Pathfinder Player Companion: Bastards of Golarion (PFRPG)

***( )( ) (based on 4 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: Bastards of Golarion (PFRPG)
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Unlock the powers of your ancestors and combine the might of two worlds with Pathfinder Player Companion: Bastards of Golarion! Whether you’re the abandoned progeny of elven royalty or the feared result of hag trickery, your lineage is both strange and storied, and you must channel the brawn and guile of your forebears to prove yourself to a harsh and uncaring world—no matter the costs.

Inside this book, you’ll find:

  • Ten new heritages and alternate racial traits for half-elves and half-orcs—from the seafaring children of aquatic elves to the brash kin of desert orcs.
  • Details and new character options for adventurers from the famous half-elven refuge of Erages and the half-orc port city of Averaka.
  • Four character themes to represent bastards of all races and pasts, including the envied celebrity, the misbegotten illegitimate, the scorned outcast, and the neglected unfortunate.
  • A slew of generation tables to inspire grim character backgrounds and determine the physical features inherited from non-human progenitors.
  • New archetypes, feats, spells, magic items, traits and more for bastard characters of all walks!

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 Judy Bauer, Neal Litherland, Ryan Macklin, and David N. Ross.
Cover Art by Ralph Horsley.

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: 978-1-60125-602-7

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

Product Availability

Print Edition: Ships from our warehouse in 1 to 7 business days.

PDF: Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of PDF.

Non-Mint: Unavailable This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products. The standard version of this product can be found here.

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

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***( )( ) (based on 4 ratings)

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Not worth the price

**( )( )( )

This product would have gotten four stars were it half the price. At its listed retail, however, the value just isn't there.

There are some wonderful illustrations of the common fantasy half-breeds, especially half-orcs. However, the work itself seems a bit unfocused, with not enough material in some cases (gill men) and bland material in others. What crunch there is seems to be so minor or insignificant as to be an after thought.

The true "bastards" - half-tiefling, half-aasimars, etc. - are relegated to a paragraph apiece. A true shame and a missed opportunity.

A large swath of this work was devoted to character backgrounds - material that could have been condensed to one or two paragraphs per concept, leaving more room for discussion on actual half-breeds.

A work on this subject could have easily been double this size and packed with awesome information. It's very unlikely we'll ever get that chance again for Pathfinder.


Bastards of Heroics

*****

After looking at this book again recently, I can say that it is much better then I thought it would be. Not only do half-elves and half-orcs get a lot of love but several other races get a little something cool as well.


Pretty good

***( )( )

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

Bastards of Golarion is a rather better book than I was expecting, even if it does at times seem unsure of its focus. It contains a lot of advice and suggestions for creating characters who are either half-human characters or outcasts from society in some way or another. As with any Pathfinder Player Companion, there are quite a few new mechanical options, but these are mostly limited to new traits that help support the “fluff” of the book. The emphasis of the book is very much on the background information, and this pleased me a great deal.


Disappointing

**( )( )( )

A disappointing book that tries to do too much. You get some good fluff and an occasional gem amidst a lot of chaff and a few real head-scratchers. Admittedly, Half-Elves are my favourite core race and I was hoping for better quality content than what I found here.

Positives: Good fluff all round. Half-Orc Subraces are well done. Great cover and I have to single out the Half-Orc pic on page 10 for making me consider playing my least favourite race.

Negatives: Most of the new options are forgettable. Far too many races with their own dedicated Players Companions are represented. Background and Distant Heritage options are things you could work out for yourself with little actual mechanics.

I have to call out some specifics now as examples; some of this stuff perplexes me. The Shoreborn give up Low-light Vision and Keen Senses for Swim and Sailing buffs; the buffs are understandable but you’d think Aquatic blood would make for better vision rather than worse. Spireborn are a little too good, they trade Adaptability for Spell-Like abilities. The rest generally trade Elven Immunities for terrain-specific skill buffs which are of questionable utility aside from very specific campaign settings.

The Unusual Origins feat is actually four feats, depending on which of the applicable races you are. Why isn’t it four separate feats? I don’t know, I can’t think of a single reason why. This one feat takes up an entire double page spread too with some seriously ugly artwork. I hate saying that but that particular piece of artwork rubs me in every wrong way possible.


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Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Announced! Cover image is a mockup, and will change prior to publication.

Shadow Lodge

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

WANT!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Interesting...

Silver Crusade

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You guys might want to change that title. Over here, the word "bastard" is usually understood as "son of a beach" first and "half-blood" second. Also, regardless it implies some sort of pejorative tingle.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

That ship has sailed.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Will this finally explain what the deal is with the Orc bloodline for sorcerers? :P

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, but back then it actually did refer to somebody who was a "bastard" in both meanings....


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

This sounds interesting...as is most things. I am wondering though will it touch on changlings at all? What other Bastard races will it touch on...I mean Teiflings, Aasimars a dhampires have already been covered...mmmm

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Technically, Tiefs/Aas are not "bastards", they're not half-blood.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Really really looking forward to an expansion of half-orc origins beyond the usual tragedy* and some cultural roots for them to pull from. :)

*Like support for characters born from consenting human/orc couplings.


Uhh...

Quote:
From the best-known mixed-blood races, like half-elves and half-orcs, to beings with just a touch of another race’s blood in their veins

Enough with the "bastard" fixation, already... ;-)

I would say all the elemental-touched races, including suli, would be the prime candidates here.

And the Orc Bloodline Gnomish Sorcerors ;-)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't want the orc sorcerer bloodline explained I just want bloodlines for the other races like elf, dwarf, gnome, catfolk, lashunta, etc.

Well at least this book as some interest but I hope that it covers all the half human races.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

WOOO! Took long enough

*reaches into pocket, pulls out money, cash on table*

Ready to lose it paizo just show me the awesome. And for the love of all things holy give me a replace option for multitalented that more classes can make use of.


Oooooh.....


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
You guys might want to change that title. Over here, the word "bastard" is usually understood as "son of a beach" first and "half-blood" second. Also, regardless it implies some sort of pejorative tingle.

I hope they keep the title. It'll make up for changing Brothels to Dance Halls in UCamp ;)

Liberty's Edge

Given they were shut out of Blood of the Night, I'd like it if some dhampire love could be slipped into this book.

But this books is a good idea, as half-elves and half-orcs couldn't entirely rely on the elf and Orc books for flavour and advice (or crunch).

The Exchange

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
You guys might want to change that title. Over here, the word "bastard" is usually understood as "son of a beach" first and "half-blood" second. Also, regardless it implies some sort of pejorative tingle.

Agreed - it seems odd to imply that all people of mixed race are bastards, given the pejorative use of that term (in either meaning). It doesn't even correctly define one of mixed blood, simply of blood that was 'mixed' outside of wedlock.

Now, the Bastards of Erebus were proper bastards, but I don't think that their parentage was ever actually specified.

So, is the intention with the title to say that all mixed race characters are disreputable and verging on evil, or that the only way that a mixed-race character would arise is if someone couldn't keep it in their pants - not from a monogamous relationship?


Can't wait for this one! :)


Dragon78 wrote:


I don't want the orc sorcerer bloodline explained I just want bloodlines for the other races like elf, dwarf, gnome, catfolk, lashunta, etc.

Well at least this book as some interest but I hope that it covers all the half human races.

I suspect that it is largely due to many of the other Core Rules (and even several from the ARG) races already have a bloodline that captures the 'feel' of the race in question, both the stereotyped Tolkienesque version and the Golarion version. Orcs didn't seem to, at least to me. Catfolk and Dwarves still are left out IMO.

Of course, I'd also like weapon feats as awesome as Dervish Dance for the 'not-a-scimitar', but that is for a different book.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Good idea, good title


Half-fey! Archetypes!

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Been wanting this fo 5+ years now.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'll admit, I agree with a name change. Not because it's offensive, but because when I think of Bastards of Golarion, I think of a book of villains, con-men, bounders, and ne'er-do-wells. I don't think of a book of half-breeds.

Also still wondering how Brothel got changed, but this title somehow made it through.


EEEEE! This sounds great!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like the name though "blood of the bastards" would be interesting as well.

I did think at first the book was for evil players/NPCs but I am happy that is not the case.


shutupandtakemymoney.jpg :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Looking forward to this ... :)

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

If this was a UK forum then 'bastard' would be censored in the same way that 't@+*', 's#++' and 'wanker' would be.

The Exchange

GeraintElberion wrote:
If this was a UK forum then 'bastard' would be censored in the same way that 't+$!', 's!$&' and 'wanker' would be.

I've been turning it over in my head all evening, and the only place where I've heard the word used to represent a 'mixture' would be in 'bastardise', and even then it implies corruption and pollution.

Dark Archive

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Apparently Wankers of Golarion would also be possible.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
brock, no the other one... wrote:
GeraintElberion wrote:
If this was a UK forum then 'bastard' would be censored in the same way that 't+$!', 's!$&' and 'wanker' would be.
I've been turning it over in my head all evening, and the only place where I've heard the word used to represent a 'mixture' would be in 'bastardise', and even then it implies corruption and pollution.

To be fair, it's used often in faux mediaeval literature to denote illegitimate - I'd be astonished if it hasn't appeared in Game of Thrones, for instance. Of course it still carries a pejorative tone, hence the corruption of the original word into one of abuse.

Shadow Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Yes, a name change would probably be in better tastes as well as actually convey what the book is intended to be. Bastards of Golarion implies either 1.) a book that will focus on NPC's born out of wedlock or B.) a book about truly vile NPC's. I fail to see the connection between "bastards" and either Half-Orcs or Half-Elves, nor any of the other half-blooded races that may also be included.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I say leave the name. I like it.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Mead Gregorisson wrote:
I say leave the name. I like it.

Why?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
GeraintElberion wrote:
Mead Gregorisson wrote:
I say leave the name. I like it.
Why?

Because I am not one of the people that complains just to complain. I know what the word 'bastard' means, and it fits.

Seriously, would 'Halfbreeds of Golarion' be better? To me... no.

The name is fine. Spot on. People just need to get over what they think is being said or implied and focus on what the word means.


A bastard is someone of irregular or dubious (also inferior, but doesn't have to be) origin.

When I saw the title, I knew it was going to be about the mixed-blood races.

Take half-orcs... very dubious origins indeed. All of them are certainly irregular. All of them are also inferior to Kobolds.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Jadeite wrote:
Apparently Wankers of Golarion would also be possible.

Alain doesn't need to be on any more covers.


The word "bastard" is used in the Core Rulebook to describe how humans and elves generally view half-elves. Being labeled "bastard" is likely a part of life for many, if not most, half-elves and half-orcs in Golarion and as such, the title seems fitting enough to me. It's not a terribly flattering word, perhaps, but it's something both half-breeds have to deal with, I reckon. It's a large part of what the two races have to offer roleplayingwise.

Also, I'd really hate to see a repeat of the Dance Hall incident.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Half-bloods of Golarion? Bonus points for being close to Half-Blooded Prince from Harry Potter.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Also, OMG, me and Beckett agree on something. Somebody mark that day in the calendar.

Shadow Lodge

It's happened a few times. :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Heine Stick wrote:

The word "bastard" is used in the Core Rulebook to describe how humans and elves generally view half-elves. Being labeled "bastard" is likely a part of life for many, if not most, half-elves and half-orcs in Golarion and as such, the title seems fitting enough to me. It's not a terribly flattering word, perhaps, but it's something both half-breeds have to deal with, I reckon. It's a large part of what the two races have to offer roleplayingwise.

Also, I'd really hate to see a repeat of the Dance Hall incident.

I agree about not changing it for censor reasons (don't get me started on censorship). But, I'd want to see a title change because I'd actually rather see the title for a book about villains. I don't really think of half-bloods when I think bastards and I think Bastards of Golarion just fits better with a book about ne'er-do'wells and cads.

Shadow Lodge

In reference to Half-Elves, only Tanis comes to mind, and it's a lot less that he was a Half-Elf than it was that he was an actual bastard. He mother was raped and he was not raised with the father. I can honestly see it much more as a Tiefling thing, where most Tieflings are disowned.

Now, on there other hand, I would guess that most Half-Elves and many Half-Orcs these days are probably the products of two Half-Elf (or half-Orc) parents rather than the alternatives.

Half-Breeds of Golarion?


"Devil's Advocate" wrote:
Now, on there other hand, I would guess that most Half-Elves and many Half-Orcs these days are probably the products of two Half-Elf (or half-Orc) parents rather than the alternatives.

Do the specifics of a half-elf/orc's parentage (elf/human or half-elf/half-elf) really matter in social situations where merely being a half-elf means that person is somehow inferior socially? Something that, according to the Core Rulebook at least, seems to be relatively widespread among human and elven societies. It's still a half-breed or, in the eyes of those for whom its mixed blood is an issue, a bastard.

This, of course, is largely a matter of how we perceive the role and social status of half-breeds in our campaigns. For me, the word "bastard" makes sense because being a half-breed in Golarion does come with a lot of social baggage.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Half-breeds sounds icky as well. Half-bloods doesn't have any negative vibes unless you despise Harry Potter.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Admittedly, I secret have an agenda to rename this so that Paizo will release Inglorious Bastards of Golarion, an RPG centered around guerrilla fighters and partisan warriors of Golarion that fight Chelaxians.

Wolverines!!!


Swirlies of Golarion?

Anyway, I think people are taking the term bastard far more negatively than this particular usage is. Using bastard for irregular origin is not nearly as negative as using it for other reasons.

Especially considering the description of the book is positively positive.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

6 people marked this as a favorite.

NOT AS A PAIZO REPRESENTATIVE

I like the existing title because:

1.) It sounds like a cool title to me.

2.) Half-breeds and half-bloods of Golarion sounds awkward in my opinion.

3.) Now that I know it is not about about evil-doers, con men, or other ne'er-do-wells. I will not ever be confused about it again.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Mead Gregorisson wrote:

Swirlies of Golarion?

Anyway, I think people are taking the term bastard far more negatively than this particular usage is. Using bastard for irregular origin is not nearly as negative as using it for other reasons.

Especially considering the description of the book is positively positive.

Aggreed especialy considering that what people want Bastards of Golarion to be book of evil kinda haves the negative meaning that people borned out of wedlock are evil....my two sweet and kind nieces would disagree with that.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Heine Stick wrote:
...being a half-breed in Golarion does come with a lot of social baggage.

This.

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