log in or register to remove this ad

 

Pathfinder 2E Is it time for a new Pathfinder Setting?

Staffan

Adventurer
I think that this cohesion has been added as part of Pathfinder 2, particularly the Lost Omens Guide. So much like FR, Golarion has been thematically grouped into regions: e.g., Saga Lands, Eye of Dread, Old Cheliax, Shining Kingdoms, Broken Lands, etc.
Yes and no. Some regions have quite a bit of cohesion, at least in sub-parts. For example, Geb, the Mana Wastes, and Nex sort of form a "unit" where things outside are fairly irrelevant to the internal stuff going on, and I fully expect there to be an AP set in that part after Strength of Thousands. But even in the Impossible Lands region, Jalmeray doesn't have much to do with the rest of the region. And other regions are more heterogenous — in the Saga Lands, Varisia and New Thassilon are linked, but don't have much to do with the Linnorm Kings, Irrisen, or Mammoth Lords. The most coherent region is probably Old Cheliax consisting of Cheliax, two vassal states (Isger and Nidal), and a breakaway Cheliax province, but other than that it's pretty wild. Perhaps not to the extent of having the land of not-Vikings next door to the land of not-Arabs like in Mystara, but closer to that than to Forgotten Realms or even more coherent, Eberron.

I mean, I fully understand why they have designed Golarion that way. Golarion is designed to be a patchwork setting where you can fit in almost any campaign idea. You want a demon-tainted land? Go to the Sarkoris Scar. You want Game of Thrones? Brevoy's the country for you. Sword and Lasers? That's what Numeria is for. Trying to get by in an oppressive fascistic dictatorship? That's Cheliax. And so on and so forth. It's designed for developers to be able to find a place for almost any AP idea they can think of, and it does a good job of doing that.

The Forgotten Realms are sort of similar, except there's a core that's what I see as the "normal" Realms (NW Faerûn). My understanding is that that's where Greenwood did most of his own gaming, and the outlying areas were later additions, which is why they're sometimes a fairly poor fit.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Yes and no. Some regions have quite a bit of cohesion, at least in sub-parts. For example, Geb, the Mana Wastes, and Nex sort of form a "unit" where things outside are fairly irrelevant to the internal stuff going on, and I fully expect there to be an AP set in that part after Strength of Thousands. But even in the Impossible Lands region, Jalmeray doesn't have much to do with the rest of the region. And other regions are more heterogenous — in the Saga Lands, Varisia and New Thassilon are linked, but don't have much to do with the Linnorm Kings, Irrisen, or Mammoth Lords. The most coherent region is probably Old Cheliax consisting of Cheliax, two vassal states (Isger and Nidal), and a breakaway Cheliax province, but other than that it's pretty wild. Perhaps not to the extent of having the land of not-Vikings next door to the land of not-Arabs like in Mystara, but closer to that than to Forgotten Realms or even more coherent, Eberron.

I mean, I fully understand why they have designed Golarion that way. Golarion is designed to be a patchwork setting where you can fit in almost any campaign idea. You want a demon-tainted land? Go to the Sarkoris Scar. You want Game of Thrones? Brevoy's the country for you. Sword and Lasers? That's what Numeria is for. Trying to get by in an oppressive fascistic dictatorship? That's Cheliax. And so on and so forth. It's designed for developers to be able to find a place for almost any AP idea they can think of, and it does a good job of doing that.

The Forgotten Realms are sort of similar, except there's a core that's what I see as the "normal" Realms (NW Faerûn). My understanding is that that's where Greenwood did most of his own gaming, and the outlying areas were later additions, which is why they're sometimes a fairly poor fit.
Thank you for the short Golarion tutorial. That just sounds awful to me. I thought the Forgotten Realms was bad, but this just sounds so much worse.
 

Staffan

Adventurer
Thank you for the short Golarion tutorial. That just sounds awful to me. I thought the Forgotten Realms was bad, but this just sounds so much worse.
In Golarion's defense, it's good at what it does, which is to provide a framework for a diverse assortment of adventure paths. This is a world that has room for warring genies (Legacy of Fire), gothic horror (Carrion Crown), exploring jungles and lost ruins (Serpent's Skull), pirates (Skull & Shackles), barbarians with super-tech (Iron Gods), and revolutions against oppressive powers (Hell's Rebels). And as long as you keep to each distinct portion of the world, things work great. It's just when you take the zoomed-out approach that things look a little weird.
 

John R Davis

Explorer
I do play PF but I have never been grabbed by the setting. Have played/run lots APs, PFS, and one off modules. A new set of lands, history and pantheon would be a welcome thing. The best times i have had have been were the 'setting' hasn't got in the way, has been peripheral (like Kingmaker).
So come on Paizo, take the plunge
 


My opinion is a new setting not only has to compete with the original one, but with the ones created by the 3PPs. I guess the future plans will be about a new spin-off, as Starfinder, and even I dared to tell it as April's Fool, "Cryptfinder", mixing gothic horror, pulp+noirpunk and raypunk/vintage sci-fi. The place for the action wouldn't be the planet Golarion but in a different Dyson sphere, not really a demiplane.
 

Emerikol

Adventurer
I mean, they already release everything mechanical under the OGL. They just don't have a convenient community showcase like the DM's Guild. And I'm not sure how much that aspect of the Guild helps (compared to just being able to do D&D stuff without having to concern yourself with the legalities of the OGL).

A bigger issue when it comes to third-party stuff for Pathfinder 2 is that most of the stuff you could do for Pathfinder, you could probably do for D&D instead, and the potential D&D audience is at least an order of magnitude larger than the one for Pathfinder 2.

If I were a module maker, I would figure out a way to create one module and skin it to work with either system. Maybe even other systems. I mean stats are stats. A good module is usable with any system. Trust me as a DM, I've reworked many a module from many an edition to work with other versions of D&D.

In fact, perhaps a computer program could be created to figure all that out. Hey I'm a programmer by profession. Starts thinking....
 

Staffan

Adventurer
If I were a module maker, I would figure out a way to create one module and skin it to work with either system. Maybe even other systems. I mean stats are stats. A good module is usable with any system. Trust me as a DM, I've reworked many a module from many an edition to work with other versions of D&D.

In fact, perhaps a computer program could be created to figure all that out. Hey I'm a programmer by profession. Starts thinking....
Making generic modules has been tried in the past, and generally hasn't been very successful. Different games, even different branches off the same D&D tree, make for different pacing requirements and have different assumptions about how the world works. I mean, it'd function, but it wouldn't make for a very satisfying experience, at least not without significant tailoring to the game used.
 

zztong

Explorer
Another reason why a new setting doesn’t make sense is Golarion is an extremely kitchen-sink setting. If you want to change things up, set your game in a different area. For example, the PF equivalent of Ravenloft is Ustalav. If you’re looking for something more like Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, there’s Numeria. Alkenstar does steampunk. If you want to get really off-beat, you can set your game on one of the other planets (as detailed in Distant Worlds). Even WW1-era Earth is part of the setting (per Rasputin Must Die!).
Everything you say rings true to me. The kitchen-sink setting is why I never really liked Golarion, but I cannot deny that in casting a wide net it probably has a wider appeal than a setting that I would find more compelling. In the end, a GM can spin their local instance of Golarion to emphasize what they like and downplay/ignore/rewrite what they don't.
 

Staffan

Adventurer
Everything you say rings true to me. The kitchen-sink setting is why I never really liked Golarion, but I cannot deny that in casting a wide net it probably has a wider appeal than a setting that I would find more compelling. In the end, a GM can spin their local instance of Golarion to emphasize what they like and downplay/ignore/rewrite what they don't.
Golarion's strength is that it provides a spot for you to put whatever cool idea you think up. Its weakness (at least for me) is that it does not have a strong inherent theme that inspires me to come up with something for the setting the way e.g. Eberron does.
 

zztong

Explorer
Golarion's strength is that it provides a spot for you to put whatever cool idea you think up. Its weakness (at least for me) is that it does not have a strong inherent theme that inspires me to come up with something for the setting the way e.g. Eberron does.
I agree completely. I run as part of a shared game set in Golarion. I had to make my own continent to get a consistent theme. I couldn't "build" next to much of the Paizo material.
 

Parmandur

Legend
That may be, but personally I am not interested in it. a few other posters on this thread have commented that they haven't switch to PF2 because of Golarion. I just imagine there is some market for PF2 in another setting. It may not be feasible for Paizo, but I thought it was interesting to ask. Thank you for your response.

PF1E was generic in Setting, with Golarion stuff being optional in books (similar to 3E and Greyhawk/FR but with one single Setting).

Paizo seems to see the current market for PF2E as a ruleset and Golarion as a Setting being identical, hence why they tied the Setting more firmly into the rulebooks. That may be an artificial limit they've placed in themselves, but 9ther than TSR and WotC, historically RPG companies have not tended to support multiple Settings per ruleset in great depth.
 


Parmandur

Legend
I'm hand crafting it into Roll20 as an exercise in trying to learn the system and challenge myself. Looks like a good one though I don't know when I'd realistically get a chance to run it.
That's me. Just doing a bunch of unnecessary prep. Haha

Theoretical prep is a legitimate subhobby.
 

Parmandur

Legend
FR is significantly more... I guess "coherent" is as good a word as any. Forgotten Realms has a core region that's pretty much "standard D&D", basically the north-west corner of Faerûn (the Vast, Cormyr, Sembia, the Dalelands, the Moonsea, the Dragon Coast, and the Sword Coast (previously known as the Western Heartlands and the Savage North)). Beyond that, you have some outlying regions that do different things, like Mulhorand. But each country in Golarion is basically its own little sub-genre — gothic horror in Ustalav, vikings in the Land of the Linnorm Kings, wild eternal revolution in Galt, and so on. That's pretty different from the Forgotten Realms.

I don't think Golarion is Paizo's equivalent of the Forgotten Realms. It's their equivalent of Mystara.

The core of the Forgotten Realms was grown organically for decades as a personal piece of self-expression by Greenwood before it was even considered as a commercial product. I think it is impossible for any Setting devised as a product to replicate that (even if Greyhawk, Mystara, and Golarion do have roots in home games, it's not quite the same level of intense craft that Greenwood brought over an extended period of time).
 

Staffan

Adventurer
The core of the Forgotten Realms was grown organically for decades as a personal piece of self-expression by Greenwood before it was even considered as a commercial product. I think it is impossible for any Setting devised as a product to replicate that (even if Greyhawk, Mystara, and Golarion do have roots in home games, it's not quite the same level of intense craft that Greenwood brought over an extended period of time).
Sure, but we do know that the Realms-as-published is not the same as the Realms Greenwood had in his home game before publication. For example, the Great Glacier was bigger in the Greenwood-Realms, but they shrunk it to make room for Vaasa which was needed for the Bloodstone modules to fit into FR. I'm just not sure how much of the peripheral parts were Greenwood and how much were Grubb and others.

But that wasn't really my point. My main point was that at least the parts of FR to the north and west of the Sea of Stars are fairly coherent and fit together reasonably well. Golarion mostly does not. Each nation is essentially its own sub-setting with some things in common with the rest of the world, but mostly being its own thing. You likely wouldn't run a "Golarion" campaign, you'd run a Cheliax campaign, or a Varisia campaign, or a Numeria campaign (unless you do the Age of Ashes thing and teleport all over the place). That's similar to the way Mystara has the Adventuring Kingdom next door to the Byzantine Empire kingdom, which in turn borders the Viking Lands.

Many other settings are built to be more coherent. For example, Eberron has the core premise of the Kingdom of Galifar that covered (sort of) the whole of Khorvaire, but splintered in a civil war that just ended. This permeates the whole setting, and pretty much everything on Khorvaire fits into this vibe. If Eberron is a painting, Golarion is a picture formed from someone taking pieces from different jigsaw puzzles and fitting them together.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Sure, but we do know that the Realms-as-published is not the same as the Realms Greenwood had in his home game before publication. For example, the Great Glacier was bigger in the Greenwood-Realms, but they shrunk it to make room for Vaasa which was needed for the Bloodstone modules to fit into FR. I'm just not sure how much of the peripheral parts were Greenwood and how much were Grubb and others.

But that wasn't really my point. My main point was that at least the parts of FR to the north and west of the Sea of Stars are fairly coherent and fit together reasonably well. Golarion mostly does not. Each nation is essentially its own sub-setting with some things in common with the rest of the world, but mostly being its own thing. You likely wouldn't run a "Golarion" campaign, you'd run a Cheliax campaign, or a Varisia campaign, or a Numeria campaign (unless you do the Age of Ashes thing and teleport all over the place). That's similar to the way Mystara has the Adventuring Kingdom next door to the Byzantine Empire kingdom, which in turn borders the Viking Lands.

Many other settings are built to be more coherent. For example, Eberron has the core premise of the Kingdom of Galifar that covered (sort of) the whole of Khorvaire, but splintered in a civil war that just ended. This permeates the whole setting, and pretty much everything on Khorvaire fits into this vibe. If Eberron is a painting, Golarion is a picture formed from someone taking pieces from different jigsaw puzzles and fitting them together.

Yes, exactly.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top