What lore has changed in THE MWANGI EXPANSE?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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There have been many changes and updates to the lore and history of Golarion due to the release of 2nd Edition.

What othe updates and changes to said lore does the newly released The Mwangi Expanse have within its covers?


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What do you mean by “changes?”


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keftiu wrote:
What do you mean by “changes?”

Like when the Golarion timeline was moved forward 10 years, Vidrian sprang into being at the loss of Sargava, and there's suddenly Azlanti and Runelords everywhere again. That happened with the release of 2E and the World Guide though, not with the release of The Mwangi Expanse. I'm asking about changes and updates to the setting lore from the latter.

I'll start. The Gorilla King, herald of the demon lord of savage strength and destruction (Angazhan), has died. Angazhan's magical alter that is known for creating past Gorilla Kings has been also stolen away and hidden in order to prevent another Gorilla King from rising up and continuing to lead the Charau-Ka.

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Ravingdork wrote:
keftiu wrote:
What do you mean by “changes?”

Like when the Golarion timeline was moved forward 10 years, Vidrian sprang into being at the loss of Sargava, and there's suddenly Azlanti and Runelords everywhere again. That happened with the release of 2E and the World Guide though, not with the release of The Mwangi Expanse. I'm asking about changes and updates to the setting lore from the latter.

I'll start. The Gorilla King, herald of the demon lord of savage strength and destruction (Angazhan), has died. Angazhan's magical alter that is known for creating past Gorilla Kings has been also stolen away and hidden in order to prevent another Gorilla King from rising up and continuing to lead the Charau-Ka.

Small nitpick: The slaying of the Gorilla Kings is mentioned in LO World Guide. :P

On the timeline, JUST above the Vidrian rebellion.


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Noting? Well if there's nothing new, one must wonder what the point of the books is then.

Dark Archive

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I would like to point out that not everyone has read old mwangi book so they can't tell from glance what is "changed" from 1e era :p

(also only subscribers have access to mwangi book :P I don't have access to it before its released)


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Ravingdork wrote:
Noting? Well if there's nothing new, one must wonder what the point of the books is then.

A slightly more "modern" look at that part of the setting, with a more socially encompassing look. A collation of all relevant history. 80 odd pages deep diving on the rich and vibrant mix of ethnicities and cultures, 40 pages of vivid evocative locales, 100 pages of super in depth descriptions of specific cities with updated stat blocks and discussions on political individuals, factions and quest hooks.

On a more mechanical note, 6 new ancestries, several new items, 12 new deities, 22 new monsters and a handy table showing you were to find already printed monsters that are fitting to use in the Expanse.

Silver Crusade

It is a handy book to have if you are building or are potentially going to play and adventure in the Mwangi Expanse and along the coastline.
I have a copy.

It is very well done, lots of information, however, it's not as useful as the Lost Omens Players Guide, Ancestry Guide, World Guide looking at it from a series perspective.


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Arklore wrote:

It is a handy book to have if you are building or are potentially going to play and adventure in the Mwangi Expanse and along the coastline.

I have a copy.

An adventure like the Strength of Thousands Adventure Path, for example.

I'm planning to grab the PDF as soon as it's out. I'll probably be refreshing the page dozens of times waiting for midnight to roll around, haha.


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Ravingdork wrote:
Noting? Well if there's nothing new, one must wonder what the point of the books is then.

The big thing is a view of the Mwangi that isn’t written from a severely fraught perspective; none of the 1e material assumed a native view of the locales, and so all it was instead was a place of colonial safaris and racist pulp adventure. The 2e book instead centers and highlights the native cultures, most of whom either had little or no 1e material at all, in great depth, and I want to play pretty much all of them.


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Ravingdork wrote:
Noting? Well if there's nothing new, one must wonder what the point of the books is then.

The old lore was kind of sparse, and the world guide focused on what changed because of the APs. If they released a book about Arcadia, I wouldn't care about what "changed" so much as what we finally got details on. This just seems like a less extreme version of that.


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Thanks everyone. I had forgotten that not it's not available to everyone just yet. I shall wait here patiently. :P

Also, meant to say:

Ravingdork wrote:
Nothing? Well if there's nothing new, one must wonder what the point of the books is then.


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PDFs go on sale on Wednesday, July 7th, so starting then we have no reason to hold back....

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keftiu wrote:


The big thing is a view of the Mwangi that isn’t written from a severely fraught perspective; none of the 1e material assumed a native view of the locales, and so all it was instead was a place of colonial safaris and racist pulp adventure. The 2e book instead centers and highlights the native cultures, most of whom either had little or no 1e material at all, in great depth, and I want to play pretty much all of them.

I wrote a decent number of the locations in the original 'Heart of the Jungle' so if you don't mind, could you expand on specific instances that you found problematic in the original versus how it was written in the PF2 book? My approach for the original book wasn't any different from how I'd approach describing anything in say the Worldwound, or the Planes, or somewhere else in Garund or in Avistan. So if you could, what approach taken in HotJ would be an issue versus the same approach taken for any of the other locations? I'm genuinely curious and want to better my work where possible.


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Amber_Stewart wrote:
keftiu wrote:


The big thing is a view of the Mwangi that isn’t written from a severely fraught perspective; none of the 1e material assumed a native view of the locales, and so all it was instead was a place of colonial safaris and racist pulp adventure. The 2e book instead centers and highlights the native cultures, most of whom either had little or no 1e material at all, in great depth, and I want to play pretty much all of them.
I wrote a decent number of the locations in the original 'Heart of the Jungle' so if you don't mind, could you expand on specific instances that you found problematic in the original versus how it was written in the PF2 book? My approach for the original book wasn't any different from how I'd approach describing anything in say the Worldwound, or the Planes, or somewhere else in Garund or in Avistan. So if you could, what approach taken in HotJ would be an issue versus the same approach taken for any of the other locations? I'm genuinely curious and want to better my work where possible.

Not sure which parts are yours, but I’d be happy to, and I appreciate you reaching out.

The very first paragraph of the book calls the Mwangi expanse “the antithesis of modern civilization.” The entire introductory section stresses how hard it is to survive here, and describes the natives only in how they have failed to build nations or empires. The book goes on to begin with… all the natural hazards of the Mwangi, further underscoring that this is a place of daring pulp adventure, rather than a place for people to live, and it even calls the locals primitive. We see that the Zenj have “witchdoctors” on the same page where an illustration depicts a fanged Aztec statue holding a skull. When we get to “village life,” it takes us all of two paragraphs to talk about “violent misunderstandings” outsiders can expect when dealing with native peoples, and the third gives an example of how foreigners can expect to be kidnapped, crippled, and left to die of exposure if they unknowingly kill an animal sacred to one tribe.

I’m less than 20 pages in. Much of the book has this feel.

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keftiu wrote:

Not sure which parts are yours, but I’d be happy to, and I appreciate you reaching out.

You'll need to skip ahead to chapter 2 and 3 for my stuff as I recall for some of the specific modern cities, older historical civilizations that predated them, and adventuring locations.


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Amber_Stewart wrote:
keftiu wrote:

Not sure which parts are yours, but I’d be happy to, and I appreciate you reaching out.

You'll need to skip ahead to chapter 2 and 3 for my stuff as I recall for some of the specific modern cities, older historical civilizations that predated them, and adventuring locations.

Can do, but I do want to take a second and push back on your initial framing: that you say you write about the Mwangi Expanse (a place where normal people based on real-world marginalized cultures lead rich lives) the same way you would write about the Worldwound (a demon-blasted wasteland) or the planes (fantastical realms beyond reality), I think that can speak to some of the issue. The Mwangi Expanse - like the “Darkest Africa” pulps that inspired a lot of its 1e depiction - has to be a place of dangerous, exotic adventure, rather than a place people live.

Chapter 2 opens with a piece of fiction saying that the Mwangi Expanse is a worse place than Hell; I doubt you wrote this, but it illustrates how my complaints are with much of this book. One section suggests playing as Tarzan-inspired characters, while the one immediately after presents being colonizing missionaries as an acceptable campaign framework, and the section right after that presents saving people from blood sacrifice and cannibalism as likely adventures. Heart of the Jungle presents the Mwangi Expanse as a place for outsiders to live out their colonial fantasies, where locals are either terrible threats or exploitable resources - a direction I am glad 2e has shifted away from, to undersell it somewhat.

Getting into the locations (and skipping past the wilderness sections, which breathlessly talk about the “skeletons of would-be explorers” and golden idols to be found in the jungle), we begin with Bloodcove, a place of colonial exploitation with a single native Mwangi character mentioned, a Bonuwat venture-captain. The next settlement is one populated by cannibals, whose tribes apparently frequently war and eat one another; the one after that, Jaha, is still a place of overgrown ruins despite over a century of Lirgeni habitation - Lirgeni who are noted as looking like Chelish or Azlanti folk, meaning the first non-Evil settlement in the book… still isn’t one run by fantasy Black people. Kibwe, up after that, is a place describes as consisting of “huts,” “ghettos,” and “slums.”

I’m tapping out for now, because I’m at work, but I feel confident and comfortable saying that this book is racist. I don’t mean to slander you or your work, but the writing is consistently dismissive of the native peoples when it isn’t painting them as savage and dangerous, and I find that unacceptable when it’s so clearly trying to be a fantastical Africa. I’m glad Paizo has altered course; it’s long overdue.

I can come back to this later, if it’s truly desired, but I feel like my points are made.

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Ravingdork wrote:
Noting? Well if there's nothing new, one must wonder what the point of the books is then.

You asked for what changed. You didn't ask for what was new. Those are different things. There's a ton of stuff that's new or expanded from before, because unlike most of the regions covered by Core Book and World Guide large sections of The Mwangi Expanse had very little detail compared to what they get in this book. Though I understand that if you're trying to push some weird agenda your approach makes sense.


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Weird agenda?

I guess I was just equating update with new.


First thing first I'm so glad paizo retconned/fixed Lirgen's appearance/ancestry in Lost Omens. I do think Keftiu's point bears repeating in this book about "fantasy Sub-Saharan Africa" there are 10 cities detailed, four of those cities are run by "Black" natives. You have Senghor beingnrun by an Caldaru oligarchy, that unfortunate idea of Jaha, Bloodcove being an Aspis puppet, and even with Kibwe the book states that it was "Born from a conglomeration of indigenous tribes and foreigners." This makes Kibwe sound like it wouldn't have been possible without the divine intervention of colonizers. Hell the three cities left that are native run (Osibu, Mzali, and Nantambu) are cities that run on magic. This gives the impression that in this world the only way for these natives to have a "civilized" city is through magical miracles. Don't even get me started on Mzali.

I get it though it's very apparent in the way the book is written in certain parts that the exploitation of the Expanse and it's people is evil. That this exploitation is wrong and harmful to the natives who live there. The beginning of the Bloodcove entry for example. It's just hard to reconcile that idea that exploitation is bad when two of the adventure types for PCs are colonizer and missionaries. Honestly i don't think the writing is particularly insensitive, but I do think some of the world building/lore is. There are just things in the lore/ world building that are problematic that ultimately, no matter how sensitive your writing, do the writing no favors.

Mod note 7/8/21: the author of this post noted some additional context for their post a few comments down.

Dark Archive

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bbilal wrote:

First thing first I'm so glad paizo retconned/fixed Lirgen's appearance/ancestry in Lost Omens. I do think Keftiu's point bears repeating in this book about "fantasy Sub-Saharan Africa" there are 10 cities detailed, four of those cities are run by "Black" natives. You have Senghor beingnrun by an Caldaru oligarchy, that unfortunate idea of Jaha, Bloodcove being an Aspis puppet, and even with Kibwe the book states that it was "Born from a conglomeration of indigenous tribes and foreigners." This makes Kibwe sound like it wouldn't have been possible without the divine intervention of colonizers. Hell the three cities left that are native run (Osibu, Mzali, and Nantambu) are cities that run on magic. This gives the impression that in this world the only way for these natives to have a "civilized" city is through magical miracles. Don't even get me started on Mzali.

I get it though it's very apparent in the way the book is written in certain parts that the exploitation of the Expanse and it's people is evil. That this exploitation is wrong and harmful to the natives who live there. The beginning of the Bloodcove entry for example. It's just hard to reconcile that idea that exploitation is bad when two of the adventure types for PCs are colonizer and missionaries. Honestly i don't think the writing is particularly insensitive, but I do think some of the world building/lore is. There are just things in the lore/ world building that are problematic that ultimately, no matter how sensitive your writing, do the writing no favors.

Umm, I haven't read the book yet, but I'm under impression that 2e book is written with assumption of PCs being from Mwangi as well instead of 1e assumption of PCs being from Avistan or something? Or am I getting confused because you are speaking of both book at same time?

I'd like to also point out that Kibwe thing has nothing to do with colonizers. Like this from the slithering:

"The towering walls of Kibwe predate not only the current city, but also the fallen empire of Holy Xatramba. More than a thousand years ago, when Kibwe was little more than a trading post secured by the stone walls left behind by an older, vanished nation, it was chosen as a provincial capital of the empire. Goods throughout the empire and beyond flowed to Kibwe, where enterprising officials would arrange trades with goods coming through the Ndele Gap from Nex, Katapesh, and beyond. The indigenous Zenj population supported this trade, contributing hides, lumber, livestock, and magic to grow Kibwe into a small city. They welcomed travelers of different cultures, and creatures who found themselves unwelcome elsewhere—such as giants, kobolds, or lizardfolk—found themselves welcome in Kibwe. When Holy Xatramba fell in 4699 ar, Kibwe was more than capable of asserting its independence."

Aka "foreigners" in Kibwe are just that, "foreign to Kibwe". Lot of people from other parts of Garund and non human people. And they are people locals welcomed in rather than outsiders who came to meddle.


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They are referencing my posts in another thread about the 1e Mwangi book. Sorry for the confusion!

In case it isn’t abundantly clear, I adore the 2e one!


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bbilal wrote:
I do think Keftiu's point bears repeating in this book about "fantasy Sub-Saharan Africa" there are 10 cities detailed, four of those cities are run by "Black" natives. ... This gives the impression that in this world the only way for these natives to have a "civilized" city is through magical miracles. Don't even get me started on Mzali.

Can't please everyone no matter how hard they try I guess.

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keftiu wrote:
I can come back to this later, if it’s truly desired, but I feel like my points are made.

I appreciate your commentary and I can absolutely agree with trying to avoid some of the framing that can seem belittling to the indigenous groups. I will say however to my own relief that of the content that you took issue with, I didn't write any of it.

The sections that I do specifically recall writing include the Aerie of Bloodletting Songs, Ranage's Circle, Regions Further South, Kibwe, Nantambu, Osibu, and Senghor. Then in chapter 3 I wrote Arzikal, Bloodsalt, Holy Xatramba, and Ird, Sele, Spiro Spero, and Zurakai the Lost.


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CorvusMask wrote:


Umm, I haven't read the book yet, but I'm under impression that 2e book is written with assumption of PCs being from Mwangi as well...

Yes, sorry for the confusion. This was me butting into Keftiu's and Amber_Stewart's conversation about the 1e book and I see now that it looks like I'm hating on the 2e book. I wish I could delete the post, again sorry for the confusion.

I'm a big fan of the Mwangi and it's part of why I chose pathfinder over dnd. I'm excited by what I've heard about the new book and the posts that they've put up here about it.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm really enjoying the new Mwangi book too, and I have to agree that much of the Mwangi material from PF1 has a colonialist vibe to it, H. Rider Haggard style adventures, braving the dangers of the Dark Continent.

That's not necessarily "bad* per se. A lot of heroic fantasy is inspired by literary sources that are not entirely politically correct, viewed from today's perspective. But it is very refreshing to see a new outlook in this latest Mwangi book, and it helps balance the earlier colonialist-oriented material.

But let's face it: heroic fantasy RPGs are all about facing dark and dangerous foes and defeating them. There have to be evil adversaries to fight just about everywhere, so it makes sense to maintain at least some of the pulp-era themes, at least for those who want to use them.

Wayfinders

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A relatively minor but rather explicit change (rather than just a retcon, reframing or elaboration) is the city of Kalabuto on the far eastern end of Vidrian is now called Umnyango.
(It was referred to as Kalabuto as recently as the PF2 World Guide, though it's not clear when or what prompted the change other than the general Vidrian turmoil.)


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RiverMesa wrote:

A relatively minor but rather explicit change (rather than just a retcon, reframing or elaboration) is the city of Kalabuto on the far eastern end of Vidrian is now called Umnyango.

(It was referred to as Kalabuto as recently as the PF2 World Guide, though it's not clear when or what prompted the change other than the general Vidrian turmoil.)

Kalabuto was named by Chelish colonists after the Kalabuta people who lived nearby. I can assume the Vidrics thought that was silly.

Dark Archive

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keftiu wrote:
Amber_Stewart wrote:
keftiu wrote:

Not sure which parts are yours, but I’d be happy to, and I appreciate you reaching out.

You'll need to skip ahead to chapter 2 and 3 for my stuff as I recall for some of the specific modern cities, older historical civilizations that predated them, and adventuring locations.

Can do, but I do want to take a second and push back on your initial framing: that you say you write about the Mwangi Expanse (a place where normal people based on real-world marginalized cultures lead rich lives) the same way you would write about the Worldwound (a demon-blasted wasteland) or the planes (fantastical realms beyond reality), I think that can speak to some of the issue. The Mwangi Expanse - like the “Darkest Africa” pulps that inspired a lot of its 1e depiction - has to be a place of dangerous, exotic adventure, rather than a place people live.

Chapter 2 opens with a piece of fiction saying that the Mwangi Expanse is a worse place than Hell; I doubt you wrote this, but it illustrates how my complaints are with much of this book. One section suggests playing as Tarzan-inspired characters, while the one immediately after presents being colonizing missionaries as an acceptable campaign framework, and the section right after that presents saving people from blood sacrifice and cannibalism as likely adventures. Heart of the Jungle presents the Mwangi Expanse as a place for outsiders to live out their colonial fantasies, where locals are either terrible threats or exploitable resources - a direction I am glad 2e has shifted away from, to undersell it somewhat.

Getting into the locations (and skipping past the wilderness sections, which breathlessly talk about the “skeletons of would-be explorers” and golden idols to be found in the jungle), we begin with Bloodcove, a place of colonial exploitation with a single native Mwangi character mentioned, a Bonuwat venture-captain. The next settlement is one populated by cannibals, whose tribes apparently frequently...

Humans have colonized the entire planet it's what humans do, it hasn't gone well for other species... Natives are just the people who colonized an area first. Almost every jungle on earth was a dangerous place before humans hunted the apex predators from them to near extinction. Skynet was right.

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That is fully not what colonize means.


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Amber_Stewart wrote:
I appreciate your commentary and I can absolutely agree with trying to avoid some of the framing that can seem belittling to the indigenous groups. I will say however to my own relief that of the content that you took issue with, I didn't write any of it.

1. I think it's great that you're willing to re-examine your past work and consider the possibility that you might do things differently. To be honest, that's more than half of the ask.

2. As a general comment, my biggest gripe is when X only exists because of Y, and there's a power imbalance in favor of Y. So, while I echo the gripes about the Mwangi Expanse, it actually does apply to other parts of the Golarion world, like Isger. But it's pretty acute in the Mwangi Expanse.

3. Specific things that have made me cringe in the past:

- Referring to places as "unexplored" or "untamed", especially when humans/humanoids show up there as NPCs.

- Black-skinned people turning into apes.

- Cutting off world maps mid-continent as if nothing outside that frame influences anything inside that frame.

4. While I don't have the LO:ME book yet, I think that 2E has done a fantastic job so far. Mwangi elves that have a distinct culture? A++++. Vidrian interacting with other countries as equals? A++++. Most importantly (and probably most relevant to this thread), enough detail so that if there are lore changes to the Mwangi Expanse in PF3E, there will be chatter about huge changes that happened to our favorite countries / characters / story arcs from the Mwangi.

I mean, imagine of Avistan were described as a monolithic entity with sparse detail. "Demons once opened up a portal in Avistan and Avistanis rushed to combat the Worldwound." Or, "Avistanis are fair-skinned with imperialistic tendencies."

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Watery Soup wrote:


1. I think it's great that you're willing to re-examine your past work and consider the possibility that you might do things differently. To be honest, that's more than half of the ask.

I'm always open to improving my work, especially when it comes to making it more sensitive and inclusive. I want the broadest audience to enjoy my work, and I can't do that if I don't at least try to listen to opinions and critiques.

Watery Soup wrote:


3. Specific things that have made me cringe in the past:

- Referring to places as "unexplored" or "untamed", especially when humans/humanoids show up there as NPCs.

- Black-skinned people turning into apes.

- Cutting off world maps mid-continent as if nothing outside that frame influences anything inside that frame.

I don't think I did the first one, and I didn't write material with that second point. I did go out of my way in HotJ to reference areas off the map, to the south of the Mwangi expanse, including the Shatterfield and a number of Bekyar city states, and an ancient gate in one of the southern mountain ranges that suggested an older Mwangi nation had once built it to fend off attacks from 'something' from the south, leaving the specifics to GMs and/or future expansion. I haven't read enough of the PF2 book to see if either of these was touched upon.

Watery Soup wrote:
I mean, imagine of Avistan were described as a monolithic entity with sparse detail. "Demons once opened up a portal in Avistan and Avistanis rushed to combat the Worldwound." Or, "Avistanis are fair-skinned with imperialistic tendencies."

To an extent I think coverage of Old Sarkoris (which I've always viewed as having hallmarks of inspiration from early Slavic and Siberian cultures) has been like this. I'd love now, post-Worldwound closure that some more detail on the pre-Worldwound culture there could be expanded on as they start to reclaim their homeland, bit by bit. I worked on the Worldwound book in 1e and I did try, where relevant, to try to include things hearkening back to the history of the region pre-Worldwound.


I think some PFS2E material alluded to countries to the south of Vidrian, in the context of iruxi having to decide whether they wanted to ally with Vidrian or another nation, and the PCs tasked with convincing the iruxi to go with Vidric allies. I haven't GMed that scenario and it was a little murky to me as a player, but that was cool to know it's not just the end of the world there and PCs fall into the void if they sail south.


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Watery Soup wrote:
I think some PFS2E material alluded to countries to the south of Vidrian, in the context of iruxi having to decide whether they wanted to ally with Vidrian or another nation, and the PCs tasked with convincing the iruxi to go with Vidric allies. I haven't GMed that scenario and it was a little murky to me as a player, but that was cool to know it's not just the end of the world there and PCs fall into the void if they sail south.

We know of several Southern Garundi nations; the iruxi of Droon, the amurrun of Murraseth, the anadi in Nutvatcha, Holomog and Dehrukani have planar ties, Tirakawhan and Chauxen are colonies from nations to the east of Garund, there’s some Bekyar cities…


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Kaz'ulu is a trio of Bekyar city states just south of the map on the west side of Garund. I think the next chunk of the map looks like:

Kaliasso Jungle + Kaz'ulu Bekyar states (south of Vidrian) | Shatterfield & Gate of Parinarsus Wall (south of M'neri Plains, Mzali, Screaming Jungle | Shattered Range continues | Holomog (south of Geb).

But much of that is only from the 1e book, which is reasonably now possibly not accurate. In fact, except for Holomog I think that's mostly Amber's stuff.


I think it'll most likely be more or less the same, since AFAIK most/all of the locations from 1e were kept.


There are some really interesting player options and deities in the book.

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bbilal wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:


Umm, I haven't read the book yet, but I'm under impression that 2e book is written with assumption of PCs being from Mwangi as well...

Yes, sorry for the confusion. This was me butting into Keftiu's and Amber_Stewart's conversation about the 1e book and I see now that it looks like I'm hating on the 2e book. I wish I could delete the post, again sorry for the confusion.

I'm a big fan of the Mwangi and it's part of why I chose pathfinder over dnd. I'm excited by what I've heard about the new book and the posts that they've put up here about it.

I added a mod note to the post linking to the additional context you provided. Hopefully that helps clarify the intention of the text.


Ashbourne wrote:

{. . .}

Skynet was right.

Now I want to see some Daemonic-aligned Construct-Outsiders that mess with the timestream to try to unmake the reality of living things . . . .


UnArcaneElection wrote:
Ashbourne wrote:

{. . .}

Skynet was right.

Now I want to see some Daemonic-aligned Construct-Outsiders that mess with the timestream to try to unmake the reality of living things . . . .

Well, those kind of exist already, though they aren't constructs.

Silver Crusade

They're also not aligned with Daemons.

For Daemon created stuff on the Material Plane there is the Urdefhan, but again, not constructs.


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I guess you could go with fiend-infused constructs as well.

Also, my bad. Daemon and demon sound identical to my screen reader; I thought chaotic evil and their alignments matching.

Silver Crusade

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*nods* no worries


Gnolls seems to be made less hedonisticly depravate evil overall, at least the Mwangi ones are way more subtle, thanks to being made a playable race.
I actually find them pretty fun and I'd be curious to play one someday, they seem like they could make a great face for a party.


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I wonder if they are going to make monsters generally available as ancestries as time goes on, sort of like Starfinder where we simply had hundreds of playable aliens. It will be less "certain ancestries are evil" and more "regional upbringing potentially makes them evil."

Nature versus nurture as it were.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition Subscriber

I appreciate how the new ancestries aren't treated as new additions to the world. The shisks and golomas have just been here and the other people of Mwangi knew; the first edition books were written by foreigners who probably thought they were demons. The golomas even have a long-held belief for why their different from the others and stay away. It really sells that the information is FROM the people of Mwangi and not just OF them.

There's also the hooks in place for adding more about the shisks in the rest of Garund and the golomas anywhere.

And then there's the Conrasu, who just exist. Where did they come from? "IDK, science experiment?" Why hasn't any other group mentioned you before? What are relations with other groups? I love these tree-wearing space-balls and I want to know more.

I also like the effort to say, "The boggards aren't that bad." Suggesting a boggard PC isn't too far-fetched. If you can befriend boggards, you're like family. Contrast that with the Charau-ka, who are still absolutely evil. If someone can point me to a page that has anything remotely positive to say about these demon-monkeys, I'd appreciate it.


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
TheDoomBug wrote:
I appreciate how the new ancestries aren't treated as new additions to the world. The shisks and golomas have just been here and the other people of Mwangi knew; the first edition books were written by foreigners who probably thought they were demons. The golomas even have a long-held belief for why their different from the others and stay away. It really sells that the information is FROM the people of Mwangi and not just OF them.

I'm not seeing as many adventure hooks in this book as I did the older books though. For many GMs, that's kind of the point of getting them.


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Conversely I'm seeing many people excited about the Mwangi Expanse and Pathfinder in general BECAUSE of the sheer variety of stories this book supports and suggests.

Vidrian spy drama, and Nantambu magic-school, and unraveling the tangled skeins of Jaha's near past, and on, and on.

People being messy, complex, nuanced people is way more interesting to me, and creates way more, and more interesting stories, than "people I can murder".


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
vagrant-poet wrote:

Conversely I'm seeing many people excited about the Mwangi Expanse and Pathfinder in general BECAUSE of the sheer variety of stories this book supports and suggests.

Vidrian spy drama, and Nantambu magic-school, and unraveling the tangled skeins of Jaha's near past, and on, and on.

People being messy, complex, nuanced people is way more interesting to me, and creates way more, and more interesting stories, than "people I can murder".

While very true, if I wanted spy drama, I'd go to Taldor and join the Lion Blades. If I wanted to attend a school, I'd attend the University of Lepidstadt in Ustalov. If I wanted to uncover the past, I'd explore Ruins of Azlant.

Point is, none of what The Mwangi Expanse seems to offer in terms of adventure types is new. Instead, we seemed to have lost the "exciting safari exploration of a mysterious untamed land" genre (as some posters have come describe it) as it were.

I've long disliked new rules that serve little purpose other than to limit existing options. It's no different with adventure hooks. Too much of the same kind of adventure hook risks a stagnation of inspiration for new adventure ideas.

While this book does have a lot to offer, and is undoubtedly high quality, the whole notion of "same kind of adventure; different place, different people" is going to be unappealing to some.

(I do love that it's not just about murder hobo'ing though; that's a BIG plus!)

In the end, I suppose that's kind of unavoidable. Golarion is a great big melting pot that's incorporated as many different ideas as it possibly could since the very beginning. They were bound to hit a wall and be forced to repackage ideas eventually.


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vagrant-poet wrote:

Conversely I'm seeing many people excited about the Mwangi Expanse and Pathfinder in general BECAUSE of the sheer variety of stories this book supports and suggests.

Vidrian spy drama, and Nantambu magic-school, and unraveling the tangled skeins of Jaha's near past, and on, and on.

People being messy, complex, nuanced people is way more interesting to me, and creates way more, and more interesting stories, than "people I can murder".

This is where I kind of am with the book. Most pages have some little tidbit of mystery or story seed that would probably make for a cool adventure.

For example: Dumped the page range into a random number generator and got "35". Page 35 is part of the writeup on Alijae elves. Something on there that popped out to me was the mention of The Redeemer Queen. I think an adventure digging into the fallout of her ascension and the tensions that might exist in a society with a lot of extraplanar pacts sounds like a neat mystery. Or maybe a heist/extraction to assist another demon who has been inspired by Nocticula.

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