This long awaited tome of items for the Pathfinder RPG promises to fulfill every GM's treasure hoard requirements, and satisfy any player's gear requirements. Paizo states that this book is a "must-have companion volume to the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook."
We shall delve a little deeper into this volume and determine if this is in fact a book worthy of placement on your bookshelf directly beside your CORE RULES and BESTIARY.
First off, I would like to say that, for an older gamer, this book is very reminiscent of the Arms & Equipment Guide from AD&D, and the Aurora's Whole Realms catalog for the Forgotten Realms. Both books proved invaluable to our gaming group over the years, so perhaps this new equipment book by Paizo will do the same.
Starting into the book, we immediately discover a sense of strict organization and division of items into various sections. This is good seeing as this book is well over 300 pages and packed to the brim!
Ultimate Equipment is comprised of 7 main sections:
- Arms and Armor
- Magic Arms and Armor
- Rings, Rods, and Staves
- Wondrous Items
- Artifacts and Other Items
One thing I feel important to mention is the handy color coded pages dividing the sections and also the key on the right hand side of the page which displays which sub-section of which chapter you are currently reading. Since this will ultimately be used as a reference guide, this key will save gamers hours of time at their tables and allow them to quickly locate and utilize the information which they seek. This in itself caused me to smile and say out loud "finally, someone has done an equipment book right."
Arms & Armor
- Special Materials
At the start of the book we find a section on new special materials for weapons and armor, including steel that has "radiation", elemental-forged steel, living wood, and armor made from the manes of magical beasts.
We then get nicely detailed sub-sections dealing with weapons and armor. Can you say Arms & Equipment Guide? Anything and everything you need to outfit your warrior for combat can be found here.
- Adventuring Gear
- Tools and Small Kits
- Animals and Transports
- Entertainment and Trade Goods
- Food and Drink
- Lodging and Services
- Alchemical Remedies
- Alchemical Tools
- Alchemical Weapons
A very nice addition to the Pathfinder gear shopping experience are Class Kits, which help new characters purchase all the gear they would need to start out, at a nice discount. These are the kinds of things that would have helped us back in the days of AD&D where every character had to go shopping for a bedroll, backpack, tinderbox, rations, well.... you get the idea!
There are also a slew of new mundane and magical items in this book to help you justify the purchase to your spouse, (just in case you already own the entire Paizo Pathfinder catalog).
Magic Arms & Armor
- Armor Special Abilities
- Specific Magic Armor & Shields
- Weapon Special Abilities
- Specific Magic Weapons
This section begins with a large selection of magical special abilities that can be assigned to armor and shields. Following this is a large catalog of very specific magical armor and shields. Then we slice open the extensive weapons section containing many interesting and new magical weapons.
Ah, one of my favorites due to the creative nature of many of these items. Wondrous items include everything from a standard belt or headband to dryad sandals and nightmare boots. There's also a bunch of non-wearable magical items. All items in this book are organized both alphabetically and by price.
- Cursed Items
- Intelligent Items
Artifacts of legend, powerful magical items which changed the course of history, and even cursed items and intelligent magical items are included in this section. On top of providing extensive items and information, this section also includes rules for creating and using intelligent items, dedicated powers, and personality quirks.
- Treasure Generator
- Gems and Jewelry
- Art Objects
To conclude the book, a GM will find a lengthy treasure generator, a random table for gems and jewelry, and finally art objects. You'll also find a few other goodies here.
While this book would be difficult to read cover to cover by most, I find Ultimate Equipment to be a very useful companion to the core books, and indeed a well organized reference book which shall find itself at home directly beside my Pathfinder Core Rules book.
Jonathan's NERD TREK rating: 5/5 Stars