Pathfinder Player Companion: Varisia, Birthplace of Legends (PFRPG)

****½ (based on 15 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: Varisia, Birthplace of Legends (PFRPG)
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Begin an adventure like no other in Varisia, a land of ancient mysteries and fantastic danger. Within this book you’ll find countless player-friendly possibilities as you explore one of the most richly detailed corners of the Pathfinder campaign setting. Will you indulge fortune as a Varisian wanderer, retake your tribal lands as a fierce Shoanti barbarian, uncover the secrets of a lost arcane empire, or fight to protect your peaceful home from dark magic and fierce monsters? The choices are endless, but you'll find the ones that are right for you with this primer to an entire realm of adventure.

Varisia, Birthplace of Legends presents a player-focused overview of the land, people, magic, and mysteries of the region of Varisia, one of the best-loved and most explored frontiers of the Pathfinder campaign setting. Every Pathfinder Player Companion includes new options and tools for every Pathfinder RPG player.

    These are just a few of the features you’ll find inside this book:
  • A bold new format with new features, revealing more exciting topics, options, and inspirations every time you turn the page.
  • A look into the lives of Varisia’s native peoples, the proud tribal Shoanti and far-traveling Varisians, with new ways to play members of both cultures.
  • New archetypes, feats, equipment, and traits to make characters a part of Varisia, plus many that link to Adventure Paths set in the region, like Rise of the Runelords.
  • A player-friendly map of Varisia, featuring major settlements, distances between locations, and hints at adventure sites to explore.
  • A player’s guide for the Shattered Star Adventure Path, giving players everything they need to know to create characters ready to face this deadly new campaign.

Written by F. Wesley Schneider, Amber E. Scott, Tork Shaw, James L. Sutter, and Jerome Virnich

Each monthly 32-page Pathfinder Player Companion contains several player-focused articles exploring the volume’s theme as well as short articles with innovative new rules for all types of characters, as well as traits to better anchor the player to the campaign. This Pathfinder Player Companion is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, but can easily be incorporated into any fantasy world.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-453-5

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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Non-Mint: Unavailable 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 store@paizo.com.

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****½ (based on 15 ratings)

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Great, Player-Friendly Overview of Varisia

*****

Varisia, the rugged wilderness that contains only a few scattered city-states and several small settlements, is home to five (soon to be six) adventure paths; so it’s only fitting that it receive a sourcebook. Oddly, instead of appearing in the campaign setting line, Paizo decided to make Varisia, Birthplace of Legend a Player Companion book. This means it’s shorter (32 pages) and more focused on options for PCs. Still, it’s a great addition to the canon: full of gorgeous artwork with clear, accessible introductions to the peoples and places that make Varisia a great place to adventure.

The fantastic artwork starts with the cover, the best representation we’ve seen of the Sandpoint Devil to date. The interior front cover is all about Shoanti tribal lands, explaining how the various nations (“quahs”) have different totems and traditions. As it provides cleric domains and oracle mysteries for each quah, it’s quite useful for a player hoping to add some depth to their Shoanti PC. The inside back cover features something about the other indigenous people of the area, the nomadic Varisians. The focus here is on Varisian caravan routes, but the feature most useful to GMs is a grid showing how far (in miles and travel days) it takes to go between most of Varisia’s major settlements by land. I often forget this is here, and I wish I wouldn’t.

The interior has a really fresh, bold art layout that sets this Player Companion apart from previous ones in the line. After the usual table of contents, there’s an overview of which classes get special attention in the book and which options can be made use of by all PCs. Then, after a rules index (perhaps oddly placed near the beginning instead of the end of the book), there’s a two-page overview of Varisia that includes a paragraph on each of the core races and (my favourite) a sidebar on “Five Things Everyone Knows About Varisia.” This last bit is the sort of thing GMs can pass around to new players without overwhelming them with world-lore.

The next two pages focus on the Shoanti. The Shoanti race traits are great, and the section on common Shoanti sayings are quite evocative. My favourite part of the new Player Companion design was the introduction of the idea of “roles”. Roles are essentially flavourful build-suggestions that help a player focus around a key concept—here, it’s “Shoanti Outrider” and “Shoanti Totem Shaman.” The roles include suggested classes, class features, personality traits, and preferred equipment. The nice thing about the roles is that they help players create well fleshed-out characters without simply adding more mechanical bloat.

The following two pages are on the Varisians, and follow a similar format. I’d say the race traits aren’t as useful, but the roles are still interesting: “Varisian Bravo” and “Varisian Fortune-Teller.”
“Battle in Varisia” (two pages) introduces two new feats and two new archetypes. One of the new feats, “Thunder and Fang,” is pretty cool—it allows a character to use an earthbreaker in one hand! The archetypes are “Kapenia Dancer,” a flavourful magus archetype that only comes online at high levels, and “Thundercaller,” a more offense-oriented bard archetype.

“Magic & Faith in Varisia” (two pages) provides short, one-paragraph long overviews of the various arcane schools in the land. I didn’t find this particularly useful, as the information provided is cursory and appears elsewhere. There’s an overview of common faiths in Varisia that includes the mystery cults of Magnimar and the totemism of the Shoanti, but again it’s only the briefest of introductions. A “What is Thassilon” paragraph is nice in answering the “what does my PC know about Thassilon?” question that can easily come up in some APs.

“Equipment in Varisia” (two pages) is a bit odd, as it provides descriptions and stats for weapons (like starknives, bladed scarves, and klars) that have already appeared in the Core Rulebook or Inner Sea World Guide. I guess it’s worth emphasizing them as common Varisian weapons for players unfamiliar with those sources though. Some minor alchemical and spellcrafting items are also introduced here, though they’re all pretty minor and niche in terms of usefulness.

Perhaps the best thing about Varisia, Birthplace of Legend is the pull-out map in the center. The map, which is drawn as an “in-world” artefact, is a gorgeous representation of where major cities and geographical features lay. In addition, it’s quite useful as it provides the distance in miles between each set of landmarks. I’ve happily let my players use this, and I’ve used it myself as the GM when I didn’t have a more detailed “zoomed-in” map available.

Next up, each of the three major city-states in Varisia (Korvosa, Magnimar, and Riddleport) gets a two-page spread. Each of the entries provides the full settlement stat block for the city, a page of general description, two roles for characters from that city, and a couple of new regional traits. Understandably, these entries are just brief overviews, but they’re well-done and give the reader a good taste of how each of the three cities is very different than the other two. Two of the smaller cities in Varisia (Janderhoff and Kaer Maga) receive a similar one-page treatment, with one role and one trait apiece. Finally, Sandpoint and many of the smaller settlements in the area are covered in a single two-page spread; with so many communities to cover, each tends to get only a line or two of coverage.

The next two pages are especially relevant to anyone playing in the Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne, Second Darkness, or Jade Regent Adventure Paths: new campaign traits! It’s pretty cool to see older APs get support, and I wish this trend would have continued more.

Last up is a two-page player’s guide for the then-new Shattered Star AP. It includes the usual (but important) tips on what sorts of characters are appropriate for the campaign, as well as several campaign traits.

All in all, this is a nice, clear, colourful overview of Varisia. As far as I’m concerned, it should be distributed to everyone playing in a campaign set there.


Useful, if brief, overview of Varisia and its people

****( )

Read my full review on my blog.

As a GM, I have found this book extremely useful in preparing NPCs and general flavour for my Varisia-based campaign. Since there is no Campaign Setting book that covers Varisia as a whole (and I don’t really expect there to be one in the future), this is the next best thing to get a good overview of the types of people who live in the region.

This book also looks good, with great cover art and some really nice interior pieces. I recommend it for anyone spending significant time in the Varisia region.


****( )

I have never had much interest in varisia, neither its inhabitants nor its cities, do this book make me change my mind?, lets see.

The people: There is some good fluff on shoanti and varisians, like the names of the most common shoanti tattoos of every tribe. However, there is no more information about the tribes, I have to look at wikigolarion for the information. The same for varisians, good but too little.

The land: As before, good but too little. What is the point in saying "more details in player companion second darkness"?

The Rules: I have to say that most of the time traits are a waste of space, and that is true for this book. There are a couple of good ones, but a lot are just pointless.

About the feats, Deadly dealer is really cool but it is just weak. Thunder and fang is just great and unique.

Roles: This book present something called "roles". They are like a guide to flesh out your characters.

They have a good side and the bad side. The good side is that they are full of fluff, which is, IMHO, something that player companions to golarion should have in abundance.

The bad side is that they take too much space but do not any new rule. It is a wasted opportunity. A dusk warden is just the same old urban ranger.

If there is not going to be nothing new mechanically, then the class options, preferred equipment and preferred options should not be there.

So far, the book is a solid 4 star. However, the advertisement of APs made in pages 28 to 30 is really annoying and a waste of space that should have been dedicated to more useful things.

So, I give it a weak 4 star.


*****

I've reviewed this product on RPGGeek.com.

You can find it here.


disappointing

*( )( )( )( )

Having most if not all of the paizo catalog since being a dungeon/dragon subscriber, I've been getting/subscribing to much of their products.

Have to say this one is disappointing. The product is 32 pages long. However, the last 4 out of 5 feel like advertising for other products(the last being an actual advert). The middle is a 2 page map spread that doesnt add much as far as content. The first is the table of contents, the next two are roles for characters which turn to "here are the other products and page numbers where they are".

Which is the biggest complaint I have for this. You scroll through places- lets say City of Magnimar- you get to the end of one page of the two page spread it says "for more details can be found in product pathfinder campaign setting Magnimar, city of monuments" Same with some weapons only to be told for more details to go look in the core rule book or inner sea guide.

Why am I spending money on this product only to be told more details are in other products and places? I bought the product to have all the Varisia items


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Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Announced! The cover image is a mockup, and will change prior to publication.

Also, note that this release will mark the first monthly volume of the Player Companion, and it also debuts a fresh look and a new option-rich approach for the line.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Also, note that this release will mark the first monthly volume of the Player Companion

My wallet screams!!!

Edit: And so do your Editors...


Thundercallers? I needed this book 2 years ago.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Does that mean that the Companion line is doing away with the "faith, combat, magic, social" layout?

I'd love for that to happen, since I consider the current orgnization as somewhat restraining and awkward


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Yay! Nagging works!

Liberty's Edge

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

looking forward to this one a whole bunch!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules Subscriber
Product Description wrote:
Each monthly 32-page Pathfinder Player Companion

That's new.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Never have I been so excited about a new Player Companion! Varisia is what made me fall in love with Golarion back when RotRL first came out.

As for the new monthly editions, I'm very happy with that, but my wife will scream about wallets as well... ;)


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

Does that mean that the Companion line is doing away with the "faith, combat, magic, social" layout?

I'd love for that to happen, since I consider the current orgnization as somewhat restraining and awkward

I hope they are just interspersed with the line to have faith, combat, magic, social and the countries. Ican see these with a lot more fluff and a little crunch.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Correct. The "Faith/Combat/Magic/Social" sections are gone, starting with this one.


Monthly huh...hmmm...may need to drop that sub then...I'll keep my AP sub though.


Looking forward to this. Coming to Golarion late, I never did the Varisia APs. I am glad to be able to get a look at that region without having to shell out for the old APs.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Why have they gotten rid of the faith/combat/magic/social sections?

What will they be replacing them with?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

... NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM!

So excited for this - it's like getting a brand new Rise of the Runelords Player's Guide!

The Exchange

I like this idea.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Xaaon of Korvosa wrote:
Monthly huh...hmmm...may need to drop that sub then...I'll keep my AP sub though.

Yeah, I only just signed up for with the Dragon Empires Primer, due to the fascinating upcoming slate. Unfortunately, I'm the only one in my group that really looks at this stuff, and I'm usually the DM. Really going to depend upon the continued quality of topics covered in order for me to keep it worth it at a monthly rate.

To be fair, though, this is a good start.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dragon78 wrote:

Why have they gotten rid of the faith/combat/magic/social sections?

What will they be replacing them with?

We're getting rid of them because they're too constricting. We want to be able to do more with the line.

As for what we're replacing them with... stuff that's WAY more awesome. Details to come in a few months. Like at Paizocon, most likely.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:

Announced! The cover image is a mockup, and will change prior to publication.

Also, note that this release will mark the first monthly volume of the Player Companion, and it also debuts a fresh look and a new option-rich approach for the line.

Are you willing to say anything yet about what "a new option-rich approach" entails?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Steve Geddes wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:

Announced! The cover image is a mockup, and will change prior to publication.

Also, note that this release will mark the first monthly volume of the Player Companion, and it also debuts a fresh look and a new option-rich approach for the line.

Are you willing to say anything yet about what "a new option-rich approach" entails?

Nope; not yet. Probably not until Paizocon.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Cheers. Disappointing, but not entirely unexpected.

I'm really glad this has moved to monthly - thanks to whoever it was at Paizo who rejigged things to make that manageable. Thanks also to whoever is in charge of its content/focus (Wes?) - the line has really developed, evolved and improved since it's launch. That's true of all your subscription products, I guess, but the player companions had one of the shakier starts, imo and the efforts you've made to address that is really evident.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Not thrilled by the monthly move.

The sweet spot of the CS sub was for each month:
1ap
1cs
1module or companion

Now that 3books a month thing is shaken up.


Another book centered on Varisia? Shocking.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Another book centered on Varisia? Shocking.

Looks like it's Year of Varisia coming up. No surprise, between 5th anniversary of Pathfinder and Varisia's popularity.


Somehow I get the feeling that it's more popular in Paizo's staff than in gamer populace.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Somehow I get the feeling that it's more popular in Paizo's staff than in gamer populace.

Really? I love that place!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I get that. But there's FIVE APs that start in Varisia. Three of them wholly center around Varisia. I just think that Golarion is big enough of a place so that we don't need that many APs based there.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Somehow I get the feeling that it's more popular in Paizo's staff than in gamer populace.

My favorite place in Golarion too.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
GeraintElberion wrote:

Not thrilled by the monthly move.

The sweet spot of the CS sub was for each month:
1ap
1cs
1module or companion

Now that 3books a month thing is shaken up.

My concern as well.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Toadkiller Dog wrote:
I get that. But there's FIVE APs that start in Varisia. Three of them wholly center around Varisia. I just think that Golarion is big enough of a place so that we don't need that many APs based there.

Or, you know, Varisia is the designated part of the world for GMs who like as much pre-written material as possible for their campaigns.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

OR... despite the fact that there are five APs that start in Varisa... there's really only one that fully explores the region—Rise of the Runelords.

Curse of the Crimson Throne and Second Darkness and Jade Regent do a little bit of poking around here and there... but don't go to really all that many new Varisian sites. Furthermore... we've really NEVER done much with Magniamr, which is weird considering it's the first big city we've ever detailed.

Furthermore... We're doing Shattered Star and setting it in Varisia because we're celebrating the fact that Pathifnder is 5 years old, and that Paizo is 10. Going back to where it pretty much all started is a good way to celebrate an anniversary!

Being the Creative Director's favorite part of Golarion helps though. I won't deny that.

In any case, as I've said elsewhere, we're going to entirely new places (with the exception of Magnimar, which again, has barely been touched) in Shattered Star, so it's not like folks who've played other adventures set in Varisia will feel any sense of repetition.

And all of that comes back to the weird fact that, despite having set multiple APs there... we've not done a Varisia book in the Player Companion line yet. This product fixes that.


Yes yes yes. I am so happy to see this coming out. Any chance we'll see a Varisia gazetteer as a full-sized book as well?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Yes yes yes. I am so happy to see this coming out. Any chance we'll see a Varisia gazetteer as a full-sized book as well?

I'd love to eventually do a 320 page (or bigger) hardcover on Varisia, frankly.


James Jacobs wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Yes yes yes. I am so happy to see this coming out. Any chance we'll see a Varisia gazetteer as a full-sized book as well?

I'd love to eventually do a 320 page (or bigger) hardcover on Varisia, frankly.

That would be a interesting book, until others start wanting a hardcover for their favorite region as well...

Put me down for hardcovers for Numeria, Andoran, The Shackles, the Dragon Empires... :D


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Starglyte wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Yes yes yes. I am so happy to see this coming out. Any chance we'll see a Varisia gazetteer as a full-sized book as well?

I'd love to eventually do a 320 page (or bigger) hardcover on Varisia, frankly.

That would be a interesting book, until others start wanting a hardcover for their favorite region as well...

Put me down for hardcovers for Numeria, Andoran, The Shackles, the Dragon Empires... :D

Nothing for Absalom, Vudra, or Thuvia? How dare you even state an opinion when it doesn't dovetail perfectly with mine!!!!?

Spoiler:
Yeah, just kidding. ;)

Spoiler:
Rainbows and unicorns for everyone!

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Somehow I get the feeling that it's more popular in Paizo's staff than in gamer populace.

I've got a feeling, in fact, it's worse than that...

Spoiler:
I'm hooked on a feeling
I'm high on believing
That you're in love with me.

Contributor

Toadkiller Dog wrote:
I get that. But there's FIVE APs that start in Varisia. Three of them wholly center around Varisia. I just think that Golarion is big enough of a place so that we don't need that many APs based there.

You're not wrong. But as the oldest and best explored region of our campaign setting, it's had the most history, plots, and behind the scenes agendas set up in it. I think the difference you'll see between the first three APs set in this region and the newer ones is that those first ones were set there because there weren't any options at the time. Now the APs being set in Varisia are picking up on threads that woven five years ago. There was some of this in Jade Regent, but what you'll be seeing in Shattered Star should be really exciting - especially if you've been on board since the beginning (but also even if you haven't).

All that being said. We've got plenty of world left to explore and don't plan to neglect other regions with our plans for the AP line.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:

Why have they gotten rid of the faith/combat/magic/social sections?

What will they be replacing them with?

These sections have always been more than a little forced. Some were easy to fill, but others, depending on the overarching topic were often left feeling unmoored - I'm looking at you Social. This sort of thing, along with a lot of feedback from the message boards led us away from trying to fit topics into a set format and toward creating a more flexible format that will serve a greater variety of topics - while also allowing for more weirdo stuff. (You can still see discussions going on in the information gathering threads I posted on the Player Companion message boards several months ago.)

As for what we're replacing them with. We're replacing them with Awesome. But details on said awesome needs to leak out slowly so it doesn't blow your mind. Expect more on this in the coming months, especially at Paizocon.

Contributor

Starglyte wrote:
Looking forward to this. Coming to Golarion late, I never did the Varisia APs. I am glad to be able to get a look at that region without having to shell out for the old APs.

This was one of the big reasons we wanted to do this book. We can't assume that every Pathfinder fan has been on board since Pathfinder AP #1, so this is really meant to serve as both an intro to all the cool stuff in Varsia for new players, a collecting of tons of great details about Varisia in one place, and lots of new stuff, from new details and rules to new ways to utilize existing options.

It's really important to me that this project strike that balance between great details to excite new visitors to Varisia, and plenty of cool new stuff to rile up folks who have been living there for the past 5 years. So whether you know nothing about Varisia or think you know everything about it, this book was made for you.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Are you willing to say anything yet about what "a new option-rich approach" entails?

Less of the same. In a way similar to how the Campaign Setting line serves a variety of topics with a versatile format, the Player Companion line will be moving toward increased flexibility. Playing with new options from across our various lines, experimenting with new subsystems, better integrating some of the most exciting parts of the Pathfinder rules into the Pathfinder campaign setting, and giving players more reasons to care about Golarion are just a few goals we're striving toward with this new format.

I know that's still pretty vague, but for right now I just want to say it'll be cool. I'm not going to give the wild speculation mill too much grist, I'd much prefer to slap down three or four totally polished spreads that don't look like anything you've seen in other Paizo products before and say "This is what I mean when I said 'It'll be awesome.'" ;)

Expect that around Paizocon.

Contributor

Also, although there's definitely going to be more than a few words from me in this, we've got quite a few familiar names working on this release. I'll get an updated list to the web team ASAP so ya'll can start plumbing them for details.

Which they shouldn't tell you. o_o

Contributor

Gorbacz wrote:
Looks like it's Year of Varisia coming up. No surprise, between 5th anniversary of Pathfinder and Varisia's popularity.

Cheese it, they're on to us!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Are you willing to say anything yet about what "a new option-rich approach" entails?

Less of the same. In a way similar to how the Campaign Setting line serves a variety of topics with a versatile format, the Player Companion line will be moving toward increased flexibility. Playing with new options from across our various lines, experimenting with new subsystems, better integrating some of the most exciting parts of the Pathfinder rules into the Pathfinder campaign setting, and giving players more reasons to care about Golarion are just a few goals we're striving toward with this new format.

I know that's still pretty vague, but for right now I just want to say it'll be cool. I'm not going to give the wild speculation mill too much grist, I'd much prefer to slap down three or four totally polished spreads that don't look like anything you've seen in other Paizo products before and say "This is what I mean when I said 'It'll be awesome.'" ;)

Expect that around Paizocon.

I'm looking forward to it. The companion line has really improved over time, IMO - this blurb sounds like it's going to get even better.

Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:
I'm really glad this has moved to monthly - thanks to whoever it was at Paizo who rejigged things to make that manageable. Thanks also to whoever is in charge of its content/focus (Wes?) - the line has really developed, evolved and improved since it's launch. That's true of all your subscription products, I guess, but the player companions had one of the shakier starts, imo and the efforts you've made to address that is really evident.

The Player Companion line has had a lot of masters to serve from the beginning, while regularly taking a back seat to the hardcover/Adventure Path/Campaign Setting book/crazy scheme du jour. Who's overseeing and working on this line has juggled a lot in the past years, but it's typically been the tie-in line--always the bridesmaid, rarely the bride. In the past year(s) James has been writing the outlines and assigning freelancers for this line, but after that, development typically fell to either James Sutter or Patrick Renie or both or others--somewhat detaching the creative intentions from those carrying them out. While this brought about the cool "Faiths of" series and the SUPER cool "Blood of Fiends/Angels" double team, the system has been imperfect.

With the mandate of taking this line monthly, James's renewed responsibilities on the Adventure Path line, and Adam Daigle coming on to step into some of my duties on the APs, we're doing some shuffling. Sutter and Patrick are stepping into having far more ownership over the Player Companion line, and I'm going to be taking up the reins on a lot of the outlining, assigning, oversight, and so forth. The mix on the art team - which is mostly to say Andrew Vallas - is remaining the same, though Sarah and I have had some pretty exciting discussions about what opportunities this line presents and what out of left field experiments we might be able to pull off. The editorial team - Chris and Judy - stay put too, being the super heroes they are for this line just as they are with all others.

So we're all jazzed about this, and we're really looking at August and the Varisia book as a new start for this line, a chance to show readers a few things they've never seen us do before, and an opportunity to get players excited about Varisia like never before.


I'm looking forward to the changes. Extreme focus will be great on this line.


James Jacobs wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Yes yes yes. I am so happy to see this coming out. Any chance we'll see a Varisia gazetteer as a full-sized book as well?

I'd love to eventually do a 320 page (or bigger) hardcover on Varisia, frankly.

I would definately get that

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Yes yes yes. I am so happy to see this coming out. Any chance we'll see a Varisia gazetteer as a full-sized book as well?

I'd love to eventually do a 320 page (or bigger) hardcover on Varisia, frankly.

Do it James... I would love this book.


I am waiting to see how this is going to go. It looks very interesting to say the least and I hope that the new format will work!


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I can't wait to find out more about this new format.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Are you willing to say anything yet about what "a new option-rich approach" entails?

Less of the same. In a way similar to how the Campaign Setting line serves a variety of topics with a versatile format, the Player Companion line will be moving toward increased flexibility. Playing with new options from across our various lines, experimenting with new subsystems, better integrating some of the most exciting parts of the Pathfinder rules into the Pathfinder campaign setting, and giving players more reasons to care about Golarion are just a few goals we're striving toward with this new format.

Love these ideas! Especially further integration into Golarion.


I just want to say that imho I think you guys are taking this in the right direction. At this point I'm definitely of the opinion that the campaign setting line is definitely the superior of the 2 and I think one of the reason for this is the variety and the depth the CS line has. I also agree that the format of the companion seemed a bit hemmed in, although I could specifically identify the issue until I saw this thread.

Having said that, I just want to add that I'm super excited by everything Paizo puts out. Knowing that you guys are commited to improving despite the already high quality of your products really blows my mind. You have my upmost respect and Kudos to everyone who works at Paizo.

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