What Ancestries are you still craving?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Rude_ wrote:
Would it make sense to have Shabti as an option for the Reflection versatile heritage with some additional feats? Seem very similar

That's something that I could see as being a viable way of doing things, but not one that I would be particularly interested in on a personal level.


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A dino race like the saurials from the Forgotten Realms.


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Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
A dino race like the saurials from the Forgotten Realms.

A Lizardfolk heritage with dinosaur traits could work though ;)


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JiCi wrote:
Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
A dino race like the saurials from the Forgotten Realms.
A Lizardfolk heritage with dinosaur traits could work though ;)

Especially given the existence of Droon, the dino-empire of Iruxi in Southern Garund.


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keftiu wrote:
JiCi wrote:
Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
A dino race like the saurials from the Forgotten Realms.
A Lizardfolk heritage with dinosaur traits could work though ;)
Especially given the existence of Droon, the dino-empire of Iruxi in Southern Garund.

that might work!


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So here's an idea I had today; Nephilim as a versatile heritage.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
FormerFiend wrote:
So here's an idea I had today; Nephilim as a versatile heritage.

how is that different from an assimar?


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Kekkres wrote:
FormerFiend wrote:
So here's an idea I had today; Nephilim as a versatile heritage.
how is that different from an assimar?

Mostly in that Nephilim are descendants of demigods in general, while Aasimar are descendants of good-aligned celestials.


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Okay. What are the Nephilim thematics? What sort of awesome things could you do with a Nephilim heritage? What do you get other than "I'm totally a Nephilim! My character sheet says so and everything."?


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Sanityfaerie wrote:
Okay. What are the Nephilim thematics? What sort of awesome things could you do with a Nephilim heritage? What do you get other than "I'm totally a Nephilim! My character sheet says so and everything."?

My desire would be to hone in on the fantasy of Bronze Age heroes in the vein of Herakles or Gilgamesh. Not in power but in mood & theme.

While I love aasimars and tieflings, there's no getting away from the fact that they're ideas filtered through a pop culture version of Christianity & angels & demons. Nephilim can hone in on a similar but distinct idea where it's less about the implications of the ongoing war between good & evil & where you fit in that, but in a personal relationship with your divone parent whether they're actively a part of your life or not, & what doom or destiny that can carry.

Also making it a versatile heritage seems a clean way of handling it. Far as I know only one nephilim character has shown up in the lore & she was also a minotaur so I feel it can work on that level.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

nephelheim are the souless giants who where decendants of angels and human women, biblically, they don't have anything to do with demigods

edit totes forgot that pathfinder actually used that word already, please ignore


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So... something like "god-blooded"?

From my understanding of the lore, though, that doesn't seem to be a thing that happens all that often in Golarion... and if it did happen with any frequency, I feel like we would have heard about it. the god-blooded are almost by their very nature Not Subtle.

Does anyone who actually knows the lore have any insight on this? I'll admit that my own pertinent knowledge is quite shallow.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Sanityfaerie wrote:

So... something like "god-blooded"?

From my understanding of the lore, though, that doesn't seem to be a thing that happens all that often in Golarion... and if it did happen with any frequency, I feel like we would have heard about it. the god-blooded are almost by their very nature Not Subtle.

Does anyone who actually knows the lore have any insight on this? I'll admit that my own [pertinent knowledge is quite shallow.

based on my reading the Nephilim were basically only born very very early on and living Nephilim are descendants of those original pairings, these offspring were deemed aberrant and cursed to inspire hostility in others, leading to them being largely hunted down both by mortals, and some other gods, as such they live secretive isolationist lives to avoid endangering their people by causing conflict. they are also 11 feet tall


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

They're subtle because they're wildly hated and hunted when people become aware of their presence, if I remember the golarion lore correctly.


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Kekkres wrote:

nephelheim are the souless giants who where decendants of angels and human women, biblically, they don't have anything to do with demigods

edit totes forgot that pathfinder actually used that word already, please ignore

Nephilim can be translated to "the fallen ones", but "fallen" in this context is "fallen in death", specifically the heroic death of a great warrior. Nephilim are believed to be an ancient hebrew conception of the heroic, seme-divine warriors of their neighboring cultures, sired by the "sons of gods" which would later be translated into "the angels of God" as the tradition moved further into monotheism rather than monolatry. There are obscure ancient sources that directly name Gilgamesh as a Nephilim.

As for issues with the lore in pathfinder, I'd argue that 2e has had no issues revising lore so far - pf1e dhampirs were explicitly human only where as 2e makes them versatile, as one example, let alone the shift the edition is taking in the presentation of goblins, gnolls, and orcs.

Given how sparse 1e lore on nephilim was - I personally don't recall if they got anything outside of their bestiary entry & one showing up as Baphomet's daughter in Wrath - I don't think some revisions to make them playable would be the worst thing.

As for the size thing, plenty of people have asked for large sized ancestries already, and you could flavor it to rather just make them as big as medium allows rather than 11ft.


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I for one do not understand why the spellwarped are not a versatile heritage.

So as far as Ancestries I'd like..

Rogonov would be up there. Especially if they didn't feel weakened. really, any sort of dog headed ancestries would be golden.

Vlaka would be another example

Minotaurs, Centaurs. Rabbit Folk, Batfolk, Goat Folk.. Really a big general "humanoid animal" race


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Darche Schneider wrote:

I for one do not understand why the spellwarped are not a versatile heritage.

So as far as Ancestries I'd like..

Rogonov would be up there. Especially if they didn't feel weakened. really, any sort of dog headed ancestries would be golden.

Vlaka would be another example

Minotaurs, Centaurs. Rabbit Folk, Batfolk, Goat Folk.. Really a big general "humanoid animal" race

I mean isn't that just what the beastkin heritage is for? Outside of minotaurs & centaurs.


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Sanityfaerie wrote:

So... something like "god-blooded"?

From my understanding of the lore, though, that doesn't seem to be a thing that happens all that often in Golarion... and if it did happen with any frequency, I feel like we would have heard about it. the god-blooded are almost by their very nature Not Subtle.

Does anyone who actually knows the lore have any insight on this? I'll admit that my own pertinent knowledge is quite shallow.

As for the note of it being an uncommon thing, I'm perfectly fine with them being listed as a rare heritage.


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I would love a bunny race!

Wayfinders

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Whether in remote reaches of Tian Xia, or in Arcadia, I'd very much love a rabbit ancestry, not least so I can make a Pathfinder version of Miyamoto Usagi (of Usagi Yojimbo fame) - or a Razatlani rabbit-person with some inspiration rooted in the Aztec Centzon Tōtōchtin.


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At this point, why not branch the ratfolks into other rodent-like ancestries? Rabbits, shrews, moles, weasels, squirrels... name it, those could work as heritages.

This can go for other ancestries:
- Raptors (birds of prey) and songbirds for Strix and Tengu
- Pachyderms (elephants and hippos) for Kashrishi
- Apes and lemurs for Vanara (yes, lemurs are primates)
- Cheetahs for Catfolks (with Sprint)
- Other small dog breeds for Shoony (only pugs, really?)

The major ones we're missing in terms of animalistic races are Rougarous (and maybe other larger canine breeds as heritages) and insects. For the later, one ancestry that would be interesting is the Thriae, those Amazoness bee females. Those could branch for bees, bumblebees, wasps and yellowjackets. The Trox have yet to be added back, and several types of beetles could work. Finally, Formians have been playable in Starfinder, so ants and termites would be welcomes.


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RiverMesa wrote:

Whether in remote reaches of Tian Xia, or in Arcadia, I'd very much love a rabbit ancestry, not least so I can make a Pathfinder version of Miyamoto Usagi (of Usagi Yojimbo fame) - or a Razatlani rabbit-person with some inspiration rooted in the Aztec Centzon Tōtōchtin.

I would be giddy at the chance to play a drunken Arcadian rabbitfolk as some sort of Oracle.


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I don't know if this has been said yet but I'd like to see ogres as a playable ancestry. Now that orcs and goblins have been more or less reclaimed from the pits of 'always evil' I'd like to see ogres get a similar treatment and developed beyond the archetype of 'murder rednecks' they were presented as in Rise of the Runelords. Making them a playable ancestry would go a long way towards that in my mind.


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Master Han Del of the Web wrote:
I don't know if this has been said yet but I'd like to see ogres as a playable ancestry. Now that orcs and goblins have been more or less reclaimed from the pits of 'always evil' I'd like to see ogres get a similar treatment and developed beyond the archetype of 'murder rednecks' they were presented as in Rise of the Runelords. Making them a playable ancestry would go a long way towards that in my mind.

I feel the only way to do that would be to do what they did with gnolls & say, "yes, the gnolls you've encountered so far have been horrible, but this population over here in this area we haven't thoroughly explored yet is okay." Like, reveal a previously unknown population of original ogres more representative of what the race was before it descended completely into inbreeding.

Like, with orcs & hobgoblins, it still took a bit of whitewashing & revisionism to get them to "these people have a harsh culture and many aspects of their society are still what we would call evil, they're still people living their lives and on an individual level capable of the full range of morality" compared to their depictions in 1e.

Not that I'm complaining about that, how those ancestries are depicted in 2e should have been the starting point in 1e & the devs made a bad decision to double down on the "monstrous races are super evil" elements of the setting from the beginning.

But even withstanding that, ogres were the worst of the worst in 1e with their entire society & culture wrapped up in Hillbilly Horror tropes and all the implications there of, with no detail spared of the visceral nature of exactly what they were doing.

There's no hook(pun not intended) in ogres for you to latch on to and say, "yeah they look bad from the outside but they've got these virtues here", their social structures are too small to have the scale necessary to hide some nuance behind societal evils, because evil is all their society has to it, and you don't even have the benefit of any of it having been played for comedy like goblins generally were to cover that base.

To be clear I'm not against ogres being a playable ancestry. I happen to think that one niche in character types that pathfinder doesn't have filled - and one that the devs seem to believe shouldn't exist - is that of a kind of half-giant or playable giantkin in the vein of d&d's goliath. Personally I've always been in favor of the cyclops filling that role as I'm a big fan of what PF's done with them so far, but you could do it with ogres.

I just don't know that you could take ogres as they're presented in Rise of the Runelords, the Monster Codex, and pretty much everywhere else they were depicted, and do a rehabilitation job on that. The devs went all in on making ogres as horrific as possible in a way that I don't see how you could attempt to add anything resembling nuance to without it seeming fully disingenous.

So the only thing I see to do is, say "okay that's what's common for ogres in the inner sea due to reasons, but it turns out that over in this other part of the world, all along there've been ogres who aren't all sadistic, cannibalistic sexual predators plagued by thousands of years of incest", and have what is effectively a new ancestry that you call ogre, and vaguely looks like an ogre, but has little relation or resemblance to what the ogres of the inner sea are & have been. Maybe in southern Garund, maybe in Arcadia, maybe in Casmaron, maybe in Tian Xai.

*Edit: I did look it up & Classic Monsters Revisited did mention a (rumored) population of less horrible ogres living in the Mwangi Expanse, though I'll note that they aren't mentioned at all in the Mwangi Expanse book itself. I don't know if that was a deliberate exclusion because they've dropped that idea or if they just forgot about them given that this was 14+ years ago with Classic Monsters predating PF1e.


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Oh, actually came back over to this thread to say, I'd be curious what the devs would or could do with the astomoi. They were one of the weirdest options in 1e, so far as I'm aware they only got the one bestiary entry & never showed up in any kind of capacity beyond that.

I'm given to understand the concept was originally from greek mythology, though at least one greek writer claimed they lived around the Ganges, so, I guess they might have been an early Indian import? Or a local greek myth about what was in a far off land.

So, maybe an Iblydos book or a Vudra book would be a place to put them.


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
FormerFiend wrote:
Master Han Del of the Web wrote:
I don't know if this has been said yet but I'd like to see ogres as a playable ancestry. Now that orcs and goblins have been more or less reclaimed from the pits of 'always evil' I'd like to see ogres get a similar treatment and developed beyond the archetype of 'murder rednecks' they were presented as in Rise of the Runelords. Making them a playable ancestry would go a long way towards that in my mind.

I feel the only way to do that would be to do what they did with gnolls & say, "yes, the gnolls you've encountered so far have been horrible, but this population over here in this area we haven't thoroughly explored yet is okay." Like, reveal a previously unknown population of original ogres more representative of what the race was before it descended completely into inbreeding.

Like, with orcs & hobgoblins, it still took a bit of whitewashing & revisionism to get them to "these people have a harsh culture and many aspects of their society are still what we would call evil, they're still people living their lives and on an individual level capable of the full range of morality" compared to their depictions in 1e.

Not that I'm complaining about that, how those ancestries are depicted in 2e should have been the starting point in 1e & the devs made a bad decision to double down on the "monstrous races are super evil" elements of the setting from the beginning.

But even withstanding that, ogres were the worst of the worst in 1e with their entire society & culture wrapped up in Hillbilly Horror tropes and all the implications there of, with no detail spared of the visceral nature of exactly what they were doing.

There's no hook(pun not intended) in ogres for you to latch on to and say, "yeah they look bad from the outside but they've got these virtues here", their social structures are too small to have the scale necessary to hide some nuance behind societal evils, because evil is all their society has to it, and you don't even have the benefit of any of...

100%agree FormerFiend. I was going to say something to that effect and am now glad I didn't. You said it all better than I ever could.


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It's not about whitewashing them, it's about simply not presenting them as a single monolith of evil. It really does not take that much work. If I can make my players fond of an otyugh then adding some needed depth to ogres would not be terribly hard.


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I'm just not sure what I would want do with ogres in any case. Honestly, I wouldn't even notice if ogres were deleted from the setting entirely. They're not something I've ever used in a game or anything.


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Master Han Del of the Web wrote:
It's not about whitewashing them, it's about simply not presenting them as a single monolith of evil. It really does not take that much work. If I can make my players fond of an otyugh then adding some needed depth to ogres would not be terribly hard.

An otyugh is a solitary, viscerally disgusting yet non-malicious creature that provides an ecological benefit in the form of waste disposal. I can easily see how giving one some personality can make it likeable.

I *don't* see where in ogre society there's room to put... anything that remotely balances out the atrocities they commit for personal entertainment. You can give orcs & hobgoblins dimensions that don't excuse or erase their warlike cultures but add depth & nuance to them. But ogre culture has been covered very thoroughly and is just not big enough to add some nuance to a people who's primary weapons are designed for capturing prisoners so they can torture them for entertainment.

I can see it being done with individual exceptions. Or it could be done with, as I said, saying that what we've seen of ogres thus far is just one population that isn't necessarily reflective of the whole.

But then there's the issue of, without the hillbilly horror tropes, what are ogres? Mechanically they fill the niche between orcs & trolls on the sorting algorithm of scaling opponents. But culturally you'd need to make something out of whole cloth.

I am open to suggestions here. What depth would you give them if you were fleshing them out for a homebrew?


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One way to run that redemption... have them get adopted. In particular, have them get adopted by an archdevil. Like, sure, archdevils are evil and all, but it should be pretty doable to find one who likes the idea of big strong dumb things working for him that would still have reason to wish to adjust some of the worst bits of their society... and tieflings are, if nothing else, fresh blood with which to cut some of the inbreeding.

Like... take Moloch. Moloch is the sort who appreciates warriors, and he already has a Thing about telling his followers to convert communities to worship him. The idea that a high-level Tyrant of Moloch or few (possibly working out of Cheliax) might decide to go take control of the local ogres and Teach Those Dumb Brutes Some Discipline isn't particularly far-fetched, and the idea that the particular Tyrants that did it might object to the more horrible aspects of current Ogre culture also isn't all that surprising. Then you make the first folks they're sending these ogres after (after the obligatory ogre-on-ogre violence as they consolidate control) be someone else evil, and we have the bare beginnings of a partial redemption arc.

It also gives an entertaining set-piece for an AP somewhere. Like, the fact that some tyrants of Moloch are consolidating control over the local ogre populations is a source of obvious and serious long-term concern, but that doesn't really mean that you necessarily want to mess with them because it sure is handy right now.


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Having it be an in universe redemption story would be one way to go about it. Would be distinct, if nothing else; orcs, hobgoblins, & gnolls didn't get in universe redemption arcs. Orcs & hobgoblins simply asserted themselves as players on the geopolitical stage that had to be dealt with as people rather than monsters to be exterminated. Kholo gnolls I guess you can say had a redemption arc, just one that took place off screen a long time ago, with lamashtan gnolls being as bad as ever.

A long time ago, when it was clear that WotC weren't going to develop the orcish Kingdom of Many-Arrows at all, I did a major homebrew write up of a fleshed out orcish society there; one detail I included was that orcs founding a proper kingdom got the attention of every good & lawful church in Faerun & they all sent missionaries there to take the opportunity to try and convert the orcs & take a hand into shaping the mew nation. Their success was limited, & I know that kind of missionary, proselytizing, "saving through conversion" mentality is rightfully seen as problematic, but it's still something people *do*, so I could see various cults deciding to take an active part in "redeeming" ogre kind.

Outside of that, best I can think of for ogres is, drop the horror & lean into the hillbilly. Frame mainline ogre culture as one based on American hillbilly/hick/redneck/backwoods culture, good & bad, with isolationist mountain clans, & frame the ogres we've been presented with thus far as the most extremely degenerate and hostile of the lot who're just more likely to encounter oustiders. Frame it in a, "you can't judge all ogres on the Kreegs anymore than you can judge all humans on Tar-Baphon" type deal. I don't know if that works but it'll at least keep something of the distinct flavor of pathfinder ogres.


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FormerFiend wrote:


A long time ago, when it was clear that WotC weren't going to develop the orcish Kingdom of Many-Arrows at all, I did a major homebrew write up of a fleshed out orcish society there;

Several novels, thorough writeups in the 4e books, and at least one 4e era-magazine article didn't do it for you? :p

(Sorry to poke at a needless semantic point, but I'm a big Many-Arrows fangirl, in no small part because they *did* spend quite a bit of time there. Salvatore's novels are certainly imperfect, but there's an awful lot of em, and people built interesting stuff on the bones of them; that Dragon article I mention is specifically about the varied places of half-orcs within Many-Arrows, with the fun note that many end up as Bards!)


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keftiu wrote:
FormerFiend wrote:


A long time ago, when it was clear that WotC weren't going to develop the orcish Kingdom of Many-Arrows at all, I did a major homebrew write up of a fleshed out orcish society there;

Several novels, thorough writeups in the 4e books, and at least one 4e era-magazine article didn't do it for you? :p

(Sorry to poke at a needless semantic point, but I'm a big Many-Arrows fangirl, in no small part because they *did* spend quite a bit of time there. Salvatore's novels are certainly imperfect, but there's an awful lot of em, and people built interesting stuff on the bones of them; that Dragon article I mention is specifically about the varied places of half-orcs within Many-Arrows, with the fun note that many end up as Bards!)

You and I read two different source books; the 4e FR source book had a scant paragraph dedicated to Many Arrows & it didn't get a dragon magazine article until either the last or second to last issue of the magazine at the tail end of 4e's life.

Salvatore did spent a four books establishing it but after the Orc King he quietly killsd Obould off screen & the next time he went back, I'm given to understand(I had long stopped reading his novels by this point) he had it get manipulated into a war by the drow, utterly stomped by Breunor, then forcibly disbanded.


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Okay so I went back to look at my old 4e forgotten realms player's guide & campaign guide & I was underselling it a bit there; haven't looked at these in a few years.

Character guide is what was sticking out in my mind there as that it briefly touches on Many-Arrows when discussing orcs/half-orcs as a playable race without going into much real detail, and then doesn't give a dedicated section for Many-Arrows in the backgrounds chapter, only a small paragraph long sidebar in the Luruar/Silver Marches section, which frames Many-Arrows as something of a hostile force.

The campaign guide does have a page for Many-Arrows which is standard for the book(though some places get a two page spread) & gives one history check which is a bare bones summary of how the kingdom was founded, one streetwise check for it's relation with it's neighbors which almost borders on the level of the 'bear lore' meme, and a two paragraph summation of the capital that dedicates the larger paragraph to the execution of criminals ad gladium & how the king will poison prisoners he doesn't want surviving.

There's also a side bar on Mithril Hall that takes up more space than the streetwise knowledge check & a poorly integrated cut out of the world map zoomed in on the location - I either forgot or didn't realize at the time how bad the graphical layout of 4e books were.

But this was undisputedly more than I remembered there being so I was wrong on that note. Though as to the question of whether or not it was enough for me; I did a copy/paste job & a word count and between the entire section in the campaign guide, including subsection titles, minus the sidebar on Mithril Hall, and the sidebar in the player's guide, it's less than 600 words.

My world building notes on many-arrows have long since been lost to time, they were destroyed two laptops ago, but I did find an old post I made on an old forum where I put up the cliff notes of about half the work I had done, was over 2000 words. I do recall this being before the Dragon Magazine article came out, though. That was probably longer.(side note, while I am by no means accusing anyone at WotC for ripping me off, I will say that it's interesting that something I was building to in my game & talking about on forums was Many-Arrows expanding west & trying to capture Luskan, and a couple years later in the Neverwinter setting book & the Neverwinter MMO, Many-Arrows has expanded west & is trying to capture Luskan's rival, Neverwinter. Funny coincidence, that.)

Anyway to tie this rambling bit of "I was technically wrong but also right in spirit" post back into the topic at hand, I was able to write pages & pages of world building to flesh out orcs into a three dimensional, functional society with depth & flaws and inner turmoil but goals and ambitions full of people of all stripes of life, and I struggle to think of what to do with ogres, specifically.

Part of that's the foundation I have to work with, and part of that is ogres & the d&d tradition just aren't that interesting.

Like, I fully understand why people would want to move away from it but honestly I kind of find paizo giving them the hillbilly horror gimmick as a stroke of brilliance in terms of making them stand out & giving them a definite niche & make them stand out from the pack of alawys chaotic evil monstrous enemies. Without the gimmick, ogres are just bigger orcs & smaller hill giants with notes about how hungry they are.

But, put a meat cleaver in their hands & play up on the tropes from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the Hills Have Eyes, & Deliverance? Well you've taken a familiar trope & put a fresh spin on it because I've never seen that specific thing in this specific type of setting before, and giving it to ogres specifically is genius because even with the lethality of low levels, killer rednecks isn't particularly scary when instead of hapless teenagers who's car broke down on the wrong stretch of road, you've got a party of armed adventurers. Until the redneck in question is revealed to be a 10ft tall, thousand-pound mound of fat & muscle in a game where *reach* hurts.

So yeah that's a very effective encounter, at least to use for one adventure. Doesn't necessarily have repeat legs to it; there's reasons those types of movies don't get made that often. Not to mention, the subject matter those movies touch on, & not always in the most tasteful of ways, was ported very explicitly in a time where people were finding their voice about not wanting that front in center in their escapist media... I understand why people wouldn't want to engage with it.

If I were starting from whole cloth, like, making a new campaign setting based on the d20 ruleset D&D tradition & using the ogl suite of monsters to do so, honestly I don't know how much effort I'd put into fleshing out ogre culture, myself, because ogres don't particularly interest me. I'd probably just fold them into orc culture as a group that the orcs had warred with, conquered, assimilated & integrated into their own society, and call it a day. I have a similar issue with bugbears, as an aside - I've a lot easier time slotting them into a niche part of hobgoblin culture rather than fleshing them out completely as an independent thing

Having to work with the baggage of fourteen years of a consistent portrayal of inbred sadists, the best I can come up with is stripping away the sensationalized horror elements & tying them to a more grounded though still probably problematic fantasy version of hillbilly culture that'll still make them distinct & their own thing & make sense with their previous portrayals. I'd recommend binge watching the series Justified, Outsiders, Hatfields & McCoys, & the podcast Old Gods of Appalachia for inspiration.

There's still some work to be done there; american mountain folk don't exist in a vacuum; they live on the edge of society, not wholly separate from it however hard they try, and are still influenced by the history of the settling of America & American protestant christianity, so how you make that work in a Golarion context, I don't know, but it's a starting point.

I'm coming around to this idea a bit more with fantasy hillbillies being the hook for what makes pathfinder ogres unique among the other 'mosntrous' ancestries. It's just not an archetype you see in in fantasy settings a lot. So yeah, I've talked myself into that.


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There were some articles on Half-Ogres in Dragon magazine in the ADnD days. While they barely touched on culture, and mostly presented mechanics, they made quite an impression on my 10 or so year old self. I’d like to see them return.


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Eberron has a unique Ancestry descended from the intermarrying of Half-Giants and Ogres called the Eneko, who live on the distant continent of Sarlona. They existed in all of a single 3.5-era sidebar until the newest book gave them some love when it came out last week - and where it notably just said "eh, use Goliaths for their mechanics."

Not coincidentally, I'd love a Medium-sized giantkin Ancestry of some sort.


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keftiu wrote:
Not coincidentally, I'd love a Medium-sized giantkin Ancestry of some sort.

How about a Versatile Heritage, with its major trait is to be "one size larger"?


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When I first read Pathfinder's take on
ogres, my first thought was something along the lines of "Finally, something really evil."


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Understanding where the “redneck” trope originates from could create an interesting story for ogres in setting. The poor settler-colonial being deliberately displaced and used as a shock troop in expansionist wars, who are denied the right to really exist as full members of that colonial society, and only ever presented with the opportunity for security or the meekest subsistence survival by enacting violence against the groups the dominant colonial/invading culture hates more…only for that dominant culture to always keep pushing their lap dogs further into the “wastelands” of that culture, could work out fairly interesting in Golarion, and pretty well explain why the Ogres almost always encountered by adventurers are going to disregard the sentience of any folk they encounter, or even mock or problematically appropriate the most warlike and violent stereotypes of the cultures they encounter without ever being welcome by those cultures or by the dominant culture using them. It seems like this is the role that giants have used ogres in for a long time in the Saga Lands, which is definitely where Golarion Ogres have received most of their screen time. If they played this role for the Ghol-Gan empire/Cyclopes nations as well as the giants of Varisia, then they could be fairly well spread out across Golarion as a typically violent “other” in every setting they are encountered in, without even necessarily knowing where their original homeland was, or generally even caring about it, since the evidence of their living there would have been erased/buried by cultures now long since buried on their own.

There is supposedly (according to classic monsters, revisited) a group of Ogres in the Mwangi expanse that are less cruel, but it kind of seems like their opportunity to be developed has come and gone, maybe because what has been done with Ogres in Golarion might be better left to shrink/fade, then try to reclaim and expand.

Larger-sized medium creature tropes are not lacking for potential source material that doesn’t have to carry so much baggage, and the redemption of the degraded colonial is fundamentally just another colonial story instead of new story rooted in a broader, more inclusive mythology.


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Wasn't there a race of "noble ogres" in Dragonlance? I remember them looking like giant elves.


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Ravingdork wrote:
Wasn't there a race of "noble ogres" in Dragonlance? I remember them looking like giant elves.

Yep. The Irda. The idea was that the ogres were a degenerate offshoot that had been cursed by a god or something.


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I know elves had the elemental terrain heritages/feats, but is there any other Eevee-esc dynamic evolution ancestries that can diverge in manifested features while still being the same base species? Some of those would be fascinating to play

Liberty's Edge

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On the Ogres, I can envision those we saw in RotRL as a fringe group expelled by a bigger Ogre society repulsed by their corruption of the true Ogres' ways.

Now these ways do not need to make other creatures comfortable. For example, maybe Ogres have a tradition of eating their dead and those of other ancestries.

It would be interesting to see what would be the result if we take the Evil habits of Ogres to try and find cultural roots that were not Evil.


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keftiu wrote:

Eberron has a unique Ancestry descended from the intermarrying of Half-Giants and Ogres called the Eneko, who live on the distant continent of Sarlona. They existed in all of a single 3.5-era sidebar until the newest book gave them some love when it came out last week - and where it notably just said "eh, use Goliaths for their mechanics."

Not coincidentally, I'd love a Medium-sized giantkin Ancestry of some sort.

Like I've said a few times, I'm definitely in favor of having an ancestry to fill the Goliath's niche of playable giantkin on the border between medium & large.

Though as I've also said, my personal preference would be for cyclops to fill that role. I just find that they've got less baggage, more culture to draw from, and a more distinctive appearance than ogres.


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I think there’s room for both a broader “you’re pretty damn big!” Giantkin and the more specific flavor (oracles, curses, Ghol-Gan) of the Cyclops. The former feels very Saga Lands to me, while the latter is more Iblydos.


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The Raven Black wrote:

On the Ogres, I can envision those we saw in RotRL as a fringe group expelled by a bigger Ogre society repulsed by their corruption of the true Ogres' ways.

Now these ways do not need to make other creatures comfortable. For example, maybe Ogres have a tradition of eating their dead and those of other ancestries.

It would be interesting to see what would be the result if we take the Evil habits of Ogres to try and find cultural roots that were not Evil.

...or even generally Evil, but not so fundamentally horrible.

Like, there's some kinds of Evil out there that you can work with, you know? Possibly the "bigger ogre society" is more of an "evil, but with standards" type, where the significant majority of its people are evil, and the culture as a whole is evil, but it's capable of containing non-evil people in it in reasonable ways. For example, "non-cannibalistic" might be seen as the ogre equivalent of "vegan". There are people who do it, they're generally kind of fringe, and most folks aren't bothered by them, but perhaps wish they'd stop making quite such a big deal about it. For everyone else, the flesh of other sapient beings is seen as something of a delicacy or rare treat, but to be savored occasionally, and in moderation. Something like that.


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I think the best way to "fix" ogres is in the eventual Tian Xia book since Japanese folklore does have an ogre analogue in the Oni (and this word means something different in Pathfindiner) that you could build upon. Specifically the oni was syncretized from subcontinent folklore from the rakshasa (which again means something different than in Pathfinder) and as a creature of immense appetite (including people) and were thus worked into the metaphysics as "wardens of hell" who hand down punishment from their superiors.

Over time a lot of the stories became less about their wickedness (though they were fierce and dangerous) and more about their odd ritualistic behavior.

You can run the same program as "look at how interesting the Mwangi Dwarves are" (despite remaining recognizably culturally "Dwarf" for Dwarf-fans) and use that as leverage to differentiate the inner sea Dwarves from "traditional fantasy Dwarf" and add nuance to the rest of the species. Obviously you're going to devote less space to ogres than dwarves, but the way you recast them as not "horror movie antagonists" is to focus the authorial lens to a part of the world where they fill a different niche.


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Pathfinder oni originating in Tian Xia, their nature to shape themselves in the bodies resembling mortal creatures, & the claim that ogre mages are the single most common type of oni would imply there's a significant population of ogres in Tian Xia, if nothing else.

The Monster Codex also claims that ogres are the single most populous race of giant or giantkin in the world -though that book does also pretend to be setting neutral so it's hard to say how much it applies to Golarion specifically. It also doesn't make any claims or hints of the wider ogre population being any different from the monsters that the standard ogres are presented to be, and all the options for ogres in that book lean into the archetype heavily.


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Here's one worth adding: Celedon

In short, they're a race of constructs given sentience by divine entities. They're essentially artificial worshippers to keep deities alive. Believe it or not, a celedon only has 1 HD, but was never made into a playable race. Given that we have Automatons and Poppets, why not add Celedons and Wyrwoods?

BTW, deities of all kind can shape celedons to their likings, I could see them having heritages based on golem materials.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I feel like Celedons would be a lineage for automatons…if automatons weren’t so specific. The more I think about it, the more surprised I am that automatons are so locked into a particular flavor and narrative. Fleshwarps, by contrast, are purposefully much broader and can potentially be used in 4 or 5 different locations to describe different creatures. Automatons could have been equally non-specific, describing not just jinska relics but leaving room for Wyrwoods and Celedons to be added on.

As it is, I think both could still be added and it wold be a disservice to make them an add-on to automatons. Another, more general construct ancestry could be added that covers both, but again I think that would be a disservice. Both are different enough that you could do both with little overlap.

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