There are those who walk a middle road, the heroes to whom questions of morality come second to some greater goal. It is to these bold individuals that the gods of balance offer their hands. Whether it’s the god of cities and civilization or the guardians of the wild places, the goddess of death or the twisted and insane lord of magic, the neutral gods of Golarion are every bit as active as their righteous or evil counterparts. Often misunderstood, their worshipers run the gambit from enlightened scholars to bloodthirsty paragons of battle, all bound together by the same knowledge: that there are distinctions more important than good versus evil.
Faiths of Balance presents a player-friendly overview of the neutral-aligned religions and faiths of the Pathfinder campaign setting, along with new rules and information to help players customize pious characters in both flavor and mechanics.
Inside this book, you'll find:
Information on each of the major neutral gods and his or her corresponding religion, including what’s expected of adventurers of various classes, ways for the faithful to identify each other, taboos, devotions and ceremonies, church hierarchies, holy texts, religious holidays, and more
An overview of the ancient Green Faith, to which many druids still hold
New character traits to help represent and cement a character’s background in the church
New feats for holy warriors
New god-specific spells for a wide variety of spellcasters
New magic items designed specifically for members of the faith
New religious organizations and military orders, plus a paladin code for the chosen warriors of Abadar, god of cities
Details on minor neutral deities, powerful fey entities, and more!
Written by Colin McComb
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 traits to better anchor the player to the campaign.
Along with its sister publications, Faiths of Purity and Faiths of Corruption, this volume is a must have for creating a cleric. Rich in detail, broad in scope, and just frakin' neat. Check my full review: Faiths of Balance
Faiths of Balance is a solid resource for players that choose to follow a neutral deity. With information on what types of adventurer would follow a deity, what identifies worshipers, how other faiths get along - there is a wealth of information to help a player more accurately portray a follower of any of the neutral deities covered in the book. Coupled with new traits, feats and spells there is plenty to help a player or GM.
Looking at Faiths of Balance, and Faith of Purity as individual books might make you think they deserve lower ratings but looking at them as a greater whole gives us an awesome collection of resources for roleplaying, world building, and character background. Good job Paizo and thank you Colin for another flavorful book.
Faiths of Balance is a great work-horse book. It does exactly what it sets out to do, which is provide information on the *worshippers* of the various morally neutral gods (not good or evil) for players and DM's to use as they will. Additionally it also provides you with various traits, feats, spells, and magic items that you could use in your game. Some of the traits felt a bit copy and pasted, but they are all pretty flavorful so mission accomplished there. The art in the book was very evocative of the various faiths and well done, the writing was the usual paizo quality stuff, and I the spells, feats, and traits were all very useable.
But that's about it. Nothing that opened my eyes and made me say "Wow! That's amazing, I can't wait to use that in game!" FoB is a very useable book, especially if you have a penchant for worshipping the gods inside it, but there isn't anything in here that breaks the bank, mechanically or in the Golarion setting. This isn't a bad thing, but it does stop me from giving a 5 star rating.
I would like to add that there is a section on both the Green Faith (non-deity nature worship) and minor gods as well, so if you'd like more about them check this out.
FINAL WORD: Faiths of Balance is good, but not great. Buy it if you really want more information about worshipping LN, N, or CN gods. Otherwise, just use Gods and Magic or the Inner Sea World Guide.