A question about the Azlanti Race


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Grand Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I can't seem to find the answer I am looking for but why do some depictions of Azlanti people show they have what looks like gems growing out of their body. Is that a natural thing or what? I have been looking for an answer and can't seem to find one. Thanks!


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The Azlanti empire did a lot of work on the magical properties of Aeon Stones, so likely any Azlanti seen with gems growing from their body had Aeon Stones implanted in them.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

If the Azlanti race were added as an Ancestry, their attributes would blow any other race out of the water. It would doubtless be "rare" since Aroden was supposed to be the last Azlanti.


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If added, Azlanti would be a heritage of human rather than their own ancestry, and I doubt they'd be written as overpowered this time around.

There are technically Azlanti on another planet. Some of them escaped the fall of Azlant through a portal (not unlike Elfgates) and it might be an interesting plot for some of these to come back to Golarion for whatever reason.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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One SIGNIFICANT thing we'll be more obvious and clear about when and if we do more rules for Azlantis is to treat them more responsibly. Just as how there are numerous Tien ethnicities representing a wide range of cultures on Tian Xia, there's numerous Azlanti ethnicities representing a wide range of cultures on Azlant back in the pre-Earthfall days. AKA there's a lot of diversity among them.

Grand Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Paradozen wrote:
The Azlanti empire did a lot of work on the magical properties of Aeon Stones, so likely any Azlanti seen with gems growing from their body had Aeon Stones implanted in them.

AHHHH That makes sense! I was questioning why do some of them have these gems and some depictions the people don't.


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Wheldrake wrote:
If the Azlanti race were added as an Ancestry, their attributes would blow any other race out of the water. It would doubtless be "rare" since Aroden was supposed to be the last Azlanti.

My take would be that if Azlanti were an ancestry, they'd just be Gillmen without the Gills, water dependency, and enchantment resistance (except against algollthu). Aroden being awesome doesn't meant the Azlanti were awesome anymore than Iomedae being Taldan means that Taldans are awesome.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
My take would be that if Azlanti were an ancestry, they'd just be Gillmen without the Gills, water dependency, and enchantment resistance (except against algollthu). Aroden being awesome doesn't meant the Azlanti were awesome anymore than Iomedae being Taldan means that Taldans are awesome.

Yeah but remember 1e Azlanti had ridiculous racial attributes (human, but with +2 to everything instead of a floating +2).

Personally I feel like Azlanti should just use a regular human statline. The idea that they were simply just part of a much more advanced and progressed society feels better to me than the idea that they were literally superhuman.


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I like the idea that Azlanti are superhuman because it means the most influential and successful people on Golarion today are just a shadow of who they used to be before disaster. The idea that the Azlanti were even more absurdly powerful when they were an alghollthu experiment and traded a bit of power for freedom from outer control was always interesting to me. That said, a flat +2 to all stats across the board doesn't feel like the most creative or thematic way to represent this. Maybe a set of heritages that are Unique (because even Rare isn't rare enough given that the only Azlanti on Golarion are ones who preserved themselves from millennia ago) and has feats and a heritage abilities that are just a touch stronger than average. Or a heritage set released alongside 2e's mythic rules.


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Squiggit wrote:
Personally I feel like Azlanti should just use a regular human statline. The idea that they were simply just part of a much more advanced and progressed society feels better to me than the idea that they were literally superhuman.

Agreed- Azlanti were just like any other human, they were just living in a society that was more magically, technologically, and perhaps culturally advanced than modern day Golarion- which is still in the upswing from the post-apocalypse.


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I'd be happy of a specific ancestry feat chain for them. The +2 across the board basically said two things. First, that they were the best humans and therefor in the top 10% of races in PF, and second that your GM would never let you play one because of flavor and balance reasons.

Dark Archive

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Personally I feel like Azlanti should just use a regular human statline. The idea that they were simply just part of a much more advanced and progressed society feels better to me than the idea that they were literally superhuman.
Agreed- Azlanti were just like any other human, they were just living in a society that was more magically, technologically, and perhaps culturally advanced than modern day Golarion- which is still in the upswing from the post-apocalypse.

Is there a reason why superior education and welfare couldn't be the reason why azlanti have +2 stats to everything?

Like, if since from birth you exercise well, are well educated, eat healthy food, are enhanced with magical floating stones that do everything (note that azlanti had devices to apply aeon stone effects to all inhabitants of a building), etc, I don't think it'd be unbelievable that you'd be stronger, faster, healthier, smarter, wiser and better talker than everyone who didn't go through such background growing up :p

(nothing says aboleth's breeding program was just eugenics. Like, if you want to think about the horrifying implications of it, just check what goes into raising pets :P)


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Welcome to the start of the GAP. This bug will slowly flow out and encompass all of Golarion. It is interesting to learn that jquest716, Azlanti, and Aroden were all responsible for the eventual result of all of Golarion vanishing in Golarion's far future.

As back to the OP and to how it pertains to ancestries, in 1st edition ancestries had different power because things were tied to HD not to power/danger level. So your 1HD creature might still be really powerful, while another 1HD creature might be nearly insignificant.

Now in second edition. Level ends up having a more direct tie to actual general power/impact on the game. Ancestries are more specifically for PCs, and as a result are intended to be more equitable. (as NPCs don't need to follow the same rules, NPCs have arbitrary levels and abilities, their abilities are determined by the GM based on encounter need)

So a Azlanti ancestry for second edition, I would assume would be far more balanced than the first edition equivalent would have been. What would be different, I think is second edition would be that your average Azlanti would probably be of higher Level, than your average 'Taldan' or 'Chelaxian'. High enough levels, they will higher stats than their lower level comparative society members, so it might not actually be unbelievable comparison.

If your average mature Azlanti were 5th level, they would incidentally have better attributes than your average mature Taldans who were 1st or 2nd level, due to level based ability boosts. But it wouldn't be due to their ancestry bonuses, but the 'defined/expected level' of their abilities, rather than their choice of ancestry. I think this is how P2 would handle the difference, rather than the P1 method of having a 50 racial point race that would create super powerful 1st level

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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I think this thread is fixed now. (I removed the posts about it being broken.)


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James Jacobs wrote:
One SIGNIFICANT thing we'll be more obvious and clear about when and if we do more rules for Azlantis is to treat them more responsibly. Just as how there are numerous Tien ethnicities representing a wide range of cultures on Tian Xia, there's numerous Azlanti ethnicities representing a wide range of cultures on Azlant back in the pre-Earthfall days. AKA there's a lot of diversity among them.

What? Azlanti was not a single race, but a collective term for multiple races who lived in the continent of Azlant? Does that mean there are clearly some pureblood Azlanti who have no white skin, black hair and purple eyes? I thought Alaznist must be a halfblood Azlanti or not an Azlanti at all because she has red hair instead of black. Now I come to think of it, she and other runelords didn't have purple eyes as well.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
What? Azlanti was not a single race, but a collective term for multiple races who lived in the continent of Azlant? Does that mean there are clearly some pureblood Azlanti who have no white skin, black hair and purple eyes? I thought Alaznist must be a halfblood Azlanti or not an Azlanti at all because she has red hair instead of black. Now I come to think of it, she and other runelords didn't have purple eyes as well.

The people of Azlant, collectively known as the Azlanti, comprised a wide range of skin colors and hair colors and eye colors, yes.


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CorvusMask wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Personally I feel like Azlanti should just use a regular human statline. The idea that they were simply just part of a much more advanced and progressed society feels better to me than the idea that they were literally superhuman.
Agreed- Azlanti were just like any other human, they were just living in a society that was more magically, technologically, and perhaps culturally advanced than modern day Golarion- which is still in the upswing from the post-apocalypse.

Is there a reason why superior education and welfare couldn't be the reason why azlanti have +2 stats to everything?

Like, if since from birth you exercise well, are well educated, eat healthy food, are enhanced with magical floating stones that do everything (note that azlanti had devices to apply aeon stone effects to all inhabitants of a building), etc, I don't think it'd be unbelievable that you'd be stronger, faster, healthier, smarter, wiser and better talker than everyone who didn't go through such background growing up :p

(nothing says aboleth's breeding program was just eugenics. Like, if you want to think about the horrifying implications of it, just check what goes into raising pets :P)

For me the issue isn't that a +2 to all stats couldn't represent this, just that it is not the best way to handle it. First, it is hard to balance around because of the variety of consequences that may not be obvious. Second, the heritage and ancestry feat system already gives good avenues to represent your culture and environment producing solid benefits to you. For example, Azlanti could be given +2 INT because they have a robust education system, or they could get trained in crafting, society, and a special Lore skill because of their shared education. I prefer the latter personally.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

From my point of view there are multiple problems with the old PF1 version of the Azlanti race.

The Narrative Problem

Having a culture of supremacists actually have superior stats feeds into a dangerous narrative that the bigots are right -- all other people are inferior to the Master Race. Honestly, we're better than that.

The Munchkin Problem

"I wanna play an Azlanti / Drow Noble / Merfolk with a permanent fly spell on them. Um, because I just want to play one for uh, roleplay reasons."

The rarity system helps with this a little, but I really hate dealing with whiny players.

The Oversimplification Problem

Stats like that tell a story that completely overrides the other interesting flavor of an ancestry. All of a sudden, players are not looking at fun heritages for the quirky benefits they offer. They're seeing the ancestry in only one limited way, trying to get the best numbers they can.

Besides, stat boosts are kind on unimaginative and boring. I want to see other kinds of cool abilities.

The Game Balance Problem

The math of PF2 is tight. Bonuses of any kind are rare. Introducing a cross the board +2 ancestry bonus means that you are disregarding all the tough work that we faced to get the balance right in the first place. It will have repercussions everywhere, and cause power creep.

So, What Do I Want?

I want Azlanti to be like humans or gillmen. Cool flavor abilities, but no special treatment.

Thanks for listening,
Hmm

Dark Archive

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I kinda think that +2 to all stats is part of what makes azlanti mechanically interesting for npcs though in 1e. And they aren't meant to be used by players for most part anyway, so them being OP wouldn't matter. So being able to play as one and having players delighted by the +2 to all stats thing is always nice.

Grand Lodge

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Isn't that two contradictory things? The ancestry cannot be simultaneously NPC-only and something available to players who're delighted with the stat boost.

The crazy thing is... I would love to play someone who is culturally Azlanti. Someone who came through an elf-gate right from the Azlanti Star Empire. But I want it to be an ancestry with normal stats and other fun abilities, not an unbalanced stat monster that every sane GM will ban on sight.

Hmm

Dark Archive

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Hmm wrote:

Isn't that two contradictory things? The ancestry cannot be simultaneously NPC only so the stat boost doesn't matter, and something available to players who're delighted with the stat boost.

The crazy thing is... I would love to play someone who is culturally Azlanti. Someone who came through an elf-gate right from the Azlanti Star Empire. But I want it to be an ancestry with normal stats and other fun abilities, not an unbalanced stat monster that every sane GM will ban on sight.

Hmm

Well yes, but if azlanti was rare ancestry, I don't think the flavor of extinct super advanced civilization is that particularly "fun" mechanically when you obviously don't have access to crazy modern magic technology(ruins of azlant kinda shows that some of azlanti research facilities have heavy modern corporation flavor xD)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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I'm 99% sure that Azlanti will be presented as humans without any intrinsic mechanical beneftits. The addition of ancestry feats and heritages and all that give us better tools to explore them than 1st edition's more restrictive options.

They'll have cool flavor abilities, but no "special treatment." And they'll still likely be a Rare ancestry even so.

Dark Archive

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Aww :'D

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

::offers Corvus a hug and a nice cup of tea::

Thanks for the response, James.

Hmm


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James Jacobs wrote:
One SIGNIFICANT thing we'll be more obvious and clear about when and if we do more rules for Azlantis is to treat them more responsibly. Just as how there are numerous Tien ethnicities representing a wide range of cultures on Tian Xia, there's numerous Azlanti ethnicities representing a wide range of cultures on Azlant back in the pre-Earthfall days. AKA there's a lot of diversity among them.

I look forward to reading these differences if/when they come out! I always had this image of the Azlanti as a huge, homogeneous mass. I think I will continue to imagine them that way for Starfinder, where centuries of funtime eugenics and genetic tinkering could allow any Azlanti who was anybody to have "perfectly Azlanti" children, but learning about how they were different from one another would be a good read and serve to break the Azlanti out of the mold of "Atlanteans but with more slaves and also brainwashed by giant three-eyed fish."

Speaking of...

Vic Wertz wrote:
I think this thread is fixed now. (I removed the posts about it being broken.)

The memory is excised! The Alghollthu have struck again ... or have they?


Wheldrake wrote:
If the Azlanti race were added as an Ancestry, their attributes would blow any other race out of the water. It would doubtless be "rare" since Aroden was supposed to be the last Azlanti.

I'm curious, why did you bring this up?


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James Jacobs wrote:
Aenigma wrote:
What? Azlanti was not a single race, but a collective term for multiple races who lived in the continent of Azlant? Does that mean there are clearly some pureblood Azlanti who have no white skin, black hair and purple eyes? I thought Alaznist must be a halfblood Azlanti or not an Azlanti at all because she has red hair instead of black. Now I come to think of it, she and other runelords didn't have purple eyes as well.
The people of Azlant, collectively known as the Azlanti, comprised a wide range of skin colors and hair colors and eye colors, yes.

That works for me, I wouldn't doubt that Alghollthu picked all sorts of human peoples and ethnic groups from various continents in their Azlanti experiment.

It also helps that I've sort of visualized the Azlanti as being Latinx or mestizo in visual appearance (you know just to throw in some inclusiveness and subvert that boring and obnoxious advanced ancient white people cliche).


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Voltron64 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Aenigma wrote:
What? Azlanti was not a single race, but a collective term for multiple races who lived in the continent of Azlant? Does that mean there are clearly some pureblood Azlanti who have no white skin, black hair and purple eyes? I thought Alaznist must be a halfblood Azlanti or not an Azlanti at all because she has red hair instead of black. Now I come to think of it, she and other runelords didn't have purple eyes as well.
The people of Azlant, collectively known as the Azlanti, comprised a wide range of skin colors and hair colors and eye colors, yes.
It also helps that I've sort of visualized the Azlanti as being Latinx or mestizo in visual appearance (you know just to throw in some inclusiveness and subvert that boring and obnoxious advanced ancient white people cliche).

Interesting idea, it actually makes perfect sense considering that Azlant is between the analogues to Europe, the Americas, and Africa.

Speaking of Azlant having connections to place inspired by America and Europe...I find it really cool that Azlant sounds like Aztlán as well as Atlantis. Not sure if that was intentional (I know the Atlantis part was but not sure about Aztlán).


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The racial and cultural assumptions of archaeology are an interesting thing to encounter.

The first explorers of the Azlant ruins from the Inner Sea region were probably of Taldan descent.

So their cultural assumption would subconsciously filter in Taldan analogues to fill the gaps. Just like any such from Garund or Arvada would fill in with theirs. However, as we had not seen those tales of yet, the 'Taldan+' mythology makes sense...


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Where is Arvada?


I assume they were referring to Aradia.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Arcadia

Apparently the auto-corrupt gremlins were hard at work.

Arcadia is very lightly touched-on continent to the west of Old Azlant.


Arvada is in Denver, Colorado. Not sure what it has to with Golarion though.


Paradozen wrote:
The Azlanti empire did a lot of work on the magical properties of Aeon Stones, so likely any Azlanti seen with gems growing from their body had Aeon Stones implanted in them.

Why are they now called Aeon Stones and do they have something to do with Aeons?


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WagnerSika wrote:
Paradozen wrote:
The Azlanti empire did a lot of work on the magical properties of Aeon Stones, so likely any Azlanti seen with gems growing from their body had Aeon Stones implanted in them.
Why are they now called Aeon Stones and do they have something to do with Aeons?

Probably to distinguish themselves from their D&D roots.


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Darth Game Master wrote:
Voltron64 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Aenigma wrote:
What? Azlanti was not a single race, but a collective term for multiple races who lived in the continent of Azlant? Does that mean there are clearly some pureblood Azlanti who have no white skin, black hair and purple eyes? I thought Alaznist must be a halfblood Azlanti or not an Azlanti at all because she has red hair instead of black. Now I come to think of it, she and other runelords didn't have purple eyes as well.
The people of Azlant, collectively known as the Azlanti, comprised a wide range of skin colors and hair colors and eye colors, yes.
It also helps that I've sort of visualized the Azlanti as being Latinx or mestizo in visual appearance (you know just to throw in some inclusiveness and subvert that boring and obnoxious advanced ancient white people cliche).

Interesting idea, it actually makes perfect sense considering that Azlant is between the analogues to Europe, the Americas, and Africa.

Speaking of Azlant having connections to place inspired by America and Europe...I find it really cool that Azlant sounds like Aztlán as well as Atlantis. Not sure if that was intentional (I know the Atlantis part was but not sure about Aztlán).

Coincidentally, someone else asked James Jacobs this question, It sadly wasn't intentional, but it's awesome nonetheless.


Garretmander wrote:
Probably to distinguish themselves from their D&D roots.

I mean, they come from Jack Vance (the same texts from which "fire and forget" vancian casting arise), but very few people have read those these days. So what is the value in keeping the reference? Since people are going to ask "who or what is an ioun?"

Shadow Lodge

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Garretmander wrote:
Probably to distinguish themselves from their D&D roots.
I mean, they come from Jack Vance (the same texts from which "fire and forget" vancian casting arise), but very few people have read those these days. So what is the value in keeping the reference? Since people are going to ask "who or what is an ioun?"

Norse goddess of youth?


zimmerwald1915 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Garretmander wrote:
Probably to distinguish themselves from their D&D roots.
I mean, they come from Jack Vance (the same texts from which "fire and forget" vancian casting arise), but very few people have read those these days. So what is the value in keeping the reference? Since people are going to ask "who or what is an ioun?"
Norse goddess of youth?

That's Idun ;p

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Aeon Stones are called that because the stones themselves are thought to be crystal tools left behind by the aeons who literally formed the Material Plane in the early days of the multiverse. They are the implements of prehistoric existence.

There's a bit more about this in the Azlanti ruins article I wrote for Ruins of Azlant, which is the first place I started working this change into the setting and game.

We started doing this with Starfinder at about the same time. Basically, it comes down to IOUN being a word from Jack Vance's Dying Earth books, which I adore. I remember from when I was editor of Dragon Magazine, I made a point to read every issue of the magazine, starting with the Strategic Review newsletter that came immediately before it. Somewhere in that first dozen issues or so was a letter from Vance granting Gary Gygax permission to use the word in D&D.

That's cool, and all, but even though I'm sure it's legally kosher I've always felt that Vance never intended to add his word into the Open Gaming License, so its use has alway seemed a bit unseemly to me. Similarly, I've never mourned the fact that WotC claims the displacer beast as product identity (meaning Pathfinder can't use it), because that monster is a ripoff of an A. E. van Vogt alien by way of a Marvel comics adaptation.

Anyway, I'm led to understand that D&D from 4e onward has attempted to make "Ioun" more of a thing within the mythology of their own game. I think it's a magic god, or something.

In any event, it doesn't really have anything to do with Pathfinder, so we decided to change it to something that better fits the Pathfinder world.

Dark Archive

Erik Mona wrote:
Similarly, I've never mourned the fact that WotC claims the displacer beast as product identity (meaning Pathfinder can't use it), because that monster is a ripoff of an A. E. van Vogt alien by way of a Marvel comics adaptation.

I'm kinda sad that paizo got rights for Coeurl back in 3.5 days since it means I will never get to use monster in 1e or 2e or even starfinder :p Since I don't really do much of monster conversions from 3.5, they have been kinda odd.

(then again, Coeurl is kinda in that weird "This really should be in public domain huh" list among other stuff from same era :P I'm kinda annoyed about copyrights for stuff whose author has been long dead already. Looking at you Mickey Mouse... Edit: Huh checked it, didn't know van Vogth died in 2000. At least Couerl's author hasn't been dead for even 20 years yet, so I guess that one doesn't count even if book itself is that old)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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CorvusMask wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
Similarly, I've never mourned the fact that WotC claims the displacer beast as product identity (meaning Pathfinder can't use it), because that monster is a ripoff of an A. E. van Vogt alien by way of a Marvel comics adaptation.

I'm kinda sad that paizo got rights for Coeurl back in 3.5 days since it means I will never get to use monster in 1e or 2e or even starfinder :p Since I don't really do much of monster conversions from 3.5, they have been kinda odd.

(then again, Coeurl is kinda in that weird "This really should be in public domain huh" list among other stuff from same era :P I'm kinda annoyed about copyrights for stuff whose author has been long dead already. Looking at you Mickey Mouse... Edit: Huh checked it, didn't know van Vogth died in 2000. At least Couerl's author hasn't been dead for even 20 years yet, so I guess that one doesn't count even if book itself is that old)

We only had the rights to print it that one time, and didn't put it into the OGL.

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