The Deadshot Lands and wider Arcadia


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


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With the release of Guns & Gears, we got our first proper look at all of Arcadia: six labeled Meta-Regions (The Land of Northern Lakes, Old Razatlan/Fallen Razatlan [the book uses both], The Primal League, The Deadshot Lands, The Salt Stretch, and The Lands of Second Souls) and a tease from developers that more might be coming.

Two of these we know a little bit about: the Deadshot Lands are detailed to an extent in the book as a clear 'Wild West' analogue with a fair amount of steampunk-y tech, and Old Razatlan is the Mesoamerican/Latin American cluster of Xopatl, Nalmeras, Innazpa, and Razatlan, which constituted the heart of the ancient Razatlani Empire.

How are folks feeling about finally seeing Pathfinder's Americas-equivalent in some detail? I'm absolutely giddy - an Old Razatlan book is just about the most exciting thing I can imagine, while I've lost a fair amount of sleep trying to puzzle out what the 'Second Souls' bit could possibly mean! I love that we know the orcs and dwarves of the region don't bear the familiar old grudge, and I'd like to see the wyrwoods we know are around get some love in 2e soon.


A part of the book going into more detail about the various rites & rituals that occur when creating and bonding with a Beast Gun would be pretty neat. It's a bit vague in Guns & Gears as to what happens beyond "you shoot a monster and turn it into a gun."


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I am super excited to see more. A mini Gazeteer on the deadlands was the best surprise I could have gotten.


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pixierose wrote:
I am super excited to see more. A mini Gazeteer on the deadlands was the best surprise I could have gotten.

A bunch of those names in Tazuni are from the actual play Luis does! The whole region is killer; I love the giant necromancer and his gang.


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I’m incredibly curious to see what modern Razatlan looks like; the shift from being a continent-spanning empire of the ancient past to being a normal nation like everyone else is a fascinating one, and I’m eager to see a take on a Mesoamerican empire that isn’t a gore-drenched pulp parody.


keftiu wrote:
I’m incredibly curious to see what modern Razatlan looks like; the shift from being a continent-spanning empire of the ancient past to being a normal nation like everyone else is a fascinating one, and I’m eager to see a take on a Mesoamerican empire that isn’t a gore-drenched pulp parody.

Personally I wouldn't be surprised if Razatlan was originally some kind of Azlanti inheritor kingdom ala Taldor in Avistan.


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Voltron64 wrote:
keftiu wrote:
I’m incredibly curious to see what modern Razatlan looks like; the shift from being a continent-spanning empire of the ancient past to being a normal nation like everyone else is a fascinating one, and I’m eager to see a take on a Mesoamerican empire that isn’t a gore-drenched pulp parody.
Personally I wouldn't be surprised if Razatlan was originally some kind of Azlanti inheritor kingdom ala Taldor in Avistan.

I’m pretty sure they existed alongside Azlant, no? Old Razatlan is really, really old.

Liberty's Edge

Indeed. According to Pathfinderwiki : "The Razatlan Empire's hold was unchallenged until Earthfall."


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Monsters of Myth gave us some useful Arcadia info: that the Army of Fire briefly mentioned elsewhere is a recurring supernatural phenomenon, being a massive force of burning undead summoned by the wielder of a spear blessed by Ah Pook, a god of fear. The first was led by a Razatlani man who hoped to conquer all Arcadia, but there’s been three more since him.

There’s also some awesome tiny peeks at the Harrow as both divination tool and weapon.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Imictal was there in the beginning! If you check out the history in Tyrant's Grasp #5, you'll see that Imictal and the Army of Fire were part of the events important to Xopatl. Additionally, the Arcadian harrow tradition was mentioned in Agents of Edgewatch #4 in the Legends of the Harrow article.

If I could post gifs on these forums, this is where Kronk's "It's all coming together" gif would go.


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Luis Loza wrote:

Imictal was there in the beginning! If you check out the history in Tyrant's Grasp #5, you'll see that Imictal and the Army of Fire were part of the events important to Xopatl. Additionally, the Arcadian harrow tradition was mentioned in Agents of Edgewatch #4 in the Legends of the Harrow article.

If I could post gifs on these forums, this is where Kronk's "It's all coming together" gif would go.

You know I’m here for all of it! That brief tease of Innazpa’s “living stories” was cruel - cannot wait to see the whole region get more love :D


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For those interested in this topic: Luis just released a guide to the Tazuni city of Altameda on Pathfinder Infinite!


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Wow, this book is really cool! Really picturesque, a town built partially into a cliffside, and so many interesting locations! The gods are fun too. Like Pahti Couatl – seems like a really fun god for investigators. Balumbdar having a relative on this side of the world is also fun. Liking the gradual additions to the Star Code legends. Hopefully this is the first of many similar pdfs, and can't wait to see content from these hit a hardcover. Thanks for the goodies, Luis! And keftiu too, for the heads up.

(Also, what's going on with that monster on the front cover? That almost looks like Numerian tech.)


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Opsylum wrote:
(Also, what's going on with that monster on the front cover? That almost looks like Numerian tech.)

I'm nowhere near caught up, but Luis DMs an actual play podcast based out of Altameda, and there's a fair amount of steampunk-y, Wild Wild West-style weird tech in it. I haven't seen any chimeric horrors yet, but there's definitely been exo-suits and potent smashing gauntlets.

Dark Archive

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Ya know, I do hope they do similar "let's introduce meta regions for other continents too even if its going to take while to actually detail them" dealio


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CorvusMask wrote:
Ya know, I do hope they do similar "let's introduce meta regions for other continents too even if its going to take while to actually detail them" dealio

Fallen Razatlan - the tangle of Xopatl, Nalmeras, Innazpa, and Razatlan itself - are the top of my list, but it seems like there’s as much or more love internally for the Land of Northern Lakes, what with it getting two Society scenarios. I hope we can see both regions in fuller detail soon!

Contributor

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Opsylum wrote:
(Also, what's going on with that monster on the front cover? That almost looks like Numerian tech.)

When I ordered the cover piece from Sheppi Rodriguez, I only asked for a fight with a monster. He asked for free rein on the monster design, which I was 200% on board for. This is what he ended up producing. I'm hoping to get a chance to actually stat up this monster and figure what exactly it is sometime in the future.

Liberty's Edge

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Excellent !!!


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A late 1e book (Heroes of Golarion, maybe?) had a very fun bit about Arcadian Mediums who learned to channel Ulfen ancestor spirits, complete with a great piece of art. With a second trip to 'Port Valen' (a mixed Mahwek-Ulfen settlement) coming soon to Society play, I'd really enjoy a chance to see this built out into something with depth.

What does it mean to have that bond to someone else's ancestors? Are there Ulfen mediums who do the same for great Mahwek heroes - or maybe even older figures from ancient Razatlan? Tons of cool potential, and the chance to build out some kind of cross-continental syncretic ancestor faith is really neat.


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Lost Omens: Ancestry Guide wrote:
The black-spotted Guarrxil of southern Arcadia are renowned for their principled mercenary companies and heroic rangers. The mysterious Caimurru of the western Arcadian coast trade more with First World caravans than with other mortals.

Stumbled across this today (I hadn't read the Catfolk section thoroughly before!), and now I really want to see the Guarrxil get more love! Jaguar hunters are a killer on there face, while they feel like the ideal followers of Kazutal.


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Since I've been using this as a general Arcadia thread whenever we get new info: Dark Archive features an adventure set in a monastery in Xopatl, and gives us a brief overview of Tomalán, a nation in Arcadia's southern "Land of Second Souls."

Interestingly, one of the ways Tomalán's people reincarnate is via the magical, bleeding Tree of Rebirth - between it and Xopatl's Kumaru Tree, it seems like trees as magical infrastructure might be an Arcadian thing.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Trees are cool! The Tree of Rebirth isn't something that was grown to be used as a conduit for magic like the kumaru tree, however. Its origins are a bit more mysterious.


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I’ve had a thought that I’m suddenly deeply attached to.

Part of the draw for Arcadia for me is that I’ve always lived in the American Southwest, as I’ve mentioned before. There’s no shortage of native cultures to draw on: I was fascinated by little Hopi kachina dolls as a kid, while the Navajo are one of the largest tribal nations in the country, and dozens of others besides. Mexican inspirations are another rich well, tapping older Mesoamerican sources alongside Spanish and Catholic touches alongside everything that’s come since. The Wild West has clearly inspired Arcadia’s Deadshot Lands already.

But tonight? My pitch to you… is that Arcadia should have a spot infamous for alien abductions.

The UFO mythology across the Southwest is such a wild local fixation, and Golarion has no shortage of cosmic and alien visitors that might haunt such a spot. Is there a crumbling Razatlani highway where lights dance in the sky at night? A lonely Deadshot village where little bodies are buried? Nomadic herders finding their flocks maimed in odd ways?

This isn’t Numerian high tech, or a tide of surging horrors like that one spot in Vudra - it’s a place of rumors and whispered folklore, of weird mysteries, inexplicable evidence, and people left changed by what transpires.

Wayfinders

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Whether it's a separate nation that happens to deal with this a lot, or just a general theme sprinkled throughout some wider area, I think it would be great - I'm a strong proponent that every area on Golarion should have... Spots that don't necessarily pull from real-world history or 'proper' culture, but instead tap into some other potent fantasy-adjacent source...

Like, Numeria itself in Avistan is a good example - it's hardly an homage to any real world nation, but there's plenty of fictional examples, and is just plain cool on its own.
And a more subtle take on UFO stories, with an entirely different geographic and cultural backdrop, would mean it would still very much stand on its own.

(Weird how Dark Archive, the book on paranormal, had zero mentions of anything UFO-adjacent, huh?)


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If you're looking for sources to comb through for Arcadia, Dark Archive includes a short adventure set in a keep in Xopatl near the town of Tapláche. It also has some tantalising new Iblydos lore, but that's for another thread.

Wayfinders

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I had a thought that a great kind of locale to have in Arcadia would be one broadly inspired by the American South - though maybe without some of that really gnarly history of slave labor and the like.

A land of bayous and the strange beasts that lurk within, Cajun cultural inspirations, maybe even a respectful take on African diaspora religions like Voodoo - a topic that I know is much maligned in media and pop culture, but if there's ever a place to put something inspired by it in and maybe do it right, Fantasy Louisiana might just be it. This could be a reverse-Senghor situation, where some distant Garundi folks once settled in the area, bringing some traditions along with them. (Mainly Bonuwat, perhaps?)

This could potentially be part of the basically-entirely-undefined Primal League to the north-east of the Deadshot Lands, or it could be in the more geographically accurate location on the southern coast of north Arcadia, which has enough blank room to slot it in. Either way, I think it could have a really fun and distinct vibe.


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I think there's a lot of really fascinating potential in drawing on Cajun, Creole, and Vodoun/Voodoo inspirations for fantasy... and all have been unfairly maligned in the TTRPG space forever. I'd love that.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Development

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Never fear! We have a Cajun on the case.


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Adam Daigle wrote:
Never fear! We have a Cajun on the case.

You’ve just turned around a pretty rocky day with this comment. This is exciting!


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keftiu wrote:

...

There’s no shortage of native cultures to draw on: I was fascinated by little Hopi kachina dolls as a kid, while the Navajo are one of the largest tribal nations in the country, and dozens of others besides.
...

Now I want one of my characters to have a kachina-style poppet familiar. :)

Dark Archive

If poppets had existed ten years ago, that one Council of Thieves book with soulbound dolls could have been extra fun x'D


Interesting note from farther afield in the fantasy space - Magic: the Gathering is returning to Ixalan, their “Mesoamerican peoples (with dinosaur allies!) against pirates (with orcs and monkey goblins!) and vampire conquistadors” setting, late next year! While I doubt we’ll ever see Cheliax trying to invade Arcadia’s shores, there’s a lot of potential inspiration to be mined from both the original visit to Ixalan and the upcoming return.


keftiu wrote:
Interesting note from farther afield in the fantasy space - Magic: the Gathering is returning to Ixalan, their “Mesoamerican peoples (with dinosaur allies!) against pirates (with orcs and monkey goblins!) and vampire conquistadors” setting, late next year! While I doubt we’ll ever see Cheliax trying to invade Arcadia’s shores, there’s a lot of potential inspiration to be mined from both the original visit to Ixalan and the upcoming return.

Perhaps Arcadia invading Cheliax, instead? :)


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Gisher wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Interesting note from farther afield in the fantasy space - Magic: the Gathering is returning to Ixalan, their “Mesoamerican peoples (with dinosaur allies!) against pirates (with orcs and monkey goblins!) and vampire conquistadors” setting, late next year! While I doubt we’ll ever see Cheliax trying to invade Arcadia’s shores, there’s a lot of potential inspiration to be mined from both the original visit to Ixalan and the upcoming return.
Perhaps Arcadia invading Cheliax, instead? :)

Kazutal’s crusading days are behind her, and it’s going to be awful hard getting a force of any real size through the wreck of Azlant over to Avistan. I think any hope for Cheliax has to come from within… though likely with a fair sprinkle of Andoran’s intervention.

Dark Archive

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Why I'm getting Sunset Invasion flashbacks


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I will say, a third of the way into Prey (watching the Comanche dub) and it's absolutely feeling like a story that can be told in Northeastern Arcadia. Have something like a Xill touch down, and clash with a local tribe's hunters? I'd be all over that.

Dark Archive

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Realized that with Dark Archive giving us info on Tomalan, Tree of Rebith and Land of Second Souls, that brings up a question:

So if entire name of region is Land of Second Souls, does that mean EVERYONE in the meta region, not just those in Tomalan, get a freebie rebirth with memories intact? Because wow, that is even huger than I initially realized if that is the case. Like if every land in southern part of Arcadia(hard to tell since without borders we don't know how huge region is) has that effect, that alters culture even more than if it was just one land x'D


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CorvusMask wrote:

Realized that with Dark Archive giving us info on Tomalan, Tree of Rebith and Land of Second Souls, that brings up a question:

So if entire name of region is Land of Second Souls, does that mean EVERYONE in the meta region, not just those in Tomalan, get a freebie rebirth with memories intact? Because wow, that is even huger than I initially realized if that is the case. Like if every land in southern part of Arcadia(hard to tell since without borders we don't know how huge region is) has that effect, that alters culture even more than if it was just one land x'D

We also had that wrestling champion ghost, also from the region - so it seems like it might broadly be a region surrounding death, undeath, and resurrection from a different angle than say, the Gravelands.

Dark Archive

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Honestly pretty glad about these threads, they are fun and interesting and motivated me to go on lore binge again x'D At this rate I'll end up making Azlant thread or something. I'll probably go even more mad with my hunger for lore and end up creating something more absurd. Hmmmm...

Anyway, got motivated to read Guns & Gears Arcadia info better again. Overall interesting stuff, amused there was details on avian themed theocracy without mention of syrinxes(but at least syrinxes were mentioned in dark archive so they presumably still exist, I need my favorite evil owls back :D) and that there was mention of insect ancestry nobody told me about (klinkois) or at least I forgot they got name dropped x'D


CorvusMask wrote:

Honestly pretty glad about these threads, they are fun and interesting and motivated me to go on lore binge again x'D At this rate I'll end up making Azlant thread or something. I'll probably go even more mad with my hunger for lore and end up creating something more absurd. Hmmmm...

Anyway, got motivated to read Guns & Gears Arcadia info better again. Overall interesting stuff, amused there was details on avian themed theocracy without mention of syrinxes(but at least syrinxes were mentioned in dark archive so they presumably still exist, I need my favorite evil owls back :D) and that there was mention of insect ancestry nobody told me about (klinkois) or at least I forgot they got name dropped x'D

The Deadshot Lands are a lot of fun (I love the necromancer Giant and their evil posse), but Western stuff isn't really my bag. I'd gladly have a Gunslinger hailing from Altameda show up in anything Arcadian I ran, but Fallen Razatlan and (to a slightly lesser extent) the Land of Northern Lakes have my eye more.


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Was reminded of the seed for my interest in Mesoamerican fantasy, and felt like folks might appreciate the share: concept art for the scrapped Guild Wars: Utopia, meant to follow up that franchise's success with East Asian and North African settings with a Mesoamerican one. I found this stuff when I was in middle school, and OBSESSED over the game that never came to be. Utopia didn't just draw on real-world inspirations, either; chronomancers with bodies made of floating clockwork, a giant city made of gears, and the idea that the whole setting was an island floating in the afterlife all added some unique fantasy flavor.

There's more inspiration to mine, too, like this gorgeous parrot tengu or this less human-looking centaur from that setting's other tropical region, Krtya and the Maguuma, a region that's always felt South American to me. Their tengu and the local Hylek (frog-folk) use faux-Nahua names, but are tragically lacking in cultural depth. Asura, strange little monster-gnome golemancers from deep within the earth, and Sylvari, a brand-new race of plant people who share a psychic dream before they come to life, round out a pretty wild local spread of nonhuman peoples.

Don't mind my rambling!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Land of Northern Lakes, huh? I feel like... perhaps... I like there. Is it decidedly mitten shaped?


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Virellius wrote:
Land of Northern Lakes, huh? I feel like... perhaps... I like there. Is it decidedly mitten shaped?

I don't know what reference this might be, but the Land of Northern Lakes seems to pull a lot from the north and east of North America - most of the locals appear to be Fantasy Iroquois. Their big fantastical note is that the region is rich in skymetals, which has driven some really cool technological advancement.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
keftiu wrote:
Virellius wrote:
Land of Northern Lakes, huh? I feel like... perhaps... I like there. Is it decidedly mitten shaped?
I don't know what reference this might be, but the Land of Northern Lakes seems to pull a lot from the north and east of North America - most of the locals appear to be Fantasy Iroquois. Their big fantastical note is that the region is rich in skymetals, which has driven some really cool technological advancement.

Oh, a typo on my end and also perhaps me being stupid is all. Michigan is known for being in the northern part of the country and is surrounded by the Great Lakes, and is shaped like a mitten. I happen to live there, so any potential references to the Native people of this area always makes me happy is all. Extremely diverse and interesting histories of the peoples here. The Iroquois Confederacy absolutely covered this area so... my hopes are up! :D

Shadow Lodge

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keftiu wrote:
Gisher wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Interesting note from farther afield in the fantasy space - Magic: the Gathering is returning to Ixalan, their “Mesoamerican peoples (with dinosaur allies!) against pirates (with orcs and monkey goblins!) and vampire conquistadors” setting, late next year! While I doubt we’ll ever see Cheliax trying to invade Arcadia’s shores, there’s a lot of potential inspiration to be mined from both the original visit to Ixalan and the upcoming return.
Perhaps Arcadia invading Cheliax, instead? :)
Kazutal’s crusading days are behind her, and it’s going to be awful hard getting a force of any real size through the wreck of Azlant over to Avistan. I think any hope for Cheliax has to come from within… though likely with a fair sprinkle of Andoran’s intervention.

Both have been tried and found wanting - the social revolution failed (both in seizing power in Cheliax, and in establishing common rule in its lately wayward provinces), and the Andorens demurred.


Virellius wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Virellius wrote:
Land of Northern Lakes, huh? I feel like... perhaps... I like there. Is it decidedly mitten shaped?
I don't know what reference this might be, but the Land of Northern Lakes seems to pull a lot from the north and east of North America - most of the locals appear to be Fantasy Iroquois. Their big fantastical note is that the region is rich in skymetals, which has driven some really cool technological advancement.
Oh, a typo on my end and also perhaps me being stupid is all. Michigan is known for being in the northern part of the country and is surrounded by the Great Lakes, and is shaped like a mitten. I happen to live there, so any potential references to the Native people of this area always makes me happy is all. Extremely diverse and interesting histories of the peoples here. The Iroquois Confederacy absolutely covered this area so... my hopes are up! :D

We’ve seen two settlements so far: the metropolis of Segada, in the nation of Degasi, which I mostly remember for having giant outdoor elevators called “climbers” going up cliffsides, and Port Valen, a mixed Mahwek-Ulfen settlement that acts as a stopover for folk seeking Valenhall. Both are neat! I’m itching to see more; I’d love a better grasp on Degasi as a nation.

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