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Pathfinder Tales: The Worldwound Gambit

***½( ) (based on 39 ratings)
Pathfinder Tales: The Worldwound Gambit
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Thieves and Madmen

In the foreboding north, the demonic hordes of the magic-twisted hellscape known as the Worldwound encroach upon the southern kingdoms of Golarion. Their latest escalation embroils a preternaturally handsome and coolly charismatic swindler named Gad, who decides to assemble a team of thieves, cutthroats, and con-men to take the fight into the demon lands and strike directly at the fiendish leader responsible for the latest raids—the demon Yath, the Shimmering Putrescence. Can Gad hold his team together long enough to pull off the ultimate con, or will trouble from within his own organization lead to an untimely end for them all?

From gaming legend and popular author Robin D. Laws comes a fantastic new adventure of swords and sorcery, set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

415-page mass market paperback
ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-327-9
ePub ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-334-7

The Worldwound Gambit is also available as a digital edition on the following sites:

The Worldwound Gambit is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle sheet and additional rules are a free download (229 KB zip/PDF).

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Tales Subscription.

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Non-Mint: Ships from our warehouse in 1 to 7 business days. This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products. The standard version of this product can be found here.

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Product Reviews (40)
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Average product rating:

***½( ) (based on 39 ratings)

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Interesting look at non-traditional heroes

***( )( )

NO SPOILERS

Well, you know from the title that this book involves the Worldwound, which in the official Pathfinder campaign setting of Golarion is a massive tear in the fabric of reality through which demonic armies of the Abyss have invaded and established a foothold. With such a setting, you could expect, and wouldn't be disappointed, to find gore, horror, and demons aplenty. The novel is extremely effective in its depiction of demon-scarred lands, but it's not relentlessly dark. The protagonists, although in a terrible situation, hold enough personality and interest to keep the story flowing. This is one of those books where the reader isn't guaranteed a happy ending--and that makes it all the more exciting to get to the end and see what happens! I think my only real criticism is that the author tries too hard to subvert expectations by having traditional heroes turn out to be foolish, weak, or evil and traditional rogues end up showing all of the virtues of courage, friendship, etc. All in all, this is a good, well-written fantasy story of especial interest to readers who a) like demons or b) like non-traditional heroes.

SPOILERS

The elevator pitch for this book would be "The gang from Ocean's 11 have a heist planned in Sauron's tower from Lord of the Rings." After a demon attack on Mendev kills a long-time accomplice, a skilled con man named Gad vows revenge. He assembles a diverse group of criminal types for a potentially deadly mission: he wants to infiltrate the Tower of Yath, a major new presence in the Worldwound, and steal the mystical orb that allows it to exist, thus dealing a heavy blow to the demons' plans. One of the strong points of the book is characterization, as each of the team members have distinct personalities and skills. In addition, Robin Laws does a fantastic job with the setting: the Worldwound definitely feels like no place else on Golarion, and is definitely not the place an adventuring party wants to visit! A surprisingly long chunk of the book takes place within the tower itself, and those scenes are fraught with tension and surprises. The weaknesses of the book, in my mind, are twofold and relate to what I wrote about above. First, the author really goes out of his way to make the paladins and crusaders fighting against the tide of demons seem like arrogant, simple-minded idiots destined to fail. Second, there's not enough motivation provided for why Gad (and especially the others) decide to undertake this mission when there is almost no chance of profit. I get that revenge can be a powerful motivator, but we don't even get any backstory to explain why/if Gad and his dead friend were so close, or why all of the team members that Gad recruits would undertake what is portrayed as a near suicidal mission to help him get revenge against a fairly abstract enemy. In general, I think the idea of subverting fantasy tropes by having a group of rogues sneak and bluff their way into the tower instead of knights fighting their way in is great; it just seemed like some depth to the story was missing to make the character's actions plausible.


Great book that stalls in places

****( )

This is just a super good book all around. The diversity and depth of the charatcers makes for just a wonderful crew running amok in a world that Rob Laws doews a wonderful job of bringing to life. I was certainly never bored, but I did feel it dragged a little bit in parts, hence "only" 4 wonderful stars. Another classic in the Pathfinder Tales family


Great once you get used to style

*****

This is written almost like a screenplay. Present tense, no exposition, no thoughts or mind-reading of the characters, no background presented. If you haven't read anything like this before, it can be difficult to get used to.

The first chapter is probably the worst, just a setup for "this guy is a con artist" and it's almost worth skipping. Which is too bad since the worst chapter is your first experience of the book. I stopped and started a few times until I got through it. The rest of the book is a lot better than that first chapter.

After awhile you get used to the present tense writing, and the fact that it does not delve too much into the thoughts of the characters make you feel like you are there with them, not knowing what they are thinking or why, but you learn about the characters as you go along. This requires a little more thinking on the part of the reader.

In the end, it is a good, Ocean's 11 type story about a team of thieves and con-artists who team up to fight evil, so they can get back to thieving without having to worry about their targets being killed off or destroyed. If you've ever wondered how to make a good campaign featuring nearly-evil heroes, this is it.

And the Paladins are a great bunch, just what you expect them to be. Except for some near the end who are actually pretty good. In addition you get to see some characters from other books pop in and see what has happened to them since the last book featuring the WorldWound.


***( )( )


I could not finish it...

*( )( )( )( )

I got to page 100 and had to put it down.

Between Paladins who torture...characters who suppose to be cheering on but I wanted to just die...really bad dialogue...character would hint at something in the past...and it is never explained.

Yeah I stopped reading because I just stopped caring. It was like the author was caught in writing in the present sense he forgot what makes a novel enjoyable. I might try it again in the future...but right now I have so many better novels to read.


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