Stop flyting, you two! Friday, March 18, 2011 As you may recall, last month Pathfinder fiction author Kevin Andrew Murphy temporarily lost his mind and wrote us a full heroic crown of sonnets featuring 15 of our iconic characters, then sent it to us as a Valentine's Day present. We posted it on the blog, and folks seemed to enjoy it. Perhaps too much. ... Never one to back away from a challenge, Kevin has now written another poem dealing with the Pathfinder iconics and posted it on the...
Stop flyting, you two!
Friday, March 18, 2011
As you may recall, last month Pathfinder fiction author Kevin Andrew Murphy temporarily lost his mind and wrote us a full heroic crown of sonnets featuring 15 of our iconic characters, then sent it to us as a Valentine's Day present. We posted it on the blog, and folks seemed to enjoy it. Perhaps too much.
Never one to back away from a challenge, Kevin has now written another poem dealing with the Pathfinder iconics and posted it on the messageboards, this time in honor of St. Patrick's Day. The poem—made up of linked limericks—is of a tradition known as "flyting," a very old practice in which two parties exchange over-the-top and often lewd insults in verse. (Think of it as a medieval rap battle.) In this case, the two competitors are Alain and Lem—apparently, nobody told the cavalier that it's unwise to take on a bard in an insult contest.
While things get a bit bawdier than we can post on the blog, those who don't mind a little crudity in their poetry may want to head over to the thread and read it for themselves. Having such a thriving fan fiction community is always fun and flattering, but this... well, this is definitely a new sort of animal!
Kudos to Kevin, and let us all hope they continue to offer internet access in his padded cell....
Iconic Love Monday, February 14, 2011For some of us, Valentine's Day is just another day. We go to work, come home, maybe hang out with our significant others a bit or send the kids off to the sitter for a rare night out. For other people, however, Valentine's Day carries more significance, and flat-out demands acknowledgement. They see it as an excuse to truly cut loose, to go all-out with the romance and treat it like a real holiday. ... And then, apparently, there's a third type of person:...
Monday, February 14, 2011
For some of us, Valentine's Day is just another day. We go to work, come home, maybe hang out with our significant others a bit or send the kids off to the sitter for a rare night out. For other people, however, Valentine's Day carries more significance, and flat-out demands acknowledgement. They see it as an excuse to truly cut loose, to go all-out with the romance and treat it like a real holiday.
And then, apparently, there's a third type of person: the type for whom Valentine's Day means a chance to go totally insane. Such appears to be the case with Pathfinder Tales author Kevin Andrew Murphy. How else can you explain the fact that he chose the occasion to, without any prompting or warning, write us an entire heroic crown of sonnets immortalizing the iconic characters' backgrounds in prose. (For those of you who've forgotten your 400-level literature classes, a "heroic crown of sonnets" is a specialized form of poetry in which you have 14 sonnets, each linked by their first and last lines, plus a fifteenth which is made up exclusively of the previous sonnets' linking lines, in order. Needless to say, it's incredibly difficult to do well.)
I'd say more, but I'm still processing the whole thing, so I think it's better to just post the sonnets in their entirety. Happy Valentine's Day!
The Fifteen Loves of Golarion
A Heroic Crown of Sonnets for Valentine's Day 2011
by Kevin Andrew Murphy
1. Alain, the Cavalier, "For Love of Glory" I am the one who lives to tell the tale.
The victor is the braggart of his fame,
The first to know the glory of his name
But not the last. The bards now all regale
The common folk with ballads of my deeds,
The battles won by force of my prowess,
The ransomed kings who've bowed to my duress,
And Donahan, the noblest of steeds.
Sometimes I think he is my only friend.
The men I ride with? Those I can replace.
The maids I bed? Each just a pretty face.
Yet Donahan is mine till journey's end.
If he falls first, then part of me is dead.
I've said the words that needed to be said.
2. Alahazra, the Oracle, "For Love of Truth" I've said the words that needed to be said,
For Truth is blind, and I am blind in truth.
My clouded eyes see little but forsooth
My inner eye sees clearly. I have read
The fates of men with but the barest glance.
I know the future as I know the past,
Which seeds will sprout and which of them will last,
For Destiny leaves nothing up to Chance.
It was not Chance that burned me with its fire.
The simoom's breath is but the Wind of Fate
That claimed me with its Flame. I now relate
The Fate of Love, if that is your desire:
All present loves become in days ahead
Mementos kept in memory of the dead.
3. Seelah, the Paladin, "For Love of Those Now Gone" Mementos kept in memory of the dead,
Reminders of what nothing can restore.
The wingéd helm that dead Acemi wore
Now hides my face and my unworthy head.
I feel its weight: part guilt, part gift, part theft.
Part love. She saw and yet forgave her thief,
The child who stole her helm. Ergo, my grief.
Acemi is still dead and I am left.
I have no words to say in my defense.
I know my deeds. I must have faith in grace
So now I wear her helm and take her place.
What Iomedae learned: Inheritance,
A gift of trust from those you must not fail
Now silent in the realm beyond the pale.
4. Harsk, the Ranger, "For Love of Solitude" Now silent in the realm beyond the pale,
My brother lies–and those who took his life.
I ended theirs with crossbow quarrel and knife.
The giants dead, now I alone prevail.
My kin who dwell below with bended backs
To toil at the forge or in the mines,
Or worshiping our gods at dwarven shrines,
Have my regard, and yet my brother's axe
Is all I bear away from whence I hail.
A hunter's life is love of solitude.
A Spartan camp, a pot of tea fresh-brewed
Will keep him more alert than mugs of ale.
My quarry's tracks are runes left for the sage.
I know the letters written on this page.
5. Ezren, the Wizard, "For Love of Scholarship" I know the letters written on this page,
My father charged with some impiety
Against our god, some awful blasphemy
Too dire for words, and nothing can assuage
The gossips' tongues, for rumor needs no proof.
And Abadar? The merchant god cares not
Who prospers or who fails nor what is bought.
The Golden One stays in his Vault, aloof.
I spent my youth to clear my father's name,
In quest to save the business that he built,
But in the end I only proved his guilt.
Now scholarship's the only love I claim.
Yet law for arcane law can be exchanged.
Old orders sometimes must be rearranged.
6. Sajan, the Monk, "For Love of a Sister" "Old orders sometimes must be rearranged."
So said the monks when taking twin from twin.
My sister Sajni's gone. I should begin
Describing how we came to be estranged.
We were conceived. Our lives were intertwined
Like threads of web and woof strung on a loom,
So were our limbs locked in our mother's womb.
Though born as two, we're more when we're combined.
We trained with temple swords and so time passed
Till at twelve years we each were sent away
And battle woes lost her to Jalmeray.
I left, deserting all I knew, my caste,
To seek my sister. Far too far I've ranged.
I've changed some facts which never should be changed.
7. Damiel, the Alchemist, "For Love of Change" I've changed some facts which never should be changed
And yet that is the goal of alchemy:
Quicksilver shifting, mutability.
The philosophic art just seems deranged
To those too dull to grasp aetheric heights
Or dream of fixing one's perfected form,
Not living with the dull and banal norm.
You reach out when the stars are in your sights,
Yet what you grasp may be the fulgent dark
For nightmares ride as well between the stars.
Like Shelyn's smile can hide Zon-Kuthon's scars,
The bright quicksilver sea conceals a shark,
And from the left the villain steps onstage
To let men feel the battle fury's rage.
8. Amiri, the Barbarian, "For Love of Oneself" To let men feel the battle fury's rage,
The Six Bears tribesmen donned the skins of bears
They'd taken from our totems in their lairs.
Each boy was sent to do it at an age.
We girls were told to sit inside and spin,
Awaiting a barbarian's return.
This never was a name that women earn.
I brought a she-bear's hide back to my kin.
The time came that a warband of my clan
All dared me to bring back a giant's blade.
When I returned, they mocked me as a maid.
The blood rage came. I slew them to a man.
That bastard blade I bear with me. Beware
To taste the kiss of malice and despair.
9. Seltyiel, the Magus, "For Lack of Love" To taste the kiss of malice and despair,
One needn't know the touch of love or hope–
At very least, not of an equal scope–
And pain is seldom more than one can bear,
And when it is? Well, there is always death.
My mother died the moment I was born.
My sister's cries, those spared my life that morn.
I often think she should have saved her breath.
Sioria, oh how could you divine
The babe you saved would still be here alive
Or on a feast of wormwood one could thrive.
I'll kill your father once I first kill mine.
Foul Lairsaph was a fool to teach his spawn
To walk the road with weapons sheathed or drawn....
10. Valeros, the Fighter, "For Love of Adventure" To walk the road with weapons sheathed or drawn
Is how a sellsword passes most his days.
That much at least is truthful in bards' lays.
The rest? Well yes, there is a need for brawn–
The same goes for an ox that pulls a plow–
But when your sword-arm makes some villain yield,
That's better than some plowshare in a field.
At least it's more exciting anyhow.
One day I may retire to a farm,
Grow beans and beets or brew a bit of beer,
But now I love my freedom and I hear
A distant village sounding the alarm.
If there's adventure calling, I'll be gone
To greet the hope that rises with the dawn.
11. Kyra, the Cleric, "For Love of Hope" To greet the hope that rises with the dawn,
The Crown of Our Beloved Sarenrae
Who cast the Beast below to Asmodae,
Is how a priestess prays for I'm Her pawn.
Whate'er the Dawnflower wishes I will do.
When bandits burned my village and Her shrine,
That's when I saw the face of the divine.
Through streaming tears the sun shone and I knew
The Everlight had filled me with Her power
To heal the sick and ailing with Her light
And cleanse those past redemption of their blight
By scimitar, like Dawn's Eternal Flower.
One day I'll join my goddess in the air
To live a life of joy and forswear care.
12. Merisiel, the Rogue, "For Love of Freedom" To live a life of joy and forswear care
Is what I always felt the world should be.
See something that you like? Then take it. Free!
If you don't like your lot, then folk should share.
They call it thievery, who gives a fig?
My knives can teach their tongues to be polite,
And while some think I could be more contrite
It's not like they're not working the same gig.
This knife I got from some Azlanti queen.
This one? From Galt. Belonged to some coquette
And these? From Geb. But most I just forget.
I only care if I can keep them keen.
You make life up like some bard's folderol.
I sing the songs that rise up from my soul.
13. Seoni, the Sorcerer, "For Love of Magic" I sing the songs that rise up from my soul
And write the runes appearing in my dreams.
The ones I walk with talk about my "schemes,"
If schemes they are, or just an unknown goal.
I'd like to say I like just who I am,
Yet who can say just who they are? Not I.
Or what I am, or how I am, or why.
That statement just might be my epigram.
I only know when spells wish to be wrought,
The way they say that love pulls at the heart.
Just so I feel the call of arcane art.
It springs to mind like any other thought.
I'd work alone, but I lack that control
For love and friendship are what make one whole.
14. Lini, the Druid, "For Love of a True Companion" "For love and friendship are what make one whole."
So spake the norn who whispered in the wood.
She vanished but her fey advice is good
And with it I can talk to mouse or mole.
The purest love is love you get from beasts.
My friend Droogami taught me this is true.
It's something though that I already knew.
I never bought the nonsense from the priests
About the love of gods as the most pure.
Who can believe a love you never see?
My love is for the leopard next to me
And she for me and that's what shall endure.
She's great and strong where I am small and frail.
I am the one who lives to tell the tale.
15. Lem, the Bard, "For Love of Happy Endings" I am the one who lives to tell the tale.
I've said the words that needed to be said,
Mementos kept in memory of the dead
Now silent in the realm beyond the pale.
I know the letters written on this page.
Old orders sometimes must be rearranged.
I've changed some facts which never should be changed
To let men feel the battle fury's rage,
To taste the kiss of malice and despair,
To walk the road with weapons sheathed or drawn,
To greet the hope that rises with the dawn,
To live a life of joy and forswear care.
I sing the songs that rise up from my soul
For love and friendship are what make one whole.
... Illustration by Branko Bistrovic ... Get Lost Friday, October 22, 2010 ... Illustration by Damien Mammoliti ... We're nearing the homestretch in development of Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Lost Cities of Golarion and that means it's time to start leaking some of the brand-new art you can expect to find within the tome's dusty pages. Check out these relics we've unearthed while plumbing the ruins of Kho in the Mwangi Expanse and Storasta in the demon-choked Worldwound. ... Mark Moreland...
Illustration by Branko Bistrovic
Friday, October 22, 2010
Illustration by Damien Mammoliti
We're nearing the homestretch in development of Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Lost Cities of Golarion and that means it's time to start leaking some of the brand-new art you can expect to find within the tome's dusty pages. Check out these relics we've unearthed while plumbing the ruins of Kho in the Mwangi Expanse and Storasta in the demon-choked Worldwound.
Meet the Iconics: Alain Friday, July 23, 2010Deference 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 #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.
... Storm the Lost Tower! Wednesday, June 16, 2010 ... Illustration by Tyler Walpole ... Have you ever wondered just what is inside those siege castles outside Absalom? Have you ever smelled the heady stench of troglodytes in the morning? Have you always wanted to join the Pathfinder Society, but could never figure out just how to impress them? Or do you want to know just a little more about the Advanced Player's Guide? ... Well, you're in luck! Free RPG Day is almost upon us! On Saturday,...
Storm the Lost Tower!
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Illustration by Tyler Walpole
Have you ever wondered just what is inside those siege castles outside Absalom? Have you ever smelled the heady stench of troglodytes in the morning? Have you always wanted to join the Pathfinder Society, but could never figure out just how to impress them? Or do you want to know just a little more about the Advanced Player's Guide?
Well, you're in luck! Free RPG Day is almost upon us! On Saturday, many of you can go to your Friendly Local Game Store and pick up all sorts of free RPG products, including Paizo's own offering, Master of the Fallen Fortress, by yours truly. Check the official Free RPG Day Retailer Locator to see if stores in your area are participating.
(PaizoCon attendees will each get a free copy of the module at the show, and, starting Monday morning, everyone will be able to download a FREE PDF or buy a $5 print edition right here at paizo.com, so no need to despair if your store isn't on the Free RPG Day list!)
So what's all the hoopla about? Master of the Fallen Fortress takes a group of 1st-level PCs into one of the ruined siege castles that litter the Cairnlands outside Absalom. While it's a standalone Pathfinder Module, the adventure can also be used as an introduction to Pathfinder Society Organized Play, Paizo's constantly evolving, worldwide mega-campaign. And even better, it gives a preview of the six new iconic characters from the upcoming Advanced Player's Guide, statted up as pregenerated characters to get you right into the action!
Adventure is coming your way this weekend, just around the corner and down the road. Defeat the Master of the Fallen Fortress, rescue a captive Pathfinder, and on the way, say hi to Alahazra, Alain, Balazar, Damiel, Feiya, and Imrijka for me!
(To allow GMs to prepare to run Master of the Fallen Fortress on Free RPG day, we're releasing the Chronicles Sheet and pregenerated character sheets as a free download here (1.2 MB zip/PDF).)
... Advanced Player’s Guide Playtest, Bonus Round! Tuesday, February 2, 2010Although the playtest of the six base classes set to appear in the Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player's Guide was scheduled to be over yesterday, we have decided to extend it by two weeks to give you a chance to review and playtest the changes from the previous three rounds. We took all of your feedback and ideas and implemented a number of changes to the classes, combining them into one handy reference PDF. You can find...
Advanced Player’s Guide Playtest, Bonus Round!
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Although the playtest of the six base classes set to appear in the Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player's Guide was scheduled to be over yesterday, we have decided to extend it by two weeks to give you a chance to review and playtest the changes from the previous three rounds. We took all of your feedback and ideas and implemented a number of changes to the classes, combining them into one handy reference PDF. You can find the PDF right here.
You have two weeks to playtest and comment on these revisions in the Final Playtest messageboard forum. Make sure to post your feedback on in the correct forum, because we might miss it if you place it in one of the older forums. On February 15th, all of the forums will be closed.
As with previous playtests, this process has been a huge benefit to the development of these classes. I hope that you have enjoyed participating in the process. Look for previews of the final book to start appearing in June, ramping up to the final release in August.
... Welcome to the Playtest Friday, November 13, 2009 ... Illustration by Wayne Reynolds ... Illustration by Wayne Reynolds ... The playtest of the Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player's Guide begins today with the launch of two of the six new base classes set to appear in the book. The cavalier is a martial character. Like his name would suggest, he is at home fighting from horseback, but he is by no means crippled when his mount cannot be used. The cavalier gains a number of bonus abilities tied...
Welcome to the Playtest
Friday, November 13, 2009
Illustration by Wayne Reynolds
Illustration by Wayne Reynolds
The playtest of the Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player's Guide begins today with the launch of two of the six new base classes set to appear in the book. The cavalier is a martial character. Like his name would suggest, he is at home fighting from horseback, but he is by no means crippled when his mount cannot be used. The cavalier gains a number of bonus abilities tied to his order, the oaths that he swears, and the challenges he makes. Next up in this playtest is the oracle. This spontaneous divine caster draws her power from the gods that support her focus, granting her special revelations as she goes up in level. This is your chance to take a look at these classes before they hit shelves in August. You can download the free PDF containing both of these classes here.
In the coming weeks, we will be releasing the other four classes, two each week. During these periods, we will be focusing discussion on the most recent classes, but the playtest itself will remain open until the end of January 2010. The release dates are as follows.
Just like the Core Rulebook playtest last year, there are a pair of forums waiting for your feedback and comments. The first is a general forum, for discussing larger issues and announcements. The second forum is specifically for cavalier and oracle feedback. We will add an additional forum every two weeks as the new classes are released.
I want to take a moment to discuss what we are looking for out of this playtest. Since these are new classes, actual playtesting is of great importance. While comments and observations are still valuable, we need playtesters to actually use these classes in play and provide reports of their experiences. This sort of feedback will really help us ensure that these classes become a balanced and fun part of the game.
... Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player's Guide Classes Thursday, August 20, 2009Now that Gen Con is over, it is time to look into the future of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Over the next year, we have a number of fantastic products in store for you, but the one that has me the most excited is the Advanced Player's Guide. We gave a few hints about this hefty 320-page tome at Gen Con during the Pathfinder RPG Q&A seminar, but I wanted to take a moment to bring the news to you directly. ......
Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player's Guide Classes
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Now that Gen Con is over, it is time to look into the future of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Over the next year, we have a number of fantastic products in store for you, but the one that has me the most excited is the Advanced Player's Guide. We gave a few hints about this hefty 320-page tome at Gen Con during the Pathfinder RPG Q&A seminar, but I wanted to take a moment to bring the news to you directly.
First off, this book is set to release at Gen Con 2010. It will include a host of new options and avenues for characters built using the classes and features in the Core Rulebook. That means you can expect to find new barbarian rage powers, new sorcerer bloodlines, new bardic performance options, and a host of other tricks and tools to modify the 11 core classes. The book will also contain a number of feats, spells, and magic items to expand your game. We are providing all of these in one book so as to avoid spreading out the goodness over a host of tomes, which tends to just make things difficult to find and use. Some of this material will be leaked early through this blog to use right away (and to help us playtest some of the more tricky aspects).
In addition to the expansion of the core classes, this book will also contain six new base classes. They are called base classes because they go from level 1 to level 20, but they are not core classes. Confused? Allow me to explain. We are making an assumption that these new classes will take a role in our world (and possibly yours) that is less common. You will not find them in every adventure, nor will they appear in every product. That means that you can introduce them to your game in a more limited fashion, without having to retcon them into every facet of your campaign.
Of these six classes, I am ready to talk, in a limited fashion, about four of them. I should note that these classes are still being designed and everything you read here is subject to change. That said, we are really excited about the ideas, and hope that you will be too.
When working out some of the initial concepts for these classes, we had two primary criteria that each needed to fill: a conceptual niche and a mechanical niche. This means that each class we come up with needs to include mechanics that we do not currently explore with one of the 11 other classes, as well as its own conceptual space.
The first class I want to look at is the Cavalier. While traditionally, this class has been focused on mounted combat, we have learned that classes such as this suffer terribly by the circumstances of the adventure. As such, the cavalier is going to have some aspects that make it a great mounted combatant, but it will also focus on directing and controlling a battlefield through a system of class features that allow it to enhance allies, unnerve opponents, and challenge foes. Unlike a bard, the cavalier will focus on individuals instead of large numbers, allowing it to have some greater effects. The class will not rely on spells or magic to get the job done, but it will be a bit more skill-focused than some of the other martial classes, especially when it comes to Charisma-based skills.
Next up is the Alchemist. Now, I know what you are thinking. Brewing alchemist fire and crafting tindertwigs is not the stuff of adventurers, and hardly enough to build an entire class around. On that, I would agree, but we are taking this in a slightly different direction. Think of the alchemist a bit more like Dr. Jekyll. He brews up elixirs, mixes up unguents and powders, and crafts all sorts of tricks to use in a fight. While some of these will certainly mimic spells, others might allow him to gain fiendish qualities, breath fire, or even transform into a puddle of living ooze. At higher levels, he will be able to use some of his concoctions on others, granting them some of his strange abilities. This class will work like an arcane caster, in that he will prepare his alchemy for the day and use them as day goes on, as they most likely do not keep for long. There will undoubtedly be a host of new alchemical items in the book for him to tinker with as well.
Next up is the Summoner. I should note that the title for this one is still a bit temporary as it does not quite convey the concepts we are looking for. This class is focused on the creation or summoning of a monster combatant or guardian. Think of it as a sort of arcane animal companion that is a magical beast, outsider, or aberration instead of an animal. While the class will still be able to cast arcane spells, in a bit more of a limited fashion than a sorcerer, it will have a number of abilities to enhance and empower its creation. Some of these will be able to be applied on the fly, while others will happen only when the summoner gains levels. The class will have a list of abilities that can be added to a monster as you gain levels, with more powerful abilities made available to use in your monster's construction at higher levels. To top it off, the class will be a bit variable in theme. You could be a pious summoner, creating a divine champion to guard and protect you, or you could be a foul chirurgeon, creating your monster from the corpses of other dead monsters.
Finally, the last class I want to talk about is the Oracle. This class is a spontaneous divine caster that is not devoted to any one god. Instead it is devoted to a particular concept or domain. The oracle draws his power from all the deities that support that concept, but none of them particularly hold any domain over him. A great example here would be Hercules, who would make a great oracle of strength. The class provides spontaneous divine casting, but the focus provides a host of other abilities and powers. You could expect feats of great might from the oracle of strength, while the oracle of fire is probably going to be able to roast you alive if you anger him. Think of the oracle more as an expert on a single topic and less as a seer of the future and you are close to the theme we are going for. I am really excited about what this class could do and the roleplaying options it presents. I might even have to give my current character a break to play an oracle as soon as the class is ready.
That covers four of the six classes in the book. I am planning on releasing information about the other two next month, at a seminar taking place at Gen Con Australia, in Brisbane. These classes will be put up for public playtest well before the book goes to print, and as soon as the schedule is finalized, you will find it here on this blog. I hope to have some more news on these classes, as well as a few sneak peaks before the playtest, as they develop. Stay tuned.