So what's happening to ogres?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Aenigma wrote:
Sigh. Ogres are being retconned too? First goblins, then kobolds, and now ogres? I really dislike Paizo's trend of redesigning the world to conform to political correctness. While steering the real world in a politically correct direction may have its merits, the fantasy realm need not, and should not, follow suit. After all, where's the fun in adventuring in a world devoid of ethical dilemmas? There ought to be monsters, slavers, and criminals who revel in all manner of evil deeds (whether it be murder, cannibalism, raiding, rape, or slavery) for PCs to confront. While I abhor real-world slavery, I have no qualms about its portrayal in the fantasy realm.

Steering the fantasy genre away from being about almost nothing but tales of sexual violence isn't a new PC thing - it's returning to its roots.

The idea that 90% of your story has to be taken from a Law and Order:SVU episode is kind of a Game of Thrones era thing. Older fantasy - even when brutal was just brutal.

I grew up on things that were not just as light hearted as Princess Bride, but also as dark as Ralph Bakshi's Wizards and his version of Lord of the Rings. You could read old stories like the Conan stuff or see low-budget films and it all just "didn't go there", even when it was otherwise extremely NSFW.

I'd rather tell and play in fantasy stories that myself and my entire group don't need therapy for or suffer PTSD from after playing through them.

Even when I go through darkly graphic horror - I'd rather than be weird ghoul monsters and extra planar beings that the blokes I had deal with during my internship at the public defender's office.

And for most of fantasy's history - the authors have been on the same page as me. It's just this weird era of the very recent past where they've decided to start taking their plots from Law and Order:SVU.


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I've only read a few modules with plots like Law and Order SVU. I think it's always been a good mix of plots and ideas. Probably the most prominent SVU style adventures was Rise of the Runelords or the recent Agents of Edgewatch.

Age of Ashes, Extinction Curse, and Kingmaker nothing much to do with such plots.


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Ravingdork wrote:
Richard Lowe wrote:
Paizo moving over their writing to more nuanced, deeper, more thoughtful descriptions and stories is a brilliant thing that any fan can appreciate, better stories serve us all.
I do quite like Paizo's more nuanced approach as of late. It's no secret that books like The Mwangi Expanse have been a stellar success due in no small part to some of the decisions that were made.

That book is literally why I am here in this community right now.

I left tRPGs 20 years ago after getting tossed from yet one more community for calling out racism. And BTW: after having my D&D DM decide to add SA as a theme in his game using my PC... (while his 6 year old daughter was sitting at the table with us, next to his wife, so I was extra shocked)

But I kept a side eye on various books over time (because outside of tRPGs, the fantasy genre had rarely been like that until Game of Thrones, so I kept hoping) and actually bought a number of Paizo books. When I saw the Mwangi book on Amazon I initially assumed it'd be yet another 'Tarzan like' take but the cover art implied somebody at least had done some research... so I read some reviews...

Then I just bought it on a whim and started going through it.

And that led me to realizing something must have changed in the hobby while I was away. So I got more Paizo stuff, and started reading some of the forums and discords and saw people now were commonly speaking from an inclusive POV - the very POV that would get you kicked out of tRPG groups 20 years ago was now the norm.

So I joined some online games and have been having a good time with the hobby again.

(The recent Christmas sale let me finally get the Mwangi book in PDF as well now too. I think I'm almost to a complete PF2E collection now outside of adventures.)


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CorvusMask wrote:
The Contrarian wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
What you're seeing in Pathfinder, Aenigma, is a reflection of how society has grown and matured and become more open-minded and welcoming to their fellow person in the past 20 years...
I just don't see it. People in the last 20 years seem to have become FAR more closed-minded and defensive then they've ever been in my lifetime. So, so many people today are just too terrified of even talking to others for fear that they will say the wrong thing and end up with a mob putting a target on their back.

Thing that I think is different is that 20 years ago people seemed to care less about people hurting other people :P

Back to ogres, as far as I can see, Ogres were never retconned to be nicer in pathfinder, it just become one of those topics that aren't discussed on screen in published material. Like discrimination, people enslaving individuals(they removed slavery as institution, but that would't mean that group of bandits wouldn't kidnap people to force them work as labor or etc), etc, exists in Pathfinder setting, but they are considered uncouth topics to explore in published adventures and left to home gms.

I don't really see why they would be retconned in future, I think people are kinda overly afraid of setting becoming sanitized when we have velstracs, eldritc horrors and plenty amount of body horror still around.

20 years ago you could casually just call other people slurs and that was seen as peak comedy. That was the entire joke as well, someone did something stupid and you called them R****d, or someone did something slightly effeminate and got called a F****t.

SA against a woman was not a monstrous trait that should only be tackled seriously but a joke to play up for laughs about how a character was "Just a bit of a touchy guy" with a laugh-track to accompany it.

For me, I do not get the mindset of someone who wants to return to those times. As someone who was both the out-group receiving the negative behavior, and as someone who committed those vile acts on others, it was a horrid time that is better off remaining dead and gone.

As for Ogres, I don't want to open up an AP and read "The Orge r**es the female NPC" as a plot point. There is nothing about it that services the plot than to make the Ogres seem more reviled. And if you're encountering Orgres they're already likely looking to kill and eat you, or possibly kill you by eating you. That's already vile enough for the PC's to want to fight them, without adding an element of sexual violence into the mix serve as meaningless edgy flavoring.


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I mean, if you want to keep specific groups of ogres as horror villains, you can do so. I will not that in the actual film "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" there is no actual sexual violence, or implication thereof. Yes, these people will kill you for fun, eat you, and decorate their homes with your bones, and might be mean-spirited about it. But that's a different kettle of fish than "sexual violence."

But it's also pretty weird to say "all Ogres- past, present, and future are like this" since it's never necessary to give that omniscient a view about what people are like in a roleplaying game in which human performers can make choices about what sort of person any given character is like. Like Paizo shouldn't be in the business of telling is that there's no way that the Orgres on Sarusan are benevolent and enlightened aescetics because some of the ones in Varisia are real big jerks..


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There were definitely some people who had odd ideas of comedy. Not a lot, but a few here and there. It was very uncomfortable if they were your buddy to straight up boot them from the group, so you generally had a private conversation with them about that type of behavior.

Probably was worse in some places too. Washington State I can't say that behavior was too horrible. I played with quite a few groups with folks of backgrounds other than the majority. Korean and African ancestry folks, but the hobby was definitely dominated by males of European ancestry.

A few of those guys found off color humor funny. Not all or even most, but you got a guy here and there that did. It was like dropping a heavy book in a silent library where people sat there wondering how to deal with that situation. Very uncomfortable.

I never found that type of humor humorous, likely because I'm of a mixed background and I was told many tales of people mistreating family members due to their ethnicity. So I never considered that acceptable behavior or funny. I also understood if your parents raised you to think certain things were ok, hard to blame them for their ignorance so you gave them a chance to correct it and helped them understand why it wasn't acceptable.

Arcady is right that horror themes and SA might be implied by the existence of a half-orc or a background element, but was never front and center in an adventure in the earlier days in the 80s and 90s. I recall it mostly in something like a Slavelords series or the drow series. Modules back then were pretty barebones.

Paizo is really the first company I can recall creating deeper stories in APs with mature themes. Personally, I found this interesting and set them apart from the common modules of old. I can understand why such material was not for everyone, even though I think Paizo modules varied greatly and it wasn't too difficult to avoid mature themes your group did not want to participate in due to the content.


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I definitely miss the rules for half-ogre characters from Dragon magazine…I do like the hulking behemoth smiting the lil wee folk into the air…while also being a fully formed, emotionally accessible and sensitive soul who likes to collect shells and “reed poa-tree”.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ruzza wrote:

I mean I've seen RD do it to numerous threads like he just did now. They usually get cleaned up faster. I don't know "I didn't see it, so you must be lying," really flies.

EDIT: Not to lay all the blame at RD's feet, because let's be honest the well was poisoned with the first post. It was inviting trolls and was really only stopped by JJ jumping in. As he asked to end the thread, I'll not add in any further than this.

Obviously I can't go through his almost 32k posts to see if he ever dared to utter something approaching a political opinion, but since he arrived on this forum, he always has focused on writing game- and rules-related posts, some of them with outlandish scenarios which I personally have rolled my eyes at. The above-quoted posts, however, make him out to be some habitual political troll, which just isn't true.

Dark Archive

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I'm still going to miss lack of alignment in NPC description for future because it made it easy to see on glance which npc that has only one small sentence about them are meant to be antagonistic ones and which ones are helpful or neutral :'D

But yeah, I think Ogres are still going to retain their "uses your body as paint brush" nature they had in hook mountain massacre. We just aren't going to see ogrekin


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
CorvusMask wrote:
But yeah, I think Ogres are still going to retain their "uses your body as paint brush" nature they had in hook mountain massacre. We just aren't going to see ogrekin

That would totally work for me. I for one never cared much for ogrekin anyways.


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I mostly take the view that there is room in tabletop roleplaying for the dark themes and sanding the edges of everything leads to everything becoming duller.

But that's mainly a stance I take for people complaining about darker themes in media, massmarket censorship where material doesn't get published because it could offend because most subjects with any weight can offend someone.

I believe that their are some roleplaying games that can reach the level of art, I have seen one or two streamed call of chuthulu games that were genuinely chilling and I have had moments in games I have played that transcended the game and the mechanic and became something more.

Most of the most memorable scenes I have roleplayed or seen were people (pc) standing up in the face of unspeakable darkness and horror and so I have to believe there is a space for such in roleplaying games.


CorvusMask wrote:
I'm still going to miss lack of alignment in NPC description for future because it made it easy to see on glance which npc that has only one small sentence about them are meant to be antagonistic ones and which ones are helpful or neutral :'D

They're not connected. "This NPC is antagonistic/helpful/neutral" is still a sentence that can occur in the NPC's splat. You can still start your NPC's off as friendly/hostile and use things like the influence system when PC's want to socially interact with them to change that.

I mean sure, maybe it takes a line instead of two capital letters now. I can't see that being much of a time savings in terms of reading or running an AP though.


siegfriedliner wrote:

I have seen one or two streamed call of chuthulu games that were genuinely chilling and I have had moments in games I have played that transcended the game and the mechanic and became something more.

Most of the most memorable scenes I have roleplayed or seen were people (pc) standing up in the face of unspeakable darkness and horror and so I have to believe there is a space for such in roleplaying games.

I once completely freaked out my group simply by having the lights go out unexpectedly. Full on, pull-out-all-the-stops combat prep, because a ghost flipped a switch.

There is an argument to be made that, if the only time your games get spooky or dark is when the module write-up says "this guy eats faces," maybe that's not a Paizo issue. I certainly want novice GMs and players to have the resources they need to tell spooky stories too, but this is a game of imagination. GMs, go imaginate.

Dark Archive

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Easl wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
I'm still going to miss lack of alignment in NPC description for future because it made it easy to see on glance which npc that has only one small sentence about them are meant to be antagonistic ones and which ones are helpful or neutral :'D

They're not connected. "This NPC is antagonistic/helpful/neutral" is still a sentence that can occur in the NPC's splat. You can still start your NPC's off as friendly/hostile and use things like the influence system when PC's want to socially interact with them to change that.

I mean sure, maybe it takes a line instead of two capital letters now. I can't see that being much of a time savings in terms of reading or running an AP though.

I mean, I have actual example of this from Game Mastery Guide and GM Core:

Pherias Jakar (attentive female elf troubadour) merchant master and joint overseer of Port Peril
Sabas Odabio (organized male human administrator) accountant and joint overseer of Port Peril
Tessa Fairwind (daring female half-elf pirate lord) Hurricane Queen of the Shackles
Tsojmin Kreidoros (humorless male dwarf wizard) harbormaster and joint overseer of Port Peril

compare

Pherias Jakar (CN female elf troubadour) merchant master and joint overseer of Port Peril
Sabas Odabio (LN male human administrator) accountant and joint overseer of Port Peril
Tessa Fairwind (CN female half-elf pirate lord) Hurricane Queen of the Shackles
Tsojmin Kreidoros (LE male dwarf wizard) harbormaster and joint overseer of Port Peril

Like... You can see what I mean right? I don't need to spell it out right?

Personal biases can affect interpretation of characters a lot even besides getting into that its hard to get full idea of character's role from single adjective. To some it might be considered bonus if minor npc is interpreted by different tables in completely different way, but to me it mostly says the information presented to tables wasn't clear in intent x'D

(I think its kinda notable Otari's guard captain from gamemastery guide settlement block wasn't listed in npcs in gm core, it probably was cut for words, but also like his description was "Lardus Longsaddle (CN male human soldier) foul-mouthed and short-tempered captain of the town guard". How do you sum that with single adjective without giving wrong impression? Single adjective summary is really interpretative)


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CorvusMask wrote:

Personal biases can affect interpretation of characters a lot even besides getting into that its hard to get full idea of character's role from single adjective. To some it might be considered bonus if minor npc is interpreted by different tables in completely different way, but to me it mostly says the information presented to tables wasn't clear in intent x'D

(I think its kinda notable Otari's guard captain from gamemastery guide settlement block wasn't listed in npcs in gm core, it probably was cut for words, but also like his description was "Lardus Longsaddle (CN male human soldier) foul-mouthed and short-tempered captain of the town guard". How do you sum that with single adjective without giving wrong impression? Single adjective summary is really interpretative)

Wow. I had no idea actually that Oseph Menhemes was 'indecisive'. Like, the successful enough head of the most influential company in town, have won several mayor elections in a row having at least some opposition - indecisive? Moreover I don't remember examples of such behaviour in the AP.

I agree that one adjective is not enough. Especially if it's a wrong one :)


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siegfriedliner wrote:

I mostly take the view that there is room in tabletop roleplaying for the dark themes and sanding the edges of everything leads to everything becoming duller.

But that's mainly a stance I take for people complaining about darker themes in media, massmarket censorship where material doesn't get published because it could offend because most subjects with any weight can offend someone.

I believe that their are some roleplaying games that can reach the level of art, I have seen one or two streamed call of chuthulu games that were genuinely chilling and I have had moments in games I have played that transcended the game and the mechanic and became something more.

Most of the most memorable scenes I have roleplayed or seen were people (pc) standing up in the face of unspeakable darkness and horror and so I have to believe there is a space for such in roleplaying games.

You realize they aren't getting rid of combat, right? You still roll dice and resolve issues via those dice rolls. You people talk like Paizo staff came here and say "Violence is bad. No more combat in any APs" like a bunch of weirdos hyperbolizing when the Ogre's don't *check notes* sexually assault people as a joke.

Yeah real "endeavors to be art" there, making a reference to The Hills Have Eyes and Deliverance. The reason I harp on this specifically is I'm sick and tired of stuff like this being used as some kind of rallying cry to "fighting against censorship" that grips certain fandom communities. You for example use a ton of flowery language to frame this as a great loss of art and creativity and "Sanding down the edges" but what we're talking about is Ogre's violating people against their will and engaging in non-consensual sex.

You still face unspeakable darkness, you still face off against world ending evil, you still face off against monstrous people. The difference being is that Paizo is endeavoring to not just go for an easy shock value shlock for their players. Like f#$!ing Christ, they literally just got done releasing an entire horror themed AP and you're like "Mass Market censorship has killed the dark themes of pathfinder".

If the only dark themes that matter to you are SA and Slavery, that speaks more to you than it does to the setting at hand.

Liberty's Edge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
But it's also pretty weird to say "all Ogres- past, present, and future are like this"

I think it’s pretty weird to say “all [any sentient creature], past, present, or future are like [any personality / behavior pattern].”

I don’t necessarily mind characters in the world believing that, but I don’t like for it to be true. And the existence of Ogres who aren’t in some sort of cannibal cult doesn’t preclude the existence of Ogres who are. The (fictional) world is more interesting when there are more possibilities.

That said. I’ve never read, played, or run “Hook Mountain Massacre,” but hearing about it here, it sounds like fun, and I might track it down and convert it to 2E for a one-shot. It doesn’t bother me that Paizo wouldn’t publish it today, because they already published it. This doesn’t conflict at all with my preference that not all Ogres act like the ones in HHM.

It doesn’t bother me that Paizo won’t publish something like it because it doesn’t sound like a theme I’d want to repeat anyway, but that’s really a matter of personal preferences — I occasionally enjoy horror media, but it’s not a favorite genre.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
CorvusMask wrote:
I'm still going to miss lack of alignment in NPC description for future because it made it easy to see on glance which npc that has only one small sentence about them are meant to be antagonistic ones and which ones are helpful or neutral :'D

I experienced this first hand last night. A character rolled a nat 1 on a Subsist check which can "draw unwanted attention" so I wanted to do a random encounter spur of the moment. It's easier if you're flipping through a bestiary physical book, but going through the list in Foundry or AoN is harder without those LE/NE/CE traits you can filter by.


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magnuskn wrote:
Ruzza wrote:

I mean I've seen RD do it to numerous threads like he just did now. They usually get cleaned up faster. I don't know "I didn't see it, so you must be lying," really flies.

EDIT: Not to lay all the blame at RD's feet, because let's be honest the well was poisoned with the first post. It was inviting trolls and was really only stopped by JJ jumping in. As he asked to end the thread, I'll not add in any further than this.

Obviously I can't go through his almost 32k posts to see if he ever dared to utter something approaching a political opinion, but since he arrived on this forum, he always has focused on writing game- and rules-related posts, some of them with outlandish scenarios which I personally have rolled my eyes at. The above-quoted posts, however, make him out to be some habitual political troll, which just isn't true.

The truth, as is often the case, is somewhere in between. Political doesn't just mean who you vote for. It means the values you move through the world with and how you think groups of people deserve to be treated. It also the language we use to discuss these things. RD has definitely made a significant number of posts featuring conservative dog whistle terms. Usually they are some variation 9f the "everyone is too sensitive and provocateurs are the real victims of cancel culture." And those threads do tend to get moderated to hell and back because that's the job of the mods. Check out this thread, for example. My account is set to display 50 pages a post. Posts 151 to 200 have a whoppijg FOUR left undeleted. This also happened in 2020, which I believe was before Magnus moved over to the Paizo forums. But RD and I have argued a bunch about cancel culture and all but one posts have been deleted from both our histories.

I thiiiink RD has been slowly getting better, as I have seen him use positive indicators of inclusivity both in that thread and this one. His dog whistle posts tend to make me roll my eyes in much the same way Magnus rolls their eyes at some of the rules posts. They mostly just feel under baked. His posts are like 50% valid Pathfinder contributions, 20% exploit munchkinism, 10% poor GM scenarios, 10% under baked politics, 5% complaining about games he plays in, and 5% being a cheeky bastard. There are definitely worse people out there, but RD is so prolific he probably draws more attention.

Liberty's Edge

CorvusMask wrote:
I'm still going to miss lack of alignment in NPC description for future because it made it easy to see on glance which npc that has only one small sentence about them are meant to be antagonistic ones and which ones are helpful or neutral

I agree that it’s a useful shorthand, and I’ll miss it for that reason. But that, gating Champions, and alignment damage are about all I used alignment for. “Fixing” alignment damage and (hopefully) something interesting and new with Champions is probably worth the loss of a useful shorthand.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
I experienced this first hand last night. A character rolled a nat 1 on a Subsist check which can "draw unwanted attention" so I wanted to do a random encounter spur of the moment. It's easier if you're flipping through a bestiary physical book, but going through the list in Foundry or AoN is harder without those LE/NE/CE traits you can filter by.

So why didn't you determine hostility/friendliness...randomly? You realize that it is just as easy to do Random selection {critter+ attitude} and Random selection {critter}{attitude}, right? And the latter doesn't create massive race-based generalizations.

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