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Ssalarn's page

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 4,516 posts. 8 reviews. 4 lists. 1 wishlist. 3 Pathfinder Society characters.



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Cool Cavaliers

****( )

So this particular offering from Abandoned Arts is 2 pages (plus cover and SRD) of cavalier goodness, though maybe a little bit more situational than some of their supplements. They introduce 3 new cavalier archetypes, exploring a familiar and much-loved/hated trope with their take on the Dragonrider, the mountless and many-legged Tauric Cavalier, and the brutal Warlord, who rules by strength of arm.

The Dragonrider would more aptly be referred to as the Drake-rider, as they don't receive a true dragon mount, but rather a flight-capable drake with a fairly limited breath weapon. Outside of the early-level flight, the Dragonrider doesn't really gain anything beyond the standard capabilities of most cavaliers (although the ability that gives their drake access to all of their teamwork feats at the cost of halving the duration of their Tactician ability is pretty cool), so despite the Archetype having a name that would implicate obscene levels of power and brokenness... You actually end up with a fairly fun, flavorful, and well-balanced class. Given that there are already flying mounts available to the Druid and Ranger at low levels (the Roc animal companion from the Bestiary and Giant Wasp from Ultimate Magic) it gives the cavalier an opening into that same playing field.

The Tauric Cavalier is an archetype that seems like it'll generally see more use in the GM's hands, or a very specific type of campaign. What you've basically got here is an Archetype that gives races who are their own built-in mount (driders, centaurs, etc.) the ability to benefit from feats and combat styles that make sense thematically but aren't accounted for mechanically, like charging with a lance for the extra damage. I was actually fairly excited when I saw this archetype as it helped address an issue my friend and I had just been discussing in our current campaign, but I can definitely see this archetype being super situational. And speaking of situational....

The final archetype, the Warlord, is fairly cool if you're allowing your characters to use the Leadership feat in your campaign, the full blown x-so-many-100-followers-per-level Leadership. It lets you use Strength in place of Charisma for determining your Leadership score, apply the benefits of your challenge to your cohort and followers, and bully your underlings into accelerating the normal rates for crafting items. Super cool class Archetype for those extended Kingmaker-esque campaigns, markedly less useful in the episodic dungeon-crawl style of play (unless of course your dungeon crawl of choice is the Tomb of Horrors and you just need bodies to stack on top of the traps).


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Plenty of Oaths in your diet...

*****

So this new supplement lays out new Oaths (as presented in Ultimate Magic) for the Paladin. The new Oaths are Battle, Law, Liberty, and Redemption.
Battle is an interesting Oath that essentially trades out Smite Evil for 4 bonus combat feats and a complimentary feat to your Divine Bond. You'll trade out your big Smite bonuses for a little more fighter-like versatility. While losing Smite is a pretty big blow, I can certainly see a few places where this is a worthwhile transition. For those taking the game into the upper echelons of play, this Oath also trades out your capstone ability for at will use of the Transformation spell, which should be fairly potent combined with the bonus feats and other abilities.
The Oath of Law trades out Detect Evil for Detect Chaos, and trades out the paladin's Mercies for an ability called Lawbinder. I have to be honest here, this Oath is way more likely to see use on an NPC than a character, as Lawbinder has few practical applications for your average PC.
The Oath of Liberty is one of my favorites, giving the Paladin the ability to cast Knock as an SLA, making some themey changes to his Divine Bond, and giving him a cool way to share his Mercies through his allies.
The final Oath, Redemption, is fairly cool, transforming the Paladin's Smite damage into non-lethal, giving big bonuses to social checks vs. evil creatures, trading out Divine Bond for scaling bonuses to spell DC's, and replacing Aura of Resolve with the Leadership feat. There's a place for this guy in more than one campaign. Plus, this is probably the best Oath to tack the two new feats presented at the end of the .pdf onto.
Overall, a lot of fun and themey goodies for specialized Paladins, presented with the usual Abandoned Arts skill.


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New Knights

****( )

This product introduces 3 new archetypes for the paladin, the Champion of Law, the Knight-Zealot, and the Peacebringer.
The Champion of Law (as might be expected) essentially trades in their standard Detect Evil Ability for Detect Chaos and their Aura of Good for an Aura of Law. They gain an interesting ability to track in an Urban environment using the Diplomacy skill, but it comes at the hefty price of trading out their Divine Grace. Their Uncompromising Will ability helps compensate for this loss by giving them enhanced mental protections, eventually evolving into a full-blown Mind Blank ability at 17th level. All in all, certainly not a bad archetype, but it was just lacking a certain something to really catch my attention. Maybe I just haven't found the right game for him yet.
The Knight-Zealot made me wince at first as read the flavor text, visions of the penultimate "Lawful Stupid" paladin dancing in my head. Turns out the Archetype isn't so bad, though it's pretty limited as well. The Knight-Zealot trades out Lay on Hands, his Mercies, and the Divine Bond class feature to gain the ability to expand the usefulness of his smite ability by targeting anyone who's just non-good (instead of specifically evil) by burning an extra use of Smite. He also adds his CHA modifier to his STR score, and treats his CHA as 2 points higher for the purposes of bonus spells. You'll definitely squeeze a few extra points of damage out of this archetype, but, even moreso than the Champion of Law, I'm not quite sure it justifies what you're giving up.
The final Archetype, the Peacebringer, is the largest, and most complete feeling, archetype, offering a whole new spin on the way the paladin works. The Peacebringer gains a ki pool and numerous new ways to heal or protect the party. I'm actually planning on doing a little third-party mash up and utilizing this guy in an upcoming game session by using this build and enhancing his ki-pabilities with Legendary Games "The Way of Ki" (another cool product you should probably check out). This guy actually made me decide to bump my original 3 star rating to a 4, he's that neat. He really feels like a healer with a bit more complexity and usefulness, with elements reminiscent of the half-orc Redeemer archetype, or the aasimar archetype for a "peaceful" paladin, but much more complex and capable.


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Inquisitor goodies!

****( )

I know that there's a lot of material out there for the INquisitor, but deep down inside some part of me believes that they are the least supported class in the system, despite being one of the most mechanically elegant and best-built classes in the game. This supplement directly addresses that part of me and says "It's okay. We heard your prayers and sent the angels from Abandoned Arts to set your fears at ease"
...
Seriously though, 18 new Inquisitions was exactly what the doctor ordered, and I can't wait to give them a spin. There's an Inquisitor for every campaign with the addition of these new options, and great ways to lend a little extra "theme-y-ness" to your Inquisitor. GM discover that Witches make the best NPC's cause he gets at least one player kill a session by knocking out the party with that Slumber Hex? Enter the Witchbane Inquisition, and hexes and curses shall trouble you no more! I'm currently pretty enamored of the idea of taking their Shadow Agent archetype from their other recent Inquisitor release and pairing it up with the Blood Inquisition, which allows you to count half of your Inquisitor levels as fighter levels for qualifying for fighter-specific feats. Skills and Weapon Specialization? Yes please!
The Incarnate Inquisition allows you to become a living avatar of your deity (and who doesn't want that?), while the Wisdom Inquistion fills in those last couple gaps in the Inquisitor's abilities, making him a functional healer and expanding the usefulness of his Teamwork feats by allowing him to share a Teamwork feat he knows with the ally of his choice whenever he uses his Judgements!

They also provide a handy little table at the end of the document to help you match up your new Inquisitor and his Inquisition to the appropriate deity by suggesting appropriate Deific Portfolios for the user of a given Inquisition to associate with.
As usual for the guys from Abandoned Arts, this is a fantastic value for the low pricetag.


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Cops and Robbers

*****

So Abandoned Arts new Inquisitor Archetypes are definitely going to be seeing table time with my new group. They present them in their usual simple and flawless format, etc...
The meat of the thing though:
Their Lawful Badass Inquisitor build, The Arbiter, is a lawman style character who takes the Inquisitor fluff and blends in a healthy dose of anti-crime activism. His opening ability "Arbiter's Decree" which replaces Monster Lore, is incredibly potent but definitely flavorful (although probably guaranteed to upset a few GM's) as it allows him to force enemies who can hear and understand him to reroll their initiative and take the lower result. He has a series of abilities after that that all contribute towards the idea of this character being a fearless lawman striking fear into the lawless and willing to do whatever it takes to bring in the bad guy.
The second Archetype, The Shadow Agent, trades spells and Monster Lore for an expanded skill list, better urban capabilities than the typical Inquisitor, and a slew of abilities called "Shadow Talents" that work something like divinely powered Rogue Talents. This build is my personal favorite and one I can't wait to bring to the table. I've actually got a rogueish gnome Inquistor of Besmara who I might beg my GM to let me rebuild for this role, since many of the passive benefits of the Shadow Talents will be easier to utilize in most situations than burning multiple standard actions buffing with the usual spells.
This Archetype is definitely one that should be fun to play, though the lack of spells and (relatively) limited selection of Shadow Talents will require most players to think hard about their build before jumping in as it will be a little less versatile than your average Inquisitor.


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