Pathfinder Tales: Starspawn—Non-Mint

3.60/5 (based on 5 ratings)
Pathfinder Tales: Starspawn

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NOTE!!! This product is not in mint condition. Non-mint products have typically been dinged or bent or picked up some other form of imperfection during the course of shipment, so we're making them available at a discounted price. While they have some cosmetic damage, they should still be in usable condition. There will be no refunds on non-mint products.

The Stars Are Wrong

Once a notorious pirate, Jendara has at last returned to the cold northern isles of her birth, ready to settle down and raise her young son. Yet when a mysterious tsunami wracks her island's shore, she and her fearless crew must sail out to explore the strange island that's risen from the sea floor. No sooner have they delved into the lost island's alien structures than they find themselves competing with a monstrous cult eager to complete a dark ritual in those dripping halls. For something beyond all mortal comprehension has been dreaming on the sea floor. And it's begun to wake up...

From Hugo Award winner Wendy N. Wagner comes a sword-swinging adventure in the tradition of H. P. Lovecraft, set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

352-page trade paperback
ISBN-13: 978-0-7653-8433-1

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

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PZO8534NM


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Average product rating:

3.60/5 (based on 5 ratings)

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3/5

I thought this was an improvement on "Skinwalkers". I liked the Mythos touch. I liked the different factions on the island w/ their own agendas as opposed to a clearly delineated band of antagonists v. protagonists. I liked that there were real casualties, given the incredible odds they were up against; it gets a little much when everyone survives for a happy ending.

Dislikes would include her son, Kran. More often than not, I'm afraid I just found him annoying. And the little dog surviving the whole adventure stretched disbelief. Also, the proofreading and editing seemed nonexistent. Worse than "Skinwalkers". While I could guess the missing words when I came upon them (often a simple "the"), or overlook an extra word, or fill in the past tense of a few verbs...all together it was too much for a professionally published novel.

Overall, a fun read. 3.5 stars for me.


Starspawn was a thrilling ride.

4/5

This was the first Pathfinder Tale I had the pleasure of reading and it was very enjoyable.

Good:
-The action portions are paced well and really pull you into the action.
-The main characters were likeable and were developed well. Had flaws, etc.

Bad:
-The secondary characters are not fleshed out enough. Forgettable at times.
-Pacing between big plot points can start to lag.

Verdict:
The good parts were great and the bad parts were forgotten once you get back into the action. Jendara are her crew were a diverse lot that made me interested in their fates and the previous book in their story. The story pulls you in and the stakes are high as they deal with a threat to all of Golarian.


I like Skinwalkers, but this book is really bad.

1/5

GOOD:
Chapter one and the wraparound-cover.

BAD:
The characters are really one-dimensional and underdeveloped.
Besides from Jendara, Kran, Vorrin and Korthrax, i couldn´t keep the others apart, because there is almost zero description of how they look.

UGLY:
The book has very few action-scenes, and they last mostly for one page, sometimes for two pages (The first chapter is the only exception).
Almost nobody dies, despite horrible enemies.
The worst thing is, the structure is similiar to "Wizard´s Mask", the only other really bad book in the Pathfinder series:
Somebody get´s lost during the exploration, the rest searches for them.
During that, someone else get´s lost and the others search for them.
During that, some others get lost and so on.

I havn´t been so bored reading a novel in a few years and i read a lot of novels. This sadly is neither a good Mythos Tale, nor a good Pathfinder Tale.


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Community & Digital Content Director

Announced for August! Cover image and description are final.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I'm so ready for this. ^_^

I guess I should read Skinwalkers.

Contributor

Cool! She's a great writer and does a lot of great editing work in the field, too.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ia ia?

Contributor

Awesome, this looks super fun (and creepy!).


Is it just me....or does that look like a giant Illithid on that cover ?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
nighttree wrote:
Is it just me....or does that look like a giant Illithid on that cover ?

Potential Spoiler:
Based on the name, I'm guessing it's one of the Star-Spawn of Cthulhu.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hmm... Color me interested! Is it August yet?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Valantrix1 wrote:
Hmm... Color me interested! Is it August yet?

checks unshoveled driveway

Nope. :(

Sovereign Court

Skinwalkers was really underwhelming. Just spoon-feeding the reader like we're all morons. I might skip out on my sub for this one.

Silver Crusade

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

I'll disagree, I thought Skinwalkers was pretty badass. Definitely one of my favourite Tales.

Silver Crusade

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

Skinwalkers was cool. Bloody, Revenant-ish and I can imagine why it could not appeal to many 'Muricans. But this is bloody stick your guts in your face Yurp, and I embrace balls to walls literature when I see it. Moreso if the protagonist's balls are, well, a metaphor.

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

I wasn't a huge fan of Skinwalkers, not that it was bad per se, but it felt like it should have been a story set in a low magic setting, not in Golarion.

I'm far more interested in this than I was in Skinwalkers though, starspawn are way more interesting of a threat than lycanthrope wanna-be cannibals.


Welp, Jendara's royally screwed!

Even if she lives through this (which is doubtful) I don't think she's going to come out of it entirely sane.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Intrigued simply because my understanding is that an actual Star-spawn (CR 20!) is a threat way above the normal level of what shows up in the novels (outside Salim's and Count Jeggare's adventures).

Dark Archive

Yes, this should be the first Pathfinder Tales main character to die or go insane.
Anything else would be illogical.

Golarions Devil's Reef or R'lyeh, just in time for the Strange Aeons AP.

Want.


Also, assuming it is an actual Star-Spawn of Cthulhu waking up, doesn't this have dire implications for all of Golarion? I mean, Karzoug was also a CR 20 threat and he was entirely capable of conquering vast sections of Golarion.


I think it's actually a devilfish myself...

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Thomas Seitz wrote:
I think it's actually a devilfish myself...

A good thought, but you can see its hands in the foreground of the art. ^_^


I thought that was just some random claw, Kal.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Thomas Seitz wrote:
I thought that was just some random claw, Kal.

Not impossible, although the one on the right seems far more indicative of having opposable thumbs.

That said, the art certainly has far more of the devilfish's iconic "spiny-ness" than the existing art for the star-spawn of Cthulhu, which tends toward smooth and slippery-looking surfaces.


Guess we'll see when the book gets released won't we Kal?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Yup! ^_^


Heaven help Golarion if it's actually Cthulhu itself.


Berselius,

I doubt that very serious.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

While not impossible, it would have to involve interplanetary travel - Cthulhu is on a planet far from Golarion, according to Wake of the Watcher.

Spoiler:
Presumably, that planet is Earth, per The Call of Cthulhu.


Thomas Seitz wrote:
Berselius, I doubt that very serious.

Yeah, I'm guessing Cthulhu is "somewhere else" right now. ^_~

Kalindlara wrote:
While not impossible, it would have to involve interplanetary travel - Cthulhu is on a planet far from Golarion, according to Wake of the Watcher.

Ah, cool, but even if it is only a Star-Spawn of Cthulhu, it could very well have major implications for the Inner Sea right?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Berselius wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
While not impossible, it would have to involve interplanetary travel - Cthulhu is on a planet far from Golarion, according to Wake of the Watcher.
Ah, cool, but even if it is only a Star-Spawn of Cthulhu, it could very well have major implications for the Inner Sea right?

If it wakes up and gets free, yes indeed. Who knows what will happen in the story, though.

(That said, unless the cover art is taking some serious liberties with the story, I have doubts about Jendara making it out alive and whole...)


Starspawn are immortal and fly through space (and also have gate as an SLA), so they can technically get anywhere. (This thing could've been sealed by the aboleths long before the throwdown with Rovagug ever happened. Starspawn are that old.)


Kalindlara wrote:
If it wakes up and gets free, yes indeed. Who knows what will happen in the story, though.

Yeah, the Land of the Linnorm Kings might never be the same to say the least. Then again, the Star-Spawn of Cthulhu could end up stumbling across a Tarn Linnorm (or worse) and end in up a epic monster throw-down (which might not end well for it). This should be interesting at the very least.

Kalindlara wrote:
(That said, unless the cover art is taking some serious liberties with the story, I have doubts about Jendara making it out alive and whole...)

It's ironic how many perils she's had to face since retirement eh? First Winter Wolves and Hill Giants, then Skinwalkers, and now an unspeakable eldritch horror from under the ocean depths. It's like destiny wants to make her regret ever forsaking her life as a pirate.

Zhangar wrote:
Starspawn are immortal and fly through space (and also have gate as an SLA), so they can technically get anywhere. (This thing could've been sealed by the aboleths long before the throwdown with Rovagug ever happened. Starspawn are that old.)

Yowza, I wonder how that cult got down there then? Maybe a tribe of Gillmen that accidentally made contact or became trapped long ago?

Scarab Sages

Kalindlara wrote:

I'm so ready for this. ^_^

I guess I should read Skinwalkers.

You might want to read Mother of Bears as well. I should probably read both of the too :).


*still think it's a devilfish*


Have a look at the enlarged pictures. Clearly hands with long claws, rather than the pincer's a Devilfish has, and the face looks far more like a Starspawn or Cthulhu than a devilfish.

Dark Archive

This is 100% clearly a Star-Spawn of Cthulhu.
From the title of the book over the "The stars are right/wrong" line to the fact that this comes out at the same time as "Strange Aeons" it is apparent that this is no large CR4 magical beast but a huge CR20 abberation.


Marco Massoudi wrote:

This is 100% clearly a Star-Spawn of Cthulhu.

From the title of the book over the "The stars are right/wrong" line to the fact that this comes out at the same time as "Strange Aeons" it is apparent that this is no large CR4 magical beast but a huge CR20 abberation.

Could be worse, could be an ADVANCED GIANT Star-Spawn of Cthulhu (which is a CR 22 right there).


"The Stars Are Wrong" sounds like the perfect quip right before you punch out Cthulhu. Sadly, poor Jendara probably won't be punching out any Great Old Ones...

Cheers!
Landon

Silver Crusade

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

... has anyone stopped to think that they're not fighting, and that the Starspawn is just catching a falling Jendara?


Yes...because that's the sort of thing we do...

*rolls eyes*

Silver Crusade

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

I didn't say it wasn't gonna eat her afterwards.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

More Pirate Jenny, yay!


Landon Winkler wrote:

"The Stars Are Wrong" sounds like the perfect quip right before you punch out Cthulhu. Sadly, poor Jendara probably won't be punching out any Great Old Ones...

Cheers!
Landon

Considering Jendara is only around level 6 I'd say there would be a better chance of Asmodeus being redeemed as a LG Deity than her defeating Cthulhu (or any other Great Old One for that matter).


I'm writing my review of this at the moment, should hopefully have it posted either tonight or tomorrow night. All I'll say at the moment is that it was worth the wait, and if you enjoyed Skinwalkers, you'll want to pick this up.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Review posted. Full review can be found here: The Grassy Gnoll | Book Review - Pathfinder Tales: Starspawn by Wendy N. Wagner

Silver Crusade

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

I hates you! I have to wait till my subscription ships! XD


Luvs me some Lovecraft.


Rysky wrote:
I hates you! I have to wait till my subscription ships! XD

Heh. Yeah I got pretty lucky with a review copy. Read it a few times over the last few months :) it's well worth the wait though, like I said, if you enjoyed Skinwalkers and wanted more, you'll love this.

Scarab Sages

Jendara is one bad ass barbarian.

Spoiler:

Just taking on the Leng Spider alone was an epic battle!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Tinkergoth wrote:
Rysky wrote:
I hates you! I have to wait till my subscription ships! XD
Heh. Yeah I got pretty lucky with a review copy. Read it a few times over the last few months :) it's well worth the wait though, like I said, if you enjoyed Skinwalkers and wanted more, you'll love this.

Jealous :3

And I did, so I can't wait for this one.

Dark Archive

So she kills a CR 14 creature?

Must have gained a few levels since "Skinwalker".

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Marco Massoudi wrote:

So she kills a CR 14 creature?

Must have gained a few levels since "Skinwalker".

With no magical equipment.

She definitely has been leveling.

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