Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Review - Pathfinder Setting Distant Worlds

This is the book I had been waiting for!!! From the time I first read about the additional planets of the Golarion Solar System, I was excited to know more! As a fan of Burrough's Red Planet books, I wanted to know about Akiton and the other planets, now the Pathfinder Campaign Setting supplement "Distant Worlds" brings more to light. 

Overview: This is a perfect bound, full-color 64 page supplement produced by Paizo Publishing, LLC for the Pathfinder Role-Playing Game system. Available in print and PDF formats. Written by James Stutter.

Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Distant Worlds (PFRPG)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Distant Worlds (PFRPG)

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Golarion is the primary world of the Pathfinder campaign setting, but it is not alone. Far beyond its lands and seas, sister worlds revolve around the same sun, their residents connected by magical portals or ships of terrifying magic and technology. Now take your game off-planet and explore these weird new worlds for yourself!This book offers a detailed introduction to the science-fantasy worlds of Golarion’s solar system, each complete with its own mysterious locations and cultures. Discover how your swords and spells match up against the trench dwellers of the Red Planet or the angelic Sarcesians who soar between asteroids. Research the mysterious origins of the sealed world-ship of Apostae, or hunt vortex sharks in the freezing seas of Kalo-Mahoi. Though strange and new, each of these worlds uses the same Pathfinder Roleplaying Game rules as Golarion itself.
    Within this 64-page book, you’ll find:
  • Gazetteers of every planet and major moon in Golarion’s system, from the steamy jungles of Castrovel and the machine-ruled rock of Aballon to post-apocalyptic Eox and divided Verces, where one side is always day and the other night. Plus, uncover information on the residents of the sun, Golarion’s moon, the asteroid belt called the Diaspora, the dark regions beyond mysterious Aucturn, and more!
  • Introductions to the major cultures inhabiting the system. Will you join Castrovel’s beautiful Lashunta, fight beside the four-armed giants of Akiton, study with the hyper-evolved Contemplatives of Ashok, petition the undead Bone Sages of Eox, or face down the insectile legions of the Forever Queen?
  • Easy new rules for adventuring on other planets, including discussions on gravity, temperature, time, vacuum, and traveling between worlds.
  • Adventure hooks for every world, tailored for GMs currently playing on Golarion.
  • Six brand-new alien monsters, from intelligent dragonkin who bond with humanoids to the great oma space-whales and amorphous, blimplike Brethedans.
Distant Worlds is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be used in any fantasy game setting.
ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-403-0

Quick Impression: As I look through the book it's actually quite difficult to not stop and read, as the images draw me in, I WANT to read the book from cover to cover immediately. I was drawn to stop at multiple places within the book, just because something caught my eye. The artwork is awesome, especially since each planet is presented in full-color.

Main Review: Here we go, whether you want to run a game using a space faring Spelljammer variant, or a Stargate style game, this books provides the framework needed for either. The Sun and each of the 12 solar system locations. Each solar body is broken down into 5 sections; a planetary stat block with size, mass, gravity, atmosphere and orbit; an basic description section, adventuring, gazetteer, and adventure hooks. Each planet is very distinct as was laid out in the Inner Sea World Guide. Castrovel being the original home of the elves, Akiton is the analogue for Burrough's Red Planet, complete with four-armed giants. Verces is a fun tidally locked planet that reminds me of the Jack of Shadows world by Zelazny. Eox the world of the Bone Sages.  The section finishes off with the Constellations, The Cosmic Caravan (providing a full astrology), Cynosure, the Ice Belt and most importantly The Dark Tapestry, which provides for the nameless horrors of the void, those of the Mythos.
   Stellar adventures section covers Travel, via portals, spells or vessels; Environment, atmosphere and vacuum, gravity, temperature and time (length of day). Two new spells and a magic item, the Pressure Suit are also presented in this section.
   The final section is Aliens. The bestiary of the Solar System. It starts off listing existing creatures in the environments. It finishes with six new creatures.

Artwork: Most of the artwork is incredible, some of it is just decent. My personal favorite is the picture of Merisiel in the mystic space suit. The inside cover is a full sheet solar system view. Each of the planets (including Golarion's moon is laid out with an image of the planet (typically a dual hemisphere image, but in the case of the gas giants, it shows moons above the surface), and an additional image, typically a humanoid, but there is some variation. As there's a constellation listing, I wish that they had deemed it wise to create a constellation image as well. There are several other pieces, I especially like the image of The Seraph in the stellar travel section. Cover art by Kerim Beyit. Interior art by Raven Mimura, Scott Purdy, Mike Sass, and Ilker Serdar Yildiz.

Cost: The print version costs $19.99 and the PDF version runs $13.99

Value: This supplement expands the entire solar system, giving plenty of background for spacefaring adventures.

Epic Rating: