Paizo Top Nav Branding
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ

ericthecleric's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. Organized Play Member. 2,826 posts. 10 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character.



1 to 5 of 10 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Sign in to create or edit a product review.

Not Pathfinder In Space

***( )( )

Many reviews have talked about what’s in the book, so I’m not going to do that. Rather, I’m going to mention what I like and don’t like.

Likes (in no particular order):
1. The book looks amazing. The art and layout are very good, excluding the ysoki art.
2. The theme idea is a good one, another interesting way to tweak characters. However, it would have been good if there were at least three themes per ability score, plus three different themeless themes. Future books can expand the range though. (After reading one of the other posts, apparently the theme idea came from 5e.)
3. The Building Starships section is interesting. I’m glad that bit wasn’t simplified! I used to love the starship/vehicle design systems in I.C.E.’s Star Strike and Armored Assault ruleset expansions for the Spacemaster game.
4. For me, the setting chapter is the best chapter of the book, or at least the “The Pact Worlds”, “Beyond the Pact Worlds”, “Factions and Organizations”, and “Threats” sections. They provide a lot of color and a ton of ideas for GMs to include in games. This is unusual for me, because I’m really more of a “crunch” guy.
5. It’s good that the Pathfinder legacy chapter is there (but really it would be better for the game to use the Pathfinder rules thus avoiding the need for this chapter).

Dislikes (in no particular order):
1. The ysoki art looks ridiculous to me, as bad as the massive-eared elves in Pathfinder.
2. The Gap affecting the entire multiverse seems a bit silly. However, it does provide a means for Paizo to not need to explain what happened in the time between the current Golarion timeline and the current Starfinder timeline (alongside the disappearance of Golarion).
3. My biggest dislike: It is not “Pathfinder in space”, but rather a separate game. The direction that this game has gone in does not please me. It has been simplified too much in too many areas for my taste. Here are some examples, and please note that there are many, many topics I could pick here:
* Magic is drastically reduced, presumably to give technology more prominence. Magic items are much weaker than they are in Pathfinder (compare rings of resistance). The range of spells is obviously much smaller (although obviously this will increase with subsequent books).
* The math behind combat seems off to me. I could go into this further but I won’t. There are very few bonuses to attack rolls and no touch attack AC, yet monster ACs broadly remain the same for their CRs as in Pathfinder (although those details are in Alien Archive).
* The classes. Clearly, there was a decision to make the classes at a lower power level than in Pathfinder. It feels like someone said “Hey, the rogue is too powerful, lets make them less good than that.” about the game’s martial classes. They just feel very limited.

Conclusion:
While a minority of Paizo fans may have listened to interviews or read blog posts about Starfinder, I was one of the many who did not. It is not “Pathfinder in space”, but rather a separate game that merges the Pathfinder rules with ideas from 4e and 5e, and made simpler. That may appeal to some, and I’m sure many people will have fun with it. Good for them. It does not appeal to me.

Given the shifter’s stated aim of being simpler and this game, it makes me wonder if Pathfinder 2 is being worked on, and as a simpler game. That’s a worry to me, because people stuck by Paizo in the late 2000’s because they did not like the direction 4e went in, and wanted a variant of the 3.x rules. Yet, this is headed in that direction. If there had been a public playtest of this game, I’m pretty sure it would have ended up as “Pathfinder in space” instead of what it is.

I like complexity, and I’d have liked this book to use the same rules as Pathfinder. Too much was packed into the book IMO, resulting in too many simplifications for my tastes. Because I know many people will enjoy the game, I am rating this a 2.5, rounding up for purpose of this platform.

Fortunately, there may still be the following for Pathfinder:

James Jacobs wrote:
ericthecleric wrote:
Does the existence of the Starfinder RPG help or hinder the chance of there being another high-tech Pathfinder Adventure Path (like Iron Gods) or Pathfinder AP adventures being set on Earth or in Golarion's solar system, or does it make no difference to such Pathfinder adventures appearing?
It helps, because the popularity of Starfinder proves that there's an appetite for science fantasy. But that said, for most science fantasy plots going forward, it makes more sense for us to do them with Starfinder, not Pathfinder. We'll find out in time.


Our Price: $11.99

Add to Cart

Great!

*****

"The Iron Guard Field Guide" is a class sourcebook for the Thunderscape campaign setting. It provides a chunk of options for characters of the golemoid and thunder scout classes, and more.

It is 36 pages long, and as well as all the crunch provided above, it includes background to the two classes and how they fit into the setting of Aden. Also provided are roleplaying tips for each class, and a table offering suggestions for how the character became a member of their class. In addition, there are two sample NPCs for each class, detailed at level 1, 6 and 12.

The options presented in this book are fun and interesting. This is just as good as Saints & Sinners and Law & Destiny. If you like the other two class books, you'll love this.


Our Price: $14.99

Add to Cart
***( )( )

I’ve now read “Heart of the Machine”, part one of The Lost Lexicon adventure path for the Thunderscape setting… and I’m not sure I like it. It’s a 48 page PDF.

The first part of it (Chapter 1) describes the city of Mekanus, its history and various districts. There is also a lot of detail about two possible factions that the PCs might join, or not. This section is excellent, and includes a map overview of the city with its sections.

The second third of the book (Chapter 2) is devoted to Bounty Missions. While the town does have military forces, they are used against big threats and protecting the important/wealthy areas of the city. The PCs start the adventure by joining the Cogswheel Irregulars, who are semi-professional lawmen who do jobs to help deal with the problems that the authorities won’t. This section starts off by detailing how acceptable or not killing and looting is by the Cogswheel Irregular members. This is followed by several sample missions for a GM to use. This section ends with a four page mission generator; these cover bounty, security, courier, repossession and military missions.

Chapter 3 begins to develop the plot for the adventure, with the characters performing a particular security mission; this covers 6 pages. Chapter 4 covers the adventure’s finale; the PCs should be 4th level when they attempt this section, which covers 8 pages. The last two pages includes a new monster and random encounter tables.

This adventure feels very much like a “kit”. A GM will need to undertake serious preparation to ensure that it remains fun throughout; otherwise, it is just an endless collection a random missions, plus those encounters included in the book. There are no maps, aside from the map of Mekanus itself. Personally, I think that undertaking random missions for one class level (including the sample missions) would be enough to prevent too much repetition, and a series of mini-“dungeons” would work better.

On the other hand, there could be say 2-3 missions with 8-10 or so encounters (PCs taking on a gang in a dilapidated house for example), several 3-6 encounter missions, and several 1-2 encounter missions, with encounters being roleplaying, traps, physical combat or whatever, and there should be maps. If such a thing is done, then the assault on the bad guys’ lair should also be beefed up to 8-10 encounters or it will feel underwhelming, and in any case, the final chapter should require 3rd level PCs and *just* take them to 4th level, ready for the next adventure. What would also really help is if GMs who have run or plan to run this adventure post the missions they create somewhere in a thread to help others.

Sadly, the do-it-yourself element of Heart of the Machine does not make for a compelling or interesting first part of an adventure path, which is a shame, because Kyoudai books are normally fantastic. A GM could even start this campaign with other adventures beforehand to get the PCs to 3rd level, and start this adventure then, with the PCs arriving at the city as they reach 3rd level.


Our Price: $11.99

Add to Cart

Another great class expansion book

*****

"Law and Destiny" is a class sourcebook for the Thunderscape campaign setting. It provides a chunk of new options for characters of the arbiter and seer classes, and more. Scarman provides a helpful summary of what's included on the discussion page, but here’s a bit more info:

Arbiter Maneuvers:
Applied Intellect
Armored Fall
Demolish
Diplomatic Training
Dramatic Recovery
Extended Charge
Frustrating Strikes
Impervious
Indestructible
Justice’s Bastion
Lawful Vessel
Master Shieldwarden
One Against Many
Piercing Riposte
Sage Immunity
Shield Assault
Snare the Rabbit
Supreme Tactics
Swift Interrogation

Seer Minor Prophecies:
Aura Adept
Aura of Second Sight (new aura)
Aura of Survival (new aura)
Blessed Vision
Blessed Mentor
Divert Destiny
Doombringer
Karmic Link
Spell Adept
Timely Warning
Time’s Arrow

Seer Major Prophecies:
Aura of Renewal (new aura)
Consume Fate
Focused Sight
Projected Destiny
Readiness
Sacred Vision
Sagacious Spellcaster
Twist Destiny

Seer Master Prophecies:
Aura of Destiny (new aura)
Moment of Mastery
Miraculous Vision

It is 37 pages long, and as well as all the crunch provided above, it includes background to the two classes and how they fit into the setting of Aden. Also provided are roleplaying tips for each class, and a table offering suggestions for how the character became a member of their class. In addition, there are two sample NPCs for each class, detailed at level 1, 6 and 12. There is also a two-page spread which is spoilered, detailing the secret history of the Order of Seers; good stuff.

The options presented in this book are fun and interesting. For example, piercing riposte allows an arbiter to ignore damage resistance of up to double his Intelligence modifier while making attacks of opportunity, while sage immunity allows an arbiter to add his Intelligence modifier to all saving throws versus magic. For seers, there are consume fate where the seer regains a use of second sight when an enemy is reduced to zero hit points while within the seer’s aura, and doombringer which increases the save DCs of auras that affect enemies by +2. All the new options increase the utility and fun of the two classes.

As with Saints & Sinners, the stat blocks follow an unusual format in that the racial abilities, class abilities and favoured class bonuses are included in their own entries. They should really have been included in the special attack line, special quality line (and so on), as appropriate.

The fluff in this book in excellent, even if you aren’t using the Aden setting itself, the information can help GMs and players better fit the two classes into their games. The new options are good as well. This book is well worth getting if you are a fan of the Thunderscape campaign setting, or just the class options.


Our Price: $11.99

Add to Cart

An excellent resource

*****

"Saints and Sinners" is a class sourcebook for the Thunderscape campaign setting. It provides a chunk of options for characters of the fallen and thaumaturge classes, and more. (Scarman provides a helpful summary of what's included on the discussion page.)

It is 43 pages long, and as well as all the crunch provided above, it includes background to the two classes and how they fit into the setting of Aden. Also provided are roleplaying tips for each class, and a table offering suggestions for how the character became a member of their class. In addition, there are two sample NPCs for each class, detailed at level 1, 6 and 12.

The options presented in this book are fun and interesting. In fact several of the fallen abilities made me chuckle, while the thaumaturge options greatly increase the potential versatility of that class. The channeler’s icons are a must have for thaumaturge PCs, IMO, as they act a bit like pearls of wisdom, allowing a character to reactivate a consumed aspect.

Other points:
Personally, I think the mythwrought weapon ability should have a flat +1,000 gp price increase rather than having a +1 bonus price modifier. It should also have the option to inflict energy damage other than fire, but only one type of energy (perhaps chosen when first wielded).

The corrupted claws ability gained at 16th level deals the same damage as at 4th level; I suspect that this should have been increased.

The stat blocks follow an unusual format in that the racial abilities, class abilities and favoured class bonuses are included in their own entries. They should really have been included in the special attack line, special quality line (and so on), as appropriate.

Overall, if you are a fan of the Thunderscape campaign setting, or just the class options, this book is worth getting.


1 to 5 of 10 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

©2002-2017 Paizo Inc.® | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours, Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific time.

Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, Starfinder, the Starfinder logo, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Legends, Pathfinder Online, Starfinder Adventure Path, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.

23 – 1.50.25637.303.25637 (2017-12-13 12:21)