It’s time for my update on everything Paizo! With all of the content coming out of Paizo HQ, it can be a lot to keep track of, even if you pay attention to the Release Calendar on the Paizo website. So, I’m here to give you a little recap about some of the Pathfinder and Starfinder news and releases that you may have missed!
Starfinder Alien Archive 1 & 2 Battle Cards
The Pathfinder Bestiary Battle Cards are awesome, so I was over the moon when I heard that Paizo would be giving the Starfinder Alien Archives the same treatment with the Alien Archives 1 & 2 Battle Cards accessory. It’s filled with 315 huge cards showcasing the creatures from both galactic bestiaries.
What I love about the Alien Archive 1 & 2 Battle Cards is that they present the Alien Archive in an even more consumable way. I can pick up a stack of cards and quickly rifle through them until a piece of art really catches my eye. And trust me when I saw that you won’t have to look long; the art on these is incredible.
The front of each card features the creature art, while the backs serve up the statblocks. Some creatures that have lengthy statblocks may have two cards, and some (like Colour out of Space) have three! Make sure you grab them all before heading off to Gamemaster.
The best part of the Battle Cards is that they are plug-and-play for your tables. I can sift through the cards, find the necessary creatures for an upcoming encounter, and then show them to my players as a visual reference right then and there. If you make up some similar cards for your players, you can have an initiative deck stack ready for you to use.
Starfinder Alien Archives have some of the strangest, bizarre, and outlandish creatures. As you go up in number, they only get weirder!
I would actually recommend picking up these Battle Cards over the Alien Archive books. Usually, you only need the book for a single page or a handful of pages during a session. Instead of filling up your backpack, grab the cards you need and you’re off to the races.
You can find the Starfinder Alien Archive Battle Cards over at Paizo.com, or at your FLGS.
Pathfinder Secrets of Magic Spell Cards
Next up are the Pathfinder Secrets of Magic Spell Cards for Pathfinder Second Edition. It includes more than 400 spell reference cards so that everything from the Secrets of Magic supplement fits in the palm of your hand. Assuming that you can balance a stack of 400 cards in one hand, that is.
Again, this supplement is worthwhile for any player who tends to play a spellcaster. And, with the customization available in Pathfinder Second Edition, there are so many more options to get access to spells in the game.
Cards are separated out by the spell types: Arcane, Divine, Occult, and Primal. If the card appears on multiple spell lists, then you get multiple sets of the card so that every tradition features a complete set.
For the most part you’ll find the complete spell text on each card. For the more complicated spells, you may find abbreviations or page references to the Secrets of Magic book. Most spells have art for the spell type on one side, with the spell description on the back, but some have spell text completely covering both sides. For example, the Forceful Hand spell text covers both sides of the card, and the bottom mentions that you’ll need to visit page 107 of Secrets of Magic for heightened effects.
Overall, this is a great way to carry around your prepared spells and have easy reference without carrying around extra books. It’s a shame that all of the text doesn’t fit on a single side because then we could have flipped the cards over to an expended side. You can still do this, but it might be a bit more confusing for the cards that are double-sided with text. Maybe the ‘Continued from Front’ side is still the back, so you can separate them out that way?
You can find the Pathfinder Secrets of Magic Spell Cards over at Paizo.com, or at your FLGS.
Starfinder Spell Cards
Well we just talked about Pathfinder Spell cards, so what better time than now to discuss the Starfinder Spell Cards supplement?
With over 200 spell cards, the reach of the Starfinder Spell Cards is greater because it spans all of the supplement books that had been released to that point. This includes Starfinder Armory, Galactic Magic, and spells featured in some of the Starfinder Adventure paths.
Spells in Starfinder tend to be wordier and a bit more complicated than Pathfinder, and you’ll notice the difference between the two card sets immediately. The font size on the Starfinder cards is much smaller in the sense that you could fit three card-sides worth of Pathfinder text on these ones.
In further comparison to the Pathfinder Secrets of Magic Spell Cards, you’ll want to be sure to keep these spells sorted in alphabetical order in the box. This is more a comment on the spells being tied to class levels in Starfinder, whereas spells are easily separated into four distinct types in Pathfinder. There’s nothing wrong with that, except that you won’t be able to sort your Starfinder Spell Cards by class. Because where do you put Contact Other Plane? Mystic, Technomander, or Witchwarper?
Overall, spell cards are a really fun supplement for players or Gamemasters. What I appreciate about the spell card sets in comparison to other game system spell cards is that you don’t have to buy class-specific cards piecemeal. I can just pick up one set of cards and I’m covered with a wide variety of classes. I can see the appeal for paying less for a single class, but I don’t want to feel restricted in my character choices by the spell cards that I do or don’t have.
You can find the Starfinder Spell Cards over at Paizo.com, or at your FLGS.
Latest Adventure Path Releases
Starfinder and Pathfinder Adventure Paths keep marching towards their inevitable conclusions! Most notably, the Second Edition Adventure Path Quest for the Frozen Flame comes to a close in March with the release of Burning Tundra. This is a nice, short, 3-part Adventure Path that has a sort of Horizon Zero Dawn feel to it. Or fans of Magic: the Gathering will find similarities to the Gruul Guild.
For Starfinder, Horizons of the Vast adds its 4th and 5th installments in March. This adventure path shares some similarities with the First Edition Adventure Path, Ruins of Azlant, but is overall much better. What starts out on a single planet really opens up starting in book 3, and you’ll find yourself with much more political intrigue than you might have expected!
We’ve contributed full articles on several other recent releases, and I’m not going to rehash all of that information again. Instead, I’ll drop some links to the complete articles so that you can pick and choose what interests you the most:
- Pathfinder Lost Omens: Monsters of Myth Review
- Pathfinder Lost Omens: Absalom, City of Lost Omens Review
- Starfinder Galactic Magic Review
Paizo has plenty on the way for us, but there is one title that I’m most excited about in the coming months.
It’s the Pathfinder Book of the Dead, coming in April. Necromancers rejoice as the undead take center stage, meaning that you’ll be able to play as an undead or command them with new Pathfinder rules. Allegedly, this book will be a resource for GMs and players alike, because it’ll include additional lore-driven information and statblocks for new undead creatures.
Players always want to control hordes of undead skeletons or zombies, and they’ll finally get the chance with this book. I think this is going to be one of the best releases of the year, sales-wise, because of the broad appeal that it has. It’s also easy to make a campaign centered around heroes defeating swarms of undead, so there’s plenty to look forward to here.
With all of this fantastic content coming out of Paizo HQ, it’s a great time to be a fan of Starfinder or Pathfinder. Be sure to check out my review of the Book of the Dead once I get it in my hands!
Have fun at your tables, and stay safe!
[Disclosure: Paizo provided copies of the Starfinder Alien Archive 1 & 2 Battle Cards, the Starfinder Spell Cards, the Horizons of the Vast Adventure Path, Secrets of Magic Spell Cards, and Quest for the Frozen Flame Adventure Path in exchange for an honest preview.]