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The Genius Guide to the Riven Mage (PFRPG) PDF

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The Genius Guide to the Riven Mage presents a new base class, one that masters a form of magic similar to spells, but considerably simpler and more primal. Known by various cultures as jinx, marvels, will-work, and invocations, most riven mages from more advanced cultures call their mystic powers "rivenspells," meaning these powers use the same energies as spells but all the unnecessary trappings haven been removed. Rather than "cast spells," riven mages talk of "riving energies," as they see the act of creating a riven spell ("to rive" such an effect) the equivalent of tearing a magic effect loose from the background of reality. While rivenspells are significantly more limited in their breadth and flexibility than spells, at the same time they are freed of many of the limitations of spells. A riven mage never worries herself about having a component pouch, what armor she is wearing, or exactly what noises and movements she must make to call on her magic powers. While other spellcasters often claim riven mages are "primitive," riven mages see themselves as the purest of magic-users, able to call upon their effects easily, quickly, and even under significantly adverse conditions.

Riven mages are proud of their powers, and like to show off what they can do. For goodaligned riven mages this often means using their powers to aid the downtrodden or defend their homelands. Neutral riven mages are more likely to seek compensation for their talents, acting as mercenaries or occasionally, entertainers. Evil riven mages are always planning to build a power base from which to gain wealth and comfort, but begin such efforts by acting as enforcers for groups who do not normally attract the full-time services of traditional spellcasters (such as gangs, brigand bands, slavers, assassins, and thieves guilds).

While riven mages are well known and understood in their native lands, they are also independent and often wander far from their homes. It's not unusual to find riven mages thousands of miles from their homes, making it easy to introduce a few wandering riven mages into a campaign (as travelers from a distant land where their powers are commonplace).

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Oooo, sounds neat.


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

To continue the tradition of giving a thief/warrior/caster version of the tropes SGG explores in base classes, we're going to need a riven thief or assassin next :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

*looks at the riven mage*....*looks at what he has been trying to homebrew for the last 3 weeks*...*checks his keyboard and notbook for owen k c stephen's fingerprints*.

This is special kinds of cool. I have only given the class a brief overview so far, but to say I like it is like saying the Grand Canyon is a rather large Ditch. Seriously I was wondering if the Geniuses had turned off their 'What does Kolo want for pathfinder monitoring device' but apparently it was just waiting for the right moment to send the data...

The only comment I have is there ought to be something like spell focus for this class. I am not sure how it would be worked in, but there ought to be able to take a feat to increase the save dcs of a subset of riven spells.

That said, I think you need to look at one paragraph again:

'No rivencaster can ever spend more
flux to activate a rivenspell than half her
rivencaster level +1. (Round the rivencaster’s
level normally for this calculation – 1st and
2nd level rivencasters can spend a maximum
of 1 flux for each rivenspell, 3rd and 4th level
rivencasters a maximum of 2 flux, 5th and 6th
a maximum of 3, and so on.)'

The sentance and the description in paranthesis do not match.

If you are capped at half your rivencaster level(rounded down) + 1, First level the cap is 1 (1/2[0]+1), 2nd (2/2 is 1 plus 1 is 2) and 3rd level are 2, 4th and 5th level are 3 etc.

I'll give it a more thorough look through this evening and comment further.

Paizo Employee Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

Kolokotroni wrote:
*looks at the riven mage*....*looks at what he has been trying to homebrew for the last 3 weeks*...*checks his keyboard and notbook for owen k c stephen's fingerprints*.

You should also check for Carl Gilchrist's fingerprints this time...

Kolokotroni wrote:
This is special kinds of cool. I have only given the class a brief overview so far, but to say I like it is like saying the Grand Canyon is a rather large Ditch. Seriously I was wondering if the Geniuses had turned off their 'What does Kolo want for pathfinder monitoring device' but apparently it was just waiting for the right moment to send the data...

I'm glad you like it. :)

Kolokotroni wrote:
The only comment I have is there ought to be something like spell focus for this class. I am not sure how it would be worked in, but there ought to be able to take a feat to increase the save dcs of a subset of riven spells.

Interesting idea. I'll add it to the hopper.

Kolokotroni wrote:
That said, I think you need to look at one paragraph again:

DANG IT!

Yes, the forumals changed several times, and I thought I had cleaned them all up. Poo. It should read as follows:

'No riven mage can ever spend more flux to activate a rivenspell than half her rivencaster level. Unlike most calculations, round fractions up for this. Thus 1st and 2nd level riven mages can spend a maximum
of 1 flux for each rivenspell, 3rd and 4th level riven mages a maximum of 2 flux, 5th and 6th a maximum of 3, and so on.'

I'll get this fixed asap.


Downloaded this one today and perused it and decided it was all kinds of very cool! Have to figure out if I want to add this to my home campaign. Hopefully we will see some additional expansions for this including bullet points or some such, more rivenspells perhaps...

Between this, the mosaic Mage and the spell points, I'm really liking some of these options,


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This looks like an interesting take on casting...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have another question about riven spells known at first level:

A riven mage with a high
Intelligence scores gains a number of bonus
rivenspells known equal to the number of
bonus 1st level spells she would receive if she
was a wizard.

I am not sure if this means the number of extra spells a wizard would get in their spellbook at first level equal to their int score, or if it means the number of bonus spell slots a wizard would get if he or she had a high int according to that chart early in the core rules.

Paizo Employee Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

Kolokotroni wrote:

I have another question about riven spells known at first level:

A riven mage with a high
Intelligence scores gains a number of bonus
rivenspells known equal to the number of
bonus 1st level spells she would receive if she
was a wizard.

I am not sure if this means the number of extra spells a wizard would get in their spellbook at first level equal to their int score, or if it means the number of bonus spell slots a wizard would get if he or she had a high int according to that chart early in the core rules.

The later.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am putting together a couple npcs to use in my campaign that will be riven mages and I realized something that seems kind of odd. Bolt and Greater bolt are straight ranged attacks instead of Ranged Touch attacks. Seems kind of odd for a force effect. Is it intentional?

Edit:
While I am at it, is the Heal Riven spell supposed to use your wisdom modifier instead of your intelligence?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A few questions...

If I wanted to swap in an archetype package, what would you suggest taking out of the riven mage? I was thinking the riven path feature would be a good place to start (to replace it with the death mage package for an upcoming campaign). Is there anything else you'd suggest or would that be enough?

Will there be more rivenspells coming in the future?

Why aren't there any rivenspells that relate to undead or are you just holding those back to see how well the base class does?

Thanking you in advance for taking the time to answer.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This is just speculation, but I would think that you would need to give up more then just a riven path for a sgg archetype. At least riven path and your riven bonds.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

This reminds me a lot of the 3.5e Warlock. At the very least, it could be a reasonable substitute for somebody wanting to play a warlock.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kolokotroni wrote:
This is just speculation, but I would think that you would need to give up more then just a riven path for a sgg archetype. At least riven path and your riven bonds.

Well, in giving up the paths ability, you're not only giving up the added class features that come with the paths themselves but you actually end up cutting yourself out of getting several rivenspells, so not having it is a big deal.


Question, I am trying to accommodate a player who really likes the Rivenmage but wants some illusion based magic. I dusted off my old game designer hat and came up with these additions. Do they fit the overall design and if you were going for illusion options would you be satisfied?

Illusion
Prerequisite: Rivencaster 1
Minimum Flux Cost: 1
The rivencaster creates a visual illusion of an object, creature or force. The illusion does not create sound, smell, texture or temerature. The vision can not be greater than what would fit within a 10 ft cube. The illusion lasts one minute per level.
A riven mage may spend 1 flux point to add one of the following elements, sound, smell, texture or temperature. Each additional element is an additional 1 flux. A riven mage may also chose not to use to a visual component and use one or any of the additional components instead.

Greater Illusion
Prerequisite: Rivencaster 5
Minimum Flux Cost: 1
As the Illusion rivenspell, but the spell may include 2 additional elements at no additional cost. Also, the size may be increased by 10 cubic feet per flux.

Persistant Illusion
Prerequisite: Rivencaster 12
Minimum Flux Cost: 1
As the Greater rivenspell, but everything follows a specific script determined by the rivenmage. The script is followed without concentration.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have an additional question about riven magic. It is in regards to a previous super genius product. The genius guide to Runestaves and wyrd wands. I am wondering how if at all the implement rules established in that product should or shouldnt interact with riven magic.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am going to be playing a rivenmage in a new campaign this weekend, really looking forward to it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Kolokotroni wrote:

I have another question about riven spells known at first level:

A riven mage with a high
Intelligence scores gains a number of bonus
rivenspells known equal to the number of
bonus 1st level spells she would receive if she
was a wizard.

I am not sure if this means the number of extra spells a wizard would get in their spellbook at first level equal to their int score, or if it means the number of bonus spell slots a wizard would get if he or she had a high int according to that chart early in the core rules.

You need to reword this ability so you don't have to look up another class to try to transliterate from it.

If necessary, make a table.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:

I have another question about riven spells known at first level:

A riven mage with a high
Intelligence scores gains a number of bonus
rivenspells known equal to the number of
bonus 1st level spells she would receive if she
was a wizard.

I am not sure if this means the number of extra spells a wizard would get in their spellbook at first level equal to their int score, or if it means the number of bonus spell slots a wizard would get if he or she had a high int according to that chart early in the core rules.

You need to reword this ability so you don't have to look up another class to try to transliterate from it.

If necessary, make a table.

It probably should be reworded but you arent referencing another class, you are referencing the 'getting started' section of the core rules that all casters must reference.


And reviewed here, on DTRPG and sent to GMS magazine. Cheers!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Kolokotroni wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:

I have another question about riven spells known at first level:

A riven mage with a high
Intelligence scores gains a number of bonus
rivenspells known equal to the number of
bonus 1st level spells she would receive if she
was a wizard.

I am not sure if this means the number of extra spells a wizard would get in their spellbook at first level equal to their int score, or if it means the number of bonus spell slots a wizard would get if he or she had a high int according to that chart early in the core rules.

You need to reword this ability so you don't have to look up another class to try to transliterate from it.

If necessary, make a table.

It probably should be reworded but you arent referencing another class, you are referencing the 'getting started' section of the core rules that all casters must reference.

Quite frankly, if I'm going to lay down three bucks for something that's just one class description, I expect that description to be self contained as much as feasibly possible. Especially if the lack of such inclusion can lead to ambiguities such as those already pointed out. This is a game of permissions and exceptions, assumptions if not carefully gauged, can be a problem.

Paizo Employee Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

Endzeitgeist wrote:
And reviewed here, on DTRPG and sent to GMS magazine. Cheers!

Thanks for the review, End!

Paizo Employee Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

1 person marked this as a favorite.
LazarX wrote:
Quite frankly, if I'm going to lay down three bucks for something that's just one class description, I expect that description to be self contained as much as feasibly possible. Especially if the lack of such inclusion can lead to ambiguities such as those already pointed out. This is a game of permissions and exceptions, assumptions if not carefully gauged, can be a problem.

I sympathize, but there are two problems with including things from the core rulebook (and you *have* to own the core rulebook be to able to play).

First, a lot of our patrons print these, and they're fairly vocal that they don't want any needless redundancy. It costs them paper, it costs them toner, and it costs them time. So if I am referring to a basic rule of the game, I don't repeat it.

Second, where do we draw the line on being 'self contained?' There are no class specific rules not included here, but that doesn't mean you don't need the core rulebook. Do I need to list all nine possible alignments? Should I include all the descriptions of the class skills? Repeat the relevant armor and weapon equipment descriptions? Should I define spell-trigger items for the "Path of the Arcane?"

As it happens, "bonus spells" is a game term. When you read about ability scores, the description of Intelligence notes how many bonus spells a wizard gets, and refers to a chart. The term "bonus spells" is never applied to the number of spells a wizard begins play already having in his spellbook. Since you have to have the core rulebook anyway to use this class, I consider it not only okay, but a good design decision not to needlessly recreate information already contained in it.

I'm genuinely sorry if this design decision doesn't meet your needs. If you are unhappy with you purchase let me know, and I'll arrange for a refund.

Paizo Employee Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

Many thanks to Kolokotroni for the review!

Regarding the comment that Levels 1,2,4,6,7,10,11,12,14,16,18 an 19 dont have class features, I'd note that the rivener gets a new rivenspell at 1st, 2nd and every even level thereafter. Just like many casters mostly get new spells at some levels, the riverner gets a brand new ability art 2, 4, 6, 8, q, 12, 14, 16, 18i, and 20.

That leaves levels 7, 11, and 19 without something new gained. They do gain more flux points at every level, so a lot like sorcerers who only get more spells at 2nd (and not a new level of spells), there *are* places where the rivener just gets the ability to do more of what they were already doing (along with a full attack progression), similar to some levels of wizard (when all you get is more spells/day). I had no complaints about this in playtest, and given how powerful a full attack with rivenspells is, I'm not sure how I'd add much more in.

That said, I'll cop to arcane surge being something that should be replaced. I had meant to give riveners the same ability as the riven mages combat rivener, and it got lost in the shuffle. I'll see if I can get the pdf updated.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would disagree that the new spell is sufficient for a reduced caster. Every paizo reduced caster (whether 6 levels 3/4 bab or 4 levels full bab) get a class ability of some sort besides new spells. The rivener is certainly not a full caster equivalent like a sorceror or a wizard. To me at least what they can do seems closer to a paladin/ranger, a small supplement to thier abilities (given the 1/3 level flux limit which essentially puts them at 1/3 caster level). And even full casters only miss out on class levels when they get new spell levels, not new spells known (with the except of second level).

The 'new spell level' equivalents in riven spells are really only 3,7 and 10. At those levels you get access to several new riven spells which is the sort of equivalent of a new spell level for a full caster. There is also 9, 13 and 17 but that is only for the marvel spells (a fairly specific choice) and kind of hyper specific for a new class ability, tbere is a fairly descent chace most riveners wont choose them. But that again, applies only to full casters if we take paizo's standard. The rivener is definately not a full caster. That still leaves open 4,6,11,12,14,16,18, as dead levels even judging it as a full caster by pathfinder standards which it is really not.

If the rivener were presented as a class chart, it would look like it belonged in 3.5 not pathfinder, empty at the majority of levels. It is devoid of abilities that make it unique, its just a class with full bab and reduced riven spells. Without any class abilities to define it its pretty absent of an identity of its own. Its also no longer really an archon, you have pretty much taken everything out of it that makes an archon an archon and left it with disconnected martial and magical abilities.

Concerns about balance are important, but I dont think they should ever come at the expense of giving it interesting class abilities each level, or giving it unique and interesting mechanics to back its flavor.. They didnt have to be powerful, a riven path isnt an overwhelmingly powerful ability, but its a flavorful one, something like that could have been included if you were worried about it becoming too powerful.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Owen I have a question. If you were to give riven magic to the vanguard instead of the archon, assuming all or most of the vanguards class abilities would be modified/replaced to make them work with rivenmagic instead of normal spells, would you think it appropriate to give them riven spells as per a rivener, or as per the riven mage? Maybe rivenmage flux/max flux limits but fewer rivenspells known?

Paizo Employee Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

Wow... interesting question.

I think it would have to be a hybrid between the two. The rivener has better bab and hp than the vanguard so I suspect even with more class abilities, the vanguard would be slightly underpowered without more riven oomph... but I am not sure of that. I'd likely start with what a rivener gets and playtest, then turn the dial slowly up. There might be a synergy between the swift and simple rivenspells and the martial class abilities of the vanguard.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That was my thinking too, would have to try it out to see where the dial ought to be, but I put together a list of initial changes, because I'm considering an all rivenmagic campaign. And if I can sort out a good dial for the 'average' riven magic to be added to a 6/level caster, it would be a good start for setting up an achertype that could be put into most 6 level caster classes.

And there is definately some synergy, depending on what and how much you alter/replaced from the vangaurd. Just with vangaurd blast and riven spells like bolt and blast, you have quite the blaster mage. I am kind of fixated on this concept of a Koldemar Riven-Vanguard blasting focused mage, as I feel like the roll filled by either the warlock or the warmage from 3.5 hasnt really been filled yet in pathfinder, and the simple magic of rivenmagic, plus the addition resources of something like the vanguard blast seems like a solid foundation for that.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm not sure if this was just lost in the shuffle or not, but I'll take another stab at this:

A few questions...

If I wanted to swap in an archetype package, what would you suggest to take out of the riven mage? I was thinking the riven path feature would be a good place to start (to replace it with the death mage package for an upcoming campaign). Is there anything else you'd suggest or would that be enough?

Will there be more rivenspells coming in the future and, if so, will any pertain to the creation of undead (If not, I'd understand completely as it could be that the creation of undead is more a recent magic innovation that's beyond the ability of riven magic to perform).


Is there gonna be any more riven spell/options coming soon? Just curious.

Paizo Employee Contributor

Soon? Probably not. I have a *lot* on my plate, and much as I'd like to expand this product (it's one of my personal favorites), it's not as high a priority as Talented Barbarian or Mythic Rogue Class Features.

OTOH, I'm in a game where one of the original Rivener creators is playing a rivener, so he might well write up things he'd like to see and hand them to me for development at any time. So there's still hope.


Sweet.

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