Known as the City of Monuments for its jaw-dropping skyline of ancient ruins, magnificent towers, and stunning sculptures, Magnimar embodies the spirit of the frontier realm of Varisia more than any other city. But life in the City of Monuments can be an adventure all its own. With strange monsters lurking amid the city’s ancient foundations, bands of thieves battling for control over the city’s alleys, and the decadent attitudes of its oldest families, Magnimar lies at a crossroads. Will it succeed despite the obstacles thrown in its path, or is the City of Monuments doomed to crumble under the pressure of its own runaway success?
Magnimar, City of Monuments provides a detailed guide to one of the most popular cities in the Pathfinder campaign setting, the perfect base between adventures or setting of an entire urban campaign. Inside this book you’ll find:
An expansive gazetteer of Magnimar’s nine districts, from the marble-lined streets of the Alabaster District to the blood-drenched alleys of Underbridge.
Notes on the plans and plots of dozens of Magnimar’s most famous and infamous movers and shakers, from heads of government to criminal masterminds.
Revelations about the city’s deadliest mysteries, insights into the cults that plot amid its shadows, reports on the monsters that hunt beneath its streets, and other secrets.
Allies and enemies for all sorts of adventures, including healers and hell-raisers suitable for any type of campaign.
Stat blocks for a wide variety of Magnimar’s denizens, whether they be citizens, angelic guardians, or gigantic monsters that haunt the city’s fears and legends.
Dozens of connections to adventures set within Varisia, such as the Rise of the Runelords and Shattered Star Adventure Paths.
Magnimar, City of Monuments is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be used in any fantasy game.
One of the best city guides I have seen.
It sets the mark for me. I have leaned on it several times while running RothRL Anniversary Edition. Well worth it for any GM who will find their group in Magnimar for any length of time.
Short Version: This book took Magnimar for me from "oh, that city with the Irespan" to one of my favorite cities in all of fantasy. No kidding. It's really, really good.
Key to that were the monuments. If run correctly, and that won't be hard giving this book, they take the city's history and make those events real and tangible to the players. They also grant some sweet uses for less popular skills and an interesting type of minor boon.
I have two complaints: one almost legitimate and one petty. The almost legitimate one is that the book doesn't provide a good way to find points of interest if you don't know what district they're in. I understand not wanting to eat up page count with an index, but I would have liked one in a perfect world.
The petty complaint is that now I want monuments in all my cities. It seems churlish for Magnimar to have all of the fun.
I think the other reviewers covered most of what I liked about this book. I am really enjoying the amount of material available for Varisia, since I'm planning on doing Rise of the Runelords, Jade Regent, and Shattered Star as kind of a loose 'Varisian' trilogy eventually. Things like this allow me to add in those little details that make a game come alive. I'm already worried about getting lost in Magnimar when I do Rise of the Runelords - there's just a lot of potential for adventure hooks here.
Let me also say that the artwork of the notable NPCs is just amazing, especially the portraits. The cartography looks great as well. If the quality of the campaign settings continues to impress, I'm going to start picking these up every time a new one comes along. If Paizo keeps doing these so well, we could potentially have one of the greatest RPG settings of all time out there with the Inner Sea, Avistan and Golarion. Nice work.
I was very much looking forward to this book, hoping that Magnimar would get as excellent a treatment as Korvosa and Kaer Maga, and I was not dissapointed.
From the second AP installment on, one could sense that Magnimar was a unique beast, yet the (good) support article and the entry in the campaign setting did not flesh it out enough to make it more than a nice fantasy city with some unique features, interesting enough, but destined for so much more...
This book is the 'more'. From the brief, yet interesting history of the city, to the distinct look and feel of the districts, to the monuments and their hidden powers to the corruption and the powerful organizations making the city less than the paradise it could have been, this book gives a GM a city to play with and to grip the attention of his/her players.
The presentation is among the best I have seen for setting books from any company. The cartography of the city and its districts is excellent and useful, the inclusion of stat-blocks for the city is great and the art is impressing, with none of the pictures looking like a 'filler'.
The bestiary/antagonist part is good, though if I had the choice between some local critter or NPC and a few additional city locations, I would always chose the latter - but that is a matter of preferrence and as it is the bestiary is a useful supplement and my preferrence certrainly has no bearing on the overall quality of the book.