Pathfinder Tales: Bloodbound

4.30/5 (based on 6 ratings)

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Hunters of the Dead!

Larsa is a dhampir—half vampire, half human. In the gritty streets and haunted peaks of Ustalav, she's an agent for the royal spymaster, keeping peace between the capital's secret vampire population and its huddled human masses. Meanwhile, in the cathedral of Maiden's Choir, Jadain is a young priestess of the death goddess, in trouble with her superiors for being too soft on the living. When a noblewoman's entire house is massacred by vampiric invaders, the unlikely pair is drawn into a deadly mystery that will reveal far more about both of them than they ever wanted to know.

From Pathfinder co-creator and veteran game designer F. Wesley Schneider comes a new adventure of revenge, faith, and gothic horror, set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

480-page trade paperback
ISBN-13: 978-0-76537-546-9

Bloodbound is also available as a digital edition on the following sites:

Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Sanctioned Content
Bloodbound is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild.

Download the Chronicle sheet — (410 kb zip/PDF)

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4.30/5 (based on 6 ratings)

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4/5

In a time where the myth of vampires is part of mainstream media, it has become increasingly difficult to write a compelling and thrilling gothic horror story focusing on these iconic bloodsucking monsters. Fortunately, Mr. Schneider succeeded in his task! This is not for the faint-hearted. The protagonists have to face true nightmares and they don't get away unscathed, neither physically nor emotionally.

Personally, I was a bit disappointed that Bloodbound only offers so little information on Ustalavian politics (both living and undead). Maybe my expectations were a bit high, considering that the author is THE expert on Ustalav at Paizo.

Occasionally, the author went a bit overboard with baroque prose.

Spoiler:
"Gravelly whispers threatened pleasures" p. 11;
"I picked out the slightly deeper twilight of Jadain's robes amid the wine stain of the roadside lavender fields" p. 143;
"The house seemed desperate for company, so much so that our steps echoed tenaciously, dancing up empty stairs and reverberating through unseen halls." p. 258.

I found that somewhat distracting, since neither of the two protagonists, from whose perspective the story is told, seemed to have an overly poetic streak. Maybe I missed something?

Despite these minor quibbles, I enjoyed Bloodbound immensely. It had several passages where I wanted to put the book away, shuddering, but was too thrilled to stop reading. Recommended without reservation to all Pathfinder fans.


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Editor-in-Chief

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lou Diamond wrote:
i can't find blood bound in iBooks.

Here you go! Hope that helps.

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Yakman wrote:
Love the Vampire Hunter D hat on the cover. Might just give this one a whirl on my next flight.
Kane, D, Alucard. Everyone knows a hat is a vampire hunter's most important equipment!

Of course. Its impossible for people to know how cool, evil, or important you are unless you have a hat that conveys it for you.

Editor-in-Chief

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Alexander Augunas wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Yakman wrote:
Love the Vampire Hunter D hat on the cover. Might just give this one a whirl on my next flight.
Kane, D, Alucard. Everyone knows a hat is a vampire hunter's most important equipment!
Of course. Its impossible for people to know how cool, evil, or important you are unless you have a hat that conveys it for you.

#truth.


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

Just finished this. Awesome book, Wes. I really liked:

Spoiler:
All the stuff about the Pharasmin church and the different sects/factions. It was really well done - too often clergy are all either boring goody-two-shoes or they've secretly sold their soul. The hero was great, without being dull and the baddies were understandable without being overly tragic. Really, really liked this aspect of the story and insight into Golarion lore.

The rest was great too. You managed to make me like both the main characters, whilst also finding them both annoying at times. They really seemed like real people.

Request to James Sutter:
make Wes write more!

Contributor

I concur with Steve Geddess! Wes did a wonderful job on this.I very much enjoyed the characters and their situations, and I do hope we get to read more of their continuing adventures.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Not gonna lie; this book was awesome. Gave me some ideas for my own campaign set in Ustalav (where the PCs are vampire spawn). Kudos!

Executive Editor

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:

Just finished this. Awesome book, Wes. I really liked:

** spoiler omitted **

The rest was great too. You managed to make me like both the main characters, whilst also finding them both annoying at times. They really seemed like real people.

** spoiler omitted **

I'll get out the ol' bullwhip and see what I can do.

Sovereign Court

I'm into the third chapter and this has some horribly tortured prose.

It is too vernacular and inelegant to be considered gothic. I like gothic.
Instead it is simply confused. Characterisation is inconsistent, descriptions contradictory...
The description of Havenguard as batlike (massive, hundreds of eyes, veined tongue, you know, like a bat) as 'palace-like'. 'Imposition' used to clumsily transfer 'imposing'. A building which thrums with hundreds of breaths (just not how breathing carries).
At the top of the same page a faint haze of moonlight somehow illuminates acres...
And then a coach designed to carry mourners in stately passage, in no way described as speeding 'ground to a halt'.

Very poor.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I wrote the above in something of a bad mood with the novel.
I will endeavour to write something more constructive and thoughtful later.

Editor-in-Chief

2 people marked this as a favorite.
GeraintElberion wrote:
Very poor.

Wait till they get to the end when they fight the tarrasque! They totally kill it with a magic missile.

That's some buuuuuullcrap.

This guy does NOT know what's up. :P

Editor-in-Chief

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Oooh! Though, on a serious note about the "batlike" description, that's deliberately chosen as Havenguard Asylum is a small Kirkbride Institution. Maps of Caliphas show the asylum's architectural similarity to famous institutions like Danvers, Weston State, Buffalo State, and, my personal favorite (and childhood backyard) Spring Grove. So that's where that came from!

Thanks for the chance to point it out and for reading! :D


I really enjoyed the novel. Admittedly the speech does not come across as the prose from one of the original Gothic Horror stories. I would honestly say this is a good thing in a lot of ways though. It can be difficult to get into that mind set to read them, with some of the older stories.

Bloodbound Spoiler:
Also in a lot of ways the most terrifying part and in some ways the saddest part of the story was the idea of memory erasure. That and in some ways the finding a link to ones family and then just abandoning it.
I also loved how you did make it so that the vampires all had the same basic flaw of all considering themselves 'tragic' while having them show off their evil and monstrous aspects.

Sovereign Court

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:

Oooh! Though, on a serious note about the "batlike" description, that's deliberately chosen as Havenguard Asylum is a small Kirkbride Institution. Maps of Caliphas show the asylum's architectural similarity to famous institutions like Danvers, Weston State, Buffalo State, and, my personal favorite (and childhood backyard) Spring Grove. So that's where that came from!

Thanks for the chance to point it out and for reading! :D

Now that is cooler.

Can you re-print with footnotes?

Also, taking criticism with such good grace shows way more character than I'd probably manage.

I've tried again and I think a simpler conclusion is that your style is not my style. And that's fine.

So, I think I was being a picky-picky moaner because I wanted this to be like the classic gothic stuff I like, but set in Ustalav. And that's unfair, to complain that I book wasn't what I had demanded. Damnit, did nobody get my psychic commands?! Again!

Although, now I want the 'What happens to Ustalavian politics when the tarrasque turns up' novel, or maybe AP. Maybe my psychic commands will work this time. Psychic Command!


May Pharasma and Iomedae forgive this humble soul for committing an act of necromancy. I just got this book and so far it is fantastic, but I have to ask, does anyone else think that a young Ailson Kindler looks just like Larsa and vis versa? If this has any actual meaning to it and is not an unorthodox coincidence, just reply "Spoiler", please and thank you.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Real LG wrote:
May Pharasma and Iomedae forgive this humble soul for committing an act of necromancy. I just got this book and so far it is fantastic, but I have to ask, does anyone else think that a young Ailson Kindler looks just like Larsa and vis versa? If this has any actual meaning to it and is not an unorthodox coincidence, just reply "Spoiler", please and thank you.

Just keep reading.

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