Pros: Well written and easy to use, sure to spark deep thinking into character creation.
Faction Guide: A Pathfinder Chronicles Supplement by Joshua J. Frost, Jason Nelson, and Sean K. Reynolds.
Paizo Publishing's Pathfinder Chronicles (AKA Dungeons and Dragons Edition 3.75) has a campaign setting called Golarion . This world is richly detailed with many different cultures and countries. But our world is not defined only by ethnicity and national origin, and neither is Golarion. There are many factions, and there are benefits, and game advancing drawbacks, to belonging to one.
24 of these factions are discussed in detail, from the iconic Pathfinder Society, to the terrifying Red Mantis Assassins. Their interests extend from the commercial Aspis Consortium combining the worst aspects of British Petroleum and Lehman Brothers, to the abolitionist Bellflower Network. From racial collections like the Varisian Wanderers, to race wars, like the Lantern Bearers, a group of Elves determined to eradicate the Drow. Cults, Philosophies, mercenary companies, all are depicted.
Each entry has several features, a brief description, and then the group's Goal; like the Green Faith's A World in Balance, or The Whispering Way's Golarion Must Die. You get a grasp of whom or what you are dealing with here. Next comes Alignment; The Mendev Crusaders, a group dedicated to demon hunting are predictably Lawful Good. Surprisingly, the Hellknights, a group serving diabolic Cheliax, are Lawful Neutral. Their strict interpretation of Law is all the devils need to make good use of these enforcers. Then it lists the Leader of the group, like Lady Darchana of the Arcanamirium, or oligarchic Aspis Patrons. It goes on to list good class choices for the group, for instance, Alchemists, Bards, Sorcerers and Wizards fit nicely into the Arcanamirium's magical frame work, while a Barbarian, Fighter or rogue has special challenges. It lists the headquarters, like the Hellknights are based in Cheliax, and the Green Faith is very decentralized. It discusses the requirements for joining, and the various actions it takes to gain prestige within the Faction. The Green Faith of course rewards protecting woodlands, animals, and the fey, while the Red Mantis value assassinations performed without complications. The resources also reflect the values of what the faction is about, and much of the benefit the member gains. In addition to information, safe houses, and supplies, powerful members of the Red Mantis also can purchase or upgrade magical saw-toothed sabres with the following enchantments, humanoid bane, keen, ki focus, nine lives stealer, speed, spell storing, sword of life stealing, sword of subtlety, and wounding, at substantial discounts.
So while you might have a wizard from the River Kingdoms, it takes a very different sort of fellow to join say, the Whispering Way rather than the Arcanamirium. And what about a Shackles Pirate? What kind of wizard would work in that organization? Is your fighter a member of the noble Eagle Knights, a leg breaker for the Aspis Consortium, or an elf fighting the Drow in the Lantern Bearers? Is your Halfling thief an explorer for the Pathfinder Society, a freedom fighter freeing other Halflings from slavery in Cheliax, or is she a deadly Red Mantis Assassin?
This supplement, more than most, encourages player engagement with their character's deep motivations. It really helps build a person, rather than just a collection of stats, and that makes it worth far more than $19.99 cover price.
An American Game, an American Company; printed in China....*sigh*....
In fond Memory of Gary Gygax, Father of Dungeons and Dragons.
27 July, 1938 -4 March, 2008
"You enriched my life."
The Pathfinder Series, or Dungeons and Dragons Edition 3.75
Core Rule Book
Advanced Player's Guide
Game Mastery Guide
The Inner Sea World Guide
Guide to the River Kingdoms: A Pathfinder Companion
Dungeons of Golarion
Classic Horrors Revisited
Inner Sea Magic: A Pathfinder Companion
Lords of Chaos: The Book of the Damned, Volume II
Humans of Golarion: A Pathfinder Companion
Undead Revisited: A Pathfinder Companion
Orcs of Golarion: A Pathfinder Companion
City of Strangers: A Pathfinder Companion
Sargava The Lost Colony: A Pathfinder Companion
Heart of the Jungle: A Pathfinder Companion
Gnomes of Golarion: A Pathfinder Companion
Rule of Fear: Ustalav. A Pathfinder Companion
Cheliax: Empire of Devils: A Pathfinder Companion
Guide to Darkmoon Vale A Pathfinder Companion.
Dragons Revisited: A Pathfinder Companion.
Faction Guide: A Pathfinder Companion
NPC Guide: A Pathfinder Companion
Dungeon Denizens Revisited: A Pathfinder Companion
A Guide To Korvosa: A Pathfinder Companion
Into the Darklands: A Pathfinder Companion
Cities of Golarion: A Pathfinder Companion
Faiths of Purity: A Pathfinder Companion
Rise of the Runelords
The Skinsaw Murders
The Hook Mountain Massacre
The Fortress of the Stone Giants
Shadow in the Sky
Children of the Void
The Armageddon Echo
A Memory of Darkness
Descent Into Midnight
Please look at these Piazo Modules:
The Demon Within
Hungry are the Dead
River of Darkness
Seven Swords of Sin
Gallery of Evil
From Shore to Sea
The Witchwar Legacy
Realm of the Fellnight Queen
Carnival of Tears
The Pact Stone Pyramid
Entombed with the Pharaohs
Treasure of Chimera Cove
Tower of the Last Baron
The Crucible of Chaos
Check out each installment of these Introductory Modules from Wizards of the Coast for Third Edition.
The Sunless Citadel
The Forge of Fury
The Speaker in Dreams
The Standing Stone.
The Heart of Nightfang Spire
Lord of the Iron Fortress
Keep on the Shadowfell
Dungeon Masters Guide