Sunday, February 21, 2016

Review: Towns of the Inner Sea, for Pathfinder's world of Golarion

As I've mentioned before my favorite RPG books are setting books, from full-on campaign worlds down to city or wilderness settings.  Towns of the Inner Sea from Paizo for their Golarion setting world is one of my recent buys in this category.  The book presents six towns but also starts with a great listing of towns already detailed in earlier modules or adventure paths which is a really nice touch.  There is also a Golarion overview map showing you where the six are, which is very handy if you aren't familiar with that setting world.

Each town starts with a nice bit of art with a panoramic view of the town.  These are great for showing the players as they arrive.  Then there's an overview/background section to lead you into the various numbered locations.  Pretty much every single location has interesting details, an NPC, and plot ideas. There are also sidebars with more general adventure hooks, rumors, and a fully fleshed out major NPC at the end.  All this content is great.  You can easily run a bunch of adventures in and around any of these towns.  I particularly liked the desert pilgrimage town of Solku as a place to start a campaign.

The one feature which was disappointing is the maps of the towns.  As with the Neverwinter Campaign Setting book for D&D 4E I reviewed earlier, four of the towns as mapped out are just too small to encompass all the activity going on.  The town of Pezzack sounds like a bustling place and looks pretty cool in the opening panoramic view.  But the town as mapped is way smaller than shown in the panorama--it's only a quarter-mile across.  Unless all those buildings are very tall (and even then) there just isn't enough room for all the people and activities described.  Solku and Issurian look about right as mapped but I'd re-do and enlarge the maps of the other four before I'd use them in actual play.

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