... Chaos Unleashed! Friday, July 30, 2010 ... Illustration by Wayne Reynolds ... Before the spoilers start rolling at Gen Con next week, behold the cover to your Bestiary 2! ... Tune in Monday to see if we can top this incredible cover. ... Wes Schneider ... Managing Editor ...
Friday, July 30, 2010
Illustration by Wayne Reynolds
Before the spoilers start rolling at Gen Con next week, behold the cover to your Bestiary 2!
Tune in Monday to see if we can top this incredible cover.
... Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide Preview #5 Thursday, July 29, 2010The Advanced Player's Guide releases in just one week and already boxes and boxes are on their way to your FLGS and subscriber copies are shipping out. One week from today, we will all be at Gen Con, handing out copies of this meaty rulebook. But that's next week. Today we have the final preview of the book, taking a look at prestige classes and some of the new rules found in the APG. ... There are eight prestige classes...
Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide Preview #5
Thursday, July 29, 2010
The Advanced Player's Guide releases in just one week and already boxes and boxes are on their way to your FLGS and subscriber copies are shipping out. One week from today, we will all be at Gen Con, handing out copies of this meaty rulebook. But that's next week. Today we have the final preview of the book, taking a look at prestige classes and some of the new rules found in the APG.
There are eight prestige classes featured in the Advanced Players Guide, from the mighty Stalwart Defender to the sly Master Spy. Here is the name and brief summary of each class in the book.
Battle Herald: This class blends the best of the bard and the cavalier to create a character that can truly take control of the battlefield, granting big bonuses to his allies. Holy Vindicator: Mixing cleric and paladin, the holy vindicator is the perfect weapon to deliver his deity's will, usually at the end of a sword. Horizon Walker: A class that nearly anyone can qualify for, this class is perfect for adventurers that travel the world and the planes beyond, granting a wide variety of bonuses based on terrain. Master Chymist: A prestige class for alchemists whose minds have split into two because of repeated use of their mutagen—now they are part monster and part dangerous madman. Mastery Spy: Skilled at the art of lying, able to take on the appearance of others easily, and even able to hide their alignment from spells, the master spy is perfect for infiltrating and hiding with the enemy. Nature Warden: Bonding closely with her animal companion and the lands around her, the nature warden is a force of nature, deadly when protecting the lands that she calls home. Rage Prophet: Sometimes the spirits that speak to oracles drive them into a mad, rage-filled frenzy. This mix of barbarian and oracle is just that, blending spells and rage together. Stalwart Defender: This is a revision of the Dwarven Defender and it is no longer just for dwarves. This class is known for holding its ground and taking whatever punishment the enemy throws at it.
Illustration by Eric Belisle
Illustration by Eric Belisle
Of course, that's not all that you'll find the APG. The last chapter of the book contains a host of new rules to use in your game, starting out with four new types of combat maneuver. The first, and perhaps my favorite, is the Dirty Trick combat maneuver. This maneuver lets you apply a penalty (either blinded, dazzled, deafened, entangled, shaken, or sickened) to your foe for 1 round plus 1 round for every 5 by which your check exceeds the target's CMD. The type of course, depends on the situation and your imagination. Kicking sand in an opponent's face might blind him, while pulling down his pants might entangle him.
The next maneuver is Drag. This works like Bull Rush, only in reverse. Next up is Reposition. This maneuver allows you to move your opponent to a different location within your threatened area, but you cannot use it to move a foe into a dangerous space, such as off a cliff or into a fire. Finally, there is Steal. This combat maneuver lets you snatch a small item that is loosely carried by your target. So while you cannot take the plate mail of a target or take the sword from his hand, you can rip the brooch off his cloak. Of course, each one of these maneuvers comes with a pair of feats (Improved and Greater) to increase your odds of success and grant additional bonuses.
After Combat Maneuvers is a complete system for using hero points in your game. This system grants PCs a small pool of points that they can spend at particularly dramatic moments, giving them an edge. The rules also include guidelines for granting new hero points, how they can be spent, and a number of feats, magic items, and spells that use these rules. We recognize that not everyone plays with a system like this, so this entire rules section is optional.
Last but not least is the system of character traits. This system first appeared in the Pathfinder Adventure Paths and it grants PCs a pair of small bonuses tied to their background at character creation. Your PC might bear a curious birthmark shaped like your deity's holy symbol that you can use as a divine focus or you might have grown up as a bully gaining a bonus on Intimidate. No matter what you choose, this system gives you a reason to work out where your hero came from.
Well, that about wraps up the previews of the Advanced Player's Guide. With the book hitting shelves next week, I hope that you will swing by Gen Con or your favorite game store and check it out. I would like to take a moment to thank all of the playtesters that, once again, helped contribute to a truly great book. Until next time.
Before They Were Giants Now Shipping! Wednesday, July 28, 2010They say you always hurt the ones you love, and now that Before They Were Giants is shipping from the warehouse to subscribers and bookstores everywhere, I've looked back over the last few months of the blog and realized that I've only blogged about it once. Which is astonishing when you consider that this might just be the coolest product I've ever worked on in my life. ... Illustration by Kieran Yanner ... Allow me to elaborate:...
Before They Were Giants Now Shipping!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
They say you always hurt the ones you love, and now that Before They Were Giants is shipping from the warehouse to subscribers and bookstores everywhere, I've looked back over the last few months of the blog and realized that I've only blogged about it once. Which is astonishing when you consider that this might just be the coolest product I've ever worked on in my life.
Illustration by Kieran Yanner
Allow me to elaborate: With Planet Stories, we've published a lot of science fiction and fantasy that we felt was both fun and significant to the history of the genre. Which is why, about two years ago, I went to Erik with a proposal: what if we got together 15 of the coolest, most important SF authors alive—with an admitted bias toward the folks at the top of my own bookshelf—and convinced them to let us publish their first-ever SF short stories. In addition, we'd get new interviews from all the authors in which they would critique their own work, explaining what they know now that they wish they'd known then about writing, and giving advice for aspiring authors. It would be both an insightful look at the origins of my favorite authors (appealing to the fanboy in me) and a treasure trove of invaluable authorial advice (for which I remain a total sucker). Without question, it would be a lot of fun to put together. The real question was whether or not it was possible.
As it turns out, it was possible. Within a few weeks of beginning my quest, the anthology had expanded into an absolute powerhouse roster. While we already had good relationships with a few folks—preexisting friends of Paizo like China Miéville, Ben Bova, Nicola Griffith, and Piers Anthony—I was amazed to find just how generous and enthusiastic many of my favorite authors are. Cory Doctorow? Larry Niven? Mr. William "Invented-Internet-Culture" Gibson? Just seeing their names in my inbox was a childhood dream come true.
And now here's the result: an anthology full of advice and encouragement for writers, as well as rare early stories from your favorite authors—many that you may never have seen before, as they've lain fallow in out-of-print magazines. (For instance, when I first asked China to join the anthology, he sent me back not "Looking For Jake," which I had expected, but a bizarre post-apocalyptic short story that had been published when he was still just a kid, and which as far as my Internet research was concerned did not exist. That's the sort of discovery that can really make an editor's day.)
But I've rambled long enough. Below is the full table of contents, and I couldn't be prouder of it. If you decide to pick up a copy, be sure to head on over to the product discussion and post about it—I can't wait to hear which stories (and interviews!) are people's favorites!
Gen Con Costume Contest Reminder! Tuesday, July 27, 2010Just a quick reminder that this is your last chance to start getting things ready for the Third Annual Paizo Gen Con Costume Contest! For more details, you can always refer back to the official announcement, but the short version is that if you come by the booth during Gen Con wearing quality Pathfinder cosplay, you've got the chance to win both cash and cred from the Paizo staff. So bust out those sewing machines and start working! ......
Gen Con Costume Contest Reminder!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Just a quick reminder that this is your last chance to start getting things ready for the Third Annual Paizo Gen Con Costume Contest! For more details, you can always refer back to the official announcement, but the short version is that if you come by the booth during Gen Con wearing quality Pathfinder cosplay, you've got the chance to win both cash and cred from the Paizo staff. So bust out those sewing machines and start working!
Now, since no blog would be complete without art, here's Jenny Poussin as Seoni, her costume courtesy of Paizo messageboard regular Laithoron. It's unclear whether their powerhouse partnership will actually be competing this year, but at the very least they should give you some inspiration.
James L. Sutter
(And yes, you've seen this picture before—the question is, have you seen it enough?)
Meet the Iconics: Alain Friday, July 23, 2010 Deference and respect are the privileges of noble birth. Few know this better than the man who calls himself Alain, yet equally well does he know that such things are not always freely given where they are due. And in those cases, it's the burden of the nobly born to correct the error, and to take by force that which is their right. ... Alain was born in Taldor with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, son of a wealthy but relatively minor...
Meet the Iconics: Alain
Friday, July 23, 2010
Deference and respect are the privileges of noble birth. Few know this better than the man who calls himself Alain, yet equally well does he know that such things are not always freely given where they are due. And in those cases, it's the burden of the nobly born to correct the error, and to take by force that which is their right.
Alain was born in Taldor with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, son of a wealthy but relatively minor noble house. As a boy, he showed remarkable affinity for both physical activities—especially the martial pursuits—and the ins and outs of courtly etiquette and intrigue. Though both traits made him the quite popular with the peerage—especially the young ladies of the court, necessitating more than one woman being shuffled off to a nunnery on a nine-month "vacation"—Alain's wealth and natural abilities also gave him an excessively healthy sense of self-importance, sometimes getting him into trouble that would have crippled a man of lower station. By the time Alain's father realized that the cane-scarred whipping boy might not be the most effective means of corralling his youngest son, Alain was already near grown, and thoroughly convinced of his own competence in all things.
Though Alain regularly dismissed such noble studies as literature and linguistics—"If the elves want to speak, let them learn a man's language"—he could never get enough of bards' tales of battle and bloodshed, often keeping the minstrels at his favorite taverns playing late into the night. Excel as he might at the joust or the ritualized combat of the nobility, he longed for the primal exultation of war, where his mastery over his fellow men would not just be avowed or lauded, but proved undeniably by the blood on his sword, as clear as the red-dripping talons of an eagle. He had the nobility of society. Now he wanted the nobility of nature.
Illustration by Wayne Reynolds
Unfortunately for Alain, any serious clash of arms lay far beyond the borders of his father's expansive holdings, and neither his father nor his two elder brothers showed the slightest desire to sustain a blood feud with another house. All three men attempted to turn Alain to knighthood, a socially safe and proper outlet for his bloodlust, yet the idea of serving as a squire for any length of time—of letting someone else give him orders!—was unthinkable to young Alain. At last, when he could stand it no longer, the young scion gathered what funds and personal affects he could carry and declared himself a sellsword, setting off for the "crimson poetry of the fray."
True warfare has little in common with heroic ballads, and few who see its raw and naked face come back unchanged. Certainly this was true for Alain. Yet where some men learn wisdom in the wrack, at last understanding the price of a life and the senseless ease with which it's taken, Alain learned something else. In the clash of spears and the screams of horses, the man who had been a trumped-up merchant's son became an elemental force of destruction, cutting down swaths of men who were never his enemies, but merely his opponents. Though he became rich in his own right off of the heavy purses his patrons heaped upon him, Alain cared only for what the rewards represented: that here was a man whose worth was proven, in fire and iron.
Today, Alain wanders as he wills, taking commissions when they suit his fancy and embarking on his own expeditions when they don't. Thanks to his prowess on the battlefield, warriors are often drawn to fight at his side, and to Alain's secret surprise he's developed quite a knack for leading them, issuing gruff and decisive commands. These companions are almost always cohorts rather than friends—though Alain does a fine job of managing his troops and urging them on to ever-greater feats, long experience has taught him that soldiers are a short-lived lot, and hence he sheds few tears when it's time to pay the butcher's bill.
As much as his life revolves around the battlefield, Alain still retains the social graces that made him so popular (for better or worse) in the courts of his upbringing. If greeting another warrior or potential client, he may introduce himself as simply Alain, comporting himself with a calculated aloofness designed to increase others' opinions of his abilities. Where an attractive lady is concerned, however, his rough edges immediately smooth, and many are the highborn women who've fallen prey to the "rogue knight" calling himself Alain Germande, Third Son of House Germande, Bearer of the Shielding Spear—and any other honorifics that strike his fancy.
In truth, whether leading soldiers in a suicidal charge or booting serving girls out of his bed in the morning, Alain cares little about the people around him. More than money, love, or lust, Alain cares about his reputation, and strives with every encounter to increase his own legend, whether as scoundrel or saint. Perhaps the only creature he truly values is his horse, Donahan. Exceedingly well trained, and having accompanied Alain for longer than any of his human compatriots, Donahan represents everything Alain looks for in a partner: absolute loyalty, absolute trust—and absolute obedience.
... Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide Preview #4 Thursday, July 22, 2010Two weeks and counting until the start of Gen Con 2010 and the release of the Advanced Player's Guide. If you have not already done so, you might want to reserve it with your FLGS or order online now. To help encourage you to pick up this hefty tome, I am giving you a guided tour of the goodies inside. In the past weeks we have looked at some new race and class material. This week we will be jumping around quite a bit,...
Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide Preview #4
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Two weeks and counting until the start of Gen Con 2010 and the release of the Advanced Player's Guide. If you have not already done so, you might want to reserve it with your FLGS or order online now. To help encourage you to pick up this hefty tome, I am giving you a guided tour of the goodies inside. In the past weeks we have looked at some new race and class material. This week we will be jumping around quite a bit, looking at feats, gear, spells, and magic items. We've got a lot of ground to cover, so let's get going.
Starting out with Chapter 3, let's take a look at feats. This 26-page chapter is loaded down with 163 new feats, from combat and metamagic feats, the new teamwork feats that grant large bonuses when you and an ally use them together. But that's not all, not by a long shot. There are a host of feats in this chapter designed to let you add to your existing class features, like Extra Rage Power and Extra Hex. There are also a host of feats based on your race, like this one.
You have an especially strong stomach. Prerequsitites: Con 13; dwarf, half-orc, orc. Benefit: You gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against any effect causing the nauseated or sickened conditions and against all ingested poisons (but not other poisons). In addition, you receive a +2 bonus on Survival skill checks to find food for yourself.
As was mentioned at the preview banquet, a number of the powers of the 3.5 archmage prestige class have found their way into the Pathfinder RPG as feats that most spellcasters can take. Take a look at Minor Spell Expertise.
Minor Spell Expertise
You are able to cast a 1st-level spell as a spell-like ability Prerequsite: Ability to cast 4th-level spells. Benefit: Chose one 1st-level spell that you know. You may cast that spell twice per day as a spell-like ability. The caster level for this spell-like ability is equal to your caster level in that class from whose spell list the spell is taken. The spell-like ability's save DC is Charisma-based. You cannot apply metatmagic feats to this spell.
Moving on from feats, the gear chapter is short, but jam-packed with new tools and tricks to help properly equip your character. From an Lucerne hammer to wooden armor, from an hourglass to rope made from spider silk, there's plenty here for everyone. There are also a lot of tools for each of the new classes, including the portable alchemist's lab and the witch's cauldron. What has me most excited is the wealth of alchemical items in the book. Take a look at this gem.
Weapon Blanch (adamantine, cold iron, or silver): These alchemical powders have a gritty consistency. When poured on a weapon and placed over a hot flame for a full round, they melt and form a temporary coating on the weapon. The blanching gives the weapon the ability to bypass one kind of material based damage reduction, depending on its type. The blanching remains effective until the weapon makes a successful attack. Each dose of blanching can coat one weapon or up to 10 pieces of ammunition. Only one type of blanch can be used on a weapon at one time, although if the weapon is made of a special material, that material still applies.
Next up is a rather large chapter on spells. Discounting the tables at the beginning, there are 57 pages of spells here, containing spells for characters of every class and every level. This chapter also includes the elemental spell lists for those wizards who wish to focus on elemental schools of magic. Let's take a look at a spell that I am particularly excited to use on my players. It might not be incredibly powerful, but it is a lot of fun.
Enemy Hammer School Transmutation; Level sorcerer/wizard 6 Casting Time 1 standard action Range long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level) Target one creature Duration 1 round/level (D) Saving Throw Fortitude partial; Spell Resistance yes
You grab a creature with telekinesis and use it to batter nearby opponents or objects. You must target a specific creature when casting this spell, and once you select that creature, you cannot switch to another. Each round, as a standard action, you can attempt to hurl the target at any creature or object within 30 feet of it. You must make an attack roll whenever you use the target as a weapon. The attack bonus for this attack is equal to your caster level plus either your Intelligence or Charisma modifier (whichever is higher). If you successfully hit the new target with the creature, both it and the creature take damage based on the creature's size (Fine 1d4, Diminutive 1d6, Tiny 1d8, Small 1d10, Medium 2d6, Large 2d8, Huge 2d10, Gargantuan 3d6, Colossal 3d8). The target creature can make a Fortitude saving throw each time you attempt to use it as a weapon. If it makes its saving throw, it can act normally, but if it fails its save, it loses all action for the round and ends its turn prone in a square adjacent to the target of your attack.
Finally, this book contains a large chapter containing all sorts of magic items, from inexpensive soul soap to the mighty cloud castle of the storm king. Of course, it's not all wonderful. There are a host of new cursed items to inflict upon your PCs, lurking in this book. Take a look at ring of truth.
Ring of Truth Aura moderate enchantment; CL 9th Slot ring; Weight —
Deceptively pleasant looking, a ring of truth bears images of childlike angels and broadly smiling divine creatures holding onto links of a heavy chain. The wearer of this cursed ring is rendered unable to tell a deliberate lie, in either speech or writing. The wearer may simply omit the truth or choose not to communicate, but even then must succeed on a DC 20 Will saving throw to avoid answering a direct question truthfully.
And there you go. The Advanced Player's Guide is just two weeks away now. Next week's preview will be the last before release, so we will wrap up our tour of the book by looking at the new prestige classes and new rules systems hiding in this book.
... Mammoth Mitts Wednesday, July 21, 2010When an early draft of the Pathfinder Player Companion: Inner Sea Primer crossed my desk, I remembered that it's time for another Golarion-themed knitting pattern! ... What’s that you say? It's too hot to knit with wool at this time of year? Nonsense! Summer lasted only 2 days this year, and it was only 50 degrees Fahrenheit when I biked in this morning—practically mitten weather already! And if you don't live in frigid Seattle, remember that...
What’s that you say? It's too hot to knit with wool at this time of year? Nonsense! Summer lasted only 2 days this year, and it was only 50 degrees Fahrenheit when I biked in this morning—practically mitten weather already! And if you don't live in frigid Seattle, remember that it's never too early to start making Crystalhue gifts... such as Mammoth Mitts!
These mittens feature a mammoth motif1, spiraled ribbing and decreases, and colors that echo the Realm of the Mammoth Lords art from the Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting. (Players who knit their mittens from qiviut earn 1 PA. Players who gather their own qiviut gain a bonus PA, but must make a DC 25 Reflex save to avoid being trampled.)
Materials: worsted weight yarn: 1 skein MC (moorit/red-brown), 1 skein CC1 (cream), 1 skein CC2 (purple); 1 yard of thinner black yarn
1 set US 4/3.5mm double-point needles, embroidery needle
Gauge: 24 sts/29 rows = 4 inches/10 cm
Directions for larger size are in brackets.
Using MC, cast on 36  sts.
Right cuff (ribbing spirals to the left):
Rows 1–2: (k2, p2)*
Rows 3–4: (p1, k2, p1)*
Rows 5–6: (p2, k2)*
Rows 7–8: (k1, p2, k1)*
Repeat these rows until cuff is desired length.
Left cuff (ribbing spirals to the right):
Rows 1–2: (k2, p2)*
Rows 3–4: (k1, p2, k1)* (p1, k2, p1)*
Rows 5–6: (p2, k2)*
Rows 7–8: (p1, k2, p1)*
Repeat these rows until the left cuff is the same length as the right cuff.
Rows 1–4: Knit (36 stitches).
Row 5: Place marker, make 1, knit 1, make 1, place marker, knit to end (38  stitches).
Even rows 6–18: Knit.
Odd rows 7–19: Slip marker, make 1, knit to marker, make 1, slip marker.
Continue until mitten has 52  stitches.
Rows 20–26: Knit. (Knitting should reach just above the join of your thumb and index finger when you put your hand inside.)
Slip the 16  thumb stitches onto a piece of waste yarn.
M2 stitches, join the live stitches (38  stitches).
Rows 27–29: Knit 3 rows.
Work Chart A [B] (2 repeats per row).
Rows 40–53: Resume MC; knit. (When you put your hand inside, knitting should just cover your pinkie, about 5.5  inches from base of palm.)
Pick up the 16  stitches, plus 2 more from around top of thumb.
Rows 1–16: Knit. (Until just past the end of your thumb, about 2 [2.5] inches.)
Row 17: K2tog*.
Weave in all ends.
Using thin black yarn, embroider the eye and tusk details (feel free to go crazy making your mammoth look shaggy!).
Chart A (19 stitches × 11 rows):
Chart B (13 stitches × 11 rows):
1. The motif used in this pattern is based on a motif used in Kathleen Tayor's "Elephant Hats".
2. Row numbers will be a bit higher on the mitten body for the larger size, since it has more increase rows. I've included notes about fit, so you can gauge more precisely how to adjust the pattern to your own (or your recipient's) hands.
Pathfinder Chronicler Fiction Contest Tuesday, July 20, 2010For a long time, the most common question people asked me about Pathfinder fiction was, So when will we see novels? Now that we've finally answered that one definitively—in just a few weeks, with the release of Dave Gross's inaugural Pathfinder Tales novel Prince of Wolves—the most common question is, So how can I submit some Pathfinder fiction? On that front, there's good news and bad news. ... The bad news is that I...
Pathfinder Chronicler Fiction Contest
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
For a long time, the most common question people asked me about Pathfinder fiction was, "So when will we see novels?" Now that we've finally answered that one definitively—in just a few weeks, with the release of Dave Gross's inaugural Pathfinder Tales novel Prince of Wolves—the most common question is, "So how can I submit some Pathfinder fiction?" On that front, there's good news and bad news.
The bad news is that I have no idea. While I'd love to do an open call someday and review submissions in search of completely undiscovered authors, right now everyone around here is editing so hard they're bleeding from the retinas. So I might have to wait quite a while before I can open that particular can of worms.
The good news, however, is that you don't have to wait! As of late last week, the good folks over at Wayfinder and Pathfinder Chronicler have teamed up to bring you the first-ever Pathfinder Fan Fiction Contest. In addition to two runner-up prizes, the grand prize winner will receive one hundred dollars in Paizo gift certificates and have his or her story published in its entirety in Wayfinder and on Pathfinder Chronicler!
Here's how it works: Any author who hasn't been professionally published for their fiction (and if you aren't sure, you're probably eligible!) can submit a story of between 3000 and 4500 words, set in the Pathfinder campaign setting. The carefully selected judges from Wayfinder and Chronicler will narrow the submissions down to the top five stories, which will then be passed on to me. I'll review them blind (meaning without access to the authors' names), and judge the stories according to the same criteria I use when evaluating our professionally commissioned Pathfinder Tales stories. The winner and two runners-up will then be announced on October 1st.
Further details on the contest can be found at www.pathfinderchronicler.net. The contest opens to submissions August 15th, and closes September 12th. So what are you waiting for? Start dusting off those old story ideas or favorite game characters, and steel yourself for a literary battle royal! Many stories will enter, but only one will leave with the grand prize, carried out of the arena on the virtual shoulders of the Pathfinder community.
Matthew Hughes's Template: A Novel of the Archonate
... Matthew Hughes's Template: A Novel of the Archonate Monday, July 19, 2010I'm happy to announce that Planet Stories' latest release, Template: A Novel of the Archonate by Matthew Hughes, has hit the Paizo warehouse and is now shipping to subscribers. As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, Template is the most recently written novel that Planet Stories has published, and we're extremely proud to be offering it to readers in the States for the first time. It takes the best of that sense of...
Matthew Hughes's Template: A Novel of the Archonate
Monday, July 19, 2010
I'm happy to announce that Planet Stories' latest release, Template: A Novel of the Archonate by Matthew Hughes, has hit the Paizo warehouse and is now shipping to subscribers. As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, Template is the most recently written novel that Planet Stories has published, and we're extremely proud to be offering it to readers in the States for the first time. It takes the best of that sense of wonder and adventure that we look for in all the fiction we publish and combines it with the crisp prose of a modern master of the genre. And it's a novel that I think both gamers and general SF readers can sink their teeth into with great enjoyment—the book's hero is, after all, a professional duelist on the gaming world of Thrais. Perhaps it's no coincidence that Matthew Hughes's work has been compared favorably with that of living SF legend Jack Vance, author of The Dying Earth series, which inspired the magic systems for the world's most popular fantasy roleplaying games.
Now, for some instant gratification, here's an excerpt from the novel's exciting opening.
Christopher Paul Carey
Illustration by Kieran Yanner
The tall skinny one and the one with the shaved head kept circling to Conn Labro's right. When they came at him their attack was well coordinated, the points of their epiniards darting in at different angles, aimed at different parts of his body. Now they came again and Conn timed the double parry exactly, riposted against the skinny one so that he had to block the thrust in a way that hindered his partner's recovery.
But it was the third opponent who bothered him. The fat one kept circling widdershins to the others only to leap into the fight seemingly at random, not thrusting but flailing with the long thin epiniard while shouting what sounded like nonsense syllables. Conn would have to duck or leap back in an ungainly manner. Then the other two would come smoothly in and he would have to flick and click, parry and thrust again, trying to find their rhythm then turn it against them.
He soon realized that there was no rhythm to be found. The fat one was actually very good. He was capable, as very few are, of a truly asymmetrical attack, able to resist the unconscious urge to find a rhythm with his partners.
It was turning out to be an interesting contest. Conn surmised that the three must have practiced against a simulation based on some of his past fights. He knew that his employer, the impresario Ovam Horder, sold such artificial experiences to those who could never afford the fee required to meet Conn in the flesh or by remote connection. The trio must have augmented the simulation by factoring in other matches recorded from public performances, then using sophisticated means to meld all into one.
Now here came the two coordinated attackers once more, but this time there was a tiny disharmony to their movements. The skinny one was a quarter-beat behind his partner, meaning Conn must extend his parry an equally small interval of time past perfection before binding the skinny one's blade and sliding the point of Conn's epiniard over the wrist guard.
As he executed the move, he expected the fat one to come in swinging and burbling from his blind side. Instead, as Conn turned his head enough to bring the third man into his peripheral vision, he found the rotund attacker silently sliding toward him, crossing the smooth floor on his plump belly, the point of his weapon aimed at Conn's ankle.
Again, Conn had to make a less than graceful escape, leaping clear over the supine swordster, only to find the other two rushing at him once more. But they came on two different tangents this time, their flexible blades whipping and thrusting from all angles, so that Conn must exert near maximum speed to beat off the attack. And meanwhile, the fat one was coming in between the others, but this time he was actually on his knees, again aiming for Conn's ankles.
Conn felt a flash of irritation and automatically summoned the mental exercise that dissipated the feeling. He heard Hallis Tharp's voice speaking from his memory: He who loses his temper loses all, and again he spoke within his mind the syllables of the Lho-tso mantra that restored calm. He flicked his point at the fat one's eyes, knocked away the bald man's thrust and sidestepped a slash from the thin one. He had to give the three of them credit for a novel strategy: they had known they could not win on skills—they were adequate swordsters, but even three of them were no match for one of Bay City's premier house players—so they had instead closely analyzed Conn's temperament. They must have thought that if they could annoy him enough, if they could bring him to anger....
The three were preparing for another attempt. He saw their eyes signal to each other as they readied themselves, and he looked closely at the fat one. And there it was, plain to be seen: the calculation behind the seeming randomness, and the way the man looked at Conn from the corner of his eye, weighing up the results so far.
Conn realized how the bets must be laid. That was why their attacks lacked true brio and why the fat one behaved like a clown. They were not out to win, nor even to draw, which would have been the best they might expect. Instead, they were intent on annoying and frustrating him to the point where he departed from his legendary equanimity. He smiled. The moment his lips showed his amusement he read the signs in the others' faces and knew he had won. They stepped back and lowered their epiniards. " Will you continue?" Conn asked.
2010 ENnie Award Voting Begins! Friday, July 16, 2010Voting begins today for the 2010 ENnie Awards, so drop whatever you're doing and head on over to the ballot box at EN World! ... Voting continues through July 25th, but don't wait! Vote for your favorite games, products, and publishers today!To remind you before you head off to cast your votes, here's what Paizo and some of our incredibly talented friends are in the running for! ... Best Adventure Pathfinder AP #31: Stolen Land (Paizo...
2010 ENnie Award Voting Begins!
Friday, July 16, 2010
Voting begins today for the 2010 ENnie Awards, so drop whatever you're doing and head on over to the ballot box at EN World!
Voting continues through July 25th, but don't wait! Vote for your favorite games, products, and publishers today!
To remind you before you head off to cast your votes, here's what Paizo and some of our incredibly talented friends are in the running for!
... Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide Preview #3 Thursday, July 15, 2010The start of Gen Con 2010 is now just three weeks away, which means things are getting busy around the office, but the big buzz is still the impending release of the Advanced Player's Guide, due to hit mailboxes and games stores in early August. Each week until release, I am taking you on a tour of this mighty sourcebook. In the past weeks we have looked at some new race material and rules for the six new base classes....
Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide Preview #3
Thursday, July 15, 2010
The start of Gen Con 2010 is now just three weeks away, which means things are getting busy around the office, but the big buzz is still the impending release of the Advanced Player's Guide, due to hit mailboxes and games stores in early August. Each week until release, I am taking you on a tour of this mighty sourcebook. In the past weeks we have looked at some new race material and rules for the six new base classes. This week we are wrapping up Chapter 2 by exploring some of the new rules content for the 11 base classes from the Core Rulebook.
The biggest portion of this part of Chapter 2 is given over to new class archetypes. These packages allow you to play one of the classes, but with a different theme. Each archetype swaps out a number of class features from the base class, but keeps much of its core mechanics, meaning that you can easily have a character that is similar in concept without having to worry about stepping all over the rules of the existing classes. For example, let's take a close look at the court bard.
Like the standard bard, the court bard uses the same base attack progression, Hit Dice, class skill list, and proficiencies. The differences first appear in the court bard's bardic performance. Instead of inspire courage, the court bard receives the following ability:
Satire (Su): A court bard can use performance to undermine the confidence of enemies who hear it, causing them to take a –1 penalty on attack and damage rolls (minimum 1) and a –1 penalty on saves against fear and charm effects as long as the bard continues performing. This penalty increases by –1 at 5th level and every six levels thereafter. Satire is a language-dependent, mind-affecting ability that uses audible components.
Of course, that's not all the court bard gets. At 3rd level he gets mockery instead of inspire competence. This ability causes a foe to take penalties on all Charisma checks and Charisma-based skill checks as long as the bard is performing. At 8th level, the court bard replaces dirge of doom with glorious epic, which causes enemies to become flat-footed while the bard is performing. At 14th level, the scandal performance replaces frightening tune. This ability mimics song of discord, causing panic in the court bard's foes. There are changes to some of the court bard's other class features as well, including the ability to change the area of his bardic performance.
Moving beyond the bard, each class has a host of archetypes of new class features to choose from. Clerics, for example, can select from a host of subdomains. Each subdomain is linked to one of the domains from the Core Rulebook, and taking one is the same as taking its parent domain, except that some of the domain spells and one of the granted powers is different. For example, let's take a look at Fate, the subdomain of Luck, and its granted power that replaces the good fortune power.
Tugging Strands (Su): At 8th level, you can force a creature within line of sight to reroll any one roll that it has just made before the result of the roll is revealed. The result of the reroll must be taken, even if it is worse than the original roll. You can use this ability once per day at 8th level and one additional time per day for every six levels above 8th.
Each class has a host of new options to play with, from dozens of new rage powers and rogue talents, to new ways of playing wizards and rangers. There are literally more character ideas in this book than I can summarize in a single blog post. Just while I was flipping through, I remembered that I want to make an urban ranger in an upcoming campaign. Instead of favored terrains, he receives favored communities, granting him bonuses whenever he is within city limits. He also receives trapfinding like a rogue, and the ability to push through crowds and other difficult urban terrains.
I am also looking forward to making a new sorcerer with one of the 10 bloodlines from the sorcerer section of the book. Of them, Stormborn might be my favorite. At 15th level, you gain the ability to turn into a living lightning bolt and zip around the battlefield at 10 times your speed, damaging everyone in your path. Truth be told, I am also looking very strongly at the Shadow bloodline, which grants an ability to create a darkness so thick that it entangles your foes.
If you can't tell, I am very excited about the wealth of new character options presented in this book. I am so excited that I want to leak the entire list of archetypes that will be found in the Advanced Player's Guide. Check out this spread from Chapter 2 that lists them all.
Thats all for this week. Tune in next week for a look at feats, gear, spells, and magic items.
The Shipping of the City Wednesday, July 14, 2010Heads up, everybody! As of last week (turns out the blog can get a little packed during the summer), City of Strangers has officially left the building, shipping out to subscribers and anyone else who wants to pick up a copy. This'll probably be my last post about the book for some time, but I wanted to reiterate how excited I am (and how cool it is to see folks commenting on the product page!). We put out a lot of awesome books, but this one...
The Shipping of the City
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Heads up, everybody! As of last week (turns out the blog can get a little packed during the summer), City of Strangers has officially left the building, shipping out to subscribers and anyone else who wants to pick up a copy. This'll probably be my last post about the book for some time, but I wanted to reiterate how excited I am (and how cool it is to see folks commenting on the product page!). We put out a lot of awesome books, but this one has been in the back of my head—or on the desktop of my computer, glaring accusatorily at me, demanding to be finished—for about four years at this point. To finally get it out there and see people's reactions, well... it's a lot of fun.
Illustration by Christopher Burdett
And you know, I still haven't gotten over the book itself yet, either. Normally by the time we finish developing a book and drag it, bruised and bloody, across the finish line (also known as "shipping it to the printer"), there's some angst mixed in with the love—not because it isn't great, but because all we can see when we look at it is sweat and tears, and maybe some weekends spent in the office. Yet when it comes back from the printer, all shiny and new, we all get that new-baby glow I keep hearing about. In this case, though the book had a whole lot of midwives, I really feel like the father, and the fact that Jared Blando's maps perfectly captured my hopes, and the artists (and art staff!) outdid themselves to bring the words to life... well, I've probably waxed maudlin long enough. Here's an example instead:
When I first wrote about the city in Seven Swords of Sin, there were quite a few details I threw in at random, which folks then picked up on and asked about. What, for instance, were the wormfolk? I certainly didn't know. It wasn't until Eando Kline came up against one in Pathfinder Adventure Path #3 that I realized they were nagas. And though I had a pretty good mental image of what they looked like, that was nothing compared to Christopher Burdett's fabulous illustration.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is one of the wormfolk. (Though don't let her hear you calling her that.)
In any case, it's been a fabulous ride thus far, and I hope that those of you who check out the book enjoy your time in the city as much as I have!
... 2010 ENnie Award Nominations! Tuesday, July 13, 2010Nominations for the 2010 ENnie Awards are live and we couldn't be blown farther away! Paizo products are up for awards in 11 categories, with related Pathfinder projects showing in even more. Unbelievable! A huge thank you from all of us here at Paizo to all of our readers for your endless enthusiasm and help in expanding our rules and worlds, as well as boundless appreciation to everyone at ENWorld for organizing and hosting one of the...
2010 ENnie Award Nominations!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Nominations for the 2010 ENnie Awards are live and we couldn't be blown farther away! Paizo products are up for awards in 11 categories, with related Pathfinder projects showing in even more. Unbelievable! A huge thank you from all of us here at Paizo to all of our readers for your endless enthusiasm and help in expanding our rules and worlds, as well as boundless appreciation to everyone at ENWorld for organizing and hosting one of the most highly anticipated event in gaming year after year.
But this year's ENnie Awards are just kicking off. Head on over to ENWorld to check out all the nominees and prepare for this Friday (July 16th) when the voting booths open and you can cast your vote for your favorite RPG rules, accessories, products, and projects.
Thanks again from all of us here at Paizo Publishing and we'll see you at the ENnies!
... Meet the Castaways! Monday, July 12, 2010With the first adventure in the Serpent's Skull Adventure Path, the PCs are shipwrecked on the notorious island of Smuggler's Shiv. But fortunately for the fragile 1st-level characters, they won't be alone against cannibals in the jungle, ghosts in the surf, dimorphodons in the sky, eurypterids in the tide pools, and mysterious bat-winged night monsters. Because they aren't the only ones lucky enough to be stranded on Smuggler's Shiv. ... Presented...
Meet the Castaways!
Monday, July 12, 2010
With the first adventure in the Serpent's Skull Adventure Path, the PCs are shipwrecked on the notorious island of Smuggler's Shiv. But fortunately for the fragile 1st-level characters, they won't be alone against cannibals in the jungle, ghosts in the surf, dimorphodons in the sky, eurypterids in the tide pools, and mysterious bat-winged night monsters. Because they aren't the only ones lucky enough to be stranded on Smuggler's Shiv.
Presented here are five other castaways whom the players will be getting to know quite well during the course of their stay on Smuggler's Shiv. A couple of you out there will probably recognize these characters, since they're the ones I had you play at PaizoCon during the Serpent's Skull preview game I ran. In the actual adventure, though, these five are NPCs, complete with their own secrets and emotional baggage and talents. Keeping these NPCs from killing each other and working together to survive is a key part of the adventure—and each has a fun little boon to grant the PCs if they become good friends. These five will continue to play roles in the campaign as the Adventure Path unfolds, and how the PCs interact with Aerys, Gelik, Ishirou, Jask, and Sasha can ultimately mean the difference between success or failure!
... Illustration by Mike Corriero ... Did you know... Friday, July 9, 2010...that flail snails are the philosophers of the Darklands, writing epic communal poetry in their slime trails? ... ...that executioner's hoods, trappers, and lurkers above are all members of the same species, simply different genders or stages of the life cycle? ... ...that flumphs come from the stars to warn us of lurking cosmic horrors (and have an elaborate migration process which inspired impromptu interpretive...
Illustration by Mike Corriero
Did you know...
Friday, July 9, 2010
...that flail snails are the philosophers of the Darklands, writing epic communal poetry in their slime trails?
...that executioner's hoods, trappers, and lurkers above are all members of the same species, simply different genders or stages of the life cycle?
...that flumphs come from the stars to warn us of lurking cosmic horrors (and have an elaborate migration process which inspired impromptu interpretive dance by Paizo staffers)?
...that delvers were created by the Vault Keepers of Orv, and dig their tunnels in hopes of one day proving themselves greater architects than their masters?
...that lava children procreate by consuming elementals?
....that disenchanters were originally bred for the magical wars between Geb and Nex?
... Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide Preview #2 Thursday, July 8, 2010The start of Gen Con 2010 is four weeks away, which means in just one month, the Advanced Player's Guide will be hitting game stores and subscriber mailboxes. In anticipation of this mighty sourcebook, I am taking you on a guided tour, touching on some of the highlights each week until release. Last week we took at look at the races chapter and the new alternate favored class bonuses. This week we are diving into Chapter...
Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide Preview #2
Thursday, July 8, 2010
The start of Gen Con 2010 is four weeks away, which means in just one month, the Advanced Player's Guide will be hitting game stores and subscriber mailboxes. In anticipation of this mighty sourcebook, I am taking you on a guided tour, touching on some of the highlights each week until release. Last week we took at look at the races chapter and the new alternate favored class bonuses. This week we are diving into Chapter 2: Classes by looking at the six new base classes.
If you were not a part of the playtest of these classes, might I suggest that you grab the playtest document, which is still available here at paizo.com. Now go read up on the all of the new classes. Don't worry, I'll wait. All finished, good. I am going to walk through each of the classes and spend a bit of time talking about what changes you can expect to find in the book.
Illustration by Wayne Reynolds
Alchemist: Using all sorts of alchemical formulas, bombs, and mutagens, this class is focused on using strange concoctions to enhance the alchemist and damage his foes. Most of the changes to this class center around new discoveries that were added. Discoveries allow the alchemist to enhance his bombs and mutagens, but we added discoveries that allow him to use his bombs to dispel magic or to work better with poison, such as this new discovery.
Concentrate Poison: The alchemist can combine two doses of the same poison to increase their effects. This requires two doses of the poison and 1 minute of concentration. When completed, the alchemist has one dose of poison. The poison's frequency is extended by 50% and the save DC increases by +2.
Cavalier: This mounted warrior is skilled at directing allies around the battlefield and granting bonuses to his teammates. Each is dedicated to a specific order that grants abilities specific to his focus. Most of the changes from the playtest version of the cavalier are relatively small or designed to clarify an existing ability. For example, we clarified how large the cavalier's banner must be and how it must be displayed to grant its bonus to the cavalier's allies.
Inquisitor: Rooting out enemies of the faith, wherever they might hide, the inquisitor uses the powers of her faith to ruthlessly destroy her foes. One of her signature abilities is to declare judgment on one of her foes, granting her bonuses when fighting that enemy. The playtest version of this ability improved as the combat progressed. While this was a fun mechanic, it was ultimately rather unwieldy in play and was replaced with a simpler system. Now, whenever the inquisitor uses her judgment ability, she selects the type and gains a bonus based on her level. For example, take a look at this judgment of purity.
Purity: The inquisitor is protected from the vile taint of her foes, gaining a +1 sacred bonus on all saving throws. This bonus increases by +1 for every five inquisitor levels she possesses. At 10th level, the bonus is doubled against curses, diseases, and poisons.
Oracle: The oracle draws her power from the gods, but not one in particular. Her power is derived from her belief in a chosen mystery, which guides her and grants her additional powers. There were two big changes to the oracle from the playtest version. First, the bonus spells granted by the oracle's mystery are now granted a level sooner than before (the first arrives at 2nd level instead of 3rd). The second is the addition of the Life mystery, with powers like the following.
Enhanced Cures (Su): Whenever you cast a cure spell, the maximum number of hit points healed is based on your oracle level, not the limit based on the spell. For example, an 11th-level oracle of life with this revelation may cast cure light wounds to heal 1d8+11 hit points.
Summoner: The summoner is bonded to a special outsider, known as an eidolon, that gains powers and abilities as the summoner gains levels. His spells and class features all support this powerful, ever-changing ally. Most of the changes to this class were relatively small in nature, but the big one was a change to how often the summoner can call his eidolon. He can now summon the ally as often as he likes (provided it has not been banished due to damage recently), but he cannot use his summon monster ability at the same time. This allows him to keep the flexibility needed with the summoned creatures, but prevents him from overrunning the battlefield with too many creatures.
Illustration by Wayne Reynolds
Witch: The witch is an arcane spellcaster with an extensive spell list of spells drawn from both the wizard and cleric spell lists. She also gains powerful hexes that she can use to augment herself or harm her enemies. The biggest change made to the witch involves her familiar, the creature that helps her to understand magic and serves as an envoy of the witch's mysterious patron. Now the bonus spells granted by a witch's familiar are no longer tied to the type of familiar, giving the witch a lot more flexibility in concept and theme. We also made a number of changes to the witch's hexes, including making flight a basic hex that does not grant true flight until 5th level, and added a few others here and there to round out the witch concept. For example, what witch would be caught without a cauldron.
Cauldron: The witch receives Brew Potion as a bonus feat and a +4 insight bonus on Craft (alchemy) skill checks.
Well, that just about rounds up our look at the six new base classes in the Advanced Player's Guide. Next week, we will continue exploring the mighty classes chapter (which is about 1/3 of the book) by taking a closer look at all of the options available to the core classes from the Core Rulebook.
... Greetings from the Deep! Wednesday, July 7, 2010Hey, remember Pathfinder Adventure Path? What? Oh yeah, that thing. That thing we're always working on and we never blog about. We should write something up about that sometime. Yeah, we should. Okay! ... This time around on our totally weekly preview of what's coming up in Pathfinder Adventure Path, we're talking interior covers! As you've all seen, in our endless battle against boredom and stagnation we mix up what's on the interior covers...
Greetings from the Deep!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Hey, remember Pathfinder Adventure Path? What? Oh yeah, that thing. That thing we're always working on and we never blog about. We should write something up about that sometime. Yeah, we should. Okay!
This time around on our totally weekly preview of what's coming up in Pathfinder Adventure Path, we're talking interior covers! As you've all seen, in our endless battle against boredom and stagnation we mix up what's on the interior covers of Pathfinder from Adventure Path to Adventure Path. To play up the exotic exploration elements of the Serpent Skull Adventure Path, this time around we're coving these pages with descriptions and sketches taken from the field book of one of Golarion's most esteemed naturalists, detailing some of the wildest and weirdest flora and fauna of the Mwangi Expanse. Chuck Lukacs tackles the task of sketching out these strange life forms month after month, providing GMs with just a little extra when it comes to describing the incredible variety, strangeness, and deadliness of Garund's most dangerous jungles. Check out just one of the beasties detailed right behind the covers of Pathfinder Adventure Path #37—a creature PCs might have a very personal confrontation with in the first adventure of the Serpent Skull Adventure Path: "Souls for Smuggler's Shiv."
"The waters around Smuggler's Shiv are thick with predators like sharks, giant crabs, and hungry eels, but the most pervasive may be the sea scorpions, more properly known as eurypterids. With a poisonous sting and the ability to chase prey out of the waves and onto land, these aggressive vermin should be avoided at all costs."
... Cruel Fate Tuesday, July 6, 2010Look what advance copies happened to arrive in the office today, just when our indolent Fiction Editor, James Sutter, decided to fly the coop and go on vacation! ... Christopher Paul Carey ... Editor ...
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Look what advance copies happened to arrive in the office today, just when our indolent Fiction Editor, James Sutter, decided to fly the coop and go on vacation!
Pathfinder Society Regional Coordinators—Apply Now!
... Pathfinder Society Regional Coordinators—Apply Now! Friday, July 2, 2010At long last the time has come to open the doors to the wide world of Pathfinder Society Regional Coordinators. This plan has been a long time coming and thanks to years of player and GM feedback, I think we now have a plan in place to turn over some of the responsibilities for organizing and growing Pathfinder Society to local and regional volunteers, many of whom have already been doing so since the beginning....
Pathfinder Society Regional Coordinators—Apply Now!
Pathfinder Society Regional Coordinators—Apply Now!
Friday, July 2, 2010
At long last the time has come to open the doors to the wide world of Pathfinder Society Regional Coordinators. This plan has been a long time coming and thanks to years of player and GM feedback, I think we now have a plan in place to turn over some of the responsibilities for organizing and growing Pathfinder Society to local and regional volunteers, many of whom have already been doing so since the beginning.
A few fine-print notes before we get started:
1. The Pathfinder Society Organized Play Regional Coordinator is a volunteer position. Regional coordinators are not Paizo Publishing employees. They are not official representatives of the company. Applying for the volunteer position of regional coordinator means you acknowledge these restrictions.
2. A Pathfinder Society Organized Play Regional Coordinator must be willing and able to fulfill a list of monthly volunteer duties as noted below.
3. A Pathfinder Society Organized Play Regional Coordinator must always strive to act in a professional, positive, and outgoing manner when functioning in their capacity as volunteers for Paizo Publishing.
4. You must be 18 years of age or older and you must be willing to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with Paizo Publishing.
Assuming you're still on board, here's the regional coordinator volunteer position in greater detail:
What is a Pathfinder Society Organized Play Regional Coordinator?
A regional coordinator is a local and regional organizer and point of contact for Paizo Publishing's worldwide organized play campaign, Pathfinder Society.
Regional Coordinator Volunteer Duties and Expectations
1. Organize a minimum of two Pathfinder Society Organized Play convention or game store appearances per month in your local or regional area of responsibility.
2. Attend PaizoCon or Gen Con and work for Paizo at one (or both) of those conventions annually. Non-USA regional coordinators will be expected to attend large local conventions to be named later.
3. Maintain and update monthly a full report of local game stores including contact information, manager's name, what Paizo products they carry, and whether or not they're running Pathfinder Society Organized Play events (with or without your assistance).
4. Build a positive rapport with all local game store managers and employees.
5. Provide the campaign coordinator with frequent feedback from game stores, volunteers, and players in your local area or region of responsibility.
6. Be a Paizo Publishing product expert. Familiarize yourself with all of our product lines and be comfortable talking about all of them.
7. Game Master a minimum of one Pathfinder Society Organized Play session per month.
9. Build and maintain monthly an email list of local volunteers.
10. To the best of your ability, ensure that all Pathfinder Society Organized Play sessions run in your local area or region of responsibility are reported and reported accurately.
11. Be the go-to contact for your local area or region of responsibility; assist local game days, game clubs, conventions, or any other such group wanting a Pathfinder Society Organized Play presence at their event.
12. Ensure that all Pathfinder Society Organized Play events in your local area or region of responsibility are entered into the event-finder at paizo.com/pathfindersociety.
Rewards for Pathfinder Society Organized Play Regional Coordinators
1. Free attendance at PaizoCon or Gen Con (or both), including free badges, a portion of a hotel room, booth vouchers, and possible product rewards. In order to receive the free attendance, the regional coordinator must arrange his or her own travel to and from show, must provide for his or her own food, and must volunteer for a minimum of eight slots at Gen Con and a minimum of four slots at PaizoCon.
2. Pathfinder Society Organized Play Regional Coordinator dinner at PaizoCon or Gen Con (or both).
3. Free PDFs of every new PDF product Paizo Publishing releases added to your My Downloads section on paizo.com.
4. Annual exclusive special scenario available to regional coordinators and 5-star GMs only for one year.
5. Messageboard tag in the Pathfinder Society messageboards: Pathfinder Society Regional Coordinator. (Note: this tag will trump all other tags while posting on the Pathfinder Society messageboards.)
6. Special exclusive events at PaizoCon and Gen Con.
Local and Regional Targets
As we begin our regional coordinator program, we are only seeking candidates for the following local and regional areas. If you do not live in one of these areas, please do not apply. As we grow, we plan to expand our regional coordinator program into more locations worldwide—so if you don't see your area on here yet, don't despair! We may be coming soon to a region near you.
New York City, NY
Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX
San Francisco, CA
Los Angeles, CA
San Diego, CA
Las Vegas, NV
Northern Virginia-Greater DC Area
Minneapolis-St Paul, MN
How to Apply
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject Pathfinder Society Regional Coordinator. In this email, please attach a copy of your normal employment resume in .doc, .txt, or .rtf format that includes your employment history, job skills, education, and anything else that displays a history of professional employment. Please ensure that your resume includes your physical mailing address, full legal name, phone number, and email address.
Additionally, please include a separate document in .doc, .txt, or .rtf format that contains the following information:
1. Detail your involvement in Pathfinder Society Organized Play over the last two years.
2. Detail conventions, events, game days, clubs, and so on that you have organized and run.
3. Detail your roleplaying game history.
4. List how many stars you currently have on your Pathfinder Society Organized Play GM rating.
5. List your Pathfinder Society ID # and the email address associated with your paizo.com account (if different from your email address in your resume).
6. Detail any conventions, events, game days, clubs and so on that you plan to attend this year.
7. Finally, detail two ideas that you haven't seen Paizo try that, in your opinion, will help grow Pathfinder Society Organized Play in your local area or region.
While you do not have to be a member of Pathfinder Society Organized Play to apply for this volunteer position, preference will be given to those who display a solid history of involvement with the Society. I will update this paizo.com blog post frequently (and the associated discussion thread) as I fill positions.
Please make sure you follow all of the instructions above. I look forward to hearing from you!
... Illustration by Alex Aparin ... Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide Preview #1 Thursday, July 1, 2010The start of Gen Con 2010 is five weeks away, which means that the Advanced Player's Guide will be hitting game stores and subscriber mailboxes in just over one month. To celebrate the release of this impressive tome, we are going to be previewing parts of it every week until its release. Last week we recapped the information from the PaizoCon APG Preview Banquet. This week we are going to...
Illustration by Alex Aparin
Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide Preview #1
Thursday, July 1, 2010
The start of Gen Con 2010 is five weeks away, which means that the Advanced Player's Guide will be hitting game stores and subscriber mailboxes in just over one month. To celebrate the release of this impressive tome, we are going to be previewing parts of it every week until its release. Last week we recapped the information from the PaizoCon APG Preview Banquet. This week we are going to dig into some details with an extensive look at the races chapter.
As I mentioned last week, each of the seven core races receives a two-page spread of information. Each spread starts out with information about adventurers of that race, taking on each of the 17 classes available (that includes the six new classes found in the APG). This is followed up by alternate racial traits that allow characters to portray members of the race that are a little different than the rest, but still well within the theme of the race. To take one of these alternate racial traits, a character has to give up one or more existing racial traits. For example, take a look at this dwarven racial trait.
Stonesinger: Some dwarves' affinity with the earth grants them greater powers. Dwarves with this racial trait are treated as one level higher when casting spells with the earth descriptor or using granted powers of the Earth domain, the bloodline powers of the earth elemental bloodline, and revelations of the oracle's stone mystery. This racial trait replaces the stonecunning racial trait.
Or how about this Half-Orc racial trait.
Toothy: Some half-orcs' vestigial tusks are massive and sharp, granting them a bite attack. This is a primary natural attack that deals 1d4 points of piercing damage. This racial trait replaces the orc ferocity racial trait.
Each replacement racial trait is made to explore one facet of the race's inherent theme. Elves get abilities that tie them to nature, gnomes get abilities that explore their fascinations, half-elves can take abilities that help them live in both worlds, halflings can focus on their sneaky talents, and even humans are not left out. Humans can take racial traits that reflect their upbringing.
In addition to a host of racial traits, each race also receives a number of favored class options. These options are tied to a race's theme in most cases, meaning that races only receive options for classes that are racially common. Possessing one of these options just gives your character an additional choice whenever he gains a level in his favored class (instead of a skill point or a hit point). For example, take a look at this elven wizard favored class option.
Wizard: Select one arcane school power at 1st level that is normally usable a number of times per day equal to 3 + the wizard's Intelligence modifier. The wizard adds +1/2 to the number of uses per day of that arcane school power.
Once an elven wizard takes this power twice, he gains an additional use of that ability. Want more, take a look at this gnome bard favored class option.
Bard: Add 1 to the gnome's total number of bardic performance rounds per day.
Of all the races, only humans have an option for all 17 classes. Here is the human sorcerer favored class option.
Sorcerer: Add one spell known from the sorcerer spell list. This spell must be at least one level below the highest spell level the sorcerer can cast.
Although this chapter is only 18 pages long, in a 336-page book, it is absolutely crammed full of new rules for characters of any race and class, a philosophy we took with the entire rest of the book. Next week, we will delve into the classes chapter, starting off by taking a look at the six new base classes in the book, and I might even go into some detail on the changes made to them after the playtest was over.