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xellos's page

Goblin Squad Member. RPG Superstar 2013 Star Voter. Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber. FullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 139 posts (149 including aliases). 6 reviews. 2 lists. 1 wishlist. 4 Pathfinder Society characters. 2 aliases.

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Another win for Pathfinder Tales


X-Posting my Amazon review, with a bit more for the folk here. ^_^

Queen of Thorns relates the further adventures of Count Varian Jeggare and Radovan. Fans of the pair will find a number of mysteries about their histories further explored in this book, with the beginnings of more to come. I can't wait. Dave Gross has written an intriguing, fun, and action-packed fantasy novel, and brings some new views and depictions of some of the traditional staples of fantasy: elves, paladins and... well, that's a spoiler, but definitely look for the eponymous Queen of Thorns. The book was so interesting that I had to finish it in one sitting.

Paizo editor James Sutter and author Matt Forbeck each have very interesting blog posts about tie-in fiction. Among the subjects they discuss is the historical stigma associated with such fiction. Don't let that turn you away. It's a great tie-in novel, and it's a great novel, period. Golarion has many interesting locations due to its design, and if you're a Pathfinder fan, you'll find a lot to like and a lot you can use in your games. Whether you are or are not, you'll find an excellent, well-written story. As always, Mr. Gross brings us compelling characters and first-rate writing, and I find the book a wonderful addition to the high-quality Pathfinder Tales line. I hope to read much more of Varian and Radovan in years to come.

And the last line is priceless. ^_^


Definitely great depiction of the elves, Forlorn, Calistria worship, the bleaching, paladins... lots of inspiring material for people. Radovan and Varian are both together most of the time, and their continued interaction is great. You get a good deal of insight into their characters, and hopefully this gives more signs of Varian loosening up a bit. :P (I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority, but I'm one of the folks who prefers him.) I'll say more in the comments later. Great work, Dave! ^_^

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Brilliant addition to the Pathfinder universe


This book is terrific. I know that I, and I assume others, have thought about one of the central beliefs of the main character of this book- deities exist in the fantasy world, but are they beings worthy of worship? The protagonist serves the goddess of death while despising the concept of divine worship. Salim is a compelling character, and his motivations and history are one of the most interesting parts of the overall story, which is fun in its own right. Although the subject of atheism might make some uncomfortable (as some forum threads have demonstrated), I think Sutter handles it quite well, which was a relief.

The plot is entertaining- a murder mystery in a world where resurrection and immortality are possible. The protagonist and his companion, Neila, have a great deal of work to do to solve the mystery of her father's death, and must travel to some truly exotic places to move the mystery forward.

The book is an excellent introduction to Golarian and the wider Pathfinder universe. I have a passing familiarity with the world, but no great in-depth knowledge. The characters introduced offer some great examples of how different persons from varied countries, cultures, and planes behave and interact, and more impressively in a way that is completely at home in the story.

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Must-read for fans of Pathfinder, Martial Arts Cinema, Chinese literature


While reading the novel, I was reminded of something I couldn't quite put my finger on. Then it struck me: certain classics of Chinese literature, notably Journey to the West and the Water Margin- and that was well before there were slightly more overt reasons to think of them. The book does a wonderful job of capturing the feel of those works in the travels of its protagonists.

It's evident that Dave Gross is familiar with these and other sources of inspiration, as well as a host of other classic and newer kung-fu films. The references are fast, furious, and occasionally subtle. The trials and battles of the heroes strongly evoke the eastern myths and legends. I'm very, very impressed that the author was able to combine those sources with the world of Golarion and our returning protagonists in such a manner.

You don't need to have read the earlier Pathfinder works to appreciate the book. I think it adds to the experience, though. Varian, Radovan, and others grow and develop (almost included a spoiler here, but when you read it, you'll appreciate it), and I'm very much looking forward to seeing their further adventures.

I had a great time with this work- it's my favorite of the Pathfinder Tales so far, my favorite RPG-related novel so far, and a terrific book in its own right. I had to finish it in a single day, and I loved it. I'm planning to read it again in a more in-depth manner to try to puzzle out more of the references as soon as I have a chance. Great, great addition to any library.

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Excellent book, and introduction to Golarion


After some disappointments, I'd shied away from RPG-related fiction for several years. Several people around here suggested I check it out, so I did... and Dave Gross delivered. The book was excellent. It was an engaging story with developing characters; one of the interesting experiences I had while reading it is that I didn't particularly like either one of them at first, and I kind of loved them for that. ^_^ They weren't one dimensional, and Radovan and Varian very much grew on me as their story progressed.

This book was one of my introductions to Golarion, since I picked it up around when I started playing PF. It worked so well for this purpose that I've picked up other copies and used them to hook other people, and been pretty successful in those efforts. ^_^

Also, we need more Azra. ^_^

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The Book of Drakes belongs on your bookshelf.


I confess to being enamored of pseudodragons for a long time, and this book is exactly the kind of book that almost seems designed to appeal to me.

Daigle and Welham have hit a home run. The descriptive text is evocative and the rules are well-considered. All of the drakes would make interesting NPCs and/or player companions- and I do love that there are options for playing a drake PC yourself, if you're inclined. There's lots of good information for players and GMs both. One of my favorite parts of the book is the section covering rules for designing your own drakes- I'm already planning to create my own drake familiar in a game I've just begun playing in, and I'll be using the book to develop the drake as the character progresses.

The art is definitely worth mentioning. The print version of the book is in black and white, and the color version of the book is in color. Both work, but the color is definitely something that everyone should see. I'm very much hoping that the people at Open Design will be able to some day release the special edition that Hugo Solis brought to Paizocon, which from pictures (and raves from those who saw it) seems pretty incredible in its own right.

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