Pathfinder Player Companion: Undead Slayer’s Handbook (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Player Companion: Undead Slayer’s Handbook (PFRPG)
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Dust to Dust!

Discover the secrets of battling the undead with Pathfinder Player Companion: Undead Slayer’s Handbook! From mindless zombies to diabolical liches, the undead horrors of Golarion are as diverse as they are numerous—and slayers of all walks are needed to return these dread monsters to their graves. Master the various tactics needed to identify and battle undying foes, whether you’re a knightly order’s professional exorcist, a scholar pursing knowledge the undead possess, or a rogue undead hunter with reasons all your own.

Inside this book, you’ll find:

  • Details on the necrology of undead creatures, whether they’re mindless skeletons existing only to serve or consummate vampires violently pursuing the dream of immortality.
  • A thorough exploration of four character themes that cover the diverse tactics of various undead slayers, including the righteous exorcist, the thoughtful necrologist, the merciful redeemer, and the ruthless stalker.
  • New class archetypes and character options that enable slayers from all paths to take down the undead in whatever manner they see fit.
  • New adventuring gear, alchemical items, and slayer kits to make sure you have the tools necessary to lay undead creatures low.
  • New spells, feats, magic items, and more to ensure your next encounter with the undead isn’t your last.

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 Dennis Baker, Jay Loomis, Alex Putnam, Adam Roy, Tork Shaw, and Larry Wilhelm
Cover Art by Michal Ivan

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-604-1

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

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

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Good, solid book

****( )

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

On the whole, I like the Undead Slayer’s Handbook. It scores over similar books like the Dragonslayer’s Handbook and the Demon Hunter’s Handbook by being of wider use despite its slightly niche focus. Many of its options (from feats to alchemical tools) will prove useful against more than just undead opponents, making them still good choices for campaigns in which undead appear infrequently and are not the central focus. It’s not a “must have” book, but it’s certainly a useful one.


Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Undead Slayers Handbook

*****

Originally posted on www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product- Pathfinder Player Companion-Undead Slayer's Handbook
System-Pathfinder
Price-$13(PDF), $20 print
Producer-Paizo
TL;DR-Great introduction and options for fighting undead. 97%

Basics- Time to fight the things that go bump in the night! Undead Slayer's Handbook gives a general overview of how to fight undead from the simple zombie to the most complex, scheming lich. The book starts with different groups that slay undead and how they may help you. After that, the book focus on fighting different kinds of undead giving feat, spells, items, traits, and class abilities that focus on killing each kind of horror. Moving from the kinds of undead to kill, the book shifts to what kinds of people kill undead giving new class options and feats. The book finishes in classic Pathfinder Player Companion style offering more spells, items, and a prestige class called the Soul Warden.

Mechanics or Crunch- The book provides lots of new options for those focusing on undead. These all look well balanced as you get a large bang for your buck if you fight undead, but won't really help you against the standard goblin. My only complaint is the alchemical items. The book provides several, varied alchemical items to fight undead, but these seem underpowered or far too expensive to use. There are items that do significant damage, but you have to pay too much for them to the practical. There are cheap items that are not that useful. 4.5/5

Story or Fluff- This book is full of story. Lots of new traits provide stories on the background of an adventurer. Also, each section gets almost a full page providing story and background for each monster or monster hunter. It's simply well done! 5/5

Execution-This is Paizo, so the layout is well done. The art is great, but, it might be a bit more than some people can handle. Since, undead tend to be pretty gory. The centerfold is a beautiful haunted house that describes how to fight a haunt, while the front cover provides details on how to fight each type of undead. In addition, the back cover gives information on how undead are viewed in different towns. This book is a pleasure to read and look through. 5/5

Summary- Again, another solid effort by Paizo. Undead are my favorite creatures to fight or throw at my players. This book gives a solid introduction on how to fight the monsters to a new player, and to the older players out there, it provides enough new options to make it useful. 97%


***( )( )

On first flipping through, my initial impression left me feeling good. On closer inspection, I noticed a few things.

Art is good, and I really like that it covered and focused on classes that where NOT Bard, Rogue, Monk, or Magus.

It seems there are a lot of very cool idea in her, but the mechanics just kind of ruin them, in my opinion. Bless Equipment for example, sounds great, but costs multiple Channel Energy uses, (in addition to Feat the investments), and lasts a only a few rounds. It's just not worth it. Well not before the last few levels of the game, anyway.

None of the items really stand out. All kind of forgettable, or just placing a few other items from other books into "kits". What's kind of worse is they are broken up into three separate sections, each intended to deal with different types of Undead, (Self-Created, Hungry Undead, Incorporeal, and Mindless). A very common theme is that it's really important to find out the details about the undead before they died, but it's never really shown, just told, "hey it's important or fighting Undead".

Haunts are ignored except for the centerfold. mazing picture that is ruined by the little captions (whose intent was to give a breakdown on Haunts). But just like the original rules for Haunts, it seems only about half complete. Still, an amazing picture.

I wanted to like the Archtypes, but on reading through, I just can't. Especially the Roaming Exorcist. It kind of feels like they went back the 3.5 Complete Divine and where not entirely sure on what to do with "spirits", so it's kind of all over the place. The Corpse Hunter (Ranger) is pretty amazing though, trading in a bit of usefulness in the wild for tactical advantage in graveyards and tombs. I like it.

Undecided on my feelings on the Soul Warden PC. D8, 1/2 BaB, 2+Int with very limited Class Skills (but at this point doesn't matter, but lacks Know Religion?), Full Caster that adds a limited Channel Energy (and HEAL). Everything about it's description kind of screams Cleric or Inquisitor type, but to even think about this option for most divine classes is an enormous stp downwards.

Bygone products of an ancient war, soul wardens are an enigma of themselves. The original soul wardens were a specially trained cadre of anti-necromantic commandos in the Nexian army during the Age of Destiny. They rose to prominence during the height of Nex’s war against the undead kingdom of Geb. The wizards’ conflict came to a close during the Age of Enthronement with the undeath of Geb and the disappearance of Nex, and soul wardens fell into obscurity as those armies effectively dissolved. Now, the only soul wardens who tread Golarion are those individuals who unofficially claim the title by mastering the millennia-old secrets of these forgotten warriors.

It looks like a massive boost for most arcane casters, or an excuse to give Wizards some healing abilities. I don't know if I like that.

All in all, the book kind of feels like a very basic primer for players new to fantasy rather than a Guide for battling Undead. That being said, if you loved the other _________ Slayer's Guides, you will probably love this one. If you did not, you will probably likewise not lie this one.


Limited in applicability but situationally essential

****( )

This is a niche book that has limited applicability but if your scenario or adventure calls for combating undead then its essential. The organization of the book is outstanding as is the added background. I really liked the insert of "dealing with haunts" as they come up on various PFS scenarios and new players always ask for information on how to properly deal with the haunt. I will update this review once Ive had a chance to go through the new magic items, spells, archetypes in more detail. But its looking pretty good so far.


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Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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

Grand Lodge

Awesome.

Dark Archive

well there goes undead superiority in golarion

fun while it lasted


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I can't wait though shouldn't be undead destroyer not slayer since they are not really alive.


SOLD! :)


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

Meh...I am waiting for the Humaniod slayer book personaly...;)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hmmm ... anything usable against against mummies?

I am, of course, referring to The Mummy's Mask AP. :)


CHANNEL SMITE CHANNEL SMITE CHANNEL SMITE CHANNEL SMITE


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Will there be some good cleric and inquisitor love in this book?


5 people marked this as a favorite.

equips whip

stocks up on holy water

assumes terrible posture

Let's do this.

cracks open old masonry looking for pork chops


Channeling inquisitors! Channeling inquisitors!


Interesting. I wonder if we'll be receiving a more powerful undead slaying archetype than the Inquisitor's "Vampire Hunter"? I would like NOTHING MORE than an Inquisitor archetype that can put down Undead with the Rejuvenation supernatural ability PERMANENTLY!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm still waiting to see an Undead Slayer Ranger archetype.


Awesome cover lovin it!

Shadow Lodge

Tirisfal wrote:
I'm still waiting to see an Undead Slayer Ranger archetype.

It's in the core book. One of the first archtypes, really. It's calle Ranger.

:)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Beckett wrote:
Tirisfal wrote:
I'm still waiting to see an Undead Slayer Ranger archetype.

It's in the core book. One of the first archtypes, really. It's calle Ranger.

:)

You're totally right, but I'd love to see something special like the Vampire Slayer Inquisitor mixed with the Skirmisher Ranger, but with more specialized Hunter's Tricks for use against the undead. I've tried to build my own, but I'm not so good at the crunch behind the game.

Anyway, I'm super excited about this book :)


Beckett wrote:
Tirisfal wrote:
I'm still waiting to see an Undead Slayer Ranger archetype.

It's in the core book. One of the first archtypes, really. It's calle Ranger.

:)

I think what he meant was a sort of Rangerish undead hunter with DIVINE-based POWERS (sort of a cross between a Ranger and the Hunter of the Dead prestige class of 3.5 Dungeons and Dragons).

Personally the Vampire Hunter archetype of the Inquisitor was a HUGE LETDOWN. Barely any cool divine-based abilities to put the hurt on undead. While the ability to do +1d6 points of damage to beings harmed by sunlight sounds nice and all that jazz, that alone doesn't make the archetype worthwhile.

So, yeah, we need some more divine OOMPH here Paizo. Abilities like Positive Energy Burst, Death Dodger, Undead Lore, Detect Undead (at will), and even an ability to make our intrepid undead hunter immune to an Undead's create spawn ability! Also, we'd love an ability to put down (for good) undead with that pesky rejuvenation ability!

There's a pretty damn good reason why intelligent undead should fear people who devote their lives to hunt them but by god so far you fine folks at Paizo haven't let us see it yet. Maybe this is where that will all change. I hope so.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If you have a vampire slayer archetype that doesn't make you immune to energy drain or the charm/suggestion/dominate abilities of vampires then you have nothing.


Dragon78 wrote:
If you have a vampire slayer archetype that doesn't make you immune to energy drain or the charm/suggestion/dominate abilities of vampires then you have nothing.

BINGO! All we got was a Sun Strike ability (in a nutshell +1d6 to all bloodsuckers) and an ability to get a bonus on crafting silver/silversheen stuff. Not exactly the stuff of slaying legend (at least if you ask me). We need a better Undead Hunter/Slayer! One who specializes in putting vampires, liches, and grave knights down for good!


Just about to start up an undead heavy campaign for me and my girlfriend; I'm almost thinking I should wait so we can look at this first...hmm. Either way, looks awesome!


I can hardly wait for this book!

Webstore Gninja Minion

Product image and description updated.

Silver Crusade

Oh my god, I love the cover!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

+1 on loving the cover!

Seelah with a bow ... that's new. And do I really want to know why a spectral horseman is galloping about indoors? :)


Bellona wrote:

+1 on loving the cover!

Seelah with a bow ... that's new. And do I really want to know why a spectral horseman is galloping about indoors? :)

Likely has something to do with that "incorporeal" bit.


Very nice!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

That is a nice cover and wow, a lot books got art/product updates today.

Webstore Gninja Minion

Dragon78 wrote:
A lot of books got art/product updates today.

Glad you like—it's one of the highlights of my job. :D


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

One one had, it doesn't seem fair that Seelah keeps getting all of these awesome covers.

On the other, Seelah is awesome and this cover is just more proof of that.


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

Wow, this actually makes me really sad that my Carrion Crown campaign will likely be finished by the time that this book is released... it looks like it would be a great resource.


Berselius wrote:
Beckett wrote:
Tirisfal wrote:
I'm still waiting to see an Undead Slayer Ranger archetype.

It's in the core book. One of the first archtypes, really. It's calle Ranger.

:)

I think what he meant was a sort of Rangerish undead hunter with DIVINE-based POWERS (sort of a cross between a Ranger and the Hunter of the Dead prestige class of 3.5 Dungeons and Dragons).

Personally the Vampire Hunter archetype of the Inquisitor was a HUGE LETDOWN. Barely any cool divine-based abilities to put the hurt on undead. While the ability to do +1d6 points of damage to beings harmed by sunlight sounds nice and all that jazz, that alone doesn't make the archetype worthwhile.

So, yeah, we need some more divine OOMPH here Paizo. Abilities like Positive Energy Burst, Death Dodger, Undead Lore, Detect Undead (at will), and even an ability to make our intrepid undead hunter immune to an Undead's create spawn ability! Also, we'd love an ability to put down (for good) undead with that pesky rejuvenation ability!

There's a pretty damn good reason why intelligent undead should fear people who devote their lives to hunt them but by god so far you fine folks at Paizo haven't let us see it yet. Maybe this is where that will all change. I hope so.

Think the Undead Stalker from the 3.5DMG if your playing a home game it is very easy conversion also


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hopefully the book will have some love for the classes that are not iconic undead hunters. Paladins and clerics for example need few. But figthers, bards and/or druids woudl benefir from some love here.


Will there be a hammer and stake TWF style feat?


Devastation Bob wrote:
Will there be a hammer and stake TWF style feat?

BINGO!!!!!


I'd been wondering for some time about what the use of onyx in necromancy would mean for the legality of the onyx trade, and I'm happy to see exactly that addressed on the inside back cover. :D

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Does a character with the Child of Wati trait but no levels in a class that can channel positive energy gain that class feature at level 1?

Silver Crusade

1. That centerfold is awesome. Really loving that developing into a trend for the Companion line. :D

2. I really want to play a Castlevania-clone with the iconics now.

2a. Merisiel and Sajan will require a double-jump ability.

2b. Voting Imrijka as primary Belmont-analogue.


Mikaze wrote:

1. That centerfold is awesome. Really loving that developing into a trend for the Companion line. :D

2. I really want to play a Castlevania-clone with the iconics now.

2a. Merisiel and Sajan will require a double-jump ability.

2b. Voting Imrijka as primary Belmont-analogue.

3. Obligatory hammy dialogue with the vampire BBEG before rolling initiative .

Contributor

As expected, this companion has a LOT of material that doesn't translate well outside of undead encounters. It was something of a problem with the Dragonslayer's Handbook, but I suppose it's less of a problem here because undead are a MUCH more common foe than dragons.

That said, there are some gems here.

For example, Bless Weapon and it's associated feats. Your cleric gains the ability to spend uses of channel energy to bless a weapon, armor, or a shield with a special weapon ability. Spend one use? Give a weapon holy, unholy, axiomatic, or anarchic. Spend more? There are more abilities to choose from, and there are even rules that upgrade masterwork weapons into magical ones. The bonuses are very short-lived, but it's an awesome idea that I adored.

The other gem in this book is a new feat called Weapon Versatility. It requires a BAB of +1 and Weapon Focus. As a swift action, you can change whether the weapon of your weapon focus deals bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage by "adjusting your grip on the weapon." There are a couple weapons that this seems a bit confusing with. (I.E., how does a club/quarterstaff deal slashing damage?) Overall, this is a VERY cool feat that is worth pulling from the book.

In terms of archetypes, there's an awesome exorcist archetype that gives your cleric very iconic exorcist-type abilities from the movie of the same name. There's also a medium witch archetype that allows her to commune with an intelligent undead in new and interesting ways. There's also a new Prestige Class themed after the clerics and wizards of Nex who are specialized in fighting the undead hordes of Geb.

Overall, this is a cool product but I don't think it's as much of a "must-own" as Champions of Balance or the Alchemy Guide.


Quote:
In terms of archetypes, there's an awesome exorcist archetype that gives your cleric very iconic exorcist-type abilities from the movie of the same name. There's also a medium witch archetype that allows her to commune with an intelligent undead in new and interesting ways. There's also a new Prestige Class themed after the clerics and wizards of Nex who are specialized in fighting the undead hordes of Geb.

No Undead Slayer archetype/prestige class for Rangers or Inquisitors?


Corpse Hunter for Rangers, but I guess they figured since Inquisitors already have one or two...

Shadow Lodge

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

Someone care to spoil the medium a bit?

Contributor

Medium spoiler:
A medium is an archetype for the witch. It has a limited selection of patrons: ancestors, death, occult, or spirits. She gets free applications of the Ectoplasmic Spell metamagic feat a few times per day. She can link up with an undead that shares a trained knowledge skill, each creature making a check, and taking the better of the two. At 20th level, she can become incorporeal for 1 minute per level, receiving all the pros and cons of this form.


Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Corpse Hunter for Rangers, but I guess they figured since Inquisitors already have one or two...

Ok, I guess I'll have to make up to this by myself, since Wayfinder #12 is going to have mummies and pyramids... *sighs and goes to write the Sepulcher Inquisition*


Very nice information!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Aw, I hoped for an undead hunter gunslinger archetype


So no paladin related stuff. So paladins get squat for as both demon and undead hunters.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
alex verrall wrote:
So no paladin related stuff. So paladins get squat for as both demon and undead hunters.

Didn't Ultimate Magic already bring the Oath against Fiends and the Oath against Undeath, even aside from paladin smites already being extra deadly to evil outsiders and undead? Not to mention a host of immunities useful against both? I'd say paladins are already pretty well equipped against both?


Still a few feats or new uses of lay on hands against undead would have been nice.
Ultimate magic was the only book to give paladins good stuff, ultimate combat gave some badly written archetypes and a bad multiclass feat.


Alexander Augunas wrote:
There's also a new Prestige Class themed after the clerics and wizards of Nex who are specialized in fighting the undead hordes of Geb.

Would that be the class that went up on the PFSRD as the Soul Warden? Because if so, it looks extraordinarily useful in any undead-focused campaign. It's even a very good option in a non-undead campaign, because not only do you get full spellcasting progression, full BAB and channel energy, you also get some extra non-arcane spells on your list, and benefits for undead that you conjure up yourself.

All that, and you only need to be non-evil, put 5 ranks into Knowledge Religion (which a wizard probably has ranks in anyway, what with all the skill points from a high INT score) and have a Command Undead spell in their spellbook.

Good for wizards, especially good for eldritch knights who need a second class (full BAB and full spellcasting is better than the EK chassis outright, and this PrC gets more and generally better class features on top), and good for undead hunters.

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