Duly purchased. I very much like what I've read at a glance, but regret to say the artwork is, in a word, terrible. Bad to the point you should just have saved the money to make a halfway appealing cover, but these are aesthetic concerns and not the reason I bought the book for. Will be writing a review soon.
A whole lot of rhetoric about a title...priorities?! Such a thing is really of no consequence in the grand scheme of things. Why waste rhetoric (and product discussion) on such? Dead horse been beat enough, IMO.
We get it, you don't care and you're going to buy this product no matter what. More power to you. Some of us happen to have misgivings with the content and the way it's being marketed.
Your Weapon Master's Handbook was a godsend for fighters. I'm usually 3rd party-hermetic, but I may well open an exception here. Will definitely be keeping an eye on this one.
Also, any chance of the following features being addressed in any way, shape or form?
- More alternatives for bravery, if it remains (say, apply its bonus to a skill or touch AC)
David knott 242 wrote:
Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.
Chess Pwn wrote:
whirlwind attack isn't another class' toys/gimmick/raison d'être. It's a feat. It has a long feat chain because the fighter can get it at lv6, getting it earlier is considered to powerful. But that means that normal classes can't get it till lv 11 I think. Whirlwind attack is advertised as a combat style, not a class feature of the fighter. This is what people have an issue with.
Your point is well taken, but the fighter fights. It's his thing. It's all he does, really. He's supposed to be good at it, master it more easily, quicker and better than other classes. And, as it just so happens, being able to fight well and with options is mostly about feats. Which is why he has more of them, so it's hardly a sin that he masters a combat style sooner than other classes. Who, again, have other things to play with.
No that's an awful way to design things. Someone shouldn't need to spend all their feats and wait until the campaign is half over to make a combat style work just to make fighters feel better about themselves.
If a fighter wants to use panache, ki, grit, rage, et al., he also has to spend extra feats, most of the time only to be able to dabble in said abilities. Works both ways.
I feel there are ways to improve the fighter's lot in life without denying access to cool things to other martials to try and make him look good by comparison.
I'm not advocating denying anything to any class. Only that, if you want to play with another class' toys/gimmick/raison d'être, you're expected to pay extra. Especially when you already have plenty of options of your own; options that can be expanded on in a book like this, too.
The Dandy Lion wrote:
Just to be clear, I'm not saying that Fighters have enough nice things, I'm just frustrated by the fact that fighter design means any unusual martial option will be near enough fighter-exclusive because of the investment required to get them.
The one thing the fighter is good at should require an investment from other classes to play with it, as said classes already have "unusual options" of their own.
A lot of picking nits over the name and the contents of this book. I'm already sold. It cannot get here soon enough.
More power to you. Others may prefer to be a bit more thorough in evaluating whether a product deserves their money and will be useful to them.
Steve Geddes wrote:
My point is, we don't know the makeup of what's in the book, just ithat it's thematically tied to organisations in golarion. so how on earth can we say it has a misleading title?
You edited out the paragraph where I said that Paizo could be making a book about Golarion's monsters, say it also included "specialized training, powerful magical items, specialized magic, access to unusual gear or mounts" related to said monsters, and call it "Ultimate Adventurer". Because adventurers tend to fight monsters. And it'd still be a book about Golarion's monsters, with a misleading title.
RPG line books aren't thematically tied. That's kinda their thing. The 3rd edition PHB wasn't thematically tied just because it had sections on the Greyhawk gods or specific wizards' names in spells, for instance, because the rest of the content was setting-agnostic. It didn't become the Greyhawk Player's Handbook because of it. This, on the other hand, is a book specifically about Golarion's factions, with Golarion faction-themed options for character classes. And they presume to call it a neutral "Adventurer's Guide", a la the Complete line of 3rd edition fame, a title that does not in the least bit evoke setting-specific organizations... or organizations, period.
That'd work for me. Maybe Martial Manual, for the sake of alliteration, if nothing else.
The Shaman wrote:
Well, I´m still waiting for the Unchained Fighter, ever since the powers that be decided that it was the Barbarian who needed their attention ;).
I hear ya. This book would be the perfect excuse for that, although it might break with the approach of previous splatbooks.
Steve Geddes wrote:
That doesn't really say much, considering all that stems from the "these groups" bit. Paizo could be making a book about Golarion's monsters, say it also included "specialized training, powerful magical items, specialized magic, access to unusual gear or mounts" related to said monsters, and call it "Ultimate Adventurer". Because adventurers tend to fight monsters. And it'd still be a book about monsters, with a misleading title.
@Rysky: One can hope.
And not to pile on too much, but yes, there is great cognitive dissonance between the book's title and what appears to be its contents. Even more so than the Advanced Class Guide (which should have been called Advanced Classes Guide).
Any chances of martials - especially fighters - getting a book in the vein of Arcane Anthology? Something that would expand upon the absolutely fantastic Weapon Master's Handbook and Unchained's Stamina rules? Things like:
- More weapon and armor tricks
This thread isn't about the martial/caster disparity, or evening the field, but only about providing more options, which is never a bad thing. That being said, no spells, please. Ultimate Combat's 42(!) pages still rankle to this day.
Not too hung up on it being tied to Golarion, but rather on the fact that, at 192 pages, it cannot possibly contain enough material to justify a purchase from me.
Why? Because I only use the core classes and most of the base classes in my (non-Golarion) campaigns. And, at 39(?) classes, if they're going to cover all, most or a reasonable majority of them with archetypes, feats and options, and still manage to cram in organization flavor, archetypes and fluff text, it's going to amount to very little usable material for me in the end.
As an aside, I really wish Paizo would have kept things more separate, and publish additional material for hybrid, alternate and occult classes in their own splatbooks. With the current glut of classes, it feels like any option book that comes out will err on the shorter end of the stick, simply because there just isn't enough page count to cover options for a satisfying number of classes in satisfying fashion.
Note my 'unless you have an absolutely amazing hook or a compelling campaign seed' caveat, the 'absolutely amazing' part of which can be downgraded to 'interesting'. A gargantuan octopus with three shark heads that is good at wrecking ships and has some random spell-like abilities just doesn't cut it - especially when there already exist plenty of big critters that can wreck ships just by virtue of being big.
But yeah, chimera-like critters whose parts you can easily tell apart and whose abilities seem to have been built via a random generator are a pet peeve of mine. Especially when they're conceived with nothing to set them apart other than their sheer randomness.
Shapeshifting isn't a role in tabletop RPGs, or anywhere else, for that matter. Never has been. It's a gimmick, one that the druid - and, to a lesser extent, transmuters - already have covered, and one that most certainly isn't crying out for a class all of its own. It's a prestige class or an archetype at best.
I've been loving Paizo's output in their bestiaries. Paraphrasing a bit from my Bestiary 5 review, my wishes for the sixth iteration are straightforward and twofold:
- Leave the SF to Starfinder or Players' Guide to Numeria. Pretty please with a Corentynian cherry on top?
- Avoid at all costs snake-bodied weasels with boar tusks, serpentine bulls, shark-headed sea serpents, wolf-headed sea serpents, chinchillas with bat wings on the tip of their tails and octopuses with three shark heads. Unless you have an absolutely amazing hook or a compelling campaign seed, please don't bother bother putting out such uninspired examples of match-a-monster.
Pathfinder continues to expand rather than reset, so my previously bought books stay current/relevant over the years.
On that note, Pathfinder allows me to make seamless use of my extensive 3.5 library, which I barely got the chance to use due to some prolonged RPG doldrums. That alone makes it a-okay in my book.
Because the difference in math isn't worth the loss of the more intuitive, to most people, use of ten.
That's what I thought at first. Is it round privilege, or anti-oddism? ;)
lots of sense
You, madam, just enlightened me, and definitely gave me food for thought. I don't have a problem in favoring slightly the PCs - especially considering they'll be rolling for pretty much everything - but it's definitely something to mull over. Much obliged.
Mark Carlson 255 wrote:
Thank you for the tips and your concern, but it's not nearly as bad as I might have made it sound. They don't suffer as much from ADHD as they do from frustration at not having any agency in determining the outcome of dice rolls that concern them.
After deciding to use Unchained's Active Spellcasting rules in my next campaign, namely the Spell Attack Roll (instead of monsters making saves, players roll against a "DC" of 11 + the monster's save bonus). I thought I might as well err on the player dice agency side, and am thinking of adapting 3.5's Defense Roll as well, in which, instead of monsters rolling against my players' static AC, players would roll with their applicable armor bonuses (with the benefit of also being able to use, say, Action Points) against a DC of 11 + the enemy's applicable attack bonuses.
This seems like it'd work well enough in low- to mid-levels, but I'm unsure about late game. What do you guys think? I know it'll entail a lot of rolling, but some of my players tend to lose focus when it's not their turn and enemies make full attacks against them, so I think it'll be well received by them.
Also, it got me thinking: Since the base '10' in DCs and AC is assumed to be a 'Take 10' of sorts, and the average d20 die roll is an 11, why isn't the base an 11, as rightly applied in the Spell Attack Roll rules? Why shouldn't AC be 11 + X? Preference for round numbers?
Just going back into the game after a prolonged absence, so please do bear with me if I'm missing something glaringly obvious. The trait's description states:
"Whenever you make an attack that reduces a foe to 0 hit points or fewer or you confirm a critical hit, your attack deals 1 additional point of damage."
The critical part I understand, and the trait would be fine just with that, IMO, but whatever is the point of dealing an additional point of damage when reducing a foe to 0 or fewer hit points? Is it for GMs who actually bother tracking foes' negative hit points, or just to make sure that your foe never gets staggered? Seems like a quizzical, extremely situational addendum to me. Why not, say, deal +1 damage on your *next* attack after downing a foe?
Not to harp on, as the matter appears to have been largely settled, but your point is moot. Ravenbow didn't state why he's not into oriental elements, or that D&D never had any Eastern themes; he just said he isn't into it. And I took umbrage at those attacking him for it, as if he weren't allowed not to like oriental elements.
Also, while you're not wrong, it'd be disingenuous to claim D&D as a whole wasn't predominantly inspired by medieval Europe, with the odd exotic element sprinkled in (monks, ogre magi, rakshasas et al) to spice it up or give players more options. That's neither here nor there, though. Like I said, I have no real point of contention in this thread other than the issue I took with the thought police; non-pseudo-european critters in a Bestiary are fine by me.
Lots of passive-aggressive snide remarks and open hostility, here. Does the fact that Ravenbow happens not to like this "oriental thing" somehow threaten your worldview and/or enjoyment of the game? Does it automatically mean he is *solely* into Western European "pseudo-medieval crap"? Does harboring no love for a particular thematic aspect automatically label him as an enemy of diversity to be barracked on sight? Is he saying only *his* fantasy should be allowed to exist?
No, it doesn't, and no, he isn't. Seriously, people, think before you post. Knee-jerk reactions are the bane of civil discourse.
Myself, I'm no particular fan of oriental mythology, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy beasties inspired by it in my game or that their inclusion in a bestiary makes me any less willing to buy it. At the end of the day, it's just another critter.
By 'you're' I didn't mean you personally, but the people at Pathfinder. Regardless, trivializing, as you previously put it, tends to offend, so my point stands. You would also find very little in common with vodoun and the pulp voodoo that tends to be portrayed in popular culture, so the same line of reasoning can be applied.
To wit, this blog entry is symptomatic of an over-sensitiveness that permeates the mainstream western psyche nowadays, and that annoys me. Wes Schneider might as well apologize in advance for offending people who could possibly take umbrage to such a tiptoeing approach, while we're at it...
Michael Gentry wrote:
I imagine it had far less to do with the miniscule chance that some random vodouisant would notice and decide to sue, and more to do with the fact that Paizo are just nice people who don't want to be perceived as trivializing someone's religion.
Tell that to wiccans, demonologists or neo-druids too, if you're that afraid that Pathfinder material might offend. Ron Gilbert of Monkey Island fame never had to walk on tiptoes just because his stories had voodoo, nor did Gabriel Knight's Jane Jensen, nor did pretty much anybody who wrote fiction based loosely on real-life non-major religious groups. So, unless you actually assign Baron Samedi's CR and have the PCs whoop his derriere in the adventure path's climax, it does sound like too much effort on the PCness side.
But yeah, I'll just shut up now. Religion, hot water, slippery slope, no one'll ever be right, agree to disagree and all that.
My guess is it grants the exact same benefits as Weapon Mastery, except with a natural weapon. And the superfluous non-disarmable part, of course.
Thank you all for the replies. I might have been going about it the wrong way, but I distinctly remembered one of the designers claiming that these new classes came to fill roles that the *core* core classes had left vacant - "role" here being a mechanical role in combat, and therein lay my confusion.
I'm Portuguese, but I had a German upbringing and have *very* close ties to Germany, which is why I can safely say only a German could say something like this. You've been browbeaten to the point you actually believe such an intellectually castrating statement to be true. And that saddens me.
I did read your edited post, and even though I disagree with your assumptions, I can actually empathize with your reaction. Just wanted to clear up how Godwin might possibly have gotten into the conversation.
J.R. Farrington, Esq. wrote:
Would you rather be speaking German now???
I appreciate your reply, but that seems more like representing archetypes of other classes rather than filling roles. For instance, as for each class' role in combat, I can assume that the Summoner is about populating the battlefield and that the Alchemist is the, uh, self-enhancing bomber. Even the Cavalier is a bit more evident, as a Warlord-ish type. The others seem like 3.5 splatbook class filler, or a prestige class. To mine eyes, at least.
Reasonably certain that this has been discussed before in some fashion, but I can't for the life of me find it. Could someone please summarize what role each of the new core classes fills? I seem to recall a designer saying they were there to fill missing roles that the *core* core classes had left vacant, but other than the Summoner and, to a point, the Alchemist, I can't see which exactly.
Jason Nelson wrote:
So the table description is not misleading; it's just plain wrong. And as the text itself doesn't explicitly state that the penalty on attack rolls is also cancelled out, one can be led to false assumptions. *sigh* Goodbye tower shield fighter...
Thanks for clarifying my point, Justin Franklin.
Jason Nelson wrote:
Exactly. Any chance of that tweak being incorporated into a future errata? Because as it stands, it's a bit of a schyzophrenic branching out in shield fighter feats.
Jason Nelson wrote:
If you look at the feat's brief description here, you'll notice it says "No penalties on attack rolls when using a tower shield", which is how I always interpreted it. In hindsight, it's actually a bit misleading:- A character uses a tower shield without being proficient in it. He takes the shield's armor check penalty on attack rolls and on all skill checks that involve moving.
- A character uses a tower shield with the due proficiency. The shield's armor check penalty only applies to Strength and Dexterity-based skills.
See what I mean? The way I read it, the only part also applied to the penalty on attack rolls. Which is how I've always played it, rejoicing in the fact that the Fighter, as a weapons expert par exellance, finally got his due and an edge over other shieldbearers by being already proficient in the Tower Shield.
I see your collective points, and admit I spoke with haste. I guess I was just mildly disappointed that this book didn't really provide my current shield fighter with the zomgawesome options I was expecting, and that a number of those clash with the 3.5 material I am still using.
As for the tower shield, good thing I stopped using it, as apparently I was doing it all wrong. The feat description itself doesn't really state it, and the official Pathfinder SRD lists the Tower Proficiency Feat as - and I quote - no penalties on attack rolls when using a tower shield.
Your point? I replace a series of standard Fighter features to make him more shield-themed, without picking or choosing. One of them happens to give me half the same benefits as the one it's replacing, essentially making him more vulnerable. What am I missing here?
Also, from the Phalanx Soldier:
Deft Shield (Ex): At 7th level, the armor check penalty
I thought the Fighter was proficient with tower shields, which already negates the abovementioned penalty to attack. Why bother including it?
From the Shielded Fighter alternate class features:
Shield Mastery (Ex): At 19th level, a shielded fighter
How is this an adequate substitution, essentially giving the fighter the same ability he'd get, minus the part of armor also providing him with DR?
Good grief. The amount of white guilt, self-loathing and Asian nerdrage is off the charts in this topic.
I believe Kerney nailed it best. Fighter? Can be a zulu, a huscarl, a samurai. Barbarian? Take your pick between a number of tribal warriors. Rogue? Adapts itself out-of-the-box to any culture. Wizard? Ditto. Sorcerer? The same. Paladin? Holy warriors aren't bound to any particular culture. Druid? Neither are nature-loving shapeshifters. Cleric? A servant of the gods is a no-brainer. Bard? The power of song is universal, and its manifestations diverse enough to fit anywhere. Ranger? The lone wanderer, the woodsman, the hunter, all of which are to be found in any setting imaginable.
We're left with the monk. What could he possibly be other than your run-of-the-mill wuxia screaming leaper? A pankration fighter? A savate practicioner? A wrestler? Afraid not, as the ki pool, on nomenclature alone, is pretty much exclusive. You could give it another name, but the implication of the power itself places it outside of most hand-to-hand combatant archetypes, as does High Jump (as wuxia as it gets), Purity, Wholeness of and Diamond, Timeless and Empty Body (most martial arts are about crafting the body into a weapon, only the Asian variants come with such transcendental undertones), abundant step (a mythical Ninja overlap, if you ask me). Quivering Palm screams Dim Mak and the like, but Eastern Martial arts don't hold the exclusive to death blows, so this one gets a pass.
In fact, forget the specifics above. Look at how monks are illustrated in pretty much every setting. Do you ever see an oiled-up wrestler? A knight-in-training being run through hand-to-hand combat? A steppe grappler? No. It's pretty much always some distincly Eastern type with a Fu Manchu moustache, a hobgoblin with pseudo-Buddhist clothes, an elf that wouldn't look out of place alongside the cast of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, or something along those lines. The people who brought the monk back and redefined it subconsciously know that he's an outsider among the core classes, which reflects itself in the weapons he's proficient with, the way he's designed and portrayed, and how there must always be a twist of some sort in order to incorporate a monk in non-oriental adventures.
Face it: if a class can't be used out-of-the-box in a specific setting without being houseruled, rationalized or what have you, its design and conception are fundamentally flawed for non-specific core rules, which brings us to the almost run-over topic: Do monks fit the genre? What is genre, you might ask? Whatever you as the DM comes up with to fit your campaign. However, no matter how creative or learned you are, no matter how many twists you give it, your campaign will be based upon something you know, and the beauty of ten of the core classes is that they fit in anywhere, anyhow, no matter if you mix a bit of Celt with a whiff of Polynesian, add a dab of Turkic and a teaspoon of Mayan and put it all in a Scandinavian blender and serve it in a Native American platter. Not true with the monk, as it screams "Asian!" at the top of his lungs, whichever way you put it. And that bothers some DMs and players, which is evidently why the topic was brought up and why so many people are disagreeing. If you want to be all relativistic and egalitarian and that suits you and your campaign, fine. But don't dismiss this outright as Eurocentrism, Westernism or whatever -ism you come up with. That's all kinds of logical fallacy, and has no place in what is actually a pretty pertinent debate.
P.S. As a perfectly subjective aside, I'd be willing to bet that the Asian nerdrage I referred to above is the main reason the monk was brought back, what with the fascination that a vast portion of the gaming community seems to have for all things eastern-flavored.