Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Pathfinder Unchained (OGL)

****½ (based on 15 ratings)
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Pathfinder Unchained (OGL)
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Get ready to shake up your game! Within these pages, the designers of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game unleash their wildest ideas, and nothing is safe. From totally revised fundamentals like core classes and monster design to brand-new systems for expanding the way you play, this book offers fresh ideas while still blending with the existing system. With Pathfinder Unchained, you become the game designer!

Pathfinder Unchained is an indispensable companion to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook. This imaginative tabletop game builds upon more than 15 years of system development and an Open Playtest featuring more than 50,000 gamers to create a cutting-edge RPG experience that brings the all-time best-selling set of fantasy rules into a new era.

Pathfinder Unchained includes:

  • New versions of the barbarian, monk, rogue, and summoner classes, all revised to make them more balanced and easier to play.
  • New skill options for both those who want more skills to fill out their characters' backgrounds and those seeking streamlined systems for speed and simplicity.
  • Changes to how combat works, from a revised action system to an exhaustive list of combat tricks that draw upon your character's stamina.
  • Magic items that power up with you throughout your career—and ways to maintain variety while still letting players choose the "best" magic items.
  • Simplified monster creation rules for making new creatures on the fly.
  • Exotic material components ready to supercharge your spellcasting.
  • New takes on alignment, multiclassing, iterative attacks, wounds, diseases and poisons, and item creation.
  • ... and much, much more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-715-4

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscription.

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****½ (based on 15 ratings)

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Some of the suggested mechanics are worth the entire price

*****

Automatic Bonus Progression is enough to justify the entire price of the book. Better versions of the Rogue and Monk, as well as fixes to the summoner and streamlining the barabarian seal the deal. There is a lot of other good stuff in here as well. Well worth it!


Upgraded Mechanics!

*****

I love the idea of this book, I wish this happened more often. They took what they saw wrong with their game and spent proper time and effort to come up with proper solutions. It's pretty rare for a company to spend this much effort on tweaking things. The new proposed mechanics for combat and skills are unique and great ideas to help customize your groups' gaming experience.
I hope they release more books like this in the future. I've love for more variations for multiclassing, and I'm still waiting for a summoner archetype that removes the class summon monster ability and focuses more on the eidolon.
Highly recommend it, especially for anyone interested in how someone goes about making a gaming system. It provides awesome insights.


Fantastic product

*****

It's been a while since it took me so long to digest a Pathfinder book, and boy, did Unchained ever keep me digesting. More optional rules than you can shake a stick at, to be implemented in modular or wholesale fashion, to tweak your game to your heart's content, and with top-notch art throughout, to boot. Excellent work by Paizo and one of their finest offerings in a while.

As for the negatives, the only thing I can really point out is that the writing can be somewhat scattershot and unfocused in a couple of reasonably complex sections, which would have benefited greatly from examples or bolded formulae.


Love The Options

*****

This book is a great addition. Options are optional, and it's great that this book has so many. It really makes customizing a campaign easy. Of you'll like you never use every option, or likely even half of them in a single you play or run, but having them really gives you a great toolbox to use. Some people are finicky about house rules, so having an official batch of "house rules" to choose from is nice for people who prefer to stick to official products. No book is perfect, but being this book isn't really being forced on anyone (of course I suppose none of the supplements are), and that is a giant bag of options that you can pick and choose from to enhance the game, for those who'd like it enhanced, I give this product 5 stars, especially if I am comparing it to the usefulness of the average Pathfinder product.


Great Options for Pathfinder

*****

I'm a huge fan of the rules options in Pathfinder Unchained. They do a great job of creating fixes to some of the potential issues with the Pathfinder system without upsetting the entire rule system.

I'm one of those weird people who loved playing my TWF core rogue through all 11 levels of PFS, but I have to admit that the unchained rogue is an improvement. I also actually prefer the unchained summoner to the base summoner; even though the new one may seem less powerful, it's more thematically appropriate. I'm considering playing a summoner for the first time.

I've been using some of the alternate rules systems in my Hell's Rebels campaign, and I like how they are working out. I'm using automatic bonus progression at least in part because I know some of my players like to ignore the Big 6, or spend all their gold on +6 stat items as soon as possible to the exclusion of other items. This way I know their AC is still going up, and they'll end up more balanced. I can now also let them craft---using the much more engaging dynamic item creation rules---without worrying too much about wealth by level.

Some of the rules I wouldn't personally implement. I feel like alignment affirmations will just lead to alignment arguments at the table, and in my experience, multiclassers don't need the boost from partial base attack bonus increases. But I am glad that these options exist for tables that want them.


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Silver Crusade

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

My Giant Slayer game is making use of Consolidated Skills, Background Skills, Stamina, Skill Unlocks, Unchained Rogue, Unchained Barbarian, Unchained Poison/Diseases.

Plenty of cool stuff if you're willing to homebrew some character sheets, and keep an open mind.


It's the same thing, but it has more VMC and it expands it so that you can multiclass even deeper. I would also recommend the Feats of Multiclassing from RGG. It basically gives you a very minor dip into a class or you can continue along the chain and get a little deeper. You can even combine them into an even more unique build.


My Hell's Rebels game is using a lot from this book, including bonus progression. I have a problem with how it's written as it seems to penalize players. normally, any weapon or armor can have a total of +10 magical bonuses to it with no more than +5 of those being enhancement bonuses. the other +5 can be weapon/armor special qualities. however, if using the bonus progression everything is limited to a total of +5. While on the surface this seems ok because you can apply the enhancement bonus via attunement; it's actually a hindrance and a cheat to the players.

Verbatim from the book:

"In this system, magic weapons, armor, and shields never have
enhancement bonuses of their own; those bonuses are granted
only through attunement. Any weapon, armor, or shield
special abilities on attuned items count against a character’s
enhancement bonus from attunement. To determine an
attuned magic item’s enhancement bonus, subtract the cost
of its special ability from the enhancement bonus granted by
attunement. (This applies only to special abilities whose cost
is equivalent to an enhancement bonus, not to those that cost
a f lat amount of gold pieces.) For example, if a character with
a +3 enhancement bonus from weapon attunement wields a
keen scimitar, she subtracts 1 point of her enhancement bonus
(for the cost of keen), leaving her with a +2 keen scimitar. If a
character doesn’t have enough of an enhancement bonus to
afford the special ability (such as a 4th-level character with a
vorpal longsword), she can still use the weapon’s power on its
own, but the weapon gains no enhancement bonus."

Now I understand this seems like it's being done due to cost, this is not legal for society play. so why hurt a players that want to use this system in this manner? it seems like this system is a waste and the only thing you gain from is is not loosing certain slots for magic items to gear people always take; rings or protection, cloaks of resistance, belts of physical stat enhancement, headbands of mental stat enhancement, amulets of natural armor. So players get versatility in 5 magic slots but must give up being able to have a +5 enhancement bonus on an item that already has +5 special bonuses on it. seems really stupid and not very enticing to use. I think you should review and update


You can use your Legendary Gifts from levels 19-22 to increase your Effective Weapon Enhancement from Attunement to +10. Although it does mean you cannot have a +10 weapon until 20th level unless you are a Magus or similar class that an Arcane Pool-like class feature which they can use to stack special abilities onto an Attuned Weapon.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Cantriped is correct. However, you also almost certainly want to look at the rules in this blog. They are more accurate to the costs of the original system for weapons and armor with special abilities, but it can be less approachable in the math. If your group is able to understand the math of the system in the blog (which was the original system from the book that we changed because of its complication, not its fidelity), it is likely a good idea to use it.

In all things, remember, Unchained is a toolbox for modding your game; it's all about the idea that the game is most fun when you adjust it to match your group's playstyle!


Regarding the Unchained Summoner:
The general entry for the Biped Base Form lists that it has 2 claw attacks. Is this still true of Eidolons subtypes that do not include the term "claw" in their more specific Base Form entry (such as the Azata, Fey, and Kyton subtypes)?

Paizo Employee Designer

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It's the default, but that general default is replaced by the specific evolutions listed by subtype. It's only there in case a later subtype wants to save space and use the default, but it might be more confusing than it's worth.


Thank you for the clarification!
Fortunately for my current Non-PFS Fey-Caller I assumed this would be the case. Although it does put the Fey Eidolon in the unfortunate position of being the only Eidolon Subtype (I know of) with no Natural Attacks or Weapon Proficiencies at 1st level; unless you invest in one of the few Evolutions they can take which grants one.

But I agree the RAW was a little confusing to me.
The subtype specific Base Form section lists claw and slam and other such traits as bonus evolutions, which based upon the descriptions of said evolutions would logically be added to or replaced qualities extant in the more General Base Form entry described later in the class description. The implication was that an eidolon subtype that granted a slam evolution to its biped base form would have replaced one of the two claws it "naturally" had, and an eidolon subtype that granted the claws evolution would have replaced the biped base form's extant claws with two identical claws. But... that didn't seem right given the formatting of the subtypes, so I assumed it was simply a Cut & Paste oversight when Unchaining the class.


If you ever get around to an Errata for Pathfinder Unchained, that might be a point worthy of an extra line of clarification regarding. You might even be able to save page space by simply removing the "Attacks" section from each of the General Base Form entries.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What's going on with the Improved Feint combat trick?

As it stands, that combat trick is only useful for a character who normally wouldn't be able to qualify for the Improved Feint feat.

The rest of that combat trick description basically lets a character use the feat but only if he pays stamina points for the privilege.

What's the benefit for a character who already has Improved Feint, and therefore can already feint as a move action? It looks like there is some missing (or misplaced) text here.

Sovereign Court

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

What's going on with the Improved Feint combat trick?

As it stands, that combat trick is only useful for a character who normally wouldn't be able to qualify for the Improved Feint feat.

The rest of that combat trick description basically lets a character use the feat but only if he pays stamina points for the privilege.

What's the benefit for a character who already has Improved Feint, and therefore can already feint as a move action? It looks like there is some missing (or misplaced) text here.

So, you don’t need int13 and combat expertise.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Isn't that a chicken/egg situation? One can't choose the Improved Feint combat trick unless one already has the Improved Feint feat. If one already has the feat, then one has the qualifications for the feat (Int 13), so the first part of the combat trick text is irrelevant.

Combat Stamina (Pathfinder Unchained p. 112-113) wrote:

Special:

Since you have a stamina pool, you can spend your stamina points to use any combat tricks associated with combat feats you possess.

Unless you're suggesting a really corner case where a character takes the feat but cannot use it because he doesn't fulfill the pre-requisites, and then makes use of the matching combat trick in order to ignore those pre-requisites and be able to use the feat?

More to the point, the Improved Feint feat allows the user to feint as a move action. The matching Improved Feint combat trick allows the user to feint as a move action. There is no point to the combat trick for someone who already has the feat, and that sounds like it goes against the design philosophy of combat tricks.

All of which is why I was wondering if there is some missing text.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Considering it’s a 5 stamina point effect, I suspect the word “move” should actually be “swift”. Worth a thread in Rules Questions and some FAQ clicks.

Edit: or FAQ-click this post.


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Bellona wrote:

Isn't that a chicken/egg situation? One can't choose the Improved Feint combat trick unless one already has the Improved Feint feat. If one already has the feat, then one has the qualifications for the feat (Int 13), so the first part of the combat trick text is irrelevant.

Combat Stamina (Pathfinder Unchained p. 112-113) wrote:

Special:

Since you have a stamina pool, you can spend your stamina points to use any combat tricks associated with combat feats you possess.

Unless you're suggesting a really corner case where a character takes the feat but cannot use it because he doesn't fulfill the pre-requisites, and then makes use of the matching combat trick in order to ignore those pre-requisites and be able to use the feat?

More to the point, the Improved Feint feat allows the user to feint as a move action. The matching Improved Feint combat trick allows the user to feint as a move action. There is no point to the combat trick for someone who already has the feat, and that sounds like it goes against the design philosophy of combat tricks.

All of which is why I was wondering if there is some missing text.

If you take Combat Stamina before you take Combat Expertise, then you qualify for the latter feat even without Int 13+. That is the only interpretation that can possibly work for this feat combination.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

So I was looking at the Alternate Profession Rules, and I cannot seem to find any benefit to having more than the minimum number of Employees once you have a Medium or Large size business. It seems that all they do is provide a penalty once you hit a certain point, is there something missing that got cut?

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