Depictions of Slavery in Golarion


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Darth Game Master wrote:
Quick note, the letter was by an anonymous freelancer, Owen was just posting it.

Thanks for the catch, DGM, and fixed. Don't know how I missed that. Glad we agree.


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Kobold Catgirl wrote:
Replying to no one in particular: A society can be evil and not see itself as evil. In fact, most evil societies do. A fascist wouldn't call himself evil, whether he's past or present. Appealing to "they didn't know it was wrong!" is really misguided and kind of implies that nobody at the time was criticizing the practice, which is not remotely true.

That's one positive difference the D&D/Pathfinder alignment system yields relative to our world -- at least a little bit more honesty. For all the dishonesty they engage in with respect to other issues (rewriting history and all that), places like Cheliax and Nidal are Evil And Loving It.

Silver Crusade

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

Gonna keep posting this in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, people will stop saying that slavery needs an advocate.

Sara Marie wrote:

Paizo.com is not going to be hosting discussions with people trying to justify or be an advocate (devil's or otherwise) for slavery. Unfortunately this has been how many discussion threads about slavery, including this one, have ended up going.

Slavery is something that has caused multigenerational damage to real, human, people. It has inflicted trauma on countless lives, directly and indirectly, and the repercussions and the racism it has fueled still reverberate across our society and people’s lives today. Human trafficking continues to perpetuate the injustices and cruelty of slavery to this day.

It’s part of our mission to encourage and support gaming environments where people feel welcome, included and safe. When a topic like slavery comes up and people try to justify it, it reads as trying to justify hundreds of years of pain, suffering, countless indignities, rape, and murder inflicted upon the lives of other humans. While one person might feel that they are discussing theory or abstract subjects, for too many people the subject of slavery is not some abstract concept, it is an active painful reminder that there are other humans who would try to excuse or justify this awful practice. Coming across this type of thread on our forums when simply trying to read about a roleplaying game causes harm to people in our gaming community and it is unacceptable.

Dark Archive

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Also if Paizo diddent want to have had the problem of people defending slavery on there forums maybe they should have....Oh I dont know not allowed none evil countries to have slaves and especially not put slaves in as a purchasable option in there organised campaign setting.

The second part especially is what gets me since I assume several people must have looked at that and not one of them said at the time. "You know maybe putting in an option to allow players to buy a person is a really really bad idea?" and the fact that they now say there completly against it dosent change the fact that they are literally the ones that put it in there in the first place.

Scarab Sages

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CorvusMask wrote:
Rysky wrote:

No one in particular: "We need slavers so we have someone to fight!"

Aaaaaaaand how many games have you been in that actually involve fighting slavers, none? One? Less than all of them?

That's what I thought.

I mean, everyone who has played Rise of the Runelords, Strange Aeons, Jade Regent, Reign of Winter, Iron Gods, Ironfang Invasion and Ruins of Azlant at least ^_^;

I do get what you mean though, usual bad guys doing enslaving is more of secondary or tertiary aspect to them as part of "everything else evil they do" rather than "their main profession".

You're both forgetting Age of Ashes, where the primary antagonists are slavers first and foremost.

It's odd that Paizo wants to distance itself from such a recent AP.


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There's really three ways to handle slavery in this kind of setting:

Either it's ubiquitous like in the antique world, and while Good characters disapprove the average Joe probably accepts it, or it's only found in Evil nations and is seen by the average Joe as a bad thing, or it's nonexistent.

I would prefer #2 but don't necessarily oppose #1 or #3. I just think that since Golarion has traditionally been set up as between 1 and 2, deciding to not mention or deal with the repugnant practice again seems nonsensical.


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emky wrote:
Cori Marie wrote:
Gonna keep posting this in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, people will stop saying that slavery needs an advocate.
No one in here has been advocating for slavery in any way. It's been universally recognized as a reprehensible act.

This is not true, but you may not have seen the other thread. This thread has been mostly free of people advocating for slavery so far, as far as I can tell, but I appreciate Cori Marie's regular reminders because I know some people get tempted.


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Ian G wrote:

There's really three ways to handle slavery in this kind of setting:

Either it's ubiquitous like in the antique world, and while Good characters disapprove the average Joe probably accepts it, or it's only found in Evil nations and is seen by the average Joe as a bad thing, or it's nonexistent.

I would prefer #2 but don't necessarily oppose #1 or #3. I just think that since Golarion has traditionally been set up as between 1 and 2, deciding to not mention or deal with the repugnant practice again seems nonsensical.

Not only in antiquity, but slavery was pretty much everywhere until around the 19th century with some, often temporary, exceptions.

That includes many nations Paizo copied quite openly for use in Pathfider which is probably the reason why for example Qadira has slavery (and is still neutral as far as I know).


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It's much more useful and relevant to modern players recontextualize oppression via an arbitrary and unfair legal and social system.

Like if it's against the law in Cheliax for halflings to travel without a pass, and you happen to live in a place where the only employers will pay you barely enough to survive on, and if you step out of line you get sent to prison where they pay you even less, you've essentially established Cheliax as a modern evil nation.


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A single black person: "Hey, maybe stop forcing us to engage with racism or slavery, the abominable things that have shaped our lives in the real world, in the fantasy game we play for fun."

Fifty white people: "this is HISTORICAL REVISIONISM and frankly it is racist of YOU to SUGGEST it"

one white people: "also muslims did slavery just as bad, which I am bringing up even though Paizo is an American company that's like 99% white people, because I think it's important that we center the evils of nonwhite people in this discussion"


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I hate being "white girl who makes fun of other white people", it's an ugly look, it reads like I'm trying to act like I'm somehow not also insanely privileged and clueless, but jesus christ


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Kobold Catgirl wrote:

A single black person: "Hey, maybe stop forcing us to engage with racism or slavery, the abominable things that have shaped our lives in the real world, in the fantasy game we play for fun."

Fifty white people: "this is HISTORICAL REVISIONISM and frankly it is racist of YOU to SUGGEST it"

one white people: "also muslims did slavery just as bad, which I am bringing up even though Paizo is an American company that's like 99% white people, because I think it's important that we center the evils of nonwhite people in this discussion"

Is this ("not covering slavery," as Erik Mona outlined) what Paizo's black freelancers are asking for though? If it is, I'd feel a lot more comfortable with this policy, and that might also suggest they have a creative vision for Lost Omens they'd like to see realized that would genuinely excite me. I'd endorse that. But this policy was not what I saw pursued in works these freelancers seemed to have more creative control over. Rather than ignore the idea of slavery, its significance was suppressed, relegated to certain corners of the setting, and approached from a "there aren't good people on both sides of this issue, slavers are villains" attitude. Indeed, the anonymous freelancer invoked in this thread's opening post praised how the Lost Omens setting has changed course:

anonymous freelancer wrote:
...content has been published with a clear anti-colonialist, abolitionist agenda. Former colonies went through revolutions to free the colonized people and grant them independence. Other influential figures in the world are working to purge slavery from their own regions. Most freelancers and developers so desperately want to move forward and leave this awful s**+ behind. We want this to be a game that everyone can enjoy, that doesn’t trivialize Black pain or rely on shock value.

I'm not black, so I can't speak for Paizo's black audience and freelancers in this regard, and will eagerly support any prevailing attitude that comes from this segment of the community. I have had a couple of black players, however, one who played a Chelaxian noble PC who was a committed Asmodean acolyte ("he's the only god who's never lied to me") that nonetheless struggled with his nation's involvement in the practice of slavery, and this was a plot he wished to pursue in my campaign. So the issue seems, in my own limited experience, to be somewhat more complex than this. Again, I speak from a place largely of ignorance here, so I commit to being receptive and open to correction on this matter. I think it's also important not to project attitudes about this issue upon broad swathes of Paizo's black community either, however, without good evidence to support this notion (which, to be very clear, is not what you did here).


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I think the above is a reasonable take, and I wish more posters here acknowledged as much nuance as you have.

I do think that "opt-in" is a good idea at this point, if only because so many APs have already focused or delved into subjects of slavery and oppression. That said, I do think a "liberation" AP that actually takes the issue seriously would be neat? Or at least adding in some historical information about how the slavers were overthrown.

Let's remember that that last time Paizo tried to "end slavery" in a region in-universe, it was Absalom freeing slaves who voluntarily fought in a war for them. It was also an organized play event, and thus hard for players to avoid if they personally felt uncomfortable with the subject. It Wasn't Great.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

There's a GM I follow on Tikie Tokie. He recently put out that before he runs a campaign, even if he has an idea of what he is going to do, he hands each player a consent form that lists a metric ton of things people want and do not want in their game.

The list includes things like racism and homophobia. Anyone who checked that they would enthusiastically include those items would be easily removed from my table so it both gives you an idea of what people do not want, and what people you do not want.

There is also an area for additional topics. So anything that may not be on the list but is a trigger item for you? You can easily add.

I love this idea for random groups or people new to a group. Even make it anonymous if you want and just take the items that people do NOT want and that way you can have everyone fill it out when you add a new player and no one but the GM would even know.

I bring this up because Slavery is evil. There is no room for conversation to say that it was ever morally right. However fighting slavery or overcoming slavery 'could' be a genuine plot device that a GM could use if the table was comfortable with it.

But Pathfinder is, from my perspective, supposed to be inclusive. Which means if even one person at my table would feel uncomfortable with a topic? It will not be included. If mid stream someone becomes uncomfortable with a topic? I would like to be told because I am not some omniscient being that understands every human trauma or nuance. I am however capable of listening and adjusting.

Here is a link to a consent form that anyone could use, and you can modify it for your needs. I think informed consent when sitting down to a game when we make such a time commitment that we should do everything we can to make everyone at the table comfortable and have a good time.

If Paizo made something like this official? It would be a PR boost that shows they are taking steps in the right direction to acknowledge that they may not know everything when it comes to comfort levels of the players of their games and that they take inclusivity seriously.

https://mcpl.info/sites/default/files/images/consent-in-gaming-form-fillabl e-checklist-2019-09-13.pdf

Go to Gaming Consent Form.


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I love the take where it's like, "Pathfinder used to be gritty and real, until people whose lives were actually shaped by those 'gritty and real' experiences showed up and turns out they didn't want to be forced to fantasize about those issues in their fantasy game. Now I don't get my gritty and real blaxploitation gaming supplements handed to me on a silver platter, I have to design my own, which is, too much work I guess."

Radiant Oath

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Kobold Catgirl wrote:
I hate being "white girl who makes fun of other white people", it's an ugly look, it reads like I'm trying to act like I'm somehow not also insanely privileged and clueless, but jesus christ

Some other white people appreciate you there, fighting the good fight.


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it's not easy being white and handling takes this spicy </


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Inqui wrote:
Ian G wrote:

There's really three ways to handle slavery in this kind of setting:

Either it's ubiquitous like in the antique world, and while Good characters disapprove the average Joe probably accepts it, or it's only found in Evil nations and is seen by the average Joe as a bad thing, or it's nonexistent.

I would prefer #2 but don't necessarily oppose #1 or #3. I just think that since Golarion has traditionally been set up as between 1 and 2, deciding to not mention or deal with the repugnant practice again seems nonsensical.

Not only in antiquity, but slavery was pretty much everywhere until around the 19th century with some, often temporary, exceptions.

That includes many nations Paizo copied quite openly for use in Pathfider which is probably the reason why for example Qadira has slavery (and is still neutral as far as I know).

Yeah, and the forms of unfree labor (It's hard IMO to call Tawantinsuyu labor obligations "slavery" when it was part-time state-mandated unfree labor rather than full-time human bondage, and if you call medieval serfdom slavery due to the lack of freedom of movement and labor obligations you kinda get onto a slippery slope, so for my purposes I'm going to restrict the term "slavery" to mean permanent unfree labor where the state, church, or individuals own other sapient beings as property and those people are not allowed freedom of movement and are specifically socially recognized as property themselves rather than being tied to land that is the property of someone else) thoughout history have been extremely varied, ranging from the cartoonishly evil abuse of Sparta and the antebellum South to "Our tribe fought the neighboring tribe, this guy gave me a hard fight and I was impressed with him, so I spared his life and now he is my personal tracker and custom says I have to free him during my lifetime or his service ends on my deathbed".

The fact of the matter is that pretty much every significant polity throughout history has been repressive and morally repugnant by the standards of modern liberal America. You can address that, and model it in your game that draws from those polities and cultures for its cultures and polities, or you can do a strawman version of history where the Greece place is just columns and demigods with nary a slave in sight (the Greeks had a LOT of slaves even by antiquity's standards, and their citizenship definitions were insanely restrictive to boot, Sparta just took it to an extreme), the America is the land of FREEDUMB and Yankee Doodle, the Legally Distinct From Tawantinsuyu are just golden sun reliefs and llamas and cool outfits without the child sacrifice, imperialism, and mitma system, and the generic Darkest Africa standin that the developers are trying to make more realistic because the OG version is actually absolutely nothing like any real pre-contact African country, is just fancy masks, spears, dances around a fire and no slaves, castration, religious conflicts, or anything of the sort.

Obviously I'm not in favor of bowdlerizing everything into sanitized pablum. That comes off as whitewashing to me--I don't want my fantasy vikings to be just Thor, axes, mead, and toxic masculinity without the slavery, imperialism, and deliberate attacks on civilian targets. I don't want my fantasy antebellum America to be just manor houses and balls. I don't want fantasy Rome to be just ranks of bronze and men in togas debating in a forum. Be HONEST about this stuff, people.


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Mentioned it in another thread, and I'll say it again here:

Good for them deciding to remove slavery from their setting as something active.

For those who believe that they need a story reason for this to happen, good news: it actually already has! Absalom has a PFS scenario that abolished it, and Katapesh has a large portion of their slavers as the foes defeated by the PCs. With two major blows to the slave market in two of largest cities in the world, it stands to reason that the market collapsed shortly after.

There. Story reason taken care of.


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TheGoofyGE3K wrote:

Mentioned it in another thread, and I'll say it again here:

Good for them deciding to remove slavery from their setting as something active.

For those who believe that they need a story reason for this to happen, good news: it actually already has! Absalom has a PFS scenario that abolished it, and Katapesh has a large portion of their slavers as the foes defeated by the PCs. With two major blows to the slave market in two of largest cities in the world, it stands to reason that the market collapsed shortly after.

There. Story reason taken care of.

Not really, you still have Cheliax and Qadira/Kelesh. Those alone would keep the market alive.

Radiant Oath

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Opsylum wrote:
Kobold Catgirl wrote:

A single black person: "Hey, maybe stop forcing us to engage with racism or slavery, the abominable things that have shaped our lives in the real world, in the fantasy game we play for fun."

Fifty white people: "this is HISTORICAL REVISIONISM and frankly it is racist of YOU to SUGGEST it"

one white people: "also muslims did slavery just as bad, which I am bringing up even though Paizo is an American company that's like 99% white people, because I think it's important that we center the evils of nonwhite people in this discussion"

Is this ("not covering slavery," as Erik Mona outlined) what Paizo's black freelancers are asking for though?

I think this is a strong point. Whether this decision was good or bad, it feels rushed. I'd prefer to see Paizo say "We're putting slavery away for now, but we'll bring it out again in a few years if we have a compelling reason. (And Black creators)"

I used to think I enjoyed fighting against slavers, but reading these posts have really opened my eyes about what fighting slavery (as practiced in the Americas) would really mean. It's much more complicated than "kill the slave-owners and break the shackles." There's an entire infrastructure of evil that will just recapture and torture the slaves for being freed.

I told the story in another one of these threads about my Grandfather who lost family in the Holocaust, but loved playing Wolfenstein. I'd hope that black creators could find a way to create that experience for themselves. If anyone knows good, black-created adventures about slavery, please point me to them.


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I will note that the Hook Mountain Massacre

Spoiler:
skin couch

does not involve chattel slavery or racism in any way, and yet I rarely see people call it "sanitized". Weird. I guess the ogres are SJWs.


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Inqui wrote:
TheGoofyGE3K wrote:

Mentioned it in another thread, and I'll say it again here:

Good for them deciding to remove slavery from their setting as something active.

For those who believe that they need a story reason for this to happen, good news: it actually already has! Absalom has a PFS scenario that abolished it, and Katapesh has a large portion of their slavers as the foes defeated by the PCs. With two major blows to the slave market in two of largest cities in the world, it stands to reason that the market collapsed shortly after.

There. Story reason taken care of.

Not really, you still have Cheliax and Qadira/Kelesh. Those alone would keep the market alive.

Well, they may try. But losing a large part of the trade business might be enough to make it topple. And, if they're removing slavery as an inherent setting status, between our two theories, the slave trade collapsing seems more likely

Edit:: or at least, enough of a blow to mitigate it put of the main scope of the setting


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Not to mention the events of Hell's Rebels, G3EK, which probably made Cheliax's position even weaker. Banning slavery might become a diplomatic necessity. They aren't the Empire anymore, they can't afford to keep pissing off their neighbors.

What's funny to me is that we have, like, tons and tons of content already about slavery, and some people seem to think we need more. Has to be canon, too. Otherwise Golarion isn't "realistic" enough. Every installment has to have a sidebar reminding us that slavery still exists and the PCs should run into slave auctions at every street corner.

It's funny how in Star Trek, the Borg, Dominion, Romulans and Klingons managed to be intimidating and at times evil enemies without practicing chattel slavery. Hey, say what you will about the Borg and free will, there weren't any owners in that society. We do not speak of the Borg Queen.


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Kobold Catgirl wrote:

Not to mention the events of Hell's Rebels, which probably made Cheliax's position even weaker. Banning slavery might become a diplomatic necessity. They aren't the Empire anymore.

What's funny to me is that we have, like, tons and tons of content already about slavery, and some people seem to think we need more. Has to be canon, too. Otherwise Golarion isn't realistic enough.

Paizo borrowed a lot from real world history when creating Golarion and that quite openly.

So when you do that it is quite understandable that people expect historic cultures and as noted above in history slavery was everywhere and part of those cultures.


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Yeah, and you have tons of content about slavery already out. Give the other atrocities a turn, bud.

(Also, it... kind of wasn't? Golarion is way less focused on colonialism than real-world history, and always has been. Cheliax only has one or two successful colonies in nonwhite continents, and none that are really functioning anymore as white-dominated colonies. I don't know why you expect to see chattel slavery in Fantasy Europe when there hasn't been a Fantasy Age of "Discovery".)

Wayfinders Contributor

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Slavery is an enormously complex subject that most media, including Paizo, has handled poorly. It was not just a few slaver bad guys that practiced slavery, the vast majority of any given society is complicit in it. In America, the 'free north' was dependent on cheap cotton from the south, and laws were passed to allow escaped slaves to be returned to owners far afield. Slavery is insidious, and the narratives created to justify it have caused lasting harm to many different cultures.

PFS Aside:
It bothered me when people were able to purchase other people in the Pathfinder Society, because there were a ton of PCs that owned slaves (using the hireling vanity) so that they could have someone fan them and carry their stuff, or act as a herald. It was... distressing. There were players who pushed the envelope with this, and that was a problem because Organized Play is supposed to be a welcoming platform for everyone. Fortunately, PFS eventually banned owning slaves in the society, banned Profession Slaver and held the in-game mass liberation of slaves in Absalom. It was the right move.

★ --- ★ --- ★ --- ★

I welcome slavery being dropped from the official setting for the same reason that I have welcomed the dropping of rape narratives from Paizo's adventures. It's not just that these narratives are triggering, but also that they are tired tropes. We can find other ways to generate narrative excitement and drama.

Liberators, there will still be oppressed peoples to free, kidnapping victims to recover, and prisoners to help with a jail break. You can still fight the good fight.


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NECR0G1ANT wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Rysky wrote:

No one in particular: "We need slavers so we have someone to fight!"

Aaaaaaaand how many games have you been in that actually involve fighting slavers, none? One? Less than all of them?

That's what I thought.

I mean, everyone who has played Rise of the Runelords, Strange Aeons, Jade Regent, Reign of Winter, Iron Gods, Ironfang Invasion and Ruins of Azlant at least ^_^;

I do get what you mean though, usual bad guys doing enslaving is more of secondary or tertiary aspect to them as part of "everything else evil they do" rather than "their main profession".

You're both forgetting Age of Ashes, where the primary antagonists are slavers first and foremost.

It's odd that Paizo wants to distance itself from such a recent AP.

How?

Paizo is attempting to fix something they see as a problem by altering how they approach content. That content's release date doesn't have anything to do with that sentiment. It's odd that there is an unspoken assumption that only older content needs to be corrected for, if anything.


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Golarion isn’t history, and is under no obligation to reflect it; it’s a product, a vehicle for selling tabletop game material. A pivot away from slavery is fine to me, as there’s no shortage of other Evils to fight. It’s clear that for some, especially on the margins, this particular theme isn’t fun to wrestle with in play, and plenty of other fictional worlds - the majority, even! - remain plenty compelling without slavery in the spotlight.

Nobody is stopping you from running games about it yourself. Nobody is stopping you from using the decade and a half worth of Paizo content that predates this decision. Nobody is stopping you from playing other systems and other settings.


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Inqi wrote:
Yet I do not see calls to remove war and combat.

Nope! And maybe one day you'll form some curiosity about why that is, and why race might be relevant when discussing this issue. Until then, you'll probably be perpetually confused, so I think you should call it here.

Dark Archive

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Kobold Catgirl wrote:


It's funny how in Star Trek, the Borg, Dominion, Romulans and Klingons managed to be intimidating and at times evil enemies without practicing chattel slavery. Hey, say what you will about the Borg and free will, there weren't any owners in that society. We do not speak of the Borg Queen.

Really the Borg the race that shows up and forces you to join there hive mind (Complete with highly invasive body modifications and limb removal.) whether you want to or not I mean I dont know about you but that sounds a heck of a lot like a form of slavery to me.

Also Star Trek has plenty of slavery related plot points in it ignoring the Borg Memory Alpha.


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keftiu wrote:

Golarion isn’t history, and is under no obligation to reflect it; it’s a product, a vehicle for selling tabletop game material. A pivot away from slavery is fine to me, as there’s no shortage of other Evils to fight. It’s clear that for some, especially on the margins, this particular theme isn’t fun to wrestle with in play, and plenty of other fictional worlds - the majority, even! - remain plenty compelling without slavery in the spotlight.

Nobody is stopping you from running games about it yourself. Nobody is stopping you from using the decade and a half worth of Paizo content that predates this decision. Nobody is stopping you from playing other systems and other settings.

Golarion uses a lot of history, includes slavery in several copies of slaving countries/cultures.

And "You can change it in your game" is a weak argument. The same way you are free to not use slavery in your games in case you have a player who feels uncomfortable with it.


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I literally addressed the Borg in my post

can we please develop the nuance to recognize that "Cheliax can buy and sell halflings like they're cattle" bears much more resemblance to European and American chattel slavery than Egyptian indentured servitude or Borg assimilation (which was always more a metaphor for the dangers of groupthink and loss of individuality than slavery, unless you can tell me who the slaveowners or white supremacists were in the Borg society)?


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"I can excuse ogres and magic and talking animals and child-lich-kings, but I draw the line at not having racism."

Silver Crusade

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Y’all really need to find some new material other than “this fantasy country has aesthetics like this certain real time period/country so it HAS to have this one specific thing I think it has OR ELSE, I don’t care if it’s morally repugnant and doesn’t make sense”.

It got laughed at the past 100 times it got brought and it’s going to get laughed at the next 100 times as well.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Inqui wrote:

Paizo borrowed a lot from real world history when creating Golarion and that quite openly.

So when you do that it is quite understandable that people expect historic cultures and as noted above in history slavery was everywhere and part of those cultures.

I'm with KC on this one. I've always viewed Golarion as an analogue to our world only so far as it represents a Civ game-esque version of it, where most nations around the world developed independently and successfully, and mass colonization never occurred (and in consequence, certain institutions that thrived under colonization on Earth were stunted in Golarion to a fraction of their influence here). Beyond that, Golarion has so many cultures inspired by real-world analogues only because it is a setting designed for diverse people to jump into and feel represented by cultures which are reasonably similar to their own. In consequence, you can have this D&D fantasy in places that have been sadly unexplored in most other games (like various Polynesian or Indian-inspired locales). In my mind, Golarion isn't meant to be "Earth, but fantasy," so much as "Earth, then fantasy happened."

This focus is not catered so much to fans of historic realism (of which I am one, and believe those types of stories are beneficial and important to have, in their own space), as it is for people who would like to see what our world can look like when evil doesn't regularly triumph over good, or hasn't already destroyed so much of the beauty and potential that existed before our time. I don't endorse escapism, but I do think it's important to give people places where they can live and laugh and express themselves, and (when the time comes) deal with heavy stuff, without having to be constantly inundated by it, as they would be when playing in a fantasy world devoted to purist historical accuracy (which Golarion has never been advertised to be).

This is what I've interpreted Lost Omens to be, at any rate. I mean, this is a game frequently marketed towards kids. We can afford a little levity here. God knows the world could use some, right now.

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