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Advanced Race Guide Preview: It's Almost Here!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Advanced Race Guide will be shipping out to subscribers and stores in the very near future. As we wrap up our previews of this mighty tome, it’s time to for a peek into Chapter 4 and the rules for building your own race.

This section of the book received a good deal of playtesting late last year and we made a large number of tweaks and changes to take that feedback into account. For example, the core races do not all add up to the exact same point value as they did in the playtest. In addition to showing you how the existing races are built, we included a number of examples of new races that you can build using this system. Take a look at the Kasatha.

Kasatha

Hunters and raiders of the wasteland, the clannish, four-armed kasatha guard their territories by way of lightning-fast raids and terrifying assaults. As young adults, some members of this race roam the world for a full year looking for adventure and treasure to bring back to their clans. A renegade few decide to forsake their clan and spend their life adventuring.


Illustration by Rayph Beisner
Type
  Humanoid (kasatha)
0 RP
Size
  Medium
0 RP
Base Speed
  Normal
0 RP
Ability Score Modifiers
  Flexible (+2 Dex, +2 Wis)
2 RP
Languages
  Standard
0 RP
Racial Abilities
Defense Racial Traits
  Defensive training, greater
  Desert runner
4 RP
2 RP
Feat and Skill Racial Traits
  Stalker
1 RP
Movement Racial Traits
  Jumper
  Terrain stride (desert)
2 RP
1 RP
Other Racial Traits
  Multi-armed (4 arms)
8 RP
Total20 RP

While more powerful than most races (which usually have a cost of about 10), a kasatha makes for an interesting addition to any game, either as a PC (perhaps one level lower than the rest of the party) or as an exotic NPC or even a villain. The above format is written for the race builder in particular. Here are the racial traits in a more traditional layout.

Kasatha Racial Traits

+2 Dex, +2 Wis: Kasatha are both nimble and wise.
Medium: Kasatha are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Kasatha have a base speed of 30 feet.
Defensive Training, Greater: Kasatha receive a +2 dodge bonus to their Armor Class.
Desert Runner: Kasatha receive a +4 racial bonus on Constitution checks and Fortitude saves to avoid fatigue and exhaustion, as well as any other ill effects from running, forced marches, starvation, thirst, and hot or cold environments.
Stalker: Kasatha always treat Perception and Stealth as a class skill.
Jumper: Kasatha are always treated as if having a running start when making Acrobatics skill checks to jump.
Desert Stride: Kasatha can move through difficult terrain in a desert environment at their normal speed. Magically altered desert terrain affects them normally.
Multi-Armed: Kasatha possess four arms. While all of the arms can wield weapons, all but one are considered off-hand weapons. Kasatha take the normal penalties for two-weapon fighting when using more than one weapon.

Well, that about wraps up the previews of the Advanced Race Guide. Grab a copy, and explore the exciting race options that await you within.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Rayph Beisner
151 to 188 of 188 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

Aranna wrote:
Foghammer wrote:
Aranna wrote:
A new book for players to abuse... because just like PrCs in 3e, these options are not going to stay GM only for more than a brief moment.

Maybe at your table, assuming you cave so easily. It's really up to the DM what options they allow. If your players pitch fits because they "bought a book and can't use it" then that's that player's problem. They shouldn't hold your game hostage because they spent some money.

So much doom and gloom all the time around here.

It's not the players that "pitch a fit" that are hard to say no to. It's the players who are your close friends who get that door opened first. And once it's opened it doesn't take long before custom races are the expectation not the exception. Just look at PrCs from 3e. You remember those don't you? They were GM only material intended to breathe new flavor and options into a GMs game. The GM was suppose to review each one and include the ones they felt best fit his setting. By the end of 3.5e it was just the opposite, players automatically selected whatever PrC they desired and the GM was seen as a tyrant if they didn't allow all of the PrCs from the allowed book list. I am not saying this will happen instantly... but the switch will happen just like before. Look at how much pressure there is already from players wanting to play monsters, this will only add to that pressure.

We have 3 GM's in our group and we have decided that any new race created with this book, or a third party, or even Paizo will be reviewed and decided whether or not it will be used. Since this intended to be a GM's tool the only one that should be abusing said rules is the GM. If our players have a problem then they can always start a game using the race builder and run it none of the GMs we have will complain as for the most part we like to play sometimes as well.

I personally don't see the pressure, as a GM if you don't like my rulings then you can either not play or run a game yourself it is as easy as that.


..so it's just 3E LA buyoff, almost exactly.

...great?


Benly wrote:

..so it's just 3E LA buyoff, almost exactly.

...great?

Not exactly... my use of ECL in my earlier post was my own.

They don't use ECL terminology at all, and now that I read more closely they don't really talk much about how to use level adjustments to allow more powerful races that others in the same party.

The sidebar I was referencing was geared more towards GMs who need to figure out how to adjust CR of encounters using the AVERAGE RP of all the races in the party.
The idea being... more powerful races need bigger challenges, etc.

I still have to read more... but the assumption seems to be that it's really up to the GM. The designers seemed to really shy away from the idea of different level makeup in the party.
So it's kind of suggested that if the GM is ok with 1 or 2 players have more powerful races, and the other players are cool with it... then it's good.
If not, then they make it REALLY easy to add features to all the standard races to bring them roughly up to the level of higher tier races.

Now you have a slightly stronger party, so they give you a guideline of how to up the difficulty of encounters.

I think it's pretty smart, and I never cared for the old ECL system.


I think more people should read the actual book before making knee-jerk reaction and sarcastic remarks about the content of the book. You'd be surprised how good race building actually ended up being.

Liberty's Edge

That ability to buff all the races up is what I was hoping for. The Beta was very useful to my sub-races I built of the core and balancing races I built a few years ago. So far the new re-balance has made all the races appealing. Even my player who prefer just elves and the two who prefer just humans have enjoyed have variation in their preferred races at my table.

So Thank you Ravennus for letting me know what I have to look forward to in the race building.


Realmwalker wrote:

We have 3 GM's in our group and we have decided that any new race created with this book, or a third party, or even Paizo will be reviewed and decided whether or not it will be used. Since this intended to be a GM's tool the only one that should be abusing said rules is the GM. If our players have a problem then they can always start a game using the race builder and run it none of the GMs we have will complain as for the most part we like to play sometimes as well.

I personally don't see the pressure, as a GM if you don't like my rulings then you can either not play or run a game yourself it is as easy as that.

As I said before about PrCs... they are GM only material too.

You saw several players on this thread already excited about the new options. Do you really think this optional system is going to be SO different from the previous optional system I already mentioned that it will stay GM only? I have no proof except history to point to, but I think you are wrong. Already people are thinking about getting this to players by restricting it to modifying existing races, but this is just the beginning. Give it a few years and your stance now will have either been changed or you may well find you are in a minority.

Dark Archive

Holy hell, it's a new subsystem! IT'S THE PATHFINDER APOCALYPSE. RUN FOR THE HILLS FOLKS!

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Ravennus wrote:
I mean, if I were in your home campaign... and you made a legit 10 RP 'standard' race with 4 arms that I could pick... I would be all over that sucker like white on rice. The possibilities would drive me nuts, and it wouldn't be long before the other core races in the party would be groaning that I was overpowered, even though technically my race was built with the same points as theirs. *shrug*

That's exactly the sort of thing I don't want to happen, hence the desire for options appropriate for standard races. There has to be a way to represent the flavor of four-armed races that doesn't inherently lend itself to unbalancing the game.


I've been thinking of building a setting where all the player races are something like 20 points, maybe scaling up to 30ish over 20 levels.

Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

To be frank, I'm surprised Mikaze isn't all over the Half-Orc Paladin archetype.


Mikaze wrote:
Ravennus wrote:
I mean, if I were in your home campaign... and you made a legit 10 RP 'standard' race with 4 arms that I could pick... I would be all over that sucker like white on rice. The possibilities would drive me nuts, and it wouldn't be long before the other core races in the party would be groaning that I was overpowered, even though technically my race was built with the same points as theirs. *shrug*
That's exactly the sort of thing I don't want to happen, hence the desire for options appropriate for standard races. There has to be a way to represent the flavor of four-armed races that doesn't inherently lend itself to unbalancing the game.

Correct me if I'm wrong... but are you essentially saying you want a 'standard' tier race that has 4 arms but can't actually use the extra two for anything?

If so... you can make your race LOOK like it has however many arms you want for 'flavor'. Just explain that they are limited to two because of some neurological reason, or if you want to be gamey just cite balance.

Or perhaps you mean something along the lines of the alchemist vestigial arms?

In that case, I'd have to take another look... but other than 'Grasping Arms' (which is a 6 RP advanced trait only allowed to Large races), I don't think there is anything like that.

OH!! But LOTS of stuff similar to that for tails!

So there you have it... just give the race a couple prehensile tails (2 RP standard trait!), and just say they are extra arms with somewhat limited dexterity (just like Vestigial Arms).

See? Not so hard! :)

I highly recommend you check out the book when you can. It's pretty awesome.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:
To be frank, I'm surprised Mikaze isn't all over the Half-Orc Paladin archetype.

I AM NOW


Aranna wrote:
Realmwalker wrote:

We have 3 GM's in our group and we have decided that any new race created with this book, or a third party, or even Paizo will be reviewed and decided whether or not it will be used. Since this intended to be a GM's tool the only one that should be abusing said rules is the GM. If our players have a problem then they can always start a game using the race builder and run it none of the GMs we have will complain as for the most part we like to play sometimes as well.

I personally don't see the pressure, as a GM if you don't like my rulings then you can either not play or run a game yourself it is as easy as that.

As I said before about PrCs... they are GM only material too.

You saw several players on this thread already excited about the new options. Do you really think this optional system is going to be SO different from the previous optional system I already mentioned that it will stay GM only? I have no proof except history to point to, but I think you are wrong. Already people are thinking about getting this to players by restricting it to modifying existing races, but this is just the beginning. Give it a few years and your stance now will have either been changed or you may well find you are in a minority.

Seriously? Ugh

Back in the day, I played 3.0 and 3.5 in 4 different cities that spanned 3 different countries.
Not ONE of them ever allowed Savage Species or +ECL in a normal game.

Out of those, I played in ONE single 1-shot campaign where every player got to play a monster or template race for fun, just to do something a little different.

So I'm not sure where you've been playing or with what kind of people... but I feel kind of bad for you. :(

Hell, in my main Pathfinder group (who are also some of my closest friends), my DM /STILL/ won't let me play a Monk, Ninja, Samurai or anything vaguely Eastern in flavor... because he has a thing for western fantasy, and certain hangups about what fits in his game world and what doesn't.
It's sometime frustrating, but I accept it because we're friends and we are all just trying to have fun.

That, and we all know that if I run a game then the same standard applies. *shrug*

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Ravennus wrote:

Or perhaps you mean something along the lines of the alchemist vestigial arms?

In that case, I'd have to take another look... but other than 'Grasping Arms' (which is a 6 RP advanced trait only allowed to Large races), I don't think there is anything like that.

OH!! But LOTS of stuff similar to that for tails!

So there you have it... just give the race a couple prehensile tails (2 RP standard trait!), and just say they are extra arms with somewhat limited dexterity (just like Vestigial Arms).

That's actually a bit closer to the mark. It's not that I want them to have the exact functionality of 2 arms, I just don't want them to have an overwhelming advantage. They've already got a -2 STR handicap in that area, but that won't deter it completely. (both sets of arms are well formed and identical, but on average weaker than human human limbs on their own when not working in tandem)

Reskinning prehensile tails might do the trick. Hopefully mine'll be here tomorrow.

Dark Archive

Scratch my excitement from earlier. A level adjustment that steep is too much. Admittedly, it is an incredible racial ability. Oh well.


does anyone know when amazon will be getting the advanced race guide. i preordered mine a couple months back


Raymond Lambert wrote:
Scratch my excitement from earlier. A level adjustment that steep is too much. Admittedly, it is an incredible racial ability. Oh well.

As I said earlier, I posted about the level adjustment before I really understood what I was reading.

They actually don't mention level adjustment as an option... the sidebar I was looking at was referring to upping the CR for encounters with higher starting RP parties using an average RP as a baseline.

My bad for jumping the gun on that.


So.

What are the final costs for the core races?

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Umbral Reaver wrote:

So.

What are the final costs for the core races?

Someone posted an incomplete listing somewhere, but I can't find it. IIRC dwarves were at the top of the list at 11, half-orcs and halflings at 8, humans maybe at 10?


Umbral Reaver wrote:

So.

What are the final costs for the core races?

Dwarves = 11

Elves = 10
Gnomes = 10
Half-Elves = 10
Half-Orcs = 8
Halflings = 9
Humans = 9

One minor personal quibble... 'Linguist' costs 1 RP and inflates Half-elf and Human scores.

The 'standard' language trait costs nothing, and gives you Common + 1 Racial language and then access to your choice of 7 languages should your intelligence be high enough.

The 'linguist' language trait costs 1 point, and gives you Common + 1 Racial language and then access to any langauge should your intelligence be high enough.

I also consider Orc Ferocity to be overvalued at 2 RP.

So personally, I would rate Humans at 8, Half-elves at 9, and Half-Orcs at 7. That's just my own take however. *shrug*

The rest of the traits seem better balanced than during the playtest.
I also find if kind of funny that the Dwarf is, according to their own guidelines, an 'advanced' race since it costs 11 RP.
At least they are honest about it! ;)


Ravennus wrote:
Umbral Reaver wrote:

So.

What are the final costs for the core races?

Dwarves = 11

Elves = 10
Gnomes = 10
Half-Elves = 10
Half-Orcs = 8
Halflings = 9
Humans = 9

One minor personal quibble... 'Linguist' costs 1 RP and inflates Half-elf and Human scores.

The 'standard' language trait costs nothing, and gives you Common + 1 Racial language and then access to your choice of 7 languages should your intelligence be high enough.

The 'linguist' language trait costs 1 point, and gives you Common + 1 Racial language and then access to any langauge should your intelligence be high enough.

I also consider Orc Ferocity to be overvalued at 2 RP.

So personally, I would rate Humans at 8, Half-elves at 9, and Half-Orcs at 7. That's just my own take however. *shrug*

The rest of the traits seem better balanced than during the playtest.
I also find if kind of funny that the Dwarf is, according to their own guidelines, an 'advanced' race since it costs 11 RP.
At least they are honest about it! ;)

I disagree on Ferocity. On the contrary, it is a deceptively good ability for hanging in there for one last go, especially if you are able to cast any of the cure spells or channel energy. I've had a half orc paladin that kept himself going for so long thanks to his ability to lay on hands, then strike back at his foes.


Some additional fun stuff...

The elemental races (Undines, Syphes, Ifrits, Oreads) are all around 6-7 RP... pretty low actually.

Kobold is the worst off at 5 RP.

Goblin is surprisingly high at 10 RP because 'sneaky rider' is valued at 6 RP (wtf?).

Grippli.... 6 RP! RIBBIT!

Duergar really surprised me... less than the normal Dwarf, at 8 RP!
Reason for this being that they have inferior stat bonuses, are slow, and have light sensitivity.

The highest rated race that was given the official player race treatment in the ARG was.... *drumroll*... the FETCHLING! At 17 RP total.
That's more than the Aasimar and Tiefling, which are both around 15 RP.

Just because I know someone will ask.... Drow is 14 RP.
Drow NOBLE is 41 RP!! Ouch!


Odraude wrote:
Ravennus wrote:
Umbral Reaver wrote:

So.

What are the final costs for the core races?

Dwarves = 11

Elves = 10
Gnomes = 10
Half-Elves = 10
Half-Orcs = 8
Halflings = 9
Humans = 9

One minor personal quibble... 'Linguist' costs 1 RP and inflates Half-elf and Human scores.

The 'standard' language trait costs nothing, and gives you Common + 1 Racial language and then access to your choice of 7 languages should your intelligence be high enough.

The 'linguist' language trait costs 1 point, and gives you Common + 1 Racial language and then access to any langauge should your intelligence be high enough.

I also consider Orc Ferocity to be overvalued at 2 RP.

So personally, I would rate Humans at 8, Half-elves at 9, and Half-Orcs at 7. That's just my own take however. *shrug*

The rest of the traits seem better balanced than during the playtest.
I also find if kind of funny that the Dwarf is, according to their own guidelines, an 'advanced' race since it costs 11 RP.
At least they are honest about it! ;)

I disagree on Ferocity. On the contrary, it is a deceptively good ability for hanging in there for one last go, especially if you are able to cast any of the cure spells or channel energy. I've had a half orc paladin that kept himself going for so long thanks to his ability to lay on hands, then strike back at his foes.

*Shrug*

My thoughts on that are that if you keep getting brought down to 0 HP enough times to make this trait useful.... you (and likely your party) are "doing it wrong", as they say.
That, or your DM is a sadistic son-of-an-orc.

In your example of the Half-Orc Paladin, he should have been using Lay on Hands sooner and avoided getting brought down that low to begin with.

IMHO, useful only sometimes and then only if you have certain spells or class abilities. I would consider it a 1 RP trait.


I can't believe humans are only 8 RP. I mean, really? What is a free, choose-your-own bonus feat valued at? Still 4? Because that's bogus.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

watchmanx wrote:
does anyone know when amazon will be getting the advanced race guide. i preordered mine a couple months back

I was just going to ask this. Anyone know?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Preordering from Amazon is a risky move, they have a nasty habit of getting their RPG books out a couple of weeks after they're out everywhere else.


Benly wrote:

..so it's just 3E LA buyoff, almost exactly.

...great?

I think so.

Hell, I think every monster in the Bestiary that has an intelligence should have a Level Adjustment.


Foghammer wrote:
I can't believe humans are only 8 RP. I mean, really? What is a free, choose-your-own bonus feat valued at? Still 4? Because that's bogus.

Personally, I've been of the opinion that the Human is overrated in many instances.

I think of it like this.... how many racial traits would most players LOVE to have available as a feat and would take it in a second if they could?

One that I can think of is Darkvision. That's actually a pretty underrated ability, and the equivalent magic item costs a hefty sum (12k) and takes up the eye slot.

My human fighters, for example, would take that if it were a feat option.

You also have to look at free feats that other races get.
For example, if you plan on taking Skill Focus or EWP in your build, it's often better just to be a Half-Elf... as you get that, plus a ton of other racial traits like low-light vision, etc.

The +1 skillpoint a lvl that humans get is nice, but certainly not a priority for most builds.

I like my humans, don't get me wrong... but from a purely cost/reward basis, there are many builds that I have done that benefit just as much or more by going with another race. It all really depends.

The human is the absolute most versatile race, and that's not changed. But they certainly aren't the end all and be all for every build out there.


Ravennus wrote:


I think of it like this.... how many racial traits would most players LOVE to have available as a feat and would take it in a second if they could?

Uh...

Flight (from Strix, or Raptoran in 3.5) and uh...

Hmm...

Half Elf's extra evolution points for Summoner? That isn't even an actual racial trait and it IS a feat now (Extra Evolutions).

Uh...

Yeah. While some racial abilities may be nice, very few are as universally good as moving your feat chain completion ahead 2/3 levels.

Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

3 levels ahead?


Ravennus wrote:
Foghammer wrote:
I can't believe humans are only 8 RP. I mean, really? What is a free, choose-your-own bonus feat valued at? Still 4? Because that's bogus.

Personally, I've been of the opinion that the Human is overrated in many instances.

I think of it like this.... how many racial traits would most players LOVE to have available as a feat and would take it in a second if they could?

One that I can think of is Darkvision. That's actually a pretty underrated ability, and the equivalent magic item costs a hefty sum (12k) and takes up the eye slot.

My human fighters, for example, would take that if it were a feat option.

You also have to look at free feats that other races get.
For example, if you plan on taking Skill Focus or EWP in your build, it's often better just to be a Half-Elf... as you get that, plus a ton of other racial traits like low-light vision, etc.

The +1 skillpoint a lvl that humans get is nice, but certainly not a priority for most builds.

I like my humans, don't get me wrong... but from a purely cost/reward basis, there are many builds that I have done that benefit just as much or more by going with another race. It all really depends.

The human is the absolute most versatile race, and that's not changed. But they certainly aren't the end all and be all for every build out there.

+ 1 level that doesn't count for XP total/level progression.

Liberty's Edge

James Jacobs wrote:
Jam412 wrote:
Do the Kasatha have a place in Golarion?
Nope.

Which makes it funny that the Iron Gods Player's Guide says that a small number of them exist on Golarion and that they are important to the story.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
prosfilaes wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Jam412 wrote:
Do the Kasatha have a place in Golarion?
Nope.
Which makes it funny that the Iron Gods Player's Guide says that a small number of them exist on Golarion and that they are important to the story.

One of the several stories we're telling in Iron Gods is the kasatha story. It's not the primary story at all, but it's important enough that one of the cover figures is going to be a kasatha.

That decision (the inclusion of kasastha elements in the AP) came along relatively recently, in any case.

AKA: Things change! :-)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Gotta love that two year necro just to take a snipe at someone.

Very classy ;)

Liberty's Edge

Odraude wrote:
Gotta love that two year necro just to take a snipe at someone.

It wasn't really a snipe. Since this is what comes up when you search for Kasatha pathfinder on Google (as I did when the player's guide mentioned them), I figured I'd make a note that that has changed.


Holy Necromancy Batman!

Cool to see we'll see them in the AP though. All the more reason to play one!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

graystone wrote:

Holy Necromancy Batman!

Cool to see we'll see them in the AP though. All the more reason to play one!

Actually... it's not.

The way the kasatha story plays out in Iron Gods, it's not really appropriate to have a PC as one of them at all. Your GM will need to decide on if he/she is okay with it... and that'll probably be a decision they need to wait to see all 6 volumes to make.

Android is the race to play in Iron Gods if you want to play a race that finds out more about their genesis/source.

And they're not overpowered either! (Four arms is a bit much...)


I meant to play one in the future since they have a background in the world after the AP. For this AP I'd planned on an android! I don't get to play an android often so this is a perfect chance. :)

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