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Pathfinder Companion: Cheliax, Empire of Devils (PFRPG)

****½ (based on 9 ratings)
Pathfinder Companion: Cheliax, Empire of Devils (PFRPG)

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Seventy years ago, the Thrice-Damned House of Thrune defeated its rivals in a bloody civil war following the death of the god of humanity, bringing order to the war-torn nation of Cheliax—but at a price. Now the imperial bureaucracy enforces devil-worship as the state religion, and the common people bow their heads in perpetual servitude to the dark lord of Hell. Fortunately, Cheliax still has heroes: crusaders and revolutionaries motivated by glory, honor, greed for the throne, or hatred of what their land has become under the infernal thumb of Asmodeus.

This Pathfinder Companion describes the nation of Cheliax, its diabolical capital of Egorian, and its shadow-haunted former capital of Westcrown. Inside you’ll also find new character traits, magic items, spells, combat feats, and Chelish NPCs suitable for cohorts or contacts. This book is perfect for use in the Council of Thieves Adventure Path, set in the city of Westcrown, or any adventure taking place in a nation of devils and decadence.

Written by Jonathan H. Keith, Colin McComb, Steven E. Schend, Leandra Christine Schneider, and Amber E. Scott

Each bimonthly 32-page Pathfinder Companion contains several player-focused articles exploring the volume’s theme as well as short articles with innovative new rules for social, magic, religious, and combat-focused characters, as well as a persona section detailing helpful NPCs and traits to better anchor the player to the campaign.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-191-6

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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Print Edition: This product is out of print.

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Product Reviews (9)
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Average product rating:

****½ (based on 9 ratings)

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Solid Introduction to a Fascinating Setting

****( )

Cheliax, Empire of Devils is a solid entry in Paizo's line of Player's Companions for Pathfinder. The nation of Cheliax provides a far different feel than that of most fantasy, as it's a land where the rulers have openly made pacts with the devils! It's a dark and oppressive place to live, and one wrong word can bring the Inquisitors to one's door. I've read about several different areas in Golarion, and Cheliax is one of the most interesting and original. Cheliax, Empire of Devils contains the following:

* A map of the city of Westcrown on the inside front cover. The map isn't particularly good or detailed, and one doesn't see any cartographic talent at work.

* A twelve-page overview of Cheliax. This is one of those all-too rare occasions where the history of a fictional land is actually quite fascinating! This section a lot of useful information on the culture of Cheliax, as well as its leadership, perception of neighboring countries, organizations (such as the famous Hellknights), and even a few paragraphs on the arts scene(!). Some of this will naturally be more useful to GMs than players, but it was still done well.

* A two-page description of Egorian, a major city in Cheliax. There's a brief overview of the different districts of the town, but this was fairly bland.

* A two-page description of Westcrown, Cheliax's former capital before the pact with demons was made. As with the discussion of Egorian, there's not a lot of detail here and the material is probably of more interest to GMs.

* A section titled "Social" that contains brief one- or two-line descriptions of how the different core classes are perceived in Cheliax and then several new traits. This may be the most useful part of the book for PCs, and it's done well (if short).

* Four pages on "Magic & Spells", introducing several new magic items and spells. Good flavour links them to Cheliax.

* Two pages on "Faith." Purely descriptive, but good as far as it goes.

* "Combat", another two-page section. This is chock-full of feats, but contains an interesting sidebar on battle slang and one new weapon.

* Four NPCs detailed (with descriptions, pictures, and full stat blocks) in a "Persona" section. This would be really useful for a GM, but (apart from maybe integration into a backstory) of little value to players.

* The inside back cover has a map of Egorian. It's better than the map of Westcrown, but still falls a bit flat.

A word about the art: oddly, the cover art is much worse than the interior art! There's some absolutely gorgeous artwork inside (see pages 20 and 26 for examples).

Overall, this is another of Paizo's early entries in the Player's Companion line wherein they still hadn't found the right distinction between material for players and material for GMs. That being said, it's a good book and I'd recommend it.

Almost perfect

****( )

This is probably my favorite Pathfinder product by a wide margin. In it are new spells, feats, traits, magic items, NPC statistic blocks, and just about everything you need to help flesh out adventures your adventures set in Cheliax. There are even a couple of nice maps on the insides of the covers of two major cities. It is excellent for players and GMs alike, and contains plenty of fluff along with all of the options that it presents. As Cheliax is my favorite place to set homebrew adventures in, this supplement book has been a boon. It is short, but fulfills its goal well while being reasonably priced, and I wouldn’t want to run an urban adventure in Cheliax without it.

I simply couldn’t put a review up without handing out a bit of criticism though (even if it is very little- my issues with this book are few and far in between). There isn’t a map of the actual country included, only its major cities. A few of the character options presented feel a bit on the strong side as well (Emergency Force Sphere comes to mind).

Overall this book is a near to perfect a supplement you can hope for. You won’t regret purchasing it.

The Devil, You Say!

****( )

One of the distinguishing factors seperating Golarion from all the other worlds is the importance of Hell as the nemesis of good. Demons this and Demon Queen of that are the order of the day in the Forgotten Realms. Now, see how just a little evil can go a very long way, exploring how a country that made a deal with the Devil fares.

Check out my full review Cheliax, Empire of Devils

A solid addition to the Companion line.

****( )

This book is 36 pages long. Cover, city map of Westcrown, and ToC. Take up 3 pages.

Chapter 1 – Introduction to Cheliax and History (12 pages)
It talks about the country, the history, society, military, glossary of terms, entertainment etc. It gives a brief overview of the country, where it came from and what it is like today. It also has a section of geography of the country and talking about each area of the country.

Chapter 2 – Cities of Cheliax (4 pages)
This gives a brief overview of two of the important cities of Cheliax, the former and current capitals.
Egorian Capital of Cheliax (2 pages)
Westcrown (2 pages)

Chapter 3 – Social (2 pages)
It has a section on how most classes are seen in Cheliax and Chelish traits.

Chapter 4 – Magic (4 pages)
This chapter is about magic items and spells. There is 7 new magic items, and 7 new spells.

Chapter 5 – Religion (2 pages)
This section talks about the role religion plays, while it is mostly about Asmodeus church, it does touch on other religions.

Chapter 6 – Combat (2 pages)
11 new feats mostly combat feats and 1 new weapon.

Chapter 7 – Persona (4 pages)
5 complete NPC's with history and stat blocks. They can be used as replacement PC's, NPC's, cohorts, villians etc.

It closes with 1 page of ads with the OGL, map of Egorian and back cover.

Conclusion, I liked this one. The magic and combat sections I thought was especially well done and IMHO the best such sections for one of these books so far. The NPC's are well done, but I am meh about them. I tend to like to make my own so they are of limited use to me. The city sections give a nice vague overview of each city but I wish they had added at least one more page to each of them. The social and religion chapters are pretty much what you would expect.

The largest section is the first and I think it does a pretty good job of giving one a decent view of what Cheliax is like with enough information that you should be able to bring it to life for your players. If you are a fan of Cheliax I highly recommend this book or if you are just looking for more information about the world of Golarion. I am giving it a 4 star, I think it is a good book but could have been a bit better.

No map of Cheliax and inconsistencies in an otherwise good supplement

***( )( )

A book about the Empire of Cheliax that doesn't contain a map of the place? Yes, there are maps of the 2 main cities (quite inconsistent in their presentation) but what about the land itself? It's as if owning the Pathfinder Campaign Setting is a prerequisite to actually making sense of this book, something which is not really written in the product's description. The other problem I had is that while it presents things in Pathfinder RPG compatible format largely, there are some inconsistencies, for example a feat that still refers to the old grappling rules. Otherwise this is a good book with some interesting bits and a very nice presentation.

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