Cheliax ignored in the CRB?


General Discussion


Not a single mention, and Chelish is no longer an ethnicity but... Nidalese is? Chelish people were PRETTTY distinct from Taldans, so I hope they're not just mashing them. Nitpicky but annoying. I find the lack of setting information in the CRB to be a bit sad actually. Makes it hard for new people to get into their PC for the adventure path if they don't have the setting books.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I noticed that as well, and wondered what that might mean.


Cheliax is just a myth. There's never been a House Thrune. There is no Abrogail II of House Thrune, Queen of Cheliax, Empress of the Chelaxian Empire and it's holdings, the Thrice Damned, long may she reign.
- Reeducation Bureau

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well, maybe the official Hell's Rebels ended a wee bit more successfully for Silver Ravens ;-)


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Well, maybe the official Hell's Rebels ended a wee bit more successfully for Silver Ravens ;-)

With genocide against the Chelaxian ethnicity?


From every place they exist. Everywhere. Asmodeus just swooped away with them all.


Diabolical Cheliax is mentioned under the Grey Maiden archetype, for the Erinyes Company. They're still around.


I know they exist, it's just strange they're not an ethnicity.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Agreed. One of my character concepts was a Galtan scion of a noble house in exile. I intended to use the Chelaxian ethnicity, but I suppose I can just use Taldan.

Hopefully they'll return in the CRB and this is mostly just to condense that section.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Maybe they decided that the difference between Chelaxians and Taldans was less than Chelish propaganda would lead one to believe. Even in PF1, the only difference was that Chelaxians had some Ulfen ancestry added to the Taldan mix.


Going to run a on the fly conversion of Curse of The Crimson Throne for my playtest game, And I have a player wanting to play a Chelaxian Wizard. Would greatly appreciate some info on what to tell that player.

Option A: Chelaxian is left out of the playtest and coming with 2e
Option B: Chelaxian is now rolled into Taldan
Option C: ?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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This is a correction we're looking to make that is in many ways long overdue to the world.

Ethnically, Chelaxians are identical to Taldans and really always have been; they've been traditionally treated as their own ethnicity mostly due to the fact that their government is diabolic, which is a weird reason to do that. Especially since that didn't hold true for the nation pre-Age of Lost Omens. (Note that they don't even have their own ethnic language.) So with the new edition, we're adjusting that to include them under the umbrella of the Taldan ethnicity.

And the Nidalesse have been the "forgotten" ethnicity for a LONG time. There were people living in Nidal LONG before Cheliax or even Taldor was a thing, and they were not Varisian or Kellid or Shoanti (the other human ethnicities that were widespread in Avistan before Earthfall), nor were they Azlanti/Thassilonian. They were their own ethnicity, but it was never really clear what ethnicity that was—like smaller groups like the Erutaki or Ekujae or Jadwiga, the ethnicity kind of got glossed over. But as time has rolled on, Nidal has become more and more central to stuff we're doing in the setting, and so the edition change felt like a good place to make that official.

Alas, space constraints left us with pretty much ZERO room to talk about this in the playtest itself, and it's a relatively minor thing in the context of playtesting so it sorta fell through the cracks and didn't get explained publicly until here. Sorry for the confusion in any event!

FURTHERMORE: This isn't a rules change, but it IS a playtest change... so just as with the more significant rules changes, please don't hesitate to let us know what you think of the above reasoning.

Thanks again, all!


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James Jacobs wrote:

This is a correction we're looking to make that is in many ways long overdue to the world.

Ethnically, Chelaxians are identical to Taldans and really always have been; they've been traditionally treated as their own ethnicity mostly due to the fact that their government is diabolic, which is a weird reason to do that. Especially since that didn't hold true for the nation pre-Age of Lost Omens. (Note that they don't even have their own ethnic language.) So with the new edition, we're adjusting that to include them under the umbrella of the Taldan ethnicity.

And the Nidalesse have been the "forgotten" ethnicity for a LONG time. There were people living in Nidal LONG before Cheliax or even Taldor was a thing, and they were not Varisian or Kellid or Shoanti (the other human ethnicities that were widespread in Avistan before Earthfall), nor were they Azlanti/Thassilonian. They were their own ethnicity, but it was never really clear what ethnicity that was—like smaller groups like the Erutaki or Ekujae or Jadwiga, the ethnicity kind of got glossed over. But as time has rolled on, Nidal has become more and more central to stuff we're doing in the setting, and so the edition change felt like a good place to make that official.

I'm quite happy with rolling them into Taldan

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Virellius wrote:
I find the lack of setting information in the CRB to be a bit sad actually.

We definitely want feedback on whether people think there's not enough, or too much, or just enough. (Admittedly, adding a LOT more would be challenging, as we can't let this become a 600-page book.)


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Makes sense, thanks for explaining.

Liberty's Edge

Hmm, I am okay with this change. I think that it should be noted that in Cheliax and Andoran, there is some admixture with other ethnicities such as Ulfen and Kellid.


Vic Wertz wrote:
Virellius wrote:
I find the lack of setting information in the CRB to be a bit sad actually.
We definitely want feedback on whether people think there's not enough, or too much, or just enough. (Admittedly, adding a LOT more would be challenging, as we can't let this become a 600-page book.)

While I would like more setting stuff in general...I also don't want my CRB to destroy itself from size.....looks over to raggedy falling about PF1 book.

In general what matters to me more is how early into 2e we get a new Inner Sea World Guide, and more content like that.

That said, unless its in there and i'm not seeing it, i'm sad that there is no Earthbreaker weapon

Liberty's Edge

James Jacobs wrote:

This is a correction we're looking to make that is in many ways long overdue to the world.

Ethnically, Chelaxians are identical to Taldans and really always have been; they've been traditionally treated as their own ethnicity mostly due to the fact that their government is diabolic, which is a weird reason to do that. Especially since that didn't hold true for the nation pre-Age of Lost Omens. (Note that they don't even have their own ethnic language.) So with the new edition, we're adjusting that to include them under the umbrella of the Taldan ethnicity.

And the Nidalesse have been the "forgotten" ethnicity for a LONG time. There were people living in Nidal LONG before Cheliax or even Taldor was a thing, and they were not Varisian or Kellid or Shoanti (the other human ethnicities that were widespread in Avistan before Earthfall), nor were they Azlanti/Thassilonian. They were their own ethnicity, but it was never really clear what ethnicity that was—like smaller groups like the Erutaki or Ekujae or Jadwiga, the ethnicity kind of got glossed over. But as time has rolled on, Nidal has become more and more central to stuff we're doing in the setting, and so the edition change felt like a good place to make that official.

Alas, space constraints left us with pretty much ZERO room to talk about this in the playtest itself, and it's a relatively minor thing in the context of playtesting so it sorta fell through the cracks and didn't get explained publicly until here. Sorry for the confusion in any event!

FURTHERMORE: This isn't a rules change, but it IS a playtest change... so just as with the more significant rules changes, please don't hesitate to let us know what you think of the above reasoning.

Thanks again, all!

This is... weird. Aren't Chelaxians supposed to be the result of Azlanti and Ulfen intermingling, while the Taldane had Azlanti and Keleshite blood?


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I guess they all blended into one over the millennia of all of them living together in Taldor.

Dark Archive

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Considering that both of them have Azlanti blood, maybe they just figured out they aren't enough different from each other

Plus as I heard in local pfs scene, artist never remember that Taldans are supposed to look Mediterranean so having Taldan include Cheliaxian gives them pass for making them pale :p

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Paladinosaur wrote:
This is... weird. Aren't Chelaxians supposed to be the result of Azlanti and Ulfen intermingling, while the Taldane had Azlanti and Keleshite blood?

What's weird is the idea of enough Azlanti being around by the time Cheliax was a thing to be involved in that regard. :-P


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James Jacobs wrote:
Ethnically, Chelaxians are identical to Taldans and really always have been; they've been traditionally treated as their own ethnicity mostly due to the fact that their government is diabolic, which is a weird reason to do that. Especially since that didn't hold true for the nation pre-Age of Lost Omens. (Note that they don't even have their own ethnic language.) So with the new edition, we're adjusting that to include them under the umbrella of the Taldan ethnicity.

Awesome. I always felt compelled to create the term "Chelaxo-Taldane" to describe the over-all language or shared culture, but that was kind of awkward enough I couldn't really consistently use it. Now, it still sort of is the thing that could be used IN WORLD to reflect Chelish who don't want to concede an inch to Taldor, but it feels the over-all setting narrative isn't working against itself with this.

Quote:
And the Nidalesse have been the "forgotten" ethnicity for a LONG time. There were people living in Nidal LONG before Cheliax or even Taldor was a thing, and they were not Varisian or Kellid or Shoanti (the other human ethnicities that were widespread in Avistan before Earthfall), nor were they Azlanti/Thassilonian. They were their own ethnicity, but it was never really clear what ethnicity that was—like smaller groups like the Erutaki or Ekujae or Jadwiga, the ethnicity kind of got glossed over.

Another good move, this was another blind spot of the setting it's good to get solider treatment of. And considering this is just the CRB, I expect actual campaign setting material will get alot deeper into this.

Honestly I find the reaction in this thread incredulous, since Nidalese being own ethnicity while Chelish are not was long apparent from existing history in setting, even if Nidalese ethnicity was never really detailed it was clear it existed. Now Zon-Kuthon grim-dark stuff is a bit too much for my tastes, but I hope the broader Nidalese history beyond that gets fleshed out to help people role-play beyond that or overlapping with that strong element.


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I always saw Cheliax being more Germanic or British/French adjacent, where as Taldor always seemed more like southern Italy or even Byzantium to me. Very distinct appearances have been noted in numerous source books, all the way back to the Inner Sea setting book.

Unless, of course, my mental image of Taldans is significantly wrong. But according to your own writing, 'The Taldan people are a mixture of Keleshite and Azlanti blood. Taldans, by and large, have light brown hair and bronzed skin.' This was pulled from the PathfinderWiki, citing your own work in Inner Sea World Guide, page 19. This stands as a stark opposite to the pale complexion and dark features of modern Chelaxians.

The same page mentions Taldans hate that Iomedae is of 'Chelish stock' and not Taldan. How much of their identity are we retconning here?

If the Jadwiga are separate enough to be their OWN ethnicity, then why not apply the same rationale to Cheliax?


And to be clear, I'm not trying to be unduly negative. The addition of the Nidalese makes A LOT of sense and is welcomed.

It's just a HUGE leap to now have the Chelaxians be of the same ethnicity as, from what I've always understood, a distinctly different people.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Paladinosaur wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

This is a correction we're looking to make that is in many ways long overdue to the world.

Ethnically, Chelaxians are identical to Taldans and really always have been; they've been traditionally treated as their own ethnicity mostly due to the fact that their government is diabolic, which is a weird reason to do that. Especially since that didn't hold true for the nation pre-Age of Lost Omens. (Note that they don't even have their own ethnic language.) So with the new edition, we're adjusting that to include them under the umbrella of the Taldan ethnicity.

And the Nidalesse have been the "forgotten" ethnicity for a LONG time. There were people living in Nidal LONG before Cheliax or even Taldor was a thing, and they were not Varisian or Kellid or Shoanti (the other human ethnicities that were widespread in Avistan before Earthfall), nor were they Azlanti/Thassilonian. They were their own ethnicity, but it was never really clear what ethnicity that was—like smaller groups like the Erutaki or Ekujae or Jadwiga, the ethnicity kind of got glossed over. But as time has rolled on, Nidal has become more and more central to stuff we're doing in the setting, and so the edition change felt like a good place to make that official.

Alas, space constraints left us with pretty much ZERO room to talk about this in the playtest itself, and it's a relatively minor thing in the context of playtesting so it sorta fell through the cracks and didn't get explained publicly until here. Sorry for the confusion in any event!

FURTHERMORE: This isn't a rules change, but it IS a playtest change... so just as with the more significant rules changes, please don't hesitate to let us know what you think of the above reasoning.

Thanks again, all!

This is... weird. Aren't Chelaxians supposed to be the result of Azlanti and Ulfen intermingling, while the Taldane had Azlanti and Keleshite blood?

That is what the Inner Sea World Guide said.

In Inner Sea Races, Chelaxians were described as a mix of Taldan and Ulfen instead.


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I guess we can interpret a lot of the "Chelaxians are special" stuff to be essentially state propaganda, which we need not present uncritically in the core rules.


I think people are missing that just because the game expresses consistent norm for ethnicities which groups Chelish and Taldanes together, that doesn't preclude racism or nationalist viewpoints which do discriminate against "Chelish stock" etc. Cheliax began it's existence as part of Taldor, it was't distinct nation conquered by them, it doesn't have history preceding Taldor. So why people fixate on this, and not Rahadoum (ex-Jistka) being grouped as same ethnicity with Oririoni is frankly ridiculous.

Jadwiga are all descendant of planar hopping witch from Earth, originally ethnically Sarmatian i.e. Scythian ethnicity. Distinction vs just calling them Sarmatian is living on different plane from that culture, comprising noble caste associated with witchery, etc. Comparing that to a mass population that shares overlapping heritage with other nationality, that all used to be same nationality, is just ridiculous.


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If Chelaxians were always intended to be the same, then why are they so physically different? You can't say Greeks and Germans are the same ethnicity just because they share a common ancestor. Chelaxians are DISTINCTLY a mix of Taldan and Ulfen. If a half-elf isn't a human nor an elf, then a Chelaxian isn't a Taldan nor an Ulfen. They are unique and separate. It's unnecessary in the face of ten years of lore and writing. Why not clarify it in Inner Sea Races and not further reinforce Chelaxians as a separate ethnicity?

I honestly feel like it's an unnecessary change to deeply established characters simply to... remove an ethnicity? I guess I don't see the POINT in combining them.


Although honestly, I do think the "Tian" is a mis-step. It makes sense Tien would be the by far most populous element in Inner Sea, so only mentioning them would be fine, but IMHO it's better to be specific and say "Tien, the most populous people in far-off Tian Xia, which also holds other peoples, human and non-human".

The Tian-Xa ethnicities just aren't presented as intimately related like Chelish/Taldane, nor share a language, so grouping them like they are feels insulting IMHO... Tian-Xa ethnicities whether Tien, La, or others often comprise multiple distinct nations further distinguishing within their ethnicity, to further lump them together seems credulous. That is like lumping all Inner Sea ethnicities together. Naming them all Tian-X also seems dubious, I'd rather just have La, Dtang, Min, etc.

I really hope Paizo handles this better this time around.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It might have mattered if Taldans and Chelaxians were even geographically distinct. However, since Taldans seem to live everywhere that Chelaxians do, all we have to distinguish them is a slight difference in skin color.

At this point, I am wondering whether my Chelaxian PC with a Mwangi grandmother from a previous campaign should have been considered Taldan because she clearly did not have pale skin.


Agreed completely. Considering the shift from Race to Ancestry, you'd think 'all Asians/Tien are the same' concepts would have been removed from this edition.


Virellius wrote:
If Chelaxians were always intended to be the same, then why are they so physically different? You can't say Greeks and Germans are the same ethnicity just because they share a common ancestor. Chelaxians are DISTINCTLY a mix of Taldan and Ulfen.

Framing a unified ethnicity doesn't imply being the exact same, doesn't deny internal diversity within that grouping. It doesn't actually say "Taldans in Taldor and Cheliax are physically indistinguishable", giving a broad generalization doesn't imply absolute uniformity, so enough with the "my 1/4 Mwangi character can't understand what "often" (have pale skin) means".

Having consistent ethnicity:language norm brings clarity to the game. Cheliax doesn't have actual history preceding Taldor, they share language, and are coherent unified with them as any other given ethnicity on that basis. Other ethnicities easily include sub-groups with vastly more historical distinction than Chelish/Taldans.

The fixation on "Ulfen heritage" seems bizarre to me, AFAIK Taldans are equally likely given Ulfen presence in their society with Ulfen Guard. But regardless, I don't know why these variations in origin are deemed to matter, while simultaneously maintaining offense in name of 1/4 Mwangi Taldans. It doesn't matter what the ultimate origin is, the ethnicity is presently self-defining, basically on language basis (which could be more explicitly emphasized in rulebook IMHO), and Chelish in P1E did not have any special proclivity re: Ulfen culture.

"Tian" is problematic exactly because it fail the same standard. It isn't being used to group a single language defined ethnicity. It is basically the equivalent of "Inner Sea Ethnicity" but for other continent, which is flatly ridiculous.

BTW It seems like Giant is now being called Jotun... Except plenty of creatures in Bestiary still list Language Giant. Editing error? Or is Giant/Jotun distinct languages?
(Ettin, Ogre, Norn, Oni/Yai/Ogre Mage, Green Hag, Stone Giant, are some to mention Giant language)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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David knott 242 wrote:


That is what the Inner Sea World Guide said.

In Inner Sea Races, Chelaxians were described as a mix of Taldan and Ulfen instead.

That is also an error that we're finally able to fix. When we reprinted the Inner Sea World Guide, we did so VERY quickly and didn't have time to incorporate ANY errata into the book, be it this one, the fact that the winged spine dragon is missing its fly speed, the fact that red mantis assassins should be able to cast their spells in light armor like bards do, that the Half-Orc favored regions list a place called "Land of the Mammoth Lords", that we neglected to include Kelish in the languages line for Osiron's stat block, and so on.

None of the errata I've been tracking in this nature is particularly crippling to game play, so I've largely adopted the waiting game approach to get these fixes in print for the next time we reprinted the Inner Sea World Guide... but we reprinted enough that this didn't happen before we started working on 2nd edition.

So that means these minor errors are getting correct during the edition change, that's all. Sorry for the confusion.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Quandary wrote:
BTW It seems like Giant is now being called Jotun... Except plenty of creatures in Bestiary still list Language Giant. Editing error? Or is Giant/Jotun distinct languages?

Yes; we're looking to rename "Giant" to "Jotun" as a language, as well as adjust some other names (Gnome to Gnomish, for example). Those changes happened relatively late in the game for the Playtest Rulebook, and they didn't make the transition over to the Playtest Bestiary, alas. Rest assured that they will when the actual game is out, though.

Also, yes, making sure that things like "Tian" aren't problematic are things we ABSOLUTELY intend to address in the new edition, but the Playtest Rules aren't the place to do this, alas, since we had to use almost all of the space in the book for rules and had very little room to address world content elements. One of the main things we're looking for feedback on in the Playtest Rules as regards world content is "Is there too much?" or "Is there not enough?"

Golarion itself is a MUCH larger topic than we had the room to explore in the Playtest Rulebook, unfortunately, but handling how the rules and the world mesh and work together going forward is one of the main things I'll be focused on during the edition change. But the rules come first, as it works out. We'll get there, but it'll take a bit more time is all.

Dark Archive

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I do feel like I at least want more world content in the release corebook than what is in playtest right now. Not just in setting info part, also in some of the content like feats and items and such.


Sounds good... I understand and agree it's reasonable for CRB to have "Inner Sea assumption" and for this to mean not every world ethnicity is even mentioned... So I don't think CRB needs to spend much more space than Playtest does on "Tian", it just should drop the embarassing approach lumping a dozen ethnicities into one, and just focus on "Tien" if that is most common ethnicity from Tian Xia in Inner Sea and Tian Xia itself, possibly mentioning how many other ethnicities exist in Tian Xia but not attempting to actually cover them, if that makes sense. The people who like the other ones already know about them and CRB name-dropping them specifically doesn't really add much IMHO. Rather save the Tian Xia attention for product actually giving it it's due, like hardback campaign setting.

Tian Xia generally seems to have gotten bad wrap, conflated with Jade Regent reception, as if people couldn't have other reasons besides Asian-aversion to not liking a dating simulator on rails whose structure ensures PCs will not deeply engage within ANY culture's milieu. Obviously I have better hopes for future TX APs, which should probably start and end in TX, and engage in the many themes present in TX beyond treating the mere existence of not-Asia as itself interesting.

And for future Garund, Casmaron APs: Assumption of local ethnicity PCs, including open to foreigners who have adapted to that local norm, does feel different than 'not-Euros here for the loot'. I just think there is alot more variety and better stories able to be told that way, that doesn't really require more player cultural familiarity than Avistan APs require actual knowledge of European history.

As far as other ethnicities,

Garundi clan thing always has seemed dubious to me, not given much attention for something purportedly "complex" that defines social relations, yet NPCs hardly note this affiliation and it doesn't seem major plot focus. The "migratory nature" also seems dubious, OK for "landless clans" but if you own land then why still be migratory? If the majority of population isn't migratory, then why present this as a thing? I think basic acknowledgement of differences i.e. Osirioni vs Rahadoumi/Jistka etc is equally important to the commonalities.

Keleshite entry should probably allude to the heteregenous origins of Keleshite ethnicity, even if not specifically mentioning each origin.

Kellids who live in more southern areas should also be acknowledged, "Frozen north" just seems less specifically emblematic (vs Ulfen where it is relevant) and "furs and bone totems" should be expressed as ONE corner of Kellid culture, with others given presence as well. This includes semi-underclass in places like Galt AFAIK, and maybe majority of people with this heritage are now considered other ethnicities (Taldane) but this could be dealt with better IMHO. (Kellid origin of Druma, even if not currently active ethnicity, is my personal take and provides more interesting trajectory and possible for vestigial cults etc)

BTW is the "Not Slavic" thing going to get explicit identity, or continue to be hybrid Kellid-Ulfen thing with stronger presence in certain nations?)

I'm not sure how much this is CRB material, but I am curious about settled Varisians in Varisia being more specified, as well as the cattle herders of north Varisia. Too much Paizo fell into "patchwork" which ignores organic details like that, how Varisia existed without Chelish settlement etc (so "gypsies" trading/scamming towns wouldn't make sense without towns to trade with, although Ulfen were raiding Varisian towns in this period supposedly). "Today many settle into less transient lifestyle in places like Ustalav" sounds ridiculous given Ustalav is and has always been defined by fully settled Varisian community. Pull them a bit back from gypsy nomad trope, even if that is one element, true nomads can't really account for large majority of population.

Overall, I'm confused about seeming correlation of "ethnicity" groups to language, yet characters of these ethnicities merely "have access" to these languages, meaning e.g. "Osirioni" character could only speak Taldane and Tien, for instance. Given distinction of "racial" origin and active ethnicity/culture, I don't see value or goal here, such a character should just be able to count as Taldane or Tien culture, even if having backstory of Osirioni origin. I'd honestly rather have X ethnicity characters speak X language + 1 of choice which can depend on group/campaign/etc. That also better carries over to NPCs, who if they all speak Common/Taldane rather undercuts the value in learning non-Common languages. If players want to choose characters who speak no common language between them, that is their cup of tea, and rules don't need to be distorted to avoid that.


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I like you, Quandary, despite our disagreements on the true uniqueness of Asmodeus' favored people. Reeducation will be necessary.

But on a serious note, setting campaigns in non-Euro-based lands and assuming the PCs are locals is a great idea. Paizo can't on one hand promote progressive, modern ideals, and then fall into 'white guys travel to foreign lands and white savior all over the place'.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

This is a correction we're looking to make that is in many ways long overdue to the world.

Ethnically, Chelaxians are identical to Taldans and really always have been; they've been traditionally treated as their own ethnicity mostly due to the fact that their government is diabolic, which is a weird reason to do that. Especially since that didn't hold true for the nation pre-Age of Lost Omens. (Note that they don't even have their own ethnic language.) So with the new edition, we're adjusting that to include them under the umbrella of the Taldan ethnicity.

And the Nidalesse have been the "forgotten" ethnicity for a LONG time. There were people living in Nidal LONG before Cheliax or even Taldor was a thing, and they were not Varisian or Kellid or Shoanti (the other human ethnicities that were widespread in Avistan before Earthfall), nor were they Azlanti/Thassilonian. They were their own ethnicity, but it was never really clear what ethnicity that was—like smaller groups like the Erutaki or Ekujae or Jadwiga, the ethnicity kind of got glossed over. But as time has rolled on, Nidal has become more and more central to stuff we're doing in the setting, and so the edition change felt like a good place to make that official.

Alas, space constraints left us with pretty much ZERO room to talk about this in the playtest itself, and it's a relatively minor thing in the context of playtesting so it sorta fell through the cracks and didn't get explained publicly until here. Sorry for the confusion in any event!

FURTHERMORE: This isn't a rules change, but it IS a playtest change... so just as with the more significant rules changes, please don't hesitate to let us know what you think of the above reasoning.

Thanks again, all!

I suspected that this might be the reason they didn't appear as an ethnicity in the playtest; thank you for confirming. By the way, what ethnicity do the people of Ustalav fall into? I assume there are Kellids there, but are the city/townsfolk also Kellids (albeit civilized ones?), or are they ethnically Taldan as well?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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spectrevk wrote:
I suspected that this might be the reason they didn't appear as an ethnicity in the playtest; thank you for confirming. By the way, what ethnicity do the people of Ustalav fall into? I assume there are Kellids there, but are the city/townsfolk also...

Today, Ustalav is a very cosmopolitan place and all sorts can be found there, but originally, it was a mix of Kellids and Varisians for the most part, skewing more toward Varisians, with the Kellids being north and east.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Quandary wrote:

Although honestly, I do think the "Tian" is a mis-step. It makes sense Tien would be the by far most populous element in Inner Sea, so only mentioning them would be fine, but IMHO it's better to be specific and say "Tien, the most populous people in far-off Tian Xia, which also holds other peoples, human and non-human".

The Tian-Xa ethnicities just aren't presented as intimately related like Chelish/Taldane, nor share a language, so grouping them like they are feels insulting IMHO... Tian-Xa ethnicities whether Tien, La, or others often comprise multiple distinct nations further distinguishing within their ethnicity, to further lump them together seems credulous. That is like lumping all Inner Sea ethnicities together. Naming them all Tian-X also seems dubious, I'd rather just have La, Dtang, Min, etc.

I really hope Paizo handles this better this time around.

Isn't this a bit similar to how the Mwangi ethnicities are grouped into one umbrella that speaks a common language, despite each group being fairly distinct from the others? I enjoyed the Dragon Empires book as much as anyone, and the details on each Tian ethnicity were great (I really wish there had been an AP that was fully centered in Tian Xia, rather than the two books worth of fighting Vikings to get to Asia thing that Jade Regent had going on...), but I'd expect for an Inner Sea focused book they would focus most of their detail on the ethnicities of the Inner Sea itself, and add in more detail about Tian Xia (and hopefully the Mwangi) later on.


Maybe stripping world details from the Playtest CRB (except deities, as they are mechanically vital) and releasing a slim world book as part of the playtest could work? It's probably a little late now, admittedly.

On the subject of Ethnicity, the CRB kind of implies that they are just a Human thing, and elves and dwarves are homogeneous. I assume Pahmet and Ekujae still exist? Maybe ethnicity could be addressed in a separate section after the 'core' ancestries, or added to each ancestry.


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Or perhaps ethnicities should not be in the CRB (Core Rule Book) but rather be detailed in the updated setting guide/book, particularly as:

  • * they are very setting-specific;
  • * they don't really add to the baseline rules except for adding languages known, which are VERY setting specific;
  • * it seems that there may be limited space in the CRB resulting in ethnicities from beyond the Inner Sea (but still present in) being lumped into a single ethnicity (Tian & Mwangi, namely), which may lead to "unfortuneate implications" regarding representation for some;
  • * none of the other ancestries (e.g. elf & dwarf) include ethnicities, which do exist in-setting;
  • * it leads to some...weird assumptions when interacting how languages work (i.e. Taldane=Common, but this is only true in the Inner Sea region & not in, for example, Tian Xia, or in the Great Beyond where there are 'outsiders' whose main language is listed as 'Common', but surely this wouldn't necessarily be the same as Taldane??).

Granted. This is only the Playtest RB & not set in stone. And it's great to see hints at where the setting will be evolving!

Spoiler:
Regardless, the above is just my...gut feeling on ethnicities in the CRB. I am a proponent for more integration of setting into the rules, for the most part, especially when they enhance or give a frame of reference for the rules (e.g. default deity 'sketches', cosmology, non-artefact gear/items, creatures, archetypes).
But setting-only details (ethnicities, languages, npcs, prestige classes, detailed deity write-ups, in-world locations, artefacts, etc.) should be in setting/campaign-specific products, adventure paths, or rulebooks that deal specifically with those details ('gods book', 'ancestry book', 'region/location XYZ book', 'magic book', 'organisation book', etc.).

While I do feel the CRB should provide the baseline for the setting (=Golarion), it also should not be a deterrent to those who wish to use their own setting (but feel that the 'base' rules are TOO married to Golarion).
Does this make sense?

Thank you for your insights/thoughts/replies, James.

--C.

<edited for a little more clarity>


Vic Wertz wrote:
Virellius wrote:
I find the lack of setting information in the CRB to be a bit sad actually.
We definitely want feedback on whether people think there's not enough, or too much, or just enough. (Admittedly, adding a LOT more would be challenging, as we can't let this become a 600-page book.)

It must be very tempting to make a bigger book. The 950 page Slumbering Tsar Saga is a beautiful beast.

Feedback: i'm very happy to see the human races and golarion deities in the core book. it gives those characters much more to hang onto when creating their identity. I'd love to see something like a single racial feat per human ethnicity in the CRB to make the decision feel even more meaningful.


Azlant gets no mention either outside of the Wayfinder description.

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