Book Review : The Great Beyond
Title : Pathfinder Chronicles - The Great Beyond
Publisher : Paizo Publishing
Let me start off by saying three things sold this book to me. The price point was only $19.99, the word "Beyond" spoke to the part of my Storyteller brain that loves strange dimensional travel and weird places outside of our own reality, and the cover by Wayne Reynolds. Lirt ( That's the guy with the white hair ) running from that Keketar Protean (big cosmic snake monster ) is kind of an attention grabber and the trifecta of those three factors grabbed my attention big time.
So let's dive in. The book offers a pretty solid assortment of information about the planes. It breaks the chapters down into The Inner Spheres, the Outer Spheres, , The Great Beyond, and Other Dimensions. Each has a fairly solid amount of information on the specific areas of the cosmic beyond and between worlds that it's discussing. It even has a very tiny bestiary chapter at the very end of the book with a handful of monsters in it.
My home brew game of MYA is very much tied to the workings of the elemental planes and other transdimensional places that shift around The Prime, or the prime-material. So this kind of source material really interests me, hence my favorable take on the content. If you don't enjoy reading about the various landscapes of Abaddon, or what kind of native creatures and societies inhabit the Elemental Plane of Air this book is going to do little for you.
It looks great, it is put together really well, and the information is fun, but you have to really be into this information for it to have any positive bearing on your gaming life, or even your day to day. In all honesty I would have liked the book to cost twice as much, and been the size of an actual core book. I feel like all the information is great but I would love a deeper exploration of the themes and locations it brings up.
NOW, as a Storyteller who does 99.9% of his games in a home brew setting this is the kind of book that a younger me would have lost his mind over. It gives you just enough that you can form jumping off points and really dig into your own ideas of what is going on in these places. If you think about it as a collection of really cool story hooks or writing prompts this book is a steal at $19.99. However if you want something substantial you can more than likely find over 60% of this information in other books or online.
Ask your local bookstore if they have a copy or you can pick up the softcover or snag the PDF from Paizo.com