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

****½ (based on 14 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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Product Reviews (15)
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****½ (based on 14 ratings)

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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.


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*( )( )( )( )

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

Excellent Book


The Pathfinder Player Companion line of books has been a bit hit-and-miss at times. Some of the early entries (before Player was added to the line’s title) seemed uncertain whether they were intended for players or GMs, and almost all of them have been limited by a layout format that worked for some but not for others. I’ve liked many of the books in the line (Gnomes of Golarion is one of my personal favourites), but Varisia, Birthplace of Legends elevates it well beyond anything that has come before. It débuts a new format, one that is more flexible and better-suited to conveying the information the book needs to convey. It is a book that will be a must-have for any player (and GM) about to embark on a campaign set in Varisia or just creating a character who comes from Varisia.

You can read the rest of my review on my blog.

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