Paizo’s subsequent Pathfinder rulebook is a pleasant smorgasbord of guidelines, rituals, spells, and extra that not solely supplies gamers with extra depth to customise their characters but additionally sprinkles a ton of inspiration for Game Masters who’re making an attempt to plan out their subsequent marketing campaign. Dark Archive is a brand new rulebook for Pathfinder 2E that focuses on the paranormal corners of the fantasy-themed roleplaying game. In a world full of time-traveling wizards, undead ghost kings, and a meteor that may flip mortals into gods, Dark Archive shortly units out to outline what separates the “paranormal” within the fantasy realm of Golarion from all the opposite bizarre bits of lore floating round in that world, principally by specializing in the unusual and secretive. Perhaps because of this the Psychic and Thurmaturge, the 2 new courses that headline the e book, look like such a pure match for the general theme of the brand new e book. 

Pathfinder writer Paizo offered with an prolonged preview of the “Cults” chapter of Dark Archive, which incorporates each lore on a number of the many, many cults present in Golarion in addition to new rituals, spells, and a brand new archetype for gamers to make use of in character constructing. The Cults chapter additionally comprises one of many seven mini-adventures discovered within the e book, with “The Verdure of Iblydos” pitting gamers towards one of many esoteric cults discovered on the Greece-inspired island of Iblydos. 

(Photo: Paizo)

One of the primary issues that readers of Dark Archive will discover is that it is not like different Pathfinder rulebooks. Since the launch of Pathfinder 2E in 2019, Paizo has launched two parallel strains of hardcover books for Pathfinder. There are the usual rulebooks such because the Bestiary or this yr’s Book of the Dead, that are principally centered on guidelines expansions and additions, and the
Lost Omens line, which is extra lore-focused in nature with solely a smattering of lore-focused guidelines. While Dark Archive is taken into account a rulebook, it strikes extra of a steadiness between lore and guidelines. For occasion, the Cult chapter comprises 4 pages of lore about Golarion’s cults and eight pages of precise character-building guidelines that gamers can use if they need their character to have ties to a cult.

The chapter itself additionally highlights how cults can be utilized in numerous methods in fantasy past the usual “evil god worshippers” present in nearly all low-level adventurers. In Dark Archive, gamers will be taught concerning the Silent Sect of the Black Butterfly, a cult devoted to wiping out Elder God cults within the hopes that it’s going to empower their goddess to struggle again towards the Elder Mythos, and thriller cults who use roads, caves, or the act of intoxication in worship. Cults are explicitly outlined as being neither good nor unhealthy in Dark Archive. Instead, they’re merely outlined as lesser-known faiths or faiths that run counter to the encircling tradition. 

(Photo: Paizo)

As for the principles themselves, essentially the most notable addition is the Living Vessel archetype, which provides an possibility (and related feats) for a participant’s character to function a vessel for an otherworldly being. While the Living Vessel archetype comes with some extreme drawbacks, akin to the necessity to assuage your physique’s otherworldly passenger every day, the feats grant gamers entry to bonus hit factors, additional limbs, and finally a hybrid kind that represents a full merging between you and the entity. 

The rituals discovered within the Cults chapter are a bit extra specialised, but additionally present some distinctive advantages. The “Vital Singularity” ritual permits gamers to kind a bond with three different individuals, permitting them to collectively cut up any harm taken over the following a number of hours if profitable. The Bacchanalia ritual causes a celebration to spontaneously escape in a settlement, offering a doable distraction or just a enjoyable respite for a weary city. The “Recall Past Life” permits a caster to quickly revive certainly one of their previous incarnations, permitting them to recall vital particulars of their previous life. Each ritual is a bit area of interest however could be a highly effective software if used correctly. 

(Photo: Paizo)

Overall, Dark Archive is a enjoyable e book that gives a number of further advantages for Pathfinder gamers whereas additionally being an excellent learn. It’s an experimental format for an uncommon matter, however gamers ought to be capable to get so much out of Dark Archive, offering they’re keen to get a bit bizarre. 

Dark Archive will probably be launched on August ninth. You can take a look at all of our earlier protection of Pathfinder Second Edition right here.  

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