Pathfinder Lost Omens: Absalom, City of Lost Omens

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Pathfinder Lost Omens: Absalom, City of Lost Omens
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THE CITY IS YOURS

For nearly 5,000 years, the great city of Absalom has stood at the center of the Inner Sea region's culture, commerce, and prophecy. Now, after the death of its founder-god Aroden, the disappearance of its lord mayor, and new attacks from some of its greatest foes, Absalom stands at the crossroads of a new and uncertain destiny!

This lore-packed 400-page guide presents a fascinating locale suitable for years of Pathfinder adventures! A huge poster map of the city, more than 250 locations, and more than 400 interconnected NPCs set the scene in unprecedented detail, beckoning your characters to walk upon streets paved with centuries of history. Follow in the footsteps of generations of questing heroes to chart a new path for the City at the Center of the World!

Written by: Allie Bustion, John Compton, Jeremy Corff, Katina Davis, Vanessa Hoskins, James Jacobs, Virginia Jordan, Erik Mona, Matt Morris, Liane Merciel, Dave Nelson, Samantha Phelan, Jessica Redekop, Mikhail Rekun, Brian Richmond, David N. Ross, Simone D. Sallé, Shahreena Shahrani, Abigail Slater, Chris Spivey, Diego Valdez, and Skylar-James Wall

Content Warning: While Absalom, City of Lost Omens contains a great deal of content suitable for everyone, it also presents themes of slavery, ableism, body horror, and human experimentation. Before you use this material in a campaign, understand that player consent (including that of the Game Master) is vital to a safe and fun play experience for everyone. Talk with your players before using these themes at the table and modify descriptions or scenarios as appropriate.

ISBN: 978-1-64078-235-8

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Dark Archive

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LEDFORD IS ALIVE!

HAPPY DAYS!

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If somebody is still answering questions, here is another detail I'm confused by:

Absalom books keeps making references to Sarnia Blakros' taking over Onyx Alliance having happened in 4712 and that being public... But she was introduced in Daughter's Due (2019) right, so is this error or retcon or what?

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Okay I did more digging on this and I suspect this might be another lore error in need of lore errata besides the more bizarre Torius Vin thing:

primary example is on 354-355 which contains Sarnia's entry
"Sarnia’s campaign reached a crescendo with a direct attack on Blakros family interests during the Pathfinder Society’s Grand Convocation of 4712, at which Scion Lady Hamaria and Lady Michellia were honored guests. Delveris’s husband, the traitorous Lord Pieter, died in the attack, pleasing Sarnia greatly even if the unstable man had been her most valuable catspaw."

On lord Pendleton's entry on page 346
"Oved’s long-missing mother, Sarnia, had surprisingly appeared alongside Pieter’s Onyx Alliance allies at the Grand Lodge attack, helping Oved to sympathize with young Pendleton."

On 337 on Lady Michellia's entry
"Surprisingly, Sarnia—who had last been seen as a young woman when she was given over to the Alliance in 4677—now seemed to lead the umbral order."

Lady Delveris 293:
"Pieter eventually turned against the Blakros family completely, siding with Delveris’s “sacrificed” elder sister Sarnia and her Onyx Alliance allies to attack House Blakros itself and their allies in the Pathfinder Society during that organization’s Grand Convocation of 4712 ar."

So uh two things... From what I was told, this is about Blakros Matrimony(there is no "attack on grand convocation by OA" scenario, but Blakros Matrimony is mentioned happening after it)) which would make this a retcon since or error since this makes no sense in Daughter's Due(Sarnia's introduction's) timeline:

"In fact, the Onyx Alliance isn’t complacent so much as it is under new management. Most of the sacrificed Blakros daughters met unfortunate fates, yet Sarnia Blakros, the daughter surrendered in 4700 ar, was eventually able to shift the Alliance in her favor. She spent almost 15 years cultivating contacts and building her influence in secret before overthrowing the Alliance’s leaders in a sudden coup, quietly establishing herself as the leader of a reinvented Onyx Alliance."

Shadow Lodge

I believe there was an Onyx Alliance attack on the Grand Convocation it was only run at Paizocon that year and never released to the Society to run at large. This is definitely not about the Blakros Matrimony. Somewhere I remember reading a brief synopsis about what happened at that convocation, though I can't remember where I saw it.

A few posts talking about it here

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Eric Clingenpeel wrote:

I believe there was an Onyx Alliance attack on the Grand Convocation it was only run at Paizocon that year and never released to the Society to run at large. This is definitely not about the Blakros Matrimony. Somewhere I remember reading a brief synopsis about what happened at that convocation, though I can't remember where I saw it.

A few posts talking about it here

Oki, that would explain at least the OA assault thing but still leaves confusion of "so wait was Sarnia involved in the original one as well or not? So is it Daughter's Due that is making errors?"


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Another error I just caught that you guys might want to correct: In the Crime Report sidebar for the Docks, it seems like there is some stuff in there that should belong in the Coins, especially this sentence:

Quote:
Slums like Mudhaven, packed with the desperate poor and prone to danger, are almost completely avoided by the Token Guard.


Is there a problem with the shipping of this book to other (overseas) retailers? I've been looking to buy this book ever since it came out but no European sellers seem to be carrying it. Ordering from Paizo directly means having to pay $40 in shipping to Europe, so I'd like to buy from local stores.

Marketing & Media Manager

Concrete wrote:
Is there a problem with the shipping of this book to other (overseas) retailers? I've been looking to buy this book ever since it came out but no European sellers seem to be carrying it. Ordering from Paizo directly means having to pay $40 in shipping to Europe, so I'd like to buy from local stores.

Other than general international shipping delays I am not aware of any particular delays for this book. Paizo ships to distributors, they ship to Europe and the world.

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More I read the book more I realize how many npcs are actually connected to evil Torius Vin :'D Though to be fair, that problem is solved by just changing the name of pirate and the ship.


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*Look up from the conspiracy linking a Prison for Starstone Seekers, the Spreading Influence of Elder Gods, what might actually by a Grey lookout and a supposedly Failed Prophecy*

Are they gonna change the name, or rewrite the entry if it gets errated?

*Goes back into my Red Web*


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Concrete wrote:
Is there a problem with the shipping of this book to other (overseas) retailers? I've been looking to buy this book ever since it came out but no European sellers seem to be carrying it. Ordering from Paizo directly means having to pay $40 in shipping to Europe, so I'd like to buy from local stores.

I've got mine from here: https://lurchundlama.de/Pathfinder-Absalom-City-of-Lost-Omens-P2

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VerBeeker wrote:

*Look up from the conspiracy linking a Prison for Starstone Seekers, the Spreading Influence of Elder Gods, what might actually by a Grey lookout and a supposedly Failed Prophecy*

Are they gonna change the name, or rewrite the entry if it gets errated?

*Goes back into my Red Web*

"what might actually by a Grey lookout"

Whats that about? :O


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There is that false rumor about odd visitors from the sky, but also the Azure Egg, a "star" one of the NPCs has discovered is much closer than it appears and they believe it is one: artificial and two: watching and has been for some time.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Phaye wrote:

Question about the Lady Michellia entry. Is this meaning to imply she is a triplet?

Quote:
After her older twin sister, Imrizade, fled Absalom before the twenty-first birthday that would have seen her handed over to the Onyx Alliance Michellia was substituted as the family’s generational sacrifice, beating her twin Eleanir as the eldest by a matter of minutes.

So the three would be:

Imrizade - ran away eldest
Michellia - middle
Eleanir - youngest triplet?

Am I just reading this wrong?

Imrizade is simply the twins' oldest sister. They are not triplets. When Imrizade fled from Absalom, she left Michellia holding the bag.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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CorvusMask wrote:

If somebody is still answering questions, here is another detail I'm confused by:

Absalom books keeps making references to Sarnia Blakros' taking over Onyx Alliance having happened in 4712 and that being public... But she was introduced in Daughter's Due (2019) right, so is this error or retcon or what?

This is a result of a continuity error in PFS scenarios, wherein an identical character was introduced years apart, with different names. The original events are (if memory serves) from the interactive special event "Grand Convocation 4712," where she appeared under a different name we have since retconned to match Sarnia. Her original name was Kamarina Blakros.

Grand Lodge

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*makes edit to his copy of Grand Convocation 2012*


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It's Torius Vin all over again!

;)

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

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Finally got my copy after some delays with UK Distributors, and just finished Agents of Edgewatch Module #2 in the same week.

I’m running Edgewatch long and fat, about 4 months per module, and this book is absolutely fantastic.

There is soo much stuff, plots and NPCs and ideas virtually on every page, that there is more than enough to keep my cupboards stocked for another 4 modules.

For those that are looking to buy the book, I would totally recommend it, wether you are Edgewatching or not. I would describe it as a gazateer of people, locations, factions and plot ideas within Absalom. So if your constructing your own adventure, or bulking up an existing one, you can flick through, grab some ideas and your ready to go. It is much more DM friendly that the previous softcover edition, and all in all, a much better book, not just because it is bigger.

Dark Archive

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When this book was announced about two and half years ago, I was thrilled. In fact, I was the second poster (on 23rd September 2019) to comment on this very thread, and my first thought was that finally we’ll get a city book that will do justice to the City at the Center of the World! I didn’t mind that eventually Absalom was postponed indefinifely, because in my mind this was The Flagship Project for the second edition and the Lost Omens product line, captained by one of the best designers in the world. Let him take his time and work his magic, and the end result will make Waterdeep and Ptolus pale in comparison!

After over two long years of waiting, I finally got it in my grubby dwarven hands a month ago, although I had to dish out almost 60 euros for it. After carefully removing the map, I lovingly put it on the shelf to wait for a couple of weeks, so that I could savor it in peace. When I eventually had a whole evening to spend on reading it carefully through, I felt confused. I had had really high expectations for this book, so why didn’t I feel excited and inspired by its contents?

The book begins with a nice history section, and then describes all the major players, guilds, houses and factions in the city, including the participants in the War of Strings. I also like the parts about architecture and culture, and the glimpses at what a typical day and a year will be like for average residents of Absalom. All of this is great material for GMs, although honestly, I thought something similar to the ”Entwined Destinies” section at the end of Lost Omens : Legends would have been super helpful, perhaps even mandatory part for a book about Absalom. And in my humble opinion, that is where the good stuff more or less ends, on page 77, unless you count those chapter-opening art pieces of each district, which are great.

Why am I so disappointed? Well, I had expected something like Worldwound, City of Strangers or Rule of Fear, with loads of inspiring locations, story hooks and NPCs. In secret I had even hoped this book would be just like the excellent Sandpoint : Light of the Lost Coast, which includes quests and adventure seeds for every location and NPC mentioned in the book. Well, I should have realized that it’s probably not going to happen in a book that describes over 250 locations and 400 NPCs.

And that is kind of my point; this book was (obviously) a very ambitious and time-consuming project. It is also a prime example why sometimes less is more, and why deadlines are deadlines. The number of NPCs and locations in this book is just overwhelming, and sadly, I think most of them are not very inspiring and some may even be completely irrelevant in many campaigns. In my opinion the writing feels very ”forced”, in the ”Let’s just get this done!” sort of way, and thus many locations feel like boring landmarks, and almost all of the NPCs lack interesting goals or ways to hook them up with PCs. If this book had fewer locations and NPCs, I think it would probably have resulted in better descriptions and more space for adventuring-related stuff.

And that brings me to another major failure in this book: the lack of any real adventuring content. There are many sidebars containing brief story quests and encounters, but IMO most of these are tired old clichés or outright jokes. A rampant owlbear wearing a pink collar, and chased by its gnome owner? A group of unregistered acrobats being chased by city guards for an ”illegal performance”? Or young nobles stealing heads of statues as trophies? Are you serious, Paizo? And even the better ones aren’t really very imaginative, either. There are living mushroom threatening a fungi farmer, and a kobold tribe harassing sewer workers, and that’s pretty much it.
Where are the Key-lock Killers, Choppers and other local boogeymen and legends of Absalom? Where are the local haunted alleys plagued by shadows, ghosts or ”mystery slayers” such as Walcofinde or Living Graffiti? Where are overall the mysteries, enigmas and secrets of this metropolis for the PCs to discover? Oh yeah, there’s the Grislyfair, and the spooky orphanage with its drowned children, but both are described so inadequately that they’re practically unusable without decent prep work.

In real life I’m a vegetarian, but I still want to use the expression: ’I want to bite, but where’s the meat?’.

I even felt a bit cheated to see those ”ready-built Undercity locale” maps, all of which were first published in Last Watch. I already paid for those maps once, you know, and I have a hard time believing there are no unpublished dungeon maps lying around in the Paizo office. That is just lazy, Paizo, lame even!

To be honest, there are a couple of decent campaign seeds mentioned in the book, but both are no more than just short ideas revolving around a single NPC, who suffer from the same lack of details and methods for their plans than the rest of the NPCs do. There are also a couple of dungeons mentioned which piqued my interest, but one of them is more or less inaccessible. And what of Starstone? I was really hopeful to get additional information on the Test and the Cathedral, but instead there’s a nasty surprise in the book for GMs and players who might have dreams of deityhood as the endgame of their campaign. And I think there’s also other crucial stuff missing, such as a proper description and map of Shadow Absalom, or descriptions (and maybe even some maps) of new siege castles.

The book describes a very Utopian city, where residents brush shoulders with marble-hewn and gem-studded gargoyles, and tourists ride prehistoric giant birds or elephants to sunset. Where monster-born crime lords dream of being able to visit restaurants and the opera as themselves, and moustache-twirling villains snarl helplessly at PCs engaging in witty philosphical debates and games of chance on flying carpets with visiting efreeti noble ambassadors. And whatnot. I guess the goal was to invoke a sense of wonder in players, but the end result reminds me kind of a Disney-style version of Absalom, where nothing REALLY bad ever happens. There’s even a list of NPC ”Kite Enthusiasts” and another of ”Children”, but not one for high priests or wizards. And that sentence alone describes to me what is kind of wrong about this book, at least from this veteran GM’s perspective.

I’ll give this book 2 stars out of 5, because I see it as a big pile of wasted potential. I think this could have been a LOT better, but maybe I’m not just part of its target demographics? Maybe it’s meant to be a family-friendly book without too many darker or offensive elements, and primarily targeted at (younger) newbie players? It’s also a lesson learned for me, because in the future I’ll probably first check out a library copy of each Lost Omens book, and then decide whether it is worth my money or not. :/

"The city is yours"? It's not mine, sorry to say.


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Hm. It just occurred to me that Kortos is located, in the Inner Sea, roughly where Crete is located in the Mediterranean. Or perhaps where Cyprus is located (east of Crete, which is south of Greece, and south of Turkey). Cyprus and Crete are, respectively, the third and fifth largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea. Also, Crete was, historically, the home of the Minoan civilization. Anyway, I expect it's all coincidence, but is it?

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Asgetrion wrote:

When this book was announced about two and half years ago, I was thrilled. In fact, I was the second poster (on 23rd September 2019) to comment on this very thread, and my first thought was that finally we’ll get a city book that will do justice to the City at the Center of the World! I didn’t mind that eventually Absalom was postponed indefinifely, because in my mind this was The Flagship Project for the second edition and the Lost Omens product line, captained by one of the best designers in the world. Let him take his time and work his magic, and the end result will make Waterdeep and Ptolus pale in comparison!

After over two long years of waiting, I finally got it in my grubby dwarven hands a month ago, although I had to dish out almost 60 euros for it. After carefully removing the map, I lovingly put it on the shelf to wait for a couple of weeks, so that I could savor it in peace. When I eventually had a whole evening to spend on reading it carefully through, I felt confused. I had had really high expectations for this book, so why didn’t I feel excited and inspired by its contents?

The book begins with a nice history section, and then describes all the major players, guilds, houses and factions in the city, including the participants in the War of Strings. I also like the parts about architecture and culture, and the glimpses at what a typical day and a year will be like for average residents of Absalom. All of this is great material for GMs, although honestly, I thought something similar to the ”Entwined Destinies” section at the end of Lost Omens : Legends would have been super helpful, perhaps even mandatory part for a book about Absalom. And in my humble opinion, that is where the good stuff more or less ends, on page 77, unless you count those chapter-opening art pieces of each district, which are great.

Why am I so disappointed? Well, I had expected something like Worldwound, City of Strangers or Rule of Fear, with loads of inspiring locations, story hooks and...

Umm... I assume you read the book, but with amount of focus on secret Norgorber worshippers and messed up stuff in Puddles and Precipe District and other political intrigue, along with lot of "x noble threw person into political prison", I don't really get how the heck you got idea Absalom is Utopian

Like... The carnival freak show in the puddles in itself is full of Pathfinder 3.5 edge <_< I'm just... There are lot of good valid things to complain about the book and you touched upon those as well, but I just don't get where you got idea book is family friendly? Is this purely about the pictures and occasional comedy?

Dark Archive

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CorvusMask wrote:

Umm... I assume you read the book, but with amount of focus on secret Norgorber worshippers and messed up stuff in Puddles and Precipe District and other political intrigue, along with lot of "x noble threw person into political prison", I don't really get how the heck you got idea Absalom is Utopian

Like... The carnival freak show in the puddles in itself is full of Pathfinder 3.5 edge <_< I'm just... There are lot of good valid things to complain about the book and you touched upon those as well, but I just don't get where you got idea book is family friendly? Is this purely about the pictures and occasional comedy?

I call it ”Utopian” or ”Disney Absalom” in the sense that the overall mood is very lighthearted, and the book represents the city as a ”Place of Awe and Wonder”, like I described above. It’s not just those silly, almost comedic (or even outright childish) sidebar encounters; it is also written in a very neutral, almost nonchalant style, and I feel most of the art also evokes and supports this notion. This is also evident to me in how certain evil NPCs are portrayed, such as the gang boss I already used as an example. Or how the city is now ruled by a high-level good-aligned NPC, who has handily replaced the previous ruler, a morally ambigious archmage. I mean, yeah, this is Aroden’s city, but if we’re talking about a pseudo-medieval fantasy metropolis, it’s very different from how e.g. Waterdeep or Ptolus are portrayed.

I guess the main problem is that the authors tried to bend over backwards to ensure that this book wouldn’t offend anyone’s sensibilities. And that means most (but thankfully not all) dark fantasy elements have been carefully removed (or edited out) from many parts of the city. Puddles and Precipice District are darker than the rest, and include some locations that are, indeed, not so family-friendly (such as Razorhall, or the Bonepit). Yet again, even their descriptions are more sensitive and superficial than I’d have expected for such important sites. And let’s not forget that the presence of the Knights of Lastwall is already turning the Precipice District into a safer and more hopeful place, so the happiness is spreading! ;)

The Cult of Norgorber is another thing, too, but I honestly don’t see much ”focus” on it. All the factions and some major NPCs are described, but very little is said of their methods or long-term goals, or how the PCs could become involved with them. There’s friction among the factions as one of them wants to get rid of another, but that’s pretty much all you’re given as a GM -- besides the book mentioning a couple of times in passing how Skinsaw cultists are murdering people in certain districts. What a surprise. If we’re talking about Norgorberites, it’d have been nice to see at least one or two ”juicier” boogeymen (like the ”Key-Hole Killer” I mentioned above) stalking the streets of Absalom. That kind of dark enigma alone would hook the players for sure, and make them want to involve their characters in the cult’s dealings.

I want to mention the bland writing style and tone again, because in my opinion most of the contents read like a travel guide, and not in a good way. There’s amazingly little GM-only information, and I honestly think you could just hand the book to your players, and let them read approximately 90% of all the district chapters without spoiling anything. For example, if you take a look at Wondervale you’ll see what I mean; the description takes a whole page, yet IMO conveys few relevant and useful details (unless you count the presence of bat swarms within some towers). And like Wondervale, too many other locations seem similarly ”static”; they’re just there, you get a superficial description of the place and which NPCs could be found there, but no quests, hooks or adventure seeds linked to it (think what they could have done with Clockwork Cathedral alone!). Another such location is the ”carnival freak show” you mention, which describes it being haunted, but there’s no actual information what those hauntings and ghosts will do to curious PCs. Likewise, if the characters stumble upon those poor children at the Drownyard, what happens if the characters refuse to join, or try to leave in the middle of a game? It’s also very unclear what those children are (probably ghosts with unique abilities?), and it’d be really useful if at least their level was mentioned.
I’m fine with a little mystery and not everything being spelled out for me. It’s even better if I’m presented with several options to choose from (just like in Monsters of Myth, which is a fantastic book). Absalom gives me practically nothing to work with. This is not a book with building blocks for your campaign; it’s a big, messy pile of puzzle pieces, and it’ll take a while to finish just a portion of it. :/

You’re also right that many political elements in the book involve shady stuff, but the whole War of Strings is quite a mess. Maybe if there were some sort of chart to map out different kinds of relationships (allies, enemies, lovers, neutral parties, etcetera) between all the houses, political factions and NPCs involved in it, then I might actually consider using these elements in my games. As it stands, it’d probably take me at least a few weeks in real life to find the time to get even a hazy idea of the basic structure behind it, and that’s just not worth it. And I’m certainly not the only GM who thinks that due to this, most of the intrigue will be happening backstage in the shadows, and thus PCs will often be aware of just the major events and plots concerning their own lives, acquiantances and activities.

So there. I hope I answered your questions why this city feels ”Utopian” to me, or ”Utopian-ish”, for the lack of a better term. :)

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It did clear it up yeah, though I do think its good to portray the "city at center of the world" awe inspiring, though it is pretty obvious its overall really shady city. But yeah I did understand your take better now. (sidenote, I guess they didn't want to make up new serial killer with focus on them due to Edgewatch being coming up book when this was being written considering the plot of first book overall)


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Or maybe the demographic has shifted, and yesterday's well-off middle-aged gamers expected dark and grit to spice up their relatively serene existence, while today's struggling younger gamers who are looking at the world collapsing before their eyes are longing for a setting of wonder and colour, where xxxdgy drkns is only on the margins of the storytelling, not front and centre.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

There is nothing utopian in this book. Absalom as portrayed therein is a cesspool of crime and corruption.


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Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
Or maybe the demographic has shifted, and yesterday's well-off middle-aged gamers expected dark and grit to spice up their relatively serene existence, while today's struggling younger gamers who are looking at the world collapsing before their eyes are longing for a setting of wonder and colour, where xxxdgy drkns is only on the margins of the storytelling, not front and centre.

This times a hundred. My group personally enjoys Pathfinder as a vision of what the world could be, to help remind us that there's something beyond the terrible-ness going on that's worth living for. The illustrations in blog previews and circus stories and magic crystals radiating life and bounty were very much responsible for my initial fascination with Absalom, a city of wonder that lived to see another day after lost omens. If I wanted grit and tragedy (which is also important), I'd visit Egorian or Korvosa or Mechitar. Absalom stands at the center of the Inner Sea, a confluence of worlds. An island metropolis approaching utopia is a look that really works for my table, personally (admittedly I have to bend the book a little to get this, which is chill).


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Asgetrion wrote:
if we’re talking about a pseudo-medieval fantasy metropolis, it’s very different from how e.g. Waterdeep or Ptolus are portrayed.

Or Lankhmar. :-)

Asgetrion wrote:
I guess the main problem is that the authors tried to bend over backwards to ensure that this book wouldn’t offend anyone’s sensibilities.

It seems to me that's Paizo's general approach going forward. There are good aspects to that approach, of course, but there may be a downside too.


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Zaister wrote:
There is nothing utopian in this book. Absalom as portrayed therein is a cesspool of crime and corruption.

Or perhaps a "wretched hive of scum and villainy?" ;)

Marketing & Media Manager

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Ed Reppert wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
if we’re talking about a pseudo-medieval fantasy metropolis, it’s very different from how e.g. Waterdeep or Ptolus are portrayed.

Or Lankhmar. :-)

Asgetrion wrote:
I guess the main problem is that the authors tried to bend over backwards to ensure that this book wouldn’t offend anyone’s sensibilities.
It seems to me that's Paizo's general approach going forward. There are good aspects to that approach, of course, but there may be a downside too.

Paizo’s games and experiences aim to bring people together and create lifelong friendships through exploring immersive fantasy worlds and cooperative strategic play. This requires creating welcoming environment where gaming can be for everyone. We discuss these concepts in the Core Rulebook and Gamemastery Guide which you can read for free on Archives of Nethys, along with the Pathfinder baseline on objectionable content.

You are always welcome to discuss what is offensive with the players are your table and adjust your game and setting to suit your tastes.

Adventures Ahead!


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absalom is only a shiny city full of sunshine and rainbows if you live in like, 80s new york

if it was some boring grimdark hellscape though, why would anyone live there and why would people adventure there? it's a city like any other

Dark Archive

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Grankless wrote:

absalom is only a shiny city full of sunshine and rainbows if you live in like, 80s new york

if it was some boring grimdark hellscape though, why would anyone live there and why would people adventure there? it's a city like any other

I'm not implying it should be some kind of "grimdark hellscape", but I think vast majority of the city (excepting the bits I mentioned above) is described in a lighthearted manner that does not fit my own mental image of a pseudo-medieval fantasy metropolis such as Absalom. Honestly, Puddles and Precipice District are the only ones wrestling with darker problems, the rest of the city -- including, surprisingly, Undercity -- seems to be more or less a place where very few seriously bad things happen. This is furthermore supported by those so-called "encounters" and most of the district art in the book. I don't mean the descriptions should be dripping with malice, and serial killers should lurk in every shadow, but I perhaps expected there would be more darker shades to Absalom, since it's this is the Age of Lost Omens, after all.

I'm also disappointed at the lack of what I'd call "adventuring content", because frankly, I think this book is a jumble of details that are not presented in a coherent manner (for example, there is no proper index in the book). That is my personal opinion, however, YMMV.

Dark Archive

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Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
Or maybe the demographic has shifted, and yesterday's well-off middle-aged gamers expected dark and grit to spice up their relatively serene existence, while today's struggling younger gamers who are looking at the world collapsing before their eyes are longing for a setting of wonder and colour, where xxxdgy drkns is only on the margins of the storytelling, not front and centre.

Hah, yeah, it may be that middle-aged grognards are thankless customers to today's gaming companies, and the expectations of the younger generations have shifted away from our own grim and gritty campaigns! :)

My own childhood and youth were pretty carefree, at least if compared to what is happening in the world today (and emphasis on that "today", as we're both Europeans living practically next door to a certain country).


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Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
Or maybe the demographic has shifted, and yesterday's well-off middle-aged gamers expected dark and grit to spice up their relatively serene existence, while today's struggling younger gamers who are looking at the world collapsing before their eyes are longing for a setting of wonder and colour, where xxxdgy drkns is only on the margins of the storytelling, not front and centre.

personal history:
I spent 3.5 years in the Angolan war in a special military unit operating behind enemy lines, and live in Cape Town South Africa with a very high murder rate, and have worked as a Body Guard all over the world. And still do. Also as a police reserve. In the rest of my time I teach Martial Arts professionally.

I LOVE gritty and WISH I had a serene existence, did not have PTSD or still have to work in this field. Nor that I have lost 1 brother murdered 4 years ago in a hijacking, 1 cousin murdered in a house invasion, lost my child to a hijacker, and have 3 months ago survived an armed assault by a man with a gun.

But still, as I see the future that looked VERY dark to me when I was at war (and guess what we played in barracks to relieve tedium and fear - D&D 1st edition -very dark and very gritty).

It is never good to assume or judge other peoples personalities or their lives based on their tasted in fiction, RPG styles or sexual preferences, self proclaimed gender (or desire to not have one proclaimed ).

People are very unique and some people with a bright and serene unchallenged existence may love dark and gritty, be 18 years old or 80 years old and whatever else. Someone with a difficult and oppressive environment of any age could love bright and happy, Disney style stuff.

There is not necessarily a correlation - but maybe the writer here has only experienced people that do meet such a correlation. it's a big world though and generalizations just fail.

Also, all people count, even minority groups in buyer demographics. No need to marginalize people that want a certain game style or try gate keep by saying what is best or acceptable, what is no longer best, or what is "outmoded" gaming styles. But I do not think this book does so as I explain next.

However, about the book, I think one reads into it to some degree what they want. I do not see it as a Disney city, but that's just me.

And in any case, there is a hell of a lot to use here, and expand on. And it is VERY easy to add grit, darkness, very easy, or remove some.

So the book presents a city that to me is very easy to customize and make my own, even to use in D&D 5E or 1E, (I play Pathfinder 2E and 5E D&D), or to even re skin or take sections out of.

As such this is quite a versatile reference book for a city campaign, beyond just Absalom.

I plan on using it as Absalom, but want to point out that its a versatile product and for some DM to think of using it for other cities in Golarion, a homebrew world, a reskin, a reflavour or another game system.

The NPC's I find useful, and if I don't like any I reflavour or ignore them. I like that they are not stated out. And I see each one as a possible character.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

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Spoilered some personal history that could be upsetting or triggering to some


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

With all the talk of badgers in the book, I am surprised that neither it nor Grand Bazaar (nor anywhere else I can find) gives the price to get a badger.

It would be normal for gnome characters to want a guard badger or pack badger.

Paizo Employee Developer

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BretI wrote:

With all the talk of badgers in the book, I am surprised that neither it nor Grand Bazaar (nor anywhere else I can find) gives the price to get a badger.

It would be normal for gnome characters to want a guard badger or pack badger.

Lost Omens Travel Guide has a large list of pets for sale, including badgers!


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

"We don't need no stinking badgers!"

I will show myself out now....


LOL, stirring the pot Gorbaz

Tom


Anyone know if this will be available in the new Blue Covered Deluxe Edition format?

I'm holding off on Lost Omens and rebuilding my collection with the Deluxe ones.

Marketing & Media Manager

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Unikatze wrote:

Anyone know if this will be available in the new Blue Covered Deluxe Edition format?

I'm holding off on Lost Omens and rebuilding my collection with the Deluxe ones.

Yes, but not this year.

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