Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Distant Shores (PFRPG)

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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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Beyond The Inner Sea

5/5

I have been wanting to see information on places outside the Inner Sea for a while now and we finally got some with this book. Distant shores is divided into six sections, each detailing a city from a distant land. The cities and locations are Aelyosos(Iblydos), Anuli(southern Gorund), Dhucharg(Tian Xia), Radripal(Vudra), Segada(Arcadia), and Ular Kel(Casmaron). This book is a very interesting read with flavor from various real world cultures such as Africa, India, and Greece. If I have one complaint is that the Tian Xia city chosen was a hobgoblin city so and would have liked something much more exotic. Other then that I really enjoyed it and would love to see more books like it.


Kind of what I wanted, but hungry for more!

4/5

We don't have enough of material like this! Golarion is a huge world, just the inner sea region alone shows us this, but when it comes to other regions, all we have is roughly a paper back book, and a few paragraphs on different regions.

Before this book that is. Distant Shores gives us a fair bit of information about other areas within Golarion, and some of which offer just as much broad flavor as the Inner Sea itself.

Aelyosos - My personal favorite. Heavy Mythological inspiration, with a touch of Mythic rules. Could make for a fantastic setting for a second Mythic adventure path, or even a module. The flavor of the realm really promotes diverse heroes whose personalities can clash, but at the end of the day, they fight for their home, and the lives of the common folk.

Anuli - This section offers some cool information about a very different society than many of the ones we're treated to in the Inner Sea, a kind of Matriarchal Theocracy, but something more.

Dhucharg - Something I've wanted, a Hobgoblin based area. Love the militaristic and regimented feeling this one offers. I also noticed that Samsaran are common(ish) there, a rare occurrence to even see them represented somewhere!

Ular Kel - I've always loved a good 'trade city', or a city where everyone is welcome, because the city belongs to 'no one'. Ular Kel feels very similar to a less chaotic Kaer Maga, lots of intrigue, and adventures to be had there.

The other regions/cities mentioned are all good, but I wanted to touch on the ones I loved the most.

The more we learn about the other regions on Golarion, the better, and this book offers a lot to digest.

The only downsides I really have with this book, is that it offers only a taste of the regions/cities described. Tian Xia had a whole book about this size, which offered quite a bit of info. Many of the ones I've mentioned here could have so much more!

Totally recommend it, books like this are why I keep up my "campaign setting" subscription!


A great sampler of Golarion

5/5

Distant Shores was a book that I was interested in as soon as it was announced. I love the Inner Sea region, but was interested to see what was outside the Inner Sea. Paizo featured some of their top writers in Distant Shores, and it really shows in how the cities are detailed and full of interesting plot hooks that I'd love to see fleshed out in future modules.

For me, Aelyosis in Iblydos was the breakout hit. Everything about this city, from the Cyclops and human co-habitation to the oceanic threats to the mysterious Hero-Gods made me want to learn more about the setting and this city. Anuli in Southern Garund and Segada in Arcadia also revealed some information about areas that I have long been interested in. I think the land that worships Empyreal Lords (and sometimes Asmodeus) is great for religious flavor, and Arcadia has constructs with class levels, which are amazing. Dhucharg and Radripal were a little on the evil side, and Ular Kel a little on the capitalist side, to be my favorites, but I still enjoyed reading about them.

I usually flip through my campaign setting subscription, but this one I read cover to cover and immediately bought for a friend as a Christmas gift. If you have any interest in seeing what's outside the Inner Sea Region, I strongly recommend this book.


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The description mentions new fighting styles and various blog posts have mentioned a god of spears and a new type of spear (Doru). So how does all of this come together for spear using builds?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Gisher wrote:
The description mentions new fighting styles and various blog posts have mentioned a god of spears and a new type of spear (Doru). So how does all of this come together for spear using builds?

There's no new style for the spears - that mostly refers to other sections.

The doru is a spear that functions differently depending on whether you wield it as a simple, martial, or exotic weapon. Its main contribution is being better than the various simple-weapon spears.

So... not much, I suppose. ^_^


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kalindlara wrote:
Gisher wrote:
The description mentions new fighting styles and various blog posts have mentioned a god of spears and a new type of spear (Doru). So how does all of this come together for spear using builds?

There's no new style for the spears - that mostly refers to other sections.

The doru is a spear that functions differently depending on whether you wield it as a simple, martial, or exotic weapon.

Well, that's interesting. I don't think I've ever seen a weapon that spanned all three of those categories. Thanks!

Paizo Employee Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Gisher wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Gisher wrote:
The description mentions new fighting styles and various blog posts have mentioned a god of spears and a new type of spear (Doru). So how does all of this come together for spear using builds?

There's no new style for the spears - that mostly refers to other sections.

The doru is a spear that functions differently depending on whether you wield it as a simple, martial, or exotic weapon.

Well, that's interesting. I don't think I've ever seen a weapon that spanned all three of those categories. Thanks!

From a design perspective, I wanted to introduce a one-handed but still hefty spear similar to what Greek hoplites used. By behaving slightly differently depending on one's access to simple, martial, and exotic proficiencies, it avoids outclassing other benchmark weapons like the battleaxe and longsword. As you might guess, one of the hero-gods uses it as her favored weapon, which can be a great way to get the weapon's full proficiency benefits.

Take a look at the book, and let us know what you think!

Sovereign Court

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

While you're here, Mr. Compton, I'd like to thank you for bringing new Mythic content to the table. I'm glad support for that system is still showing up here and there.

Paizo Employee Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Kalindlara wrote:
While you're here, Mr. Compton, I'd like to thank you for bringing new Mythic content to the table. I'm glad support for that system is still showing up here and there.

I'm glad that you appreciate it.

Golarion has done well at establishing some of its most legendary (and largely inactive) NPCs as mythic, such as Old Mage Jatembe and the Whispering Tyrant. What's been unclear for a while is how mythic power fits into the current age, and Iblydos struck me as an ideal place in which to take the mythic concepts and shift the level of familiarity from "super rare" to "rare yet well publicized." Page 118 of Pathfinder RPG Mythic Adventures does a really nice job of presenting different scales that a mythic campaign might use. I like to think that the Iblydos mentality fits into the "Uncommon" entry more often than not.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Oh, I really enjoyed the new teamwork feats. The Iridian Fold itself is quite interesting, and the feats help back that up.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Taking another look at Holomog's traits, it's too bad you can't take more than one Faith trait. Imagine an Asmodeus-worshipping lawful good cleric... casting word of chaos. And adding the good descriptor to it.

It'd make Azzy's head explode. :D


1 person marked this as a favorite.
John Compton wrote:
Gisher wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Gisher wrote:
The description mentions new fighting styles and various blog posts have mentioned a god of spears and a new type of spear (Doru). So how does all of this come together for spear using builds?

There's no new style for the spears - that mostly refers to other sections.

The doru is a spear that functions differently depending on whether you wield it as a simple, martial, or exotic weapon.

Well, that's interesting. I don't think I've ever seen a weapon that spanned all three of those categories. Thanks!

From a design perspective, I wanted to introduce a one-handed but still hefty spear similar to what Greek hoplites used. By behaving slightly differently depending on one's access to simple, martial, and exotic proficiencies, it avoids outclassing other benchmark weapons like the battleaxe and longsword. As you might guess, one of the hero-gods uses it as her favored weapon, which can be a great way to get the weapon's full proficiency benefits.

Take a look at the book, and let us know what you think!

I checked it out, and I like it very much. It fills the space between the shortspear and spear quite nicely. It's sort of the spear equivalent to the Bastard Sword. I like the fact that a character can still use it without Exotic Weapon Proficiency. That would allow me to put off EWP a bit later in some builds.

The whole Aelyosos section is really nice, by the way. It is definitely someplace that I want my characters to visit.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ok, going over this book, I found one thing that I think is missing. The new race, the Ganzi is missing its language entry. If anyone in the know could give me an idea of what they would be, that would be sweet.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Still going through it, and I'm very happy with this product. The Grecian hero-gods of Iblydos (as well as 'release the kraken') are rather interesting, as is Holomog's ruling circumstances and family ties. Ducharg is impressive, and I like how Arcadia is able to hold it's own against colonials.

Executive Editor

David Neilson wrote:
Oh, I really enjoyed the new teamwork feats. The Iridian Fold itself is quite interesting, and the feats help back that up.

Hooray! :D


I am honestly mostly hoping that they turn out to be PFS legal. I also find it interesting both that they are not completely correct about their own philosophy and its how it works with genders as there is the Iridian Choir.

Dark Archive

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Really loving the numbers of nonhumans in the various cities.

Aelyosos has the merfolk, sylphs, undines and assorted fey and cyclopes hanging around. Anuli has aasimars, lizardfolk and the new chaos-peeps. Dhucharg is predominately nonhuman (hobgoblin), with some samsarans, elves and oni. Radripal has plenty of vanaras and vishkanyas, as well as some tieflings (likely rakshasa-blooded...) and, of course, rakshasa (and a honey-badger-headed one, at that!). Segada has gnomes, halflings, wyrwoods and skinwalkers. And Ular Kel has a more traditional mix of halflings, elves and gnomes.

While there's religious hints aplenty in Aelyosos, Anuli and Radripal, Segada doesn't seem to have much on Arcadian gods, other than a picture of a priest of Kazutal. There doesn't seem to be a 'temple quarter' in Segada, which may give it's own hints to differences over there, or just indicate that Paizo wasn't entirely ready to pin that down quite yet, and so had this community be less religiously focused, to avoid putting a fence up prematurely and hedging out whatever neat idea shows up later for Arcadian faith(s)...

Looking at that cover, I'm like 'What's wrong with that Rakshasa (Magus?)'s hands?' And then, 'Oh yeah, they have backwards hands. That's kind of their thing...'

Some really neat stuff. Loving the artwork!

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Set wrote:


While there's religious hints aplenty in Aelyosos, Anuli and Radripal, Segada doesn't seem to have much on Arcadian gods, other than a picture of a priest of Kazutal. There doesn't seem to be a 'temple quarter' in Segada, which may give it's own hints to differences over there, or just indicate that Paizo wasn't entirely ready to pin that down quite yet, and so had this community be less religiously focused, to avoid putting a fence up prematurely and hedging out whatever neat idea shows up later for Arcadian faith(s)...

That brings up some intriguing ideas for me about home-worship and household gods. Maybe it is a culture (at least in the city) that doesn't care much for big-temple worship and prefers private ceremonies at home.

Maybe their priesthood did something really, really bad and were banished.
Maybe there was a curse placed on the city that no public temple can be erected, lest the city perish in fire, flood and plague from the other jealous gods. (Could lead to a fun campaign where PCs need to seek out a secretly built temple and destroy it, or save it...)
Lots of options!

Paizo Employee Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.

The main reason I didn't explore religion in Segada is that the other authors were doing a bunch of stuff with deities, and we didn't want every city to have a big focus on deities. It makes good sense to focus on that in Aelyosos, Anuli, and Radripal, and we felt that was plenty.

The second reason is that I'm not 100% ready to lay out a pantheon of gods that are worshiped in Arcadia. I have a good idea of the direction I want to go with it, but I'm not completely happy with what I have, so I didn't want to paint myself into an "it's already in print" corner.

I included a mention of Kazutal and an illustration of a priest of Kazutal because I'm certain of that deity (and I'm playing a cleric of Kazutal in our developer game). What I didn't realize until now is that I didn't include any people of interest or places of interest that were religious-based. This lack of inclusion wasn't meant to define anything about the people of Segada. They're just as religious as anyone else.


Set wrote:
Looking at that cover, I'm like 'What's wrong with that Rakshasa (Magus?)'s hands?' And then, 'Oh yeah, they have backwards hands. That's kind of their thing...

Not necessarily hands, in Golarion; just backwards something.

Note that honey badger guy's hands aren't palm-backward like the standard image of D&D rakshashas; instead, they're "upside-down" with the thumbs on the wrong side.


So are Ashukharma and Matravash meant to be a lesbian Vishnu and Lakshmi?


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

All we need now is a really good AP that plays in TianXia and does not start or end or whatever in the Inner Sea, but might visit the very nice TianXia city in this book as well as the Kraken Empire!
And features a lot of awesome halflings!


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Having recently gotten my hard copy, something curious came to mind about Anuli, the Crucible, and how omwa are selected.

Could someone who is best suited for the role (in part because they don't want it) be 'put up' to going through the Crucible for the 'Greater Good'?

In addition, it was mentioned that at least one man has survived the Crucible with 'undesirable results'. Would those results have been more physiological in nature, or spiritual?

Please forgive the thread-o-mancy!


Picked this up a few days ago, still working through it.

Initial impressions: I'm amused that Dhucharg and Ular Kel, but no others, have nicely rounded population numbers. I guess they use census estimations rather than exact counts like everyone else.

Dhucharg leaves me wondering how a militarily aggressive city has lasted with such weak divine casters and no arcane casters mentioned at all. Any competent level 13-15 wizard could kill the majority of the population in a few months, or at least force them to abandon the city.


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Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's not like 13th to 15th level characters - much less wizards - are particularly common. As the Inner Sea World Guide says on page 253...

Inner Sea World Guide wrote:
The vast majority of humanity are "standard," ranging in level from 1st to 5th - most with NPC classes like commoner, expert, or warrior (it's uncommon for a character with only NPC class levels to be above 5th level). A significant number of a nation's movers and shakers, along with other leaders, heroes, and notables, are "exceptional," ranging in level from 6th to 10th. "Powerful" characters, ranging in level from 11th to 15th, are quite rare - typically only a handful of such powerful characters should exist in most nations, and they should be leaders or specially trained troops most often designed to serve as allies or enemies for use in an adventure. Finally, "legendary" characters of 16th or higher level should be exceptionally rare, and when they appear should only do so as part of a specific campaign - all legendary characters should be supported with significant histories and flavor.


Yeah, but these guys are supposed to be belligerent towards most of their neighbors, you'd think one of them could scrape up a group of wizards to teleport in and from flying invisibility rain fireballs down on any exposed populace every day to discourage that sort of thing. Or obliterate their armies in the field.

And many other cities in this book have a powerful spellcaster in residence. Segada has a sorcerer 17; Anuli a cleric 17, Abjurer 15; Aelysos a (mythic!) druid 16. Lots of cities must have 7-9th level casting just because of their population size and traits. Dhucharg has 5th level spells.

It's just not realistic for a military expansionist culture to succeed without any competent magical support unless their region is completely backward.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

There's a difference between resident and allied. They may have access to powerful magical allies who are not resident in the city.

Second, it really doesn't matter what's realistic and what's not. If they're established as successful without any magical support, then that's what they are, period. That cannot be contested. If it's in the book, then that's what they are. The reasons behind it may be explained in the writeup, they may be revealed sometime in the future, or they may never be revealed, but the status of the city is what the status of the city is said to be. The reasons are whatever.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Slithery D wrote:

Yeah, but these guys are supposed to be belligerent towards most of their neighbors, you'd think one of them could scrape up a group of wizards to teleport in and from flying invisibility rain fireballs down on any exposed populace every day to discourage that sort of thing. Or obliterate their armies in the field.

AN army of monks and rogues with improved evasion, or sacred fist warpriests with a ring of evasion laugh at that. Add in some barbarians and the rogues with uncanny dodge^^

End of your wizards.

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

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Look beyond Kaoling's borders, and I think you'll find one key reason for their continued success. To the east, Jinin is largely content to maintain its own border. To the west lies the low-population desert that presents minimal strategic threat or advantage in conquest. Chu Ye could be considered a sympathetic neighbor, insomuch as they probably agree to leave each other alone and focus on subjugating their respective populations. To the south, the three inheritor states are so busy watching out for each other that no one of them wants to risk launching an attack on Kaoling; doing so would leave that state's other borders weak.

Were Kaoling to launch a new major invasion to the south, the three states might put aside their differences in order to repel the hobgoblins—perhaps even destroy Kaoling, though that's not a guaranteed outcome. However, I could see suspicions mounting that Lingshen might annex those lands and overpower its rivals, causing friction and even betrayal as the united forces approached victory. Equally possible is that the threat of Kaoling would permanently unite the three states, though that would require truly epic battles in which to prove that the allied forces are stronger together than apart. Heck, that could even be the start of a new imperial age.

Either way, Kaoling benefits from disorganized and disinterested neighbors. It's a nation that likely would not have survived in the time of Lung Wa. For now, though, it thrives.

More to your point, Dhucharg might not have as many spellcasters in the capitol, but there might be military academies that train war wizards elsewhere in country. That remains to be seen in future publications. Consider adding them in your own campaign's take on Golarion.


John Compton wrote:
A bunch of stuff.

That was an awesome post! I feel like I just got a free Distant Shores Supplement!

And a belated Happy Birthday!

(For some reason I couldn't post in the Happy Birthday thread.)


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Now I am curious if we would see more along the lines of humanoid cities of Golarion. We know so little of the elven, dwarven, gnome, orc, and hin cities...

Paizo Employee Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Hobgoblins are generally not fans of arcane magic (which they call "elf magic"), so the lack of arcane spellcasters in Dhucharg isn't out of the ordinary. They are fond of alchemy, however, so they likely have high-level alchemists who aren't specifically listed in the city filling that gap within their society. On the whole, an army's strength is based on its size and armaments, both of which Dhucharg (and Kaoling on the larger scale) have very well covered. Even in a major military undertaking like the Mendevian Crusade most of the military consists of mundane fighters rather than spellcasters, with clerics and paladins far more common than wizards or sorcerers. Kaoling would only really be at a magical disadvantage from an attack by an extremely magical society, like Nex, but they're not really interested in waging a war on the other side of the world.

Executive Editor

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Slithery D wrote:


Initial impressions: I'm amused that Dhucharg and Ular Kel, but no others, have nicely rounded population numbers. I guess they use census estimations rather than exact counts like everyone else.

Yeah, population statistics are weird. I prefer to round because (perhaps ironically) it feels more accurate and "real" to me. People are constantly being born and dying in a city, so the bigger a settlement gets, the harder it is for me to believe a number that's exact all the way down to the individual citizen. While you can say the book is a snapshot of a given moment, and thus have that level of specificity, it just feels weird to me to give a number that will begin changing the moment the game begins.

Other people have different approaches, and that's cool too. This is just an explanation of how my brain works!

Liberty's Edge Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Having recently gotten my hard copy, something curious came to mind about Anuli, the Crucible, and how omwa are selected.

Could someone who is best suited for the role (in part because they don't want it) be 'put up' to going through the Crucible for the 'Greater Good'?

In addition, it was mentioned that at least one man has survived the Crucible with 'undesirable results'. Would those results have been more physiological in nature, or spiritual?

Please forgive the thread-o-mancy!

Oh! I missed this question when it was originally posed a few months back. Apologies!

In theory, you could put forward any nominee for the Crucible, but preparing for the experience requires extensive focus and emotional clarity. A candidate is much less likely to survive if she is unwilling, so it's in everyone's best interests to either find a candidate who is already willing, or else persuade your ideal candidate to take up the mantle.

As for the effects the Crucible has on candidates, the process itself is very painful, followed by opening a mortal's mind up to the infinite potential of the outer planes. When it doesn't go well, the process either kills a candidate or (as in the case of the man mentioned) leaves deep and damaging emotional scars that can lead to instability or erratic behavior. The Crucible won't necessarily do that to all men; so far only one man (that we know about) has pushed forward into that position and survived the experience, so it's possible the ritual would have different effects on other men.


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So now that this has been out for a while, have the sales been strong enough that a Distant Shores II is a future possibility? Please?

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Dropped a review. Hope it's of help to anyone.

Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
So now that this has been out for a while, have the sales been strong enough that a Distant Shores II is a future possibility? Please?

Would sell my soul for a sequel.

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