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Pathfinder: Campaign Setting, The Inner Sea World Guide Hardcover – March 11, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James A. Jacobs (San Francisco, CA) is chief hydrogeologist at Environmental Bio-Systems, Inc., has more than 20 years of environmental geology experience. He is the co-author, with Stephen Testa, of "Oil Spills and Gas Leaks".

Stephen M. Testa (Sacramento, CA) is executive officer of the California State Mining and Geology Board and past-president of both the American Institute of Professional Geologists and the American Geological Institute.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Series: Pathfinder
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: PAIZO, INC; 1st edition (March 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601252692
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601252692
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 8.6 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
3 years ago Paizo released the first edition of Pathfinder Campaign Setting. With the original book out of print, a new rule set (PFRPG) and several ideas on how to refine the setting, the team lead by James Jacobs and Erik Mona set out to refine their tome of Golarion lore.


A solid sewn hardcover book with over 320 pages in full color. As usual, the artwork and layout is above and beyond. Paizo books have their unique art style, and it shows. There are several navigational aids, including a comprehensive index. The book is a pleasure to look at and use. Of special note is the cartography. Both the new global poster map and the individual country/are maps are great, crisp and clear. Rob Lazzaretti went above and beyond here. Bonus points with me: regional maps highlight the area described and "gray out" the surroundings, much like the Eberron maps.


The new Campaign Setting books offers a comprehensive look at the Inner Sea region of world called Golarion. Paizo's setting can be described as a nostalgia-infused "kitchen-sink" of historical, mythological and fantasy archetypes, mixed with several unique creations and sprinkled with some techno-fantasy and Lovecraftian bits. Despite the "one size fits all" mentality of designers who tried to fit as many classic genre tropes in one world - from Ravenloft-ish horror to Arabian Nights and everything in between - the world feels coherent, seamlessly joining elements which seem odd at the first glance, yet make perfect sense once you read about them. It's a setting for everyone, unique yet universal enough to encompass virtually every style of fantasy and reflecting all the classic historical periods.
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I've been running a Pathfinder game, and I'm constantly stunned at the quality of this fully-realized world. Golarion's Inner Sea is a small part of a much larger world, but the vitality in every inch of this world will take your breath away. Each nation and city state in the Inner Sea region has a four-page writeup and there are also plenty of resources for GMs and players alike (though players may wish to consider starting with the Pathfinder Player Companion: Inner Sea Primer which gives a much shorter and player-focused view of the setting in soft-cover.

Twenty of Golarion's major deities get a 1/2-page writeup, which, along with information about the minor deities and planes makes this book worth an extra few bucks. When combined with the information available in the expanded history and nations sections, there's a trove of background on the religions of the Inner Sea.

But the best part of this book has to be the maps. There is a poster-map in the back. There's a small full-world map (with almost no detail, but it's our first print-book view of the whole of Golarion) and then the real selling point: small maps at the start of every nation section that give more detail on each nation's geography and cities than we've ever had!

Bottom line: if you aren't already running or playing in a game set in Golarion... why not?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
GMs have long used "canned" campaign settings in their various game worlds - ofttimes to save effort, or just because they find little interest in the actual creation of the world itself, and would rather spend their time crafting exciting adventures for their players to enjoy. Whatever the case, the pre-published campaign world has long been a staple of the tabletop RPG. When I played AD&D, it was Greyhawk. When we changed over to 3.5, it was the Forgotten Realms. Now that I have started using the excellent Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, it is Golarion, and the Inner Sea Campaign Setting.

This is truly an exciting product. The book expands upon the first version of the setting, and advances the campaign timeline by three years or so. Events introduced in the various Pathfinder Adventure Paths are covered briefly, and each and every nation of the Inner Sea region is given an exhaustive update, including histories, important personages, and cultural items of interest. One nice touch is that few important NPCs are detailed via game stats, allowing a GM to customize his world as he or she sees fit. Also included are new monsters, prestige classes, magic items and more. The production values are top-notch, with beautiful art and excellent maps of the world itself.

My only complaint is one that seems to hound most modern RPG products. The actual book seems a bit flimsy, and will not hold up under extended use. The 1st Edition D&D books I bought back in 1981 are still in pristine condition, and saw heavy use back in the day. For $50 I was hoping for more quality in that regard, but there you go. Highly recommended.
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It's always exciting to begin reading about a new campaign setting, but this absolutely blew me away. As a veteran gamer of 22 years, I've played in, DM'ed for, or at least read about dozens of new worlds and many feel shallow or rushed to production. The Pathfinder world is positively the most detailed and original setting I've ever encountered.

The book itself is beautiful, with full color illustrations and carefully crafted maps to complement the huge poster-size map included with the book. About 70% of the content is devoted to a country-by-country analysis of the two main continents north and south of the Inner Sea. The variety of civilizations is tremendous. If there's a type of campaign you want to play, there's a place for you to do it. (Personally, I can't wait to visit Geb, where the fields are harvested by zombies for sale to the neighboring barren country of Nex.)

The world's history is extremely detailed, and leaves you in a position to take the story in any direction you'd like for your campaign. In addition to the normal pantheon of gods that you'd expect from any campaign, there are several philosophies, demons, devils, powerful fey, and others who are worthy of worship and able to supply clerics with spellcasting abilities and domain powers.

There's several prestige classes, feats, new spells, magic items, yada yada yada, but the real meat in this book is the wealth of background information about the world.

CONS: my wife finds it irritating that I keep reading things to her when she is driving or watching TV.
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