So over on Drive-Thru RPG I spotted a 55-page setting book for the low price of one dollar, and figured that was more than enough content to justify the purchase. While I expected a generic desert-themed world, instead I got a book full of rather novel ideas. So this new 3rd-party find isn't going to focus on one mechanic or idea, but several.
Basically, Eiklatha is an arid desert region which was once ruled by the Thruli Empire who ruled both the surface and subterranean worlds. The human Nephrites (with elements loosely modeled off of Japanese society) hold several cities renowned for their lore. The other races are entirely new creations, such as the symbiotic Avialae who are nomadic bird-people with sapient plants sharing their body; or the theocratic frog-like Reskal, who live in stilt-cities on oases and wear shoes made of blessed reed to avoid touching the sand (which they view as the evil creation of the demon kings).
Basically the strong points of adventure ideas involve old Thruli ruins and the secrets and hostilities of competing civilizations. A good 32 pages are devoted to mechanical information (races, equipment, new archetypes and monsters, etc), while the remaining 23 detail aspects of prominent settlements, history, and culture.
There are several things I can cover in this book, such as the races and racial feats, but for now I want to show the cutest thing ever in a Pathfinder product:
Water Chinchilla CR 1/3
N Tiny animal
AC 14, touch 14, flat-footed 10 (+2 Dex, +2 size)
hp 6 (1d8+2)
Fort +4, Ref -1, Will +0
Speed 30ft., swim 30ft.
Melee bite -2 (1d3-4)
Str 3, Dex 8, Con 14, Int 2, Wis 10, Cha 14
Base Atk +1; CMB +1; CMD 7
Organization solitary, cage (3-7), barrel (8-20)
Purify Water (Su) A water chinchilla placed in any liquid will absorb up to two gallons of the liquid into their body. Once at least one gallon is absorbed in this way the water chinchilla will loose it's land speed but gain +2 natural armor due to swelling. If squeezed, any liquid inside the water chinchilla will be wringed-out, this does not harm the water chinchilla. Liquid that has passed in and out of a water chinchilla in this manner is treated as if it has had the Purify Food and Drink spell cast on it with a caster level equal to the water chinchilla's hit dice. A water chinchilla may only purify 2 gallons of liquid per day in this manner. A water chinchilla that absorbs a liquid is subject to the same negative effects that would be inflicted upon it if it drank that liquid, though it gains a +2 bonus to Fortitude saves against the effects of those liquids.
Water chinchillas are small, almost spherical creatures with gray fur. They have large rabbit like ears. When a water chinchilla touches water they absorb it and swell up like a balloon allowing them to swim around easily.
This cute, adorable animal is a highly prized creature for its ability to turn brackish water into clean drinking source. They are commonly sold along the banks of river villages and in adventurer's shops, on their own or in water-filled barrels of 10.
And yes, they can be obtained as familiars.
Even the most jaded of gamers will grow to love these fuzzy little rodents if not for their adorableness, but for their vital function in an arid desert-based campaign. Just picture it; chefs at restaurants holding the bloated furry creatures over plates, squeezing out soups and drinks for thirsty patrons! A sudden rainstorm causes the sorcerer's familiar to balloon up in reaction. This is the perfect way to inject some lightheartedness into a harsh desert setting, and I might just borrow this creature for my home games.