Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Osirion, Legacy of Pharaohs (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Osirion, Legacy of Pharaohs (PFRPG)
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Secrets of the Sands

In the heart of the Inner Sea region stretches one of the oldest human empires still standing today: the mighty and mysterious land of pharaohs and pyramids known as Osirion. Hosting as many accursed tombs and treasure-filled ruins beneath its shifting sands as above, Osirion offers no shortage of adventure for characters of all sorts. From the cosmopolitan capital city of Sothis, seat of the Ruby Prince, to the desolate wastelands of the Osirian Desert, discover the might and majesty that lifted humanity out of the Age of Darkness and could potentially usher in a new golden age if unearthed from the past.

Learn about every corner of Osirion, the backdrop of the exciting Mummy's Mask Adventure Path, with this comprehensive sourcebook on the nation, its history, and its inhabitants. Within these pages you’ll find:

  • An overview of Osirion's 8,000-year history, the rise and fall of its countless pharaonic dynasties, and a portrait of its current political and social landscape.
  • Detailed gazetteers of the nation's distinctive regions, including the Brazen Frontier, the Footprints of Rovagug, and the Scorpion Coast.
  • A comprehensive exploration of Sothis, Osirion's capital, the vast metropolis that makes up the heart of the nation—that can serve as a useful base of operations for explorers or a safe haven for desert-weary travelers.
  • A dozen new monsters and sample NPCs from the region, including the vicious hetkoshu, the deceptive living mirage, the elite Risen Guard, and the mythic sphinx colossus.

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

Written by Alex Greenshields, Amanda Hamon, Jonathan H. Keith, Ron Lundeen, and David N. Ross.
Cover Art by Michal Ivan.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-595-2

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

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Filled with Adventure Sites for Your PCs

5/5

Osirion is Pathfinder's stylized version of Egypt, a nation of endless deserts, market bazaars, treasure (and trap)-filled tombs, and half-hidden pyramids built by generations of now-mummified pharaohs. It's a classic locale for adventuring, and a good example of how the official campaign setting of Golarion was intentionally designed to have something for everyone. Osirion, Legacy of Pharaohs is a 64-page source book in the Campaign Setting line. Overall, I think it's an impressive effort that does a great job providing the back-drop for endless adventures in the Indiana Jones vein.

Have to love the cover, with the Iconic Oracle (Alahazra) battling the guardian of some ancient tomb. The same image is in the inside back-cover, while the inside front cover is a map of Osirion. Sometimes when we get maps of fantasy nations, only a few cities and the basic geography is presented--but that's not the case here, as there are *dozens* of pyramids, ruins, monuments, and other adventure sites noted. The only way it could be improved is if there were also a player-friendly (spoiler-free) version of the same map.

The book starts with a six-page introduction, and the guiding theme of Osirion is clear: the place has a history! A long time-line of notable events takes up half the section. Fortunately, the history of Osirion is really interesting and adds enough detail to allow for a more "authentic" experience for PCs with an interest in archaeology and history--different sites to explore are tied to different eras or pharaonic dynasties, and this can give clues to what might be found there.

The rest of the first 2/3 of the book consists of six-page summaries of six different areas of Osirion. Each area is covered with an overview, a gazetteer of notable locations found within it, and a stat-block and half-page map of a major settlement located there. I'll spare a few lines for each, but first I'll note that the artwork interspersed throughout is excellent and evocative: just compare it to what was in the early Campaign Setting books and see how far Paizo has come. In addition, the writers integrated a wealth of material from previous Paizo products, including such things as adventure paths, the Lost Kingdoms book, and even Pathfinder Society scenarios. I really appreciate the continuity and attention to detail. Anyway, the six regions covered are:

* The Brazen Frontier: Pretty much your generic ruin-filled desert full of somewhat-bland gnolls and plenty of places to explore. I liked the sidebar on the Pahmet Dwarves (one doesn't think about dwarves in the desert!). The map and stat block is for the small city of Ipeq, a hub of commerce built on the banks of a river.

* The Footprints of Rovagug: Forbidding volcanic badlands. There's a lot of good adventuring to be had here, including Aspis Corporation-controlled mines and a red dragon. The map and stat block are for Tar Kuata, a monastery of Irori.

* The Osirion Desert: Vast and desolate, a classic desert in the popular sense. Eto, a small city, is featured and depicted as the perfect staging area for explorers and treasure-hunters.

* The Scorpion Coast: Somewhat generic, with ruins and danger everywhere. One of the things that sets it apart, however, is that clans of various elementals vie for control over the area. The featured city, El-Shelad, is really interesting with lots for a GM to work with in terms of political undercurrents and intrigue.

* Sothis: The capital of Osirion. It's hard to cover a metropolis well in just six-pages (other cities, like Magnimar, have had entire sourcebooks devoted to them), but I thought the writers did a great job packing in a lot detail. My favorite part was learning about the Risen Guard, an elite group of soldiers who have proven their loyalty by allowing themselves to be put to death and then raised.

* The Sphinx Basin: Like the Nile in Egypt, Osirion features a major river called the Sphinx, around which most commerce and civilization has concentrated. This is where you want to be to tell stories of riverboat murders, crocodile attacks, and so forth. The section has a really good discussion of the contested balance of power between the cities in the area. The port city of Totra is featured, but I loved the paragraphs on the cursed city of Djefet and something called the "Prison Barge of Ap-Tula" (a 3,000 year-old floating fortress built to contain the worst dangers in Osirion).

The next section is "Plots and Perils" (8 pages). The section starts with rules for two natural hazards found in the deserts of Osirion: khamsin storms (terrible sand storms) and mirages. I always like things like this that challenge PCs in a non-combat way and help them to see the value in skills like Survival or feats like Endurance. One of only two PC options in the book is presented here, in the form of a spell called "Reveal Mirage". The rest of the section consists of several paragraphs each on the following "adventure sites": Fort Fang (gnoll slavers base), Gralgor-Ot (ruins filled with undead, but more interesting than I've made it sound), Lamashtu's Flower (secret Lamashtan temple), the Lost Mines of Siwat (very inventive underground "lost village" where the humans have evolved for generations not realizing there's a world above them), Mephit Spring (demons and fire elementals abound), Oszoxon Spire (home to a missing tribe of scorpionfolk), the Pyramid of An-Hepsu Xi (classic lich pharaoh tomb), the Pyramid of Doom (ghost-inhabited tomb that needs a better name), and the Tomb of Statues (home to a mummified medusa!). The sites are given good, enticing descriptions, but do note that there would still be a lot of work necessary by a GM to build encounters and stat blocks if PCs actually want to adventure there. This section is a campaign tool-box, not a pre-written adventure.

Last up is a healthy, 12-page bestiary. Random encounter tables are provided for each region of Osirion, and they've avoided the common mistake of setting a ridiculous range of CRs. In fact, looking at the tables provides a natural blueprint for when a GM should send PCs to different areas--the "Footprints of Rovagug", for example, range from CR 4 to CR 7, while the Osirion Desert ranges from CR 8 to CR 11. As for new creatures, the section starts with several new animals: hetkoshu crocodiles, jackals, ostriches (including rules for ostrich animal companions), and asp snakes. Animals aren't usually exciting additions, but they help make for a well-rounded world. New monsters include Sphinx Colossi (the first creature I've seen with mythic levels in a regular product), Living Mirages (a great concept for an ooze!), Pharaonic Guardians, and Uraeuses (the creepiest LG beast you'll ever see!). What I actually find even more valuable are "generic" NPC stat blocks written for "Desert Hermit", "Osirionologist", "Risen Guard" (which references a Pathfinder Tales story I remember reading, Christopher Carey's Dune Runner), and "River Cleric" (a worshipper of Wadjet)--I'm far more likely to need NPC stat blocks on the fly than I am new monsters, and they take a while to custom-build.

The bottom line with a Campaign Setting book is how useful it is in gameplay. I haven't run any adventures set in Osirion, but if I did, this book would be the first place I'd turn. That makes it a success as far as I'm concerned.


4/5


Very good

4/5

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

This is a very informative book. It both updates and expands on the information in Osirion, Land of Pharaohs, going into considerably more detail than the earlier book (which, to be fair, is a much shorter book, so just doesn’t have the space that this one has). One of the most important qualities on which I judge a setting book is how many ideas it starts creating in my head. Legacy has simply flooded my head with ideas, enough to run three or four different campaigns set there, and so passes this criterion with flying colours. It’s densely packed with information on cities, adventure sites, denizens, and more.


No Local Gods or Pantheon

2/5

Typically in Campaign Settings one expects an overview of the local gods so that a DM knows the abilities of their clergy in terms of game mechanics and background. In addition, a player may want to play a local priest where a campaign is set in that area.

Apparently, to understand gods of Ancient Osirion in terms of game play and background you need to buy Pathfinder Adventure Path #80: Empty Graves. This reference is made in the Bestiary Section of the Campaign Setting.

First, this is really a short change for a Campaign Setting. For example, the Dragon Empires Campaign Setting provides for a host of local deities as well as a discussion on how more well-known deities are viewed in the locality. Legacy of the Pharaohs has none of that. The purpose of a Campaign Setting is to give a DM the tools to run a campaign. Legacy of the Pharaohs is missing an important aspect for a campaign that many expect to feature ancient and esoteric mystery religions.

Second, there is also a practical issue here. Assuming one doesn't mind paying extra money on Adventure Path #80: Empty Graves, a la Wizards of the Coast, that Adventure doesn't come out for a few months. The consequence of this is that I'm probably not moving forward with this campaign (so no Mummy's Adventure Path) and move forward with another campaign idea without spending more money.


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Wait, wasn't there already one book on Osirion before?


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

That was in the Player Companion line, this is a Campaign Setting book, so twice as much room to expand on what we already know.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Plus, that was before they really got the differences ironed out between the Companion and the Campaign Setting/Chronicles lines. For example, the original Osirion Companion book has a full stat block for the ruler of Osirion - which is something more for a GM than a player.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm curious if Lamashtu Flower will survive with its' description intact, or did the Amurican Puritans raise enough of a ruckus to get those scandalous references to the thing Europeans call "sex" excised?


I don't know who these "Amurican" Puritans are, but it sounds like they might have some interesting alternate words for sex.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kajehase wrote:

War of the Sands would make a decent AP-title, wouldn't it?

(And a neat wink to the title of the "first modern" spy novel.)

The original title would fit here nicely, too.


Well at least we know for sure that we will be getting an Osirion AP.


I think this should be good for a couple of reasons, a) to get us a city map of Sothis which the companion doesn't have. b)find out who the actual Venture Captain of Sothis is, Jaldan Krenshar as in J1 or that Balentiir guy in Echoes of the Everwar. I do think there is another malingering out there as well.

And maybe update the mummy template...


Happy happy here!!! Al though the whispers about aliens in this mummy AP gives me the creeps I'm overal very happy to see a mummy/desert based AP next.

I hope the bestiaries are full of Tsemauses (desert sharks with sharp dorsal fins) and Karkadanns (brown evil desert unicorns) and all kinds of creepy sand vermin and non-humanoid undead and mummies.

Really can't wait for this one! Al tho the demon Ap is very very nice as well, so 2 FULL Ap's that are fully awesome! Thank you Paizo!


I'm wondering if we can convince James Jacobs to allow the Ruby Prince to be statted up as a Summoner. The whole "invisible fire elemental companion" thing just sort of screams it, and his 3.5 multiclass mashup could use simplification in any case.


To add to what Sincubus said about Bestiaries, I hope we see some kind of Sobek-esque Gator-men.


Oracle seems like a good match for the Ruby Prince, maybe a new Mystery, or even PrC, or both?
He seems attuned with Abadar but not necessarily solely tied to him or his church as a devotee...


i am excited have been running a osirion game and the old book really doesn't cover as much as i would like


Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
I'm wondering if we can convince James Jacobs to allow the Ruby Prince to be statted up as a Summoner. The whole "invisible fire elemental companion" thing just sort of screams it, and his 3.5 multiclass mashup could use simplification in any case.

Doubtful. His 3.5 multiclass mashup has already been simplified when they listed him in Inner Sea Magic as a Level 15 Cleric of Abadar. Even if that wasn't the case it would be a tough sell - it's one thing to retcon 3.5 stats from one class to another in the same area (arcane to arcane, martial to martial, etc.) but to retcon the Ruby Prince from a divine class to an arcane class would probably be too much of a stretch.


Ah, I missed that. Oh well.

(...there really should be a Divine Summoner archetype, though...)


I agree on the Divine Summoner bit. Perhaps someday. Though it might work better as some sort of divine Prestige Class similar to how the Demoniac or Diabolist (only even more summoning-focused) work since divine casters are (usually) much more closely-tied with alignment and outsider races.

On a more on-topic note: I'm counting the days till this book releases, I'm very excited to finally see Osirion get the Campaign Setting treatment. Frankly, I'm counting the days for pretty much all the releases in the Campaign Setting line lately. Ever since Dungeons of Golarion, this line has been on fire with its subject matter - absolutely amazing book after amazing book. I haven't been this excited about a campaign world release schedule since I was a teenager during the days of 2nd edition Forgotten Realms (I guess depending on preferences, some may not take that as a compliment, but I definitely intend it as one).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Can anybody in the know comment on how much overlap there is between the earlier Osirion book and this one? (Land of... vs Legacy of...)

Is the new one basically an expanded treatment of the old one, or do they cover different ground? Is there a point to buying both, or will you get most of the old one's content included in the new one?

Paizo Employee Developer

The original "Osirion, Land of Pharaohs" was a 32-page book in the Player Companion line. The new "Osirion, Legacy of Pharaohs" will be a 64-page book in the Campaign Setting line. Most of the content from the original book will be included in the new book, and much of it will be expanded. However, it is likely that not everything will make it into the new book. At the same time, the new book will also include new material, such as a small bestiary of Osirion-themed monsters.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

That answers my question, thank you. Looking forward to Legacy!! It'll be the first Campaign Setting book I buy, actually. (I'm new.) Yay!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

YES!
This + People of the Sands = Great December!

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
EgyptFanatic wrote:

YES!

This + People of the Sands = Great December!

I'm really going to enjoy this Christmas is all I'm saying. :)

Scarab Sages

Very much looking forward to this. Most of my campaign takes place there. Drink plenty of water.

Silver Crusade

Errr, I really hope they check the spelling on the cover before the final release.

Paizo Employee Developer

Atharr wrote:
Errr, I really hope they check the spelling on the cover before the final release.

It's a mockup cover anyways. The final won't be around for a while.

The Exchange

If I'm not mistaken, the mockup cover is part of the cover of AP 19: Howl of the Carrion King.

I hope that the new content for the Campaign Setting book really expands on the older Companion book for Osirion, and isn't more of a cut-and-paste job with new stuff added on at the end. The inclusion of a bestiary gives me hope that more of the stuff will be new, and that the older stuff will be expanded on.

Silver Crusade

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Atharr wrote:
Errr, I really hope they check the spelling on the cover before the final release.

Nah, they'll have that fixed for sure.

Seeing something like that in the final would be a typo the likes of which the Inner Sea Reigon has never seen. ;)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mikaze wrote:
Atharr wrote:
Errr, I really hope they check the spelling on the cover before the final release.

Nah, they'll have that fixed for sure.

Seeing something like that in the final would be a typo the likes of which the Inner Sea Reigon has never seen. ;)

Don't cha mean iner sea :3


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Will this go into the Serpent Cults (Wadjet/Apep) and other 'lesser' deities and traditions of Osirion?
Osirioni Druids? More of ancient history? The Sphinxes? The undead realm in the Darklands below?

The Exchange

I'm a little confused. Does this repeat a lot of the infomration in the 3.5 version of the book? Why was it previously under the Player's Companion line and now under the Campaign one/

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TheLoneCleric wrote:
I'm a little confused. Does this repeat a lot of the infomration in the 3.5 version of the book? Why was it previously under the Player's Companion line and now under the Campaign one/

Because back in the day there was the idea to print country player companions for each of the initial PFS factions. I doubt it was a good idea (the books ended up quite torn between being a player guide and a GM gazetteer anyway), so I'm glad this one is getting a proper 64-page treatment with all the GM-side nitty gritty.

The Exchange

Gorbacz wrote:
TheLoneCleric wrote:
I'm a little confused. Does this repeat a lot of the infomration in the 3.5 version of the book? Why was it previously under the Player's Companion line and now under the Campaign one/

Because back in the day there was the idea to print country player companions for each of the initial PFS factions. I doubt it was a good idea (the books ended up quite torn between being a player guide and a GM gazetteer anyway), so I'm glad this one is getting a proper 64-page treatment with all the GM-side nitty gritty.

Ah. I came in Around APG. Didn't follow the change very well. So the Chileax, Aroden, and Qirdaria books are still 1/2 players guide meets country guide?


gonna leave this here for egyptian themed class here


...does that count as spamming? >.<#


Nope, talent ;)

Scarab Sages

I can't WAIT to see this. Especially since the cover art has been released! It looks FANTASTIC!!
...
Since it's been said that much of the material from "Land of the Pharaohs" will be updated, I'm gonna start a ritual chant for the next couple of months:
"Come on, Living Monolith update! Come on, Living Monolith update!"
I can't WAIT to see this and People of the Sands!

Webstore Gninja Minion

Product image and description updated.

Paizo Employee Developer

Qa'pelos wrote:

I can't WAIT to see this. Especially since the cover art has been released! It looks FANTASTIC!!

...
Since it's been said that much of the material from "Land of the Pharaohs" will be updated, I'm gonna start a ritual chant for the next couple of months:
"Come on, Living Monolith update! Come on, Living Monolith update!"
I can't WAIT to see this and People of the Sands!

Seeing as how the Living Monolith is a prestige class, it might be that the People of the Sands player companion will have what you're looking for... ;)

Scarab Sages

Rob ... you're absolutely right! I didn't realize until just a bit ago that there was the other book!!
I've been away for a few months, and heard about the new art that Liz just posted just a while ago (via the FB Group "Pathfinder Art".
It looks like *this* Egyptophile is gonna have a good few months with the Setting book, Player's Companion, and the AP!! By Ra, this is gonna be a GOOD Christmas!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Liz Courts wrote:
Product image and description updated.

I really, really, really hope that "Pharoahs" gets changed to "Pharaohs" on that cover ...

Paizo Employee Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

After a collective editorial department heart-attack, we have confirmed that the files sent to the printer say "Pharaohs". The image posted for this product seems to have been made prior to the final changes being entered, and will be replaced to reflect the correct spelling as it will appear on the printed book.

Sorry for any confusion!

Webstore Gninja Minion

Bellona wrote:
Liz Courts wrote:
Product image and description updated.
I really, really, really hope that "Pharoahs" gets changed to "Pharaohs" on that cover ...

It did—I just hadn't gotten the updated cover yet, which is incoming. :)

Qa'pelos wrote:
I've been away for a few months, and heard about the new art that Liz just posted just a while ago (via the FB Group "Pathfinder Art".

I don't post those images, those are from Sarah Robinson, our senior art director. :D


Alahazra gets to be badass on that cover. Nice.


Nice cover and some Egyptian themed monsters to boot.

Silver Crusade

Beautiful cover. I've been waiting for this book for a long time. :)

really wants that ankh-punching blade


I like that Graven Guardian; it looks much more statue-like than the one in the Bestiary 3.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Michal Ivan delivers the Good Stuff once more.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:

After a collective editorial department heart-attack, we have confirmed that the files sent to the printer say "Pharaohs". The image posted for this product seems to have been made prior to the final changes being entered, and will be replaced to reflect the correct spelling as it will appear on the printed book.

Sorry for any confusion!

Glad to hear that you and Liz are on top of things!

... I didn't intend to cause anyone any acute cardiac trauma. :)

And +1 with respect to praising the fantastic cover art! I really am looking forward to both this one and People of the Sands.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Rob McCreary wrote:
Qa'pelos wrote:

I can't WAIT to see this. Especially since the cover art has been released! It looks FANTASTIC!!

...
Since it's been said that much of the material from "Land of the Pharaohs" will be updated, I'm gonna start a ritual chant for the next couple of months:
"Come on, Living Monolith update! Come on, Living Monolith update!"
I can't WAIT to see this and People of the Sands!
Seeing as how the Living Monolith is a prestige class, it might be that the People of the Sands player companion will have what you're looking for... ;)

But will the book have a monster/prestige class that can absorb cosmic rays and shoot plasma from his chest?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:

After a collective editorial department heart-attack, we have confirmed that the files sent to the printer say "Pharaohs". The image posted for this product seems to have been made prior to the final changes being entered, and will be replaced to reflect the correct spelling as it will appear on the printed book.

Sorry for any confusion!

Wow, glad that got cleared up!

Scarab Sages

Must spread the word for my mistress!

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