Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Magnimar, City of Monuments

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Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Magnimar, City of Monuments
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Known as the City of Monuments for its jaw-dropping skyline of ancient ruins, magnificent towers, and stunning sculptures, Magnimar embodies the spirit of the frontier realm of Varisia more than any other city. But life in the City of Monuments can be an adventure all its own. With strange monsters lurking amid the city’s ancient foundations, bands of thieves battling for control over the city’s alleys, and the decadent attitudes of its oldest families, Magnimar lies at a crossroads. Will it succeed despite the obstacles thrown in its path, or is the City of Monuments doomed to crumble under the pressure of its own runaway success?

Magnimar, City of Monuments provides a detailed guide to one of the most popular cities in the Pathfinder campaign setting, the perfect base between adventures or setting of an entire urban campaign. Inside this book you’ll find:

  • An expansive gazetteer of Magnimar’s nine districts, from the marble-lined streets of the Alabaster District to the blood-drenched alleys of Underbridge.
  • Notes on the plans and plots of dozens of Magnimar’s most famous and infamous movers and shakers, from heads of government to criminal masterminds.
  • Revelations about the city’s deadliest mysteries, insights into the cults that plot amid its shadows, reports on the monsters that hunt beneath its streets, and other secrets.
  • Allies and enemies for all sorts of adventures, including healers and hell-raisers suitable for any type of campaign.
  • Stat blocks for a wide variety of Magnimar’s denizens, whether they be citizens, angelic guardians, or gigantic monsters that haunt the city’s fears and legends.
  • Dozens of connections to adventures set within Varisia, such as the Rise of the Runelords and Shattered Star Adventure Paths.

Magnimar, City of Monuments is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be used in any fantasy game.

By Adam Daigle and James Jacobs.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-446-7

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

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Good overview of a natural homebase for PCs

4/5

Magnimar, City of Monuments is the first book I've picked up in Paizo's line of campaign setting books for the Pathfinder role-playing game (I'm running an adventure path in which the PCs are likely to visit). The book is out of print now, so I secured my copy from a used-book seller (PDFs can be bought from paizo.com). The first thing that stands out is the cover--fantastic! One of my favorite pieces of art from the game, and something that would make a cool poster. On the interior front cover is a map of the city, showing its division into nine different districts. The book is then divided into three main parts.

The first main part consists of sections on each of the districts and has a smaller map of just that district (which is why the main map on the inside front cover is done at a very high level of abstraction). The district sections include a separate stat block which is a nice touch and then includes capsule descriptions of a handful of prominent locations. Occasional sidebars are throughout the book, such as "Nine Famous Magnimarians" or "Thieves and Thugs of Magnimar". I frankly found the district sections a bit boring to read straight through, but I think as a reference and game preparation aid they would be quite useful. Most importantly, they detail one of the things that sets Magnimar apart from other cities in Golarion: the presence of ancient monuments (dating to the time of Thassilon) which, if the correct rituals are performed by the PCs, give them temporary mechanical bonuses. It's a great way to tie the city's history into something that your players will care about because the flavour is matched with bonus crunch. Before I get to the last two parts of the book, I'll again praise the artwork: the interior pictures of NPCs and important buildings are gorgeous. Just look at the Forever Man on p. 46 and try to suppress adventure ideas!

The second part is titled "Plots and Perils". It includes brief overviews on the hinterlands around Magnimar, the city's sewers, a villainous organization called the Midnight Dawn, and, most importantly, the Irespan--the ancient, enormous bridge whose remnants conceal secrets from thousands of years ago. For a campaign set in Magnimar, the Irespan would be a natural site of adventure and has enough to interest PCs for some time.

The third part, "Denizens", includes something I appreciate: random encounter tables, separated by day and night, for different parts of Magnimar. I do wish there'd be a guide on how often one should roll on the tables, but I guess that's left to GM discretion. Next, there are descriptions and stat blocks for monsters and NPC types: Angelic Guardians, Aspis Agents, City Guards and Captains, Mystery Cultists, Night Scale Assassins, Sczarni Thugs, Shifty Nobles, and Shoanti Gladiators, Shriezyx (the spider monsters featured on the cover), Swamp Barracudas (again, great artwork), the Vyrdrach (a gargantuan creature that can capsize large ships), and, last, a celestial called a Yamah.

Discussion by commenters on the Paizo site correctly notes that the table of contents for the book could be much improved (it only has three entries, one for each of the big parts of the book) and that the book is lacking an index. These things can be an editorial chore when deadlines loom, but they make a big difference in how useful a product is in the middle of a gaming session--no one wants to sit and wait for the GM to flip through to find that one inn they wanted to describe for the PCs.

All in all though, I was quite happy with the book. Magnimar seems like a fairly "safe" place for PCs to visit, but has enough adventure lurking right outside (or underneath, or overhead) that it could serve well as the centre of a campaign. It'll certainly help me with the adventure path as well. I'm looking forward to reading the other books detailing cities in Varisia.


Enough substance for a whole campaign setting

5/5

This material is the best city I've ever read. The history, the introduction, the various districts - all well written, full of adventure hooks and a plethora of exiting npc's.

Only thing I miss, are a bit more detailing on the map. Perhaps the zoom in on the districts could've been with street names...

This volume however, combines everything good, and supplements other stories that take place in Magnimar in a tremendous way.

I bought and read it as a suppl. to my RotR campaign - and really enjoy

Rise of the Runelords minor spoiler:

the background story of the Brotherhood of Seven, the mills on Kivers Islet history, the nursery rhyme for the clocktower etc... GOOD WORK!


5/5

I've reviewed this on RPGGeek.com.

You can read it here.


4/5


Absolutely Useful

5/5

One of the best city guides I have seen.
It sets the mark for me. I have leaned on it several times while running RothRL Anniversary Edition. Well worth it for any GM who will find their group in Magnimar for any length of time.


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Paizo Employee Creative Director

Grimbold wrote:

Good book but would definitely benefit from a larger map - at least A3 in size. Could not a hi-res map be made available as a PDF download so that GMs could print at the size they prefer?

The map of Magnimar is a poster map in the Shattered Star map folio that's 8 panels (aka–8 11x8.5 sheets).


James Jacobs wrote:
The map of Magnimar is a poster map in the Shattered Star map folio that's 8 panels (aka–8 11x8.5 sheets).

Thanks for the reply and info. Guess I better get a copy!

Liberty's Edge

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Similar to my thread with a Kaer Maga Index, here is an index for Magnimar City of Monuments

:

ALABASTER DISTRICT
Fort Indros 6
Kaddren Villa (founding family; magic) 7
Niroden Villa (founding family; arts) 7
Alabaster Park 7
Serpent’s Run Arena 7
Vanderale Villa (founding family; merchant’s guild) 8
Scarnetti Villa (nobles; new blood) 8
Mindurian Villa (nobles; stonemasonry) 8
Valdemar Villa (nobles; Midnight Dawn) 8
Versade Villa (nobles; parties) 8
Derexhi Villa (nobles; mercs) 9
Heidmarch Manor (Pathfinder Lodge) 9
House of Lords (noble reps hall) 9

BEACON’S POINT
The Wyrmwatch (lighthouse) 10
The Battle of Charda (monument-Attacks) 11
Outcast fishery (business) 11
Shapmaker’s Guild 12
Harbormaster 12
Jaijarko Castle (slums) 12
Lost Lane (Night Scales guild) 13
Washer’s Row (business, szcarni gang) 13
The Pig (tavern) 13

CAPITAL DISTRICT
The Irespan 14
Golemworks (business) 14
Cenotaph (monument-Fortitude) 15
Founder’s Archive Museum of Ages 16
Indros cul Vyrdrarch (monument-Damage vs aqu) 16
Pediment Building (court) 16
The Hells (prison) 16
User’s Hall (government) 17
Lord Mayor’s Menagerie (park) 17

DOCKWAY
The Old Fang (tavern) 18
Eyes of the Hawk (monument-Damage vs abb) 18
No-Horn (poor tavern) 19
Carent’s Camp (Wreckwash gang) 19
Bazaar of Sails (market) 19
Captain’s Club (great tavern) 20
Shucked Oyster (brothel) 20
Bronze House (Aspis Consortium) 20
Impound Yard (docks) 21
The Fifth Wind (monument-Survival) 21
Outcast’s Cove 21

KEYSTONE
Our Lady of Blessed Waters (monument-divine CL) 23
Deadeye Lodge (temple to Erastil) 23
Dome of the Savored Sting (temple to Calistria) 23
Founder’s Honor (monument-Diplomacy) 23
Stone of Seers (magic school) 24
Church of Pharasma 24
Aquaretum (museum) 24
The Burn (gargoyles gang) 24
Varisian Council (government) 25
Cynosure Tower (temple to Desna) 25

LOWCLEFT
Matador’s Lodge (restaurant rodeo) 26
The Fish Tank (Gallowed gang) 27
Gilded Cage (casino den) 28
The Fancy Reefclaw (brewery) 28
The Courtesan and Unicorn (harrow brothel) 28
The Dreaming Dryad (excellent inn) 29
Mapstone (monument-Will) 29
The Celwynvian Charge (monument-Reflex) 29

NAOS
Osprey Club (nobles club) 30
Cathedral of Abadar 31
Kaijitsu Villa (abandoned) 31
Deverin (nobles; owns Fancy Reefclaw) 32
House of Welcome (excellent brothel) 32
Defiant’s Garden (lord mayor’s home) 32
Arvensoar (watch tower HQ) 32
Temple to Iomedae 32
Founder’s Flame (monument-+1 DC fire) 32
The Guardians (monument-Concentration) 32
Bastion of the Nail (hellknights) 33
Boria’s (wine/poison) 33
Triodea (playhouse) 33

ORDELLIA
Seven’s Sawmill (lumber mill) 35
Red Kestrel Imports (warehouses) 36
Billivin’s Benevolent Balms and Effulgent Elixirs 36
Embassy Building 36
Rose and Rake (theatre) 37
Mistress of Angels (monument-Initiative) 37
Pug’s Contraptions (clockworks) 37

UNDERBRIDGE
The Gull (Creepers gang) 38
Friendly Merchant (poor tavern) 39
The Rat (Doolun’s gang) 39
Swift Dolphin Warehouse (Midnight Dawn) 39
The Harpy (sculptor) 40
The Shadow Clock (tower) 40
The Gecko (haunted) 41
Shrine of Sarenrae 41

again with notes to jog my GM brain thus the spoiler tag. Enjoy!


I don't like this book organization.

It is kinda of confusing... Its chapters are the city's destricted and I need to read the whole book to get myself used to the city.

I really prefer the format you guys used in the Korvosa's book.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So sad it's unavailable in print. Mine is falling apart from heavy use... should've picked up the PDF first. Still a great read!

Ruyan.


The "Print Edition" is showing a price even though it still shows out-of-print. I have the .PDF, but I so love having print copy.

Is there a chance for a second printing edition?

Webstore Gninja Minion

Romaq wrote:
Is there a chance for a second printing edition?

We don't typically reprint material outside of our Pathfinder RPG line—this is not likely to be reprinted.


Thank you. :)


Well shoot, I was hoping for prices on dwellings such as manors, villas, and even possibly setting up businesses and the taxes that would entail. Unfortunately I can't seem to find any of that info in this book. Am I missing something or is it just not included?

Liz Courts wrote:
Romaq wrote:
Is there a chance for a second printing edition?
We don't typically reprint material outside of our Pathfinder RPG line—this is not likely to be reprinted.

Wait, isn't this part of the Pathfinder line of Paizo's products? Or are you talking about the Core Products only (which can be used for campaigns not set in Golarion)?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The RPG line are the books with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game logo on their front covers, found here. They are considered evergreen products, which need to stay in print. Paizo also makes Campaign Setting and Player Companion lines, which have their own logos and are more tightly tied to Golarion. When a book on a particular topic is out of print, Paizo is more likely to release a new book on the subject than reprint an old one. Magnimar, City of Monuments is in the Campaign Setting line.

For the information you're looking for, have you looked at the downtime rules in Ultimate Campaign? They're not Magnimar-specific, but they give gp and labor costs for buildings and businesses. (Another perk of the RPG line is that their content is available free in the PRD.)

Grand Lodge

I know I'm super late to the party, but I can't wait to meet this "CE male Chelaxian rouge 4/wizard 3/arcane trickster 4". All kidding aside, I've never been much for the lore (I always flip through books to see what mechanical benefits they offer my characters) but I'm loving this book.


We need a french translation :/


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Please make reprint of this book,, its sou much, Im asking for ?

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