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Ultimate Antipodism: Drawn from Light and Darkness (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 2 ratings)

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How many roads will you walk down?

Just as at home stalking the shadows for their prey as they are bringing luminescent wrath down upon their foes in a display of pyrotechnics, those who walk the edge come across as walking paradoxes to most observers, most observers being defined as those who haven't just been shown, in excruciating detail, mind you, that both approaches are just as lethal. To walk the edge means to believe in the duality of all things. Life and death, or light and darkness, for that matter, are just two sides to the same coin. How otherwise rational creatures, such as paladins, could get so riled up about one half of a duality is quite confusing to the neophyte of this philosophical tradition, though the confusion soon passes given their philosophy's capacity to accept things as they are.

Those who walk the edge are united by their common philosophy, but are divided by the training they undertook to achieve their personal connection with the duality.

The training of an edgewalker resembles that of a martial, ascetic monk, while also resembling that of an assassin or other such stalker of the shadows. Experienced edgewalkers are just as cunning as they are wise and revel in the eventual realization that their training is a smattering of that of almost all other dexterous pursuits. By being trained in such a manner, edgewalkers understand the nature of their adversaries as extrapolated facets of themselves, granting themselves a significant advantage in battle.

The training of an edgeblade resembles that of a fighter, crusader, or other master at arms, while also containing a deep philosophical component. These warrior poets strive to submerge their own egos in the nature of the duality itself, stifling those aspects of humanoid nature that makes understanding the essential interconnectedness of the world difficult. In combat, an edgeblade is a powerhouse of longevity, recycling a small portion of the power released whenever he invokes the duality and collecting it to power unique residuum abilities that call upon the duality again and again.

The training of an antipodist focuses entirely on the philosophy of the duality, and it is for this reason that the variance from one antipodist to the next is usually greater than the variance between an edgewalker and an edgeblade. Trained to question everything, antipodists seek to solve the duality, seeking to answer "Why?" rather than simply being happy with "What?". In her attempts to solve the duality, an antipodist comes up with some very well-defined opinions and learns similarly well-defined skills; though she may deviate from her original bearing, the path she takes along her journey leaves an indelible mark. The journey is as much a part of who she is as is the destination. In combat, an antipodist draws power from a series of nine philosophies, weaving the power of the duality in displays of the deepest darkness and brightest radiance until none are able (or willing) to stand against her.
Toeing the razor's edge between many paths, the followers of the duality tend to be a source of amusement or confusion for all those they take on as traveling companions, but there is no doubting that their strange combination of gentle philosophy and violent combat prowess, light and darkness, and wisdom and naiveté are surprisingly effective when brought to bear.

This compilation contains all content from the following legacy products

  • The Edgewalker: Wielder of Light and Darkness
  • The Motebringer: An Edgewalker Archetype
  • The Antipodist Base Class

Product Features

  • Three base classes - the martial edgeblade, the monk/shadowdancer/assassin edgewalker, and the full caster antipodist
  • Six archetypes - two for each base class
  • 171 antipodist loci
  • Over 100 edgeblade/edgewalker waypoints and greater waypoints
  • A collection of antipode feats
  • Favored class bonuses, bookmarking, and a shameless advertisement

Product Availability

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

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

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Product Reviews (2)

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****½ (based on 2 ratings)

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When you peer at the darkness, the light peers back at you, or something.

*****

Ultimate Antipodism for Pathfinder is a reimagining of the shadow magic system, from the old 3.5 book Tome of Magic (and maybe a prestige class in the old Tome of Battle, called the Shadow Sun Ninja), by Interjection Games. The original had amazing art and flavor plus enough support to stand on its own, but it was flawed mechanically. It includes all the content from two other class books (The Edgewalker and the Antipodist, plus the Mote Bringer), plus a 3rd class, the Edgeblade, and expanded content for the original two. Interjection games’ products are perfect for people who are bored of the same Vancian magic and spell lists, the same 3.5 sub-systems.

What’s inside?
93 pages of content (for 11 bucks!), which include:

-The Antipodist base class, who are the “wizards” of the antipodism world. They are kinda like commoners (worse BAB, saves and skill points possible and only simple weapons proficiency, but nice skill list though and they can increase all saves later) with strange powers. They get access to two pools of energy, radiant and shadow, to empower their abilities, both equal to their class level but one adding wisdom modifier and the other intelligence. Their “spells” are called loci, but they can be extraordinary, supernatural or spell-like. They come in 3 broad types (light, dark and both), and are further divided into 9 philosophies (4 dark, 4 light and one both). There is an important distinction mentioning antipodists as philosophers, not spellcasters; while basically the same, they can’t take spellcaster-only feats or access prestige classes. Some loci don’t cost anything to activate, are passive, and always active. Powers that do have costs are active, require a specific type of action to activate, and use specific DC formulas that scale better than spells, since there are only four levels of power.

The antipodist has a kind of in-class specialization called a philosophical leaning, where you can devote to radiance and almost double your light pool, loosing access to the 4 shadow philosophies. You can do the same for shadow, or you can devote to twilight, the most versatile of the three specs; this choice also dictates your capstone ability. Later on their careers, they get some other abilities. They get a kind of cantrip (more at higher levels), an active 1st level locus that costs 0 points but works at reduced power, and later can treat higher level loci in this way a few times per day. They can also increase one or both of their pools and get a save bonus, depending of the philosophical leaning. Finally they get an ability dictated by their most-studied philosophy, ranging from miss chance, to bonus hp, to extra pool points. The class finishes with favored class bonus for the core races plus some others.

One thing of note is that, while the philosophies themselves are not tied to alignment, there is a lot of roleplaying potential in the Antipodist progression, like getting away from the light and embracing the darkness, and it is supported by the author! You could further this with the re-train rules but are not needed, and you could always surprise your friends when your pacifist healer suddenly throws a vile darkness attack!

The Antipodist gets access to two archetypes. The Extremist is like a 4th philosophical leaning, one that embraces the difference between light and darkness and rejects twilight, and is barred from choosing twilight loci! They get a third pool, albeit empty, that has its own rules to fill and spend.

The second archetypes is the Specialist Philosopher, whose choice of preferred philosophy dictates many of the normally versatile class features. In exchange for this narrower focus, they get extra loci from their specialty and a different capstone ability.

Now on the loci themselves, they are tied to either light or darkness (some both), in theme and metaphorically, since they cover things like dreams, illusions, illumination of thought etc. The effects are so varied that you won’t miss arcane magic schools. As mentioned before, loci are divided in 9 philosophies with 4 levels of power. There are 6 1st level loci per philosophie, 5 2nd, and 4 3rd and 4th each, for a grand total of 171 loci! (19 per philosophy)

-The Edgeblade base class, people of action and warrior philosophers. They are the “warriors” among the antipodism classes, and as such are the most combat able. Like the other two, Edgeblades get two pools to empower their abilities. Unlike the others, they get two empty residuum pools that are filled by using non-finisher waypoints (the powers of the class), but start emptying if no waypoints are used, to a minimum of a so-called stability score that starts at 1 but doesn’t go up by simple level up. This residuum points are used to power residuum abilities, which come in the by now familiar light/dark/twilight flavors and are either extraordinary or supernatural in nature. The Edgeblade starts with 1 of each, and while they learn more as they level up, they have to prepare exactly 3, one of each type, from among the ones they know (they can prepare 4 as a capstone). Some of this are passive abilities that give an incremental bonus based on the size of the residuum pool, while others are active and spend points from it. Since many of their abilities depend on wisdom and intelligence, Edgeblades receive an incremental insight bonus to both, for the purposes of calculating DCs only. They also get a bonus to their pools like the antipodist, and also bonus feats (they’re warriors after all).

Now, waypoints are the powers of the class. Like loci, there are dark, light and twilight (meaning both light and dark) waypoints, but they are not divided by philosophies or levels, though some have level or other prerequisites. A total of 12 waypoints are learnt by Edgeblades during their careers (2 at 1st level, plus one every even level). At 5th, 10th and 15th levels they unlock greater waypoints, which are more powerful but otherwise are and function as waypoints. From 6th level on, when a single-classed Edgeblade would gain their first iterative attack, they can use a non-finisher waypoint in place of their first attack each round, or a finisher in lieu of all attacks of the round (important if the Edgeblade somehow got the pounce ability). We finish the base class section with favored class bonus for the core and some other races.

Like antipodists, they receive two archetypes. Dawnblades focus on the light, losing access to darkness pool (though they almost double their radiant pool), darkness residuum pool and abilities, and the ability to learn dark waypoints. In exchange they get access to exclusive residuum abilities, their residuum pool doesn’t empty by itself, and they reduce the residuum cost payment of finishers by 1. Duskblades are the dark counterparts of Dawnblades, but focus on darkness instead. They aren’t just mirror copies, though; on top of all the mirroring, instead of cost-reduction they tie their residuum abilities with 4 phases of the moon (each with different abilities), which have a 1 in 5 chance to cycle to the next phase each round, giving the Duskblade a kind of chaos magic feel.

-The Edgewalker base class, the shadow dancing, thieving monks of the antipodists. They have medium combat abilities, two good saves (supposedly) and 4 skill points per level (which would normally irk me, but they are infiltrators, not facemen). Like other roguish types, they get sneak attack (up to 7d6), evasion and uncanny dodge and later the improved versions of both, and hide in plain sight. They get the same radiant and shadow pools and access to waypoints and greater waypoints of the Edgeblade, sans residuum. As a capstone they can expend radiant points to empower dark waypoints and vice versa. We finish the base class section with favored class bonuses for the core races and some others.

Like the Edgeblade, we have two specialist classes for Edgewalkers. Mote Bringers would be the light specialists, almost doubling their radiant pools and losing access to darkness-only waypoints. Their unique feature is the ability to craft a shawl made of light itself. As it is made of light, it gives penalties to Stealth checks but gives a small dodge bonus to AC, but the creator can deactivate it losing all bonus and the sole penalty. The shawl is infused with mote points, which power “Infusions”, magical abilities learned by the Mote Bringer. At the beginning of the day, the creator infuses the shawl with as many abilities as he can pay for. The Shadowfriend would be the darkness specialist. Instead of a versatile magical item, Shadowfriends are friends of their shadows! Lameness aside, this in game terms translates to having the shadowy remnants of yourself from an alternate dimension as your “pet”. They become dynamic allies, making for completely different playing and tactical experiences.

-Feats: This section include 15 “antipode” feats, which is a way to denote them as antipode classes only. Edgeblades and Edgewalkers can get a first-level locus from the Antipodist, treating it as a waypoint with the Compatible Philosophies feat, and this becomes a mini-chain of feats. Other feats increase pools, residuum stability scores, give a bonus when alternating loci, among other things. No toys for other classes though.

-Waypoint List: The original “antipode” magic before loci were introduced. These come in a format similar to spells, starting with the name, their types (Ex, Sp or Su, as well as Dark and/or Light and if it is a Finisher), followed by range, area, duration, cost, requirements and compatible classes noted before the effect. There are many different abilities available, from a simple dodge AC bonus to blasts of light, from a perception bonus to a shadow illusion that fools attackers into wasting their abilities, from a little sneak attack bonus to the ability to coat your weapons in liquid light. Most of the abilities are accompanied by awesome visuals, ripe to give descriptions that give the feeling you are in a fantasy world.

Of Note: Having looked at tons of base class designs, it is easy to play it “safe” and just use what is there with maybe one or two “new” things, which is not a bad thing, as seen in the Occult Adventures book or other 3pp books like Path of Shadows (all classes but the kineticists are spellcasters). Not so with most if not all the material from Interjection Games. There is just this feeling that you are not in Kansas anymore, that you are playing with something really new, a feeling I got when playing 2nd edition psionicists, or 3rd edition warlocks and totemists. The best thing this book has is its novel design with compelling and intriguing design choices. Beyond that, the Edgeblade is my favorite of the base classes, even if you have to juggle with many concepts at once.

Anything wrong?: The author must be a swimmer, because he surely like pools (…). Awful jokes aside, the Edgeblade alone has 4 pools to juggle. Also, leveling up can be a bit painful since there are so many options to choose from. Finally, while it is understandable, there is not a single character art, not even on the cover. I should be grateful I have this book, since after reading the individual parts’ reviews I was left salivating and I FINALLY could get a compilation at a good price, but at least one illustration on the cover would have been nice. There are many repetitions in the book, and I think this is a side effect of the book being a compilation with months between the designing of each individual part. I know Wizards and Paizo do it, but I don’t particularly like it. The worst offenders are in the archetype section, since normally you don’t see repetitions there, especially grating was the Mote Bringer, since it is the only archetype sporting a full class table progression, while all the others don’t. Why is it special? What does it have that the others not? Why do you love my brother more, mom? Er… The PDF lacks an index, which makes navigating it a pain in the donkey (I used two readers for easier navigation) and, as I mentioned, the editing suffers a bit from repetition. The book also retains a problem I mentioned when I first bought the book like a year ago: The Edgewalker is supposed to have TWO GOOD SAVES! It is still missing a good Reflex save.

What I want: I would have liked some kind of nomenclature for the waypoints, something that made the creation of characters a bit easier (the players in my group are lazy). Maybe something as simple as passive, active, reactive, like the original Tome of Battle did, or maybe divide them into schools, akin to the antipodists’ philosophies. I would have liked the author to run with the all-bad-saves-but-with-bonuses-later feature of the Antipodist for at least the Edgeblade, it makes for further diversifying of “builds”. Also some way for other classes to dabble in antipodism; I mean, psionics do that, incarnum does that, why not antipodism? Maybe some archetypes for other classes like bards, sorcerers or oracles. Maybe some hybrid prestige classes that mingle antipodism and traditional magic. Also a couple of items, or monsters (light, dark and twilight monster template?). More support in general.

What cool things did this inspire?: From the players’ side, I’m gonna make a twilight specialist Antipodist with a homebrew race called a “Rilmanar” (basically the neutral version of aasimar/tiefling, borrowing the name from the original true neutral outsider race of DnD), which doesn’t necessarily descend from Aeons; in my character’s case, he is the son of a reformed tiefling witch and a disheartened aasimar paladin. Also, a witchwolf (skinwalker variant) duskblade is thematically fitting. A dhampir shadowfriend is also intriguing, giving that vampires normally don’t have shadows and suddenly a vampire-descendant is friend with one LOL. From the game master side, I have been wanting to hack one of Paizo’s adventures, with different encounters, and the “end boss” of the Ruby Phoenix Tournament presents a pair of Wizards, one master of air and the other of earth but with some Monk levels. I’m gonna change them to a pair of Antipodists, one focused on light and the other on darkness but with Edgeblade levels (or hungry ghost Monk? Or GURU sin-eater from Akashic Mysteries). Finally, a type of Efreet sun soldiers with locus-like abilities instead of spell-like will be a perfect addition to my Return to Al-Qadim adventure (with Pathfinder rules).

Do I recommend it?: Hell yeah! I bought the book after reading End’s review, and I don’t regret it. Even with the conservative, Paizo-like editing and the lack of art, this is a book that oozes awesome. As always from the publisher, don’t come expecting Paizo or Legendary Games level of art, and don’t come expecting yet another tasteless class which basically is a variant of another but with Vancian casting. With those two caveats in mind, I would grade the book with 4.5 morning stars, but since this website doesn’t support half, I will round up. The quality of the material and design deserves it.


An Endzeitgeist.com review

****( )

Ultimate Antipodism is a massive book of 93 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with a whopping 90 pages, so let's take a look!

First: What is this book? Well, one could assume this to be the unofficial fourth part of Strange Magic, seeing how this basically represents a massive, non-vancian casting system and classes based on it. Antipodism is all about light and darkness and the things in-between - instead of the linear progression that characterized shadow magic in 3.X, antipodism is more about combos and the oscillation between light and dark. The concept was pioneered in the edgewalker rogue/assassin/shadowdancer-y class, then expanded to a full caster via the antipodist...and then, Interjection Games patreon happened and made Bradley write a huge expansion plus a third base class...and here we are, Ultimate Antipodism, courtesy of patrons Sasha Hall and Sean Paetti. I will structure this review by base-class and chapter.

Chapter I: The Antipodist

All right, so let's get this party started! We begin with the antipodist: The antipodist base class receives d6 HD,1/2 BAB-progression, no good saves and a locus-progression of level 1 to level 4 and 2+Int skills per level. Antipodists are proficient with simple weapons, but not any armor or shields - no here's an interesting cincher - they double the point costs of their loci when wearing armor they're not proficient in, but are otherwise not hindered by them - meaning that you're only a feat away from armored casting with these guys - sans penalties.

The Antipodist receives two pools - a radiance pool equal to class level + Wis-mod and a shadow pool equal to class level + Int mod. These replenish after 8 hours of consecutive rest. Now an antipodist's career is called "Journey through Light and Shadow" for a good reason - the antipodist learns so-called loci, which range from passive extraordinary abilities to supernatural and spell-like tricks. Loci are broken into three subtypes - light, twilight and dark.

Within these subtypes, there are different philosophies further providing variation/sub-subtypes if you will. Now antipodists surprisingly have no caster level per se, but for interaction purposes, they treat their philosopher level as caster level. Additionally, though some of the antipodist's loci are treated as spell-like abilities, they do NOT count as spells for e.g. PrC, feat-qualification and similar purposes. Catching this one and covering it properly is rather impressive. For the purpose of concentration, a locus is treated as locus level + 1/4 antipodist class level, rounded down. It should be noted that supernatural and extraordinary loci cannot be identified via Spellcraft. In order to activate a locus, the antipodist requires a key attribute (Wis or Int) of 10 + 2x level of the locus and save DCs, if required, are 10 + 1/2 philosopher level + key attribute modifier. It should be noted that antipodism utilizes the aforementioned term "philosopher level" to denote caster levels in antipodism-related classes in a streamlined, concise terminology.

An antipodist begins the game with 3 loci and she receives +1 locus every class level. However, within each philosophy, an antipodist can never know more loci of a higher level than of a lower one - in order to e.g. learn a second locus of the 3rd level of a philosophy, the antipodist needs to know at least 2 loci of the second level of the philosophy - essentially a pyramid rule. The antipodist may replace a locus with a new one at 6th level and every 3 levels thereafter, but must maintain the level of the retrained locus - but NOT the philosophy, allowing you to "cheat" the pyramid rule to some extent. Some loci require the use of the antipodist's shadow and thus, only one of them can be in effect for a certain time.

At 2nd, 7th and every 6 levels thereafter, the antipodist may also choose one 1st level locus to become "well-travelled", reducing the cost of said locus to 0, but at the cost of treating a level-dependent effect as half the actual philosopher level, with the exception of DCs and saving throws. At 11th level, the antipodist may 1/day cause a 3rd level or lower locus to be spontaneously treated as well-travelled, +1/day for every 3 levels. Finally, at 20th level, three different capstones loom, depending on the philosophy chosen - these include turning one 4th level dark locus into a light-locus (and vice versa) or a third pool, the twilight pool, which can exclusively be used to pay for loci of the twilight philosophy.

Got that? Well, that's not all - the antipodist can have different philosophical leanings - radiance, shadow or twilight. Twilight maintains the duality between light and darkness, whereas light and shadow, whereas the specialists in either light or darkness may not be able to utilize the other's tricks, but instead receive a slightly (+2) increased pool and, more importantly, may choose to ignore aforementioned pyramid rule to compensate their decreased versatility - anyways, all choices further modify what an antipodist receives bonus-wise - which is nice. At 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter, the philosophical leaning also provides further bonuses - increased pool size and minor bonus to one of the three saves. It should also be noted, that extensive advice for the DM and player to handle the transition of philosophies are provided - and that both light and dark are not tied to an alignment - playing CE radiance specialists or LG shadow specialists is very much possible. Now interesting in this seeming dichotomy would be the "drawn from experience" ability gained at 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter, choosing a philosophy and increasing its potency - the trick here being that the very progression of the class can be used to mirror the moral development of the character and the preferences chosen.

Now a total of 4 philosophies for radiance and shadow are provided and additionally, there is the twilight philosophy, which counts as either. Got that? All right, so I'll give you a brief run-down of the philosophies (If I mention every locus, the review would bloat...): Anima allows you to animate your shadow to execute close range reposition maneuvers, have your shadow record a locus (and execute it at your command) or stretch and peek around corners or even invade a target, potentially slaying it via fear. Other tricks of anima allow you to animate other's shadows, commanding them to help or hinder target creatures and passive bonuses to AC when not utilizing your shadow actively can also be found herein. Bull rushing targets via swats of your shadow is also neat.

The Beacon philosophy can help you cancel out ongoing fear-effects. on yourself and allies and perfect, short-burst flight alongside buff/debuff-effects, fast healing and healing (the latter with a 2 round delay-mechanism - interesting!) as well as beneficial mood lighting. Reflexive damage + dazzle when targets of a locus are hit by attacks and eliminating diseases and poisons also make for interesting choices. There also is e.g. an option to use your shadow to grant DR that scales with your level and e.g. mass, light-based flight.

Now the coruscation locus is more combat-centric - duplicating color spray, unleashing deadly blasts of atomizing light and blinding light make for interesting choices. On a design paradigm level interesting, one locus allows you to regain limited radiance points of spent loci when reducing foes below 0 hp, meaning that the ability can't be cheesed or kitten'd via well-travelled loci - nice way of preventing abuse there. Dazzling and blinding of foes are often accompanying effects of this, and the negation of concealment as well as causing "catching fire" (akin to alchemist's fire) with coruscation loci can mean a nasty drain on an enemy's action economy. We can also find a locus that enhances the damage rolled via coruscation, treating all 1s as 2s - Interesting.

The illumination locus allows you to e.g. charge and increase the damage-output of the next damage-dealing locus you cast, net yourself darkvision, infuse texts with appropriate bonuses to skills or even "store" a d20 roll and later substitute it. Among the more interesting options, crits granting temporary radiance points are interesting...and since they only pertain the loci, no way to kitten this one.

The Manipulator philosophy has some truly unique options as well - take for example the possibility of subverting and hijacking summoning spells - damn cool! Subverting enemy morale also makes for a cool idea - as does intensifying conditions - making the relatively useless dazzle-condition blinded instead, upping entangled to staggered - really cool, especially since the save varies on the condition intensified! Also rather unique - clouding the minds of foes, causing them to treat all targets as if subject to concealment. Ignoring the immunity of mind-affecting effects at the cost of shadow points also makes for a cool idea, somewhat analogue to DSP's dread class. Also rather nasty - one high-level locus that is the equivalent of mass-haste for allies and mass-slow for adversaries. Causing the shaken-condition via images of "spiders, mothers-in-law" and similar horrific images made me chuckle and manipulating weapon-hands is interesting - a word of warning, though - if a target's HD exceed those of the antipodist, they may instead receive a buff! Now while this may look like an strange design decision, it also opens an uncommon way of using the class - cohorts and similar followers may actually end up as buff-specialists for their masters, with minor manipulation thrown in the mix. Oh, and yes, you can make foes attack themselves en masse.

Now the Obscurity philosophy, of course, is the go-to toolbox of stealth-focused tricks - from turning into smoke and instantly moving 5 ft. per class level (to e.g. escape from the guts of a huge creature that has swallowed you whole), entangling globs of greasy darkness, dual short-term reflexive shaken/blindness - so far, so good. What about beginning an insurrection of shadows, resulting in a target receiving additional weapon damage when hit by a target for the first time in a given round? This philosophy has also perhaps one of the most powerful passive abilities of the whole class - once per day, your shadow dies instead of you when first reduced by something that required an attack roll reduces you below 0 hp. (Of course, the shadow regenerates, rendering this a neat type of life-insurance, though your shadow's absence may severely limit some of your options...) Shadow evasion and granting a weak sneak attack can be considered rather cool options as well, rendering this philosophy probably one of the go-to choices for thieves and those versed in the lore of the underworld - tag-teaming with your shadow to ignore the movement-penalty of difficult terrain does make for cool imagery. Evasion when unarmored is surely appreciated.

The Refraction philosophy allows for 1st level invisibility via bend light, with the added caveat that taken items (up to 10 ft. sticking away from your body) also become invisible. Now while the mechanics of parabolic dishes may not be particularly elegant (not a fan of opposed rolls in PFRPG), it works mathematically here - d20+BAB+Wis-mod+deflection bonus to AC (e.g. granted from the hovering parabolic dish) against incoming rays - if you win, you can catch and return the ray to its sender, destroying the dish. Generally, this one can be thought as the most defense-focused of the philosophies, with quite an array of e.g. AC-bonus netting and even mirror image-like loci. An abuse-safe retribution-spear can also be found among the loci here. What about a locus granting charges that grant resistance bonuses to saves and can be spent in place of your shadow?

The Umbral Embrace philosophy is probably the most sinister of the respective philosophies - a lot of the loci impose negative levels and e.g. darkness rising even further penalizes saves against the ability depending on the amount of negative levels accumulated. One of the more iconic loci would e.g. allow you to conjure forth the literal sandman to put your foes to sleep and another generates an anti-duplicate of the target that crashes into it for massive damage. What about a nice combo-set-up that adds negative levels to foes when you continue to pile on umbral embrace loci?

The Twilight philosophy is rather peculiar in its general versatility, allowing you to increase the potency of loci when alternating between light and dark loci. Increasing the point cost of loci in order to have them apply to additional targets also makes for versatile options and adding swift action dimension doors to the casting of 4th level loci also offers some unique tactical tricks. A sneaking, auto-flanking weapon of shadow, a bolt that can be modified as belonging to any type of philosophy - the twilight philosophy is probably the most versatile and diverse of the philosophies. All in all, a total of more than 170 loci (that's a SIGNIFICANT upgrade over the first iteration!) make sure that antipodists will have A LOT of combo-potential and tricks at their beck and call.

The class also comes with favored class options for the core-races plus drow, aasimar, tiefling, kobold, orc, hobgoblin and puddling. Furthermore, we get antipodist archetypes, the first of which would be the extremist. In the extremist, light and darkness wage war and thus, the archetype gets a duality pool. This pool's size cannot exceed 5 and begins play empty. Whenever the extremist activates a non-well-traveled locus and the pool is empty, she gains 1 duality point and the pool is "charged" or flagged in opposition to the locus activated: Activation via light flags it as dark and vice-versa. Each time, the extremist activates a locus whose descriptor does not match that of the pool, she gains 1 point. As soon as she activates one that matches the pool's descriptor, it empties and provides benefits according to a handy table - from one-round-rendering a locus well-traveled to reduced costs, careful planning can provide some neat combo-potential with this pool added. Philosophical leaning-wise, extremists get +1 locus (+1 at 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter), but may never learn any loci from twilight. The Drawn from Experience ability of the base antipodist is also heavily modified, precluding e.g. the taking of a given benefit more than oonce, but at the same time having a scaling upgrade at 11th level. As a capstone, the extremist gets ANOTHER pool, the EXTREME (cue in 90s music) pool - 10 points that can be used to escalate the benefits granted by her duality pool when activating its benefits. Some people may complain about the pools to manage. I'm not some people. I like the extremist and how it plays. It's a unique, nice archetype.

The second archetype, the Specialist Philosopher, is just what you'd expect in such a context - a specialist of one of the philosophies: They choose a favored philosophy and begin play with +1 locus from this philosophy, gaining an additional one at 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter. When learning loci from this philosophy, the specialists can ignore the pyramid rule. The specialization has full compatibility with the philosophical leaning class feature, though changing it from the prescribed specialization means that the character loses the access of the 11th level class feature. 11th level nets a well-traveled 2nd level locus from the favored philosophy, +1 at 17th level, instead of wayfinder. Drawn from experience is also modified. The capstone nets the specialist a specialist pool equal to 4+ number of 4th level loci known in the favored philosophy - these points emulate the points required by the respective favored philosophy. In a minor nitpick - the text calls the specialist philosopher "extremist" here.

Part II of my review is in the product discussion - see you there!


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Ultimate Herbalism (PFRPG) PDF
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