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RPG Superstar 2015


The GameMastery Countdown Begins!

Friday, April 30, 2009

In just about a month (give or take a week or so), the thousands of pages we set free into the wild promise to return to us in shiny blue binding as the complete GameMastery Guide. In the weeks leading up to the GMG's release we'll be previewing some of that tome's coolest and most innovative aspects right here on the blog. What to kick things off with ended up being a real tricky decision, though. So rather than focus on any one element, I've gone through the book and snipped a handful of shots to give you an idea of what to expect merely from the text of this behemoth. Look closely and you'll likely notice that some snippets tease more than just a chart here or a new rules concept there. Also, since—aside from Christopher Burdett's thematically relevant compass rose—I've gone totally art-light here, tune in next week for a look at some of the GameMastery Guide's incredible illustrations, including its official mascot!

Illustration by Christopher Burdett

F. Wesley Schneider
Managing Editor

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Amiri Barbarians Bulettes Christopher Burdett Dragons Dwarves Game Mastering Harsk Iconics Monks Monsters Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Rangers Sajan
The Exchange RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor , Dedicated Voter 2013

The insanity chart brings a nostalgic tear to this grognard's eye... :)

It's gonna be a hard month or two waiting for this book.

RPG Superstar 2012

Love the music selection! Vangelis even made it on the list. :)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

The music section is amazing.

The Exchange

I LOVE the compass rose (compass dragon?)!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

There are TWO PAGES on the topic of TPK ? Zoinks.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
There are TWO PAGES on the topic of TPK ? Zoinks.

Yeah it takes a lot of expertise to prepare one!


A music section with no Carpathion Forest! Defending the Throne of Evil and Morbid Fascination of Death are a must :)

Dedicated Voter 2013

SPACE TRAVEL!

Wasn't expecting that, pleasantly suprised.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The only thing I am a bit apprehensive about is that some of the lists will be outdated one month later, when the Advanced Players Guide releases one month later. That list of Wands? Outdated, as soon as new "wand-able" spells come out.

But that is the problem with including any material beyond the core books, I guess. Still, I'd be nice to see updated lists in the Advanced Players Guide.


It's byoo-tee-full...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

You guys got Ken Hite on board?!!!

Paizo is full of win.


I really ,really hope there's a section dedicated to low magic or no magic campaign.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Time travel and vikings....he he he. Well done!

Contributor , Star Voter 2013

I was immediately won over by the recommended music section and then I saw the insanity table. This is going to be excellent!

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

magnuskn wrote:

The only thing I am a bit apprehensive about is that some of the lists will be outdated one month later, when the Advanced Players Guide releases one month later. That list of Wands? Outdated, as soon as new "wand-able" spells come out.

But that is the problem with including any material beyond the core books, I guess. Still, I'd be nice to see updated lists in the Advanced Players Guide.

Outdated? I hate to say it, but if this were meant to be a comprehensive list of spells and magic items and not just from the Core Rulebook, it'd be outdated before it was even created. We've presented dozens of new spells, magic items, potions, (yada yada) in Pathfinder AP, Chronicles, Companions, (yada yada) since the Core Rulebook's release, and have every intention of continuing to do so. You're just not going to see a comprehensive published list of basic level, modular rules content (like magic items, feats, spells, etc) for Pathfinder - doubtful for any RPG - while it's still living and being published. Online and updated monthly lists, maybe, but not published. (And no, that's not an offer - at the moment.)

Fortunately, though, this magic item generation chart doesn't have to worry about that 'cause it's not trying to be comprehensive or include every trinket we throw into Gnomes of Golarion or zing out as a blog post, it's meant to randomly generate items from the Core Rulebook. The core RPG will always have several thousand more users than any rulebook, no matter how jaw-droppingly awesome, we put out after that. So, with that in mind - and as we wanted something like this in the Core Rulebook but didn't want to strip out the dozen-some pages of content it would have taken to fit it - these random magic item tables gives GMs the tools they need to randomly generate a host of treasures, magical and mundane, from the most-used and useful items that will always be the heart of the game. If folks want to randomly generate content from the APG, they need but look to that book. It won't repeat the same bulk of random generation pages as the GMG, but will have charts you can roll on to get new APG magic items.

Really, books of comprehensive lists of magic items, spells, feats, yada yada, are more the kind of things companies tend to do at the end of a game's life cycle, not right at the beginning. It'd be kind of like writing your autobiography at age 14: you haven't even gotten to the good parts yet!

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Gorbacz wrote:
The music section is amazing.

This is one of my FAVORITE parts. I'm a HUGE advocate of using music in RPGs and it was tough to keep this list from being like a page long (had to fit in books, references, and films too). That said, I'm really glad we got some music on there that's come out within the past decade. A lot of RPG music lists tend to run on the stodgy side: Yes, "In the Hall of the Mountain King." Duh. Yes, the Conan soundtrack. Duh. But Jeff Beal? Michiru Yamane? Who-wha?!

I really wanted to make it clear both that not all pseudo-medieval sounding muzak works for RPGs, and that this goes a step beyond your tired score to Dragonslayer. Pathfinder listens to Nine Inch Nails - not because it slams Mountain Dew and snorts electric Cheetos* to be ExTrEmE!!!(tm), but because the cited music really works.

(*Wow "Cheetos" is in my spell checker.)

Dark Archive

taig wrote:

Love the music selection! Vangelis even made it on the list. :)

Yep, although I would have added Nox Arcana to the list as well.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Schizophrenia, Mania, Multiple Personality Disorder and Paranoia (I' not sure about Amnesia) all just types of Psychosis?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Likely the term Psychosis represents some kind of generic madness (if there is something as a "generic" madness, duh), while others refer to more specialized disorders.

Sovereign Court PaizoCon Founder, Wayfinder Editor-in-Chief

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
The music section is amazing.

This is one of my FAVORITE parts. I'm a HUGE advocate of using music in RPGs and it was tough to keep this list from being like a page long (had to fit in books, references, and films too). That said, I'm really glad we got some music on there that's come out within the past decade. A lot of RPG music lists tend to run on the stodgy side: Yes, "In the Hall of the Mountain King." Duh. Yes, the Conan soundtrack. Duh. But Jeff Beal? Michiru Yamane? Who-wha?!

I agree, lots of good artists in that list. Good to see that someone else likes Clint Mansell's soundtrack to The Fountain as much as I do. And David Arkenstone, too? If you think his WoW stuff is good, you should listen to his other music. Inspired.

On my list, I would add Matt Uelmen (Diablo and Torchlight soundtracks), and Jeremy Soule (Dungeon Siege, Neverwinter Nights, Elder Scrolls, Guild Wars, etc.). The soundtrack to "Fable", by Danny Elfman and Russell Shaw is completely wonderful as well.


Timitius wrote:
On my list, I would add Matt Uelmen (Diablo and Torchlight soundtracks), and Jeremy Soule (Dungeon Siege, Neverwinter Nights, Elder Scrolls, Guild Wars, etc.). The soundtrack to "Fable", by Danny Elfman and Russell Shaw is completely wonderful as well.

Excellent choices my fellow dictator. I would also add Sonic Mayhem's Hellgate: London soundtrack as well. REMEMBER THE DEAD - FIGHT FOR THE LIVING!

Sovereign Court PaizoCon Founder, Wayfinder Editor-in-Chief

Lilith wrote:
Excellent choices my fellow dictator. I would also add Sonic Mayhem's Hellgate: London soundtrack as well. REMEMBER THE DEAD - FIGHT FOR THE LIVING!

FOR THE LIVING!!!

(Oh, man, I cannot believe I missed the HG:L soundtrack. DOH!)


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:


This is one of my FAVORITE parts. I'm a HUGE advocate of using music in RPGs and it was tough to keep this list from being like a page long (had to fit in books, references, and films too).

VERY cool ... I'm a big fan of music in RPGs as well and am really looking forward to looking at this ;) As far as music I use for Pathfinder, I think I'd have to push the character limits of a post to list all of mine ;)

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
There are TWO PAGES on the topic of TPK ? Zoinks.

Glad I wasn't the only person that had that pop out to me immediately.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Skullking wrote:
A music section with no Carpathion Forest! Defending the Throne of Evil and Morbid Fascination of Death are a must :)

It's worth noting that the recommendation sections are PAIZO'S recommendations. If we've never heard of a band or song or music, it doesn't exist! :-P

Also, we specifically skewed the music selections to things that sound non-anacronistic. Heavy metal and the like might be fun to listen to WHILE gaming, but it's kind of distracting to imagine that kind of music occurring IN game or as the game's soundtrack.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Calixymenthillian wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Schizophrenia, Mania, Multiple Personality Disorder and Paranoia (I' not sure about Amnesia) all just types of Psychosis?

Yup; we're not trying to be 100% scientifically accurate with insanity, just as we weren't trying the same with poison and disease. Psychosis, IIRC, is basically the "you get all violent and evil" insanity. Using the word "psychopathic" probably would have been more accurate... but (shrug).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
<snip>... Really, books of comprehensive lists of magic items, spells, feats, yada yada, are more the kind of things companies tend to do at the end of a game's life cycle, not right at the beginning. It'd be kind of like writing your autobiography at age 14: you haven't even gotten to the good parts yet!

I know, I know. :) It's just as a GM that I always want to to have the most comprehensive lists possible, with the least amount of logistical drudgery to be done by me as possible. :p Not to mention that it'd be sweeter for the players if I can simply roll up an armour with one of the ( surely to be ) cool new armour enchantments in the APG, without having to re-write the list. ;)

One of the more relevant questions in that vein: Will spell-lists expansions for new core classes be supported in books beyond the APG? One of the failings, IMO, of WotCs "Complete" books was that new spells almost never got put on the spell lists of their new base classes beyond the book they appeared in.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I do wish the images where a little bigger. On my monitor they are really small.

Sovereign Court

I notice a distinct lack of random harlot tables!

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor , Dedicated Voter 2013

Dark_Mistress wrote:
I do wish the images where a little bigger. On my monitor they are really small.

Did you click on the individual images to get the larger version?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Russ Taylor wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:
I do wish the images where a little bigger. On my monitor they are really small.
Did you click on the individual images to get the larger version?

Uh.. yeah. They are still pretty small though. Least the text is on the images.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2013

James Jacobs wrote:
Calixymenthillian wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Schizophrenia, Mania, Multiple Personality Disorder and Paranoia (I' not sure about Amnesia) all just types of Psychosis?
Yup; we're not trying to be 100% scientifically accurate with insanity, just as we weren't trying the same with poison and disease. Psychosis, IIRC, is basically the "you get all violent and evil" insanity. Using the word "psychopathic" probably would have been more accurate... but (shrug).

Not exactly. The "quick and dirty" definition of psychosis is one "in which contact with reality is lost or highly distorted." It certainly doesn't have to be violent, and most people suffering from a "psychotic break" aren't violent, and most violent people are psychotic.

Still, rules for insanity that were based on DSM IV would be very, very dull...

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2013

Dark_Mistress wrote:
I do wish the images where a little bigger. On my monitor they are really small.

Save them to your hard drive, then open them in an image editor and zoom to your heart's content.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

magnuskn wrote:
One of the more relevant questions in that vein: Will spell-lists expansions for new core classes be supported in books beyond the APG? One of the failings, IMO, of WotCs "Complete" books was that new spells almost never got put on the spell lists of their new base classes beyond the book they appeared in.

Yes. Whenever we do things that have new spells or new feats or new magic items, we'll periodically include new options for the six new base classes. Part of our hope to limit the number of base classes is that we'll be able to do precisely this; if we don't limit the number, we'll have hundreds of base classes before long and supporting that many options is... nervewracking.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

uriel222 wrote:

Not exactly. The "quick and dirty" definition of psychosis is one "in which contact with reality is lost or highly distorted." It certainly doesn't have to be violent, and most people suffering from a "psychotic break" aren't violent, and most violent people are psychotic.

Still, rules for insanity that were based on DSM IV would be very, very dull...

Well... creatures in Pathfinder who become psychotic do. Again, it's not intended to accurately map all forms of insanity, but more to present how insanity is often portrayed in stories, movies, and the like. Just like how hit points don't accurately represent physical damage to a person's body, or how the effects of arsenic don't exactly match what would happen if you took some in real life.

There's a bit of give-and-take between realisim and what's good for game play, in other words.

Were there more psychologists working as editors/developers/writers for Pathfinder, I suspect we probably would have chosen a more accurate word instead of "Psychosis" for this particular malady. We don't, though, so we didn't.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Yes. Whenever we do things that have new spells or new feats or new magic items, we'll periodically include new options for the six new base classes. Part of our hope to limit the number of base classes is that we'll be able to do precisely this; if we don't limit the number, we'll have hundreds of base classes before long and supporting that many options is... nervewracking.

Thanks, that good to know. :)

I still want a base martial artist class, that isn't bound to mystical supernatural powers, remote mountain cloisters and lawfulness. :p


uriel222 wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:
I do wish the images where a little bigger. On my monitor they are really small.
Save them to your hard drive, then open them in an image editor and zoom to your heart's content.

Also, ctrl + is your friend.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Reptilian wrote:
uriel222 wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:
I do wish the images where a little bigger. On my monitor they are really small.
Save them to your hard drive, then open them in an image editor and zoom to your heart's content.
Also, ctrl + is your friend.

No ctrl+ tped my house once, it is certainly not my friend. :)


Dark_Mistress wrote:
No ctrl+ tped my house once, it is certainly not my friend. :)

Hah, come on, he was young then ... What about weird but sometimes useful acquaintance?


Music for visiting a temple of Sarenrae (or some sun-worshiping druids' glen): Sol Invictus from Thea Gilmore's Christmas(!)-album Strange Communion

To play when visiting a royal court - lots, but I'd probably go with something baroque (or barock as we spell it in Sweden) like Bach of Händel.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

So.... this mascot ... Is it going to be an owlbear?!? *Hopeful*

The Exchange

Paizo Superscriber

Nice to see Cam Banks and David Noonan in the mix.

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