Pathfinder Tales: Blood of the City

4.10/5 (based on 16 ratings)
Pathfinder Tales: Blood of the City

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Heroes for Hire

Luma is a cobblestone druid, a canny fighter and spellcaster who can read the chaos of Magnimar's city streets like a scholar reads books. Together, she and her siblings in the powerful Derexhi family form one of the most infamous and effective mercenary companies in the city, solving problems for the city's wealthy elite. Yet despite being the oldest child, Luma gets little respect—perhaps due to her half-elven heritage. When a job gone wrong lands Luma in the fearsome prison called the Hells, it's only the start of Luma's problems. For a new web of bloody power politics is growing in Magnimar, and it may be that those Luma trusts most have become her deadliest enemies...

From visionary game designer and author Robin D. Laws comes a new urban fantasy adventure of murder, betrayal, and political intrigue set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

400-page mass market paperback
ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-456-6
ePub ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-457-3

Blood of the City is also available as a digital edition on the following sites:

Blood of the City is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle sheet and additional rules are a free download (229 KB zip/PDF).

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4.10/5 (based on 16 ratings)

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Oh the twists!


An excellent book, a very good urban adventure and with an urban druid as the protagonist.
Also very good in order to introduce you to the city of Magnimar, if you plan to set a game or part of your game to Magnmira than this book is must-read.
The plot may seem a little slow at start but it only seems that way because it has so many characters to introduce and needs to build tension.

The only 2 things that somewhat bothered me where:
1) Sometimes there were too many characters in a scene, fortunately some were suddenly silent spectators in order not to bog down the scene.
2) The protagonist really seems like a spontaneous caster, everything she does/says/thinks when she casts spells gives you the impression that it's a spontaneous caster (where the urban druid is a prepared caster), i think that there were maybe 1 or 2 instances where it gives you the immpression that it's a prepared caster.

All in all i really enjoyed the book and i recommend it to everyone.

A Monster among Jackals


I must say this is probably one of my favorite Tales that I've read, it's competing with Death's Heretic atm for absolute favorite.

First off I love the descriptions and effects of the Citysong, very well written and my favorite part of the book.

This is also one of the best revenge stories I have ever read, or seen in other media for that matter.


Her sibling's betrayal actually took me for a wind, at first I thought she had gotten knocked out in the fight and this was a dream sent by Magnimar like the others, the fact that it was really happening, and at how brutal it was didn't truly sink in until the next chapter, which pretty much confirms that Yes, THAT did just happen. I had to reread that whole section a few times for my brain to truly comprehend all that just transpired.

Thank you Mr. Laws, for giving us this book. I greatly enjoyed it.

P.S. The Sorcerer is made of all different kinds of awesome.

Highly recommended.

Sightseeing with a City Druid


I really loved the writing on this one. The scenes of the city that the cobblestone druid Luma envisions to cast her spells are really vivid, and give a great vibe and feeling to Magnimar. Makes me want to create a cobblestone druid character and go on a tour of the city.
This is the reason I would highly recommend this one for reading.

The plot has surprising turns, so it isn't a straight forward scenario.

The supporting characters she gathers form an interesting and unusual group. But what makes it interesting is she has to go outside her normal circle of friends, so finding and convincing each of them is part of the challenge. It's also great to have a strong leading female character.

After a strong start, some of the middle chapters started to lag a little, but it did come back in the end.

The only part I didn't like was


The ending for Priza left me dissapointed. He gets killed off without getting to even attack in the end fight.
While I don't care for long drawn out side-kick battles either, it made it seem link he was an innocent bystander
that got killed quickly. So why would the town honor him so greatly, if he didn't appear to do anything at all?
I loved having a Shoanti character. It added to the Varisian background greatly. There were chapters Robin
really tried to bring this out, but they just didn't link together well enough to make it as great as it was trying to be.



I was a devoted reader of game fiction back in the day, but I haven't read any since ... oh, since about 3.0. This was my first serious foray into Pathfinder fiction, and if it's indicative of the genre, I don't know if I'll bother with more. I should note that I read it primarily because the Rise of the Runelords campaign books recommended it for background on Magnimar, and in that respect it's not terrible.

As a novel, though, it wasn't ... great. Or "good," really. Mediocre might be the best I could say about it. Chekov's gun (well, Chekov's NPC) was a constant reality, and the shocking surprise revelation was obvious, quite literally, the very first time it was even mentioned in passing, which was about 200 pages before the actual reveal. (Actually, at the time, I was hoping it wasn't obvious, because the obvious was just so cliché, but by the time the reveal rolled around it had become pretty clear that the cliche was the best I could expect.)

The narrative structure was hamfisted, to say the least, and if the author has ever so much as heard the adage "show, don't tell," it was not obvious from this work.

If you are looking for background on Magnimar, and you don't mind reading 400 pages of schlock to get a few useful points, I would advise getting this book from a library or a friend. That minor use is the only reason I am giving it two stars instead of just one.

I would not, under any circumstances, advise paying money for this.

Good story about atutomatons



"Blood of the City" is a tense, action filled adventure involving intrigue, friendhip, death and tragedy. It is actualy very good as a thriller, which is what I'd expect out of a Pathfinder Novel, the fights are described expertly (nearly as good as in Death's Heratic), the story is unpredictable in a good way, and in it I probably found the best, most plausible translation of game mechanics into a story from any of the Pathfinder Tales line (admittadly i didn't get around to reading many of them yet).

To sum up, "Blood of the City" is actualy a very enjoyable story and I read the last 1/3 of it in one tension filled sitting. It's oh so regretable that it's a story about atuomatons, not people.

The book has not emotional hook whatsoever. None of the characters seems to react as a human would, to anything. The main character is as emotionaly dead as the white stone from which Magnimar is built. While she experiences major changes and revelations in the book, we get no emotional response from her - her inner world, the way she experiences things and feels them, is hidden from the reader. The book feels more like a dry recounting of events than an actual story. Kind of like how a history teacher sounds when lecturing about world war 2 - it's supposed to be a grand story about the largest war the world has ever seen, but you don't experience it that way. Her companions are all not very well rounded characters and we only get to see very rare, short glimpses to their personalities.

To be fair, the book actualy address the issue - many characters call out the POV, Luma Derahxi, for being very guarded with her emotions. At one point a character even complains that Luma was "able to give an accurate description of a room and eveything that was in it... but of how the terrible things that happened in the room effected her, she gave no hint..." That's fine by me as a character trait, but why can't the reader learn about the inner world of the character?

Maybe Author Robin D Laws knows exactly what he is doing and it's all a descision he's made to help portray the character - if so, it's an impressive echievment, and from what little he's shown of character development I actual think he can do it very well, except that he maybe finds it not very interesting. The end result, unfourtanatley, is that my enjoyment of the book was decreased dramaticaly, which is a real shame because the book had such great potential.

Will I recommend this book? No, I have to say I wouldn't. But I certainly would try to read another of Laws' books and see if I can find a liking to it, because the potential for greatness is certainly there. Unless you are activley looking for a story set in Magnimar or anything, I'd skip "blood of the city", and give some of the other books in this line a try.

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Dark Archive

Jhaeman wrote:
Chapter 8 is titled "The Hells". I don't think the location features prominently elsewhere in the book, if memory serves.

I should specify, does this feature the first 6 levels or the last 3?

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I don't remember anything along the lines of a discussion of different levels. I don't think it was extremely detailed about what the Hells is like, if you're looking for flavour for using the location in a game.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Belabras wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Sooo, does this book feature Hells a lot? .-.
Nope. To date none of the books have dealt much with the Hells. Redemption Engine is the only one I can think of that does.

There's a prison in Magnimar called The Hells, is what they're talking about :3

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

The few pages about the hells is nothing deep or unique. Could have been a prison in any city of golarion, really.

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