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Pathfinder Tales: Death's Heretic

****½ (based on 38 ratings)
Pathfinder Tales: Death's Heretic
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Non-Mint

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by James L. Sutter

A warrior haunted by his past, Salim is a problem-solver for a church he hates, bound by the death goddess to hunt down those who would rob her of her due. Such is the case in the desert nation of Thuvia, where a merchant on the verge of achieving eternal youth via a magical elixir is mysteriously murdered, his soul stolen from the afterlife. The only clue is a magical ransom note offering to trade the merchant’s spirit for his dose of the fabled potion. But who could steal a soul from the boneyard of Death herself ? Enter Salim, whose unique skills should make solving this mystery a cinch. There’s only one problem: The investigation is being financed by the dead merchant’s stubborn and aristocratic daughter—and she wants to go with him. Together, the two must embark on a tour of the Outer Planes, where devils and angels rub shoulders with fey lords and mechanical men, and nothing is as it seems.

From noted author and game designer James L. Sutter comes an epic mystery of murder and immortality, set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

400-page mass market paperback

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-369-9
ePub ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-370-5

Download a free sample chapter by clicking here! (45 KB zip/PDF)

Death's Heretic is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle Sheet and additional are a free download (229 KB zip/PDF).

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

Product Availability


Print Edition: Ships from our warehouse in 2 to 14 business days.

PDF/ePub: Fulfilled immediately. Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of PDF/ePub.

Non-Mint: Ships from our warehouse in 2 to 14 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.

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

PZO8506


See Also:



Product Discussion (85)
1 to 50 of 85 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Just announced! The current cover image uses the final artwork, but the cover design may change slightly prior to publication.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Ohhhhh shiny!!

Contributor

WANT.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand, now I'm a Tales subscriber. It was only a matter of time, I suppose... :-p

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

*drools*
Whoever said money don´t buy happiness didn´t subscribe for Paizo products.

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

Thanks, folks! I'm glad people are as excited about the book as I am. It's time we got some plane-hopping up in here... :)

Contributor

James Sutter wrote:
Thanks, folks! I'm glad people are as excited about the book as I am. It's time we got some plane-hopping up in here... :)

So earlier in the year, you teased on the boards in a thread about protean speach and language, that one of them might show up in a novel at some point. Would this be it? :D


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Todd Stewart wrote:
WANT.

+1

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Elorebaen wrote:
Todd Stewart wrote:
WANT.
+1

+2

Osirion

Very, very cool. Definitely will be picking this up.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This sounds very cool.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The latest episode of Atomic Array has Sutter spilling the beans on this book, as well as interview with many of the other Pathfinder Tales Authours.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sutter? SUTTER?!?! That guy still owes me money!!

Just kidding. Looks interesting. I'll definitely be picking this one up.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Definately glad to be adding this to my collection in November. Happy birthday to me indeed.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber

Looks to be interesting! I have not yet read a Pathfinder Tale that I did not enjoy. I'm looking forward to it, should be a nice Christmas Present to me (maybe I'll ask my wife to wrap it up and put it under the tree).

Osirion

Looking forward to it!

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

Todd Stewart wrote:


So earlier in the year, you teased on the boards in a thread about protean speach and language, that one of them might show up in a novel at some point. Would this be it? :D

Could be. :)

Cheliax

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Would asking about how Salim is bound to Pharasma's church ruin anything in the book?

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

Chris Ballard wrote:
Would asking about how Salim is bound to Pharasma's church ruin anything in the book?

Quite possibly! I'll try to give you two different answers, organized by amount of spoilage, and hopefully without giving EVERYTHING away. But before you read either, ask yourself: do I REALLY want to know? Or should I just wait until November to find out? Only you can decide. :D

Some slight spoilage:

Spoiler:

He's not actually part of the church hierarchy, but rather works for the goddess's extraplanar functionaries directly, handling problems a normal priest wouldn't be equipped to without all the usual duties and responsibilities of the priesthood. Essentially a special agent.

Lots of spoilers:

Spoiler:

A former Rahadoumi priest-hunter, he made some bad decisions and ended up bound to Pharasma's service. And believe me, while he's good at the job, he is not happy about it.


I speak from personal experience when I say it is really quite good.

-Ben.

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

terraleon wrote:

I speak from personal experience when I say it is really quite good.

-Ben.

Woo! Thanks, Ben!

Taldor

Looking forward to this one.

Thanks James for Judging our Pathfinder Chronicler fiction contest! This book should have been part of our awards...

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

If only these fitted into the envelope with my Adventure Path subscription. Buying a book for $10 costs me an extra $10 in shipping and I just dont have it these days. I will be getting a pdf though :-)

Paizo Employee Customer Service Dire Care Bear Manager

terraleon wrote:

I speak from personal experience when I say it is really quite good.

Indeed, Death's Heretic is very good!

Cheliax

@carborundum That's strange, my ap sub and tales sub come in one package.

On page 114 right now and cannot put it down to save my soul.

edit: also I'm loving the main character. Please don't let this be a one off.

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

thebwt wrote:


edit: also I'm loving the main character. Please don't let this be a one off.

Thanks, BWT! And your wish is my command--there'll be a free prequel story with Salim starting in a few weeks as part of our Wednesday web fiction. :D

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

thebwt wrote:


On page 114 right now and cannot put it down to save my soul.

Buh-dum-PSHT! :D

Cheliax

James Sutter wrote:


Buh-dum-PSHT! :D

Thought you'd like that :p

Just finished it. It's definitely on the level of Plague of Shadows in terms of characters. In setting and adventure, I think it exceeds it.

I don't like to pick outright favourites, but this is a tier 1 novel ;)

Andoran

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Agree with thebwt. Lots of fun with this book; I hope to see more of the characters in the future.

Andoran

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Oh! It would be pretty cool to see wallpapers for the last couple of novels, too, when y'all find the time... I've got lots of computers. :D

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

Thanks, everybody!

Also, a brief plug for folks who like reviewing things: If you enjoy a novel (whether mine, some other PF Tales book, or a totally unrelated book), please post a review on its page at Amazon.com! Posting an Amazon review is one of the best things you can do to help an author--even if it's not a 5-star one--as it helps raise the book's profile, and people pay a lot of attention to what other readers have to say on there. This is especially true if you're already reviewing it on Paizo.com--it's easy to crosspost.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I plan on making this my first Pathfinder Tales book in exploring this line and I am getting excited with every good thing I hear!!!

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

the Haunted Jester wrote:
I plan on making this my first Pathfinder Tales book in exploring this line and I am getting excited with every good thing I hear!!!

Yay! Thanks, Jester! :D


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber

Just finished Chapter 2, and I'm really enjoying it so far. I will probably need to leave this book home Thanksgiving weekend so that I don't spend family visiting time with my nose in a book! ;)

Good sauce so far. And Mr Sutter reminded me in an above post that I need to get my reviews written for all the Pathfinder Tales Novels.

-Aaron

Edit: @Jester: I would recommend subscribing to the Tales line. They really are great fiction.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
James Sutter wrote:

Thanks, everybody!

Also, a brief plug for folks who like reviewing things: If you enjoy a novel (whether mine, some other PF Tales book, or a totally unrelated book), please post a review on its page at Amazon.com! Posting an Amazon review is one of the best things you can do to help an author--even if it's not a 5-star one--as it helps raise the book's profile, and people pay a lot of attention to what other readers have to say on there. This is especially true if you're already reviewing it on Paizo.com--it's easy to crosspost.

Crosspost? That sounds like work. :) But, I'll probably go ahead and do it.

I enjoyed the book (especially because I was paid very well while reading it). The only really odd moment I had

Spoiler:
was the scene with Neila and Salim in the cell in the temple of Pharasma. I would have preferred if Salim had remained "more" faithful to his wife. I did like the Epilogue as I was really worried about the implied ending before reading that section.
BTW, this is a real last few pages spoiler so read at your own risk.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Well except for the jarring language (which I won't rehash) I enjoyed the book.

Oh, one thing

Spoiler:
Her shock at how old he was. I mean I understand the shock but when she says he's older than anyone else I found myself thinking "Except for half-elves, elves, dwarves, gnomes..."

Two things surprised me.
1)

Spoiler:
The way Salim described the clerical magic flowing through him. I've often visualized how it feels to have clerical healing magic applied (Asmodaeus CLW feels like burning the wounds away, Loviatar feels like they're being inflicted in reverse, Desna's like a gentle brushing of butterfly wings, etc.) and argued that Wisdom-as-casting-stat basically reflects the 'mental constitution' of that much power flowing through you, but not how that part of it feels.

2)

Spoiler:
Decent nice Taldoran nobles. I like Taldor, but they really get the fuzzy end of the lolipop in descriptions. Heck we've had two books (and a few short stories) starring nice Chelaxians. So to have nice nobles from Taldor was a good change. Can we have some evil patriotic Andorans now?

@Kata

Spoiler:
Actually that part didn't seem jarring at all. I mean you're older than dirt, your wife's been dead for decades, and you are about to die. Lovemaking makes perfect sense to me there.

Osirion

Just finished the book and really enjoyed it. I've bought all the pathfinder tales and enjoyed them all but I finished this one quicker then the rest....great job. Can someone put in a spoiler stating Salim's class. I know which one I feel he is but curious as too what James or others think.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
James Sutter wrote:
Also, a brief plug for folks who like reviewing things: If you enjoy a novel (whether mine, some other PF Tales book, or a totally unrelated book), please post a review on its page at Amazon.com! Posting an Amazon review is one of the best things you can do to help an author--even if it's not a 5-star one--as it helps raise the book's profile, and people pay a lot of attention to what other readers have to say on there. This is especially true if you're already reviewing it on Paizo.com--it's easy to crosspost.

Happily done! Hopefully, Amazon approves the review soon and there will be another five star rating of your novel on Amazon :-).

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

Woo! Thanks, guys!

And Kohl--answers after the spoiler jump:

Spoiler:

Salim has definitely picked up some inquisitor levels since getting pulled into Pharasma's service. Before that, I suspect he was more of a straight-up fighter, albeit a Dex-based one.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

This is most likely an editing mistake, but having the book I couldn't help but download the Chronicle Sheet. It says on page one:

Chronicle Sheet wrote:
• In order for the Chronicle sheet to be considered legal for play, the player must show to the GM a copy of Plague of Shadows, either in printed or digital format.

I assume that instead of Plague of Shadows that should read Death's Heretic?

Cheliax

I was even more interested by hearing Faithful Servants read on Starship Sofa.

Seeing I added a PFS Chronicle sheet is gravy.

e:Faithful Servants

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Zahariel wrote:

This is most likely an editing mistake, but having the book I couldn't help but download the Chronicle Sheet. It says on page one:

Chronicle Sheet wrote:
• In order for the Chronicle sheet to be considered legal for play, the player must show to the GM a copy of Plague of Shadows, either in printed or digital format.
I assume that instead of Plague of Shadows that should read Death's Heretic?

Yep... we'll get that fixed. Thanks!


An explosion of 5-star reviews. Great work Mr. Sutter! Thanks for a good read.

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

Ringtail wrote:
An explosion of 5-star reviews. Great work Mr. Sutter! Thanks for a good read.

Thanks! And I'm absolutely flabbergasted by the reviews--you folks are the best. :D


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I really enjoyed Death's Heretic. My review is up and I lament the fact that I couldn't select 3.5 stars, which reflects my actual rating. Good job, I'm keen to hear more about Salim in the future.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
LoreKeeper wrote:

I really enjoyed Death's Heretic. My review is up and I lament the fact that I couldn't select 3.5 stars, which reflects my actual rating. Good job, I'm keen to hear more about Salim in the future.

Tangential: from reading your review, it seems that you enjoyed the book. Yet you gave it 3 (or 3,5) stars, which pretty much screams "average" for me if I ever wanted to make a purchasing decision.

Lantern Lodge

So, is this book an homage to True Grit?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
LoreKeeper wrote:

I really enjoyed Death's Heretic. My review is up and I lament the fact that I couldn't select 3.5 stars, which reflects my actual rating. Good job, I'm keen to hear more about Salim in the future.

Tangential: from reading your review, it seems that you enjoyed the book. Yet you gave it 3 (or 3,5) stars, which pretty much screams "average" for me if I ever wanted to make a purchasing decision.

Not for me, a 3 is a good solid performance (more so a 3.5 of course). A 4 is at the level where I buy the book for others to read. At 5 the story is a work of literary genius that transcends the pages it is written upon.

To put it into context: I'm a fan, so a typical book by Terry Pratchett rates around 4 for me, with individual works by the author reaching 4.5. The absolute highpoint, for me, in his body of work he co-authored with Neil Gaiman: Good Omens. Which I give a 5 for.

Now, compared against these ratings and values, I cannot with a straight-face give Death's Heretic a "4".

It is part of the distortion of values that it is easy to in the spur-of-the-moment hand out 1s or 5s. The internet likes such extremes. But the actual fact of the matter is that a "3" is a good book that tells an enjoyable story. More so a 3.5, of course. I've tried to reflect this positive experience in my review of it. And I'm looking forward to reading Master of Devils, once it reaches me in a month or so. It is by a different author, but I'm still keen to see where this Pathfinder Tales will be going and how it grows.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I'm with LoreKeeper. I haven't finished the book yet (and I only tend to review things that I'll give glowing reviews to), but I tend to feel constrained by the 5-star system. In fact, the 5-star system is one of the reasons I don't like doing reviews.

I know it's a bit late in the game, but I'd much much rather see a 7 or 10 star system than a 5-star system. For me a 3 is a decent book, a 4 is a good book that I am willing to recommend, and a 5, being the best ranking one can give, better mean that the book is among the best in the genre.

Everyone uses the rankings differently, of course.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

gbonehead wrote:

I know it's a bit late in the game, but I'd much much rather see a 7 or 10 star system than a 5-star system. For me a 3 is a decent book, a 4 is a good book that I am willing to recommend, and a 5, being the best ranking one can give, better mean that the book is among the best in the genre.

Everyone uses the rankings differently, of course.

That's actually precisely why we chose the 5-star system: the more rankings there are to choose from, the more people's own impressions of the system vary.

For example, if given a 1-to-100 scale, some people assume 50 is average because it's right in the middle, and others assume 70 is average because it's a "C" in well-known educational grading systems. And people used to scoring wine on a 100-point scale would probably consider anything lower than about 85 a failure hardly worthy of mention.

With the 5-star system, I think most people peg "3" as "average."

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