Since I am here writing comic book reviews on the Internet it is safe to assume that I'm sort of a nerd.
I've been playing Dungeons and Dragons, or some variation of that kind of role playing game, for longer than I've been regularly reading comics.
In the last two years, the group of friends I play with have switched from Dungeons and Dragons, which changed their rule sets to something we didn't like, over to Paizo's Pathfinder system. And that brings us to...
Written by Jim Zub
Illustrated by Andrew Huerta
Colored by Ross Campbell
Lettered by Marshall Dillon
Covers by Matteo Scalera, Lucio Parrillo, Dave Dorman, and Erik Jones
Pathfinder Chronicles written by James Jacobs
I've read some Dungeons and Dragons-based comics before and especially liked John Roger's book of the same name, so when I saw a new comic based on the world and system of the game I'm currently playing (NERD ALERT: I'm currently playing in a game from the Rule of Fear campaign setting with my character Alexei Koslov Bard 2/Druid 2/Gunslinger 1) I decided to pick it up.
Even better is finding out that the comic was written by Jim Zub who has some familiarity with writing funny comics in this sort of high fantasy, swords and sorcery setting with his own comic Skullkickers, which is about a man and a dwarf going around killing monsters and getting into trouble. That comic is a lot of fun and I am impatient for the next volume to come out in November.
This comic starts off with a party of adventurers being attacked by a small group of goblins. These goblins are slightly less adorable than the usual gobs that show up in any of my group's campaigns but they are very definitely goblins from the world of Golarion.
With that settled, they reach Sandpoint, a Varisian coastal town, which has a wooden sign posted at the entrance with a piece of mirror hanging up on it. As a player, that sort of thing makes me think that vampires might be showing up around Sandpoint later on. You know, since they have no reflection in mirrors.
Things go on like most games. The characters end up in a bar, get into a bar fight, and then get the information they need to go off on another adventure. And that leads to even more goblins and fighting. Jim Zub does a god job of taking these RPG cliches and using them to make an entertaining story. I'll definitely be picking this one up but there's more to it than just the fun story.
The back half of the comic contains the Pathfinder Chronicles, written by James Jacobs, which gives several pages of information about Sandpoint that somebody could use if they were running their own Pathfinder game. There's a map of the town and information about all of the major places to go while in Sandpoint. There's even a map of the town and stats for the important people in town.
As an aside, after seeing the map of Sandpoint, I looked up a much larger map of Varisia and then a map of the continents around the Inner Sea so I could estimate how far that town is from where the characters in my game currently are. For those interested, Sandpoint is probably about 500 miles away from the university town of Lepistadt in Ustalav where our group is in the middle of a murder investigation.
Man, I'm such a dork.
Folded into the middle of the comic was also a tiny poster which, when you flip it over, has a gridded map of Junk Beach which you can use for your own game. The back of the comic even has a first level encounter written up for use with the map.
And beyond even that cool bonus, the very last pages have the stats for all the main characters in the comic. The look of the characters are all based on the pictures used in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook. The people involved in the making of this book really put together a very well thought out product here.
I would definitely recommend this for fans of fantasy adventure and definitely for people who play in the Pathfinder system.
And as just an aside, I'm planning to go to ComiConn.