Pathfinder Player Companion: Knights of the Inner Sea (PFRPG)

***½( ) (based on 12 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: Knights of the Inner Sea (PFRPG)
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Unleash righteous fury and vanquish those who oppose your noble call to arms! Join the forces of good or evil in your pursuit to spread the word of your liege, or dedicate yourself to a religious or personal code of knightly conduct. Whether you’re a muscle-bound weapon of faith bedecked in steel plate or a spellcaster devoted to the god of magic, this volume offers countless options to those who walk the elite path of knighthood.

Knights of the Inner Sea presents a player-focused, in-depth discussion of what it means to be a knight on the world of Golarion, where every day is a trial against forces that seek to enslave or obliterate humanity, and it’s up to a stalwart few to fight back against the elements of corruption for the betterment of all. Every Pathfinder Player Companion includes new options and tools for every Pathfinder RPG player.

    Inside this book, you’ll find:
  • An in-depth analysis of the various kinds of knights that roam the Inner Sea region, and roles that help define exactly what these diverse orders stand for.
  • New spells, magic items, character options, and traits to help knightly adventurers distinguish themselves as glorious champions of their causes.
  • A detailed dissection of a knight’s armaments and her horse’s barding, as well as an exploration of heraldry and its function throughout the Inner Sea.
  • New rules for mounts both monstrous and bestial, including descriptions and traits for some of the Inner Sea’s most prominent breeds.
  • Rules for acquiring a loyal squire to aid a knight in her noble endeavors, including new archetypes to further specialize these stalwart sidekicks.

This Pathfinder Player Companion is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, but can easily be incorporated into any fantasy world.

Written by Dylan Birtolo, Gareth Hanrahan, Steve Kenson, Patrick Renie, Tork Shaw, and Jerome Virnich.

Each monthly 32-page Pathfinder Player Companion contains several player-focused articles exploring the volume’s theme as well as short articles with innovative new rules for all types of characters, as well as traits to better anchor the player to the campaign.

Note: Dylan Birtolo's name was inadvertently left off the credits page. Sorry about that, Dylan!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-460-3

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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***½( ) (based on 12 ratings)

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Some useful bits

***( )( )

There was some more interesting information, e.g. on heraldry, mounts and the names of equipment. There was also a roll call of the various groupings of knights in the campaign world. However, I never really got a sense of what made the Knights unique as a class, and they just seemed like fighters with a title. The art was gorgeous.


More crunch and stats needed

***( )( )

This book did a great job of getting me interested in the various Knight options, but left me frustrated and wanting more details about actually rolling up and playing some of the types presented in the book. It would have been perfect if all of the crunch, or class stats had been presented. If nothing else , an index listing each knight class / prestige class / archetype and the book and page number it could be found in would have been very helpful. Some of the class options do have the reference book listed, but this information is spread throughout the book and is very confusing or hard to find. This player companion would have been perfect if it had been expanded to include all of the stats and class information necesary to roll up a character or add a prestige class with this as the ultimate reference guide.


Worthy!

****( )

A fine little booklet. This one covers the primary Knightly orders of the Inner Sea, their organization, and motivations. Worth is alone for the wonderful 2 page art spread of the Cavalier iconic with a discection of all this gear and horse. Seriously, just a handy booklet. The info on the squire rules is great and the spells in the book are USEFUL! My only serious gripe is a lot of the Knightly orders this book covers are in the Inner Sea Guide and Paths of Prestige. Pick those up to get the full use out of this book.


Knights Galore!

*****

When I first learned that Paizo was working on a book about knights in the Inner Sea region, I was thrilled beyond belief. As a fan of the Dragonlance setting, I've been using knights in my games pretty much since my first game as a GM and I still do, fascinated as I am by the notion of knightly orders and the wide variety of motivations that drive these knightly orders and the individual knights within them to excel.

Fast forward a few months and I've finally had a chance to actually read Knights of the Inner Sea. I'm pleased with the result and I'll tell you why.

LAYOUT
The book follows the new format introduced in Varisia: Birthplace of Legends. 32 pages jam packed with information to help gamers bring the subjects contained in the book to the gaming table. Each topic in the book is given 1 page (For Your Character, Rules Index, Knights and Religion, Knights and Race) or 2 pages (Knights Overview, Eagle Knights, Hellknights, Knights of Ozem, Mendevian Crusaders, Other Knightly Orders, Anatomy of the Knight, Squires, Mounts, Cavalier Orders, Knightly Codes and Traits, The Spells of Serren, Magic Items), providing a fast and furious pace to the information given.

This, of course, requires that the text is clear and well written, and I feel that's the case in Knights of the Inner Sea. The text is easy to understand and written in a way that certainly inspired me. I also like that each turn of the page presents a new topic relevant to knighthoods in the Inner Sea. In a product as short as the books in the Player Companion line are, you can't afford to spend too much time dwelling on a single topic.

Every inch of the book has been utilized, including the inside covers. The front inside cover provides an overview of 4 knightly heritages, showcasing the differences within knightly heritages from various regions in the Inner Sea. This overview is just that. It's not a detailed essay on the history and personalities of each house, but rather a few short nuggets of information to inspire players and GMs alike to explore the notion of noble houses and knighthood in their own games. This, I think, is what Paizo does best. They provide us gamers with nuggets that allow us to add depth to our games. The back inside cover is all about mounts, focusing on the mundane sort such as horses and hounds. Once again, the information is precise, providing a brief description, a reference to a relevant stat block and book, and a game mechanic associated with the mount.

Following the trend started by Varisia: Birthplace of Legends, Knights of the Inner Sea is all about making things easy for the players. From the sidebar Questions to Ask Your GM through the Rules Index to the centerfold providing a visual breakdown of a knight's armor and equipment (as well as that of his mount), Knights of the Inner Sea does its utmost to ensure that any player contemplating playing a knight has as much information as he needs to get started. I really like that. As a veteran player, I like to think I know my way around the game, but even so, the book makes my life much easier when it comes to knightly characters. For instance, before Knights of the Inner Sea, I didn't know the name of every single component of a typical knight's arms and armor. I do now. The Questions to Ask Your GM segment is just common sense. Don't create a mounted knight if your GM intends to run an all-Darklands campaign for your group, for instance.

The greatest thing about the layout in the new format is that it no longer follows a set formular with specific sections that have to be in each book (such as Social, Faith, etc.). The content and the way it's laid out is adjusted to the needs of the subject matter. Of course you'll still see certain things in each installment going forward, such as the centerfold, but this seems far less forced than was the case with the old layout for the Pathfinder Player Companion Line.

FLUFF
If you're looking for obscure knightly orders or even detailed essays on the major knightly orders of the setting, this is not the book for you. There are two reasons for this. First, this book isn't big enough for that kind of thing, considering the large topic the book tries to cover. Second, Paizo's strength when it comes to fluff lies in whetting the appetite. In planting countless sparks with which to ignite the creative fire.

So what can you expect from the fluff in this book? Knights of the Inner Sea discusses what it means to be a knight in the Inner Sea region, covering such topics as types of knights, how religion affects a knight, and racial differences. In addition, seven specific knightly orders are presented. All of this with enough detail to help a player create a knightly character. So somewhat basic, well-written information. If you're a living Golarion encyclopedia the amount of new fluff is limited but, considering the purpose of the book, that's not a bad thing.

My personal favorite part of the fluff in the book is the centerfold. I've mentioned this before but it deserves a second mention. The Anatomy of the Knight section is brilliant and it's something I'll be referencing a lot both as a player and as a GM.

CRUNCH
There are several interesting crunchy parts to this book. We get feats, traits, cavalier orders, spells, and magic items. But while these are, for the most part, cool and tailormade for knightly characters, I want to focus on roles, squires, and mounts.

Roles are a new feature that was premiered in Varisia: Birthplace of Legends. Some of you may not have access to that book so here's a brief description of what a role is. Basically, it's advice. Want to play a Gallowspire Warden (Knights of Ozem specializing in the patrolling of the Hungry Mountains and the prison of the Whispering Tyrant)? The Gallowspire Warden role lists options that help you build a fitting concept. Classes, archetypes, skill, feats, prestige classes, and equipment are suggested and the persona typical to Gallowspire Wardens is described.

Roles are clearly meant for new players and veteran players who don't have the time and/or the desire to go through the many books published for Pathfinder (the game AND the setting). As such, it's an invaluable resource, certainly for new players for whom the prospect of browsing through thousands of pages just to find the right game mechanics can be a daunting one.

The disadvantage, I think, that roles have is that, for a large portion of the player base, myself included, they fill a lot of real estate. Space that many will think could have been put to much better use either fleshing out some more fluff or presenting more new game mechanics. In the case of Knights of the Inner Sea, 4 pages have been dedicated to advice on how to build specific character concepts. I don't see myself using roles to create my characters and as such, I would have prefered something else. I realize, though, that I'm far from the only customer Paizo has to take into consideration, and roles serve their purpose quite well, I think.

Squires are handled via a feat. It's basically a minor version of the Leadership feat that allows you to gain a single cohort. When you reach seventh level, the Squire feat upgrades to Leadership. Pretty cool even if the prerequisite level seems a bit off. The really cool thing, though, is the addition of squire-specific archetypes that come along with the feat. While the archetypes can certainly be taken by any character of might qualify for them, they're intended to be taken by squires. The archetypes are Combat Healer Squire (paladin), Gunner Squire (gunslinger), Herald Squire (cavalier), and Weapon Bearer Squire (fighter). All in all a fun way of handling squires in the game.

Any self-respecting knight rides into battle on a war-trained steed and Knights of the Inner Sea has that aspect covered quite well, I think. The book divides mounts into two categories - Animal Mounts and Monstrous Mounts. We'll get to the animal mounts in a bit but first let's discuss the monstrous mounts. 13 monstrous mounts are featured in the book (blink dog, dragon horse, young dragon, dragonne, giant owl, griffon, hell hound, kirin, pegasus, shadow mastiff, sleipnir, unicorn, and worg). Although no new game mechanics dealing with monstrous mounts are introduced, the section does a nice job of describing how each monstrous mount might serve a knight. In addition, a page reference is given, allowing the reader to quickly look up the monster in the relevant book, and a Cohort Level is given. Very useful to any player contemplating getting a monstrous mount.

Animal mounts are featured on the inside back cover of the book. In all, 5 horses (chiadmar, Dort charger, fell pony, Lastwall jasper, and Taldor jennet) and 3 non-horse mounts (Chernasado riding elk, Erutaki husky, and Qadiran dromedary) are listed on the page. Each entry contains a short description, a page reference, and a trait. Not only do we get a bunch of Golarion-specific mounts to add some flavor to our knights (as opposed to the standard Core Rulebook heavy or light horse), but each mount comes with a trait. While this trait counts against a character's total traits, whenever you switch to a new type of mount (say, from Dort charger to Lastwall jasper), you also switch traits, losing the trait you with before and gaining the trait associated with the new type of mount. I absolutely love this, as it adds a nice bit of crunch to campaigns and adventures in which mounts make sense.

CONCLUSION
So how does this 32-page book on knights handle itself? Quite well as it turns out. The book's purpose is to provide players with enough material for them to be able to play knightly characters. It does that perfectly, I think. Knights of the Inner Sea provides details on some of the most popular knightly orders on Golarion, it contains rules for mounts and squires, it provides sample knightly heritages, it breaks down the importance of religion and how the different races approach the concept of knighthood, it visually describes a knight's arms and armor as well as that of his mount, it provides magic equipment and spells, it provides plenty of suggestions through roles, and overall it does so in a well-written and inspiring manner. If you expect the book to go deeper, providing material on more obscure knightly orders or game mechanics to really take your knight to the next level, you'll be disappointed. But if you expect this book to equip you with enough fluff and crunch to create that archetypical knight, this book has you covered.

My only two sour grapes are roles and some of the artwork. While roles work very well for what they're supposed to do, for me personally and the kind of gamer I am, its usefulness will be limited and it'll take up a lot of real estate that I might have wanted spent differently. Again, if you're new to Pathfinder or you're one of the MANY gamers who don't think it's particularly fun to browse through book after book after book to find the fitting game mechanics, roles will be a boon. As such, it's not something that'll detract from my overall impression of the book. Roles may not be useful to me personally but for a lot of gamers, they certainly will, and they work well.

The majority of the artwork in this book is quite decent. However, there are three pieces that did not sit well with me, specifically the artwork for the Hellknight, the Knight of Ozem, and the Mendevian Crusader. Artwork is a very subjective part of any roleplaying supplement, and for me those pieces did not do a good job at all visually describing typical representatives of the three orders. Other than those three pieces, the artwork in the book worked well enough, particularly the centerfold and the three panoramic pieces.

All in all, a very useful book that should help a lot of players realize their knightly character concepts. It's certainly inspired me.


Packed with Knightly Virtue

*****

Honestly the layout of the book took me back in time, I felt I was reading a Dragon Magazine all over again. I actually had to get used to the layout, I'm so used to being assulted by lengthy blocks of text.
So 5 out of 5 there.
My group enjoys playing knightly roles so this will be a big hit with them, I know it was for me.
Sure I would have loved further listings of noble houses and less on some of the revised material, like cut the Eagle Knight & revise the Lion Blade etc. But outside of that it offered a lot of fun info to play a knightly character, and sadly the Cavalier never gets the attention it's due. One of my favorite classes if you couldn't tell.
So all you hard working fellows & ladies at Paizo, keep up the great work!


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Liberty's Edge

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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I usually do not comment on reviews, but this is just too funny...

1 Star - Too much Fluff
1 Star - Not enough Fluff...

;)


I'm going to jump in and give my support for the Roles. I liked reading through the different roles and seeing what feats, skills, classes, persona, and so forth are thematic for each type of character. As said already, they are great for the new or casual player to help guide character creation.

They are also good for the GM to easily stat up NPCs. If a GM needs to quickly have a couple 3rd level Hellknight warriors to pit against the players, but wants to actually make them Hellknights, he can just grab a guard from the Game Mastery guide, replace the skills and feats with those from the Hellknight role, and voila, a more complete and specific NPC.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

BEHOLD the mighty and oft-craved for Table Of Contents!

I've been a little pain about this regarding previous products in this line and the chronicles series, but the new format has a table of contents each a I really, really appreciate.

Once again Paizo perks up and listens - three cheers to the Pit!


DM Jeff wrote:

BEHOLD the mighty and oft-craved for Table Of Contents!

I've been a little pain about this regarding previous products in this line and the chronicles series, but the new format has a table of contents each a I really, really appreciate.

Once again Paizo perks up and listens - three cheers to the Pit!

Thanks, Jeff! We really went into this trying to improve everything we could, and reworking the book's front matter to make it as useful as possible was a big focus for us. We're already looking at taking some of those same ideas to the other lines as well. The more the front pages can be something people actually use rather than simply flipping past it, the better!

Contributor

deuxhero wrote:
^^ Thanks for the answers.

Never a problem! Shoot us more as they come to ya!

Silver Crusade

Man I wish I had that squire's artwork on hand while we were running through CotCT. That look(after being passed through a color filter) would have been a perfect introduction piece for the NPC that became the fighter's cohort.

The armor breakdown centerfold is great. And easily my favorite thing Alain has ever been in.

That's quite an accomplishment actually, getting people to like what's basically an Alain centerfold.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I really like this companion. Although it feels like I'm in a very small minority on the messageboards, I have no real interest in yet more options. Things like roles, on the other hand, are great for someone like me - a kind of 'Character Building for Dummies' guidebook.

I definitely prefer the focus on flavor over mechanics - it suits our style much better. It also feels like the kind of book I can lend out to my group (none of whom buy any Golarion stuff) with the expectation they'll actually read it, rather than just glance through it with eyes glazing at all the options.

For me the hallmark of a good player sourcebook is if I read it and immediately want to create half a dozen new characters. I didnt get that out of the Varisia guide, but this one proved a great spark of inspiration.

I'm really hoping the dungeon delving companion is in a similar 'flavor focussed' vein. :)


Steve, your post is *exactly* what we were hoping for. Glad it worked for you! :)

(Not to say that we won't still be presenting lots of new options in the future, but the goal of this line is to AVOID option paralysis/player glaze!)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I dont envy you - it seems to me that this line in particular is going to have a diverse set of customers. As someone with a voracious appetite for flavor and only a mild interest in mechanical details, I definitely find the Player Companion line has the widest range of 'satisfaction level' out of all the subs. I presume those who like to see lots of options and rules material would feel similarly (though they'd rank them in reverse order, I guess).

Irrespective - given the production values, the price point is so ridiculously low that even the least useful are hardly disappointing.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

For me (and I'll mention this in my review as well once I finish reading the book) roles aren't all that useful. Part of the fun for me is to browse through the books I own and find the mechanics that'll work well for whichever character concept I'm building.

However!

For the many new players and the many gamers who don't like to spend all that time finding the game mechanics they need, roles are an absolute godsend, an amazing tool when it comes to finding the necessary game mechanics to portray a given character concept, in this case a knight. Roles are perfect for the job and although I probably won't get much use out of them myself, I think they'll be insanely useful for a lot of gamers.

Silver Crusade

Going to have to come down strong in favor of Roles. They don't take up much space, and cater to those that may be newer to the Golarion setting, as well as those that aren't as up on their system mastery.

Those that may not be enamored of them (yet), please take these people into consideration, especially as far as the community flourishing and growing.


I was REALLY disappointed this was not a Martial version of INNER SEA MAGIC.

Can we get one?
I such a book could you look at more FIGHTER ONLY FEATS!!!
Kick it up a notch with fighter themed WEAPON STYLE FEATS.
The current style feats are awesome but too monky.

Some sort chains
Like Zweihander Style (two handed)
Kali style (TWF)
....
You get the picture.
Tome of Battle was awesome. Something in a similar vein WITHOUT the wuxia feel would be awesome.
Look to the moves from dragon age for inspiration...

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
STR Ranger wrote:

I was REALLY disappointed this was not a Martial version of INNER SEA MAGIC.

Can we get one?
I such a book could you look at more FIGHTER ONLY FEATS!!!
Kick it up a notch with fighter themed WEAPON STYLE FEATS.
The current style feats are awesome but too monky.

Some sort chains
Like Zweihander Style (two handed)
Kali style (TWF)
....
You get the picture.
Tome of Battle was awesome. Something in a similar vein WITHOUT the wuxia feel would be awesome.
Look to the moves from dragon age for inspiration...

While that would certainly be cool, I'm a bit confused as to where in the product description you got the impression that Knights of the Inner Sea would be such a book?

Shadow Lodge

I second the non-monk fighting styles, but if they are Fighter-Only then they are pretty worthless. There are already plenty of Core Fighter fighting styles, and that leaves a lot of other character classes out in the cold (Barbarian, Cavalier, Cleric, Paladin, Ranger, and a few more classes should have 100% equal chance to get them).


There is bugger all in the core book that only a fighter can do.
Weapon Spec, Gtr Wpn Fcs, Disruptive and Spell breaker.

Just cause they say FIGHTER ONLY FEATS wouldn't mean they, would be the only class with access.

Magus
Samurai
Eldritch Knight
Barbarian (via certain rage powers)
Rangers (Rangers via combat styles)
are but some of the classes with access to fighter feats.

The book could be called INNER SEA COMBAT for example.
Details of War colleges
Mass combat
Fighter only feats keyed to weapon/fighting styles, with certain classes getting access based on fantasy tropes. Paladins, Cavalierls could have access to the WAR COMMANDER style (granting bonuses to troops/allies) but not the KALI STYLE (think TIGER CLAW from TOB) which only rogues and rangers could access via Rogue Talents/Combat Style.
Only fighters would have complete access.


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F. Wesley Schneider wrote:


Daw! Thanks man! "It wasn't long enough" is always my favorite criticism!

No one's going to take the obvious bait here?

Really?

Silver Crusade

I've already met my quota for this year.

It was also fun to see the semi-iconic M. Bison Antipaladin back. And getting owned, apparently. :D

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I want to say I'm in favour of roles. Useful for new players and GMs needing a quick way to stat up flavourful NPCs. Keep the rules in the rulebooks and the flavour in the Player's Guides.


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Beckett wrote:
I second the non-monk fighting styles, but if they are Fighter-Only then they are pretty worthless. There are already plenty of Core Fighter fighting styles, and that leaves a lot of other character classes out in the cold (Barbarian, Cavalier, Cleric, Paladin, Ranger, and a few more classes should have 100% equal chance to get them).

Combat feats with BAB requirements but no fighter level requirements would be more generally appropriate if you are not specifically looking for something that is only useful to fighters or to certain archetypes of other classes. Giving feats the "Combat" descriptor makes it far easier for fighters to take them (since they can take them with their bonus feat slots as well as their regular feat slots) but does not prohibit anyone else from taking them.

Dark Archive

STR Ranger wrote:

The book could be called INNER SEA COMBAT for example.

Details of War colleges

Something that detailed different military orders or war colleges or mercenary companies, and specific training and advantages that they grant to their membership, similar to the effects of training in Wizard academies from Inner Sea Magic would be neat.

Shadow Lodge

STR Ranger wrote:
Just cause they say FIGHTER ONLY FEATS wouldn't mean they, would be the only class with access. . .

Which is an amazing way to make people mad and resent their existing character. No, Class and Race specific Feats (and similar things) are terrible because there are plenty of other Classes/Races who can have a theme or build very similar to the reasoning/flavor of such things, and not being able to take them because your a Barbarian weapon master vs a Fighter weapon master is infuriating, and little off the wall exceptions (like an archtype) to allow access is no help at all.

Also, when you start getting Class/Race Only material, especilly in large quantities like in a players guide to ______, that starts to make such a book useless to 4/5's of the customer base.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber
"Devil's Advocate" wrote:
STR Ranger wrote:
Just cause they say FIGHTER ONLY FEATS wouldn't mean they, would be the only class with access. . .

Which is an amazing way to make people mad and resent their existing character. No, Class and Race specific Feats (and similar things) are terrible because there are plenty of other Classes/Races who can have a theme or build very similar to the reasoning/flavor of such things, and not being able to take them because your a Barbarian weapon master vs a Fighter weapon master is infuriating, and little off the wall exceptions (like an archtype) to allow access is no help at all.

Also, when you start getting Class/Race Only material, especilly in large quantities like in a players guide to ______, that starts to make such a book useless to 4/5's of the customer base.

"Useless" or not (and I'd argue heartily against the uselessness of the ARG simply because almost every player race got custom feats), the reasoning is that it gives flavor to the different races and classes that are distinctive. The reason barbarians can't use fighter feats normally is that they're more focused on harnessing their inner rage to go beyond normal limits, whereas fighters focus on mastering martial disciplines. Fighter feats are class features for those classes who focus on martial strength of arms through training (such as Fighters and Magi).

I'd argue exactly the contrary. Removing class and race specific classes makes everyone pretty homogenous and boring as hell. You make choices, those choices differentiate your character, those feats are heavily tied into the flavor of those who they're limited to. It's the same reason why Bards have a different Spell list than Alchemists or Magi. It's something that makes them unique and special.

Dark Archive

"Devil's Advocate" wrote:
Also, when you start getting Class/Race Only material, especilly in large quantities like in a players guide to ______, that starts to make such a book useless to 4/5's of the customer base.

Crunch material, IMO, should be as widely useful as possible.

Maybe a specific feat will be flat-out more useful for a Fighter or Monk or a spellcaster, or enhances / modifies a class feature that not every class has (like Favored Enemy or Smite or Channel Energy), but, for the most part, no Feat should say 'only usable by X' for no other reason other than to restrict it from other classes.

Too many game options, IMO, have barriers to entry from less optimal paths for no good reason, whether it be an odd stat requirement (like Int 13 for Combat Expertise, which not only restricts Combat Expertise, but also bottlenecks away a large number of more interesting feats to characters that may never exist in a 15 point buy game), or a feat requirement (like Improved Unarmed Strike serving as a feat tax on feats that a weapon-using non-Monk could theoretically make dynamic use of), or a class requirement (like 'Fighter only').

Prerequisites like this, IMO, lead to cookie-cutter builds and discourage innovative character design.

Dark Archive

Overall my biggest issue with this book are the spells in the end. Namely the 2nd level magus group armor spell. Pick a target and a suit of armor snap your fingers and they are wearing that armor. No save allowed.

Fighting a wizard, sorcerer, druid or monk ? Cast this spell and boom the wizard/sorcerer has a 40+% spell failure chance and the druid immediately loses all their powers for a day, the monk loses a whole butt load of abilities and there's nothing they can do about it.

Don't think the fighters, clerics and paladins get off easy either. Swap their high quality magic armor for poor quality fragile armor and watch the damage just pile on them (or better yet cast the spell from hiding and take the armor and run away).

It only gets worse if they get access to a decent set of Cursed armor. Swap the fighters stoneplate or celestial armor with a suit of armor of arrow attraction and go to town.

I liked the idea of this book but think it suffered from a lack of editing for the (few) crunchy bits in it.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

Overall my biggest issue with this book are the spells in the end. Namely the 2nd level magus group armor spell. Pick a target and a suit of armor snap your fingers and they are wearing that armor. No save allowed.

Fighting a wizard, sorcerer, druid or monk ? Cast this spell and boom the wizard/sorcerer has a 40+% spell failure chance and the druid immediately loses all their powers for a day, the monk loses a whole butt load of abilities and there's nothing they can do about it.

Don't think the fighters, clerics and paladins get off easy either. Swap their high quality magic armor for poor quality fragile armor and watch the damage just pile on them (or better yet cast the spell from hiding and take the armor and run away).

It only gets worse if they get access to a decent set of Cursed armor. Swap the fighters stoneplate or celestial armor with a suit of armor of arrow attraction and go to town.

I liked the idea of this book but think it suffered from a lack of editing for the (few) crunchy bits in it.

Damn someone needs to read the spell again. It can't do any of the things you have listed here. So going with Paizo didn't fail in editing.

Dark Archive

ShadowChemosh wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

Overall my biggest issue with this book are the spells in the end. Namely the 2nd level magus group armor spell. Pick a target and a suit of armor snap your fingers and they are wearing that armor. No save allowed.

Fighting a wizard, sorcerer, druid or monk ? Cast this spell and boom the wizard/sorcerer has a 40+% spell failure chance and the druid immediately loses all their powers for a day, the monk loses a whole butt load of abilities and there's nothing they can do about it.

Don't think the fighters, clerics and paladins get off easy either. Swap their high quality magic armor for poor quality fragile armor and watch the damage just pile on them (or better yet cast the spell from hiding and take the armor and run away).

It only gets worse if they get access to a decent set of Cursed armor. Swap the fighters stoneplate or celestial armor with a suit of armor of arrow attraction and go to town.

I liked the idea of this book but think it suffered from a lack of editing for the (few) crunchy bits in it.

Damn someone needs to read the spell again. It can't do any of the things you have listed here. So going with Paizo didn't fail in editing.

Actually it's a printing error, my hard copy doesn't have target line but my PDF copy does. Take a look at Serren's Swift Girding and remove the target line and you'll see why I was so amazed it made it through editing.


Oh, one more thing I noticed could use clarity

Quote:
A bard who carries a longspear or pole to which a banner of the ancient kings has been attached is treated as four levels higher than his actual bard level for the purposes of determining the bonuses granted by his inspire courage bardic performance ability.

Does this apply to other sources of Inspire Courage like Evangelist or Sensei?

(I'd also change the "has been attached" to "is attached", shorter and the first is inviting someone to try claiming any pole that has ever had it attached does that)

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Actually it's a printing error, my hard copy doesn't have target line but my PDF copy does. Take a look at Serren's Swift Girding and remove the target line and you'll see why I was so amazed it made it through editing.

Odd. My PDF copy and print copy have the exact same version of the spell. No difference whatsoever.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
STR Ranger wrote:

The book could be called INNER SEA COMBAT for example.

Details of War colleges
Mass combat
Fighter only feats keyed to weapon/fighting styles, with certain classes getting access based on fantasy tropes. Paladins, Cavalierls could have access to the WAR COMMANDER style (granting bonuses to troops/allies) but not the KALI STYLE (think TIGER CLAW from TOB) which only rogues and rangers could access via Rogue Talents/Combat Style.
Only fighters would have complete access.

Again though, it sounds like the book you're talking about--based on your comparison--would be a part of the Campaign Setting line, not the Player Companion line.

I agree that such a book would be cool, mind you. I loved Inner Sea Magic a great deal, and would be amongst the first to snatch up an Inner Sea Combat book! However, you're kind of comparing apples and oranges here. The book you're seeking would be part of an entirely different line than this one.

Contributor

Steve Geddes wrote:

I dont envy you - it seems to me that this line in particular is going to have a diverse set of customers. As someone with a voracious appetite for flavor and only a mild interest in mechanical details, I definitely find the Player Companion line has the widest range of 'satisfaction level' out of all the subs. I presume those who like to see lots of options and rules material would feel similarly (though they'd rank them in reverse order, I guess).

Irrespective - given the production values, the price point is so ridiculously low that even the least useful are hardly disappointing.

Too right Steve! In fact, working on this line has really put me back into the mindset I had back when I was doing Dragon magazine. We try to make every volume as incredible and widely encompassing as possible, but at the end of the day, understood we couldn't please everyone all the time. Even our most popular issues back in the day had plenty of folks they didn't work for. And that's fine, it speaks the the breadth of the game, the options players have, and the infinite possibilities Game Masters can indulge. So we'll do our damnedist to make every Player Companion amazing, but if the theme doesn't work for you this month, let us know, tell us what you'd prefer to see, and in just a few weeks we'll have something totally different delivered to your door!

Just like this time around. Don't like knights? Well how do you feel about vampires (coming soon!!!)

Contributor

STR Ranger wrote:
I was REALLY disappointed this was not a Martial version of INNER SEA MAGIC.

I promise that if and when we do a martial version of Inner Sea Magic we won't be stealth about it. Or put it in a different line than Inner Sea Magic was. Or make it 32 pages shorter. Or call it something suggestive of a specific topic instead of, like, Inner Sea Combat or Inner Sea Battle.

Also - and this is surely up for debate if anyone disagrees - I don't feel like we hide or disguise what our products are with our product descriptions or solicitations to distributors. Additionally, as I hope this posts and the dozens of others on this thread from staff members illustrate, we're always willing to discuss and answer questions about our products. So if there's ever any question about what a product is, or if a product description is ever unclear, please feel free to ask us and we'll tell you all about it.

Contributor

Mechalibur wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:


Daw! Thanks man! "It wasn't long enough" is always my favorite criticism!

No one's going to take the obvious bait here?

Really?

HA! Awesome.

Contributor

Mikaze wrote:

I've already met my quota for this year.

It was also fun to see the semi-iconic M. Bison Antipaladin back. And getting owned, apparently. :D

I've really been using this line to get new art of iconics on adventures and involved in hijinks. Just wait until you see Animal Archive.


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
STR Ranger wrote:
I was REALLY disappointed this was not a Martial version of INNER SEA MAGIC.

I promise that if and when we do a martial version of Inner Sea Magic we won't be stealth about it. Or put it in a different line than Inner Sea Magic was. Or make it 32 pages shorter. Or call it something suggestive of a specific topic instead of, like, Inner Sea Combat or Inner Sea Battle.

Also - and this is surely up for debate if anyone disagrees - I don't feel like we hide or disguise what our products are with our product descriptions or solicitations to distributors. Additionally, as I hope this posts and the dozens of others on this thread from staff members illustrate, we're always willing to discuss and answer questions about our products. So if there's ever any question about what a product is, or if a product description is ever unclear, please feel free to ask us and we'll tell you all about it.

The boss replied to me! YAY!

OK so I'll put some cash aside in anticipation for the announcement of INNER SEA COMBAT.

P.S. Don't forget The Martial Style feat chains! Like your style feats but WEAPONS focused.

(Obviously not holding my breath but nice to know the Paizo equivalent of J.J. *spider man reference * Does read/reply to us.)

Contributor

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Actually it's a printing error, my hard copy doesn't have target line but my PDF copy does. Take a look at Serren's Swift Girding and remove the target line and you'll see why I was so amazed it made it through editing.

Whoa.

What?

I've never seen something like that before in one of our products and if that's the case that suggests a serious problem. Has anyone else run into an omission like this?

Mathwei, my e-mail address is wes@paizo.com, please contact me with the details of this error (a picture would be very helpful) and we'll see it addressed immediately. So sorry for the inconvenience and rest assured I'll discuss this with our entire production staff and, if they're faultless, our printer.

Editorial errors happen sometime and we regret and seek to correct our errors as swiftly as possible. But errors entering into our products that we did not introduce and that we have no way of either protecting against or knowing about is HIGHLY IRREGULAR and has serious ramifications for our business.

Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

Contributor

STR Ranger wrote:

The boss replied to me! YAY!

OK so I'll put some cash aside in anticipation for the announcement of INNER SEA COMBAT.

P.S. Don't forget The Martial Style feat chains! Like your style feats but WEAPONS focused.

(Obviously not holding my breath but nice to know the Paizo equivalent of J.J. *spider man reference * Does read/reply to us.)

On it chief! :)

You guys want them, you can bet more martial style feat chains just jumped way farther up on the future Player Companion to do list. It'll be a bit, but keep watching.

And we'll talk about the pros and cons of doing an Inner Sea Combat book at our next product brainstorm

Thanks for the feedback STR Ranger!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:

Too right Steve! In fact, working on this line has really put me back into the mindset I had back when I was doing Dragon magazine. We try to make every volume as incredible and widely encompassing as possible, but at the end of the day, understood we couldn't please everyone all the time. Even our most popular issues back in the day had plenty of folks they didn't work for. And that's fine, it speaks the the breadth of the game, the options players have, and the infinite possibilities Game Masters can indulge. So we'll do our damnedist to make every Player Companion amazing, but if the theme doesn't work for you this month, let us know, tell us what you'd prefer to see, and in just a few weeks we'll have something totally different delivered to your door!

Just like this time around. Don't like knights? Well how do you feel about vampires (coming soon!!!)

Do they sparkle in the sunlight? Also? Also, Will it have Chain Whips?

Silver Crusade

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
STR Ranger wrote:
I was REALLY disappointed this was not a Martial version of INNER SEA MAGIC.

I promise that if and when we do a martial version of Inner Sea Magic we won't be stealth about it. Or put it in a different line than Inner Sea Magic was. Or make it 32 pages shorter. Or call it something suggestive of a specific topic instead of, like, Inner Sea Combat or Inner Sea Battle.

Also - and this is surely up for debate if anyone disagrees - I don't feel like we hide or disguise what our products are with our product descriptions or solicitations to distributors. Additionally, as I hope this posts and the dozens of others on this thread from staff members illustrate, we're always willing to discuss and answer questions about our products. So if there's ever any question about what a product is, or if a product description is ever unclear, please feel free to ask us and we'll tell you all about it.

Exactly, Wes. In fact, most times I see Paizonians pop into threads and manage expectations if they start to go off message/theme before a product ships.

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Stratagemini wrote:
Do they sparkle in the sunlight? Also? Also, Will it have Chain Whips?

To the first question: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. No. NO. NO.

To the second: Maybe. ;)

Shadow Lodge

I would love to see some (not Monk at all) Fighting Styles. Particularly ones that a Cleric (with Favored Weapon), Paladin, Fighter, or whoever can qualify for with effort, but not basically impossible effort.

A few that automatically come to mind would be
Scimitar -> Dervish style
Longsword -> Crusader style
Greatsword -> Zweihander, (particularly if it where like in Soul Caliber)
Heavy Mace -> Shield/Skull breaker style


Casting glitterdust on any vampires we face is basically party tradition at this point in time. Doesn't matter how effective it'll be. It has to be done. GM almost threw a book at me the first time I did that.


"Devil's Advocate" wrote:

I would love to see some (not Monk at all) Fighting Styles. Particularly ones that a Cleric (with Favored Weapon), Paladin, Fighter, or whoever can qualify for with effort, but not basically impossible effort.

A few that automatically come to mind would be
Scimitar -> Dervish style
Longsword -> Crusader style
Greatsword -> Zweihander, (particularly if it where like in Soul Caliber)
Heavy Mace -> Shield/Skull breaker style

Crusader style may be a wee bit close to a certain other style popular amongst missionaries.


Cheapy wrote:
"Devil's Advocate" wrote:

I would love to see some (not Monk at all) Fighting Styles. Particularly ones that a Cleric (with Favored Weapon), Paladin, Fighter, or whoever can qualify for with effort, but not basically impossible effort.

A few that automatically come to mind would be
Scimitar -> Dervish style
Longsword -> Crusader style
Greatsword -> Zweihander, (particularly if it where like in Soul Caliber)
Heavy Mace -> Shield/Skull breaker style

Crusader style may be a wee bit close to a certain other style popular amongst missionaries.

It's fitting then. Longswords are a boring and standard weapons, after all :)


Cheapy wrote:
"Devil's Advocate" wrote:

I would love to see some (not Monk at all) Fighting Styles. Particularly ones that a Cleric (with Favored Weapon), Paladin, Fighter, or whoever can qualify for with effort, but not basically impossible effort.

A few that automatically come to mind would be
Scimitar -> Dervish style
Longsword -> Crusader style
Greatsword -> Zweihander, (particularly if it where like in Soul Caliber)
Heavy Mace -> Shield/Skull breaker style

Crusader style may be a wee bit close to a certain other style popular amongst missionaries.

This needs looking at.

Honestly Tome of Battle was Freaking Awesome.

If something of that vein could be done within the existing rules to bring a less WUXIA inspired version to PF that would rock.

It would be even better if the feats scaled.

For a PF example Crane Style is pretty awesome.


As someone who was happy with the prior format, I just wanted to say I really like the new format. I'm still reading through this volume but really like it when taken as a whole.

Also, while I didn't think I would be, I'm a big fan of the roles. Not because they're useful to me, a GM who regularly crafts NPCs, but they've been great idea generators & guides for my players - who don't make many characters and appreciate the guidance to better integrate the PC in Golarion. And after all, isn't that the point of the Player's Companion line?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber

The picture for the Squire on Page 21? is that a boy... or a girl?

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Which do you want it to be?

Dark Archive

Stratagemini wrote:
The picture for the Squire on Page 21? is that a boy... or a girl?

Looks kind of like Lord Blackadders 'manservant Bob.'

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
"Devil's Advocate" wrote:

I would love to see some (not Monk at all) Fighting Styles. Particularly ones that a Cleric (with Favored Weapon), Paladin, Fighter, or whoever can qualify for with effort, but not basically impossible effort.

A few that automatically come to mind would be
Scimitar -> Dervish style
Longsword -> Crusader style
Greatsword -> Zweihander, (particularly if it where like in Soul Caliber)
Heavy Mace -> Shield/Skull breaker style

Gangnam Style?


Since this is a Player Companion, I was really looking forward to this as a player. However, as a player I feel like that this book is just full of super specific options that I'm probably never going to use. So much of this books is spent on roles and traits for organizations that I just don't ever see PCs joining. There is just so much trouble involved with a PC joining one of these orders. That's why the knights that I have seen played are usually the knight-errant type with simple ties to certain areas, religions, or ideals.

But am I the only one he sees it that way? Unless you are playing in a really specific campaign, isn't it really disruptive when one player decides to become a Hellknight for instance? What does the rest of the party do while that person is training to become a Hellnight, is taking his Test, and then getting orders to carry out from his superiors. Do they just go along with the Hellnight? Or does the Hellnight order let its new initiates go "adventuring" with random people all the time?

And that brings up another point. Do you let 1st level characters call themselves Hellknights? Even though it says that they must face a life-or-death challenge vs a devil to become one? If not, then the only way to take any of those traits is via the Extra Traits feat, which pushes these traits even further away from ever being used.

I had other problems with this book as well. I mean, there is an entire page dedicated to saying that dwarven knights don't use mounts, wear heavy armor, and wield two handed weapons, while elves use light armor, bows, and majestic beasts. Nothing even remotely new there. And Squire grants you a cohort 2 levels earlier than leadership, but because he is 1st level he is in constant danger of being knocked out (or even outright killed) by a single CR appropriate AoE attack.

The only things I may use from this book are the Carry Companion spell, which is awesome; the Cavalier Orders, which are okay; and the Knightly Code Traits, which are finally Traits done right (unique, flavorful, AND available to a wide variety of characters).

/rant

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