Code/Switch – Disaster Managment

Hi, my name is James and welcome to Code/Switch, today I want to talk about disasters. No, not that time you tried to divide by zero, natural disasters. Hurricane Michael  just tore through western Florida leaving ruin in its wake. The storm was big enough that it impacted my evening commute tonight, 876 miles away from the storms first impact point.  While harrowing, storms aren’t the end, modern society generally spend tons of money to pick up the pieces and rebuild, like we did with Katrina, Harvey, and Sandy before it. Golarion itself seems amazing by comparison; the only place close to having such intense weather is the Eye of Abendego, which was prompted by the death of a god. The only other natural disaster I can remember that’s of note is the earthquake that’s responsible for the Puddles district of Absalom, with such an Earth-like world why does Golarion seem less impacted by natural disasters?

I didn’t know at first either confused baby, but stay with me!

One answer as to why Golarion is less impacted by natural disasters is its more rural nature. While cities exist, Golarion itself doesn’t seem to be as populated as Earth, so natural disaster kill less people, and there are fewer buildings to be destroyed anyway. Even in bigger cities like Korvosa or Absalom, only a relatively few structures are made to such a degree that rebuilding them would be actually difficult instead of just time consuming. While this idea makes some sense on the surface, we have examples on Earth of natural disaster wiping out cities way before our current period of development. Pompeii was wiped out by a volcanic eruption in 79AD, and its site remained hidden until 1599, the town as a whole faded from memory, even with famous people like Pliny the Younger writing first-hand accounts of the eruption. There may be something more awesome that protects the people of Golarion and their way of life from natural disasters.

Is the Tarrasque protecting Golarion? Wait, no that’s stupid.

In the manga/anime My Hero Academia, most people are born with a super-power. Some people get dope powers like controlling gravity or throwing fireballs, and others get lamer powers like really good eyesight or looking like a cat. The society mirrors our own with offices and Red Robins, but some of the super-powered society takes the role of hero’s, symbols of peace and justice. Inside that dynamic heroes tend to be broken into a few camps; your super-man style heroes, your support heroes, and your rescue heroes. Its in the rescue hero camp we find fan favorites like Tsuyu, a frog-girl who trains to help people during floods and other water related catastrophes. Just because Golarion doesn’t have super heroes doesn’t mean it can’t contain individuals with similar abilities, and it’s in this idea we may find why Golarion doesn’t seem to be impacted so much by natural disasters.

Froppy is what happens when nightmare fuel drives you to safety and is your best friend.

Ancient Rome has a system of fire-fighting, is it so far-fetched that communities on Golarion would employ those with abilities to protect them from natures wrath? Your divine casters get pretty useful abilities at lower levels like create water, stabilize, read weather, and monkeyfish. In fact, 15 first level casters with create water could create a flow of 300 gallons per minute, enough to actually help modern firefighter with commercial blazes. It’s not just druids and clerics either, casters like bards can provide leadership and abilities to reduce panic and lead evacuations. Your ability to control these situations improves exponentially with higher leveled casters the likes of which major cities could afford to hire to further mitigate damage on top of the already low costs to build most structures. These factors combined can help explain why Golarion seems to be impacted by natural disaster less than its Earth-base, and even if you think the idea is stupid, hopefully the image of 15 lazy adepts casting create water into a hose to put out fires stays with you. You can find me and all the other KDers at our Discord.

James Ballod

James blossomed into geekdom like a piranha plant in the crack of a sidewalk. Watered by the muscle-brained lore of Warhammer 40,000 and nurtured in the rough bosom of World of Warcraft, tabletop RPGs came late in life to James. The rich lore and real-world influences in games like Pathfinder inspire James to explore them from every angle. When not being an annoying anime-fanboy he can be found discussing the history of various cuisines and over-analyzing real world influences in works of fiction.