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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Best City Guide Ever

5/5

Short Version: This book took Magnimar for me from "oh, that city with the Irespan" to one of my favorite cities in all of fantasy. No kidding. It's really, really good.

Key to that were the monuments. If run correctly, and that won't be hard giving this book, they take the city's history and make those events real and tangible to the players. They also grant some sweet uses for less popular skills and an interesting type of minor boon.

I have two complaints: one almost legitimate and one petty. The almost legitimate one is that the book doesn't provide a good way to find points of interest if you don't know what district they're in. I understand not wanting to eat up page count with an index, but I would have liked one in a perfect world.

The petty complaint is that now I want monuments in all my cities. It seems churlish for Magnimar to have all of the fun.


Amazing artwork, maps, and lots of great ideas

5/5

I think the other reviewers covered most of what I liked about this book. I am really enjoying the amount of material available for Varisia, since I'm planning on doing Rise of the Runelords, Jade Regent, and Shattered Star as kind of a loose 'Varisian' trilogy eventually. Things like this allow me to add in those little details that make a game come alive. I'm already worried about getting lost in Magnimar when I do Rise of the Runelords - there's just a lot of potential for adventure hooks here.

Let me also say that the artwork of the notable NPCs is just amazing, especially the portraits. The cartography looks great as well. If the quality of the campaign settings continues to impress, I'm going to start picking these up every time a new one comes along. If Paizo keeps doing these so well, we could potentially have one of the greatest RPG settings of all time out there with the Inner Sea, Avistan and Golarion. Nice work.


All I expected and more

5/5

I was very much looking forward to this book, hoping that Magnimar would get as excellent a treatment as Korvosa and Kaer Maga, and I was not dissapointed.
From the second AP installment on, one could sense that Magnimar was a unique beast, yet the (good) support article and the entry in the campaign setting did not flesh it out enough to make it more than a nice fantasy city with some unique features, interesting enough, but destined for so much more...

This book is the 'more'. From the brief, yet interesting history of the city, to the distinct look and feel of the districts, to the monuments and their hidden powers to the corruption and the powerful organizations making the city less than the paradise it could have been, this book gives a GM a city to play with and to grip the attention of his/her players.

The presentation is among the best I have seen for setting books from any company. The cartography of the city and its districts is excellent and useful, the inclusion of stat-blocks for the city is great and the art is impressing, with none of the pictures looking like a 'filler'.

The bestiary/antagonist part is good, though if I had the choice between some local critter or NPC and a few additional city locations, I would always chose the latter - but that is a matter of preferrence and as it is the bestiary is a useful supplement and my preferrence certrainly has no bearing on the overall quality of the book.

Not a single real downer in this one. Get it!


A blueprint for how urban sourcebooks should be done.

5/5

City of Monuments continues Paizo's trend of devoting setting books to perhaps the most problematic theme in RPGs: cities. Between the need to paint a vivid picture of the urban environment, the need to provide the players with interesting locales and inhabitants, giving enough space for a DM to frame his/her stories and on the top of that having cartography that works, city books are tough.

Paizo has a notoriously good track record for city books, with likes of Guide to Korvosa and City of Strangers. But I always felt there's something missing. Some books were long on brilliant writing but short on cartography (City of Strangers), others just didn't go deep enough to scratch the itch well enough (Cities of Golarion).

So here comes the Magnimar book, 5 years late (because we first learned of Magnimar back in 2007) and yet just on time (between RotRL anniversary ed. and Shattered Star).

The writing is of usual Paizo Quality: stellar. This is James Jacobs on the top of his game with Adam Daigle as his wingman. Old secrets are revealed (entwined succubi, heh), new questions are introduced, the book gives you everything you would want from an urban sourcebook, from landmarks and taverns to secret societies and dangers. Of note is attention paid to monuments and empyreal patrons, two distinguishing characteristics of Maginmar that got some much-deserved attention.

What blows this book out of the water is the presentation. There are statblocks for districts. Each of those gives you stats, points of interest from several categories (such as Politics or Relaxation). The cartography is ... errr ... where have my pants gone? Oh, I dropped them when seeing the maps here. There's a new cartographer (99 Lives Design) and the maps are outstanding. This is beyond Guide to Korvosa or anything Paizo has done before. One minor snag: no poster map. I believe we're getting one in Shattered Star Map Folio, but still I would love to see one here.

Anyway, we have a new standard for city sourcebooks. Well played, Golem.


Another fine sourcebook

5/5

Disclaimer: I am a freelancer for Paizo, so you could argue I have a biased opinion. If you think that calls for discounting this review, I'm okay with that. On the other hand, I paid cash money for a physical copy of this book, and I've been working with Magnimar as a GM since 2007 (Skinsaw Murders) and long before I was a freelancer. I've read this book cover to cover and more thoroughly than most recent books—so I feel comfortable reviewing it.

Briefly: this really satisfies any itch I have to know about Magnimar and gives me plenty of tools to devise and run adventures, both short and long, in this truly fascinating city.

The majority of the book is broken down into the various districts, each of which are rich with details, plothooks, and NPCs. There is a "Secrets" section in the back similar to Guide to Korvosa, but the district chapters are by no means dry, and also contain a wealth of neat ideas to be mined.

The maps are different than previous books. They're still overhead top down representations, but they're quite clean and crisp (not to imply that the city itself is). When a pointer indicates a noble family's villa, it looks like a villa, the exclusive fenced in club looks like it should—not just one random building in a congested city section. Its laid out with a nice sense of space and proportion. The text compliments the map nicely, and the two authors have spent some time considering why each district is that way it is.. be it for practical reasons or an actual history that is explained. Oh yeah, there is a map for each section of the city. There are location pointers with the tags off of the surface of the map, so you have as much of an unobstructed look at the map as possible while still having specific location pointers.

Few stones have been left uncovered by this book, from the Golemworks, to cults referenced in previous APs and modules, to the Irespan. James Jacobs can be conservative in revealing spoilers on the messageboards, but if you throw down your money on the table, he and Mr. Daigle lift up the hood and let you in on many (if not all) of the secrets of Magnimar. There is a wealth of lore and history here and it all makes easy kindling and fuel for adventures. Some of it intersects with previous products, but in those cases it enriches that content without repeating it. The 'Secrets' chapter can easily spin-off multiple extended adventure arcs for the GM to develop in their home campaigns.

All of the art is top-notch, there is no lame or shoddy illustration in the book. The layout is clean, and the sidebars are check full of interesting highlights.

I guess if I had to make one observation that doesn't try to address any one aspect of the book and just comes right from the gut: the content is meaty and rich (I almost want to say dense). Not because it's a hard or boring read, but if you just flipped through the pages quickly it might not stand out. If you sit down and read it, there's a lot of interesting detail here that you're not going to pull out from just scanning the pages. And it's not boring at all. They pack a lot of value in this book.

I loved the Guide to Korvosa, and while this book doesn't try to copy it 100% I think it is every bit as good if not better. Definitely worth the investment if you love Varisia.


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Paizo Employee Creative Director

Generic Villain wrote:
RuyanVe wrote:
It's the spider-things from the Irespan - nice cover! Go Seoni!
They're called Shriezyx and were statted up in Dungeons of Golarion. Complements of a past Runelord of Wrath's fleshwarping experiments. Seoni's making an excellent choice using fire magic...

They also get a proper bestiary-style entry in this book too, which is nice.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

MerrikCale wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
I've updated the cover image and product description to match the finished product.
who is the artist?

Tyler Walpole.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

What with so little out there about the Empyreal lords, those cults might make a nice preview!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Very much looking forward to this book. Magnimar is most definitely my favorite city in Golarion, and I'm planning to run "Shattered Star" after I finish my "Rise of the Runelords" campaign.

One weird thing-- at the moment, this product isn't listed under the "Preorder" or "Unavailable" tabs of the Campaign Setting section of the site. In fact, there don't seem to be any links to it at the moment. (I found the page with a product search.)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Thanks for the heads-up. It should be in the right place now.


So how many monsters are we getting in this one?

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

Dragon78 wrote:
So how many monsters are we getting in this one?

There are 13 statblocks, though seven of those are NPCs, so—five.

Scarab Sages

Reading the comments above about the Empyreal Lords having a lot of influence in Magnimar has just increased my interest in the city several orders of magnitude. One of my biggest reservations about Golarion has always been the relative lack of particularly "GOOD" cities/nations. (Andoran was pretty much the only one I could name off hand. Feel free to point out any others. 8^)

Now I really can't wait for this book to come out! 8^)


Adam Daigle wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
So how many monsters are we getting in this one?
There are 13 statblocks, though seven of those are NPCs, so—five.

What's the 13th, then? :)


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

THE IRESPAN


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Arazyr wrote:

(Andoran was pretty much the only one I could name off hand. Feel free to point out any others. 8^)

Now I really can't wait for this book to come out! 8^)

Andoran

Kyonin
Lastwall
Mendev
Nirmathas

...based on the Campaign Setting book. :)

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

Urath DM wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
So how many monsters are we getting in this one?
There are 13 statblocks, though seven of those are NPCs, so—five.
What's the 13th, then? :)

Like, in order?

The one with a name that starts with the letter furthest back in the alphabet. :)


Adam Daigle wrote:
Urath DM wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
So how many monsters are we getting in this one?
There are 13 statblocks, though seven of those are NPCs, so—five.
What's the 13th, then? :)

Like, in order?

The one with a name that starts with the letter furthest back in the alphabet. :)

Sorry.. humor failed.

Where I come from, 13 - 7 = 6, not 5. Your math only accounted for 12 of the 13, so I asked "what's the 13th, then?"

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

Urath DM wrote:

Sorry.. humor failed.

Where I come from, 13 - 7 = 6, not 5. Your math only accounted for 12 of the 13, so I asked "what's the 13th, then?"

Ha! I'm the goof.

But my count was still accurate on the monster end of things, just turns out I miscounted the NPCs. (And did crummy simple math.)

Liberty's Edge

After breezing through the PDF here are a few things that jump out at me:

Love the map artowork!
Love how each district get's it's own mini stat block
Love the Angelic Guardian artwork

Paizo Employee Creative Director

I'm really eager to see how folks respond to the map of Magnimar in this book; it's a pretty different style than we usually do maps. Let us know if you love or hate it!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
I'm really eager to see how folks respond to the map of Magnimar in this book; it's a pretty different style than we usually do maps. Let us know if you love or hate it!

Well, my first reaction was "This looks just like the map in (the new) "Rise of the Runelords" (well, not strictly true - my very first reaction was that the shape of the city was more than a little reminiscent of Waterdeep).

Looking a little closer, though, I see several differences. Not just a few differences in content - there's a big change in the overall appearance, most noticeably in the water. Of the two, I definitely prefer the look in the Campaign Setting book.

Comparing these maps to even older examples (such as the maps of Absalom found in either the Guide to Absalom, or in First Steps Part I) I find both the newer maps to be much clearer and easy to read.

So count me as in the "Love It!" camp.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
I'm really eager to see how folks respond to the map of Magnimar in this book; it's a pretty different style than we usually do maps. Let us know if you love or hate it!

It's a pretty cool map. At first, I was surprised it wasn't drawn by the usual two cartographers (Lazzaretti or Blando), but the style blends in nicely with the usual Paizo style, and I imagine it's easier to have more than two cartographers on the roll call given the amount of stuff you are putting out. So… I like it. :)

Contributor

Is that Daigle any good? ;-)

I almost purchased this at PaizoCon, but Death's Heretic and the Runelords book won out.


Love the new map! Love how each entry has it's own mini map as well (you've done it else where, but I love it each time you do). I'm super excited to get my hands on a hardcopy of this.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Well... if it's one thing we've heard loud and clear, it's that folks like maps in these campaign setting books.

Grand Lodge

I just recently started reading the campaign setting books, and the number of high level NPCs in this small city of 8,000 irked me a little. I counted 5 that were 12 or higher. Is this par for the course?

The Exchange

scale is off on the irespan. the columns are described as 100 ft diameter an the bridge as 300 ft wide. so either the entries are wrong, or the columns are drawn too small, or the bridge is drawn too wide. looks closer to 500-600 ft wide on the map.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Exocrat wrote:

I just recently started reading the campaign setting books, and the number of high level NPCs in this small city of 8,000 irked me a little. I counted 5 that were 12 or higher. Is this par for the course?

Yes... but there's more than double 8,000 people in the city of Magnimar (it's population number is in fact 16,428).

Golarion is not a low magic world. There are high level NPCs out there.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Chernobyl wrote:

scale is off on the irespan. the columns are described as 100 ft diameter an the bridge as 300 ft wide. so either the entries are wrong, or the columns are drawn too small, or the bridge is drawn too wide. looks closer to 500-600 ft wide on the map.

Yeah... there was a scale adjustment at the last minute, but looks like one of the older scales snuck through.

The map is correct. The pilings are indeed 200 feet wide.

The Exchange

James Jacobs wrote:
Chernobyl wrote:

scale is off on the irespan. the columns are described as 100 ft diameter an the bridge as 300 ft wide. so either the entries are wrong, or the columns are drawn too small, or the bridge is drawn too wide. looks closer to 500-600 ft wide on the map.

Yeah... there was a scale adjustment at the last minute, but looks like one of the older scales snuck through.

The map is correct. The pilings are indeed 200 feet wide.

That just increases the scale discrepancy in the map image, and makes no sense. If the pilings are 200 feet wide, they would be overlapping 50 feet of each other under a 300 foot wide Irespan. If the pilings are 200 feet wide, then the Irespan itself would need to be on the order of 1000 feet wide, looking at the image.


Just wondering are monsters at the back of the book or in each chapter. Thanks

Dark Archive

LordNull wrote:

Just wondering are monsters at the back of the book or in each chapter. Thanks

They are all in the denizens section with random encounter tables for day and night for each district of the city.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Just now got it. Haven't had time to read it through yet, but I wanted to note:

I'm really glad Lord-Mayor Groboras still looks hilarious.

Ashava is awesome. For a lot of reasons.


I found the statblocks for each city district to be interesting. The differences in modifiers give each a feel of being fairly distinct from the overall tone of the city, and from each other.

I am curious as to how they were determined, though. The GMG provides the mechanics for setting the overall values for the city, but some of the district modifiers are very different. For my own use, I had considered two approaches toward doing the same thing: one, that the city modifiers reflected the average of those of the districts, and two, that the city modifiers represented the extremes of the individual districts. Since neither of those seem to be the case here, I am curious as to the method.

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

Mikaze wrote:
Ashava is awesome. For a lot of reasons.

Ashava is my favorite too. I blame James (I think) That's why I made the mystery cultist a cleric of Ashava and linked the azata to her.

Silver Crusade

Adam Daigle wrote:
Ashava is my favorite too. I blame James (I think) That's why I made the mystery cultist a cleric of Ashava and linked the azata to her.

Heh, that entry caught my eye too in the short time I had the book in my hands before work. Really liking the idea of benign mystery cults getting some play. :)

The city-stat breakdown by district popped out too. I'm really digging that approach now.

Eager to get to sit down an actually read the book.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Urath DM wrote:

I found the statblocks for each city district to be interesting. The differences in modifiers give each a feel of being fairly distinct from the overall tone of the city, and from each other.

I am curious as to how they were determined, though. The GMG provides the mechanics for setting the overall values for the city, but some of the district modifiers are very different. For my own use, I had considered two approaches toward doing the same thing: one, that the city modifiers reflected the average of those of the districts, and two, that the city modifiers represented the extremes of the individual districts. Since neither of those seem to be the case here, I am curious as to the method.

For the district breakdowns, I basically just swapped points around on all the values as made sense for the district. AKA: If I reduced one value by 2, I made sure to increase a different one by 2.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Chernobyl wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Chernobyl wrote:

scale is off on the irespan. the columns are described as 100 ft diameter an the bridge as 300 ft wide. so either the entries are wrong, or the columns are drawn too small, or the bridge is drawn too wide. looks closer to 500-600 ft wide on the map.

Yeah... there was a scale adjustment at the last minute, but looks like one of the older scales snuck through.

The map is correct. The pilings are indeed 200 feet wide.

That just increases the scale discrepancy in the map image, and makes no sense. If the pilings are 200 feet wide, they would be overlapping 50 feet of each other under a 300 foot wide Irespan. If the pilings are 200 feet wide, then the Irespan itself would need to be on the order of 1000 feet wide, looking at the image.

Well... you don't just increase the pilings... you increase EVERYTHING by that amount. AKA: The scale on the map is correct, and a few unfortunate measurements in the text are off.

Silver Crusade

Oh snap.

Page 40. U5, The Harpy.

1. Well that explains that long running (5 years!) gag!

2. That is one hell of a hook waiting to be exploited.

3. Scratch that, this screams huge plot just waiting to explode all over the place, especially combined with how widespread this character's footprint is by now.

:D

Spoiler:
The actual listing of the portfolio for that character's endgame scenario is intriguing as well...as if there's some planning ahead going on...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mikaze wrote:

Oh snap.

Page 40. U5, The Harpy.

1. Well that explains that long running (5 years!) gag!

2. That is one hell of a hook waiting to be exploited.

3. Scratch that, this screams huge plot just waiting to explode all over the place, especially combined with how widespread this character's footprint is by now.

:D

** spoiler omitted **

"She" sort of has a cameo in an upcoming adventure...

Spoiler:
...the 2nd Shattered Star adventure, "Curse of the Lady's Light," in which she sends the PCs on a quest...

... but yeah... there's more going on with her and her sculptures that, some day, we'll explore more of.

Silver Crusade

James Jacobs wrote:


... but yeah... there's more going on with her and her sculptures that, some day, we'll explore more of.

Woo!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm really, really loving this book. The magic monuments are a nice touch (although I think some of the skill DC are too high). The Yama is really cool and the art is very good, but the book could have used something like the "landscape" picture in the Rise of Runelords Magnimar article.

I think I found some mistakes:

page 17 Aeryn Darvengian: rouge -> rogue
page 18 shouldn't the brothel and the No-Horn tavern be in the relaxation section?
page 23 Deadeye Lodge: this section lacks the period (i think that's how it's called...).
page 30 the Osprey Club is exclusive of the most prestigious magnimarian families, not sea captains.
page 32 Arvensoar, Commander Ismeir Odinburge: honest but inflexible, man -> honest but inflexible man.
page 43 in one place Miior Duvanti is a LE bard 13 and on another she is a NE rogue 6.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Amaranthine Witch wrote:

I'm really, really loving this book. The magic monuments are a nice touch (although I think some of the skill DC are too high). The Yama is really cool and the art is very good, but the book could have used something like the "landscape" picture in the Rise of Runelords Magnimar article.

I think I found some mistakes:

page 17 Aeryn Darvengian: rouge -> rogue
page 18 shouldn't the brothel and the No-Horn tavern be in the relaxation section?
page 23 Deadeye Lodge: this section lacks the period (i think that's how it's called...).
page 30 the Osprey Club is exclusive of the most prestigious magnimarian families, not sea captains.
page 32 Arvensoar, Commander Ismeir Odinburge: honest but inflexible, man -> honest but inflexible man.
page 43 in one place Miior Duvanti is a LE bard 13 and on another she is a NE rogue 6.

Thanks for the comments!

The monument DCs are intentionally high—they're supposed to be things that if you get them at low levels you should be cheering in triumph, and so when you get them easier at high levels you can think back on how hard they used to be to get and now they're not an as a result you feel like you've accomplished something for betting to be high level.

There really wasn't a good place to do a landscape picture of Magnimar in the book... but there's a GREAT one coming up in the Varisia Player's Guide.

And yeah... errors creep in. Most of the ones you note are pretty obvious and non-game-impacting errors, at least. The last one is one of the only actual game errors I've found in there... she's a bard 13. As with several other bad guys in the book, she's intended to be a long-term nemesis whom the PCs finally get to tangle with once they are themselves above 10th level.


James Jacobs wrote:
Urath DM wrote:

I found the statblocks for each city district to be interesting. The differences in modifiers give each a feel of being fairly distinct from the overall tone of the city, and from each other.

I am curious as to how they were determined, though. The GMG provides the mechanics for setting the overall values for the city, but some of the district modifiers are very different. For my own use, I had considered two approaches toward doing the same thing: one, that the city modifiers reflected the average of those of the districts, and two, that the city modifiers represented the extremes of the individual districts. Since neither of those seem to be the case here, I am curious as to the method.

For the district breakdowns, I basically just swapped points around on all the values as made sense for the district. AKA: If I reduced one value by 2, I made sure to increase a different one by 2.

So a net 0-sum change within the district. Thanks!

Dark Archive

I'm going to second the notion there seemed to be a lot of higher level NPCs inhabiting the city. Though it may be because I've been in a E6 gritty mindset lately.

The ISWG does say there are only a few NPCs higher than level 10 or so per nation, so I guess it's not completely out of whack but seems like a lot. Between the major cities in Varisia and the NPCs within, one would think there is no need for adventurers.

But then, I'm also not a fan of the Pathfinder Society in-universe. Unionized adventurers strikes me as...weird. Why go on adventures? There is always a group of Pathfinders roaming around to take care of that.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

srd5090 wrote:

I'm going to second the notion there seemed to be a lot of higher level NPCs inhabiting the city. Though it may be because I've been in a E6 gritty mindset lately.

The ISWG does say there are only a few NPCs higher than level 10 or so per nation, so I guess it's not completely out of whack but seems like a lot. Between the major cities in Varisia and the NPCs within, one would think there is no need for adventurers.

But then, I'm also not a fan of the Pathfinder Society in-universe. Unionized adventurers strikes me as...weird. Why go on adventures? There is always a group of Pathfinders roaming around to take care of that.

In a city of about 15,000 people... having a handful (maybe a dozen or so—if that) of NPCs who are higher level than 10th constitutes less than a fraction of 1 percent of the total population... which to me counts as there being "only a few NPCs of higher than level 10 per nation."

The amount of high level NPCs in Magnimar are pretty much on-par... even low... compared to the amount of high level NPCs we do all the time in our Adventure Paths.

Golarion, it's important to remember, is NOT a low-magic world where there are no high level characters. The high level characters exist... usually in the form of possible NPC antagonists or to justify where higher level spellcasting comes from in a city.


srd5090 wrote:
But then, I'm also not a fan of the Pathfinder Society in-universe. Unionized adventurers strikes me as...weird. Why go on adventures? There is always a group of Pathfinders roaming around to take care of that.

For the same reason that smaller non-union companies (PC parties) exist, to get a piece of the market without having to deal with the politics/issues that you might not agree with that come with being part of large unions (Pathfinder Society). I think the main reason it could seem odd is that it plays a more visible role in both the campaign setting and product line side of things unlike what has been produced by other companies in the past.

Liberty's Edge

srd5090 wrote:

I'm going to second the notion there seemed to be a lot of higher level NPCs inhabiting the city. Though it may be because I've been in a E6 gritty mindset lately.

The ISWG does say there are only a few NPCs higher than level 10 or so per nation, so I guess it's not completely out of whack but seems like a lot. Between the major cities in Varisia and the NPCs within, one would think there is no need for adventurers.

Just because someone else is capable of doing "great" things does not mean they will. Also, while the PCs are the focus of their story does not mean that their's is the only story happening. In other words, those "high" level NPCs have better things to do. Just my opinion.

srd5090 wrote:
But then, I'm also not a fan of the Pathfinder Society in-universe. Unionized adventurers strikes me as...weird. Why go on adventures? There is always a group of Pathfinders roaming around to take care of that.

The Pathfinder Society is not a do-gooders league. They are Treasure Hunters. They steal the treasures and artifacts of other people and shove them in a giant warehouse for "safe-keeping".

A question prompted by your statements. Do your Players only adventure because if they don't do it no one else will? Because you are implying above that that is the only reason to adventure.

Dark Archive

graywulfe wrote:
The Pathfinder Society is not a do-gooders league. They are Treasure Hunters. They steal the treasures and artifacts of other people and shove them in a giant warehouse for "safe-keeping".

Like Warehouse 13, I hope they have their own Claudia. :)

Silver Crusade

Dark_Mistress wrote:
graywulfe wrote:
The Pathfinder Society is not a do-gooders league. They are Treasure Hunters. They steal the treasures and artifacts of other people and shove them in a giant warehouse for "safe-keeping".
Like Warehouse 13, I hope they have their own Claudia. :)

Considering some of the stuff floating around Golarion, it's a wonder they haven't gone full-tilt into SCP Foundation territory by now.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I was a bit upset there weren't any half-orc NPCs in the book, but that's okay, it's still giving me plenty of ideas for plot hooks in an upcoming adventure. I think I still preferred the layout of Guide to Korvosa though, especially with the NPC appendix in the back, and the section on history.

Silver Crusade

^^^^yeah, I just noticed that I hadn't seen any anywhere. Was hoping to see a few and how they fit into the city, since it's the most egalitarian organized city in Varisia.

Reading further, really want to use the Golemwalk Parade in a number of ways.

It has me wondering a bit at the other sorts of regulations they might have beyond ensuring safety. Like, if flesh golems made from donated cadavers aren't outlawed, would they still be forbidden from the parade on the grounds of "public decency" or at the very least PR? Not that many golemmakers would bother with it considering the other (much more marketable and aesthetically pleasing) material they have to work with in the area.

Imagine Brigh has quite a following in Magnimar...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Mechalibur wrote:
I was a bit upset there weren't any half-orc NPCs in the book, but that's okay, it's still giving me plenty of ideas for plot hooks in an upcoming adventure. I think I still preferred the layout of Guide to Korvosa though, especially with the NPC appendix in the back, and the section on history.

That's more or less by design—half-orcs don't have a big role in Magnimar at all.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Kaer Maga: ~8,000 population, 400 half-orcs (5% of total), 4 half-orc NPCs mentioned (City of Secrets)

Magnimar: ~16,000 population, 160 half-orcs (1% of total), 0 half-orc NPCs mentioned (City of Monuments)

One or two mentioned NPCs might have been appropriate, but really, James's point is supported by the numbers here.

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