This installment of Pathways is 50 pages long, 1 page front cover, 18 pages of advertisements and 1 page SRD, leaving 30 pages of content.
The issue kicks off with a very interesting editorial rant by Ben McFarland on the lack of truly legendary, big and ambitious products with a long gestation period, essentially making a case for grander designs and less fast designing. Interesting points, I think, as the pace of some releases has been neck-breaking. (1 page)
After that, we get the Pyroclastic creature template as well as Ardon-Nue, the CR 23 deadly pyroclastic red wyrm, complete with a one-page artwork and 5 new spells. (5 pages)
Next is Jonathan McAnulty with an article of priests of fur and feathers containing 3 nice new sacred tomes and 5 new feats:
-Artistic Focus: By including animal images in your work, you increase the craft-price.
-Divine Animal Whisperer: Use channel energy to remove fear-related conditions from animals and grant them a morale bonus.
-Natural Theologian: Gain +1 competence bonus to Knowledge (Nature) for every 5 ranks in Knowledge (Religion)
-Persuasive Theologian: Gain +1 competence bonus to Perform (Oratory) and Diplomacy for every 5 ranks in Knowledge (Religion)
-Skilled Combat Handler: Animal Companions gain +2 Ini, +2 to checks to handle animals in combat.
The article also contains information on the channeling of the vFeather and Fur subdomains, as per the divine channeler class of the excellent book by
Rite Publishing. (3 pages)
T.H. Gulliver, master of haunts, provides us with extensive lists of manifestations of common haunts in the next article, as well as some means to destroy them. Great article and definitely worth checking out. (2 pages)
A new kind of monster is also introduced, or rather a new breed of them, the Synergixxik by Michael Welham. They come in a range from CR 1 to CR 6, but what are they? Well, essentially they are stick-like insects that can combine into construct-like, adventurer-bashing constructs. I LOVE them. They are a great idea and their mechanics are smooth - awesome work. (3 pages)
Next up is Creighton Broadhurst, mastermind of Raging Swan press, providing you with a nice encounter of a riderless warhorse for your PCs to calm and claim as a kind of treasure. It also features the full CR 3-statblock and a nice b/w-artwork. (2 pages)
The interview of the issue features 20 questions to Tim Hitchcock, one of the brilliant writers responsible for some of my favorite Paizo adventures (Carnival of Tears, for example) and Great City supplements.
Finally, you'll get 2 reviews by Dark_Mistress, two by yours truly, two by Megan Robertson and two by Shane O' Connor. You'll get a nice selection of the best 3pp-products in these reviews - if you haven't already, check these products out. (9 pages)
Editing and formatting are top-notch, layout is STUNNING and adheres to the great standard set by the first issue of Pathways. Artwork rocks, especially the dragon - I love the dragon! This issue is full of great content and you have no reason not to check this out - it is free. You get great content for free and can check out the quality of both Rite Publishing's work and some other 3pps for free without any risks. So go ahead, check it out. You won't regret it. Due to the top production values and the fact that this is free, my final verdict will, of course, be 5 stars.