Saturday, October 22, 2016

Pathfinder: Worldscape #1 - A Review

The world of Golarion is home to many wonders and the fighter Valeros has seen many of them. Yet even he finds it hard to believe when - in the midst of a battle against his greatest foe alongside his closest friends - he suddenly found himself in another world. Captured and forced into service as a gladiator slave, Valeros has become the latest victim of The Worldscape - a world between worlds that traps people from other realms. Killing for the amusement of others does not sit well with the honorable Valeros, but he may have no choice when he his pitted against the arena's current champion... a woman known as Red Sonja!

The concept of people suddenly being drawn into other worlds in a staple of both pulp fiction and role-playing games. John Carter, of course, became a Warlord of Mars after accidentally astral projecting to Barsoom. And the classic Ravenloft setting of Dungeons and Dragons was based around a dark realm that crafted ironic punishments for various evil beings, even as it lured in unfortunates for those beings to torment.

Taken in that context, Pathfinder: Worldscape is a worthy continuation of both legacies. The story is easily accessible to those unfamiliar with the heroes of the Pathfinder comics or Red Sonja. And the kinetic style of Jonathan Lau's artwork paired with the colors of Omi Remlante matche that story perfectly.

At $4.99 this comic is a bit more expensive than most. As a gaming supplement, however, it's a bargain!  The comic comes bundled with a poster/map, an adventure written for the Pathfinder role-playing game system, a write-up of Red Sonja's statistics for those who wish to feature the Curse of Hyrkania in their campaigns and the information for a Sonja-inspired character class, The Sword Devil. (You can read about writer Erik Mona's process for crafting it all here.)

As someone familiar with Sonja as a character and Pathfinder as a system, I consider this all to be good quality material. My only quibble with the Sonja write-up lies with her being given a Neutral Good alignment. If ever anyone was a poster-girl for Chaotic Good, it's Sonja. Apart from that, this is a damn fine comic for gamers and fantasy fans alike and a wonderful gaming supplement.

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