Thursday, March 8, 2012

Review - Classic Treasures Revisited

Pathfinder Chronicles - Classic Treasures Revisited

The Ultimate Reward
Every adventurer dreams of glittering treasures and magical relics, and such remarkable rewards spur the quests and ignite the imaginations of history’s greatest heroes, driving them to greatness—or their doom. Yet above coins of gold and gem-studded baubles rise those riches that are themselves the envy of kings, the causes of calamities, and the stuff of legends. With the power to slay titanic beasts, reduce whole castles to ruin, and change the flow of fate, such mythic items fill the stories of sages and treasure seekers the world over. And now, the greatest of these wonders rest within your hands.
This compendium of curiosities reveals the magic and legacy of 10 of the most famous and infamous items and artifacts in the history of fantasy roleplaying. From the head-slicing swipes of the vorpal sword to the awesome magical might of the staff of the magi, the depthless bag of holding to the world-warping deck of many things, the investigations within reveal the mysterious creations, cunning uses, magical variations, and untold other secrets of these ultimate treasures.
No matter the campaign setting, Classic Treasures Revisited unleashes a hoard of history’s greatest magic items upon your game—along with all the adventures they inspire—and proves that true treasures never tarnish.
    Highlighted treasures include:
  • Bag of Holding
  • Cube of Force
  • Deck of Many Things
  • Figurines of Wondrous Power
  • Helm of Brilliance
  • Horn of Valhalla
  • Sphere of Annihilation
  • Staff of the Magi
  • Vorpal Sword
  • Well of Many Worlds
This Pathfinder Chronicles book works best with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary. Although it is suitable for play in any fantasy world, it is optimized for use in the Pathfinder Chronicles campaign setting.
ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-220-3

Quick Glance: This is Paizo's typical Pathfinder Chronicle layout. You get a full color, 64-page, perfect bound book with artwork on the inside front and rear covers, and throughout. This is one of Paizo's revisited series of the chronicles books. Written by Michael Kortes, Todd Stewart, Jonathan H. Keith, Jacob Burgess, Brian Cortijo, Jeff Quick, Amber Scott and Russ Taylor.

Main Review: I love Paizo's revisited series, it really shows how inventive the team can be. This particular example takes ten classic magic items and examines, expands and introduces more and more information into the game. One of the best things this book does is give more options to the gamemaster. Each Item is written by a single author, giving a more in depth look at the item, its history, lore and variants.

Each item is laid out with the following formula: A fluff piece followed by a basic description. Then the Base Item is presented in its entirety. (This is the ONE problem I have with the book, as the items are ALL in the Core rulebook, and this is wasted space.) Utility is covered next; what the item is typically used for, its role in the game. Next up is Related items and spells; pretty sell explanatory, for example the Handy Haversack being a related item to the bag of holding, while the wall of force being a related spell to the Cube of Force. Next up is the Campaign Role, similar to the utility section, this gives more in depth as to how the item can affect the campaign world, with perhaps some campaign hooks hinted at. Variants are the next section of each description, though some items are written with better variants than others. The final section draws the items into the lore of Golarion, this is great for running games in Golarion and adding extra fluff to those knowledge rolls for bards. Included in the descriptions are also feats such as having a Figuring of Wondrous Power Animal Companion or Familiar, a la a certain drow and his panther.The book provides so much information that reviewing everything would be folly. So go to your FLGS, see if they have a copy and page through it, you'll see what I'm saying.

Artwork: As always, Paizo produces some beautiful artwork (with the exception of sometimes using inappropriate item card artwork in certain books). Cover Art by Kerem Beyit. Interior Art by Christopher Burdett, Andrew Kim, Jeremy McHugh, Hector Ortiz, Michael Phillippi, and Florian Stitz.

Cost: This volume costs $19.99 MSRP for the print version, and $13.99 for the PDF version through Paizo.

Value: Excellent! This is a fun book that gives plenty of new life to familiar items. If you're looking to change things up in your game, or looking for inspiration on how to give an old item a new life, pick this book up while you still can, Paizo doesn't do a lot of reprints, so once this one is gone, it's most likely gone.

Rating: 18/20