Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Moon (PFRPG)

****½ (based on 7 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Moon (PFRPG)
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A Perfect Night for a Curse!

Channel the power of the moon and turn the curse of lycanthropy into a potent blessing with Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Moon! Whether you were born with traces of bestial blood from a lycanthropic ancestor or you were bitten by a werewolf and have transformed into one completely, this volume contains everything you need to embrace the beast within and become a fearsome weapon against your enemies. Become a protector of the natural world as a scion of a werebear, revel in bloodshed with the wolf fighting style created by your ancestors, or find your calling in the witch practices of your werecrocodile forerunners. Even if you do not take directly after these bestial horrors of the night, there is much to learn from associating with them—as either ally or hunter. The choice is yours with Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Moon!

Inside this book, you’ll find:

  • Rules and information for the all-new skinwalker race—versatile humans distantly descended from lycanthropes, who have the power to take monstrous forms.
  • Eight unique skinwalker heritages to choose from, allowing characters to channel the power of such creatures as the mighty wereboar, cunning wererat, or brutal weretiger.
  • Tips, suggestions, and new ways to play a lycanthrope, hide your dreaded curse, and even find a cure for your affliction.
  • An in-depth examination of the lycanthropic transformation process, as well as a lunar calendar to track the phases of the moon on Golarion and ensure you don’t get caught off guard on the night of the next full moon.
  • New feats, spells, magic items, and rules options for characters from all walks of life— including the new lunar oracle mystery, transformative globes of moonlight, and mighty pelts that grant the powers of animals!

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

Written by Tim Akers, Adam Daigle, Neal Litherland, David N. Ross, and Tork Shaw.
Cover Art by Kieran Yanner.

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.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-578-5

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

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Fantastic!

*****

It'd be hard for me to say what I like about this book better than the other reviewers, so I will point you to the other reviews for this product for in-depth descriptions of what this book contains. I just want to let it be known that the Skinwalker is a great, versatile race that can do almost anything a PC is looking for, in one way or another. It's not overpowered by any means, there are very clearly-outlined fluff- and crunch-based drawbacks for having this versatility, but they only serve to enhance the race as a whole. Along with the race come various flavor-full traits and other options (feats, Magus Arcana, etc...) for PCs to use.
If you're looking for a Player's Companion to buy, I heartily recommend the Blood of the Moon.


****( )

I've reviewed this book over on RPGGeek.com.


Ring Side Report- Review of Pathfinder Player Companion-Blood of the Moon

*****

Product- Pathfinder Player Companion- Blood of the Moon

Producer- Paizo

Cost- ~$13

Page Count-32

TL;DR- An excellent addition to the Player Companion line-97%

Summary- This book focuses on the “in-between” creatures called skinwalkers. These creatures are not quite were-creatures, but are not wholly human either. This book presents eight separate skinwalker races giving an rundown on where each might come from in the world, the background on their psychology and physiology, as well as a suite of powers and abilities for each one. In addition the book give ways to become a lycanthrope as well as some gear/items that each were-creature might need or you might need to combat them.

Art/Layout- This is the Pathfinder art we know and love. It’s well laid out and every skinwalker has a picture to show what they look like when they change. I thought the art was well done in this one. 5 /5

Story or “Fluff”- This one is fluff-tastic! Every skinwalker gets a full, well done rundown and their own section. You can make an extremely well rounded skinwalker from this book, and that is the sign of an excellent source book. Also the addition of how true were-creatures interact with the various skinwalker does give some surprising depth to the book. 2.25/2.5

Mechanics or “Crunch”- Each skinwalker gets a great section on its own mechanics and its own traits. Also there is a large section of skinwalker feats that any skinwalker would want. In addition, each skinwalker gets an associated class that gets its own powers. Mind you not every class can have powers/abilities in a 32 page book, but what’s there is done well. Even better, most of the class powers/abilities/features are not limited to skinwalkers! 2.25/2.5

Execution- This book was well executed. As a reader, I learned about a whole new sector of society and its background. It felt natural. Also, the background filled me in quite well. Each section is self contained, and nothing in the book feels like it was tacked on. Even the sections of complete fluff feel like they were needed. 5 /5

Final Thoughts -This is an excellent book. I enjoyed reading this from cover to cover. I want to play one of these confused, misunderstood monsters! And honestly, even if you don’t want to play a were-thing, the extra class options really make this a well done book on its own. 97%


Lots of lycanthropic flavour!

****( )

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

Blood of the Moon is not a book that will be useful for every campaign. It’s a niche product and many campaigns will likely have limited use for it. However, people who want to add a touch of lycanthropic flavour to their campaign or just want the option of playing new races will find the book adds a lot of useful options and more importantly, flavour.


Lycanthrope Descendant

*****

Yes I know there are things that Lycanthropes can use in here as well, but the I was excited by the race. I still am and want to play one of these so much now. The skin walkers are also perfect for my homebrew world.

I have a whole country where lycanthropes are welcomed as full members. This has led to people being descended from lycanthropes. I made my own race to represent these people, but it was not as flavorful as the Skinwalkers. So I will be refluffing them slightly for that world and inserting them in.

I am certain the new feats and traits will be well received by my group. I look forward to more fun books from Paizo.


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Were-Saber Toothed Tiger.


And to answer a question, possibilities of other lycanthropes were mentioned in Campaign Setting: Classic Horrors (Revisited?) and Carrion Crown: Broken Moon (both predate the Dragon Empire books).


I think the wereshark-kin got shorted on bestial features, as they have a swim speed of 30ft and amphibious.

Amphibious says: "Creatures with this special quality have the aquatic subtype, but they can survive indefinitely on land."

Aquatic subtype says: "These creatures always have swim speeds and can move in water without making Swim checks. An aquatic creature can breathe water. It cannot breathe air unless it has the amphibious special quality. Aquatic creatures always treat Swim as a class skill."

Doesn't that mean that by choosing amphibious in bestial form they automatically get a swim speed? Why would they need a second option of just swim speed without water-breathing and Swim as a class skill? It just seems redundant and a little bit pointless.

Shadow Lodge

I don't know how i feel about trying to cram something new into a niche that already exists.

Contributor

BigNorseWolf wrote:
I don't know how i feel about trying to cram something new into a niche that already exists.

If you're referring to the proposal of a werefox / werefox-kin skinwalker / kitsune product, then I agree whole-heartedly. Shapechanging foxfolk is a pretty small niche.

s45qu4tch wrote:

I think the wereshark-kin got shorted on bestial features, as they have a swim speed of 30ft and amphibious.

Amphibious says: "Creatures with this special quality have the aquatic subtype, but they can survive indefinitely on land."

Aquatic subtype says: "These creatures always have swim speeds and can move in water without making Swim checks. An aquatic creature can breathe water. It cannot breathe air unless it has the amphibious special quality. Aquatic creatures always treat Swim as a class skill."

Doesn't that mean that by choosing amphibious in bestial form they automatically get a swim speed? Why would they need a second option of just swim speed without water-breathing and Swim as a class skill? It just seems redundant and a little bit pointless.

Note that the aquatic subtype never says that you get a Swim speed. Not needing to make Swim skill checks without a Swim speed means that you never need to make Swim checks to move at half your Swim speed (the standard rate for landlubbers). If you pick the Swim speed, you get a Swim speed. If you pick amphibious, you can breathe water and air and don't need to make Swim checks to Swim at half speed.


I just read the Lunar Oracle mystery, and wow. That thing looks pretty strong and fun.


And while we're on the topic, I'd personally take "These creatures always have swim speeds" to mean just what it says on the tin.


Alexander Augunas wrote:
Note that the aquatic subtype never says that you get a Swim speed. Not needing to make Swim skill checks without a Swim speed means that you never need to make Swim checks to move at half your Swim speed (the standard rate for landlubbers). If you pick the Swim speed, you get a Swim speed. If you pick amphibious, you can breathe water and air and don't need to make Swim checks to Swim at half speed.

Interesting. You say aquatic subtype doesn't grant a swim speed, but aquatic subtype says "always have swim speeds". To my mind those statements are in direct conflict with each other. Just because it doesn't flat out state, "Creature gets a swim speed of XX ft" doesn't mean they aren't granted a swim speed. "Always" makes that unnecessary.

I have this image in my head of a wereshark-kin doing the breaststroke to keep his head above water because he chose swim over amphibious. It's a little pathetic.


To be fair, this is a bit of a corner case that relies on looking up some somewhat obscure rules, and then going a level deeper. A lot of freelancing relies on just *knowing* the rules, as looking up the interactions between every single keyword you use will take...far more time than you're getting paid for. For cases like this, or things like burrowing creatures can't charge, it's fairly easy for me to see why slipups would happen.

The sections were also probably written by different people (if I understand the question at hand).


Cheapy wrote:

To be fair, this is a bit of a corner case that relies on looking up some somewhat obscure rules, and then going a level deeper. A lot of freelancing relies on just *knowing* the rules, as looking up the interactions between every single keyword you use will take...far more time than you're getting paid for. For cases like this, or things like burrowing creatures can't charge, it's fairly easy for me to see why slipups would happen.

The sections were also probably written by different people (if I understand the question at hand).

Absolutely. When there's this much stuff to cover, and different ppl writing it, mistakes where things don't exactly match up will happen. There is no way of know what the intent was without speaking directly to the author. Which leaves us with lively debates on the wording of various rules. Ultimately I was interested to see what others thought. So far I've got one dissenting and one for. (If I've understood the phase "what it says on the tin" correctly.)


In the past, I've assumed that the aquatic subtype grants a swim-speed, yes. Even used it thatway in a product I wrote part of. But there is enough wiggle room in the statement for me to not be surprised if one of the developer comes in and says otherwise.


Really Were(cats) and their skinwalker kin could be handled alongside the Catfolk in a book same with Ratfolk and the Werekin.

Also Lycanthrope is the name for a mental disorder for acting like a animal regardless of the animal. It could be a Wolk, Rat, or even an Ant. The moon thing is actually based on the condition on the "Original" Case Subject's Trigger.

(And yes there have been people who thought they became antss under certain conditions.)

Honestly the Lycanthropes might be a good way to explain how some of the Bestial races exist.

Tengu? Wereravens/Werecrows-> Dire Corbies-> Tengu.

Catfolk? Werelions/Weretigers-> Catfolk.

Et Cetera.

Now we just need a Wolfkin/Dogfolk/Lycanborn Race.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Azaelas Fayth wrote:
Now we just need a Wolfkin/Dogfolk/Lycanborn Race.

If you're including dire corbies, adlets ought to count as wolf people.

And clinical lycanthropy is kind of a different bag of fish from mythological lycanthropes, yeah, when used as referring to a mental condition it specifically refers to anyone who is under the delusion that they're turning into a kind of animal, but the original was specifically referring to wolf (lykos) man (anthropos). Neither one seems particularly suited to discussing lycanthropy in D&D, where it refers neither exclusively to werewolves, nor to a purely mental condition.

In the long run, of course, DMs will make the kinds of lycanthropy that interest them or they think will work out well, whether it's jungle giant were-tyrannosauruses, breaking the rules to make vermin-type lycanthropes (The Metamorphosis shout-outs?), or something totally different.

Considering we already have a book pretty dedicated to skinwalkers, though, I'd much rather have catfolk, grippli, kitsune, ratfolk, vanara, and the many many other animal-type races a book without them...and preferably on their own, but I'll take what I can get.


Main Topic:

Well what I was thinking is the Books would be like Blood of the Fox or Blood of the Rat. They could introduce a new Wereborn, to use a mythological name for these types of creatures, alongside the other race.

On the Tengu and Dire Corbies I was using that more as how the Tengu Evolved.

So the Wolfkin might have connections to Adlets interbreeding with Humans. A Boar-based Race might be tied to Orcs.

The Kitsune Book could touch on Werefoxes as being their favorite type to interact with and give the modifications prefigured out inside a Template.

So instead of rules for building a Lycanthrope/Wereborn you actually have a detailed Template for the Werefox exclusively. It might take up 3-5 Pages in total but would help fill out the pages.


Side Thought:

Or Paizo could even launch a new line of books akin to the old Camp Annals series. That is a Series of Books that serve a function akin to the Inner Sea Bestiary but focused on a specific type of Monster.

So a Camp Annal: Dragons might be a Soft Cover book around 90-100 pages that details Dragons and how they can be used in a Game. Though these might be better suited tied in with a World Building Guide.

Contributor

Question: Effects that say "allies within an area" usually include the user of the ability, because you're always considered to be your own ally.

With that in mind, do you motivate yourself with Motivating Display (listed under weretiger-kin) when using Dazzling Display?

If so, the feat is very comparable to the Order of the Cockatrice's Order Ability, which gives the cavalier a +2 morale bonus on attack rolls against a foe who suffers from a fear effect. Even if this is true, however, is still fairly good because you can still motivate allies (and possibly yourself) when fighting creatures immune to fear effects.

More thoughts: Do I need to be in combat to use Motivating Display? For example, if my friends and I need to jump across a chasm, could I make an Intimidate check to motivate them, granting them a +1 morale bonus on their Acrobatics skill check?


Now I am wondering is the Weretiger-kin would go well with an Order of the Cockatrice Cavalier...

Contributor

Azaelas Fayth wrote:
Now I am wondering is the Weretiger-kin would go well with an Order of the Cockatrice Cavalier...

Very well. Although the fact that being a weretiger isn't a prerequisite for the feats is my FAVORITE part of this book. It was a pleasant surprise to get something my samurai could use in this book.


Sorry I still don't have a reliable way to see the book. But I'm happy it isn't a racial feat. But I was also thinking of the Stats and theme as well.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Statistically, fanglords get a +2 bonus to Dexterity, a -2 penalty to Wisdom, and while in their bestial form, gain an additional +2 bonus to Charisma. They gain a +2 racial modifier to Acrobatics and Perception, can use Jump once per day as a spell-like ability, and can choose to gain a bite attack, two claw attacks, a +10 foot racial bonus to their base speed, or the ability to see in darkness as a bestial feature while in beast form.

Thematically, since most weretigers seek positions of power, prestige, and domination, most fanglords tend to be descended from queens, kings, generals, and nobles, and as a result, tend to be extremely proud of their heritage. They are rarely loyal to others, and are often quite successful as mercenaries, assassins, or leaders. They're also said to be charming and intimidating.

So, in my opinion, Order of the Cockatrice is a pretty good fit thematically. Statistically, not too bad, perception bonuses are never bad, strength would probably be better, but dexterity certainly has its uses, and since Jump is a touch range spell, could be used on your mount, though the Acrobatics bonus probably won't see much use while riding unless you go for Huntmaster archetype, or potentially Beast Rider and then not ride your (probably tiger) mount but focus on fighting with them, maybe...same with the natural attacks, but ability to see in darkness is definitely potent, though your mount probably won't share it. Though that's just off the top of my head.

Developer

s45qu4tch wrote:

I think the wereshark-kin got shorted on bestial features, as they have a swim speed of 30ft and amphibious.

Amphibious says: "Creatures with this special quality have the aquatic subtype, but they can survive indefinitely on land."

Aquatic subtype says: "These creatures always have swim speeds and can move in water without making Swim checks. An aquatic creature can breathe water. It cannot breathe air unless it has the amphibious special quality. Aquatic creatures always treat Swim as a class skill."

Doesn't that mean that by choosing amphibious in bestial form they automatically get a swim speed? Why would they need a second option of just swim speed without water-breathing and Swim as a class skill? It just seems redundant and a little bit pointless.

The intent of this bestial feature wasn't to give the wereshark-kin the aquatic subtype, since as you've pointed out, that would result in some other implications. Here's some errata for those of you who would like such a thing:

Spoiler:

Replace "Amphibious" on the Bestial Features list on page 20 of Blood of the Moon with the following: "Breathe water as well as air".

Developer

Alexander Augunas wrote:

Question: Effects that say "allies within an area" usually include the user of the ability, because you're always considered to be your own ally.

With that in mind, do you motivate yourself with Motivating Display (listed under weretiger-kin) when using Dazzling Display?

As written, that is a valid interpretation of this feat. As intended, however, this feat was meant to bolster just your allies while you use Dazzling Display, not yourself as well. After all, it doesn't make terribly much sense to make an Intimidate check against yourself (I'm sure a case could be made for it, but let's not).

Quote:
More thoughts: Do I need to be in combat to use Motivating Display? For example, if my friends and I need to jump across a chasm, could I make an Intimidate check to motivate them, granting them a +1 morale bonus on their Acrobatics skill check?

Yes, you do need to be in combat to use this ability, effectively. The caveat that precludes the situation you described is located at the beginning of the feat: "Whenever you use Dazzling Display to demoralize foes..." If you had foes around you to demoralize while you try to jump the chasm, then you could use this feat in a manner similar to that which you suggested.


Patrick Renie wrote:
s45qu4tch wrote:

I think the wereshark-kin got shorted on bestial features, as they have a swim speed of 30ft and amphibious.

Amphibious says: "Creatures with this special quality have the aquatic subtype, but they can survive indefinitely on land."

Aquatic subtype says: "These creatures always have swim speeds and can move in water without making Swim checks. An aquatic creature can breathe water. It cannot breathe air unless it has the amphibious special quality. Aquatic creatures always treat Swim as a class skill."

Doesn't that mean that by choosing amphibious in bestial form they automatically get a swim speed? Why would they need a second option of just swim speed without water-breathing and Swim as a class skill? It just seems redundant and a little bit pointless.

The intent of this bestial feature wasn't to give the wereshark-kin the aquatic subtype, since as you've pointed out, that would result in some other implications. Here's some errata for those of you who would like such a thing:

** spoiler omitted **

If you ever think these races would be allowed in PFS, might be worthwhile to throw it up in the FAQ.

Contributor

Patrick Renie wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:

Question: Effects that say "allies within an area" usually include the user of the ability, because you're always considered to be your own ally.

With that in mind, do you motivate yourself with Motivating Display (listed under weretiger-kin) when using Dazzling Display?

As written, that is a valid interpretation of this feat. As intended, however, this feat was meant to bolster just your allies while you use Dazzling Display, not yourself as well. After all, it doesn't make terribly much sense to make an Intimidate check against yourself (I'm sure a case could be made for it, but let's not).

Ah ha! Then I will make a case for BOTH SITUATIONS!

CASE #1: The feat's flavor claims that you are "motivating your allies through their fear of you." Flavor-wise, giving yourself this bonus doesn't make sense because you aren't going to be afraid of yourself. Rules-wise, it doesn't make sense for you to be able to Intimidate yourself.

CASE #2: If we go by the literal rules interpretation, you are considered your own ally and this feat is effectively modifying a rule-breaking circumstance with another rule-breaking circumstance. Flavor-wise you could rule it as confidence. By beating your own DC, you effectively "gave yourself chills" with what you just did (or what you just said, if you're an Order of the Cockatrice cavalier).

Personally, I think that this one could go either way and there are valid points in both directions. Seems like it should be left up to individual GMs, but it'll be interesting to see how the PFS guys handle this ruling if this book and its feats are ever sanctioned for PFS use.

Liberty's Edge

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

Patrick, I have several questions about the feat Surprising Combatant. I did a post in the rule forum but the replies were very limited, so I repeat it here (minus what was resolved in the forum):

Blood of the Moon wrote:

Surprising Combatant (Combat)

You can briefly trick your foes into discounting you as a combatant.
Prerequisites: Improved Initiative, Bluff 3 ranks.
Benefit: At the beginning of combat, after initiative is rolled but before the first round of combat begins, you can attempt a Bluff check as a free action. Each opponent who is aware of you must succeed at a Sense Motive check (DC equal to the result of your Bluff check). Failure means that an opponent is treated as if it were not aware of you when determining whether it is aware combat has begun. If none of your opponents are aware of you, you may act during the surprise round. If an opponent is effectively unaware of any foes, it cannot act during the surprise round.

I think I get what this feat is trying to accomplish, but the description of what it do is very confusing.

Let's look what it say it do, and what I feel are the problem with that:
* At the beginning of combat, after initiative is rolled but before the first round of combat begins, you can attempt a Bluff check as a free action.
1) You can act this way during the surprise round even if surprised?
2) You have acted "At the beginning of combat" so you are no longer flat footed? That would be reason enough to take the feat even if it didn't do anything more.

* Each opponent who is aware of you must succeed at a Sense Motive check (DC equal to the result of your Bluff check). Failure means that an opponent is treated as if it were not aware of you when determining whether it is aware combat has begun.
so far so good, but
* If none of your opponents are aware of you, you may act during the surprise round.
1) That mean that if even 1 of the enemies make is Sense motive check you can't act during the surprise round?
2) You can act even if you are surprised?


The Werewolfkin +skills section says it gives +2 to wild empathy. Is this supposed to be +2 handle animal?


I'd assume that to be the case, since Wild Empathy is a class feature and not a skill.

Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Diego Rossi: Hey. So, after talking it over for some time with other rulesy Paizo folks, we came to the conclusion that the Surprising Combatant feat in this book—while well-intentioned and not without its merits—doesn't really work as-is. The more we tinkered with it the more convoluted it became, so we decided to rework the feat from the ground up. Here is what the full text of the Surprising Combatant feat should actually look like:

Blood of the Moon Fixed Text wrote:

Surprising Combatant (Combat)

You can get the drop on foes by tricking your opponents into overlooking you as a combatant.
Prerequisites: Improved Initiative, Bluff 3 ranks.
Benefit: At the beginning of a combat in which you would normally be able to act in a surprise round, after initiative is rolled but before the surprise round begins, you can attempt a Bluff check as a free action. The DC of this Bluff check is equal to 15 + the CR of the encounter. If you succeed at this Bluff check, you may treat the result of your Bluff check as your initiative result for the surprise round. If your Bluff check fails, you cannot act during the surprise round. Regardless, you use your normal initiative result to determine initiative for the remainder of the encounter.

Sorry about the confusion!

Developer

Glutton wrote:
The Werewolfkin +skills section says it gives +2 to wild empathy. Is this supposed to be +2 handle animal?

Nope. We didn't have room to put in some clarifying text, but if a skinwalker heritage has "wild empathy" as one of its Alternate Skill Modifiers, that means you gain a +2 bonus on wild empathy checks if you are able to use the wild empathy class feature (or some other class feature that would be affected by rules that modify wild empathy).


Patrick Renie wrote:
Glutton wrote:
The Werewolfkin +skills section says it gives +2 to wild empathy. Is this supposed to be +2 handle animal?
Nope. We didn't have room to put in some clarifying text, but if a skinwalker heritage has "wild empathy" as one of its Alternate Skill Modifiers, that means you gain a +2 bonus on wild empathy checks if you are able to use the wild empathy class feature (or some other class feature that would be affected by rules that modify wild empathy).

That's pretty neat.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Patrick Renie wrote:

Diego Rossi: Hey. So, after talking it over for some time with other rulesy Paizo folks, we came to the conclusion that the Surprising Combatant feat in this book—while well-intentioned and not without its merits—doesn't really work as-is. The more we tinkered with it the more convoluted it became, so we decided to rework the feat from the ground up. Here is what the full text of the Surprising Combatant feat should actually look like:

Blood of the Moon Fixed Text wrote:

Surprising Combatant (Combat)

You can get the drop on foes by tricking your opponents into overlooking you as a combatant.
Prerequisites: Improved Initiative, Bluff 3 ranks.
Benefit: At the beginning of a combat in which you would normally be able to act in a surprise round, after initiative is rolled but before the surprise round begins, you can attempt a Bluff check as a free action. The DC of this Bluff check is equal to 15 + the CR of the encounter. If you succeed at this Bluff check, you may treat the result of your Bluff check as your initiative result for the surprise round. If your Bluff check fails, you cannot act during the surprise round. Regardless, you use your normal initiative result to determine initiative for the remainder of the encounter.
Sorry about the confusion!

Thank for the answer.

It is a bit of a pity, it wan convoluted, but it was interesting. This version is a weak a way to get improved initiative +.

Sczarni

Change Shape:
Change Shape (Su, 5 RP): A skinwalker can change shape into a bestial form as a standard action. In bestial form, a skinwalker gains a +2 racial bonus to either Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution. While in this form, a skinwalker also takes on an animalistic feature that provides a special effect. Each time a skinwalker assumes bestial form, she can choose to gain one of the following features:

2 claw attacks that each deal 1d4 points of damage
Darkvision to a range of 60 feet.
+1 racial bonus to natural armor.

The racial ability score bonus and additional feature last as long as the skinwalker remains in that form, and a skinwalker can remain in bestial form for as long as she wants. While in bestial form, a skinwalker takes a –4 penalty on Charisma and Charisma-based checks when interacting with humanoids that lack the shapechanger subtype.

A skinwalker can return to her humanoid form as a swift action. To change forms and gain a different benefit, a skinwalker must first return to her humanoid form then use her shapechange ability again. A skinwalker can shapechange into bestial form a number of times per day equal to 3 + 1/2 her character level. Different skinwalker heritages (see Skinwalker Heritages) allow skinwalker characters to select from different sets of bestial features.

Does the -4 to Charisma and Charisma-based checks apply to intimidate? If so this really hurts the Weretiger-kin's Dazzling Display feats.

On a related note, it seems odd to me that the Werebear-kin, Weretiger-kin, and Werewolf-kin have their mental stat raised after they change and not their physical. Again this really hurts Weretiger-kin, as well as causes weird problems for things like spells per day and class abilities that depend on these stats to limit uses.

Developer

Teliel wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

Does the -4 to Charisma and Charisma-based checks apply to intimidate? If so this really hurts the Weretiger-kin's Dazzling Display feats.

Add the following sentence to the end of both Motivating Display and Violent Display:

"If you are are a skinwalker, you no longer take a –4 penalty on Intimidate checks to use Dazzling Display in combat."


Am I the only thing that thinks being Bestial would make them more intimidating regardless?

Developer

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Azaelas Fayth wrote:
Am I the only thing that thinks being Bestial would make them more intimidating regardless?

Many animals have ways of communicating to one another that is much different from the way humans communicate. The skinwalkers' penalty on Charisma checks and Charisma-based skill checks while interacting with humanoids during their transformation is not meant to represent their lack of fearsomeness or inability to inspire awe. Rather, it is meant to represent the disparity between animal-level communication and humanoid-level communication.

An example: when a human is trying to intimidate another human, they can do so much more effectively than a bear trying to actively intimidate a human (emphasis on actively). Likewise, when a bear is trying to intimidate another bear, it can probably do a much better job than any human trying to do the same. It's more a (body) language thing than anything else.

At least, that's my spin on it from a flavor perspective.


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Anybody interested in a calendar for Blood of the Moon, I have create one with all the moon names and phases. It is easy to modify as well. Hope you can make use of it! I'd be glad to hear what you think.

4713(2013) Golarion Calendar


It is in Humanoid nature to fear something distinctly different from us.

A Shapeshifter like the Skinwalker would have both the knowledge of humanoid and bestial body language even unknowingly which would result in them being at least equally capable of intimidating a Humanoid.

I'm just confused by this is all...


Patrick Renie wrote:
Azaelas Fayth wrote:
Am I the only thing that thinks being Bestial would make them more intimidating regardless?

Many animals have ways of communicating to one another that is much different from the way humans communicate. The skinwalkers' penalty on Charisma checks and Charisma-based skill checks while interacting with humanoids during their transformation is not meant to represent their lack of fearsomeness or inability to inspire awe. Rather, it is meant to represent the disparity between animal-level communication and humanoid-level communication.

An example: when a human is trying to intimidate another human, they can do so much more effectively than a bear trying to actively intimidate a human (emphasis on actively). Likewise, when a bear is trying to intimidate another bear, it can probably do a much better job than any human trying to do the same. It's more a (body) language thing than anything else.

At least, that's my spin on it from a flavor perspective.

I don't know, I think a bear's method of intimidation would work great on me.

I'm houseruling it as a +4 bonus to intimidate.


I would say a +1 or +2 would be more balanced. Well maybe a +4 Circumstance bonus for the round following them shifting against someone who seen them shift.

I mean seeing someone even as feral as Wolverine suddenly turning into a more bestial version of himself would be pretty frightening.

Developer

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Azaelas Fayth wrote:
I mean seeing someone even as feral as Wolverine suddenly turning into a more bestial version of himself would be pretty frightening.

I highly encourage house rules that fit with the flavor and feel of your game, and am happy to see people suggesting alternative ways to use skinwalkers' racial traits.

The penalty on Charisma-based skill checks and whether or not that should include Intimidate checks was a carefully thought-out decision from a rules perspective. I agree that it may be difficult to integrate this penalty into the flavor and roleplaying associated with a skinwalker's transformation, but I think with a little creative storytelling it can quickly be justified.

At the end of the day, disassociating the skinwalker penalty with Intimidate checks will probably not affect gameplay overly much for most groups; some groups, however, may find that skinwalkers become noticeably more powerful in this case.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Do skinwalkers have alternate favored class bonuses? Did I just missed them somewhere?


Patrick Renie wrote:
Nate Z wrote:
First, I just want to say that I'm disappointed that it doesn't have as much info on playing a lycanthrope as expected. Between the "Blood Of The Night" backlash and the skinwalkers needing as much room as they did, I understand why there wasn't as much on full-blooded were-creatures and it doesn't hurt the overall quality of the book. But still, I was a little let down.

Obviously, we're still working on getting the balance for these kinds of books just right; I appreciate your feedback.

If you have strong feelings about this book either way—and this goes for everyone—I encourage you to write a review on our website, as usual. :]

Well, part of the reason for the misbalance I think is that the traits of full lycanthropes lend themselves slightly more to playability than those of full vampires.


I tend to find small things like +2 to certain skills makes those skills used more.

I mean Intimidate is a niche skill that only a few builds use but suddenly having a +1 or +2 can make that skill used outside of those niche builds.

Sczarni

Thanks for the quick reply and sorry for the slow thanks. Still curious though, does anyone else find it odd that some of the specific Skinwalker types get a constant +2 to a mental stat and a +2 to a physical stat on transformation. It just seems to me that the mental stat should match up with a constant instinctual attitude, while the physical stat should be the result of an actual physical transformation. I don't think this causes any balance issues and am curious about the thought that went into it and what others think.


More stuff in the Monster/Horror/Circus department?


Blood of the Moon 2 for next October?

What else would have a nice Halloween feel? (Blood of the Night 2, about Damphir this time).


Well, they already did Blood of the Night.


Axial wrote:
Well, they already did Blood of the Night.

But it was way more about Vampires (something you usually can't play) than Damphirs (something you can play).


Yes, that certainly was a shame, wasn't it?

I don't think they're going to write a whole dhampir-centric book. At least we got some dhampir heritages out of the mix.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Belle Mythix wrote:

Blood of the Moon 2 for next October?

What else would have a nice Halloween feel? (Blood of the Night 2, about Damphir this time).

Blood of Shadow, perhaps, about fetchlings and wayang, with perhaps some side stuff about shae? That does seem a trifle niche, though...


Luthorne wrote:
Belle Mythix wrote:

Blood of the Moon 2 for next October?

What else would have a nice Halloween feel? (Blood of the Night 2, about Damphir this time).

Blood of Shadow, perhaps, about fetchlings and wayang, with perhaps some side stuff about shae? That does seem a trifle niche, though...

"Things That Go Bump At Night Encyclopedia"

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