Comic Review: Paizo Publishing – Pathfinder City of Secrets #3


Pathfinder City of Secrets #3
Pathfinder City of Secrets #3 is an epic fantasy comic book, written by Jim Zub, illustrated by Leandro Oliveira, and published by Paizo Publishing
By Cape Rust
PP-PF-City-of-Secrets-3

Learn more about Pathfinder City of Secrets #3 here
Find other Pathfinder Comics posts here

The iconic Pathfinder adventurers head to the city of Magnimar. Each has a different goal: the wizard Ezren wants to visit the local chapter of the Pathfinder Society to petition for membership, Kyra the cleric must visit her fellow worshipers of Serenrae as well as the local shrine, Harsk thinks he might find a wide open space in the middle of a large city to relax and unwind, Merisel has been invited to join the local thieves’ guild, and Seoni wonders if the group will even be a group after this urban jaunt. To complicate matters further, followers of Serenrae are being killed and their hearts are being carved out of their chests indicating some kind of ritual killings.

I’m an all-in fan of Pathfinder and most things related to it. The books are amazing and the RPG products are top shelf. This comic made me pause just a bit and had some aspects that weren’t so top shelf. No product is without faults and this was far from horrid, but there were several times when things felt like the authors were trying too hard.

First, the art is wonderful and completely Pathfinder. If you have read the Pathfinder core rulebook you’ll easily recognize the characters and even their classes. Normally the concept of the characters in the rulebook having a back story is great. The folks over at Wizards did it and it worked out okay. The problem comes in when you try to tell their story by using blatant game mechanic references and when that story reads like a module rather than a smooth flowing story. This story is meaty and most of the pages are several panels long rather than a mixture of small square and full page pictures. I read these comics on an electronic device and they still looked great. I can only imagine what the paper copies look like. The art style has these subtle hints of exaggeration, but still maintains a sense of realism. I’ve always been drawn (pun intended) to realistic stuff, but I found the slight exaggerations to significantly enhance the overall feel of the story while still being subtle.

After the authors got over trying to throw in gaming terms, they got right into the normal, ‘we’re in the city, lets break up and do our own thing for a little while.’ Each member of the party was stereotypical in their “personal quest” choices. Some of them remained incorporated and a few intersected at just the point where everyone in the party had to reunite to complete the adventure. Many of the situations the characters encountered felt hackneyed. None of it was bad, but none of it was really good. It almost just kind of felt like it was there.

So often Pathfinder surprises me with the quality put into their products. Minus the art, this felt like a regular comic book adaptation of a very mainstream RPG adventure. I would be interested to see how the adventure might play out and this could easily be transformed into an adventure, as it has “roles” for the major classes. As a comic this was typical, as an adventure it would be the same. This, like many of the Pathfinder novels, would be good for a new Game Master to read to get a feel for how things progress and how to drop some hints into adventures they design. This comic has many examples of how to get the split up party on their city field trip back together. If you are a fan of everything Pathfinder, this will be something that allows them to take more of your money. If you are looking for something that will blow your socks off, you might have to look elsewhere.

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