A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement Treasury of the Pharaohs

Treasury of the Pharaohs by Thurston Hillman and Jason Nelson and published by Legendary Games is a role playing game supplement for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. This book is part of Legendary Games’ Adventure Path Plug-In series that is intended to add extra content for Paizo’s official Adventure Paths, in this case for the Mummy’s Mask series, #79 to #84. The supplement has an Egyptian theme as a consequence, but isn’t required to be used with Mummy’s Mask, instead providing a number of new magical items suitable for any Egyptian-themed setting. The book is covered by the Open Game License and some of it is therefore as a result Open Game Content. The supplement is also available for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition.

Treasury of the PharaohsThe supplement is available as a PDF from RPG now for $4.99, a print on demand softcover colour book for $9.99 or both PDF and book for $11.99; the PDF is the version reviewed and was purchased at the reduced price of $0.95. The PDF has 22 pages, of which two pages are the front and back covers, one page is the front matter, one page is about the Adventure Path Plug-Ins series, one page is the Contents, one page is essentially an introduction to the supplement, one page is a table of the various magic items ordered by price, one page is an advert (for their Mythic Monsters series) and one page is the Open Game License.

There are 30 new magic items in total, one of these coming in five different types. There are four Armour & Shields, eight Weapons, two Rings, two Rods, one Staff, eleven Wondrous Items and an Artefact. Many of the items are thematically linked to Egypt, including things such as canopic jars and cartouches.

Treasury of the Pharaohs in Review

The Contents page is hyperlinked to the various item types, and the bookmarks also direct to the same pages, but it would have been better for navigation purposes if at least one of these linked to each individual item, rather than the item category. The hyperlink and bookmark to Artefacts do, however, both link to the wrong page. The bookmarks are also not in any logical order, being neither in the order the sections are in the supplement nor even alphabetical order. There are also a number of external hyperlinks to relevant material, to the Mummy’s Mask Adventure Path on Paizo and to sites such as d20PFSRD and Paizo.

The supplement has a two column layout, largely error-free and is in full colour, with appropriate page backgrounds. A handful of the items also have illustrations, some of which are reproduced on the cover; it would have been nice to have each item illustrated, but this is rarely done, probably due to the cost. There are a number of sidebars as well, providing details on things such as new poisons and curses used by some of the items.

The items themselves are variable in quality. Some of them are pretty impressive, and thematically tie in quite nicely to an Egyptian setting, such as the Canopic Sentinel Jars and the Canopic Chest of Eternal Repose. Others are not hugely Egyptian themed, and will fit most places. These generally have less flavour. Some of the equipment is typical of what might have been used by the ancient Egyptians, only magical. Some items are pretty generic; change the name and description and they could be anything, such as the Sceptre of Wadjet, a fairly bog standard magical weapon. There are several Faience Idols, which are described as being precursors to Figurines of Wondrous Power, and are fairly similar in nature. On the whole, the Wondrous Items are the most interesting in the collection.

The supplement should fit any Egyptian-inspired setting; it is not necessary to definitely run it in the Mummy’s Mask setting. Although the supplement does not directly refer to things by the names used in the Adventure Path, due to such not being Open Game Content, those familiar with Mummy’s Mask should be able to recognise them. Treasury of the Pharaohs is not perfect, but looks good and has some interesting items in it which should enhance Mummy’s Mask, or similar campaigns.

 

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