Game Title: Pathfinder Lost Omens – The Grand Bazaar
Publisher: Paizo Inc
Authors: Tineke Bolleman, Logan Bonner, Jessica Catalan, Dominique Dickey, Dana Ebert, Steven Hammond, Sen H.H.S., Dustin Knight, Avi Kool, Aaron Lascano, Carlos Luna, Ron Lundeen, Sydney Meeker,Randal Meyer, Jacob W. Michaels, Matt Morris, Andrew Mullen, Ianara Natividad, Dave Nelson, Jessica Redekop, Nathan Reinecke, Erin Roberts, David N. Ross, Simone D. Sallé, Michael Sayre, Mark Seifter, Shay Snow, Ashton Sperry, Amber Stewart, Andrew Stoeckle, Sara Thompson, Isabelle Thorne, Jason Tondro, and Scott D. Young
Artists: Ekaterina Burmak, David Astruga, Gislaine Avila, Loïc Canavaggia, Franklin Chan, Rael Dionisio, Fabio Gorla, Andrew Huerta, Sammy Khalid, Lucas Villalva Machado, Damien Mammoliti, Riccardo Moscatello, Rubén Pomares, Sandra Posada, and Darko Stojanovic
Genre: Pathfinder roleplaying game supplement
Pages: 128 pages
MSRP: $34.99 in softcover or $24.99 in PDF
Lost Omens: Grand Bazaar offers the closest thing players and GMs can get to a stroll through Absalom’s famed marketplace, along with a treasure trove of new NPCs, items, and plot hooks.
Absalom’s famed Grand Bazaar is renowned for the variety of goods on offer. Whatever it is characters may find themselves in need of, it’s likely they’ll manage to find it if they wander the shops long enough. While the book does include more traditional fare, including gear for adventurers, hunters, and explorers, there’s no shortage of unexpected additions, including a sensory emporium, a toy store, a tattoo parlor, and the rare chance to take on a sentient poppet as an adventuring companion. Characters can also adopt a familiar with help from a tabby cat or seek out a literal transformation for body if not soul.
Mohren’s Mobility Apparel is a special standout, however. While Paizo’s dedication to diverse inclusion and representation has never been in doubt, it’s lovely to see a high fantasy shop dedicated to selling mobility and accessibility aids fit for adventuring. Magical hearing aids, reading rings, enchanted wheelchairs, and charmed prosthetics are all now officially part of Pathfinder canon. Characters with longstanding mobility or accessibility needs, such as those born with a limb difference or hearing difficulties, are free to begin their tale with any needed assistive equipment without suffering a penalty to their starting gold for having “purchased” the equipment. For players who benefit from these aids in real life, it’s a fun and affirming way to bring that to their characters’ experience, should they so choose.
The book’s plot hooks range from the serious (a shopkeeper unknowingly possessed by a malevolent force) to the silly (a spoiled nobleman willing to threaten children to win a card game). GMs will find ample inspiration for proper quests, such as warding off a sea monster that forced the venerable hunter Ayodele into retirement, as well as memorable, smaller outings, such as helping toymaker Ozi find homes for the stray children she has taken in. By delivering compelling NPCs, Lost Omens: Grand Bazaar affords players the chance to form connections with these characters and GMs the opportunity to use (or abuse!) those relationships over the course of a campaign.
Smart layout decisions connect shop and owner, forging a connection between the character and their business. Smaller inclusions of the shop itself and notable goods help to break up the text and keep readers engaged. On-screen reading presented no challenges, though the inclusion of hotlinks may help for those relying on the text in the middle of a game.
Lost Omens: Grand Bazaar is a delightful addition to any Pathfinder library. While GMs will likely find the book to be more immediately helpful than players, anyone who enjoys the setting’s lore or wishes they too could wander the streets of a fantastical bazaar will be charmed.