Pathfinder Tales: The Worldwound Gambit

***½( ) (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).

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Tales Subscription.

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This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products. The standard version of this product can be found here.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZO8504


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Average product rating:

***½( ) (based on 40 ratings)

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I am glad I read this book, very good

****( )

Pros - I enjoyed this book a lot because I was able to form an image in my mind of a nontraditional party and was inspired by it's use of social skills against creatures that I normally see most parties just fighting. I enjoyed the story, the surprises, and the characters.
Cons - I didn't give this book 5 stars because the use of third person was a bit distracting, the surprises were cool but not very new or unique, and some of the modern language (kicked in the nuts was actually used) was a little distracting and unnecessary.
I enjoyed this book a lot and would recommend it. I was able to overlook it's flaws and enjoy the book but I know a lot of people who wouldn't be able to get past them as emphasized by other reviews here.


Nice fantasy heist novel

****( )

I really enjoyed the book. The characters had interesting personalities... not often you see someone trying to con demons because they are worse than the law for business.

I personally don't find present tense novels distracting at all and think it works quite well for this type of novel. You are seeing the rip (con, heist, etc) as it happens. They do leave out a few details so you can be surprised later.


Very engaging

****( )

Just finished the book. Very engaging, I couldn't put it down. This story reads like a Pathfinder adventure coming to life from your gaming table. The characters, the setting, the pacing and all the details firmly ground this story as one of an adventuring group meeting the challenges of living in Golarion. The worldwound aspects were creepy, chilling, disgusting and inspiring all at the same time. The characters and their interplay with each other were well thought out. They capture the best aspects from the RPG traits, yet still create unique personalities with lots of surprises. I found the way demons and the abyss were presented to be outstanding. I must say, the writing style was a bit odd at first. There seem to area's where the story jumps, and it was a bit disconcerting. Like maybe I missed a page or something. However, this resolved itself about a third of the way through. The authors style really shine through once the story is in the worldwound.


Haven't read it - and I won't

*( )( )( )( )

I received my copy of The Worldwound Gambit a few weeks ago but haven't read it. I'm not going to.

Reading today's blog, I noticed a short story involving some of the same characters.

It was written in present tense.

Groaning, I thought to myself, 'Surely they wouldn't let him get away with that for a whole novel.'" I went to check. Alas, it was so, and The Worldwound Gambit was banished, unread, to the nether regions of my bookshelf.

As someone who makes a living writing, I'll put it simply: present tense in a work of (long) fiction is lame. It's cheap and self-indulgent. More importantly, it's distracting and annoying -- two of the last things an author (or publisher) should be inflicting on a reader who gave them money to be entertained.

This is not high "literature" (and I don't mean to imply that's a bad thing, at all). There is absolutely no excuse; the only explanation I can think of is the author turned in a manuscript and it seemed too much work to go back and correct every fifth word in the thing. I don't care if Gary Gygax wrote it from beyond the grave - send it back and tell him to write in the past tense or not bother.

(As a sidenote - the page I flipped to happened to include the verb "deking." Really, Canadian hockey slang seemed appropriate in a fantasy novel? Are we going to have elves "hanging ten" or "Googling for a spell in my book," too?)

Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill? Maybe, but I suspect I'm not the only subscriber annoyed by this. I've been very happy with everything in the Pathfinder Tales line to date (and own 90 percent of everything Paizo's published) but I'd wager this will be the worst-selling novel in the line to date. And if another Tales book in the present tense is published I will cancel my subscription. It's a deal-breaker for me and I don't want to see the line suffer as a result of similar poor editorial choices.

(Edit: Looking back I see that "Plague of Light" in Serpent's Skull also was written in present tense. The difference is that story was written in first-person, making the present tense use much less jarring - and far more palatable considering its a short story rather than a novel.)


Quite disappointing

*( )( )( )( )

I was sorely disappointed with this book; it is the first Pathfinder Tales book that I didn't finish. The story is not terribly interesting or imaginative and the writing is just plain bad, even compared to the relatively low standards set by RPG novels.


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Dark Archive

Love the location of this books story.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society 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 Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

"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; Pathfinder Comics 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 Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
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 Modules, Tales 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, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics 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

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
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 Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; 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.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics 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!


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber

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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