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Wishcraft caster

Cyrad's page

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16. RPG Superstar 7 Season Star Voter, 8 Season Star Voter. Pathfinder Society Member. 3,495 posts (3,708 including aliases). 9 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 Pathfinder Society characters. 1 alias.

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Exceeds Expectations


I expected to get a book that adds some extra crunch and maybe a little fluff to the kitsune. What I didn't expect was a book full of interesting, creative options. The archetypes, feats, and other content utilize rather creative design. Surprisingly, the content actually expands -- not invalidates -- the content of the Advanced Race Guide. A good example involves some interesting archetypes and uses for kitsune star gems, largely considered rather boring in the official Paizo hardcover, but now made interesting in this volume.

If I have one issue with the kitsune compendium, it's that there's surprisingly not a lot of flavor for the race beyond a few pages describing the typical kitsune's personality and physiology.

People long wanted a Pathfinder Player Companion for the kitsune race. If one did get published, it would have a hard time competing against the Kitsune Compendium in terms of quality and clever design.

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Confusing Story

***( )( )

I had the chance to play this scenario. The encounters are great and allows for really fun roleplaying. However, the story didn't make any sense to me. I never understood why we were doing what we were supposed to do. I never really knew what our objective was other than the vague notion of solving some kind of riddle.

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Sloppy but accomplishes its goals

****( )

Pathfinder tries to reinforce the idea that the game should give you the tools to fully realize your character concepts. Pathfinder establishes classes as more of a starting point, rather than a straight-jacket, to build the character you want to play. In the past, it did accomplished this through archetypes, traits, and class features that work like rogue talents. The Advanced Class Guide now truly blurs the line between classes by introducing 10 new "hybrid" classes that combine the theme of two existing classes to create unique features in their own right.

The arcanist is a 9-level spellcaster that does not need to prepare multiples of the same spell to cast it and gains a talent pool to do a variety of neat things.

The bloodrager is a 4-level spellcasting full BAB martial that gain the benefits of a sorcerer-like bloodline while raging.

The brawler is a full BAB fighter/monk that can temporarily gain the benefit of a combat feat to adapt to any situation.

The hunter is a 6-level gish class that uses druid and ranger spells, and gains an animal companion that benefits from teamwork feats.

The investigator is a delightful skill monkey class that can use alchemist extracts, buff their skill checks and attacks with a resource pool, and make a special attack against a target they studied.

The shaman communes with a spirit and gains special abilities from it, which makes me think of the pactbinders from Pact Magic Unbound.

The skald is a barbarian that performs as he rages, giving benefits to his allies.

The slayer is an assassin class meant to act as a "patch" for the rogue, except it focuses mostly on combat and singling out a single target.

The swashbuckler, my most anticipated class, is an agile fighter that can perform stunts using a resource pool like a gunslinger's grit.

The warpriest is a 6-level divine gish class that have the ability to cast spells on themselves as a swift action and a weapon whose damage dice scales like a monk's unarmed strikes.

The book also introduces a some ambitious archetypes and feats that I applaud. These include a Charisma magus archetype, multiple multiclass archetypes, a gunslinger archetype that specializes in crossbows instead of firearms, feats that trigger off of Arcane Strike, multiple alternates to Stunning Fist that do other conditions, and a whole line of feats that add bonus effects to Vital Strike. I am, however, very sad there's few options for the magus, my favorite class. The bard and the barbarian got two hybrid classes. I would have loved to see a monk/magus, but alas.

However, the book really drops the ball with the archetypes and feats section. While I praise the ambition shown in some of these entries, most of them are really sloppy. Typos are all over the place. Some archetypes refer to abilities that don't exist. Some break existing class features and don't replace them.

The worst issue is that the class designers obviously wrote the class descriptions with the assumption certain feats would exist to support the class. The swashbuckler is the worst offender as the heavily advertised "Dexterity to damage" feature came as a poorly designed last minute addition tacked onto an existing feat. That class really got the short end of the stick, and I hope Paizo will aggressively remedy the problem.

The Class Design Guide at the end of the book left me wanting more. While I wasn't expecting something as thorough as the Race Builder in Advanced Race Guide, I wished this section flowed more like the spell creation guide in Ultimate Magic or perhaps a "behind the scenes" look at how the designers create classes and archetypes. Ultimate Magic's spell guide gave a lot of insight in how spells are designed, provided a list of benchmarks for each spell level, gave examples of both good and bad spells, explained damage metrics for arcane and divine spellcasting. By contrast, Advanced Class Guide merely shows the differences between classes of different BAB and that abilities are either "secondary" or "primary." I cannot even call it a "dev blog" as I've read way better blog articles on class design than this.

Why four stars with all these problems? While Paizo obviously rushed additional options to get the book out the door to GenCon, much care was taken into the creation of the 10 new classes. 9 out of the 10 classes look rather well done. This book brought us a new standard for full BAB classes, all of which look fun to play. It gave us the slayer, a "patch" for the rogue until Pathfinder Unchained. Despite each class being a hybrid, nearly all of them have unique game mechanics never seen in a Paizo product. Even if you turn your nose up at adding more bloat to the game, I still recommend the book if only to cannibalize the new classes to patch/houserule the classes in the Core Rulebook.

While sloppy and unpolished, Advanced Class Guide accomplished its goals: give us new classes that raise the bar in terms of gameplay and design.

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I wish I could get a refund for this

**( )( )( )

I had started a sea voyage campaign when I got the PDF for this, hoping to use its material. Unfortunately, I ended up regretting this. The PDF is so poorly optimized that loading it on my gamer desktop computer lags like crazy. It flat out crashes any PDF reader I use on my tablet. I wish I could say the material is worth the hardcover price, but this is not so. I find the book very difficult to follow and study as a GM. I still haven't figured out what the overall plot of some of the adventure paths are. The setting leaves much to be desired.

The only value I got out of Razor Coast was a two room dungeon that my players ended up bypassing anyway. This felt like $40 down the drain.

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Good on paper, disastrous in practice

***( )( )

When I read this module, it looked really awesome, and I couldn't wait to run it. When I actually did run it, my players had the worst experience ever at my table. In fact, this marked one of the few times my players were actually very angry at me. While the encounters, plot, background, and maps are high quality, several issues make the adventure frustrating to play.

1) Because of the structure and order of locations and events, the adventure gives very little exposition until very late in the module. My players were left with almost no information to act on. Every decision they made felt like a shot in the dark.

2) The island's effects misled the players into believing there's a time limit. This put a lot of stress on my players, disabling them from leisurely exploring the island at their own pace. Worse is that it railroaded my players into continuing an adventure they had no fun with. It was so bad that a couple of the PCs preferred they leave and spend another adventure curing themselves than actually finishing out the adventure.

3) Martial characters felt completely useless. Nearly all of the adventure's major challenges require magical expertise. All non-spellcasters in my group spent most of the two 4-hour sessions twiddling their thumbs while the spellcasters solved the mystery.

4) I also noticed that sometimes the text did not match the maps provided. For example, the description said one location was in the west when it was north on the map.

Thankfully, all of these can be avoided with some clever GMing. If you wish to run this adventure, I suggest the following recommendation:


Have the party encounter Sara or the villagers early when they visit the island. My players struggled because they lacked a clear objective other than wander around the island hoping they find something. The module does not let the Sara encounter line doesn't happen until they find the excavation site, which is likely the very last place they'll visit.

Overall, From Shore to Sea has a great story and premise marred by poor sequencing and a frustrating pseudo-time limit mechanic.

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