Pathfinder Inner Sea Gods Review

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This is my first review of a Pathfinder book, which is a bit funny since I own about 50 of them, not counting the numerous PDF versions I’ve bought. Anyway, I thought this was as good a place as any to start. 

The latest hardcover book from Paizo has finally arrived. Inner Sea Gods, part of the Pathfinder Campaign Setting line, is a 333-page book detailing the major religions of the Inner Sea Region, where the majority of Paizo’s material is set. I was particularly looking forward to this title, as I already own several of the other religion-based books, including Gods and Magic, Faiths of Purity / Balance / Corruption, Chronicle of the Righteous, etc. Information on Golarion’s deities also exists in the Inner Sea World Guide and numerous adventure path books. That’s a lot of information spread over a lot of books. This is the first time we have everything in one volume, which is fantastic all on its own.

Then we have this great Wayne Reynolds cover, which depicts Urgathoa, Nethys and Sarenrae. I think this is definitely one of my favourite Pathfinder covers. Like all of Paizo’s Pathfinder books, this one is full of art (something that attracted me to their books in the first place). This art is a mixture from past articles on the deities, while some is brand new. Most of it looks great, and while there are a few that I don’t personally like, overall the book really does look good.

Inner Sea Gods is split into 4 chapters. The first covers the 20 core deities that are worshiped on Golarion, specifically in the Inner Sea region. This chapter takes up nearly half the book, as each core deity gets 8 pages. The first page covers the deity’s portfolio, and a list of boons for particularly devout worshipers. This is followed by the deity’s history and personality, their church, temples and shrines, their priests and other followers, holy texts and holidays, and a bit about their main planar allies. Finally, there is a column listing archetypes, feats, magic items, spells and traits relevant to the deity. Much of this information is not new, but it’s really nice to have it all together in one place.

The next chapter gives very brief descriptions of other deities, with some getting half a page, while others get only a paragraph or two. This chapter is a little bit disappointing as it gives a small taste on a large number of deities, but not much more than that. If you want to worship or include one of these minor deities in a campaign, you’re not going to find too much to help you in this book.

The third chapter contains the ‘crunch’ of the book. There are three new prestige classes for characters who are really devoted to their deity. There is the exalted prestige class for divine spellcasters, the sentinel for martial characters, and the evangelist for everyone else. Among other things, all of these prestige classes give early access to the relevant boons of their chosen deity, which bestow additional abilities for characters to use. These prestige classes offer some great flavour and don’t require characters to sacrifice too much in terms of class abilities.

Shelyn vs Zon Kuthon

Shelyn vs Zon Kuthon (image from paizo.com)

Next up are feats, which provide a variety of options, most related to a particular deity’s theme. After that are a large number of feats for worshipers of various deities, including non-core ones, which is nice to see. There are also several new subdomains, and a number of flavourful spells. The chapter ends with a selection of religion-themed magic items for worshipers of both core and some non-core deities, including weapons and wondrous items as well as altars (which provide bonuses to faithful worshipers).

The fourth chapter covers the servitors of the core deities. Two servitors of each deity are given, each with artwork, description and stat block. The first is a high level (CR 15) unique servitor, such as the Night Monarch who serves Desna, and the second is a low-level (CR 4) type of creature, like Shelyn’s dapsaras.

Finally, there is an extensive appendix of tables listing the important details of each of the gods mentioned in the book, from core to minor. Their alignment, title, domains, favoured weapon, symbol and even sacred animal are all given here, making for a really useful reference section.

Overall, I think Inner Sea Gods is a great addition to my Pathfinder campaign setting collection. While a fair amount of the content is recycled from previous products, it’s really fantastic to have everything in one place, especially in such a beautiful, well-designed volume. I’d consider it a must-buy for fans of the core Golarion deities. For those looking for more options related to the non-core deities, this title is probably not going to help you a great deal.

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