Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Review: Technology Guide for Pathfinder

Okay, so this was something of an impulse buy for me.  It's been on my wishlist for a while but I doubted I'd ever use it, except maybe a Pathfinder-based game of Hulks & Horrors.  But the friendly (and devious) people at Paizo offered a discount code for 10% off and, well, you can't just not use a discount code--it'd be like throwing money away, wouldn't it?  So I took the plunge on two of their "science fiction" books, the Technology Guide and People of the Stars.

The Technology Guide is mostly lots and lots of equipment but includes good general rules for technology, including crafting, making hybrid magical/technological items, and handling "timeworn" technology.  Timeworn technology is a nice touch.  The book assumes you will probably be using it to add ancient technological devices to a fantasy campaign.  Older technology will be low on charges and have quirks after all this time.  There is a nice set of tables for characterizing each item so the players never know what exactly will be wrong with this particular frenzychip.  Actually I quite liked several of the device names including frenzychip, cranial bomb, and zero rifle.  In addition to the expected weapons and armor you also have a wide selection of medical stuff, a few cyber enhancement items, comms gear, and more.

For characters there are technology-related feats and traits, several archetypes, and one prestige class called the technomancer. Finally there are some really cool high-tech materials and a quick look at high-tech environmental hazards and traps.

Note that missing from this tome of wonder are robots, vehicles, and starships.  I think some robots appear in the bestiaries and there are definitely several in the Iron Gods adventure path books (worth buying for ideas on running a hybrid fantasy/sci-fi campaign).  Androids are covered in the People of the Stars book as a playable race rather than a technology item.

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