Pathfinder: 5 Books Newcomers Need for Second Edition (2024)

In just two short years of its Second Edition, Pathfinderhas accrued a great collection of books that provide players with lore and gameplay options. Building offits immense library of First Edition books, Paizo has been able to refine the world of Golarion and produce rulebooks and setting books that spark the imagination and enable the creation of interesting, useful characters.

Even this early on in 2e's life, it can be intimidating to try and figure out which books to acquire first. The Core Rulebook and the Bestiary are often pegged as the initial must-haves, but here are five other books that will help newcomers enjoy the Pathfinder experience.

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Advanced Player's Guide

Pathfinder: 5 Books Newcomers Need for Second Edition (1)

The Advanced Player’s Guide is the perfect companion to the Core Rulebook for players who value having lots of options available to them when creating a character. With this book, they will be almostspoiled for choice when thinking about how to make their avatar in the world of Golarion more distinct and unique. Not only does this book come with new and interesting ancestries such as Kobolds and Tengu, but it introduces new heritages for the core ancestries too.

The book also goes to great lengths to add more to classes.The Advance Player's Guide introducesfour new classes, as well asmany new options for older classes and 42 new archetypes players can use to further individualize their characters. Overall, this is a fantastic handbook for those who want to flex their creative muscles and craft the characters of their dreams.

Bestiary 2

Pathfinder: 5 Books Newcomers Need for Second Edition (2)

The second Bestiaryreleased for 2emay not provide new character options for players to use, but it's a perfect glimpse into the world-building that went into crafting Golarion. Players can learn a lot about the world by studying the creatures that inhabit it, and Bestiary 2 has a very wide range of creatures to encounter. From the denizens of the various alignment-based planes to many different types of undead, dragons and giants, players can get a great grasp of the scope of Pathfinder's fantasy setting.

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This book may also provide great inspiration for characters and even spark an interest in becoming a Game Master. Reading through the stat blocks within, it's all too easy to get enticed by adventure ideas and imagined encounters with these tantalizing creatures, all immortalized with gorgeous artwork.

Lost Omens: Gods & Magic

Gods and magic are major parts of Pathfinder's universe and religion is often a significant plot point in Paizo's adventures, so it makes sense that Gods & Magic would be a useful book to have. The main draw of this book is the detailed section that presents the main deities of Golarion and provides more gameplay mechanics thatuse them through feats and spells. These rules are especially useful for characters with whom religion is a big part of their class, such as Clerics and Champions.

The book is also fantastic for those who might like to delve into creating adventures. It has useful entries for entire pantheons that could provide inspiration. From the horsem*n of the apocalypse to the Lovecraftian outer gods, there's something for everyone to discover about the setting.

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Lost Omens: Ancestry Guide

Pathfinder: 5 Books Newcomers Need for Second Edition (4)

While the Core Rulebook does a great job introducing the most populous ancestries of Golarion, players who wish to create characters who stand out a bit might want to use the options provided by the Ancestry Guide. This book deals with the uncommon and the rare when it comes to a character’s ancestry and introduces plenty of new options, from the mechanical Androids to the unfortunate Fleshwarps.

This bookalso provides various heritage options that come with a whole host of feats to take. These can be used by any character to denote a certain peculiarity in their ancestry, such as a hint of vampire blood or an ancestor who just happens to be a fire elemental. The world of Golarion is as diverse as it is old, and this book is a great way for players to accurately reflect that in their character choices.

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Lost Omens: The Mwangi Expanse

Pathfinder: 5 Books Newcomers Need for Second Edition (5)

This book deals with the Mwangi Expanse, a continent reminiscent of Africa that got relegated to a destination inPathfinder'sFirst Edition. Paizo seems to be going for a more global approach to character origins in2e, and as a result, players are getting more in-depth and culturally broader insights into the different locations on Golarion.

Making characters that hail from the Mwangi Expanse is made simple with this book, as it provides heaps of information about the continent's geography, various nations and settlements, important landmarks, and a brief history of the continent. These are all formatted in Pathfinder's classic "gazetteer" style that neatly presents the information. Along with that, the book provides new mechanical options that include new ancestries, religions and even a 20-page bestiary to really fire up the imagination. It's a very detailed, well-written setting handbook rife with inspiration and interest.

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Pathfinder: 5 Books Newcomers Need for Second Edition (2024)
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