Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Magic (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Magic (PFRPG)
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A World of Magic!

From the tortured sands of the Mana Wastes, where magic is as likely to tear you apart as it is to not work at all, to the perpetually frozen northern nation of Irrisen where the winter witches rule, magic is a part of life in the Inner Sea region. Whether it is wielded by benevolent clerics to keep their allies fighting the good fight or unleashed by wizards in the form of scorching blasts of fire, magic can be the difference between life or death. Or, as in so many cases, the cause of life or death.

    Inner Sea Magic explores the role of magic within this vast and varied region. Within this 64-page book, you will find:
  • A who’s-who of powerful and famous spellcasters from throughout the Inner Sea region
  • Details on four types of magical schools—arcane academies, spellcaster’s guilds, monasteries, and secret societies—along with rules for joining and studying with such organizations
  • Rules for several types of specialized or variant magic, including the chaotic power of primal magic, the secrets of shadowcasting, the traditions of Thassilonian sin magic, and the wonders of Varisian tattoo magic
  • Two new oracle mysteries (the primal-magic wielding spellscar mystery and the sinister Outer Rifts mystery)
  • More than a dozen new archetypes for all sorts of spellcasters, including the black-blooded oracle, the Razmiran priest, the shadowcaster wizard, the tattooed sorcerer, and the winter witch
  • Two new prestige classes—the cyphermage and the divine scion
  • Dozens of new spells, from Aroden’s spellward to zone of foul flames!

Inner Sea Magic is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be used in any fantasy game setting.

by Jesse Benner, Jason Nelson, Sean K Reynolds, Owen K.C. Stephens, and Russ Taylor

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-360-6

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscription.

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Awesome flavour, interestig mechanics

5/5

I would say that is hard to have problems with the flavour of Paizo books and this one is very pleasant to read and useful in its informations about the game world.

I will follow Purplefixer example and do a section by section comment.

1: Magic of the Inner Sea: background material. A descriptive essay on some of the different styles of magic use in Golarion. Good section. 5/5

2. Variant magic:
False divine magic - Awesome. Great RP wise and for NPC, interesting for PC.
Fleshwarping - Good. Not my kind of stuff, but still good for NPC and PC alike.
Primal magic - Good. Not something that you should encounter every other day, but great to flesh out some adventure and character.
Riffle scroll - Nice. Underpowered for most PC, but very colourful. And a way to apply the silent metamagic feat to scrolls.
Shadowcasting - not the set of feats for you if you taking a feat that isn't the strongest in a book pain you, but more than decent for game use and very flavourful.
Tatto magic: Inscribe magical tatto - a feat that give you 11 item slots ..... Sure the exemplified tattos aren't the end of the world but it is a good item construction feat. And one I would allow people to use with the Master Artisan feat.
Thassilonian magic: A "second level" of specialization were you renounce to all uses of two specific schools of magic in exchange to the possibility to memorize twice the same spell in your specialization spell slot. More a NPC thing than a PC thing (especially as you need to make the choice at level 1, so you can't "learn" Thassilonian magic with an existing character and rarely a new character would have the chance to know it), but interesting nonetheless.
Overall 4/5

3: Magic schools: I have some doubt on one of the Guild benefits (probably a piece of text that should have been cut away slipped in) but nice. Usable factions rules and a good way to tie in characters with the game world. 4/5

4: Spellcasters of the Inner Sea: I disagree with Purplefixer. He examine the archetypes and prestige classes simply as power options for PC and so he dismiss them if they aren't more powerful than other options. I am more interested in the RP aspect of the classes and how they will interact with the world of Golarion.
So:
- 2 new Oracle mysteries. Mostly geared for NPC, very flavourful.
- 19 archetypes. Most of them interesting and useful.
I will examine in particular the Tattoed Sorcerer archetype: a) it is a sorcerer archetype. You must compare what it do with other sorcerer options. b) familiar tatto: you get a familiar with a small added bonus as your first level ability. Slightly better than taking the arcane bloodline familiar. Varisian tatto. It substitute your eschew material feat with the capacity to cast spells in 1 school of magic at +1 CL. Neat. Bloodline tattoo. No cost for this ability and your bloodline spells are cast a +1 CL. Neat again. Create spell tatto. The level 7 bloodline feat is replaced with the ability to create 1 tatto that work like a automatically silent scroll at no cost. He can't have more than one "scroll" in existence at the same time. YMMV but it is power is on par with several feats. Enhanced Varisian tatto. One of the spells that is enhanced by your varisian tatto become usable once/day as a spell like ability. that replace your level 9 bloodline power. At a later level you can change the selected spell. For me having one specific spell of up to level 9 as a spell like ability hardly seem a weak ability.
Cypermage: essentially a "master of scrolls" prestige class. I see plenty of way to use his powers.
Divine scion: my less preferred option in this section of the book. probably powerful but not my stuff.
4/5

5: Spells: 39 spells. Some of them are earth shattering but none seem grossly unbalanced and generally they do very well their role of being setting specific spells. 5/5

General art and layout: excellent. 5/5

General vote 4.5/5, as there isn't the option for 4.5 stars, 5 stars.


Mechanically Uninteresting, Flavorfully Awesome

4/5

Much like the inner sea world guide, Paizo has delivered us some fantastic insights to the world of Golarion, and some incontrovertible proof as to why the bad guys never, ever win.

Red Mantis Assassins and Shadowcasters seem to have something in common after all... they both have THE WORST POSSIBLE OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO MAN! Let me break the book down for you section by section...

1: Magic of the Inner Sea: This section contains some wonderful descriptive text about the areas of the inner sea, how magic is used in each of them, and what magical features would attract anyone's attention. It also has level and alignment breakdowns for 50 of the worlds most famous spellcasters, including Razmir, Nex, the Runelords, and Baba Yaga. Good section. 5/5

2. Variant Magic: All about what magic is, False Divine Magic, Fleshwarping, Primal Magic, Riffle Scrolls, Shadow Casting, Tattoo Magic, and Thassilonian Sin Magic Specialization.

The first four sections are wonderful, flavorful, mechanically interesting, and I would certainly include them in my game. Then we come to the pile of mechanical trash that explains why the minions of Zon Kuthon can't magic their way out of a paper bag, and why they mostly wiggle their fingers ineffectually and fail to get anything done.
Shadow magic consists of four feats and an archetype which allows the casting of 'shadow magic'. The first feat allows an illusion to be ended prematurely to do poor damage. The second is a metamagic feat that requires the other two metamagic feats in this chapter, and entangles creatures with spells of the darkness descriptor for one level. The third is the base metamagic feat for the set, which gives a +1 save dc in the dark, but necessitates a concentration check to cast in the light for one spell level. The last feat is the middle metamagic which makes a spell into a darkness spell, causing any creature to shed 10' of darkness in the spells effect as long as it is an ongoing effect... for two spell levels. And it's generally pointless.

Tattoo Magic has a LOT of stuff which does NOTHING. For a new feat, you can add magical tatoos which... do... pretty much nothing at all. A one per day use no-slot metamagic still/silent rod, a resevoir tatoo which, as far as I can tell, ACTUALLY DOES NOTHING AT ALL, and a spell tatoo, which is an incredibly painful and expensive way of scribing a scroll for no benefit other than having a scroll at 4x the normal cost look pretty on your skin. To compound this, they add the Tattooed Sorcerer archetype, of which Seoni is apparently a member, which does... basically nothing. You have a familiar who turns into a tattoo, and can add 1 caster level to a scribed spell tattoo? Which as we already noted, could have been done at HALF that cost without the feat by buying a scroll from someone else.

Thassilonian Magic specialization takes your choices away from which spell schools are your opposition, and basically moves back to 3.5 specialization, where you cannot so much as spell-complete magic items from those schools, but you get two of the same spell in that specialty slot, rather than one spell for your specialty school. Neatish. Some people might actually try that.

All in all? 2.5/5

3: Magic Schools: Watered down factions, but otherwise very neat flavor and mechanics for membership in schools. Just make sure your GM uses the auto-level rule from the sidebar, or you waste your time and money trying to graduate during downtime while you out-level the school in a scant few weeks of adventuring.
4/5

4: Spellcasters of the Inner Sea: Some helpful examinations and explorations of where the APG and UM archetypes are common, and a double-handful of new archetypes, some of which are neat, some of which are trash. This is arguably the most important part of the book, where all the player customization comes into play, and half of it is useable only for die-hard flavor enthusiasts, in much the same way as the Vow of Poverty Monk. I can say this for certain: "I'm looking forward to trashing an enemy Shadowcaster and mocking his choice of archetype in play..."

There's also the Cyphermage, which is completely pointless, with worthless special mechanics which will virtually never be useful between levels 6 and 12, and the Divine Scion, who is a worth-while prestige class trading domain abilities or paladin advancement for diety favored weapon specialization, dire opposition against a single alignment component (EVIL IS BAD! or END ALL CHAOS!) and auto-self-healing and skill buffs for domain-appropriate skills.

This section has good with the bad, for 3/5.

5: Spells: 39 spells over 12 pages, ranging from good to bad, depending on how creative you are in using them. Some gems include a mortal kombat-esque bladed dash, a concentration-duration wall that explodes when destroyed, the ability to transform into a genie, an annoying defensive/debuffing enchantment spell to use on your threatening enemies, some undead summoning, and the ability to melt your wand into the weapon you're wielding! Magus are going to have a field day with that last one... 4/5

The art and layout are Pathfinder standard, which is to say: Excellent. A few editing mistakes, but nothing they can't clear up on a second run through, and really minor stuff unless they got some mechanical words wrong. 5/5

Grand Total: 3.9/5


one of my favorite paizo releases so far

5/5

awesome flavor, love the mechanics. One of the best setting books I have come across.


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Dark Archive

Generic Villain wrote:
I would highly recommend Lost Cities of Golarion and Dungeons of Golarion to you.

I have both. ;D

Sovereign Court

Rokku wrote:

So, uh.

Can anyone explain what on earth Enhanced Varisian Tattoo (from the Tattooed Sorcerer archetype) actually does? The writing on that ability is a mess.

Let's break it down.

ISM wrote:
Enhanced Varisian Tattoo (Su):

Titles are easy: it's a called Enhanced Varisian Tattoo and it is a supernatural ability

ISM wrote:
At 9th level, the tattooed sorcerer can pick any one spell she knows for which she has a Varisian Tattoo feat. This spell must be one that lacks focus components and costly material components.

Pick a spell with a few stipulations.

1. Sorcerer must know it.
2. Must have Varisian Tattoo feat applied.
3. Cannot be a spell that requires a focus.
4. Cannot have costly material components.

ISM wrote:
She can now use that spell as a spell-like ability once per day.

Simples: One use of that spell each day as a spell-like ability.

ISM wrote:
This spell-like ability is not enhanced by her Varisian Tattoo,

The spell is not modified by Varisian Tattoo. Whatever bonuses it might get are different.

ISM wrote:
but it functions at +2 caster levels above her sorcerer caster level.

The spell-like ability casts the spell at +2 caster level. So potentially more damage, or more difficult to resist, longer duration etc. etc.

ISM wrote:
Whenever she gains a bloodline power at a later date, she may change this spell-like ability to another qualifying spell. This ability replaces the 9th-level bloodline power.

Rather than having to stick with a certain spell of 5th level or lower you get to change the spell which you can cast as a spell-like ability at +2 caster level once a day.

You cannot change this spell from day to day, you can only change it when you gain a new bloodline power (after level 9 that is level 15 and level 20)

I hope that helps.


Extensive breakdown cut for space!

GeraintElberion wrote:
I hope that helps.

It does! That's a pretty good breakdown of a rather messily written feature, thanks.


Where from are the pictures used in the list of spellcasting NPCs? Specifically, Aroden and Count Arudora.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Aroden, at least, appears on the back cover of the book.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Where from are the pictures used in the list of spellcasting NPCs? Specifically, Aroden and Count Arudora.

As far as I can tell, several portraits are brand new works of art. Arudora is one of them - Nex, Kortash Khain, Jatembe, and Xanderghul are just a few of the others.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

James Jacobs wrote:
Kalraan wrote:

I've downloaded this this morning and can say that I am impressed. However, can we hold off on the Spoilers in these books??? These books are made for both players and GMs, but there is a huge spoiler in this book for Carrion Crown and other APs.

I love the products that you guys bring out, but if you can cut back on those sorts of things it would be appreciated.

I also think that the Shdowdancer is quite nice, but I also love the Vampire Hunter Inquisitor Archetype. I can see one of my players "adjusting" their Inquisitor character in the near future.

** spoiler omitted **

Actually, the primary audience for most of these 64 page books is GMs, and as such, they do sometimes have spoilers in them.

I just want to voice my unhappiness with this descision. Groups are fluid, someone might be GMing one AP, but then PCing in another. Also, I diagree that this book is for GMs: I assumed it was for PCs and would expect a PC to get anthing that has archetypes in it.

Please reconsider? As an AP-advocate, I am saddened.


Generic Villain wrote:
Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Where from are the pictures used in the list of spellcasting NPCs? Specifically, Aroden and Count Arudora.
As far as I can tell, several portraits are brand new works of art. Arudora is one of them - Nex, Kortash Khain, Jatembe, and Xanderghul are just a few of the others.

Too bad. I'd so so so like to see a picture of Nex...

Quote:
Please reconsider? As an AP-advocate, I am saddened.

Yeah, I support this. I'm DMing Carrion Crown and I have a player who wanted to check out the Varisian Tattoos rules and surprise, surprise now he knows who created The Beast. So much for that mystery.

At least a warning somewhere would be helpful... I mean if ADVENTURE PATH has a spoiler warning (the first chapter always has that summary of other chapters with a warning sign), a book so clearly for DMs that such warning is unneccesary, why can't a book such as this, where it isn't so clear?

The Exchange

But....but....T_T i start to read this handbook but suddenly i stopped: Dawnflower Dervish a baaaaaaaaaaaaaards?!? Why?!?

Dark Archive

Why not?

Bards have an often overlooked martial aspect, and the archetype concept seems to fit quite well.


Iomedae is listed as a LN goddess of honor and rulership. Isn't she a LG goddess? or am I missing something?

The Exchange

golem101 wrote:

Why not?

Bards have an often overlooked martial aspect, and the archetype concept seems to fit quite well.

yes right only two little detail in the Campaign Setting is said they are the elite of Sarenrae clergy.

Inner Sea World Guide says "At such times, Sarenrae’s clerics become dervishes,dancing among foes while allowing their scimitars to give their opponents final redemption"
So i start as i divine caster and finish as ad arcane caster?!? it's doesn't look so logic


yukarjama wrote:
Iomedae is listed as a LN goddess of honor and rulership. Isn't she a LG goddess? or am I missing something?

Hmm. Sounds to me like a typing error on the Alignment. The last time I looked in the Core Rulebook she was listed as LG.

Official confirmation may have to wait until GenCon is over though... I'm not sure if there's anyone apart from the warehouse staff back at the office to judge by the blog posts and other reports. :D

The Exchange

Charles Evans 25 wrote:
yukarjama wrote:
Iomedae is listed as a LN goddess of honor and rulership. Isn't she a LG goddess? or am I missing something?

Hmm. Sounds to me like a typing error on the Alignment. The last time I looked in the Core Rulebook she was listed as LG.

Official confirmation may have to wait until GenCon is over though... I'm not sure if there's anyone apart from the warehouse staff back at the office to judge by the blog posts and other reports. :D

All other fonts says LG:

Core Rolebook
Inner Sea World Guide
Faith of Purity
Inner Sea Primer
so...i suppose that LG is the right allignment


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Benkalas wrote:

But....but....T_T i start to read this handbook but suddenly i stopped: Dawnflower Dervish a baaaaaaaaaaaaaards?!? Why?!?

Though this may not help your cleric, the Inner Sea Primer has a fighter archetype for Sarenae worshipers that's also called Dawnflower Dervish.

And of course, you can still play a dervish-like cleric - take the Dervish Dance feat from Inner Sea World Guide and play a lightly-armored cleric with a high dexterity score. If you want to really emphasise the warrior aspect of your dervish, there's the crusader archetype from Ulitmate Combat as well.


I was a bit confused by some aspects of the new Devine Scion prestige class. Since part of its features domain specialization and true scion are meant to heal you when you use domain spells does that mean you continue to advance in your base class domain(s) or your scion specialized domain or your domains dont advance at all in learning new domain spells.


Who is the patron god(ess) of the pictured Divine Scion?


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Who is the patron god(ess) of the pictured Divine Scion?

Rise of the Runelords Spoiler:

Spoiler:
Lamashtu


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

I am really digging this book.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Benkalas wrote:
golem101 wrote:

Why not?

Bards have an often overlooked martial aspect, and the archetype concept seems to fit quite well.

yes right only two little detail in the Campaign Setting is said they are the elite of Sarenrae clergy.

Inner Sea World Guide says "At such times, Sarenrae’s clerics become dervishes,dancing among foes while allowing their scimitars to give their opponents final redemption"
So i start as i divine caster and finish as ad arcane caster?!? it's doesn't look so logic

There are multiple ways for a worshiper of Sarenrae to become "dervishes." The "Dawnflower Dervish" is a bard route. Inner Sea Primer presents the same option as an archetype for a fighter. There's no reason that your GM can't build a similar option for a cleric. In fact, we'll probably do that eventually.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

yukarjama wrote:
Iomedae is listed as a LN goddess of honor and rulership. Isn't she a LG goddess? or am I missing something?

That's an error. Iomedae is lawful good.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Deadlogic wrote:
I was a bit confused by some aspects of the new Devine Scion prestige class. Since part of its features domain specialization and true scion are meant to heal you when you use domain spells does that mean you continue to advance in your base class domain(s) or your scion specialized domain or your domains dont advance at all in learning new domain spells.

A single-classed cleric can't even qualify for the divine scion prestige class until 5th level, at which point the class will already have its domain bonus spells (which continue to be available at all levels) and lower level domain abilities. Even if you go into the class before you get your second domain ability, when you hit 20th level, chances are good you'll have picked up that 2nd domain ability since you'll be, in theory, a cleric 10/divine scion 10.

But again, for domain spells... earning new domain spells is part of the "+1 level of divine spellcasting class", so taking levels of any prestige class that offers continued spellcasting allows you to pick domain spells if you have domains for any levels you'll eventually be able to cast.


I can find no advantage to the Riffle scroll variant. Is there any beneficial point to this other than fluff, which I am Ok with.

It seems:

More Expensive
More Encumberance
No 9th level spells.

From a rules point and not a flavor point, Why would I want to use this riffle magic?


They all have Silent Spell applied to them.


Toadkiller Dog wrote:
They all have Silent Spell applied to them.

AH Right!

Many thanks!


Doesn't Varian Jeggare have levels in Aristocrat as well? He is a master swordsman.

Also there are other characters with levels in classes not listed in their stats in this book.


On p. 4, Varisia wrote:
Powerful magic and strange guardians still dwell in regions where Thassilon's might one held sway...

More likely where Thassilon's might "once" held sway. Can't promise it's the only error, since I tend to read these books slowly.

On p. 3-4, Mana Wastes wrote:
Here, magic is dead at best. At worst, magic itself becomes a wild and untamed entity, twisting spellcasting and lashing the land with unpredictable warps and waves of ruin.

"Warp and woof" (or warp and weft) is weaving shorthand for the underlying structure of the whole. To have "warps and waves" of ruin in the Mana Wastes is to have twistings of the underlying structure of reality in that place, so yeah. I see what you did there. ;)

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Is the check to focus spellcasting, etc. supposed to be concentration or Spellcraft? In one spot it says concentration, in another it says Spellcraft.


My biggest disapointment was that the Winter Witch can't learn spells with the (Fire) descriptor.

Note that I said learn, not cast.

I was really hoping to be able to cast cold versions of spells like fireball, flaming sphere, and scorching ray while using the elemental metamagic feat with this archetype.

I know most GM's would probably allow you to do it, since you apply the feat as part of your preparations, but I wanted to make one of these for Pathfinder Society.

And that kind of homebrewing just doesn't work there.

James: I don't suppose you could fix that in an errata, could you?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Wraithcannon wrote:

My biggest disapointment was that the Winter Witch can't learn spells with the (Fire) descriptor.

Note that I said learn, not cast.

I was really hoping to be able to cast cold versions of spells like fireball, flaming sphere, and scorching ray while using the elemental metamagic feat with this archetype.

I know most GM's would probably allow you to do it, since you apply the feat as part of your preparations, but I wanted to make one of these for Pathfinder Society.

And that kind of homebrewing just doesn't work there.

James: I don't suppose you could fix that in an errata, could you?

You know that only witches with the elements patron get flaming sphere and fireball at all, right? And that winter witches do not have that as a choice?

There is nothing to fix in errata. You are already going to have to be house-ruling this concept.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I'm wondering about the Shadowcaster's Shadow Spells ability. It doesn't specifically mention 0-level spells. If the wizard is able to spend one's entire spell preparation time in dim light, does that mean the individual is able to prepare all 0-level spells in the spellbook, as they would count as a total of 0 levels' worth of spells?


Any chance that the text for "Esoteric Training" is in error? It's seems way too powerful.


Toadkiller Dog wrote:


Too bad. I'd so so so like to see a picture of Nex...

So, three and a half years later, is there any way to find a full-sized version of that picture of Nex from page 7 of Inner Sea Magic? Has it been used in any subsequent releases?

Silver Crusade

Help me understand how this is supposed to work. Primal Magic Event pg12 of the Inner sea Magic says
“When a creature activates a magic item, casts a spell, or uses a spell-like ability in an area infused with primal magic, there’s a 50% chance that the spell effect is replaced by a primal magic effect. A spellcaster casting a spell, using a spell-like ability, or activating a spell completion or spell trigger magic item can make a concentration check (DC = 15 + twice the spell’s level) to focus the magic and avoid triggering a primal magic effect.”

Does this mean that If one where to make a Concentration check and fail that:
1. A primal magic event occurs automatically without rolling the 50% chance.
Or
2. You still have to roll 50% chance to see if your failed Concentration check results in a Primal Magic Event?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Neither. You start with checking the 50% chance, and if it comes up, you can try to avert the effects by a concentration check.

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