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Adventurer's Guide: Behind the Scenes

Thursday, May 11, 2017

We've been pretty vocal (I hope!) about one of the big changes to the rulebook line with the introduction of significant amounts of world content from Golarion in the upcoming Adventurer's Guide. In fact, we've been relaxing the "world-neutral" element of the rulebook line for some time, as far back as Occult Adventures where we abandoned the generic names for planes like the Boneyard and just used the Golarion/Great Beyond names in there. By lifting this self-imposed restriction, we're not fundamentally changing the type of content we're putting in rulebooks, but it does allow us to make our own rulebooks work even better with our own campaign setting.

Golarion is, after all, the setting used most overall by Pathfinder players. Gamemasters who run Pathfinder games set in other settings already had to decide how to incorporate flavor into their campaigns, changing names as needed, so whether or not they're changing the name of something called a "Red Mantis" or "Crimson Killer" or a "Scarlet Slayer" or whatever, by using the Golarion name we're making it more elegant and obvious how it fits into the vast majority of everything else Paizo publishes. But in order to standardize things for those who wish to reference names that remain our product identity, the Rules index for Adventurer's Guide lists alternate names as appropriate. So, if you want to use the Aldori swordlords in your game, you can either make a name up that fits your setting, use the "Aldori swordlord" in your setting, or go with our suggested "world neutral" name. So for example, the "Aldori defender" archetype becomes the "sword duelist defender", the "Aldori dueling sword" is merely the "dueling sword", and so on.

But there's another element in Adventurer's Guide that does something a little different, and this should specifically appeal to and intrigue fans of Golarion. When we were deciding what organizations to include in this book, there were a few that were no-brainers—Hellknights, Red Mantis, and the Pathfinder Society to name a few. We also knew we wanted to explore some of the concepts we've come up with more recently, like the Rivethun. But there was another category that was a bit trickier—organizations that we debuted and explored in our Adventure Paths. In many ways, these groups have become some of the most well-known organizations, because they've been the focus of entire campaigns. I'm talking about groups like the Council of Thieves, the Silver Ravens, the Cyphermages, and the Lantern Bearers—groups that were created for an Adventure Path first.

Perhaps the most famous of all these groups are the Gray Maidens—and in this case, they were absolutely created for an Adventure Path. Until the events of Curse of the Crimson Throne occur, there are no Gray Maidens at all in Golarion. But of all the groups in the setting, the look of the Gray Maiden has hit more eyes than ANY other group… because we put the iconic image of a Gray Maiden (created by the ever-talented Eva Widermann) on the back of the Core Rulebook itself.

So how can we present information about an organization that might well not even exist yet?

The answer was to make the assumption that the content of the Adventurer's Guide exists in a world after the events of those campaigns have played out. This allowed us to not only include groups like this in the book, but to explore how the events of their campaigns changed and shaped them. In the case of the Lantern Bearers in particular, this change is incredibly significant. In the Second Darkness Adventure Path, the Lantern Bearers were a puppet group manipulated by a shadowy conspiracy. In Adventurer's Guide, the assumption is that the Lantern Bearers have come out from that shadow and are well on the way to recovering and redeeming themselves. They still seek to stem the evil of demon worship and threats from the Darklands, but do so in a way more aimed at redeeming lost sisters and brothers and saving them from themselves rather than via shadowy stealth ops or conspiracy tactics. This results in a far more interesting group with less cliche and more growth to build upon.

We've made every attempt to avoid spoiling adventure paths from which these groups came from, of course, with the goal of having this content serve almost like a movie trailer; you won't learn everything there is to know about the plot of the Council of Thieves Adventure Path by reading the Council of Thieves chapter in Adventurer's Guide, but if we've done our job right, you'll be intrigued and perhaps want to play or run Council of Thieves as a result. The bulk of the new rules options for these groups are all brand new, so if you're a GM you can use the prestige classes and archetypes and items and spells and options in Adventurer's Guide to enhance an Adventure Path as you run it, perhaps even by giving out options to PCs as rewards for progressing through the story. You can also use them to bolster elements in an ongoing campaign, of course.

And that's it for this week! We've got a few more Adventurer's Guide previews coming in the weeks to come, so if there's an element of the book that folks are particularly eager in seeing a preview of, let me know in the comments below. In closing, I think I'm gonna show off the illustrations we've got in the book for three of the prestige classes inspired by groups that had their genesis in an Adventure Path—the Westcrown Devil, the Sanguine Angel, and the Argent Dramaturge!

James Jacobs
Creative Director

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Tags: Adventurer's Guide Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I totally got spoiled on some NPCs that hadn't shown up yet in Hell's Rebels tho. :)


9 people marked this as a favorite.

Aaahhh...!

The art is gorgeous! And I'm glad to see that my names made it through. ^_^


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Modules, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

That dramaturge is adorable!


Correct me if I'm wrong but the image tagged Sanguine Devil looks much more like an Argent (re: he's silver) Dramaturge (re: he's got some theatrical posing going on plus peacock feathers on his cape to show his vanity).

Did you mix up the pictures or am I missing something?

Also: he looks like someone who might invade me in Dark Souls.

Liberty's Edge

Secret Wizard wrote:

Correct me if I'm wrong but the image tagged Sanguine Devil looks much more like an Argent (re: he's silver) Dramaturge (re: he's got some theatrical posing going on plus peacock feathers on his cape to show his vanity).

Did you mix up the pictures or am I missing something?

Also: he looks like someone who might invade me in Dark Souls.

It's a She.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Ha, I beat Rysky to commenting!

On a more serious note, I'm still a little concerned about spoilerage though it's good to hear that you put in specific effort to mitigate it.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Secret Wizard wrote:

Correct me if I'm wrong but the image tagged Sanguine Devil looks much more like an Argent (re: he's silver) Dramaturge (re: he's got some theatrical posing going on plus peacock feathers on his cape to show his vanity).

Did you mix up the pictures or am I missing something?

Also: he looks like someone who might invade me in Dark Souls.

The pictures are correct along with their tags.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Secret Wizard wrote:

Correct me if I'm wrong but the image tagged Sanguine Devil looks much more like an Argent (re: he's silver) Dramaturge (re: he's got some theatrical posing going on plus peacock feathers on his cape to show his vanity).

Did you mix up the pictures or am I missing something?

Also: he looks like someone who might invade me in Dark Souls.

I'm pretty certain the Sanguine Devil is wearing fancy gray maiden armor.

And the argent dramaturge has some nice silver ravens on her kimono.

Edit: And they're fighting devils!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The Sanguine Angel looks especially magnificent.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I have to admit that I'm nervous about spoilers too, and I'm not sure how to warn players off since naturally they'll be intrigued. I might suggest that things that AP-specific organizations and options would best appear as additional content if/when those paths get collected into a hardcover? I also really like Paizo's idea (mostly, though I understand not always) implemented that the stories in adventure paths aren't canon except insofar as they've been run by a group. That allows me to enjoy campaign setting guides, novels, etc., without feeling like I might be spoiled.


>=3 new prestige classes? Interesting . . . .


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber Subscriber

The Argent Dramaturge's illustration is really really beautiful, she is soooo cute. In the preview articles for the weeks that come I'd like to read more info about the Silver Ravens, the Bellflower Network and the Eagle Knights' chapters.


attempted to post this last night night but internet went off for more than an hr then sleep
Are the Westcrown devils for the Council of Thieves Members? Gonna GM a campaign of CoT soon but haven't read to the end of book 6 yet (just the previews in the end of book 1) and not sure if the CoT still exists after the campaign ends


I'm very curious to know which classes will be getting new archetypes in this book...

Preview? :)


4 people marked this as a favorite.
SillyString wrote:
I'm very curious to know which classes will be getting new archetypes in this book...

there are 18 organizations

2 archetypes MINIMUM per organization

36 archetypes total

39 classes total

so obviously... not brawler


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I would have gone with "no Psychic archetypes". But brawler works too. ^_^

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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dharkus wrote:

attempted to post this last night night but internet went off for more than an hr then sleep

Are the Westcrown devils for the Council of Thieves Members? Gonna GM a campaign of CoT soon but haven't read to the end of book 6 yet (just the previews in the end of book 1) and not sure if the CoT still exists after the campaign ends

All of the organizations in this book are presented as they exist AFTER the events of their Adventure Paths, as appropriate. That shouldn't prevent you from using them during the events of their AP though.

And all of the rules bits in here are for members of the group they're from as well as affiliates of the group. More details to come!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

18 people marked this as a favorite.

FREE PREVIEW TIME because I love you all!

Here are the classes who get archetypes in Adventurer's Guide. It's certainly not EVERY class, but I tried to get as close as possible while still picking archetypes that made sense for each group.

Alchemist
Arcanist
Barbarian (2)
Bard (3)
Bloodrager
Brawler
Cavalier (2)
Cleric
Druid (3)
Fighter (3)
Hunter
Magus (2)
Medium
Monk
Occultist
Paladin
Ranger (2)
Rogue (2)
Shaman
Spiritualist
Summoner, Unchained
Swashbuckler (2)
Vigilante (2)
Warpriest
Wizard

Dark Archive

Ooh the occultist gets one, cool...


James Jacobs wrote:

FREE PREVIEW TIME because I love you all!

Here are the classes who get archetypes in Adventurer's Guide. It's certainly not EVERY class, but I tried to get as close as possible while still picking archetypes that made sense for each group.

Alchemist
Arcanist
Barbarian (2)
Bard (3)
Bloodrager
Brawler
Cavalier (2)
Cleric
Druid (3)
Fighter (3)
Hunter
Magus (2)
Medium
Monk
Occultist
Paladin
Ranger (2)
Rogue (2)
Shaman
Spiritualist
Summoner, Unchained
Swashbuckler (2)
Vigilante (2)
Warpriest
Wizard

1. Holy s#+*, Jamesward J. Jacobs! A Brawler archetype for realsies?! <3

2. Is Monk Monk/UnMonk? Or just Monk?

3. THANK YOU! This gets me super pumped.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

FREE PREVIEW TIME because I love you all!

Here are the classes who get archetypes in Adventurer's Guide. It's certainly not EVERY class, but I tried to get as close as possible while still picking archetypes that made sense for each group.

Alchemist
Arcanist
Barbarian (2)
Bard (3)
Bloodrager
Brawler
Cavalier (2)
Cleric
Druid (3)
Fighter (3)
Hunter
Magus (2)
Medium
Monk
Occultist
Paladin
Ranger (2)
Rogue (2)
Shaman
Spiritualist
Summoner, Unchained
Swashbuckler (2)
Vigilante (2)
Warpriest
Wizard

TWO BARBARIAN ARCHETYPES!?!?

SQQQQQUUUUUUUEEEEEEE!

*glomps the T-Rex*

Thank you!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Secret Wizard wrote:

2. Is Monk Monk/UnMonk? Or just Monk?

Regular monk. The summoner's the only one that we more or less officially use, since it's as much errata as anything else, where as the other unchained classes remain optional choices.


James Jacobs wrote:

FREE PREVIEW TIME because I love you all!

Here are the classes who get archetypes in Adventurer's Guide. It's certainly not EVERY class, but I tried to get as close as possible while still picking archetypes that made sense for each group.

Alchemist
Arcanist
Barbarian (2)
Bard (3)
Bloodrager
Brawler
Cavalier (2)
Cleric
Druid (3)
Fighter (3)
Hunter
Magus (2)
Medium
Monk
Occultist
Paladin
Ranger (2)
Rogue (2)
Shaman
Spiritualist
Summoner, Unchained
Swashbuckler (2)
Vigilante (2)
Warpriest
Wizard

Wow, I'm glad I asked! :)

Look at that beautiful list of goodies... Barbarian, Bloodrager, Brawler, Cleric, fighter, magus, monk, occultist, ranger... and even a warpriest archetype! (These are what just sealed the deal for me, the other class archetypes are just icing on the cake.)

I say, I'm getting hyped now.


James Jacobs wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:

2. Is Monk Monk/UnMonk? Or just Monk?

Regular monk. The summoner's the only one that we more or less officially use, since it's as much errata as anything else, where as the other unchained classes remain optional choices.

Oh, okay!

I thought that from Ultimate Intrigue onwards the RPG line would include UnMonk stacking rules like with Black Asp/Sage Counsellor. Guess it's a product-by-product decision (no doubt related to available space).

Liberty's Edge

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

No archetype then for Inquisitor, Oracle, Witch , Sorcerer (as usual), Kineticist, Mesmerist, Gunslinger, Investigator, Slayer, Skald, Antipaladin, Samurai and Ninja


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

YEEEESSSSS! Some more Bard-love and it's tied for the MOST archetypes in the book @ 3. Nice.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
The Raven Black wrote:
No archetype then for Inquisitor, Oracle, Witch , Sorcerer (as usual), Kineticist, Mesmerist, Gunslinger, Investigator, Slayer, Skald, Antipaladin, Samurai and Ninja

honestly if someone asked me for a sorc archetype i'd give them a bloodline


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
FREE PREVIEW TIME because I love you all!

Back atcha, Tyrant Lizard King.

Quote:

Here are the classes who get archetypes in Adventurer's Guide.

Alchemist
Bloodrager
Brawler
Cleric
Druid (3)
Fighter (3)
Hunter
Magus (2)
Medium
Ranger (2)
Rogue (2)
Warpriest

Yessssssss.


The cool thing about having the organizations be from post-AP timelines is that we get to find out what the Silver Ravens did/are doing after wasting Barzillai. I imagine they just govern and protect Kintargo?

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Secret Wizard wrote:
I thought that from Ultimate Intrigue onwards the RPG line would include UnMonk stacking rules like with Black Asp/Sage Counsellor. Guess it's a product-by-product decision (no doubt related to available space).

The monk archetype in AG is compatible with both monk and unchained monk (though I can't speak to future archetypes).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

8 people marked this as a favorite.
David Schwartz wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
I thought that from Ultimate Intrigue onwards the RPG line would include UnMonk stacking rules like with Black Asp/Sage Counsellor. Guess it's a product-by-product decision (no doubt related to available space).
The monk archetype in AG is compatible with both monk and unchained monk (though I can't speak to future archetypes).

Note that during development, this might have changed. I just double-checked the final product, and yes, the monk archetype DOES work for both versions... but it can be tricky to comment on design work done in a product before the final results of it, post development and post edit, are out.

I understand that folks who worked on the book are eager and excited, but it's important to remember that things can change between writing and publication. And as a result, it's best to let the preview information and confirmation be handled in-house. In this case, looks like it's still accurate, but still...


ah i hope a archetype for slayer class but i enjoys too to see the archetype from red mantis assassin.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Secret Wizard wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
No archetype then for Inquisitor, Oracle, Witch , Sorcerer (as usual), Kineticist, Mesmerist, Gunslinger, Investigator, Slayer, Skald, Antipaladin, Samurai and Ninja

honestly if someone asked me for a sorc archetype i'd give them a bloodline

Sorcerer archetypes can be much more than this as some 3PPs have aptly demonstrated. The biggest thing for Sorcerers is what to do with all these many spell slots you have. Archetypes that give you more varied things to do with this resource would be great, especially coming from Paizo's design masters

Bloodlines do not usually touch on this AFAIK

Back on topic. Still very interested in seeing how Paizo tackled the challenge of using Setting organizations to introduce Setting-neutral crunch :-)


Thank you for this.

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