Subscribers to Paizo’s products are seeing shipment notifications for the long-awaiting Lost Omens World Guide for Pathfinder Second Edition (PF2). Nothing makes us more giddy than seeing the surprise notification that presents will soon be arriving on our doorsteps! For the non-subscribers out there, the PDF version finally became available on Wednesday.
I absolutely LOVE the lore of Golarion, the setting of the Pathfinder roleplaying game. There’s so much substance to dig through between the adventure paths, player’s guides, and campaign settings. With the release of Pathfinder Second Edition, Paizo had the opportunity to show us what’s been happening over the past decade. The events that transpired through the 1st Edition Adventure Paths are now firmly ingrained in Golarion history, which is great for those of us that haven’t played all of the published adventures.
These are my takeaways after perusing the Second Edition version of Inner Sea World Guide. We are in the Age of Lost Omens!
Since there are so many cultures and regions in Golarion, it can be a real challenge to visualize each place that your character reaches in their travels. People often make comparisons to real-world locations to help combat this. For example, Osirion is often described as the analog to Ancient Egypt.
You know the phrase–a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, in the case of the Lost Omens World Guide, a picture might as well be worth ten thousand! As always, the art in the book is gorgeous; the characters depicted within jump off the page in a dramatic and realistic way. Paizo also shows off key landmarks central to each region.
We also get an updated map of the Inner Sea region! I need to find a good place where I can put this up on the wall. Prominently on the dining room wall is my first choice, but I have a feeling that’s probably not going to fly.
Each region gets its own section in the book, starting off with an EXCELLENT summary of the region. This is one of my favorite updates over the Inner Sea World Guide. The summary quickly gives you an overview of the region, including Nations, Peoples, Languages, Factions, Religions, and Resources. Paizo has also included iconography for these sections. You’ll recognize the deity symbols, but you’ll also find national flags and faction logos.
Having a summary of each region, capitalized with an art piece of the setting, really helps to set the stage for the meatier content in each chapter. You’ll also find a bunch of important figures listed with portraits. It’s really easy to find things, but if you’re having trouble remembering where you saw something there is a glossary and index at the back of the book.
As I mentioned before, I haven’t played through all of the Paizo Adventure Paths – far from it. And I would say that probably puts me in the majority with the people who are playing Pathfinder Second Edition. I am clueless to how the Tyrant’s Grasp adventure impacts the Lastwall region, and I don’t know if Osirion is the same after the events in Mummy’s Mask.
In the Lost Omens World Guide, we’re officially beyond all events from the First Edition Adventure Paths. The nice thing is that each region chapter has an incredibly helpful timeline that establishes its major events. I cannot overstate how much this assists GM prep and character creation. This nifty sidebar also helps you conceptualize where all of these new locations came from, and what happened to the old ones.
Now, the one downside to officially setting the timeline based on the events of Adventure Paths is that the outcomes from your group’s campaigns might not have gone the same way. If you have any well-established campaign worlds where there are crossover characters and events between adventures, these timelines can negate portions of that. Just keep that in mind.
FRESH PLAYER OPTIONS
One of the main qualms people had with Pathfinder Second Edition is that there wouldn’t be as many character options from the get-go. Totally understandable, but that’s how it’s going to be with any new system. Pathfinder First Edition had the benefit of more than a decade of supplemental content; you couldn’t possibly have that much content on day one.
In case you’ve already blown through the base content, the Lost Omens World Guide has you covered with tons of new options. Pathfinder Second Edition hasn’t even been out for a month and we already have a staggering number of additions! Let’s see, by my amateur count, this guide gives us:
- 73 Bodacious Backgrounds
- 10 Astonishing Archetypes
- 55 Fantastic Feats (Mostly tied to the Archetypes)
- 8 Sizzling Spells (7 are Focus Spells for Archetypes)
- 9 Interesting Items
I’m a big fan of the Galt setting, so I’m disappointed that there isn’t a Gray Gardener Archetype (yet), but I’m really intrigued by the Final Blade Survivor Background. This is my love letter to Paizo – please give us more Galt! Maybe in the Lost Omens World Guide Part 2?
And I KNOW that everybody’s chomping at the bit to know what these new archetypes are all about. Some of them will sound very familiar while others are fresh out the oven:
- Pathfinder Agent
- Aldori Duelist
- Lastwall Sentry
- Living Monolith
- Red Mantis Assassin
- Student of Perfection
- Magic Warrior
- Hellknight Armiger
- Lion Blade
Which of these excite me most? It’s gotta be the Living Monolith, hands-down, an archetype featured in the Find the Path podcast by the way. The art seals the deal – it’s so metal. Except that it’s not actually metal, it just ROCKS. Okay I’m done now.
I really like the archetype approach to multi-classing with Pathfinder Second Edition. It allows you to grab some interesting feats after you fulfill some base requirements, without necessarily shoehorning you into another class. Plus, they aren’t class-specific, although having a particular class might be useful in fulfilling the prerequisites.
Lost Omens World Guide: Parting Thoughts
As much as I enjoy the Inner Sea World Guide from First Edition, this book takes the cake for Golarion lore. With the clear timelines, regional summaries, and player customization options, it really checks all of the boxes for me.
Don’t forget that your 1E Inner Sea World Guide isn’t obsolete – there’s still some fantastic Golarion knowledge in there. These two guides complement each other very well. If you’re on the bubble about picking up this supplement, what are you still waiting for?! Pick it up from Paizo, Amazon, or better yet, your FLGS.
If you’re craving more Pathfinder Second Edition content, I’ve started up a Class Concepts series that should satiate your appetite. Starting with the Alchemist, I’m running through one of the 12 base classes each week.
It’s an exciting time to be a Pathfinder!