If you where looking for an Adventure's Armory part 2, THIS IS NOT THE BOOKM FOR YOU. Well, to be honest, I guess to be fair, it depends a lot on just what you liked about Adventure's Armor (or Ultimate Equipment).
It you liked crap like Item tricks, a lot of less than useful gear to take up space, and niche options that are generally too costly to use, this is the book for you.
If you like the best options simply being reprints from prior books, INCLUDING Adventure's Armory 1, this is the book for you.
All in all, I really found this book a step below "meh". None of the spells or traits stood out at all. The single item I'd actually really consider buying is the Spring-Loaded Scroll case, and that is only because Paizo's answer to the Spring-Loaded Wrist Sheath question for years in regards to scrolls has been silence.
Gone are the days when we get some essential adventuring gear like the Masterwork Backpack, but now we get extremely niche gear and a bunch of overpriced options for improvised stuff. (Isn't that sort of the opposite of what we should see in Adventure's Armory???).
We really need a Zero Stars options, because I really do not recommend this book. I realize this review will probably be deleted or I might be banned, but yes, it's really that bad.
Overall, not a bad book. As mentioned, it does have a lot of reprinted material, and while it's nice that this means one has to look through less books to find some things, it also means that there is a lot less new stuff here.
Between the two, I'd much rather have more new things, such as a Spellcasting option for the Eagle Knights faction.
I'm also iffy on why some organizations where included here, or at least in detail. With Path of the Hellknight being a thing, why not devote some material to the Rift Wardens in this book instead? I'm not really sure why the Silver Ravens are in this book, (for multiple reasons, really), but it is lacking mention of Lastwall and Mendev Crusaders. Or the Concordance of Elements, for instance.
The book is similar in many ways to The Inner Sea World Guide and Inner Sea Gods, but probably not as useful at the table all around, more because of the nature of the material than the writing. If you pick an area, or even a general region to set a campaign in, roughly 75% of this book will probably not apply, or might show up once. Again, just the nature of the book's material, although there are also plenty of options for players that may still be useful, and perhaps not as limited to location. I don't believe the spells for instance are as strictly bound to a given organization or region.
An Al-Zabriti Cleric/desert priest or even dervish would have been awesome.
A few things I'd have liked to have been included:
More Religious factions (Erastil, Sarenrae, Ragathiel, etc. . .)
More Setting Neutral
More new material and less copy/paste or reprint
The Silver Crusade
Eagle Knight caster type
I just finished running two tables of this online, and part of me wants to give this one 4 Stars because it really does have an interesting story and there are many elements to it I really enjoyed. But, at the same time, there are many things that make me want to give it 1 Star as well.
In both games, I didn't really have a single character that was really ready for this scenario, which in itself is fine, but it did make a lot of things very difficult for the parties to progress or actually learn what was going on. Add to that that a great deal of the lore and general information is rather spread out, both tables complained of not really understanding what was going on throughout, (which to a degree was intentional). I did have to go through a lot of extra effort at the end to explain things, though, which was partially to so many failed checks, and partially because there are so many small hints that are easy to miss or forget.
As a DM, a few things about this one I absolutely detest:
This scenario included a lot of combats that are designed to take players out of the action for long periods of time (at the table). From the Haunt that can go on for 10 Rounds to the potential to get possessed, (even with max protections up), to Color Spray to Mad Babble, there are just way too many Save or Sit This One Outs involved.
The final boss is basically designed to say "Gotcha" to players that are supposed to be good at certain things, for the sake of making that antagonist be cool or something. This is terrible writing, in my opinion. Especially at this level range, Character's abilities, tricks, and tactics should not be arbitrarily removed or negated just so a story can play out the way the author wants it to. Good adventure design allows and encourages those abilities to work, not removes them from play so that their pet NPC can do stuff.
One of the Boons at the end is very unclear as to how it actually works. It says that Characters receive one, and then says you have to buy it. Which is it. Do you get one for free, and then have to buy additional uses thereafter?
While I did enjoy the overall theme and mood here, one thing I was a bit disappointed with was that there was not really a great deal of variety in encounters, and in one of my groups, we ran into an issue with how to handle an Alchemist vs so many Incorporeal enemies. A strict reading of the rules would have left that player sitting on the sidelines wasting all of his bombs repeatedly, and while not something directly the fault of this scenario, it is something that came up often and should be looked at.
Without going through the major Haunt in depth, (and to be honest, the rules are written more as guidelines anyway which sort of makes that impossible), I'm pretty certain that the Haunt's rules are all jacked up, and the CR about 10+ too low for it's area. It was a bit funny, as on one game, both of my Monk's are the only two that made the initial save, and their first tactic to "help" the rest of the party was to attempt to Grapple them. <FACEPALM>
In the end, there is a lot of good here, but there is also a lot of bad here. The story itself is rather straight forward, but also very cool, but is really hindered by how little of it the party might actually find out, and the "gotcha" style that seems like the author was writing this to be very DM vs Player really hurt this one a lot. It was fun, but will most likely be remembered for the amount of frustration it brings in play.
Outside of the original Bestiary, I'd say this is my favorite monster book thus far. It didn't follow any particular theme (outside of generally higher level), and seems to have a pretty good balance of different creature types.
I really love the Rougarou, my new favorite 0 HD playable race besides Aasimar. And while I may or may not ever use them, I enjoyed having some deity-level stats presented.
A touch more for lower CR baddies would have been ideal, but still, I like this one more than prior Bestiaries.
A lot of the other reviews make a lot of very good points. After reading through it, I do like the number of mechanical options presented, although I do find many of them a bit on the weak side, not particularly useful in many cases, or too specific.
The end result being that I'm probably not going to actually using much, if any the material, but it was not outright bad or terrible either. I think my biggest complaint is just how little the different classes, or even general builds actually get here, and that there is just far too much to that could be done, that this book does really even scratch the surface on the subject matter, especially in areas like for fighting Undead or Dragons, that while they have their own books, they likewise just where not enough.
Spells where pretty standard for what you would expect. Same with gear. Nothing really jumped out as particularly genius or cool, but likewise was not "meh" or insulting either.
I was disappointed how little there was for a "Fey Hunter", really of any build or concept. There is a Bard and a Druid archetype, but that's basically it. Outsider Hunters likewise just felt like it wasn't really touched on much, although the Paladin Archetype looks amazing.
The fluff and flavor was readable, but honestly I have very little interest in that aspect of the books, and it, like everything else was just far too little in what it brings to the setting/game considering the focus. However, as a Pathfinder Player's Guide product, it could have been a lot, lot worse. All in all, it's a nice little item for a quick afternoon read, but not one I would say is essential to play.