The Default Starfinder Setting ...


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Mashallah wrote:
lakobie wrote:
And of course in the end you dont even have to use the gap. Its a tool, and its up to you to use or not
The setting seems to be written entirely around it as a base assumption. To remove it from the setting, I'd have to rewrite half of it, at which point using a different setting is simpler.

I didnt say remove the gap I said not use it. The gap itself could be entirerly irrelevant to most games as little more than "that thing that happened". Aroden disappearing is important to pathfinders setting but is largely irrelevant to most campaigns people run.

Also you seem to have this weird idea that The Gap and Pathdfinder and Starfinder being the same universe are so interconnected that removing one removes the other. You can absolutly have Starfinder and Pathfinder be the same setting without The Gap existing and you can have Starfinder be its own setting with The Gap still existing as part of the setting.

In the end it feels like you have arbitrarily decided that The Gap was a last minuite slap on fix to connect PF and SF without stepping on toes instead of an interesting and thought out set piece for future stories and adventure paths to take place in and GMs to write their own tales about.


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Remy P Gilbeau wrote:
Stone Dog wrote:

The Drift was revealed by one god and very likely not created by it. There is nothing that says the rest of the gods are happy about it.

Personally, I'm pretty sure that the Drift is a cosmic scale life boat. The assumption is that entropy will eventually win out and the Devourer might just make that happen much sooner than any acceptable natural time frame. The Drift could be the next Material Plane, once it is done growing.

I'm half on board with that thought, and half for the tin-foil hat, "Triune made the Drift, and rules the Drift. She's letting mortals break off little bits of the other planes bit by bit, expanding her scope and power, until one day she owns all the planes."

Both are fun.

I was thinking that the Drift was created by Triune as a means of connecting all spaces, an altruistic goal by an upstart millennial god if you want to get cynical about it. But focusing on its own expansion at a break neck pace without plans for what negative consequences could arise has resulted in an explosion of interspecies conflict between those that have access to the drift while the massive dump of *intent* into the plane from all those who enter it are throwing off its neutral balance, every little dip on its alignment momentarily throws the plane into contact with the closest matching outer plane resulting in these little tears that are minor by themselves but as a whole are destabilizing the drift and forcing it to take on an alignment aspect that will eventually either tear the Drift away from the Material, sending it careening off across the multiverse or spill over the other way and dump its alignment attuned nature as an overlay onto the material plane... which would basically destroy it. Triune never expected this outcome and is trying to find a solution while at the same time hiding this aspect of the drift from *EVERYONE*. Drift beacons can also act as anchors for the plane, keeping it tied to the material and resisting outer planar contamination. from what we've seen so far this could work in setting and it'll be my personnel canon at least.


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Lord Fyre wrote:


Are other companies developing Starfinder settings?

We will be, yes. "Crossing The Black" is in the early development stages. We'd originally started on it as a concept long before Starfinder was announced, planning to write the rules we needed for a harder-sci-fantasy than just "Pathfinder in space." With Starfinder imminent, we're refocusing our plans so that the setting uses the Starfinder rules.


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Mashallah wrote:
I don't have a convenient opportunity for quote-digging at hand right now. I do, however, clearly remember them saying that the main benefit of the Gap is that they don't have to canonically answer questions like "what happened to the whispering tyrant or to the worldwound?". So take that as you wish.

From the first press release when Starfinder was announced, Paizo introduced Starfinder as "set in Golarion's solar system, but far in a possible future." You can verify that in the very first Starfinder blog, "Announcing the Starfinder Roleplaying Game!" As they have yet to contradict this statement (that I have observed), I assume it's still the case. The way I see it, that the Gap was used to make Pathfinder's future uncertain is all the more reason that Paizo's not interested in having Pathfinder's future written in the stars, no matter how far in the future it may be.

Mashallah wrote:

Well, let me name a few, then. The overall issue is that it tries to combine "this is totally the same universe with continuity between the two" with "the continuity is absolutely pointless as it's divided by an information-annihilating buffer rigidly separating the two", which is plainly absurd.

As a specific example, elves come to mind. Elves of Pathfinder were one of my favourite varieties of elves overall and one of my favourite things about Pathfinder. They were explicitly big on space, with their not-webways spanning multiple worlds, with them colonising Golarion from another planet rather than being locals, and with one published Pathfinder module (Doom comes to Dustpawn) even featuring an elven spaceship the players can visit and explore, explicitly meaning elves even had spaceships.
Except, in Starfinder, a game about space, they're suddenly irrelevant, apparently because the Gap...

Hmm, let me put this another way. Pathfinder exists in Starfinder's continuity only for the purpose of benefiting Starfinder. While Pathfinder exists in Starfinder's continuity, this does not mean that Starfinder exists in Pathfinder's continuity. The perk of incorporating Pathfinder is that it takes a classic D20 world and places it inside a sci-fi setting. I don't think Pathfinder is strictly intended to be "Pathfinder in space" as it's often touted to be, but instead "Pathfinder's world in space opera." The shift clearly puts an emphasis on the sci-fi genre over enduring elements of Pathfinder, such as elves, but benefits from all the aspects of Pathfinder's universe that make it the classic D20 fantasy that it is: gods, dragons, magic, etc - and making those elements fit inside the context of a sci-fi world.

As an analogy, take Smallville. This is a re-imagining of the story of Superman. Yes, it takes place in DC's classic setting. Smallville is connected to many of the events and characters of this setting, and mercilessly changes many elements that made the Superman story what it was. So why both using Superman? Why not just make an original hero and tell the story that way, if Smallville is not interested in connecting to the big Superman mythos in any meaningful way? Probably because it would be a lot less interesting. Smallville, for me, was fun because it took something I knew and made something different and unique out of it, and used the source material for its own benefit, instead of for the benefit of the comic book and movie series. It did what was right for its own universe, using and changing elements of Superman's story regardless of what real Superman was doing elsewhere, and made something new - and it worked. I feel that's similar to what's happening with Starfinder.

Regarding elves, I don't think it would necessarily benefit Starfinder to have elves as major players inside Starfinder's civilization, because that starts to give Pathfinder's legacy a certain dominance over what's supposed to be, at its core, a (more or less) sci-fi setting. Elves are primarily fantasy genre people - giving them a large role will certainly make Starfinder look more like Spelljammer or Pathfinder in space rather than the Guardians of the Galaxy or Star Wars it wants to be. Having elves retain a familiarity about them as a reclusive race - changing while staying the same - I think is the right touch. Should the player choose, they can play with the classic elvish storylines and tropes as they would in any other fantasy setting, but in a very new context. I like this.

As for the Lashunta, I spoke about them elsewhere, but I really like this new interpretation of them. I had read studiously into their background before the Castrovel blog was introduced, and found them interesting, if not necessarily something I'd ever find the time to introduce into my own campaigns. Apart from sexual dimorphism, I liked the warrior-intellect flavor about them, that the pursuit of knowledge and perfection of mind was Lashunta society's primary aim, reflected in their new goddess Yaraesa. That sexual dimorphism has been re-introduced as environmental dimorphism adapting to the heritage of a strictly gender-roled society - actually makes them much more interesting to me than they were previously. Before, Lashunta had no agency over their station in society, or the kind of person they would grow up to be. Either you were female, and born to lead and influence, or you were male, and you were bound to a life of war. That each Lashunta adolescent chooses their caste growing up adds a layer of depth to me that I find delightful and a solid improvement, much more befitting a player race.

Lastly, pertaining to the gods' intervention, I find it no more intrusive than the Aboleths intervening to raise the Azlanti from mundane creatures. In fact, as Owen himself has iterated on another thread:

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

Pathfinder presents everything as is the standard around the Inner Sea.

Starfinderpresents everything as it is understood by multiple starring cultures thousands of years later.

That cosmological understandings between these two is different, or that even the nature of the universe might have shifted in a cosmology where gods can be created or be killed, is not surprising. Indeed, it'd be shocking if there was no change in how the universe is viewed

Gods can be created and killed? And by mere mortals such as Aballonians? This seems to me to be far more agency than any mortal race ever had in Pathfinder's mythos, and the triumph of technology over magic (and its subsequent decline in sophistication and practice) threatens the strangehold the divine has held over the mortal world in many other ways. If anything, I feel much more agency in Starfinder's universe than in any Pathfinder or D&D campaign I've participated in before.


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Fardragon wrote:
You don't think there is anything mysterious about the Force?!

It's created by magic space bacteria. Mystery solved!


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Ventnor wrote:
Fardragon wrote:
You don't think there is anything mysterious about the Force?!
It's created by magic space bacteria. Mystery solved!

I think this is just about the best example of why mysteries sometimes SHOULDN'T be solvable, sometimes when something is an ever-present mystery permeating a setting, the truth behind that mystery is almost always going to be disappointing. We'll never find out what happened to Golarion, or what happened to Aroden in Pathfinder, because the truth is ultimately going to disappoint us.


To be honest I don't care what happaned to the god of the most mainstream species in pathfinder, the gap is WAY more intriguing


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The more I hear about Starfinder's universe, the less interested I am in it, on a personal basis. It's to the point that I don't think I'm even going to bother reading most of the setting material, save possibly in my idle free time. I don't think it's garbage, necessarily, so much as I just don't like it or find it interesting.

I love elves ridiculously, so that part is problematic for me, but I know it isn't the case for most people. I dislike ratfolk, mostly because... well, rats. I dislike the Drift because, unless they put another drive type into the universe, any religiously oriented character I would play would be utterly appalled by it, and never use it (plus it's new, which means that there needs to have been other forms of travel for other empires to have formed).

I would've liked prices for buying new ships, even if their upgrades are level-based, because coming up with fair prices for ships is a pain in the rear for me... but that's actually more of a system concern.

Overall, though, it's just a whole lot of 'meh' from me. I'm going to create my own setting for this, most likely. Maybe stealing bits and pieces from other settings because I can, but not much in all.


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Benjamin Medrano wrote:
plus it's new, which means that there needs to have been other forms of travel for other empires to have formed.

I believe they stated that before the Drift it was almost impossible to travel quickly between galaxies without using some kind of powerful magic, so empires were pretty much just galaxy-based. A few groups managed it by having either immortal crew or putting the crews in stasis (such as the Idari or whatever that kasatha world ship was called) but most of the time before the drift you didn't leave your galaxy unless you had to.


...I don't see the point of needing a new galaxy, but whatever, it doesn't really matter. Not to me.

But with 200-400 billion stars in the Milky Way, and close to 15,000 stars within 100 light years of Sol... yeah. *shrugs* I suppose it depends on the type of story you want to tell.


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Benjamin Medrano wrote:

...I don't see the point of needing a new galaxy, but whatever, it doesn't really matter. Not to me.

But with 200-400 billion stars in the Milky Way, and close to 15,000 stars within 100 light years of Sol... yeah. *shrugs* I suppose it depends on the type of story you want to tell.

I just realised I put galaxies when I meant to put solar systems, my bad! Point is I don't think there was an alternative to the Drift other than sleeping in your spaceship for a few hundred years.


Mashallah wrote:
Distant Scholar wrote:
Fardragon wrote:
The Gap: the universe needs a big mistery, and this one keeps things compatable with the Pathfinder universe.

The Gap isn't a mystery; mysteries can be solved. The Gap is a secret.

Quote:
Both serve to add a bit of darkness and paranoia to the universe.
I prefer less darkness and paranoia in my game universes.

Yeah, a mystery isn't interesting when it's a base assumption that there will never be any answers or anything resembling answers.

I've just made a long list of references to shows that feature mysteries that will never be solved. And the thing they have in common is they are all very popular. And if there ever is an unambiguous solution presented it is always a let down.

So, you might not like it, but that is just your personal taste, it's a perfectly valid writing decision.

As for darkness and paranoia, it may be my British sensibility, but I find a setting without them vomit-inducingly shmaltzy saccarrine sweet. Golarion tends to suffer from this fault for my taste.


Luke Spencer wrote:
Benjamin Medrano wrote:

...I don't see the point of needing a new galaxy, but whatever, it doesn't really matter. Not to me.

But with 200-400 billion stars in the Milky Way, and close to 15,000 stars within 100 light years of Sol... yeah. *shrugs* I suppose it depends on the type of story you want to tell.

I just realised I put galaxies when I meant to put solar systems, my bad! Point is I don't think there was an alternative to the Drift other than sleeping in your spaceship for a few hundred years.

Iron Gods backstory, they had a wormhole/rift drive before the ship crashed into Numeria. There's an interplanetary teleport spell, too. Sure, it'd be as expensive as heck to build one of the teleport drives ala Dragonstar, but it should be possible with just what's in Pathfinder.

There are other options. If they don't even mention them, I'm going to be even less impressed.

Edit: I should add, I remember James Jacobs specifically stating that Androffa (homeworld of the ship from Iron Gods), Earth, and Golarian are all in different galaxies.


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Fardragon wrote:
Mashallah wrote:
Distant Scholar wrote:
Fardragon wrote:
The Gap: the universe needs a big mistery, and this one keeps things compatable with the Pathfinder universe.

The Gap isn't a mystery; mysteries can be solved. The Gap is a secret.

Quote:
Both serve to add a bit of darkness and paranoia to the universe.
I prefer less darkness and paranoia in my game universes.

Yeah, a mystery isn't interesting when it's a base assumption that there will never be any answers or anything resembling answers.

I've just made a long list of references to shows that feature mysteries that will never be solved. And the thing they have in common is they are all very popular. And if there ever is an unambiguous solution presented it is always a let down.

So, you might not like it, but that is just your personal taste, it's a perfectly valid writing decision.

As for darkness and paranoia, it may be my British sensibility, but I find a setting without them vomit-inducingly shmaltzy saccarrine sweet. Golarion tends to suffer from this fault for my taste.

Your last point means I have to ask this: have you beaten a video game in the Kirby series?


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Benjamin Medrano wrote:
Luke Spencer wrote:
Benjamin Medrano wrote:

...I don't see the point of needing a new galaxy, but whatever, it doesn't really matter. Not to me.

But with 200-400 billion stars in the Milky Way, and close to 15,000 stars within 100 light years of Sol... yeah. *shrugs* I suppose it depends on the type of story you want to tell.

I just realised I put galaxies when I meant to put solar systems, my bad! Point is I don't think there was an alternative to the Drift other than sleeping in your spaceship for a few hundred years.

Iron Gods backstory, they had a wormhole/rift drive before the ship crashed into Numeria. There's an interplanetary teleport spell, too. Sure, it'd be as expensive as heck to build one of the teleport drives ala Dragonstar, but it should be possible with just what's in Pathfinder.

There are other options. If they don't even mention them, I'm going to be even less impressed.

Edit: I should add, I remember James Jacobs specifically stating that Androffa (homeworld of the ship from Iron Gods), Earth, and Golarian are all in different galaxies.

Hmm... Well I imagine it wasn't super common because the Vesk didn't have any alternate form inter-solar system travel, maybe only certain powerful groups had it? Well either way who knows, knowledge of it was probably lost during the Gap because reasons.


Luke Spencer wrote:
Benjamin Medrano wrote:

Iron Gods backstory, they had a wormhole/rift drive before the ship crashed into Numeria. There's an interplanetary teleport spell, too. Sure, it'd be as expensive as heck to build one of the teleport drives ala Dragonstar, but it should be possible with just what's in Pathfinder.

There are other options. If they don't even mention them, I'm going to be even less impressed.

Edit: I should add, I remember James Jacobs specifically stating that Androffa (homeworld of the ship from Iron Gods), Earth, and Golarian are all in different galaxies.

Hmm... Well I imagine it wasn't super common because the Vesk didn't have any alternate form inter-solar system travel, maybe only certain powerful groups had it? Well either way who knows, knowledge of it was probably lost during the Gap because reasons.

Amusingly enough, I don't actually care about the Gap. In fact, I thought it was pretty good for making sure that they don't have to worry too much about how different/future APs shake out. That's how I felt right up until they had the elves club themselves with the idiot ball because of it. *grumbles* Sorry, sorry... the elf thing really bugs me.

The only saving grace for me was that in one of the PaizoCon panels or games, I can't remember whether it was in the demo I played or a panel, they did mention that some churches have plane-shifting starships, and that they guard the plans used to build them jealously. It makes me hope they won't flub the possibility of other drive systems.

Personally I suspect that it was just really, really hard to get a functioning FTL drive before the Drift. Either way, though, I'm booting the base setting out the airlock as soon as I get the game. I bought Warhammer 40k Wraithguard to use as elven hunter-killer robots/golems, and I'm going to use them!

Scarab Sages

Well, Androffa was completely destroyed by the gods and then rest. It is just as primitive as Golarion at the time of Iron Gods. Almost no trace of the civilization that made the drift drives remains on the planet, and the only relic known was the crash of the Divinity on Golarion.

While wormholes, elfgates, and planar travel may allow travel between solar systems and even distance galaxies, the method for creating non-magical ftl space travel seems to be lost.


Fardragon wrote:


As for darkness and paranoia, it may be my British sensibility, but I find a setting without them vomit-inducingly shmaltzy saccarrine sweet. Golarion tends to suffer from this fault for my taste.

What? Golarion tends heavily toward fiendish pacts, slavery and constant murder-porn (Hello, Galt). Well, either that or bland historical expies (_and_ bland historical expies in the case of Galt).

But there is an overwhelming focus on Cheliax and the Worldwound for a reason- 'saccarrine sweet' it isn't.

I'm not clear on what the 'elf thing' is. Is it that they still exist, or they aren't the grand high lords over all?

Pathfinder elves seem fairly intent on isolationism, so Starfinder elves seem consistent and coherent with what has gone before.


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Starfinder elves are basically super xenaphobic and paranoid because most of them lived through the Gap and have forgotten thousands of years of their own lives so they don't want anything to do with anyone.


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Luke Spencer wrote:
Starfinder elves are basically super xenaphobic and paranoid because most of them lived through the Gap and have forgotten thousands of years of their own lives so they don't want anything to do with anyone.

They also despise those who worked past this and call them the Forlorn, so that it's the same attitude as in standard Golarion.

AKA: They did exactly what always pisses me off about how elves are treated in literature. They're generally arrogant imperialists with a holier-than-thou attitude, a species that once was great and got utterly beaten down to a shadow of their former self, or savages. Starfinder seems to be going for a combination of all of them, since high tech doesn't last long on Castroval because of spores.


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Benjamin Medrano wrote:
Luke Spencer wrote:
Benjamin Medrano wrote:

Iron Gods backstory, they had a wormhole/rift drive before the ship crashed into Numeria. There's an interplanetary teleport spell, too. Sure, it'd be as expensive as heck to build one of the teleport drives ala Dragonstar, but it should be possible with just what's in Pathfinder.

There are other options. If they don't even mention them, I'm going to be even less impressed.

Edit: I should add, I remember James Jacobs specifically stating that Androffa (homeworld of the ship from Iron Gods), Earth, and Golarian are all in different galaxies.

Hmm... Well I imagine it wasn't super common because the Vesk didn't have any alternate form inter-solar system travel, maybe only certain powerful groups had it? Well either way who knows, knowledge of it was probably lost during the Gap because reasons.

Amusingly enough, I don't actually care about the Gap. In fact, I thought it was pretty good for making sure that they don't have to worry too much about how different/future APs shake out. That's how I felt right up until they had the elves club themselves with the idiot ball because of it. *grumbles* Sorry, sorry... the elf thing really bugs me.

The only saving grace for me was that in one of the PaizoCon panels or games, I can't remember whether it was in the demo I played or a panel, they did mention that some churches have plane-shifting starships, and that they guard the plans used to build them jealously. It makes me hope they won't flub the possibility of other drive systems.

Personally I suspect that it was just really, really hard to get a functioning FTL drive before the Drift. Either way, though, I'm booting the base setting out the airlock as soon as I get the game. I bought Warhammer 40k Wraithguard to use as elven hunter-killer robots/golems, and I'm going to use them!

Elves are probably one of my biggest gripes about the setting.

When I first heard about Starfinder, my first thoughts were "neat, there are many opportunities to explore with space elves now", given how tightly connected elven lore was to space in Pathfinder already.
But instead, we got... this.

Liberty's Edge

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So... Castrovel is the new Kyonin (at least where the elves are concerned). Kyonin was always filled with idiot-ball elves, which is why I never played one from there.

How is this a big deal?


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Shisumo wrote:

So... Castrovel is the new Kyonin (at least where the elves are concerned). Kyonin was always filled with idiot-ball elves, which is why I never played one from there.

How is this a big deal?

Because they took a problem that at least some people had with Second Darkness and Elves of Golarion, and rather than fixing it made it even worse? I mean, if you look at the discussion of how elves were treated in that material, it shows how badly done it was.

I honestly thought they were going to try to fix it with Starfinder, especially since they decided they needed to fix the Lashunta.

Liberty's Edge

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Intellectually I understand that people don't like what the Castrovel preview said about elves. On a personal level, though, it makes no sense to me whatsoever. "They made elves jerks and idiots!" So... play an elf that's not a jerk or an idiot..?


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Then why don't they make all of the Lashunta jerks and idiots? And the humans, and the androids, and all of the other races?

I'm not trying to be rude, if it comes across that way. I'm just trying to explain that when they have this happen to only one race it pisses me off. And the target I see them using is generally elves, which is... frustrating. Especially when Castroval is supposed to be their homeworld, yet they're not even a big species there.

Edit: To put it another way: Why do I have to play Drizzt Do'Urden to play an elf who isn't a jerk and idiot?


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I mean it does kind of apply to all races, Shirren have a choice addiction but your PC doesn't have to. The Vesk are a super martial race but you could play a pacifist if you wanted to. All playable races have things about them that are true, but you don't have to have that as a part of your character, elves just happened to get that particular trait.

Liberty's Edge

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Benjamin Medrano wrote:

Then why don't they make all of the Lashunta jerks and idiots? And the humans, and the androids, and all of the other races?

I'm not trying to be rude, if it comes across that way. I'm just trying to explain that when they have this happen to only one race it pisses me off. And the target I see them using is generally elves, which is... frustrating. Especially when Castroval is supposed to be their homeworld, yet they're not even a big species there.

Edit: To put it another way: Why do I have to play Drizzt Do'Urden to play an elf who isn't a jerk and idiot?

...because the PCs are, unless you're running a really odd all-elves-on-Castrovel game, already are among the subset of elves - explictly in existence, called out as such in the setting info - who don't share those attitudes?


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Luke Spencer wrote:
I mean it does kind of apply to all races, Shirren have a choice addiction but your PC doesn't have to. The Vesk are a super martial race but you could play a pacifist if you wanted to. All playable races have things about them that are true, but you don't have to have that as a part of your character, elves just happened to get that particular trait.

"Elves aren't even the second most relevant race on their homeworld" is a very insulting trait in a space game when elves, in Pathfinder, were originally THE space race, with presence across multiple planets, confirmed space ships, and commonplace interplanetary travel.


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The Divinity drive was a prototype, the only engine of its kind ever build (as far as we know). And it was only able to create wormholes because it was able to provide infinite energy, energy which was used by Casandalee to ascend, and probably is the basis for the drift drive.


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Mashallah wrote:
Luke Spencer wrote:
I mean it does kind of apply to all races, Shirren have a choice addiction but your PC doesn't have to. The Vesk are a super martial race but you could play a pacifist if you wanted to. All playable races have things about them that are true, but you don't have to have that as a part of your character, elves just happened to get that particular trait.
"Elves aren't even the second most relevant race on their homeworld" is a very insulting trait in a space game when elves, in Pathfinder, were originally THE space race, with presence across multiple planets, confirmed space ships, and commonplace interplanetary travel.

Yes they WERE the space race, but now they're not and this trait of their society reflects this change. Now they're choosing not to get involved with interplanetary politics so of course they're not the most relevant species.


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Luke Spencer wrote:
Mashallah wrote:
Luke Spencer wrote:
I mean it does kind of apply to all races, Shirren have a choice addiction but your PC doesn't have to. The Vesk are a super martial race but you could play a pacifist if you wanted to. All playable races have things about them that are true, but you don't have to have that as a part of your character, elves just happened to get that particular trait.
"Elves aren't even the second most relevant race on their homeworld" is a very insulting trait in a space game when elves, in Pathfinder, were originally THE space race, with presence across multiple planets, confirmed space ships, and commonplace interplanetary travel.
Yes they WERE the space race, but now they're not and this trait of their society reflects this change. Now they're choosing not to get involved with interplanetary politics so of course they're not the most relevant species.

I mean, sure. What I'm saying is that that is a thing that makes quite a few people unhappy, myself and Benjamin Medrano included.

Elves were both fairly popular among the Pathfinder playerbase and a natural pick for a major Starfinder race due to being the big space race in Pathfinder, so the choice to make them irrelevant is simply strange and jarring.


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While I would love to prove our empire has been GLORIOUSLY conquering the stars since before you lot even got off the ground, it seems that's impossible at the moment. Considering these elves as you call them have scarcely left their homeworld at present, I find your claims that they were the greatest spacefarers suspect. At least the Anzlati have something to show for their claims of greatness.

We could always figure out who's right by comparing ships and piloting ability, but I'll have you know honor duels are a common training exercise around here.


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I'm going to try one last time.

To those of you who don't understand why I'm irritated about elves: Take your favorite race, I don't care what race it is, one with a history. Now, take it and base the entire society on the worst tropes of the race in media, save for a handful of outcasts, and have that be the society in the game.

That's what they essentially did for me. That I'm just irritated is... surprising, honestly. I was irate to the point of nearly abandoning Starfinder when the information first came out.


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Those are far from the "worst" tropes associated with elves.

Try Discworld elves (Lords and Ladies etc).


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Fardragon wrote:

Those are far from the "worst" tropes associated with elves.

Try Discworld elves (Lords and Ladies etc).

I said, "That's what they essentially did for me."

I don't care about Discworld. I read one book and despised it, so it's irrelevant. For me the tropes used are the worst ones I've come across.


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To be more clear, the 'worst tropes' for any given subject are completely subjective to each person. What's fine for one person is utterly horrifying to the next. That's why I said to take the worst tropes you associate with your favorite race and make them the basis. It's a way of showing how it makes me feel about things, not a literal statement that the tropes used are the worst possible (which is impossible to objectively quantify).


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It's still very early to say much about the default setting for Starfinder. My prediction is that it will be designed with the same sort of logic as Golarion.

Golarion, IMHO, is characterized by variety. If you like that sort of thing it is a diverse and flexible setting for any adventure. If you don't like that sort of thing it is a kitchen sink setting without any firm vision.

Regardless of your tastes, I expect Starfinder to adopt a similar strategy given that it is produced by the same company. Golarion has a pocket of pretty much every fantasy trope you might want, whether it is medieval crusaders or 18th century pirates, dinosaurs, Egyptian tomb raiding, the three musketeers, or Atlantis. My prediction is that Starfinder will try to do the same thing. Name a sci-fi movie and there will be a pocket of it somewhere.


I don't get what people her complain so much about elves...well must be the way I don't gave a f!*! and handled them the way I wanted...


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I think actually having a "favourite race" is a bit silly.

And not liking Discworld - the greatest series of fantasy literature ever written - is certifiably insane.

Creative Director, Starfinder Team

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Lord Fyre wrote:
Is it a ban-able offense to really dislike the default setting for Starfinder?

Of course not! We understand that not everything will be right for everyone.

Opens closet, lights a candle, and slowly removes the picture of Lord Fyre from wall labeled "Best Friend Potential" while listening to Sarah McLachlan.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

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James Sutter wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Is it a ban-able offense to really dislike the default setting for Starfinder?

Of course not! We understand that not everything will be right for everyone.

Opens closet, lights a candle, and slowly removes the picture of Lord Fyre from wall labeled "Best Friend Potential" while listening to Sarah McLachlan.

All I know is that, after listening to Peter F. Hamilton's "The Reality Dysfunction" audiobook, I'm going to have a difficult time not using terms like "processor blocks," "neural nanonics," and "datavising" when I start running games in this setting.


Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:

I'm down with the new continuity. It's basically just a nice blank slate for GM's to fill in space (hehehe) where they please and how they think the world might have changed from between Pathfinder and The Gap and the results of Starfinder.

** spoiler omitted **

It means previous writers don't have to stress out about what happens in the future, or stuff in the past influencing Starfinder too much, short of a planet wide extinction event, which is something most AP's only hint though don't really deliver on. And that's good enough to me, because that same stress isn't on any GM to have their lore or information match up with stuff in Pathfinder or consider how exactly the starsystem has changed in the spanning time. Again, it's a nice blank slate and one that I think the system needed for it's stories to work alongside Pathfinder's, while maintain some similar content or expanding upon information already present in Pathfinder that wouldn't have been touched on in Pathfinder (like some of the other planets in the Core star system).

I do wish the elves had a bigger presence given that they were the first colonisers of various planets, and would have loved to see what their opinions on galactic expansion would be like. I suppose it's down to what Forlorn are like in the new world.

Also, since there are half-orcs, and definitely goblins, that can only mean that there are orcs as well.

And that means....

SPACE ORCS! YAAAAAAY!

(I hope there are hobgoblins and gnolls as well! space gnolls!)

It's the opposite of a blank slate. Amnesia on that scale would radically change all societies everywhere basically forever. Imagine if tomorrow everyone in the world woke up without any memories of their life up until that point. That's not going to pass over a couple days. A lot of people will die (as doctors don't remember they should help patients, firefighters don't fight fires, mothers forget to feed their babies, and so on), there would be widespread rioting and starvation (since truck drivers won't deliver food items into cities, only supplies there would be from shops and supermarkets, which will run out relatively quickly). Societies will collapse and might have to be redeveloped from scratch as everyone reads about "democracy" and "laws" in books (assuming they don't forget how to read).

That produces very unique effects on a setting. Like, think about this backwards: first you come up with the setting (space, drift, sci-fi with spaceships and magic), then you try to design a backstory for that setting. Now, you want it to be as simple as possible, so that it doesn't require anyone to learn anything. Simple option is to just leave it entirely blank and unexplained. Players will cobble together some ideas for a backstory themselves from various other examples of literature, and GMs can easilly invent their own explanations for things. For most adventures that wouldn't even be necessary, as only current state of the cosmos is actually relevant.

However, that is not what Starfinder does. Instead, they pick this incredibly convoluted amnesia backstory which obviously produces a lot of weird permanent effects. Furthermore, instead of just extending the gap indefinitely into the past (and thus making it just a part of this particular setting), they staple Golarion to the whole thing.

Why. That's the question I want to ask. I get the Drift, even though that is not an original idea. I get the Gap if it is properly expanded upon, as I don't remember any settings with world-wide amnesia as the premise. But why add Golarion? It just makes things worse on all fronts, since now you have to insure some sort of continuity between these two completely different settings -otherwise, why are you even including it? But here Starfinder goes even further, and insures that Golarion itself is nowhere to be found, guaranteeing no continuity. Why? What's the purpose of that? It's like painting the walls of your house white, then black, and then white again. Why did you waste two layers of paint if white was what you wanted all along?

Even the idea that Golarion could exist somewhere results in difficult questions for the setting. Given that Starfinder is apparently on the same material plane as Golarion, do the same physics and metaphysics apply to both? Can you craft magical items that were easilly crafted on Golarion in Starfinder? Can you cast spells from Golarion? Some (really, quite a few) people on Golarion were casters high-level enough to guarantee their immortality and invulnerability to minor threats. Some of those casters would be the traveling type, preferring to spend their time on other planets/planes, insuring they would avoid whatever cataclysm befell Golarion itself. Why don't you see them on Absalom station? A whole lot of money to be made by selling your unique capability to cast Old Magic spells or craft Pre-Gap magic items. Golarion had very particular limitations on what mortals could physically do, as encoded in Pathfinder skill list. Are those limitations the same as those of Starfinder? If it's the same universe, physics should be the same.

Basically, I don't see what existence of Golation brings into the setting.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Captain Hawley Cromwell, "The Mad Barnacle" wrote:
Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:

I'm down with the new continuity. It's basically just a nice blank slate for GM's to fill in space (hehehe) where they please and how they think the world might have changed from between Pathfinder and The Gap and the results of Starfinder.

** spoiler omitted **

It means previous writers don't have to stress out about what happens in the future, or stuff in the past influencing Starfinder too much, short of a planet wide extinction event, which is something most AP's only hint though don't really deliver on. And that's good enough to me, because that same stress isn't on any GM to have their lore or information match up with stuff in Pathfinder or consider how exactly the starsystem has changed in the spanning time. Again, it's a nice blank slate and one that I think the system needed for it's stories to work alongside Pathfinder's, while maintain some similar content or expanding upon information already present in Pathfinder that wouldn't have been touched on in Pathfinder (like some of the other planets in the Core star system).

I do wish the elves had a bigger presence given that they were the first colonisers of various planets, and would have loved to see what their opinions on galactic expansion would be like. I suppose it's down to what Forlorn are like in the new world.

Also, since there are half-orcs, and definitely goblins, that can only mean that there are orcs as well.

And that means....

SPACE ORCS! YAAAAAAY!

(I hope there are hobgoblins and gnolls as well! space gnolls!)

It's the opposite of a blank slate. Amnesia on that scale would radically change all societies everywhere basically forever. Imagine if tomorrow everyone in the world woke up without any memories of their life up until that point. That's not going to pass over a couple days. A lot of people will die (as doctors don't remember they should help patients, firefighters don't fight fires, mothers forget to feed their babies, and so on), there would be widespread rioting...

This depiction of the Gap's effects isn't the entire picture. From a previous interview, Sutter describes the Gap's effects like this:

James Sutter wrote:
Imagine if you woke up one day, and you still have all your knowledge, and you still have roughly a sense of who you are, but you have no real memory of your past. After The Gap, whole nations knew that they are at war with other nations, but they didn't really remember why. People might have recognised their wives or their children, but they didn't have any specific memories of how or when they got together. That event is far in the past of Starfinder, but it’s nonetheless played havoc on the setting. Society has just sort of reshaped itself and that, to me, is a very interesting question.

Society's moved on from the events of the Gap by the time Starfinder's era has rolled around, and most people don't really care about lost Golarion, as it's not something they've ever known or had anything to do with, and are more interested in advancing newly reformed civilization and rekindling a sense of cultural identity. Some particularly long-lived races want to restore old Golarion, as well as knowledge seekers like the Starfinder Society. The Gap certainly doesn't function as a blank slate, and has very unique effects on society, as you mentioned. But it does offer a permeable filter that permits GMs to make their campaigns more or less connected to Pathfinder's world as they see fit.

As for why Golarion's part of it ... why not? Apart from being a really cool sci-fi story in general, I think much of Starfinder's draw, for me, is that I can also explore D20 fantasy in the context of sci-fi. God-run corporations. Haunted starships. Undead starfaring militaries. Ancient alien temples. Rune enhanced armor, cursed laser swords, and criminal empires puppeteered by hedonistic dragon overlords. Cathedral ships of Iomedae and Hellknight battlecruisers. Space Goblins! I can do so much more with Pathfinder's mythos than I can do without.

I know I mentioned this before, but just because Pathfinder's timeline is in Starfinder's continuity does not mean that Starfinder is part of Pathfinder's continuity. There is no need to limit either franchise based on the assumptions of one setting. I think the Gap is ingenius for the very reason that it allows the player direct control over how much fantasy they want in their setting. After all, the Gap isn't about all the history that it's hidden - it's about the devastation it's wreaked on the world, and the defining mark where civilization began to rebuild. I would extend this logic to the decision to keep Pathfinder's fantasy races familiar as well, as it offers GMs maximum opportunity to repurpose these races however they want, whether they want to give Elves and Dwarves and Halflings more prominence, or less prominence, in their own setting. By keeping familiar elements, and putting the emphasis on introducing and fleshing out new races, we have maximum potential to shape Starfinder's setting to our own tastes without compromising the world already written in ink. If we want to focus on new races and sci-fi, that is very well developed for us. If we want to focus on enduring Pathfinder elements - they will be very familiar, and their less defined role in Starfinder's world gives much potential for interpretation. I honestly can't think of a more balanced approach here.

Physics and limitations of spells as carryover is an interesting question, and I suspect we'll get more detail on that as the sourcebooks are released. Remember that classes can convert over to some extent, and monsters fairly easily, so I don't foresee too much discrepency between the natural and magical laws of either world - just that certain skills and practices have become less common overtime, while other skills and practices have become commonplace.


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EDIT:

IS THERE NOTHING I CAN TYPE THAT OPSYLUM CAN'T NINJA ME TO?!

... because, daggum, Opsylum, you're doing well, tonight this entire thread. Well played, sir.

Well... played... XD

Mashallah wrote:
lakobie wrote:
And of course in the end you dont even have to use the gap. Its a tool, and its up to you to use or not
The setting seems to be written entirely around it as a base assumption. To remove it from the setting, I'd have to rewrite half of it, at which point using a different setting is simpler.

Yes, and no.

Going by the whole "Aroden died"-thing, it seems more like the metaquestion of the setting that really isn't all that relevant, except as the unobtanium-cum-macguffin to drive adventures (so, an, "always in the background, never really a major force in the foreground"-kind of thing).

Captain Hawley Cromwell, "The Mad Barnacle" wrote:
A lot of people will die (as doctors don't remember they should help patients, firefighters don't fight fires, mothers forget to feed their babies, and so on), there would be widespread rioting and starvation (since truck drivers won't deliver food items into cities, only supplies there would be from shops and supermarkets, which will run out relatively quickly). Societies will collapse and might have to be redeveloped from scratch as everyone reads about "democracy" and "laws" in books (assuming they don't forget how to read).

That... isn't how most (retrograde) amnesia works (and this is clearly retrograde amnesia), and most certainly isn't how a bunch of super-entities attempting to do a thing with the universe would leave everyone.

Context clues will help people figure out who they are, and/or what should be happening, in general:

- Doctors would wake up with doctors' clothes, and those that don't will have a ton of pictures, diplomas, and natural skill

- mothers will hear babies crying and feel the pressure building or stumble across a bottle in the fridge

- firefighters may not know they're firefighters, but they'll have pictures or awards or clothes that lend that idea to them

- truck drivers likely either fell asleep at home (not too bad), or just got hit with amnesia while driving, meaning they'll likely pull over (when safe to do so) and try to figure out what's happening... and being dressed like a typical truck driver, having just been driving a truck, and noticing that their truck contains shipment manifests and supplies makes for a compelling case that they are, in fact, truck drivers...; meanwhile those at home might effectively lose their job, but that won't eliminate the truck-driving profession, and those individuals will likely be hired on rather immediately

- people will definitely remember all about concepts like democracy and laws and will definitely remember how to read, as those aren't skills lost by amnesia

What you're describing isn't amnesia and history-loss: it's physical brain damage on a massive scale, plus fundamental retardation* - either that, or just changing the way the laws of physics work, ala the Emberverse series where structural breakdown is complete.

* I mean this in the closest literal way possible, i.e. that they are mentally handicapped in a manner not considered to be acceptable normal independent function, not any form of pejorative. Maybe "degradation" is a better word, but that doesn't seem to fit.

Never-mind, of course, that there are literal super-sentient entities who have memories that exist from before the gap (simply missing 100 years doesn't mean much to a dragon, or celestial, or, say a super-sentient A.I. running the largest thing in the sky, now), and so on. Got questions? There's an App for that.

Of course, there would be panic and riots and confusion and death and all that stuff... probably. But, then again, there may well not be, or the effects may well be limited, or emotional fury or recklessness could have been temporarily blunted with the history loss - long enough for stability to take over.

Or, you know, maybe all that jazz did happen, but there's still not that much going to be going wrong: they're surrounded by all sorts of stuff that would help them survive.

Mashallah wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Mashallah wrote:
The thing is, this kind of continuity is superficial and pointless. Since no events in either universe can affect the other in any way whatsoever, it doesn't give you any advantage over no continuity...
It has one advantage, it means they can use the old organisations and gods (even if those organisations should probably be 100% completely unrecognisable and extinct by now).

You don't need continuity for that.

WHFB and WH40K share many of the gods despite there being no continuity whatsoever between the two.

Sure. But those settings and their publishers fundamentally differ in the way they present themselves and their lore.

I'll give you a non-War Hammer similar reference: the Weyland-Yutani corporation appears in both Firefly and the various Alien-franchise things, but in the former there are explicitly no known aliens and WY-corp is a pretty weak organization, whereas the latter they are powerful, growing, and there are most definitely aliens that are totally known. So... same canon? Not same canon? Eh.

Of course, then again, you have the Earth-X and marvel canon lines. These differ substantially, but are both based on the assumption that the "now" (whatever that is) is shared between the two of them.

These are two different, but valid approaches. Neither is "wrong" - Paizo has opted for the second for their Starfinder.

Mashallah wrote:
Why even have this kind of pseudo-continuity instead of just saying "this is a completely independent and separate setting" without having to resort to very weird plot devices?

Easily: for the same reason you have alternate takes, fan-spin-offs, and What If...? variants. Or re-imaginings of things.

People like the base thing, and want to see something built off of what they're already familiar with (without trashing the original). That's exactly what's been done here.

This emotional link is what makes the shared continuity non-pointless. I mean, sure, the SF team could make a bunch of lawful neutral zealots devoted to the laws of Hell called Hellknights, but you're going to have a lot more people complaining if they're not, you know, connected to the Hellknights.

What's more, inspiration doesn't work the way you seem to suggest. "Simply sever it." may well be on the table, but people can struggle to make something as a collaborative project - it's hard to drum up motivation, and referencing the familiar has the possible advantage of doing exactly that. This is a huge reason to share continuity with the old stuff, even if they're not definitively linked.

Also, I've mentioned my own divine disappointments, so I empathize, but, to me, Asmodeus isn't one of them. Dude has been overused by a half-dozen different settings, and he's kind of boring, now. I recognize that others disagree, and that's fine - my point isn't that he's bad (well, you know, other than being pure evil), it's just that he's not my preferred style.

Is it canon that a god was entirely responsible for the drift? Did I not read somewhere recently that the secret was collected by some, so it was spread to mortals to level the playing field or something? I could be wrong, and/or it could have just been fanon speculation, but I just recall seeing that, recently, somewhere.

For the record, I at least agree with you about the Lashunta, and I did like the space-elves, but if the designers were feeling... lackluster about the "hey, let's once again add... elves... to... our... fantasy... setting... dang-it" I can see that as a reason for a change (as I feel similarly, about Asmodeus). It's certainly a sad loss, but, hey, I feel them.

The deities really didn't change the universal setting: they took away one planet and some history. On the cosmic scale? NBD. If that bothers you, though, allow me, again, to point to Forgotten Realms. "Oh, all of reality is changing around me? One god musta stole some stone tablets from another god; or perhaps some mortals were used as little more than pawns in two gods' attempts to murder all things good and magic; or perhaps it's just Tuesday and some gods are feeling like ornery tricksters." And, bear in mind, I poke at its ridiculous sides (which are many), but I love the Forgotten Realms setting.

Anyway, please don't think I'm trying to pick on you, Mashalla - you've made a few decent points that I agree with; more, you seem well-spoken and to have some good ideas, so I hope you recognize that my intent is to ameliorate rather than condemn. I don't agree that it's lazy or poorly-done, even if I'm not entirely behind every decision. The great part about not being behind every decision, though, is that they're not just making this game for me, but for a whole host of other people, some of whom think that stuff is the bee's knees. And that's pretty awesome.

Also, I'm suuuuuuuuuuper hype, so. You know. Nerd-fan. XD

Dark Archive

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While not the primary motivation the Gap is a very flexible middle ground. If you absolutely want more of a connection you can easily run a campaign where knowledge starts to bleed through the Gap and influence Starfinder more and more. If you want a clean break that is pretty easy to manage. The designer's have the same flexibility going forward to ramp up finding the Gap or move forward.

While it might not be your particular choice of how to handle it, ANY choice that gets more specific is doomed to all of the same critiques. Too much tie-in, no it's too little, but I wanted the old AP to turn out this way...


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Benjamin Medrano wrote:

I'm going to try one last time.

To those of you who don't understand why I'm irritated about elves: Take your favorite race, I don't care what race it is, one with a history. Now, take it and base the entire society on the worst tropes of the race in media, save for a handful of outcasts, and have that be the society in the game.

Not following you still. Those 'tropes' are what makes that race a 'race.' If they weren't elitist isolationist blaggards, they wouldn't be elves. They'd probably be kender.

Alternately: fantasy and sci-fi races are defined by their tropes. Even not following them (which you see occasionally in star trek with ferengi psychopaths or klingon scientists) still works with the trope to create something interesting.


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Voss wrote:
Benjamin Medrano wrote:

I'm going to try one last time.

To those of you who don't understand why I'm irritated about elves: Take your favorite race, I don't care what race it is, one with a history. Now, take it and base the entire society on the worst tropes of the race in media, save for a handful of outcasts, and have that be the society in the game.

Not following you still. Those 'tropes' are what makes that race a 'race.' If they weren't elitist isolationist blaggards, they wouldn't be elves. They'd probably be kender.

Lets not forget "arrogant to the point of extinction level self-destructive". That's also one of their defining tropes.

"There are over 38,000,000 orcs marching into our forest, but lets not ask for help from our allies a day's ride south. In fact, lets not even send them warning. There's like... a 121 of us. We've totally got this." ~every elf commander ever


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Voss wrote:
Benjamin Medrano wrote:

I'm going to try one last time.

To those of you who don't understand why I'm irritated about elves: Take your favorite race, I don't care what race it is, one with a history. Now, take it and base the entire society on the worst tropes of the race in media, save for a handful of outcasts, and have that be the society in the game.

Not following you still. Those 'tropes' are what makes that race a 'race.' If they weren't elitist isolationist blaggards, they wouldn't be elves. They'd probably be kender.

Alternately: fantasy and sci-fi races are defined by their tropes. Even not following them (which you see occasionally in star trek with ferengi psychopaths or klingon scientists) still works with the trope to create something interesting.

I can understand the frustration somewhat. There are more tropes to elves than just being uncaring a-holes (beautiful art, being stalwart in the face of dark forces, good at magic, etc.) that don't seem to be touched on, with more of the negative tropes being magnified.

If there are no good tropes to balance out the bad, it just feels like elves are, in your words, "elitist isolationist blaggards" with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.


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Well, pathfinder elves tend to abandon planet in the face of dark forces, but I've seen nothing to suggest they aren't still good at magic or making art.


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Voss wrote:
Well, pathfinder elves tend to abandon planet in the face of dark forces, but I've seen nothing to suggest they aren't still good at magic or making art.

Not all of them. Sometimes they go on a journey through the underworld and then learn how to be samurai.

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