Pathfinder 2E Paizo Reviews: Starfinder's Deck of Many Worlds and Pathfinder's The Show Must Go On

Hello my delightful darlings and welcome back to the PAIZO NEWS ROUNDUP! This edition, we review a few recent products handed down by the Golem itself: the Starfinder Deck of Many Worlds and the Pathfinder Adventure Path #151: The Show Must Go On. Let’s get to it!
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To kick things off, we crack open the Starfinder Deck of Many Worlds. As it says on the tin (or, rather, the box) this is a deck of cards designed to help GMs break through the creative block that can arise when building a new setting. While it is specific to Starfinder, it wouldn’t be hard to apply or adapt the concepts here to a fantasy setting.

Paizo is still doing excellent work with packaging and layout – the first thing I pulled out of the box had large friendly letters that read START HERE. The product itself is easy to use and filled with vibrant, exciting art, and it does an excellent job in helping GMs set up and populate new worlds for their Starfinder campaign. What I found most interesting, however, were the included rules for making settlements or adding depth to characters using the Deck – an incredible utility that everyone should take advantage of.

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Moving on to Adventure Paths! The Show Must Go On is the first AP of the Extinction Curse line, and plunges new characters first into the high-stakes world of the carnie and second into a quest to save a town from a druid gone mad!

The opening with the circus act is a bit of a mixed bag for me. It’s an excellent way to get a game started with rolling dice, excitement, and challenges, but it also requires the GM to dig through the back of the AP and learn an entirely new ruleset before anything it can happen. Thankfully, the appendix with the rules for handling the circus acts also includes a sidebar for simpler rules to get the party started. I would still recommend getting to know the circus rules as they will be the backbone for any campaign that uses this AP, but it’s still an unexpected hurdle to clear so early.

Also, while the background material setting the stage for the AP as a whole is neat and flavorful, I would have preferred a clearer label on its section. In fact, most of what is relevant to the module itself is laid out well in-text, making the introductory chapter feel unnecessary for those wanting a quick game. I will be the last to call for excising worldbuilding text, however, and this is probably just a common artifact of an AP’s starting adventure.

Other excellent bits of The Show Must Go On is a confrontation with rivals – always delicious – which also is an excellent setup for the next chapter of the Extinction Curse. It’s a little irritating that the adventure text says “oh by the way you should have set up connections to these rivals before the adventure started”, but a GM worth their salt will be reading an adventure all the way through anyway and will catch that in time. Also, there are some very good No Thank You monsters in the appendix, most notably the giant ticks and the worm demons.

Well, that about does it for this edition of the PAIZO NEWS ROUNDUP! Stay tuned here for more Paizo news and reviews. Do you think Paizo is going to make a Deck of Many Realms for Pathfinder? Are you excited to put on clown makeup and beat the terrifying demon jester at his own game? Let us know below!
 

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Ben Reece

Ben Reece


Toriel

Explorer
Could you give more details about the cards? What is on them? Do they describe types of governments? Economic models? Types of terrains found on the planet?

How do you use them and how can they be applied to settlements and PCs?
 

Irishrelief

Explorer
Could you give more details about the cards? What is on them? Do they describe types of governments? Economic models? Types of terrains found on the planet?

How do you use them and how can they be applied to settlements and PCs?
100% Agree that I want to know more about them. Six sentences isn't a very good review at all. Hell the author doesn't even tell us how many cards are in the pack, how they work, what info they give, or what the MSRP is. Going over to Paizo I found out that the MSRP is $19.99USD, there are 110 cards per deck, and there seems to be a way to randomly generate places using the cards.

Paizo Description said:
Arriving in a new system and curious about who (and what) lives there? Want a unique home planet for your player character? Simply combine a few random cards from this 110-card deck to generate one of millions of possible worlds, complete with physical statistics, resident creatures, and much more—including intriguing story hooks that spur countless science-fantasy adventures!
 


Jharet

Explorer
In addition to not caring for the mechanics of PF2, the art looks much more generic and unappealing to me. Pathfinder 1st for life.
 

Green Onceler

Explorer
the art looks much more generic and unappealing to me.

The art has been a miss for me too. It's particularly noticeable when they "reinterpret" 1e covers e.g the Core Rulebook or the upcoming Advanced Player's Guide covers both look decidedly worse than the original pieces on which they are based to my eyes.

The Deck of Many Worlds looks like fun, though.
 
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