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Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Taldor, the First Empire (PFRPG)

***( )( ) (based on 3 ratings)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Taldor, the First Empire (PFRPG)

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Taldor Endures!

The first—and at one point, largest—empire in Avistan after devastation of Earthfall, Taldor has stood for millennia, and though its neighboring nations snicker at its lavish parties and out-of-touch nobility, none dare challenge the mother empire's might! With 6 millennia of history spanning the breadth of a continent, Taldor is a land of long-buried secrets and ruins, partnered with modern cutthroat dramas and political action. Secrets and treasure abound across Taldor—many forgotten, but far more deliberately buried. Will you fight to preserve the glorious traditions of the past, or will you pave the way for a reformed Taldor to attain new heights?

Taldor is the dynamic setting for the War for the Crown Adventure Path, making this comprehensive guide to the nation's geography, politics, and history a perfect resource for that campaign, as well as for many Pathfinder Module adventures! Inside this book you'll find:

  • A thorough gazetteer of Taldor's major prefectures and provinces, including details on the reigning nobles of each and over 70 points of interest across the nation, from Antios's Crown and its endless royal necropolis to the militarized city of Zimar.
  • An overview of Taldor's government, foreign relationships, and society.
  • Nearly a dozen adventure sites tied to Taldor's past glories and modern decay, from ruined cities to lost valleys of the dead.
  • Nine new monsters perfectly adapted to life in Taldor, including the corrupting giniver, perfectly suited to hiding in plain sight, and testaments to noble excess such as the titanboar and the blood-bathing baetriov.

Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Taldor, The First Empire is intended for use with the Pathfinder campaign setting, but it can be easily adapted to any fantasy world.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-999-8

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

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Product Reviews (3)

Average product rating:

***( )( ) (based on 3 ratings)

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Glorious!

*****

This book is rich with culture, history and geography! this reads like a novel, and I find every page containing interesting trivia and long awaited answers to my most Taldane of questions!

The Golden Age of Taldor map is brilliant, and we also get a full timeline for Taldor. Interactions with other cultures is discussed, and a section on religion give us hints on who is considered to be the true 'Taldan Pantheon' (with a satisfying nod to Aroden and its 'arcane' clerics... must... build... one... :) )

The map of Taldor and its prefectures will also become an invaluable tool to any GM running a game set there, which only further aggrandizes its sister achievement and masterpiece: a full geographical section on each prefecture of Taldor, as well as supplementaty information on the provinces (apparently in Taldor, both Bill and Hillary bow to the elephant cavalry!). This section is, for the lack of a better word, a veritable tour-de-force!

Then we have a section on various sites within the Empire, and the coolest harpy cleric of Groetus I've ever seen (when she told you she'd give you the moon she wasn't kidding gents!) This section is a great idea generator for GMs wishing to run their own campaigns or supplement published Taldor-based adventures with a spiffy sidequest or two...

At the end we have a small bestiary which will allow druids and rangers to proudly call their next pet 'titanboar' or 'fading fox' or 'emperor stag'. Selective breeding is a thing in Taldor, and not only for their horses, but for their game too! but for the rest of the bestiary I'll stay silent so as not to spoil that most excellent new bathrobe wearing undead. 'New bathrobe'-wearing undead; or new 'bathrobe-wearing undead', as in new undead? hmmm... hmmm.... who can tell? [/goldblum mode]

Taldor deserved a lore-only book like this. Your mechanical queries can be addressed by the dozens of books preceding this one, but the knowledge gained within these pages will turn the most bland barbarian into a hardcore or unchained Ulfen devotee of the Lion Throne!

Taldor is Avistan.


Mixed bag.

***( )( )

Lots of flavor. Lots of geography. Not much substance.

The bestiary in the back feels out of place. IMO use that space to talk about the specifics of Taldor nobility.

There are no archetypes or really any mechanics whatsoever, which makes it feel out of place. A lot of Campaign Setting books have mechanics in them these days.

Overall, bit of an odd duck. 3 out of 5 stars.


Disappointed

*( )( )( )( )

I was really hyped to hear one of my favorite locales on Golarion was getting revisited. After all it had been more than 8 years since Taldor was explored and given the new 68 page format of the country sourcebooks I assumed many details could be explored.

Unfortunately this book did not impress me at all. It was lackluster and pretty bland, no wow, no pizzazz. It did not inspire any additional interest in Taldor.

The book is divided into four parts so Ill briefly talk about each of them without giving too much away.

Life in Taldor – The first section details a history of the people of Taldor and lightly touches on the nobility and titles of Taldor. I was especially disappointed in this. Nobility and titles in Taldor are a cornerstone of this nation, something that make it distinctive in character from other nations, a highlight of that nation and yet the titles section was given a half-page description of generic noble titles, many titles previously describe we not even written about or mentioned.

The history of its Imperial house was non-existent, there was no list of Grand Princes, nothing descriptive of noble houses. I mean at this point I don’t know the name of the imperial house of Taldor because it remained as skeletal in description as what is found in the Inner Sea Guide. There was just nothing.

Gone was any mention of The Bearded as the ruling social class as it was ret-conned and minimized like the banning of Sarenrae. It fails to detail any of the more than 50 Grand Duchies and their locations other than 12 that correspond with the primary prefectures that it states are in the Empire.

The history section is mainly a descriptive rehash of events that have been already covered in other books, there were very few new events detailed within. More could have been included for an empire that is six thousand years old. The description of the Taldan people was literally two paragraphs long and the other two pages spent on the topic were on Chelaxans, Andorans and other surrounding nations and races.

Gazetteer – The Gazetteer generally does a good job at describing the twelve main prefectures of Taldor and it adds some details, new cities and locales and personalities. One of my favorite parts was some details on the ruling nobles of the prefectures. The cities described were mainly just that descriptions – there were no details on population, racial make-up, no flavoring whatsoever.

Adventures in Taldor - This part is a good but brief description of some key locales within Taldor. Each locale is given a one page description, with details and major NPC descriptions which is probably enough to get a GM to build his own adventures around.

Bestiary – This part is really unnecessary and should have been relegated to the upcoming AP. The monsters are lackluster. Taldor is supposed to be an Empire that tamed its heartland so the real monsters should be the humans within. But the book doesn’t do much in that aspect.

There is no mention of the lands directly to the east of the empire. How they may have affected the empire or anything. The updated map was pretty good I did like that they included some locals from the novels and pathfinder scenarios, except that Yanmass still has two locations in previous maps - one next to the river and another away from it. Even the novel Shy Knives have it located near the river. So I am not sure if Yanmass is a port city or a city in the center of the plains.

Overall this book is a huge disappointment for a nation whose ruling class is supposed to be a distinctive feature that is supposed to add to the character of Taldor. Yet it does very little to fill that gap, it leaves Taldor feeling generic and boring.


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