Monster ruled regions


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


I'm looking to crowd source a list of "regions" (pretty loosely defined) that are ruled by "monsters" (also loose)

I'd prefer to go broad with what is included, seeing places like The Gravelands and Belkzen as equally "monster ruled", alongside Hermea and Wanshou.

No settlement too small. If a settlement gets liberated from the monsters then I'm interested in it- if it is only briefly conqured then less so.

Thanks in advanced!


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I don't understand why Belkzen would count as "monster-ruled" when Orcs are a Core ancestry now. Are you also counting Oprak?

Hermea's no longer run by a dragon post-Age of Ashes.


I was mostly using Belkzen as an example of the far end of the "monster region" scale, as it seems fair most people in the Inner Sea would think of it as Monster Ruled. I would include Oprak as well.

Maybe I should have made this explicit but I don't see the idea of "monster ruled" as a bad thing. I really like the little insight we've gotten into Belkzen and the changes to how Orcs see their roles. I love hobgoblins and really liked Oprak's origins.

I also suspected that Hermea went that way, but I didn't know for sure.


Well, Shenmen in Tian Xia is ruled by jorogumo (Japanese spider yokai).
Oni are the rulers Chu Ye, also in Tian Xia.
Xa Hoi is ruled by their dragon kings.
I think there is a frost giant region of The Crown of the World.
There is the whole history of the Cyclopes ruling during the Age of Legend.
Is Vaktai in Vudra still controlled by rakshasa? Damn I would love a Vudra book.
Then there is a whole bunch of places in the Darklands.

I know there are more, the smaller ones for sure, but those are the ones I am aware of off the top of my head.


Geb is ruled by well, Geb and has a lot of undead.
Cheliax is ruled by fascists with devil allies.
Sarkoris Scar is not really ruled by demons especially since the closure of the Worldwound and becausee there's actually no one is ruling it, but there's a good number of demons there.


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On top of what the other said, Usaro in the Mwangi expanse is ruled by charau-ka, which are some kind of half demonic monkey people who can turn the corpse of their victim into more of them by using a special evil altar at the heart of their city. Since the death of the last gorilla king, they are in disaray as some Matanji orcs have stolen said altar, leaving them without a way of making a new gorilla kings or replenishing their people as quikly as they used to. Humans are accepted in the city, altho most are either demon cultist or prisoners of the charau ka.

I think the city of Kaer Maga in Varisia could also fit, if my lore is up to date. If I remember correctly, it's situated in an ancient thasilonian prison turned ruin build on top of an alien laboratory. While it have no formal government, and the city is kind of in a state of controlled anarchy with various mafia like entities holding power over some part of the city, if I remember correctly some of the original aliens still live bellow the city along with ancient vampires and they both control the city from the shadows and use it as a feeding ground and laboratory.

Even if that last part isn't up to date with the latest lore, the city is a gigantic melting pot of various ancestries, a good amount of which are usually only presented as monstruous otherwise. Notably, it have a sizable population of trolls acting as augury and running an information network, and it's the one place of varisia where necromancy is legal and overt undeads are normal, so it is "monster themed" if not "monster ruled". On an unrelated note, it's also one of the city housing the largest number of halfling proportionnaly to the rest of the population in the inner sea region for some reason. I really love how weird this city is, hopefully we see more of it soon.

Liberty's Edge

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Irrisen.


Irrisen is indeed a big one, not "monster ruled" strictly speaking (especially since reign of winters), but it does have that feeling, with feys and winter wolf having seemingly more power than the more humanoid/"normal" ancestry. Altho we don't really know in what way Irrisen have changed since the AP, but the fact that it's still stuck in eternal winter mean that the old status quo shouldn't be entirely gone.


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Scarablob wrote:
Irrisen is indeed a big one, not "monster ruled" strictly speaking (especially since reign of winters), but it does have that feeling, with feys and winter wolf having seemingly more power than the more humanoid/"normal" ancestry. Altho we don't really know in what way Irrisen have changed since the AP, but the fact that it's still stuck in eternal winter mean that the old status quo shouldn't be entirely gone.

Anastasia: "Do you have any idea how hard it is to find the thermostat for this country!?"

Liberty's Edge

Nagajor from Tian Xia will be more fleshed out soon, but it seems like that the ruled-by-naga bit will remain, so they seem a prime candidate here. If we're including anything perceived as monstrous (by whom? the average person in the Inner Sea, I assume?), Nurvatcha in Garund might qualify, as Anadi are considered by some to be monstrous despite not really fitting the description. But that gets at the problem I have here - I do think it's strange to include orcs on the list, and Anadi too. If we're including all orcs, do we include the Matanji orcs in the Mwangi Expanse who are viewed as allies in the fight against demons and aren't viewed as monstrous by any account? If not, are we including Hagegraf and other major Hryngar (previously duergar) settlements, because they will be viewed as monstrous by most of the Inner Sea? Do we include Nidal? Why are orcs and hobgoblins treated differently here? Kaoling is another hobgoblin society, but it hasn't been framed as monstrous in the way that the Ironfang Legion viewed itself - so are they included in the list?

Liberty's Edge

Arcaian wrote:

Nagajor from Tian Xia will be more fleshed out soon, but it seems like that the ruled-by-naga bit will remain, so they seem a prime candidate here. If we're including anything perceived as monstrous (by whom? the average person in the Inner Sea, I assume?), Nurvatcha in Garund might qualify, as Anadi are considered by some to be monstrous despite not really fitting the description. But that gets at the problem I have here - I do think it's strange to include orcs on the list, and Anadi too. If we're including all orcs, do we include the Matanji orcs in the Mwangi Expanse who are viewed as allies in the fight against demons and aren't viewed as monstrous by any account? If not, are we including Hagegraf and other major Hryngar (previously duergar) settlements, because they will be viewed as monstrous by most of the Inner Sea? Do we include Nidal? Why are orcs and hobgoblins treated differently here? Kaoling is another hobgoblin society, but it hasn't been framed as monstrous in the way that the Ironfang Legion viewed itself - so are they included in the list?

I would guess "monstrous" as in unusual in classic TTRPG views.

So, not humans, not dwarves, not elves, not gnomes, not halflings. Or any mix of those. That's it by my reckoning.

Envoy's Alliance

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

The issue here is that Pathfinder tends not to make that distinction. They are not "mosterous races" they are just other sentient creatures who happen to look less like humans.


I wouldn't call a grippli country a "monster ruled region" either. Where to draw the line is a bit muddy for sure. I'd say that "monster" here encompass all things that aren't humanoid (dragons, worms, insectoid beings and the like), and all humanoid that are "traditionnally" TTRPG foes or "hostile on sight" (goblinoid, giants, demons and the like).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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I use the term "monster" and "NPC" pretty interchangeably in games I run, or when chatting behind the scenes about adventure construction, but the short take is that "If it's something the story expects you to fight" and "If the creature isn't appropriate/hasn't been presented as a PC ancestry option" chances are good that you're talking about a monster.

Under that definition, I'd say that a few good examples of "monster ruled regions" would be Shenmen, the Gravelands, large swaths of the Darklands, Tanglebriar, and some River Kingdoms (Outsea comes to mind). Smaller areas within larger regions, are more commonly where you'll see something like this.

Belkzen is an interesting case of the evolution of this. When originally concepted by me during Rise of the Runelords, it was very much a monster-ruled region exported directly from my homebrew setting, and was very much a "monster realm" that you go to have adventures in as heroes and not a place heroes come from. Over the course of a few decades, things changed and it's no longer what I'd call a monster ruled nation, even if it does remain a violent and "action-packed" place to do adventures.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Zoken44 wrote:
The issue here is that Pathfinder tends not to make that distinction. They are not "mosterous races" they are just other sentient creatures who happen to look less like humans.

This is true, but we also very much ave other sentient/sapient creatures who happen to look less like humans who are going to remain antagonistic monsters in the setting. While it might feel to some like we're eroding that list each time we present an orc or a kobold or whatever as a player ancestry, we're creating far more monsters for your player characters to fight, at the rate of 4 to 6 a month in every volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path at a minimum.

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