What aspect of the Pathfinder universe do you dislike?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Fumarole wrote:
I'm curious where people get the notion that the majority of the populace only worships one deity. Surely it cannot be solely because of the limited space on a character sheet? Said character sheets also only have space for one character name, but that doesn't mean a character cannot have nicknames or aliases.

This has been a long-standing issue in the fantasy role playing community. I don't know if it's because we've been living in monotheistic cultures too long to really understand polytheism or what, but the idea that a character primarily venerates a specific god in D&D games is probably as old as the game itself.

It might make sense to list a single deity for a cleric because it makes sense they'd be a priest of only a single deity - though they'd obviously venerate every other one just like the rest of the population. But that's about it.

Liberty's Edge

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thejeff wrote:
A bit perhaps, but those interactions pale by comparison with real world pantheons. As in world examples like the Dwarven pantheon actually make clear. There's one god with his own pantheon as opposed to the others who aren't organized like that.

Well sure. That's exactly why I said 'a bit'. :)

Fumarole wrote:
I'm curious where people get the notion that the majority of the populace only worships one deity. Surely it cannot be solely because of the limited space on a character sheet? Said character sheets also only have space for one character name, but that doesn't mean a character cannot have nicknames or aliases.

Yeah. There's very little evidence this is ubiquitous among Golarion's population. Some people certainly venerate a particular God more than they do any others (usually one tied to their profession or ideals), but there's little reason to believe they don't invoke whichever one is most appropriate in day to day life.

Silver Crusade

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Bill Dunn wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
I'm curious where people get the notion that the majority of the populace only worships one deity. Surely it cannot be solely because of the limited space on a character sheet? Said character sheets also only have space for one character name, but that doesn't mean a character cannot have nicknames or aliases.

This has been a long-standing issue in the fantasy role playing community. I don't know if it's because we've been living in monotheistic cultures too long to really understand polytheism or what, but the idea that a character primarily venerates a specific god in D&D games is probably as old as the game itself.

It might make sense to list a single deity for a cleric because it makes sense they'd be a priest of only a single deity - though they'd obviously venerate every other one just like the rest of the population. But that's about it.

A lot of the blame for this can probably be laid at Forgotten Realms specifically as well. The Wall of the Faithless has ALWAYS been one of that setting's most contentious narrative elements, and it's largely responsible for the trope that EVERY person in the setting HAS to select ONE deity as their exclusive patron, even if they're not an actual priest.

It also is why people continually seem to think Golarion's gods need the worship of mortals to survive, despite the devs repeatedly stating Golarion's metaphysics don't work that way.

Silver Crusade

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Yeah thankfully the outcry from people who played Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of Betrayer led to them quietly retiring that element from the setting.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Part of the issue lies in the mechanical distinction of "worship". While there are a few pantheons that are able to grant spells without requiring a worshipper to pick a specific deity, it's often unclear how the spells are actually being divvied out (Order of the Godclaw is kind of the premier example of this). Clerics typically need to be very strongly aligned with a specific deity to receive spells, and the things that make them suitable repositories for a deity's power (like being within their accepted alignments and strongly embodying their goals) don't really jive with large pantheons whose members may be of varying alignments and motivations (for example, it would be almost impossible for one person to venerate and respect both Thor and Loki from the Norse pantheon to the degree that worship of one wouldn't directly contradict the edicts and anathema of the other).

That doesn't mean that non-clerics don't worship entire pantheons, or even that a cleric can't venerate an entire pantheon despite prioritizing one specific member. It's probably more normal in the Inner Sea outside of regions like Cheliax or Nidal for people to pay homage to all of the major gods of the Inner Sea when their daily tasks intersect with a particular god's interests, as well as less well-known local gods.

Shadow Lodge

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Galt's an intentionally bad place. Nirmathas is a much better example of the sort of society you're talking about.

Nirmathas is simply parochial, and its people desirous only of cutting themselves off from the progress of the surrounding civilizations. At least the people of Galt tried.


But I mean in 3 action game night, they bothered to specify which deity (singular) the Barbarian, the Alchemist, the Sorcerer, and the Druid worship, which I found bizarre. The LN druid was allowed to be a follower of CE Cthulhu because he didn't actually get spells from a deity or anything so alignment proximity didn't matter, but it seems like a bizarre thing to highlight for classes which have nothing to do with service to a single deity.

Hopefully with the Oracle in the APG we'll get more acknowledgement about what religion looks like that's different from the "one person one god" model.


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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
A lot of the blame for this can probably be laid at Forgotten Realms specifically as well. The Wall of the Faithless has ALWAYS been one of that setting's most contentious narrative elements

Had to look that up to remind myself:

Quote:

The Faithless are mortals who do not have a divine patron. This could be because the mortal never worshipped a deity (or rejected outright the worship of any deity), the mortal's divine patron has died, or that their divine patron rejected them for whatever reason.

A Faithless soul receives only one sentence when it reaches the City of Judgment on the Fugue Plane: the Wall of the Faithless. Over time the soul dissolves into the very substance of the wall.

Demons propagate by stealing Faithless souls from the wall and retreating with them back to the Abyss.

Other References
Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer presents the player with the option of forever destroying the Wall of the Faithless, so that the Faithless no longer endure any punishment in the afterlife. According to the game, destroying the Wall destroys part of the covenant between gods and mortals: the game engine thus interprets the Wall's destruction as an evil act

Yeah, I'm taking the side of the wall-destroyers there...

Silver Crusade

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

Yeah, Mask of the Betrayer, beautiful near perfect expansion... hated the ending.

Liberty's Edge

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zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

Galt's an intentionally bad place. Nirmathas is a much better example of the sort of society you're talking about.

Nirmathas is simply parochial, and its people desirous only of cutting themselves off from the progress of the surrounding civilizations. At least the people of Galt tried.

Given how you've defined progress in previous threads (which has included 'being literally enslaved by economically and technologically more advanced people') I'm kinda with Nirmathas on this one, at least as regards your definition of progress.

Also, there's no actual evidence of them being more technologically or magically 'parochial' than anyone else. They've got increasingly close ties with Druids and the Fey...but that's a valuable strategic alliance, and having a strong Druidic tradition is a powerful advantage in a world with magic.

Dark Archive

Michael Sayre wrote:
Part of the issue lies in the mechanical distinction of "worship". While there are a few pantheons that are able to grant spells without requiring a worshipper to pick a specific deity, it's often unclear how the spells are actually being divvied out (Order of the Godclaw is kind of the premier example of this).

I wonder if the Order of the Godclaw even still exists (as written) in the 2nd edition setting?

I've read that Iomedae no longer supports LN clergy, which suggests that she'd no longer have any real support among the Godclaw, or LN Hellknights in general, despite being one of it's five patron gods.

Silver Crusade

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Hell's Vengeance SPOILERS!:
While canonically they DO take a beating at the hands of the Glorious Reclamation, assuming the PCs of HV succeed as they're also canonically supposed to, the Godclaw is supposed to survive that beating and be recovering. It'd be kind of odd for them to fall apart so quickly after they've just been brought back from the brink.

That said, it could happen, especially if Iomedae somehow withdrew power from Godclaw Hellknights who prayed to her. Two groups of her faithful began fighting among thenselves and she decided to support the Reclamation instead of the Hellknights, sending a message to Golarion that it is more important to her to be good than lawful.


Even if Iomedae withdrew support from Order of the Godclaw (or never really supported it), they still have alternate sources of divine power without needing to resort to being Channelers of the Unknown, and they can use this divine power to convince most people that they also get power from Iomedae, even if they don't succeed in actually stealing power from her. And keep in mind that Asmodeus is one of their patrons . . . .

Shadow Lodge

UnArcaneElection wrote:

Even if Iomedae withdrew support from Order of the Godclaw (or never really supported it), they still have alternate sources of divine power without needing to resort to being Channelers of the Unknown, and they can use this divine power to convince most people that they also get power from Iomedae, even if they don't succeed in actually stealing power from her. And keep in mind that Asmodeus is one of their patrons . . . .

Why would the Order of the Godclaw want the support of Iomedae in a post-GR world? All it would do is make the other Orders, and the government, suspicious of them.


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Isn't the Thrune position after HV to not ban the worship of Iomedae, and to try to paint the actions of the Glorious Reclamation as that of rogue extremists?

Shadow Lodge

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Isn't the Thrune position after HV to not ban the worship of Iomedae, and to try to paint the actions of the Glorious Reclamation as that of rogue extremists?

The Thrune position, per LOWG, is to "watch[ Iomedae's faith] much more closely" after the GR insurrection. "[A]nd its adherents have learned not to criticize the queen in even the mildest of terms."


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zimmerwald1915 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Isn't the Thrune position after HV to not ban the worship of Iomedae, and to try to paint the actions of the Glorious Reclamation as that of rogue extremists?
The Thrune position, per LOWG, is to "watch[ Iomedae's faith] much more closely" after the GR insurrection. "[A]nd its adherents have learned not to criticize the queen in even the mildest of terms."

Well, presumably her play is to lead with "those were rogue extremists" in order to get the Church of Iomedae to support this position, so as to be seen as supporting Thrune.


zimmerwald1915 wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

Even if Iomedae withdrew support from Order of the Godclaw (or never really supported it), they still have alternate sources of divine power without needing to resort to being Channelers of the Unknown, and they can use this divine power to convince most people that they also get power from Iomedae, even if they don't succeed in actually stealing power from her. And keep in mind that Asmodeus is one of their patrons . . . .

Why would the Order of the Godclaw want the support of Iomedae in a post-GR world? All it would do is make the other Orders, and the government, suspicious of them.

They would have plenty of incentive to claim the support of Iomedae -- given what PossibleCabbage also posted above, it would also throw doubt into the enemies of the Order of the Godclaw and into the Church of Iomedae as a whole.

Liberty's Edge

"Let's get that Iomedaean Crusade against Asmodeus and his Thrune puppet underway! I'll even roll up a second edition version of myself and join in!"


I know I've complained about it a lot already but another reason I hate the "petitioners lose all their memories" is that two people who really loved each other in life would just forget and not care about each other. Honestly I think I'll just Rule Zero the whole thing (if you're the DM and don't like it, just change it) and say they have vague memories of their portal life (similar to waking up from a really vivid dream), but would still remember really big things like who their true love was.


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Yqatuba wrote:
I know I've complained about it a lot already but another reason I hate the "petitioners lose all their memories" is that two people who really loved each other in life would just forget and not care about each other.

Go watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind ;).


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Candi Payne wrote:
"Let's get that Iomedaean Crusade against Asmodeus and his Thrune puppet underway! I'll even roll up a second edition version of myself and join in!"

Suddenly I just realized that I could really benefit if I could make a Second Edition version of myself. Sure wish I could get 4 better ability scores every 4 levels . . . .


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While we're on the topic of Pathfinder's cosmology, I've never really liked how the Outer Planes are presented as 9 alignments in equal balance when that's not how it is at all. Pathfinder's cosmology can't be further from the traditional Great Wheel cosmology. The Maelstrom and the Abyss are bigger than everything else combined, to start. Yet it seems rather...overly coincidental that there HAPPENS to be one big and super important plane of each remaining alignment floating in the Maelstrom, with the rest being just minor planes.

To be sure, I LIKE the cosmology of Pathfinder. I also like the Great Wheel of Planescape, the World Tree of Forgotten Realms, and the Planar Orrery of Eberron. All of these things are completely different cosmological models and add uniqueness to each individual setting. It just feels to me that, as written, the uniqueness of Pathfinder's cosmology doesn't quite shine. For example, given that the Maelstrom is the primordial chaos in which other planes float, I feel like there could easily be more than a single version of a Lawful Good bastion of righteousness, more than a single Lawful Evil realm of torment, etc. Given Pathfinder's efforts to represent mythologies from around the world, this setup is actually great for allowing vastly different mythical afterlives to coexist, even if their alignments overlap. It also gives the possibility to write unique outsiders without having to fit them into an existing "greater" plane of their alignment, or alternatively make their home a "minor" plane (like Xibalba, for example; there's no reason why it can't be as big and important as Abaddon in the cosmic scale, just lesser known on Avistan).

Going forward in 2e I'd love to see the possibility of major Outer Planes that aren't just the the Big Nine.

Dark Archive

I mean, even the Hell itself is composed of multiple different realms <_< I don't see why the said different LG bastions couldn't also be in Heaven


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I personally thought of the relative sizes and positions of the planes as "infinite sets can contain other infinite sets which are the same size."

Like there are as many real numbers between 0 and 1 as there are real numbers.

So we can think of it as the other 8 planes as just intervals [0,1],[1,2],[3,4], etc. and the maelstrom is the remainder of the number line. In a sense the the maelstrom is bigger because it contains all the other planes, but in another more precise sense it is exactly the same size as axis, nirvana, etc. Like you could make the abyss the entire set of non-positive numbers, and it's still not bigger than [0,1].

Of course, this leaves us room for lots and lots of disjoint other planes. It's conceivable that the reason that those 8 outer planes are the main ones is because they overlap or touch on the boundary. There could be other ones that are just hard to get to since there's not a natural boundary to suggest their existence. Like it makes sense to put the planes in a 2 dimensional grid, so there could be other planes which exist in orthogonal dimensions.


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CorvusMask wrote:
I mean, even the Hell itself is composed of multiple different realms <_< I don't see why the said different LG bastions couldn't also be in Heaven

All of Hell is under Asmodeus, though, and that gives Hell a very particular flavor that might not fit other possible visions of such a realm. Heaven is similarly heavily Judeo-Christian in inspiration, so it would be kind of weird to put, say, Taoism-style Celestials in the same place as Archons.

PossibleCabbage wrote:

I personally thought of the relative sizes and positions of the planes as "infinite sets can contain other infinite sets which are the same size."

Like there are as many real numbers between 0 and 1 as there are real numbers.

So we can think of it as the other 8 planes as just intervals [0,1],[1,2],[3,4], etc. and the maelstrom is the remainder of the number line. In a sense the the maelstrom is bigger because it contains all the other planes, but in another more precise sense it is exactly the same size as axis, nirvana, etc. Like you could make the abyss the entire set of non-positive numbers, and it's still not bigger than [0,1].

Of course, this leaves us room for lots and lots of disjoint other planes. It's conceivable that the reason that those 8 outer planes are the main ones is because they overlap or touch on the boundary. There could be other ones that are just hard to get to since there's not a natural boundary to suggest their existence. Like it makes sense to put the planes in a 2 dimensional grid, so there could be other planes which exist in orthogonal dimensions.

Actually, not all infinite sets are the same size. The infinite set of all real numbers is larger than the set of real numbers between 0 and 1. I don't really want to get into a talk about math, though.

Although it would make sense if the planes being portrayed as "equal" is the Inner Sea perspective, whereas outside of these places they rank them differently. I could easily see the Razatlani replacing Abaddon with Xibalba in importance in their own version of the Outer Planes, for instance, and it wouldn't be wrong.

Just like I want to see deities differ in importance depending on culture, so should different Outer Planes. After all, gods live in the Outer Planes.


Frogliacci wrote:
Actually, not all infinite sets are the same size. The infinite set of all real numbers is larger than the set of real numbers between 0 and 1.

Absolutely not all infinite sets are the same size. There are, for example, vastly more numbers in [0,1] than there are integers. However, the entire real number line is the same size as any interval within. Specifically when we talk about sets, the only universal sense of "size" is cardinality (sure, if we're in a metric space we can construct a measure, but there's absolutely no reason to assume the planes exist in a metric space.)

We say two sets are the same cardinality if we can construct a bijection between them (a map which is one-to-one and onto.)

It can be shown directly that the cardinality of (-1,1) is the same as the cardinality of the real line, since the function g(x)= x/(1+|x|) is a bijection from R to (-1,1). At which point it's trivial to show that closing an interval or stretching it does not change the cardinality.

Dark Archive

Asura ranas live in hell without being under Asmodeus though. And wasn't Minderhal also living in mountain range in hell?

BTW, does anyone know if the next claim from Pathfinder Tales (redemption engine) is canon?: that every time mortal travels to outerplane, because they can't actually comprehend infinity they perceive the plane differently from what it actually is


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CorvusMask wrote:
Asura ranas live in hell without being under Asmodeus though. And wasn't Minderhal also living in mountain range in hell?

Asura Ranas don't have a fixed place to live. Some are in Hell (in fact one of these became the archdevil Geryon), others are in defiled or abandoned holy places across the multiverse. That's sort of what I was saying -- unique outsiders from mythologies that are rarely represented in fantasy are often relegated to a demiplane, or shacking up somewhere in the Big Nine without a defined realm of their own.

Minderhal lives in Stonepeak, a demiplane on the border between Hell and Axis. It's fairly minor, but again, I can easily see Stonepeak being the most important Outer Plane in stone giant culture with Hell and Axis being a mere footnote. It's like how Cayden Cailean and Iomedae are extremely important deities in the Inner Sea region of Golarion, but if you go to Castrovel or Triaxus nobody's ever heard of them (until Starfinder's era anyway).

CorvusMask wrote:
BTW, does anyone know if the next claim from Pathfinder Tales (redemption engine) is canon?: that every time mortal travels to outerplane, because they can't actually comprehend infinity they perceive the plane differently from what it actually is

I would love to see this canonized, along with variant cosmology models as perceived by non-Inner Sea cultures.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

I have removed some posts and spoilers. Please remember to tag any spoilers as such.


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I love the Pathfinder setting, though I am not overly fond of the kitchen-sink approach to world design (though it is absolutely necessary for the setting of an rpg system like Pathfinder to be designed in this way).

Golarion is an incredibly crowded world where everything that a player could want to be or interact with has to exist in that world, so there has to be a region recreating each kind of setting someone would want to play in (sci-fi, steampunk, post-apocalypse, jungle, Egyptian desert, pirate seas, etc), every mythological creature ever to be thought of, every kind of magic, etc.

This is again, absolutely necessary for being a core setting - but, in playing a campaign, I prefer a setting that is a bit more realistic and less crowded, hence why I plan to run games in my own setting where I can just have what is necessary and appropriate to the campaign.


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Tender Tendrils wrote:

I love the Pathfinder setting, though I am not overly fond of the kitchen-sink approach to world design (though it is absolutely necessary for the setting of an rpg system like Pathfinder to be designed in this way).

Golarion is an incredibly crowded world where everything that a player could want to be or interact with has to exist in that world, so there has to be a region recreating each kind of setting someone would want to play in (sci-fi, steampunk, post-apocalypse, jungle, Egyptian desert, pirate seas, etc), every mythological creature ever to be thought of, every kind of magic, etc.

This is again, absolutely necessary for being a core setting - but, in playing a campaign, I prefer a setting that is a bit more realistic and less crowded, hence why I plan to run games in my own setting where I can just have what is necessary and appropriate to the campaign.

I mean, you can also just limit what parts of Golarion you use and have the players fit appropriately. Just because the world has a land of pyramids and pharaohs, a land with a crashed alien spaceship, a nation undergoing a perpetual Reign of Terror/French Revolution, and a post-colonial African state doesn’t mean all of those need to fit into your plot. Drill down into a specific region and it works plenty fine.

I joke a lot that Golarion isn’t one setting, it’s a ton of small ones, and it works better that way.

Dark Archive

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keftiu wrote:
I joke a lot that Golarion isn’t one setting, it’s a ton of small ones, and it works better that way.

It is true, to an extent. If Ravenloft was your jam, back in the day, your campaign doesn't ever have to leave Ustalav, and for all us Al-Qadim fen, there's Qadira, right there, and even if it wasn't big enough to support years of gaming, Greater Kel/Casmaron is just off the map, and, if I wanted to, I could even pull out my maps of adventures in Zakhara and use them to represent those off-the-map faux Persian/Arabian (K)Nights-esque places in Casmaron.

Varisia and Ustalav, in particular, are neatly divvied up into multiple flavors of sub-setting in a single 'country,' to tune it even finer.

The kitchen sink aspect of the setting is, I think, one of it's real strengths. There are enough radically different themes to them, that there's almost something to suit every taste, and if I find one nation or region 'meh,' I can move my finger a few inches in almost any direction on the map and find one that I want to run a game in (or play a character from).


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Set wrote:
keftiu wrote:
I joke a lot that Golarion isn’t one setting, it’s a ton of small ones, and it works better that way.

It is true, to an extent. If Ravenloft was your jam, back in the day, your campaign doesn't ever have to leave Ustalav, and for all us Al-Qadim fen, there's Qadira, right there, and even if it wasn't big enough to support years of gaming, Greater Kel/Casmaron is just off the map, and, if I wanted to, I could even pull out my maps of adventures in Zakhara and use them to represent those off-the-map faux Persian/Arabian (K)Nights-esque places in Casmaron.

Varisia and Ustalav, in particular, are neatly divvied up into multiple flavors of sub-setting in a single 'country,' to tune it even finer.

The kitchen sink aspect of the setting is, I think, one of it's real strengths. There are enough radically different themes to them, that there's almost something to suit every taste, and if I find one nation or region 'meh,' I can move my finger a few inches in almost any direction on the map and find one that I want to run a game in (or play a character from).

I like that in a lot of ways, but some grab onto the kitchen sink aspect and use it demand that anything possible within the setting must fit into any given campaign.


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Tender Tendrils wrote:

I love the Pathfinder setting, though I am not overly fond of the kitchen-sink approach to world design (though it is absolutely necessary for the setting of an rpg system like Pathfinder to be designed in this way).

Golarion is an incredibly crowded world where everything that a player could want to be or interact with has to exist in that world, so there has to be a region recreating each kind of setting someone would want to play in (sci-fi, steampunk, post-apocalypse, jungle, Egyptian desert, pirate seas, etc), every mythological creature ever to be thought of, every kind of magic, etc.

This is again, absolutely necessary for being a core setting - but, in playing a campaign, I prefer a setting that is a bit more realistic and less crowded, hence why I plan to run games in my own setting where I can just have what is necessary and appropriate to the campaign.

I actually see the amount of diversity and weirdness in Golarion to be its strength in worldbuilding. Given how the practice of magic is highly dependent on culture (think about how many real life mythical traditions there are), it only makes sense that the types supernatural strangeness change as you trek across the globe. In addition, different philosophies attract the attentions of different deities, who in turn teach cultures under their patronage even more distinct supernatural traditions.

I would actually find it unrealistic if a setting has the same supernatural creatures on every continent regardless of ecosystem, and the same magical traditions are practiced everywhere regardless of culture. For example, if the magical tradition in your setting is based on European Hermeticism, it would feel way, way more out of place to see a mage from your world's Africa-equivalent invoke the Kabbalah, than it is for them to perform a Vodun ritual.

Have you taken a look at adventure paths? When you specifically limit the story to a single region, the amount of crowdedness goes down significantly.

Liberty's Edge

I will say the number of monsters who crop up in Every Desert kinda breaks immersion, though. Not much thought given to endemism for monsters. We don't see penguins at the Crown of the World, but we do see ankhegs in literally every plain.

Silver Crusade

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Gark the Goblin wrote:
I will say the number of monsters who crop up in Every Desert kinda breaks immersion, though. Not much thought given to endemism for monsters. We don't see penguins at the Crown of the World, but we do see ankhegs in literally every plain.

A good point, though I feel that has more to do with random encounter tables being organized by biome, something Pathfinder inherited from other RPGs of similar styles.

Dark Archive

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Frogliacci wrote:
I actually see the amount of diversity and weirdness in Golarion to be its strength in worldbuilding.

That said, it would be cool to see different cultural takes on planar creatures like genies, in particular, which tend to have a Persian take on them. Earth genies dressed in Egyptian linens and pectorals and with golden 'eyes of power' glyphs over their eye, water genies wearing carved stone animal-head masks and mesoamerican outfits, fire genies with four arms, three eyes, tusks and a sari. Mix it up.

Ditto for fey or kami or whatnot. No need to re-invent the same sort of creatures for each different human ethnicity, when they can be reflavored so that the same 'dryad' statistics can represent a tree-spirit from Arcadia or the Mwangi expanse, with little more difference than different styles and names like nunnehi or yakshi or nang tani or whatever.


^It has also occurred to me that some creatures with different names in different cultures might actually be the same type of creature, but seeming more different than you might think for a cosmopolitan animal because they also have their own cultural differences between regions.


^Like shinigami & psychopomps?


^Possibly, but the alignments don't match. Might match better if instead of being related to Psychopomps, Shinigami were related to Inevitables sort of in the way that Flesh Golems are related to Golems more generally -- made by Axiomites who were into Necromancy (and apparently not as much into quality control as the Axiomites that made most Inevitables).


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This is something Pathfinder largely derived from its antecedents, but I generally don't like the way religion works in setting. A few examples:

1. The heal/harm division between good and evil gods never made much sense to me. Couldn't it make sense for a good cleric of a crusader god to be able to get special benefits using harm instead of heal? Or, conversely, for clerics of Asmodeus to prioritize healing, to entice people into deals with the devil and because lawful evil seems to mean that (sometimes) you're a team player?

PF2 both alleviates and exacerbates this. On the one hand, it's nice that alignment is no longer an ironclad rule (though so far Lamashtu is the only exception); on the other hand, now that clerics can do both with a class feat, it seems like many more gods (good and evil ones as well as neutral) should allow both.

2. More fundamentally, the pantheon and the way gods work is very confusing to me. The line between a very powerful being and a god, and between "I'll be nice to you/serve you because you'll give me nice things" and "I see you as a worthy object of worship," is a tricky one to draw in general. In Golarion, where some creatures who grant spells have stat blocks (or are mythic PCs!), and where flaws of gods appear to be relatively well-known, it seems especially blurry. You might expect in such a world that relationships with gods predominate toward the merely transactional ("I'll pray to Asmodeus so I can use divine magic") or coalitional ("Iomedae is an extremely powerful being and this is something she'd care about, so let's ask her for help"), but the model of religion I see in the source materials seems closer to religions in the real world with very different theologies.

This is a direct answer to the thread question about what I dislike about the Pathfinder universe, not necessarily a criticism--dealing with 2. in a way that I personally find satisfying might also risk stepping into any number of minefields. (I kind of do think PF2 gives the design space to have a more satisfying resolution of 1., though--but it's early still so we'll see.)


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I dislike alignment, and also disagree where some figures should fall on the alignment spectrum. Pharasma is the biggest example, I always feel like she should be lawful.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Having her be Lawful would lead to the thought that she is biased in judgement, favoring Lawful creatures and disfavoring Chaotic creatures.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Having her be Lawful would lead to the thought that she is biased in judgement, favoring Lawful creatures and disfavoring Chaotic creatures.

I get that, and I don't think LN is a perfect fit either because it does lead to a perceived bias, but I feel like a lot of Pharasma's shtick is the maintenance of the order of the multiverse, ensuring that souls get filtered to the right planes and getting absolutely furious when people start siphoning it off as they are breaking the system. And maintaining the system feels like a lawful trait, so I think LN fits better than N. This gets at why I dislike alignment: unless I am the one writing what figures have which alignments there are occasionally figures that I think are the wrong alignment. And if I am the one writing, someone else will think I gave the wrong alignment eventually.


I see Pharasma as a largely passive figure, hence the neutral alignment. While her church is active in quashing the undead, she herself seems to just oversee things.

Dark Archive

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I think her being neutral deity with followers who are LN but no CN clerics is good way to handle her being biased towards Law while still being passive


I don't have a great problem with alignment (although I'd definitely tweak some things), but I do have a problem with Pharasma. I hate overdeities on Earth and I hate them in all realities, including on Golarion. Especially when they get exclusive privilege to judge themselves.

If I were making a campaign setting, I would have no problem with a deity in charge of judging the dead, but they wouldn't be unassailable and inescapable even if they were the most powerful (honk off too many other deities, and a coup is on and has a decent chance to succeed), and might not have even been the only one to hold that office (I even have a concept in which the previous deity in charge of judging the dead quit the job, but is still around, doing something else, but on decent terms with the current holder of that office).

Dark Archive

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Umm, but Pharasma isn't really an over deity. Like, they are just as able to die as all other deities are :p

Like, that is what she is worried about, that she dies before she has successor for next reality.

Heck, we already know Pharasma isn't even first god "ever", she is the survivor from previous reality in long chain of "one god survives to take previous existence's quintessence over to new one and trying to do better than last time"

This is what I meant when I said months ago that Pharasma gets lot of undeserved flack, people keep assuming tropes from other rpg settings fit her. What Pharasma has is "seniority", while she is implied to be extremely powerful on god scale, she wouldn't be able to solo all the other gods and we know she isn't as powerful as Rovagug and that Outer Gods are beyond her.

Reason why this annoys me so much is that Pharasma hasn't ever been called "overgod" or non copyright equivalent of the term nor has been implied by the books to be as powerful as that D&D term implies. She judges the souls of gods because she is in control of the cycle of souls, but it has been shown that she could be dethroned as lot of minor demigods have been able to mess with it(resulting in her punishing them). You don't need to be an overdeity to control flow of the souls as being demigod is enough.

Have to admit that I hate term "overgod" too since more correct term would be "Supreme Being". Which again Pathfinder doesn't have, closest is the Monad I would suppose as Monad is the multiverse itself.


Pharasma gets to judge EVERYTHING (at least everything that isn't an Outer God).

And that whole plan of having just 1 deity (or proto-deity) survive into the next world sounds awfully hazardous, just like Sith Lords always having just 1 master and 1 student . . . .

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