|JoelF847 RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16|
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Why did age of physical adulthood get raised to 18? This is a game set in a pseudo-medieval world, where people matured younger than in modern world, started their careers younger, and married, had kids younger, etc. PF1 had 16 using the standard age charts, which is much more in line with how actual medieval humans took adult roles.
|David knott 242|
Humans are the only race they did that with. Other races (including the very short lived goblins) had their ages to maturity decreased.
Also, by treating half-elves and half-orcs as humans with specific heritage feats, that minimum age change affects those races as well (increasing the minimum half-orc age and decreasing the minimum half-elf age).
Since age no longer has any mechanical impact I don't see why shifting a few years matters, but.... They're talking about physical adulthood. Your (human) body stops growing around 18. (Though your brain doesn't settle down until ~25 IIRC.) If your society considered you an adult as soon as you reached puberty (some did), that's societal adulthood, not physical adulthood.
As another contrast, elves are specified as reaching physical maturity around 20 but considered emotionally immature (by other elves) until close to 100. That makes me think that legal adulthood in an elven society is likely to be significantly later than physical adulthood.
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When they're talking about adulthood in the book, I get the feeling they're not talking in setting about societal norms or legal rites of passage.
I think they're talking about the age you should, by default, expect to make your character.
And while, yeah it does bother me a little that this feels like another instance of the game reality merging with the real world in the blandest possible way, I think I can see why. Adventurers have some horrible things happen to them, and roleplaying horrific violence against children might have made someone somewhere uncomfortable. That's the world we live in.
There does feel like there's a sense that designers have shifted from what I consider the "historian" paradigm of roleplaying (appreciate how far we've come in society by looking at how dysfunctional medieval societies used to be...that guy is a slave, that woman has no rights, those races are systemically oppressed in awful ways, these children are forced to work in the fields) to a more utopian paradigm, where the roleplaying world should exactly model what we want to see in a progressive world (Wow, look how open about gender and sexuality everyone is here! Man, this world sure has an impressive range of human skin tones and cultures based on a variety of respectfully treated real-world analogues. Geez, these women are so empowered and such good rolemodels!)
And while I'm old enough to somewhat wish that fictional worlds were free to diverge from our own and be different as a way of illustrating things about our world without being seen as non-PC, I also understand that making these worlds more open and inclusive makes folks feel welcome gaming when they historically haven't. It's perhaps instructive to a group of young white dudes to see a world that suffers from injustices and perhaps play as those disenfranchised people as a way to open their eyes to realities they don't normally see. But there's plenty of people who come to gaming and discovering that similar or worse barriers exist for them in fictional worlds can't be encouraging.
So yeah, I'm willing to take the bullet of a slightly less "medieval" feeling medieval world if it means we get to share it with a bunch of new folks who honestly deserve to get something nice. And if human ages get bumped up a little to make sensitive folks feel better about the often violent content of these games, I can handle that too.
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There does feel like there's a sense that designers have shifted from what I consider the "historian" paradigm of roleplaying (appreciate how far we've come in society by looking at how dysfunctional medieval societies used to be...that guy is a slave, that woman has no rights, those races are systemically oppressed in awful ways, these children are forced to work in the fields) to a more utopian paradigm, where the roleplaying world should exactly model what we want to see in a progressive world
Well... except for the slavery thing, which is a social norm and/or fetishized across about half of Golarion. Including Absalom, the closest thing to a pinnacle of culture and civilization.
And halflings, which, if they show up at all in the fiction, are almost always slaves.
Half-orcs and tieflings are very often classic poster-children for bigotry and intolerance (as are half-elves in Kyonin), which often feels a bit overly realistic. Oh. Horsers (shoanti) as well. They even get scalped for bounties and sold into slavery in places.
And the Varisians who aren't even pretending not to be explicit stand-ins for the worst Gypsy stereotypes are almost always actually criminals and scum.
So while on some things the setting is a very shiny and positive anachronistically modern values theme-park, in other places its very much down in the muck.