Pathfinder Player Companion: Faiths of Purity (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Player Companion: Faiths of Purity (PFRPG)
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True heroes know that evil is not an abstraction, nor a concept to be debated. Rather, it is a relentless adversary, a dark tide that seeks always to roll over the world, turning the hearts of gentle souls with its claws and whispers. Against this onslaught stand a proud and pious few: those priests and soldiers who dedicate themselves in body and soul to the forces of light, ready to lay down their lives in defense of the innocent. Aided by the powers of their gods, these stalwart champions use sword and spell, faith and ferocity to protect all that they hold dear. For they know that if they do not—who will?

Faiths of Purity presents a player-friendly overview of the good-aligned religions of the Pathfinder campaign setting, along with new rules and information to help players customize pious characters in both flavor and mechanics.

    Inside this book, you'll find:
  • Information on each of the major good-aligned gods and his or her corresponding religion, including what's expected of adventurers of various classes, ways for the faithful to identify each other, taboos, devotions and ceremonies, church hierarchies, holy texts, religious holidays, and more
  • New traits to help represent and cement a character's background in the church
  • New feats and combat tricks for all holy warriors
  • New god-specific spells for a wide variety of spellcasting classes
  • Paladin codes for sacred warriors of each major god, as well as new organizations and knightly orders
  • Details on good-aligned minor deities, racial gods, empyreal lords, and more!
    Faiths of Purity includes key information on:
  • Cayden Cailean, god of freedom, ale, wine and bravery
  • Desna, goddess of dreams, stars, travelers and luck
  • Erastil, god of farming, hunting, trade and family
  • Iomedae, goddess of valor, rulership, justice and honor
  • Sarenrae, goddess of the sun, redemption, honesty and healing
  • Shelyn, goddess of beauty, art, love and music
  • Torag, god of the forge, protection and strategy

Written by Colin McComb

Each bimonthly 32-page Pathfinder Companion contains several player-focused articles exploring the volume’s theme as well as short articles with innovative new rules for social, magic, religious, and combat-focused characters, as well as traits to better anchor the player to the campaign.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-314-9

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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4.30/5 (based on 12 ratings)

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Excellent Introduction to the "Good" Gods of Golarion

5/5

Faiths of Purity is a well-conceived entry in the Pathfinder Player Companion line, with a stated premise to showcase the "good" gods to adventurers and laypeople of all stripes, not just clerics and paladins. I really like the idea, as religion can and should be part of a campaign setting that affects far more than just a couple of PC classes. Starting off with what you have to admit is a pretty awesome cover (repeated as the inside back cover), the inside front cover summarizes (including portfolios, alignment, domains, favored weapons, centers of worship, and nationality) the seven good-aligned "core" faiths in the Pathfinder setting: Desna, Iomedae, Shelyn, Cayden Cailean, Erastil, Sarenrae, and Torag.

After a brief introduction that summarizes the theme well, the bulk of the bulk is devoted to two-page entries on each of these seven faiths. Each entry is divided into a one-paragraph summary of the god and then one to two paragraph long sections titled "Adventurers" (what adventurers who worship the god tend to be like), "Classes" (how different classes do or do not tend to fit in with the faith), "Goals" (what a worshipper of the god wants), "Identifiers" (clothing, symbols, or other markers commonly associated with the faith), "Devotion" (how lay worshippers act and demonstrate their allegiance), "Other Faiths" (how worshippers see and are seen by those of other faiths), "Taboos" (what worshippers *won't* do); "Traits" (two different Religion traits, most of which are bland and unimpressive), and finally, "The Church" (the longest section, with an overview of holy sites, church rules, holy texts, symbols, etc.).

The important thing to remember about these entries is that they explain things from the view of what everyday worshippers (and most PCs) would know. These entries are not "high-level" church theory or geopolitical roles, but are instead insights into how worshippers behave and see the world. They're thus perfect for players wanting to run a worshipper of one of these gods, and far more useful than material in most other books or on a Wiki. I'd strongly suggest passing this book around during character creation if someone is interested in the "good" gods of Golarion. Before moving on, I should also call out the artwork, which is really good!

The next section of the book is "Minor Deities" (4 pages). This is a bit of a hodgepodge section, with "lesser gods of goodness" like Apsu the Waybringer, Kurgess the Strong Man, and Milani the Everbloom receiving a few paragraphs of description and one trait each. Next, there are a few paragraphs (and a trait) devoted to each of the racial pantheons: Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, and Halfling. These sections were odd, in that it's not just the good deities from each of these pantheons that are covered (thus confusing the theme of the book), and there's far too little space to do each pantheon justice. The traits for gnomes and halflings aren't bad though. Last, there's just over a page on the Empyreal Lords (sort of demigods), with about a paragraph each on Andoletta, Ragathiel, Arshea, Korada, Valani, and Sinashakti. There's a single "catch-all" trait for worshippers of any Empyreal Lord. Again, there's just not enough room to make the coverage of these faiths satisfactory, and I wonder if it would have been better to save it for a separate book later on.

"Organizations" (2 pages) provides an introduction to organized groups that are outside of a faith's official clergy. Coverage includes the Banner of the Stag (Erastil), Deepdelvers (Torag), Glory of the Risen Rose (Shelyn), The Halo of Blades (Sarenrae), Knights of Ozem (Iomedae), Starstone Brewers (Cayden Cailean), and The Whispered Song (Desna). Two of the organizations really stuck out to me as fantastic. First, the Glory of the Risen Rose is all about spreading beauty and artwork, and one can imagine so many original adventures that could stem from it. Second, the Starstone Brewers are all about helping the orphans that are inevitably left near battlefields, the sites of natural disasters, etc. Entire campaigns could be themed around either of these two organizations, and offer something very different to the norm.

"Combat: Righteous Warfare" (2 pages) introduces one or two new feats for each of the major faiths covered in the book. I have to commend the writers for coming up with feats that are tied, flavour-wise to the corresponding faith. Substance-wise, the feats are hit or miss, with some potentially really useful (Desna's Butterfly's Sting or Erastil's Bullseye Shot, for example) and others so underwhelming as to be forgettable (Torag's Stone Read and Undermining Exploit). There is a drawing of a classic "bikini armor" woman on page 26 that is regrettable.

I really liked "Faith: Paladin Codes" (2 pages), which offers customized Paladin codes for several faiths that supplement what's in the Core Rulebook. These new codes really help to distinguish Paladins from one another, and are well-tailored to emphasize the particular themes of different deities. Erastil's code contains several elements relating to community and tradition, for example, while Shelyn's code incorporates concepts of beauty and love.

"Magic: Spells of the Faithful" (2 pages) introduces at least one new divine spell for worshippers of each of the major faiths in the book. Overall, I found them flavourful but rather weak in a mechanical sense. They're also all very low-level spells, an area in which clerics, paladins, and druids aren't exactly hurting for choices.

Finally, there's "Social: Religious Holidays" (2 pages). This is the sort of thing that's really important for adding depth to a campaign setting, even if most players will overlook it (because the odds of a day "in game" falling on one of these holidays is slim).

Overall, this book is exactly what a Player Companion should be. It provides a clear, readable, and interesting introduction to an important element of the campaign setting, it gives useful advice on how to portray and interact with that element, and it introduces some "crunch" options that aren't unbalancing. Apart from the "too fast to be good" problem in relation to racial pantheons and Empyreal Lords, Faiths of Purity is a winner.


A source of ideas not rules

5/5

I found this player companion rather inspiring, in that it help me think about how faith in a campaign setting can guide player character behavior. I enjoyed the art, and the way the prose was written. I really did not need more charts and tables.


5/5

I have reviewed this book over on RPGGeek.com.


5 stars to each page

5/5

If I could give 5 stars to each page of this book I would. Paizo did good in choosing the illustrious Colin McComb as author. Colin not only wrote some of my favorite Planescape books (Including the fabled rarity - Hellbound: the Blood War), he wrote my favorite rpg book of all time, The Complete Book of Elves.

Colin did not dissatisfy as this book is amazing to read, useful for players and DMS, and beautiful. It is the first piece of a 3 book series I am guaranteed to value in my collection for years to come.

I enjoyed reading the flavor for each faith, giving me the inspiration to run clerics the way they are meant to be, as members of a greater organization. It also gave me the ability to incorporate faith into my non-clergy characters. The idea of a barbarian saluting Cayden Cailean with a drink before a battle with slavers was totally inspired by this tome.

The concept of a greater body behind each cleric is not lost on me; I am inspired by this book to add this kind of flavor every time faith is represented in my games. This book breaks it down by perspective of adventurers, classes, goals, identifiers, devotion, other faiths, taboos, traits and the church itself. I can look in this book (and the other 2 that are yet to come) when creating clerics, deities, and churches.

I haven't even scraped the surface of what this little 31 page book gives as there are minor deities including nonhuman racial deities, and Empyreal Lords (Which I have been looking for content on), more organizations (because I never want paizo to stop giving us factions), and religious holidays (the calendar plays a huge part in my game, I really needed this).

This books isn't all flavor as it gives combat feats, traits (under each faith), and spells. I bought this book for the flavor and yet I still got some crunch I can apply to my religious characters. The feats aren't exclusive to faiths so we there are a few options for everyone.

Buy this book if you are interested in role playing your characters with more depth, running your campaigns with more religion, and interested in learning more about Golarion. I truly enjoy this book and consider it one of the most valuable that I have; it truly speaks to how I play and gm.


Great resource!

4/5

Bottom line - I love this book. It's a great idea for a product line and players and GMs both can benefit from the expanded information.

Check out my full review here.


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Dark Archive

Looks like I will have to get two copies of this, one for myself and one for the guy playing a Paladin of Sarenrae in my campaign.


It's too late to influence product content, but I am hoping there is some data on the Knights of Ozem! I have a PC interested in one for Carrion Crown.


DM Wellard wrote:
I for one will be very disappointed if they are just a rehash of stuff I already have...these are going to be make or break books for me on this subscription

+1. I love the articles in the AP's but I would have no need to buy three new books if they just reposted stuff. I seriously doubt they will do simple cut and pastes. I can understand reprinting some of the information, but I also want more information. I am very interested to see the Paladin codes presented!

Contributor

GM Hands of Fate wrote:
DM Wellard wrote:
I for one will be very disappointed if they are just a rehash of stuff I already have...these are going to be make or break books for me on this subscription
+1. I love the articles in the AP's but I would have no need to buy three new books if they just reposted stuff. I seriously doubt they will do simple cut and pastes. I can understand reprinting some of the information, but I also want more information. I am very interested to see the Paladin codes presented!

I am pleased to report that this is almost-all-new stuff. I did reference source material in writing this and had to cover some domains and portfolios to make it accessible for players, but the text is all new.

The Knights of Ozem get a couple of paragraphs - it's not a hugely indepth exploration, but combined with the information on Iomedae's faithful, it should be enough for you to understand and create their organization more fully.

Dark Archive

I know it's too late to influence this product but I hope they have something that allows you to apply "touch of law" to your self and use it that same turn.

just throwing it out there


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I assume by now this is the final cover art. Looking pretty good, can't wait to check this out.

Dark Archive

deinol wrote:
I assume by now this is the final cover art. Looking pretty good, can't wait to check this out.

Kyra and some bug revisiting the Gods & Magic cover, with Sarenrae & Rovagug? That's a neat shout-out sort of deal.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Vic Wertz wrote:
Cover image and description have been updated to reflect the finished product.

(That was February 1.)


Special request: I want to see a "we shipping your Faiths of Purity to you currently" message in my inbox tomorrow. Thanks :)


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:

Cover image and description have been updated to reflect the finished product.

(That was February 1.)

I swear I had Ctrl-F'd for Vic on Page 2 before I asked that question. I must have been sleepy.

Still, looking forward to this release. The Faiths set are the companions I am most interested in. Until Goblins comes out. ;)


I can't wait for this one, I love Desna, Sarenrae, and Shelyn.

Silver Crusade

VERY curious about what's going to be offered on the barbarian and monk side of things.

Dragon78 wrote:
I can't wait for this one, I love Desna, Sarenrae, and Shelyn.

Sounds like you might want to head over to the Rule34 thread... ;)


Oh excellent :) got "we'll be shipping in a week" message from Paizo!


Are there any prestige classes in it?Need some Undeadbashing ones for Carrion Crown

Dark Archive

mightyjules wrote:
Are there any prestige classes in it?Need some Undeadbashing ones for Carrion Crown

Nope no PrC's, just stuff about the gods, spells, feats and paladin codes.

Silver Crusade

Dark_Mistress wrote:
mightyjules wrote:
Are there any prestige classes in it?Need some Undeadbashing ones for Carrion Crown
Nope no PrC's, just stuff about the gods, spells, feats and paladin codes.

Wait, so someone has the book!

Any stuff/feats for super-good barbarian types? :)

Dark Archive

Mikaze wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:
mightyjules wrote:
Are there any prestige classes in it?Need some Undeadbashing ones for Carrion Crown
Nope no PrC's, just stuff about the gods, spells, feats and paladin codes.

Wait, so someone has the book!

Any stuff/feats for super-good barbarian types? :)

Drunken Brawler might work good for a Barbarian. If they drink and get drunk they have a -2 ref save, but gain temp hp and a +2 to fort and will saves. But once the temp hp are exhusted you lose the save bonuses but the penalty stays for a hour.

Silver Crusade

Dark_Mistress wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:
mightyjules wrote:
Are there any prestige classes in it?Need some Undeadbashing ones for Carrion Crown
Nope no PrC's, just stuff about the gods, spells, feats and paladin codes.

Wait, so someone has the book!

Any stuff/feats for super-good barbarian types? :)

Drunken Brawler might work good for a Barbarian. If they drink and get drunk they have a -2 ref save, but gain temp hp and a +2 to fort and will saves. But once the temp hp are exhusted you lose the save bonuses but the penalty stays for a hour.

Thanks! Doesn't really mesh with any of the barb concepts I've got, but there's another for whom this would be a perfect fit. :)

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Really loving this one.

And those priests of Torag sure do love their rings... :P

p16 "...but you can spot one of the devoted by the rings on his fingers, in his beard, on his fingers..."


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The Eye of the Father trait for Torag says (emphasis mine):

Faiths of Purity wrote:
You have an innate sense of what is right and wrong in the works you craft, based on your years studying with the church fathers at their forges. You gain +1 trait bonus to a Craft skill of your choice, and Perform is always a class skill for you.

I think this should probably say "and Craft is always a class skill for you", right?

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

Zaister wrote:
I think this should probably say "and Craft is always a class skill for you", right?

Correct. This was an unfortunate copy/paste error that was overlooked in development and editing.

Contributor

buzzby wrote:

Really loving this one.

And those priests of Torag sure do love their rings... :P

p16 "...but you can spot one of the devoted by the rings on his fingers, in his beard, on his fingers..."

You don't want to know where the other rings are. Just... just trust me on this one.

Silver Crusade

And suddenly I feel driven to drink.

Anything to make the images go away.


Ordered this book. Sarenrae is my go to replacement for my former Lathanderite characters. There's something about playing a worshipper of the Sun God/Goddesses that appeals to me. So beautiful, so pure, so bright with the light of goodness. My beautiful, blonde Aasimar priestess of the Sun will live again.


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

THIS is how religion books should be done. The material focuses less on the deities and more on those who follow it. Right on the money! This is what players/DMs need to make the religion come alive. Kudos.

The other faith books couldn't come quick enough for me!!


Elorebaen wrote:

THIS is how religion books should be done. The material focuses less on the deities and more on those who follow it. Right on the money! This is what players/DMs need to make the religion come alive. Kudos.

The other faith books couldn't come quick enough for me!!

Waiting...for...email...must...push...refresh...

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I remove a post and a reply to it. PG-13, folks.

Dark Archive

Just one question...
Are their any archetypes in this book?

Silver Crusade

Souphin wrote:

Just one question...

Are their any archetypes in this book?

Nope. Only crunch in the book are feats, spells, and traits.

It did make me realize I need to roleplay my priest of Torag a little more aggressively.


Anything in the book for monks followers of a deity (especially Shelyn) by chance ? (can't wait for the 20th.. :o )


What about paladins of Arshea?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I was curious: why no references at all to APG classes? I was interested in seeing what gods commonly had inquisitors and oracles as part of the clergy and/or as followers.

Also, exactly how common are paladins of Cayden, anyways? They get a spell, so they apparently exist...


Elorebaen wrote:

THIS is how religion books should be done. The material focuses less on the deities and more on those who follow it. Right on the money! This is what players/DMs need to make the religion come alive. Kudos.

The other faith books couldn't come quick enough for me!!

Yeah, taunt those of us who have to wait for it!

Seriously, everything I'm hearing about this book just makes me want it more. It sounds like it's an amazing addition to Golarion.


Wow, this book delivered! Still reading it through from cover to cover (about 70% through) but a stellar entry thus far.

One quibble, however, yet it's not a true criticism. The book does a very good job of "why be a follower of X". Given the pantheistic nature of Golarion, however, should this be considered the norm? In other words, do most inhabitants of Golarion pick a single patron diety like a cleric does? If so, how much or how little are the other "main gods/goddesses" given their due?

That's the only thing missing from this but I'm not sure this product should/would be the place to answer that.


I may have missed this, but where will Pharasma's followers be treated?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
I may have missed this, but where will Pharasma's followers be treated?

Faiths of Balance, the Neutral deity book?

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
I may have missed this, but where will Pharasma's followers be treated?

The books are broken up by the gods' alignments. Pharasma is N, thus her followers will be covered in Faiths of Balance.


Can we get a breakdown on the crunch please?
How many new traits, feats, spells, etc. and samples?

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
ZenithTN wrote:

Can we get a breakdown on the crunch please?

How many new traits, feats, spells, etc. and samples?

2 traits per major god and 1 trait for most of the minor gods, usually 1 spell and 1 feat per major god (a few have 2 spells or 2 feats), but the book is really flavor-focused, not crunchy rules bits. It's more how to roleplay a follower of the various gods, not how to best min-max a character that supposedly follows one.


Kvantum wrote:
Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
I may have missed this, but where will Pharasma's followers be treated?
The books are broken up by the gods' alignments. Pharasma is N, thus her followers will be covered in Faiths of Balance.

Faiths of Balance! Thanks, G & K.


coyote6 wrote:

I was curious: why no references at all to APG classes? I was interested in seeing what gods commonly had inquisitors and oracles as part of the clergy and/or as followers.

Also, exactly how common are paladins of Cayden, anyways? They get a spell, so they apparently exist...

Actually, there are references to some of the classes from the APG. Usually for Oracles and Inquisitors.

There are no paladins of Cayden though. Chaotic Good, free to live life to the fullest under no ones rules not really matching up with Lawful Good, honour and obedience to a higher power.

The only gods with Paladins are the Lawful Good gods (Erastil, Iomedae, and Torag) and the Neutral Good Gods (Sarenrae and Shelyn). Some of the minor gods mentioned do have Paladins, but none of the Chaotic Good ones. You just can't serve a god that dedicated to personal freedom while keeping to a Lawful alignment.

Personally, I'm really enjoying the Paladin codes for the different Gods. Especially Torag. My wife and I did a double take when we read about showing no mercy to "your people's" enemies and scattering their families, especially when compared to Shelyn and Sarenrae

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I really like this book. This is what the Player Companion line should be all about!

Also, it has more information and a trait related to Milani, and anything that has Milani in it wins the day for me. My fave Pathfinder deity, hands down.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber

So, when do we get the evil version of this book?

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Chris Ballard wrote:
So, when do we get the evil version of this book?

Officially? *shrugs* "Faiths of Corruption" hasn't even been announced as existing as a real product, let alone one with a release date.

Unofficially? The guess is it will be released sometime after GenCon, likely this year but maybe in the early part of 2012.


Kvantum wrote:
ZenithTN wrote:

Can we get a breakdown on the crunch please?

How many new traits, feats, spells, etc. and samples?
2 traits per major god and 1 trait for most of the minor gods, usually 1 spell and 1 feat per major god (a few have 2 spells or 2 feats), but the book is really flavor-focused, not crunchy rules bits.

Perceived snarkiness omitted.

Thank you for the official reply. I shall not grace paizo with revenue for this product, as it does not appeal to me.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ZenithTN wrote:
Kvantum wrote:
ZenithTN wrote:

Can we get a breakdown on the crunch please?

How many new traits, feats, spells, etc. and samples?
2 traits per major god and 1 trait for most of the minor gods, usually 1 spell and 1 feat per major god (a few have 2 spells or 2 feats), but the book is really flavor-focused, not crunchy rules bits.

Perceived snarkiness omitted.

Thank you for the official reply. I shall not grace paizo with revenue for this product, as it does not appeal to me.

Well, you're missing one hell of a cool book then :)


No, I'm greatly enjoying $11 + S&H.

Dark Archive

ZenithTN wrote:

Can we get a breakdown on the crunch please?

How many new traits, feats, spells, etc. and samples?

Traits = 24

Feats = 12
Spells: 8 (bard 5, cleric 8, druid 2, inquisitor 3,Ranger 2, paladin 4)

I paid < $9 for the 36 page pdf and if you look at it compared to the $30+ for the 190+ "complete" books we use to get before this is not a bad deal. I had really expected more but I never really bought a Player Companion before and as I read it I find it to be more like paizo's version of Dragon Magazine, especially since toward the end of the actual magazine life span 7.99 was close to the cover price. You can wait for the "ultimate divine" (speculation) if you want more because I myself was expecting Prestige classes, archetypes, lots of feats >24, lots of spells >24. Mechanics aside it does offer alot, (repeat: alot) of flavor to the major good But just imagine it as an entire issue of Dragon dedicated to the good dieties and if you put it that way it really does deliver.
I would of added some other simple things, like a chart of the dieties in the book, their domains, and favored weapon, like in the Corebook but just of the ones in this book also mentioning the minor ones to, like Torag's siblings that are not in the core rulebook

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