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Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Numeria, Land of Fallen Stars Paperback – July 15, 2014
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If they ever redo the Gamma World game, this would be a useful place to look for advice.
For those of you that don't know Numeria is a land in the Pathfinder setting of Golarian. What makes this land so intriguing is that thousands of years ago a massive spaceship (I imagine this to be something on the scale of the spaceship Rama, or some other massive colony ship) crashed scattering debris across this hostile land inhabited by barbarians.
Up to speed, good. I have been eagerly waiting for the arrival of my book since it was announced. The book is nice but a little slim clocking in at only 63 pages but overall it's a nice splatbook. Art on the cover by J.P Targete is very reminiscent of a piece that Todd Lockwood did for Dragon magazine about an article re-visiting an old adventure entitled Expedition to the Barrier Peaks that i think may have greatly inspired the authors in their foray. The interior art is good, with main gaming material presented by authors Jim Grove, James Jacobs, and Russ Taylor.
The book then breaks down the timeline of the land of Numeria from the event known as Earthfall (no not the spaceship crash that happened later) all the way up to present year. Next the four main territories are covered along with corresponding cities and personalities within each. Next up the reader gets Plots & Perils which includes new diesases, infestations (nanites, ick,) and hazards like gravity zones, and radiation. The inclusion of radiation brings in a new factor into characters creatures, Mutations!!!! Ahhh so much like Gamma World you can taste it!!! This is followed by the kellid tribes of note including the Technic League and its ruler the Black Sovereign. Next up a brief sampling of Adventuring Sites with mention to a great one found in the book Dungeons of Golarion the Red Redoubt, go buy it!!
To round out the book the reader gets a short bestiary of 17 new and icky beasties. Included are Android imposter, among some cool others. Look for some awesome art under Arachnid Robot.
Now what you don't get. While i think the book is good, and chock full of adventuring ideas. This book is really a primer for the new Numerian Adventure path that I believe begins with the Lords of Rust, and makes mention of a book that yet to be published titled the Technology guide. If you are looking for all the high tech toys to add to your favorite campaign sadly this book will leave you angry and feeling a bit cheated. However I think once the tech. guide and the adventure path are all available and combined with this book i think a GM can really bring high tech dungeon delving into the world of high fantasy much to the enjoyment of players and Game Masters alike.
Product-Pathfinder Campaign Setting- Numeria, Land of the Fallen Stars
TL;DR-Swords and Circuits! 95%
Basics- Time for some Sword and Circuits! Numeria, Land of the Fallen Stars tells the story of Numeria in Pathfinder's default setting. Numeria is a land defined by barbarians and a star ship that crashed into Golarion millennia ago. The book is roughly divided into a section describing the basic geography and story of each place. Then the next section discusses the different groups in the region. The final section of the book is the monsters that live in the region.
Mechanics or Crunch-This book isn't crunch heavy, but it doesn't have to be, as the book is part of a twin set discussing Numeria. Therefore, I can forgive the book being somewhat crunch-lite. This book focuses on the story of the region more than the execution of the region. Even with that said, this book goes into good mechanical depth by discussing diseases, different damage types like radiation, and an item from the wastes called Numerian Fluids. These fluids are the cast-offs of starships and robots, and have side effects ranging from instant death to gaining a level. The book also adds a small bestiary as well as random encounter tables for each area in the region. However, I didn't see how often I should roll a random encounter. I like what I see here, but I also know that most of the mechanics will come in the companion book that will come out later. 4.5/5
Story or Fluff-This book is FULL of stories to start a Numeria campaign. This regions presents some novel stories (pun intended) for the Golarion setting. I love the Sword and Circuits idea, and this book will provide you with all the standard fantasy fare of rampaging barbarians to the standard sci-fi tropes of a HoloDeck on the fritz. Beyond this are crazy sadist cultists, paladins hiding crazy technology, and an underground railroad for robots. This book and the setting have all the stories I wanted from fantasy/sci-fi as well as enough new to make me ready to start playing! 5/5
Execution-This book is pretty well done. The story and mechanics make this one a page-turner even though it's over 60 pages of fantasy encyclopedia. The layout, text, and pictures are great and draw the reader through the story. I do think Paizo is running into a bit of a problem with the number of rules books they are putting out. If you are reading this and want to run this as a physical product, you're going to need LOTS of other books to run a game in this part of the world. Paizo has an impressive pace for books, but this is leading to more books which will need OTHER rulebooks to use them at all. It is a small problem, but an increasingly prevalent one. 4.75/5
Summary-I loved reading this product. I was looking forward to running the Iron Gods adventure path before, but this book psyched me up even more. I love the fusion of sci-fi and fantasy. Some have complained that the two won't work well together, but based on what I've read, these two will fit together just fine. There are some problems though--the major one is the number of books that Paizo products are beginning to require you to have in order to play the new book. This goes so far as this book will require a SECOND campaign book to incorporate all the technology needed for this part of the world. But, based on this book, I'm buying that book as soon as it comes out!-95%