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 Campaign Setting Subscription.

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Filled with Adventure Sites for Your PCs

*****

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.


****( )


Very good

****( )

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

**( )( )( )

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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Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Announced! Image is a mockup which will change prior to publication.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Wow! Again a mockup which would serve well as final cover!

Ruyan.

Silver Crusade

:D

YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES

This is a book I've been waiting for since the very first Player Companion book. :)

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I'm hoping that the words 'paizo staff' will be quickly replaced by the words 'Michael Kortes'.


I wonder if this is an indication that the adventure path starting February 2014 will be based in Osirion.

If so, SWEET!

If not, then I have mixed feelings. SWEET! that we're getting an Osirion book in the Campaign Setting line. BUMMER! that it isn't a Mendev book instead, given such a book's relevance to the Wrath of the Righteous adventure path (and my own love for the Crusader Nation).

But yeah, looking very cool. :)

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I can feel a Orision AP on the way!


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

Considering the Player Companion for December is 'People of the Sands' my suspicion is that the Osiron AP is going to be starting in 2014.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sadpandface here.

Unless that means that the Numeria+Distant Worlds AP is going to be the GenCon 2014 one, thusly eclipsing the release of D&D 5E and rendering it a paltry event of questionable significance :)


Happy face here. AP or even better, 64 page module please

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:

Sadpandface here.

Unless that means that the Numeria+Distant Worlds AP is going to be the GenCon 2014 one, thusly eclipsing the release of D&D 5E and rendering it a paltry event of questionable significance :)

Give Paizo kudos for going for a sole author AP+companion+chronicle... Michael Kortes will be a busy bee.

Plus, the two Osirian modules are wickedawesome.

Spoiler:
So, I'm a Kortes fan. But I'm not completely serious.

Spoiler:
Exploding Runes!


Quote:
Learn about every corner of Osirion, including dangers of the desert, mysteries of the richest ruins, deadly new creatures, and

More Cthulhu and/or Geiger. Can't have Osirion or Golarion without that.


Glad to see this. Now if only there were one forthcoming for Cheliax or Numeria. . . .

Scarab Sages

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

I have wanted this book since the pyramid modules came out years ago.


I wonder if it will involve the undead drow infested underground pyramids mentioned in Into the Darklands.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Cool, we finally get some Osirion love.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

+1 on the "Finally!" :)

... Although my wallet is starting to look sadder and sadder with each new product announcement.

Contributor

Be pretty cool if this predicted Orision AP was also the "Lovecraft AP." Carrion Crown was only an appetizer to the horrors to come!

*evil cackling*

Contributor

Very cool to see! Lots more stuff on Osirion to cover and expand upon. :D


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:

Sadpandface here.

Unless that means that the Numeria+Distant Worlds AP is going to be the GenCon 2014 one, thusly eclipsing the release of D&D 5E and rendering it a paltry event of questionable significance :)

Orrr ... considering Osirion also has ties to space, is it possible that the first two adventures in the next AP will be set there, with later ones moving to Numeria and then the stars, along the lines of Jade Regent?

Dark Archive

Woo! I'm actually pleased that this one took so long, because I'd rather it be left on the back burner until someone is on fire to write it, than it be just written to fill a niche.

Silver Crusade

^^^^ After thinking on it, word.

Also: Oh please please please let there be more information on the Pharaoh(s) of Tomorrow and the Song Pharaoh.

Also also, some cultural details on something like the Osirion version of ma'at? Local way of life and whatnot.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Dragon78 wrote:
Cool, we finally get some Osirion love.

Wait, finally? Osirion was one of the FIRST countries to get its own companion!

Then again, that WAS a pretty long time ago. I think that was the first Pathfinder book I wrote on after the Superstar contest and the Campaign Setting.


Also, I don't know how many things in that book are getting retconned. One of the reasons why I don't buy the 3.5 books are because I'm afraid that the information is going to get changed later down the road.

Contributor

Jason Nelson wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Cool, we finally get some Osirion love.

Wait, finally? Osirion was one of the FIRST countries to get its own companion!

Then again, that WAS a pretty long time ago. I think that was the first Pathfinder book I wrote on after the Superstar contest and the Campaign Setting.

Likewise, it was only the second thing I'd written on for Paizo, right after the campaign setting. Been a while hasn't it! :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hm. Coming on the heels of the Mythic book, perhaps an Osirion AP will see the resurrection of Ulunat? *evil grin*

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cthulhudrew wrote:
Hm. Coming on the heels of the Mythic book, perhaps an Osirion AP will see the resurrection of Ulunat? *evil grin*

Hmmm...Mythic rules allow for actual Pharaoh demi-gods. We've been told that some of the pharaohs of the past fit that bill. Maybe the Ruby Prince is due for an apotheosis...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ah, Ruby Prince, I knew there was something else I was forgetting about Osirion. Have to grab my Inner Sea World Guide and brush up on my northern Garundi trivia, try to formulate a theory before news might come out from Paizocon and spoil my speculating fun. :p

Silver Crusade

Alternately he could get succeeded by his kids. They are always getting up to some sort of adventure or another.

Spoiler:
And he has been under the weather lately...


Pathfinder Modules, Tales Subscriber

The Player Companion book also mentioned the Ruby Prince getting involved in some feud between elemental clans - that's something Paizo haven't done an AP or even module on before, that I can recall.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I was just going over the World Guide and was about to post something like that Kajehase; perhaps we'll finally learn whatever it is that the Ruby Prince has been "swelling Osirion's military" for. As you say, it is possibly something involving the elemental clans in the deserts- and, as Osirion once held sway over Thuvia and Rahadoum, it might thus involve them, as well?


Pathfinder Modules, Tales Subscriber

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.)

Silver Crusade

Oh yeah, forgot the Ruby Prince's elemental advisor/maybe-consort. Hmmm...

Silver Crusade

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.)

Going two for two on AP names, eh? ;)


Pathfinder Modules, Tales Subscriber
Mikaze wrote:
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.)

Going two for two on AP names, eh? ;)

If I come up with enough good names, maybe they'll let me have a sneak peak on the unannounced stuff so I can help out. ;)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

if this is a hint towards a Osirion AP, anyone else hoping for the Dominion of the Black to be the big bad?

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Even if this means an Osirion AP, I'm sure I'm gonna love this book. Paizo has a good streak for things concerning Osirion - Kortes adventures and Todd Stewart's previous book were all stellar.

Also, I love the fact that we're revisiting the "Big 5" nations with proper 64p. books! Having Osirion, Qadira, Cheliax, Andoran and Taldor left with 32p. companions wasn't really fair :P

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Osirion's got some rich options for big bads. Legacy of Fire already dealt with some Rovagug-ish Spawn-badness, so I'm not sure they'd want to retread that with something to do with Ulunut, but there's still plenty of room for a visit to that pyramid full of Rovagug worshippers out in the desert.

Scene 1 - Pretty archaeologist, "Well surely no harm ever came from reading a book..."

Silver Crusade

Idle thought concerning a possible Spawn of Rovagug attack and the presence of Mythic Rules:

A whole new Spawn attacking Sothis? What do they plan to do?

Animate and weaponize the dead beetle in which they built their city.

why yes I am looking forward to Pacific Rim :D

MMCJawa wrote:
if this is a hint towards a Osirion AP, anyone else hoping for the Dominion of the Black to be the big bad?

I'm...torn on that one. But they're a strong contender in my heart.


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

Mikaze, your stream of thought i always find entertaining ;)
(so looking forward to Pacific Rim also)

I recall it being said that the next several AP's after WotR would not use Mythic rules.

Dark Archive

I know it's still speculation, but an Osirion AP? I haven't been this intrigued since Kingmaker was announced!

Still, as my choice of avatar would attest, I'm hardly objective on the subject. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

They just did a dungeon crawl AP with Shattered Star, and while an Osirion/Northern Garund AP would certainly lend itself to the same, I wonder what other spin they might put on it?

Silver Crusade

Set wrote:

I know it's still speculation, but an Osirion AP? I haven't been this intrigued since Kingmaker was announced!

Still, as my choice of avatar would attest, I'm hardly objective on the subject. :)

Wait a second...

Reign of Winter was announced at last year's PaizoCon.

PaizoCon is this weekend.

:D

Rathendar wrote:


I recall it being said that the next several AP's after WotR would not use Mythic rules.

True, and probably for the best. Still, whatever it may be, if it is, gonna be all over it like sand on the Sahara. :)


Cthulhudrew wrote:
They just did a dungeon crawl AP with Shattered Star, and while an Osirion/Northern Garund AP would certainly lend itself to the same, I wonder what other spin they might put on it?

They might even tie it in with the ancient Egyptians from outer space trope -- e.g. Stargate, The Fifth Element, 70s Battlestar Galactica, and all those pseudo-science books on the topic.

Although something like the classic 1e AD&D Egyptian modules (Deserts of Desolation) by Hickman would be cool.


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

I am actually wondering if we are going to get a module in January set in Osirion. It seems like we are getting a companion and campaign setting book for each module now. Although it could also be a new AP.


I could actually see an Osirion module as more likely than an AP now that you mention it. While I have no doubt that they could make an AP about Osirion, I feel that an adventure set in it would be better if focused a bit more on the new expanded modules.

Dark Archive

An 'Imprisoned with the Pharaos' riff, combining Dominion of the Black / Mythos elements with Egyptian-esque themes, could indeed be a fun route to take. No flirting with Mythos themes for one sixth of an AP. Dive right in. Hounds of Tindalos, sacred geometry, strings of arcane numerals that flutter about and congeal when 'solved' into terrible living equations with their own inscrutable agendas, unutterable things deep within wells over which crumbling pyramids squat like too-fragile capstones waiting to be pushed aside by that which lurks beneath...

Oh yeah.


Justin Franklin wrote:
I am actually wondering if we are going to get a module in January set in Osirion. It seems like we are getting a companion and campaign setting book for each module now. Although it could also be a new AP.

Support material for the modules actually supports the adventure path theory. The two modules following Dragon's Demand, Wardens of the Reborn Forge and Tears at Bitter Manor, have both been announced yet no support material has been announced for either of those two modules. It would seem odd, then, to announce support material for a module that hasn't even been announced yet. If we go by the notion that modules are now accompanied by relevant books in the other lines, that is.

Yeah, my money's on an adventure path. Of course, it's entirely possible that Paizo just wants to give Osirion some love in the Campaign Setting and Player Companion lines. :)


Hm. While this is certainly nice, to me the title is too close to the old companion product for Osirion (the only difference is using "Legacy" instead of "Land"). I almost didn't even click on this thread, because I assumed it was for that book, until my eyes happened to chance on the words "Campaign Setting" as opposed to "Companion".

It's probably far too late to change that, though, so I'll just be happy to get more desert-y goodness :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

I would be cool with an all Osirion AP or an AP that starts there but takes to a place "beyond". At least we will not have to wait long to find out what the next AP will be.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I suspect the extra support for the Dragons Demand has less to do with supporting a specific module than it does with the rumored scrapping/postponement of a dragon focused AP

I doubt we will MUCH Mythic in any AP that comes out next year after Wrath of Righteous (Other than maybe some monsters with mythic abilities). I think they are going to want to test the waters with the first mythic AP (Wrath) before lining up another one

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