Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Distant Shores (PFRPG)

***** (based on 8 ratings)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Distant Shores (PFRPG)
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Beyond the Inner Sea!

It's time to leave familiar climes and tour the wider world! While most Pathfinder characters hail from the Inner Sea region, there are many other continents and societies out there just waiting to be explored. Within this book, you'll find detailed discussions of six major trade cities found on the distant corners of Golarion, complete with full-page maps and information on the resident cultures and traditions, adventure sites, new gods, magic and fighting styles, and more, plus rules to help you add local flavor and abilities to your characters. Face your destiny with a cyclopean myth-speaking, study the mysteries of the Iridian Fold, or hone your magic at the House of Green Mothers—there's a whole world at your fingertips!

Cities detailed in this book include:

  • Aelyosos, City of Tides and westernmost port in the archipelago of Iblydos, whose half-flooded streets are guarded by cyclops prophets and mighty hero-gods.
  • Anuli, City of New Beginnings and ancient gateway between the Inner Sea and southern Garund, where divine matriarchs rule with the mandate of Heaven.
  • Dhucharg, City of Conquest, whose militant hobgoblin generals won't be satisfied until their armies overrun all Tian Xia.
  • Radripal, City of Arches in the Impossible Kingdoms of Vudra, where priests travel the holy Matra River and rakshasas rule through fear and silver.
  • Segada, the fabled City of Keys in isolated Arcadia, whose mountaintop walls keep foreign colonists on the Grinding Coast from expanding into the continent's mysterious interior.
  • Ular Kel, Caravan City and Jewel of the Steppe, where Water Lords and nomadic horse tribes rule over massive trade routes that cut through the Grass Sea of central Casmaron.

Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Distant Shores is intended for use with the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can be easily adapted to any fantasy world.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-787-1

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Campaign Setting Subscription.

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***** (based on 8 ratings)

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Only problem is that there isn't more!

*****

This material is super difficult to use.

Weird way to start a five star review, but there you have it. The reason why I say so is because this book has six great, wonderful, inspiring cities that I desperately want to adventure in, but nothing about their surroundings. So there are a few ways you can use this material: A DM that loves to worldbuild and has the time to do so, can flesh out the nation around the city, thus allowing a campaign to take place there. You could teleport-travel to the cities from afar, from areas better detailed, and then teleport back. You could run the campaign entirely inside the city -- perhaps something like transplanting Hell's Rebels to a revolution in the hobgoblin city of Dhucharg. You could have characters conventionally travel to these cities from nearby areas, but handwave/vague/skim the actual journeys. These are some ideas for how you could use these cities. But it is really important to be aware of this when considering buying this book: they are wonderfully fleshed out cities in the middle of a lot of blank white map. Personally, I don't take off a star because of that, but you might, so that's why I want to be really clear about that aspect of the product.

Having gotten that out of the way, let's move on to the content itself. Now, this is six cities, ten pages each. Each has a one-page top-down map for layout, and each has an amazingly evocative two-page wide panoramic shot for atmosphere. Additional graphics include 2-3 full-body NPC shots per city to show important personages or typical inhabitants. Each city has a settlement block (of course), and some new crunch/mechanics. The pseudo-Greek city (Aelyosos) has three new weapons, three new mythic path abilities and two new deities. The pseudo-African city (Anuli) has a new player race (Ganzi, which is to Chaotic as Aasimar is to Good or Tiefling is to Evil), seven new traits and one deity. And so on. The rest of the page count is rounded out by gazetteers of important locations, NPCs, customs and other such flavor material.

The six cities detailed are: Aelyosos (pseudo-Greek, with Mythic Adventures flavor), Anuli (pseudo-African, matriarchal), Dhucharg (pseudo-Japanese, hobgoblin-dominated military-flavored), Radripal (pseudo-Indian, with rakshasa intrigue), Segada (pseudo-Amerind, trade hub and entrance into Arcadia) and Ular Kel (pseudo-Mongol steppe city).

I'm biased because I'm a huge, huge, massive fan of all settings and environments that break away from the traditional Western European fantasy fare, so this product is tailor made for me. It's like getting to travel the world for twenty bucks. This is easily within my top five Pathfinder supplements, and if you're similarly interested in "off the beaten path" cultures and settings, I couldn't recommend Distant Shores more.

Having said that, if your campaign doesn't travel a lot, you're not likely to see a lot of use for this book. Some of the crunch can be brought abroad (like the ganzi player race, for instance) and maybe you want to make a character that has backstory in one of these cities. But this book is very situational. You'll want to think about whether you will have a use for it.

My rating is based on taking the book for what it is, and having a use for the niche it fills. As long as you have a campaign where travel is welcome, this book is a five star product.


A tantalizing glimpse of a wider world

*****

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

I always love seeing far-off lands of campaign settings described in greater detail. Not only does it give other real-world peoples some much-needed representation, it provides a welcome change of pace from the standard European-based cultures that make up the bulk of so many fantasy worlds. Distant Shores provides a tantalising look at the vast diversity that exists in Golarion. While I know that time and resources make it difficult to fully describe everywhere in the world, I hope that Distant Shores is only the first of several books that will one day explore numerous other regions of Golarion.


Takes you There!

*****

A lot of the points have already been hit in previous reviews of this product, so this will be somewhat brief and hopefully to the point.

Each one of these locations feels a little bit 'clunky' at first read, but when reading for content, and weighing the possibilities of each one of these cities as a 'starting point' for a campaign or world setting, the true genius of each of their designs becomes readily apparent.

They work right now really well for home campaigns, even.

I can't wait to see a further expansion of Holomog and the nations around it, or Ducharg and how the hobgoblins keep from completely falling apart beyond the capital, or Arcadia and how this unknown continent has been both years ahead and behind of Avistan.

With the introduction of Iblydos Vudra, and Casmaron as viable settings as well, suddenly the world of Golarion feels both a slight bit smaller and a *lot* larger.

There are a few limitations to such an offering, but they do not detract from the value of this volume, and I would recommend it to anyone seeking to branch out from Tian Xia or the Inner Sea Region!


A nice taste of new lands

****( )

I really enjoyed this book providing information on never before explored corners of Golarion. It provides enough info to build a campaign arc in each location, and each is unique and interesting in its own way. Highly recommended for GMs wanting to spread out to something new for a bit.


A great sampler platter beyond the Inner Sea

*****

Distant Shores whets the appetite for more, but gives 6 locations on 6 continents a write up, each chock full of adventure ideas and built in conflict. I particularly liked the evil Hobgoblin capitol city in Tian Xia, and Segada the gateway city to Arcadia. The first because it provides a worthy for for the already somewhat detailed Dragon Empires continent, and the later because it literally acts as a gate blocking the interior of the continent, making it a natural site for colonists and explorers looking to go where none have before (from the Inner Sea at least).

Radripal and Ular Kel build upon the scattered lore already seeded in the campaign setting for Vudra and Casmaron, while Aylyosos provides a setting in need of new mythic heroes as their home grown source of them hasn't proven up to the challenge lately.

I was intrigued by Anuli, the most Northern city of Southern Garund, but wasn't as grabbed by how to use a primarily stable city run by empyreal worshiping good and honest folk, especially when their primary foil is the necromantic nation of Geb, but Geb already has Nex set up as their primary allies. I can see adding Anuli to the conflict as a strategic ally for Nex, or safe haven retreating from Nex, but I had been hoping for something more exotic for Southern Garund, after the years of hints that the further south you travel, the weirder things get.

Overall though, this is a great supplement which stretches beyond the more detailed borders of the primary campaign setting.


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Community Manager

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Announced! Product image and description are not final.


7 people marked this as a favorite.

At long last...

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Can't wait.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Exciting!

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Interesting......


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yay on getting more info, but Nay that we are cramming all of Golarion in one book...


9 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

One city per place won't be enough to get a proper feel for the larger areas they're in, so I'm kinda disappointed we don't get something more focused on just one of the continents instead.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ooh! Ooh!


A lot of potential here.

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Must have Kelesh Empire map (let alone the name of the Kelesh capital). Four of the six regions are named in the blurb. I hope of the three remaining unmapped (greater casmaron, azlanti ruins and sarusan) that the one left out is azlant.

Paizo Employee Developer

8 people marked this as a favorite.
MMCJawa wrote:
Yay on getting more info, but Nay that we are cramming all of Golarion in one book...

We're keeping the details on each region limited to a gazetteer of a single city for each, so this book doesn't preclude further expansion of any of the areas in question. We didn't need to cram the entire Inner Sea region into Cities of Golarion or Towns of the Inner Sea, and this book will take largely the same format.

Sovereign Court

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I am super excited for this. I agree that it isn't enough for any given region... hopefully, though, it's the first step to getting a bigger look at those regions. :)

What worries me is that those regions are going to become Dragon Empires - we get a 64-page Campaign Setting book and a Player Companion, and then Paizo completely forgets about them. Really hoping that's not what's in store...

Sovereign Court

11 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Sounds more like a Distant Shores Primer or a Cities of the Distant Shore that a Distant Shores Gazetteer. I'm okay with that, as a teaser for a future expansion, but I'd like to see the name a little more consistent with other titles and what the cover.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This looks good, but unfortunately short for the subject matter at hand. :)

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
archmagi1 wrote:
Must have Kelesh Empire map (let alone the name of the Kelesh capital). Four of the six regions are named in the blurb. I hope of the three remaining unmapped (greater casmaron, azlanti ruins and sarusan) that the one left out is azlant.

I doubt we'll be seeing anything on Sarusan, based on statements from James Jacobs.


I was beginning to wonder if we'd ever see anything covering these other places. I'm looking forward to this book.


Can't wait for October now!


Will this book have any details on any new gods?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well, better then nothing at all.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Definitely better than nothing. Let's call it a promising start, and hope for more to follow.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yes, I like that, "a promising start", makes me feel all hopeful inside.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Very excited for this.


I just squealed.

AT LONG LAST!


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

It looks like a good taste of it. And probably if it sells very well and gets lots of good reviews they will put more information out.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

11 people marked this as a favorite.

*INCOHERENT SHRIEKING*


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hint at the AP after Hells Rebels taking place outside the Inner Sea Region? Maybe?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Light side of Brain: Hey this could be cool and interesting. I will probably get this.

Dark side of Brain: "Diverse cultures"? What are they going to take and file the serial numbers off of this time?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

FINALLY! ARCADIA! WOOT!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Oh, yes, this sounds AWESOME!

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

YES! Arcadia... I will devour all of the knowledge you give me on this place.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Flails and babbles incoherently for a moment

Ahem...looking forward! :D


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

If the cities detailed are all ports, i see real use in this book for anyone running a ship based campaign.....the chance to set up new trade routes would make for many options as a GM and lots of fun for players - must remember to ban my players from buying or reading this one! Really looking forward to this


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Liz Courts wrote:
Announced! Product image and description are not final.

This is great news. One of the few drawbacks to the Pathfinder setting is that the kitchen sink world building approach used for the Inner Sea region results in a maelstrom of cultures and micro-settings washing up on the shore like so much driftwood. An opportunity to create an official Pathfinder setting with a more cohesive style should not be squandered.

I.e. it would be nice if the Arcadia, Iblydos, Southern Garund, and Vudra aren't created by stuffing every fictional genre, TV trope, Human culture and societal more into a Blend-tec and hitting frappe'.

Please make the micro-regions in new regions internally consistent with regards to each other from a setting style point of view. Furthermore, please apply this philosophy of setting cohesiveness the Pantheon of Deities for the new regions, because the list of Inner Sea Gods look like it was generated by stuffing all the Deities from the Paizo's founders' homebrew campaigns into a bucket and drawing lots.

If this proposed setting cohesiveness results in particular creative itches remaining unscratched, then apply those unrealized creative ideas to the currently undiscovered parts of Golarion!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Are we going to get some pantheon information for those areas?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Bring on the kitchen sink world building approach.

Wich continent is Iblydos located on?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:

Bring on the kitchen sink world building approach.

Wich continent is Iblydos located on?

Part of Casmaron... sort of. It's an island region.

It's the Greece analog, in any case, and I believe it's relatively close to its real-world counterpart. Probably due east of Jalmeray, if I had to guess, based on the Inner Sea World Guide's maps.


Dragon78 wrote:

Bring on the kitchen sink world building approach.

Wich continent is Iblydos located on?

Casmaron. Specifically an island (or more?) to the south(?) that is associated with Casmaron (much like Hermea is part of Astivan, which is the continent to the north of the Inner Sea, i.e. the northern half of the Inner Sea Region).

So, of Casmaron, we're getting Iblydos & Vudra.

--C.

<edit> ninja'ed by Kalindlara! :P

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

<3


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well I hope Iblydos is the Greek analog in culture/feel as well.

So we will be getting a city related to 6 different lands. We have four locations mention and two unknown. We have Azlant, Tian Xia, Sarusan, and the Crown of the World as possible locations for the last two.


Woot! And verily, I say again, Woot!

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:

Well I hope Iblydos is the Greek analog in culture/feel as well.

It absolutely is. Check out Mythical Monsters Revisited - it's the source for pretty much all the Greek monsters. :)


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Please let the Arcadia entry be an Andoren colony! Please?! That would be fantastic.

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

At last !!! *jumps in joy*

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Fourshadow wrote:
Please let the Arcadia entry be an Andoren colony! Please?! That would be fantastic.

I believe that there's already one established in the Inner Sea World Guide, although given that it's run by the Lumber Consortium, it might not exactly be what you have in mind. :)

Also, the last thing Paizo intends to do with Arcadia is a European colonization story. See the Mexicans in Golarion thread for a longer discussion on that. :)

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This book is relevant to my interests. Proceed.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I hope the city from Arcadia is not a colony from the Inner Sea but a city of one of the cultures native to Arcadia.

I hope one of the cities is from Sarusan.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Seconded for a native Arcadian city. We have enough Inner Sea cities. We need a glimpse into the life of the Arcadians, not the colonists.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

We need a glimpse into the life of every place and culture but the Inner Sea:)


Nifty

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