Gunpowder / steam technology more prominent in the Inner Sea?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


So, with the fall of Lastwall and with the rising threat of the Whispering Tyrant, does anyone think the nations of Avistan will start importing more of Alkenstar's technology to possibly help them combat Tar-Baphon's undead forces?


Unlikely. At least not on a world changing scale. Adventurers' gonna adventure, but no more than before.

Gunpowder is still a very niche thing. Which is not insane, a (magic) bow or xbow is just way cheaper and easier to make, and not that inferior if at all. Well, depending on what 2E firearms end up looking like.
Alkenstar is also not really into spreading its one big military secret far and wide, I believe.

There was actually a thread on that subject a while back in the setting forum, including a T-rex post or two. I invite you to look for it.

I don't know that steam engine tech is much of a thing at all in setting. That opens doors magic can realistically replicate, and we have no hint of an industrial revolution.

Silver Crusade

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Artwork for PF2 shows, and JJ has confirmed elsewhere, that while firearms aren't becoming commonplace, they have spread throughout Inner Sea and will feature now and then. There is no longer just one cannon-armed ship in existence, for example.


We’ve seen art of folks with guns from Thuvia, Lastwall, and Andoran so far!


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keftiu wrote:
We’ve seen art of folks with guns from Thuvia, Lastwall, and Andoran so far!

There are three images with firearms in the Character Guide. The Free Captain, the opener image for the Hellknights and the Knight Reclaimant.

Not sure about steam technology though, the only thing I can recall off the top of my head was the steam powered clockwork template from the construct book for 1E.

Shadow Lodge

Gorbacz wrote:
Artwork for PF2 shows, and JJ has confirmed elsewhere, that while firearms aren't becoming commonplace, they have spread throughout Inner Sea and will feature now and then. There is no longer just one cannon-armed ship in existence, for example.

Such as the many-cannoned ships of the line at the start of the Absalom chapter. We're looking at 1750's ship design now.

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One way to look at it is that yes, gunpowder is more prominent in the Inner Sea than it was in 1st edition, but not prominent enough to be in the Core Rulebook.

It's more prominent than steam power though. Steampunk isn't a genre we really support in the setting... but we could, some day, potentially.

Shadow Lodge

James Jacobs wrote:
It's more prominent than steam power though. Steampunk isn't a genre we really support in the setting... but we could, some day, potentially.

Steam power was most common in the very earliest setting books. Palin's Cove of all places was characterized by it.

Shadow Lodge

keftiu wrote:
We’ve seen art of folks with guns from Thuvia, Lastwall, and Andoran so far!

Where in the world do they get them? Thuvia has the alchemical know-how to make gunpowder but no metallurgy to speak of, Andoran is even worse off in both areas being almost entirely a natural economy, and Lastwall no longer exists and so can't produce anything.


zimmerwald1915 wrote:
keftiu wrote:
We’ve seen art of folks with guns from Thuvia, Lastwall, and Andoran so far!
Where in the world do they get them? Thuvia has the alchemical know-how to make gunpowder but no metallurgy to speak of, Andoran is even worse off in both areas being almost entirely a natural economy, and Lastwall no longer exists and so can't produce anything.

Probably the same place Arcadia got them.

Shadow Lodge

keftiu wrote:
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
keftiu wrote:
We’ve seen art of folks with guns from Thuvia, Lastwall, and Andoran so far!
Where in the world do they get them? Thuvia has the alchemical know-how to make gunpowder but no metallurgy to speak of, Andoran is even worse off in both areas being almost entirely a natural economy, and Lastwall no longer exists and so can't produce anything.
Probably the same place Arcadia got them.

Arcadia has developed societies. The same can't be said of the Gravelands and Andoran.


thistledown wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Artwork for PF2 shows, and JJ has confirmed elsewhere, that while firearms aren't becoming commonplace, they have spread throughout Inner Sea and will feature now and then. There is no longer just one cannon-armed ship in existence, for example.
Such as the many-cannoned ships of the line at the start of the Absalom chapter. We're looking at 1750's ship design now.

I mentioned that before and James said that after guns were accepted in PF1 they intend to expand their role a bit in PF2.

But I still not sure what to make of the Absolom picture and how literal I should take it.
From the paint scheme its obvious that the artist used the HMS Victory as a model, a late 18th century 100 gun 1st rate (so akin to a superheavy battleship). Even the British Empire only ever had 12 of such ships at any given time and Absolom has according to this picture at least 3.

Also I think in the art for the Gold Road someone is holding a rather modern looking musket.

Liberty's Edge

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zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Arcadia has developed societies. The same can't be said of the Gravelands and Andoran.

What are you basing this statement about Andoran on? They've got an advanced shipbuilding industry and full plate armor readily available and a number of smiths and areas devoted to smithing (the latter demonstrating a pretty advanced understanding of metallurgy...plate armor was about the same tech level as early guns).

That combination would allow them to retool to build guns real easily given the information and motivation to do so. They also trade a fair bit and could have picked some up that way.

And the Gravelands aren't making anything much, sure, but the Knights of Lastwall are currently headquartered out of Absalom, which is a much better place to pick up new technologies.

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We aren't trying to limit Golarion to a single era in real-world history. We have things from the ancient world, medieval world, modern world, and the theoretical future all mixed together in the same setting. That's part of what makes it a fantasy setting and not a historical setting. The British Empire also didn't have people capable of casting wish or the potential to hire dwarven smiths or the possibility of an alliance with giants or dragons or the like, after all, so assuming that one era in Earth's history limits what we can and will do for an era in Golarion's history isn't going to be accurate.

In fact, answering "does it look cool?" is as important, and in some cases MORE important, to us than "will this feel historically inaccurate?"

A ship with cannons like you see in the Absalom picture would not cause everyone in the city to drop everything and marvel at the wonder. If ANYWHERE in the setting is going to have regular visits by ships outfitted like this, it'd be Absalom, after all. By showing a ship like that sailing into the harbor, we're trying to show that the city is a Big Deal.

Shadow Lodge

Deadmanwalking wrote:
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Arcadia has developed societies. The same can't be said of the Gravelands and Andoran.
What are you basing this statement about Andoran on?

It's on Avistan, it's definitionally backward.

Their feats of seamanship and shipbuilding are along the lines of the tenth-century Norse, and they don't actually use plate - their soldiers go entirely unarmored in the art despite none of their enemies using armor-penetrating technology more advanced than the longbow. Their smithing is restricted to handicraft production, and accordingly to very small scales and without replaceable parts. They have no knowledge of chemistry.

Liberty's Edge

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zimmerwald1915 wrote:

It's on Avistan, it's definitionally backward.

Their feats of seamanship and shipbuilding are along the lines of the tenth-century Norse, and they don't actually use plate - their soldiers go entirely unarmored in the art despite none of their enemies using armor-penetrating technology more advanced than the longbow. Their smithing is restricted to handicraft production, and accordingly to very small scales and without replaceable parts. They have no knowledge of chemistry.

I'm pretty sure literally every bit of this except the art note is provably wrong. And even most of the art is far from how you describe it. There are certainly art pieces that show unarmored Andoren people (though at least on piece of that seems to be an in-universe artwork), but there's also a lot showing them in breastplates, full plate, and similar things. Or showing them not wearing armor for good reasons (like being politicians or being sailors rather than front line soldiers).


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I could have a totally false understanding of how leather armor works, but I thought the Eagle Knight art in LOWG was wearing leather (or other leather-based) armor. In PF1 I would have matched up that image with Parade Armor or an Armored Coat. Also, in the ISWG there is an eagle knight halfling wearing full plate. Also, Google seems to think eagle knights wear armor. Pretty sure that Andoran knows how armor works and can implement it.


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zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Arcadia has developed societies. The same can't be said of the Gravelands and Andoran.
What are you basing this statement about Andoran on?

It's on Avistan, it's definitionally backward.

Their feats of seamanship and shipbuilding are along the lines of the tenth-century Norse, and they don't actually use plate - their soldiers go entirely unarmored in the art despite none of their enemies using armor-penetrating technology more advanced than the longbow. Their smithing is restricted to handicraft production, and accordingly to very small scales and without replaceable parts. They have no knowledge of chemistry.

Did I get the wrong version of Pathfinder regarding Andoran? What you wrote is so far from the description of the country to take it seriously. Tenth-Century Norse and using no plate, really?

Silver Crusade

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No, you're just new to zimmerwald1915 and his specific take on how Golarion is Earth with some fantasy elements sprinkled on the top.

Liberty's Edge

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Gorbacz wrote:
No, you're just new to zimmerwald1915 and his specific take on how Golarion is Earth with some fantasy elements sprinkled on the top.

It's weirder than that, or at least this bit is. He has a specific view that Avistan in general is technologically and socially backward in a way and to a degree that is completely unsupported by the books (and, indeed, directly contradicted by them).

To be super clear, Andoran has printing presses. Acting like they lack fundamental technological basics is odd and deeply inconsistent.


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I literally just opened the Andoran book and am looking at a dude in breastplate and greaves on page 23, and a halfling in full plate on page 29...

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Removed some posts and replies. Please don't dog-pile on other forum users, and if you feel that there is incorrect information in a post, look for ways to address that respectfully.

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