Review: Paizo – Gods & Magic (Pathfinder Lost Omens)

Lost Omens: Gods & Magic
Gods & Magic is a Lost Omens supplement for the epic fantasy Pathfinder Second Edition, published by Paizo.
By Aaron T. Huss

Learn more about Lost Omens: Gods & Magic here
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Lost Omens: Gods & Magic is the ultimate Pathfinder Second Edition guide for deities, pantheons, and those who swear an oath to them. It is a significant expansion to the Pathfinder Chronicles: Gods and Magic book that came out around 12 years ago. The premises for both books is basically the same, but this new incarnation takes a considerably deeper delve into the subject matter.

Gods & Magic is solely based on faith, and all that comes with it, and how it is meant to play a role within the Pathfinder setting of Golarion, and ultimately the Pathfinder mechanics. The book is broken down into a number of sections that focus on a different topic. It starts with a much deeper look at the 20  primary deities of the Inner Sea and how they can be better used within your games. Next it provides 20 new deities with varying degrees of importance and guidance for how to use them in your games. Then the book delves into deity-like figures including demigods and very important beings (such as the archdevils, demon lords, elemental lords, etc.) in the form of what is equivalent to a pantheon. Each one contains a description of each being that belongs to that grouping so that they too can become a part of your games. Following-on is a look at actual pantheons, spiritual organizations, and various philosophies that characters may adhere to (think Confucianism in an epic fantasy world). Finally, to tie all of that source material to your characters is a collection of character options including feats, spells, domains, weapons, and more.

Lost Omens: Gods & Magic is obviously a very focused, niche product. It has one specific goal in mind and executes its presentation to its fullest extent. Religion, in every sense of the word, is an integral part of Pathfinder, and many epic fantasy games for that matter, and this book really presents you with a plethora of options to make it all more interesting. Often times, religion is hand-waved or associated with alignment, outside of clerics and paladins possibly, but it’s not always given the life it deserves. With just this book, you can breath that extra life into your alignments, domains, etc. and give it a prominent feature within your games. While this may seem secondary to playing a cleric or paladin, it can actually be written into the campaign or adventure to give everyone a bit more dimension. If you look back at history, polytheistic religions were very complex; despite worshiping a common pantheon, many cities focused on different deities for different purposes. This could be due to their cultural preferences, geographical location, desires of the local ruler, or circumstances the people don’t feel they have control over (like the weather). Gods & Magic gives you that same feel; it makes a polytheistic viewpoint of religion feel real and alive. As someone who loves and studies history frequently, this aids your group in bringing ancient religions to life all across Golarion. Regardless what you think of religion in real life…

Of course, if religion never comes up in your games, then the most you’ll get out of this is some new character options for your clerics and those who follow faith. After all, it is a very niche product.

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