Today I’m going to have a look at Pathfinder Adventure Path #31: Kingmaker, Stolen Land by Tim Hitchcock.
Now we all know Paizo puts out a quality product, and considering that their Adventure Paths helped launch their brand, they never spare any expense in bringing these outstanding supplements to their fans.
This particular piece is the first part of the six part Kingmaker Path, and it takes a distinct divergence in artistic style from what you’d normally see coming out of the Paizo studio. I’m not really sure why this is, especially since Paizo seems so dedicated to making everything homogenous [I mean, for the Rise of the Runelords hardcover compilation book they replaced all of artist Jeff Laubenstein’s art from Adventure Path #1 just to be uniform in style!].
Here, instead of going with the old standard Wayne Reynolds or his predecessor Steve Prescott, art director Sarah ‘I never take a chance’ Robinson actually TAKES A CHANCE! Seriously, she goes off the board to cover these with the unlikely talent [and I do mean talent] of Vincent Dutrait. Now Vincent may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I applaud the decision to use him and that at least in the case of Kingmaker, there is a non-standardized series that gets me excited.
Inside, a bevy of artists including Eric Belisle, Pavel Guzenko, Jon Hodgson, Peter Lazarski, Ann Mohrbacher, Scott Purdy, and Kyushik Shin take on the task of bringing this wilderness oriented adventure to life. Their styles conflict throughout, but not in a way that becomes intrusive to the overall story. Certainly there is a bit of reflection in style from Dutrait’s cover, which I enjoyed, and then there is the more polished Paizo canon stuff, but on the whole the adventure does take on a more ‘rough and tumble’ feel, which is probably what Sarah was going for, or at least I hope she was.
In the end, Paizo manages to show quality work through some risk taking [I’d like to see more of these ‘risks’], and it all comes off without a hitch.
Artistic Rating: 3.5 [out of 5]