Ring Side Report-Review of Ultimate Campaign

Book– Ultimate Campaign

Publisher-Paizo

Price – ~$40

TL;DR– Tables and Rules Everywhere!-83%

Basics– Ultimate Campaign focuses on the rules around the rest of the Pathfinder RPG. This book is more “meta” then most books.  The book starts with a chapter on how to make characters; not how to make stats, but how to build a story into your characters.  Next the book gives a chapter on what you can do in your down time with ideas ranging from building businesses to creating organizations.  After that is a chapter on different rules systems covering ideas such as bargaining to taxation in your game.  The final chapter is how to build a kingdom and mass combat.

Mechanics or “Crunch”-This book is crunch-tastic!  If you want rules regarding all the extra stuff in your game, this is it.  Want rules for an honor system? It’s here.  Want to start a kingdom? There is a whole chapter on how to do the rules for it.  It covers a lot of ground.  Some of these rules are kind of reprints as these rules were covered in different adventure paths, but that’s not necessarily bad as the rules have gotten a polish since their last printing. 5/5

Story or “Fluff”-This section might not fit the best here.  This book sets out to be a rules book.  It’s pretty system neutral as you’re just running the Pathfinder/3.5 system somewhere and these rules cover the “in between” stuff.  You don’t need a lot of story.  However chapter one is how to build a character.  It does an excellent job of describing what stuff you could include in your character.  If you’re George R.R. Martin, you don’t need this.  However, I have a friend who loves Pathfinder, but when presented with character generation, he freezes.  This chapter gives some good fluff for your characters and suggests traits for you to take for all the fluff.  Heck, if you want to completely randomize your PCs, this chapter gives tables and tables of random stuff to make your new PC.  Where the fluff is needed, it’s done well, but don’t expect it throughout the book. 4/5

Execution-This book is the standard Paizo quality.  The book is a nice hard cover with well put together pages.  The layout lacks a bit.  There are pages after pages of tables or rules or columns of text.  Nothing brakes up much of what you’re reading, so it gets a little boring.  It’s important rules, if you want them, but they get very dry, very quick.   3.5/5

Final Thoughts-Unlink a base book, this is a one copy at the table max book.  This is something you might want to get, skim through, and then give to your GM while telling him which of these rules you want in the game.  It’s a repeat of many of the rules systems explored in the adventure paths, which isn’t bad because the rules do get a little touch up here and there.  However, if you want a dungeon crawling game where you find some monsters, kill them, and take gear, this isn’t for you.  If you want to do some crazy game where you explore a mist filled continent via random hex crawl where you establish a kingdom while maintaining your family’s honor, waging a war for the throne, marrying into different family lines, and dealing with the crushing shame of your fathers half fiend lineage, then YES you will need this book.-83%

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