If there’s one thing that us nerds like, it’s deluxe editions. We enjoy taking our hobbies to the next level, going all-in for the most lavish experience possible. This is especially true for tabletop role-playing games like Pathfinder 2E, where we pick up gobs of dice, books, minis, and more. And now it’s time to add Beadle & Grimm’s Complete Character Chronicles to that list!
We had the chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at these beautiful vegan leather-covered Character Chronicles first-hand, and they are a delight. Designed to hold your entire character’s story, the Character Chronicles are a one-stop shop for everything about that Pathfinder 2E class.
It’s only right that I share what I’ve learned with you! Let’s dive into the Complete Character Chronicles from Beadle & Grimm’s!
Beadle & Grimm’s Complete Character Chronicles: Who It’s For
The Complete Character Chronicles are a premium product. I mean, just look at it! This is a high-quality product that fits right beside that special edition Pathfinder 2E Core Rulebook on your shelf. The overall presentation is incredibly impressive.
But this is more than just another book. The Character Chronicle is designed to serve as a character journal for your Pathfinder 2E character. Notice that I said character – singular. Inside the bindings you’ll find spaces to keep track of everything your character could ever encounter. This includes birth records, feats, character sheet, equipment, inventory, and even a death record if it comes to that.
You can also log important quest related information like people you meet, places you visit, and notes on your outstanding quests. Want to know where you picked up that Skyrider Sword? Now you’ll never forget! I also appreciate that there are pages solely dedicated to Pathfinder Society play so you can keep track of the scenarios you’ve played, your boons, and your overall PFS progress.
At the end of the day, Beadle & Grimm’s Complete Character Chronicles aren’t necessarily meant to be picked up for every single Pathfinder 2E character that you’re ever going to make. After all, you can print off so many character sheets for a fraction of the price. Plus, there are currently only five classes available: Druid, Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, and Wizard.
However, there are many situations where picking up a Character Chronicle makes sense. For example, if you’re embarking on a brand new Adventure Path – like the Strength of Thousands – and your character survives to level 3, you can retroactively pick up a Chronicle and start filling it in. It would be a shame for your first-level character to get taken out of the campaign right away due to some poor dice rolls, so I’d recommend waiting until the survivability is a bit higher.
I also would argue that the Character Chronicles are really great choices for Pathfinder Society play. Especially with the PFS section and all of the rules, the Chronicle becomes a focal point and instant-memoir for the exploits of your character as you play. Plus, it’s bound to turn some heads at the table!
I’m the kind of person who gets something nice like this and just can’t seem to pull the trigger on actually writing inside it. If you’re like me in that sense, just take a deep breath and put pen to the page. Once those first couple marks are down, there’s no pressure for everything to be perfect anymore. Your character isn’t going to be perfect, so their Chronicle doesn’t have to be either!
Beadle & Grimm’s Complete Character Chronicles: The Best Parts
Now let’s take a look at my top three takeaways from Beadle & Grimm’s Complete Character Chronicles for Pathfinder Second edition. These are things that caught my eye when reading through the book, and the things I’m most excited to bring to the table. I was able to preview the Fighter and Druid Chronicles, so that’s what this is all based on.
Everything in the Character Chronicles is something that you can use as a player of that character class. There are over 100 pages of things that are pertinent strictly to that class without the extra fluff. Of course, if you get into multi-classing you may need to supplement your Chronicle with some spellcasting pages, or dedicate some Journal pages to that information. Luckily, there is a pair of bookmarks to ensure you know exactly where they are. Or you could just mark them in the Feats and Abilities section.
Not to mention that the book is dripping with extra flavor. Take something as innocuous as a Triggering Moves diagram or a drawing showing how Flanking works and you’ll see exactly what I mean. It’s above and beyond the expectations of a ‘normal’ book, with side comments marked for your enjoyment. It’s like they turned the flavor dial to BLASTED!
I really like how the Equipment section in the Fighter Chronicle is arranged like a fantasy catalog for all of your sword and board needs. Or how in the Druid Chronicle the Form spells are displayed like a naturalist’s journal entry, meticulously documented. These books aren’t just carbon copies of each other with just the class information replaced; they all give off a different, unique feel that makes them special.
Make it Your Own
There are more than 50 lined pages earmarked for your freeform journal entries. This is supposed to be a record of your character, after all. I know that in my longer campaigns we used to write a short recap to log our adventure together in a single place. You have plenty of space to do the same here!
There’s even a fold-out grid that you can use to create your own hideout/castle/keep/harbor/safehouse. Be creative with it! Maybe you want to sketch out the niche coffeehouse that your character builds after they retire from many successful years of adventuring. Or perhaps it’s a mountain chateau away from the hub-bub of city life. Or it could be your party’s manor house where you unwind once the dragon is slain.
With so much space to document your character, you’ll be able to look back fondly through the pages and relive those fantastic sessions with them.
Tables for Two
The formatting of the content is accompanied by fantastic illustrations and diagrams, and everything is cohesive with the Pathfinder 2E style used by Paizo. The tables detail out source locations of the content, like indicating where you can find additional information on certain feats from the Core Rulebook and Advanced Players Guide.
Take for instance the Table of Skills, Key Abilities, and Actions. It’s such a nice, comprehensive summary of the various skills and the things that you can do with them. It takes away the elongated process of flipping through countless books to find what you need. Sure, you might need to refresh on some things, but the content in the Chronicles is quite extensive.
Each Character Chronicle also comes with a dry-erase Battle Board stored in a pocket on the inside of the rear cover. On one side, you’ll find a place for quick character hits to help jog your memory in the heat of an encounter. These are unique to each Class. On the other side you’ll find a broad rules reference that you might find on a GM Screen, like information on conditions, dying rules, and action information. These are the same for each Battle Board.
The Battle Board is so handy! I switched to dry-erase for a lot of tabletop roleplaying applications awhile back and these boards make me happy. It’s a nice way for you to conserve a little bit of table space, and you can plan out your actions for your turn more easily. And your plans will change from encounter to encounter, so you can easily erase and jot new notes as needed.
Beadle & Grimm’s Complete Character Chronicles: Parting Thoughts
Beadle & Grimm’s is known for their high-quality supplement material for roleplaying games, and these Complete Character Chronicles jump right to the top of the list as far as premium supplements I can recommend. They don’t apply to every character, but if you want a nice keepsake for a character that’ll be sticking around, there’s a lot to love with the Chronicles.
Now if I can just find more campaigns to use these in!
You can preorder your copy of the Beadle & Grimm’s Complete Character Chronicles directly from Beadle & Grimm’s. These are expected to ship early 2022.
[Disclosure: Nerds on Earth was provided a copy of the Complete Fighter Chronicle and the Complete Druid Chronicle from Beadle & Grimm’s in exchange for an honest review.]