... Illustrations by Alex Aparin and Roberto Pitturru. Widescreen version here. ... Everything She Does Is Magic! Friday, June 3, 2011Seoni is by far one of the most popular iconics we've ever written. The classic high charisma sorcerer, she's graced the pages of Pathfinder products from the very beginning. Now she can grace your desktop along with Alhazra, the iconic oracle, in this Inner Sea Magic themed wallpaper. ... Hyrum Savage ... Marketing and Organized Play Manager ...
Illustrations by Alex Aparin and Roberto Pitturru. Widescreen version here.
Everything She Does Is Magic!
Friday, June 3, 2011
Seoni is by far one of the most popular iconics we've ever written. The classic high charisma sorcerer, she's graced the pages of Pathfinder products from the very beginning. Now she can grace your desktop along with Alhazra, the iconic oracle, in this Inner Sea Magic themed wallpaper.
... Golarion Day: The Stars Are Right! Thursday, March 24, 2011So, I was out sick yesterday, and as a result missed out seeing Pathfinder #46 get sent off to the printer. Which is pretty exciting, since that volume's got more Lovecraftian awesomeness in it than anything we've done to date? The proof is in these out-of-context illustrations by Scott Purdy that are sure to get everyone thinking that the Carrion Crown Adventure Path will be taking some pretty drastic and unexpected turns! (Fans...
Golarion Day: The Stars Are Right!
Thursday, March 24, 2011
So, I was out sick yesterday, and as a result missed out seeing Pathfinder #46 get sent off to the printer. Which is pretty exciting, since that volume's got more Lovecraftian awesomeness in it than anything we've done to date? The proof is in these out-of-context illustrations by Scott Purdy that are sure to get everyone thinking that the Carrion Crown Adventure Path will be taking some pretty drastic and unexpected turns! (Fans of Carrion Crown's Ustalav locations can breathe easy, though, since these pictures are from the foreword and the bestiary of the book, and thus don't actually depict events that occur in this volume's adventure.)
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 Wayne Reynolds ... Ultimate Magic Tuesday, October 5, 2010With Bestiary 2 down, it's time to start working on the next massive hardcover: Ultimate Magic. Check back at this spot soon for details on the second part of the Ultimate Magic playtest. ... Wes Schneider ... Managing Editor ...
Illustration by Wayne Reynolds
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
With Bestiary 2 down, it's time to start working on the next massive hardcover: Ultimate Magic. Check back at this spot soon for details on the second part of the Ultimate Magic playtest.
... Illustrations by Florian Stitz ... Illustration by Scott Purdy ... Why Do That Juju? Friday, September 3, 2010There's a line when it comes to what sort of material we put in our products. We try not to tread over the boundary of what might be offensive, provoking, or generally beyond what you might see in a PG-13 rated movie. But every now and then we test those limits—or abjectly bound past them. In Pathfinder Adventure Path #39, the ol' questionable content line gets a little...
Illustrations by Florian Stitz
Illustration by Scott Purdy
Why Do That Juju?
Friday, September 3, 2010
There's a line when it comes to what sort of material we put in our products. We try not to tread over the boundary of what might be offensive, provoking, or generally beyond what you might see in a PG-13 rated movie. But every now and then we test those limits—or abjectly bound past them. In Pathfinder Adventure Path #39, the ol' "questionable content" line gets a little hazy; not because of sex or violence, or whatever have you, but because of religion.
There's no doubt religious elements influence the characters and plots of the Pathfinder RPG—clerics, paladins, monks, and witches are playable classes after all, and untold armies of cultists have fallen before legions of adventurers. But we've long danced around one religious tradition with a lengthy history of involvement in sword and sorcery fantasy: voodoo.
We've kept away from this topic—one I've personally wanted to cover since back in the Dragon magazine days—for several reasons, the primary one being that vodou is a living religion practiced and respected in several parts of the world, and no one here knows enough about it to judge what might be offensive. What we do know about, though, are films like The Serpent and the Rainbow and stories like Robert E. Howard's "Hills of the Dead" or "Black Canaan." We also know the "juju zombie," a toughened up zombie who's been in RPGs for years and years (with a name inspired by African fetish magic and in, coincidentally, Bestiary 2). So, motivated by the Advanced Player's Guide's presentation of the oracle, a divine caster who worships a pantheon of patrons and cultivates a host of strange abilities, now seemed like a perfect time to test our luck and take a swing at a new tradition of magic inspired not so much by real-world vodou but more by voodoo films, stories of bayou magic, and swamp and sorcery fantasy.
All of this comes together in Mike Shel's article in Pathfinder Adventure Path #39's "The Path of Juju." Now, oracles can look forward to a new juju mystery allowing them to tap into the mysterious secrets of nature's deadliest wildernesses, while casters of all types might create a host of strange new magical items, from soul trapping powders to the infamous ganji doll. It's all in there, ready for GMs looking to tell tales of swamp magic and mystery or PCs ready to challenge the cities of men with the true power of their ancient beliefs.
... 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.
... 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.
Meet the Iconics: Alahazra Wednesday, June 23, 2010Only those who refuse to see truth are truly blind. Such is the verdict of Alahazra, bride of the sun and prophet of the burning sands. Alahazra was born in a small Rahadoumi town east of Manaket, one of the many way stations on the caravan route known as the Path of Salt, which leads from Azir all the way to distant Sothis and takes its name from the waves of the Inner Sea and the dried tears of the slave chains that march along it. The...
Meet the Iconics: Alahazra
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Only those who refuse to see truth are truly blind. Such is the verdict of Alahazra, bride of the sun and prophet of the burning sands.
Alahazra was born in a small Rahadoumi town east of Manaket, one of the many way stations on the caravan route known as the Path of Salt, which leads from Azir all the way to distant Sothis and takes its name from the waves of the Inner Sea and the dried tears of the slave chains that march along it. The daughter of a wealthy and widowed wainwright, Alahazra wanted for nothing, growing up with the best tutors money could buy, all the time being groomed for a potentially lucrative marriage, or perhaps even induction into the Occularium, Manaket's prestigious wizard's college.
All of that changed on the morning when sixteen-year-old Alahazra woke to find herself suddenly and inexplicably blind, her eyes clouded by a white mist that gave her only vague outlines of her surroundings. Beside himself with grief, her father called in the best healers to be found in the godless land, only to discover that the situation was worse than he could have imagined. For when the bards with the healing touch reached out to the fevered child, they were suddenly cast back by a blast of flames that burned the girl's sickbed but left her magically unharmed. Yet even this might have been bearable, had the fleeing bards not revealed the rest of their discovery: that the girl's flames bore no hint of sorcery or arcana. Though Alahazra's staunchly atheist father could scarcely believe it, his proper Rahadoumi household harbored a burgeoning cleric.
Illustration by Wayne Reynolds
Confronted by her enraged father and frightened by the new abilities that she felt burning inside her skin, Alahazra protested her innocence loud and long, but to no avail. Sickened by what he saw as a betrayal of both his trust and his national pride, Alahazra's father did his daughter a final kindness and cast her out with no more than the clothes on her back, instructing her to run before the Pure Legion arrived to take her into custody—and let her gods be her new family, for she no longer had one in Rahadoum.
Blind, weak, and weeping with frustration and rage, Alahazra stumbled southeast into the desert, seeking what meager shade and water the badlands had to offer. For days she wandered, seeking only to put distance between herself and any pursuers who might still seek revenge for her presumed heresy, until at last she collapsed in the lee of a dune, dehydrated and dying.
It was there, staring up through milky cataracts at the burning ball of the sun and letting the wind slowly bury her in the hot sand of the dunes, that Alahazra had her first revelation. Behind those ruined eyes, a vision of debilitating color suddenly exploded. In it, Alahazra saw herself not as she was, but as she one day would be—strong, proud, and fierce. In that moment, Alahazra understood that she was more than just a girl. She was a force of the desert—a voice of sun, sand, and flame—and she would bring its truth to the people, whether they were ready for it or not. Baking slowly in the hot coals of the great Garundi desert, Alahazra came to know herself, and in doing so first harnessed the magical flames that had been building inside her.
With the aid of her newfound abilities, Alahazra moved steadily east, crossing into Thuvia and following the Path of Salt until she finally came to rest in Osirion. There she roamed as she willed through the great cities and barren plains, offering wisdom and healing to the righteous and cleansing fire to the wicked. In time, her notoriety grew, offering her passage into higher social circles, and it's whispered that she made consorts and admirers of several powerful men, possibly even entering the court of the Ruby Prince. Alahazra herself, however, speaks little of her past. For her, only the future is a concern, and her duty is to defend it as best she can, with a clarity of vision that disdains sight.
Now a grown woman, and still attractive enough to turn the heads of slaves and rich men alike, Alahazra is kind but distant, often letting conversation drop in favor of taking in the sounds and smells of her environment. When she does speak, in her low, throaty voice, her words have the weight of command. Alahazra has little patience for fools (most notably those who let money or pride blind them to truth and justice), yet also has a soft spot for orphans, and in her own stern way often sees herself as the mother to her adventuring companions. Though she maintains that she has never worshiped a god—the cornerstone of her bitterness toward both her father and her homeland—she has come to respect a wide variety of deities, whom she refers to as "powerful and strategic allies." And while her detractors might call her cold, in battle Alahazra's burning rage—especially toward injustice and intolerance—still comes roiling out in a wall of divine flame.
... 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.
Goblins Terrorize Bathhouse: Cunning Plan Revealed As Many Local Hunting Dogs Found Dead
... Illustration by Tyler Clark ... Goblins Terrorize Bathhouse: Cunning Plan Revealed As Many Local Hunting Dogs Found Dead Friday, December 11, 2009Earlier this year, fellow intern Matt and I were invited to begin playing in a Pathfinder RPG game run by local resident Crystal Frasier. We accepted, and Matt, Ross Byers (later to leave us for reasons involving Will saves and girl-cooties), and I began our quest to become... The Stuff of Legends. Deciding to make my life difficult, I made...
Illustration by Tyler Clark
Goblins Terrorize Bathhouse: Cunning Plan Revealed As Many Local Hunting Dogs Found Dead
Friday, December 11, 2009
Earlier this year, fellow intern Matt and I were invited to begin playing in a Pathfinder RPG game run by local resident Crystal Frasier. We accepted, and Matt, Ross Byers (later to leave us for reasons involving Will saves and girl-cooties), and I began our quest to become... The Stuff of Legends. Deciding to make my life difficult, I made Klar, the burly and buff bluffing bard, Matt rolled up Zirithanis the hobo druid and Destroyer-of-Worlds-Fetcher-of-Dreams-Maxwell, his longtime friend and goblin-hating murderous dog of war, while Ross Byers began his quest as the excessive sorcerer, Aurelis. Our team assembled, The Stuff of Legends' first dabble into adventuring follows.
Meeting with the mayor, we understood that we were to stop mysterious sabotage attempts on a hopeful resort town in the Varisian Gulf. Naturally, our business powwow was interrupted by screams: Goblins had invaded the bathhouse! Having studied Goblinoid languages in a Chelish Opera College, I tried to negotiate with them, but their crude language and dubious use of the honorifics "dog-lover" and "ugly-face," made communication difficult. While I eventually gained their trust, my inquiries into why they would invade a bathhouse were met with confusion over failed translations of the words "bath," "clean," "soap," and "hot water." They began to suspect that I wanted to cook them, eventually leading us to armed conflict.
After Maxwell the Dog dispatched two of the goblins (Aurelis proved his worth as an electric stove, cooking one with shocking grasp), we entered the bathhouse, only to be ambushed again! Two stirges and a goblin sniper were difficult foes, yet, with the ever-suspect "oh, are you still singing?" of bardsong, Maxwell destroyed all opposition. Afterward, finding the public bath infested with vipers, we left them for the town's pest control. When we later realized that was Zirithanis' job, we went back and he charmed them into a wicker basket and left them at the edge of town. When we later heard a picnicker was killed by vipers, we blamed Zirithanis.
However, being playtest time, an unexpected enemy followed us into town: the Goblin Oracle! She was one of the most feared enemies we have ever fought, especially since we lacked Aurelis's help (he was sleeping off breakfast in his 100-gp suite on the coast). Perhaps it was her big hat, or maybe the threat of goblin rash from her two mangy rat-dogs, or maybe her fury over the sacked child she took hostage that was greased out of her hands, but the strength of her unusually fearsome blows felled both Zirithanis and me at different points. Our leapfrog healing tactics took her by surprise, however, keeping us both in the fight. In the end, Maxwell the Dog killed her, jumping over a mountain, stopping a flood by barking, and then arriving home in time to snap her neck and take the glory for himself. Next: Maxwell Defeats Giant Wheeled Eidolon and Eats It.
... 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.
... Back from the Future, Part 2 Friday, October 2, 2009One of the big highlights of Gen Con Australia 2009 was the What’s Next for Pathfinder? seminar that took place Saturday afternoon. The Pathfinder players at the show were so excited for this seminar that they took a break from their Pathfinder Society games to attend. Not surprisingly, it was pretty packed. ... Although much of what was covered during this seminar had already been announced, there were a few surprises in store,...
Back from the Future, Part 2
Friday, October 2, 2009
One of the big highlights of Gen Con Australia 2009 was the "What’s Next for Pathfinder?" seminar that took place Saturday afternoon. The Pathfinder players at the show were so excited for this seminar that they took a break from their Pathfinder Society games to attend. Not surprisingly, it was pretty packed.
Although much of what was covered during this seminar had already been announced, there were a few surprises in store, including the final two new base classes being planned for the Advanced Player’s Guide and a special surprise, a first look at one of the base classes from that book. At Gen Con Indy this year, we announced four of the six base classes slated to appear in the Advanced Player’s Guide: the alchemist, the cavalier, the oracle, and the summoner. During this seminar, the final two were revealed: the inquisitor and the witch.
The inquisitor class is going to look a lot like your Van Helsing-type character, dedicated to hunting down and killing monsters. This means that the class is going to have a fair number of skills and some limited divine spellcasting ability. In addition, the inquisitor is going to have the ability to designate a foe during combat, and the longer the combat progresses, the more damage he will deal to that foe in combat. Unlike a ranger, the inquisitor’s abilities are not based on monster type. Instead he has to carefully study his targets, learning how to more effectively deal with them as a combat progresses. Higher-level inquisitors will learn how to exploit monster weaknesses and possibly even add additional weaknesses to a monster using special attacks.
The witch class is going to be a class that fully embraces both the arcane and divine spell lists, taking select spells from each to make for one intriguing list. The big news for the witch is the focus on her familiar. This will function like a wizard’s familiar, but with additional powers and abilities, with maybe a few extra limitations thrown in to balance out the rules. You can also expect some new mechanics for witch curses, through some new spells and class features.
While the crowd was certainly excited to hear about these new classes, the room grew rather quiet as I handed out a sample oracle character for them to analyze. But rather than leave you out in the cold, here is that character, updated with the most recent version of the class.
This sample shows one of the first builds of the new oracle class. The relevant class abilities are summarized, but they do not include additional bonuses that Areanna would gain at higher levels. For example, at 9th level, Areanna’s form of flames ability improves, allowing her to assume the form of a Medium fire elemental.
Female human oracle 7
CG Medium humanoid Init +6; Senses Perception –1 Defense AC 19, touch 14, flat-footed 16; (+5 armor, +1 deflection, +2 Dex, +1 dodge) hp 49 (7d8+14) Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +5 Offense Speed 40 ft. Melee+1 flaming shortspear +7 (1d6+2 plus 1d6 fire) Ranged dagger +7 (1d4+1/19–20) Special Attacks fire breath (2/day, 7d4 fire damage, DC 17), form of flame (Small fire elemental) Spells Known (CL 7th)
3rd (5/day)—cure serious wounds, dispel magic, fireball (DC 17)
2nd (7/day)—aid, augury, resist energy, summon monster II
1st (7/day)—bless, cure light wounds, divine favor, produce flame, remove fear, shield of faith
0 (At Will)—guidance, light, purify food and drink, read magic, resistance, stabilize, virtue Focus fire Statistics Str 12, Dex 14, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 18 Base Atk +5; CMB +6; CMD 18 Feats Combat Casting, Dodge, Eschew Materials, Improved Initiative, Mobility, Nimble Moves, Toughness Skills Acrobatics +12, Intimidate +14, Knowledge (religion) +10, Perform (dance) +14, Spellcraft +10 Languages Common, Ignan SQ oracle’s curse (speak in tongues), orisons, revelations (cinder dance, fire breath, form of flame) Combat Gearelemental gem (fire), elixir of fire breath, wand of cure light wounds; Other Gear+1 flaming shortspear, daggers (4), +2 studded leather armor, cloak of resistance +1, ring of protection +1 Special Abilities Cinder Dance (Ex): Areanna’s base speed increases by 10 feet. At 5th level, she receives Nimble Moves as a bonus feat. Fire Breath (Su): As a standard action, Areanna can unleash a 15-foot cone of flame from her mouth. This flame deals 1d4 points of fire damage per level, maximum 10d4. A Reflex save halves this damage. The save DC is equal to 10 + 1/2 her oracle level + her Charisma modifier. She can use this ability once per day, plus one additional time per day for every four oracle levels she possesses. Form of Flame (Su): As a standard action, Areanna can assume the form of a Small fire elemental, as elemental body I. She can use this ability once per day, but the duration is 1 hour/level. Speak in Tongues: In times of stress, Areanna speaks in tongues. Whenever she is in combat, she can only speak and understand Ignan. This does not interfere with spellcasting, but it does apply to spells that are language dependent. She gains Ignan as a bonus language.
As you can see, oracles are spontaneous divine spellcasters, working in a manner similar to sorcerers. Instead of bloodlines, each oracle has a focus (fire in Areanna’s case). At 1st level, 3rd level, and every four levels thereafter, oracles can select one revelation from their focus to learn. These revelations grant them special powers and abilities, such as the ability to breathe fire, turn into a fire elemental, or even call down a storm of fire (Areanna is not quite high enough level for that one). In addition, oracles must select a curse at 1st level. These curses are a mixed blessing, with each one limiting the oracle in one way, while granting special bonuses in other areas. Areanna’s curse is perhaps one of the easiest to deal with, which is why it grants one of the smallest bonuses.
Well, that about wraps up my summary of Gen Con Australia 2009. I want to thank Ian Houlihan, the convention director, for bringing me down to the show, Mark Rogerson, the events manager, for showing me a great time in Brisbane, and Peter Ball, the seminar manager, for setting up some great panels. I am hoping to make this show a regular in my convention schedule. Maybe next year, you will too.
... 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.