Meet the Iconics: Feiya Thursday, October 27, 2011 ... Illustration by Wayne ReynoldsBorn in a small village north of Trollheim in the Linnorm Kingdoms, the child who would come to be known as Feiya was the daughter of two Tian merchants from Minkai who had come over the crown of the world to Avistan to start a new life. Travelers by nature, they spent the short northern summers making slow loops through Hagreach and the Thanelands, facilitating trade. What few memories Feiya has of that life...
Meet the Iconics: Feiya
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Illustration by Wayne Reynolds
Born in a small village north of Trollheim in the Linnorm Kingdoms, the child who would come to be known as Feiya was the daughter of two Tian merchants from Minkai who had come over the crown of the world to Avistan to start a new life. Travelers by nature, they spent the short northern summers making slow loops through Hagreach and the Thanelands, facilitating trade. What few memories Feiya has of that life are happy ones: the jostling of wagons, the smell of campfires, and wandering alone through fields and forests, marveling as the wildness closed around her.
That happiness came to a sudden halt on the fateful day that brought her to the attention of a recently sundered coven of witches who dwelled on the border with Irrisen. Led by a particularly cruel green hag named Nysima, the coven had lost its youngest member to a squad of Blackravens from Trollheim and was still reeling from its sudden loss of power. They witnessed the child as she skipped away from the caravan stop, following a family of deer deep into the woods, and immediately set upon her.
There’s no telling what cruelties the witches would have visited upon the girl had they not suffered their recent loss. As it was, another, no less horrific, fate awaited young Feiya. The two crones seized the child and whisked her away to the east, their mad cackling drowning out the young girl’s terrified screams. By the time they reached their snow- and thatch-covered huts, they had given the child a new name and were already envisioning the return of their lost powers.
The next twelve years were a blur of pain, terror, and misery as Feiya endured the crones’ sadistic attempts to teach her their dark craft. Alternating between tutelage and torture, the witches frequently let their cruel natures impede their instruction. For while the young girl showed unmistakable promise and aptitude, she also possessed a defiance that only the harshest of punishments could suppress. On numerous occasions, Feiya tried to escape her imprisonment, only to be tracked down and captured after no more than a few hours. The retributions for these failed attempts have scarred her body and mind in ways that no magic can ever heal.
One brisk autumn day, after being beaten for failing to properly brew a batch of poisonous blue whinnis, Feiya was sent off to gather herbs. While harvesting more whinnis root, she spied a fox watching her from atop a large rime-covered rock. Unlike the region’s typical arctic specimens, this creature had a striking red and orange coloration that stood in stark contrast to the endless snow. There was something about the way the creature watched her that beckoned to Feiya. She approached carefully, and was astonished by his calm and focus. As she neared, the fox trotted a small distance away, turned, and gave her a look that was clearly an invitation to follow. This process was repeated again and again, and before she knew it, Feiya was following the fox on another escape attempt.
By sundown, the two witches had realized Feiya’s intentions. Furious, they set off in pursuit, confident that, as with all previous instances, their hunt would be brief. This time, however, Feiya had guidance. The fox led her along trails never before seen by human nor hag, staying always just ahead and out of reach. When she needed nourishment, the fox led her to game and fresh water. When she needed rest, it stood vigil while she slept. In this manner, Feiya was able to elude capture for more than two weeks.
One particularly cold evening, however, Feiya’s luck ran out. With her pursuers hot on her trail and the fox nowhere to be seen, she found herself trapped in a river valley surrounded on three sides by impassable mountains. Feiya could sense the witches closing in, could hear their promises of pain on the chilling wind. She took shelter in a shallow cave behind the waterfall that fed the river, a curious little grotto whose far wall was emblazoned with a crude carving of a butterfly. Like an animal run to ground, Feiya steeled herself for the coming confrontation. She had come too far this time to surrender without a fight. She determined then and there that her days of living under someone else’s yoke were over. She would have her freedom, either in this life or the next.
It was at that moment that the fox reappeared. Only now, there was something different in the way he approached her. He had always shown a preternatural intelligence, but as Feiya stared into his eyes, she saw a consciousness and a determination that would have frightened her had she not come to trust the animal so implicitly. As she watched him, Feiya was startled by a sudden and overwhelming flurry of sensations invading her mind. She sank, dazed, to the cave floor as the feelings slowly crystallized into coherence. Less a voice than a series of emotions, the promise it offered was unmistakable. Feiya said nothing, but her acceptance was as clear as it was quick.
What followed will forever haunt Feiya’s dreams. Raspy promises of pain and suffering rose above the din of the waterfall as the witches drew near to cave mouth. Feiya could see the outlines of their hunched bodies just beyond the blanket of cascading water, but before she could act, another sound arose. It started as a low rumble, then quickly gained volume, drowning out both hags and water and sending tremors through the cave floor. Then the valley erupted with the screeching and roaring of what could only have been a forest’s worth of wild animals, punctured occasionally by the shrill curse of a hag.
Long minutes passed as Feiya stood, too frightened to move. Then, as gradually as it began, the noise subsided until all that remained was the crash of the waterfall. Feiya crouched down behind a rocky outcropping, afraid to leave the shelter of the cave. As the minutes turned into hours, exhaustion claimed her, and, despite her anxiety, she succumbed to a fitful sleep.
When dawn finally arrived, Feiya stepped out from the cave, not quite sure what she was expecting to see. A fresh blanket of snow had covered the land, hiding any clues she might have found concerning the events of the previous night. Yet the feeling of relief was palpable. The fox crept up and paused at her side. She was finally free.
Feiya never discusses the events of that night, nor the particulars of the strange pact she entered into. She may one day try to track down the parents she barely remembers, but for now she is content to roam the world, relishing her freedom, seeking new experiences, and developing her newfound power. Though she desperately desires the company of others, formative years spent away from civilized society have left Feiya lacking in social graces, and her awkwardness often leads to unfortunate misunderstandings. Nevertheless, her inherent good nature tends to win out, and her occasional flares of temper are countered by her steadfast loyalty to her friends. Feiya relishes travel, and having identified the butterfly carving in the waterfall cave as the found-mark of a Desnan priest, she gladly embraces that faith, hoping that her wanderings may cast more light on who she really is—and what entity fosters her magical abilities.
... Illustration by Kieran Yanner ... Ultimate Magic: Witches and Wizards Tuesday, April 19, 2011This week's theme is witches and wizards: two new familiars, two new patron themes, and two arcane discoveries. New Familiars The following are two of the many new familiars presented in Ultimate Magic. ... Fox CR 1/4 ... XP 100 ... N Tiny animal ... Init +2; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +8 ... Defense ... AC 14, touch 14, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +2 size) ... hp 5...
Illustration by Kieran Yanner
Ultimate Magic: Witches and Wizards
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
This week's theme is witches and wizards: two new familiars, two new patron themes, and two arcane discoveries.
The following are two of the many new familiars presented in Ultimate Magic.
Fox CR 1/4 XP 100
N Tiny animal Init +2; Senses low-light vision, scent;
Perception +8 Defense AC 14, touch 14, flat-footed 12
(+2 Dex, +2 size) hp 5 (1d8+1) Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +1 Offense Speed 40 ft. Melee bite +1 (1d3-1) Space 2-1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft. Statistics Str 9, Dex 15, Con 13, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6 Base Atk +0; CMB +0; CMD 9 (13 vs. trip) Feats Skill Focus (Perception) Skills Acrobatics +2 (+10
jumping), Perception +8, Stealth +10, Survival +1 (+5 scent tracking); Racial Modifiers +4 Acrobatics when
jumping, +4 Survival when tracking by scent Ecology Environment any Organization solitary, pair, or
skulk (3–12) Treasure none
Foxes are small, doglike carnivores with narrow snouts and bushy tails. A fox's master gains a +2 bonus on Reflex saves.
Hedgehog CR 1/8 XP 50
N Diminutive animal Init +3; Senses low-light vision; Perception
+1 Defense AC 18, touch 17, flat-footed 15
(+3 Dex, +1 natural, +4 size) hp 2 (1d8–2) Fort +0, Ref +5, Will +1 Offense
Speed 20 ft.
Space 1 ft.; Reach 0 ft. Statistics Str 1, Dex 16, Con 6, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 7 Base Atk +0; CMB –1; CMD 4 (8 vs. trip) Feats Athletic Skills Climb +5, Stealth +19,
Swim +5 Ecology Environment tropical or
temperate forests Organization solitary or pair Treasure none Special
Abilities Spiny Defense (Ex) As a move
action, a hedgehog can roll itself up into a spiny ball. While rolled
up, it gains a +1 enhancement bonus to its existing natural armor, and
any creature attempting to grapple the hedgehog takes 1d3 damage on
making a grapple check. While rolled up, a hedgehog cannot take any
action other than leaving this state. The hedgehog can leave this state
as a move action.
Hedgehogs are spiny, insectivorous mammals. When threatened, a hedgehog
rolls up into a spiny ball as a defense mechanism. A hedgehog's master gains a +2 bonus on Will saves
Witch Patron Themes
The following are some of the alternative witch patron themes presented
in Ultimate Magic.
Arcane discoveries are a new option presented in Ultimate Magic. A wizard can learn an arcane discovery in place of a regular feat or wizard bonus feat.
Fast Study: Normally, a
wizard spends 1 hour preparing all of his spells for the day, or
proportionately less if he only prepares some spells, with a minimum of
15 minutes of preparation. Thanks to mental discipline and clever
mnemonics, you can prepare all of your spells in only 15 minutes, and
your minimum preparation time is only 1 minute. You must be at least a
5th-level wizard to select this discovery. Multimorph (Su): Your studies
in transmogrification have increased your control over shapechanging
spells. When you cast a spell of the polymorph subschool on yourself,
you may expend 1 minute of the spell's duration as a standard action to
assume another form allowed by the spell. You can do this as often as
you like, subject to the duration of the spell. You must be at least a
5th-level wizard to select this discovery.
... Illustration by Dave Rapoza. ... Wallpapers Are Back! December 20, 2010Last Friday, Managing Editor extraordinaire Wes Schneider spoke a little about the upcoming Carrion Crown Adventure Path. This amazing AP starts with Pathfinder Adventure Path #43: The Haunting of Harrowstone and a stellar cover by Dave Rapoza. In honor of the upcoming AP, and as a new feature on the Paizo blog, we're proud to offer the first of many new wallpapers. Just download the image below and in no time you'll...
Illustration by Dave Rapoza.
Wallpapers Are Back!
December 20, 2010
Last Friday, Managing Editor extraordinaire Wes Schneider spoke a little about the upcoming Carrion Crown Adventure Path. This amazing AP starts with Pathfinder Adventure Path #43: "The Haunting of Harrowstone" and a stellar cover by Dave Rapoza. In honor of the upcoming AP, and as a new feature on the Paizo blog, we're proud to offer the first of many new wallpapers. Just download the image below and in no time you'll be able to gaze at Feiya and Merisiel kicking the snot out of skeletons to your heart's content, all from the comfort of your office chair. This might be the first new wallpaper in a while, but it definitely isn't the last, so keep an eye on the blog for more in the coming weeks.
... Illustration by Dave Rapoza ... Carrion Crown Is Coming Friday, December 17, 2010In a flurry of crunched stat blocks and flung pages, the last two weeks have seen us send two volumes of Pathfinder Adventure Path off to the printer, Pathfinder Adventure Path #42: Sanctum of the Serpent God and, right on its heels, Pathfinder Adventure Path #43: The Haunting of Harrowstone. While the former brings the Serpent Skull Adventure Path to its climactic close, the latter marks a total shift,...
Illustration by Dave Rapoza
Carrion Crown Is Coming
Friday, December 17, 2010
In a flurry of crunched stat blocks and flung pages, the last two weeks have seen us send two volumes of Pathfinder Adventure Path off to the printer, Pathfinder Adventure Path #42: "Sanctum of the Serpent God" and, right on its heels, Pathfinder Adventure Path #43: "The Haunting of Harrowstone". While the former brings the Serpent Skull Adventure Path to its climactic close, the latter marks a total shift, taking us from the wild jungles and hidden ruins of the Mwangi Expanse to the foggy moors and haunted ruins of Ustalav, the seat of gothic horror in Golarion. Longtime readers know that every new campaign gives us the opportunity to not just explore new themes, lands, and menaces, but to also reinvent Pathfinder's look for a new series.
And Carrion Crown looks incredible. Beyond Dave Rapoza's fantastic cover and the work of numerous talented interior illustrators, art director Sarah Robinson and graphic designer Andrew Vallas have put together something really amazing that perfectly captures the brooding menace of this grim campaign.
I'm probably more than a little biased, though, as besides the fact that gothic horror is my preferred cup of tea, the campaign is taking place in Ustalav, one of my favorite corners of Golarion. While Carrion Crown continues our long tradition of sword-swinging, spell-slinging high adventure, its inspirations come more from the pens of Bram Stoker, Mary Shelly, M. R. James, Shirley Jackson, and H. P. Lovecraft than J. R. R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard, and Jack Vance. Think of it as a campaign set in Transylvania rather than Camelot or the Hyborian Age.
In the weeks before the Carrion Crown Adventure Path begins, check back here for more previews on what to expect from the campaign. Things kick off in the coming months with "The Haunting of Harrowstone," a ghost story that sets the tone for the series perfectly. That same volume also includes details on the sleepy town of Ravengro, new rules and examples that vastly expand the haunts presented in the GameMastery Guide, a creepy new series in the Pathfinder's Journal (by yours truly), an outline of the entire campaign, monthly details on the legends and superstitions of Ustalav, and something a little bit different added to the campaign's Bestiary to increase your toolbox of classic horrors. We've also built a ton of support for the campaign into our Pathfinder Campaign Setting and GameMastery lines, but I'll show off some of that awesome insanity a bit later.
... Costume Contest Results Thursday, August 19, 2010 Let me start this off by saying that our fans and friends are freakin' amazing. Seriously, folks—when Tiffany started this whole costume contest thing two years ago by showing up at the Gen Con booth dressed as a cleric of Desna, we were flat-out flabbergasted. The fact that Pathfinder cosplay has grown by leaps and bounds since then—enough to justify a full-fledged costume contest—is one of the greatest compliments our...
Costume Contest Results
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Let me start this off by saying that our fans and friends are freakin' amazing. Seriously, folks—when Tiffany started this whole costume contest thing two years ago by showing up at the Gen Con booth dressed as a cleric of Desna, we were flat-out flabbergasted. The fact that Pathfinder cosplay has grown by leaps and bounds since then—enough to justify a full-fledged costume contest—is one of the greatest compliments our game could receive. If you've never seen what goes on in our hotel rooms after a long day of working the Gen Con booth (and I sincerely hope you haven't, as we were told those door locks were secure), there's a whole lot of summer-camp-style giggling that goes on late into the night as we marvel at all the folks we've met that day. The costume contest only compounds that.
This year we had a number of strong contenders. In fourth place, Kelly's amazing Harsk outfit (complete with badger and authentic handmade crossbow!) tied with Blake's fabulous depiction of Nethys, the two-faced god of magic. In third, Tiffany's Harrower costume was a spot-on recreation of the art from the campaign setting hardcover, while Jason's potion-covered homage to the iconic alchemist exploded into second place.
Yet there can be only one winner of the Third Annual Gen Con Pathfinder Cosplay Contest, and this year the landslide victory went to Lora as the iconic witch. The level of detail on this costume was simply stunning. As art director Sarah Robinson pointed out, given the number of illustrators who complain about having to draw all the little pouches, fetishes, and other bits and pieces Wayne Reynolds likes to load up the iconics with, seeing someone actually make them to this level of detail is amazing. For her dedication, Lora receives the grand prize of $50 in Paizo store credit, as well as bragging rights until next year, when she'll have to defend her title.
When the time comes, will you be the one to take it from her?
Vote on the Costume Contest! Thursday, August 12, 2010We’re back from Gen Con, and in addition to the usual scramble to meet deadlines and recovery from horrifying illnesses contracted by shaking hands with approximately ten bajillion people, that means it’s time for everyone to vote on the contestants in the Third Annual Gen Con Pathfinder Cosplay Contest! ... We had an extraordinary number of contestants this year, and all of them did bang-up jobs! Yet only one can be the official winner of...
Vote on the Costume Contest!
Thursday, August 12, 2010
We’re back from Gen Con, and in addition to the usual scramble to meet deadlines and recovery from horrifying illnesses contracted by shaking hands with approximately ten bajillion people, that means it’s time for everyone to vote on the contestants in the Third Annual Gen Con Pathfinder Cosplay Contest!
We had an extraordinary number of contestants this year, and all of them did bang-up jobs! Yet only one can be the official winner of the grand prize (both a pile of Paizo store credit and bragging rights), which is where you come in. At the bottom of this blog, you’ll see a link for comments. Sound off and place your vote for the best costume in that thread. You have until the end of the weekend to make your selection. On Monday morning, we’ll tally all the votes, and announce the official winner in a blog post next week.
Ready? Here are this year’s fine contestants, in no particular order:
Lora as Feiya, the iconic witch.
Jason as Damiel, the iconic alchemist.
2009 contest champion Kelly as Harsk, the iconic ranger. (Maybe he’s a little tall for a dwarf, but how can you say no to a hand-made crossbow and his adorable animal companion, Biter?)
Blake as Nethys.
David as a paladin of Iomedae.
Corienne as a Tien monk.
2008 contest champion Tiffany as the Harrower from the campaign setting hardcover. (You can’t see her wayfinder here, but it came with its own ioun stone!)
Noel as Trifaccia from Pathfinder Adventure Path #12. Look out, he's got a whip!
Honorable Mention: Jodi as Amiri, the iconic barbarian, who despite her amazing costume has removed herself from the running, on account of already being Sean Reynolds' girlfriend (and isn't that prize enough?).
... 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.
... 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.
... Advanced Player's Guide Playtest, Round 2! Monday, November 30, 2009 ... Illustration by Wayne Reynolds ... Illustration by Wayne Reynolds ... The playtest of the Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player's Guide continues today with the launch of two more classes slated to appear in the book, due out in August. Round 2 focuses on the summoner and the witch. The summoner is an arcane caster that forms a close bond with a powerful outsider, known as an eidolon. The eidolon works a lot like an animal...
Advanced Player's Guide Playtest, Round 2!
Monday, November 30, 2009
Illustration by Wayne Reynolds
Illustration by Wayne Reynolds
The playtest of the Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player's Guide continues today with the launch of two more classes slated to appear in the book, due out in August. Round 2 focuses on the summoner and the witch. The summoner is an arcane caster that forms a close bond with a powerful outsider, known as an eidolon. The eidolon works a lot like an animal companion, but its form and abilities are decided by the summoner and they can change as the summoner goes up in level. The witch is a class that utilizes a wide variety of spells from both the arcane and divine spell lists. She draws her power from a mysterious force, which she communes with through her familiar. To top it off, she has a wide variety of hex powers to draw on, that both help her allies and hinder foes. 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.
Two weeks ago, we released the cavalier and the oracle, and the playtest for those classes is well underway. In two weeks, we will release the final two classes set to appear in the book. While we are focusing on the classes as they release, the playtest itself will remain open until the end of January 2010.
Just like the Core Rulebook playtest last year, there are a number of forums waiting for your feedback and comments. The first is a general forum, for discussing larger issues and announcements. Following this is a pair of forums for discussing each round of the playtest. Discussion on the summoner and the witch should go in the round 2 forum.
Feedback on the first round has been immensely helpful, but I want to stress the usefulness of actual playtest feedback. Observations and general concerns are useful, but we are getting the most information from players who have actually given the classes a try. So take the summoner and the witch out for a spin and let us know what you think.