The Slavery Thing


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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nick1wasd wrote:

inb4 mods lock this like the past 5 threads about issues like this.

I can't even tell where this thread is going after Luis Loza answered OP's question, other than down towards insanity, but if I may:
I think people freaking out over the "removal" (since we now know it's staying, just off camera) are doing so because announcing you weren't gonna keep doing a thing you already sorta stopped doing seems like a weird marketing move, and most are curious as to that point. I think this whole "racism!" aside is strictly destructive and Golarian is a weird world that has more racism lingering around than The Witcher and Dragon Age worlds, and that it's being dealt with in a tactful, good intentions and honest way. It's not brushed aside, nor is it glorified or violently vilified. Yes, some races/culture want to murder hobo you because you took tasty or are annoying. Yes, some just want to chill in the corner and you bothering them makes them lash out. Yes, some are peaceful and want to trade with you and just look creepy because biology (Anadi sure are cute, but human experience says giant spider = ded). This back and forth on orcs/goblins/drow is old hat and I'm surprised it's still contentious considering the legwork Paizo has but in to lay that specific set of issues to rest. If it has an intelligence score that's > -5 it probably has it's own will and can choose to not be [insert topic here]. Unless it's an Aboleth, thanks Cthulhu & friends!

Thank you someone with a voice of reason.


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Btw this excerpt from the Cheliax wiki entry is why people are so annoyed with how Paizo made the announcement.

History of Cheliax wrote:
History in infernal Cheliax is a slippery thing, especially if it deals with events that occurred before the ascendance of House Thrune. Cheliax's current rulers understand history's power to inspire, and therefore have actively worked to eradicate any mention of the nation's imperial past. They have even done this to former allies, and more than a few noble families have found themselves excised from official records after offending the Queen. Every three months a new state-sanctioned history is printed and disseminated to the nation's universities and libraries. The now outdated, older copies of these books are collected by the Hellknight Order of the Rack and burned on so called clarity pyres, and heavy penalties are imposed on any organization that fails to offer up its previously assigned volumes. The new histories invariably have large gaps and omissions, sometimes to the point of making them unreadable. Despite this, records survive that have escaped the Imperial Ministry of Historical Accuracy's frequent revisions. These publications can fetch a high price on the black market, providing one can find a buyer who is not a paid informant for the Ministry.[4]

Scarab Sages

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Rysky wrote:

All of those Ethnicities you mentioned are not innately evil so not really relevant. Taldan, Jadwiga, and Nidalan can be any alignment. Bekyar we’re disturbingly written as an innately evil human ethnicity.

“ Also, the whole elf vs drow has nothing to do with racism”

A white person who becomes evil turns black. Pretty racist. That they’re humans with pointy ears or humans from another planet doesn’t change that.

Drow aren't always evil (haven't been like that in general since Drizz't). Pathfinder has depicted them as having blue skin since early 1E. So not black.

Liberty's Edge

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Paizo is the new Big Brother ?

Alright.

Liberty's Edge

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How dare people be hurt by things that do not hurt me ?

Not that great a defense TBT.


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The Raven Black wrote:

Paizo is the new Big Brother ?

Alright.

No according to their statement (thanks Luis). But people were really worried about it based on the original message.

The Raven Black wrote:

How dare people be hurt by things that do not hurt me ?

Not that great a defense TBT.

Is that a response to me? If so I am not saying that people can't be hurt. I understand why some people are hurt and I understand the scaling back that Paizo is doing. Although some people would have you forget my support for what Luis said.

But the arguments on this thread are clearly not based on Golarion lore or Paizo publishing history. Which is annoying to say the least.


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The new "Baiting" flag is getting some workout today.


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I’m late to this party, but…

Honestly the “take slavery out of the game because it is bad IRL” argument is counterproductive and comes from a place of privilege.

If we want an evil practice to continue to be seen as evil and wrong, then it needs to live on in our stories and games as an evil to be defeated. Time passes; if we do not preserve the memory of terrible things and remember how and why we fought them, then they are almost certain to return.

Slavery is not a long-vanished thing from “the old days”, it is still practiced *today*. If those who claim to hate slavery, really do, then they should encourage fighting and killing slavers as a recurring theme in fantasy gaming. Including it in games as an expressly Evil practice is worthwhile as a simple affirmation of our values and is a low cost way to preserve the fight reflex in our social memory.

JMHO


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nick1wasd wrote:


I think people freaking out over the "removal" (since we now know it's staying, just off camera) are doing so because announcing you weren't gonna keep doing a thing you already sorta stopped doing seems like a weird marketing move, and most are curious as to that point.

Given that Absalom, City of Lost Omens apparently ballooned 150-some pages and was heavily delayed due to extensive changes that include, well, "graphic descriptions of 'illegal' slavery, human trafficking, prison abuse, and organized crime" among its 126 references to slaves/slavery...and that book came out yesterday...

I think there's good reason to make that announcement.


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If you need a mass market fantasy ttrpg to be your sole or even primary avenue for learning about the evils of slavery, you may be looking in the wrong spaces.

Liberty's Edge

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Those who hate slavery should heed the message of innocent people that do not want to see slavery in games because it hurts so much.

And I do not see how this is "coming from a place of privilege".


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BloodandDust wrote:
Slavery is not a long-vanished thing from “the old days”, it is still practiced *today*. If those who claim to hate slavery, really do, then they should encourage fighting and killing slavers as a recurring theme in fantasy gaming. Including it in games as an expressly Evil practice is worthwhile as a simple affirmation of our values and is a low cost way to preserve the fight reflex in our social memory.

So, please tell me more about how rape and rapists should be featured more publicly and on-screen in Paizo products, as a similar Evil thing that still happens today.

Tell me more about how if you hate rapists, you should encourage having graphic descriptions of rape and its consequences on screen and have it as a recurring theme, in order to affirm our values as a society.

Liberty's Edge

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The Raven Black wrote:


Real people suffer just from being exposed to slavery in escapist fantasy because it hits so hard. That is how deep and strong the trauma is.

Paizo decided to care about this real suffering of real people.

I, for one, respect this deeply.

Mate, as a great grandchild of slaves, and as someone who faces the consequences of it every single day, and as someone who lives in a country where unfortunately from time to time modern day slavery pops on the news, I simply cannot see how or why I would suffer from seeing slavers as the bad guys in fantasy


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Saedar wrote:
The new "Baiting" flag is getting some workout today.

We're still friends, right?


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One of the most ridiculous things in the lore of PF1 (not sure if it has changed now) is that they put a lawful NEUTRAL god of "slavery is good as long as you write it down in a law". That was much much worse than "the devil-worshiping people are being evil by having slaves"

Silver Crusade

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Temperans wrote:

XD When did I say that racism doesn't apply? I said that the whole white vs black that humans have doesn't apply. Elven racism is difference from human racism because the two have inherently different biology, history, and culture.

Similarly, Chelaxians are written to be white imperialistic slavers that worship an evil god that rules over devils. Bekyar are written to be black tribal slavers that worship demons.

So, what is the difference? Cheliax has 10 decades worth of lore and APs which tells us that they were a massive empire that once contained a large part of both the Inner Sea Region and Garund. If you want to ignore all the atrocities committed by Cheliax that is on you, but I certainly will not.

”Elves have racism, it’s just so far advanced that it’s incomprehensible to your puny earthling mind and also human based racism can’t be applied at all” just makes you look silly. Really silly.

Cheliax the country and their stereotypes yes, but not every chelaxian, and again, the point you outright ignore, is that they are not innately evil. Korvosans don’t fit that criteria at all and they’re Chelaxian (both are Taldan as Chelaxian isn’t an ethnicity anymore). Chelaxians the former ethnicity and Chelaxians the people from the country or it’s vassals were never innately evil.

Bekyar are an ethnicity, not a specific tribe or country, but an ethnicity that was written to all be slavers and demon worshippers. And ethnicity. Even in P1 the Chelaxian ethnicity did not have that. “We have Chelish villains!” doesn’t delete facts, you parroting it nonstop like it does just make you look like a joke.

I’m not ignoring Cheliax the country and you making something up that was never said nor hinted at by me makes you even more of a joke, you’re just trying to take potshots with no care nor shame how pathetic you end up looking.

Silver Crusade

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Nicos wrote:
One of the most ridiculous things in the lore of PF1 (not sure if it has changed now) is that they put a lawful NEUTRAL god of "slavery is good as long as you write it down in a law". That was much much worse than "the devil-worshiping people are being evil by having slaves"

Abadar, primordial god of capitalism.

As dumb as it sounds.


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Nicos wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
It does seem probable that as the Golarion timeline advances, there's going to be less in the way of slavery in the game world. Cheliax is likely going to figure out that an apartheid state is much cheaper to operate than a slave state, for example. It's just that you don't snap your fingers and say "that happened overnight".
There is no way in hell (pun intended) for an apartheid state to be much cheaper than a slave state. If they are going to move Cheliax in that direction I hope they have a better explanation.

I'm pretty sure it is. Consider that that every individual slave-holding organization would essentially need to run its own prison, whereas if Cheliax continued to oppress Halflings by ensuring poverty wages, restricting movement and opportunity, and imprisoning them for the slightest violations of an increasingly arcane and arbitrary set of laws (enforced by a justice system entirely unsympathetic to non-humans) you essentially get the same thing as a knock-on effect of the kind of bureaucracy that Cheliax likes anyway. Plus, you still get free labor based out of the state prisons.

Consider that, as it stands, Chelish merchants cannot overcharge Halflings because Halflings don't have any money and they're probably buying on behalf of their human household anyway. My personal preference is for infernal oppression to be much more insidious than "here's your chains."


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Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
Saedar wrote:
The new "Baiting" flag is getting some workout today.
We're still friends, right?

Always, lil baggy bud.


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Been away from the boards for a while, come back and see that I don't have to write around slavery anymore, and it's because the writers and developers are not interested in telling those stories anymore, that's pretty cool! Honestly one of the biggest issues I have an older AP I've been converting and running is slavery, book 5 wants the party to sympathize with the horror of slavery but the other books pretty much ignore it, and book 3 even gives it an implicit pass by showing slavery on-screen but not providing anything for what to do if the party wants to do something about it. I've landed somewhere my group is comfortable with, but it sure feels awkward to read the AP. Glad the de-emphasis will avoid these in future APs.

Liberty's Edge

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Paladinosaur wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:


Real people suffer just from being exposed to slavery in escapist fantasy because it hits so hard. That is how deep and strong the trauma is.

Paizo decided to care about this real suffering of real people.

I, for one, respect this deeply.

Mate, as a great grandchild of slaves, and as someone who faces the consequences of it every single day, and as someone who lives in a country where unfortunately from time to time modern day slavery pops on the news, I simply cannot see how or why I would suffer from seeing slavers as the bad guys in fantasy

That is very good for you. Given the freelance's letter that started all this, such is not the case for everyone.

Hence Paizo's decision that so many people seem to have trouble accepting.


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Rysky wrote:

"to use a fantasy setting to show how truly evil it is"

They never did that and were never going to do that, the majority of content producers aren't since what you're asking for is straight up bile filled misery porn with little to no net good.

You can have evils to overcome and show, as long as the good it produces outweighs it. Constantly spamming slavery was accomplishing none of that, and the writers were tired of it.

Age of Ashes says hi. Considering the majority of this AP is spent by the PCs stopping an entire slavery organization based around the Inner Sea region of Golarion, this is factually incorrect to state that "they never did that [use a fantasy setting to show how truly evil it [slavery] is]". I imagine there are some other PF1 APs that had a similar vein of aptitude, since a lot of APs are written with the assumption that PCs are needed to vanquish an evil that has shown itself (or is lurking, working itself in the shadows and needs to be brought out into the light of Justice).

I mean, can you genuinely have evils to show and overcome if it then becomes too obscene and outrageous to demonstrate it to provide motivation for the PCs and, most importantly, the players, to act? How can we be sure that the enemy we are facing is really the bad guy when we have no proof or are simply relying on hearsay to adhere to this? I could just as easily been manipulated by a real villain to do their bidding unwittingly. It doesn't even have to be graphic, but suggesting that the story can't permit rape or slavery or torture, even if just to propose the message of "this is an evil person, you should stop them," removes a lot of the personal motivations of players and PCs alike. I have no reason, as a PC, much less a player, if there is nothing in the story that guides my character's actions to act against them. Plus, as it turns out, in the Age of Ashes AP, there was more nuance to it than it merely being a slaver organization (though in the end, our characters still disagreed with the premise).

Granted, there are APs like Kingmaker, but those are few and far between, and also don't function as a "Good Guys stopping the Bad Guys" story, since even the Bad Guys could be the main focus of the story here, depending on the PC's motivations to make or become a King. It's open-ended enough that it's not particularly a matter of Good or Evil being important to the story.

Are these the kinds of stories we would rather have from APs, considering Kingmaker is the most popular Pathfinder AP? Stories where the end goal is more important than the underlying morals that come with it? (An evil tyrant king who rules the land with an iron fist or a good compassionate ruler who treats his subjects and citizens with fairness and respect? Doesn't matter, we just need a king raised for this land, and so-and-so PCs are gonna do it.)

[sarcasm]At best, we might as well have PF APs that investigate who took the last cookie from the cookie jar, and even that might be offensive to all of the cookie bakers of the world for being targeted, marginalized, and even criminalized for their professional life choices. But hey, as long as it's not slavery or rape or torture, I guess it's totally fine to write about it.[/sarcasm]


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The actual number of people that would be uncomfortable enough to avoid certain APs is probably not that many, although that's a guess. Paizo writers just didn't like it. That's probably the main reason and it's fine. The email was likely the last straw.


I think everything has been said. I'm glad the OPs question was answered. See you all next thread.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Age of Ashes says hi.

Well I mean, there's another thing. We just had an AP where this theme was a major focus, why do we really need another AP all about that right now? All other issues aside, that seems a little gratuitous.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm glad I made this thread.

If nothing else, it has firmly convinced me that I don't want to be on the same side as most of the other people complaining about this change.


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Malk_Content wrote:
How is let's go kill the evil dragon any better than let's go kill the evil orc? Dragons are sapient beings able to have their own motives and alignment. Is it because they have a non Humanoid body shape?

This post was a good while ago, but I figure I should mention Paizo has also been introducing dragons of nonstandard alignments. Age of Ashes had two dragons that weren't their traditional alignments, one traditionally good and the other traditionally evil.


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Squiggit wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Age of Ashes says hi.
Well I mean, there's another thing. We just had an AP where this theme was a major focus, why do we really need another AP all about that right now? All other issues aside, that seems a little gratuitous.

A fair question, but a couple things:

1. It doesn't have to be an AP, much less an AP focus. To suggest that slavery should no longer be a part of Golarion's lore, current or future (which was the original claim I was operating on), is more outrageous than simply having it be in the setting in the background. Yes, it exists. No, we don't want to go into the lore specifics, and that's it; that's fine.

2. People weren't clamoring for more content right away, but perhaps eventually when they decide more lore or rules are necessary, they will post them. It doesn't even necessarily have to be about slavery specifically, but what about Evil PC options? What about settings in other areas (not just the Inner Sea, which was the focus in that AP) that may possess it? Are we just going to handwave it away because of real life trauma? The GM for our Age of Ashes campaign actually legitimately complained about how "handwavey" and undefined the shackling/slavery rules mechanics were, and wanted more definition associated with that for NPCs and affected PCs (because it has come up a couple times in actual play).


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I dunno how to feel about this whole thing really. It feels kinda irresponsible for the caretakers of a world to just kinda say "Well were not going to detail certain kinds of content anymore we already established existed" I kind feel like its the responsibility of the world builders to detail the ugly bits of their world so there can be a shared expectation and baseline when one moves from table to table. Things like the 1e 'candy van' demon were.. unlikely to get used but also kind of were a safety net for GMs and players in that it existing and being detailed meant that GM's didn't have to stomach doing it themselves.

Turning your head from the slavery thing just means putting the work on a lot of GMs who might really screw it up and make something actually offensive rather than just use the default that is provided and carefully measured. Same with a lot of things. Having it written down is a safety net for a LOT of people GMs and players included. Not providing that is, in my opinion, irresponsible.

Things should always be more fleshed out, not less. The creator should never bow to pressure to veil or hide something just because it might make a few people uncomfortable. Art is not supposed to make people comfortable after all. Art can never truly thrive and be vibrant when created by someone afraid of what people might think when they see it.


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Rysky wrote:

”Elves have racism, it’s just so far advanced that it’s incomprehensible to your puny earthling mind and also human based racism can’t be applied at all” just makes you look silly. Really silly.

Cheliax the country and their stereotypes yes, but not every chelaxian, and again, the point you outright ignore, is that they are not innately evil. Korvosans don’t fit that criteria at all and they’re Chelaxian (both are Taldan as Chelaxian isn’t an ethnicity anymore). Chelaxians the former ethnicity and Chelaxians the people from the country or it’s vassals were never innately evil.

Bekyar are an ethnicity, not a specific tribe or country, but an ethnicity that was written to all be slavers and demon worshippers. And ethnicity. Even in P1 the Chelaxian ethnicity did not have that. “We have Chelish villains!” doesn’t delete facts, you parroting it nonstop like it does just make you look like a joke.

I’m not ignoring Cheliax the country and you making something up that was never said nor hinted at by me makes you even more of a joke, you’re just trying to take potshots with no care nor shame how pathetic you end up looking.

Yes yes funny how you ignore the lore when its convenient to you.

Cheliax is a country we got a decade of info on. It is ruled by chelaxians unilaterally, who are known to be slavers and racist overall. But again you are ignoring it to complain about 1 tribe of people whose only real lore is that they are slavers and traders who worship demon. You are excusing Chelaxians of their crimes, while saying Bekyar are evil, when lore says that both groups are more likely evil than not. That reads and smells of hypocrisy.

Also ironic how you keep making stuff up about what other posters say. But here I am talking about actual lore and you accuse me of making stuff up.

Rysky wrote:
”Elves have racism, it’s just so far advanced that it’s incomprehensible to your puny earthling mind and also human based racism can’t be applied at all” just makes you look silly. Really silly.

Imagine me writing about how elves are different from humans and to stop projecting human culture into them. But instead here you are calling me "silly" for something I did not say. Who is the silly one here when you are attacking me with comment I never said, created entirely by you, but you are talking about me making stupid potshot?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Dracology wrote:

I dunno how to feel about this whole thing really. It feels kinda irresponsible for the caretakers of a world to just kinda say "Well were not going to detail certain kinds of content anymore we already established existed" I kind feel like its the responsibility of the world builders to detail the ugly bits of their world so there can be a shared expectation and baseline when one moves from table to table. Things like the 1e 'candy van' demon were.. unlikely to get used but also kind of were a safety net for GMs and players in that it existing and being detailed meant that GM's didn't have to stomach doing it themselves.

Turning your head from the slavery thing just means putting the work on a lot of GMs who might really screw it up and make something actually offensive rather than just use the default that is provided and carefully measured. Same with a lot of things. Having it written down is a safety net for a LOT of people GMs and players included. Not providing that is, in my opinion, irresponsible.

Things should always be more fleshed out, not less. The creator should never bow to pressure to veil or hide something just because it might make a few people uncomfortable. Art is not supposed to make people comfortable after all. Art can never truly thrive and be vibrant when created by someone afraid of what people might think when they see it.

I think if you absolutely HAVE to have slavery as a big part of your games, there are resources available to help you put it in a manner that is safer and comfortable for your table.

Paizo has decided they are not going to be one of those resources. They've written stuff about slavery before, and it's been largely misses with maybe a hit or two. I haven't read everything they put out to truly say, but the people here that have read into their older stuff definitely don't seem to think they DID a good job with the subject matter. They DID screw up and make offensive content. So they're not going to anymore, and I'm perfectly okay with and supportive of their decision.


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MaxAstro wrote:

I'm glad I made this thread.

If nothing else, it has firmly convinced me that I don't want to be on the same side as most of the other people complaining about this change.

Sadly I think this thread is an excellent example of why they won't write about it anymore. Mostly because it's politically charged. It is so easy for them to lose customers. Either by writing something which is insensitive, or by writing something dropping in the politics of one side or the other. Which is a pity as all forms of artists should be able to cover issues they care about.


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Gortle wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:

I'm glad I made this thread.

If nothing else, it has firmly convinced me that I don't want to be on the same side as most of the other people complaining about this change.

Sally I think this thread is an excellent example of why they won't write about it anymore. Mostly because it's politically charged. It is so easy for them to lose customers. Either by writing something which is insensitive, or by writing something dropping in the politics of one side or the other. Which is a pity as all forms of artists should be able to cover issues they care about.

Nazi artists don't get to make nazi art.

/shrug


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
BloodandDust wrote:

I’m late to this party, but…

Honestly the “take slavery out of the game because it is bad IRL” argument is counterproductive and comes from a place of privilege.

If we want an evil practice to continue to be seen as evil and wrong, then it needs to live on in our stories and games as an evil to be defeated. Time passes; if we do not preserve the memory of terrible things and remember how and why we fought them, then they are almost certain to return.

Slavery is not a long-vanished thing from “the old days”, it is still practiced *today*. If those who claim to hate slavery, really do, then they should encourage fighting and killing slavers as a recurring theme in fantasy gaming. Including it in games as an expressly Evil practice is worthwhile as a simple affirmation of our values and is a low cost way to preserve the fight reflex in our social memory.

JMHO

For at least the 5th time from me, and certainly the last, because I will start reporting posts that repeat this blatant misrepresentation of what happened...No one is talking about taking references to slavery and slavery-based adventures out of future pathfinder products because it is inherently wrong to talk about bad things.

The impetus for change here is that Paizo as a company had been doing a very bad job of telling stories around slavery and including material that came across callous and clueless in handling race based chattel slavery in their setting. Attempts to do better tried and failed, and have continued to solicit actual responses from actual players that Paizo's representation of slavery within Golarion made them feel uncomfortable.

There are a million new stories to be told in Golarion that are not dependent upon visiting and revisiting locations and themes that have a proven track record of causing harm to a large group of players. Many of those stories have had to sit on the back burner for years and years because paizo continued to focus on specific sections of Golarion where their thoughtless representation of Chattel slavery was clearly a problem. It is those stories turn to shine and be developed by the company.

This is what the company themselves are telling us. If you have pressing stories to tell in Golarion dependent upon those other locations, you have more than a decade's worth of content to use in developing those stories for yourself and your table. Those of us wanting to tell stories set in south Garund or Vudra, or most of the continents of Tian Xia, Arcadia or the rest of Casmaron, have been waiting patiently and these temper-tantrums demanding that the company keep trying to tell the stories that the developers and much of the pathfinder audience are getting tired of being told is not taking a stand for anything except defending your own right to enjoy that content.

No one is trying to take that old content away from you. If you love it and think those stories are still necessary to tell, think about putting that content out yourself, or working with others to do so and see how it is recieved. Paizo is tired of doing it themselves as a company.


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I’m still not Gortle wrote:

No.

No it doesn’t.

All the removal of slavery [based on concepts taken from how slavery has been practice in our real world in the last few centuries] does is eliminate white supremacy talking points from Golarion.

That is it.

All real-world societies have practiced (and some currently are still practicing) slavery. No one is okay with this except despots and warlords. Calling out slavery as bad is the height of strawman burning, as if anyone disagrees. It is telling that you chose to use 'white' here when Paizo-published slavery isn't about whites. Your mask is slipping.

If you don't want a backdrop of slavery to grimdark your game landscape, that is fine. But making emphatic statements that nothing is lost is subjective. Playing a downtrodden slave in Dark Sun (for example) was an absolute blast because you were actively breaking the mold, because of the inclusion of the dark subject matter.

Having dark subject matter in a game is not in any way giving a pass to or abetting the same thing IRL.


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Dracology wrote:
Turning your head from the slavery thing just means putting the work on a lot of GMs who might really screw it up and make something actually offensive rather than just use the default that is provided and carefully measured. Same with a lot of things. Having it written down is a safety net for a LOT of people GMs and players included. Not providing that is, in my opinion, irresponsible.

No.

I am adapting Ironfang Invasion to PF2 and the adventure path has too much cruelty and gore associated with slavery. It was not carefully measured to avoid offense.

The first example was at a logging camp in Trail of the Hunted. Ironfang Sergeant Sarvinious tortured ten prisoners to death in such a fashion that four later arose as undead. The remaining five were enslaved.

Gory quote deserves a spoiler:
Trail of the Hunted, pages 29-30 wrote:

G4, The Grave of Gristledown

The tiny logging thorp of Gristledown stood no chance when Scarvinious arrived with his gang of bounty hunters. The bugbear put most of the 15 residents to slow deaths before burning the longhouse, canvas-walled huts, and work shed, and his soldiers carried off what lumber and tools they could to reinforce their camp (see Part 4). Now only two charred walls of the longhouse survive, with the bloody, flayed skins of a half-dozen former residents tacked to them as a warning to others who would stand against the Ironfang Legion.

Um, a warning to whom? If no-one had escaped from the invasion, then no-one would have found the logging camp.

I toned down that scene in my game.

In my thread around ending slavery in that campaign, Yakman said, "The Ironfang is really, really evil, and this [slavery] is just another one of their many crimes." I disagreed because I blamed that crime on Scarvinious rather than on the Ironfang Legion as a whole. General Azaersi had given orders to capture most locals alive for forced labor. Nevertheless, many slaves died under the control of the Ironfang Legion over the adventure path, some sacrificed to their gods or to a fey ally of the Ironfangs.

I suspect that the writer's goal was to make the Ironfang soldiers and the end-of-the-module boss Scarvinious evil enough that the party would have no qualms about killing them. Some of the goals of the Ironfang Legion, such as creating a homeland for people oppressed due to their so-called monstrous species, are sympathetic, but their methods are brutal.


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Mathmuse wrote:
Dracology wrote:
Turning your head from the slavery thing just means putting the work on a lot of GMs who might really screw it up and make something actually offensive rather than just use the default that is provided and carefully measured. Same with a lot of things. Having it written down is a safety net for a LOT of people GMs and players included. Not providing that is, in my opinion, irresponsible.

No.

I am adapting Ironfang Invasion to PF2 and the adventure path has too much cruelty and gore associated with slavery. It was not carefully measured to avoid offense.

The first example was at a logging camp in Trail of the Hunted. Ironfang Sergeant Sarvinious tortured ten prisoners to death in such a fashion that four later arose as undead. The remaining five were enslaved.
** spoiler omitted **
I toned down that scene in my game.

In my thread around ending slavery in that campaign, Yakman said, "The Ironfang is really, really evil, and this [slavery] is just another one of their many crimes." I disagreed because I blamed that crime on Scarvinious rather than on the Ironfang Legion as a whole. General Azaersi had given orders to capture...

I'm using you as an example because your post shows pretty clearly where you draw the line. I have no issue with you toning things down for the table. No hard feelings meant.

It's no wonder the two groups present here are having a hard time seeing eye-to-eye on things. One camp has people like Mathmuse who will cut a scene which, to me, only describes the minimum needed to convey the horror that was visited upon the tiny community of Sarvinious put to death. The other would probably have adlibbed extra details into the scene to drive the point home.

Neither group is wrong, but groups that like those details to be present might feel like the game is getting too mass market for their tastes. while the other group enjoys not needing to cut or flavor content that simply cannot be used at their table. I can see why a company looking to attract as many players as possible would lean towards too safe, but there's a part of me that will always lament that TTRPGs have gone from outsider art that was allowed to make mistakes to mass-market products to be sold at the mall.

EDIT: To make it 100% clear, as much as I can be harsh on Paizo and PF2 as a whole, they are making the correct call here. If they don't want to write these stories and feel that some percentage of people will be harmed by them continuing to try to tell them; they should stop making them. If they later want to attempt another go at doing it right and dedicate resources to doing it well, I will also support that.


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Norade wrote:
Neither group is wrong, but groups that like those details to be present might feel like the game is getting too mass market for their tastes. while the other group enjoys not needing to cut or flavor content that simply cannot be used at their table. I can see why a company looking to attract as many players as possible would lean towards too safe, but there's a part of me that will always lament that TTRPGs have gone from outsider art that was allowed to make mistakes to mass-market products to be sold at the mall.

On the bright side, there are still "outsider art" RPGs out there. They're just more fringey. On the not-so-bright side... they tend to be much leaner and/or not as well-made, because they're "three wierdos in a garage" games... just like TTRPGs were initially. PF2 is really, really good at what it does.. but the thing that it does fundamentally requires the kind of developer support that fundamentally requires the kind of money that you can't make selling "outsider art" at the level you're talking about.


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Sanityfaerie wrote:
Norade wrote:
Neither group is wrong, but groups that like those details to be present might feel like the game is getting too mass market for their tastes. while the other group enjoys not needing to cut or flavor content that simply cannot be used at their table. I can see why a company looking to attract as many players as possible would lean towards too safe, but there's a part of me that will always lament that TTRPGs have gone from outsider art that was allowed to make mistakes to mass-market products to be sold at the mall.
On the bright side, there are still "outsider art" RPGs out there. They're just more fringey. On the not-so-bright side... they tend to be much leaner and/or not as well-made, because they're "three wierdos in a garage" games... just like TTRPGs were initially. PF2 is really, really good at what it does.. but the thing that it does fundamentally requires the kind of developer support that fundamentally requires the kind of money that you can't make selling "outsider art" at the level you're talking about.

Yeah, I like buying the stranger stuff even if I know I'll never run it.

I do wish that more mainstream stuff could keep a bit mode of the rough stuff in, but a highly polished experience is sure easier to learn and run.


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Temperans wrote:
The problem seem to be the third group that straight up wants it removed. Which is what people originally complained about, but is no longer the case.

As long as Paizo's primary concern is making money they will seek to offend as few people as possible. Currently that means tweaking ancestries and moving certain content off-screen but that pendulum may well swing so far that slavery is excised completely from the setting of Golarion.

That won't make me happy, but I already have to change a fair few things to make stock d20 systems and settings work for me so it'll just be one more thing to tweak if I want to use Paizo's rules.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Dracology wrote:
It feels kinda irresponsible for the caretakers of a world to just kinda say "Well were not going to detail certain kinds of content anymore we already established existed" I kind feel like its the responsibility of the world builders to detail the ugly bits of their world so there can be a shared expectation and baseline when one moves from table to table.

Isn't that kind of backwards? The people who run and create a world can write whatever stories they want about it, that's the advantage of creating your own setting.

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