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Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Magic (PFRPG)

****½ (based on 7 ratings)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Magic (PFRPG)
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A World of Magic!

From the tortured sands of the Mana Wastes, where magic is as likely to tear you apart as it is to not work at all, to the perpetually frozen northern nation of Irrisen where the winter witches rule, magic is a part of life in the Inner Sea region. Whether it is wielded by benevolent clerics to keep their allies fighting the good fight or unleashed by wizards in the form of scorching blasts of fire, magic can be the difference between life or death. Or, as in so many cases, the cause of life or death.

    Inner Sea Magic explores the role of magic within this vast and varied region. Within this 64-page book, you will find:
  • A who’s-who of powerful and famous spellcasters from throughout the Inner Sea region
  • Details on four types of magical schools—arcane academies, spellcaster’s guilds, monasteries, and secret societies—along with rules for joining and studying with such organizations
  • Rules for several types of specialized or variant magic, including the chaotic power of primal magic, the secrets of shadowcasting, the traditions of Thassilonian sin magic, and the wonders of Varisian tattoo magic
  • Two new oracle mysteries (the primal-magic wielding spellscar mystery and the sinister Outer Rifts mystery)
  • More than a dozen new archetypes for all sorts of spellcasters, including the black-blooded oracle, the Razmiran priest, the shadowcaster wizard, the tattooed sorcerer, and the winter witch
  • Two new prestige classes—the cyphermage and the divine scion
  • Dozens of new spells, from Aroden’s spellward to zone of foul flames!

Inner Sea Magic is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be used in any fantasy game setting.

by Jesse Benner, Jason Nelson, Sean K Reynolds, Owen K.C. Stephens, and Russ Taylor

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-360-6

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Campaign Setting Subscription.

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Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at webmaster@paizo.com.

PZO9237


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Product Reviews (7)
1 to 5 of 7 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 7 ratings)

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*****

I've reviewed this on RPGGeek.com.

You can read it here.


Not what I was hoping for

**( )( )( )

I'm a big fan of the Pathfinder game rules (core rule book, advanced player's guide, gamemaster guide, and the monster manuals) and adventure paths for their atmosphere and creativity. However a few products I bought, among others this one, don't bring this particular atmosphere that I came to expect. If you're thinking of buying this one, check first if it's really what you're after.


Magic, customized and so very, very cool.

*****

Another great suppliment with tons of great ideas to spark memorible characters. See my full review: Inner Sea Magic


An Indispensible Guide to Golarion Magic

****( )

See my full review here.

Inner Sea Magic takes an in-depth look at how magic is used in the Inner Sea Region of Golarion and, in turn, a bit of how that magic affects the setting. Unlike many other Campaign Setting products, Inner Sea Magic has a quite large amount of “crunch”, i.e. game mechanics information such as new rules systems, archetypes, spells, etc., instead of “fluff”, which is story and descriptive material. This makes it a product more in the style of a book like Ultimate Magic than most books in this line. However, whereas Ultimate Magic is a generic look at magic in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Inner Sea Magic looks at magic with a very Golarion-specific spin.

In general, I really like that most Campaign Setting books are fluff-heavy, as that’s the kind of thing I most enjoy reading when learning about a game world. There’s enough crunch in the generic books that, unless it’s very specific to the setting, more is not really needed in a world book. As such, I had a few reservations going into this book. Most of those reservations, however, quickly subsided. This is not just a book with a gazillion new feats and spells that the game doesn’t really need. There are full details on variant magic styles that other Campaign Setting books have only hinted at, new class archetypes that explore these styles, an overview of prominent spellcasters across the Inner Sea, and details on the most prominent magical schools and academies. They are all things that can enrich any game set in Golarion.

There are quite a few new archetypes in the book. Many of these archetypes will be far more useful than those in books like the Advanced Player’s Guide or Ultimate Magic as these ones fit seamlessly into the setting and bring with them the flavour of the setting. To use archetypes from generic sources, you either need to use very generic archetypes (which are less flavourful) or shoehorn them into a setting they don’t quite fit in. I love the tattooed sorcerer, in particular. We’ve heard about Varisian tattoo magic in previous books, but until now, it’s been represented by nothing more than a single feat that only grants a bonus spell and a boosted caster level to a specific school. Now, tattooed sorcerers gain a familiar that can transform itself into a tattoo and hide out on their bodies. They can create tattoos that are magical items or can store spells in their tattoos. There is actually a point to Varisian tattoos now.

Overall, Inner Sea Magic is a very good book that finally fleshes out a lot of things that have only been hinted at in previous products. People expecting the usual amount of “fluff” in a Pathfinder Campaign Setting book, however, may be a bit surprised by the very high amount of “crunch”. However, it’s mostly useful and flavourful crunch that enhances and expands the setting. It will be an indispensable book for most games set in Golarion.


Awesome flavour, interestig mechanics

*****

I would say that is hard to have problems with the flavour of Paizo books and this one is very pleasant to read and useful in its informations about the game world.

I will follow Purplefixer example and do a section by section comment.

1: Magic of the Inner Sea: background material. A descriptive essay on some of the different styles of magic use in Golarion. Good section. 5/5

2. Variant magic:
False divine magic - Awesome. Great RP wise and for NPC, interesting for PC.
Fleshwarping - Good. Not my kind of stuff, but still good for NPC and PC alike.
Primal magic - Good. Not something that you should encounter every other day, but great to flesh out some adventure and character.
Riffle scroll - Nice. Underpowered for most PC, but very colourful. And a way to apply the silent metamagic feat to scrolls.
Shadowcasting - not the set of feats for you if you taking a feat that isn't the strongest in a book pain you, but more than decent for game use and very flavourful.
Tatto magic: Inscribe magical tatto - a feat that give you 11 item slots ..... Sure the exemplified tattos aren't the end of the world but it is a good item construction feat. And one I would allow people to use with the Master Artisan feat.
Thassilonian magic: A "second level" of specialization were you renounce to all uses of two specific schools of magic in exchange to the possibility to memorize twice the same spell in your specialization spell slot. More a NPC thing than a PC thing (especially as you need to make the choice at level 1, so you can't "learn" Thassilonian magic with an existing character and rarely a new character would have the chance to know it), but interesting nonetheless.
Overall 4/5

3: Magic schools: I have some doubt on one of the Guild benefits (probably a piece of text that should have been cut away slipped in) but nice. Usable factions rules and a good way to tie in characters with the game world. 4/5

4: Spellcasters of the Inner Sea: I disagree with Purplefixer. He examine the archetypes and prestige classes simply as power options for PC and so he dismiss them if they aren't more powerful than other options. I am more interested in the RP aspect of the classes and how they will interact with the world of Golarion.
So:
- 2 new Oracle mysteries. Mostly geared for NPC, very flavourful.
- 19 archetypes. Most of them interesting and useful.
I will examine in particular the Tattoed Sorcerer archetype: a) it is a sorcerer archetype. You must compare what it do with other sorcerer options. b) familiar tatto: you get a familiar with a small added bonus as your first level ability. Slightly better than taking the arcane bloodline familiar. Varisian tatto. It substitute your eschew material feat with the capacity to cast spells in 1 school of magic at +1 CL. Neat. Bloodline tattoo. No cost for this ability and your bloodline spells are cast a +1 CL. Neat again. Create spell tatto. The level 7 bloodline feat is replaced with the ability to create 1 tatto that work like a automatically silent scroll at no cost. He can't have more than one "scroll" in existence at the same time. YMMV but it is power is on par with several feats. Enhanced Varisian tatto. One of the spells that is enhanced by your varisian tatto become usable once/day as a spell like ability. that replace your level 9 bloodline power. At a later level you can change the selected spell. For me having one specific spell of up to level 9 as a spell like ability hardly seem a weak ability.
Cypermage: essentially a "master of scrolls" prestige class. I see plenty of way to use his powers.
Divine scion: my less preferred option in this section of the book. probably powerful but not my stuff.
4/5

5: Spells: 39 spells. Some of them are earth shattering but none seem grossly unbalanced and generally they do very well their role of being setting specific spells. 5/5

General art and layout: excellent. 5/5

General vote 4.5/5, as there isn't the option for 4.5 stars, 5 stars.


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