I recently cataloged my collection of Pathfinder books, and discovered that I had over 130 of them (yes, I do have a problem), so I thought I’d chat about some of my favourites. This might be helpful if you are looking to grow your collection or are just starting out with Pathfinder and want to pick up a few titles. I’ll look at third party products in a future blog post.
I feel it’s worth noting that I’m not rich, nor have I pirated any of these titles; I have built up my collection over many years, through sales and Christmas and birthday gifts. Most of my newer purchases have been in PDF format, for reasons including the exchange rate and space, and other reasons I’ve discussed before.
A note on the core rulebooks: The nice thing about Pathfinder is that the majority of the rules contained in the core rulebooks are available for free online, either in the official PRD or on d20pfsrd.com. If I were starting out now, I’d probably only buy those that I thought would be particularly useful to me for actually playing the game. Ultimate Equipment is great to have at the table for ‘shopping’ during sessions. The rest of the core books are awesome for reference, but I find them too big and cumbersome to use during games. I would probably still buy the PDFs for the artwork, but for stats and rules I usually use the websites I mentioned above, or one of the many rules apps available for Android and iOS. That being said, the hardcovers are beautiful and are great for using during preparation.
My personal favourite core books are: Ultimate Equipment, Pathfinder Unchained (as I explained in my review, I love some of the alternate rules introduced here), the Advanced Race Guide and the Monster Codex (great art and useful monster and NPC builds). The GameMastery Guide is also a very useful resource.
I love the official campaign setting and its associated books, as they are generally interesting and usually have great art. Often they contain tons of potential story hooks or interesting characters to use. Of course, the usefulness of individual books changes depending on what I’m preparing for my games. Still, there are a few that really stand out for me regardless.
My favourite Campaign Setting books include: Inner Sea Bestiary (there are some really cool monsters in here), Inner Sea Gods (combines several of my favourite books with new art of the Golarion pantheon), Rival Guide (contains some excellent NPC and rival party ideas), Dragons Unleashed, Inner Sea Monster Codex (I raved about this in my review), Paths of Prestige (though not very useful to players, these prestige classes are awesome for NPCs with flavour).
I love these little books; though I often feel they’re too short for all the information they could contain. They’re a nice way to get a taste of a certain area’s people or other information on a specific area of the game.
My favourite Player Companions include: Blood of Angels (I’m guessing these will likely be included in the upcoming Inner Sea Races book), Faiths of Purity (most of this content has been included in Inner Sea Gods), Varisia, Birthplace of Legends, Animal Archive, Magical Marketplace, and People of the Stars.
Modules & Other Products
I don’t have that many of the official Pathfinder modules, but I’ve ended up with quite a few over the years. I would probably not run a module as written, but I might adapt some of the ideas or characters for use in my games.
My favourite modules include: The Harrowing and Academy of Secrets.
Some of my other favourite Paizo products are not books at all, but are really useful. My non-book favourites include: the Beginner Box, the Harrow deck, the blank flip-mats and the pawn collections, especially the NPC ones.
Have I missed out some of your favourites, or books you’d consider essential to any Pathfinder collection? Let me know in the comments below!