Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Inner Sea Gods

Product– Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Gods

Producer-Paizo

System-Pathfinder

Price-~$30 at http://smile.amazon.com/Pathfinder-Campaign-Setting-Inner-Gods/dp/1601255977/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404137191&sr=8-1&keywords=Pathfinder+Campaign+Setting+Inner+Sea+gods

TL; DR-If you want to know about the main Golarion gods, get this book. 90%

 

Basics– Inner Sea Gods is the first hard cover book discussing Golarion in a long time from Paizo, and as the name suggests, it focuses on the gods of the inner sea region.  Chapter one discusses the big 20-the top gods of the setting.  Each god gets a few pages discussing important stats for this god and prestige classes for characters of this god, the gods beliefs, the priesthood, the church, temples and shrines, a priest’s role in the world, how adventures see the god, clothing of worshipers, holy texts, holidays, aphorisms, relations between religions, the gods realm, planar allies, and a sidebar for characters of this god for different items, archetypes and character options.  Each god also gets a picture of a worshiper and the god itself.  After the main deities’ chapter, the second string of deities gets a chapter with each deity getting half a page followed by a section on race specific pantheons.  Next is a chapter on character options including three new prestige classes, feats, traits, domains spells, and items.  The book finishes with new monsters and quick stat tables on the gods.

 

Theme or fluff– I liked and didn’t like this one.  What was here was great, but what wasn’t was what really made this disappointing.  The first chapter of the book is amazing!  The write up on each god is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to learn about the gods of this world.  However, I would have gladly traded any items and spells in this book for more page space on the second string deities.  That was what I really wanted from this book.  Gods like Besmara already have a deity write up that could have been copy/pasted from the Adventure Paths (AP) right in this book!  And that’s the assumed default god of the second highest selling AP! Heck, some gods don’t even get the half page as some race deities get less than a paragraph in the pantheons.  Now, I know this is kind of nit-picking as +90% of players will pick a main god and use that, but those minor god details are important to me. 4/5

 

Mechanics or Crunch-This was done well even if I wanted more fluff in the book.  Instead of making an ungodly (ha puns!) number of different prestige classes, Paizo made three, BUT each god gives different powers depending on the god the character serves.  That right there, along with CMB/CMD, is the smartest thing Paizo has added to the 3.X system!  I don’t need a book with three classes per god (basically the standard Paizo three: skill monkey, fighter, and caster); I can have two pages explaining each class and 1/2 a page per god giving each god’s specific powers for those three. That frees up page space that was much better used and solved a problem in a smart way.  The feats, items, monsters, and powers provided by the book are also well done too.  Like any large book, there are winners and losers for all the options provided, but overall it’s not bad.  I think the alters and item are far overpriced for the bonus you get though.  As above, since the non-core gods don’t get much more than half a page, you can’t out of the box play the new prestige classes with the obscured gods.  But, those are minor problems. 4.5/5

 

Execution– It’s not a bad book.  I might have problems with content, but Paizo knows how to really put a bunch in each book.  The art helps keep the reader from getting bored since you are in essence reading at least 150 pages of fake theology textbook.  Item, spell, power, class layout is as great as ever.  I find nothing to complain about here. 5/5

 

Summary– If you play Pathfinder and are a cleric, then this book is a no brainer.  If you run a Pathfinder game and will use ANY gods at all, then this book is a no brainer.  I have my problems with what didn’t make the cut for this book as opposed to what did.  However, if you are the vast majority of people out there who pretend to worship some fantasy god in this system, then this book is for you.  If you want to worship some obscure god, you have a bit of work on your hands.  Since I love clerics in my 3.5 games, this a well done book I’m glad is part of my collection but not completely what I wanted. 90%

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