Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Aquatic Adventures (PFRPG)

3.60/5 (based on 5 ratings)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Aquatic Adventures (PFRPG)
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Dive into Adventure!

There's plenty of adventure hidden beneath the gentle tidal cycles and crashing waves of Golarion. Discover the rich ecologies and complex societies hidden in the briny depths of the oceans and seas. In this book you can learn more about merfolk nations, the dangerous sahuagin, peaceful aquatic humanoids, and the aquatic terrors that wage war against them. Dare deadly environments, explore strange underwater cities, and find lost treasures within these pages.

This book also provides a wealth of rules for underwater combat and ways for terrestrial adventurers to adapt to aquatic environs, including new archetypes, feats, and magic items. Dive in to underwater adventure!

Inside this book you'll find:

  • A thorough gazetteer of Golarion's five oceans that explores the various points of interest and conflicts between those who make these bodies of water their home.
  • A look at Golarion's seas and their inhabitants, as well as strange treasures that can be found within their depths.
  • An expansion of rules for underwater combat that clarifies those presented in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook and introduces new challenges to consider.
  • Dozens of new archetypes, class features, feats, spells, and items both magical and mundane that players can use to prepare their characters for adventures beneath the waves.

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

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-944-8

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

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3.60/5 (based on 5 ratings)

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Worth the price for the Aquatic Rules chapter alone

4/5

First things first: this is Campaign Setting, so if you bought it to power up your PC and found out that many options are so narrow that they work best for NPCs ... well, you get what you deserve for not reading my review.

Second thing is that there are some very nice things for PCs here. I kind of wish that some of the stuff here was included in Blood of the Seas, but that ship has sailed. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. You got the joke, right? Right?

Anyway, apart from rules material, this book has two things going for it. One are the chapters on Golarion's oceans and seas which, while evocative and well written, are somewhat brief. They're more primers than full descriptions, so as usual with Paizo, there's a lot for a GM to fill out with her or his imagination.

Now the big kahuna is the Aquatic Rules chapter which gathers, updates and expands the rules for aquatic movement and actions. Why is this such a great deal? Well it's because these rules are horribly spread across the core rulebook thanks to the CRB inheriting less-than-stellar layout of the 3.5 PHB. Here you have everything in one place - movement, buoyancy, combat, spellcasting, drowning AND the creme de la creme, some guidance as to how do spells work underwater. My snarky tongue-in-cheek argument about lightning bolts underwater suddenly holds far less water than it used to. AHAHAHAHAHAH! Also a joke! C'mon, you did get this one, too? Let me know in comments below.


Okay, but not amazing

2/5

The book does what it says on the tin, but nearly all of the new rules elements are unusable in all but the most heavily water focused games. An example of this is the Drowned Channeler Spiritualist, who has to be within 25 feet of a major body of water to gain /any/ benefit from Shared Consciousness. Not any water, not even a lake or major river - it has to be something on the scale of an ocean or sea.

If this was an exception and not the rule, I could give this three stars - but this book is sadly not so. Nearly every rules element has no effect outside of water, some actively penalize you for being on land; unless you regularly play entirely-aquatic games, skip this book and save yourself $16+


Life Is Better Down Where It's Wetter

4/5

A good solid book about Golarion's oceans and seas and it also has some nice additional/expanded under water rules. While I do like some of the additional class options, spells, etc. I would have preferred less crunch for more world building.


Excellent, although too many rules for my liking

4/5

I find this book very hard to rank in the usual one to five star way.

I enjoyed the first forty pages immensely. They give a really good survey of the oceans and seas of Golarion including plenty of adventure hooks, details of who lives where and everything you'd want from an introductory 'gazetteer' of such large areas.

My main complaint is that each section is too short and further that there's no discussion of the bodies of water to be found in the Darklands. Given the importance of underworld regions to a fantasy world, the latter in particular feels like a glaring omission.

The reason for that is no doubt the perceived need to include the mechanics in the latter part of the book. I suspect that these rules elements are well done and probably even necessary (I don't buy the campaign books for rules, so I haven't done more than flick through the later parts of the book) - nonetheless, I wish they'd been provided in some other way. It feels to me that this isn't really a campaign setting book, but rather two thirds of a campaign book plus some rules stuff.

Given all of that, I still consider this good value and it's a welcome entry in the line. I'd just personally prefer that the flavor proportion of these books be given greater weight.


Very Solid

4/5

The majority of this book details a lot of the oceans and seas throughout Golarion, along with sunken treasures and the occasional NPC. It has a ton of flavor text and pretty good art.

It also goes into the nitty gritty details on movement and combat underwater, even changing a rule in the core rulebook about "cover from the water's surface".

If you plan on doing anything underwater, pick this book up. If not, you probably can do without it.

Overall, good book. 4 stars.


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Paizo Employee Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Seifter wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
Thomas Seitz wrote:

I wonder if Lake Lake Encarthan will get some love from this...

Otherwise excellent stuff! :)

Lake Encarthan isn't featured in this book. While developing it this week, I had some late regret for not ordering more text on some of the larger and more significant bodies of water that aren't oceans or seas (because that was on the forefront of my mind when I outlined and assigned the book).
Who were the other key staff? (by which I mean the Designers I guess, if I've got my terminology right).
Technically, we would call them the "authors". Of course, in this case, a designer was one of the authors, thus confusing things further!

I don't see any harm in letting folks know that you wrote the rules chapter. ;)

Paizo Employee Developer

Charles Scholz wrote:

I wonder if it is going to have rules for playing Prawn?

I don't fully understand your question, but using powers of context, I'll report that there are not going to be any new races in this book.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There's no Campaign Setting books coming out in March, April, or May? That's a huge gap.


I'm looking forward to what they do with underwater combat rules. When I ran skull & shackles, my players would gripe to no end whenever they had to fight in the water.


Darn, no Azlant book:(

That is a big gap with no campaign setting books.

Sovereign Court

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

Might give me time to read those I already bought! :)

Dark Archive

Generic Villain wrote:
There's no Campaign Setting books coming out in March, April, or May? That's a huge gap.

Turns out that Starfinder needed the extra development power.


The gap will give me time.

Also future Campaign Setting books in July are still on the table! ;)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Gotta say, while I am pumped for this little gem, they managed to find the most random picture for the mock-up. An extreme closeup of an image that has nothing to do, really, with underwater activity at all... other than the drowning part I guess. Yet there have been some downright gorgeous underwater scenes in the past. For example:

-The Dead Heart of Xin, pg. 62
-Turn of the Torrent, pg. 61
-Raiders of the Fever Sea, pg. 49 and pg. 58
-Tempest Rising, pg. 30
-Guide to the River Kingdoms, pg. 34

And that's what I found in a quick 5-minute search. Color me cornfused.


GV,

Maybe they decided they needed madness to confuse people.


Well technically drowning does have to do with the book's subject matter;) Also the art isn't the final art, so why be bothered by it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:

Well technically drowning does have to do with the book's subject matter;) Also the art isn't the final art, so why be bothered by it.

I'm mostly nitpicking. I'm guessing only a small fraction of the customers who will end up buying this will have ever see the mockup. That said, I have to imagine that, for those of us who do, the placeholder art has some effect on a product's perceived desirability. Meh, whatever. As much as I love psychology, I have always found marketing to be completely impenetrable.

So yeah, off-topic rambling aside: I really have been waiting for this book for years. I once made a villainous organization comparable to the Kraken Society in Forgotten Realms - basically a huge aquatic military force backing up air-breathing merchants, pirates, and thugs - but ended up tossing it because I realized how messed up underwater combat rules were. I own Alluria Publishing's Cerulean Seas, Kobold Press's Sunken Empires, and WotC's Stormwrack, and tried cobbling together my own house rules from these, but that didn't work out.

So glad Paizo is giving this classic fantasy staple its due.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
John Kretzer wrote:

So I guess this is the book hinted at by Eric Mona a little ago. He said something about a book people have been asking for. I was hoping it was Brothels of Golarion personally.

But this will do.

I'm also keen about this, but it's also not what I hoped Erik was hinting at.

I like Worldscape too, but I'm very close to starting an online petition asking Erik to finally get around to writing a Nex sourcebook.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Brothels of Golarion is still on the list of things I'd like to see before I die.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Maybe in 5 years we will see Brothels... I mean Dance Halls of Golarion;)


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Dance halls, brothels, I want one of those before I die! :p ;)

Silver Crusade

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
Maybe in 5 years we will see Brothels... I mean Dance Halls of Golarion;)

HORIZONTAL. DANCING.


djones wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:

So I guess this is the book hinted at by Eric Mona a little ago. He said something about a book people have been asking for. I was hoping it was Brothels of Golarion personally.

But this will do.

I'm also keen about this, but it's also not what I hoped Erik was hinting at.

I like Worldscape too, but I'm very close to starting an online petition asking Erik to finally get around to writing a Nex sourcebook.

I too would be interested in a Nex sourcebook. I've been wanting that since all those Nex tidbits in Legacy of Fire.


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

Ed Greenwood called them 'festhalls' in Forgotten Realms. One example in Waterdeep is Mother Tathlorn's House of Pleasure and Healing. It's refreshing that Pathfinder dispenses with the winks and nods and just outright says: this way to get yo freak on.

Paizo Employee Developer

12 people marked this as a favorite.

Stay on target.


*targets Lake Encarthan*


6 people marked this as a favorite.

"Darling it's better down where it's wetter, take it from me..."


Agreed. I'll bet money that Paizo's official aqua rules are going to...sink.


It will be a while before we find out what is in this book.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

You can't expect them to deluge us with information right away. They have to give us a slow drip to maintain interest.


I see others have asked it already: what's with the gap? A chance to let the budget-impaired catch up on the last few years' releases, I guess.

Dark Archive

GreatKhanArtist wrote:
I see others have asked it already: what's with the gap? A chance to let the budget-impaired catch up on the last few years' releases, I guess.

It´s due to Starfinder mostly.


Marco Massoudi wrote:
GreatKhanArtist wrote:
I see others have asked it already: what's with the gap? A chance to let the budget-impaired catch up on the last few years' releases, I guess.
It´s due to Starfinder mostly.

Yes. They are trying to stay afloat with the profusion of new product they are gushing over with to waft our way.


I just hope that this Starfinder thing is actually worth it.


Don't be a wet blanket.

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Adam Daigle wrote:
Charles Scholz wrote:

I wonder if it is going to have rules for playing Prawn?

I don't fully understand your question, but using powers of context, I'll report that there are not going to be any new races in this book.

Prawn

Prawn Capsule Review by Steve Hatherley on 07/07/02
Style: 3 (Average)
Substance: 3 (Average)
Play a fish in this deeply silly but rather charming larp.
Product: Prawn
Author: Mike Young
Category: RPG
Company/Publisher: Interactivities Ink
Line:
Cost:
Page count: 44
Year published: 2002
ISBN: 0-9708356-4-7
SKU: IAI0005
Comp copy?: yes
Capsule Review by Steve Hatherley on 07/07/02
Genre tags: Modern day Comedy Diceless Live-action
Prawn fills a niche that I didn’t even know existed: the swimming pool larp. Yup, that’s right – you need a swimming pool to play the game in. Well, you don’t really need a swimming pool, but it’s designed to be played with one, and I suspect loses much of its charm if you don’t.

In Prawn, the players take the role of fish in a fish tank. There’s Angel the Angelfish, Shelly the Oyster, Mr Pinchley (a crab) and more. There are rival gangs, star-crossed lovers, a secret society, “family” business and all the usual larp stuff.

Prawn covers everything you need – how to run the game, sorting out props, adding extra characters and plots, even how to run a Prawn campaign. (A frankly amazing thought. A Prawn campaign – my mind reels at just the thought of it.)

But is Prawn any good?

First up – I should admit that I haven’t played or run Prawn. No handy swimming pool, unfortunately. (That’s probably its biggest drawback – it’s hard enough finding players much of the time, let alone a pool as well.)

The game itself is pretty light. Deeply silly, of course, put pretty light all the same. There’s enough in the game last a couple of hours in a swimming pool, but I’m not sure that I’d want to play it outside of a pool.

Having said that, the characters look like they are lots of fun to play and the instructions for the GM (known as the “Tankmaster”) are clear. A few props are required, but they shouldn’t be too hard to find. The advice on adding more characters and plots is also pretty good – although I’m not sure I’d want to add too many more characters as I can imagine the pool getting pretty chaotic.

All in all, Prawn looks like a delightful way to spend a couple of hours. I just wish I had a swimming pool in which to play it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Must buy!

Ruyan.


I think I'll skip this one till I'm in a game where it's relevant, I'm into the idea but have a feeling a number of options won't be as useful in non aquatic campaigns. Luckily my group has talked about doing Skull and Shackles and Ruins of Azlant


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I really hope to see new discoveries for aquatic alchemists. 'Gills', 'Deepsea Mutogen' and 'Pill Extract', maybe?


Aquatic alchemist discoveries would be cool. Also aquatic/water themed barbarian rage powers, rogue talents, psychic disciplines, witch hexes, etc. would be cool as well.


Underwater nations? Wonder if Xidao will be mentioned (beyond one line of "x is also found far to the east in the Tian Xia nation of Xidao" type stuff).

Dark Archive

I wonder how much of the content is an "underwater nations" sourcebook and how much is new rules, spells, feats etc. for underwater use?

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't have the outline in front of me, but from what I recall it's about 30-something pages of gazetteer and 20-something pages of mechanics.

Dark Archive

Adam Daigle wrote:
I don't have the outline in front of me, but from what I recall it's about 30-something pages of gazetteer and 20-something pages of mechanics.

Thanks Adam, that sounds good.

I wonder if this book focuses only on the settlements near Avistan, Garund and Tian Xia or if we'll also get Atzlanti, Casmaronian or cities far from the lands.


That is a lot of crunch for a campaign setting book.


Does it comes with the classic bestiary section?


A whole CS book bestiary of aquatic creatures would be awesome.

Paizo Employee Developer

The Gold Sovereign wrote:
Does it comes with the classic bestiary section?

There's no bestiary chapter in this book. Sorry.


Wow, that is disappointing hear:(

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Pathfinder has an abundance of aquatic monsters, I'd dare even to say an over-abundance - c'mon, just how many species of shark do you need - so that's no biggie.


We haven't even seen giant starfish, mutant coral colonies, flying magical goldfish, giant sea cucumbers, giant nautilus, sea foam oozes, giant muscles/clams/ousters, magical manta rays, evil clownfish, etc. and that is not including aquatic creatures from myth. Also there is a lot more types of fish out there other then sharks.

Silver Crusade

This looks great!

Liberty's Edge

Hey, I missed this book's announcement!
I'm pretty stoked about this one!


Well even without monsters, still sounds interesting.


I wonder if merfolk will get to be on the cover art.

Will the naiad from B6 get a mention in this book? Will any water fey in general get mentioned?

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