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The Pathfinder RPG, sometimes called "3.75E", has been called a Spiritual Successor to Edition 3.5 of Dungeons and Dragons. It is a tabletop game based upon the rules of Dungeons and Dragons' 3.5 Edition, but expands on them, making additional rules, rebalancing classes, and simplifying some aspects.

In short, it's D&D for those who disliked the changes found in D&D's Fourth Edition (or who liked 3.5 and wished to remain compatible with its rules).

Pathfinder was created by Paizo Publishing, a group that was split off from Wizards of the Coast in 2002 to publish Dragon and Dungeon Magazines. When WotC announced the fourth edition of D&D, they took back the publication rights to the magazines in order to create exclusively online versions. Paizo decided to publish a 3rd-edition-focused magazine of its own, Pathfinder, keeping up the "Adventure Path" tradition they'd established in the last three years of Dungeon while establishing a new in-house campaign setting. They subsequently decided that rather than transition into 4th Edition, they would create their own spin on 3rd, using the foundation of D&D to offer something new and fresh while allowing old players to build on what they already knew, created, and played. It also prides itself on being compatible with 3.5 (with a few rules alterations, of course.)

Pathfinder products are set in the world of Golarion, which aims to be more like classic pulp fantasy than the more recent Dungeons and Dragons settings.

The game has nothing to do with the movie of the same name.

There is now a line of novels and other fiction; this is under Pathfinder Tales. If you're looking for the book by Orson Scott Card, see Literature/Pathfinder. A massive online index of rule information - almost everything Paizo published, plus some third-party materials - can be found here.


Pathfinder contains examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Vorpal Swords, elaborated on in "Classic Treasures Revisited".
  • Acid Trip Dimension: Limbo, a holdover from D&D is a chaotic realm where the terrain and even the physics changes randomly. Also, The First World, the home of the Fey and the original blueprint for the material plane.
  • Action Girl: While always an option in any role-playing game, it's notable that the "iconic" characters featured in Pathfinder's artwork have either been an even balance of the sexes, or slightly favoring women (as opposed to many games were the fluff is male-dominant while the rules don't discriminate). This extends to teams of pre-generated characters for adventures, frequently featuring three women with a lone man, or the full four-woman party of the Carrion Crown campaign.
  • Alchemy: The alchemist is a base class introduced in the Advanced Player's Guide. It focuses on infusing chemical reagents with magical energy, creating potions, poisons, mutagens, and incendiaries. Its ultimate (20th-level) ability is the "grand discovery", which can take numerous forms, including immortality or the creation of a philosopher's stone.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: While there are always exceptions at the GM's discretion, supplementary materials would kindly remind you that aside from those singular individuals, the savage humanoids of Golarion are gleefully evil, if not insanely so. Part of the motivation behind the "Second Darkness" adventure path was to rewind back to the days when the Drow were unrepentantly, unforgivably evil, before the creation of a certain heroic dark elf ranger.
  • And I Must Scream: The drow love doing this to their captives via fleshwarping magic.
  • Animals Hate Him: The goblins, as a race, particularly by dogs and horses. The feeling is mutual.
  • Atlantis: Azlant, complete with Sub-Mariner-looking "gillmen". Was propped to power, and disposed of after becoming a bit too big for their britches, by the aboleths.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: The forms of the various types of demons are determined by the sins of the souls they were formed from (i.e. Succubi are formed from lustful souls), whereas the forms of the various types of daemons are determined by the manner of death of the souls they were formed from (i.e. Hydrodaemons are formed from evil souls who died from drowning).
  • The Atoner: This is why Seelah is a paladin.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Solid gold weapons! They cost 10 times as much as normal, weigh half again as much, take a penalty on damage rolls, fall apart on an attack roll of 1... but hey, they sure do look pretty!
    • Bonus points for having NO real bonuses to counteract these penalties. Except a possible circumstance bonus to Diplomacy.
  • Badass Normal: Before he rose to godhood, this was Cayden Cailean in a nutshell. Extremely powerful, wandering, womanizing mercenary. Oh, and usually drunk. Became a god on a dare.
    • Of course, any non-magic-user character that survives long enough can be considered this.
  • Bag of Holding: A staple magic Item and elaborated on in "Classic Treasures Revisited".
  • Base Breaker: Devs have noted the divisive nature of Science Fantasy is why Numeria will not exist as anything more than a footnote for the time being.
  • Become Your Weapon: A high-level summoner has the ability to merge forms with his/her eidolon, combining their stats and effectively acting and fighting as one being.
  • Beneath the Earth: The world beneath is known as the Darklands and draws inspiration from pulp fiction of the early 1900s, such as Edgar Rice Burroughs's Pellucidar. It's divided into three "layers"--the uppermost is home to fairly normal humanoids like goblins and dwarves, the middle layer is home to more reclusive races like the dark elves, and the deepest pits are artificial Vaults, vast terrariums which may be Lost Worlds or the homes of unspeakable horrors.
  • Blade on a Stick: The Ancient Runelords of Thassilon all had a favored pole arm. In addition the weapon rules still have a fair amount of pole arms on their own.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Many neutral outsiders, particularly the Aeons (enigmatic True Neutral entities that are guardians of various aspects of reality.), as well as beings from the First World such as many Fey (gnomes, being refugees from the place, have shades of this as well).
    • Special mention to Lawful/Chaotic Neutral outsiders who basically tend to have Blue and Orange Morality, but Black and White Ethics. For instance, a LN outsider would punish slavers in areas where it is illegal, but in places where slavery is legal their targets become escaped slaves.
  • Body Horror: Some of the Alchemist's Discoveries are pure self-inflicted body horror, ranging from standard Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-style transformations to carrying a helpless conjoined twin (allowing for extra limbs) or a sentient tumor in your body. There's plenty to be found elsewhere, and most of it isn't voluntary.
    • A fair amount of this turns up in Wake of the Watcher, part four of the Carrion Crown Adventure Path. It's also the one with the most Lovecraftian influence and the Body Horror is not limited just to the descriptions - at least two pieces of artwork showed it quite clearly (much to this troper's discomfort).
    • And then there are the tortures the Drow indulge in whenever one of their surface cousins falls in their clutches.
    • The city of Kaer Maga has two further voluntary yet not necessarily villainous examples: the surprisingly civilised troll Augurs, who for a nominal fee will divine the future... by reading their own entrails, and the largest known concentration of bloatmages, who take the In the Blood aspect of magic power to its logical conclusion (i.e. the more blood in your body, the more power you have) and become bloated, blood and lymph-filled caricatures who have to follow a strict regimen of body control exercises and leech-assisted draining of excess fluids lest they suffer a Superpower Meltdown.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Cayden Cailean, god of freedom, bravery, and alcoholic beverages, is what happens when a Boisterous Bruiser achieves godhood... by accident.
    • Also, Valeros, the iconic fighter. No points for guessing what god's follower he is.
  • Bondage Is Bad: Zon-Kuthon, who is basically a Cenobite homage as an evil god. Also the Kytons, expanded from a single type of evil outsider into a full-fledged Hellraiser-themed infernal hierarchy.
    • Partially averted by the goddess Calistria, who isn't particularly good or evil.
  • Blob Monster: Of course, since "ooze" is kept as a creature type.
  • Break the Cutie: Ameiko Kaijitsu's story arc in Pathfinder #1: Burnt Offerings has shades of this trope. Her beloved but estranged younger half-brother, Tsuto, comes back to her home town after a five-year absence, intending to burn it to the ground and kill everyone in it. When she refuses to join him in this endeavor, he has his goblin minions beat her within an inch of her life (literally, she has a negative hit point total if the PCs manage to rescue her), and leaves her tied up, gagged, and blindfolded on a cold stone floor for a few hours. He also murders her father, and puts his body on display in the workshop of the family's glass-making business, covering it in sheets of cooled molten glass. And then there's the possible revelation, depending on how things play out, that her father murdered her mother five years earlier, as a long-delayed revenge for the adultery that produced Tsuto. Also, if the PCs don't rescue her very quickly after her capture, she'll end up being burned to death by Tsuto's psychotic girlfriend as a sacrifice to the demon goddess Lamashtu.
    • Whether it gets better or worse in Jade Regent depends on your point of view. Ameiko has the opportunity to become the Empress of Minkai--if she can make an exceedingly perilous journey there with the aid of the PCs and deal with the scheming powerful Oni who drove her noble family into exile and slaughtered her grandfather. Not to mention, her backstory is expanded upon, revealing that she quit her teenage adventuring career after seeing her lover get dragged to his death by cannibals.
    • Zon-Kuthon was a god of love and beauty like his sister Shelyn before going on a journey outside reality, meeting something, and coming back as the broken and twisted god of pain, darkness, and loss.
      • His father was a boisterous, life-loving wolf spirit/god who was more than happy to see his errant son come home. Now it is the Prince in Chains, a skinless, eternally tormented "hateful creature of broken flesh, pain and chains", and Zon-Kuthon's herald. Even its flesh isn't its own - in his tortures, his son stripped it all away, using it to create his own monsters, and chains, leather, and necrotic flesh from other victims. As a deity who holds torture to be the highest form of art, Zon-Kuthon is believed to consider the Prince-in-Chains his masterpiece.
    • To a greater or lesser extent, every single on of the Iconics.
      • Seytiel the iconic Magus is a bastard child who was repeatedly beaten by his "father" and who when he finally met his real father, a bandit leader, was left to die after he was captured in the hopes that he would be mistaken for his father.
      • Lini, the iconic Druid was left to die by the friends she had repeatedly protected from wild animals when a snow leopard jumped on her.
      • Amiri, the iconic Barbarian was a typical tomboy, before her people, embarrassed by her skills at killing things tried to get her murdered. She murdered the group sent to cause her death in a blood rage and now she's forever exiled from her homeland.
      • Sajan, the iconic Monk, was separated from his beloved twin sister by politics and in searching for her has basically banished himself from his country and all his friends.
      • Lem, the iconic Bard was a slave who overheard his masters planning to sacrifice the other slaves of the house to devils, so he arranged for the slaves to all be away while he burned down the house full of his masters. The Slaves all rushed into the fire to save them.
      • Seelah, the iconic Paladin stole a paladin's helm and got the paladin killed. She didn't take that well, planning to burn herself to death on the paladin's own funeral pyre to atone.
      • Harsk, The Iconic Ranger lost his brother to giants and vowed to kill them all.
      • Ezren, the iconic Wizard spent decades of his life trying to clear his father of false charges of heresy against the church of Abadar, only to prove his father's guilt.
      • Kyra, the iconic Cleric lost her beloved peasant village when it was burned around her.
      • Alahazra, the iconic Oracle was thrown out of her house into the desert to die of starvation and exposure by her own father because she could cast divine magic.
      • Feiya, the iconic Witch, was raised by Hags. Wolves would have been kinder.
  • Captain Ersatz: The boggards, a race of frog-people, are really just D&D's bullywugs renamed due to copyright issues.
    • The serpentfolk are similar to D&D's yuan-ti in function (ancient evil snake folk living in ruins) but different in appearance, powers, and culture. In a way, they're more of a return to form--yuan-ti were ersatzes of Robert E. Howard's serpentfolk; Pathfinder's serpentfolk are for all practical purposes identical to the archenemies of King Kull.
    • Intellect devourers, though a preexisting D&D monster, have become the default stand-in for mind flayers in the "psionic brain-themed underground aberration" department. Another preexisting monster tied to mind flayers, neothelids, also picked up a part of their role, in this case the "immensely powerful psionic horrors worshipping worse beings and plotting to destroy/enslave everything else" part. Finally, Psionics Unleashed, a third-party Sourcebook from Dreamscarred Press, features a direct Captain Ersatz for the illithid--the phrenic slayer. It looks like a tentacle-faced humanoid like a mind flayer, but beneath its cloak it's actually a squirming mass of worm-like tendrils.
    • Rovagug, the god of destruction, is the replacement for Obox-ob, the demon lord who was the Big Bad of lead designer James Jacobs's campaign which eventually became Golarion. Jacobs "sold" Obox-ob to Wizards of the Coast when he included the demon in their Fiendish Codex book (fair enough as he took the name from the 1E Monster Manual II).[1]
    • A weird case: In D&D 3E, there were two "underground fish-people" races: kuo-toa (the more popular and better-known) and skum. The skum were open-source under the Open Gaming License; the kuo-toa were not. So Paizo took the skum and made them thematically more like the kuo-toa (and H.P. Lovecraft's Deep Ones), turning them into a Captain Ersatz of the other fish-folk.
    • The graveknight is inspired by D&D's death knight, with some subtle differences--the death knight's soul inhabits its dead body like most undead, while the graveknight's soul possesses its armor, much like a lich's phylactery.
    • Likewise, the ravener is strongly based on D&D's dracolich.
    • The urdefhans are meant to evoke the image of D&D's githyanki--evil, otherworldly humanoids with a skeletal appearance who wield distinctive swords--but have a completely different campaign role.
  • Chain Pain: The spiked chain is a weapon option.
    • Also, the Prince in Chains, herald of the god of pain. And kytons (previously called chain devils), whose skins are essentially living spiked chains.
  • Colony Drop: Caused ten thousand years ago by the aboleths to punish their uppity human pawns. Resulted in a thousand years of darkness and a Class Two dieback of surface civilization.
    • The Starstone also turned out to be very powerful on its own right, including the ability to elevate mortals to GODHOOD, four times actually. Though the Aboleth were not aware of its real nature, so this was not intentional...at least from the point of view of the Deep Masters.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: Turns up everywhere, when you scratch under the surface. Nasty elder gods, ancient non-humanoid civilizations, weird and inimical aliens, and direct references to the Mythos. The guys at Paizo love H.P. Lovecraft.
  • Creative Sterility: The titans were jealous of gods' ability to create mortals, so they tried to create a race of their own to worship them. What they got were the demodands, a race of twisted, fiendish mockeries.
  • Cthulhu Mythos: The dev team has said that they won't use elements of the Mythos tied directly to Earth (such as the great race of Yith, the elder things, and Cthulhu himself), but elements of a more cosmic scope (such as the Outer Gods and the Dreamlands) are fair game.
    • Until part 4 of the Carrion Crown adventure path, which details cults and monsters dedicated to these entities. They justified this in Cthulhu's case as a matter of his dreams and influence reaching across the gulf of space, despite his slumbering imprisonment on a distant, "unknown" world. Besides, Hastur is a Great Old One trapped on a world far away from Earth, yet still has cultists here (depending on the interpretation of Hastur you ascribe to, that is) so it's not unprecedented.
    • Aaand all bets are off now that Yithians have been statted up in Bestiary 3. Although why anyone would have believed them considering the very Earth-specific shoggoths were statted in the first Bestiary is a mystery.
  • Cursed with Awesome: The sorcerer Class now has Bloodlines which can stem from anything from Orcs, to Undead, to the Lovecraftian horrors between the stars. They all give the Sorcerer Awesome powers, new spells, and access to more feats. In a More literal sense, the Oracle base class is given something called an "Oracle's Curse".
    • Oh no! You are babbling in a demonic tongue while in battle! But when you reach level 15, you can understand and speak any language!
    • Oh no! You can't see beyond 30 feet in front of you, but you can see in the infrared spectrum and at level 15 who cares about having difficulty seeing, you can see in a fashion that's better than regular sight.
    • Oh no! I'm a bit lame, but at level 15 I literally cannot get tired.
    • Oh no! I'm haunted, objects that I drop or attempt to retrieve are suddenly not there or several feet away, but as I level I gain the ability to tell gravity to GTFO.
    • Oh no! I'm a bit ugly and unpleasant, but I'm completely immune to disease and nausea.
  • Darker and Edgier: Sometimes just in the sense of having a more "mature" feel, sometimes considerably less subtle (one module has hillbilly rapist ogres). Said module is the censored version. The original will likely never be published.
  • Dark World: The Plane of Shadow just like in 3.5 is still Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Deal with the Devil: Lots of devils in PF make deals, but Mephistopheles, of course, is the best at it.
  • Demon Lords and Archdevils: Most "races" of fiends have a class of powerful rulers, who are classified as demigods and capable of channeling spells to cultists.
    • Most of the standard 1st-through-3rd edition archdevils made the transfer to Golarion, albeit altered. The ones who came along in 2E or 3E (Bel, Fierna, Levistus, Malagard, and Glasya) were dropped in favor of their 1E public domain predecessors (Geryon and Moloch), with a new one, Barbatos, rounding out the line-up.
    • Sadly, most of the demon lords had to be left behind and replaced by a new batch due to copyright reasons. On the other hand, most of the really important ones were Public Domain Characters (Orcus, Demogorgon[2], Pazuzu, Dagon, Kostchtchie, Baphomet...). The biggest losses lore-wise were Graz'zt, Fraz-Urb'luu[3], Pale Night, Yeenoghu, and Zuggtmoy. Many replacements will be familiar to those with knowledge of real-world demonology.
    • The daemons (who have reclaimed their proper name after being known as yugoloths for two and a half editions) now have the Four Horsemen leading them instead of the solitary Oinodaemon (whom they ganged up on and imprisoned).
    • The asuras (original to PF and based on Indian myth) have a caste of godlike "ranas".
    • The qlippoth are the original inhabitants of the Abyss, and were driven to the lower depths when the demons appeared. They have horrific, primeval shapes in contrast to the humanoid structure of demons, and wish to destroy the demons by destroying all mortal life (from which demons are formed). They have lords of their own, but most of them are unknown to mortals.
    • The kytons (originally a single subtype of devil in D&D, now a whole distinct race of fiends) are ruled by the demagogues, who, like Zon-Kuthon, are basically Cenobites.
    • The oni and rakshasas (evil spirits incarnate in mortal bodies) are ruled by demigods called daimyo and immortals respectively.
    • The divs (corrupted genies from Persian myth) have one demigod ruler, Ahriman.
    • The only race of fiends without godlike rulers are the demodands, who are instead ruled over by the thanatotic titans... who are nearly a race of demigods unto themselves.
  • Destroyable Items: In Pathfinder, some itms are "fragile" and will break when either critically hit (in the case of armor) or when you critically fail an attack (in the case of weapons). Some spells like shatter allow items to give appliable saving throws to avoid beng destroyed. And of course, if you want to take a smack at someone's sword, shield, or armour, you can.
  • Devil but No God: Asmodeus had a brother and opposite number once. He killed him.
  • Destroyable Items: As of "Ultimate Combat" Items can now be made out of fragile materials like Bone which can break on a critical failure. Even before these rules Goblin-Made weapons like dogslicers were liable to break on their first critical failure.
  • Disability Superpower: The Oracle's Curse class feature.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: in-universe example: Asmodeus has some non-evil devotees who think he's not all that bad.
  • Eagle Land: Andoran is a mixed-flavor example, and is seen as such in-universe.
  • The Empire: Cheliax, in all its dark devil-worshipping glory. Fortunately still recovering from its stint as a Vestigial Empire, though.
  • Elves vs. Dwarves: Completely subverted. Elves actually are really good neighbors with Dwarfs in this setting due to both being fairly isolationist. According to one sourcebook this is because "good fences make good neighbors"
  • Empty Levels: Pathfinder has taken steps to avert this trope with a vengeance. Unlike 3.5, where most of the martial classes would end up having most their levels granting nothing but an attack bonus, practically every non-spellcaster class gets a class feature every level. Spellcasters, of course, get spells instead.
  • Entropy and Chaos Magic: Primal Magic. This exists in areas where The First World invades upon the material plane or in places like the mana wastes between the war-torn arcane countries of Geb and Nex.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Demons and devils regularly team up with each other and angels against the suicidally nihilistic daemons.
    • Asmodeus aided the good and neutral gods against Rovagug, even providing the lock to seal him away.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: The kingdom of Irrisen was conquered by the immortal Wicked Witch Baba Yaga, who placed it under a spell of eternal winter.
  • The Evils of Free Will: Asmodeus's motivation for trying to grind all creation under his Lawful Evil heel.
  • Fan Service: Paizo puts a lot of effort into artwork. And makes a point of featuring a lot of female NPCs and characters. Which also leads to...
    • Fan Disservice: Urgathoa, Goddess of Gluttony, Disease, and Undeath.
    • The fanservice isn't just of the sexual variety. A foreword to one of the Jade Regent adventures notes several great things about a story that combines ninjas with vikings - such as having a good excuse to paint a cover featuring ninjas fighting on a burning longboat.
  • Fantastic Fragility: Artifacts can be destroyed only in very specific ways, for example, The Axe of Dwarvish Lords can only be destroyed if a Goblin uses it to behead a Dwarven king.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
    • Of the states: Absalom is Jerusalem. Almhult is Iceland. Amanandar is Hong Kong. Andoran is the early United States. The Arcadians are Native Americans, and so are the Shoanti[4]. Brevoy and Iobaria are medieval Russia. Dtang Ma is Thailand. The Erutaki are Inuit. The Forest of Spirits is ancient Japan, by way of Princess Mononoke. Galt is revolutionary France. Hongal is Mongolia. Hwanggot is Korea. Iblydos is ancient Greece. Irrisen is the fairy tale version of Russia (complete with Baba Yaga!). Kaladay is the medieval European conception of China. Katapesh is Arabia. Kelesh is Persia. The Lands of the Linnorm Kings are Scandinavia. Lung Wa and its many Successor States are China. Minata is Indonesia and the Philippines. Minkai is Japan and so is Shokuro. The Mwangi Expanse is Darkest Africa. Ninshabur is Babylon. Osirion is Egypt. Qadira is also Arabia (with some Persian influences). Sarusan is Australia. The Shackles are the Carribean. Taldor is the Byzantine Empire. Ustalav is fantasy Transylvania. Valenhall is Vinland. The Varisians are the Roma (Gypsies). The Varki are Sami (native Finnish). Vudra is India. The Wall of Heaven is Nepal. Xa Hoi is Vietnam. Zi Ha is Tibet.
    • Of the deities: The faith of Iomedae comes closest to Christianity. Asmodeus is Satan as depectied by Paradise Lost and the Divine Comedy[5]. Shizuru and Susumu are Amaterasu and Susanoo. Sangpotshi is Buddhism. The Vudran faith is Hinduism.
    • It even extends to the solar system. Aballon the Horse is Mercury. Castrovel the Green is Venus. Akiton the Red is Mars. The Diaspora is the Asteroid Belt. Liavara is Jupiter and Saturn. Bretheda is Uranus and Neptune.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Averted in Alkenstar, a city-state located in a region where magic doesn't function, which has encouraged the inhabitants to develop non-magical weapons and technology, including firearms. Played straight most everywhere else, as most people don't see the use for loud, unreliable and hard to maintain weapons when magic can do the job.
    • As of the Ultimate Combat supplement, there is a Gunslinger base class that specializes in them. There are also paladin, cavalier (musketeer), inquisitor, and wizard variants that use guns.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Even moreso than might be expected from a D&D-type setting. As well as everything D&D had already (or at least reasonnable facsimiles), there's the Cthulhu Mythos, Edgar Rice Burroughs-style Planetary Romance and Beneath the Earth locales, things like the Jabberwock and Bandersnatch and Jubjub birds, monsters based on old Sinbad movies, and even modern folkloric monsters like mothmen and chupacabra.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Do NOT get captured alive by drow in this setting.
  • Flaming Sword: A common Enchantment, The paladin and Magus have the ability to give their weapons this ability as well.
  • Fog Feet: Wendigos.
  • Fungus Humongous: Several, aside from several eldritch abominations, Cyth-V’sug, a Demon Lord is basically a giant fungal dragon.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In-story, goblins have been built up as braindead idiots with no survival instinct. Rules-wise, however, they have the same Intelligence and Wisdom as the average human.
  • Genre Shift: Occurs at the start of the second Kingmaker module. You go from typical adventuring to being the rulers of a new kingdom. Adventuring still takes up most of gameplay, but you will spend a lot of time running your kingdom.
  • Glass-Shattering Sound: The "Shatter" spell.
  • A God Am I / Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Anyone who passes the Test of the Starstone becomes a god. Hundreds of hopefuls enter the Cathedral of the Starstone every year; in nine thousand years, only four have succeeded. One of whom was drunk off his ass at the time. (See What Did I Do Last Night? below.)
  • God Save Us From the Queen: Queen Ileosa of Korvosa in Curse of the Crimson Throne.
    • Also, the current queen of Cheliax is a teenage Royal Brat whose advisers include a pit fiend devil. You do the math.
  • Gorgeous Garment Generation: The Rod of Splendor garbs the wielder in magical noble's clothing - the finest fabrics, plus adornments of furs and jewels, worth 7,000-10,000 gold pieces.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: The archdevil Baalzebul believes himself the only deserving son of Asmodeus and loathes the other archdevils for, in his mind, usurping his proper place in Hell.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Erastil, God of Farming, Hunting, Trade and Family: Cranky, sexist, reactionary... and Lawful Good.
  • The Gunslinger: Available by name as a new class in Ultimate Combat which strives to let you be a Wild West hero with Gun Fu. They use "grit" points to fuel their Improbable Aiming Skills, and regain grit by being cool.
  • Hat of Power: Many examples.
  • Hellfire: Made by Devils, it's evil fire and can even burn those immune to fire.
  • Hell Seeker: There are a lot. Pretty much anyone who makes a Deal with the Devil for instance. Oddly enough Subverted to a degree with the country of Cheliax, who see Hell's Infernal Hierarchy more as a model for government than as a place they want to be.
  • Hot Skitty-On-Wailord Action: Several species in Pathfinder are quite capable of breeding with just about anything. Aside from the Typical Half-Orcs, Half-Elves, Aasimar and Tieflings, there's also the matter of Sorcerors whose bloodlines can include devils, demons, angels, Undead, Plants, and Shadows.
  • Human Sacrifice: A tradition among the evil religions, though the particulars can vary. The Demonic Obedience for Lamashtu for instance involves Sacrificing a life that is younger than 4 weeks old.
  • Interdimensional Travel Device: Many, many examples, including the Amulet of the Planes, the Well of Many Worlds, and the Cubic Gate.
  • Interspecies Romance: With all the Half Human Hybrids and other crossbreeds running around and considering the Hot Skitty-On-Wailord Action above, this happens pretty often. Though not as often as in D&D.
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: The Four Horsemen are the near-godlike rulers of the Neutral Evil fiends known as the daemons (aka yugoloths in D&D).
  • Humans Are Special: Subverted. The rise to power of the first human civilization, Azlant, was covertly backed by aboleths, and one can argue that humanity wouldn't have the status it now does without that start and its consequences.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: how do some of those outfits even stay in place at all without double-sided tape, much less stand up to the strain of adventuring?
    • And then there's Laori's skintight chainmail. Admittedly, she's a sadomasochist, so comfort isn't an issue, but still...
  • In the Blood: Sorcerer bloodlines.
    • The Bloatmage prestige class plays with this trope in the squickiest way possible.
  • I See Dead People: The "speak with dead" spell which partially resurrects corpses for conversation.
    • The Ancestor Mystery Oracle can converse with and summon the ghosts of their ancestors.
  • Jekyll and Hyde: Damiel Morgethai, under the influence of the chemical mutagen he is addicted to, turns into a Complete Monster.
    • The Master Chymist prestige class is ten levels' worth of this trope.
  • Jerkass: Alain, the iconic cavalier who appears in the Advanced Player's Guide is the kind of guy everyone can't help but hate.
  • Kaiju: Achaekek the Mantis God (one of the few gods with stats) qualifies, as do the Spawn of Rovagug -- unique gigantic monstrosities that are the spawn of the Rough Beast Rovagug, god of destroying the world. The Tarrasque is just the most famous of the Spawn.
    • Other gigantic, high-power monsters can be considered this, like Mu spores, behemoths, krakens...
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Ultimate Combat includes stats for Katanas. They are exactly like a Bastard Sword, but with a very minor additional cost [6] and an additional special property "deadly" that makes them better at executing helpless foes. Wakizashi however are noticeably higher power than a short sword, having the same bonus for an equally minor cost increase, able to do slashing damage as well as piercing (the default short sword is oddly piercing only), and a higher threat range. This may be attributed to Power Creep instead of Katana fanboyism, as non-core western weapons have similar power increases.
  • Kill It with Fire: Sarenrae, Neutral Good Goddess of Healing and the Sun, reserves this for those who have no interest in redemption.
  • Kill the Poor: Ileosa Arabasti in "Curse of the Crimson Throne" unleashes a plague with this goal in mind.
  • Knife Nut: "Never the sharpest knife in the drawer, as the saying goes, Merisiel [the iconic rogue] has learned to make up for this by carrying at least a dozen of them on her person."
  • Knight Templar: The Hellknight orders of Cheliax, which can be effectively summarized as Judge Dredd in fullplate.
  • Lady of War: The goddess Iomedae is, well, the goddess of this.
    • Also, Seelah, the iconic paladin.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The adventure "The Witchwar Legacy" has a big one. One of Baba Yaga's witch-queen daughters, Tashanna, was exiled to another reality both as punishment for staging a coup against her mother and as a means to encourage her to grow into a great witch and demon-binder in her own right. The infamous Greyhawk villain Iggwilv, who received a lot of attention in Paizo's Dragon and Dungeon runs, was a member of the Circle of Eight under the alias "Tasha".
    • "The Dead Eyes worship a one-eyed orc deity whose name is long since forgotten[...]"
  • Left Justified Fantasy Map: Partially averted, the areas that have been detailed so far are Avistan - a rough Europe analogue, Garund - an equally wild and varied Africa analogue, and the western region of Casmaron - roughly equivalent to the Middle East. More Recently, Tian-Xia, an analogue of eastern Asia, has been detailed as well. Arcadia (an American analogue) has been mentioned, but not detailed yet. Ditto for Vudra, the southeastern part of Casmaron, which is basically the Indian subcontinent.
  • Level Drain: Averted, Undead can still inflict negative levels, but you no longer have to earn those levels back the hard way.
  • Light Is Not Good: Shining Children (creepy borderline-Eldritch Abomination evil outsiders with light and fire themed powers) and Lurkers in Light (creepy extraplanar evil fey with abilities that make them most dangerous in well-illuminated areas) from the second Bestiary; there is also the demon lord Nurgal, representing the merciless, destructive power of the sun.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Played straight. Spellcasting classes tend to dominate the late game after spending the early game nursing single digit hitpoints.
  • Lost World: The Vaults of Orv in the lowest levels of the Darklands are these.
  • Lovecraft Country: The description of the Lost Coast from Burnt Offerings, the first chapter of Rise of the Runelords (the first published adventure path), reads like a description of the Dunwich area.
  • Mad Doctor: Many of the alchemist archetypes from Ultimate Magic are based around knowledge of anatomy (and how to severely damage it).
  • Made of Indestructium: Artifacts need to be destroyed by fantastic Means. No conventional attempts can harm them.
  • Mad Scientist: The alchemist class is based on a fantasy application of mad chemistry, with incendiary bombs, Psycho Serums, and spells in potion form. The Ultimate Magic sourcebook adds various alternate alchemist archetypes like the vivisectionist, reanimator, and clone master that allow for a wider range of Mad Scientist types.
  • Magic From Technology / Magitek: The planet Verces is the most technologically advanced in Golarion's solar system, using equal parts Star Trek level technology and arcane magic to keep their spacefaring society running. Neither is seen as conflicting with the other.
  • Magic Missile: The titular spell is part of Pathfinder just like it was in D&D.
  • Magic Knight: The magus base class blends arcane magic and swordplay from level 1, channeling spells through weapon attacks, and gaining the formidable ability to cast a spell and make a full attack routine in the same round.
  • Manual Misprint: Pathfinder splatbooks have their own version of this problem, usually as a result of multiple design teams and lack of correspondence. It's not uncommon for an early chapter to mention a feat or spell that was later renamed or dropped entirely.
  • Mascot Mook: Goblins.
  • Master Poisoner: A number of classes such as rogues, assassins and ninjas are proficient poisoners, but it's the Alchemist, which can not only make poisons, but becomes completely immune to them, can refine them into a more deadly, harder to resist form, make them last longer on the weapon and make them in a fraction of the time with reduced material costs.
  • Medieval European Fantasy: Played straight in Avistan, and averted overall. Pathfinder Draws heavily from many pulp sources, while the Continent of Avistan has a lot of medieval Europe in it, other continents and time periods are equally well represented.
  • Mithril: A Holdover from D&D (and to an extent Lord of the Rings) Mithril is still shiny, still light, and still expensive.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Seltyiel (brooding White-Haired Pretty Boy), Sajan (Walking Shirtless Scene), and Valeros (big shoulders and a dueling scar) come to mind.
  • Nay Theist: A whole nation of them; after a devastating religious Civil War, the people of Rahadoum decided to outlaw religion, destroy the temples and throw out the priests as being more trouble than they're worth; the overall stance seems to be rather balanced, as while they have to deal with many hardships that could be handled more easily with divine aid and/or magic on their side, a lot of the problems in other lands actually are caused by gods and religions.
  • National Weapon: Many races, such as Elves and Gnomes and Dwarves have Weapon Proficiency or Familiarity with a small group of weapons. Also, each god has their own favored weapon like Sarenrae's love of scimitars.
  • Ninja: Introduced in Ultimate Combat as an alternative version of the rogue class (which had the potential to be pretty ninjariffic already). The "proper" ninja is focused more on stealth and less on general trickery, and uses Ki Attacks energy to fuel supernatural powers.
  • Noble Savage: The Kellid and Shoanti human ethnic groups. The Shoanti are more noble, the Kellids more savage.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Like all fantasy settings Golarion has its fair share of these, but the names of the Spawn of Rovagug REALLY take the cake with names like "Festering Ulunat, the Unholy First", "Great Doom Chemnosit, the Monarch Worm", "The Tarrasque, Armageddon Engine", "Unyielding Kothogaz, the Dance of Disharmony", "Wrath-Blazing Xoanti, the Firebleeder", and "Volnagur the End-Singer".
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The philosopher Pao-Lung is a stand-in for Confucius.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: Many, but most notably, Energy Drain is now no longer permanent (generally). Thus, energy draining undead are no longer massively broken relative to their challenge rating. While the drowning rules lost their infamous ability to heal subjects at negative HP, there is still no rules to stop drowning.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Rovagug, who wants the end of the entire universe. Then there's the daemons who certainly look this way to anyone on the outside.
  • Our Angels Are Different
  • Our Demons Are Different: Evil spirit creatures, collectively called fiends, are grouped into several different categories depending on alignment and/or plane of origin. Each aligned plane has a race of "true" fiends as well as at least one secondary race of lesser fiends.
    • Hell, the Lawful Evil plane, is ruled by the devils. It is also inhabited by the asuras. A third Lawful Evil race of fiends, the kytons, lives on the Plane of Shadow but has embassies in Hell.
    • Abaddon, the Neutral Evil plane, is ruled by the daemons. It is also the home of the divs.
    • The Abyss, the Chaotic Evil plane, is ruled by the demons. The qlippoth and demodands also dwell there.
    • Finally, Golarion itself is home to two minor races of fiends: the rakshasas and the oni.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: In addition to the classic D&D evil chromatics and good metallics, there are the elemental primordial dragons, the savage linnorms, the twisted azi, and a whole bunch of draconic critters. There are also the Imperial Dragons, based on Asian mythology.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: They originated underground, tunneled their way to the surface during the Age of Darkness, and pulled humanity out of the dark ages. Otherwise pretty standard.
  • Our Elves Are Better: They have Monochromatic Eyes, and their primary goddess is one of lust, trickery, and revenge. Otherwise also pretty standard. They bailed on the planet during the Age of Darkness, only returning en masse within the past few millennia when a demon took over part of their ancestral homeland. Their "ruling class" apparently lives off-world through special "Elfgates" of which few truly still function, and the species as a whole originates from this otherworldly homeland. Also, they're Aliens, hailing from an isolated continent on the lush jungle covered planet of Castrovel.
    • Those elves who are raised outside "proper" elven society are called Forlorn, "maladjusted" souls who live their lives as hard as humans and tend to be more somber than most of their kin on account of always outliving their friends.
    • Elves who fall too far into wickedness become drow.
  • Our Ghouls Are Creepier: If they can curb their appetite they look like chalk-white, hairless, red-eyed elves, perfectly "fresh" and even beautiful at times. But if they indulge their hunger for flesh, they putrefy and start rotting away as new meat replaces the old...
  • Our Gnomes Are Weirder: Gnomes are fey creatures exiled from the First World in the wake of a disaster of uncertain nature; they can't quite adjust to Golarion, and spend a lot of time obsessing over minutiae and seeking out new experiences in order to avoid going mad(der) or going through a lethal process called Bleaching, which slowly reduces them to a pile of dust and bones. It's darkly hinted by the developers that the story of the disaster may be a fabrication, and gnomes are really humanoid interface devices through which vastly more powerful beings can study the material world.
  • Our Gods Are Greater: Unlike some other D&D settings, most gods of Golarion have no stat blocks and are explicitly immune to mortal adventurers.
    • To drive the point home, there have been a few examples in the fiction where a mortal being has defeated a god or god-like being, but was unable to truly end them, just remove them as a threat for the present. Ydersius, the god of the Serpent Folk literally had his head cut off and thrown in lava, and it didn't actually kill him, instead rendering his body mindless and wandering the Darklands and leaving his head....well, entombed in a pit of lava.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: The classic "savage humanoid" races are all revisited, keeping fairly close to their original D&D themes while making it clear that they are all monsters, who do not work and play well with other races.
    • All Trolls Are Different: The savage aspect of the common D&D troll is played up; they're feral wilderness creatures who see everything as food, have no fear of death, and have odd intergender relations. The trope name also holds true within the setting, as art depicting trolls can be wildly inconsistent without even taking into account troll subraces (ice trolls, water trolls, etc.).
    • Our Goblins Are Different: The goblins of Golarion are dangerously stupid pyromaniacs who loathe dogs and horses (the feeling is mutual), are terrified of writing (it can steal your soul!), and sing horrible merry songs about eating babies. Hobgoblins are as militaristic as the Dungeons and Dragons norm but are so universally ambitious that they can't hold an army together for long, being an entire race of Starscreams. Bugbears are psychopathic serial killers who live for the smell of fear and are unnervingly good at hiding in places nothing that huge should be able to fit—like behind your door, or under your bed.
      • High Goblins, a Third-Party playable race, are baseline goblins who are wiser and braver than their fellows. Though generally scorned by other races, High Goblins tend to be extremely loyal to anyone who shows them respect. Have been known to make Heel Face Turns.
    • Our Mermaids Are Different: In addition to whatever take will be had on the standard variety, there are ningyo -- nasty little mer-monkey creatures which, if killed, automatically rise as undead that are active only at night and indistinguishable from corpses during the day.
    • Our Ogres Are Hungrier: They're sickeningly horrifying embodiments of brain-damaged inbred hillbillies.
    • Our Orcs Are Different: They're insane nihilists who laugh in the face of death.
  • Perky Goth: Laori, an NPC in Curse of the Crimson Throne, who is really quite incongruously cheerful for a cleric of the god of darkness and suffering.
  • Pimped-Out Cape: The Cape of The Mountebank, among others.
  • Pirate Girl: Besmara, the goddess of pirates, strife, and sea monsters.
  • Planetary Romance: The other worlds in Golarion's star system are designed to facilitate this.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: Correcting this is one of the game's goals. Your Mileage May Vary on whether it was successful.
  • Power Glows: Paladins in Pathfinder can imbue their weapon with a divine spirit, granting it magical properties depending on level and causing it to light up like a torch.
    • Also, many spells are highly visible when cast.
  • Perpetual Motion Monster: Undead, constructs, and most outsiders don't need food or sustenance of any kind. Even Ghouls, though inflicted by a ravenous hunger, don't actually need to eat.
  • Politically-Incorrect Villain: Asmodeus, among other things, is noted several times to be a rampant misogynist. Makes sense, given that he represents the bad things that can come from order (tyranny, imperialistic militarism, ruthless enforcement of class divisions, institutionalised use of torture, etc.).
  • Prehensile Hair: One of the Witch's possible starting powers.
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: Specifically, Weapons with the returning properties. Even Melee weapons (if they also have the throwing property).
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Goblins and ogrekin.
  • Public Domain Character: A number of monsters pulled from Victorian and pulp literature feature in the setting.
  • The Red Planet: Akiton the Red, next planet out in the system and quite Barsoomian.
  • Red Right Hand: Rakshasas in human form always have one feature that faces the wrong way, traditionally their hands.
  • Reimagining the Artifact: The whole idea behind some of the Bestiaries; in particular, "Misfit Monsters Redeemed" reimagines some of the most bizarre creatures of the Gygax-era bestiaries.
  • Religion of Evil: The Church of Asmodeus, the Church of Zon-Kuthon, cultists of Ghlaunder, Lamashtu, Norgorber, Rovagug, Urgathoa, various demon lords, archdevils, and the Four Horsemen.
  • The Republic: Andoran, bastion of enlightenment, democracy, and liberty.
  • La Résistance: The sub-theme of the 5th Adventure Path. In a Venice-analogue, no less.
  • Retcon: Seltyiel was originally a fighter/wizard/eldritch knight. As of the release of Ultimate Magic, he's now a (presumably single-class) magus.
    • In the first edition of the campaign setting guidebook, the world map showed Golarion's polar ice cap bordering the entire northern expanse. Later on, the dev team realized that unless Golarion was in an ice age, the ice cap was way too far south, and changed it so that the only large bit of ice on Avistan's northern border was a single large glacier.
    • Likewise, the Five Kings Mountains (the dwarven homeland) were originally listed as belonging to the human nation of Druma until the third edition of the campaign setting book gave it a separate entry as a sovereign land.
    • Paladins of Asmodeus do not happen. Forget you ever read that.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Galt has been stuck in the french "Reign of Terror" phase of its revolution for about a century now, with no end in sight.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The spell 'Pup Form' from Ultimate Combat invokes this trope, by turning an animal into a small, adorable version that prevents others from attacking it out of guilt. The spell leaves an exception: evil creatures are not affected and "in fact, some particularly heinous creatures might go out their way to do the target harm."
  • Ring of Power: Any magic ring, and there are many.
  • Roma: Varisians are the Fantasy Counterpart Culture version. They've been luckier than their Real Life counterparts, though, as they tend to be fairly easily accepted (usually), and there are quite a few settled lands where they're an important minority or even the majority human group.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: While the Nuckelavee is portrayed accurately by the artists and its classification as a Fey creature, the fluff describes it as "a manifestation of natures' rage against all who despoil its beauty." The truth is that the Nuckelavee of Orcadian mythology was an Enemy to All Living Things
  • The Same but More: Of 3.5 DND.
  • Samurai: Introduced in Ultimate Combat, the samurai is a sub-class of cavalier (i.e., knight). Rather than forcing the player to play a Dual-Wielding Screaming Warrior like the 3.5 samurai, the Pathfinder samurai can choose its focus (mounted combat, archery, or, yes, katana).
  • Satan: Asmodeus, Lord of Hell. Differs from previous D&D interpretations in that he is not a fallen angel, but has always been a god in his own right (and was the brother and coequal of Ihys, the closest being to the Abrahamic God in the setting, who he killed.)
  • Saintly Church: Most of the churches of good-aligned deities qualify. But Sarenrae and Iomedae really stand out as examples.
  • Scam Religion: The Church of Razmir, a con artist who's managed to convince most of the world that he passed the Test of the Starstone.
  • Science Fantasy: strongly on the fantasy end of things, but some species of aberration are creatures from outer space.
    • The illustrations, by-and-large, have a more Renaissance feel to them than Medieval, and some look outright like early Steampunk. For obvious reasons, no one has complained about this.
    • The economy of Numeria revolves entirely around plunder extracted from mountain-sized chunks of a crashed starship.
    • One issue of the Pathfinder Adventure Path gave brief descriptions of the other planets in Golarion's solar system. Out of the three most heavily-populated worlds, Castrovel is pure fantasy-themed (but with Psychic Powers instead of magic), Akiton has a "science fantasy" Planetary Romance theme, and Verces is futuristic sci-fi (though presumably still aware of magic).
    • A favorite Third-Party class, the Artificer; it's specialty is creating weapons, items, and generally anything it can get its hands on and creating gadgets that are Magitek at their core.
    • The Alkenstar/Mana Wastes region, due to its inherent magic-screwing properties, meanwhile, has developped the first firearms to compensate. They're mostly seen as noisy, impractical and onerous curios elsewhere.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: All over the place. The biggest evil, in the biggest can, is the apocalypse god Rovagug the Rough Beast, sealed into the molten core of Golarion by all the gods who survived his initial rampage.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Originated as the seven virtues (rewards) of rulership, formulated by an ancient emperor. His seven subordinates promptly twisted them into the more familiar sins.
    • Some (but not all) of the sins are represented in the archdevils. Mammon embodies greed; Belial is extremely lustful; Moloch is a being of seething wrath; Baalzebul represents envy; Mephistopheles is famous for his great pride.
    • Furthermore, there is a corresponding species of demon for each of the seven deadly sins: Dretches (sloth), shadow demons (envy), succubi (lust), nabasus as well as vrolikai (gluttony), vrocks (wrath), nalfeshnees (greed), and mariliths (pride).
  • Shout-Out: Lord Gyr of Gixx, continuing a fine D&D tradition of characters with names that sound a bit like Gary Gygax.
  • Silver Has Mystic Powers: Silver can help kill extra-planar creatures, and hurts werewolves.
  • Spell Blade: The spell-storing property.
  • Spell Book: The Wizard and Magus can't cast spells without them. The Witch uses her familiar as this.
  • Standard Fantasy Setting: The core rulebooks present the setting like this. People can design their own campaigns however they wish, so a basic template is handy. The world of Golarion however diverges from this and moves more into the realm of a blend of standard fantasy and pulp novels.
  • Start My Own: Pathfinder got started when a a group of big name D&D 3.5 fans, disgusted by the drastic changes made to D&D in 4th Edition, got together and decided to keep the old game going under a new name.
  • Steampunk: Not in Golarion by default, but details for it are included in the Gamemastery Guide along with a lot of other, more unusual aspects for DMs to use in their campaigns if they want.
  • Stripperiffic: Seoni the sorceress (in her slinky red dress), Alahazra the oracle (who appears to be wearing an open kaftan and a low-slung sarong over a bikini), and Feiya the witch (who's mostly bare-legged and about to fall out of her bodice) stand out in particular.
  • Stuck Items: Cursed magical items in general are examples of these, as they will return to you and in some cases, like the Rod of Arson, will force you to use them even if they have been physically destroyed. It takes specific spells or combinations of spells to get rid of them.
  • Summon Magic: Conjurers are a school of Wizards who specialize in conjuration, magic that creates matter from nothing or summons creatures. The Summoner is a base class that forgoes all magic but conjuration. Summoners also summon "Eidolons" from the realms beyond the material plane in arcane rituals lasting a minute or so.
  • The Undead: There's even a Sorcerer Lineage, Undead Sorcerer, who had a Lich or Vampire ancestor, or was a stillbirth who spontaneously resurrected.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Dispater rules a layer of Hell and, according to the Book of the Damned supplement, is Happily Married.
  • Unholy Nuke: The Talisman of Ultimate Evil. In the hands of an Evil High Priest it could be used to open a flaming crack at the feet of a Good priest and send him or her to the center of the planet
  • Vancian Magic: How all prepared magic is cast. This includes wizards, witches, clerics, and many others. Spontaneous casters, such as bards, sorcerers, and oracles, can cast any spell they know as long as they have spell slots, but they can only know a set amount of spells.
  • Vestigial Empire: Taldor once controlled the entire northern coast of the Inner Sea, but following the civil war that broke off Cheliax, centuries of declining fortunes, war with Kelesh, and an increasingly decadent culture, it is now a shadow of its former glory. Unsurprisingly, it was inspired by the real-world Byzantine Empire.
    • Cheliax itself has fallen on hard times. After Aroden's death, the empire was taken over by devil-worshippers, prompting massive revolts that led several nations to split off from it.
    • The dwarven Five Kings Mountains have been in a state of slow but steady decay for centuries, splintering into several city-states.
    • Osirion has recently managed to start turning its fortunes around, but it's a still very long way from its heyday millenia ago.
  • Was Once a Man: Several examples, including the unfortunate victims of drow fleshwarping, as well as a number of demon lords.
  • Weapons Grade Vocabulary: This has the "Blistering Invective" spell, with which your rants can actually set people on fire!
  • We Are as Mayflies: Goblins, and compared to the Elves, Dragons (and possibly the Gnomes depending on how entertained they are); almost everyone else.
  • Wendigo: Very powerful evil spirits in the setting, straight from the most terrifying native myths.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Cayden Cailean, an adventurer who woke up after a drunken binge in Absalom to discover that he had taken the Test of the Starstone and BECOME A GOD.
  • Wicked Witch: The Witch character class doesn't have to be one of these, but if they want to, they have access to all the tools needed, including a wide range of curses, an annoying cackling laugh, the ability to smell small children, and being able to cook people in a cauldron to make magical foods. Of course, Baba Yaga and her daughters play it completely straight.
  • White-Haired Pretty Boy/White-Haired Pretty Girl: Seltyiel and Feiya, respectively.
  • World of Snark: Going by the flavor text alone, one could be forgiven for concluding that almost every single iconic character is a borderline Heroic Comedic Sociopath who speaks entirely in snarky one-liners. With the possible exceptions of Seelah and Sajan, they're sarcastic, bloodthirsty, indifferent to one another's injuries and casually consider either leaving their companions behind or actively killing them out of annoyance.
  • Wretched Hive: Kaer Maga. And Riddleport. And Bloodcove. And Ilizmagorti. And Daggermark. And Zirnakaynin. And almost every settlement in the Shackles. And... let's just say there's a lot of scum and villainy in Golarion.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: Go ahead, try and find Paizo using the phrase "Dungeons and Dragons" anywhere in their marketing materials. They'll be glad to tell you "The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game is an evolution of the 3.5 rules set of the world's oldest fantasy roleplaying game," but somehow this "world's oldest fantasy roleplaying game" never gets named.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Gnomes, as a result of their fey heritage.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Feiya, the iconic witch has a Grade B version of this with a loincloth in-place of a normal skirt.

Notes

  1. Rovagug did exist in Jacobs's original campaign but was a more generic god of the underworld.
  2. though his depiction as a two-headed monkey/serpent remains copyrighted by Wizards, so he receives only off-hand mentions
  3. who is open source thanks to creeping into the 3.5 3rd-party Tome of Horrors, but Paizo deliberately doesn't use him because he's so closely tied to Greyhawk
  4. though the Shoanti are also influenced by Robert E. Howard's Picts
  5. note that Asmodeus is a real-world devil, but very different from the Pathfinder version
  6. 15 gold more when a 2nd level Player Character is expected to have 2000
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