What do you want from a Lost Omens: Arcadia?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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I'll freely confess: threads on this topic have made before, but they've derailed pretty hard and all pretty old at this point. I figure a clean break and a following in format of the previous Lost Omens threads for fervent wishing and animated discussion. There's no hiding that I have a particularly keen interest in Pathfinder's stand-in for the Americas, as a platform and a palette for telling indigenous and latinx fantasy stories... but I want to hear from you!

In the cold north, Ulfen immigrants bond with the local Mahwek folk and seek glory in mythic Valenhall, their settlement in Port Valen slowly growing. Segada, one of Degasi's great cities on the northeastern coast, puts the abundant skymetals of the Land of Northern Lakes to use in the form of great outdoor elevators. Ancient Razatlan once lorded over most of the continent, leaving behind mummy-haunted ruins - and modern Razatlan in the continent's center, seemingly a friendly enough neighbor to demigod-shaped Xopatl. Gunslingers and honest folk make do in the scrubby desert of the Deadshot Lands, handily beating Alkenstar at its own game. Of the Land of Second Souls, the Primal League, and the Salt Stretch - or indeed, almost anything I don't mention here - there's little to be said at all presently.

Dwarves and Orcs are ancient allies here, while Gnomes and Halflings make lives on the Grinding Coast - alongside Wyrwoods, clever constructs who fled Azlanti servitude ages ago! Cruel, owl-like Syrinx considers themselves superior to all others, while the Sahkils, fear-fiends, clash against celestial Couatls for the hearts of mortal creatures in the name of Ohachtsik. These lands know heroes empowered by incredibly powerful spirits and armed with guns forged by fey hands - or of beast souls.

Obviously, there's a lot to like... and a lot we don't know. If you could wave your magic wand, what would you put in between the covers?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

First and foremost, I hope that when the Deadshot Lands are detailed, there is some in-universe explanation for their apparent similarity to Alkenstar, if there are indeed similarities. You hear Deadshot and see a southwestern US-looking region, you instantly think cowboys and the like, but Alkenstar already has veered heavily into Steampunk Victorian but Also Weird West, especially with the way Outlaws of Alkenstar is framed. To be sure, the AP feels way more Weird West than Victorian Europe Steampunk as I initially imagined (there's a fight on a riverboat for Brighs sake), but I do believe that's more the story itself and less the setting.

There's potential for a lot of setting overlap. I'm excited to see how the Deadshot Lands stand on their own when Desert Fantasy Gunslinger Region already exists in the setting.


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Playable Syrinx.


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Virellius wrote:

First and foremost, I hope that when the Deadshot Lands are detailed, there is some in-universe explanation for their apparent similarity to Alkenstar, if there are indeed similarities. You hear Deadshot and see a southwestern US-looking region, you instantly think cowboys and the like, but Alkenstar already has veered heavily into Steampunk Victorian but Also Weird West, especially with the way Outlaws of Alkenstar is framed. To be sure, the AP feels way more Weird West than Victorian Europe Steampunk as I initially imagined (there's a fight on a riverboat for Brighs sake), but I do believe that's more the story itself and less the setting.

There's potential for a lot of setting overlap. I'm excited to see how the Deadshot Lands stand on their own when Desert Fantasy Gunslinger Region already exists in the setting.

I certainly wouldn't be upset to see more on the Deadshot Lands, but the two already have pretty distinct identities in my brain, for what it's worth!

Alkenstar exists as a product of its context: situatied in a blighted, warped wasteland where magic is unreliable and two superpowers have them hedged in on either side. People lean on technology because the usual solutions of the Inner Sea are denied to them, leading to leaps in steampunk wonders and gunpowder innovation. Clockwork creatures walk the city streets. Mutants rule the wilds. Fashions are inexplicably a mix of faux-Victorian and faux-WW1. Our place on the map roughly corresponds to the Horn of Africa, and so folk are largely Garundi and Keleshite.

The Deadshot Lands are situated in relatively natural terrain, not severed from wider Arcadia by supernatural conditions, in faux-American Southwestern desert and plains. Firearms here are air guns or powered by magic, the traditions inherited from ancient fey and powered by generations-old rituals. There's a difference of scale; Alkenstar and the Mana Wastes are one part of the Impossible Lands, while the Deadshot Lands are a Meta-Region unto themselves, holding multiple nations within it. Being Arcadian, most of the folk we see are fantasy Indigenous. Three Craters has industrial pollution... but we also see halflings with rifles who ride mountain rocs, Beastkin who live in a forest canopy and grant rule to the wielder of a legendary relic gun, a necromancer giant with bandit posse, and a theocratic nation ruled by worship of evil sky deities.

An Alkenstari gunslinger wears a leather trenchcoat and holds a barking black powder hand cannon with a prosthetic limb wrought in clockwork brass, a prosthetic built to replace the arm lost to the acid spittle of a fleshy wasteland horror. A Deadshot Lands gunslinger looks more like a mix of a Navajo warrior and a Mexican revolutionary, with a feathered Beast Gun passed down from their great-grandmother that's long been used to slay Sahkils with magical owlbear screeches and a considerable knowledge of primal magic.

The former is Weird West meets steampunk wasteland gonzo in Fantasy East Africa. The latter is Native-inspired Southwestern fantasy with magic guns.


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In terms of homaging the real life regions Arcadia is based on, Legendary Games worked with a lot of Latin American creators for a bestiary, as well as a setting guide. I don't have either (money's a bit tight, and I'm already getting the Impossible Lands book when it's released) but they both look excellent, and like something you could look at for inspiration, especially for Razatlan and Xopatl. Of especial interest to Keftiu perhaps, it also includes a 2e Shaman class! :P


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Morhek wrote:
In terms of homaging the real life regions Arcadia is based on, Legendary Games worked with a lot of Latin American creators for a bestiary, as well as a setting guide. I don't have either (money's a bit tight, and I'm already getting the Impossible Lands book when it's released) but they both look excellent, and like something you could look at for inspiration, especially for Razatlan and Xopatl. Of especial interest to Keftiu perhaps, it also includes a 2e Shaman class! :P

Exciting stuff! Money's a bit tight for me as well at present, but it's definitely something to consider; I'm always glad to see more indigenous and latinx stuff in fantasy (see also: the multiple cool settings within 5e's Radiant Citadel release this year!).

The tricky thing for me is that I have a special interest in PF2 lore, more than broader d20 game writing and mechanics - I'm invested in Golarion, more than anything else.

Verdant Wheel

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I admit this one is based mostly on vibes rather than any particularly broad reading on either area, but I'd be interested to learn what connection (if any) there is between the Mesoamerican flavoured parts of Arcadia (Razatlan, Xopatl) and Mzali, and whether there might've been some kind of cultural exchange in the past that we haven't been told about.


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witch-hazel wrote:
I admit this one is based mostly on vibes rather than any particularly broad reading on either area, but I'd be interested to learn what connection (if any) there is between the Mesoamerican flavoured parts of Arcadia (Razatlan, Xopatl) and Mzali, and whether there might've been some kind of cultural exchange in the past that we haven't been told about.

I think we've had every indication that the Old Sun Gods are an ancient tradition for the folk of Mzali thus far, but there's a lot of other cultural admixture between the Mwangi Expanse and Arcadia that makes this surprisingly compelling; Senghor's founding Caldaru are an Arcadian ethnic group, the Matanji orcs revere their local aspect of Kazutal, and the Travel Guide notes ongoing trade with that continent. I worry a little that it takes some agency away from the Bright Lions to say "actually, your gods are from elsewhere," but the might writer might make that feel like a smoother meld.

I'm reminded of a theory a former acquaintance once shared with me, that Ixchel (ancient Mayan jaguar goddess of medicine and midwives) might be Sekhmet's (ancient Egyptian lion goddess of bloodshed and healing) cult, having crossed the Atlantic in days long past and changed to fit the big cats of the region... so I'm strangely primed to welcome this.


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On the topic somewhat, I do want to say - what does modern Razatlan look like? The Razatlani Empire of old seems to be have been belligerent in its conquest of Arcadia before being driven back by revolts (as in Xopatl's case), but things seem to suggest Razatlan is a pleasant enough neighbor to the microregion it lends its name to. What does it look like to be the former "center of culture" for such a varied continent? Distant Shores has their traditions exported as far north as Segada, so I'm profoundly curious what flowed back to the metropole.

Also, I'm just feral at the thought of an Aztec/Mexica/Mexican culture center stage in the fantasy genre without being the usual blood-soaked stereotype. Having that be an ancient past with a messy legacy is a nice way of threading the needle.

Innazpa and Nalmeras remain almost total mysteries so far! I can't wait to see what comes about.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I actually didn't know all that about the Deadshot Lands. Is that in the Guns n' Gears book? I must have somehow skipped that because that sounds amazing. Well, that minor worry assuaged quite handily...

I'd love to see also how Arazni is viewed now by her countrymen. Is she worshipped in some pockets? Is she viewed as a victim of circumstance, or of Aroden? How is Aroden seen as well? As an intentional villain or more misguided fool? As a god of humanity, how do the humans of Arcadia view him after what he did? I imagine there is a LOT going on regards to his legacy, and her part in it.

Liberty's Edge

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I would like an in-setting look at each class, maybe with some mechanics behind, to explain how, say, a Fighter or a Champion in Arcadia is different from their Avistani counterpart (ie, not european knights in heavy armor).

And I would like the same for every non-Avistani area, like Tian-xia or the Mwangi expanse (though that ship has already sailed).

So that the mechanics help strengthen the flavor and cultural identity of each area.


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Virellius wrote:
I actually didn't know all that about the Deadshot Lands. Is that in the Guns n' Gears book? I must have somehow skipped that because that sounds amazing. Well, that minor worry assuaged quite handily...

Yeah, G&G has several pages on the Deadshot Lands, while talk about Arcadian air guns, Beast Guns, and other tidbits are all across the book.

Quote:
I'd love to see also how Arazni is viewed now by her countrymen. Is she worshipped in some pockets? Is she viewed as a victim of circumstance, or of Aroden? How is Aroden seen as well? As an intentional villain or more misguided fool? As a god of humanity, how do the humans of Arcadia view him after what he did? I imagine there is a LOT going on regards to his legacy, and her part in it.

I would absolutely *love* insight into all this, but there is a fascinating crumb in Knights of Lastwall - Kazutal’s writeup mentions that she cares deeply for Arazni, as a child of Arcadia, and is trying to help her.


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One interesting note I want to touch on: Pathfinder has a lot of fun pairing up celestials and fiends, and I really like the particular framing Arcadia has set up with Couatls and Sahkils - setting up the Good/Evil clash as "Hope versus Fear" is really interesting, compared to demonic ruin and infernal tyranny.

I'm eager to get a better view at Arcadian religion. In published canon, there's the Kazutal and the three Couatl deities Cihua Couatl, Pahti Couatl, and Tolte Couatl) on the side of Good, while Ah Pook/Ohachtsik has been the face of Evil on the continent thus far. The Halana Theocracy, in the Deadshot Lands, reveres Pazuzu as the greatest in a pantheon of evil "sky gods." Luis Loza's canon-adjacent offerings (Altameda, covered on Know Direction's Valiant and in an Infinite release) offers a few other gods known in Tazuni, who I won't spoil here but I hope make it into canon.

At the same time, this feels like the surest place to get non-deistic belief systems in proper depth. The ritual hunt needed to create Beast Guns is treated as a sacred practice, steeped in tradition. We know Port Valen's Ulfen have brought their legendary ancestor spirits to the indigenous Mahwek (the art of an Arcadian Medium channeling a viking warrior-ghost is one of my favorite things from late 1e), but I'd adore that cutting both ways - who are the great spirits of the Mahwek past? What beliefs led to the creation of those ancient Razatlani mummies? And - at the risk of self-parody - what do those enclaves of Wyrwoods believe, being construct communities thousands of years old?

...someone should hire me to answer that last one.

Verdant Wheel

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Slightly off-topic but the horror potential of sahkils for an Arcadian adventure is really strong. At the same time, though, I suppose any Lost Omens book in the setting is necessarily going to have to find a way to balance going into detail about these creatures of fear with remaining appropriate for a general audience. I'm not very well read about the in-universe history of the creatures (though I love their bestiary entries), but am I right in getting the impression that there's been some need to tread carefully around stories involving them in the past? I'm half-remembering seeing conversations about the appropriate use of content warnings and such. Obviously Paizo know how to write about fiends without rewriting the Book of Vile Darkness, but I think with sahkils in particular there's a finer balance between portraying them with the necessary gravity and avoiding doing their work for them.


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witch-hazel wrote:
Slightly off-topic but the horror potential of sahkils for an Arcadian adventure is really strong. At the same time, though, I suppose any Lost Omens book in the setting is necessarily going to have to find a way to balance going into detail about these creatures of fear with remaining appropriate for a general audience. I'm not very well read about the in-universe history of the creatures (though I love their bestiary entries), but am I right in getting the impression that there's been some need to tread carefully around stories involving them in the past? I'm half-remembering seeing conversations about the appropriate use of content warnings and such. Obviously Paizo know how to write about fiends without rewriting the Book of Vile Darkness, but I think with sahkils in particular there's a finer balance between portraying them with the necessary gravity and avoiding doing their work for them.

There's definitely ways to do a Sahkil story that aren't merely just a firehose of triggering content! While you can certainly dial them up, they're closer to Demons than Velstracs in terms of how much control you get with intensity.

Quite a few seek to undermine mortal confidence, especially that of those in power - a small kingdom where the ruler has been pushed into paranoid violence by a disguised Sahkil whispering in their ear could be a lot of fun, with their influence being more subtly felt throughout. There's varieties of the fiends for fear of insects, parasites, and plague - definitely uncomfortable threats, but hardly new to heroic fantasy. Hataam's cult "just" wants to drown people!

Verdant Wheel

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keftiu wrote:
witch-hazel wrote:
Slightly off-topic but the horror potential of sahkils for an Arcadian adventure is really strong. At the same time, though, I suppose any Lost Omens book in the setting is necessarily going to have to find a way to balance going into detail about these creatures of fear with remaining appropriate for a general audience. I'm not very well read about the in-universe history of the creatures (though I love their bestiary entries), but am I right in getting the impression that there's been some need to tread carefully around stories involving them in the past? I'm half-remembering seeing conversations about the appropriate use of content warnings and such. Obviously Paizo know how to write about fiends without rewriting the Book of Vile Darkness, but I think with sahkils in particular there's a finer balance between portraying them with the necessary gravity and avoiding doing their work for them.

There's definitely ways to do a Sahkil story that aren't merely just a firehose of triggering content! While you can certainly dial them up, they're closer to Demons than Velstracs in terms of how much control you get with intensity.

Quite a few seek to undermine mortal confidence, especially that of those in power - a small kingdom where the ruler has been pushed into paranoid violence by a disguised Sahkil whispering in their ear could be a lot of fun, with their influence being more subtly felt throughout. There's varieties of the fiends for fear of insects, parasites, and plague - definitely uncomfortable threats, but hardly new to heroic fantasy. Hataam's cult "just" wants to drown people!

Oh FWIW I do agree with you, and I don't expect that they'd screw it up, I'm just interested to see the specifics. For myself, if they were able to find a way to dial the horror up enough to emphasise that these are terrifying beings - but obviously, with the couatls around, there's plenty of hope, too - without going into any squick, that'd be ideal. The demons and devils in-setting often don't feel all that threatening, something closer to the daemons in tone could be pretty compelling.

Liberty's Edge

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keftiu wrote:
The Halana Theocracy, in the Deadshot Lands, reveres Pazuzu as the greatest in a pantheon of evil "sky gods."

Between this and Nidal, I now wonder if we have any Good theocracy in the setting.


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The Raven Black wrote:
keftiu wrote:
The Halana Theocracy, in the Deadshot Lands, reveres Pazuzu as the greatest in a pantheon of evil "sky gods."
Between this and Nidal, I now wonder if we have any Good theocracy in the setting.

Holomog has supernatural prosperity thanks to ancient celestial pacts, and just about the only thing we know for Dehrukani is that they're big on azatas down there; neither quite sound like a proper "the church runs the state" theocracy, but at least place planar power and respect at the core of their cultures.

I'd certainly welcome a land where religion is more of an overt pillar for positive things, though. Kazutal might fill this role somewhere in Arcadia, or at least be prominent enough to have her faithful command considerable sway.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I feel like this question is a bit hard for me. I'm sort of like a dog chasing their own tail. I know I want a Lost Omens: Arcadia book but I don't know what I want from it, i'd just be excited to have it.


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pixierose wrote:
I feel like this question is a bit hard for me. I'm sort of like a dog chasing their own tail. I know I want a Lost Omens: Arcadia book but I don't know what I want from it, i'd just be excited to have it.

I definitely feel this way most of the time - except I'm the dog chomping at the firehose as it sprays, trying to gobble up anything that comes out.

But it's probably worth saying why I want it so bad. I've never lived outside the American Southwest: born in SoCal, lived in Texas for several years as a kid, did a stint in Arizona with an ex, and ultimately wound up back where I started. These places are beautiful in a way that's hard to overstate: gorgeous beaches, rocky coasts, redwood forests, scrubby hills, towering mountains, open deserts... and despite it all, you never see them reflected in fantasy! On a recent trip through the central valley, my partner marveled at a massive land formation that looked like nothing so much as a giant, sleeping lady, and we were kind of just awed by how small we felt.

Likewise, the cultures of everywhere I've ever called home are almost absent; I'm a white girl, but nearly anyone I've ever gone to school or work with was Mexican - inescapable and awesome here, invisible in fantasy adventures. I'm embarrassingly less well-versed on local Native issues (though I know I'm on unceded Kumeyaay land), but one of my dearest friends is Metis, and my partner worked for years in political action with local tribes... and yet again, most of the Indigenous representation in the d20 space has not exactly been kind, when it has existed at all.

In my more cynical moments, I say that I want Arcadia because I'm tired of how familiar faux-Europe feels in the genre space, but what I'm actually saying is that I think the places *most* familiar to me could shine in the spotlight.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ya know that reminds me of something I've realized.

I usually have problem with understanding feeling of "seeing something familiar" in media. Like there are finnish tv shows and movies and I don't have interest in them, and I don't have interest in seeing finnish characters in american media or something like that. But I've realized whenever I read of rpg based on speculative fiction(like Shadowrun, or every single Monte Cook Games cypher system game set in version of Earth) version of Seattle that I'm very much feeling alienated by guidance of "Its good idea to base your campaign around your local neighborhood as me the writer is clearly assuming you live in America and these assumptions about Seattle or USA in this book hold true in reader's area as well!" :p Like Unmasked setting is cool and all, but it also assumes familiarity with america's version of 80s

Makes me wonder if my occasional rare jokes about lack of Fantasy Finland(aka closest thing to Finland in pathfinder is in crown of the world of all places) is my subconscious telling me I actually kinda want to see that x'D Like I think what I might actually want is my favorite genres set in familiar area, hence why I'm not interest in finnish non speculative fiction family drama shows and such.

Anyway, in my case my Arcadian excitement is tempered by "I really want to see Southern Garund and Casmaron first" ^^; Though admittedly it might also be because we don't know of all Arcadian nations yet so there hasn't yet been one I'd latch onto (Xopatl is cool, but lot of coolness for me is admittedly in it being first arcadian place that was fleshed out)


I am looking forward to MezoAmerican Aztec, Toltec and Incan themes.
Maybe gauchos from Argentina. I think that Arcadia would be the perfect place for mor Shamens and other occult classes. I hope they redo guns for Arcadia and have 1840's to 1900 firearms. I think that giving black podwer firearms 2 or more shots in a melee round is bogus. If you want to see how a black podwer rifle is fired and reloaded watch Sean Bean in Sharp's Rifles by Tap loading a Rifled Musket a legendary Rifleman could get off 3 rounds a minute. If you want faster firing weapons just give out post 1860 rifles and pistols that had cased ammo. Then you do not need to suspend belief on reloading a firearm.

Sorry for my rant on firearms.

I am reaaly looing foward to Luis's take on magic and magic items from the cultures of Central and South American cultures


Elric200 wrote:

I am looking forward to MezoAmerican Aztec, Toltec and Incan themes.

Maybe gauchos from Argentina. I think that Arcadia would be the perfect place for mor Shamens and other occult classes. I hope they redo guns for Arcadia and have 1840's to 1900 firearms. I think that giving black podwer firearms 2 or more shots in a melee round is bogus. If you want to see how a black podwer rifle is fired and reloaded watch Sean Bean in Sharp's Rifles by Tap loading a Rifled Musket a legendary Rifleman could get off 3 rounds a minute. If you want faster firing weapons just give out post 1860 rifles and pistols that had cased ammo. Then you do not need to suspend belief on reloading a firearm.

Sorry for my rant on firearms.

It’s worth noting that Arcadian firearms don’t use black powder, and are instead a mix of air guns and magical weapons.


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Kefitu, Air and Magic sound cool for firearms mixing the two would also be real cool imagine an air elemental powering a firearm. Endless opportunities without the problem of reloading black powder firearms.

What kind of fashion do you envision for Arcadia?

Liberty's Edge

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I'm interested in Arcadia in the hope of getting a good RPG look at the original cultures of what is now the USA. From a time before contact with Europeans.

Tones of western movies and guns thus really do not interest me much.

There was a take on this in a french TTRPG magazine a long time ago that I really loved. And I would like to find this awesome feeling again.

In a way, it is related to my being a Breton (celts from France's Brittany) with a love for all kinds of legends and myths and seeing nowhere an interesting TTRPG take on the culture of my ancestors (as an example, see the massacre of the original powerful myth that is the Ankou even in PF2).


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If Rougarou do come back, part of me wonders if there might be a place for a coyote-like Heritage to come through. The hypothetical book needs Ancestries other than Klinkois, Syrinx, and Wyrwoods.


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RiverMesa is capable of cruel pranks.


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A couple gems from Luis Loza's Reddit AMA of interest to this topic:

-Rougarous are still canon, despite their absence from 2e so far.
-Heyopan (briefly mentioned in G&G as a place of political maneuvering and skymetal magic guns) is in the Arcane Empires, an Arcadian meta-region we haven't yet seen in print.
-A mention that an Arcadian locale gets a namedrop in his volume of Stolen Fate, next year's 11-20 AP.

All that plus a lot of general buzz around the continent and his promotion!


We know Arcadia has boundball, an obvious homage to the Mesoamerican sacred ball game, but do we think lacrosse/Tewaaraton exist up in the north? I'm kind of tickled by the idea of the continent having a considerable sports tradition, while its older context as a ritual practice is likewise worthy of showing somewhere.

Vibrant Huetzca is my Aasimar Monk, a boundball star - I suppose a Halfling sling staff is similar enough to a lacrosse stick, and it hits like a truck!


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Very exciting news for any Arcadia nerds: the store page for a scenario just went up, set in Segada and dealing with a star gun! It's a two-parter, too, so I'm super stoked.

Check it out here.

Shadow Lodge

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I would like to see something about syrinx society. Ever since I first read the bit that said they "made the strix as a servitor race", I imagined syrinx landing on rocks in the Arcadian Ocean, sticking their heads in the water, and shouting at algolthu, "You stole our idea and you're doing it the wrong way!"

Also, I'd like to see more about the geopolitics of the region, and how each nation dealt with/contributed to the fall of Razatlan. It'd get a laugh out of me if the fall of the empire was attributed to small groups of Concerned Citizens who, say, amassed unbelievable power and large groups of followers in months, only to retire in obscurity once the freedom was in the hands of the people.

Liberty's Edge

If they retired in obscurity, they're not any PC I know.


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The Raven Black wrote:
If they retired in obscurity, they're not any PC I know.

I like to think "retired in obscurity" is a euphemism for "the party cleric hit level 11 and they decided to go planes-hopping where they were killed by a Solar while stealing from Sarenrae's personal vault in High Ninshabur and never heard from again."


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I can’t wait for a fuller portrait of Razatlani history! Xopatl breaking free thanks to Mythic saints is probably a very different story how how Degasi and the other Mahwek nations won their independence, and so on for the entire continent.

The day we get a full, labeled map is one where I truly lose my mind.

Shadow Lodge

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keftiu wrote:
The day we get a full, labeled map is one where I truly lose my mind.

I second the motion.


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There's been a lot of discussion of the Central and South American potential for Arcadia (as well as most development focusing on it), but one thing I would love to see is an area inspired by the Pacific Northwest.

The Haida and the Tlingit, for instance, have used their mastery of woodcraft for milennia to create things like wooden armor and the iconic and stunning clan totems. This would lend a vibrant and striking aesthetic that really isn't present anywhere else on Golarion as far as I can tell.

It's also a gorgeous region of North America that's right in Paizo's backyard, as well as being a region that is not often seen as being a place to draw inspiration for fantasy from.

If the Arcane Empires are set in the north of the continent, it could be a perfect setting for an area inspired by the indigenous groups of the PNW combined with mastery of magic.


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Simeon wrote:

There's been a lot of discussion of the Central and South American potential for Arcadia (as well as most development focusing on it), but one thing I would love to see is an area inspired by the Pacific Northwest.

The Haida and the Tlingit, for instance, have used their mastery of woodcraft for milennia to create things like wooden armor and the iconic and stunning clan totems. This would lend a vibrant and striking aesthetic that really isn't present anywhere else on Golarion as far as I can tell.

It's also a gorgeous region of North America that's right in Paizo's backyard, as well as being a region that is not often seen as being a place to draw inspiration for fantasy from.

If the Arcane Empires are set in the north of the continent, it could be a perfect setting for an area inspired by the indigenous groups of the PNW combined with mastery of magic.

You're in luck: Michael Sayre has spoken before about wanting to get his Tlingit heritage into the game, and has been one of the biggest voices (alongside Luis Loza and Adam Daigle) for Arcadia over the years! I'm really keen to see some of that PNW influence come through once we visit the continent more fully.


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zimmerwald1915 wrote:
keftiu wrote:
The day we get a full, labeled map is one where I truly lose my mind.
I second the motion.

Which one, getting a map, or losing your mind? Runs for the exit.


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I'd like a focus on ancestries different from what is present in the Inner Sea region. I like Dwarves, elves, and gnomes as much as the next person, but ultimately they derive from European folklore and inspired fantasy. I think the areas away from Avistan should draw from the regions of the world they are based. Although to be fair Little People are a pretty common feature of NA lore.

Also, not sure if this has been brought up anywhere, but I recall in one of the PF1E books a mention of a Sasquatch/Bigfoot ancestry (different from the already established Sasquatch monster. So I am hoping those are still around and might get detailed as a main ancestry.


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keftiu wrote:

Very exciting news for any Arcadia nerds: the store page for a scenario just went up, set in Segada and dealing with a star gun! It's a two-parter, too, so I'm super stoked.

Check it out here.

The page for the second half of this one is up, and it sounds killer! I'm really excited to see a story of returning an ancient relic to its people.


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MMCJawa wrote:
Also, not sure if this has been brought up anywhere, but I recall in one of the PF1E books a mention of a Sasquatch/Bigfoot ancestry (different from the already established Sasquatch monster. So I am hoping those are still around and might get detailed as a main ancestry.

YES! The Orang-Pendak would be an awesome ancestry to have.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
keftiu wrote:
keftiu wrote:

Very exciting news for any Arcadia nerds: the store page for a scenario just went up, set in Segada and dealing with a star gun! It's a two-parter, too, so I'm super stoked.

Check it out here.

The page for the second half of this one is up, and it sounds killer! I'm really excited to see a story of returning an ancient relic to its people.

oh this sounds awesome!


Dark Oni wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
Also, not sure if this has been brought up anywhere, but I recall in one of the PF1E books a mention of a Sasquatch/Bigfoot ancestry (different from the already established Sasquatch monster. So I am hoping those are still around and might get detailed as a main ancestry.
YES! The Orang-Pendak would be an awesome ancestry to have.

I think this was different from that as well (IIRC, Orang Pendak were considered small size wise, which is not actually what I would want from a bigfoot-esq playable ancestry.


^That depends. I remember this 1970s cartoon of some cryptozoologists finally finding Bigfoot, and saying "He wasn't exactly what we expected", and in the foreground is this little monkey with huge feet. I think the Far Side had something similar . . . .


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Treasure Vault has a tasty morsel of Arcadian lore: magical firearms known as spark guns, inferior to the legendary star guns they're modeled after but still very potent in their own right. They're very nifty magitech, apparently rare outside of the Deadshot Lands (seen in Guns & Gears) and the Arcane Empires (wherever the briefly-mentioned Heyopan is, also on the continent), and just broadly incredibly cool.

We also get the names of a couple legendary star gun wielders (including one who has previously shown up as a god in Luis Loza's non-canon Arcadia stuff), and one more mundane item (the reprinted tlil mask!) underscores yet again that the Mwangi Expanse trades with Arcadia (presumably via Senghor and the Arcadian Triangle trade route from the Travel Guide).

Two Haida wood armors are presented and associated with the Erutaki and Varki, rather than Arcadian peoples, but I've always suspected some potential tie there. Either way, they make a cool option for Arcadian characters to feel distinct from a typical faux-European adventurer!

EDIT: Wow, Simeon even asked about the wood armor just a few posts above!


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

To exist.


HenshinFanatic wrote:
To exist.

That leaves an awful lot of latitude. Well, let's see, here's the version that keeps popping into my head:

As you enter, you hear a constant murmur, which soon resolves into a cacophony of nerd expressions, weird synthetic voices and monster sounds, the sounds of steel balls on bumpers and the workings of other mechanical contraptions, and shots and explosions of which a large subset sound oddly musical, occasionally punctuated by the sound of coins dropping. From somewhere overhead comes a pulsating but unceasing rain of cheesy early 1980s music . . . .

No, wait! Wrong Arcadia . . . .


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Dark Oni wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
Also, not sure if this has been brought up anywhere, but I recall in one of the PF1E books a mention of a Sasquatch/Bigfoot ancestry (different from the already established Sasquatch monster. So I am hoping those are still around and might get detailed as a main ancestry.
YES! The Orang-Pendak would be an awesome ancestry to have.

I posted this elsewhere, but thought it might be appropriate here for those interested in seeing an Arcadian sasquatch ancestry. Most everything below comes from a 1E or 2E source.

Sasquatch/Orang-pendak/Yeti (Ancestry):

Cultural Groups that have appeared in text thus far:
Orang-pendek
Yowie
Almas
Yeren
Yeti (Yeti are referenced as a similar group to the Sasquatch and it is unclear if the Yeti would be included as part of a broader Sasquatch Ancestry.)

Heritages:
Currently none provided.

What’s missing?
Sasquatch
Orang-pendak
Fen Mauler
Yeti (If Included)
Sasquatches live in remote forests where they live in harmony with nature, forgoing the building structures and leaving little evidence of their existence. As a result, many scholars that have not dealt directly with Sasquatches doubt their existence. This is forgivable considering that Sasquatches are found across Golarion, but in nearly all instances they leave little trace of their communities or culture. Even in death, Sasquatches take great care to hide their deceased from discovery as they belief they are not only hiding their dead from scavengers but also from evil spirits. The largest communities of Sasquatches are most likely found in Arcadia’s Land of Northern Lakes.
Orang-pendaks are a group of Sasquatch that tend to live in warm remote mountainous jungles. They have a natural empathy with simians and tend to share habitats with apes and monkeys. Orang-pendaks are known to live in the jungles of central Arcadia and likely live in similar environments in Tian Xia and Casmaron. Orang-pendaks display a greater variation in size than most Ancestries, with adults equally likely to be size small or medium in height. Although slighter in build than most Sasquatches, Orang-pendaks are just as strong as their larger kin.
Fen Maulers are a community of swamp dwelling Sasquatches that suffered a terrible calamity and became desperate for relief. In their desperation they turned to dark rites and made bargains with terrible beings. These rites and bargains altered these Sasquatches turning many of them cruel and violent. Fen Mauler’s continue to struggle with the ramifications of these rites and bargains made by their ancestors. Those rites and bargains altered the Fen Maulers permanently and many struggle with a temptation to turn into cruel and savage beasts.
Similar to other Sasquatches, Yeti live in remote natural environments and often act as guardians of these remote places. Yeti grow larger than most Sasquatches, eventually reaching size Large. Because Yeti live high on remote mountains, their communities are frequently near places of thin planar barriers. Many Yeti communities have taken on the responsibility of guarding the material plane against strange, cruel, and alien planar entities that seek to harm Golarion. Sometimes a Yeti will succumb to these forces and in its madness will wonder down the mountains and attack and harm the communities it finds there. This has fueled the perception that Yetis are cruel and dangerous monsters. A good example of these Yeti guardians are the Qaishan Yeti of the World’s Edge Mountains. Many of the Yeti in this community either support or join the Qaishan monks, a monastic order with the task or guarding against planar and dimensional threats.

What’s Left?
Both the Sasquatch and the Yeti have appeared in 2E as creature entries. Currently, neither have been identified with a Sasquatch Trait or appeared as an Ancestry.

Compilation of 1E Ancestry Specific Feats, Traits, and Racial Traits
Size Medium, Size Small, Forest Walker, Low-Light Vision, Climb Speed, Own Two Feet, Simian Empathy, Tear Apart, Darkvision, Scent, Rock Throwing, Pungency, Woodland Stride, Size Large, Shadowy Pelt, Disease Immunity, Cold Resistance, Pounce, Rend, Swamp Stride, Trophy Hunter
If Yeti are included: Immune Cold, Vulnerability to Fire, Climb Speed, Claws, Frightful Gaze, Rend, Cold (Cold Aura)
2E Abilities Sasquatch: Low-Light Vision, Scent, Catch Rock, Emerge From Undergrowth, Brutal Blows, Forest Stride, Pungent, Threatening Visage, Throw Rock,
2E Abilities Yeti: Darkvision, Scent, Size Large, Snowblind, Nightmare Guardian, Vanish, Grisly Arrival, Rend, Cold Immunity, Fire Weakness, Claws

Sasquatch Culture
Sasquatch (NPC), Orang-pendak (NPC), Fen Mauler (NPC), Paakis-Si (NPC), Sasquatch Skull (Cursed Magic Item)
If Yeti are included: Yeti (NPC), Qaishan Yeti (NPC), Yala: Mistress of High Places (NPC), Cloak of the Yeti (Wondrous Item), Bottled Yeti Fur (Wondrous Item), Kostchtchie (Deity)

General Thoughts
The Sasquatch as an Ancestry has a lot of potential. They are already set up with different cultural groups that are largely defined by location and environment. These different groups also tend to have different physical expressions based on the environments in which they developed. I suspect they would generally be a Rare Ancestry with small communities spread all across Golarion in different remote environments.


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With all the cool new options coming in Tian Xia and Howl of the Wild, Wyrwoods are getting awfully lonely on my wishlist...


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PFS #4-13 is out, featuring a Segada-sanctioned expedition into the continent's northern interior prairies - and it's pretty neat! You're working to repair and repatriate a star gun that Chelish invaders broke after stealing, which is a lovely anti-colonial narrative that still ends up feeling like a fantastical quest. Well worth picking up!

There's some fascinating new lore on both star guns and the Syrinx people, neither of which I want to spoil, and the town that receives the relic (Niishan) ends up potentially hosting a second Arcadian PFS Lodge (after Port Valen in the north).

It seems plans for the continent are absolutely in motion, and I'm very excited about it all...

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