Pathfinder Dark Archive - Pocket Edition

Pathfinder Dark Archive – Pocket Edition

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From the fringes, the unknown beckons. Pathfinder Dark Archive contains secrets that any player or GM can use to reveal the paranormal lurking in their Pathfinder games! This spine-tinglingly secretive 224-page softcover rulebook presents two new character classes perfect for delving into the unexplained: Unleash the untold power of your mind as the psychic or leverage supernatural …
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You Might Like

  • Convenient and practical
  • Great themed and detailed resource
  • Clear and easy to read
  • No wasted pages

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  • Could have even more content
  • Print may be too small for some
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Description

From the fringes, the unknown beckons. Pathfinder Dark Archive contains secrets that any player or GM can use to reveal the paranormal lurking in their Pathfinder games! This spine-tinglingly secretive 224-page softcover rulebook presents two new character classes perfect for delving into the unexplained: Unleash the untold power of your mind as the psychic or leverage supernatural secrets and mystic implements as the thaumaturge!

Beyond these new classes, eight secret case files each provide player options, GM tools, and lore into a different paranormal topic, including:

- Strange cryptids glimpsed in the night, gear to track them, and the powers you might gain by surviving an encounter with one
- Cults and esoteric belief, with apocryphal divine magic and the secret of becoming a living vessel for an eldritch being
- Temporal anomalies, with archetypes that skim along the surface of time and a new mystery for oracles unbound from causality

Each file concludes with a short adventure to immerse players in the paranormal, spanning across Golarion—play all eight to uncover the inexplicable phenomena of the Age of Lost Omens!

The pocket edition presents the same contents as the standard edition in a smaller sized softcover for a lower price and better portability.

Details:

- Attractive price point for gamers on a budget.
- Low-weight and convenient size ideal for both table use and away from home at conventions or during game store play.
- This invaluable rules reference delves into the world of the occult and paranormal for the first time in Pathfinder Second Edition!
- Tons of options for a variety of character classes!
- Beautiful full-color illustrations on nearly every page.

Eager for even more depth and character options for Pathfinder 2e? Want to explore paranormal options? If yes, then why not delve into Pathfinder 2e Dark Archive, an excellent addition to the Pathfinder store of knowledge and information for character and campaign building. In this tome, you will find two new classes and new setting information on various paranormal topics to bring your campaign to life.

One of the other features of this book is the style of writing. In a similar style to other Pathfinder books, this has sections of text from a narrator adding a personal and flavoursome aspect to reading and, in this case, the introduction is written by the Lone Archivist. I do like this approach; throughout the book this reappears and I think this can help a GM craft a flavoured narration of events and add depth to draw players in, in part because the Dark Archive is a real tome in the world of Golarion. The Dark Archive isn’t simply a GM and players guide then, it is an in-game device to use to interact with characters.

New Paranormal-Themed Classes

There are two new great classes to consider using in character creation, namely the Psychic and the Thaumaturge. Over 40 pages of information revolve around building these two classes. Much is the same as with other classes, but there are subtle differences such as the introduction of psi cantrips.

The Psychic

The theme behind the psychic is simple enough. It’s all in the mind. The psychic can cast occult spells and utilises their mind and channel their psyche. Their subconscious and conscious minds providing the source of magic. There are similar principles with spellcasters generally, but as is the way with a good system, players have a variety of ways to express their ideas or fit into a campaign setting. Using these rules psychics can become useful characters or non-player characters that use a mentalist approach to using magic power, not drawing upon the essence or the power source of some patron but of one’s own mind.

The Thaumaturge

The thaumaturge on the hand fights the unknown, but utilises magic and ancient wisdom to help in that fight, using ancient lore and folk tales and any esoteric devices and talismans to fight fire with fire. Thaumaturge allows another character option to play a witch-hunter or monster-hunter type.

The Casefiles

The rest of the Dark Archives is a GM zone of source information to create relevant themed campaigns and scenarios with associated side themes and appropriate lore to draw upon. It is suggested that Players characters can discover the Dark Archive folio at some point in the early levels. The dark archive is then a plot tool to draw players into a scenario with several ideas or themes to use.

These can be the foundation for an entire campaign or a side-quest, something to add flavour to a story arc or even be part of a player’s backstory; perhaps as an unresolved mystery waiting for resolution. Once completed, experiencing these encounters can lead to new themed aftermath feats and the Dark Archive lists a number of suitable options.

In this section there are also rules and guidance of cryptids; those monsters that exist but challenge our views on nature. They can form the heart of any campaign or encounter. As a key feature of Pathfinder 2e, it is of no surprise that there is a section on crafting and so players can utilise materials and ingredients to craft new items.

Following the cryptid theme is a list a cryptid related feats giving you several options to draw upon using nature to help improve actions such as impersonating creatures or help disguise the fact that you are even casting a spell. Then there is a short encounter followed by more ideas for stories.

I like these options and also those listed later in the Dark Archive. Information on curses, mindscapes and using time all add to the portfolio of potential to draw upon. More scenario ideas are also listed and if nothing else, these offer ideas for a GM to create encounters and campaigns.

You can picture the themes here, with the mystery in the forest and the monster that terrorises the community, but one that hides a secret. Why are certain forces keen to keep it alive? Why do the folk in the village that the characters have newly arrived at, deter them from exploring the abandoned mine? Why was it abandoned? There is so much scope to explore and create.

Cults And Connections

Secret societies and conspiracies can be a wonderful source of intrigue and the centre of a great campaign. The section has very useful guidance on what they are, some examples, relevant feats and membership abilities and equipment; in essence, all you need to know to get you started on creating or being a member of one of the secret societies. Later is a section on cults, giving guidance on similar ideas for underground movements and faiths.

Next up are examples of strange and amazing powers, that are treated as feats, and spells. This section discusses examples, but also how they can be acquired and how they work.

This is a specialised tome to use really. The options are not necessary ones that will be in common usage, but it allows you to draw upon them to create distinct characters and interesting side quests if nothing else to add a greater level of world detail to your campaign.

Having a secret society at the heart of your campaign could be interesting, with character gradually uncovering layers as they progress and maybe one is a force for good that the characters have the opportunity to join. As the characters adventure they can be given clues that eventually form the picture of the organisation and what its motives etc.

Overall

As I have come to note, the Pathfinder 2e series of rulebooks are very well laid out. You can take a tome like the Dark Archive and dip into it for inspiration and its logical structure helps here. As elsewhere, there is no wasted space with useless information. All that you read is interesting and potentially useful depending on what you are trying to achieve with your campaign. Ultimately, I recommend this as an interesting addition to your Pathfinder 2e catalogue.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Convenient and practical
  • Great themed and detailed resource
  • Clear and easy to read
  • No wasted pages

Might not like

  • Could have even more content
  • Print may be too small for some