A printing press is a technological device that can mass-produce printed works. Printing presses can range from labor-intensive, hand-cranked mechanical devices that press ink from reverse-carved plates onto paper, to rarer, costly, but vastly more efficient movable-type presses, and even magical contraptions capable of automated, rapid print production. The existence of printing presses help spread literacy, and help people organize and spread information.
A broadsheet is a printed publication (generally on a single, large piece of paper) designed to inform the public about local, current events. They are published in most large metropolises that have access to government-backed printing presses.
Printing presses are expensive, but not uncommon, on Golarion. In the Inner Sea region alone, movable-type presses capable of multi-color printing exist in wealthy nations such as Andoran, Cheliax, Galt, Nex, and Alkenstar. However, standard presses cannot produce magic items, such as scrolls or spellbooks.
Government-owned printing presses are used in Andoran to print government documents throughout the year. During elections, those running for office are allowed to access these very expensive presses for a small fee in order to print their own campaign literature. This is to ensure that even those without significant financial resources can get their voices heard.
The more complex writing systems of Tien languages stymie most efforts in Tian Xia to produce compatible printing presses, though there are rumors that the Southern Tiger Lodge of the Pathfinder Society is experimenting with clockwork devices derived from technology stolen from Pan Majang.
Printing presses play a pivotal role in the rebellion of Pezzack against Cheliax. Despite imperial authorities seizing all presses in the city, rebels continue to produce inflammatory pamphlets and works that spread far beyond its walls despite an ongoing blockade. Many of these works are produced by a revolutionary known only as the Printsmith.
A printing press arguably inspired the first Hellknight, Daidian Ruel, and the creation of the Order of the Rack. Ruel burned Misirnis Taranik—a philosopher, scholar, and cultist of Sifkesh—in 4577 AR after discovering that she spread the White Plague across Westcrown through her scriptora and binding houses. Ruel's discovery of her woodblock press in the ruins of Taranik House inspired and helped spread his doctrine of "low philosophy," which led to the Order of the Rack's creation and its continued interest in maintaining and publishing an "official" Chelish history.
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- Printing press (real-world device) on Wikipedia