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Robert Brookes wrote:
I'm really eager to see what people think of the shifter. I had the opportunity to write the class' archetypes, and I tried to cover a pretty board gamut of concepts—some of which people are asking for in this thread!—so it'll be interesting to see what people think once this beast is in their hands.
AHA!! I knew it!
Guy St-Amant wrote:
Can I get a bit more info on the WereRaptor, like, what kind of bird of pray? Size in Animal Form? Do they get Talons attacks? etc...
The wereraptor is a catch-all for all predatory birds like eagles, hawks, and vultures. The sample wereraptor is human and remains medium size in hybrid form. They also get talon attacks. There is also a sidebar for wereraptor-kin skinwalkers.
Now that plenty of people have seen the book, let me quickly talk about one of my favorite parts about the phantom blade.
When designing the class, I came to the bit in the bladebound magus entry about a black blade becoming indestructible with a point in its pool. I though about giving the phantom weapon that same property, but I figured I could make something more interesting. This is where the weapon of the mind ability was born.
I thought it would be neat to have the phantom weapon "rebuild" itself if destroyed. The easiest way was to have it repair while harbored in the spiritualist's mind. This brings back the harboring aspect of the phantom, which I feel is an iconic aspect of the phantom. This brings up a question, however: is the phantom blade out of luck when their phantom weapon is destroyed?
I didn't want to punish any phantom blades for having their weapon destroyed, but I also didn't want the safety of the weapon to become and afterthought. Thus, the idea of empowering the spiritualist's body with phantom energy while harboring the weapon. The phantom blade already had the intent of providing any possible weapon as a phantom weapon, so why not unarmed strikes? (Also, I'm a big fun of monks and unarmed attackers, so it was a good chance to slip that in!) Unarmed strikes take a lot of investment to get working effectively compared to a weapon though, so the phantom blade needed a little more punch. That's why she gets a slower progression of flurry of blows. I feel that it's enough to make unarmed strikes as appealing as other weapons, without stepping on any brawler or monk toes. All in all, I grew very proud and excited of those 130ish words and I hope other people out there are, too!
Anyway, this is all a long-winded way of explaining that the phantom blade can ORAORAORAORA!
Sorry, no emotional focus. The emotional focus is part of the phantom's statistics, which are now wholly replaced by animal companion statistics. A phantom animal only gets whatever an animal companion's stats include plus the specific abilities listed on table 1-11. The intent from the beginning was to not have an emotional focus for the phantom animal and I realize now that adding a line stating in the entry would have cleared things up.
Sorry for the confusion!
In regards to the Enyclopedia Etherica as well as all of the occult anthologies, they are more meant as a fun little tool for GMs. The Encylcopedia for example, could be a macguffin required for a player to learn more about their phantom's origins or it could be a powerful item that can grant strange new powers. The overall abilities of the anthologies are kept intentionally vague so GMs can use them as they see fit.
As for the type of weapon available for the phantom weapon, my intent was to allow any weapon with which you are proficient. i.e. If you have longbow or greataxe proficiency, you can use a phantom longbow or phantom greataxe. That's why the artwork features the pantom greataxe.
Glad you like the book! I'm always happy to hear that our stuff is a hit.
Chess Pwn wrote:
That's why I made sure it said that! :)
Ah, yeah, I understand. While that feels like that kind of reward would be something that works best when personalized on a case by case basis, some guidelines or generic examples of such rewards would be very interesting. Maybe a future product will be a good spot for those. Alternatively, you can look at the patronage system in the new Qadira book as a jumping off point.
Hey, glad to hear that you like them! I wish I could have expanded on the feat just a bit more, but then I start stepping on the Noble Scion's toes. Maybe that prestige class is a little closer to providing the info you want to get your players that noble streak.
The Phantom Blade has a lot to it, seeing as its entry is about as long as the bladebound magus entry. Here are some of the more exciting bits I wrote into the archetype:
1. You have no phantom at all, but have the phantom blade at 1st level. No waiting for 3rd level for your weapon.
2. The weapon is ectoplasmic, which means it is always a ghost touch weapon.
3. The weapon can be any weapon with which you are proficient. Are you an elf? Take an elven curved blade! Want a bow? Sure!
4. The ectoplasmic nature of the phantom blade means it's malleable. If you need to change damage types, you can eventually change the shape of your weapon to something better.
Isabelle Lee wrote:
Such is the life of the freelancer.
Closest thing I can think of is Flying Tackle from Dirty Tactics Toolbox.
Flying Tackle wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
I'd still like to try that somewhere -- the whole "here's a map, and here are three different encounter types you can run on it" thing.
[shameless plug]Well, I'll let you know how that works out. I started a blog that is just that exact concept over on Know Direction.
Anyway, I think that would be an interesting book. It sounds similar to the Encounter Codex, which I'm still hoping to see sometime in the future!
Can anyone tell me anything more about the solar bloodline?
It's focused on sorcerers who serve Sarenrae and thus, has lots of fire and healing themes.
It gets access to appropriate spells like daylight and the aforementioned searing light and shield of the dawnflower. Its powers include bonus damage on fire spells, low-light vision, fire resistance, producing a healing fire, and the ability to transform into a being of light.
Auugh, this new policy sucks, I am desperately curious to know what Curative Mastery does. The people with their PDF are waxing fairly poetic for it, so let me ask this: would a Fighter with Curative Mastery be able to fill the "healing" role with the same efficacy as a DPR-spec'd Cleric?
Curative Mastery is an Item Mastery Feat (See: Weapon Master's Handbook) focused on healing. It allows you to cast a variety of cure spells, but don't expect to take over as the main healer. It only allows you to do so a handful of times per day.
Any effects that heal based on damage done (the kind of thing generally called "leach life", "vampiric healing" or "HP drain")?
There is at least one spell that allows you to damage enemies and receive healing.
So how extensive is the section on gnolls, a couple of pages or just a paragraph or two?
A few mentions here and there plus a decent length entry about a particular set of gnolls in the Adventuring in Qadira section.
Any information on occult classes in here ?
Every base class, except the vigilante, has a small bit explaining how they fit into Qadira, including the occult classes.
Can any druid use druidic herbalism?
Yes, it becomes a third choice for nature bond.
Marco Massoudi wrote:
In exchange for choosing an arcane school, the wizard adds healing spells to his spell list.
The vigor feats allow a character to spend points from a pool as a standard action to restore some hit points, but leaves her fatigued for some time. The rest of the vigor feats improve the healing or reduce the penalties.
Eagerly awaiting my shipping notice so I can get the nitty gritty on that Angelfire Apostle myself! If it has anything to do with what I think it does, I may make my first Cleric EVER! I've been playing since '83 or so...it has been awhile.
Angelfire apostle focuses more on channel energy. It gives up some spell casting and proficiencies in favor of expanded channeling options. Eventually, it can give up some uses per day to get some healing themed SLAs as well as expending uses to damage enemies with cleansing fire while healing allies.
Very fitting for worshipers of Sarenrae.
Considering the current state of previews is in limbo, I'll talk about this book a bit differently. No specifics here! Also, this thing is massive, so I'll give a quick summary at the end.
I think this book is wonderfully put together. I haven't read through all of the material yet (about halfway through), but what I have read is great. What I really love about this book, though, is what is chosen as the subject matter and how it is presented.
Let's hop back to a somewhat recent book, Cheliax, the Infernal Empire (mostly as I've read it recently for my Hell's Rebels game.) In essence, this book is a super gazetteer of Cheliax. Sure, there are bits about the history and how the government and society of Cheliax work, but it's mostly a gazetteer. The major sections of the book (Gazetteer and Adventures in Cheliax) primarily present details on geographical locations and some very good adventuring hooks. However, after reading this book, I'm not much closer to knowing what it is like to be an everyday Chelaxian. It's great for the "zoomed-out" approach, but it lacks a lot of the "everyday" knowledge that is great to flesh out NPCs and everyday life.
This book, on the other hand, is filled with lots of cultural knowledge. Based on the blog post alone, you can see that Jessica was concerned less about presenting adventuring sites (of which there are still plenty), but moreso with presenting as much as possible to help a GM bring Qadira to life. She focuses on language, names, Qadira's relationships with other major players, food, courtesy, the military, trade, faith, establishing character classes to better fit Qadira, and so much more. Do each of these subjects get full write-ups worthy of their own two-page spread? No, of course not, that would make a brand new hardback setting book (which I'm sure Jessica has a hardback's worth of material rolling around in her brain). However, it touches on these, even if it's for a paragraph or two. This is more than can be said of a lot of campaign setting books. I wish more books would take the time to touch on these subjects. As a GM, I feel this information is infinitely more valuable in helping run a believable game than knowing about another 30 adventuring sites. (James Sutter's First World book did well at presenting a lot of this material, too, but not at the same level that this book does. Whether that's by choice or due to the nature of the First World material, I can't say.)
Even better, there is plenty of rules material interspersed between all of these subjects. When it's relevant, we see the likes of traits and archetypes, supplementing the flavor of information just presented. This is far better than relegating all game material to its own section. It helps the flavor and mechanics work in tandem to encourage a player or a GM to better create characters and rules that fit within the themes of Qadira. It helps prevent the material from simply becoming "desert crunch." For those looking for the gazetteer-esque material, there is still a section on adventuring in Qadira with a gazetteer/adventure hook presentation. The bestiary is thin, but I can forgive it due to the fact that a lot of other fitting creatures already exist and also because it allows so much of the other material to exist.
Overall, it's just the choice of the material and how it is presented that won me over so much. It's clear that Ms. Price really cares about what shows up here. It feels like a stream of consciousness, but in a good way. When speaking about one subject, she interjects or follows up with other relevant information. It allows for the book to provide similar or related information, keeping all of it together, rather than spreading it out. Things just make sense. It's awesome and I highly recommend everyone to read this book, if only to gain some exposure to this different style of Campaign Setting book. Once you've read it, feel free to make your own decision about whether this format is better or not, but I feel that lot of readers will at least respect the book for presenting so much cultural information.
This next bit is about the nature of the Campaign Setting line. It's not entirely relevant to the book at hand, so I will place it in spoilers. For those wanting to continue this discussion, we can do so in another thread.
Campaign Setting Notes:
This brings me to a thought on the Campaign Setting books themselves. (Quick disclosure: I'm a Paizo freelancer myself so I have a bit of insight on the process for these books.) There have been so many different kinds of books in the setting line. A lot of these, such as the Monsters Unleashed or the Realms books, are broken into multiple small articles. It has a new monster or a new location with each section. This is a great format for making use of multiple authors. Each author can get their own section or two, make it their own, and not really interfere with the rest. The books are still cohesive, fit their theme, and usually complete the task they set out to do.
The region books don't benefit from the same format.
In my opinion, breaking a country or a region into rearrangable pieces detracts from the overall potential of such a book. Using the Cheliax book as an example again (which, mind you, is still a good book, but obviously I feel could be better) the book has obvious pieces (cities, adventuring sites) that can be handed off to authors to work on. The reason for this is usually logistics. It takes a long time and a lot of work for one author to produce an entire softcover's worth of material. When you break it down into pieces, it's much easier to divvy out and get the work done within a manageable time frame.
However, this book shows how valuable having just one or two authors can be. The book can focus on what is important to an author who is passionate about the material. The book flows better together, has one voice, and feels less like pieces brought together in editing. It's great. However, the nature of the business means that Paizo can't really always afford (in time or money) to have just one author work on such a big book. If it were up to me, every regional book would have two authors at most, but that would also mean planning for such books well in advance, which might not be reasonable. The rest of the books in the line can continue the same process, but these books need care and nurturing to meet the potential they really need. This long spiel is essentially me just saying, "This book was awesome! Can we get more books like this, please?"
Jessica Price does great work here and should be very proud of the book. Kudos to her and everyone else that worked on the book!
Also, now that I'm done with all of this, I most likely will refit this giant post into a proper review once the book is officially released.
tl;dr This book drips with culture and flavor which is really great for GMs, as well as plenty of thematic rule content, which is great for PCs. Check it out and compare it to other Setting books. You might like the format better!
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Might as well be sneaky and buy the rest of the Dirty Tactics Toolbox copies, too. ;)
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
PS: I don't get the bit about Weapon Finesse...
That's a leftover from when the feat still provided the benefit to both bucklers and light shields. The light shield bit was dropped during development, but it seems not all of the language was cleaned up to compensate for that fact.
With the way things went in this thread, I feel like dropping light shield support was probably a good call, though.
I stand that the answer is no. Here is the breakdown of a feat's description from the feats section.
Feat Descriptions wrote:
Benefit: What the feat enables the character ("you" in the feat description) to do.
A feat enables a character to do something, not forces a character to do something. I would say this is a catch all "can" wording for feats.
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