So...Folca


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Liberty's Edge

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Keydan wrote:

With all due respect to Paizo's right to do whatever they want with their setting and as the issue and its resolution is pretty much settled...

I am just genuinely interested as to why, with all the twisted horror, the violent savagery, the deprivation, the hedonism, the monstrous deviancy, the torture, the slavery, perverse morality etc., etc... we have seen from the lineup of pathfinders evil and damned over the years, with parallels to real life existing world problems and suffering, which may or may not be as bad/evil as child abuse, why Folca was the place to draw the line? And, if I may ask, are they sure the line should have been drawn where it is?

It seems like the line is actually drawing mystical power from a particularly depraved act.

Few Obediences, even of the worst Fiendish Deities actually require harm to a sapient being (most can make do with animal cruelty, which is awful...but not quite to the same degree).

Folca's written Obedience requires explicitly traumatizing a child and is thus a step beyond pretty much any other.

TriOmegaZero wrote:
The line is child abuse. I have no interest in discussing "should that be the line".

This is actually not correct. I can think of several instances of child abuse (and even child murder) cropping up in Pathfinder previously (mostly in adventures). None gave the perpetrator super powers, which seems to be the line.


I understand why many if not most would scoff, disdain and distance from discussing "why that should be the line", but I believe that this discussion is in fact where we can see the bigger picture. I'd like is to know the trail of though. The fact that "Line in the sand", an expression originally used here, has a complete and opposite meaning in my native language doesn't help either. (A line in the sand is arbitrary, as rain, wind or people can easily destroy it)

But alas, I know this isn't the place for it, really, as such discussions are loaded with triggering emotions, and will lead to nothing but alienation by multiple sides, which hold differing opinions. As for many - the meta is concrete and set in stone, with their own lines.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Caleb Garofalo wrote:
This thread was so 'volatile' earlier, but now it remains silent. I guess all it takes is a few days of silence to make people loose interest?

A locked thread falls to the bottom of "new stuff to respond to" hierarchy.

With all due respect to those claiming that "the matter is settled," this is the internet- nothing is ever settled.

Personally, I'm fine with Folca- but to say the entity and its cult aren't incredibly loaded to a degree that a company which tries to entertain its customers without ripping the scabs off of childhood traumas must take into account is... well.

Fortunately, as a daemon harbinger... Folca is not above the "it can have stats" curve. And since it can have stats?

I'm going to let my players kill Folca. Maybe let 'em dust off their Wrath of the Righteous killing machines.

I just need to stat this abomination up. Presumably a bit weaker than Deskari. It'll be a fun "take your overpowered PCs for a jaunt into Abaddon" weekend session.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Folca's written Obedience requires explicitly traumatizing a child and is thus a step beyond pretty much any other.

We all can agree at this. However, those few obidiences that do harm sentient humanoids not all probably have the specification to exclude some categories from being sacrificed. I recently have run a game featuring demon-lord of werewolfs Jezelda. And her obedience is nasty when it is done in a moonless night. It doesn't hit Folcas level, in the sense that it doesn't target children, but its prerequisite to work is a sentient humanoid of same race. No word on how old or young it can be. I do understand that it is a long shot by going for Folca-level shock content for one-time using Jezelda, but what is mattering that the option exists (and no, I didn't use it). And I hope, that if it gets in the spotlight, the only thing that gets cut is the "option" part (by adding a line that children are excluded), or the obedience. Not the whole demon lord. In short, I hope for no overreaction.


Gorbacz wrote:
*sighs, shakes his head, opens his copy of Book of the Wyrm, 1st ed*

yup.

Shadow Lodge

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
The line is child abuse. I have no interest in discussing "should that be the line".

The fact that I am bothered by the self censorship is, I think, a separate line that is disturbing in a different way.

I respect your right to a line.

Respect my right to be bothered by the Paizo's tendecy to 'clean up' after the fact even when they probably shouldn't (ex: Sarenae persecution in Taldor, Erastil being sexist but good).

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I have reviewed my comments and cannot find any instance in which your right to be bothered has been disrespected. If I have missed it, please do show me.

Liberty's Edge

Ashkar wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Folca's written Obedience requires explicitly traumatizing a child and is thus a step beyond pretty much any other.
We all can agree at this. However, those few obidiences that do harm sentient humanoids not all probably have the specification to exclude some categories from being sacrificed. I recently have run a game featuring demon-lord of werewolfs Jezelda. And her obedience is nasty when it is done in a moonless night. It doesn't hit Folcas level, in the sense that it doesn't target children, but its prerequisite to work is a sentient humanoid of same race.

Actually, no it isn't. Not any more. To quote The Book Of The Damned:

"Under the night sky, offer prayers to the moon. On nights when there is no moon, you must supplement your prayers by sacrificing a living creature by tearing out its throat with your teeth and feeding on the still-warm body. Gain a +4 profane bonus on saving throws attempted when the moon is visible in the night sky."

It used to read the way you say in previous books. They changed it. Changing Folca due to a similar (but more severe) issue is thus quite a consistent policy move. Deep sixing Folca entirely is a more extreme reaction than just changing her Obedience was...but it's a difference of degree, not kind.

Ashkar wrote:
No word on how old or young it can be. I do understand that it is a long shot by going for Folca-level shock content for one-time using Jezelda, but what is mattering that the option exists (and no, I didn't use it). And I hope, that if it gets in the spotlight, the only thing that gets cut is the "option" part (by adding a line that children are excluded), or the obedience. Not the whole demon lord. In short, I hope for no overreaction.

They already corrected this one, so no worries. :)

Shadow Lodge

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
I have reviewed my comments and cannot find any instance in which your right to be bothered has been disrespected. If I have missed it, please do show me.

You misunderstand. I do not feel disrespected nor do I mean any disrespect. I am merely pointing out there are two issues that run parallel and are somewhat interconnected.

One is the issue of the portrayal of child abuse in an RPG. The other is Paizo's constant pulling back whenever there is controversy or some fans objecting.

I think I'd be more comfortable with Paizo pulling back in this case, if they hadn't pulled back so many times before from portraying less but somewhat controversial subjects like religious persecution and sexism.

Hope that clarifies things.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

It does, thank you.

Grand Lodge

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I actually have no issue with Paizo choosing to remove Folca. It's their setting and they can do as they wish. Personally I found Folca distasteful and would be perfectly fine without them being a published part of it.

What I object to is the mentality found in this thread that Paizo is profiting off child abuse. If you want to say they're mechanically incentivizing child abuse, then there's certainly an argument to be made there. Personally I see it as obviously being intended only as a tool for an evil to be fought by the players, but I do see the issue. But several people here have plainly said that Paizo is profiting off of child abuse which is absurd and demonstratively false.

Liberty's Edge

Kerney wrote:
I think I'd be more comfortable with Paizo pulling back in this case, if they hadn't pulled back so many times before from portraying less but somewhat controversial subjects like religious persecution and sexism.

If you're talking about the Erastil thing, that isn't what happened. That was changed not because of controversy, but because James Jacobs was Creative Director, imported that God from his homebrew, and never intended him to be sexist in the first place. It was purely a mistake that was never intended to exist in the first place by a person who had the ability to change it.

I don't get the impression that the Taldor persecuting Sarenrae thing was shying away from controversy either, though I don't remember the details of that situation with the same clarity.

Frankly, the campaign setting includes plenty of examples of controversial stuff, from a Good aligned character who provides abortions (or Pharasma being fairly anti-abortion), to several major examples of sexism (Amiri's backstory, for example), to many examples of religious persecution (just look at Nidal or Cheliax), to child abuse (several examples leap to mind from Reign of Winter, since I've just been reading that).

I'm really not seeing the issue you seem to be having here.


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

Leaving aside the issue of Folca, the broader issue seems to me to just be good business sense.

It's a truism that giving people what they want is a good idea. In any generic dispute involving 'going too far' with something, there's rarely going to be the similar investment from those who are not bothered as there is amongst the people who are upset.

So to be more specific again: Paizo would face significant backlash if they were to suddenly include blatant, significant sexism but there's unlikely to be a cohort of fans lining up saying "that's what I'm here for!" if they dialled that erroneously introduced sexism back.

That dynamic will ultimately lead to a conservative approach around the controversial frontier (whose borders are defined subjectively by "a game suitable for 13 years old and up". which I believe is what they're shooting for).

If you're really, really going for the truly edgy, pushing-the-envelope kind of published material it's possible that Pathfinder (with it's PG13+ approach) isn't the right place to look.


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Jurassic Pratt wrote:

I actually have no issue with Paizo choosing to remove Folca. It's their setting and they can do as they wish. Personally I found Folca distasteful and would be perfectly fine without them being a published part of it.

What I object to is the mentality found in this thread that Paizo is profiting off child abuse. If you want to say they're mechanically incentivizing child abuse, then there's certainly an argument to be made there. Personally I see it as obviously being intended only as a tool for an evil to be fought by the players, but I do see the issue. But several people here have plainly said that Paizo is profiting off of child abuse which is absurd and demonstratively false.

This ties into my major problem with this whole argument: it isn't about Folca for me but rather the idea that if you scream and throw a fit and threaten, you'll get your way.

I've run across this from a call center perspective and it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. There are ways to get the point across a lot more politely, a lot less "do it or we will turn the internet against you" and so on. Even if your argument is right, you are immediately wrong as far as I am concerned when you take that tactic.

Dark Archive

I do agree with that Folca is distasteful and went over the line. But I don't think they should just remove him and pretend he never existed, I'd rather they just tone him down to something less distasteful, even sent to James Jacobs email about that. Though if they do remove him completely, maybe they could add art for asura ranas :P


It does provide an interesting setup for Paizo. If people agree that Folca is double plus ungood and should be tossed down the memory hole, then the book doesn't sell very well, and Paizo, in keeping with their current policies regarding errata, takes longer to make Folca an unperson. On the flipside, if more people are OK with the evil deity being evil, the book sells more, and Paizo can unperson Folca much faster.


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I added Folca to Pathfinder’s YMMV page under “Base-Breaking Character” for many of the reasons stated in this thread. Considering what Folca represents, I don’t blame anyone for taking umbrage with this character.


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It's just a game. Evil is evil. We already had the satanic panic with D&D. I doubt anyone is going to start a real life cult of Folca. This thread draws more attention to it than the actual book ever would have.


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I recall D&D 3.5's Book of Vile Darkness and Book of Exalted Deeds were fairly up there in terms of mature content. D&D 3.5 was, as far as I remember, marketed as 13 and up as well. WotC slapped a 'Mature Content' label though, so people who objected to mechanics for torture, angel slaying, ritual sacrifice, demon worship, gruesome murder, and nonconsensual sexual things, among other things, would know to stay away. There was one NPC in there whose magic armor was built with chains to manacle onto children and then use as conduits to suck out their life energy to power his arcane spells. That's not just child abuse, that's child abuse, enslavement, and murder, possibly torture as well. There was a bit of controversy over that book as well. WotC responded by simply not changing a thing. They probably lost a customer or two, but that's probably about what they would have lost if they did the opposite and retconned parts of the setting.

I have no real horse in this stable since I got the original printing of the Book of the Damned and may be ordering some of the original versions for friends before they get pulled from virtual shelves to have a 'collector's edition', but I fundamentally disagree with censorship in fiction, self-imposed or otherwise. If you added something to a setting, then you obviously put a lot of thought into it and determined at some point that it was worth putting there. People showing outrage over it should not change your opinion unless you see a drastic drop in sales, which I really doubt would be the case. I agree with several posters on this thread, it sets a bad precedent when people can complain about something and have the fluff retconned out of the setting.

I will say that I'm one of the people who hates the anime retcons and censored scenes in the American ports, so maybe I am the wrong person to talk about this.

Silver Crusade

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

“If you added something to a setting, then you obviously put a lot of thought into it and determined at some point that it was worth putting there.”

That’s a very big assumption you’re having there.

“People showing outrage over it should not change your opinion unless you see a drastic drop in sales, which I really doubt would be the case.”

Or they realize they f&*!ed yo and are trying to fix things. Only caring if money is involved is horrible and detached mindset to have.

“I agree with several posters on this thread, it sets a bad precedent when people can complain about something and have the fluff retconned out of the setting.”

That “something” is mechanizing and rewarding child abuse. That’s a pretty big “something”. This isn’t people complaining because of a subpar Feat or Archetype, it’s because of detailed and explicit child abuse. This isn’t nothing, it isn’t fluff, it’s mechanizing child abuse, it’s actually spelling it out.

Dark Archive

Just to note on errata thing, paizo should definitely work more on erratas and faqs and having new printings of the work with errata/faq info added to them <_< I comment on this mainly because my players keep ranting about it every time we discuss the system(they do like pathfinder and two of them even runs pathfinder games I play in, but they still rage about it sometimes), so I feel like I need to lobby for their opinion here xD

Anyway, if Folca is removed from game completely, I think paizo should at least add one more daemonic harbinger to replace him since I don't really like content being removed without anything being given back.

Good example of that being done right was Monte Cook Games with The Strange's core book: One of recursions was native american myth based, but community found it offensively stereotypical so they removed the recursion from the book and gave away free pdf with new recursion to replace it that they had developed with native american consultants and later printings had the recursion in core rulebook.


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I respectfully disagree.

"That's a very big assumption you're having there."

I don't think it is. A lot of thought should go into every piece of a campaign setting. Something like a book title on a 1d100 Random Wizard Tomes table is one thing you could get away with not putting a lot of thought in, but a fairly big player in the setting such as a Daemonic Harbinger should be something that gets a lot of thought. Does it overlap with other Harbingers, is it too similar in concept to non-daemonic beings of power, does it fit the campaign itself? These are all questions a writer should ask him or herself when crafting such a major figure. World building takes a lot of nitpicking over details if you want a good, stable setting.

"Or they realize they f#$!ed yo and are trying to fix things. Only caring if money is involved is horrible and detached mindset to have."

I disagree on this for more reasons than one. Seeing how well something sells is a sign of how well the product is received among the player base/consumers. There will always be people who dislike things in fantasy settings. Hardcore religious people will object to pagan gods and demon lords. Pacifists will object to violence. In nearly every case though, they are a very small portion of the actual player/consumer base. Should Pathfinder remove swords and sorcery for the people who object to violence and want Pathfinder to be a Diplomacy simulator? No, because most of the player base does not want that. It's just figuring out what your audience is comfortable with and not caving to outliers.

"That “something” is mechanizing and rewarding child abuse. That’s a pretty big “something”. This isn’t people complaining because of a subpar Feat or Archetype, it’s because of detailed and explicit child abuse. This isn’t nothing, it isn’t fluff, it’s mechanizing child abuse, it’s actually spelling it out."

That's a whole other can of worms. Death Knell incentivizes murder/killing, depending on where you draw the line on that. Where is the line of where it is considered too much? I daresay murder is on par with child abuse in terms of how wrong it is, possibly moreso. Should anything in game that gives you a bonus for killing another being be cut from the game?

The big question people should ask is this: how many GMs will allow players access to anything from The Book of the Damned, much less the darker content like that? Is this somehow going to breed a new generation of child abusers? I say no to both questions. It is a book intended for GMs to find really evil stuff to add to their games. Table variance dictates whether they ever use it or not. If people don't like it, they can easily just cover up that section with a sticky note, which is much more reasonable than asking a company to reprint a lot of books and remove content other people had no problem with.

Silver Crusade

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

"A lot of thought should go into every piece of a campaign setting."

Key word being "should".

"Seeing how well something sells is a sign of how well the product is received among the player base/consumers."

This is blatantly false, moreso with a subscription based system. A lot of people had probably never heard of Folca before reading its writeup in the hardcover.

"There will always be people who dislike things in fantasy settings"

We're talking about mechanizing child abuse, not removing Scottish accents from Dwarves.

"Hardcore religious people will object to pagan gods and demon lords."

We're talking about mechanizing child abuse.

"Pacifists will object to violence."

We're talking about mechanizing child abuse.

"In nearly every case though, they are a very small portion of the actual player/consumer base"

I can guarantee you that none but the most depraved are okay with child abuse. The actual abuse, not including abusers in game as an enemy.

"Should Pathfinder remove swords and sorcery for the people who object to violence and want Pathfinder to be a Diplomacy simulator?"

People are more and more desensitized to combat violence, but that's slippery slope fallacy from people having a problem with child abuse.

"It's just figuring out what your audience is comfortable with and not caving to outliers."

People having a problem with mechanizing and rewarding child abuse is not an outlier.

"Death Knell incentivizes murder/killing"

And there's a very big difference between the two.

"I daresay murder is on par with child abuse in terms of how wrong it is, possibly moreso"

This is a very debatable statement.

"how many GMs will allow players"

Allowing something that wasn't and forbidding something that is in a setting are two very different things.

"If people don't like it, they can easily just cover up that section with a sticky note"

But it's still there. And it's even easier to just add in child abusers yourself if you deem the want to.

"which is much more reasonable than asking a company to reprint a lot of books and remove content other people had no problem with"

Reprinting a book that has sold out is not unreasonable. And "some" people not having a problem with something doesn't negate all the people that do. Child abuse is not some minor, inconsequential thing.

Liberty's Edge

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I must admit, this thread is the first time I've ever heard the phrase 'self-censorship' used as a negative. And I'm one of the biggest anti-censorship people it's possible to be.

I mean, the idea of self-censorship (ie: deciding you don't like something in your own work and changing or removing it) is kinda the whole definition of the creative process. Objecting to it's existence is like objecting to water being wet and makes zero sense to me. It's like you all are speaking Martian.

Now, objecting to a particular reason for changing something, or objecting to the way it is changed, those make sense to me, I don't really agree with either in this case (and objecting to removing Folca strikes me as super weird), but at least I understand the logic. But objecting to 'self-censorship' as a blanket category? I'm baffled.

Is it being used as shorthand for 'I object to Paizo changing things to satisfy angry people on the internet!'?

Because that's objecting to your assumption about their reasons for changing it, not actually about them 'self-censoring'. Those are different things and getting them confused seems to serve no good purpose.

And, frankly, I think the idea that Paizo would change this if they didn't think it was legitimately a mistake to do in the first place is laughable. Paizo has just blatantly ignored a variety of previous objections to their content. Anyone remember the series of anti-trans* rants that followed WoTR? I do, and it's only one example among many of times when stuff they put in print caused uproar and objections.

What's the difference here? This time, Paizo took a step back, looked at the issue in question and went 'Y'know, this time we agree with the people complaining.' And that's a reasonable position to take in this instance. So they followed through and agreed to change/remove the content in question.

Now, I personally might not have made that choice...but like I said earlier, it's Paizo's setting, and book, and game, so their opinion is the controlling one. Nobody else's.


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Your idea of self-censorship's nature is a little askewed. It isn't merely changing an aspect of your work because you dislike it. That would be such a mundane act that nobody could feasibly define it as an act of censorship at all.

Self-censorship is the act of censoring your own work. This is done out of fear of, or deference to, the sensibilities or preferences (actual or perceived) of others.

So it is less about whether you dislike as the artist dislike it, and more about whether your audience dislikes it.

I am hardly surprised that some could be opposed to seeing artists compromise their integrity over something as fickle as the public opinion.

Liberty's Edge

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Victor Ravenport wrote:
Your idea of self-censorship's nature is a little askewed.

Given that I've seldom heard the term in this context before, I'm perfectly willing to believe I'm not in synch with how it's being used here.

I'm pretty sure that says as much about the way the term's being used here being slightly skewed as it does about me, though.

Victor Ravenport wrote:
It isn't merely changing an aspect of your work because you dislike it. That would be such a mundane act that nobody could feasibly define it as an act of censorship at all.

Indeed.

Victor Ravenport wrote:
Self-censorship is the act of censoring your own work. This is done out of fear of, or deference to, the sensibilities or preferences (actual or perceived) of others.

And here we're back to Martian if we're talking about this as an inherently bad thing. This definition covers editing, peer review, and a host of other things that are normal parts of some creative processes. Heck, it covers basic politeness and most reasonable human interaction.

Victor Ravenport wrote:
So it is less about whether you dislike as the artist dislike it, and more about whether your audience dislikes it.

If you're creating art for money, as most are, adjusting the nature of said art to the audience is a reasonable thing to do. It's not something you're always gonna want to do, or always should do, but it's not inherently some weird and perverse act either.

Particularly if it's a very minor part of the work in question and the complaints about it seem at least partially warranted.

I'm not saying all acts of self-censorship are good (many are terrible), I'm just trying to get across that using the term itself like it's a bad thing strikes me as profoundly odd. It's a value neutral term in and of itself.

Victor Ravenport wrote:
I am hardly surprised that some could be opposed to seeing artists compromise their integrity over something as fickle as the public opinion.

Okay, two things here:

#1: As noted above, Folca is a minor part of the setting nobody at Paizo has much investment in, not even those who wrote him up (who've commented on this issue). I'm pretty sure getting rid of or revising something you threw in but was never central to the work and never cared that much about is not remotely 'compromising artistic integrity'. It's closer to changing the color of a background character's shirt in a TV show than it is to a major plot change.

#2: I'm not at all convinced Paizo is doing anything of the kind. Paizo has rarely let public opinion rule their artistic choices previously, and it seems unlike they're doing so now. They could easily just agree that Folca was a bad call and legitimately want to fix the issue.

Indeed, looking at BotD in general, I'm pretty sure they did a fairly comprehensive revision of Obediences to avoid the necessity of human sacrifice and similarly extreme acts in the current version of the book (probably for a combination of balance reasons and thematic ones, so you could theoretically have Neutral people with most listed Obediences). This leaves Folca's Obedience actively out of synch with the rest of those portrayed in the book on a pretty profound level...making it pretty clearly legitimately an error for it to be included as-is in the first place.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
As noted above, Folca is a minor part of the setting nobody at Paizo has much investment in, not even those who wrote him up

It's my understanding that whoever created Folca back in BoTD3 no longer works at Paizo either, and hasn't for awhile. So it does not have a "champion" in-house, as it were, or even anyone with interest in it.


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I have been watching this thread closely and thought I ought to share my story.

For those calling to have Folca removed: It's going to happen. Unsure of when, but Paizo employees have spoken in an official manner and it's Paizo's IP to do with what they want. I also agree that Folca is kind of horrible from a potentially harmful standpoint.

For those calling Paizo to not remove Folca: It's really not your IP or your campaign setting. They could have over time decided to remove this from the setting anyway. They already have with many things. The version of Falcon's Hollow from 3.5 adventures is not the same Falcon's Hollow from Towns of the Inner Sea. Retcons happen with or without public outcry all the time.

Finally, about this whole "triggered" subtext going on. Yes, some people really are put off by the violence of pathfinder/3.5/5e and most normal rpgs. Those people tend to try other systems like Nobilis after a while if someone suggests the system to them. Pathfinder materials also have many many ways to trigger someone, but child abuse is one of the huge catch-all encompassing issues. Same thing with rape, or torture. I don't know why child abuse is higher on that list, but people feel it should be. For my own sensibilities, Hell's Vengeance actually took me to some rather bad places as I was running it. I didn't know there would be a magical cat-fey guarding a gatehouse that the party would end up killing. That brought up some really awful memories regarding the death of three of my pet cats by a psychotic member of my family. It took me to very dark places. You can't possibly know or predict EVERY trigger, and you shouldn't try.

Child abuse, though, seems to have enough of a "real" feeling to far too many people that it becomes something that no publisher should really touch. Especially child abuse that has mechanical benefits for doing so. So, I understand their decision and I hope people start cooling off and realizing how personal this issue might be.

Silver Crusade

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

*offers hugs to Bard*


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I got my copy, so my two cents:
Sorry, I honestly cannot understand what the fuss is about. I read the passage on Folca; I was not corrupted nor is it promoting child abuse. The entry right before Folca (I think) is about carefully plotting murder. I saw entries for drug use. Blasphemy, rape, torture, etc. If the title was not a give away, the book is obviously about all types of horrors experienced in real life and fiction.

Look, I understand it's upsetting. I live with a conservative Muslim who prays 5x times a day and LITERALLY believes in Satan, angels, demons, heaven, and hell. I do not want him seeing a book of mine with Satan on the cover, and can imagine him complaining about it.

However, I think it is bad idea to remove it from further copies as this brings far more attention to the issue than it deserves. With more than 25 rule books in the line, my guess is most people who are buying this book are completist/collectors, not people with a burning desire to bring more depravity into their games. Just like D&D has books/reprints known for being with or without hobbits; or with or without Chulthu mythos, you are going to have collector's list saying the Book of the Damned with or without sexual child abuse. It's probably just going to increase attention and the ebay value to my book. You want that?

My call: Satanic Panic.

Liberty's Edge

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I seriously doubt people are going to hear "Oh there's a version of a Paizo book with MORE child abuse? Gotta get that one!" There are some bad apples in the fanbase, but there's no g$& d#%ned market there.

Dark Archive

I'm still wondering if Paizo stated somewhere whether they will replace folca with something <_< I still think that example from Monte Cook Games was well done on how to remove something offensive


Would if have been okay if it called for killing children instead? I'm hearing people say that all the killing that Pathfinder incentivizes is an okay evil, but incentivizing Child abuse is too far.

Genuine question.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
The line is child abuse. I have no interest in discussing "should that be the line".
Deadmanwalking wrote:
It seems like the line is actually drawing mystical power from a particularly depraved act.

What Erik actually said was "Pathfinder doesn't need to include... predatory sexual violence against children, especially with rules attached."

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Caleb Garofalo wrote:

Would if have been okay if it called for killing children instead? I'm hearing people say that all the killing that Pathfinder incentivizes is an okay evil, but incentivizing Child abuse is too far.

Genuine question.

Honestly being a daemonic harbringer I kind of assumed thats what it was supposed to be actually going for ala pennywise from It (Since daemons are all about the various forms of death if memory serves.)


I clearly see why adding mechanics to this is a bad tone... but, as I see it, I find that statement weird. Because Pathfinder always had child abuse.

Multiple evildoers in multiple APs/modules point towards child abuse done by themselves or to them. As well as non-evil characters. You see states run by despots and tyrants, where negligence and social-economic reality begrudgingly leads to child abuse along with all the other sins and horror. You see monsters that are taken from folklore whose main or secondary trope is being child predators or worse...

It was always there, we just got a face for it now, but it appears that portfolio is left to other evil outsiders.

Shadow Lodge

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Caleb Garofalo wrote:

Would if have been okay if it called for killing children instead? I'm hearing people say that all the killing that Pathfinder incentivizes is an okay evil, but incentivizing Child abuse is too far.

Genuine question.

I think a lot of people would be truthfully. After all, a dead kid is dead and easily forgotten in time by the non immediate family. Life goes on and all that. An abused kid reminds us of our failures.

It reminds of a line from 'Fight Club' that was changed.

If you think you'll be offended don't read:

They removed Helana Boham Carter's line "I want to have your abortion" because studio execs didn't want to offend pro life potential customers.
It was changed to "I haven't been f*** like that since grade school". It went past Carter's radar because of the difference between American and British schooling.

But the execs were happy.

Liberty's Edge

Vic Wertz wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
The line is child abuse. I have no interest in discussing "should that be the line".
Deadmanwalking wrote:
It seems like the line is actually drawing mystical power from a particularly depraved act.
What Erik actually said was "Pathfinder doesn't need to include... predatory sexual violence against children, especially with rules attached."

Fair enough.

Kerney wrote:

It reminds of a line from 'Fight Club' that was changed.

** spoiler omitted **

Actually, the execs weren't happy at all, they just realized that anything they banned the people behind Fight Club would just replace with something worse so they let it lie.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kerney wrote:
Caleb Garofalo wrote:

Would if have been okay if it called for killing children instead? I'm hearing people say that all the killing that Pathfinder incentivizes is an okay evil, but incentivizing Child abuse is too far.

Genuine question.

I think a lot of people would be truthfully. After all, a dead kid is dead and easily forgotten in time by the non immediate family. Life goes on and all that. An abused kid reminds us of our failures.

It reminds of a line from 'Fight Club' that was changed.

** spoiler omitted **

...What Deadmanwalking said, basically.

I mean, I read your post & was in the middle of a long, drawn-out response of the details of the execs response, and then I saw that Deadmanwalking had succinctly beat me to it.


If Paizo wants to remove Folca that's fine in my book. Does his removal makes sense in relation to all the other offensive and potentially triggering stuff that they continue to publish and mechanize? No in my opinion, since Golarion as a setting is potentially triggering to anyone disturbed by things like religious intolerance, torture, slavery, murder, rape, sexism, racism, dictatorships, human sacrifice, animal cruelty, colonialism, genocide, romanticised suicide, etc. But, hey, child abuse is understandably beyond the pail for some people and them wanting it gone makes sense on an emotional level.

I just don't think Folca being around trivializes child abuse or increases the chances of someone committing child abuse in the real world.

I mean, I'm relatively new to DnD so I would ask whether parents in the 80s were right that playing DnD inevitability lead players back then into committing acts of devil worship?

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ultimately, this is Paizo's call. We all make mistakes. They are taking accountability for it, and plan to fix it the best they can. They are a business, they heard all sides of the situation and made their call.

I can only speak for myself, but they have earned my trust and my hard-earned money. This situation had not changed any of that.

I imagine this has been an extremely stressful, complicated situation with tons of meetings to discuss the best resolution to it. I applaud them for handling it with a measured and meaningful apology and proposed solution.

I am hoping we can all move on, accept their solution and keep enjoying their amazing creativity and products.

I for one, have still got their back. And I doubt that I am alone.

Things are really ugly in America right now, no matter which side of the schism you find yourself on. Paizo is a safe place to hang for me.

I thought that they should know that.

And to all the victims of child abuse here; you have my sincere sympathy. No child should ever have to experience that sort of evil.

Peace out.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
dmchucky69 wrote:

Ultimately, this is Paizo's call. We all make mistakes. They are taking accountability for it, and plan to fix it the best they can. They are a business, they heard all sides of the situation and made their call.

I can only speak for myself, but they have earned my trust and my hard-earned money. This situation had not changed any of that.

I imagine this has been an extremely stressful, complicated situation with tons of meetings to discuss the best resolution to it. I applaud them for handling it with a measured and meaningful apology and proposed solution.

I am hoping we can all move on, accept their solution and keep enjoying their amazing creativity and products.

I for one, have still got their back. And I doubt that I am alone.

Things are really ugly in America right now, no matter which side of the schism you find yourself on. Paizo is a safe place to hang for me.

I thought that they should know that.

And to all the victims of child abuse here; you have my sincere sympathy. No child should ever have to experience that sort of evil.

Peace out.

Very well put.

Dark Archive

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Folca's art definitely focuses more on child murder, with the bloody sack and all <_< It alone isn't that bad, kind of reminds me of similar stuff from cartoon shows. Though I guess if Folca is removed they can't really recycle art for anything else.(still wanting to know if anyone told what they are going to replace him with if they remove him)

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