How can I legally make a character from Tian?


Pathfinder Society

4/5 **** Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

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Home Region wrote:

Home Region

This is also the stage at which you should choose your character’s home region (Core Rulebook 420-429), and in the case of human characters, your ethnicity. (Core Rulebook 430-431). Home regions fulfill access requirements and prerequisites for character options. See Rarity for more information.

Home Region

So, a whole continent is missing from those pages in the CRB.

Is this an oversight in the Guide? Is there a way to gain access to home regions from other parts if the globe — especially ones where the Society is active?

Lantern Lodge

Tian is listed in the Core Book under Cultures (pg 431) and there is nothing in the PFS rules that say it is uncommon. So you're good to make someone from Tian.

4/5 **** Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

Donald wrote:

Tian is listed in the Core Book under Cultures (pg 431) and there is nothing in the PFS rules that say it is uncommon. So you're good to make someone from Tian.

The page numbers given for a Home Region seem to exclude that. Only pages 420-429 are options for a Home Region. So it seems you can be a human with Tian ethnicity, but you still have to be from somewhere in Avistan or Garund for your Home Region.

This seems like an oversight to me. (Or, I hope it is.)

As an aside, only humans allowed for these ethnicities seems silly, especially with races like Tengu calling Tian Xia their ancestral home. Maybe the boon text for this Ancestry allows you to be from there as your Home Region, though.

Lantern Lodge

All ancestry options are of standard availability.
So a human from Tian is PFS legal.

Tengus are a gregarious and resourceful people that have spread far and wide from their ancestral home in Tian Xia...

The tengu diaspora has spread across Golarion
So a Tengu is not necessarily from Tian.

Since there is currently nothing I can see available to Tengu that is dependent on where they come from, where they come from has no game play bearing and is fluff only (i.e. DM's discretion.)

5/5 *** Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

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Donald wrote:


Since there is currently nothing I can see available to Tengu that is dependent on where they come from, where they come from has no game play bearing and is fluff only (i.e. DM's discretion.)

One's home region is mechanically significant.

4/5 **** Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

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Donald wrote:

All ancestry options are of standard availability.

So a human from Tian is PFS legal.

Tengus are a gregarious and resourceful people that have spread far and wide from their ancestral home in Tian Xia...

The tengu diaspora has spread across Golarion
So a Tengu is not necessarily from Tian.

Since there is currently nothing I can see available to Tengu that is dependent on where they come from, where they come from has no game play bearing and is fluff only (i.e. DM's discretion.)

Yeah… Home Region is mechanically significant because it's a component that determines Access. It absolutely has gameplay bearing.

Also… it's sort of weird and problematic to tell players they cannot play a PC from a place (Home Region), but that they can have an ethnicity from more regions. The base options here should be from the same list. It should also be made clear that the sanctioning Doc provides more options if that is the case.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5 **

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I'd just say that your character is from Tien and either say that they then stopped somewhere else on their way to Absalom (and take a region specific background option) or just don't take any region specific option.

I think that's completely legal and quite frankly don't care if it isn't. It would take a pretty dickish GM to notice and care.

If absolutely necessary, you can play the "well, he's ACTUALLY from Varisia but he THINKS he is from Tien" card. It's all a delusion.

4/5 ***

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Like everything else in the character creation section, the page references are to point new players to the place in the rule book where that option is discussed. It is not a sanctioning document, and the numbers in it are not an exclusive list of available options.

4/5 **** Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

Online Guide Team Lead - JTT wrote:

Like everything else in the character creation section, the page references are to point new players to the place in the rule book where that option is discussed. It is not a sanctioning document, and the numbers in it are not an exclusive list of available options.

Thanks! In addition to myself, I have at least one local player who thought the opposite. Perhaps it would be useful if the guide made that more clear? Like something at the top that says "This guide is not a sanctioning document, and the numbers in it are not an exclusive list of available options."

I also want to reiterate that it seems needlessly convoluted to reference human-only ethnicity and home region like they are two different sets of options.

As an example, a local player was concerned that they were constrained to playing a Tian person who grew up in Avistan or Garund, but not a Tian person who actually born and raised in Tian. That's what actually kicked off this whole thread for me, because I didn't understand the correct answer after closely re-reading the sanctioning docs and the guide.

4/5 **** Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

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pauljathome wrote:

I'd just say that your character is from Tien and either say that they then stopped somewhere else on their way to Absalom (and take a region specific background option) or just don't take any region specific option.

I think that's completely legal and quite frankly don't care if it isn't. It would take a pretty dickish GM to notice and care.

If absolutely necessary, you can play the "well, he's ACTUALLY from Varisia but he THINKS he is from Tien" card. It's all a delusion.

Oh, it's is legal. Those are potential solutions, but shouldn't be the only options.

It's a little problematic for a guide to insinuate that you can only play ethnicities for flavor but not in terms of game mechanics; that you can be Tian for fluff, but when it comes down to game mechanics you're actually some Western analog anyway.

No need to separate ethnicity from Home Region.

3/5 5/55/5 *** Contributor

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The blog post on how to update characters to the Year 2 Guide says this about Home Region:

Quote:

Home Region

Each character should choose a location as their home region. This can be as granular as a city or as broad as a nation. The home region opens up language options per page 432 of the Core Rulebook. Other rulebooks that have language options follow the same access rules. Please note that Varki is a choice if the region of origin is Land of the Linnorm Kings. A player can unlock other regional based options through the World Traveler AcP reward.

That language seems consistent with Tian Xia being a legal option for a Home Region.

Scarab Sages 4/5

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If Jared's posting that as an official clarification to the guide (and since he used his guide alias, it appears so), then that's a welcome clarification. Without bringing other rulings into the discussion directly, there's been reason lately to think that a reference to a specific page number means what it says and that things are more restricted than they might first appear.

Keep in mind that Home Region is a mechanical term as was noted upthread. Even if you can choose Tian-Xia as your Home Region, it's not going to grant you access to much until options are published that are restricted to Tian-Xia. I believe that the section on languages in the CRB does contain enough that you can assume you can select Tien (or Vudrani, as Vudra is in a similar position as Tian-Xia with regards to Home Region currently). But it does not unlock access to katanas, wakizashis, etc. until there is a rules source posted listing those as being things that Home Region (Tian-Xia) grants. Per Michael Sayre's last post on that subject, it's unlikely those would be opened up to all of Tian-Xia anyway, but possibly Tian-Min, for example.

Prior to Jared's post, my guess would have been that you can be from Tian-Xia (born there, grew up there, etc.), but that you would have to select a different Home Region for the purposes of what options you qualify for. And until there are options that you could take if your Home Region is Tian-Xia, it doesn't really matter that much if your official Home Region is Tian-Xia or one of the published regions that grants access to Tien.

Also, the World Traveler boon mentioned in that blog post does appear to restrict you to one of the 10 specific regions (though you could select somewhere inside one of those regions). If this clarification is meant to affect that boon as well, that would be good information to have.

Edit: it's also important for clarity to note that your Home Region does not have to be where you were born and raised. You could be from Tian-Xia, have grown up there, etc, and taken Home Region Absalom once you joined the society. There's also reason to believe that Home Region Absalom grants access to all of the modern human languages, including Tien, though clarification on whether or not that is true would also be a good thing.

4/5 **** Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

Ferious Thune wrote:
Jared's posting that as an official clarification to the guide (and since he used his guide alias, it appears so), then that's a welcome clarification. Without bringing other rulings into the discussion directly, there's been reason lately to think that a reference to a specific page number means what it says and that things are more restricted than they might first appear.

Exactly. Glad to see I wasn't the only one who thought this needed clarification!

Tian might not have options now, but it will later. And I don't think you can easily change your Home Region after character creation unless you rebuild.

Ferious Thune wrote:
Also, the World Traveler boon mentioned in that blog post does appear to restrict you to one of the 10 specific regions (though you could select somewhere inside one of those regions). If this clarification is meant to affect that boon as well, that would be good information to have.

Agreed.

I was actually trying to find that boon's full text but I can't. I wish we could preview boons before we buy them. (I might be missing it somewhere though; I got frustrated and gave up somewhat quickly.)

**

Robert Hetherington wrote:
One's home region is mechanically significant.

It can be, but is it required to be?

Could I make a character from, say, Iobaria (or other parts of Casmaron or southern Garund without descriptions right now), solely for flavor, and voluntarily forego any potential, future mechanical benefit that may arise?

To that end, can I declare my home region (lowercase h, lowercase r) to be from a certain region, and voluntarily forego any mechanical benefit afforded by Home Region (uppercase H, uppercase R)? For example, if I wanted my character to be from the Atteran Ranches (which has a tenuous link to the central Nidalese government and Nidalese/kayal culture, but physically exists within the geopolitical boundaries of Nidal), but were voluntarily willing to forego all the Shadowplane-related access options, could I do it?

2/5 5/5 *

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Your H.ome R.egion is not required to be your birthplace. In fact, there are no duration or order requirements on the selection in regards to your backstory. You H.ome R.egion and h.ome r.egion can be different. You could have moved to Absalom 1 day before your character enters play in your backstory and have Absalom as your H.ome R.egion.

Nor should there be any such requirement to the selection of Home Region.

**

Sweet, thanks!

Grand Lodge 4/5 *** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento

Doug Hahn wrote:

I also want to reiterate that it seems needlessly convoluted to reference human-only ethnicity and home region like they are two different sets of options.

Everyone gets Home Region, but only Humans get the ethnicities in the CRB. (Other races do get ethnicities in other books.)

And some of the human ethnicities span multiple home regions, and some home regions don't have a primary ethnicity. (Absalom, for example.)

So they really are two separate things.

4/5 **** Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

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Jared Thaler wrote:
So they really are two separate things.

They generally shouldn't be.

But that's not org play's fault. I can understand small pockets of ancestry-specific culture, but definitely not one Ethnicity for whole continents like Tian and Mwangi.

If we're gonna make Ethnicity a Thing, then I personally think that org play could open up Character Guide Access to everyone. This way they have more Ethnicity options for non-human races, and new players can choose from human ethnicities that don't generalize whole continents full of diverse cultures.

Or, just allow any Ancestry to choose any of the CRB Ethnicities, as they are all very generalized anyway. There's no reason Org Play needs to adhere to an inane rule no one in a home game would ever follow.

Also might want to rewrite "and in the case of human characters, your ethnicity" since non-humans can have ethnicities if you own other books). Perhaps "and your ethnicity if applicable."

Grand Lodge 4/5 *** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento

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Functionally, ethnicity exists as a subset of ancestry.

The Mwangi book is supposed to be coming out soon, and I hope it will have more information on different cultures and possibly different ethnicities and languages. (Though I expect adding more languages is going to make some people scream.)

I assume that when the Tien book comes out is will more broadly cover all the many cultures and societies and other stuff that we had from the last edition. (And I know that canonically there were multiple Tien languages.)

But given that most cities in Golarion are a mix of ethnicity and most ethnicities exist in multiple different nations, they are clearly two overlapping features.

Part of me says each of the other ancestries ethnicities should also give access to it's ethnic language, and while their might be a single common tongue that most elves (for example) speak, there should probably be multiple languages for each of the other ancestries as well.

Sovereign Court 3/5 *

Has there been any update to this? Currently I am about to start the new Ruby Phoenix AP, and if my character works in that then I would like to make him into a Society character eventually. But that would require access/proficiency to weapons common to Tien-Xia, primarily Minkai and Shokuro.

5/5 *** Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

Andrew the Warwitch wrote:
Has there been any update to this?

No :(

Slightly longer answer:

Sayre (July 2020): if 2021 rolls around and we still don't have an acceptable solution in place, we'll reevaluate what's an appropriate and reasonable solution

Sayre (August 2020): We're still working on assembling a list of what weapons are common in what regions.

I think those were the last two updates.

2/5 5/5 *

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
FAQ wrote:
For Unconventional Weaponry, look for access conditions based upon nationality, ethnic group, or other groups of similar broad significance. It does not cover organizations that PCs might choose to join (such as the Firebrands, Hellknights, Knights of Lastwall, or Magaambya).

The FAQ is the latest update on the concept, but it doesn't help with katana etc that have no access conditions.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ***

If you're only talking katana, then Avid Collector is an easy fix. Its fairly cheap for a boon. I bought it for my Tian warrior because I got tired of waiting for a regional list. Though that's not a great solution if you want a collection of Tian-themed weapons.

Sovereign Court 3/5 *

TwilightKnight wrote:
If you're only talking katana, then Avid Collector is an easy fix. Its fairly cheap for a boon. I bought it for my Tian warrior because I got tired of waiting for a regional list. Though that's not a great solution if you want a collection of Tian-themed weapons.

Once again the problem is it might provide access but does not provide proficiency in the item.

1/5 5/55/5 ** Venture-Agent, Online—VTT

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Katana is just a martial weapon. Lots of characters are already proficient. Note that being Uncommon has no effect on proficiency.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ***

Access to an uncommon/rare item should not impart proficiency. That is a class/feat feature.

2/5 5/5 *

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I think his issue is that it can't be selected for Unconventional Weaponry feat, yet, which would make a specific Martial Weapon simple and thus advance in proficiency with simple weapons (e.g. a rogue).

Scarab Sages 4/5

For katana specifically, Michael’s original post saying that you can select it with Unconventional Weaponry should still be in effect, as it’s a more specific rule than the FAQ and none of his other posts removed his earlier ruling (just expressed regret at having done it that way).

Unconventional Weaponry and Katana

Of course, that limits it to Human characters getting proficiency that way.

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