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Pact Magic Unbound, Vol. 1 (PFRPG)

****½ (based on 5 ratings)
RHG022E

Add Print/PDF Bundle: $19.95

Add Print: $16.95

Add PDF: $12.95

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Immerse yourself in the intricate rituals and legends of Goetian magic. Grab thick chalk, inscribe a geometric seal around yourself, and invoke the name of a terrible spirit to aid your quest. Behold! With a final intonation you seal a bargain with the spirit and a quivering surge of power emanates from deep within. Are you ready? Embark on your journey with the spirit of a shivering demon, martyred titan, lost mortal, chastised god, or stranger being still. The vestiges of thirty-two sundered souls lie at your fingertips, yours to command if you dare.

You will discover...

  • An introduction to fantasy pact-making for your campaign.
  • A new base class, the occultist, as well as an occultist archetype.
  • Archetypes for the 11 core classes.
  • Add-ons: a new cleric domain, barbarian rage powers, rogue talents, an oathbound paladin oath, and more!
  • A new type of feat to modify your pact magic, known as occult feats.
  • Binder Secrets, which are special abilities that an occultist can take in place of a feat.
  • Constellation aspects, which are like 0-level spirit powers that allow you to increase the binding DC of a spirit in order to gain an additional granted ability.
  • Most Important! 32 starter spirits from 1st through 9th level. These spirits are favorites drawn from the original Secrets of Pact Magic and Villains of Pact Magic, with 3 brand new spirits.

This 84-page guide opens gateways to perilous and exciting adventures. This is first volume of several to launch you on adventures of dangerous occult power.

For use in your Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Requires the use of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook, published by Paizo Publishing LLC.

Product Availability


Print/PDF Bundle: The PDF will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase.

Print: 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.

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

RHG022


See Also:

Product Discussion (170)
1 to 50 of 170 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion

Pact magic returns! Woot! Now available!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Are there plans for a print version of this?


Just bought it! I'm gonna read it later, but what's changed from the playtest?


Liz Courts wrote:
Pact magic returns! Woot! Now available!

Its been a long time coming, too! Thanks for your help, Ms. Ninja! :-)

ericthecleric wrote:
Are there plans for a print version of this?

Yes! There already is one, actually. Dario and I currently have the print version available through Radiance House. Here's a link to the product page.

Jackiscool wrote:
Just bought it! I'm gonna read it later, but what's changed from the playtest?

There are a couple of small things that changed from the last playtest document, but nothing too major. Off the top of my head:


  • There is now a second Occultist archetype, the Seal-Etched Occultist.
  • There is now a second Sorcerer bloodline, the Ergon Bloodline.
  • There are now three spells in the Cleric section. They mostly deal with divination and weeding out heretics (aka pact mages) but they're pretty versatile in scope.

Since this is the "nice" copy of the final product, it also has several short stories spread throughout it; Dario Nardi's original legends from the 3.5 version of this product.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Just got my dead tree copy. Amusingly faster than I got my PDF.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Matthew Morris wrote:
Just got my dead tree copy. Amusingly faster than I got my PDF.

My parents ordered two copies (our baby is getting his first book published!) and we were surprised by how expeditious Dario is as well! One copy is for my grandmother; not sure about how I feel about having to sign a book with a picture of a naked woman transforming into a unicorn for my grandmother's 87th birthday though.

If you liked what you saw, please don't hesitate to leave a review for all the people who are still trying to make up their minds. :)

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Folks, know that a hardcopy--and hardcopy with PDF bundle--will be available shortly for pre-orders from Paizo.

As for 87-year old grandmas, just make sure you have an oxygen tank and defibrillator on hand. Naw. The book is pretty tame.

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion

And preorders up. :D


Liz Courts wrote:
And preorders up. :D

I suppose that's two thank yous that I owe you today? Will a courtly ninja bow suffice?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

@Alexander I understand, when the tankard of the cheerful duelist showed up in KQ, I got copies for my parents :-)


I like what I'm seeing so far.
The occultist class is well done, as are the Archytypes.

Where these "binder" focused products always fall flat for me are the actual vestiges.....

I guess what I'm really looking for is a mechanic that allows me to flip open any bestiary....and say I wan't to bind a Cabal Devil....so how would that translate as a vestige ?

Maybe that's just me though :(


nighttree wrote:

I like what I'm seeing so far.

The occultist class is well done, as are the Archytypes.

Where these "binder" focused products always fall flat for me are the actual vestiges.....

I guess what I'm really looking for is a mechanic that allows me to flip open any bestiary....and say I wan't to bind a Cabal Devil....so how would that translate as a vestige ?

Maybe that's just me though :(

Its not just you, the original Secrets of Pact Magic had an Angel Binder and a Devil Binder prestige class. Even if it didn't, I want to do something with binding outsiders for the occultist, believe me, but now's not the time for that. Just wait two, maybe three miles down the road. I'll get there! In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy the spirits that are in this book for the time being.


How does this compare to the Pact Magic in Tome of Magic? Is it similar, or is it different?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Twin Dragons wrote:
How does this compare to the Pact Magic in Tome of Magic? Is it similar, or is it different?

Do you realize you're one of the vestiges?

EDIT: And for an actual answer, it's very similar.


Twin Dragons wrote:
How does this compare to the Pact Magic in Tome of Magic? Is it similar, or is it different?

Short answer, yes. Long answer ....

Tome of Magic was the foundation for Radiance House's Secrets of Pact Magic, and as a successor and update to that book, Pact Magic Unbound, Vol. 1 is also heavily influenced by Tome of Magic.

At its core, you'll see many of the mechanics (binder level, granted abilities, binding checks / DCs, physical sign, and influence are the big five). Secrets of Pact Magic added mechanics like Favored Allies and Favored Enemies (creatures that the spirit likes / doesn't like), Vestigial Companions (creatures you can gain if you give up a different granted ability), Constellations (similar to arcane schools for spells), and 9 levels of spirits as opposed to the eight from Tome of Magic. Finally, this book polished the mechanics further and adds some new bits of flavor, such as replacing requirements for totems (instead of forcing you to do or have something to bind the spirit, you get bonuses to binding for doing or having something), and the separation of granted abilities into major and minor abilities.

If you know Tome of Magic, you'll be ahead of the game when digesting this book. This book, however, assumes that you're a Pathfinder child and have never heard of Pact Magic before. :)


Jackissocool wrote:
Twin Dragons wrote:
How does this compare to the Pact Magic in Tome of Magic? Is it similar, or is it different?

Do you realize you're one of the vestiges?

EDIT: And for an actual answer, it's very similar.

Spirits, Jack, spirits! The term vestige isn't open content! :)

However, he is correct. Essek Avix, the Twins Rejoined is an 8th level Dragon constellation in the book. Looks like the stars are telling you to add this to cart after all!


Oh, crap. I should unbuy my copy. I'm embarassed.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jackissocool wrote:
Oh, crap. I should unbuy my copy. I'm embarassed.

Actually, it means you should buy two copies so you can study them twice as hard! :-P

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Hmm, I'm going to have to look at an archtype that bonds the spirit to the cavalier's mount.


Matthew Morris wrote:
Hmm, I'm going to have to look at an archtype that bonds the spirit to the cavalier's mount.

Now THAT is a cool idea for an archetype.


That is pretty neat! I actually just finished my alpha for the Cavalier material in Pact Magic Unbound, Vol. 2. Wasn't going to do any archetypes, though. I wrote two Cavalier Orders. :-P

If you end up writing something cool, talk to Dario. He's taken submissions in the past (this book originally started as a small submission from me, as a matter of fact!).

Fun Factoid: My original submission that grew into this book was the Empyrean Friar, the Foe Reaper, and the Soul Weaver archetypes.


So, has anyone else picked this up. Any thoughts on the book from those who have?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've purchased this, Caedwyr. I loved the concept of binders when introduced in the 3.5 Tome of Magic. I've had a quick look through it and read some of it properly, and it's still a great idea.
The book is very well put together, and the idea still works the same; ie that a character can bind spirits that grant a suite of various abilities, allowing for very flexible characters.

Shadow Lodge

Want. So. Much.

If my name wasn't a giveaway of how much I love Binders.... ahem Occultists....

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Still digesting since Dr Nardi saved my mail from my spam protection. :-)

IT is very good.


Caedwyr wrote:
So, has anyone else picked this up. Any thoughts on the book from those who have?

I have some thoughts on it! Too bad they're all completely biased. :)

In all seriousness, though, if you bought the product and liked it, I deeply encourage you to write the book a review here on the website. As much as I hate to talk about the gps, Volume 2 can happen much quicker if Dario and I feel that there is a more receptive audience to this sort of product. If you didn't like it, that's find too, and I still encourage you to write a review. That can help me make any erratas that may need to happen, give me an idea of what I can do better on the next volume, and your description might still help someone decide that they want the product, even if you didn't like it.

ericthecleric wrote:

I've purchased this, Caedwyr. I loved the concept of binders when introduced in the 3.5 Tome of Magic. I've had a quick look through it and read some of it properly, and it's still a great idea.

The book is very well put together, and the idea still works the same; ie that a character can bind spirits that grant a suite of various abilities, allowing for very flexible characters.

Thanks for the kind words! Occultists were most certainly designed to be true "jack of all trades" characters, and that's a role they fit very well into. They also excel at long-lasting encounters because their resources do not dwindle as quickly as other classes. They're basically the opposite of "nova psions;" characters who blow off everything at once for massive burst potential. It is almost impossible to be a nova savant with the occultist, and in many cases taking pact magic on other classes makes you less bursty as well.

Orthos wrote:

Want. So. Much.

If my name wasn't a giveaway of how much I love Binders.... ahem Occultists....

Well, I want you to pick up this book / PDF! :)

Matthew Morris wrote:

Still digesting since Dr Nardi saved my mail from my spam protection. :-)

It is very good.

Dario tends to save everyone and every thing from themselves. Like this one time when my manuscript for a book I wrote came back bleeding red ink and he fixed all of my grammar mistakes.

(HINT: It was Pact Magic Unbound, Vol. 1!)

(MORE HINTS: He'll probably have to save me for Vol. 2 as well!)


Caedwyr wrote:
So, has anyone else picked this up. Any thoughts on the book from those who have?

I have, and as I said I think they have done a GREAT job.

Admittedly, I'm more likely to use the archytypes than the base class, as for me the whole shtick is more of an "add on" to another class.
But they have done a better job than any preiviouse material I have seen (IMO).

I'm also more inclined to create my own spirits for binding( guidlines on how to balance that would be sweet)....

Now we just need a Witch archytype that replaces thier familiar with a bound spirit ;)


nighttree wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:
So, has anyone else picked this up. Any thoughts on the book from those who have?

I have, and as I said I think they have done a GREAT job.

Admittedly, I'm more likely to use the archytypes than the base class, as for me the whole shtick is more of an "add on" to another class.
But they have done a better job than any preiviouse material I have seen (IMO).

Thank you for the complement! The archetypes are there for people who would rather add-on instead of devote themselves to pact magic. If you want to specialize in it, however, the occultist is clearly better at the spirit game so it works as intended. :)

Quote:
I'm also more inclined to create my own spirits for binding( guidlines on how to balance that would be sweet)....

That very section has been requested several times now, both in and out of playtest. You can expect to see it in Volume 2.

Quote:
Now we just need a Witch archytype that replaces thier familiar with a bound spirit ;)

That's actually not the direction I'm going in. I'm going for the less expected route!

Here's an excerpt for you, if you want a hint as to what I've planned.

Spoiler:
Of all vocations, few are better suited to the occult arts than the witch. Many witches who dabble in the occult walk this path on behalf of one or more spirits, who see the witch as a potential vessel that they can experience the world through. They possess (or create) animals or other creatures and approach the would-be witch with a bargain for power; the spirits use the witch and the animal to taste our reality and the witch gains occult power in exchange.


Any word on when this is shipping?


What's new in this compared to Secrets of Pact Magic & Villains of Pact Magic. Are there new feats, spirits, prestige classes?


The Guardian Beyond Beyond wrote:
What's new in this compared to Secrets of Pact Magic & Villains of Pact Magic. Are there new feats, spirits, prestige classes?

Well, let's see ...

There's a new base class, the Occultist. Its loosely based off of a combination of the 3.5 binder and the Spirit Binder class from Secrets of Pact Magic. Most of the other SoPM / VoPM classes return as character archetypes, off the top of my head:


  • Empyrean Monk - Empyrean Friar (monk)
  • Unbound witch - Unbound Occultist (occultist)
  • Soul Muse - Soul Muse (bard)
  • Templar - Templar of Souls (paladin)
  • Foe Hunter - Foe Reaper (ranger)
  • Soul Weaver - Soul Weaver (wizard)
  • Occult Priest - Occult Priest (cleric)
  • Pact Warrior / Warbinder - Warshade (fighter)

In addition to these archetypes, the following have been added:


  • Totemic Sage: Barbarian who uses totems to enhance their communions with the spirits.
  • Spiritshaper: Druid who can wild shape into their bound spirit's vestigial companion.
  • Oath Against Spirits: Oathbound Paladin Oath taken against occult forces.
  • Untouchable: Rogue archetype focused on a person who is born ravaged by the spirits and is therefore undesirable.
  • Ergon Bloodline / Ravaged Bloodline: Sorcerer bloodlines; the ergon bloodline is a sorcerer who has been tampered with and experimented upon by the mysterious ergon race (they were called cyclopeans in SoPM, but Dario and I opted to change the name because cyclopes are actual monsters in Pathfinder) and the ravaged bloodline is someone who has occult taint in their blood.

Many of the best feats return from SoPM and VoPM as well as some newer ones. In addition, many of the Prestige Classes from SoPM have been boiled down into Binder Secrets, which function a lot like Arcane Discoveries (see Ultimate Magic) for the Occultist.

Finally, while most of the spirits are returning spirits from SoPM and VoPM, they all have had major upgrades in terms of their granted abilities. Granted abilities are now divided into two categories; major and minor, and instead of having requirements all spirits possess totems; totems reward you for meeting prerequisites instead of forcing you to meet them to communicate with the spirit in the first place. Finally, three all-new spirits appear in this book; Sevnoir, the Meandering Mastiff, Serapith, the Scouring Light, and Daeminthos, Crystal Eye of the Mind.

This book doesn't have any prestige classes, but its something that I am actively pursuing in Volume 2.

Hope that helps out! :)


Twin Dragons wrote:
Any word on when this is shipping?

That's more of a Dario / Liz question then one for me, I'm afraid; Dario ships the books to Paizo and Liz would know if Paizo received them or not. I'm an East Coaster while they're both chilling by the Pacific. Last I heard, Dario mentioned last Thursday as the day he was expecting Paizo to get his shipment, but something could have come up or the books might have arrived over the weekend while the warehouse was closed or something. Hopefully you'll get your answer on Monday!

Silver Crusade

I ordered this book as I was a big fan of the binder from 3.5. The pdf looks good from what I have read so far. Can't wait for my print copy too.

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion

I haven't seen the print product yet, though I'm looking forward to proclaiming its arrival here at Paizo. :D


Alexander Augunas wrote:


Quote:
Now we just need a Witch archytype that replaces thier familiar with a bound spirit ;)

That's actually not the direction I'm going in. I'm going for the less expected route!

Here's an excerpt for you, if you want a hint as to what I've planned.

** spoiler omitted **

That not only sounds awsome....but it sounds like it's more in line with what I was hoping for from the witches famalier when they first announced the class.

An entity that takes on the form of an animal, but isn't actually what it appears to be....fit's the lore perfectly ;)


nighttree wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:


Quote:
Now we just need a Witch archytype that replaces thier familiar with a bound spirit ;)

That's actually not the direction I'm going in. I'm going for the less expected route!

Here's an excerpt for you, if you want a hint as to what I've planned.

** spoiler omitted **

That not only sounds awsome....but it sounds like it's more in line with what I was hoping for from the witches famalier when they first announced the class.

An entity that takes on the form of an animal, but isn't actually what it appears to be....fit's the lore perfectly ;)

I guess I better kick it up a notch to make sure the playtest comes out sooner! :-P


Hope Paizo gets their fill of these soon!

Cheliax RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

I, for one, am waiting with baited breath for this to come out of "pre-order" status. :)


Fatespinner wrote:
I, for one, am waiting with baited breath for this to come out of "pre-order" status. :)

Trust me, Dario and I are waiting too! I don't know for certain (shipping is, again, a Dario topic) but from what Vic Wertz said over in the Ultimate Equipment thread, it sounds like there's a general warehouse issue going on and that could be affecting this book. More likely that they just haven't gotten it in yet, though. :)

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion

The print version hasn't arrived in our warehouse yet.

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion

Print version now available!


Liz Courts wrote:
Print version now available!

Huzzah!

Hopefully Dario and I can sort it out so the next batch doesn't take nearly as long to travel there.

Silver Crusade

So are the print versions already shipped or are in the process of shipping? I bought the pdf/print bundle on 8-10. I was just curious if Paizo has already shipped out the print copies?

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion

They should be in process Chris, and your print copy is on a pick list waiting to be fulfilled. :)

Silver Crusade

Thanks Liz, I am happy to hear that things are moving along.


Okay, so I picked this up at DriveThru RPG, and a few things jumped out at me.

1. The bookmarks are pretty much non-existent (Cover, Page 2, Back). More bookmarks would have been nice.

2. Cover art and internal Black and White art is good. A lot of the inside art is reused from the previous books, but given that this is a conversion, that makes sense.

3. YAY, you included the starting wealth for the Occultist. No one ever does that.

4. I actually prefer the more select expanded legend text sprinkled throughout the spirit section. It feels more like each legend that is shown is the cream of the crop, rather than just a filling in the spirit statblock exercise.

5. At first glance, you seem to have done a good job at balancing things, and the effects of the playtest shows.

6. This is a alternate magic system that is very easy to import into most games, and works well alongside other more traditional magic systems.


Caedwyr wrote:


1. The bookmarks are pretty much non-existent (Cover, Page 2, Back). More bookmarks would have been nice.

Noted. Dario is away at the Burning Man convention this week, but when he returns I'll make sure to pass this along to him.

Quote:
2. Cover art and internal Black and White art is good. A lot of the inside art is reused from the previous books, but given that this is a conversion, that makes sense.

To be honest, I think all of the art is reused from the previous books, and any art that isn't was probably left out for space. As you noted, we reused our art simply because Dario and I wanted to invoke the style of the original books with Volume 1.

Quote:
3. YAY, you included the starting wealth for the Occultist. No one ever does that.

I'll be completely honest, I think that was something that was suggested in playtesting. It might even have been you!

Quote:
4. I actually prefer the more select expanded legend text sprinkled throughout the spirit section. It feels more like each legend that is shown is the cream of the crop, rather than just a filling in the spirit statblock exercise.

Believe me, it is, as Dario really struggled trying to decide which of his legends he wanted to use! Overall, I'm really happy that he did decide to include them; I think they tie the book together nicely and its something we're going to keep doing for Volume 2.

Quote:

5. At first glance, you seem to have done a good job at balancing things, and the effects of the playtest shows.

Quote:
6. This is a alternate magic system that is very easy to import into most games, and works well alongside other more traditional magic systems.

Thanks for the kind words!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Question, I ordered the hard copy of this product and went through the check out and had it put in my side cart for my next shipment. Now that this product is unavailable, will I still get a copy sent when my next subscription shipment mails out to me?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Yeah, I just went online to purchase after putting it in my shopping cart yesterday, and it's now listed as unavailable. Any news on what's going on? I'd rather order the print/pdf bundle than the pdf.

Thanks!


@Towns and Michael: I'm not Liz nor do I claim to be, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. That being said, I would assume that the Warehouse has run out of hard copies to sell, which is why its no longer available. Dario handles the printing and shipping to Paizo as he is on the West Coast and I am not, but he is away at the Burning Man convention until next week.

In the meantime, here are your definite options:

1) You can buy the PDF now and the softcover separately when it comes out. I suppose the advantage is that if you hate this book, you won't be stuck with the print copy. I'm going to toot my own horn, however, and assure you that you won't hate this product, though. :-P

2) You can go to the Radiance House website and order the book / PDF combo directly from us. If the issues are due to the fact that Paizo is out of books, this option will get the product to you quicker.

3) You can wait for Liz's reply and order the Bundle from Paizo when its available again.

At the very least, I suggest waiting until Liz or someone else replies with a less speculative answer to your question before making a decision.

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