Pathfinder Second Edition (PF2) fans rejoice! The Lost Omens Character Guide has arrived – at least in PDF form – and physical copies are making their way across the land. If you loved the Lost Omens World Guide, this book is poised to take that excitement to an entirely new level!
Where the World Guide focused on the setting of Golarion, the Lost Omens Character Guide pulls the characters into frame. Sure, you can read lore about a places like Osirion and Tian Xia, but it’s hard to truly imagine these iconic places without being able to picture the people that live there. The depictions in this book are incredibly detailed and give instant inspiration for your campaign-building efforts.
This guide is more than just a bunch of pretty pages bound together. We are treated with detailed information on existing Ancestries and Organizations, templates for NPCs, and three new Ancestries to support your character-building obsession.
I’m here to give you my initial thoughts about the Lost Omens Character Guide, and to highlight my favorite parts of the book. Let’s dive right in!
EXISTING ANCESTRY UPDATES
Oftentimes, when I want to build a new Pathfinder character, I start by sifting through Feats and Ancestry options until something catches my eye. The Lost Omens Character Guide gives me WAY more content to go through on the Ancestry front. It’s very intimidating, but exciting at the same time!
Each of the base Ancestry options get a detailed overview and a fresh batch of Ancestry Feats to go along with them. After discussing the primary birthplaces of the different ethnic groups, we get a myriad of portraits showing people from those locations. Paizo makes it clear that Golarion is diverse; characters can have many identities and all of them can hold truth.
A lot of the art in the book reminds me of the NPC Codex from First Edition, which is another fantastic source of character inspiration. With every turn of the page I see another possible character, bursting with backstory potential.
I mean, what other book are you going to see examples of a Frost Goblin, Jinin Elf, and Glimmer Gnome all in the same place? There are quite a few groups that I’ve never heard of, like the Spiresworn and the Othobans. I’m definitely dedicating some more time to enhance my background knowledge of Golarion’s amazing people.
The Lost Omens Character Guide gives us three fully-fledged Ancestry options: Hobgoblins, Leshies, and Lizardfolk. Each entry follows the same framework as the Classes in the Core Rulebook, describing what society and behavior typically associate with that Ancestry. We can finally create the rhyming lizard-wizard of our dreams!
Hobgoblins are the human-sized versions of goblins. They are generally militaristic, typically hold a grudge towards elves for their magic, and are notoriously clever. They aren’t as silly and clumsy as goblins can be, but that doesn’t mean that they’re all business. The Warrenbred Hobgoblin is exceptionally intriguing – underground hobgoblins!
Leshies are the result of druidic rituals that combine spirits with the natural world. Their forms are incredibly varied; some resemble small trees while others are more like a collection of fungi. Although it takes awhile to earn their trust, the companionship of a leshy that accepts you as family is a bond not easily broken. I’m already imagining a Vine Leshy that can climb their way to new heights and uncover previously unreachable ledges!
Lizardfolk are exactly what you’re picturing. They are reptilian creatures that excel on the battlefield and in the wilds as Rangers and Fighters. Not only that, but they boast a wide assortment of colored scales depending on their natural environment. They are patient; always siding with history when it comes to important decisions. Sandstrider Lizardfolk break the typical mold, residing in arid, desert climates, and Unseen Lizardfolk have chameleon-like skin.
Players love options, and Paizo delivers in droves. There are tons of Ancestries that’ll be featured in future books; we get a little sneak preview of them at the end of the New Ancestries section. Look forward to more information on Geniekin, Catfolk, Aasimar, Tieflings, and many others.
One thing that Paizo did much better in the Lost Omens Character Guide than some of their First Edition books is the inclusion of easy-to-read instructions on how to apply the knowledge of the book to alter existing content. The beginning of the section on Organizations is a prime example of what I’m talking about.
The structure of the Organization Stat Block is very intuitive and provides a simple format for homebrewing your own organization. Each section is concise and provides examples of the information that would populate that area. Just like creature stat blocks, this helps establish a uniform style that gets everyone on the same page with expectations.
The Character Guide highlights five major organizations in Golarion, which I’ve briefly summarized below.
- Firebrands – daredevils and rebels that strive to overthrow tyrannical practices with flashy theatrics
- Hellknights – upholders of the law who seek to establish order and eliminate anarchy in its many forms
- Knights of Lastwall – sworn enemies to the Whispering Tyrant and protectors against the forces of undeath
- The Magaambya – propagators of ancient magic and spreaders of the knowledge that binds all living things together
- Pathfinder Society – adventurers with a penchant for preserving and uncovering the scholarly truths of the world
As with the rest of the book, each section is complete with a detailed history, character options like Feats and equipment, and examples of characters within those organizations. What’s really striking is how the publisher showcases the wide variety of people that can make up these organizations; there isn’t a cookie-cutter style that applies to everyone.
You’ll also find a series of templates towards the back of the book that makes it a breeze to create your own characters and villains of these organizations. Depending on their level, such characters unlock various skills, attacks, or even spells. Templates in First Edition were a blessing, and I’m glad that the tradition continues with Pathfinder Second Edition.
Lost Omens Character Guide: Parting Thoughts
This is a fantastic resource for Gamemasters and Players of the Pathfinder Second Edition system. Again, if you really enjoy reading about lore this should be an instant-buy, but if you’re more concerned with mechanics it’s a worthwhile investment as well.
Clocking in at 135 pages, you can’t go wrong with the Lost Omens Character Guide. It breathes even more life into a world that we’re discovering for a second time with the new system. It’s bound to spark your imagination, help you create some amazing characters, and give you another conduit to tell memorable stories at the table.
If you have an appetite for more Pathfinder Second Edition content, I’m a couple weeks away from finishing a Class Concepts series. I’m running through each of the base Pathfinder classes and providing you with some creative ideas on potential characters that fit the bill for each.
Enjoy learning about the people of Golarion!