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The gap wasn't an instantaneous thing, its length ia unknown. No one's sure who was on Golarion when whatever happened to the planet happened. And no one knows what happened to them if they were on the planet. But there's no reason to assume people would have had to teleport off. There might have been plenty of time to see things happening and leave by mundane means.
It's explicitly mentioned in regards to certain races that were primarily concentrated on golarion have had their populations drastically cut due to the planet's disappearance, so if they were teleported off - of which there is no indication whatsoever - it wasn't to other planets in the pact worlds system at least.
The line from the gods that have been communed with about Golarion is that it's safe, intact, unreachable, but it's population is continuing to live there in relative peace.
The only question is whether or not one believes that.
I remember seeing somewhere that the gap is about 300 years, but I don't remember my source. Elves are so long lived that many of them lived through the gap, but can't remember it. This deeply troubles the elves, so much so that their distrust of other races has only worsened, and they have become even more insular and exclusionary. They've nearly all retreated back to the elven home continent on castrovel. All other races are forbidden from living there, Though they've recently extended invitations to half elves to settle there. Presumably because true elven population has reduced drastically, and they are desperate to repopulate.
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From what I recall it's not that The Gap lasted 300 years, but that it ended just over 300 years ago. The length of The Gap is not known precisely, but the core rule book says it lasted for a few millenia, at least.
(I don't have the book with me, but one of the references on a wiki says CRB p 424.)
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The Gap ended roughly 300 years ago (319 in canon at this point, but that's for the Golarian/Pact Worlds system, the Kasathan home system had the Gap ending almost 100 years before that, and every system is slightly different).
It began at some point near the current Pathfinder timeline. Noone knows for sure how long it was, and it's slightly different lengths depending on where you were in the galaxy (both beginning and end).
It case it isn't clear, yet, the Gap wasn't something people living through it would notice. People lived their lives normally all through it. It was only at the end of it, that everyone woke up, couldn't remember how they met their wives or when their kids were born or what year they graduated college (or even what college they went to). They couldn't remember why they were currently fighting this particular war or how they got to this particular planet or what happened to Golarion or even how long it had been gone. They knew Absalom Station was 'lived in', but not for how long. When they looked, they found that nearly all records (both media and forensic) for a period of time lasting potentially millennia were either gone or unclear.
So, yes, there are elves that definitely remember waking up one day 300ish years ago and not remembering any of the contextual history of their lives. But there are not elves (at least, not living ones) that remember being born before the Gap and living all the way through it. They don't live that long.
The thing that troubles elven society though isn't just the 'nearness' (relative to personal story) of the end of the Gap. The thing that troubles Soyvarian Elves is that one of the few things that did survive the giant sponge cleaner of history, was evidence that the Elves had been recently (by their standards) betrayed in some fundamental way by a non-elf society. They didn't know who, or how, or when, but they knew it happened, and they collectively felt like it was a very big deal. Rather than risk being betrayed again, they collectively said, "screw you guys, we're going home" and locked their doors.
It's like if everyone in the world woke up on December 12th 1941 and couldn't remember any history since, say, the Renaissance, but one of the few things Americans could remember was that they were *just* attacked. They didn't know who, but someone just bombed them and they were all collectively pissed off about it. That's how elves felt about the Gap, and their reaction was to close themselves off from the rest of the 'world'.
The only people allowed on most of their home continent now are Elves, Gnomes, Half-Elves, and a handful of others who can demonstrate significant elven lineage or loyalty to Soyvarian. This isn't recent though. This has been status quo since about 1AG.
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I also don't think the gap goes nearly that far back. The sunrise maiden I believe was described as pre gap technology, and it had a human captain. If humans had competent space travel pregap, I don't think it would extend as far back as pathfinder days.
This is all wrong. The Sunrise Maiden was missing for about a century, so two centuries after the Gap ended and drift travel was revealed.
Pogiforce wrote:I also don't think the gap goes nearly that far back. The sunrise maiden I believe was described as pre gap technology, and it had a human captain. If humans had competent space travel pregap, I don't think it would extend as far back as pathfinder days.This is all wrong. The Sunrise Maiden was missing for about a century, so two centuries after the Gap ended and drift travel was revealed.
I may be misremembering and ascribing more mystique to the sunrise maiden than it's worth. I don't know, I don't have my incident at Absalom station in front of me to double check at the moment.
Xenocrat wrote:I may be misremembering and ascribing more mystique to the sunrise maiden than it's worth. I don't know, I don't have my incident at Absalom station in front of me to double check at the moment.Pogiforce wrote:I also don't think the gap goes nearly that far back. The sunrise maiden I believe was described as pre gap technology, and it had a human captain. If humans had competent space travel pregap, I don't think it would extend as far back as pathfinder days.This is all wrong. The Sunrise Maiden was missing for about a century, so two centuries after the Gap ended and drift travel was revealed.
From the inside cover write up:
The Sanjaval Spaceflight Systems Vagabond-class multipurpose light transport/freighter is a versatile workhorse with a reputation for durability and reliability. In service for over 100 years, Vagabonds are still regularly used throughout the Pact Worlds as cargo haulers, smuggling ships, and exploratory survey vessels.
From the campaign outline:
They also discover the Sunrise Maiden, a ship lost in hyperspace 75 years ago, which they can claim for themselves.
From the adventure:
Seventy-five years ago, a human explorer named Moriko Nash came across the Drift Rock during her own Drift travel.
The PCs can make a culture check to find out that the Maiden was reported lost seventy five years prior to dead suns.
The gap's description in the CRB suggests it was millennia long at least, but also that it may have traveled forwards and backwards through the timeline. Weird and inconsistent history that anyone afterwards has no memory of, but anyone living during probably wouldn't think anything is off.
I would also hazard a guess that the 'start' of the gap is right about when Aroden died. The way the gap is described, that might just be the middle chronologically.
Interestingly, though, speaking about spaceship technology existing pre-Gap:
...when the PCs get inside the Royal Venture, too, they find "modern"-esque tech, including all of the things you'd find on a current 319 AG spaceship. There's familiar seeming tech, computers, sentient technological robots, enough cybernetics to foster creation of cybernetic zombies, etc.
There's no solid conclusions to be drawn from that, but there's some possibilities:
1) The Gap started late enough after Pathfinder era that spaceships, robots, etc were prevalent through the galaxy.
2) The Gap started much, much, later in the Azlanti Star Empire than it did elsewhere. Maybe the height of (non-Numerian) tech on Golarion was Alkenstar firearms when The Gap started, but by the time The Gap propagated out to New Thespera, they'd already been flying around (sub-light speed) for centuries.
We know that the Azlanti Star Empire is based out of the Aristia system, out in The Vast, so who knows - maybe there's some correlation between "time The Gap started" and "distance from Pact Worlds system" with those farther away having a more "delayed" Gap Start.
3) Maybe the Azlanti of New Thespera just really are so advanced that they have spaceships at the same time that Golarion was figuring out firearms? I mean...quick napkin math...the Starstone fell in -5293 AR, and in-game it's 4719, so that's 10,012 years...without that whole pesky Aboleths-resetting-society schtick, maybe the Space Azlanti could conceivably get there?
Which raises its own sort of fun possibilities! Going forwards in my Pathfinder games, I'm replacing "rocks fall, everyone dies" with "rip in space (but not time!) transports dreadnought from New Thespera into orbit; artillery lasers fall, everyone dies."
4) Like Garretmander says, The Gap is weird and potentially unknowable, with "fuzzy" boundaries, temporally speaking. It starts and stops in different times, in different places. Pretty sure that's specifically to act as an answer in cases like this, where the tech level pre-Gap can be Starfinder-compatible in one place but Pathfinder-compatible in another place :D
Interestingly, though, speaking about spaceship technology existing pre-Gap:** spoiler omitted **
Huh? There's zero doubt that the vast majority of the current starfinder tech all existed before the gap. They built Absalom Station during the Gap! Ungarato was modified into its current form during the Gap. Androids were created during (and thousands of years before) the Gap. Anacites and their technology existed many thousands of years before the Gap. Eox had a planet killing space station many thousands of years before the gap. The Vesk and Azlanti had fully conquered their system's planets with advanced space navies during the Gap and shifted into interstellar conquest mode as soon as they slapped drift drives on to their existing tech base.
The only difference is that the drift engine arrived shortly after and made interstellar travel cheap and ubiquitous, rather than limited and expensive. The Pact Worlds are absolutely littered with Gap-era ship hulks from forgotten wars that have equivalent technology to what is in use today.
Yeah, I don't have the impression that technology advances all that fast in the Pact worlds or their contemporaries.
If anything the gap probably slowed all that down while people were figuring out what they knew, and if any of it was accurate. Someone just coming out of the gap is probably going to try and relearn everything they still kinda know, just to make sure they don't blow up the whole shipyard when making a new power core from the parts lying around.
I don't think the situation is quite as bad as the star wars universe is about tech development, but it's definitely been slow for a long time.
There's zero doubt that the vast majority of the current starfinder tech all existed before the gap.
Do we know that, though? Like if The Gap started for Golarion very close to the current year - like 4725 AR or something - and lasted for, I dunno, 4000 years, it's very possible that the technology explosion to get from Pathfinder to Starfinder all happened during The Gap, right?Granted I haven't read everything put out for Starfinder, but there's nothing to say that Ungarato couldn't have started off The Gap as a sword and ended it as a BFG, is there?
Of course, it's all academic. It's possible I fell down a bit of a thought-exercise rabbit hole.
Xenocrat wrote:There's zero doubt that the vast majority of the current starfinder tech all existed before the gap.Do we know that, though? Like if The Gap started for Golarion very close to the current year - like 4725 AR or something - and lasted for, I dunno, 4000 years, it's very possible that the technology explosion to get from Pathfinder to Starfinder all happened during The Gap, right?
By "before the Gap" I mean "before the ending of the Gap" which seemed to be how you were using it. It's not at all surprising that an experimental Azlanti ship made during the Gap, for example, had tech comparable to that in use during the present day.
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Again, remember: the Gap was not an ongoing phenomenon. People still lived and invented and explored and fought and died, entirely normally, for the whole duration. Its only the records of those events that got wiped out, and only at the end, more or less.
So, what was the "Gap tech level"? The same as it was the day after the Gap ended. It wasn't some magical stasis effect where nothing changed from the last point pre-Gap to the point when the Gap ended.
Ooooh, I gotcha Xenocrat. Yeah I was trying to say before the start of the Gap. I can see how that wasn't very clear, heh.
I went on a mental tangent from the question up-thread about the Sunrise Maiden being pre-Start of Gap, and "do we know when the Gap started on Golarion?" to using the level of technological development at the time of The Gap starting for Golarion as a rough gauge for when The Gap starts, relative to Pathfinder times.
Like, if (just making things up) humans from Golarion and Lashuntas from Castrovel had well-developed unified governments and respected space navies, and decided to go to war, and there's reliable records of their space battles existing pre-Gap: that paints a very different picture for Golarion's Gap Start Time relative to Pathfinder era than if the latest technological invention to be reliably chronicled pre-Gap Start was, like, an Alkenstar ballistic missile.
...but, again, I think Paizo has specifically said they're never going to clearly lay things out like that, so, uh, yeah. Just pontificating over here.
I should clarify, I didn't say the elves closing off their borders was recent. I said the reclamation of the half elves was. Originally they weren't allowed in either. Too human.
I don't know where you're getting that. The Blood Right (as described in Dead Suns 2 and Pact Worlds) isn't stated to be a recent phenomenon. The impression I get from the text is that Half-elves (and gnomes) have always been allowed in, and in fact, are the only reason Sovyrian has managed to survive as isolated as it is.
Just pointing out that the source material doesn't actually tell us when the gap started.
It doesn't but Rob McCreary (and other Devs) has said in a number of interviews and panels that part of the purpose of the Gap is to separate current pathfinder and starfinder timelines, and also to prevent them from re-writing the table history for people that play the Pathfinder AP's. It isn't nailed down anywhere but, 'Date the first official Pathfinder AP started' seems to be how the writers are treating it. At least in regards to Golarion history. That allows them to avoid giving a 'canon' ending to any of the AP's in a Starfinder history book.
The text from dead suns book 2 is largely unchanged in pact worlds. Me saying it's recent is in relation to when the elves isolated themselves, not in relation to present day. The source material doesn't say it came after, but neither did it say it happened at the same time. Only that the blood right was a work around to help them deal with their dwindling population. It's hard to tell, they don't dedicate to dates in the world entries. The only hard dates are for major, system wide events in the core rulebook, and apparently anything the elves did didn't qualify. For that matter we don't know when their isolation started, only that it was after the gap and after the rulers investigated and came to the conclusion they were betrayed. That could have been months, years, decades.
Pactworlds mentions a series of massive cracks through the planet thousands of miles long and 30+ miles deep. They weren't there before the gap, and they appear to be about that old yes.
Granted we can't use those cracks to time stamp when the gap started. We can only use it to know the gap was at least that long. The crackening could have happened almost anywhere during the gap's time period.