Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Distant Shores (PFRPG)

4.80/5 (based on 8 ratings)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Distant Shores (PFRPG)
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Beyond the Inner Sea!

It's time to leave familiar climes and tour the wider world! While most Pathfinder characters hail from the Inner Sea region, there are many other continents and societies out there just waiting to be explored. Within this book, you'll find detailed discussions of six major trade cities found on the distant corners of Golarion, complete with full-page maps and information on the resident cultures and traditions, adventure sites, new gods, magic and fighting styles, and more, plus rules to help you add local flavor and abilities to your characters. Face your destiny with a cyclopean myth-speaking, study the mysteries of the Iridian Fold, or hone your magic at the House of Green Mothers—there's a whole world at your fingertips!

Cities detailed in this book include:

  • Aelyosos, City of Tides and westernmost port in the archipelago of Iblydos, whose half-flooded streets are guarded by cyclops prophets and mighty hero-gods.
  • Anuli, City of New Beginnings and ancient gateway between the Inner Sea and southern Garund, where divine matriarchs rule with the mandate of Heaven.
  • Dhucharg, City of Conquest, whose militant hobgoblin generals won't be satisfied until their armies overrun all Tian Xia.
  • Radripal, City of Arches in the Impossible Kingdoms of Vudra, where priests travel the holy Matra River and rakshasas rule through fear and silver.
  • Segada, the fabled City of Keys in isolated Arcadia, whose mountaintop walls keep foreign colonists on the Grinding Coast from expanding into the continent's mysterious interior.
  • Ular Kel, Caravan City and Jewel of the Steppe, where Water Lords and nomadic horse tribes rule over massive trade routes that cut through the Grass Sea of central Casmaron.

Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Distant Shores is intended for use with the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can be easily adapted to any fantasy world.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-787-1

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

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4.80/5 (based on 8 ratings)

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Only problem is that there isn't more!

5/5

This material is super difficult to use.

Weird way to start a five star review, but there you have it. The reason why I say so is because this book has six great, wonderful, inspiring cities that I desperately want to adventure in, but nothing about their surroundings. So there are a few ways you can use this material: A DM that loves to worldbuild and has the time to do so, can flesh out the nation around the city, thus allowing a campaign to take place there. You could teleport-travel to the cities from afar, from areas better detailed, and then teleport back. You could run the campaign entirely inside the city -- perhaps something like transplanting Hell's Rebels to a revolution in the hobgoblin city of Dhucharg. You could have characters conventionally travel to these cities from nearby areas, but handwave/vague/skim the actual journeys. These are some ideas for how you could use these cities. But it is really important to be aware of this when considering buying this book: they are wonderfully fleshed out cities in the middle of a lot of blank white map. Personally, I don't take off a star because of that, but you might, so that's why I want to be really clear about that aspect of the product.

Having gotten that out of the way, let's move on to the content itself. Now, this is six cities, ten pages each. Each has a one-page top-down map for layout, and each has an amazingly evocative two-page wide panoramic shot for atmosphere. Additional graphics include 2-3 full-body NPC shots per city to show important personages or typical inhabitants. Each city has a settlement block (of course), and some new crunch/mechanics. The pseudo-Greek city (Aelyosos) has three new weapons, three new mythic path abilities and two new deities. The pseudo-African city (Anuli) has a new player race (Ganzi, which is to Chaotic as Aasimar is to Good or Tiefling is to Evil), seven new traits and one deity. And so on. The rest of the page count is rounded out by gazetteers of important locations, NPCs, customs and other such flavor material.

The six cities detailed are: Aelyosos (pseudo-Greek, with Mythic Adventures flavor), Anuli (pseudo-African, matriarchal), Dhucharg (pseudo-Japanese, hobgoblin-dominated military-flavored), Radripal (pseudo-Indian, with rakshasa intrigue), Segada (pseudo-Amerind, trade hub and entrance into Arcadia) and Ular Kel (pseudo-Mongol steppe city).

I'm biased because I'm a huge, huge, massive fan of all settings and environments that break away from the traditional Western European fantasy fare, so this product is tailor made for me. It's like getting to travel the world for twenty bucks. This is easily within my top five Pathfinder supplements, and if you're similarly interested in "off the beaten path" cultures and settings, I couldn't recommend Distant Shores more.

Having said that, if your campaign doesn't travel a lot, you're not likely to see a lot of use for this book. Some of the crunch can be brought abroad (like the ganzi player race, for instance) and maybe you want to make a character that has backstory in one of these cities. But this book is very situational. You'll want to think about whether you will have a use for it.

My rating is based on taking the book for what it is, and having a use for the niche it fills. As long as you have a campaign where travel is welcome, this book is a five star product.


A tantalizing glimpse of a wider world

5/5

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

I always love seeing far-off lands of campaign settings described in greater detail. Not only does it give other real-world peoples some much-needed representation, it provides a welcome change of pace from the standard European-based cultures that make up the bulk of so many fantasy worlds. Distant Shores provides a tantalising look at the vast diversity that exists in Golarion. While I know that time and resources make it difficult to fully describe everywhere in the world, I hope that Distant Shores is only the first of several books that will one day explore numerous other regions of Golarion.


Takes you There!

5/5

A lot of the points have already been hit in previous reviews of this product, so this will be somewhat brief and hopefully to the point.

Each one of these locations feels a little bit 'clunky' at first read, but when reading for content, and weighing the possibilities of each one of these cities as a 'starting point' for a campaign or world setting, the true genius of each of their designs becomes readily apparent.

They work right now really well for home campaigns, even.

I can't wait to see a further expansion of Holomog and the nations around it, or Ducharg and how the hobgoblins keep from completely falling apart beyond the capital, or Arcadia and how this unknown continent has been both years ahead and behind of Avistan.

With the introduction of Iblydos Vudra, and Casmaron as viable settings as well, suddenly the world of Golarion feels both a slight bit smaller and a *lot* larger.

There are a few limitations to such an offering, but they do not detract from the value of this volume, and I would recommend it to anyone seeking to branch out from Tian Xia or the Inner Sea Region!


A nice taste of new lands

4/5

I really enjoyed this book providing information on never before explored corners of Golarion. It provides enough info to build a campaign arc in each location, and each is unique and interesting in its own way. Highly recommended for GMs wanting to spread out to something new for a bit.


A great sampler platter beyond the Inner Sea

5/5

Distant Shores whets the appetite for more, but gives 6 locations on 6 continents a write up, each chock full of adventure ideas and built in conflict. I particularly liked the evil Hobgoblin capitol city in Tian Xia, and Segada the gateway city to Arcadia. The first because it provides a worthy for for the already somewhat detailed Dragon Empires continent, and the later because it literally acts as a gate blocking the interior of the continent, making it a natural site for colonists and explorers looking to go where none have before (from the Inner Sea at least).

Radripal and Ular Kel build upon the scattered lore already seeded in the campaign setting for Vudra and Casmaron, while Aylyosos provides a setting in need of new mythic heroes as their home grown source of them hasn't proven up to the challenge lately.

I was intrigued by Anuli, the most Northern city of Southern Garund, but wasn't as grabbed by how to use a primarily stable city run by empyreal worshiping good and honest folk, especially when their primary foil is the necromantic nation of Geb, but Geb already has Nex set up as their primary allies. I can see adding Anuli to the conflict as a strategic ally for Nex, or safe haven retreating from Nex, but I had been hoping for something more exotic for Southern Garund, after the years of hints that the further south you travel, the weirder things get.

Overall though, this is a great supplement which stretches beyond the more detailed borders of the primary campaign setting.


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Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Marco Massoudi wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
I doubt that they're going to redo the Sun Temple Colony - Brandon Hodge's work in Lost Cities of Golarion was pretty definitive. ^_^

You´re right - i forgot that one. ;-)

The hobgoblin capital of Hongol in Tian Xia has been confirmed.

Fantastic - I know Golarion is humancentric by design, but I find it a bit too much on that extreme. A bit more demihumans should get the love, too.


I wonder of that will be the only non-human city in the book.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Will there be maps for the region around each town/city or just the town/city itself?
No maps of the regions, but maps of the cities yes. And if I can get my act together... a more accurate map of the planet...

This is a book/news that I've been waiting to hear for a long time! You have one very happy Geologist-GM over here, James! :)

PS - Nice (unintentional?) homage to Changeling: the Dreaming with naming that continent Arcadia, by the by!


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Mike Bramnik wrote:
PS - Nice (unintentional?) homage to Changeling: the Dreaming with naming that continent Arcadia, by the by!

The reference is probably a bit more general than that.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I was hoping for a section on Goka ...


I am just happy we finally get some info for places outside the Inner Sea. It has been like forever since we got books for Tian Xia.


Glad to see some Tian Xia love happening, and the hobgoblin city is a good choice. I had hopes there would be something from the Far East in this book, but wasn't sure.

Silver Crusade

QuidEst wrote:
Mike Bramnik wrote:
PS - Nice (unintentional?) homage to Changeling: the Dreaming with naming that continent Arcadia, by the by!
The reference is probably a bit more general than that.

I stand corrected (and impressed - thanks for that!)

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I remember from a seminar that the city for Casmaron will be where the Iridian Fold is from.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm definitely looking forward to reading about that city! :)

(And hopefully we will get better Iridian Fold artwork than the odd piece that turned up in the Kaer Maga sourcebook - there was something very weird about the proportions in that one.)

Paizo Employee Developer

7 people marked this as a favorite.

We confirmed at PaizoCon that the six cities are located in (and written by): Arcadia (Adam Daigle); central Casmaron (James L. Sutter); Iblydos (John Compton); Kaoling (Rob McCreary); southern Garund (Crystal Frasier); Vudra (me!)

We'll have more information as the book gets closer to release.


Where is Kaoling?

Liberty's Edge

xavier c wrote:
Where is Kaoling?

Kaoling is the aforementioned Hobgoblin nation in Tian Xia.

Dark Archive

xavier c wrote:
Where is Kaoling?

It is the hobgoblin nation in tian-Xia.

http://pathfinderwiki.com/wiki/Kaoling


Yeah was going to say, Hongol is the Mongolian country you visit in Jade Regent. I got all excited too ;)

Still, I'm looking forward to this.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:

We confirmed at PaizoCon that the six cities are located in (and written by): Arcadia (Adam Daigle); central Casmaron (James L. Sutter); Iblydos (John Compton); Kaoling (Rob McCreary); southern Garund (Crystal Frasier); Vudra (me!)

We'll have more information as the book gets closer to release.

I bet Sutter's is the Kazakstan analogue that he has been talking about. And apparently I need to hit up John to try and find out what he did for Iblydos.

Lantern Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

So excited for this - and it definitely makes up my mind about how to invest in the CS subscription over the next months.

Clearly, I am a fan of everything behind this. There is a lot of demand for more details about a lot of places (you think?), and it would be a great first step toward getting an expanded-world hardcover, which would always be a lovely addition.

Exotic locales always get me, and this includes many of the ones I need to help flavor more of my fan adventure arc, which is set on Tian Xia, Southern Garund, Vudra, Sarusan, Castrovel and other possible sites that help instigate the players' love for the setting. Between the upcoming hardcovers, Occult Adventures, and Bestiary 5 which seems to focus a lot on the occult side of things, it's clear that I am going to have almost everything I need in order to keep moving forward. So awesome!

I'm really glad that Paizo is doing well. I am glad these great authors and designers are still doing such great work, and keeping up at the long-term goals, along with keeping us all in the loop. It's always exciting to see products that can help develop our creativity, and the way in which we all can interact with the game world and its stories.


I wish it was October already.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
central Casmaron (James L. Sutter)

Here's hoping that this weekend we find out that is the Kelesh Capital, and that the city is so overflowing with Persian themes and tropes that Aladdin feels out of place being voiced by a white guy. Being central its pretty much garaunteed not to be Kaladay (East) (YAY!) or Iobaria (North) (YAY!) and Vudra and Iblydos have their own entries.

That leaves us with 4? possibilities remaining:
1) Windswept Waste border city. CE Cheliax, lowest on my hopes list
2) Ular Kel, capital of Karazh. Mentioned in a Sutter web fiction. Probably Hun themed based on the horse lord descriptions on the wiki. 2nd on my hopes
3) Non capital satrapy. I would literally cry if we basically got another Katheer. 3rd on hopes.
4) THE Capital. It has no name, it needs a name. The Padishah Emperor must have his seat of power detailed so that he can unleash his full might back onto the barbarians in the Inner Sea. #1 wishlist.


I hope we will get more info on this item(and many more) this week.

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
archmagi1 wrote:


2) Ular Kel, capital of Karazh. Mentioned in a Sutter web fiction. Probably Hun themed based on the horse lord descriptions on the wiki. 2nd on my hopes

We confirmed at PaizoCon that this was indeed the city being detailed in central Casmaron.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Aw sadface, kinda. Maybe you'll still sneak in the name of the Kelesh capital?

*crosses fingers*


Mark Moreland wrote:
archmagi1 wrote:


2) Ular Kel, capital of Karazh. Mentioned in a Sutter web fiction. Probably Hun themed based on the horse lord descriptions on the wiki. 2nd on my hopes
We confirmed at PaizoCon that this was indeed the city being detailed in central Casmaron.

Huns? Cool. I find Cossacks a little more interesting, but any horse-based society should be fun.


So we still have one more unknown location then?

The Exchange

This book isn't listed as a hardcover, and I don't know if the price of $22.99 is a placeholder. Does anyone know how many pages the gazetteer is expected to be?

Also: will the release of "Distant Shores" go along with the 2016 Adventure Path - will it feature some of the places in this gazeteer? I know that the 2016 AP is supposed to be C'thulhu themed, but that sounds more like "Distant Worlds" than "Distant Shores."

I am interested in seeing what Crystal does with Southern Garund... there are so many choices to pick for a city!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

It's a Campaign Setting book, so it's 64 pages.

The Strange Aeons Adventure Path will include travel to different continents, so it will probably touch on the same subject matter, but I doubt there will be any direct tie-ins since this is a year before the AP.


Dragon78 wrote:
So we still have one more unknown location then?

Think we've got them all:

1) Ular Kel (capital of Karazh, Casmaron)
2) Iblydos city
3) Kaoling (hobgoblin city- probably Dhucharg- Tian-Xia)
4) Southern Garund city
5) Vudran city
6) Arcadian city

Unless you meant specific cities, in which case we are missing 5.

The Exchange

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I hope the Southern Garund city is either a city in
a) Nurvatchta, because I <3 spiders!
or b) Holomog, because it already has some nice history attached to it with Durvin Gest, Mastrien Slash, and the Field of Maidens as potential plot points/quests.
Droon is cool, but dinosaur-riding lizards sounds kinda "been there, done that." Even if it is Droon (I hope not) I know Crystal will make it seem cool, or at least interesting.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I can't find a source, but I seem to recall someone saying it would be Holomog. No proof, though...

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I wouldn't mind some Droon, if only to have some lizardfolk and less focus on humans.

Nurvatchta would be quite cool, too!


I am hoping the southern Garund city will be a Catfolk city or the place were those woman warriors came from.

I hope the Iblydos city is something strait out of Greek myth.

The Exchange

Dragon78 wrote:

I am hoping the southern Garund city will be a Catfolk city or the place were those woman warriors came from.

I hope the Iblydos city is something strait out of Greek myth.

Holomog is the country where the women warriors who invaded Geb come from. It was briefly ruled by the Pirate Queen Mastrien Slash. Link: http://www.pathfinderwiki.com/wiki/Holomog


Yeah I would like see Holomog. Also I am not sure if there are cities of Catfolk or just villages.

The Exchange

Dragon78 wrote:
Yeah I would like see Holomog. Also I am not sure if there are cities of Catfolk or just villages.

Catfolk are too independent to form a centralized government. I can't see them running a whole city.

Dark Archive

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Zeugma wrote:
Catfolk are too independent to form a centralized government. I can't see them running a whole city.

If Elves can have a city, and Gnomes can even manage a village, then I'm sure Catfolk can pull it together as well.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Set wrote:
Zeugma wrote:
Catfolk are too independent to form a centralized government. I can't see them running a whole city.

If Elves can have a city, and Gnomes can even manage a village, then I'm sure Catfolk can pull it together as well.

Set, I'm surprised to hear you speaking well of catfolk, given your own heritage!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Also, catfolk are NG in Pathfinder, so they're not THAT "too independent to form a centralized government". As Set has said: if Elves (CG & independent) can have cities, there's no reason catfolk cannot have them, too.

*shrug*

Carry on.

--C.

Project Manager

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Catfolk do have their own city. When it comes out, check IS Races for details.

Paizo Employee Developer

Zeugma wrote:
Also: will the release of "Distant Shores" go along with the 2016 Adventure Path - will it feature some of the places in this gazeteer? I know that the 2016 AP is supposed to be C'thulhu themed, but that sounds more like "Distant Worlds" than "Distant Shores."

There is no connection between the Casmaron city in this book and the edge of Casmaron explored in Strange Aeons (aside from being in the same continent).


7 people marked this as a favorite.

To those looking for more American Indian fantasy: If you're willing to go outside of the d20/ D&D-legacy realm, there's Totems of the Dead and Ehdrigohr. Totems of the Dead is swords & sorcery setting for Savage Worlds, based closely on pre-Colombian contact North America, with close analogues for most of the major American Indian cultural groups (including the Aztecs), plus rules for visitors from fantasy equivalents of Russia, Scandinavia, China, etc. I gather the author is an anthropologist with a strong familiarity with American Indian culture. Ehdrigohr is a dark fantasy setting using Fate. The creator is a Lakota (Sioux) story-teller and the world of Ehdrigohr is heavily influenced by traditional Lakota beliefs, but with elements from a wide range of world cultures mixed in. Totems of the Dead probably wouldn't be that hard to convert to Pathfinder. I haven't finished reading through Ehdrigohr, but it feels like enough of its own thing that converting it might be hard.

Also, in the realm of fiction, there's the fantasy novel Bear Daughter, which is heavily influenced by the society and mythology of the Indians of the Pacific Northwest. The author, Judith Berman, is an anthropologist who studied with those peoples; she has an essay somewhere online on how she dealt with the issues of cultural appropriation when writing the novel.

So, while there is certainly a dearth of American Indian-influenced fantasy, the field is not completely barren. (More, of course, would be good.)


So we will get info on another Casmaron city in Strange Aeons, cool.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Adam Daigle wrote:
Zeugma wrote:
Also: will the release of "Distant Shores" go along with the 2016 Adventure Path - will it feature some of the places in this gazeteer? I know that the 2016 AP is supposed to be C'thulhu themed, but that sounds more like "Distant Worlds" than "Distant Shores."
There is no connection between the Casmaron city in this book and the edge of Casmaron explored in Strange Aeons (aside from being in the same continent).

But there are 3 Casmaron cities in this book? However, I think I can safely say none of them are in the Parchlands.

Edited to spell Parchlands correctly.


3 Casmaron cities, I only see one?


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
3 Casmaron cities, I only see one?

One in Iblydos, one in Vudra, and the other one those are all in Casmaron.


I thought Iblydos was an island off the coast of Casmaron and it might be it's own country with no relation to Casmaron.

Yeah, I forgot about the Vudra one.


Dragon78 wrote:

I thought Iblydos was an island off the coast of Casmaron and it might be it's own country with no relation to Casmaron.

Yeah, I forgot about the Vudra one.

I think what was meant is:

Casmaron is the name of the continent, which includes the large peninsula that is Vudra as well as any islands that are in close association with the contine t that is Casmaron (i.e. Iblydos).

This is much the same as Hermea, an island nation, belongs with the (sub)continent that is Avistan, which is the landmass that is north of the Inner Sea (i.e. the top half of the Inner Sea Region).

This is like how the island nation of Madagascar is included as part of the African continent (i.e. it is part of Africa eventhough it isn't connected to it by land). The same for Japan, an archipelago of islands that is itself a separate country/nation but still part of Asia.

So yeah, three cities from Casmaron...

<edit> Added real-world examples.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Dragon78 wrote:

I thought Iblydos was an island off the coast of Casmaron and it might be it's own country with no relation to Casmaron.

Yeah, I forgot about the Vudra one.

Knowing how Paizo usually does things, I assume it will be like Greece, with some of it on land and then an archipelago.. But yes still part of the continent of Casmaron.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Is there a map or maps covering the entire world of Golarion available somewhere?


From the blog:

http://paizo.com/image/content/PathfinderCampaignSetting/PZO9226-StolenMap. jpg

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
So we will get info on another Casmaron city in Strange Aeons, cool.

Not really, no. A new region in Casmaron, the Parchlands, will feature in Strange Aeons, as will an ancient ruined city, but nothing friendly lives there...

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