Pathfinder Campaign Setting - Initial Thoughts

sciborg2's picture

So today I got the PCS, and spent the better part of the day flipping through it. While it may be *only* approx. 250 pages, it is easily double the information in the new FRCS book, though that latter book has a few art pieces that are much more gorgeous. Of course, FR is an utter incohesive mess at the moment so the PCS easily blows it out of the water.

On its own merits, I'd say the hardcover is a bit on the pricey side and I hope Paizo makes it cheaper if only to enable more DMs to take the plunge. The pdf, approx. $35, is more of a deal.

Is the book worth the price of admission? I'd say yes so long as you don't have the Gazeteer. However, even then the Gazeteer is a good book to give to players while the PCS is more a DM's guide. The book gives you an incredible amount of ideas, though I'd say between 15-20% was in the Gazeteer already.

Good things worthy of note:

Nations - the nations are all interesting, with varied histories. Golarion is in some ways a mirror of our world and in some ways a reflection of the great ideas of fantasy. There was a city in there in a dead magic zone that reminded me of Devices and Desires, a book where the only magic is engineering. Another country takes the position of sharing a border with the Great Evil, though with a more realistic look at what happens when crusaders of varied nations come to camp on the land of the natives they are supposedly saving along with the rest of the world. This realism of social, political, and economic forces makes the nation section a great read.

Gods - the guys at Paizo are masters of deities. There are traditional archetypes here combined with gods more off the beaten path. The great (and promiscuous) goddess of elves and the ever spawning Queen of demons were interesting sides of the same coin, for example. Additionally, gods more concerned with Order and Chaos are given their due here. Then there's the divine drunken master...

Planes - I love the way they handled the Inner and Outer Planes as concentric hyper spheres, and it is a great alternative look at them. Personally, I disliked the connection of Shadow to the Negative Material, but this isn't a killing point by any means. Gem Dragons on Earth and Water being the most friendly to non-natives were cool ideas. One of the best parts were those dealing with the 'loth replacements - the daemons. Daemons in Pathfinder are NE begins who simply seek the dissolution of creation under the guidance of their archfiends the Four Horsemen. The details are sparse, but our own Shemmy will be rectifying that next year in The Great Beyond apparently.

Anywho, that's all for now but more on Pathfinder later.

Planescape, Dungeons & Dragons, their logos, Wizards of the Coast, and the Wizards of the Coast logo are ©2008, Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro Inc. and used with permission.