Pathfinder Lost Omens: Firebrands, the latest sourcebook and supplement for Pathfinder Second Edition (PF2), details the colorful revolutionary faction known as the Firebrands!
Within its pages, Lost Omens: Firebrands discusses the history of this faction, and also focuses on the two distinct sides of the group; the side of bold adventurers and daredevils, as well as the heroes who fight for the oppressed. This is definitely not a one-size-fits-all group, and there are plenty of interesting and varied characters who fill its ranks.
There are full-page accounts of specific, famous Firebrands to explore, alongside character options, archetypes, equipment, and more. This might be the most hyper-focused Lost Omens entry that we’ve seen yet, comparable to the Lost Omens: Knights of Lastwall supplement, which we’ve covered previously on the site.
So get fired up to dive into Lost Omens: Firebrands for Pathfinder Second Edition!
Pathfinder Lost Omens: Firebrands: Who It’s For
As I just mentioned, Pathfinder Lost Omens: Firebrands sort of finds itself in a niche when it comes to usability. While I appreciate the Lost Omens line for all of the creativity springboarding and imagination fuel it provides, every book is not going to be for everyone. In this particular case, the Firebrands are a unique faction similar to the Pathfinder Society; you could encounter a Firebrand anywhere in Golarion.
What this means, however, is that unless you’re going to be a part of a dedicated campaign that is focusing on expunging tyranny from the world, it could be difficult to envision a character whose main shtick is being a Firebrand. But, like the Knights of Lastwall, there are certainly creative ways to weave in a Firebrand to any campaign.
The average player might not know who the Firebrands are, which makes this a hard sell from the shelf. Simultaneously, the cover art draws me in, intriguing me. Is this a book about pirates? Revolutionaries? People with fantastic fashion sense? Technically, all of the above applies.
In my opinion, the best part of the book is the section called ‘Among the Firebrands’. This is the section that focuses on actual Firebrands and their best-of highlights. As a Gamemaster, these characters can provide inspiration for NPCs that are already fleshed out, or even give the basis for an entire campaign. For real – these pages are filled with stories that give you just enough to get your feet wet.
Overall, Lost Omens: Firebrands is a book for people who enjoy these character-specific stories and who want to know more about the faction. There’s a really interesting basis of information for the rebellion side of things, so if that perks your attention, then it’s worth checking out!
Pathfinder Lost Omens: Firebrands The Best Parts
Now it’s time to pick out my three favorite things in Paizo’s Pathfinder Lost Omens: Firebrands! These are specific to my tastes, and just know that there is plenty more where this all comes from.
Services – Propaganda (Pg 92)
I’m surprised that a section of the book called Services actually caught my attention, because it honestly doesn’t sound very exciting. However, I instantly became engrossed in the various ways that the Firebrands stir up support, communicate, and smuggle wares over the course of their operations. What’s really great is that these aren’t just superfluous sections; they actually have mechanics behind them.
For example, let’s say you want to spread a little bit of friendly, harmless propaganda, urging citizens to support your Firebrand cause. It takes some time for your ideas to spread, but with a secret check from the GM to the DC for Gathering Information, your ideas can actually take hold in a region temporarily. This is a really cool way to sway a skeptical NPC to help you or begin to rally the people against tyranny. Think of what you could do with a bunch of loyal people.
Bursting Bloom Spell (Pg 88)
I talked about the Bewitching Bloom tattoo in my review for the Treasure Vault supplement, and for a brief moment I thought that I was having deja vu! This spell, although with a similar name, is just a thematically awesome spell that causes a thorny rosebush to burst through your target’s chest.
I’ve spoken before about how I really love the Gray Gardeners of Galt, and so it seems like a revolutionary character from that region might have leaned hard into the flowery garden imagery of those that keep the final blades.
The spell itself is fun, causing 6d6 piercing damage and 1d6 persistent bleed damage, with the potential for the target to become encumbered as well. Heightening the spell increases the damage on both fronts. You also have to check out this artwork of a Firebrand Mage who is clearly casting this spell, in case you had any doubts about it’s awesomeness.
The Mockingbird (Pg 44)
When I started to read about The Mockingbird, I immediately thought of the Gray Fox from The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. There are a bunch of similarities – unknown identify, masterful thief, etc. But the aspect of this character that really got me paying attention was the fact that it’s actually a couple acting under the same guise!
Not only do I want to read a book solely about these two lovebirds, but I would love to see them as recurring characters in a campaign arc. They’re noted as being helpful in a pinch, aiding the Firebrands in whatever capacity they’re needed to. What if a PC had a connection to them somehow and they just started mysteriously showing up?
There’s also a fun little implication that The Mockingbird and the Sapphire Butterfly are sort of vigilantes, meaning that there’s a huge potential for an Avengers-style team-up. I’m putting my foot down that somebody needs to make this happen and I want to hear all about it!
Pathfinder Lost Omens: Firebrands: Parting Thoughts
The Pathfinder Lost Omens: Firebrands for Pathfinder Second Edition is a niche book that you won’t find on everybody’s shelf, but it definitely has a home for people who are into the theme. Between the multitude of Firebrand characters and a healthy dose of Firebrand character options, I feel like the people who will enjoy this book will find plenty to utilize at their tables.
[Disclosure: Nerds on Earth was provided a copy of the Pathfinder Lost Omens: Firebrands from Paizo in exchange for an honest review.]