Illustration by David Bircham

Osirion, Land of the Ph-rickin' Awesome

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Part of the joy of being an editorial intern is getting to read all the goodness that is Pathfinder. For free. And before the rest of the world. Recently, I was asked to give an editing pass over a few chapters of the new Pathfinder's Journal, "Dark Tapestry," penned by the prolific and outrageously talented Elaine Cunningham (seriously, who wouldn't want this job?!).

Set in the desert realm of Osirion, this new Pathfinder story does everything a piece of fiction set in an RPG campaign world should do: it reveals believable and interesting characters, it brings the setting to life, and most of all, it makes me want to play a Pathfinder campaign set in Osirion right now.

Really though, the story highlights for me everything I really enjoy about Pathfinder. There is a touch of the familiar, but at the same time, never once can I say, "Hey, I've been here before." While reading the Pathfinder's Journal, I recognized many well-known aspects—a magical item here, a class-name drop there—and even though I have been playing RPGs since I was in junior high, never once did I feel like it was just another tired rehash. And while Osirion clearly draws inspiration from ancient Egypt, never once does it feel like a shallow interpretation of real-life history. While reading Elaine Cunningham's words, it truly felt that if I could somehow peel back the crawling desert sands, it would reveal the bones of countless centuries, a deep, rich, and lived history filled with epic stories and sweeping tales of heroism and tragedy, of which the PCs' adventures comprise only the latest chapter.

So I think I'm going to slip on some sandals, slap on some sunscreen, and head on back over to Osirion. See you there!

Hank Woon
Paizo Editorial Intern

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Tags: David Bircham Elaine Cunningham Interns Monsters Pathfinder Journal
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