Pathfinder Dark Archive

4.50/5 (based on 19 ratings)
Pathfinder Dark Archive
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From the fringes, the unknown beckons. Pathfinder Dark Archive contains secrets that any player or GM can use to reveal the paranormal lurking in their Pathfinder games! This spine-tinglingly secretive 224-page hardcover rulebook presents two new character classes perfect for delving into the unexplained: Unleash the untold power of your mind as the psychic or leverage supernatural secrets and mystic implements as the thaumaturge!

Beyond these new classes, eight secret case files each provide player options, GM tools, and lore into a different paranormal topic, including:

  • Strange cryptids glimpsed in the night, gear to track them, and the powers you might gain by surviving an encounter with one
  • Cults and esoteric belief, with apocryphal divine magic and the secret of becoming a living vessel for an eldritch being
  • Temporal anomalies, with archetypes that skim along the surface of time and a new mystery for oracles unbound from causality

Each file concludes with a short adventure to immerse players in the paranormal, spanning across Golarion—play all eight to uncover the inexplicable phenomena of the Age of Lost Omens!

Written by: James Case, Mikhail Rekun, Mark Seifter, Rigby Bendele, Logan Bonner, Dan Cascone, Jessica Catalan, Banana Chan, Kay Hashimoto, Sen.H.H.S., Patrick Hurley, Joshua Kim, Avi Kool, Daniel Kwan, Kendra Leigh Speedling, Luis Loza, Ron Lundeen, Liane Merciel, Jacob W. Michaels, Andrew Mullen, Quinn Murphy, K. Tessa Newton, Patrick Renie, Michael Sayre, Shay Snow, Alex Speidel, Solomon St. John, Geoffrey Suthers, Ruvaid Virk, Jabari Weathers, and Isis Wozniakowska

[Additional Web Content spoiler - click to reveal]

The following pages were distributed online after the release of Dark Archive for readers to decipher themselves. You can find them here:

[Solution to Additional Web Content - click to reveal]

The Lost Pages were discovered to lead to the following file:

ISBN-13: 978-1-64078-443-7

The adventures contained within this rulebook, the "Dark Archive Case Files," are sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running these Adventures and Chronicle Sheets are available as a free download (923 KB PDF).



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

Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop
Pathfinder Nexus on Demiplane
Roll20 Virtual Tabletop
Archives of Nethys

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4.50/5 (based on 19 ratings)

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Had tons of fun with it

5/5

Very entertaining fluff an options.


5/5

Both Thaumaturge and Psychic are really cool. The flavor text is awesome. Some of the adventures are hit or miss, but it’s cool that they provide short adventure ideas that can be i inserted into any campaign as a side plot.


Excellent game content and the adventure material and flavor is great as well

5/5


Ring Side Report- RPG review of Pathfinder Dark Archive

5/5

Originally posted at Throat Punch Games, a new idea every day!

Product- Pathfinder Dark Archive
System- Pathfinder 2nd Ed
Producer- Paizo
Price- $41.99
TL; DR-New toys and adventures for things that go bump in the night. 97%

Basics- What goes bump in the night? Dark Archive focuses on all the stuff that gets thrown into your average Halloween party. It covers psychics, occult inquisitors called thaumaturges, archetypes, feats, spells, and a TON of adventures. Let’s dig in to this book!

Mechanics or Crunch- I love what’s here, but there are small problems that hurt things overall. The two new classes fit within the world of wizards, warriors, and clerics as now we have a mind wizard and an occult paladin. There may be a slight bit of power creep as these might be a bit better than the core classes, but it’s nothing absolutely game breaking. Feat, spell, and archetypes all fit solidly there as well. Interestingly enough, this book has almost MORE for the GM than the players. There are adventures and ways to upgrade monsters to add the occult feel like cryptids and secret societies. Aside from a bit of power creep, the other thing that I feel hurts this is the lack of inclusion into Pathfinder Society. PFS is the majority of the way I play an while I LOVE that adventures are included, new options that you only get when weird stuff happens to you are not given as options in the PFS documenting materials. What is here is well done, but balance and lack of inclusion into Paizo’s flagship gaming market hurt the book a bit. 4.75/5

Theme or Fluff- As a lover of ghost stories and campfire monsters, this book calls to me. I love the flavor here and the fact that crunch is being tied deeper into story. The new ways to add things like cults and monsters also helps. What’s here is amazing. I am slightly sad I didn't see much Lovecraft lore here. We can make it, but I still want my crazy horrors from beyond time and space to make more of an appearance in a book where time magic and feats get put into the system. Couple that with adventures that GMs can drop in instantly, this is a solid book on the Pathfinder occult. 4.9/5

Execution- This is a physical book and a PDF by Paizo, so I’m almost automatically going to love it. Solid layout, fonts, formats, hyperlinks make this a great book and a breeze to read. My one minor issue is this is a book with almost as many pages for the GM as the players. It would be nice to have a PDF of the maps and pictures that I can show to the players like they do with their adventure paths. But, if my criticism is that I want more, that's a good place to be in production. 4.9/5

Summary- I love me some crazy stuff, so I love me this book. I listen to too many podcasts about monsters, skepticism regarding monsters, and ghost stories to pass this book up. It has great additions to the system that might be a touch overpowered compared to things before. It has fun adventures with some amazing options that I wish PFS players could get their hands on. It has solid production, but a lack of web enhancements might hold it back a bit. What’s here is good, but I just want more ways to get at it. 97%


More Occult please!

4/5

I've been wanting more Occult-related content since Pathfinder 2 rolled out, and this book *mostly* delivers. The new spells and archetypes get into weird esoterica and time manipulation. The Chronoskimmer and Curse Maelstrom archetypes in particular are very flavorful and interesting archetypes that really change the feel of a character, and while I'm not sold on the current implementation of the Time Oracle from a mechanical effectiveness perspective it really does a decent job of capturing that feeling of being progressively more detached from time as your curse progresses.

The two new classes are OK. The Thaumaturge never really caught my interest mechanically.

The Psychic is a class I was really looking forward to, and while it has interesting flavor and mechanics relative to some other full casters I feel like it runs into similar traps mechanically as the Oracle where it's pretty much always going to need to be resting for 10 mins after a fight. I am however glad that they gave access to at least a couple interesting and useful flavor feats in the class feat tree, compared to Wizards and Sorcerers who have nothing or very little in their feat trees that relate back to their choices of arcane thesis, specialist school, or bloodline (the arcane / divine / occult / primal evolution feats are really quite generic) that have flavorful, more permanent effects.

Ultimately, while there are definitely some misses in this book (the layout potentially being one of them), I think there is also a lot of good content here and I'd like to see so much more of the occult realm fleshed out both in expansions to current classes, archetypes, and options (aftermath / deviant feats), and in new material.


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Paizo Employee Webstore Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Announced for July! Product image and description are not final and may be subject to change.


Cryptids and cults! Yes!!!


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It comes with a mini-campaign?!? That is so cool!


16 people marked this as a favorite.

Really enjoying how willing 2e is to experiment with book structure.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Hyped about a new oracle mystery! And time stuff in general.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Ooh, I wonder what Apocryphal Divine Magic is.


Awesome! Its all ooking good. Especially new stuff for existing classes.

Wayfinders

1 person marked this as a favorite.
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
Ooh, I wonder what Apocryphal Divine Magic is.

If it's Paizo's answer to the 2e inquisitor calls, I'll be over the moon.

More realistically I imagine it to be something in the vein of the alternate magic systems/archetypes from the Book of Unlimited Magic from Secrets of Magic, providing divine casters with unusual spell options and other fun tidbits.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber

so much good player stuff. You are spoiling us, I like it! We have space (Cosmos mysteries) now time. Maybe they use a re-roll mechanic or haste/slow or something else? either way that would be great.

Horizon Hunters

TIME TRAVEL SHENANIGANS

Dark Archive

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

Oooh, invite friends (from the other side) in you!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I have to ask... in a world of magical creatures, extraplanar beings, and aberrations, what does it take to be a cryptid?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
keftiu wrote:
I have to ask... in a world of magical creatures, extraplanar beings, and aberrations, what does it take to be a cryptid?

Elusiveness, I suppose?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DeciusNero wrote:
keftiu wrote:
I have to ask... in a world of magical creatures, extraplanar beings, and aberrations, what does it take to be a cryptid?
Elusiveness, I suppose?

This, very much.

It is what 1e cryptid book was about pretty much


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Being one of the few creatures where there is doubt of whether it is real or just a story?

Like, you go into a tavern in a fantasy setting and say "I saw a demon!" people might doubt what you saw, but they won't say "demons don't exist!", while they might actually doubt whether the Mothman exists.

It is also just a case of a real world word/category being applied to the game that has less meaning in universe - it's more for our reference than a term that characters might use in-universe (none of the characters in-universe speak english anyway, we just play with a metaphorical universal translator turned on). It is shorthand for "here is a list of creatures that are really elusive and mysterious and fascinating that might not exist".


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
keftiu wrote:
I have to ask... in a world of magical creatures, extraplanar beings, and aberrations, what does it take to be a cryptid?

I feel like if you walk into a tavern with a dragon and a bugbear debating if they actually saw a Sasquatch, it might be a cryptid. Lol.


11 people marked this as a favorite.

One good thing after another. June - getting married. July - entering the Dark Archive!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

oracle(and the speaker of the past shaman) were some of my favorite options In 1e. I'm excited to see the time oraclea return. I am also excited to see the final version of the Thaumaturge. I loveeee the cover art.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
DeciusNero wrote:
Oooh, invite friends (from the other side) in you!

I think this might be the Synthesist Summoner.


The Raven Black wrote:
DeciusNero wrote:
Oooh, invite friends (from the other side) in you!
I think this might be the Synthesist Summoner.

I think that's a long shot.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

So excited for this!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Definitely excited for this book. I'm curious if the cut "Blood magic" concept from Secrets of Magic might find a home in this book?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
Ooh, I wonder what Apocryphal Divine Magic is.

Well, in PF1 it was a bunch of subdomains that were opened up by this trait.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Too soon for previews, but I’m curious what this is referring to:

Quote:
the secret of becoming a living vessel for an eldritch being


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
AnimatedPaper wrote:

Too soon for previews, but I’m curious what this is referring to:

Quote:
the secret of becoming a living vessel for an eldritch being

Immediate thought is anything relating to such eldritch horrors such as the Great Old Ones or other powerful aberrant beings. Anything relating to the Old Cults/Elder Mythos, Dominion of the Black, the Dark Tapestry, and the corrupt and alien Abberations of the multiverse seems likely to be found within the libraries of the Dark Archieve.

That said, Pathfinder also uses eldritch to refer to many a things related to magic and its use. So who knows really.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I’m talking about mechanically. I am not interested in discussing or getting a preview about eldritch beings, and hope that my earlier comment is not misconstrued as curiosity in that topic. I want to know mechanically what it means to be a living vessel.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
I’m talking about mechanically. I am not interested in discussing or getting a preview about eldritch beings, and hope that my earlier comment is not misconstrued as curiosity in that topic. I want to know mechanically what it means to be a living vessel.

I bet it's just an archetype.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
AnimatedPaper wrote:
I’m talking about mechanically. I am not interested in discussing or getting a preview about eldritch beings, and hope that my earlier comment is not misconstrued as curiosity in that topic. I want to know mechanically what it means to be a living vessel.

As I posted above I think that is the Synthesist Summoner.


Synthesist Summoners already exist with this.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Fallen_Mage wrote:
Synthesist Summoners already exist with this.

There's a reason this got changed from being called Synthesist in the playtest, and the devs have already acknowledged the concept deserves to be a full Class Archetype to really work.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Of the two hard cover books for general play we're getting this year this is the one I'm looking forward to the most. I'm interested in seeing what PC options come of this and if there will be any more monsters. I hope they will have material on the Dominion of the Black or the Dark Tapestry or both.


keftiu wrote:
Fallen_Mage wrote:
Synthesist Summoners already exist with this.
There's a reason this got changed from being called Synthesist in the playtest, and the devs have already acknowledged the concept deserves to be a full Class Archetype to really work.

Hmm, I missed this tidbit of info. Are you able to point me to where that was acknowledged? For my own education.


I believe it is something Mark Seifter spoke of during GenCon

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

It was also mentioned in the Secrets of Magic Playtest Aftermath blog post :

"Synthesis: There was a lot of feedback on the Synthesis feat that allowed you to merge with your eidolon; it was popular but many folks said that being an option you choose each time you Manifest rather than mandatory didn’t fulfill the fantasy and that the ability to use both options caused it to have quite a few restrictions it might not need otherwise. Right now we are leaning towards changing the feat’s name and flavor to be clear that it is meant for an optional ability, and then make the synthesist a class archetype in a later book, with trade-offs based around having only the option to merge with the eidolon, not to Manifest it normally."


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Will we be able to create Kwannon/Psyloke with this book?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I hope there's some Dominion of the Black stuff in here. I'll live if there isn't, but still - they're my favorite bit of spookiness in the setting.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

VERY happy that this will be coming out well in advance of my planned "Chronomancer" Wizard! LOVED all of the fun time-themed spells from Secrets of Magic, but was disappointed that there weren't any similarly flavored Archetypes or class feats to really go with them.

Naturally, I'm quite excited that it sounds like temporal shenaniganating will have it's very own chapter, and hope these new "time-skimming" Archetypes really helps to dial things in for my character =3 Failing that, I'd probably still have fun multiclassing him with Inventor, which is the present blueprint ;P


LoreMonger13 wrote:

VERY happy that this will be coming out well in advance of my planned "Chronomancer" Wizard! LOVED all of the fun time-themed spells from Secrets of Magic, but was disappointed that there weren't any similarly flavored Archetypes or class feats to really go with them.

Naturally, I'm quite excited that it sounds like temporal shenaniganating will have it's very own chapter, and hope these new "time-skimming" Archetypes really helps to dial things in for my character =3 Failing that, I'd probably still have fun multiclassing him with Inventor, which is the present blueprint ;P

If you're fiending for time stuff, check out the store page for the second book of Outlaws of Alkenstar.


So much great stuff coming out!

Dark Archive

keftiu wrote:
LoreMonger13 wrote:

VERY happy that this will be coming out well in advance of my planned "Chronomancer" Wizard! LOVED all of the fun time-themed spells from Secrets of Magic, but was disappointed that there weren't any similarly flavored Archetypes or class feats to really go with them.

Naturally, I'm quite excited that it sounds like temporal shenaniganating will have it's very own chapter, and hope these new "time-skimming" Archetypes really helps to dial things in for my character =3 Failing that, I'd probably still have fun multiclassing him with Inventor, which is the present blueprint ;P

If you're fiending for time stuff, check out the store page for the second book of Outlaws of Alkenstar.

Thanks! I'll take a look at that =] Granted, the GM is a bit of a stickler for keeping area-specific or AP-specific stuff strictly in line to said qualifiers, and this character I'm planning will be for our run of Shattered Star converted to 2E.

...Yes, yes we ARE very far behind XP

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
keftiu wrote:
I hope there's some Dominion of the Black stuff in here. I'll live if there isn't, but still - they're my favorite bit of spookiness in the setting.

Ya Dominions is great (really want that alien invasion AP xD Also starfinder ap featuring them. Multiple dominion aps would be nice)

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Come to think about it, does this book have ooze related magic options? ;P I need something for my ooze morph since no morphic weapon feat

Liberty's Edge

6 people marked this as a favorite.

I just read booze related magic options.

I blame Cayden Cailean.


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

Will this book have any stress subsystem for psychological horror adventures?


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Opsylum wrote:
Will this book have any stress subsystem for psychological horror adventures?

I'd be surprised if they did. This book seems more focused on matters of the occult, not the horror that often accompanies such subjects. I believe they've stated that each chapter, or at least most of them, will cover subjects present within several dossiers stolen from Golarion's in-world Dark Archive. With that, it's unlikely to feature any rules relating to a stress/fear/insanity system. That'll probably come in a future rulebbok.

If I had to imagine, this book will likely be broken down something like this:

Spoiler:

1. A brief introduction present in most books, detailing not only the contents of the book, but a generalized examination of the occult.

2. A chapter dedicated to dissecting the subject of the occult proper; what it means when placed in a world such as Golarion, which is filled with might, magic, and mystery; as well as featuring any general Backgrounds, Archetypes, Classes, Equipment, and Spells that may not fit into any of the other chapters. Given the above description, I imagine most of the player and GM options presented, other than the Classes, are likely to be in the actual chapters on the dossiers.

3. From here, it'll likely be broken into 8 further chapters, or maybe 4 chapters of similar context, that looks into the content of the stolen dossiers and the many player options, GM tools, equipment, archetypes, lore, and a few monsters related to each topic. Thus far, I don't think we know anything outside of the 3 presented, being cryptids, cults and esoteric (and likely heretical) beliefs, and temporal anomalies. Each, as they've said, will than each end in a short adventure featuring a plot related to whatever the contents of the dossier/chapter pertained to.

These, of course, are my own musing. I could be very wrong in my estimations.

Marketing & Media Manager

11 people marked this as a favorite.
Ly'ualdre wrote:
Opsylum wrote:
Will this book have any stress subsystem for psychological horror adventures?

I'd be surprised if they did. This book seems more focused on matters of the occult, not the horror that often accompanies such subjects. I believe they've stated that each chapter, or at least most of them, will cover subjects present within several dossiers stolen from Golarion's in-world Dark Archive. With that, it's unlikely to feature any rules relating to a stress/fear/insanity system. That'll probably come in a future rulebbok.

If I had to imagine, this book will likely be broken down something like this:
** spoiler omitted **

These, of course, are my own musing. I could be very wrong in my estimations.

This book is almost final. Previews will begin after Book of the Dead has launched.

Paizo Employee Designer

18 people marked this as a favorite.

While there's certainly a lot of occult content in this book, including a new occult spellcaster, I should underscore that this isn't The Occult Book, but rather The Paranormal Book, and that the paranormal can be divine, arcane, primal, or even non-magical or a bit to the side of the tradition system altogether. After all, if everything could be neatly categorized... where would the mystery be? ^_^


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Thank you James for the correction. ^^

PSA: Wayne Reynolds has posted a full image of the cover art on his various social media pages. Beautiful piece of work, as always.


Ly'ualdre wrote:
Opsylum wrote:
Will this book have any stress subsystem for psychological horror adventures?

I'd be surprised if they did. This book seems more focused on matters of the occult, not the horror that often accompanies such subjects. I believe they've stated that each chapter, or at least most of them, will cover subjects present within several dossiers stolen from Golarion's in-world Dark Archive. With that, it's unlikely to feature any rules relating to a stress/fear/insanity system. That'll probably come in a future rulebook.

If I had to imagine, this book will likely be broken down something like this:
** snip **

These, of course, are my own musing. I could be very wrong in my estimations.

I found typo, and "Axis physics society book" that I said before is parody of an book that shares theme.

Aaron Shanks wrote:
This book is almost final. Previews will begin after Book of the Dead has launched.

Book of the Dead is in preview, but which book is focused about nightshade bloodline?

Paizo Employee Designer

22 people marked this as a favorite.

Good morning, Archivists,

Dark Archive is off to the printer, so to commemorate, here's a small spoiler from each class!

Psychic Spoiler:
A new Focus Point tool that psychics have is the Brain Drain feat--when your psyche is unleashed, your mind is overwhelming enough that you can leech a nearby enemy's mental energy mid-combat, stupefying them and restoring one of your Focus Points!

Thaumaturge Spoiler:
Thaumaturges are great at picking on the enemy that they've singled out, and the Cursed Effigy feat lets you snag a bit of hair or blood from an enemy and put it on a straw doll or paper figure, creating a sympathetic link that makes it harder for the enemy to save against your abilities!

We'll be dropping more information in the upcoming months, especially as we get closer to PaizoCon. And if you can't wait until summer for spooky stuff, don't forget that Book of the Dead is coming out soon, which has some REAL cool and creepy monsters and options in it!

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