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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: GameMastery Guide (OGL)

****( ) (based on 40 ratings)
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: GameMastery Guide (OGL)
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Non-Mint

Add Hardcover: $39.99

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Rule Your World!

Players may be the heroes of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, but whole worlds rest on the Game Master’s shoulders. Fortunately for GMs, the Pathfinder RPG GameMastery Guide is here to back you up. Packed with invaluable hints and information, this book contains everything you need to take your game to the next level, from advice on the nuts and bolts of running a session to the greater mysteries of crafting engaging worlds and storylines. Whether you’ve run one game or a thousand, this book has page after page of secrets to make you sharper, faster, and more creative, while always staying one step ahead of your players.

The 320-page Pathfinder RPG GameMastery Guide is a must-have companion volume to the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. This imaginative tabletop game builds upon more than 10 years of system development and an Open Playtest featuring more than 50,000 gamers to create a cutting-edge RPG experience that brings the all-time best-selling set of fantasy rules into the new millennium.

    The Pathfinder RPG GameMastery Guide includes:
  • Tips and tricks for preparing and running a better game, suitable for beginning GMs and battle-hardened veterans.
  • Step-by-step walkthroughs for creating campaign worlds, cities, cosmologies, feudal systems, and alternate dimensions.
  • Difficult player types, and how to handle them gracefully.
  • New rules for subsystems like hauntings, chase scenes, fortune-telling, gambling games, mysteries, and insanity.
  • Charts to help you generate everything from interesting NPCs and fantastic treasures to instant encounters in any terrain.
  • Advanced topics such as PC death, game-breaking rules, overpowered parties, solo campaigns, and derailed storylines.
  • Sample NPC statistics for dozens of common adventuring situations, such as cultists, guardsmen, barmaids, and pirates.
  • AND MUCH, MUCH MORE!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-217-3

The worksheets from the back of the book are available as a free download (3.8 MB zip/PDF).

GameMastery Guide Errata
Last Updated - 1/22/2014

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscription.

Product Availability


Hardcover: Ships from our warehouse in 1 to 7 business days.

PDF: Fulfilled immediately. Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of PDF.

Non-Mint: Ships from our warehouse in 1 to 7 business days. This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products. The standard version of this product can be found here.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at webmaster@paizo.com.

PZO1114


See Also:



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Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Viriato wrote:

I know this has been asked before, but I found the replies rather unsatisfactory.

What are this book's main selling points for someone who has both the DMG and DMG2? The product summary covers what seems to be just more of the same, and I don't really care if it has "more" content if "more" content just means that it has some new stuff and the rest is just an updated version of the previous two books' tips and advice. I am also unimpressed by the touted number of tables, as it kinda screams "filler" to me, with the manifold random X generators available out there.

Don't get me wrong: Pathfinder RPG is one of the best things that has happened to this business in a long while, and I really want to support the product. I jumped aboard because it would enable me to make use of my considerable 3.X library without having to buy everything all over again except for the Core Rulebook itself, but this sounds just like the type of overlap I *didn't* want PF to be...

I'd recommend you listen to the latest episode of Know Direction. In that episode, F gives a rather comprehensive description of what the book's about.

Dark Archive

Gorbacz wrote:
I'm really curious where you have Pathfinder haunt and city statblock rules "covered before, some of them twice". Because as far as I know, both of those will be introduced in GMG.

haunt and chase rules are both from the APs. I would imagine there will be more detail though.

I can see viriatoe's point though, and the book won't suit everyone. This isn't a DMG, it's a different beast and some people will want to wait and see.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16, Contributor

hogarth wrote:

The random tables might be neat, though.

That's the section Richard Pett and I worked on. I think we turned in something like 120 to 130 pages worth of lists and tables (and nearly 40,000 words).

Wes told us to make these lists useful for both beginners and old hands at running games so there's quite a range of stuff in them. I don't know if I should get too specific before the book actually comes to light but there's some really fun stuff in it.


Ravenmantle wrote:
I'd recommend you listen to the latest episode of Know Direction. In that episode, F gives a rather comprehensive description of what the book's about.

Thanks. I'll check it out.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Blazej wrote:
Viriato wrote:
I want to be sold on Pathfinder rulebooks, I really do, but from what is presently known, there's nothing in this book that would lead me to preorder it. Guess I'll be waiting to know exactly what "AND MUCH, MUCH MORE!" is...
For that I can only suggest keeping an eye on, and looking though, the Paizo blog as the release of the Gamemastery Guide gets closer. It might just reveal what you are looking for.

Yep—what he said. We've really only just started to reveal what's between the covers.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I can't wait to get my copy, have it pre-ordered. :)


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

quick question, I know that if we subscribe we get the pdf for free, but I was wondering if we get the free pdf if we preorder, (I personally am hoping it is a yes but doubting that will be the case.)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

No, but you can pre-order by subscribing :)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TheJew wrote:
quick question, I know that if we subscribe we get the pdf for free, but I was wondering if we get the free pdf if we preorder, (I personally am hoping it is a yes but doubting that will be the case.)

No but you can as mentioned subscribe and get the PDF for free and then if you really wanted to you could cancel afterwards if you didn't want the Advance Players guide which is the next book.

Paizo Employee CEO

Viriato wrote:
All of which have already been covered before, some of them twice, *and* in a fashion that's compatible with the current PF ruleset. I'm not saying it can't be done better, but that's the type of stuff one might expect in a rules conversion web enhancement, or the like. I am more than capable of getting my own fluff (not even intended to be a pun), so crunch is what I'm mostly after in a product like this, and thus far it doesn't look like I'll be gaining anything new from it.

Also, remember that part of what we are trying to do with the PFRPG is to keep rulebooks in print so that new players and GMs can have access to this information. We can't make any assumptions that all of our customers have all the 3.5 era books you mention. All of them are out of print and thus not available at retail stores. GMs with huge libraries to draw upon will find more overlap in our rulebooks, but after looking through the GMG this weekend, there is a LOT of stuff that I don't have in my 1,000 book collection. Whether this is enough of a difference for somebody who has a big library to make the new book worthwhile is a decision only you can make. But you will see a mix of new and old going forward as we bring back into print rules that we feel need to be in print for a vibrant game system.

-Lisa

Liberty's Edge

Lisa Stevens wrote:
but after looking through the GMG this weekend, there is a LOT of stuff that I don't have in my 1,000 book collection.

Dang, that's a lot of books!

Dark Archive

Githzilla wrote:
Lisa Stevens wrote:
but after looking through the GMG this weekend, there is a LOT of stuff that I don't have in my 1,000 book collection.
Dang, that's a lot of books!

If only I could have afforded to keep all the books I've ever owned throughout my gaming life, an 1k collection would most likely be small compared to what has passed through my fingers.

Oh well, this book will have to make up for what I have squandered away out of necessity.


Stray thought but I wonder how well this will go to recreating aspects of SpellJammer using Pathfinder.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
FenrysStar wrote:
Stray thought but I wonder how well this will go to recreating aspects of SpellJammer using Pathfinder.

oddly enough I am working on doing just that, with a game I will be running this semester up at my University. there is a site that has space ship combat, and design rules for 3.0, and what I love about pathfinder is it doesn't take long to update everything. Still it would be nice if they did have rules for spelljammer in their as all i have from the site are basics for ship building and space combat.

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Githzilla wrote:
Lisa Stevens wrote:
but after looking through the GMG this weekend, there is a LOT of stuff that I don't have in my 1,000 book collection.
Dang, that's a lot of books!

Sure is. I'm pretty sure she has me beat, though I've got so much stuff packed away and/or not entered into the computer that it's hard to tell.

Scarab Sages

dm4hire wrote:
If only I could have afforded to keep all the books I've ever owned throughout my gaming life, an 1k collection would most likely be small compared to what has passed through my fingers.

If you published RPG books for a living you'd probably have held onto them. =)

Me, I don't have an excuse for my shelves of books...

Scarab Sages

Dark_Mistress wrote:
No but you can as mentioned subscribe and get the PDF for free and then if you really wanted to you could cancel afterwards if you didn't want the Advance Players guide which is the next book.

...except of course that you DO want the Advanced Player's Guide.


My question is will this book present more uses for skills? I've always been a proponent for the players to use their skills more often, but it can get tedious trying to be imaginative all the time and for a GM to come up with an on-the-spot ruling without giving it proper balance. I know my players tend to use their skills for whatever it published. (and WotC's 3.5e books and Dragon Magazine content have new skill uses placed randomly everywhere, had to put them together in one file).

An expansion on new skill uses, particularly with Craft, Profession, Knowledge, and Perform, is always welcome. Uses for Profession (herbalism) has always been a huge topic that needed expansion. Granted, I was happy to see Profession get real good use in DMG2 thanks to the "Running a Business" rules. I now have players willing to invest in Profession. One wants his wizard to run a chain of restaurants with Profession (cook), and another wants her character to eventually settle down and own her own tavern and brew her own alcohol, but would like for it to continue making money as she is out on adventures from time to time. I have another with Profession (gardener), too. I was glad to see Pathfinder RPG Corebook explain that the Profession skill can be used as a more specific use of the Knowledge skill, too.


I pre-ordered mine as well. But now that it's June, it would nice to know when it's going to be released. Are they waiting for the last second???


keltic1701 wrote:
I pre-ordered mine as well. But now that it's June, it would nice to know when it's going to be released. Are they waiting for the last second???

Last second before what? Since it's the beginning of June, there are still four weeks in which it can be released and still fall within the estimated release date. They've said it will be available for subscribers to pick up at PaizoCon, and that's two weeks away, so chances are good it'll be out before then.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor , Dedicated Voter 2013

yoda8myhead wrote:
keltic1701 wrote:
I pre-ordered mine as well. But now that it's June, it would nice to know when it's going to be released. Are they waiting for the last second???
Last second before what? Since it's the beginning of June, there are still four weeks in which it can be released and still fall within the estimated release date. They've said it will be available for subscribers to pick up at PaizoCon, and that's two weeks away, so chances are good it'll be out before then.

From my reading of the PaizoCon pickup post, GMGs won't be shipping before the con...

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Russ Taylor wrote:
From my reading of the PaizoCon pickup post, GMGs won't be shipping before the con...

:( *sad panda*


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Russ Taylor wrote:
From my reading of the PaizoCon pickup post, GMGs won't be shipping before the con...

Actually the way I read it is that the June shipments are going to start shipping a week from today. And it should be all shipped before the Con, thus the requirement to select the pick up option by next Monday.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Cards, Maps Subscriber
keltic1701 wrote:
I pre-ordered mine as well. But now that it's June, it would nice to know when it's going to be released. Are they waiting for the last second???

What I have seen on subscription page has been mid-June. Also, Paizocon attendess can pick up their subscriptions there and that begins on the 18th. So, around Paizocon either just before or just after I would suspect.


Shem wrote:
keltic1701 wrote:
I pre-ordered mine as well. But now that it's June, it would nice to know when it's going to be released. Are they waiting for the last second???
What I have seen on subscription page has been mid-June. Also, Paizocon attendess can pick up their subscriptions there and that begins on the 18th. So, around Paizocon either just before or just after I would suspect.

Ah! I didn't check the subscription page. I was was only looking at the GMG page itself. It makes sense to release it on or around Paizocon. I just wish the would put that on the GMG page and not have to hunt around for it. Thanks for the heads-up. Now if I can only get Paizo to nail down a firm date for APG release! <grin>

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

keltic1701 wrote:
Ah! I didn't check the subscription page. I was was only looking at the GMG page itself. It makes sense to release it on or around Paizocon. I just wish the would put that on the GMG page and not have to hunt around for it. Thanks for the heads-up. Now if I can only get Paizo to nail down a firm date for APG release! <grin>

On our product pages, we just put the month. Why? Because "release date" means different things to different people. Some people would be looking for the date we'll start shipping out preorders and subscriber copies, and other people would be looking for the date on which they should start looking in retail stores—and those dates tend to run two to three weeks apart. But we don't really have the room to explain all that on every product page, so we just put the month.

Our product schedule page, though, is geared towards subscribers and online purchasers, so we can afford to be a bit more specific, and tell you whether it will ship to subscribers in the early, middle, or late part of each month. (People looking for retail dates can just add half a month to those estimates.)

There are a number of reasons why we can't be more specific than early/middle/late. The big one is that, due to the vagaries of shipping and customs, we often don't know the exact date things are going to arrive until they actually arrive... and the other main one is that is takes several days to fulfill all subscriptions and preorders, so providing an exact date would be misleading anyway.

Now, one time per year, there's an exception to all this, and that's Gen Con. We knock ourselves out to make sure that we have our August products in hand so that we can debut them on the first day of Gen Con each year. So, barring catastrophe, the release date for the APG will be the first day of Gen Con Indy: August 5.


Lisa Stevens wrote:
GMs with huge libraries to draw upon will find more overlap in our rulebooks, but after looking through the GMG this weekend, there is a LOT of stuff that I don't have in my 1,000 book collection. Whether this is enough of a difference for somebody who has a big library to make the new book worthwhile is a decision only you can make.

My point exactly, ms. Stevens, which is why I asked for a more precise answer as to what exactly I could expect concerning new content, as the product's description is necessarily vague in its spielishness. "And much, MUCH more" and "a LOT" doesn't really cover it. Even the interview Ravenmantle helpfully pointed me to doesn't really go much beyond "it has tables, lots of tables, tables about everything!" and merely elaborating on what the short product description already says. A superficial overview on the new stuff would be enough for me, but so far it just looks like lots of tables, a helping of common sense, and a couple of new rules or rehashed subsystems.

I guess I'll just have to wait for a detailed review before deciding whether or not the book is worth an investment. Thank you for your reply, nonetheless.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Here it is June... and it is not out whahawha!!! :)

Any news on the day it is coming out yet??

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

I'd check a few posts above yours. :)


Deanoth wrote:

Here it is June... and it is not out whahawha!!! :)

Any news on the day it is coming out yet??

Patience is a virtue.

Dark Archive

Twin Agate Dragons wrote:
Deanoth wrote:

Here it is June... and it is not out whahawha!!! :)

Any news on the day it is coming out yet??

Patience is a virtue.

BAH! I demand my copy *NOW* or else I'll curse all Paizo staffers with baldness!


I have pre ordered this in the Uk. 30th June according to Book Depository


Asgetrion wrote:
Twin Agate Dragons wrote:
Deanoth wrote:

Here it is June... and it is not out whahawha!!! :)

Any news on the day it is coming out yet??

Patience is a virtue.
BAH! I demand my copy *NOW* or else I'll curse all Paizo staffers with baldness!

You mean they will all look like Sean???? OMG !!

-- david
Papa.DRB

Dark Archive

Papa-DRB wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
Twin Agate Dragons wrote:
Deanoth wrote:

Here it is June... and it is not out whahawha!!! :)

Any news on the day it is coming out yet??

Patience is a virtue.
BAH! I demand my copy *NOW* or else I'll curse all Paizo staffers with baldness!

You mean they will all look like Sean???? OMG !!

-- david
Papa.DRB

Hey, that's a great idea! I will polymorph everyone into SKR clones (without the 'Sunglasses of Extra-Coolness', though) -- brilliant! :P


Ohh gambling rules? Is that what I read on the description? I hope it's a good set of gambling rules, I always felt that was lacking in the game was a solid set of gambling mechanics. Especially since I have a few players who have PCs with Profession (gambling) ranks.


PDF available at 30th June! I can't wait! 8)


Aww at the end of the month? More like July LOL Lame.

Grand Lodge

Awwww what happened to mid-June :(


Wait.... what happened to the hardcover version? Why did it go from preorder to unavailable?

Dark Archive

I really hope this doesn't affect me being able to pick up my copy at PaizoCon.......The burning desire for this book knows no bounds.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Er...it's still mid-June and my subscription page still says I can pick it up at PaizoCon. Not that I'm going to PaizoCon. So yeah, I'm sure they'll start shipping out subscription copies very soon.


Flying out to Seattle is not in the budget. I still need to call a hotel in Pittsburgh about my reservation for Anthrocon. This would be nice to read on the train. And this book sounds like it could help with my thoughts of running either SpellJammer or Dragonstar with Pathfinder.


Xen wrote:
Awwww what happened to mid-June :(

I know nothing and may be 100% wrong.... so don't sue me.

I'm pretty certain the June 30 date is the date it will be released for general purchase as a PDF. This has no bearing on the ship date / pdf availability date for subscribers.

Dedicated Voter 2013

BryonD wrote:
Xen wrote:
Awwww what happened to mid-June :(

I know nothing and may be 100% wrong.... so don't sue me.

I'm pretty certain the June 30 date is the date it will be released for general purchase as a PDF. This has no bearing on the ship date / pdf availability date for subscribers.

And is in fact about two weeks after it ships from paizo.

Dedicated Voter 2013

Jim Strebeck wrote:
Wait.... what happened to the hardcover version? Why did it go from preorder to unavailable?

Uh, its still preorder.


vagrant-poet wrote:
Jim Strebeck wrote:
Wait.... what happened to the hardcover version? Why did it go from preorder to unavailable?
Uh, its still preorder.

That is because it changed. It was unavailable for a day or two, at least.


And I just got my "in the next week or so..." e-mail.

Dedicated Voter 2013

BryonD wrote:
And I just got my "in the next week or so..." e-mail.

Huzzah! That means their in the offices or will be soon! Shipping might start monday!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
BryonD wrote:
And I just got my "in the next week or so..." e-mail.

I just did as well. WOOT!!!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

vagrant-poet wrote:
BryonD wrote:
And I just got my "in the next week or so..." e-mail.
Huzzah! That means their in the offices or will be soon! Shipping might start monday!

The "unavailable" status was the result of somebody flipping a switch that shouldn't have been flipped. We are indeed preparing to fulfill subscription copies and preorders starting next week.

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