Pathfinder Tales: The Worldwound Gambit

3.30/5 (based on 40 ratings)
Pathfinder Tales: The Worldwound Gambit
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Thieves and Madmen

In the foreboding north, the demonic hordes of the magic-twisted hellscape known as the Worldwound encroach upon the southern kingdoms of Golarion. Their latest escalation embroils a preternaturally handsome and coolly charismatic swindler named Gad, who decides to assemble a team of thieves, cutthroats, and con-men to take the fight into the demon lands and strike directly at the fiendish leader responsible for the latest raids—the demon Yath, the Shimmering Putrescence. Can Gad hold his team together long enough to pull off the ultimate con, or will trouble from within his own organization lead to an untimely end for them all?

From gaming legend and popular author Robin D. Laws comes a fantastic new adventure of swords and sorcery, set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

415-page mass market paperback
ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-327-9
ePub ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-334-7

The Worldwound Gambit is also available as a digital edition on the following sites:

The Worldwound Gambit is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle sheet and additional rules are a free download (229 KB zip/PDF).

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PZO8504


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Average product rating:

3.30/5 (based on 40 ratings)

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4/5

This is the first Pathfinder novel that I have read, and found it surprisingly good. I generally have not been a fan of RPG novels; those I've read in the past have seemed to be overly concerned about game mechanics. This wasn't the case here. While there were some bids to game mechanics, that didn't overwhelm a story that had good description work and created a higher target for how a GM might present content. Character development may not be up to par in comparison to a mainstream art novel, but all in all was a nice yarn.


Great Read,enjoyed it thoroughly

4/5

The Worldwound Gambit was a surprise read, if you read some of the reviews you would be apprehensive to say the least.
I found the characters to really gel with each other and to be a believable group of adventurers. It really read as a group who have been through a lot and they take you along on this rip.
The story had great pacing , never boring. I have found some of the books to be heavy on excitement at the start, then bog down a bit, but not this one.
The way it is written to take place in the present only took me like a chapter to get used to then the story took over and was unnoticeable. I do find some of the reviews really made this sound like a problem ,but it really isn't.
So far I have read the books in order of release date and this one if not the best is right up there. I give it four stars only as five would be a perfect read.


Pass on this one

1/5

I've been eagerly devouring Pathfinder Tales novels for the last several months, and have enjoyed most, but if you're thinking of picking this one up, don't. The problem has already been stated before. It is writing 101 that you do not use passive voice in a work of long fiction. You particularly should not write the whole novel in passive voice. I frankly expect more from Paizo when it comes to choosing authors.


Macabre Pantomime

3/5

This book comes across to me as pantomime taken to a macabre level. There is witty banter amongst the protagonists. There is slapstick comedy and farcical fight scenes where the heroes defy the odds and win as the bad guys step on metaphorical banana skins. There are melodramatic moments of doubt. The heroes swagger. The villains are sadistic and have a cunning plan for domination of their little slice of the world - which is remarkably ineffectual in the face of the heroes' even more cunning counter-plan (which goes off without a hitch). The only significant casualties at the end of the day are the bad guys and a couple of bit-part characters whose demises are there to emphasise how horribly sadistic the bad guys actually are; everyone else goes home to their respective rewards and with the world safe yet again.
Give or take the odd editing howler in the first edition, it came across to me as solidly written, but I would caution that it might annoy readers looking for something 'serious' and/or unprepared to put aside suspension of disbelief for several hours.


Tied for favorite PF Tale

5/5

This is my co-favorite amongst the Pathfinder Tales novels I've read so far (tied with Prince of Wolves). The second person tense took some getting used to, but after a few pages it was fine. Maybe having read Stross's Halting State helped.

I'd love to see some of the characters return, though I would be okay if they returned in the third person.


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Dark Archive

Love the location of this books story.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I love me some Worldwound action! Sounds like a pretty solid plotline and I get some Mendev/Worldwound background material, so I'm happy. :D


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

"In the foreboding north, the demonic hordes of the magic-twisted hellscape known as the Worldwound encroach upon the southern/northern kingdoms of Golarion." (?)

Contributor

Steve Geddes wrote:

"In the foreboding north, the demonic hordes of the magic-twisted hellscape known as the Worldwound encroach upon the southern/northern kingdoms of Golarion." (?)

Southern as in the nations south of it... from the Worldwound, most of Avistan is to the south.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Oceans Eleven + Worldwound = Sold!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I assume this cover is a mock up? Because I’m really wondering what an osyluth is doing hanging about the Worldwound!


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Sutter wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

"In the foreboding north, the demonic hordes of the magic-twisted hellscape known as the Worldwound encroach upon the southern/northern kingdoms of Golarion." (?)

Southern as in the nations south of it... from the Worldwound, most of Avistan is to the south.

Ah - my illiteracy strikes again.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
Mothman wrote:
I assume this cover is a mock up? Because I’m really wondering what an osyluth is doing hanging about the Worldwound!

It's trying to stop the Abyssal Plague. But unfortunately, no one explained the notion of intellectual property rights too him


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Oceans Eleven + Worldwound = Sold!

that does sound cool


I am not very keen on the book series, but this sounds really interesting. Could also be a nice hollywood movie. :)

Especially because the book is from RD Laws, a great writer and rpg designer. ("Feng Shui" and the bible for the serious roleplayer "Robins Laws of Good Gamemastering")


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Isn't 978-1-60125-287-6 the ISBN for Prince of Wolves?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

tbug wrote:
Isn't 978-1-60125-287-6 the ISBN for Prince of Wolves?

You are correct. Fixing now...

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber

When will we get a book set in Cheliax?


This looks interesting; I'll have to see if my local store is planning to take in the Pathfinder Tales :)

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Mothman wrote:
I assume this cover is a mock up? Because I’m really wondering what an osyluth is doing hanging about the Worldwound!

Correct. We will replace it with the real cover once said cover has been painted and is in our clutches.

Sovereign Court

Chris Ballard wrote:
When will we get a book set in Cheliax?

We've already had Varian Jeggare and Radovan's first story set in Cheliax, plus an entire AP there, plus support articles, plus a companion, plus connections to it in other APs and stories, plus it's impact upon Varian and Radovan in the first Pathfinder Tales novel...

I'm a little worn out with Cheliax stuff by now, I feel that I know more about Cheliax than I do about any other part of Golarion except Varisia.

I would rather hear about somewhere that gets less coverage. Absalom, Galt, Geb, Brevoy, Numeria, Osirion, Molthune, Isger...

What I'd really like to see is a book set in Taldor.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Card Game, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
GeraintElberion wrote:
Chris Ballard wrote:
When will we get a book set in Cheliax?

We've already had Varian Jeggare and Radovan's first story set in Cheliax, plus an entire AP there, plus support articles, plus a companion, plus connections to it in other APs and stories, plus it's impact upon Varian and Radovan in the first Pathfinder Tales novel...

I'm a little worn out with Cheliax stuff by now, I feel that I know more about Cheliax than I do about any other part of Golarion except Varisia.

I would rather hear about somewhere that gets less coverage. Absalom, Galt, Geb, Brevoy, Numeria, Osirion, Molthune, Isger...

What I'd really like to see is a book set in Taldor.

You might want to look at the product description for the previous book...

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I've updated the cover image, which now uses the finished artwork. (There might be some additional tweaking of the layout before it goes to press, so while it uses the final *artwork*, it may or may not be the actual final cover.)

Sovereign Court

I'm not normally fan of this kind of products, but that still looks like a really good buy.


I've got a quick question for the guys in charge: have you already sold the translation rights for the Tales line, somewhere in the world? What about Italy?

thanks,
S

PS OK I'll admit it... I'm a (micro) publisher and I'm thinking about it

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

We are working on the framework of licensing translated versions of the Pathfinder Tales novels presently. Serious parties should inquire with Jeff Alvarez, who coordinates our foreign language licenses. You can email him at jeff.alvarez@paizo.com.

Silver Crusade

Dark_Mistress wrote:
Love the location of this books story.

Me too. Waiting with anticipation. Books based in the Golarion setting, love it!

Bel. :)

Dark Archive

Well I am about half way through the book so far. I like it all and all, but something about it just seemed... different. It took me awhile to realize what that is. Now I think I know. It reads a lot like a campaign, on how they are played out. The pacing changes speed from time to time and different things fade to black and jump forward. Not a bad style just different is all.

I do really like that it is a party aspect though. I do hope we see more such books from paizo in the future.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Dark_Mistress wrote:

Well I am about half way through the book so far. I like it all and all, but something about it just seemed... different. It took me awhile to realize what that is. Now I think I know. It reads a lot like a campaign, on how they are played out. The pacing changes speed from time to time and different things fade to black and jump forward. Not a bad style just different is all.

I do really like that it is a party aspect though. I do hope we see more such books from paizo in the future.

I had the same issue with the previous book. Like Dark Mistress said, not a bad style, but different. I'm working through the current Silverburg Planet Stories book (as if my real work was that easy) and looking forward to reading this new offering.


Dark_Mistress wrote:

Well I am about half way through the book so far. I like it all and all, but something about it just seemed... different. It took me awhile to realize what that is. Now I think I know. It reads a lot like a campaign, on how they are played out. The pacing changes speed from time to time and different things fade to black and jump forward. Not a bad style just different is all.

I do really like that it is a party aspect though. I do hope we see more such books from paizo in the future.

+1.

The Exchange

Enpeze wrote:

Could also be a nice hollywood movie. :)

I was thinking that as I read it. Great book.

Shadow Lodge

I'll definitely be giving this one a look, though I'll admit to being somewhat put off by what I've been hearing about it being written in present tense. I'm sure the story is great, but that particular style (if the current web fiction by the same author is any indication) is rather jarring to me.


I have started reading this book and I have to say that I don't know how it got past an editors desk. It reads like it was written by a junior high student.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

AmISh wrote:
I have started reading this book and I have to say that I don't know how it got past an editors desk. It reads like it was written by a junior high student.

Really? Care to elaborate?

Dark Archive Contributor

When I saw that James Sutter had allowed Robin D. Laws to write The Worldwound Gambit in present tense, I did a dance of joy.

Robin expresses why freedom of style makes a difference in an excellent guest post at my blog. Please take a look post your thoughts there, here, or anywhere.

Don't forget to check out the links to Robin's various upcoming projects and his regular blog. A more erudite and useful site on gaming and narrative you will rarely find.

Dark Archive Contributor

Dave Gross wrote:
When I saw that James Sutter had allowed Robin D. Laws to write The Worldwound Gambit in present tense, I did a dance of joy.

I should have written, "When I saw Robin had written the book in present tense." I knew James was open to all kinds of stylistic choices from the very start. "Hell's Pawns" is in present tense, and I briefly considered that for Prince of Wolves but soon realized what worked for Radovan's voice wasn't so good for Varian's.

What's important is that you choose the style for the story and the characters.

Shadow Lodge

Dave Gross wrote:
Dave Gross wrote:
When I saw that James Sutter had allowed Robin D. Laws to write The Worldwound Gambit in present tense, I did a dance of joy.

I should have written, "When I saw Robin had written the book in present tense." I knew James was open to all kinds of stylistic choices from the very start. "Hell's Pawns" is in present tense, and I briefly considered that for Prince of Wolves but soon realized what worked for Radovan's voice wasn't so good for Varian's.

What's important is that you choose the style for the story and the characters.

Huh...I strangely don't remember noticing that Hell's Pawns was written in present tense when I read it, so I guess the style isn't as jarring as I thought it would be. Especially since Hells Pawns is my favorite Pathfinder AP serial to date :)

Sovereign Court

I finished the book about a week ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you Robin Laws and Paizo!


I have finished the book!! Okay, I finished it a couple weeks ago. Once I got into the flow of it I really enjoyed it! Now I need to get my butt in gear and write a review for it...

and for Plague of Shadows...

and for Winter Witch...

Many thanks for a great story!!

Liberty's Edge Contributor

This was a great read. I've posted my review here, at amazon.com, and on my blog.

Dark Archive Contributor

Paris Crenshaw wrote:
This was a great read. I've posted my review here, at amazon.com, and on my blog.

Nice review, man.


Dave Gross wrote:
Paris Crenshaw wrote:
This was a great read. I've posted my review here, at amazon.com, and on my blog.
Nice review, man.

I concur with Dave. I appreciate the time and talent Paris put into that review.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

Iron-Dice wrote:
Dave Gross wrote:
Paris Crenshaw wrote:
This was a great read. I've posted my review here, at amazon.com, and on my blog.
Nice review, man.
I concur with Dave. I appreciate the time and talent Paris put into that review.

Wow. Thanks, guys!

Dave, I'm sorry I haven't gotten around to reviewing Prince of Wolves. At this point, my intention is to review both it and Master of Devils in sequential posts. Thanks to your readings at PaizoCon, I've already got a head start on the first 5 chapters, so I'll probably make quick work of Master of Devils once it hits my subscription downloads. ;-)

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I finished this earlier today, and had not trouble with the writing style.

Excellent story full of interesting characters.

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