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    Canonfire :: View topic - Pathfinder (Golarion) & Greyhawk
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    Pathfinder (Golarion) & Greyhawk
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    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
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    Wed Jul 09, 2008 10:10 am  
    Pathfinder (Golarion) & Greyhawk

    I'm not quite sure where the idea came from that there might be a relationship between the world of Golarion for the Pathfinder RPG from Paizo and the World of Greyhawk. I have heard it, all the same. Maybe its Erik Mona being a fan of Greyhawk and being one of the leading lights behind Golarion. Whatever the case, it didn't quite work out that way.

    Golarion is a very good setting. In fact, after GH, I'd say Golarion is the best campaign world setting I have read. But GH's influence is minimal.

    The most overt "steal" is Golarion's "River Kingdoms" subbing for the Bandit Kingdoms, if you don't count Viking types = Viking types in practically every setting that cares to go north. Otherwise, Golarion "steals" from REH's Hyborian Age, Lieber's Lanhkmar, actual history (e.g. Egypt, Byzantium, Rome, Greece, India, China etc.), mythology (e.g., Atlantis, the Odyssey), various TSR settings (e.g., Ravenloft, Dark Sun, Birthright) and other games (e.g., Warhammer) more than it steals from GH.

    At the same time, the portion of Golarion depicted on the map orients eastward, whereas the Flanaess orients westward. So, one could hook them up very easily, maybe adding the China/India area (missing from both maps) in the middle. Of course, one could do the same with the map of the Realms. Golarion, however, is a better fit than FR, not simply because it is less fantastic, but because its feel is both more seemless (despite the wide variety of "steals") and more in tune to the feel of the Flanaess that also has a pseudo-historicism to it. Golarion's historicism is actually more overt because its pseudo Byzantium, Rome, Greece, Egypt etc. are more obvious.

    I think where I see the most use for Golarion in GH is in the northern areas of both worlds. Golarion has some nice touches in the area that could be used to flesh out the northwest of the Flanaess, or the utter north. That's not to discount other areas, but to say that I see more immediate use along this line.

    YMMV

    Anyone else taken a look at Golarion's Gazeteer yet?
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    GVD
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 17, 2007
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    Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:26 am  

    I've been seriously blown away at just how damn good the Pathfinder stuff as well.

    Question though about the Gazeteer, if I order the print on line, do I also get the PDF download option too?
    CF Admin

    Joined: Jan 09, 2004
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    From: Stansbury Park, Utah

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    Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:28 am  
    Golarion and Greyhawk Similarities

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Anyone else taken a look at Golarion's Gazetteer, yet?

    Yeah, I subscribe to the Paizo's Pathfinder adventure path and to Pathfinder Chronicles. I agree with the above regarding the River Kingdoms as Bandit Kingdoms. I like the heavily forested Sellen River basin as a place for never-do-wells to hide better than the open plains of the Bandit Kingdoms. Seems like a better place to hide. I'd add the following Greyhawk analogies, too.

    Numeria's barbarians north of the Sellen River basin reminds me of the Stonefists.

    Cheliax reminds of the pre-wars the Great Kingdom - a nation that has leaders who associate with evil beings of the lower planes. And, Cheliax has also seen its former empire fracture as Andoran, Galt, et. al. become independent states.

    The dynamics between Belkzen and Lastwall and Nirmathas remind me of Iuz and the Shield Lands and Vesve Forest. The Whispering Tyrant being Iuz, of course. Except Tar-Baphon (the Whispering Tyrant's mortal name) is more compelling. Nirmathas is a forest full of humans, rather than elves, though. The idea is the same.

    Just a few of my observations. I've said it before, and I think it bears repeating. Golarion is strong enough and conceived so well that it deserves to be used on its own, rather than "fit into" or adapted into an established setting. Golarion is on my short list of settings for Scales of War. I am thinking of putting Elsir Valley below the Shudderwood in central Ustalav.

    Don (Greyson)
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
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    From: Charlotte, North Carolina

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    Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:37 am  

    This looks like an interesting setting, I may check it out.

    Just curious, do the elves in this world have a "lifespan" on the order of 1e AD&D (thousands of years) or 3e D&D (hundreds of years)?
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    Count Telemachus, Archmage of the Unicorn Conferderation
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:16 pm  

    On your recoomendation I picked up the Gazzetter and I must say... WOW! I've been really impressed by the Pathfinder Chronicles, but this is incredibly well done.

    There is some awesome thought and some really creative directions with the nations in this. I particularly the undead nation and the eternal revolution one. VERY creative there.

    The only thing I'm unsure of is the populations. They are _HUGE_ for so many of these cities. A minor thing though.

    All in all really high quality and good.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
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    From: Second Primordial Ooze on the Left

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    Fri Jul 11, 2008 6:52 am  
    Re: Pathfinder (Golarion) & Greyhawk

    GVDammerung wrote:
    I'm not quite sure where the idea came from that there might be a relationship between the world of Golarion for the Pathfinder RPG from Paizo and the World of Greyhawk. I have heard it, all the same. Maybe its Erik Mona being a fan of Greyhawk and being one of the leading lights behind Golarion. Whatever the case, it didn't quite work out that way.

    I don't think any of those mumblings were referring to some secret conversion/transposition equation whereby Golarion could be used in Greyhawk, and vice versa. I rather think that it was more a comment on the fantasy styles of Golarion and Greyhawk. Not as high magic as FR (gods don't walk the streets, Elminsters don't manipulate PCs and nations), not as low magic as Harn, not as political as Birthright, not as tongue-in-cheek as Spelljammer, not as bleak and arcane as Dark Sun, not as exotic as Al-Qadim or Maztica etc. etc... I haven't looked at any of the material in detail, but I suspect it would be easy (perhaps easier then most settings, because of the similar style) to steal components to use in your GH setting, just as we all steal from other campaign worlds that are less similar.

    Denis, aka "Maldin"
    Maldin's Greyhawk http://melkot.com
    Loads of edition-independent Greyhawk goodness... maps, magic, mysteries, mechanics, and more! Including alot of material you could probably steal for Golarion! ;-)
    CF Admin

    Joined: Jan 09, 2004
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    From: Stansbury Park, Utah

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    Fri Jul 11, 2008 8:17 am  
    3.x Elves

    Telemachus wrote:
    This looks like an interesting setting, I may check it out. Just curious, do the elves in this world have a "lifespan" on the order of 1e AD&D (thousands of years) or 3e D&D (hundreds of years)?

    I definitely say, "Check it out!" Paizo does a terrific job with Pathfinder.

    The elves of Pathfinder and Golarian are designed with the D&D 3.5 rules in mind, as it is an OGL compliant setting. It does not look like that is gonna change in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, either.

    Nothing stopping you/us/me from tweaking that, though. I like the idea of elves as ancient beings. The Midnight Campaign Setting adopted the Tolkien idea of elves living until slain, never succumbing to natural death. In Golarion, this would be an interesting concept, as the many of the elves that have returned can see how much the world has changed since they left through their Sovyrian Stone gates.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Fri Jul 11, 2008 8:23 am  

    To pipe in again,

    I have to say the backstory of elves & drow was hands down the best one I've read. It makes a heck of a lot more sense than the non-sense of being driven underground and flourishing there and what not.

    I did have one other complaint, and that is the time frame of things. The notion of the ancient yet technologically stagnate world that never got past the high middle ages always bugs me. Which is a reason I'll always like Greyhawk because it at least has a bit of an explanation, namely that the place practically blew up a thousand years ago.

    As for how it is magicwise... it's definitely a D&D3x child meaning there is a lots of magic running around and some of the cultures/countries are decidedly high magic. The Nidal and Geb come to mind immediately, as does the Land of the White Witches. But it's not over the top high magic like FR either and it can certainly be massaged to taste.

    And if nothing else, its always a pleasure to read the stuff from Paizo. Those guys do just a hell of a good job.
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3190
    From: Michigan

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    Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:15 am  

    xammer99 wrote:
    I did have one other complaint, and that is the time frame of things. The notion of the ancient yet technologically stagnate world that never got past the high middle ages always bugs me.


    It shouldn't. Innovations like the steam engine and mass production are by no means inevitable; consider all the civilizations that didn't invent those things on their own, or didn't adopt them on a large scale, in the last 10,000 years of Earth's history. Now consider that the physics and elements of a fantasy world may not even permit these things from existing. Factor in interfering gods, and there's really nothing to complain about.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Fri Jul 11, 2008 10:26 am  

    Yes, some cultures haven't progressed much in 10,000 years, but those that have VASTLY outnumber those that haven't to the point where they are curiosities because of their extraordinary rarity and that was the case in the 17th century.

    So to say an entire planet has been technologically stagnate for thousands of years is a very hard pill to swallow. Especially given the limitless energy source that is magic.

    One of the biggest limitors on Earthly technological progress has been the availability of a power source stronger than the human back. If you don't have it, you don't go much of anywhere till you figure out how to get one. But in a magical world like Goloran, you have a truly limitless energy source with magic. It's like if cold fusion were a reality and as easy to access as some guy writing a web site in his house. (Magic/Web Devel both require knowing the basic language, knowing the rules, and having the proper material components, so its an apt comparison)

    Yes yes, I know it requires some suspension of disbelief, but that 10,000 year time frame requires a bit to much. Now, I can deal with having an advanced society (magically/technologically) before Earthfall and it getting wiped out by it. Heck, that's just a damn cool idea and one of the things I love the most about the setting. But 10,000 years is a LONG time to crawl out of a cataclysm when you have a limitless and easily accessible power supply.

    Lets look at the steam engine (and you can't say some quirk of physics won't allow it, cause otherwise they wouldn't have hot food).

    Hero of Alexandria about 2000 years ago came up with a nifty application on it that made it go round and around on a spit. Neat toy and all, but not a lot of use there. Then, off and on for the next 1700 years people tinker with it until in 1780's when a scotsman with a bit to much time on his hands, some brains, and curiosity (sounds an awful lot like a wizard doing research to me) comes up with a way to practically apply it as a power source. 100 Years after that day, his invention has TOTALLY reshaped the world and given rise to a level of prosperity that was previously unimagined. 200 years later, that same invention has continued to fuel the accelerated pace of progress for the the planet at an even MORE astounding rate as people come up with further and further refinements.

    And that's all in 2000 years and what you can do by boiling water under pressure and controlling it's release.

    So chop the 10K down to 1-2K and it's much more reasonable. But at 10K, the place should have magic powered air planes and all the other gizmos that Jordan dreamed up for the pre-Breaking of the world stuff.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 17, 2004
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    Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:04 pm  

    Not necessarily; Hero actually drew plans for a primitive engine based on his toy but it wasn't pursued because with the nile and manpower available it wasn't needed within that society.

    For an invention to take root at a minium;
    Idea + Materials + Societial Value + Societial Encouragement = Progress

    The printing press wasn't developed earilier not due to the complexity of the press or a lack of materials but given the Dark Age concentration of education their was no mass appeal. It is no coincidence that it was within a german principality know for challenging the established intelligensa of europe that the bible for the masses was created.

    Why not before or somewhere else; because one of the preconditions didn't exist...

    In a game world with its competing species and magic tech, the field gets even murkier. With the concentration of intelligensia within the magical arts, alternate means to reproduce literature, the real dangers of a literate populace given spells and the proven divine authority of the religious establishment is it no wonder the power insitutions balk at a printing press, it is amazing that the commoner doesn't run in terror when he sees parchment.
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
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    Fri Jul 11, 2008 2:36 pm  

    xammer99 wrote:
    Yes, some cultures haven't progressed much in 10,000 years, but those that have VASTLY outnumber those that haven't to the point where they are curiosities because of their extraordinary rarity and that was the case in the 17th century. So to say an entire planet has been technologically stagnate for thousands of years is a very hard pill to swallow.


    You misunderstand what I'm getting at. From the Agricultural Revolution 10,000 years ago, when the first cities were being built, to the time of ancient Greece is many, many thousands of years when the entire planet Earth was more or less culturally stagnant.

    So no, that shouldn't be hard to swallow.

    The Industrial Revolution basically only happened in one place ever; if it hadn't happened when and where it did, claiming it would have inevitably happened in China or Central America or India is quite a stretch. Claiming it would inevitably have happened promptly, rather than many thousands of years later, is even more of a stretch.

    Quote:
    Especially given the limitless energy source that is magic.


    Limitless? On the contrary, only a few very rare classes can use it, and they need years of training or death-defying adventuring to cultivate it. Even then, they're limited in the amount they can use each day. And if they could cast fireballs all day to power an engine, I think they have more profitable uses of their time.

    And that's assuming magic in general isn't a limited resource. What if the world can only support a certain amount of mages or magic use before it runs out or becomes harder to access?

    You're assuming that magic is unlimited and therefore the world doesn't make sense. I think that's backwards. It would be better to assume that the world makes sense, and work from there to figure out why it works the way it does.

    Quote:
    Hero of Alexandria about 2000 years ago came up with a nifty application on it that made it go round and around on a spit.


    Yep. And you also know that nonetheless the Industrial Revolution didn't happen for another 1700 years. It took another culture in another part of the world to make that conceptual leap. The fact that the Ancient Greeks invented the steam engine and that nonetheless they somehow avoided doing much worth mentioning with it ought to be all the proof you need that industrialization isn't inevitable, that some societies simply won't advance along the same lines ours did, industrially. Golarion never had a Scotland; the cultures it has had have different solutions and approaches. They didn't industrialize in the last 10,000 years any more than... well, than Scotland did in the first 10,000 years since the city of Jericho was built in Palestine. Or than Palestine did in the same time. Iran had cities even earlier, but despite the Iranians having a much earlier start, the Industrial Revolution happened to another culture in another region. The Iranians didn't happen to go in that direction. If Earth hadn't had a Scotland, perhaps they never would have.

    I'd add that Plato placed the lost civilization of Atlantis at 9000 years or so before his time, and yet people who believe Atlantis had super-science don't usually think it's so strange that it took another 11,000 years or so for the 20th century to happen.

    Now imagine a world where the level of entropy is higher and steam engines don't work. At all. They fall apart, they explode, they summon angry elementals, or they sit still and don't move. Absent the divine intervention of Murlynd, that's what Oerth is like. This is the assumed default for the D&D game, at least according to the 1st edition Manual of the Planes.

    I don't think you even need alternate physics to explain anything, though. Sorry, it's a pet peeve of mine to hear that I can't have 10,000 year old cultures in a medieval fantasy world because they would definitely have computers and flying cars and things. Earth didn't need cataclysms to explain why its technology level has often stayed the same for 10,000 year periods, so I don't think a fantasy world needs one either.
    Master Greytalker

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    Sat Jul 12, 2008 1:41 pm  

    Quote:
    Earth didn't need cataclysms to explain why its technology level has often stayed the same for 10,000 year periods, so I don't think a fantasy world needs one either.


    Its technology level has often stayed the same; often earth has technologically regressed.

    Rome had indoor plumbling
    Babylon had gas lights

    Enter the steppe nomads and we get the pan cultural Dark Ages where some ancient inventions where deemed witchcraft because they were not understood. As for development being inevitable; the romans left evidence of indoor plumbling throughout Europe,North Africa and the Near East and none of these places discovered it again until historically speaking very recently.
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:14 pm  

    Add in that your best and brightest (or a large fraction of them) are studying some form of magic and you have even less reason be assured of technological innovation.

    As for why wizardry doesn't make Oerth into Ebberon, that depends on just what you think magic can actually do. Its not all powerful and its wielders are not especially noted for their generosity or sharing of lore.
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