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Wayfinder #12 (PFRPG)

***** (based on 3 ratings)
Wayfinder #12 (PFRPG)

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Created for Pathfinder fans by Pathfinder fans, the twelfth issue of the ENnie Award-winning Wayfinder fanzine tempts the curse of the pharaohs, delving into all things Osirion! This free fanzine includes dozens of articles, including original fiction, new monsters, adventures, classes and options, magic items, and even a game—this is just a small portion of what awaits you!

Contributing Authors: Anthony Adam, Clinton J. Boomer, Calder CaDavid, Kalyna Conrad, Sarah Counts, Paris Crenshaw, Kat Evans, Robert Feather, Dawn Fischer, Aaron Filipowich, Wojciech Gruchala, Bran Hagger, Andrew Hoskins, Kiel Howell, Jason Keeley, Joe Kondrak, Cole Kronewitter, Jeff Lee, John Leising, Nathaneal C. Love, Jacob W. Michaels, Dain Nielsen, Michael Phillips, Max Rich, Matt Roth, Liz Smith, Neil Spicer, Jacob Sprunck, Matthew Starch, Todd Stewart, Jeffrey Swank, Robert Swanston, Margherita Tramontano, Ian Turner, Tanith Tyr, and Mike Welham.

Contributing Artists: Catherine Batka, Darran Caldemeyer, Tyler Clark, Paige Connelly, Jeremy Corff, Emilie Cormier, Liz Courts, Kat Cuseo, Andrew DeFelice, Peter Fairfax, Erin Frye, Silvia Gonzalez, Michael Jaecks, James Keegan, Chris L. Kimball, Adam Koča, Jason Kirckof, Danny Krog, Mike Lowe, Dave Mallon, Alex Moore, Beatrice Pelagatti, dodeqaa Polyhedra, Basil Arnould Price, Tanyaporn Sangsnit, Carlos Torreblanca, Todd Westcot, and Steve Wood.

Cartography by Liz Courts, Alex Moore, and Carlos Torreblanca
Cover Art by Beatrice Pelagatti and Dave Mallon

Wayfinder #12 is a 74-page full-color PDF suitable for printing or viewing on your computer. It is released under the Paizo Inc Community Use Policy.

This fanzine uses trademarks and/or copyrights owned by Paizo Inc, which are used under Paizo's Community Use Policy. We are expressly prohibited from charging you to use or access this content. This fanzine is not published, endorsed, or specifically approved by Paizo Publishing. For more information about Paizo's Community Use Policy, please visit paizo.com/communityuse. For more information about Paizo Publishing and Paizo products, please visit paizo.com.

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Product Reviews (3)

Average product rating:

***** (based on 3 ratings)

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The burning sun rises above all below, and that bright star is Wayfinder

*****

This most recent serve of Wayfinder awesome is….awesome. In fact the most awesome yet, even more awesome than the awesome that won an Ennie. And I'm biased, because I had stuff in that issue, and not this one. Because I'm not Egyptophile. Sure I did my Akhenaten phase, coz he's the real deal, but beyond that - grave robbers, pizzle-mizzlids and khopesh swords are *yawn* amiright!??! Well, no actually. This issue shows that the completely derivative can work, and such sweet work it is.

Love the artwork, graphic design, cover and layout. Sweet.

So let's do this article by article shall we?

Foreword: Okay so this is seriously weird. It starts out ok, mentioning the staples of the genre (ancient gods, curses, traps, tombs etc) , and then turns into a long reverie about the awesomeness of working on Xen'drik and then a further bio/credit list!?!?! At least the author has the grace to say "but enough about me…."

Devoted Sword-Saint: A Divine Swashbuckler Archetype: Way too much in-character and golaric fanfic fro my tastes, then a fantastic archetype from Clinton Boomer - like a holy fusion of monk, paladin and devoted swordologist. Devoted Swordplay is nicely conceived and written, and Holy Blades of the Desert is a neat approach to the Finesse with two handed signature weapons issue. Which i didn't know existed until I read the archetype. There's more, including a cool holy blade style bonus at 5th level and a suitably mystic feat (though is it grit or panache).

I am Shabti: Skimmed ultra quick. So shabti's are kinda popular huh? Ok, fair enough. A very nice little vignette with a kick.

Osirian Ethnologies: The Sal`Awaan: Okay! Fennec variant of my least favorite race - the kitsune! Why not? Comes with both new AND alternative race traits, favored class options, and even a couple spells. This is the approach to variants I always wanted for Midgard's huginn (tengu) the oft ignored heru. Hoepfully that will be remedied in the upcoming Southlands….

Riddles For A Sphinx: Quite a tight little adventure, extra shout outs to designers rnshaw and Welham for the accompanying monster conversion, and an extra extra kudos-pat for artist Kimball - the mummy is fantastique!!!

Heroes' Hoard: Bajaba's Beetles And Reeds: Has some golaric flavor I actually appreciated. And the items are well on theme and really bring the region to life.

Weal Or Woe: The Fallen Pharaoh: Not a fan of the "Fallen Pharaoh Insrrection" as a group name; the investigator is serviceable (liked the art though) but the once-dead (at least) slayer is a nice character study. If you died once and returned, why not fight to the death again in service to higher powers….

The Binding Blades Of Osirion: A very tight little article that packs the crunch and oozes regional flavor. We get a new combat maneuver - Blade Bind!!! (Ok, I understand for alliteration it works, but really, this would work on more than just blades….) And a new weapon - Great Khopesh! And a regional trait that works with both!!! All in 750 words or less!!!

The Wasp And The Mantis: Fiction. Sorry Neil, I didn't read this.

Osirion Fashion: Fantastic. Awesome addtion to any Osirion and surrounds campaign. Next summer I'll be wearing a shenti AND a kalarisis.

`Ela Mesar Alheyah: Looks cool and Egyptid, but haven't played this board game. Nice artwork from artist Moore.

Servile Shabti: Osirian Funerary Relics: See!?! WHo knew shabti would be so popular. Nice article - these remind me of humanoid figurines of wondrous power, yet these are even ore tightly themed and flavored.

The Book of the Dead: What Egyptian themed work could exist without one? A very serviceable article detailing papyrus scroll spell books with very well thought out preparation ritual/boons. Loved the art by Mike Lowe.

Desert Drifter A Wizard Archetype: Hang on. Am I reading this right? A wizard archetype? And with such breadth of options and flavor? This is one of my favorite articles of the issue - hats off to designer Matt Roth. Sure it is a niche, and highly specific to the region, but still… A desert themed familiar, sandsailing ( though I would have preferred sandstriding…) Just very well pulled together. More beautiful artwork from Lowe.

Golarion Gazetteer Coast of Graves: I liked this - reminded me of ICE's Middle Earth stuff with the level of socio-political detail and the little motes of history and culture.

Harmony's Refuge: A Side Trek Adventure: Again, full of flavor, and I like the final chamber's description, but leaves me feeling like it needs more. Still, that is the nature of the format and not to be taken as a mark against the piece. Nice that it ties into the previous article.

The Nightly Ritual: Sorry Jeffrey, I don't read this one either. The art by Basil Arnould Price is fantastically evocative of Kay Nielsen for some reason.

Weal or Woe: Jaali and Hapuseneb: Ooh - dark and grim, just the way I like my dhampir devotees and ghoul ex-devotees of Pharasma! Hits all my biases here. Nice work, and Hapuseneb's drawback is inspired!

Osirian Traps: Dangers for the Curious and Greedy: Perfect fodder for this issue and for any GM wishing to waylay their PCs further with on-theme perils.

The Embalmer: Guide of the Eternal Night An Investigator Archetype: I love this. Then again I'm a sucker for undead themed anything. My only gripe is the loss of Inspiration functionality - swaps out the usual ability for a flat +2 competence bonus to attacks against undead - I know there are likely balances elsewhere in the archetype, but this feels like a lost opportunity. WOuld like to have seen more done with that.

Tanjit's Travel Guide Shiman-Sekh: Sorry Tanjit, you are a gnome. So I did not read this. Seriously though, the Tips are nice for a new visitor to the area.

Personalities of the Desert Sands A Traveler's Guide: Another favorite, though I cannot exactly explain why - it is free of crunch, and merely explains some personalities. But what personalities they are. The art piece by Catherine Batka is wonderful too.

Keeping the Dead Down An Extremist Order in the Church of Pharasma: More love for the only Goalrion deity I am really familiar with. A nicely dark and well thought out piece on just what Pharasma's ideals do when taken to tortuous logical extremes. And what people who espouse those ideals might be like. With two new Subdomains and a new Spell!
Glorious!!!

Heroes' Hoard: Sacred Oils of Osirion: Another very nice addition to the lore of the Lands of Osirion, and a nice addition to any world really - a definitely under-represented area of magic-itemry. Reminds me of the 1e Unearthed Arcana…

Night's Companion: Another nice little vignette, that like the first, deals with shabti and has a bite at the end. Well done Anthony.

Side Trek Seeds: Two useful plot seeds full of flavor. I liked both of them.

Warriors of the Ancient World: Tools and Tactics of the Warriors of Osirion: Another favorite, Ian "Set" Turner really delivers here. A really simple yet elegant archetype for Cavaliers, Fighters AND Paladins that plays on desert running using light armor and deft shield use. Also: A fantastic feat (among a bunch of feats) - Beast Breaker - that sunders natural armor or natural weapons. I love it! And finally: a mixed bag of magic items. Great article form start to finish.

Disturb Not the Dead Tomb curses of Osirion: Lovely work here - details Osirion curses, how they work and provides 8 sample curses, one of which includes The Withering, a curse and disease. A cursed disease? Yummy!!! Beautiful accompanying artwork by Price again.

Lamashtu Be Praised!: Sorry Tanith and Todd, I did not read your piece of fiction. Bonus points for including gnolls though. :)

Into The Pyramid: Treasure Hunters And Undead Busters: Four workmanlike archetypes from the irrepressible archetyper Margherita "Bardess" Tramontano. The third last paragraph appears to be missing the end of a sentence.

AND

Bestiary: A selection of fantastic creatures (standouts are the auction cat ravening jackal and hieroglyph swarm) to fill out your Osirion delve. But rather surprisingly no variant mummies???

ALL UP AN AMAZING ISSUE. BY FANS. FOR FANS. ALL FREE -----> ALL AWESOME.


Wayfinder – The Guide for all Lore Specialists.

*****

Because I want more pages in Wayfinder 13. :)

Pros to Issue:

• Layout: Solid and Clean overall. Would love to see ads a little better integrated. (see cons)

• Art: The art is always on par. I especially love all of Carlos Torreblanca’s works and Tyler Clark’s rendition of Tijdet, is something I plan to use in a future PFS game to describe certain locations in Osirion.

Favorite Pieces:
The Osirian Beginners Box Conversions are amazing. Last issue left me wanting a little more, but this issue made up for it. Man I wish these were PFS Legal so I can run them at new tables for children/new RPGers.

Osirion Fashion: A unique way of describing the already traditionally obvious. But I did enjoy the piece overall.

Coast of Graves: It was a cool twist in the desert by adding the additional traits that are in the location.

Osirian Traps: Because we could always use more traps to kill our players with. :D

Tanjit’s Travel Guide: I like how she covered a few locations in a county. And the art was like icing on the cake.

Oh, and that spoiler picture of Inner Sea Races promo at the end? Fab!

Meh’s to Issue:

• It’s still kind of “Pyramids and Sand” flavor wise to me. The thing I love about Wayfinder, is that it gives creative expansion to canon through non-mechanical means (Lore, Fiction, Gazetteers, Fluff, etc). Unlike the last few issues where you definitely got a new angle on the life in each nation/theme, this one didn’t really do it for me. (Examples are like last issue it was Chelish Poetry, and a few back the Darklands Fiction was so cool!) It just expanded on what was already there, with no new flair or one piece that differentiated Osirion from what we already know about it for me. It’s neither a good nor bad thing. But something of note I wanted to put in.

Cons to Issue:

• I know you can only do so much with layout, and the ads provided by other publishers, but I liked in past issues where the ads were somewhat integrated into the overall layout and theme of the issue. Instead of it being a big “splat ad” of space. It just feels like they are just wonky in the issue. Best example is page 74, where you go from really layout to WHAM white space ad. A border would have been nice or something, so that it would naturally flow.

• Gosh these PDF’s are getting big to the point where one might have to consider Epub. But for good quality, I can’t really complain too hard about that. But it’s just a PITA that for us E-reader users, we can’t just upload and sync it without our E-readers freaking out.

Overall:

As a universal fan of Wayfinder and all things that expand on Golarion Cannon. This is overall an fantastic issue. If you plan on taking friends through Mummy’s Mask, download this as pretty much all of it can be utilized in your game as side things when your group decides to go off rails. (Which might happen.) There are a few design issues, but nothing so overwhelming that this issue is ruined by it. Enjoy the issue all readers and I look forward to seeing what Wayfinder has in the future.


Mending Osirion's missing links

*****

Disclaimer: I contributed to the production, but not the content, of this issue.

Osirion has never been one of my favorite corners of Golarion. Lifted a little too literally from Egypt and dropped in with a ton of distant history but few links to the surrounding world's pressing plots, it often felt detached from the world around it. Mummy's Mask put a dent in that perception

Spoiler:
by tying it to the Shory Empire, justifying the sources and allure of Egyptian concepts like mummification in a world of resurrection and wish spells, and fleshing out the countryside,
but even in its wake Osirion felt more like a playground of tombs with a rich but distant history, and less like a standalone culture for plots beyond pulpy tomb raids or characters that feel fully integrated with the rest of the Inner Sea.

This issue of Wayfinder does a fantastic job filling in these little gaps in Osirion's uniqueness, giving GMs excellent ideas to make Osirion a place that stands up on its own and players more ways to push past overt Egyptian themes to become uniquely Osiriani.

Particular standouts for me include Robert Feather's embalmer archetype for investigators, which cleverly turns the class's alchemical strengths and social abilities toward becoming a devious architect of necromantic chaos. Jacob Sprunk's Weal or Woe is a lovely twist on the concept, giving us a nuanced view of undeath through Hapuseneb's corrupted mentorship of the doubtful dhampir Jaali. Jeff Lee and Dawn Fischer's article on shabti deftly fleshes out a crucial cultural detail of Osirion's many tombs and adds lots of clever options for tomb-building GMs to help break out of the curse of leaning too heavily on traps, mummies, and classic sphinxes. (Speaking of sphinxes, check out Jason Keeley's saurosphinx in the Bestiary!)

Sarah Counts's sal'awaan race brilliantly integrates Tian Xia's kitsune into Osirion, while Wojciech Gruchala's Aucturn cats use the Dominion of the Black references seeded throughout Osirion's past to create an incredibly creepy little foe. And I'm always a fan of casting Golarion's major deities in different lights, so I especially enjoyed John Leising's piece on a sect of violently anti-undeath Pharasmin extremists working in the shadow of the Ruby Prince and his undead Risen Guard.

Wayfinder does a great job filling in these sorts of corners of the campaign setting, and the consistently high-quality artwork and content makes me as proud as ever to be a part of putting these issues together. But this issue in particular excels at expanding the details of a part of the game world that can especially benefit from it.


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