JP On Gaming

Friday, September 30, 2011

[Avatar of the Kaga] Why not Golarion?

I’ve been thinking about writing a blog series about NeoExodus that would serve as a way to introduce some specifics of the world to you, the readers. This series will include previews and design information about the NeoExodus setting. I hope to provide insight into the setting, some of the design decisions we did.

I named this series “Avatar with the Kaga” as the Kaga is one of the most unique aspects of NeoExodus. It is not a god, but it has clerics. It’s clerics are not divine, but arcane casters.

One of the first questions I’ve been asked when I first started working on NeoExodus was, Why not work on Golarion instead?

Golarion belongs to Paizo It’s their baby, their setting, their flagship. Without their approval, we could not simply start writing adventures set there and sell them. I have been trying to write material with and for Paizo for a while now, maybe one day I will. *Fingers crossed*

NeoExodus belongs to LPJDesign, so we can add to it, change things and create new material to our heart’s content. This gives us a lot of freedom about what we want to do.

Golarion is static Second Golarion is an awesome setting, but one that could be best described as “static”. A notion I had before, but that Erik Mona confirmed at this year’s PaizoCon. Golarion will never change from the baseline that has been provided in the two Campaign settings. Adventure Paths, Modules and Pathfinder Society adventures do not impact the world in a significant manner. Thus, Absalom will not sink into the sea, Qadira will not rightfully re-conquer Taldor, Andoran will not degenerate into barbarism (more), and the Worldwound will not expand to contract. In short, it will stay the way it is. Each GM is them free to expand and affect the world how he wants in his own game.

For NeoExodus, Louis and I decided the world would evolve, move and change with the time, allowing players to impact the setting. These big events would take place at cons throughout the world. (If you want to take part, contact me). This is a very different philosophy from the start. It requires additional work on our part to keep the setting coherent, to have the NPCs evolve, to make sure that PCs get to impact the setting.

Golarion is generic fantasy Golarion is based around “generic fantasy” with elves, dwarves and halflings. It has everything you can see in a fantasy setting, bundled together in a neat package. A very cool package if you ask me.

NeoExodus is non-generic fantasy. The Campaign book presents 9 new races, plus humans. Humans are given a special treatment with sub-races. Races of NeoExodus are not simple re-skin of the traditional races, they are extremely different. Cavians are psionic rat-men. Cyneans are arcane crystalline humanoids. Dalreans are plantlike humanoids. P’tans are feline-looking creatures that can conjure black lightning. I did say, different.

The history of NeoExodus is also unique. In that evil (in the form of the First Ones) used to dominate the land. The creation of the Kaga allowed man and the other slave races to defeat the First Ones. So far we have run two distinct adventures publically that move the storyline forward: PaizoCon’s Encounter at Ramat Bridge and its sequel The Sashenka Incident more are in the works.

Even the religions are different. I mentioned the Kaga earlier. He is a massive arcane intelligence created by the sacrifice of a thousand of the brilliant human minds.

What won’t change: it’s Pathfinder Paizo has rules brains that live and breathe rule-making. I am not. I much prefer to write about setting, adventures, and locations. One of the decisions we took was that we would not try to rival Paizo in the rules-making department. They have been doing an awesome thing so far. Why mess up a good thing?

What won’t change: the art Paizo’s artwork is awesome. LPJ Design has a unique look and a similar approach: high quality art really lifts and enhances a solid book.

So? In the end, we have two great settings, that are different at their core. The design philosophy is different, resulting in a different final product. The two offer different play paradigms, and both worlds give a unique play experience.

Next time: the (many) inspirations of NeoExodus.


1 comment:

  1. Qadira rightfully re-conquer Taldor! Ha!

    It was good to read a post outlining the differences between NeoExodus and Golarion and how the paths of the two worlds diverge. Looking forward to learning more through these blog posts.