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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1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:

Cool, a new race.

I think I will thank Skuld for answering questions for this book early.

Who is Skuld?

Skeld's evil twin perhaps:-D


Well if Skeld's evil twin, Skuld, will answer questions honestly then...who am I kidding I meant to say Skeld.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Is it a new race or a new variant of the aasimar?
A whole new race

And just like that this book is a must-have for me! Cheers! :D


This is cool news. I hope there are new human ethnicities revealed in this book as well.


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

I would be very disappointed if Arcadians do not at least get the level of subdivision and detail that the Mwangi currently have.


I wouldn't expect that in this product unless Segada is an extremely cosmopolitan city.
Likewise I don't expect every Casmaron ethnicity to be covered, because Ular-Kel is just one city in a remote part of Casmaron.
If we know nothing of the different nations or even geography of Avistan, why start detailing ethnicities?
Heck, we still know practically nothing about most of Tian Xia and it's ethnicities and nations, why add more?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

New ethnicities really is something to introduce in a gazeteer for a new continent, not something really appropriate for a book like this IMHO.


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

I am not execting a complete list, but if Segada is in such a key location, at least a couple of different Arcadian subgroups should be mentioned. At the very least, there would be a significant cultural difference between the Arcadians who live east of the mountains and deal with the Avistani colonists and the ones who live west of the mountains and are protected from them by Segada -- and those two groups, at least, would meet in Segada.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
captain yesterday wrote:
Doesn't Skeld already have it :-)

I got this last month.

-Skeld

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

From the office of expectation management: Arcadian ethnicities are mentioned and name dropped, but there are no mechanics included in the book for Arcadian ethnicities.


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

Thank you -- that is pretty much what I was after.


Adam Daigle wrote:
From the office of expectation management: Arcadian ethnicities are mentioned and name dropped, but there are no mechanics included in the book for Arcadian ethnicities.

I'm beginning to think that Paizo really has such an office in their corporate HQ.

And I'm picturing it like the Monty Python "Argument Clinic" sketch.

Paizo Employee Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Cthulhudrew wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
From the office of expectation management: Arcadian ethnicities are mentioned and name dropped, but there are no mechanics included in the book for Arcadian ethnicities.

I'm beginning to think that Paizo really has such an office in their corporate HQ.

And I'm picturing it like the Monty Python "Argument Clinic" sketch.

It's pretty much a developer/designer job duty. :)

It's something that's very important to me, because I see how upset people can be when they get something expecting content that we never said a product would contain, which is why I try to clarify products I'm responsible for without giving too much away.


Does each section get a single NPC/monster entry?


Adam Daigle wrote:
From the office of expectation management: Arcadian ethnicities are mentioned and name dropped, but there are no mechanics included in the book for Arcadian ethnicities.

Very cool. Does the book mention new ethnicities from Casmaron or Southern Garund too?

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Adam Daigle wrote:
It's something that's very important to me, because I see how upset people can be when they get something expecting content that we never said a product would contain, which is why I try to clarify products I'm responsible for without giving too much away.

It has been very very appreciated. I would've been livid about several products if Dept of EM hadn't done an excellent job.


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

I wouldn't expect that in this product unless Segada is an extremely cosmopolitan city.

Likewise I don't expect every Casmaron ethnicity to be covered, because Ular-Kel is just one city in a remote part of Casmaron.
If we know nothing of the different nations or even geography of Avistan, why start detailing ethnicities?
Heck, we still know practically nothing about most of Tian Xia and it's ethnicities and nations, why add more?

Since there are 3 Casmaron cities in the book, I expect we will at least get the names of the main ethnicities in that area. Of course, we already know 2 (Kelishite and Vudrani) of them.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Adam Daigle wrote:
Cthulhudrew wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
From the office of expectation management: Arcadian ethnicities are mentioned and name dropped, but there are no mechanics included in the book for Arcadian ethnicities.

I'm beginning to think that Paizo really has such an office in their corporate HQ.

And I'm picturing it like the Monty Python "Argument Clinic" sketch.

It's pretty much a developer/designer job duty. :)

It's something that's very important to me, because I see how upset people can be when they get something expecting content that we never said a product would contain, which is why I try to clarify products I'm responsible for without giving too much away.

Feel free to give away too much! :D

Liberty's Edge Assistant Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
Does each section get a single NPC/monster entry?

Each sections gets a 2-page spread of new rules information, but I don't know exactly what each section used that for off-hand.

Anuli's introduces a new race, new traits, and Anuli's matron god.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The more little tidbits that are revealed, the more excited I get about this product! Congradulations for once again making me drool over something not even out yet.


Adam Daigle wrote:
It's something that's very important to me, because I see how upset people can be when they get something expecting content that we never said a product would contain, which is why I try to clarify products I'm responsible for without giving too much away.

I think the Internet should have such a department.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I actually like the final cover. Not too many products have had rakshasa on them, and the Indian/Kung-Fu mashup is very Golarion. I'm looking forward to this book!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

wasn't interested in this before.

but the official cover art and the new write-ups... might need to pick this one up.


I was interested in this one from the beginning but now more so then when they announced it.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Nate Z wrote:
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Is it a new race or a new variant of the aasimar?
A whole new race
And just like that this book is a must-have for me! Cheers! :D

I really hope the new race is playable in most campaigns mechanics-wise. Occult Bestiary disappointed me in that regard and I will admit, left me a little salty. :P


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Woot! Hopefully today will be ship day!!!


I hope so as well.

Dark Archive

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

PDFs have started shipping. The new race revealed in Anuli is...

Spoiler:
The Ganzi, chaotic planetouched with ties to the Proteans. Should be just as playable as any other planetouched.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ooh - this supports my current theory!

Spoiler:
The last two years for PFS GM boons - we've had Ifrits, Undine, Oreads and Sylphs, and we could voltron them together to get a suli boon.

This year so far we've had an Aasimar. My prediction is that we'll get Tieflings, then a chaotic-based and a lawful-based native outsider, and voltron them together to get an aeon-based native outsider.

Executive Editor

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Looking forward to people starting to get the book. I'm really proud of our whole operation on this one—I think everybody involved threw in some extra love. :) And the opening art pieces are some of my favorite art of the year!

Liberty's Edge Assistant Developer

7 people marked this as a favorite.
James Sutter wrote:
Looking forward to people starting to get the book. I'm really proud of our whole operation on this one—I think everybody involved threw in some extra love. :) And the opening art pieces are some of my favorite art of the year!

I have very strong feels about this book.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Spoiler:
What does the new race look like? Are there many pictures of them?

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Crystal Frasier wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
Looking forward to people starting to get the book. I'm really proud of our whole operation on this one—I think everybody involved threw in some extra love. :) And the opening art pieces are some of my favorite art of the year!
I have very strong feels about this book.

It's a very nice book on a whole number of levels. :)

And yeah, I want to play a ganzi character in PFS if it becomes PFS legal. :D

Paizo Employee Developer

James Sutter wrote:
Looking forward to people starting to get the book. I'm really proud of our whole operation on this one—I think everybody involved threw in some extra love. :) And the opening art pieces are some of my favorite art of the year!

I totally agree!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Kvantum wrote:

PDFs have started shipping. The new race revealed in Anuli is...

** spoiler omitted **

*heavy breathing*

Any details you (or anybody else with the PDF) cares to spoil will be greatly appreciated!


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I am waiting to read about Iblydos.

Paizo Employee Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Justin Franklin wrote:
I am waiting to read about Iblydos.

I am waiting for you to read about Iblydos and let me know what you think!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

So for anybody with the book, how does Ular Kel read? Is it hunnic, sarmatian/scythian, or mongol, or a kickass combo of all three?


So what are the racial mods, abilities, traits, etc. of the new 0HD race?


What are the names of the new gods?


xavier c wrote:
What are the names of the new gods?

Seconded!

Although, I'd prefer having more than just their names... ;)

Please and thank you!

--C.


I am so happy to finally get a chaos planetouched race.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
John Compton wrote:
Justin Franklin wrote:
I am waiting to read about Iblydos.
I am waiting for you to read about Iblydos and let me know what you think!

You will hear from me, and I will be adding to your work for my home group. :D

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

OK, let me try to detail a few things, rules-wise.

Aelyosos:

We get two Mythic Hero-gods detailed, including Alignment/Race/Class/Tiers for them, and a few new Mythic path abilities.
Kelksiomedes, NG Human Druid 16/Marshall 5 Hero-god of gardens, orchards, and terraces; Good and Plant domains
Psomeria, LN Human Skald 13/Champion 6, Hero-goddess of seasons and spears; Law, War, and Weather domains, though no more than 8th level spells.

Anuli:

We get the Ganzi race, and the minor goddess Mazludeh, NG goddess of balance, community, negotiation, and twilight. Artifice, Community, Good, and Knowledge domains.

Kaoling:

We get the Order of the Eclipse for Samurai, and the Oni-Kin template to cover half-Hobgoblin, half-Ja Noi Oni.

Radripal':

We get the following (minor, only 4 domains) deities:
Ashukharma, CN goddess of canyons, cliffs, gorges and ravines (Chaos, Earth, Protection, Strength)
Matravash, LN goddess of the Matra river (Community, Law, Travel, Water)
Omrataji, NG god of silver, silverwork, and silver mining (Artifice, Earth, Good, Nobility)

Segada is surprisingly developed and "modern" for what I had expected out of Arcadia.

As for Ular Kel, it's probably a mish-mash. I don't really know enough about central Asian civilizations to really give a good opinion on it.


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

How many images are there of the Ganzi?

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Zangy wrote:
How many images are there of the Ganzi?

Just the one, but no two Ganzi look alike. Mostly human with one or two unusual physical qualities, slowly shifting patterns of birthmarks, or odd scales, feathers, or needle-like teeth, or brightly colored hair that slowly shifts between colors over a period of a few weeks, for example.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Now that we have Protean-spawned Ganzi, I bet we'll be getting an Axiomite or Inevitable-derived race soon. Since Proteans are the opposite of Inevitables a lot of people will probably start asking Paizo for it. After all, there must be symmetry. There must be order.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

"Voltron" is not in my dictionary. What does it mean? Whence comes it?


I can't wait to see the new 0HD race.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Ed Reppert wrote:
"Voltron" is not in my dictionary. What does it mean? Whence comes it?

Voltron

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