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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Player's Guide (OGL)Paizo Inc.
Add Hardcover $44.99
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The Shinning Example of What Pathfinder Books Should BeLemmy —
The Advanced Player's Guide (APG) is to this day one the best books for Pathfinder. It introduces a number of (now iconic) classes unique to the system.
The overall balance of the book is amazing. Alchemist and Inquisitor are probably the two most well-balanced classes in the game, and the latter is what I consider to be the best designed one in all of Pathfinder.
We get a few alternate rules that are pretty cool, such as word casting and character traits. We even get new combat maneuvers added to the fold!
The possibilities of character creation allowed by this book greatly increases the variety and fun of Pathfinder. If you can only buy a single expansion book, buy this one.
The book is not perfect, of course. The Summoner class (and even more so, its archetypes) would really benefit from clearer wording. It's sad to see cool ideas such as word casting being completely abandoned after this...
Still, those are minor problems in comparison to all the good stuff that is included in the APG, and the book still deserves its 5-star rating.
Pathfinder Tales: NightglassPaizo Inc.
Print Edition Unavailable
Add PDF/ePub $6.99
A great read and a not-so-great one.Lemmy —
Ah, Nightglass... This one is somewhat complicated to review.
The books is basically divided in two separate halves. In both of them, we follow Isiem, a boy with a knack for shadow magic who was unfortunate enough to be born in the dark nation of Nidal.
The first half of the book is a very unique read. It tells the story of Isiem's youth. Mostly focusing on the arduous journey that started the day he was taken from his family to be trained as a shadow mage in service of the Midnight Lord.
The author explores the world of Nidal with great skill. While Isiem is talented enough to survive and thrive on his training, it's his struggle to do so without being corrupted by his ordeal that makes this a compelling read. This, and the portrait of Nidal and its dark and unforgiving characteristics, made this an unique and engaging story.
While not evil, Isiem is not what one would call a hero, and even calling him a good guy might be pushing it, but considering the place where he lives and what he has to go through, not falling into the "evil" category is quite a feat. An enjoyable protagonist, even if not one we can look up to.
This is ultimately a story about a journey of growth and moral resilience in a world taken by darkness. I earns 4 stars from me.
But as I said... The book is divided in two separate halves. While the first one is unique and interesting, the second half is predictable and cliched. While it has a few nice touches, the reader can easily see the ending from a mile away. It feels as if the author finished telling the story but needed more pages to make it a book, so instead of adding filler material to the great story told in the first half, she decided to tell an additional story.
This one is set years after Isiem graduated from his shadow caller training. Now he's sent on a diplomatic mission to aid agents of Chelliax in exploring a silver mine that stands on territory claimed by the native Strix tribes... Who may not be the monsters they are taken for.
If you think you can see where that story leads... You're absolutely correct. There is no surprises here. It's a tale told a million times.
The 2nd half of the book gets a 2-star review. Giving the book an average of 3 stars.
Still, the first half of the story is good enough for me to recommend the book. Even the second half is not "bad" per se, just predictable and uninspired... It still has its moments and great action scenes.
Pathfinder Tales: Prince of WolvesPaizo Inc.
Print Edition Unavailable
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A Great ReadLemmy —
Prince of Wolves tells the story of Count Jeggare and his body-guard Randovan as they travel through Ustalav.
The story is told from a first-person perspective and each chapter is from the point of view of one of the two protagonist.
This style of narrative gives the reader a refreshing change from the usual third-person perspective and is a great way to provide insight to the character's thoughts in a way that feels natural.
Count Jeggare is a noble-blooded and educated man from birth, so he can seem arrogant and pretentious at times, but he is ultimately a man with a good heart who can actually see the humor in the situation at times, and as the story moves on, he learns to better recognize the value of those of not so noble birth.
Randovan is all that Count Jeggare is not. Low-born, brass, uneducated... A man raised on the streets but no less noble of heart. He can be brass and rude sometimes, but he genuinely cares about his friends and allies. It's easier to sympathize with him due to his simple beginnings and easy-going nature (although he does know the time to get serious!).
The contrast between the protagonists is only equaled by their loyalty to one another and mutual respect.
They're both likable protagonists in their own ways, but far from perfect. And the people they meet are just as colorful, although not as well-developed due to the simple fact that they obviously don't have as much spotlight as the protagonists.
I really enjoyed the action and the character development in this book. The mystery and suspense are pretty good too, although not spectacular. I'll gladly add another 5-stars review to its collection.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Class Guide (OGL)Paizo Inc.
Add PDF $19.99
Huge DisappointmentLemmy —
I don't think I've ever been this disappointed with a Pathfinder hardcover book. The ACG balance is dubious at best, and the editing is so bad, even the cover is messed up.
Getting the book in time for GenCon was more of a priority than getting it right. While that may be great for the company, it's pretty bad for the players, as the book's quality visibly suffered for it
There is good and bad stuff in the ACG, but IMO, the bad far outweighs the good. It's a bad product and I strongly advise against buying it. 2 or 3 cool things are not worth paying for all the sloppy work.
If this is the level of quality to expect from upcoming books, Paizo can count me out of their customer base.