While the majority of our tabletop gaming is still digital, Paizo is still churning out physical content. The best part about most of Paizo’s offerings, is that you can incorporate them in a virtual gaming space, as well as a physical one.
There are three main Paizo products that I want to review with this installment: the Starfinder Flip-Tiles: Space Station Starter Set, the Pathfinder 2E Arcane Spell Cards, and the Pathfinder 2E Bestiary Battle Cards.
The Flip-Tiles and the Battle Cards are targeted towards Gamemasters (GMs), helping them to prep their games and keep encounters moving. The Arcane Spell cards come into play for anybody playing a character with access and knowledge of arcane spells.
Let’s check ’em out!
Starfinder Flip-Tiles: Space Station Starter Set
One of my favorite parts of science-fantasy or sci-fi is that the locales for adventures are nearly endless. You can play in a space-noir crime campaign, laden with technological cyberpunk vignettes. Or, you can hop from planet to planet, experiencing a wide variety of environments.
With the Space Station Starter Set, you’re getting 42 double-sided flip-tiles to build a unique map of a space station. Each tile is 6×6 squares, allowing you to create a MASSIVE map if you were to incorporate all of them. Additionally, the set also comes with some blank dividers to help you stay organized.
There are a couple noteworthy tile types that I’ve identified:
- Bright blue flora, fitting for a space station atrium
- Command center with all the screens and dials you could ask for
- Storage area for crates, barrels, and smuggled R2 units
- Power cores, mechanical hubs, and other high-tech equipment areas
- Sleeping quarters, where you can get your full 8-hours of rest
- Airlocks and docking stations
- Corridors and side rooms to create a labyrinth in the station
As with the other Paizo flip-tiles, these can be marked up with wet or dry-erase markers. I’ve done this when running Pathfinder Society Scenarios in the past, and these work the same way. It’s useful for adding a little extra flair and truly making the map your own.
Below, I’ll showcase a couple of maps that I made using the flip-tiles. Most of the time you’ll need to line them up in the middle of each tile, but there are situations where you can get a little more creative.
All in all, this is a great compliment to any Starfinder campaign. You can use it to build space station maps, but you could actually use them for large-scale spaceships too.
Pathfinder 2E Arcane Spell Cards
Next up are the Pathfinder 2E Arcane Spell Cards. Now, there isn’t a whole lot to say, because the title is exactly what you get: over 200 spell reference cards for the current Arcane spells in the Core Rulebook. I say current because obviously as more content comes out, there could be new spells added to the game that wouldn’t be covered in these cards.
You’re not going to learn anything new here; the verbiage is the same as the spell wording in the book. The benefit, however, is that you could create your own ‘spell deck’ for your character. Instead of lugging around all five pounds of the Core Rulebook, you can carry a nice, neat little deck of cards that contains all of the arcane spells you could cast.
Sort them by spell level, and you’re off to the races.
It’s nice to not have to jot down reminder notation of what spells do on your character sheet. Even though that’s usually my preferred method of reminding myself what these spells do.
We’ve seen this product many times before in different variations.The Arcane spell set is just one of several Pathfinder 2E Spell Cards available:
When it comes to purchasing any of these spell decks, you’re essentially paying by the spell. That makes the Arcane spell deck the priciest of the lot. However, it’s a worthwhile investment if you tend to play the same type of character over and over. Or, you could chip in with your gaming group to pick up all the sets, and share them that way.
Pathfinder 2E Bestiary Battle Cards
The final product I want to talk about are is the box of Pathfinder 2E Bestiary Battle Cards. Let me tell you straight up: these are AWESOME. We’re talking 450 cards from the Pathfinder 2E Bestiary, complete with their entire statblock and full-size art.
These aren’t your regular playing-card size references either. They’re jumbo cards clocking in at a massive 4×6″. When you open the box, you’ll see two stacks of alphabetized creatures, just waiting for you to dig in.
As a forever-GM, I’m always on the hunt for things to make my preparation easier. Making maps in advance, prepping initiative trackers, and reading ahead in the modules can only get you so far. Usually, I have to have the Pathfinder Bestiary at hand, or at least have the statblocks queued up on my computer.
With the Bestiary Battle Cards, I can take out the creatures that I think I’ll need access to, and I’m ready to rock and roll. Not only that, but it also gives me a slick image to show my players so that they know what they’re up against. I’m decent at descriptions, but you know what they say: a picture is worth a thousand words.
Honestly, these weren’t something that I thought I would appreciate. After all, I have all of the creatures and their statblocks in the Bestiary already. Why would I need that content again? It truly does help speed up encounters by eliminating the need to bookmark the Bestiary with applicable pages.
Also, if you made a similar sized card for your players, you can use the stack of cards as an initiative tracker. Talk about innovative!
Paizo July Product Review: Final Thoughts
Every Paizo product isn’t necessarily geared towards the same people. Some are aimed at helping out GMs, giving them another tool in the box, while others are for players to keep themselves organized. Having that balance is important, and takes away my need to pick up everything that comes out. But if it’s for GMs, that’s my wheelhouse.
With GenCon cancelled, the biggest announcements of the year are going digital. As good as these products are, I can’t wait to get my hands on some of the upcoming content, particularly the anxiously-awaited Pathfinder 2E Advanced Players Guide.
Stay tuned for more news on that front! Until next time, keep rolling those dice!
Disclaimer: Nerds on Earth was provided a copy of the Starfinder Flip-Tiles: Space Station Starter Set, Pathfinder Bestiary Battle Cards, and Pathfinder Arcane Spell Cards by Paizo Publishing in exchange for an honest review.