What aspect of the Pathfinder universe do you dislike?


Pathfinder Campaign Setting General Discussion

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I'd have argued that Half-Orcs only exist because of the chaos of the first meeting between Orcs and Men, the lingering radiant energies of the Underdark on the Orcs and the natural calamity occurring on the surface at the time allowed it to happen.

In the centuries that followed, the various Gods of the surface-world realized the danger the fecund and intensely fertile Orcs posed to their own species and made a concerted effort to divinely protect their favoured races from the curse of Orcish blood, but couldn't do anything to or for the already-existing Half-Orcs, who could breed true amongst themselves and could interbreed with both Orcs and Humans.

Hence, the Orc-held lands have small numbers of Half-Orcs who have interbred back with their Orc kin to the point they are barely distinguishable from their pure-blood kin to most outsiders, and in predominantly Human-populated territories, Half-Orcs exist either as unusually-coloured Humans or small villages and towns of predominantly Half-Orc populations in regions or nations where the 'diluting' of Human blood or having 'lesser' races around is looked down on by the majority of the population.

Bang. Half-Orcs exist without the R word being thrown around, having happened centuries (or longer) ago rather than yesterday and there's a reason why the entire planet isn't populated by Mongrelfolk, because the Gods saw what was going to happen and went "OH DEAR SWEET US, NO!" and slapped a divine curse on most playable races to prevent interbreeding, but some Gods and several Demon Princes and Devil Lords exploit loopholes in that 'curse' to create Cambions, Tieflings, Asimar and other, more exotic hybrids of mortals, outsiders and stranger combinations still.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Set wrote:
And yeah, the humans being the only race to have multiple cultures and languages and nationalities and pantheons of gods, is kinda boring. A setting where two different elves or dwarves could follow radically different national or cultural standards, but not be mechanically different 'sub-races,' would be interesting.

Very, I try to avoid monoculture in my setting.

Though different languages would most likely be a logistics nightmare and fall under minutia that not a lot I suspect would appreciate and would hamper gameplay more than illustrate.


Rysky wrote:
Set wrote:
And yeah, the humans being the only race to have multiple cultures and languages and nationalities and pantheons of gods, is kinda boring. A setting where two different elves or dwarves could follow radically different national or cultural standards, but not be mechanically different 'sub-races,' would be interesting.

Very, I try to avoid monoculture in my setting.

Though different languages would most likely be a logistics nightmare and fall under minutia that not a lot I suspect would appreciate and would hamper gameplay more than illustrate.

Eh, if you run with the Theory that Common is basically a polished pigeon language that everybody uses for trade and basic diplomacy, and national or racial languages are used for more complicated conversations, or just to stop random bystanders from other countries listening in, it makes sense.

I mean, the standard Golarion campaign has different racial languages for nearly every 'race' of Human, but everybody still speaks Common for simplicity's sake so that players and GMs don't have to spend all their class skill points in Linguistics just to be able to buy a loaf of bread from a merchant.

That said you raise a bloody valid point of over-complication, and that's something I am guilty of given less than half a chance. I think if Paizo actually did use a 'different nationalities' rather than 'different races', having Dwarven from one country and Dwarven from another be mostly identical, but the 'dialect' between the two could easily pin one Dwarf coming from an area that could raise eyebrows or cause swords to be drawn, which could be an interesting wrinkle for players trying to infiltrate a rival nation or get away from a homeland they don't believe in, or give a GM heart-failure when the PCs pick up on their Linguistic or Sense Motive checks and start to use in-universe reasons to start to dog-pile verbally on the Dwarf to figure out why he or she is in a region her 'people' normally shun or might be hostile towards.


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HalfOrc with a Hat of Disguise wrote:
I'd have preferred to see some historically traditional-enemies-of-the-players races having their own kingdoms and being world powers in their own right. A Hobgoblin empire that's remarkably forward-thinking and quite civilized ... but accepts slavery and expansionism and bigotry towards unregistered arcanists quite openly too. A nation-wide network of Kobolds who compete with the Dwarves for economic dominance of the metal and stone-based industries. Ogre Mages who run authoritarian but still honorable empires alongside Kitsune, Tengu and Humans, stuff that makes the players question who is really the monster here.

These places exist in Golarion. Except maybe the kobold thing; they're kind of locked into a pattern of 'hiding on the outskirts' and 'serving bigger creatures' due to their status as one of the weakest intelligent races.

Kaoling is a hobgoblin empire. To the east is Chu Ye, an oni kingdom (though there are more powerful forms of oni there than just the ogre mage variety). Not far south from there lies the Tengu nation of Kwanlai, but you'd have to pass across the kraken-ruled swampland of Wanshou to get there.

The problem isn't that these non-human-dominated places don't exist, it's that people don't write adventures set in them.


And they generally aren't part of the 'Core' of the game, but rather from fluff and 'expansion' material.

I can understand James and the rest of Paizo wanted to keep Golarion and Pathfinder a more 'pure' fantasy, but I do feel having Golarion be divided between two larger continents, one side very Eberron in that the playable characters there are divided by national and religious lines rather than racial ones, while the other side could have been very much the opposite, divided more along racial and political lines rather than religion or nationality, and the conflict between these two macro-societies along with their internal disputes with their member-nations, outside forces, the fall of Aroden and the like could have been used to prevent a WoW-like situation where the two big superpowers just bash away at each other and plunder everything smaller than them for resources and allies.

Dark Archive

Matthew Downie wrote:

These places exist in Golarion. Except maybe the kobold thing; they're kind of locked into a pattern of 'hiding on the outskirts' and 'serving bigger creatures' due to their status as one of the weakest intelligent races.

Kaoling is a hobgoblin empire. To the east is Chu Ye, an oni kingdom (though there are more powerful forms of oni there than just the ogre mage variety). Not far south from there lies the Tengu nation of Kwanlai, but you'd have to pass across the kraken-ruled swampland of Wanshou to get there.

The problem isn't that these non-human-dominated places don't exist, it's that people don't write adventures set in them.

And they are set in a far off land of which there has been all of one book written, and, at most, a page or two, on any one of these nations...

I mean, sure, they exist, but not meaningfully, to play in. At the moment, they kind of whet the appetite, like pictures of food in a menu. You can't actually *eat* them.

(Well, you could, but they'd taste kind of paper-and-plastic-y, and you might get thrown out of the restaurant...) :)

Shadow Lodge

Set wrote:
Yeah, hobgoblins in particular make sense to have a kingdom / nation of their own.

Azaersi did nothing wrong. My schadenfreude will be great if Engels's and Kautsky's dicta on the subject of Switzerland ended up applying equally well to Nirmathas:

"The struggle of the early Swiss against Austria, the famous oath at Rytli, the heroic shot of Tell, the immortal victory at Morgarten – all this represented the struggle of restless shepherds against the thrust of historical development, a struggle of hidebound, conservative, local interests against the interests of the entire nation, a struggle of primitivism against enlightenment, barbarism against civilization. They won their victory over the civilization of that period, but as punishment they were cut off from the whole later progress of civilization."

"A question mark could be added to the above concerning the civilizing mission which the Hapsburgs were carrying out in Switzerland in the fourteenth century. On the other hand it is correct that the preservation of the independence of the cantons was an event which was conservative to the nth degree, and in no way revolutionary, and that thenceforth the freedom of those cantons served as a means of preserving an element of blackest reaction in the center of Europe. It was those forest cantons which defeated Zwingli and his army in 1531 at the battle of Kappel, and thereby put a stop to the spread of Protestantism in Switzerland. They provided armies to all the despots of Europe, and it was the Swiss of the forest cantons who were the staunchest supporters of Louis XVl against the revolution. For this the republic raised a magnificent monument to them in Lucerne."


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Aroden's death should have been more apocalyptic than it was. Also, I don't like that it happened so long ago compared to the present-day adventures.


Sense the hobgoblins remind me a lot of the Spartans, I think they should have a giant city state instead of a country, presumably with regular goblins as slaves and bugbears living there as well (the hobgoblins would still be the ones in charge as they would vastly outnumber the bugbears).


There are a few points of Golarion that I don't like :
- the overabundance of deities/demigods/empyreal lords etc that bloated the universe after all these years. We ended up with the same thing that I hated on the FR : each race or region has its own pantheon, making it hard to believe that major gods are universal faiths. I would have greatly prefered to have universal gods with local cults who adapt to their region (just like christian churches have depictions of a brown Jesus or a black virgin Mary in South America or Africa)

- the Pathfinder Society ! Reading the different articles about it, it's hard to decide if it's an analogy of the National Geographic Society or the Justice League and then I find it hard to do anything with it in games.

Liberty's Edge

The fact that Summoners exist.

Too much emphasis on Human Kingdoms and Nations.

Lore that sets the precedent that the Gods literally intervene in the affairs of the Material Plane themselves PERSONALLY from time to time.

Almost everyone has bad breath, no Toothpaste in CRB or Ult Equipment.


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Noir le Lotus wrote:

There are a few points of Golarion that I don't like :

- the overabundance of deities/demigods/empyreal lords etc that bloated the universe after all these years. We ended up with the same thing that I hated on the FR : each race or region has its own pantheon, making it hard to believe that major gods are universal faiths. I would have greatly prefered to have universal gods with local cults who adapt to their region

I definitely feel this. I don't understand the undisputed attraction amongst the fanbase for more and more deities. I would have been happier with just the core deities being explored in more and more depth over the years.


I personally like that the gods aren't universal. It reflects our own world that we have countless pantheons for real life. It also fits the Germanic model for gods, where they are powerful beings are than personifications of concepts.


Regarding the Afterlife and Loss of Memory:

I have read both the Mummy's Mask Article and the Planar Adventures and I understood the situation as, that while memories fade the core personality and morality of the once mortal now petitioner remains the same. So, while specifics of a life are mostly gone the core of the person is still there.

Maybe I read it wrong and it doesn't say this, but maybe then it doesn't say enough so that this interpretation can work?


Also, the memories are not *gone* they are just no longer associated with the soul that once had them. Everything you once remembered is still in the Akashic record and likely other places as well. Sufficiently powerful outsiders could certainly figure out who they were, they just don't necessarily have a reason to want to.


I find the non-universal gods a bit confusing. Like, Shizuru is the Tian-Min goddess of the sun. Sarenrae is also a sun goddess, created by Ihys, one of the two primordial deities in the time before time.

Is Sarenrae a universal goddess who just subcontracts some responsibilities to local minor goddesses?

Is Sarenrae a goddess for all Golarion? Do other worlds have their own equivalent to Pharasma, Asmodeus, etc?

Is Shizuru responsible for the sun in Minkai and Sarenrae in the Inner Sea Region?


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My preference is that "god" status simply requires access to a divine source plus a sufficient number of worshipers. How big and important a deity you are is contingent on that number of worshipers, so if Sarenrae is worshiped on thousands of planets she's a pretty important Sun deity, but there's no reason there can't be others.

Frankly my preference is for millions or billions of gods, depending on how far afield we want to get in the universe. I tend to create a handful of new ones every time I run a campaign.


I'm quite partial to the theory of multiple Gods having access to the same portfolio, but because of that, they are ALL responsible for it.

If two or more Sun Gods start to go to war over total dominion of their Portfolio, you could end up with sweltering heatwaves, world-wide drought or even two suns, smaller and weaker, in the sky. And that's where the other Sun Gods, and the other Gods whose domains are now at risk or under dire threat move, potentially creating an all-in divine scrum to stop the conflict and causing all manner of divine and mortal chaos as the world reels under all this Godly power being thrown around and warping the world and it's denizens in the process.

Divine shenanigans and petty godling tantrums over having to share their 'toys' can be so much fun for a DM to use to really put the screws to a campaign, not just the PCs.


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Or it could be, that a god is just known under different names for different cultures. Because who knows how many names Pharasma had for example.

That idea was one of my favourites in the RPG I started with^^

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