conservative city-states where the gender divide exists and the subspecies are still largely divived by gender, but these are increasingly rare.

See, that's an awesome explanation; expands on what came before, not throwing it away. Now I just wish the article had led off with that.


Ninjaxenomorph wrote:
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
1) A Lashunta is born male or female and then chooses to become Damaya or Korasha later on. In the distant past, males were expected to become Korasha and females were expected to become Damaya and rarely made the opposite choice, but nowadays all four combinations are relatively common. This option leaves open the possibility of families that are all Damaya or all Korasha.
It's this option, as far as I understand it (as a non-member of the Starfinder team). There would certainly be a lot of pressure in a Damaya family for all the kids to be Damaya, just like a family of doctors might pressure their kids to also be doctors. But ultimately, the kid gets to choose his or her own path when the time comes.

If we're looking at getting into specifics—and I'm happy to having helped rework this aspect of lashunta biology—the lashunta evolved two distinct types of adolescent developments as a response to the severe swings in environmental pressures of their homeworld. Depending on the pressures they faced at puberty, they would either mature as hardy, combative korasha, or they would mature as adaptable, observant damaya. When their culture later developed a tradition of strong gender roles, the kinds of pressures that triggered development as a korasha fell almost entirely on males, while the pressures that trigger damaya development fell almost wholly on women.

As lashunta have move towards leaving their sexism in the past and opening social roles, education, and careers up to everyone regardless of gender, the distribution has become much more even, and many city-states even allow a child to choose how they will develop (by way of meditation and/or medication) rather than just relying on ambient environmental pressures. There are still a few conservative city-states where the gender divide exists and the subspecies are still largely divived by gender, but these are increasingly rare.

See, that's an...

It would've been cool to have seen that in the article. It's a cool aspect of the lashunta and I love everything that's been done with them.


I didn't see any pictures of the "non-sexy" lashuntas. I wanted to see them (both male and female).


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Distant Scholar wrote:
I didn't see any pictures of the "non-sexy" lashuntas. I wanted to see them (both male and female).

All lashunta are sexy lashunta. ;)

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
1) A Lashunta is born male or female and then chooses to become Damaya or Korasha later on. In the distant past, males were expected to become Korasha and females were expected to become Damaya and rarely made the opposite choice, but nowadays all four combinations are relatively common. This option leaves open the possibility of families that are all Damaya or all Korasha.
It's this option, as far as I understand it (as a non-member of the Starfinder team). There would certainly be a lot of pressure in a Damaya family for all the kids to be Damaya, just like a family of doctors might pressure their kids to also be doctors. But ultimately, the kid gets to choose his or her own path when the time comes.

If we're looking at getting into specifics—and I'm happy to having helped rework this aspect of lashunta biology—the lashunta evolved two distinct types of adolescent developments as a response to the severe swings in environmental pressures of their homeworld. Depending on the pressures they faced at puberty, they would either mature as hardy, combative korasha, or they would mature as adaptable, observant damaya. When their culture later developed a tradition of strong gender roles, the kinds of pressures that triggered development as a korasha fell almost entirely on males, while the pressures that trigger damaya development fell almost wholly on women.

As lashunta have move towards leaving their sexism in the past and opening social roles, education, and careers up to everyone regardless of gender, the distribution has become much more even, and many city-states even allow a child to choose how they will develop (by way of meditation and/or medication) rather than just relying on ambient environmental pressures. There are still a few conservative city-states where the gender divide exists and the subspecies are still largely divived by gender, but these are increasingly rare.

But it's still a Matriarchy?


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I hope all the vitriol for Starfinder's LGBTQ+ inclusivity and progressiveness only helps more people hear about it and get into the game. :3


Umbral Reaver wrote:
I hope all the vitriol for Starfinder's LGBTQ+ inclusivity and progressiveness only helps more people hear about it and get into the game. :3

Is that the impression you have from this thread?


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

All I do is look at the artwork and can't wait to play the game! Thanks for the previews!

Contributor

Super down with the lashunta change.

The elves' inward turn seems fitting given the Gap. Related, Starfinder's got a good track record so far on hitting genre touchstones while having a well thought out take on them!


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

Wow, Castrovel is gorgeous! So much imagination and excitement poured into recent blog posts. I can hardly imagine being more excited. Paizo, your love for this franchise shows. Freaking dinosaurs, xenophobic elves, a coalition of city-states ripe for intrigue! I almost get the sense the Lashunta would make a great analogue to Greek city-states potentially, with perhaps predominantly Damaya populated cities functioning like Athens while Korasha dominated cities would behave more like Sparta. There's a lot of hooks in the article and content revealed in this thread. I really like the flavor of a paradise planet tenuously governed by a confederacy of warrior-intellects, clashing with invaders outside their gates, and a constantly evolving society within that threatens the authority of tradition and their own perceived identity. I think much of the sentiments expressed in this thread might echo the feelings of the various Lashunta factions themselves, struggling to preserve their influence over surrounding worlds while dealing with their own internal cultural revolutions, a scientific renaissance, and an impaired sense of security still reeling from its losses during the Gap. "What, you're telling me I'm just supposed to accept that males can be Damaya now too? And females can be Korasha if they want to be? Disgusting!" Oh the fun to be had.

Actually, I'd previously hoped Paizo would keep the Lashunta's sexual dimorphism, for many of the reasons expressed above. It made the Lashunta stand out as more than "pretty faced humanoid aliens" to me, and the interesting dynamic between the males and females provoked just the right sorts of questions to entertain in a tabletop story. That said, I think I actually like this change even better. And not just because I have a sneaking suspicion Shirrens might display a form of sexual dimorphism that would make Lashunta flavor a bit redundant in comparison.

It's clear Lashunta culture is still very much dealing with its own questions about gender roles right now, with matriarchy still being a preferred form of government, and more than a few Lashunta city-states pressuring their people to fulfill traditional gender roles as female-Damaya and male-Korasha. The way I see it, much of the old flavor of the Lashunta's sexual dimorphism is preserved in this fashion. I'm interested to see how Lashunta culture itself views its castes, and how the two castes view each other. But this change also gives an interesting opportunity to explore the impact of adolescence on our lives, and how it can change us - in a very, very literal sense here. I really like this new layer. It's an odd thing to say, but for the first time, I've actually got some compelling reasons to work with children characters in roleplaying stories now. How easy it is to forget they exist! -- Congratulations, your Lashunta evolved into ... Korasha!

Oh, also, equal opportunity sexy aliens. That's a plus.


Opsylum wrote:
Wow, Castrovel is gorgeous!

I, for one, wish they made the garden planet's image more realistic. Right now it looks like a clay orb of blue, green, and white. So, I can't agree there.

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EltonJ wrote:
Opsylum wrote:
Wow, Castrovel is gorgeous!

I, for one, wish they made the garden planet's image more realistic. Right now it looks like a clay orb of blue, green, and white. So, I can't agree there.

I dunno, I think too many clashing colors would have made the image look too energetic. I like the serene, almost sleepy feel to it (even the dragon looks like he's yawning!). The color scheme here also contrasts nicely with the color schemes of other planets, such as Akiton's red, Eox's blue, the pink of Liavara, etc. Keeps things with their own unique personality.


I'm disappointed in the treatment of elves. It's an unusual step backwards I feel, making them even more aloof and xenophobic and unlikable. I feel like given all of the ways they made many of the other alien races fresh and fun, this was a weird choice to take a stereotype that arguably many are tired of and bringing it more to the front. Definitely a missed opportunity imo.

As for the change in the Lashunta, I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I disagree that their depiction was problematic. On the other hand, I actually prefer this change to the lashunta. I find aliens that have different biological functions and capabilities to be cool, especially to see how a culture is built around it. And their ability to have different results of their puberty interests me moreso than the previous sexual dimorphism. So I think the retcon made the lashunta more interesting to me than the more cliche original pulp trope. Also I like their decentralized, more libertarian government style of a confederacy of city-states. Too often you just see either a space democracy or space empire, so it's cool to see something different and fresh in sci fi.

And for me, I really wanted to hear more about the formians. But I like ant people, so that's admittedly a bias for me.


Elves where already portrayed as xenophobic and isolationist in The Hobbit (1937). I'm not sure where the idea that this is a new thing has come from.


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As far as elves being "snooty" and "xenophobic" goes, that's probably an attempt to keep them as familiar to traditional elves as possible, which is probably because this setting is going to have lots of races to play as. Keeping "vanilla" fantasy races as close to their default settings as possible is a way to give new players something familiar to grab onto.

Besides, who cares about elves with their, "I'm so much better than you," attitudes? Pffft!!!

;)

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