Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Artifacts & Legends (PFRPG)

***** (based on 4 ratings)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Artifacts & Legends (PFRPG)
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Forged by legends and bearing the might of immortal beings, artifacts possess world-shattering abilities far beyond the powers of even the most devastating mortal magic. But artifacts are born, not merely crafted. Behind every incredible artifact lies an equally remarkable tale, the sort of history that time and wonder transform into legend.

Incredible weapons like the Axe of the Dwarvish Lords and the Seven Swords of Sin grant wielders the tools to raise or devastate nations, magical wonders like the Codex of the Infinite Planes and the Book of the Damned unlock secrets no mortal was meant to control, and unbelievable treasures like the Orbs of Dragonkind and the time-shattering Staff of Ages grant bearers mastery over the laws of reality. Power to rival the gods and the truths behind the Pathfinder campaign setting’s deepest secrets lie within—but are only for the bold.

Artifacts and Legends reveals dozens of the Pathfinder campaign setting’s most infamous and remarkable magic treasures, weapons, armor, and devices.

    Inside this book you will find:
  • New, revised, and expanded rules for more than 60 major and minor artifacts, from the focuses of fan-favorite adventures and Adventure Paths to legends from the annals of roleplaying game history.
  • Ramifications of employing every major artifact, presenting in-game considerations, advice, and adventure hooks.
  • New options to help players research artifacts and unlock their secrets.
  • Metagame artifacts, giving GMs campaign-altering tools to tackle common game table concerns such as forgotten familiars and rebuilding characters.

Artifacts and Legends is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can be used in any fantasy game setting.

By F. Wesley Schneider

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-458-0

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Campaign Setting Subscription.

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***** (based on 4 ratings)

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Not what I was looking for but awesome anyway

*****

Very Golarion specific. Full of crunch on artifacts mentioned in Golarion. A must have for GMs who like using treasure and artifacts.


Beautiful book full of crunch!

*****

Stratagemini summed it up best. All I can add is that Artifacts & Legends is a beautiful book that provides awesome illustrations for the listed items.


Great, flavorful resource

****( )

Read my full review on my blog.

Artifacts & Legends is not the kind of book all GMs will have a use for. After all, some GMs prefer low-powered campaigns and do not wish to deal with the implications of having artifacts in the hands of player characters. However, those who do want to include artifacts in their games or simply wish to include stories of artifacts will find a lot of use for it. It will provide them with the tools to create epic storylines that their players will talk about for many years to come.


Crunchy and flavorful, a recommended part of any GM's literary diet.

*****

First off, if you're not a GM, DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK. The book is GM only, and contains spoilers for Kingmaker, Curse of the Crimson Throne, Seven Swords of Sin, Rise of the Runelords, Serpent's Skull, and several other modules and APs. In some cases (such as Serpent's Skull) these can spoil the entire ending of the AP completely. If you aren't a GM stop reading this review now. This review is for GMs and spoilers will be unmarked.

That aside, this book is brilliant. Several old artifacts along with many new ones. Each of the Major artifacts comes with it's own attendant legend about how it fits into Golarion. Several Artifacts (such as the orbs of dragonkind) have entirely new options or different statistics than displayed in the core or in other sources (one example in the book is an Orb of the Jabberwock, among others). Each artifact is beautifully illustrated as well.

Each artifact is handled beautifully. The Seven Swords of Sin are each statted out with their respective powers. Baba Yaga's Hut is there complete with Maps and explanations and charts of it's space warping powers.

New artifacts that don't behave like other artifacts hosted in this book as well. Artifacts such as the Phylactery of the Failed which is more like a combination of a trap and disease similar to the Death's head Coffer from the Curse of the Crimson Throne writ large, the Song of Extinction, a music box that allows a Bard to learn the actual artifact, a bardic performance, The Staff of Ages, which acts as a Time Machine, and the Apollyon Ring which turns your consciousness into a memetic disease.

There are also Metagame artifacts to handle a number of out of game phenomenon in game. Specifically: quantum players, quantum companions, out of character tactical planning, and rebuilding characters.

The book enables a whole world of tools for GMs interested in running their own adventures in Golarion, or even in homebrew settings. If you're a GM, there is no reason not to buy this book.

The list of artifacts is as follows:

Major Artifacts:

Spoiler:
Apollyon Ring
Axe of the Dwarvish Lords
Blackaxe
Bloodstones of Arazni
Book of the Damned
Bottle of the Bound
Briar
Codex of the Infinite Planes
Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga
Horns of Naraga
Invidian Eye
Lens of Galundari
Moaning Diamond
Orbs of Dragonkind
Relics of Kazavon
Ring of Nine Facets
Saint Cuthbert’s Mace
Scepter of Ages
Scroll of Kakishon
Shadowstaff
Shield of Aroden
Skull of Ydersius
Song of Extinction
Swords of Sin
Thorncrown of Iomedae
Vesper’s Rapier

Minor Artifacts:

Spoiler:
Bone House
Crown of the Simurgh
Decemvirate Helm
Deck of Harrowed Tales
Harrow Deck of Many Things
Hourglass of Shadows
Id Portrait
Maleficus Spike
Mantis Blade
Ovinrbaane
Phylactery of the Failed
Raven’s Head
Serithtial
Torc of Kostchtchie
Totem of Angazhan
Vernal Key
Visionary Lens
Warding Box

Metagame Artifacts:

Spoiler:
Figurine of the Concealed Companion
Hourglass of Transfiguration
Scar of Destiny
Sliver of the Amalgam Mind


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Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Announced! Cover image is a mock-up and will change.

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Are we finally going to get that direct deposit feature so I can just have my paycheck sent DIRECTLY to you guys and eliminate the middleman? :) Really excited about this one, and I'm sure it'll be filled with crunchy goodness!


Great companion to Ultimate Equipment ;)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Sweet a book for artifacts.

Contributor

Drool...


Will these ever be the goal of an AP?


Legacy Weapons that don't suck? Didn't think so.

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Shalafi2412 wrote:
Will these ever be the goal of an AP?

Well,

The Gluttonous Tome:
is Runelord Zutha's phylactery, and is currently in three pieces.

So I'd say there's a chance of at least one appearing!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

How many artifacts will there be in this book?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Can you possibly outdo Roger E. Moore's Dancing Hut?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Shalafi2412 wrote:
Will these ever be the goal of an AP?

These specific ones? Perhaps.

In the meantime, Shattered Star's all about recovering artifacts. And as such, it's no real coincidence that we're putting out a book about artifacts while we're publishing the AP where you're hunting down artifacts.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Can you possibly outdo Roger E. Moore's Dancing Hut?

I think we can. It won't be easy though.


-Nostalgic sigh- This reminds me of the old 1e DMG and the Book of Artifacts from 2e. Particularly the charts. -goes to hunt through boxes for old books-


1 person marked this as a favorite.

SEXY.

So sexy!

Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Can you possibly outdo Roger E. Moore's Dancing Hut?

God Bless Roger E. Moore!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm especially interested in the notes on the construction of the hut. What? A chicken-legged hut is so much nicer than a magnificent mansioln.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Will this focus on just 10-12 artifacts or will we get something close to 20 or more?


Dragon78 wrote:
Will this focus on just 10-12 artifacts or will we get something close to 20 or more?

It is a Campaign Setting book, so it will be 64 pages. Also, quoted from the text above "in this collection of dozens", I would say closer to 30 would be accurate, with probably 2 pages per item, a couple of introductory pages and a couple of pages of charts. And it may be well over 30, as I am sure they are counting the Seven Swords and the Orbs of Dragonkind as individual items and not a collection of each as one item.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

So this is kinda like Classic Treasures Revisited but with new things thrown into the pot too? Much more epic-y and powerful!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dhampir984 wrote:
So this is kinda like Classic Treasures Revisited but with new things thrown into the pot too? Much more epic-y and powerful!

no...

Classic Treasures focused on only 10 different items.

There's a lot more than 10 items in this book.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I will definitely not cancel my subscription over this one.


It's Pathfinder's Wondrous Relics (Judges Guild). Yay!!!!


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm somewhat nervous about this book.

Simply put, I'm not at all sure what it will deliver, because the perception of (major) artifacts has been vastly skewed across the various editions of D&D. There doesn't seem (to me) to be any sort of consensus regarding how powerful artifacts should be, how many powers they have and how to determine them, etc.

Does anyone remember how, in older editions, you rolled randomly for an artifacts lesser powers (most of which were spell effects)? That wouldn't fly with most Pathfinder gamers, I suspect; and yet I'm sure there are plenty of players of older editions who'll be disappointed if that's not there.

Similarly, some people probably think that all artifacts should be similar to how they were in 3.X, where they were all basically epic-level magic items, but harder to break. Sure the Axe of Dwarvish Lords does some other stuff, but it's big thing is just how many magic weapon qualities go along with it's high enhancement bonus. Give those players an artifact like the Coin of Jisan the Bountiful, and it'll almost instantly be forgotten.

Honestly, no one is really to blame for any of this - these changes are all a direct result of the changes that each edition made. Back when magic items were exceptionally difficult to craft, and the rules about how to do so were murky and complicated, something that could whip out five or six different spell effects was a big freakin' deal, no matter what they were - now take into account a much looser skill system, and suddenly things like granting the power to be a perfect craftsman was something to get excited over.

Artifacts for Pathfinder will, if they want to recapture the feeling of being more than just magic items with the dial turned up to 11, need to work harder. They'll need to go beyond what the game rules allow, rather than just extending them; and they'll need to do it without breaking the game in the process.

That's a tall order, one that I hope the Paizo people are up to.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber

James, will there be more detail on the Relics of Kazavon than previously found in other materials (that I'll refrain from naming to protect the innocent)?


Alzrius,

You do know there are already artifacts in the Core Book, including the Axe of the Dwarvish Lords. So you can look there and see how they are designed. This book will be taking the artifacts and giving them fluff for Golarion and maybe expanding on their powers.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

CaroRose wrote:
James, will there be more detail on the Relics of Kazavon than previously found in other materials (that I'll refrain from naming to protect the innocent)?

Probably not MORE detail. We'll see.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Enevhar Aldarion wrote:

Alzrius,

You do know there are already artifacts in the Core Book, including the Axe of the Dwarvish Lords. So you can look there and see how they are designed. This book will be taking the artifacts and giving them fluff for Golarion and maybe expanding on their powers.

Yes, but those are almost word-for-word what was in the 3.5 books. I'm hoping that now that Paizo is taking a more active stance on artifact design, they won't go with - what I found to be - the very prosaic write-ups that were used in the Core Rulebook.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Artifacts, more than any other magic item, benefit from having a world to draw lore from. Which is why you're seeing this book appear in the Campaign Setting line and not the Rulebook line. And why that word "Legends" appears in the title rather than just the word "Artifacts."


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Is it safe to asume the Orbs of Dragonkind would count as one artifact for purposes of space/information?

But on the other hand the 7 swords of sin will more then likely each get there own section. Interesting that they are artifact swords of sin when the Runelords are wizards.

What was the book called that an angel wrote about every outsider(or just about) and was punished for it? Book of the Damned?

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Big expectations on the Dancing Hut! :D

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Any recommendations on how to add/balance artifacts in a game in this book? That's always been the toughest thing for me.


Hubba hubba

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Looking forward to it, as all Campaign Setting Books.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

no... Classic Treasures focused on only 10 different items.

There's a lot more than 10 items in this book.

I said 'kinda'. :)

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

This and my (PDF sob!) Book of Artifacts will be good together.


My deepest regret is we won't get Hewards Wonderous Organ( the ladies always love that one..fnar fnar)or my all time Favourite..the Machine of Lum the Mad.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Always did like the Machine of Lum the Mad.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Any chance there will be more information on the Cinnamon Throne or will this be more Inner Sea specific?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
d@ncingNumfar wrote:
Any chance there will be more information on the Cinnamon Throne or will this be more Inner Sea specific?

It's very Inner Sea specific.

Liberty's Edge

DM Wellard wrote:
My deepest regret is we won't get Hewards Wonderous Organ( the ladies always love that one..fnar fnar)or my all time Favourite..the Machine of Lum the Mad.

Well one must take into consideration that some Artifacts from THAT era were Greyhawk specific. This will be Golarian specific.

As far as my opinion of this boook goes, I have two words... DADDY LIKES!!!

Contributor

Dragon78 wrote:
Is it safe to asume the Orbs of Dragonkind would count as one artifact for purposes of space/information?

Yes and no. I gave most artifacts a one-page treatment. One artifact, one page is the idea for most of these. However, some deserve more than that and get a full spread or even two spreads. The Orbs of Dragonkind are among those deserving of a broader treatment.

Dragon78 wrote:
What was the book called that an angel wrote about every outsider(or just about) and was punished for it? Book of the Damned?

That's the one. It's in here... multiple interesting ways.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Makes me wonder how that Angel got his information without getting captured or killed.

Dark Archive

Dragon78 wrote:
Makes me wonder how that Angel got his information without getting captured or killed.

A I recall, didn't that angel

Spoiler:
Tabris, go insane and get cast out of heaven for what he found?
I'm definitely curious to see the book that came out of THAT planar field trip.
Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber

Is this just already published artifacts like Blackaxe and Chellan, The Sword of Greed? Or will there be new Artifacts as well?

Additionally, will we finally get full stats for the Alara'hai (seven swords of sin/conviction) or are we still stuck with just Chellan and Asheia?


I'll get this just for the full story on the Book of the Damned!

And by any chance can we look forward to 'artifacts' that aren't mind-bendingly powerful, maybe even ones that can be used by player characters without being either a adventure career capstone event or simply breaking the campaign?


Along with the seven swords of sin, I'm very much hoping that the seven weapons of rule are included as well. Who wouldn't want Karzoug's flaming glaive or Alaznist's adamantine ranseur?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber
Eric Hinkle wrote:

I'll get this just for the full story on the Book of the Damned!

And by any chance can we look forward to 'artifacts' that aren't mind-bendingly powerful, maybe even ones that can be used by player characters without being either a adventure career capstone event or simply breaking the campaign?

Those really wouldn't be Artifacts. Try for high level magic items and Intelligent items. Artifacts are pretty much by definition something that changes entire campaigns and stuff that campaigns can be based around. You might want to check out Classic Treasures Revisited instead.

Ashram wrote:
Along with the seven swords of sin, I'm very much hoping that the seven weapons of rule are included as well. Who wouldn't want Karzoug's flaming glaive or Alaznist's adamantine ranseur?

I don't think those were originally statted as Artifacts. That said, they would be really fun to have a bit about.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

As long as the book has artifacts that serve good, chaos, and law and not just evil I will be happy.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
As long as the book has artifacts that serve good, chaos, and law and not just evil I will be happy.

Yes, but what sort of artifact could drive a man to be...neutral?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Alzrius wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
As long as the book has artifacts that serve good, chaos, and law and not just evil I will be happy.
Yes, but what sort of artifact could drive a man to be...neutral?

Not sure, but it is probably Swiss. ;)

Shadow Lodge

It's a handle that you can unfold ANY weapon from.

And any piece of equipment, too.

And a toothpick.

And some tweezers.

And...

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