The Lost Omens World Guide
Pathfinder 2nd Edition has just launched, and now we are getting the first book in what Paizo is calling its “Lost Omens” line. This series of books is set to focus on the setting of Golarion rather than new game rules or mechanics. For those of you less familiar, Pathfinder has not only developed a tabletop RPG system that branched off from D&D, but the publisher also placed a significant amount of time detailing their world with monthly adventures taking place in this setting. After 10 years of writing these adventures and the release of a new edition; this is the perfect time to catch everyone up on the current state of Golarion.
Golarion is the name of the Pathfinder world, and the Inner Sea Region is the hot spot were many of these adventures take place. So after a brief introduction, the book is broken up into ten different chapters covering each country/region located in the inner sea. Each chapter begins with a brilliant splash page that includes tons of information that can be used when adventuring in these lands. Things like factions, religions, and economic trade are all listed in a handy chart next to a map full of interesting locations. Once you dive into the chapters, you are in for a dense read packed with information on each area and faction. It may not be a thick book, but when you are getting 15 pages outlining a given area, it can have a school book-like feel. That being said, the Lost Omens World Guide has a breathe of various information for you to draw from. This allows the DM to get as detailed with their world building as they would like too. Personally, I enjoy reading about worlds and often get inspired to take my own writing in different directions, but the value of this book is heavily dependent on if you are using the Golarion setting or running any pre-written Pathfinder adventures.
Though this book is aimed primarily at DMs using the Pathfinder setting, the team did add a few treats for players. Each chapter ends with additional Backgrounds and Archetypes to flavor characters that may come from these regions. If you’re a fan of this setting and want to role-play your Rogue as a member of the Red Mantis Assassins; then you have some additional feats that play into that identity. One of which includes turning into a giant red mantis! Though, these are small sections at the end of each chapter and not worth purchasing for those options alone.
I do have to praise the team for the art direction and page layout design. I feel that every corner or sidebar is utilized with fun information and little tidbits. You can see timelines that provide you with a history of the land, different notable NPCs, and even a level 20 magic item! (I will have you Final Blade!)
If you are someone that wants to get into the world of Golarion or run a Pathfinder adventure, then this is a fun book filled with inspiration for DMs and super-fans alike. If you are more casual, I would start with the core rulebook that includes a brief chapter on the setting to dip your toe in first.