Pathfinder Player Companion: Varisia, Birthplace of Legends (PFRPG) (based on
Paizo Publishing, LLC
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.
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
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.
This is the beginning of a new format for the Player’s Companion line. This review is thus as much about this new layout as it is about the content found within.
Many players will find just what they look for in this text. This could be feats, archetypes, equipment, or background on culture and geography of Varisia. Many of the choices available are full of flavor and as a GM I would like to see many of these options in my game.
There is a truly beautiful example of cartography spanning the centre pages of the text giving us a useful view of Varisia. The map gives distances between locations while keeping that old ‘here be dragons’ feel with little drawings of the dangers that could be faced on the road. I really enjoy this map. In addition to this two page spread there is another great map on the back cover of the book which gives details regarding overland caravan routes in Varisia.
This is where one point of criticism arises for me. I really enjoyed seeing the art from the cover of the text in all its glory without text overlay on the back cover. It was the first thing I would flip to when I got my hands on a new player’s companion. The tiny reproduction we get in the table of contents is a poor substitute. I understand the 32 page limitation of this series, but this full page of art could be included in the PDF.
Other changes to the layout include equipment listings matching the new Equipment guide, a large table of contents, and the ‘crunch’ appears to be more clearly set apart from flavour text. These are all positive changes to me.
The last pages of the text are dedicated to campaigns that have occurred in Varisia. At first glance I thought this was just a lame advertising waste of 4 pages. This would be too harsh, as each entry for an adventure path does contain some interesting tidbits. The entry for the newest arc (the Shattered Star) is given a two page spread and includes some interesting traits.
Are you playing Rise of the Runelords or any of the other Pathfinder campaigns set in Varisia? Then you need this short but informative guide. Besides scads of interesting background info, it also has some new archetypes and traits. In fact one of the traits (which gives Perception as a class skill!) is pretty darn good. Thus, altho this book is mostly for background info, it is worthwhile for the player that is just more into designing and playing a powerful PC.
This does have some info which is duplicated in the original 3.5 Sandpoint book, but now fully updated to Pathfinder.
Mind you, every player doesn’t need a copy- but at least one player and the DM should have one.