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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: GameMastery Guide (OGL)

****½ (based on 39 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 2 to 14 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 2 to 14 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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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Why oh why are all these awesome products coming out, I'm gonna go broke


This is exactly the type of thing I was hoping for when it came to the "other" hardcovers for the PFRPG game. Something that is going to be a good toolbox for a GM.


Yeah, despite being a DM/GM/etc... for over 25 years I think I may find this of interest as well, especially since I don't think I come anywhere near doing things as well as Paizo does them.


Jeez- you guys will be my financial downfall...

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ah well time to sell a kidney.

Osirion

I wonder if this will be the art for the cover. It is the pic on the Gamemastery treasure chest.

Osirion

This is an interesting and useful looking book

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Masika wrote:
I wonder if this will be the art for the cover. It is the pic on the Gamemastery treasure chest.

No. It is a mock-up. Wayne Reynolds is doing an original piece for the cover of this book.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

How big is going to be ? Who are the authors ? Is Wayne doing the cov...aw, beaten to a punch by EM ;)

Cheliax

I'm sold on the "additional advanced rules". Yummy.

Osirion

Erik Mona wrote:
Masika wrote:
I wonder if this will be the art for the cover. It is the pic on the Gamemastery treasure chest.
No. It is a mock-up. Wayne Reynolds is doing an original piece for the cover of this book.

Cool.

I would have been happy with this cover as well. I like that pic.


Me wants.


Hmmmm.... Hope the wifey will up my allowance ;-P

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Gorbacz wrote:
How big is going to be ? Who are the authors ?

320 pages; written by multiple Paizo staffers and contributors—you'll see a lot of familiar names.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Holy flumph Batman, that's 40 pages more than the DMGII !!! Can't wait.

And I hope that Pett and Logue will do a chapter on "How to DM for kids: Plush Mountain Massacre done easy".


Its due in 2010, thats about 8 months form now, plenty of time to budget and save for it.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I'm so getting this.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

pre-ordered, looks very interesting now can't really wait to get my hands on it.

There is so much listed there that looks to be almost essential for a game, or at leat make a GM's job easier.

I wonder if the converting from other systems will include a how to for 3.5 and 3.0 stuff like classes and races.

I'm assuming this will be part of any PFRPG subscription.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

OK, since the book is apparently in planning phase, here's what I want:

- a chapter on law in D&D. Rules for legal systems would be awesome,
- some sort of magic item purchasing system, to avoid the usual "magic shop" blues,
- chase rules. Yes, it's listed in product description. Chase rules. CHASE RULES !!!
- some kind of quick and dirty mass combat system maybe ?
- more "Ask a Pro". The series is stellar so far !
- the harlot table and "a night in soft company" price list. Please. I can't count how many times I was asked "how much does a night with 2 sexy halflings cost ?",
- Chase rules.
- Some chapter on long distance travel listing all the options with their speeds ? Yes I know the basic rules have that, but perhaps being able to compare shadow walk, air walk, overland flight etc in one place would be swell

Andoran RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

The summary page for this product is better than the entire DMG II. I can't wait to get it!

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

By all means post topic requests to this thread, as there is still time to influence the contents of the book (I'll finish the outline in about two weeks, but even after that there will be time to squeeze things in).

Gorbacz wrote:

OK, since the book is apparently in planning phase, here's what I want:

A lot of this stuff is definitely in the book. I know Jason is really interested in doing something with mass combat, so maybe I can press him into putting something together.

I dunno about whore tables. I think to be more inclusive we'd have to include things like charming catamite and desperate addict. And I think it would piss off as many people as it would impress. Not sure.

The long distance travel breakdowns... that's a VERY interesting idea.

I promise there will be chase rules.


The content of this book looks incredible ! If there's anything I would add, it would be a section '' how to deal with a X player ''. For example, how to deal with a new player, a hack and slash player, rule maniac player, etc. A few tips from the pro's could help me deal with the different type of player's I encounter. Maybe a few house rule suggestion for each of those type of player's.

Anyway, it's just a suggestion that crossed my mind.

Cheliax

Erik Mona wrote:
By all means post topic requests to this thread, as there is still time to influence the contents of the book (I'll finish the outline in about two weeks, but even after that there will be time to squeeze things in).

As far as the designing a campaign world from scratch I'd like to make a recommendation to add to that section. If you haven't seen the rules for Dawn of Worlds, the free world creation game, I'd suggest taking a look. I'd love to see something presented along those lines to provide a way to help get the players involved in world creating and story sharing, easing design for the GM yet providing a fun way to do it. One thought I have is that it could be presented as a way to give epic characters more of a challenge in game, while still being stand alone rules, as they become the gods like in nature, allowing the players to help design their next campaign world with the GM. I like the idea that previously played epic or high level characters becoming the gods of the next campaign world.

Cheliax

Erik Mona wrote:

A lot of this stuff is definitely in the book. I know Jason is really interested in doing something with mass combat, so maybe I can press him into putting something together.

I promise there will be chase rules.

YES!

Something I'd like to see is a d20/Pathfinder version of the LifePath character building options seen on some Fuzion-based games (Artesia foremost).
While it looks like a bunch of tables at first sight, it actually offers a great way to create colorful PCs for uninspirated gamers (or rookies), teaching in the meanwhile some basic features of the setting.

Andoran

Gorbacz wrote:


- the harlot table and "a night in soft company" price list. Please. I can't count how many times I was asked "how much does a night with 2 sexy halflings cost ?",

Should be 2 for 1 deal as far as I'm concerned. ^_^

...

......

...........

................

..................... I am actually a little ashamed of myself right now.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

More than 100 Stat blocks, eh? OK, that alone is good enough for me, but the rest sounds like sweet, sweet reading (and useful game reference). As for suggestions, sure, just be sure to hit that 100 stat block promise, OK? ;-)

-DM Jeff

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

This looks good.

May I suggest in the 'world building' section, an essay on integrating 3PP material into a homebrew? One of the things I loved about the Stargate RPG was suggestions on how to incorporate Nyambe and Seventh Sea stuff into the Stargate RPG, for example.


Oooh things I'd like to see included.....so many in my head....can't formulate them into coherant thoughts...

1. Guilds, affiliations, trade consortiums, Bardic colleges. In particular what type of groups exist in Golaria. How to create one? What benefits, and problems when you are in one?
2. Building of shops (magic, blacksmith, alchemy), or creation of trade routes. What are the costs of setting one up, maintaining?
3. Mass combat rules....YES PLEASE!!

Can't wait to see what others would like to see.

Segallion

Taldor

This is the exact sort of product I was hoping for. I think I'm more excited about this than the RPG Hardcoverf (and I'm pretty excited about that)!!


Quote:
And I hope that Pett and Logue will do a chapter on "How to DM for kids: Plush Mountain Massacre done easy".

I strongly second this one: being a RPG old-timer (may be not the only one out there on the boards I suspect ;-)), my gamers regularly ask me for an initiation game for some of their 7-8 years old kids (my daughter is only 2+ - she will wait a little bit more for Mr. Logue's wonderful adventures).

Any recommendations (and why not a 3-4 pages scenario as a dowloadable bonus pdf ?) whould be greatly appretiated. I have read exchanges about this on the boards sometimes, but your input - O Paizo Mogols - would be most welcome!


Egocentrix wrote:
Quote:
And I hope that Pett and Logue will do a chapter on "How to DM for kids: Plush Mountain Massacre done easy".

I strongly second this one: being a RPG old-timer (may be not the only one out there on the boards I suspect ;-)), my gamers regularly ask me for an initiation game for some of their 7-8 years old kids (my daughter is only 2+ - she will wait a little bit more for Mr. Logue's wonderful adventures).

Any recommendations (and why not a 3-4 pages scenario as a dowloadable bonus pdf ?) whould be greatly appretiated. I have read exchanges about this on the boards sometimes, but your input - O Paizo Mogols - would be most welcome!

Great topic. Is there an existing thread regarding kids and RP? I run a simple campaign for my kids and their friends and they have a great time. I would love to compare notes.


DM Jeff wrote:

More than 100 Stat blocks, eh? OK, that alone is good enough for me, but the rest sounds like sweet, sweet reading (and useful game reference). As for suggestions, sure, just be sure to hit that 100 stat block promise, OK? ;-)

-DM Jeff

I'm also excited about this book, but too be honest, I don't need 100 NPC stat blocks. I think that 1) this would take away too many pages that could possibly better be used 2) there are NPC-generator outthere that can do this for you. This is not to say, that there should be no statblocks for NPCs, but perhaps cut the number in (perhaps) half. The freed-up pages could be used for stronghold-rules, UA-like rules and options, traits, or expanded envirnmental rules including rules for adventuring on different planes or something like that.


Gorbacz wrote:

OK, since the book is apparently in planning phase, here's what I want:

- some sort of magic item purchasing system, to avoid the usual "magic shop" blues,

Very interesting. I've been thinking about this recently. The idea of a "magic shop" seems unpalatable to me. I mean, how long could, "Encanters R US" stay open and not be raided, robbed, destroyed and or obliterated by every powerful NPC/monster in a 500 mile radius?

In my mind, aside from treasure or buying a magic item from another NPC, it seems reasonable that each new magic item would have to be commissioned from a wizard/sorcerer, etc.

Sorry, I am new to these forums, and probably off-topic here. Anyone know of a thread that already discusses this topic?

Cheliax

Gorbacz wrote:

- chase rules. Yes, it's listed in product description. Chase rules. CHASE RULES !!!

I love the chase mechanic in Edge of Anarchy. Also, the harrow Deck rules are fantastic, they should so be in this.....

Cheliax

Beastman wrote:
This is not to say, that there should be no statblocks for NPCs, but perhaps cut the number in (perhaps) half. The freed-up pages could be used for stronghold-rules, UA-like rules and options, traits, or expanded envirnmental rules including rules for adventuring on different planes or something like that.

YES. Emphasis mine.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

How about two books? The Gamemastery Guide could be 320 WITHOUT NPC statblocks. And the second book could be 320 pages of nothing but NPC statblocks.

Osirion

I am a big fan of this book. :) I like NPC stat blocks, chase rules, and would throw my voice behind the movement for mass combat rules.

How about additional class tradeoffs (as we've seen in the Campaign Setting)? Those are neat, and allow further customization of a class.

I think this would be an opportunity to add in a lot of the great suggestions found on the boards that didn't exactly fit the final ruleset parameters as optional rules (a la Unearthed Arcana).


Erik Mona wrote:


I dunno about whore tables.

But it does have "NPC favour" tables. I guess they include sexual favours, yes?

Kill an ogre - lapdance by mayor's daughter (we all know mayors' daughters are always easy)
Defeat evil necromancer terrorising forest with undead bunny rabbits and other previously cute critters - threesome with two nymphs

And so on. We really need guidelines for that sort of thing.

We have treasure tables, we should know when a kiss is appropriate, and when a hero can expect to get some play. That's one of the reasons adventurers become adventurers, after all. It's all about money, alcohol and fooling around!

Is is that just me and the people I play with.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I think some suggestion on improvised use on the environment would be helpful for GMs, such as collapsing a pillar onto a opponent.

As an example, I had a PC knocked into the fish slurry in COTCT: Edge of Anarchy. I quickly came up with a save DC for him to avoid being sickened for one round.

Likewise, a table giving skill check DCs a CR rating might be useful for setting up skill based challenges (if this has not made it into the basic rules).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Zootcat wrote:
How about two books? The Gamemastery Guide could be 320 WITHOUT NPC statblocks. And the second book could be 320 pages of nothing but NPC statblocks.

Ah, yes that would be something! The statblock book that is.

Here's my wishlist, for starters:

Spoiler:

Alchemist
Alchemist, Master
Assassin
Assassin, Church
Assassin, Master
Assassin, Spellsword
Assassin Monk
Bard
Bard, Master
Cityguard
Cityguard Sergeant
Cityguard Captain
Cityguard Wizard
Cleric, Archpriest
Cleric, Highpriest
Craftsman
Craftsman, Master
Cultist
Druid
Druid, Arch
Druid, Dark
Duelist
Duelist Master
Elf, Forester
Elf, Veteran
Elf, Master Bard
Horse Tribesman
Knight
Mercenary
Mercenary Captain
Merchant
Merchant Lord
Monk Initiate
Monk
Noble
Noble Lord/Lady
Orc
Orc, Shaman
Orc, Warrior
Orc, Warlord
Paladin Knight
Paladin Lord
Pirate
Pirate Captain
Pirate Captain, Ghost
Ranger
Sage
Sailor
Sailor, Sea Captain
Shadow Monk
Shaman
Soldier, Infantryman
Soldier, Cavalryman
Soldier, Army Scout
Soldier, Combat Medic
Soldier, Marine
Soldier, Temple Knight
Soldier, Warlord
Sorcerer
Sorcerer, Master
Spellthief
Spellthief, Master
Spy
Spymaster
Swordmage
Swordmage Master
Thief, Burglar
Thief, Guild Thief
Thief, Turf Boss
Thief, Guildmaster
Thug
Valet/Handmaiden
Wench
Warlock/Witch
Wizard, Apprentice
Wizard, Binder
Wizard, Dragon Mage
Wizard, Loremaster
Wizard, Archmage
Wizard, Army
Wizard, Thieves’ Guild Alchemist
Wizard, Shadow Mage

Note that I tag npcs from role, not necessarily class. So a "binder" would be a level 11+ conjurer in a core game.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Bugpog wrote:

The content of this book looks incredible ! If there's anything I would add, it would be a section '' how to deal with a X player ''. For example, how to deal with a new player, a hack and slash player, rule maniac player, etc. A few tips from the pro's could help me deal with the different type of player's I encounter. Maybe a few house rule suggestion for each of those type of player's.

That's in the outline for sure.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

golem101 wrote:


Something I'd like to see is a d20/Pathfinder version of the LifePath character building options seen on some Fuzion-based games (Artesia foremost).
While it looks like a bunch of tables at first sight, it actually offers a great way to create colorful PCs for uninspirated gamers (or rookies), teaching in the meanwhile some basic features of the setting.

I think we might hold off on that type of thing for a more player-focused book.

I love the old "Central Casting" books, though, which I think pulled this off best.


I'd like to see "Ye Old Magic Shoppe" concepts addressed.

James has said that the players ability to shop and buy better gear is a basic assumption in any Paizo AP. That is, you have to let players sell magic gear and buy the stuff that they want and need. Or, tailor their treasure exactly.

But usually the dreaded Magic Item Shop makes me cringe because it shatters my own suspension of disbelief, even as the GM. I deal with it as best I can.

But rather complaining about it, Erik Mona, I'd love to see some insight on how to handle "shopping for magic gear" in a way that feels smart and looks good.

My suggestion.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Beastman wrote:


I'm also excited about this book, but too be honest, I don't need 100 NPC stat blocks. I think that 1) this would take away too many pages that could possibly better be used 2) there are NPC-generator outthere that can do this for you. This is not to say, that there should be no statblocks for NPCs, but perhaps cut the number in (perhaps) half. The freed-up pages could be used for stronghold-rules, UA-like rules and options, traits, or expanded envirnmental rules including rules for adventuring on different planes or something like that.

We may end up trimming some of these if we need to.

Cheliax

Erik Mona wrote:
golem101 wrote:


Something I'd like to see is a d20/Pathfinder version of the LifePath character building options seen on some Fuzion-based games (Artesia foremost).
While it looks like a bunch of tables at first sight, it actually offers a great way to create colorful PCs for uninspirated gamers (or rookies), teaching in the meanwhile some basic features of the setting.

I think we might hold off on that type of thing for a more player-focused book.

I love the old "Central Casting" books, though, which I think pulled this off best.

Yup, maybe it's more fitting for a future "PlayerMastery Guide". ;)

Still, mass combat, expanded environmental, stronghold building and management, chase, research, mystery and investigations rules... a big boat full of Paizo-style gaming goodness!

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Watcher wrote:


But rather complaining about it, Erik Mona, I'd love to see some insight on how to handle "shopping for magic gear" in a way that feels smart and looks good.

OK.


Watcher wrote:

I'd like to see "Ye Old Magic Shoppe" concepts addressed.

James has said that the players ability to shop and buy better gear is a basic assumption in any Paizo AP. That is, you have to let players sell magic gear and buy the stuff that they want and need. Or, tailor their treasure exactly.
But usually the dreaded Magic Item Shop makes me cringe because it shatters my own suspension of disbelief, even as the GM. I deal with it as best I can.
But rather complaining about it, Erik Mona, I'd love to see some insight on how to handle "shopping for magic gear" in a way that feels smart and looks good.
My suggestion.

Very good suggestion, Watcher.

+1
Not that a DM needs to be given the right to deal with magic stuff in his campaign as he wishes, but reading the opinions of some respected designers (or fellow DMs) might comfort him in his ruling on that matter or moderate it somewhat.

Edit : The "OK" of the monoculus above me seems to be a good omen. :)


Seldriss wrote:


Edit : The "OK" of the monoculus above me seems to be a good omen. :)

Indeed! :D

And, from a certain perspective its not a hard topic. If you want to, you can boil it all down to "are you going to let them buy stuff or not?"

So yeah- you can reduce it down a yes or no question, for sure.

Its just that there's a lot painstaking detail in many campaign settings, and trying to wrap my head around this image of a little old man in a shop with a handful of +1 swords.. Well, it always makes me cringe. I'm an old grognard from 1st Edition, and "the Magic Item Shoppe" is a legacy where I say that the good old days weren't always great.

Are magic items for sale always salvage? Are they always custom works (and if so, shouldn't that make them inconvenient to acquire mid-adventure)? Does some mage just make Handy Haversacks to supplement his retirement?

Lol

Again, it's easy to just let players buy and sell stuff without thinking about it. What I'm proposing is how you do that and make it fit in your campaign world in a cool way. That's a GameMastery topic I'd love to see a few paragraphs about.

Cheliax

Kevin Mack wrote:
Ah well time to sell a kidney.

Hey I need a kidney, maybe we could work something out?

Left or right? I only need a right kidney, symmetry you know!


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

Can you put something in there about creating a sandbox-style game? And please feel free to use existing Paizo adventures to build it.

I'd also like a summary chart that lists (up to the date of publication) all the Paizo adventures (modules and adventure paths) and what type they are (wilderness, dungeon crawl, city, mixed, etc.) and what levels they are for (again, for plug-and-play or one-shot purposes).

Of course, for this last suggestion, a living document that appears on the Paizo website would be fine too. :)

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