War for the Crown and Crownfall Contradict a Lot About Taldor


War for the Crown

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Scarab Sages

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deuxhero wrote:
The contradiction in the "couple" of lines radically changes the source of the central conflict, which is a pretty bad thing to have in a story. Not to mention, you know, the fact that the AP isn't free and people paid money for everything but the player's guide? I don't understand people who claim others aren't allowed to complain about something they paid for.

It changes the central conflict if one insists to oneself it must.

Certainly they are allowed to complain. Starting a new thread in a discussion forum implies they want responses wouldn't you say?

If someone wants to complain without any responses, there is a place to leave a review.


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Cintra Bristol wrote:
A couple of questions: Do we have any examples of females inheriting other top-tier titles while they have surviving (non-disgraced) brothers?

A daughter inheriting over younger sons would be a very modern succession system on Earth (Britain just recently adopted this, right before the birth of Prince George). The question is really whether a daughter can inherit at all, in the absence of other male heirs. That's where Crownfall seems confused (see quotes cited above).

On p. 28 of First Empire, the grand duchess described is implied to have male cousins who did not inherit, as they are scheming against her. So women seemed to take some precedence over more distant men before Crownfall jumbled things up.

rdknight wrote:
It changes the central conflict if one insists to oneself it must.

It's hard to read Crownfall's introduction (pp. 2-3) and not think that gender equality isn't the central conflict of the story. They mention it repeatedly there, on p. 5-6, and throughout the Player's Guide.

rdknight wrote:
If someone wants to complain without any responses, there is a place to leave a review.

I certainly hoped for responses and some discussion. :)

I am surprised at some of them, but certainly not disappointed that people replied.

Scarab Sages

Cintra Bristol wrote:

Personally, I read that third quote differently:

"Taldor’s ancient law that decrees only male heirs may inherit their families’ titles, lands, and the authority that comes with both." Frasier, Player's Guide, p. 4.

The way I read this, strict (male) primogeniture was the ancient law. So my interpretation is that over time, Taldor has removed this restriction for a variety of aspects of inheritance - property, lesser titles, etc. Currently, the royal succession is the only place remaining where this law is still strictly upheld. (It may still remain a preference, or the custom within specific families.)

A couple of questions: Do we have any examples of females inheriting other top-tier titles while they have surviving (non-disgraced) brothers? And is there anything that contradicts nobles being able to select their heir from among their available offspring? Because I'm leaning toward having males as the "preferred" heirs for most upper level titles until very recently; the predominant attitude has shifted over the last decade or two, as Eutropia and her allies have pushed for the confirmation of a variety of female heirs, and (especially) the selection of females from among the available family members for open Senate positions. Thus allowing a more sudden shift from "females occasionally received top-tier noble titles" to "there are a lot of females in top positions now." And not everyone's attitudes have kept pace with these changes.

That's an interesting read on the sentence that works well I think.

I haven't looked at Book 2 closely enough to be sure, but I don't think there are any NPC entries that explicitly say a women inherited a position in favor of eligible men. Of the five senators given in Book 1 two have explanations that involve other means. Marquess Tanasha Starborne is elected, and Marquess Charlotte Deschamps is through marriage (I think?).

Countess Abrielle Pace, Viscountess Octavia Nicodemius, and Lady Zariyah Clement do not have any explanations. That could mean they inherited, or the word count on them was used for other things, or that it doesn't matter.

I think it would be possible to play the AP without women being able to inherit. There are other ways to gain title. Nobody that I play with is going to care about any of this stuff though, so going to all the trouble of devising ways in which individual women came into their positions is more trouble than it's worth.

There's also no specific reason to assume the rules of inheritance are absolutely uniform. France showed considerable regional variation early on, and the same could be true of Taldor. Some families with hereditary senate seats might also be filled for idiosyncratic reasons. Octavia Nicodemius is very long serving and in her 90's. Maybe she had a son or sons who could fill the seat, but didn't want to enter the swamp so never sent in the paperwork to claim the seat when they came of age. Maybe they were browbeaten by their mother into agreeing to her remaining in their seat. Lots of possible ways to do it.


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This reminds me of Marvel's Civil War, where there's a fight over a law and despite going through the effort of dividing the writers into teams writing one side as sympathetic ect. they never actually decided what the law actually did. There are books that potrayed it as allowing prison camps, forced child soldiers and mind controlled lobotomite supervillains and those that made it a check box on your file.

That and Legacy of the Force are good examples of why a collaborative writing effort needs to establish its baselines before starting writing.


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Actually, I'd like to see the original text(*) of the Taldan law on primogeniture. In addition to the ethical problems of a nation having such a thing in the first place, if it is written as badly as the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, it could cause a lot of contradiction and confusion right in Taldor itself.

(*)Technically, the English translation of it.


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This is Taldor, folks. Petting a Duke's poodle will get you a noble title. So would a hefty bag of platinum pieces handed to a well-connected barrister or higher ranking noble upon one's daddy's death, among many other ways.

The plot of the AP is about where the Crown will land.

It's a REALLY FUN AP btw, so I'd advice less debatin' and more playin' for those who are still on the fence of trying this one! :)

Dark Archive

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It's a good Ap but there does seem to be either a bit of contradiction and/or confusion over one or two things. One of my own players brought it up when it seemed his longtime character (Used in various things for 5+ years) Couldent actually be in charge of there own barony because of the wording of some things in this and in the players guide where as in previous material it seemed to be okay.


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Cintra Bristol wrote:

Personally, I read that third quote differently:

"Taldor’s ancient law that decrees only male heirs may inherit their families’ titles, lands, and the authority that comes with both." Frasier, Player's Guide, p. 4.

The way I read this, strict (male) primogeniture was the ancient law. So my interpretation is that over time, Taldor has removed this restriction for a variety of aspects of inheritance - property, lesser titles, etc. Currently, the royal succession is the only place remaining where this law is still strictly upheld. (It may still remain a preference, or the custom within specific families.)

I don't think that was the intended interpretation for that sentence, but it solves enough problems that it works for me. The rest of your theory checks out against multiple sources though, including "Birthright Betrayed", one of the scenarios that ties into the AP.

Birthright Betrayed:
Gloriana Morilla picks up where Muesello left off. “Taldor has many great legacies, but there are some traditions better left in the past. The practice of primogeniture dictates that Taldor's crown only passes to male heirs, yet the laws have been amended over time to allow women to inherit land and titles in some circumstances.

So my own interpretation is close to your own. Taldan Primogentiture dictated a complete ban on women inheriting noble lands or titles, but over time practice and admendments have weakened it, except in the case of the crown. But all of those exceptions are still based on Taldan Primogentiture being the default, however little that "default" is actually applied. Eliminating Primogentiture would eliminate that entire body of laws, I'm guessing, not just those that apply to the crown.

Of course, all of that is speculation and my own hazy guesswork.


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Pretty good guesswork, imo.


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So far, I think this AP is shaping up to be pretty darned awesome. However, I agree with some of the complaints... up to a point. I definitely think the issue being voted on and the issue of gender in Taldor could have been better presented. This is the one area where I feel as a DM I will need to do a little up-front work to make things clearer. Some of the material in the first module and the player's guide dwells on gender a little too much as compared to the reality of where Taldor actually currently is with the issue. Only players that are more well-read and/or own some Taldor focused products would see these contradictions, and the player's guide does not help. My only example is my own group, who created an all-female party for the AP. This AP may require a bit of work (a given going in with political focus) but I so far, the first two installments have convinced me it'll be worth it.

Grand Lodge

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I do want to intrject here. Interesting discussion, but a few small notes.

1. I wish to defend the OP’s use of surnames (which seems a strange Ad Hominum argument anyway). In academia, citing sources frequently demands using surnames. I’ve been in situations when presenting or writing a paper and have had to cite the sources of the person the paper was addressed to, and had to maintain the requisite formality throughout, as silly as that sounds (hell, it’s not half so awkward as when you have to cite yourself, which you actually do have to do, and it makes you feel like some big egotistical weirdo)

2. I think that the degree of hostility is measured, and I am uncertain anything written here necessitates tone policing per se. but that’s just imo

3. I think the OP makes a good point that this contradiction does seem more a bizarre pattern of behavior than just single incidences which can be handwaved. Taldor is, for example, a tradition-minded military state, but yet has a female general? If it were as severally sexist as it claims, this would be unusual to be sure. Now, I must respectfully disagree with the OP that this constitutes a game-breaking revelation. I still think that, qs many others supposed, this could be symptomatic of a social trend that Eutropia’s crusade intends to push to legitimacy (like how MLK pushed the civil rights movement) through her Senate vote. That would explain why there’s still a pervasive culture of sexism and yet some women thrive. And perhaps Eutropia is using this as her most oressing issue, a sort of rallying cry that symbolizes greater reform, such as the promised reforms of Bernie Sanders being encapsulated in “tax the rich.” Also, even Stavian appoijting women can be explained with a.) his vasillating mood, b.) political snubs or bargains, c.) unlike Eutropia, he never percieves them as threats

4. Yeah females is a bit dehumanizing. Though this does raise a super off topic question of mine: is a female Halfling also called a woman? Woman and Man are designations for human females and males, respectively (tolkien took special care to call
Humans “men”, etc.) i wonder if they have their own term? I’m honestly iust curious at this point


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As always, I recommend a healthy dose of "PLAY THE GAME ALREADY!" or as some locals here in the Hammer would so eloquently say, "Jusss play the f!@*in' game!"

Y'all overthinkin' this. I a big fan of Taldor and this AP does it justice. There's no other nation in Golarion that comes close! :)


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GM PDK wrote:

As always, I recommend a healthy dose of "PLAY THE GAME ALREADY!" or as some locals here in the Hammer would so eloquently say, "Jusss play the f&&@in' game!"

Y'all overthinkin' this. I a big fan of Taldor and this AP does it justice. There's no other nation in Golarion that comes close! :)

Debating minutiae on the forums isn’t antithetical to “just playing the game” at the table. Part of what I like about posting here is that people care enough to read the background material (plus they do work for me as AnimatedPaper did above in digging out some more obscure clues which pretty much solve the puzzle). I like talking with people who care about the setting as much or more than I do.

Sadly, every campaign I’ve run since 2009 or so has been in Golarion, regardless of module or game system. My players still refer to Cheliax as “that devil place” and don’t know the names of any god other than Asmodeus (even those that have played clerics!) They didn’t recognise the name Sandpoint and had to be reminded of Korvosa (despite having played both RotRL and CotCT).


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If you've been playing with these guys since 2009 and they don't know the names of any god other than Asmodeus...

...

...

well, I th...

.... ...... ....

Nope, got nuthin'


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Yeah, it makes me glum sometimes (I've been playing with them since 1979 - it's just Golarion which began in 2009). I've bought each of them a copy of the Inner Sea Primer. Even then, it's pretty standard for PCs to arrive at session one unable to answer the question "Where are you from?" :/

They're just not that into it, unfortunately. The cleric of Abadar who didn't remember the name or even the area of interest of their god was a standout. It doesn't really matter (they like the tactical side of things, the character development and some of the story) it's just they miss a lot of the 'big picture' stuff which is disappointing sometimes.

Silver Crusade

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Steve Geddes wrote:
GM PDK wrote:

As always, I recommend a healthy dose of "PLAY THE GAME ALREADY!" or as some locals here in the Hammer would so eloquently say, "Jusss play the f&&@in' game!"

Y'all overthinkin' this. I a big fan of Taldor and this AP does it justice. There's no other nation in Golarion that comes close! :)

Debating minutiae on the forums isn’t antithetical to “just playing the game” at the table. Part of what I like about posting here is that people care enough to read the background material (plus they do work for me as AnimatedPaper did above in digging out some more obscure clues which pretty much solve the puzzle). I like talking with people who care about the setting as much or more than I do.

Sadly, every campaign I’ve run since 2009 or so has been in Golarion, regardless of module or game system. My players still refer to Cheliax as “that devil place” and don’t know the names of any god other than Asmodeus (even those that have played clerics!) They didn’t recognise the name Sandpoint and had to be reminded of Korvosa (despite having played both RotRL and CotCT).

Steve, honey, hate to break it in for ya, but one of the ugly truths of GM'ing is that players don't care about the setting. You give them as much setting info that they really *need* for sake of the game at hand and never expect them to explore more.

Some 10-20% of players dig the setting, and usually those are the OCD/invested people who end running around forums asking devs about obscure setting details and pointing out the slightest inconsistencies/"not realistic" elements of the setting. You can imagine what happens with those people at gaming table.

By the way, that's why I use pre-made settings, because if I were to spend a chunk of my life designing Gorbaczlandia only to see those unwashed peons ... I mean, my beloved players ignore most of it and toss away my brilliantly designed half-angel half-demon empyreal lord of sexual intercourse with plants and fungi ... I'd be miffed.


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Thanks for that image...

Silver Crusade

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Steve Geddes wrote:
Sadly, every campaign I’ve run since 2009 or so has been in Golarion, regardless of module or game system. My players still refer to Cheliax as “that devil place” and don’t know the names of any god other than Asmodeus (even those that have played clerics!) They didn’t recognise the name Sandpoint and had to be reminded of Korvosa (despite having played both RotRL and CotCT).

Lords have mercy. Don't get me wrong, I understand not being terribly brushed up on the material or forgetting the odd deity, and Gorbacz is right that it's not wrongbadfun that some players just enjoy the game(s) as you go...but I think that's probably my own personal DMing hell. Running for tables that don't absorb basic facts about the world I'm trying to conjure for their amusement. *shudder* (also, that mental image. Gorbacz. why.)

But back on-topic: I do believe that, at least for some of us, the old adage of "It's the little things that make the difference" applies. Knowing how to answer questions from prospective players about the political structure of Taldor (in a Political AP about Taldor) seems pretty relevant. Personally I'm of the opinion that the generic use of male-first primogentiture in Taldor isn't nearly as prevalent as it was in ancient legislation, and throughout time the bias towards women in positions of power has not only waned, but ultimately dissolved in favour of other political goals. The last bastion of this law, as it stands, appears to be with the Crown itself; a notion that is iconic, representative of Taldor's state of stubbornness and stagnation, and a perfect example of a fundamental change in Taldor's history should Eutropia succeed in her attempts to inherit the throne.

Now I'm not saying there isn't a lot of Telling and not enough Showing in WftC and Taldor regarding this apparently widespread bias (and honestly, I'm a player who really is only hearing this second-hand from my DM and the parts of the AP he's permitted us to peruse, plus both of Taldor's supplemental books)—but maybe this is one of those things that Paizo didn't feel necessary to beat us over the head with, much like Eutropia's political plans, for the sake of tailoring to individual tastes. I dunno. I'm not a developer. Just a lore-hound throwing my two copper into the pond.

As far as I'm aware or concerned, my DM is intending to push the notion of Taldor's continued decline to the forefront, with the idea that Taldan Primogentiture is simply the best example of an outdated, out-of-touch concept that has no place in the Inner Sea's future, much less that of Taldor alone. And that, at least for most purposes, should suit our table just fine.


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Hourai wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Sadly, every campaign I’ve run since 2009 or so has been in Golarion, regardless of module or game system. My players still refer to Cheliax as “that devil place” and don’t know the names of any god other than Asmodeus (even those that have played clerics!) They didn’t recognise the name Sandpoint and had to be reminded of Korvosa (despite having played both RotRL and CotCT).
Lords have mercy. Don't get me wrong, I understand not being terribly brushed up on the material or forgetting the odd deity, and Gorbacz is right that it's not wrongbadfun that some players just enjoy the game(s) as you go...but I think that's probably my own personal DMing hell. Running for tables that don't absorb basic facts about the world I'm trying to conjure for their amusement.

Could be worse. Imagine having to live with people who refuse to absorb basic facts about the world that you and they already live in . . .

Hourai wrote:
*shudder* (also, that mental image. Gorbacz. why.)

Must be getting really desperate to get the players to pay attention to the setting . . . .

Hourai wrote:

But back on-topic: I do believe that, at least for some of us, the old adage of "It's the little things that make the difference" applies. Knowing how to answer questions from prospective players about the political structure of Taldor (in a Political AP about Taldor) seems pretty relevant. Personally I'm of the opinion that the generic use of male-first primogentiture in Taldor isn't nearly as prevalent as it was in ancient legislation, and throughout time the bias towards women in positions of power has not only waned, but ultimately dissolved in favour of other political goals. The last bastion of this law, as it stands, appears to be with the Crown itself; a notion that is iconic, representative of Taldor's state of stubbornness and stagnation, and a perfect example of a fundamental change in Taldor's history should Eutropia succeed in her attempts to inherit the throne.

{. . .}

This certainly makes sense. Although it could get hazy if people in Taldor refuse to absorb basic facts about the world that they already live in . . . .

Silver Crusade

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UnArcaneElection wrote:
...people who refuse to absorb basic facts about the world that you and they already live in . . .

...People to whom I certainly wouldn't advocate playing The AP of Fantasy Politics with.


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I got luck that a good number of my players have a pretty good memory or are themselves invested in the setting and game. I think I could quizz them about Iomedae and Saranrae and they'd know who's who. :p


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I've re-read everything on Taldor that I have (Campaign Setting, Echoes of Glory, Inner Sea Setting, Inner Sea Races, and First Empire).

If gender equality were a problem in Taldor the way that Crownfall describes, you'd think it would be mentioned at least somewhere else in a significant way. According to Crownfall and the Player's Guide, it is Eutropia's main platform for reform. Eutropia's succession issue is mentioned in four different books. But all we get is the line in the description of Taldans (both Campaign Setting and Inner Sea Setting, but not, interestingly, Inner Sea Races) about men displaying excessive machismo.

I still maintain the oddest thing about this whole situation is that until First Empire we basically had no women in positions of power in Taldor other than Eutropia. If they wanted to make War For the Crown about gender inequality, why create so many powerful female nobles and generals? It just makes no sense.

That being said, I will make one concession a little clearer. It's possible to get a good deal of very interesting information out of Crownfall even if you find this contradiction extremely off-putting. Just don't read Harris's strange introduction, and ignore a few sentences from Hillman in the initial setup. That means I'm sure it's possible to play the AP (which wasn't really why I bought it) and ignore it too.

Thanks all for the great points.


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The Drunken Dragon wrote:
4. Yeah females is a bit dehumanizing. Though this does raise a super off topic question of mine: is a female Halfling also called a woman? Woman and Man are designations...

This is the issue I've always had with describing characters while DM'ing. It's why in fantasy and sci-fi settings I've always used "female" and "male" as nouns. As I said earlier, it's what is used in NPC stat blocks, whether you are playing D&D, Star Wars, Pathfinder, or whatever.


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It's not like Taldor as a whole has gotten a hell of a lot of press...

Nor is it unheard of for Taldor (among other things) to get smacked, hard, with the retcon-hammer.

Sarenrae ban? Dialed back into a recent historical curio.

The whole "bearded" thing? All but consigned to oblivion as a distant historical curio.

Rondelero Falcata-swinging? Well, it's a thing, I guess, but seems a bit odd given the relative scarcity of NPCs who actually do it...

Sovereign Court

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"Master Deschain, my standards are high, and I'm not going to teach my most deadly moves to undeserving poseurs!"


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Cole Deschain wrote:
Nor is it unheard of for Taldor (among other things) to get smacked, hard, with the retcon-hammer.

Exactly. I mentioned the bearded and Sarenrae First Empire retcons a while ago. They had no problem tweaking Taldor for the book that supposedly set the stage for War for the Crown. But it doesn't mention anything like what Crownfall is talking about.

I also had someone point out that Taldor's politics come up just a bit in the Half Dead City adventure (Mummy's Mask). A Taldoran woman (NPC) seeks glory in Osiron to return to Taldor to restore the empire. Again, none of the empire's gender inequality is remotely mentioned in her bio.

It's just bizarre.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

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jscott991 wrote:

I also had someone point out that Taldor's politics come up just a bit in the Half Dead City adventure (Mummy's Mask). A Taldoran woman (NPC) seeks glory in Osiron to return to Taldor to restore the empire. Again, none of the empire's gender inequality is remotely mentioned in her bio.

It's just bizarre.

Mummy's Mask came out in 2014. We can gather from the announcement blog post that Crystal Frasier didn't begin to solidly work on War for the Crown until after Ironfang Invasion in 2016-2017.

Your expectations for a different authour to guess at gender politics being a thing two years hence in a different AP might be a little bit unreasonable.

As a side note, current Taldor politics don't preclude said Taldan from finding glory in Osirion and returning to her homeland. You could easily play it up: it's easier for her to leave the corrupt system and find glory/power/prestige elsewhere than it is for her to profit within it.

Scarab Sages

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jscott991 wrote:

I also had someone point out that Taldor's politics come up just a bit in the Half Dead City adventure (Mummy's Mask). A Taldoran woman (NPC) seeks glory in Osiron to return to Taldor to restore the empire. Again, none of the empire's gender inequality is remotely mentioned in her bio.

It's just bizarre.

It does come up. From the bio of Velriana Hypaxes: "Power is not given, but taken—by those with the strength and resolve to do so, regardless of gender or background. This was a completely different outlook from how Velriana was raised,..."

But it doesn't need to mention it. Adding new information in an AP is typical for all of them. Earlier materials don't have to telegraph the gender information given in the AP everywhere and all the time to avoid contradiction. The AP doesn't contradict what little is said earlier.

More women holding titles or military ranks than you think appropriate based on your interpretation of the information in the AP isn't a contradiction. It's just something you don't like.


Also, keep in mind that if Taldor were sexist in the extreme, it could have still put significant number of women in positions of power, intended to be equivalent to Aunts in The Handmaid's Tale on Earth (and equivalent to Erinyes in Hell connected to Golarion), although I get the strong impression that if this was the intention, it may be in the process of backfiring spectacularly . . . .

Dark Archive

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My players are good at learning about setting without getting into nitpicky(they seem to be in category of "Huh, neat. Maybe I'll use that somewhere later on when creating character" or "I get that reference!" but not caring enough to be annoyed if accuracy isn't perfect.*), so its definitely group based.

So moral of the story: If yer players don't like yer gm style, get new players :D (and run something else for the old ones)

(granted I only run games on roll20 and I got great group that fits my style on first campaign I run(though half of the players changed during campaign so I got my current regular group after two books of RotR), so uh, I might not be best one to give that advice)

Jokes aside, I do think you are focusing too much on this. I mean, I don't remember Crownfall or Songbird, Scion, Saboteur focusing on singular subject as much as you do, they are more focused on intrigue, spy action and general reforming and improving lives of people stuff. And all things you mentioned were in sections only GMs read anyway.

I do admit though that its bit confusing you have to read Pathfinder Society Scenario to get better idea about history of primogeniture law

*(Though, I'm the guy who insist on reading up as much material as possible, so wouldn't be issue for me if players were nitpicky <_< And pathfinder doesn't actually provide details on everything, I had debate with my Kingmaker GM who is one of my regular players about what happens when troll is set on fire were I realized none of the books actually say what happens, so me and him and different idea of what happens)


jscott991 wrote:


They created numerous, interesting female NPCs in First Empire that held positions of extreme power in Taldor (grand duchesses and generals in particular), and then focused their Adventure Path on the fact that women in Taldor are denied political power.

It may be as simple as this. Paizo, as a company, has a guideline (stated on these forums by James Jacobs and others) to try to include groups of people in their products that they see as minorities in the real life gaming community and/or have not traditionally been included as important characters in gaming previously. So their products include women, people of color, non-heterosexual people, trans-gender, and others, as important characters that the PC will interact with.

Now they have made an AP that makes sexist Taldor one of the themes of the AP and this sexism one of the things to fight against. But the previous lore depicted many powerful people in the nation as women, as Paizo does as part of the above mentioned guideline, and this lore would then have to be retconned to describe a truly misogynistic nation. Which I agree creates a bit of a conundrum. The explanation of the Taldorian female leaders being exceptions to the rule, as proposed in this thread, halts a bit IMO. If I'll run this AP and decide to go for this theme I will instead retcon the old books and scratch the female power figures in Taldor. It's a misogynist country, ergo there are no women holding power, and that is one of the things the players can potentially change.


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Razcar wrote:
It's a misogynist country, ergo there are no women holding power, and that is one of the things the players can potentially change.

I think this assumption that a misogynistic society -> no women in positions of power is an unnecessary simplification. By excising women from positions of power you risk an excellent chance of displaying this aspect of the stagnant Taldor the players are working to change - namely in the differences with which women exercising authority are viewed by the conservative members of Taldan society. As mentioned a number of times above, the real world is replete with sexist countries with women in positions of power. The implication that "sexism means there's no women nobility" is a pretty simplistic view (granted it will make the main thrust of the AP abundantly clear, nonetheless in a political machination campaign, perhaps there's room for some nuance?)

The quote AnimatedPaper found above resolves the issue of what primogeniture actually constitutes in Taldor and what it used to be. There isn't any need to rewrite the setting material - like the real world, Taldor is a complicated place. There are no doubt people who will bow and say "Yes, your Grace" when she's in the room, followed by "How far have we fallen? Taking instructions from a mere girl!" when she leaves.


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I wish people would use the correct terminology! What you have in Taldor, according to Crystal Fraser, is strict SALIC LAW, whereby a woman can never inherit lands or titles in any form at any time. Considering that the First Prince is a paranoid Misogynist it seems highly unlikely that there would be so many women in Taldor in positions of power if strict Salic Law was applied. What the Senate was debating in the first part of the AP, was in fact the move from strict Salic Law to Primogeniture!


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aiglos wrote:
I wish people would use the correct terminology! What you have in Taldor, according to Crystal Fraser, is strict SALIC LAW, whereby a woman can never inherit lands or titles in any form at any time. Considering that the First Prince is a paranoid Misogynist it seems highly unlikely that there would be so many women in Taldor in positions of power if strict Salic Law was applied. What the Senate was debating in the first part of the AP, was in fact the move from strict Salic Law to Primogeniture!

"The Taldan law of Primogeniture" is not primogeniture as it exists in the real world:

Thurston Hillman wrote:

The use of the word "primogeniture" in context of this adventure (and basically the whole AP) is in reference to a specific Taldan law that shares the same name. The first reference of primogeniture within the adventure states: "...to vote down the ancient _law_ of primogeniture."

Primogeniture in this context not about some Earth equivalent word or some established set of rules that was once followed on Earth and magically ported over into Golarion; this use of the word is specifically addressing an ancient law that the _fictional nation of Taldor_ has followed for a long time. Yes, the word has contextual history and meaning in our world, but to the people of Taldor (again, a fictional nation) this is the name they chose for a law that determines their succession of nobility and how it works. Much like the application of real world primogeniture, of which there are numerous variants (as per, funnily enough, the Wikipedia article.) Taldor has its own application of the word and an associated meaning. In this case, primogeniture is a law that's become tradition that was established in their early politics. The Senate's involvement in its repeal is the direct result of it being a Taldan law that requires the Senate to overrule it.

Also, as per AnimatedPaper's find above:

"The practice of primogeniture dictates that Taldor's crown only passes to male heirs, yet the laws have been amended over time to allow women to inherit land and titles in some circumstances."

The point being that the original law is not strictly applied any more. Over the years it has been progressively loosened, but that loosening to the title of Emperor is a bridge too far for some.

Dark Archive

Yeah, I don't think Crownfall claims that women can't have power in Taldor, just that they can't be emperor. I mean, Malphene Trent has recently transitioned, yet she and her family care more about political power gained from allying with traditionalists than whether primogeniture is overturned. Countess Pace is going to flip flop to whichever side she thinks she will win. If the women couldn't hold position in powers in Taldor, wouldn't they gain more political power by allying with the Princess?

So yeah, I don't think Crownfall contradicts Taldor, the First Empire. Though I guess player's guide might be bit inaccurate due to being late if I understood right that it claims differently?


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Steve Geddes wrote:
I think this assumption that a misogynistic society -> no women in positions of power is an unnecessary simplification. By excising women from positions of power you risk an excellent chance of displaying this aspect of the stagnant Taldor the players are working to change - namely in the differences with which women exercising authority are viewed by the conservative members of Taldan society. As mentioned a number of times above, the real world is replete with sexist countries with women in positions of power. The implication that "sexism means there's no women nobility" is a pretty simplistic view (granted it will make the main thrust of the AP abundantly clear, nonetheless in a political machination campaign, perhaps there's room for some nuance?)

Well, I wouldn't present women as slaves skulking in the background in this retcon, but rather cut down on the number of female leaders the Taldor books describe. But that's a great angle you suggest that the GM can use to establish this conflict. It can however be done with Eutropia herself. While nuance and subtlety is great, I think my players would end up asking "Hey, where's the problem here really?" after I paraded the umpteenth female general in front of them bemoaning the state of equality. I think this injustice, if used, needs to be made quite stark. I fear nuance here would fall flat for us - Golarion is a world with absolute evil around every corner after all, so there's a lot of battles to be fought, and killing in the name of subtle workplace inequality might not cut it for my group. But all groups are of course different.

Dark Archive

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The whole campaign and goal of it isn't just to have true gender equality, its to reform Taldor in general <_<


CorvusMask wrote:
The whole campaign and goal of it isn't just to have true gender equality, its to reform Taldor in general <_<

No, but it is one of the possible conflicts, and more importantly, it's what this thread is about.

To be clear, I think this theme is a good one to use in an AP, but it needs a solid foundation. Rather than the AP being "wrong" here, as the OP seems to suggest, I think the previous Taldor books were, since they make this good theme a little weaker.


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CorvusMask wrote:
The whole campaign and goal of it isn't just to have true gender equality, its to reform Taldor in general <_<

It's the main point in Crownfall and the Player's Guide. As I pointed out earlier, it's such a major part that in the player's guide writeup of Eutropia, they talk about how to change the princess's focus to other issues if that resonates better with your group of players.

I've enjoyed some of this discussion and I appreciate everyone's thoughtful replies.

I think the most reasonable interpretation of all the source material is that War for the Crown and Crownfall contradict the the prior setting material, particularly First Empire. First Empire goes out of its way to introduce significant, politically powerful women. It includes a section on Taldor's government. It mentions the law that bars Eutropia from succeeding. If gender inequality was tearing the nation apart or if gender inequality was the issue that was driving Eutropia's base of support (and disenfranchised women are not mentioned even once as a source of Eutropia's support; in fact, bastard nobles are singled out), it would have been mentioned in First Empire.

Crownfall's presentation of Taldor is a retcon, just like the bearded and Sarenrae banning in First Empire.

I'm sure others will continue to say that you can contort the earlier material to make Crownfall work, but, honestly, the strained explanations and the excuses made for lack of editing in the Player's Guide, seem like they help make my point.

Dark Archive

Its not the main point in second book and its not main point in first book either. Its mentioned one or two times in background related stuff, but there are at least two women in power possibly working against it for power. And like I said, if Crownfall was focusing heavily on gender equality as main point of it, Malphene Trent would have no reason to bully senator to vote against Princess.

It makes it clear its about whether Princess can become heir to the throne or not and then make her own further reforms. Gender equality is part of it, but not the whole point. Like I said, perhaps Player's Guide says it differently, but not Crownfall besides maybe one or two sentences you picked out.

Liberty's Edge

Well...not sure if this will be interesting or get me looked at weird.

My wife loves modern Rom/com's and wondered why I didn't like them, I asked her to gender flip every character and keep the movie script primarily as is. She started flinching a lot more about them and found my view to be alright that I didn't like them.

If you think the AP is more about gender politics you could if you wish, gender flip the AP's NPC's and see if that changes the views of the AP as a whole and if it does, then you could be onto something if it seems to favor one gender over the other.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
"The Taldan law of Primogeniture" is not primogeniture as it exists in the real world

The Hillman quote is unfortunate and I don't think you should rely on it. It establishes a precedent that when Paizo writes things in English the words don't necessarily mean what they mean in English. No one in Taldor says "primogeniture", they say something in Taldan which Paizo translated as primogeniture. If an AP says a character is sitting alone in a room and later in the scene their lover is mentioned as present it doesn't fill the plot hole to claim "oh, in Golarion, "alone" means "by yourself or with your lover because they're just that close, isn't that sweet?"

When Eutropia claims the throne by virtue of being the eldest legitimate child of the previous ruler, she is *invoking* primogeniture, not abolishing it. Make up a proper name "The law of Agalznat!" use a generic term "the statute of succession" or be explicit "In Taldor inheritance follows these three rules..." but don't use a word that doesn't mean what you want. When people use the wrong words their readers are left unclear of what they intend.

Quote:

Also, as per AnimatedPaper's find above:

"The practice of primogeniture dictates that Taldor's crown only passes to male heirs, yet the laws have been amended over time to allow women to inherit land and titles in some circumstances."

That quote comes from a PFS scenario written by a different author and contradicts the Player's Guide to written by the AP's developer. Fraiser wrote
Quote:
"While any Taldan can own property or hold a title via promotion, marriage, or appointment, the law of primogeniture dictates that only men can inherit".

It seems infinitely more likely to me that there isn't good in house communication between different authors than that Paizo hid the explanation of apparent contradictions in a PFS scenario.


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Ring_of_Gyges wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
"The Taldan law of Primogeniture" is not primogeniture as it exists in the real world

The Hillman quote is unfortunate and I don't think you should rely on it. It establishes a precedent that when Paizo writes things in English the words don't necessarily mean what they mean in English. No one in Taldor says "primogeniture", they say something in Taldan which Paizo translated as primogeniture. If an AP says a character is sitting alone in a room and later in the scene their lover is mentioned as present it doesn't fill the plot hole to claim "oh, in Golarion, "alone" means "by yourself or with your lover because they're just that close, isn't that sweet?"

When Eutropia claims the throne by virtue of being the eldest legitimate child of the previous ruler, she is *invoking* primogeniture, not abolishing it. Make up a proper name "The law of Agalznat!" use a generic term "the statute of succession" or be explicit "In Taldor inheritance follows these three rules..." but don't use a word that doesn't mean what you want. When people use the wrong words their readers are left unclear of what they intend.

I’m relying on Thursty’s quote (and Crystal’s immediately afterwards) to determine their intent. Nothing more.

You may well disagree with the approach taken. It doesn’t change the fact that it was a deliberate, considered choice. They didn’t use the wrong word - they used a word you think they shouldn’t have.

Not liking a decision is fine. The only distinction I’m making is that people who disagree with the choice haven’t found an error - they’ve found a point of creative difference with the author/developer.


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Ring_of_Gyges wrote:
It seems infinitely more likely to me that there isn't good in house communication between different authors than that Paizo hid the explanation of apparent contradictions in a PFS scenario.

im not saying everything written was deliberately crafted and prethought out. I think that line in the players guide is the error. That PFS quote is the interpretation which accounts for all the supposed contradictions in canon that people seem to find so glaring. The only retcon you need is to amend the Player Guide quote - no need to replace a whole bunch of NPCs from the campaign guide and the AP, as some have suggested doing.

Players Guides are tools to help players get into the first bit of the AP. I think people are over reading that one sentence as some kind of gospel. I suspect they have considerably less resources put into them than other books - if they contradict the more heavily edited and developed material, it’s obvious to me which one should be discarded.

Further, I think removing women from powerful positions reduces a Taldor to the cartoony, caricature it has always risked being.

I find the whole: “well this is a sexist society, so obviously there’d be no women in positions of power” take to be peculiar. Women manage to rise to such positions in the real world despite the barriers. To me, running this AP without that richness would make the result of vote perplexing and break the “realism vibe” far more than discounting one sentence in the players guide.


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I think Crownfall reduces Taldor to a cartoon. And I think War for the Crown will make General Pythareus into a mustache twirling caricature that he was never presented as before.

There was a lot of subtly and richness in Taldor as presented since the beginning of the line and through First Empire (it's my favorite Golarion nation by far). That complexity is completely stripped out when you transform it into a sexist, misogynist society that is so backward it treats women like chattel. Except of course, all the women who are grand duchesses . . . or generals . . . or senators . . . or prominent adventurers . . . .

Ring of Gyges is on to something. Some wires got crossed somewhere between the writing of First Empire and the writing of Crownfall. I have theories, but I find the entire thing very odd.


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jscott991 wrote:
There was a lot of subtly and richness in Taldor as presented since the beginning of the line

Not at all the impression I got. Clearly, your mileage varied.


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It's not for everyone.

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jscott991 wrote:
And I think War for the Crown will make General Pythareus into a mustache twirling caricature that he was never presented as before.

Well, he seems to be doing alright so far. Book one paints him as a traditionalist, if a bit of a warmonger. Not at all misogynistic. His alignment is LN, not even Evil. Doesn't twirl his mustache at all.

jscott991 wrote:
That complexity is completely stripped out when you transform it into a sexist, misogynist society that is so backward it treats women like chattel.

I fail to see where this Taldor exists. There's certainly no evidence for it in the AP as of book two.


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captain yesterday wrote:
It's not for everyone.

This is the key point for me. Any creative work is heavily dependant on the audience. Not liking something doesn’t need justification. Use what you like and ignore the rest.

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