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Imrijka

TerraNova's page

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32. Goblin Squad Member. RPG Superstar 2013 Star Voter. Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 1,209 posts (2,628 including aliases). 13 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 12 aliases.



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Underwhelming

**( )( )( )

I know you get what you pay for in the players guides, but this one is just... underwhelming on many fronts. The history is so-so, the "redemption rules" feel like a reprint (can't say from where), and are not very good. The traits, which are the main rule many come to the Player Guides, are standard-fare. Shoehorning each mythic path to one trait, however, is one of the most asine decisions I've seen paizo make.

Its not godawful, but its an extremely far cry from the quality I've come to expect from paizo.


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It really is that good!

*****

This book manages something truly rare: It take an entirely left-field idea, runs with it, and by doing so redefines what Pathfinder can do. Very rarely have I seen an adventure that so radically changed the way I view Pathfinder.

The premise is... gulp-worthy. There are just so many pitfalls and so many ways this could have gone wrong. In truth, I doubted this could be pulled off. But pull it off they did.

It works reasonably well with history. It lets the PCs glimpse of war as they did not know it. It has a very "russian" feeling without laying on too much of the tired cliches. In short, Brandon Hodge proves himself to be a magnificent bastard here. Even tired old Rasputin (of dubious WoD fame) is getting a makeover that makes him interesting once again.

To top off one of the best Pathfinders to date, the Szuriel article does not gloss over or candy-coat the Horsemen of war. Let me be honest, it is depressing stuff, but it is something you will love to hate. Not much player potential here - but that is easily forgiven.


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Strange Pleasures

*****

City of Strangers offers a hodgepodge of seemingly disparate elements, servicing the cliche of the "City of Anarchy", reminding me of 7th Sea's Freiburg and Exalted's Nexus.

Paizo pulls it off with more panache and style than most other offerings, though. The city is kept just on the very brink of believability, and for all its oddness and quirks remains a charming vista (though by no means pleasant place to live.)

Secrets of the city are revealed every other line, though usually the promise made in the opening section holds true - for every curtain pulled back, you are less content with what you know, asking even more questions. The background mysteries just keep coming, but keep tight enough to not overburden the reader.

All in all, an excellent "location book". Not too limiting, but sparking all the right ideas.


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Solid, but lacks daring

****( )

Classic Horrors Revisited does not disappoint by any stretch. The usual Paizo values of sound mechanics, style and art are all there. So it's a good monster book.

Still, four stars is generous, while three would have been miserly. What's not to like? Well, although each monster revisit is interesting and well-rounded, it lacks the genuinely new. The mummy and gargoyles come closest to a new take on the old monsters I enjoyed with the Goblins and Ogres in Classic Monsters, but mostly the authors stay close to the classical interpretation of the monsters (or, in the case of the Derro, the Paizo-established one).

The sidebars explaining the sources of horror for each creature are insightful, and elevate this from three to four star status.


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Wonderful book

****( )

I only own this mighty tome in PDF form, so my review necessarily limits itself to that. So no flowery praise for production values, or other aspects limited to the physical product.

The content is good, however. It carries over the best innovations of the Beta editions, while cutting the dross and improving compatibility. In fact, most of the rule messes in 3.5 seem to have been cleared up without violating the "core concepts" and making the game drastically different from what I have grown to love.

For the PDF only, I had to knock off a star for problems with the bookmark navigation. A true pity, given that Paizo worked very hard to produce a great PDF. Hopefully, an update will become available soon, allowing its full glory to be restored.


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