Artistic liberty or is Golarion more advanced than it seems at first?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


Ignoring the Sci-Fi elements in Numeria Golarion seems to be a Sword&Sorcery setting. Yet when flipping through the Lost Omens book several illustrations give a quite different vibe.

For example one of the pictures about Absolom shows 100 Gun first rates which based on the paint scheme were inspired by the 18th century HMS Victory. So not only come they from a completely different timeframe than what Pathfinder usually uses it also makes one wonder how advanced guns are and how far they spread.
Speaking of guns, the one used for the Sun Orchid Oasis picture (Golden Road) is also quite advanced and wouldn't look out of place in a "Laurence of Arabia" setting.

The Shining Kingdoms are a strange case as the first picture shows renaissance knights charging a dragon which is what you expect from sword&sorcery, the next few pictures though show characters who would fit more into the time of the french revolution or later (the final blade certainly enforces that).

So, how much of that is because of liberties taken by the artist and how much is canon?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Firearms and guns were in the setting from the get go, see: Alkenstar. Ships with cannons and adventurers with muskets are rare, but not unheard of.


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Andoran is a democracy, Galt has been stuck in the 1790s for more than half a century , we went from having a stalled colonization dynamic in 1E to getting started on decolonization with the update, the Aspis Consortium pretty much is an early supranational megacorp, slavery is falling out of favor more and more ...

Technology is far behind, what with magic making it partly unnecessary, but Golarion is a very modern setting, at least in the most prosperous areas like the inner sea region.
We're not getting an industrial revolution anytime soon, but the ideas of the Age of Enlightenment have already been there for a while.

As with the rest of the setting, it's a mix of everything.
The Mammoth Lords are sticking to their Conan-like ways, Belkzen cares little for your ideas, Andoran has its flaws but is har at work trying to spread their ideals, Taldor is finally looking to modernize itself...

But ultimately, it's not "just" a medieval fantasy setting.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Having said that, I have the impression that firearms and guns have shifted from "once in a blue moon" they were in PF1 to "you'll bump into them sooner or later" in PF2.

For example, there was grand total of one known seafaring ship with cannons in PF1 (leading to a rather silly situation with not-Caribbean pirates of Shackles sailing around with ballistae and trebuchets). Now in PF2 it seems like cannon armament is much more common.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Gorbacz wrote:

Having said that, I have the impression that firearms and guns have shifted from "once in a blue moon" they were in PF1 to "you'll bump into them sooner or later" in PF2.

For example, there was grand total of one known seafaring ship with cannons in PF1 (leading to a rather silly situation with not-Caribbean pirates of Shackles sailing around with ballistae and trebuchets). Now in PF2 it seems like cannon armament is much more common.

When we first introduced guns and the like in Pathfinder, we were super timid. We loved the idea, but were afraid of a generalized revolt from the customers and players of the game, so we only dipped our toes in that pond. The reaction has been pretty positive over the years and folks really like what we've done with firearms in the setting's lore, so with 2nd edition, we've taken advantage of the idea that the setting itself has moved forward in time from where it was ten years ago to have guns be more widespread. Widespread enough that were we to do Skull & Shackles today there'd be more cannons on those pirate ships.

But don't take the presence of one ship with cannons on it to suggest that ALL ships will have cannons on them. Cannons are canon in the setting, but not THAT canon.

Beyond that, yes, the setting of Golarion is NOT intended to be an accurate simulation of medieval Europe's technology level. There's as much inspiration drawn from the ancient world (Rome, Egypt, and further back) as there is from the modern era in the setting. This lets us tell a much wider range of stories than if we were stuck only in "knights and shining armor" mode.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I can non say anything bad about this change. My groups have always been gun-friendly with some musketeer reentactors being in fact gun-crazy.


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I mean, Golarion is sort of a post-post-apocalyptic setting, so there being a wide range of technological progress makes a lot of sense. It wouldn't be surprising if the Azlanti had plasma cannons and stuff like that.


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I would've preferred if gunsmithing technology would have not exceeded the 16th century of the RW in any country or place on Golarion. That is to say it is at such a level where it doesn't completely outmatch other forms of ranged weapons (such as bows or crossbows) nor is enough to render armour obsolete.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Cannons are canon in the setting, but not THAT canon.

How long have you been wanting to use that sentence?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deserk wrote:
I would've preferred if gunsmithing technology would have not exceeded the 16th century of the RW in any country or place on Golarion. That is to say it is at such a level where it doesn't completely outmatch other forms of ranged weapons (such as bows or crossbows) nor is enough to render armour obsolete.

Considering how guns, other ranged weapons, and armor works in the game system you don't really have to worry about that.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Rysky wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Cannons are canon in the setting, but not THAT canon.
How long have you been wanting to use that sentence?

Sometimes things just become glories in the moment that no one could have foreseen.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Rysky wrote:
Deserk wrote:
I would've preferred if gunsmithing technology would have not exceeded the 16th century of the RW in any country or place on Golarion. That is to say it is at such a level where it doesn't completely outmatch other forms of ranged weapons (such as bows or crossbows) nor is enough to render armour obsolete.
Considering how guns, other ranged weapons, and armor works in the game system you don't really have to worry about that.

And very true—the game is less about modeling a real and accurate simulation of the interaction of bullets and armor and more about letting us have a marilith with six uzis.

EDIT: I require the internet to produce this marilith as art, now.

Silver Crusade

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James Jacobs wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Deserk wrote:
I would've preferred if gunsmithing technology would have not exceeded the 16th century of the RW in any country or place on Golarion. That is to say it is at such a level where it doesn't completely outmatch other forms of ranged weapons (such as bows or crossbows) nor is enough to render armour obsolete.
Considering how guns, other ranged weapons, and armor works in the game system you don't really have to worry about that.

And very true—the game is less about modeling a real and accurate simulation of the interaction of bullets and armor and more about letting us have a marilith with six uzis.

EDIT: I require the internet to produce this marilith as art, now.

Seconded pleeeeeease.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

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James Jacobs wrote:
EDIT: I require the internet to produce this marilith as art, now.

I mean... I'm _SURE_ I can somehow work that into a Starfinder Society scenario? ;)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Thurston Hillman wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
EDIT: I require the internet to produce this marilith as art, now.
I mean... I'm _SURE_ I can somehow work that into a Starfinder Society scenario? ;)

Are Starfinder Society things allowed to go that high level? OH wait... you can just build a TPK setup. Not my fault if you do. But excellent. Mwa ha hah.


James Jacobs wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

Having said that, I have the impression that firearms and guns have shifted from "once in a blue moon" they were in PF1 to "you'll bump into them sooner or later" in PF2.

For example, there was grand total of one known seafaring ship with cannons in PF1 (leading to a rather silly situation with not-Caribbean pirates of Shackles sailing around with ballistae and trebuchets). Now in PF2 it seems like cannon armament is much more common.

With that in mind, how soon can we expect to see stats for firearms in PF2?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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MKKuehne wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

Having said that, I have the impression that firearms and guns have shifted from "once in a blue moon" they were in PF1 to "you'll bump into them sooner or later" in PF2.

For example, there was grand total of one known seafaring ship with cannons in PF1 (leading to a rather silly situation with not-Caribbean pirates of Shackles sailing around with ballistae and trebuchets). Now in PF2 it seems like cannon armament is much more common.

With that in mind, how soon can we expect to see stats for firearms in PF2?

To be pedantic? You can expect to see stats for a firearm last August, when Cult of Cinders came out.

Spoiler:
There's an NPC in that adventure who carries a firearm. It's not something the PCs can really use though, so it's mostly just a stop-gap measure by us to confirm that yes, guns are still around.

If folks really REALLY want firearms rules we'll try to get them out sooner than we've planned, but it's gonna probably be sooner than most other folks expect. Have patience. We'll get there.


James Jacobs wrote:
MKKuehne wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

Having said that, I have the impression that firearms and guns have shifted from "once in a blue moon" they were in PF1 to "you'll bump into them sooner or later" in PF2.

For example, there was grand total of one known seafaring ship with cannons in PF1 (leading to a rather silly situation with not-Caribbean pirates of Shackles sailing around with ballistae and trebuchets). Now in PF2 it seems like cannon armament is much more common.

With that in mind, how soon can we expect to see stats for firearms in PF2?

To be pedantic? You can expect to see stats for a firearm last August, when Cult of Cinders came out.

** spoiler omitted **

If folks really REALLY want firearms rules we'll try to get them out sooner than we've planned, but it's gonna probably be sooner than most other folks expect. Have patience. We'll get there.

My players loved firearms in 1e and would excited to see it in 2e. This will be especially true with the Swashbuckler class. Who doesn't want to play a pirate with a cutlass and a pistol?

Thank you for the quick response.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:


If folks really REALLY want firearms rules we'll try to get them out sooner than we've planned, but it's gonna probably be sooner than most other folks expect. Have patience. We'll get there.

Put me in the "Wants firearms asap" I would have loved to see them in last month's releases, but I understand the need to take the time to get them right. Definitely no later than the swashbuckler release would be ideal. Mostly because in my mind Swashbuckers absolutely should have a rapier in one and and a pistol tucked in their belt as they swing from a chandelier.

Dark Archive

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Yes, I find myself hilarious wrote:
Did the thread glitch out? Why is everyone talking in quotes?


James Jacobs wrote:
MKKuehne wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

Having said that, I have the impression that firearms and guns have shifted from "once in a blue moon" they were in PF1 to "you'll bump into them sooner or later" in PF2.

For example, there was grand total of one known seafaring ship with cannons in PF1 (leading to a rather silly situation with not-Caribbean pirates of Shackles sailing around with ballistae and trebuchets). Now in PF2 it seems like cannon armament is much more common.

With that in mind, how soon can we expect to see stats for firearms in PF2?

To be pedantic? You can expect to see stats for a firearm last August, when Cult of Cinders came out.

** spoiler omitted **

If folks really REALLY want firearms rules we'll try to get them out sooner than we've planned, but it's gonna probably be sooner than most other folks expect. Have patience. We'll get there.

They’re the thing I want most in 2e, so yeah, mark me down as “ASAP.”


3Doubloons wrote:
Yes, I find myself hilarious wrote:
Did the thread glitch out? Why is everyone talking in quotes?
It's because the Internet hasn't been rebooted recently and it's out of swap space. Please save your files, we'll be rebooting it shortly.

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Beyond that, yes, the setting of Golarion is NOT intended to be an accurate simulation of medieval Europe's technology level.

Whaaaaaaaaa?!?!?!

-Skeld


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Put me down for needing a pistol for a Swashbuckler! It's a part of the iconic package.


Given the Carbauxine/Gas Forges of Riddleport, there's at least some forms of pretty advanced metallurgy. (The breathing masks used there also either represent early gas masks or part of the technology for standard diving dress.)

I wouldn't be surprised if some alchemist has already worked out their equivalent of the Bayer Process to make bauxite into alumina or using electrolysis to refine alumina into aluminium, or if not that, then the pieces for working out how to do that largely exist and just haven't been assembled just yet.

Anyone remember any canon remarks on, or appearances of, aluminum?

Steam Engines finally became a thing towards the end of 1st Edition with the Steam-Powered Construct template, if I hadn't missed them being mentioned elsewhere before then, possibly in Alkenstar, although I haven't done enough digging to work out if those are solely the province of construct and golem makers or if other applications have been developed. Even if they are still basically toys for rich eccentrics, their existence represents a possibility.
(Granted, much of what a steam engine does could have already been replicated by animated objects if someone just had the idea to try it out.)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

We need firearms rules NOW so that we can tear them apart in so many unintended ways

Shadow Lodge

I mean, thanks to spells, electricity is commonly observed in places that aren't in Nex or Numeria. It was only a matter of time until people wondered how to make it happen non-magically, then to put it to use!

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