Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Ifrits have the Plane of Fire in their ancestry…typically an efreeti, but sometimes an azer, fire mephit or other creature.  The Advanced Race Guide notes that they tend towards neutral morals while swinging wildly on the lawful chaos/axis.  Whether podium-pounding orators or attention-grabbing showoffs, one thing is certain: they are not subtle.

Though Shara’s parents were human, her four-foot-and-change frame, gravity-defying, flame-like red hair, and pointed, slightly bat-like ears point to a mephit in her family tree.  Orphaned or abandoned (the story seems to alter depending on which tale is more advantageous to her situation, though it nevertheless does seem to cause her genuine pain) Shara is a tout and guide to the warren-like streets of Warrant.  She appears to have a heart of gold (and the gold-flecked eyes to match) but she also sports a temper…which may explain why shopkeepers that mistreat her tend to have problems with fires.

Cyros Caltep’s great-grandfather was an efreeti, as his bronze skin, bald pate, and fearsome demeanor no doubt reveal.  Prone to pounding a gavel practically as large as a warhammer, he does not suffer fools in his courtroom, wherever that courtroom may be—as a traveling judge, his docket takes him in a circuit across the land.  He also has the ability to enlarge himself, thanks to his efreeti magic trait (Advanced Race Guide 126)…which means that in more remote jurisdictions, he serves as his own bailiff and executioner in a pinch.

Most element-touched humans never know communities of their own, owing to their accidental births.  This makes the mage Firros the Quick particularly jealous of his sylph duelist companion, Willowen.  Raised in a nation blessed by the spirits of Air, she has never known the isolation he felt all his life.  His envy of her, complicated by newfound feelings of love and admiration, threatens to boil over.

Pathfinder Bestiary 2 160

3.5 Forgotten Realms fans will of course think of ifrits as fire genasi.

Since we’re discussing the Advanced Race Guide, now’s a good time for me to weigh in with some vastly overdue thoughts.  I still haven’t read it cover to cover (and will be even more delayed since a box with Varisia: Birthplace of Legends and two(!) Pathfinder Adventure Path issues* showed up yesterday).  But after several browsings, I’m very impressed.  I was stunned to see such an emphasis on the core races, but it paid off—the sheer mix-and-match potential for all those traits and feats makes creating unique characters and subraces effortless fun for players and GMs alike.  (And if we know anything from my long-ago aborted blog, it’s that I like subraces.)

Other gut impressions: I dig plant companions for elves.  I love seeing tengu and ratfolk blown out.  Ditto all the uncommon races (though of course I’m waiting for fetchlings and strix to become the new drow/tieflings for players who gravitate toward adjectives like “bad-ass” and/or “tortured”); of these I’m personally most intrigued by sulis and changelings, though I’ll be intrigued to see what people do with vishkanyas and wayangs.

As for the expanded race examples in the Race Builder, I of course have only my usually complaint: I want more!  If we’re only going to get five new races, I would have loved more details.  (Are these Golarion races or not?  What are their societies like?  More backstory on the gathlains and wyrwoods?  Etc., etc.)  Otherwise, give us at least eight to ten examples…five only whets my appetite for more.

But these are selfish quibbles.  Ignore them, and me.  If you are a Pathfinder or 3.5 player who is at all interested in non-humans, this book is a must-buy.

*Final note: I’m intrigued by the Shattered Star AdventurePath.  I know next to nothing about it, but I’m thrilled we’re back in Varisia.  Some of the best Adventure Paths have taken place there, and Varisia always brings out the best, slightly off-kilter take on fantasy gaming that lies at the heart of Golarion.  Can’t wait to crack it open, but I have to finish Skull & Shackles first.

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