Pathfinder Lost Omens: Absalom, City of Lost Omens

3.80/5 (based on 13 ratings)
Pathfinder Lost Omens: Absalom, City of Lost Omens

Add Print Edition $54.99

Add PDF $38.49

Facebook Twitter Email

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



Other Resources: This product is also available on the following platforms:

Hero Lab Online
Pathfinder Nexus on Demiplane
Archives of Nethys

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

Product Availability

Print Edition:

Available now

Ships from our warehouse in 11 to 20 business days.

PDF:

Fulfilled immediately.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZO9304


See Also:

11 to 13 of 13 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

3.80/5 (based on 13 ratings)

Sign in to create or edit a product review.

Grain of salt since I'm the target audience it seems ^_^;

4/5

It is good thing I waited for little while before reviewing the book because I realized something:

This book isn't for people who read it in case it might inspire them to use Absalom. This book really isn't good at inspiring people who weren't interested in the city.

Based on my experience book is for people who

1) whether they read original 3.5 absalom book or not, they wanted updated Absalom setting book to know what is canon and current status of city

2) they wanted text book that details as many of local trivia, customs, government stuff, trade stuff, legal stuff, locations, npcs and such as possible

3) they wanted book that takes in account EVERYTHING that happened in the city in past 20 years, even the pathfinder society scenarios, and give them consequences.

(like as example, there is mention of group of cecaelia who moved to city because they originally came from Tian Xia to hunt after a criminal who escaped, but they discovered upon arriving that pathfinder society already took care of him <_< I was really surprised that scenario of all things got referred to and given consequences)

So too long to read version: Yeah, book is basically for people who wanted textbook on Absalom ^_^; You can see that Erik Mona does have lot of passion to detail the city, with how book gets into things like architectural periods(there were 18 of them), local subcultures, transportation(there is manure management sidebar) and such, but on the bad side it likely means he was pretty protective of what gets into the book, so book reads like really impressive catalog of everything you'd want to know about the city, but again, lacks the draw for new people who are reading about city for first time or haven't experienced it in pathfinder society already. (I shall use that as excuse for why book doesn't make mention of more minotaurs than Nuar living in city x'D)

I do overall personally love the book(I really love city districts' chapter opening art especially), but I realize my perspective on overall quality of book is quite biased due to essentially being the target audience and due to not being American so I lack cultural context to notice what is wrong with by continued exploration of post slavery Absalom without somebody else having pointed it out to me first. :/ Torius Vin thing is also annoyed to me, hopefully that gets fixed at least. I haven't had time to read entire book(and partially because its 400 pages and partially because I'm playing in Edgewatch so I'm afraid of reading absolutely everything) but what I've read about general articles, location articles and npc articles has been exactly what I wanted to learn.

...So yeah, hope that helps you figure out if the book is good for you or not :/ I do think its amazing urban setting book, but I was already interested in devouring more about the city, so there isn't the Mwangi Expanse effect of "wow I really feel inspired to want to run something there or play"


A mixed bag

2/5

First off, if you were hoping for a treatment of Absalom that was similar to how previous books in this line have dealt with their areas of concern... this is not it.

This book is more like a 'GMs guide to locations' for the city, it's a big book, really big, and basically covers almost 250 separate locations in solid detail, along with numerous NPCs and plot hooks for GMs to help flesh out the city for games that spend much time there. For this, it's fantastic, and if that's what you're looking for then it will absolutely hit the nail.

However, in my opinion it lacks the voice and soul of the previous Lost Omens books, the others have bought the locations to life, the writing/editing styles previously have been allowed to give you a feel for the places and in many cases done as much or more than actual physical descriptions to help get a feel for them, as well as some problematic issues with events that had seemed to be settled (in regards to slavery) and quite strange errors (the anti slaver Torius Vin is listed as a CE slaver...). This book reads more like a tourist guide than a passion project, it's descriptive sure but it's not evocative, which personally was a big disappointment.

I hope that there's a lot of GMs who get good use out of this, and if you're running Agents of Edgewatch I'm sure it's going to be a great resource, but as a fan of the Lost Omens line in general but someone not running a campaign set in Absalom this book is definitely a miss, I'd probably give it 2.5/5 realistically if that were an option.


Best Urban Campaign Book I've Ever Read

5/5

So, I was planning on writing my review later, after I'd read through the entire book, but I figure I'll post this now, to get this book's rating up before it launches. In response to the first review, I've been reading through this book the past couple days, and so far the slavery thing is the only part of the review I fully agree with. To CoLO's credit, abolition happened pretty recently, and was a big world event, so it makes sense that it would be covered. However, one of the big reasons for this move seemed to be thematic: In your shiny metropolis that's all about showing off wonders and magic from all over Golarion, slavery kind of gnaws at the atmosphere. Torius Vin was also weird. Hoping that gets fixed in pdf updates and future reprints.

That aside, I've been repeatedly blown away by the art, which is simply gorgeous. Out of 402 pages, I've noticed a full-page spread of reused art that seemed to be a callback to 1e nostalgia, and a few pieces for the NPC section in the back. Other than that, I've seen art on about nine out of ten pages the whole way through this book, the vast majority of which is lavish and pieces I've personally never seen before (I own the entire PF Campaign Setting collection, a good chunk of 1e rulebooks, and every 2e book released so far, for reference). The emphasis on illustrating fantasy architecture in this book was a particularly huge draw for me, as were the beautiful illustrations capturing "slice of life" imagery in each of the city's districts.

As for the history bit, there is certainly an emphasis, as Absalom is supposed to be a very old, very storied city. That's part of its whole shebang. The book does things with that background, however, with nary page I've seen (beyond the overview sections in the front) leaving its reader without plenty of plot hooks, rumors, mysteries, and Majora's Mask esque NPC sidestories and interactions. Literally every location ends with a reference describing who can be found there and what they're doing there. Just on a whim, I blind-selected a random NPC: Vanius Cestanian, who serves as an embassy guard at the Chelaxian Embassy. After searching this name in the book again, I discovered this random guard is also a parishioner at a local Asmodean church, dines at the Pitview Pub, lives in Devil's Garden, and is a compulsive gambler frequenting the Second Labyrinth who exploits his good looks and connections to hide a scandalous affair. This is a random guard I selected on a whim. There are 118 pages in the back of the book exploring hundreds of people in this city, what they're up to, and how they interact with each other. There are tables throughout the book telling you where you need to go to visit a museum, buy a drink, get your hair styled, enroll in an academy, rent an elephant, or brawl in a fighting ring. Throughout the book are sidebars indicating local crime and thieves' guilds, cultural information (pants are for the working class!), adventure hooks, popular songs, and connections in the book to other lore books. There's so much here.

These are my reasons for why I respectfully disagree with the former review. I'll update this review later with a more complete thing after I've read through the whole book. Hope you'll give this years-in-the-making masterpiece a chance!


Not worth it honestly

1/5

If you were expecting a Mwangi Expanse equivalent you’ll be disappointed, the sum of this book is mostly a dry textbook/history book, which I’m sure is wanted/useful for some but not really interesting to me.

Some reused art (which doesn’t bother me honestly, save for 1 or 2 that were low quality), but a couple of nice ones, but altogether lacking too much for my tastes.

Also way too much time spent on slavery. It used to be legal there and now it’s not and that upset a lot of people. We get it.

Also via not lore checking we have “retcons” such as having Torius Vin, Protagonist of the Pirate’s Honor/Promise/Prophecy novels and associated fiction by Chris A. Jackson (good reads by the way) as a CE slaver…


11 to 13 of 13 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
601 to 615 of 615 << first < prev | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | next > last >>
Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Removed several posts and quotes for being off topic. Please keep all relevant discussion onto the Abasalom book


2 people marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:
Why does the book describe CG pirate Torius Vin from pathfinder tales books as CE ruthless privateer? ^_^;

This really upset me when I read it. Those are my favorite books, and I planned to use him and the Stargazer crew in the adventure I'm currently planning. I'm still going to do it, since it doesn't matter for my game, but I'm still annoyed. I saw him listed in the NPC list, and was so excited to flip to his entry. They basically made him the exact opposite of the character in the books.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kalieri wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Why does the book describe CG pirate Torius Vin from pathfinder tales books as CE ruthless privateer? ^_^;
This really upset me when I read it. Those are my favorite books, and I planned to use him and the Stargazer crew in the adventure I'm currently planning. I'm still going to do it, since it doesn't matter for my game, but I'm still annoyed. I saw him listed in the NPC list, and was so excited to flip to his entry. They basically made him the exact opposite of the character in the books.

Someone on the writing team confirmed that was a Mistake, not sure what they are gonna do to fix it if anything but know that the OG is the one that want to actually go with.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I don't necessarily concur that this book lacked a dark edginess and grittiness, but it does feel like a phonebook or Tourist's Guide. If a GM wants hooks dealing with problems that need to be solved, rather than just flavorful locales to set a scene in, he/she has to spend awhile digging for them.

And it's unfortunate that everything outside the city itself gets maybe 4-5 pages. Otari, a town that's been host to no less than 3 separate adventures gets a passing mention of "Buy our other books to find out about this place".

There's more to New York than New York City, and there's more to Absalom the island-nation than the city!

Silver Crusade

5 people marked this as a favorite.

In fairness, the title of the book is Absalom, City of Lost Omens.

Liberty's Edge

Leon Aquilla wrote:

I don't necessarily concur that this book lacked a dark edginess and grittiness, but it does feel like a phonebook or Tourist's Guide. If a GM wants hooks dealing with problems that need to be solved, rather than just flavorful locales to set a scene in, he/she has to spend awhile digging for them.

And it's unfortunate that everything outside the city itself gets maybe 4-5 pages. Otari, a town that's been host to no less than 3 separate adventures gets a passing mention of "Buy our other books to find out about this place".

There's more to New York than New York City, and there's more to Absalom the island-nation than the city!

Remember that this book was supposed to arrive at the same time as AoE (the Absalom AP), Dead God's Hand (the Absalom adventure) and not long after all the Otari stuff. What you see as missing here was in all those.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

"Give me more money"

No I don't think I will.

I don't think that a person new to the hobby should have to buy everything Absalom to get the whole picture, which is why I rated it 4/5. My comments here are not for you to sell me on the book, they're here as feedback for the staff as well as a warning to potential buyers.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Warning for what? Again the book says “city” right in the title.

And I say this as someone who didn’t care for the book at all.

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
Leon Aquilla wrote:

"Give me more money"

No I don't think I will.

I don't think that a person new to the hobby should have to buy everything Absalom to get the whole picture, which is why I rated it 4/5. My comments here are not for you to sell me on the book, they're here as feedback for the staff as well as a warning to potential buyers.

My bud, that's literally what the "Review" tab is for. If you don't want to engage in discussion, don't come to the "Product Discussion" page.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, LO Special Edition, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

The population of Absalom is a bit more than 300,000. The population of Magnimar is about 16,000, of Korvosa about 18,000, of Riddleport about 13,000. Cities of Golarion covered six cities: Cassomir (32,000), Corentyn (24,000), Ilizmagorti (20,000), Nisroch (24,000), Vigil (now destroyed by Tar-Baphon), Whitethrone (25,000). Kaer Maga (8,000) is "the smallest of Varisia's cities".

What other cities in the Inner Sea region have a population of oh, say 5000 or more?

IAC that's quite a jump from 20-30K or so to more than 300K.

Is Absalom the largest city on the planet? How big are cities in Tian Xia?

One definition of "city" is "a large town". Where's the dividing line? Population or area? So many questions. :-)


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Ed Reppert wrote:

The population of Absalom is a bit more than 300,000. The population of Magnimar is about 16,000, of Korvosa about 18,000, of Riddleport about 13,000. Cities of Golarion covered six cities: Cassomir (32,000), Corentyn (24,000), Ilizmagorti (20,000), Nisroch (24,000), Vigil (now destroyed by Tar-Baphon), Whitethrone (25,000). Kaer Maga (8,000) is "the smallest of Varisia's cities".

What other cities in the Inner Sea region have a population of oh, say 5000 or more?

IAC that's quite a jump from 20-30K or so to more than 300K.

Is Absalom the largest city on the planet? How big are cities in Tian Xia?

One definition of "city" is "a large town". Where's the dividing line? Population or area? So many questions. :-)

It's almost like if there was some resource online where you could look up all metropolises of Golarion and their population. Almost!

Oppara is 109k, Westcrown is 114k, Alkenstar City is 53k, Katapesh (the city) is 212k, Haesong is 151k, there are plenty of huge cities in the "midrange".


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Ed Reppert wrote:

The population of Absalom is a bit more than 300,000. The population of Magnimar is about 16,000, of Korvosa about 18,000, of Riddleport about 13,000. Cities of Golarion covered six cities: Cassomir (32,000), Corentyn (24,000), Ilizmagorti (20,000), Nisroch (24,000), Vigil (now destroyed by Tar-Baphon), Whitethrone (25,000). Kaer Maga (8,000) is "the smallest of Varisia's cities".

What other cities in the Inner Sea region have a population of oh, say 5000 or more?

IAC that's quite a jump from 20-30K or so to more than 300K.

Is Absalom the largest city on the planet? How big are cities in Tian Xia?

One definition of "city" is "a large town". Where's the dividing line? Population or area? So many questions. :-)

From the same source sited above (thanks Totally Not Gorbacz ^^):

There's Goka in Tian Xia, with a city population of 300,450.

Carry on,

--C.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, LO Special Edition, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Looks like Goka rivals Absalom, at least for population.


Just got this yesterday. Very impressive. Loved the writeup on House Avanstar. My next PFS character may be a member of House Avanstar.

One tin solider...

601 to 615 of 615 << first < prev | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Paizo / Product Discussion / Pathfinder Lost Omens: Absalom, City of Lost Omens All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.