The world of Golarion and the tales of the Age of Lost Omens are enticing to me. I love the richness in the landscape, the exploration of these lands, and the myriad events that have shaped its literal geography. But the world and those tales would be far quieter without the people. The diversity of the people, their customs, their backgrounds, their interests have shaped the history of Golarion and help shape its future through tales but also through the stories we as players create. And now with the Ancestry Guide, even more stories are possible!
Who Do You Think You Are?
It’s well known I’m a Lost Omens fan by now I think, between my first article on the world itself to the exploration of the peoples’ religious beliefs. Part of what I love about the campaign setting is how real, rich, diverse the world and its people are. Maybe some enjoy the combat or minis more, but I’m always going to be a story and roleplayer first and foremost. I press that in the games I run and love investing the time and energy into the characters I create. I feel I did a good job with an NPC especially if the PCs are wanting to engage with them more, asking questions of them, or even talking about them in the future. The Ancestry Guide allows us new ways to tell stories through their eyes and experiences, their very interactions with the world.
And of course, new options like cool feats!
Everyone Likes Options
Now I’m not here to review the book, though I will say: get the book. I am here to excitedly note some things I’ve seen and I’m excited to use as I invest in the book’s options! For one the campaign I’m running – Expedition Coalition – has a Kobold, a Tengu, an Elf, and a Half-Elf. No humans! The fact this book gives us more kobold and tengu options is great right off the top. There’s a draconic focus to kobolds that’s always enjoyable to me, and I like seeing how that is exemplified or explored especially as my friend Kyle’s kobold is using the playtest Summoner to summon – you guessed it – a dragon. What I like is that as this crew of heroes explores the world (hence Expedition Coalition) there’s a bit more detail to the tribes and groups of kobolds they might meet like the Icerenders: inhabitants of the Tusk Mountains where the Mammoth Lords roam! They apparently like to strike out at caravans, so they’re very much in the future of my game!
It’s a similar feeling for the tengu. There’s great options around their feathery nature, and I very much appreciate the tengu feather fan: basically a magic item you craft yourself. I love these ideas of magic passed down based upon the very nature of the creature. Their heritage being tied to a god of the Storm – Hei Feng – makes for great story ties, especially the tengu in our game who came back to life after a strike while on a boat in the Shackles. He’s a playtest of the Oracle and it’s been a delight. There’s detail in the guide about the Konoha Tengu in the Forest of Spirits in Tian Xia, which seems an excellent hook for any adventurers say those looking to stay in the forest while exploring?
There’s options for Aasimar, Catfolk, Changeling, Dhampir, Duskwalker, Hobgoblin, Leshy, Lizardfolk, Orc, Ratfolk, and Tieflings too. But a new one has me especially excited unless I’ve missed mention of them before: the Azarketi! I’m very much a fan of the history and impact of Earthfall and these descendants of the Azlanti know all about that. Their people survived after mutation by the alghollthus, but in turn were enslaved until they found freedom somewhere between surf and sand. While no one’s a human or even an Azarketi, the elf in the story (played by my brother) is a Spiresworn Elf and vigilant against those looking too deeply into the past. His elf is likely to know Inzenti who often visit Azlanti ruins out of scholarship or cultural pilgrimages. Who better to serve as a contact for a future underwater adventure?
New Ways to Tell Your Story
Those expanded ancestries and heritages aside, everyone loves getting new options as that means even more possibilities for new stories! There’s the Android, Aphrodite, Beastkin, Fetchling, Fleshwarp, Ganzi, Geniekin (Ifrit, Oread, Suli, Sylph, Undine), Kitsune (OMG YES), Sprite, and Strix. The Geniekin really provide a plethora of options between the five and comprising about twenty pages of options. A friend of mine (also named Rob) was raving about them. Their depictions allow you to take elemental heritages into various stories, no matter where you’re from whether Katapesh or the Mwangi or Tian Xia. Those influences are often genies but it’s not always true, and it’s up the stories you wish to tell! The art I must say is beautiful and I’ve decorated this article with some of that already shared but this Smokesoul Sylph is devastating! It caught my eye and there’s really so much beautiful art but of course I go back to the stories I can tell.
I’ve never been able to play an Android, but I want to or at least utilize them in my game. Having the team in my campaign travel to Numeria seems likely and now there’s full options for an Android character. I like that it’s noted the Android is a rare option, especially if you leave Numeria I imagine. I forgot to mention that one of the Tengu was shown with a gun – gunsligner art! – and so too does one of the Androids. I always appreciate little hints of the future there! The heritages point toward options and stories to tell like the Many-Souled who dream of the past lives of their nanites or the Sovereign who dwell in Starfall, capital of Numeria, and have taken on the Kellid way of life. I easily can see both coming into the lives of my players’ characters as they venture into Numeria’s lands and visit Starfall itself.
Fleshwarp characters are another new ancestry. They remind me of some options a friend of mine took for his dwarven wizard in a previous (Dragonlance) game. The line that really excited me was this one: “Let your imagination run wild when creating a fleshwarp character!” They’re all about what magic or science could do whether on purpose or on accident. The four presented heritages include the Created, the Mutated, the Shapewrought, and the Technological. The Shapewrought experienced an actual fleshwarping experience but have turned it to their strength, having survived the ordeal. Considering some of the magics loose in the world from the Worldwound, the Whispering Tyrant, Geb, Nex, Runelords, Azlanti ruins, even time distortions I’ll make use of the Fleshwarps at least once or twice I’m sure. Your imagination is really the limit here and I expect in time we’ll likely see more about the Fleshwarped.
Introducing options that value diversity, promote creativity, and encourage storytelling is what Pathfinder 2E and the Lost Omens campaign are all about to me. I highly suggest you invest in the Lost Omens Ancestry Guide should you be hungry to tell some new stories with your PCs and NPCs! If you’re looking for some story check out Clues In the Moonlight on the Paizo blog and don’t miss Luis Loza‘s adorable kobold Urok (pictured below)!
Also before I end I’ll note a little self-promotion as a follow up to Virtual Horror Con – starting tomorrow Friday the 19th – if you wish you can find me running a game of Monster Hearts 2 also Friday at 6 p.m. EST at Darker Days Radio, live on twitch!
I wasn’t quite sure what to name my article series when I first started but the idea of showcasing or discussing things that make me excited, that I find new and interesting, or maybe I’m otherwise passionate about seemed to fit with the idea of Investing In something like the Pathfinder 2E mechanic. To use some magic items you have to give that little bit of yourself, which helps make these things even better. I like the metaphor of the community growing and being strengthened in the same way!
I also want to hear what you’re Investing In! Leave me a comment below about what games, modules, systems, products, people, live streams, etc you enjoy! You can also hit me up on social media as silentinfinity. I want to hear what excites you and what you’re passionate about. There’s so much wonderful content, people, groups (I could go on) in this community of ours that the more we invest in and share, the better it becomes!
Banner – Pathfinder Lost Omens Ancestry Guide, cover, Paizo