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Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Lost Cities of Golarion (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 5 ratings)

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Golarion is an old world, and even its oldest civilizations stand atop the ruins of more ancient nations, long lost to the ravages of time. Each of the six cities presented in this book offers enough new challenges and treasures to support an entire campaign of any level. Take your game into the great unknown and make history at your table!

    Lost cities in this 64-page book include:
  • Ilvarandin, a teeming metropolis hidden deep in the treacherous Darklands, ruled by sinister creatures who supply the surface with a strange drug, through which they plan to enslave the entire world’s dreams
  • Kho, the crashed flying city of the ancient Shory, whose still-sputtering magical engines lure explorers to the verdant Mwangi Expanse—and into the clutches of its resident marids, plague-bearing daemons, and winged ape-men
  • Storasta, the once-verdant jewel of Sarkorian civilization now enveloped by the Worldwound, where the corrupted forces of nature battle the hordes of the Abyss for control
  • The Sun Temple Colony, where humanity struggles against a twisted godling and a fire-spewing orbital lens in an attempt to establish civilization on the ruined continent of Azlant
  • Tumen, the ancient Osirian cliff-city, where cultists, golems, and desert elementals guard the greatest works of long-forgotten pharaohs
  • Xin-Shalast, City of Greed, in which gold-paved streets and crumbling mountainside monoliths lead to ultimate wealth and the strange otherworld of the Plateau of Leng

Lost Cities of Golarion is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be used in any fantasy game setting.

by Tim Hitchcock, Michael Kortes, and Jason Nelson

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-272-2

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Product Reviews (5)

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 5 ratings)

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Interesting ideas, but eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh execution could be better

***( )( )

So I primarily bought this for my RotR campaign for extra info on Xin-Shalast, but I'd thought I'd read whole thing before reviewing it. So thats why I only now review this despite owning this for while. Wanted to get one of these "show developers my opinions" things done even though I'm not sure if this is too old product for that...

So uh, anyway, I'll go through my opinions on each of lost cities instead of overall feeling on the book. Because, well, locations are rather radically different and I don't have much of unified opinion on book on the whole besides "It was pretty alright for most parts" Overall, I do like templates and statblocks provided by the book.

Ilvarandin: So... This place is cool and stuff, though I'm bothered by little details. Like why are humans most common out of host bodies(drow and elves in total number more, but... Yeah)? I mean, even if they have azlanti bodies from ages ago, that still feels weird in darklands. Also, article seems to omit Midnight Dawn and Magnimar subplot completely, including alternate take no Tiluatchek(who is here sorcerer instead of wizard) who is mostly in Ilvarandin rather than Magnimar.. I also get weird impression that apparently its hidden truth that city is controlled by intellect devourers since there are non intellect devourer populations in small numbers in outskirts? Basically, cool ideas, but I feel little confused by small details and feel like execution could have been better. I don't think I got very good idea of what it is like living in city populated by Intellect Devourers. Maybe I missed something or its better explained in other campaign setting books, either way, lack of mention of Midnight Dawn and inconsistencies related to it are bit annoying.

Kho: So uh, just to note, cover image for this article is pretty generic. I mean, they seem to be fighting bat creatures with background having a lot of crystals and stuff.

So I have to note that I have never heard of Shory before this and opening chapter of Lost Kingdoms' "other lost kingdoms" part. I guess it isn't commonly used because its floating kingdom that has fallen to ground and people would rather visit floating cities before they crash down. Anyway, so what does this ruin of aeromancers(I assume it refers to users of air magic instead of fortune tellers who use air to tell future :p yeah I know necromancy is used wrong too, but I still find it bit annoying these days) have? Uh, marids, crystal xorns, morlocks, leukodaemons spreading disease through objects oh and connection to shadow plane. So basically everything but connection to air. I guess Shory were more planar travelers after all? I don't know much about them so I don't know if this ruin would be "typical" for them, but for first time hearing of them, I feel like this ruin doesn't really feel like floating city that crashed down. Like, how to say it... I think Kho lacks unified theme. If I wanted to sell campaign based on Kho to players, how would I do it? "Hey guys, want to play campaign in Mwangi that has lots of connection to other planes on crashed down ruins of floating city?" I'm pretty sure everyone would assume connection to plane of air rather than water, shadow, earth. Only thin in Kho that feels like Mwangi or "air" is those winged ape people. So uh, I feel like Kho is mess of different themes that don't really ever come together, suggested campaign outline is basically "find source of plagueborn objects, get rid of daemons, suddenly shadowplane or crystal dragon problems". Basically this is my least favourite article out of these cities.

Storasta: So this "lost" city is less legendary lost archeological site and more literally lost to corrupted plants and demons. Not sure why demons don't just burn the whole place down, they seem pretty good at that. Anyway, I actually liked Storasta best before next part, mainly because I find corrupted treant bbeg cool and idea of corrupted overgrown city is pretty cool even though its not really an ancient city.

Sun Temple Colony: PRAISE THE FRICKING SUN

So basically my mind as I read this went from "Huh, pretty interesting to huh pretty good to HOLY CRAP to" etc it just got better and better as I read it further on. Like I when I got on parasitic oozes I was like "But Intellect Devourers did that couple of articles back with lens thing too" but I got sold by this sentence: "The presence of the parasitic oozes among the cultists means even innocent looking villagers may be capable of obliterating blasphemers with fiery rays." BURN THE HERETICS

Ahem, basically this article has tons of fire. I mean, firey ooze things possessing cultists of sun godling aspect of demonlord(?) who eventually turn possessed into fricking shining children. Thats fricking awesome amount of fiery death included in this chapter. As long players don't just make themselves immune to fire, actually I don't care, inflict fiery death on everyone either way. And fricking ancient Azlanti solar death ray artifact. Basically I'll probably want to do this campaign eventually or see module based on it :D 5/5 stars

Tumen: Eh, evil numerology cult(pity numerology magic system from occult mysteries wasn't created by time this article was made), super weapons, pretty cool evil water artifact. Its pretty cool I guess, but I just read Sun Temple Colony chapter so its hard to impress me after that, this feels pretty standard fare after that.

Xin-Shalast: So now to actual part of the book I bought this pdf for in first place.

So uh... How to say it? I want to like this section more I do, but I find problems with it..

So best part first: Its continuation from RotR and it details factions and npcs of the Xin-Shalast from aftermath of RotR. It also gives more flavorful details on how finding path to Xin-Shalast works and Ebonrunes is npc I might use in RotR. It does inspire me to wanna try sequel campaign to RotR.

Bad parts: The fact text doesn't actually give any more details on city itself than article on RotR does, lots of it is repeat or "this npc from RotR used to be there". Like I hoped this article would give me more details on what Hypogeum(the underground city) is like, but I don't have any better idea of it after reading it than what I had after reading RotR's article. Basically, this article is mainly about the factions rather than city itself and its bit problematic since city details themselves don't give me much of inspiration of what the players could find in the different parts of city. I also find it weird how despite spoiler warning about RotR, the text refuses to mention one certain entity in Mhar Massif by name, just giving it as possible campaign hook that Leng faction might try to wake it up. Factions themselves could be more detailed, I have no clue how Spared from RotR interacts with any of factions if at all for example.

I really love idea of articles on how certain locations change after APs and how it affects the world and this is only example of such article. Pity that this is only such article, the later articles could have improved on format making it more informative and less of repeating information :/


One of the best RPG supplements I've ever bought

*****

Even after months I still feel a bit overwhelmed after reading it. If I could give this product more than five stars, I would; it's a textbook example of how to write a RPG guide to lost and ruined cities. Great maps by Rob Lazzaretti, well-written songs and poems and vignettes that work brilliantly as hand-outs, evocative language, inspiring adventure hooks and NPCs, very nice monsters, awesome flavour... and practically nothing to criticize. Nothing. Every city feels and looks very different from each other, and even though it's only 10 pages per city, you'll get more than enough juicy lore and game information to run a campaign in any (or all) of them! In fact, Lost Cities provides you with guidelines on how to use each city as an adventure site for all levels (low, medium, hight) of play. It’s just amazing how much useful information they’ve crammed into 60+ pages.

Perhaps it tells something if I say that this book made me feel almost as excited as watching the best torturers in Order of the Rack practise their craft on Taldorian dandies! ;)

I recommend this book for any GM, and I wish I had had something like this when I was a fledgling Dungeon Master so many years ago. In fact, as far as I'm concerned, this is a MUST-HAVE book, and not just for Pathfinder GMs; since there are not a lot of game mechanics in it, Lost Cities can actually be used as a sourcebook for any RPG!


Review

****( )

Ilvarandin, nearly everything I liked about the Underdark in one magnificent place. Despite not being a fan of underground adventures I could run this city for decades. Only would change the color of the phosphorescent fungi to blue.

4.5 stars

Kho, expected more from the place, the choice of monsters is not at all to my liking and doesn't suite for a place inspired by African mythology. Needed more unusual magical devices like the wonderful Well of Axuma. If this was an Azlanti city the rating would be higher.

3 stars

Storasta, nicely set up border city, excellent choice of monsters opposing the demons. Poor mechanical effects of the Carrock's How.

4 stars

Sun Temple Colony, lenses again, failed to awe with the Azlanti tech. A bit cliche lovecraftian monster. Light should be pure.

2.5 stars

Tumen, great idea about the city on four ledges and about the source of water. Not enough egyptian flavor. The nerd cult has too few details to be interesting.

3 stars

Xin-Shalast, great megalithic city, monsters, template, Leng. Conquering such a place would be the highest adventurer's prize and triumph.

5 stars


Awesome

*****

All of the six lost cities described in this book (except perhaps xin shalast, already covered in previous books) could have been the object of an entire adventure path. The sun temple colony is one of my favorite, and tumen brings us some additionnal lore on the 4 pharaohs of ascension. I also liked the ingenious work done on existing monster with new twists (fire shoggoth, plague bearing aurochs...) and the crystal creature template.
For each city, the "campaign" part is really useful, describing the challenge awaiting adventurers at low, medium and high level. This part also bring us some answers to a critical question, in my opinion : why would the PCs go to a lost city, which is most of the time in the middle of nowhere...
All in all, this book is useful, and brings a lot of ideas for every campaign. Congratulations to all the authors.


An Excellent Book

*****

I run 2 regular games, one in riddleport and its sort of a pirates/explorers game, and the Kingmaker Adventure Path. The lost Sungod Temple and World wound areas were almost instantly useful. I see lots of potential for the other lost citys as well. Had two seperate groups play in and love this book.


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