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The ''Pathfinder'' RPG, [[FanNickname sometimes called]] "3.75E", has been called a SpiritualSuccessor to Edition 3.5 of ''DungeonsAndDragons''. 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 ''Magazine/{{Dragon}}'' and ''Magazine/{{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 [[StartMyOwn 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 [[LowFantasy pulp fantasy]] than the more recent Dungeons and Dragons settings. Thousands of years ago, the Human empire of Azlant thrived on the world. It is said that when they turned against the Aboleths, the aquatic monsters that lifted them to greatness, the Aboleths sent a massive asteroid [[ColonyDrop crashing onto their homeland]]. Azlant was destroyed, and most of the surface civilizations on the nearby continents of Arcadia and Avistan were devastated (as were [[HoistByTheirOwnPetard the Aboleths]]). Meanwhile, the Elves, who had foreseen the coming Earthfall, mostly fled to another planet, while the underground-dwelling Dwarves took the impact as a sign from their gods to make their way to the surface, driving their Orc rivals before them.

Eventually, the living God Aroden, last of the Azlanti appeared. He helped bring Humanity from the Age of Darkness, helping to establish the vast Empire of Taldor. As Taldor grew vast and decadent, the frontier colonies broke away and formed their own Empire of Cheliax. As Cheliax rose in power, the Church of Aroden moved its seat of power there.

Recently however, the prophesied return of Aroden instead brought weeks of natural disasters, including a massive storm that continues to blow to this day. The priests of Aroden suddenly lost their powers, and by all accounts, including from the Goddess of Death herself, Aroden was dead. Thus began the Age of Lost Omens.

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

Now has a [[Characters/{{Pathfinder}} Character Sheet]].

There is now a line of novels and other fiction; this is under PathfinderTales. If you're looking for the book by OrsonScottCard, see [[Literature/{{Pathfinder}} Literature/Pathfinder]]. A ''massive'' online index of rule information - almost everything Paizo published, plus some third-party materials - can be found [[http://www.d20pfsrd.com/ here]].

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%%Try to keep the {{Natter}} to a minimum, too. [[LoveItOrHateIt There will be people with opinions about the game different than yours]], and that's ok. RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement is still in full effect here.
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!Pathfinder contains examples of:

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* AbsurdlySharpBlade: Vorpal Swords, elaborated on in "Classic Treasures Revisited".
* AcidTripDimension: Limbo/the Maelstrom, 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 [[TheFairFolk the Fey]] and the original blueprint for the material plane.
* ActionGirl: 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 in which 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. (This may be a MythologyGag, since Carrion Crown was an adventure series devoted to horror tropes.)
* AdorableEvilMinions: Quasits, goblins, cacodaemons, kobolds, a lot of such critters live on Golarion.
* AdultFear: While there's plenty of overt adult fears, there's also the incredibly subtle, like the one line that simply states Folca is the Daemon Harbinger of abduction, strangers, and ''sweets.''
* AlchemyIsMagic: 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. The ''Ultimate Magic'' splatbook adds more Discoveries, many with a BodyHorror and MadScientist vibe. Also lots of [[ReAnimator Herbert West]] shout-outs.
* AlternateHistory: The author of the ''[[DieselPunk Rasputin Must Die!]]'' module in the ''Reign of Winter'' campaign is a firm believer in MagicalRealism, and the mod's basically a fictionalized account of what he believes to be real-life events during WorldWarOne that got swept under the rug.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: 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 [[AxCrazy insanely so]]. Part of the motivation behind the "Second Darkness" adventure path was to rewind back to the days when [[OurElvesAreBetter the Drow]] were unrepentantly, unforgivably evil, before the creation of [[Literature/TheLegendOfDrizzt a certain heroic dark elf ranger]].
** Justified with hags - their immature form, changelings, never "mature" into hags if they aren't Evil, since only the power-hungry and misanthropic ones can stomach the ritual to unlock their full hag powers. They aren't evil because they're hags, they're hags because they're evil (and the ritual cements that). Hence why hags generally leave changelings in communities with AllOfTheOtherReindeer and BullyingADragon as a general policy.
* AndIMustScream: The drow love doing this to their captives via [[BodyHorror fleshwarping magic]].
* AnimalsHateHim: The goblins, as a race, particularly by dogs and horses. The feeling is mutual.
* AnthropomorphicFood: Ghorans are humanoid plant people descended from magically engineered food crops. They even have a racial disadvantage called ''delicious''!
* ArtifactOfDeath: Several cursed magic items, such as the ''necklace of strangulation'', the ''periapt of foul rotting'', and the ever-popular ''scarab of death''.
* ArtisticLicensePhysics: As to be expected for a fantasy setting, and suitably [[HandWave handwaved]] because AWizardDidIt, but now and again there are still things that are... odd.
* {{Atlantis}}: Azlant, complete with Sub-Mariner-looking "gillmen". Was [[TheManBehindTheMan propped to power]], and [[ColonyDrop disposed of]] after becoming a bit too big for their britches, by the [[EldritchAbomination aboleths]].
* [[AscendedExtra Ascended Mechanic]]/[[DemotedToExtra Demoted Mechanic]]: One of the more glaring issues of D&D 3.5 was the omnipresence of Prestige Classes and the copious amounts of redundant Base Classes, which, when hewn together could create such nightmares as Pun-Pun, Destroyer of Worlds, Devourer of Souls[[note]]first a level 3, and then a level 1, build that could, completely legally, [[LethalJokeCharacter make a Kobold]] [[GameBreaker with infinite stats]][[/note]]. There were also "Class Variants," which took away some abilities of a class and replaced them with others to create such things as the Battle Sorcerer and Urban Ranger, that proved to be no more- or less-powerful than the classes they were variants of - but these were few, far-between, and really only printed in two books[[note]]Unearthed Arcana and the Player's Handbook II]][[/note]]. In Pathfinder, however, "Class Variants," under the new moniker "Archetypes" are the rule, Prestige Classes are almost non-existent, and there are only 19 Core/Base Classes (22 when counting the Ninja, Samurai, and Antipaladin, which are Alternate Classes of the Rogue, Cavalier, and Paladin respectively, and cannot be taken with their normal versions - so no Rogue/Ninjas).
** Archetypes, as well, may be stacked, so long as no two Archetypes of the same class affect the same class feature in the same way (for example, you cannot take 2 Ranger Archetypes which both alter the First Favored Enemy class feature). You also cannot take levels in one Archetype and then levels in another - each Class can only advanced linearly and all Archetypes of a Class affect all levels of that Class. This is done largely to prevent absurd levels of min-maxing and game-breaking. This allows for extreme levels of customization without a player ever having to leave their Base Class.
*** Archetypes also have a wide range of affects on classes: from simply adding a bit of fun in one small area, such as the Drunken Brute Archetype for the Barbarian, which trades the Barbarian's +10 speed bonus for the ability to drink alcohol and potions as a Move Action (rather than a Standard Action); to radically altering the ways classes normally function, such as the Vivisectionist Archetype of the Alchemist, which trades its use of Bombs (and thus drastically limits which options can be taken at later levels) for the ability to Sneak Attack at the same rate as a Rogue; to outright mimicking popular 3.5 classes, such as the Skirmisher Archetype for the Ranger, which trades the spellcasting abilities of the Ranger for tricks that make it an obvious {{expy}} of the popular Scout class from 3.5, or the Hexcrafter Archetype of the Magus which gives it Hexes like a Witch, and thus makes it a Hexblade {{expy}}. The extremes are the Alternate Classes, which both the books that introduces them and the ''Advanced Class Guide'' mentions as existing mainly because as Archetypes they change so much that it's easier and less confusing both for the writer and the reader if they get a full list of class features instead of a list of class features altered from the base class.
** The major reason for this is that Paizo is heavily-invested in Pathfinder Society, a living-world campaign setting that allows any player to pick up their character and join any other PFS group without issue. Archetypes allow Paizo to continually put forth balanced class content without fear of destabilizing the Society's meta (since Archetypes are based on the 19/22 classes which are already known to be balanced), and allows players to worry less about what classes and prestige classes they'll need to take at what levels, and more about having fun actually playing the game.
** In addition, Pathfinder seems largely adverse to multiclassing in general. Most base classes have capstone abilities gained at level 20 as incentive against it. Taking it a step further, the ''Advanced Class Guide'', released in August 2014, introduces 10 new "hybrid" base classes which combine mechanics and concepts from the previous classes (Bloodrager = Barbarian + Sorcerer, for example) and act as alternatives to multiclassing.
* TheAtoner: [[http://pathfinderwiki.com/wiki/Seelah#History This is why Seelah is a paladin.]]
* BadassNormal: 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''. [[WhatDidIDoLastNight While blackout drunk.]] Even as a god he doesn't remember how he managed to reach the Starstone, or what exactly was going on at the time. He basically woke up the next day with a terrifying hangover and godhood.
** Well, he still can't remember because he became the god of, among other things, alcohol. By definition, he still hasn't sobered up.
** Of course, any non-magic-user character that survives long enough can be considered this.
* BagOfHolding: A staple magic Item and elaborated on in "Classic Treasures Revisited".
* BalefulPolymorph
* BecomeYourWeapon: 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.
* BeneathTheEarth: The world beneath is known as the Darklands and draws inspiration from pulp fiction of the early 1900s, such as Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs's ''Literature/{{Pellucidar}}''. It's divided into three "layers"--the uppermost is home to fairly normal humanoids like [[OurGoblinsAreDifferent goblins]] and [[OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame dwarves]], the middle layer is home to more reclusive races like the [[OurElvesAreBetter dark elves]], and the deepest pits are artificial Vaults, vast terrariums which may be {{Lost World}}s or the homes of [[EldritchAbomination unspeakable horrors]].
* BerserkButton: If you meet a jyoti, do NOT talk about the [[FantasticRacism sceaduinar]].
* BiTheWay: WordOfGod is that all characters in the books can be considered bisexual unless shown to be otherwise. This is pretty much to allow any player character (regardless of their own gender/sexuality) to romance the character (or ''be'' romanced. Looking at you, Greta).
* BigDamnHeroes: How the iconic summoner's eidolon came into being. See the [[Awesome/{{Pathfinder}} Awesome Moments page.]]
* BladeOnAStick: 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.
* BlindSeer: The Oracle character class can select this as their Curse, severely limiting their normal eyesight but gaining the Darkvision special ability to compensate.
* BlobMonster: Of course, since "ooze" is kept as a creature type.
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: Many neutral outsiders, particularly the Aeons (enigmatic TrueNeutral entities that are guardians of various aspects of reality), as well as beings from the First World such as many [[TheFairFolk Fey]] ([[OurGnomesAreWeirder 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 slavery is illegal, but in places where it is legal their targets become escaped slaves.
* BodyHorror: Some of the Alchemist's Discoveries are pure self-inflicted body horror, ranging from standard ''Literature/DrJekyllAndMrHyde''-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 BodyHorror is not limited just to the descriptions - at least two pieces of artwork showed it quite clearly.
** And then there are the tortures the Drow indulge in whenever one of their surface cousins falls in their clutches.
** [[WretchedHive The city of Kaer Maga]] has two further voluntary [[DarkIsNotEvil yet not necessarily villainous]] examples: the surprisingly civilized [[AllTrollsAreDifferent 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 InTheBlood aspect of magic power to its logical conclusion (i.e. the more blood in your body, the more power you have) and become [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin 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 SuperpowerMeltdown.
* BoisterousBruiser: Cayden Cailean, god of freedom, bravery, and alcoholic beverages, is what happens when a Boisterous Bruiser achieves godhood... ''[[WhatDidIDoLastNight by accident]]''.
** Also, Valeros, the iconic fighter. No points for guessing which god he follows.
* BondageIsBad: Zon-Kuthon, who is basically a [[Franchise/{{Hellraiser}} Cenobite]] homage as an evil god. Also the Kytons, expanded from a single type of evil outsider into a full-fledged ''Franchise/{{Hellraiser}}''-themed [[TheLegionsOfHell infernal]] [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils hierarchy]].
** Partially averted by the goddess Calistria, who isn't particularly good or evil.
* BrainInAJar: The Carrion Crown adventure module ''Wake of the Watcher'' features a "brain archive" that contains several of these.
* BreakTheCutie: Ameiko Kaijitsu's story arc in ''Pathfinder #1: Burnt Offerings'' has shades of this trope. [[spoiler: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 [=PC=]s 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 [=PC=]s 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. [[spoiler: Ameiko has the opportunity to become the Empress of Minkai--if she can make an exceedingly perilous journey there with the aid of the [=PC=]s 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 ''[[CosmicHorror something]]'', and coming back [[CameBackWrong 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. [[spoiler: 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 one 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 killed. 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 and died.
*** Seelah, the iconic Paladin, stole a paladin's helm, which led to the paladin's death when a killing blow was struck upon her unarmored head. Seelah 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.
*** Merisiel, the iconic Rogue, grew up as an orphan among humans, losing at least three generations of peers to aging and disease along the way.
*** 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.
* CaptainErsatz: The boggards, a race of frog-people, are really just ''D&D'''s bullywugs renamed due to copyright issues.
** The [[SnakePeople 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 Creator/RobertEHoward'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 "[[CosmicHorror 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 CaptainErsatz 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 [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils demon lord]] who was the BigBad 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'').[[note]]Rovagug did exist in Jacobs's original campaign but was a more generic god of the underworld.[[/note]]
** 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 Creator/HPLovecraft's Deep Ones), turning them into a CaptainErsatz 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.
** Bestiary 4 has Kaiju as a monster type. Of the Kaiju Agyra is basically a combination of Rodan and King Ghidorah. Bezravnis is a fiery underground Ebirah, and Mogaru is Godzilla without the radioactive aspects.
* ChainPain: 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.
* CharmPerson: A basic (1st Level) spell, with more powerful variants such as ''charm monster''.
* TheChewToy: The first issues of no fewer than four Adventure Paths have featured members of the Vancaskerkin family as supporting characters � first [[MinionWithAnFInEvil Orik]], then his brother [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans Verik]], their father [[AnOfferYouCantRefuse Saul]], and finally their half-sister [[ClassyCatBurglar Natalya]]. There ain�t ''one'' of them that can catch a break in canon, but the fans love �em for [[TheDeterminator keeping on]].
* ClingyMacGuffin: Most "cursed" magic items have this property. They can only be gotten rid of through a ''remove curse'' spell.
* ColonyDrop: Caused ten thousand years ago by the [[EldritchAbomination aboleths]] to punish their [[{{Atlantis}} uppity human pawns]]. Resulted in [[TheNightThatNeverEnds a thousand years of darkness]] and [[ApocalypseHow 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.
* CombatByChampion: [[http://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/ship-combat/advanced-naval-combat Combat on a boarded ship]] is [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality for practical reasons]] resolved as a one-to-one fight between the captains.
* ComboPlatterPowers: [[{{Jabberwocky}} The Tane]] all fall into this. The Jabberwock's abilities are the same as what's hinted at in the poem (eyes of flame, burbling, and whiffling), and the other two were created to mimic the Jabberwock. It's a major contributor to how [[OurMonstersAreWeird odd]] they are.
* CoolButStupid: Solid gold weapons! They cost 10 times as much as normal, weigh half again as much, take a penalty on damage rolls, ''fall apart'' [[CriticalFailure on an attack roll of 1]]... but hey, they sure do look pretty! They have NO real bonuses to counteract these penalties. Except a ''possible'' circumstance bonus to Diplomacy. The flavor text says that they are only used as ceremonial weapons.
** Well, no use until some clever wizard or rogue works out that the weight of the gold in a solid gold weapon sometimes comes out to 20 times the cost or more, and whips out the linguistics(forgery) skill or the fabricate spell...
* CompleteImmortality: After the release of ''Mythic Adventures'', Tier 10 mythic characters can gain something very close to this. Take the Mythic Longevity path ability that renders them immune to aging, and their natural mythic ability ''Immortal'' means that unless they receive a Coup-de-Grace or critical hit with an artifact that kills them, they will immediately "respawn" 24 hours later.
** Some CR 26-30 creatures also have this. The statted versions of the Great Old Ones are immortal and can only be delayed, not killed. Bokrug is reduced to dormancy if "killed" and returns to the Dimension of Dreams to slumber for hundreds of years, Cthulhu must be "killed" twice and returns to R'lyeh until awakened again once this is done, and Hastur is returned to life if somebody dons his robes after "killing" him while otherwise he simply can't manifest a physical body again until the conditions are right.
** Baba Yaga possesses complete immortality. With the base mythic ability, she then removed her Death from herself. She returns after 24 hours no matter what kills her unless her Death is released back into her body first. She keeps her Death in a hidden demiplane within her Dancing Hut. A demiplane that can normally only be accessed from within the Hut and with her permission.
* CreativeSterility: 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.
* CriticalFailure:
** Firearms misfire on a low attack roll. A misfire results in the weapon gaining the broken condition, which means that the weapon will more easily misfire again, and the weapon will explode on a second misfire.
** Fragile weapons also become broken on a natural 1 and are destroyed on a second natural 1.
** Any attack roll resulting in a natural 1 near a temerdaemon will hit the attacker or an ally of the attacker if a second attack roll succeeds.
* CthulhuMythos: The dev team said that they wouldn'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. They lied. The very first Bestiary included stats for the [[BlobMonster shoggoths]], and it just kept going from there, with stats for numerous Mythos monsters (Yithians, Elder Things, Flying Polyps, Star-Spawn of Cthulhu, Nightgaunts, Denizens and Spiders of Leng, bholes, colors out of space, spawn of Yog-sothoth, shantaks, and more). Things came to a head in ''Bestiary 4'', which included a template for Great Old Ones and statistics for three of them; the iconic Cthulhu himself and Hastur (via his most famous incarnation, "The King in Yellow"), plus the much more obscure Bokrug.
** Part 4 of the Carrion Crown adventure path details cults and monsters dedicated to these entities.
* CultureChopSuey: Less prevalent than you might think, and seems to be more based on RuleOfCool than ignorance. For example, county Sinaria in Ustalav is essentially a gothic horror Louisiana with [[ThePhantomOfTheOpera Opera Populaire]] thrown in, as a border province in {{Uberwald}}.
* CursedWithAwesome: The sorcerer Class now has Bloodlines which can stem from anything from dragons to demons to undead to Lovecraftian horrors lurking 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 [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveSupernaturalPowers 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.
* CuteCrittersActChildlike: Goblins are an evil version: pyromaniac big-heads who behave like [[PsychopathicManchild psychopathic little kids]]. It's part of what makes them so amusing.
* CuteMonsterGirl:
** Female [[RubberForeheadAliens Lashunta]]. While all Lashunta are reasonably human-looking apart from the antennae, the men tend to be short, hairy, and unprepossessing, while the women are beautiful {{Green Skinned Space Babe}}s.
** Female driders have the torsos of beautiful drow women, and their arachnid lower halves have a certain black widowish sleekness and grace. Male driders have obvious spider mandibles and less streamlined lower bodies.
** [[http://alzrius.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/changeling_girl.jpg Changelings]], the immature daughters of hags. Hags are monstrous old crones; changelings are pretty girls with MismatchedEyes and, sometimes, unusual hair colours.
** Many of the fiendish races (with the prominent exception of the [[StarfishAliens utterly]] [[EldritchAbomination inhuman]] qlippoths) have a "pretty humanoid" variant: Erinyes for the devils, [[HornyDevils Succubi]] for demons, Erodaemons for daemons, and Pairakas for divs. Ostiarus kytons are Cute Monster Boys.
** Harpies seesaw on this trope; on the one hand, they are physically attractive, but on the other hand, they're [[ThePigPen very unhygienic]] and so tend to be filthy, foul-smelling, and with crooked teeth.
** Lamias look like either tauric SnakePeople or [[OurCentaursAreDifferent cat-taurs]], but the female half is always quite beautiful.
** Sirens (who look like giant birds with the heads of very attractive human women) are a bit on the monstrous side, but count. They're one of the few species that require humanoid men to breed who treat them decently -- their entry in the ''Bestiary 2'' actually mentions sirens dying of heartbreak, or committing suicide, if they are spurned by men they wish to mate with.
** Thriae are a race of bee-girls who follow this trope quite well.
** Let's save time and state that many "nymph" type fey (rusalkas, nereids, dryads, nymphs) fit this archetype.
* DarkIsEvil: Present everywhere, but nowhere is it more prominent than with the Nightshades. The most powerful race of undead, nightshades are never smaller than Huge size, and their most powerful member (the nightwave) is a [[{{Kaiju}} Colossal]] [[ThreateningShark shadow shark.]] [[FlyingSeafoodSpecial That can FLY.]]
** DarkIsNotEvil: On the other hand, the plane right next door to the nightshades, the Plane of Shadow, is home to beings like the fetchlings and wayangs, that mostly want to be left to themselves. The Movanic Deva angel is VERY evil-looking. Svirfneblin, at first glance, seem to be gnome versions of duergar or drow, but they're usually neutral. Pseudodragons are tiny dragons that look somewhat freaky, but are NeutralGood and have catlike personalities. And, obviously, we have tieflings, the mortal descendants of fiends that can choose to embrace their heritage or completely denounce it.
* DarkerAndEdgier: 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.
** The "Carnival of Tears" module gives the heroes an early opportunity to stop a violent rape, and that's before any evil fey get involved. From there it becomes a parade of gore, misery, and horror that puts the ''{{Film/Saw}}'' movies to shame. If the adventure ends with a body count of less than ''one hundred villagers'', it's considered a smashing success for the heroes.
** HotterAndSexier, as well. Note the female iconics. And [[EstrogenBrigadeBait some of the males]]...
* DarkWorld: The Plane of Shadow, just like in 3.5, is still ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.
* DeadlyGas: The Cloud Kill and Acid Fog spells
** The module ''Rasputin Must Die!'' has mustard gas, and a monster that's a sentient cloud of it. That got that way by [[YourSoulIsMine absorbing the souls of the people it killed]]. [[EverythingsDeaderWithZombies It makes zombies.]]
* DealWithTheDevil: Lots of devils in PF make deals, but [[{{Faust}} Mephistopheles]], of course, is the best at it.
* DeathBySex:
** Harpies, being a OneGenderRace comprised solely of women, need to mate with humanoid males to propagate their race (as well as just for fun). However, they usually eat their lovers once they're done with them -- indeed, it's noted that it's actually considered bad luck in standard harpy culture to ''not'' eat the father of their daughter, unless he is powerful enough that it is worthwhile not to consume him once the harpy has been fertilized.
** Lamias (or at least the regular, matriarch and harridan versions) are much the same, though the way it's worded implies that partners dying from exhaustion, murderous flares of temper, drug overdose or sadism taken too far is roughly as common as the lamia eating her lover when she grows bored with them.
** Hags, again, need humanoid males to reproduce. They don't always kill their partner, though. It depends on how they feel. Especially if they think it'd be more "fun" to leave the resultant neonate hag-daughter in her daddy's care, they may well spare their unwitting mate.
** Jorogumos are spider-woman who, again, need humanoid mates to father their offspring. They then act like wasps, in that they implant the fertilized egg(s) into the father and paralyse him with their venom; when the egg hatches, the daughter fatally eats her father for nourishment.
** Thriae, again, are a CuteMonsterGirl race prone to eating their mates. They differ to all of the above in that it's implied that only the Qeens treat their consorts this way (the other castes develop more emotional bonds with their mates), they only do so when a lover has grown too old and feeble to reliably fertilize the Queen anymore, and they always use an anaesthetizing venom to render their former lover unconscious and devoid of pain before they begin.
** Ogres are a male example of this; it's been stated that they tend to rape humanoids (especially women) to death. Ogres, we'll remind you, are 10ft tall, 500 or so pound, horrifically strong, dim-witted sadists. You can put the pieces together as to what the general cause of death is.
** The players can actually cause this in a monster; a member of the [[EnthrallingSiren siren race]] is noted in the ''Bestiary 2'' for her tendency to commit suicide, or literally die of heartbreak, if a male she has her heart set on escapes from her whilst she's courting him.
* DieselPunk: ''Rasputin Must Die!'', which drops the players off in [[GrimUpNorth Siberia]] during [[WorldWarOne WW1]] to fight {{cyborg}} [[TankGoodness tanks]], [[TheFairFolk evil fey]], zombies, daemons, and swarms of Russian soldiers armed with machine guns, experimental MagiTek weaponry, and mustard gas.
* DemonLordsAndArchdevils: 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 [[PublicDomainCharacter public domain]] predecessors (Geryon and Moloch), with a new one, Barbatos, rounding out the line-up. Asmodeus is still their ruler, but he is now a full deity.
** 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 Character}}s (Orcus, Demogorgon[[note]]though his depiction as a two-headed monkey/serpent remains copyrighted by Wizards, so he receives only off-hand mentions[[/note]], Pazuzu, Dagon, Kostchtchie, Baphomet...). The biggest losses lore-wise were Graz'zt, Fraz-Urb'luu[[note]]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 ''TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}}''[[/note]], 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 [[HorsemenOfTheApocalypse 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[[note]]{{Expy}}s of D&D's Obyriths[[/note]] 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 [[Franchise/{{Hellraiser}} 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 [[RageAgainstTheHeavens thanatotic]] [[OurTitansAreDifferent titans]]... who are nearly a race of demigods unto themselves.
* DependingOnTheArtist: Catfolk have three primary sources for their visual representation and none of them look remotely similar. When they first showed up in one of the Bestiaries, there was only a picture of a female catfolk who looked like a CatGirl. Then came the Advanced Race Guide, which had images of both a male and female catfolk that were very similar to [[TheElderScrolls khajiit]]. And finally, one adventure path showed catfolk that looked like something out of ''ThunderCats''.
* DestroyableItems:
** Some items 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 applicable saving throws to avoid being destroyed. And of course, if you want to take a smack at someone's sword, shield, or armour, you can.
** 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.
* DeathWorld: Of all the places with sentient life, perhaps the most dangerous to human life would be Golarion's ''sun''.
* DevilButNoGod: [[SatanicArchetype Asmodeus]] had a brother and opposite number once. [[spoiler:He killed him]]. Of course, there are plenty of good-aligned deities, but none specifically modeled on the Abrahamic God.
* {{Dhampyr}}: By name, balanced as a playable race by watering down the strengths and weaknesses full blooded vampires would have.
** Bonus points for including a racial archetype that lets you basically play as ''Film/{{Blade}}''.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: As of Bestiary 4, you can! And Hastur and Bokrug, too! True, they're just knocked unconscious and sent back into their [[SealedEvilInACan cans]], and Hastur and Cthulhu have nasty tricks that allow them to revive instantly if you're not cautious (the former tries to trick you into putting on his robes so he can [[DemonicPossession use you as a last-minute gateway back]], and the latter reforms, though badly dazed and you can only prevent him from coming at you again if you get him again while he's dazed), but "knocking out" when you don't actually lose anything to them inherently is definitely this trope.
* DisabilitySuperpower: The Oracle's Curse class feature.
* DoingInTheWizard: An odd thing to do for a Fantasy world, but the various "Dire" animals are now their prehistoric megafauna ancestors, at least nominally (many of them still have the armoured skin of their more fanciful D&D counterparts).
* DragonRider: The Dragon Legion of the planet Triaxus, which consists primarily of natives who form bonds with the (relatively)small, weapon-using Dragonkin.
* DumbMuscle: A few [=NPC=]s fit this mold. Auchs from ''Kingmaker'' is a villainous PsychopathicManchild, while Owlbear Hartshorn in ''Skull and Shackles'' is a potential ally and a bit of a {{Woobie}}. The player can also be one of these.
* {{Eagleland}}: Andoran is a mixed-flavor example, and is seen as such in-universe.
** Slightly slanted towards type one though, given that the national alignment is NeutralGood.
* EldritchAbomination: Lots and lots, given [[AuthorAppeal the devs' obvious infatuation]] with the CthulhuMythos and other CosmicHorrorStory background elements. Two of the setting's main gods have this vibe (Rovagug is basically a SealedEvilInACan Great Old One, and Zon-Kuthon is a transparent ''Franchise/{{Hellraiser}}'' ShoutOut), and there's a lot more running around, from straight Creator/HPLovecraft transplants and old D&D standbys (except for mind flayers and beholders, as they're not OGL material) to new, setting-specific creations.
* ElvesVsDwarves: Consciously averted. 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". Lead designer James Jacobs explained that it's because ElvesVsDwarves is a prominent trope in ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'', and Paizo wanted to avoid comparisons between the two settings.
** Apparently played straight as of the Advanced Race Guide, which includes character options for both elves and dwarves which divide up their favored enemy bonuses between the standard orcs...and each other, thanks to the usual ancient grudge.
* TheEmpire: Cheliax, in all its dark devil-worshipping glory. Fortunately still recovering from its stint as a VestigialEmpire, though.
* EmptyLevels: ''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.
** Even spellcasters get their own unique stuff. Clerics' domains give increasing bonuses and abilities as levels go up (as opposed to D&D, where, aside from spells, the domains gave their full payout at level 1), sorcerers have their Bloodlines that keep getting better, wizards get either increasing bonuses from being specialists, or from being a balanced generalist, and Summoners gain "Evolution Points" that they can use to tweak their [[BondCreatures Bond Creature]].
** An additional counter to the empty level issue: every level in a favored class grants one extra skill point, one extra health point, or one incremental bonus dependent on race and class (including, in some cases, extra spells or bonuses to combat maneuvers).
* EndlessWinter: Irrisen ([[FantasyCounterpartCulture Fantasy Counterpart Culture]] of [[RussianMythologyAndTales fairy-tale Russia]]) has had this problem since Baba Yaga took over. The ''Reign of Winter'' Adventure Path involves the threat of this happening over the entire planet.
** The planet Triaxus goes through just about a hundred years of winter at a time, alternating with an equally long summer.
* EntropyAndChaosMagic: 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.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Demons and devils regularly team up with each other and angels against the suicidally nihilistic daemons.
** Asmodeus aided the good and neutral gods against [[ChaoticEvil Ro]][[OmnicidalManiac va]][[CosmicHorror gug]], even providing the lock to [[SealedEvilInACan seal him away]].
** [[OurOgresAreHungrier Ogres]] are DarkerAndEdgier than ever before, being basically [[ImAHumanitarian cannibalistic]] [[IncestIsRelative inbred]] [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil rapist]] [[CannibalClan hillbillies]] with no morality whatsoever. And yet they tend to have very close knit families because EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas. Possibly a bit too much.
* EveryoneIsBi: [[TeasingCreator One of the developers]] has [[http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/pathfinder/campaignSetting/general/homosexualityInGolarion&page=12&source=search#584 stated]] that unless otherwise explicitly noted, all of the mascot "iconic" characters should simply be considered bisexual. Golarion in general is pretty LGBT-friendly.
** The Jade Regent AP one-ups this; there are rules for romancing each and every core NPC. Gender is not mentioned once in all of those rules.
* EvilIsDeathlyCold: The kingdom of Irrisen was conquered by the immortal WickedWitch BabaYaga, who placed it under a spell of eternal winter. The "Reign of Winter" Adventure Path involves her daughter trying to spread it over the whole planet.
* TheEvilsOfFreeWill: [[SatanicArchetype Asmodeus's]] motivation for trying to grind all creation under his LawfulEvil heel.
* {{Expy}}: The kytons are expies of the [[Franchise/{{Hellraiser}} Cenobites]]
** King Mogaru, a kaiju detailed in ''Bestiary 4'', is Franchise/{{Godzilla}}.
** The Blind Angels of Opara, a wing of gargoyles with angelic appearances that cannot move while being watched, are [[DoctorWho the Weeping Angels]]
* {{Familiar}}: Wizards, witches, and sorcerers have the option of gaining one of these. Wizards can choose to establish an "arcane bond" with either a living familiar or an inanimate object, such as a magic amulet, weapon, or wand. Only one type of sorcerer gets this bonding ability. Witches, however, MUST have a familiar, which acts as a link to the mysterious patrons that grant witches their magical power.
* FanService: Paizo puts a lot of effort into artwork. And makes a point of featuring a lot of female [=NPC=]s and characters. Which also leads to...
** FanDisservice: [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/pathfinder/images/7/7d/Urgathoa.jpg Urgathoa]], Goddess of [[VillainousGlutton Gluttony]], [[TheDiseaseThatShallNotBeNamed Disease]], and [[TheUndead 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.
* FantasticFragility: 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.
* FantasticRacism: The [[LightIsNotGood jyoti]] and the sceaduinar.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture:
** Of the states: Absalom is Jerusalem. Almhult is Iceland. Amanandar is Hong Kong. Andoran is [[{{Eagleland}} the early United States]]. The Arcadians are Native Americans, and so are the Shoanti[[note]]though the Shoanti are also influenced by Creator/RobertEHoward's Picts[[/note]]. Bachuan is, of all places in a fantasy setting, a fusion of communist China and North Korea. Brevoy and Iobaria are medieval Russia. Cheliax can be seen as some weird form of Satan-worshipping Nazi Germany if you look at it the right (wrong) way. Dtang Ma is Thailand. The Erutaki are Inuit. The Forest of Spirits is ancient Japan, by way of PrincessMononoke. Galt is revolutionary France. Hongal is Mongolia. Hwanggot is Korea. Iblydos is ancient Greece. Irrisen is [[RussianMythologyAndTales the fairy tale version of Russia]] (complete with BabaYaga!). 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, with the difference being that Minkai is a bit more fantastic and Shokuro a bit more feudal. The Mwangi Expanse is DarkestAfrica. Ninshabur is Babylon. Osirion is Egypt. Qadira is also Arabia (with some Persian influences). Sarusan is Australia. The Shackles are the Caribbean. Taldor is the Byzantine Empire. Ustalav is [[{{Uberwald}} fantasy Transylvania]]. Valenhall is Vinland. The Varisians are the UsefulNotes/{{Romani}} (Gypsies). The Varki are Smi (Lapland natives). 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 a [[SatanicArchetype take on Satan]] as depicted in ParadiseLost and the DivineComedy[[note]]note that Asmodeus is a real-world devil, but very different from the ''Pathfinder'' version[[/note]]. Shizuru and Susumu are [[JapaneseMythology 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.
* FantasyGunControl: 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. Averted harder in Numeria, where a crashed spaceship can provide access to laser guns, rocket launchers, and even more esoteric weapons, provided you can get them past the Technical League which guards their tech with murderous jealousy. 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, as well as pair of rogue talents that lets you nab the ability to use one.
** ''Rasputin Must Die'', the fifth part of the "Reign of Winter" adventure path, adds stats for real WorldWarOne Russian guns, even mustard gas. It also includes the Trench Fighter archetype for the Gunslinger class.
* FantasyKitchenSink: [[UpToEleven Even moreso than might be expected]] from a D&D-type setting. As well as everything D&D had already (or at least reasonable facsimiles), there's the Literature/CthulhuMythos, Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs-style PlanetaryRomance and BeneathTheEarth locales, [[Creator/LewisCarroll things like the Jabberwock and Bandersnatch and Jubjub birds]], monsters based on old ''Sinbad'' movies, and even modern folkloric monsters like mothmen and chupacabras.
* FateWorseThanDeath: Do NOT get captured alive by drow in this setting.
** If, on the other hand, Zon-Kuthon worshippers kindly invite you to a party in your honor, [[SchmuckBait you should probably politely decline even though there is certainly going to be really good food and drink.]]
* FlamingSword: A common Enchantment. The paladin and magus have the ability to give their weapons this ability as well.
* FogFeet: {{Wendigo}}s.
* FungusHumongous: In addition to several {{eldritch abomination}}s, the DemonLord Cyth-V�sug is basically a giant fungal dragon.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:G-L]]
* GameplayAndStorySegregation:
** In-story, goblins have been built up as [[TooDumbToLive braindead idiots with no survival instinct]]. Rules-wise, however, they have the same Intelligence and Wisdom as the average human.
*** Likewise, half-orcs are more often than not described as dim and brutish, with those who aren't being exceptions to the rule. By the rules, a half-orc takes no negatives to stats, and takes a +2 bonus to any stat of the player's choosing. So it's entirely possible to have a half-orc with 20 intelligence or charisma right off the bat.
*** In ''Blood of the Night'', the Vetala-Born dhamphir, or Ajibachana, is described as yearning for knowledge and often engaging in scholarly pursuits. They are the only dhamphir heritage that takes a penalty to their intelligence.
*** ''Blood of the Moon'' continues the tradition with the wereshark-kin, or "seascarred" skinwalker breed, who are said to gravitate to the magus class[[note]]which favors strength and intelligence[[/note]]. They take a penalty to their intelligence and receive bonuses to their wisdom and constitution, neither of which are particularly useful for a magus. They do, however, get a few unique magus arcana.
** A rather odd example is the Termagant Kyton, whose horrifically pregnant-looking appearance and description as a "coddling, cooing mother of nails and aberrant life", which "seeks to make all living creatures adopted members of her malformed brood" implies a role as some kind of MookMaker and/or MonsterLord. Instead, her abilities and attacks focus on poisoning victims, being a poisonous ActionBomb, and having victims of her poison be poisonous {{Action Bomb}}s in turn.
* GenieInABottle: Represented by the magical items ''efreeti bottle'' and the ''ring of djinn summoning''.
* GeniusBruiser: Despite being more [[{{Gonk}} brutish-looking]] than their [[CuteMonsterGirl female]] [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe counterparts]], male Lashunta are notably the first canon race that has a bonus to both Strength and Intelligence. The other are the "scaleheart", or werecrocodile-kin skinwalker breed, which are noted for their violent tendencies.
* GeniusLoci: The Kami, introduced in ''Bestiary 3'', are native outsiders that are literally the spirits of specific locations, like mountains and islands.
* GenreShift: Occurs at the start of the second Kingmaker module. You go from being typical adventurers to becoming the rulers of a new kingdom. Adventuring still takes up most of gameplay, but you will spend a lot of time running your kingdom.
* GeometricMagic: The various ''symbol'' spells invoke this trope.
* GlassCannon: The Monk class fits this. Monks get the fast movement ability, which increases their speed, and can deliver a Flurry of Blows, which allows them to make several additional attacks whenever they make a full attack action. However, as a cost, they are forbidden from wearing any armor or using shields, which means that it's fairly easy to hit them. Further, they are easily incapacitated after a few blows.
* GlassShatteringSound: The ''shatter'' spell.
* AGodAmI / AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: 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 WhatDidIDoLastNight below.)
* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen:
** [[spoiler: Queen Ileosa of Korvosa in ''Curse of the Crimson Throne.'']]
** The current queen of Cheliax is a teenage RoyalBrat whose advisers include a pit fiend devil. You do the math. The worst part? He's there to ''reign in'' her darker impulses.
* GoodWeaponEvilWeapon: Weapons can be magically given an alignment towards good or evil (as well as law or chaos) for the purposes of defeating an opponent's damage resistance.
** Every god (whether good, neutral or evil) has a favored weapon, no matter how disposed to violence said god might be. Whether a specific character wields a particular kind of weapon can be a clue as to the god they worship (although nothing stops a non-believer from using that weapon) and thus what the alignment of that character is likely to be.
* GorgeousGarmentGeneration: The ''rod of splendor'' garbs its wielder in magical noble's clothing - the finest fabrics, plus adornments of furs and jewels, worth 7,000-10,000 gold pieces. Of course this was a [=DnD=] 3.5 item.
* GreenEyedMonster: 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.
* GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe: Lashunta women. The Lashunta are a species of psychic humanoids from a neighboring planet in Golarion's solar system, and female Lashunta resemble tall, beautiful human or elven women with antennae.
* GrumpyOldMan: Erastil, God of Farming, Hunting, Trade and Family: [[GoodIsNotNice Cranky]], [[AcceptableFeminineGoalsAndTraits sexist]], [[ValuesDissonance reactionary]]... and LawfulGood.
* TheGunslinger: Available by name as a new class in ''Ultimate Combat'' which allows you to be a Wild West hero with GunFu. They use "grit" points to fuel their ImprobableAimingSkills, and regain grit by being ''cool''.
* HatOfPower: Many examples.
* {{Hellfire}}: Made by Devils, it's evil fire and can even burn those immune to fire.
* HellSeeker: There are a lot. Pretty much anyone who makes a DealWithTheDevil for instance. Oddly enough subverted to a degree with the country of [[EvilEmpire Cheliax]], who see Hell's Infernal Hierarchy more as a model for government than as a place they want to be.
* HeelFaceTurn: ''Champions of Purity'' has a short chapter and rules for redeeming evil people and creatures. To drive the point home, the page displays the Tiefling shown fighting Seelah on the cover of ''Blood of Fiends'' now proudly wearing a symbol of Iomedae.
** A Half-Orc Paladin subset, "[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Redeemer]]", focuses on doing this with monstrous creatures through various tweaks to regular Paladin abilities[[note]] They can even FORCE a (temporary) Face-turn through "Pact of Peace", a level 8 Ability that acts as a lesser geas[[/note]] - except for [[AlwaysChaoticEvil the Undead and evil-aligned Dragons and Outsiders]].
* HeroicSacrifice: What caused the aboleths' plans to use the Starstone as a ColonyDrop to backfire spectacularly-two, in fact. Acavna, Aztlan goddess of the moon and war, saw the incoming Starstone and attempted to stop it, [[BrokeYourArmPunchingOutCthulhu killing her in the process]]...and then her lover Amaznen, god of magic, decided he would be TogetherInDeath and used his life force to empower a spell that broke the aboleth control over the Starstone, making it much less lethal and inclined to fall where they wanted.
* HillbillyHorrors: The ''Hook Mountain Massacre,'' with the bonus that some of the inbred rapist homicidal degenerates are ten feet tall.
** Ogres and ogrekin in general borrow a lot from this trope.
** Marsh giants as well, with added elements of Lovecraftian cults, courtesy to their worship of Dagon.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: ''Reign of Winter'' includes RasputinTheMadMonk and Anastasia [[spoiler:(Rasputin is the son of BabaYaga, Anastasia ''was'' killed with the other Romanovs, but Resputin resurrected her using a lock of her hair)]].
* HorsemenOfTheApocalypse: The Four Horsemen are the near-godlike rulers of the NeutralEvil fiends known as the daemons (aka yugoloths in ''D&D'').
* HotSkittyOnWailordAction: Just like in D&D, 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 sorcerers whose bloodlines can include devils, dragons, angels, undead, plants, and shadows.
** Of course this is often a case of [[{{LamarckWasRight}} Lamarck Was Right]] with the example for the undead bloodline suggesting that your ancestor became a lich or the infernal bloodline suggesting that the power is actually a lingering effect of an ancestor's [[{{DealWithTheDevil}} Deal with the Devil]].
** Indeed, their entries in the Bestiaries mention that creatures such as half dragons and half fiends are mostly the result of magical rituals, and only very rarely the result of actual sexual relations between different species.
* HumanSacrifice: 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.
* HumansAreSpecial: Subverted. The rise to power of the first human civilization, [[{{Atlantis}} Azlant]], was covertly backed by [[EldritchAbomination aboleths]], and one can argue that humanity wouldn't have the status it now does without that start and its consequences.
* ImplacableMan: Pretty much the point of a high level samurai. They gain the ability LastStand, which makes them basically unkillable to anyone but their [[ThrowingDownTheGauntlet mark]]. They take minimum damage from outside sources (except magic and [[CriticalHit Critical Hits]]), don't enter the dying state when they're below 0 health, and take no damage from outside physical attacks once they hit 0 health. These benefits remain until they either attack someone else, kill their foe, or die.
* ImportedAlienPhlebotinum: Findable in Numeria, in the wreckage of a spaceship that crashed millennia ago. This is the focus of the Iron Gods campaign path.
* ImpossiblyCoolClothes: 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?
** AWizardDidIt.
** And then there's Laori's skintight chainmail. Admittedly, she's a [[TooKinkyToTorture sadomasochist]], so comfort isn't an issue, but ''still''...
* InASingleBound: When Rushing, the Tarrasque's jump is practically NotQuiteFlight.
* InterdimensionalTravelDevice: Many, many examples, including the ''amulet of the planes'', the ''well of many worlds'', and the ''cubic gate''.
* InterspeciesRomance: With all the HalfHumanHybrids and other crossbreeds running around and considering the HotSkittyOnWailordAction above, this happens pretty often. Though not as often as in D&D. It even shows up specifically in certain adventure paths.
** In ''Legacy of Fire'', a harpy named Undrella unabashedly hits on the male player character with the highest Charisma score, and though it's hidden behind euphemisms, it's quite clear that reciprocating could be very helpful to helping her make a HeelFaceTurn, especially when she shows back up in the final adventure of the path.
** In ''Skull & Shackles'', an important non-player character in the last adventure is the half-orc son of a human sailor who befriended the female orc slave-to-be being transported on the ship he had been pressganged to serving on, helped her escape, and eventually fell in love with her and settled down happily.
** Half-orc paladin, Irabeth Tirablade, of ''Wrath of the Righteous'' has a similar backstory, having been born to a male orc who genuinely fell in love with a human woman and abandoned his brutal culture to be with her.
*** Besides which she's in one herself, since her lesbian [[note]](a {{transsexual}} woman who used a potion that Irabeth bought her to assume her true female form[[/note]] lover is a pure-blooded human.
** In the second adventure for ''Reign of Winter'', a potential non-player character ally is Greta, who is a female winter wolf [[note]]a race of intelligent, evil, talking white-furred wolves with frost-breath attacks and cold immunity[[/note]] currently transformed into a human form by the magic of her city of residence. Unlike Undrella, it's quite explicit that she's looking for romance, but a player character could eventually use this to [[LoveRedeems help her]] to make a HeelFaceTurn. It's easier to get her interested if the [=PC=] is using a certain magic item that makes her assume they're also a transformed winter wolf, but it's possible to do so without it, and even if she is misled in the first place, she [[IfItsYouItsOkay doesn't care when she finds out that her lover isn't a winter wolf]]. That said, it does make her especially interested in finding some way of maintaining a human form if she leaves the city.
* InTheBlood: Sorcerer bloodlines.
** The Bloatmage prestige class plays with this trope in the squickiest way possible.
* ISeeDeadPeople: The ''speak with dead'' spell partially resurrects corpses for conversation.
** The Ancestor Mystery Oracle can converse with and summon the ghosts of their ancestors.
* IrrationalHatred: Yamabushi Tengu really, really hate ducks for some reason.
* JekyllAndHyde: [[http://paizo.com/paizo/blog/tags/meetTheIconics/v5748dyo5lbad# Damiel Morgethai]] under the influence of the chemical mutagen he is addicted to.
** The Master Chymist prestige class is ten levels' worth of this trope.
* JerkAss: Alain, [[http://paizo.com/paizo/blog/tags/alain/v5748dyo5lb9f# 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 [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin 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 [[FungusHumongous Mu spores]], behemoths, [[KrakenAndLeviathan krakens]]...
** An actual kaiju template, inspired by high-powered Japanese movie monsters like Godzilla and Gamera, was scheduled for appearance in ''Bestiary 3'', but it was cut because it would have been ''eight pages long''. Paizo held off on releasing it until they got mythic rules (ie, rules for playing near-demigods) ironed out, so it didn't appear until ''Bestiary 4''.
*** Actual Kaiju coming with the template? First, there's Agrya the Forever Storm, a massive two-headed that can [[ShockAndAwe spit lightning bolts]] from each head, [[BlowYouAway create a hurricane]], and produces sonic booms when she flies and top speed. Bezravnis, known as the Inferno Below, resembles a monstrous, distorted three-tailed scorpion whose powers include throwing webbing that constricts on its prey until it's crushed to death and firing heat rays from each stinger. Finally, Mogaru the Final King is a twin-tailed, energy-absorbing, BreathWeapon-wielding saurian creature.
* KatanasAreJustBetter: Ultimate Combat introduces the katana and wakizashi. They're mostly identical to longswords (bastard swords before errata) and shortswords respectively, but with a very minor additional cost [[note]]35 gold more when a 2nd level PlayerCharacter is expected to have 2000[[/note]], a greater critical threat range, and an additional special property "deadly" that makes them better at executing helpless foes, and wakizashi can deal piercing or slashing damage while shortswords are only effective at piercing. Note that this is more about PowerCreep than katana fanboyism, since they're also exotic weapons which require special and specific training to use properly - western exotic weapons have a similar level of power.
* KillItWithFire: Sarenrae, NeutralGood Goddess of Healing and the Sun, reserves this for those who have no interest in redemption.
** Generally, the easier option to deal with trolls. Unless you're a wizard (or just CrazyPrepared) you probably won't have acid lying around.
** On the other hand, while it isn't as bad as in 3e, fire is the most common immunity.
* KillThePoor: [[spoiler: Ileosa Arabasti]] in "Curse of the Crimson Throne" unleashes a plague with this goal in mind.
* KnifeNut: "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."
* KnightTemplar: The Hellknight orders of Cheliax, which can be effectively summarized as ComicBook/JudgeDredd in fullplate.
* KubrickStare: [[http://www.pathfinderwiki.com/wiki/File:King_of_Roses.jpeg The King of Roses]] from the adventure ''The Conquest of Bloodsworn Vale''.
* LadyOfWar: The goddess Iomedae is, well, the [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin goddess]] of this.
** Also, Seelah, the iconic paladin.
* LawyerFriendlyCameo: The adventure "The Witchwar Legacy" has a big one. [[spoiler: 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 [[{{Greyhawk}} orc]] [[ForgottenRealms deity]] whose [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gruumsh name]] is long since forgotten[...]"
* LeftJustifiedFantasyMap: 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.
* LevelDrain: Averted. Undead can still inflict negative levels, but you no longer have to earn those levels back the hard way.
* LightIsNotGood: Shining Children (creepy borderline-EldritchAbomination evil outsiders with light and fire themed powers) and Lurkers in Light (creepy extraplanar [[TheFairFolk 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, and has a portfolio of [[SillyReasonForWar pointless conflict]].
* LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards: Played straight. Spellcasting classes tend to dominate the late game after spending the early game nursing [[SquishyWizard single digit hitpoints]].
** It should be noted that it's still significantly better about this than 3.5. Most significantly, fighters have been given unique feats that give them extremely powerful combat maneuvers and the duration of game-breaking battle spells is generally measured in rounds and had their numerical advantages severely decreased. Casters also have the option of taking the additional hit-points from their favored class.
* LivingShadow: The spell ''shadow projection'' allows you to make your own shadow into this.
* LoadBearingBoss: Once during Council of Thieves: [[spoiler:The chain reaction that leads to the destruction of the mayors villa and the release of the Pit Fiend starts with one single, murdered Kyton (although sad Kyton is killed by an NPC before the heroes arrive)]].
* LostWorld: The Vaults of Orv in the lowest levels of the Darklands are these.
* LoveDodecahedron: The villains of Rise of the Runelords. And a {{squick}}y dodecahedron at that. [[spoiler:Orik likes Lyrie who loves Tsuto who loves Nualia who is having sex with Tsuto but doesn't actually love him because she's angry about her former lover Delek. The goblin chief is also infatuated with Nualia, and neglects his wives so that they're all sleeping with Bruthazmus (who's probably the only one happy with the arrangement).]]
* LovecraftCountry: 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.
* LovecraftLite: Turns up everywhere, when you scratch under the surface. Nasty elder gods, ancient non-humanoid civilizations, weird and inimical aliens, and direct references to [[CthulhuMythos the Mythos]]. The guys at Paizo love Creator/HPLovecraft. The game as a whole also does not actually care about these except as thematic elements or when they are direct antagonists, and most Mythos creatures are [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu just more monsters]], no SanityMeter to speak of.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:M-O]]
* MadDoctor: Many of the alchemist archetypes from ''Ultimate Magic'' are based around knowledge of anatomy (and how to severely damage it).
* [[MadeofIndestructium Made of Indestructium]]: Major artifacts need to be destroyed by fantastic means. A different, and always difficult, method is needed for each one. No conventional attempts can harm them.
** Pathfinder owes this trope to [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings one of its inspirations]] through a long line of descent.
* MadScientist: The alchemist class is based on a fantasy application of mad chemistry, with [[MadBomber incendiary bombs]], {{Psycho Serum}}s, 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 MadScientist types.
* MagicFromTechnology / {{Magitek}}: The planet Verces is the most technologically advanced in Golarion's solar system, using equal parts ''Franchise/StarTrek'' level technology and arcane magic to keep their spacefaring society running. Neither is seen as conflicting with the other.
* MagicKnight: 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. The class has - largely - replaced the Eldritch Knight, a decent prestige class that unfortunately required struggling with a somewhat weak character before it could be achieved.
* MagicMusic: The Bard character class is built upon this.
* TheMagocracy: The two most prominent examples are the nations of Nex and Geb. The former nation focuses on standard magic (like evocation and transmutation), while the latter is a [[TheNecrocracy necrocracy]] focusing almost exclusively on necromantic magic.
* MascotMook: Goblins.
* MassiveRaceSelection: [[Races/{{Pathfinder}} Whoo boy.]] As of this writing, there is a grand total of 50 distinct playable races, not counting multiple heritages and racial variants, or creatures with racial hit dice. These have been detailed in such books as ''Advanced Race Guide'' and each of the various ''Beastiaries'', as well as a few of the ''Adventure Path'' modules and the "Blood of" and "People of" ''Player Companion'' books.
* MasterPoisoner: A number of classes such as rogues, assassins and ninjas are proficient poisoners, but it's the [[TheRedMage 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.
* MedievalEuropeanFantasy: Played straight with the continent of Avistan, and averted overall. ''{{Pathfinder}}'' draws heavily from many pulp sources, so while Avistan has a lot of medieval Europe in it, other continents and time periods are equally well represented.
* MindRape: The supplement Ultimate Magic introduces a whole raft of spells that can inflict this upon others. They range from ''murderous command'' (you order someone to kill the person closest to them) to ''malicious spite'' (make someone hate another person for days and work to harm them constantly) to the granddaddy of them all, ''prediction of failure'' (force someone to experience the pain and grief of every single failure and mistake they will ever make in their life, all at once, FOREVER).
* TheMinionMaster: The Thrallherd prestige class from 3.5 returns in ''Psionics Unleashed''.
* MisterSeahorse: The ''Mythic Realms'' sourcebook mentions the Crater of Carnal Joining in the Pit of Gormuz, where a priest of Rovagug named Multh gathered 1111 virgins of both sexes and all races to try and entice Rovagug to "bless" the world with another of its spawn. What arose from the pit was instead one of Rovagug's servitors; Galulab'daa, a mountainous gibbering mouther. Though most of the offerings died, four lived and were left pregnant with Rovagug's grandchildren; of these four "Woeful Mothers", one was a human man, and the other was a male troglodyte.
* {{Mithril}}: A Holdover from D&D (and to an extent LordOfTheRings), mithril is still shiny, still light, and still expensive.
* {{Mon}}s: Summoners[=/=]Eidolons summon creatures to fight on their behalf. There are also Familiars that are weaker but can augment a caster's power.
* MrFanservice: Seltyiel, Sajan, and Valeros come to mind.
** All three of these guys crank the fanservice up a bit more in their ''Mythic Adventures'' redesigns - Sajan and Seltyiel have both done away with every stitch of clothing on their upper bodies while Valeros has ditched his armour for a gladiator-esque shoulder-guard, leaving his scarred, muscled chest visible to all. Apparently becoming a Mythic Hero does away with the need for conventional armour.
* MysticalPlague: The spell ''cursed earth'' can infect a one mile radius area with any disease of the caster's choice.
* MythologyGag: The book, ''Bastards of Golarion'', features a section talking about a particular kind of half-breed they refer to as the Celebrity; someone who's inter-species heritage is held up as a good thing and that they're celebrated for it. The accompanying artwork is a young, white-haired woman in peasant clothing with a pendant of Desna around her neck and looking rather depressed. [[spoiler:The picture is, of course, of Nualia, the big-bad of ''Burnt Offerings'' but of her before her descent into insanity and worship of Lamashtu.]]
* NayTheist: A whole nation of them; after a devastating religious CivilWar, 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.
* NationalWeapon: 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.
* {{Nerf}}: And buffs too. A nearly-comprehensive list of each can be found on [[Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick GiantITP]], or you can ask around Brilliant Gameologists. Just be prepared for some backlash.
** Most noteworthy is prestige classes, which seem to pale in comparison to the alternate class options of current era. Assassin was particularly badly hit, losing its small repertoire of useful spells and gaining only abilities used in conjunction with its hideously impractical death attack mechanic, making the class a really subpar rogue at best and a stripped down vivisectionist alchemist at worst and like the Magus replaced the eldritch knight, so too did the ninja replace the assassin, gaining an easier to use, more effective version of death attack as an advanced talent.
** Another notable nerf is towards dragons. Not counting undead or templates, the strongest dragons in the pathfinder bestiaries are the ancient gold dragons, with a CR of 20, compared to D&D 3.5 monster manual, were an ancient gold dragon clocked in at CR 24, and still had two age categories to go above that, maxing out at CR 27 as a great wyrm[[note]] A CR 26 red dragon and a CR 27 gold dragon were added with the ''Dragons Revisited'' supplement, however.[[/note]]. On the other hand, the Tarrasque receives a significant buff, going from CR 20 in the Monster Manual to CR 25 in the Bestiary, the highest CR of any monster in any of the three volumes.
*** It's worth noting that the CR of just about everything was reduced compared to 3.5, considering how much more powerful Pathfinder [=PC=]s tend to be.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: The rivals of a famous athlete named Kurgess set a trap to kill him in the arena. It worked, but his death protecting the other competitors was so awesome it ultimately resulted in him ''ascending to godhood.''
* {{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.
* NobleSavage: The Kellid and Shoanti human ethnic groups. The Shoanti are more noble, the Kellids more savage.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Like all fantasy settings Golarion has its fair share of these, but the names of the [[EldritchAbomination 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".
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: The philosopher Pao-Lung is a stand-in for Confucius.
* ObviousRulePatch: 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.
* OmnicidalManiac: [[GodOfEvil Rovagug]], who wants the end of the entire universe. Then there's the daemons who certainly look this way to anyone on the outside.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Our Monsters are Different]]
* OurMonstersAreDifferent: 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.
** OurAngelsAreDifferent: They're the only kind of outsider that spans multiple alignments. Besides them, there are the [[LawfulGood archons]], [[NeutralGood agathions]], and [[ChaoticGood azatas]] that dwell in Heaven, Nirvana and Elysium respectively.
** OurBansheesAreLouder
** OurDemonsAreDifferent: Evil spirit creatures, collectively called fiends, are grouped into several different categories depending on [[CharacterAlignment 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.
*** [[invoked]] Hell, the LawfulEvil plane, is ruled by the devils. It is also inhabited by the asuras. A third LawfulEvil race of fiends, the kytons, lives on the Plane of Shadow but has embassies in Hell.
**** Devils are formed from the souls of evildoers, who are slowly and carefully tortured over eons until nothing remains except pain, obedience, and hate, at which point they become of the least of devils. Asuras are the twisted result of gods making mistakes, [[RageAgainstTheHeavens and very angry about it]]. Kytons are mad, twisted beings obsessed with pain, who create more of themselves by torturing people until [[Franchise/{{Hellraiser}} they can't tell the difference between pain and pleasure]].
*** [[invoked]] Abaddon, the NeutralEvil plane, is ruled by the daemons. It is also the home of the divs(corrupted genies).
**** Daemons want to kill everything, everywhere--they came into existence from different types of deaths mortals can experience, and want to destroy every soul in existence. Divs ALSO want to destroy everyone--but more, they want to destroy everything, returning everything to oblivion in service of their lord Ahriman.
*** [[invoked]] The Abyss, the ChaoticEvil plane, is ruled by the demons. The qlippoth and demodands also dwell there.
**** Demons are born from the sins of evil souls--and a single soul can spawn hundreds or thousands of them. Qlippoth existed before everything, were evil before evil existed, and have a loathing hatred for the souls of mortals, which created the demons that now outnumber them. Demodands are the flawed creations of the thanatotic titans, who were sealed in the Abyss after a failed attempt to defeat the gods; the titans tried to create their own life to surpass the gods, but only wound up with misshapen, but powerful, monsters.
*** Finally, Golarion itself is home to two minor races of fiends: the rakshasas and the oni.
**** Rakshasas are eternally reincarnating fiends with bestial aspects and bodies with one aspect reversed, which establish twisted caste systems. Oni are evil spirits whose burning hatred of humanoids causes them to incarnate as monstrously powerful examples of various races.
** OurDragonsAreDifferent: In addition to the classic D&D evil chromatics and good metallics, there are the elemental primordial dragons, the savage linnorms, the twisted azi, ride-able Dragonkin, and a whole bunch of draconic critters. There are also the Imperial Dragons, based on Asian mythology. Now there are also Outer Dragons, who are rather alien and shimmery looking. There are also the much weaker, lesser drakes, which can largely be summed up as want-to-be-dragons.
*** And then there's the third-party race, the Taninim, which are essentially playable dragons. Their most noticeable trait is their appearance and element is heavily shaped by their personality and alignment, to the point of going through a [[EmpathicShapeshifter debilitating physical transformation that can take days]] if their behaviour changes enough.
** OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame: 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.
** OurElvesAreBetter: They have MonochromaticEyes, 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 [[PortalNetwork "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 [[spoiler: become drow.]]
** OurGargoylesRock: They barely need to eat or sleep, and honestly only kill things (slowly and tortuously) because it's fun. They're also almost literally made out of rock, will last as long as a statue will (although they usually end up killing one another before that), and occasionally come in gemstones. [[DoctorWho Oh, and some of them are Weeping Angels]].
** OurGhoulsAreCreepier: If they can curb their appetite they look like [[EvilAlbino chalk-white, hairless, red-eyed elves]], perfectly "fresh" and even beautiful at times. But if they indulge their hunger for flesh, [[BodyHorror they putrefy and start rotting away as new meat replaces the old...]]
** OurGnomesAreWeirder: 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) [[spoiler: or going through a lethal process called Bleaching, a process of literally being ''bored to death'' 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.
** OurGoblinsAreDifferent: The goblins of Golarion are dangerously stupid pyromaniacs who loathe dogs and horses ([[AnimalsHateHim the feeling is mutual]]), are terrified of writing (it can steal your soul!), and sing horrible merry songs about [[EatsBabies eating babies]]. Hobgoblins are as militaristic as the ''DungeonsAndDragons'' norm but are so universally ambitious that they can't hold an army together for long, being an entire race of [[TheStarscream 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 [[HeelFaceTurn Heel Face Turns]].
*** Monkey Goblins are an offshoot of regular goblins evolved for life in the jungle; they're mostly the same, but have prehensile tails.
*** The ''Jade Regent'' adventure path introduces the Tian-regional variant known as the Kijimunas, who are much more human-looking, red-headed, and much nicer than goblins. They basically live only to play pranks and to fish, and are very generous with sharing their catches, being well-known for spontaneously donating huge loads of fish to coastal villages suffering from famines. Also, they absolutely hate octopi, murdering them with the same zeal as regular goblins murder dogs and horses.
*** The Grindylows are aquatic goblins who are half-octopus from the waist down. They love octopi, but hate squids.
*** It's worth noting that Goblins (the baseline "comically evil" pyromaniac version) actually are statted to have the same range of intellect and skill as humans and are templated for use with player classes. So not only is it possible for them to be just as powerful as the [=PC=]s, mechanically they're set up to be a race where powerful, competent members would have no problem using other goblins suicidally (say, as flanking minions or to grapple [=PC=]s and hold them still for a fireball)... and the goblins being used wouldn't have a problem with it either even if you explained it. So they're not quite as harmless as the blurb implies, they're actually some of the more dangerous encounters around if a DM is inclined toward tactical play.
** OurGodsAreGreater: Unlike some other ''D&D'' settings, [[LordBritishPostulate 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.
** OurMermaidsAreDifferent: In addition to 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 -- and the ''selkies'' -- shape-shifting seal-people who like to lure people close by acting friendly, then eat them.
** OurOrcsAreDifferent: They're [[AxCrazy insane nihilists who laugh in the face of death]]. They also originated underground, and got pushed up ahead by the Dwarves as they made their way to the surface.
** OurOgresAreHungrier: They're sickeningly horrifying embodiments of brain-damaged inbred hillbillies.
** OurTitansAreDifferent: The Titans tried to wage war upon the gods. Some, the ChaoticGood Elysian Titans, turned upon their kin and assisted in their defeat. The ChaoticEvil Thanatotic Titans were imprisoned in the deep layers of the Abyss, where they created the flawed demodands as servants. Both are hideously powerful, and described as very near divine.
*** Then there are the [[MultipleHeadCase Hekaton]][[MultiArmedAndDangerous kheires]], who were the first to take up arms against the gods, and rather than be banished to the Abyss with the Thanatotic Titans, they were cast out of reality because they were ''too powerful for the Abyss to contain''.
** AllTrollsAreDifferent: 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.). The Jotund Trolls are notable for being strange even by troll standards, having nine arguing heads.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: P-R]]
* PerkyGoth: 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.
* PerpetualMotionMonster: Undead, constructs, and most outsiders don't need food or sustenance of any kind. Even ghouls, though [[HorrorHunger inflicted by a ravenous hunger]], don't actually need to eat, and develop into a more powerful form if starved long enough.
* PerpetualStorm: The Eye of Abendego in the default setting of Golarion is a colossal hurricane that has picked up in the southern seas shortly after the death of one of the setting's main gods, Aroden, and stayed in place for over a century since.
* PhantomZonePicture: The ''mirror of life trapping'', which can imprison multiple victims who look into it.
* PimpedOutCape: The ''cape of the mountebank'', among others.
* {{Pirate}}: There's a whole nation of pirates, and supplemental rules for ship-to-ship combat, plunder and all the other qualities of the 'romantic' pirate.
** PirateGirl: Besmara, the goddess of pirates, strife, and sea monsters.
* PlagueDoctor: A module features the "Queen's Physicians," who dress like this.
* PlanetaryRomance: The other worlds in Golarion's star system are designed to facilitate this.
* PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: [[SatanicArchetype Asmodeus]], among other things, is noted several times to be a [[HeManWomanHater 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.).
** Even worse is the demon lord Kostchtichie. Asmodeus only really cares about gender as it applies to other divine beings, not sparing the gender of his mortal worshipers a thought, and even then he never lets this prejudice get in the way of his plans. Kosthtchie, on the other hand, hates all female creatures with a passion; among his three commandments is that his faithful should never submit to a woman, that women exist only to pleasure men and produce warriors, and that a weak and feeble man is worth more than a strong and capable woman.
* PowerCreepPowerSeep: Correcting the power creep of 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons was one of the game's founding goals. Inevitably, as it has aged, it has developed a few examples itself.
* PowerGlows: 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.
* PrehensileHair: One of the Witch's possible starting powers.
** TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything: BaldWomen with this power animate their eyebrows. Men with this power use either their beard or ''[[MundaneMadeAwesome their mustache.]]''
* PrecisionGuidedBoomerang: Specifically, Weapons with the returning properties (mundane boomerangs do not return). Even Melee weapons (if they also have the throwing property).
* PrestigeClass: ''Pathfinder'' does offer a decent selection[[note]]78, not counting third party supplements.[[/note]]. Unlike the game from which it sprang, however, there are also generous rewards for players who abstain from a PrestigeClass and set out to attain high levels in a base class.
* PsychopathicManChild: Goblins and some ogrekin. Goblins' childish traits are usually depicted humorously, whereas ''everything'' about ogrekin is played for horror or {{Squick}}.
* PublicDomainCharacter: A number of monsters pulled from Victorian and pulp literature are featured in the setting.
** Several gods are taken from real-world mythology, including Asmodeus, Lamashtu, [[JourneyToTheWest Sun Wukong]], [[UsefulNotes/AztecMythology Camazotz]], Ahriman, Apsu, and Dahak.
** Numerous creatures and gods from Creator/HPLovecraft's CthulhuMythos, including Great Cthulhu himself.
* PuppeteerParasite: Intellect devourers fulfill this role in Golarion.
* RageAgainstTheHeavens: Primary motive of the asuras, constantly reincarnating beings born from divine mistakes. They're actually quite AffablyEvil, [[StraightEdgeEvil possessing little in the way of greed]] and [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy quite sagely about reality]]. Doesn't mean they don't fight dirty-these guys are next-door neighbors to devils.
* RedRightHand: Rakshasas in human form always have one feature that faces the wrong way, traditionally their hands.
* ReimaginingTheArtifact: The whole idea behind some of the Bestiaries; in particular, "Misfit Monsters Redeemed" reimagines [[OurMonstersAreWeird some of the most bizarre creatures]] of the Gygax-era bestiaries.
* ReligionOfEvil: The Church of Asmodeus, the Church of Zon-Kuthon, cultists of Ghlaunder, Lamashtu, Norgorber, Rovagug, Urgathoa, various demon lords, archdevils, and the Four Horsemen.
* TheRepublic: Andoran, bastion of enlightenment, democracy, and liberty.
* LaResistance: The sub-theme of the Council of Thieves Adventure Path. In a Venice-analogue, no less.
* RasputinianDeath: In the ''Reign of Winter'' Adventure Path, you have to fight [[RasputinTheMadMonk the man himself.]] And kill him ''three times'' before he finally kicks off.
* {{Retcon}}: Seltyiel was originally a fighter/wizard/[[MagicKnight eldritch]] [[PrestigeClass knight]]. As of the release of ''Ultimate Magic'', he's now a (presumably single-class) [[MagicKnight 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.
** [[UnwittingPawn Paladins of Asmodeus]] ''do not happen''. Forget you ever read that.
** ''Inner Sea Gods'' compiles all articles written about the twenty core gods from ''Gods of Golarion'', ''Faiths of Purity'', ''Faiths of Balance'', ''Faiths of Corruption'', and various adventure path modules. But ''Inner Sea Gods'' also changes many details from these articles that the developers have backpeddled on; for instance, in Gorum's article in ''War of the River Kings'', there is mention of growing tensions between him and Pharasma, who is otherwise stated to be the one god that none of the other gods cross. In ''Inner Sea Gods'', this is changed to growing tensions between Gorum and Urgothoa.
* RevenantZombie: These always have the goal of hunting down and killing their murderers.
* TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized: Galt has been stuck in the "Reign of Terror" phase of its revolution for about half a century now, with no end in sight.
* RidiculouslyCuteCritter: 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 [[KickTheDog "in fact, some particularly heinous creatures might go out their way to do the target harm."]]
** Naturally, the accompanying artwork shows the spell in effect on Lini's snow leopard partner. The druid just looks confused as little Droogami chases a butterfly.
* RingOfPower: Any magic ring, and there are many.
* UsefulNotes/{{Romani}}: Varisians are the FantasyCounterpartCulture version. They've been luckier than their RealLife 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.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: The kingdom campaign rules in the ''Ultimate Campaign'' book allow player characters to rule territory. The time scale of "kingdom turns" runs to a month, but a character's attention is only required for seven days, allowing regular adventuring between the action of government; the book suggests that such adventures could concern directly confronting threats to the characters' lands.
** The Kingmaker adventure path was this trope for five books, and could be seen as the beta version of the Ultimate Campaign kingdom ruleset.
** Curse of the Crimson Throne could be subtitled [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen God Save Us from Queen Ileosa]] of Varisia.
** Queen Galfrey of Mendev is ThePaladin and a LadyOfWar who has a large role to play in Wrath of the Righteous. Additionally, in Wrath of the Righteous, the players will meet the non-human rulers of whole other dimensions, with active encounters with the Demon Lords Nocticula, Baphomet, and Deskari.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:S-Z]]
* SacrificialRevivalSpell: There is a monk archetype that focuses on using one's own ki energy to fuel healing magics, harming oneself in the process. At 20th level, said monk can sacrifice his own life to revive all his allies as per the True Resurrection spell. And no, it is not a [[DeathIsCheap resurrectable death]]: the monk is so DeaderThanDead even his ''name'' is obliterated.
* {{Samurai}}: Introduced in ''Ultimate Combat'', the samurai is a cavalier sub-class. Rather than forcing the player to play a DualWielding ScreamingWarrior like the 3.5 samurai, the ''Pathfinder'' samurai can choose its focus (mounted combat, archery, or, yes, katana).
* SatanicArchetype: 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, having a distinctly CainAndAbel-style relationship with his now-murdered brother, Ihys.
* SaintlyChurch: Most of the churches of good-aligned deities qualify, but Sarenrae and Iomedae really stand out as examples.
* ScamReligion: The Church of Razmir, a con artist who's managed to convince most of the world that he passed the Test of the Starstone.
* ScienceFantasy: 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, [[RuleOfCool 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 PsychicPowers instead of magic), Akiton has a "science fantasy" PlanetaryRomance 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 [[MadScientist 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.
* "Reign of Winter" actually has the [=PC=]s travel to two alien planets. [[spoiler: one of them being ''Earth'']]
** The (upcoming as of this writing) "Iron Gods" Adventure Path takes place in Numeria, a land of savage Kellids (barbarians) with a crashed spaceship.
* SealedEvilInACan: All over the place. The biggest evil, in the biggest can, is the apocalypse god [[EldritchAbomination Rovagug the Rough Beast]], sealed into the molten core of Golarion by all the gods who survived his initial rampage.
* SevenDeadlySins: Originated as the seven ''virtues'' (rewards) of rulership, formulated by an ancient emperor. His [[DeceptiveDisciple 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).
* ShoutOut: [[ShoutOut/{{Pathfinder}} Has its own page]].
* SilverHasMysticPowers: Silver can help kill extra-planar creatures, and hurts werewolves.
* SpellBlade: The spell-storing property.
* SpellBook: The Wizard and Magus can't cast spells without them. The Witch uses her familiar as this.
* SpaceWhale: Oma are about as spacey and whaley as they come without getting too literal on the latter half.
* StandardFantasySetting: 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.
* StartMyOwn: ''Pathfinder'' got started when a group of big-name ''D&D 3.5'' fans and writers, 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.
** Not with D&D itself nearly so much as the much more restrictive licensing that came with D&D 4th Edition, versus the highly open 3rd Edition, as well as Wizards of the Coast's extremely dilatory distribution of the license information.
* {{Steampunk}}: Not in Golarion by default, but [[http://paizo.com/paizo/blog/v5748dyo5lazu 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.
* StickySituation: Aside from the webs of giant spiders, the Adherants are covered in extremely sticky fibers that can potentially trap any melee weapon used on it, and any barehanded attack risks leaving the attacker stuck to the monster. The Flail Snail can also leave a trail of glue-like mucus behind it.
* {{Stripperiffic}}: [[http://s3.amazonaws.com/pathfinderwiki/wiki-images/2/2a/Seoni.jpg Seoni]] the sorceress (in her [[AbsoluteCleavage slinky]] [[LadyInRed red dress]]), [[http://paizo.com/image/content/PathfinderRPG/PZO1115-Alahazra.jpg Alahazra]] the oracle (who appears to be wearing an open kaftan and a low-slung sarong over a bikini), and [[http://pathfinderwiki.com/mediawiki/images/8/8a/Feiya.png Feiya]] the witch (who's [[ZettaiRyouiki mostly bare-legged]] and about to fall out of her bodice) stand out in particular.
* StuckItems: 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.
* StuffBlowingUp: The Goblin Fire Bomber archetype for alchemists specializes in unleashing the wrath of Creator/MichaelBay on the battlefields of Golarion.
** Alchemists in general tend to blow things up as a primary form of offense/defense when they're not [[HulkOut Hulking Out]].
* SummonMagic: 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, a'la FinalFantasy.
* SummoningRitual: Represented by the Planar Binding spells. Summoners must usually give the summoned creature rare or valuable offerings in order to gain its services.
* {{Transplant}}: BabaYaga and the [[Franchise/CthulhuMythos Great Old Ones]] are imported straight from their original settings. Even Cthulhu himself is mentioned as "slumbering on a distant planet".
* {{Transgender}}: Shardra Geltl, a Iconic Dwarven Shaman from the ''Advanced Class Guide'', who will also be playable in the upcoming card game. She is a rivethun, a dwarf who "gained great power from embracing the disjunction between their bodies and souls". Travelling with her tuatara companion, she is adept at searching for treasure. You can read about her [[http://paizo.com/paizo/blog/v5748dyo5lgcn?Meet-the-Iconics-Shardra-Geltl here]].
* TrickBomb: One of the Alchemist's trademark abilities.
* {{Uberwald}}: The Immortal Principalities of Ustalav.
* TheUndead: There's even a Sorcerer Lineage, Undead Sorcerer, who had a Lich or Vampire ancestor, or was a stillbirth who spontaneously resurrected.
** UndeadChild: Attic whispers (which are formed from the spirits of children who died of neglect) and drekavacs (formed from children who died of disease).
* UnequalRites: As with 3.5, ''Pathfinder'' has various ways in which this can manifest, and now has more feats that further differentiate between each type.
* UnholyMatrimony: Dispater [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils rules a layer of Hell]] and, according to the ''Book of the Damned'' supplement, is HappilyMarried.
** The NeutralEvil church of Urgathoa also encourages this.
* UnholyNuke: The Talisman of Ultimate Evil. In the hands of an Evil HighPriest 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
* VancianMagic: How all magic is cast.
* VestigialEmpire: 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 still a very long way from its heyday millenia ago.
* WasOnceAMan: Several examples, including the unfortunate victims of drow [[BodyHorror fleshwarping]], as well as a number of demon lords.
* WeaponsGradeVocabulary: The ''blistering invective'' spell can give your rants the ability to actually ''set people on fire!''
* WeAreAsMayflies: Goblins, and compared to the Elves, Dragons (and possibly the Gnomes depending on how entertained they are); almost everyone else.
** To be fair, while some of that's natural lifespan some of it's that the goblins in the default setting love to play with fire and explosives and never heard of this "dee" fence thing you're always going on about.
* {{Wendigo}}: Very powerful evil spirits in the setting, straight from the most terrifying native myths.
* WhatDidIDoLastNight: 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''.
* WhatIsEvil: [[http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/outsiders/kyton/kyton-ostiarius Ostiarius kytons]] will tell those who who ask that condemning the kytons' sadomasochism as evil is simplistic.
* WickedWitch: 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 [[EatsBabies smell small children]], and being able to [[ImAHumanitarian cook people in a cauldron to make magical foods]]. Of course, BabaYaga and her daughters play it completely straight.
* WizardingSchool: Many of these: the Arcanamirum in Absalom, the Acadamae in Varisia, the Ebon Mausoleum in Geb, and the various arcane colleges in the Magocracy of Nex.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Bodaks, zombie-like, smoke-weeping undead created from people who witnessed [[GoMadFromTheRevelation such horrifying scenes of evil]] that it permanently wounded their souls. They are [[MisanthropeSupreme misanthropic]] husks driven by anger and sorrow to release their pain they only way they know how-by making people [[HypnoticEyes look into their eyes]], forcing them to witness what happened to them-which quite possibly [[TheVirus creates another bodak]]. The fluff outright states that survivors often have nightmares for years simply from the fragments of the bodak's memory.
* WorldOfSnark: Going by the flavor text alone, one could be forgiven for concluding that almost every single iconic character is a borderline HeroicComedicSociopath 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.
* TheWormThatWalks: Featured in the second Bestiary.
* WretchedHive: 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.
* WritingAroundTrademarks: 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.
* YouAreAlreadyDead: In a possible ShoutOut to [[Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar the Trope Namer]]. 15th-level monks can cause this with their Quivering Palm ability.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Gnomes, as a result of their fey heritage.
** Actually, somewhat literal even: if a gnome runs out of things to be curious about, they start to go through a potentially lethal process called [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin the Bleaching]].
* ZettaiRyouiki: [[http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20091130212143/pathfinder/images/7/73/Witch_sketch.jpg Feiya]], the iconic [[HotWitch witch]] has a Grade B version of this with a loincloth in-place of a normal skirt.
** Lini, the Iconic Druid, does as well though it's hard to notice depending on the artist (''Night of Frozen Shadows'', the second part of the Jade Regent Adventure Path, has the best example of this on page 6).
[[/folder]]

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