Posted by: NiTessine | June 13, 2008

An Update or Two

Paizo got their third Pathfinder Society preview up yesterday. Here, we have Osirion, the Land of the Pharaohs – the fantasy Egypt of Golarion. Well, so much for that prediction.

I like these fantasy analogies of real-world cultures in my D&D settings. They make it easier to directly steal from real-world myth and legend and are immediately recognisable to players, who can safely assume a number of obvious things without the DM needing to use up time to explain how the locals dress or that slave labour is common. Also, you need to have that fantasy Egypt to place the Desert of Desolation series in.

However, could be please quit it with the mummy porn stars? I have a high tolerance for cheesecake in my fantasy art, but that’s… just… GAH!

On WotC’s side, they have missed yet another deadline for the Game System Licence. This news article was posted on June 6th. What was this, the fourth time? With the first being in January?

But hey, at least we got this incredibly shoddy Flash animation with a horribly bad metal riff on the background assaulting our senses when we enter the D&D homepage.

Also, we got the character generation guidelines for RPGA campaigns, except without the campaign-specific appendices. Not much in there, yet, though I note that amount of reward cards a character may use has been increased. Personally, I’d rather just see the whole concept scrapped.

They do make fine bookmarks for gaming books, though. Big and sturdy.


Responses

  1. I like these fantasy analogies of real-world cultures in my D&D settings.

    I have a certain dislike for them, as they tend to be signs of uncreativity. No need to come up with anything new, when you can just copy an existing culture and modify it a bit and ta-da! A fantasy culture.

    Not every game is that bad about it, of course. If it’s only a mild inspiration, or if they’ve mixed together elements of several different cultures so as to create something new, it’s cool. I don’t have much of a problem with settings that are inspired by some existing culture as a whole, either – for instance, a setting that’s loosely based on Ancient Rome. It’s the “here’s a setting with several different cultures, of which half are copies of existing ones” that gets my ire.

    And if I see yet one more setting with an obvious Feudal Japan rip-off that’s exactly like the 8000 other FJ rip-offs in other settings, there’s a good chance that I’ll stop reading it right there.

  2. Ah, then you’ll love the post about Legend of the Five Rings that I’m working on.

    Of course, in a patchwork setting, one must take care to make the whole work. Technology levels should be more or less the same and countries don’t exist in vacuums.

    I think Osirion is pretty nicely written up in Pathfinder Chronicles: Gazetteer. The country has just broken free from rule and for the first time in centuries has a local king, who is now working on rebuilding the glorious traditions and history of his nation. To this end, he’s set a bounty on artifacts from Osirion’s past, hidden deep in the ancient tombs and desert temples. Smuggling them out of the country is still illegal, of course.

    It’s a nice take on the topic. It’s different from the usual “ancient and decadent nation in decline” thing that fantasy Egypts tend to have going, and it facilitates pyramid crawls without making the locals automatically your enemies.


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