Pathfinder Player Companion: Haunted Heroes Handbook (PFRPG)

****½ (based on 5 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: Haunted Heroes Handbook (PFRPG)
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Is Your Mind Your Own?

It's one thing to face foes like ravenous beasts, fire-breathing dragons, and marauding monsters, but what about ghosts that can hop from body to body? How do you face a fiend that's using an innocent pawn as a proxy for its evil? Are there ways being haunted could be turned to your advantage? Prepare yourself for the answers to these questions and more as you explore what it's like to be a haunted hero!

Inside this book, you'll find:

  • New archetypes, feats, and traits that build upon your character's past and explore eerie powers gained from being haunted by spirits.
  • Rules for a new category of magic: haunted spells, which operate in ghostly ways to mimic the sinister manifestation of haunts.
  • An exploration of how different faiths of the Inner Sea region and beyond deal with haunts and the influence of the spirit world.

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

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-884-7

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

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****½ (based on 5 ratings)

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Very good

*****

This book is just a fun read. Cool ideas and flavor are presented throughout, so even if you don't like the Feats / Archetypes in the book, you can still get a lot of solid ideas.


One of the best Player Companion books.

*****

This book is fantastic. It covers things ranging from common requests (more skill points as a feat) handled in an interesting way (limited duration per day, but you can pick the skill daily- great for low-skill characters) to didn't-know-you-needed-it stuff (a possessed hand?) with amazing execution (great one-handed/TWF support, chaining into not being out of the fight just because you failed that save-or-suck). On top of that, this includes some great feats for martials sick of not being able to contribute against haunts and having trouble with incorporeal foes. There's also a cool Sorcerer bloodline, a bunch of neat feats, and some cool archetypes.


Sweet Blasphemy, Sand Mantas galore! Talk about your prehistoric pigeons.

*****

This book allows me to build D, as in Vampire Hunter D. This alone makes it worth the asking price, despite the fact that Paizo once again missed the opportunity to print a Paladin of Jesus Christ archetype. Oh well, maybe they'll fit him in the upcoming Blood of Beasts.


**( )( )( )

I didn't care for the book, but it's really hard to place a finger on just why. Part of it is I just didn't think it did a great job of including options for a lot of classes to take on Horror or Haunted elements. Some, like Spirit Ally sound really cool, but become available so late game it's questionably even worth it, just to get a sort of limited version of a Spirit pet/Haunted Curse without having to take or dip those classes. If this would have been a level 1 option that upgraded or grew stronger, this would have been amazing. But having to wait until 8th level just makes it feel like a wasted potential option.

I didn't care for the Haunt Spells, partially because they seem to be there to both steal a lot of the character's that focus on or are strong against Haunts thunder or just seem very odd mechanically.

Part of this might be related to my disappointment with both Horror Adventures (lack of player material and poor mechanics like Sanity) and also Occult Adventures awkwardly cramming in themes and mechanics that just don't work well in the preexisting setting and material, and Haunted Heroes sort of ramps that up. While Haunted Heroes does offer a lot of Archetypes, it just felt like they ignored some of the classes that actually needed them for ones that didn't. I also found the religions chosen, (and the options given to them specifically) very curious. So many of them seemed out of place, and then the unique options to replace a given Domain power, while cool, also felt like a huge missed opportunity to make those things options that other's could take and make a lot more sense in doing so. For instance, Irori followers get a supeup Channel to Harm Undead Haunts ability, but Iomedae, Sarenrae, and even Pharasma don't (despite it actually making sense for them to and Irori not).

The Possessed Hand chain is very interesting and fun, and generally open to everyone, but it's also very odd. Does Channel Energy/Alignment Channel kill it permanently?

Spirit Ridden and Channel Spirit I think would have been much better off as, similar to Spirit Ally, (or even better upgrades for Spirit Ally) options for all characters to be able to dip into getting a spirit-like pet, but instead it is kind of a lackluster séance thing that realistically takes a character 3 hours per day to prep between spells (if a spellcaster) and then an hour long séance for each.

This was not really a good book for all the lacking player content from Horror Heroes, but instead seems to follow in the same footsteps in a lot of ways. There are some good options in here, but in my opinion too much of it is arbitrarily limited to make sure only some classes take options or that the flavor, it's stronger point is not really that supported by it's crunch.

I liked the art overall, and particularly LOVED that it didn't focus on the annoying icons often.


Is 6 stars a thing?

*****

Wow, Paizo really hit it out of the park with this one. The book offers powerful (but not overly so) options for many different types of characters. What makes these options stand out is the flavor they provide.

Two quick examples:

Possessed Hand is a feat that adds a bonus to hit and damage with one handed weapons, light weapons and unarmed strikes. It also has a variety of other small effects. What makes it amazing is the flavor behind it. "You’ve made a peaceful and permanent bargain with a ghost, spirit, or outsider. It possesses your hand, guiding
and aiding you in exchange for help in return." What makes it even better is that there is a feat tree that builds off of this.

Haunted Spells are a group of spells that function as haunts (what a concept). I cannot wait to use a few of these in game. The flavor is overflowing. I really hope these get made PFS legal.

I don't remember the last time I was this happy with a product. A definite buy for those who like this type of flavor and options.


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Community Manager

Announced! Product image and description subject to change.


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

Somewhat interested.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Hmm!!! I wonder if this will have some new spiritualist archetypes... :)

Dark Archive

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sounds like a book for some medium love.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

That and some spiritualist I hope Decius.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I hope there's some Ghostwalk type stuff.


The Player Companion series has been on fire as of late!


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I hope there's some Ghostwalk type stuff.

I'll settle for more spiritualist myself.

Silver Crusade

Color me intrigued


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That is not dead which... aw, heck, you know this one.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Thomas Seitz wrote:
That and some spiritualist I hope Decius.

I'd be cool with that, too! I can see a new oracle curse as well.

Liberty's Edge

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ever since I read Children of Dune, I have always wanted robust game mechanics that reflect characters possessed by one or several entities. I really hope we can find something here (maybe a template or a line of feats) that does this for any character, rather than only things available to specific classes.


*still rather has more stuff for spiritualist...*


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Though I highly doubt it could fit in a player companion, this would be a great place to have the Harrowed Medium. But even if not, the whole "bargain for power" (especially when that bargain involves having to relinquish control to some other force or personality) is one of my favorite fantasy tropes.


Brew,

That might happen, since I think they want to give OA classes a little more support. Maybe. I could be wrong.


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

I hope there is something for my witch who talks to her dead twin sister and others of her family who were murdered by pirates.

If so than my interest is THIS HIGH!!!!

If not...have to wait for more info...


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hmm, hard to tell what this is really going to involve...it's a potentially interesting subject matter, that's for sure. Might be more appropriate for Horror Adventures, but that part about resurrection and being haunted makes me imagine some sort of optional risk table for raise dead and similar spells that gives a chance of having you become haunted because you weren't pulled back from death alone, either having a ghost chained to you, or even partially possessing you with both fighting for possession of the body.

One thing I would personally like would be an option for the Unchained Summoner to have a somewhat ghostly eidolon...specifically, I'm remembering the Ultimate Campaign background generator, which had the following as an option for summoners...

Spoiler:
Raising Gone Wrong: You lost someone important to you. Through means, luck, or simple pity, you had the chance to raise that person from the dead, but something went wrong with the spell and the raising did not occur… at least not as planned. Your lost friend or kin's soul bonded with a powerful outsider on the other side of the veil and returned to you as your eidolon. Possessed of some of the memories and experiences of the life you spent together, your companion feels a stronger devotion than even most others of its kind. You gain access to the Loyalty across Lifetimes faith trait.

I've always loved that concept, but it doesn't work very well with the Unchained Summoner, in my opinion, so an eidolon type that represents this would be great for me, though I may be the only one...especially now that the spiritualist is around...but still.


Meh... until I get more information on this topic and what's exactly in here, I'm not doing cartwheels just yet. It has possibilities though.

Liberty's Edge

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

I'm sure there will be at least 1 Archetype that has let a powerful entity possess their body(maybe a demon or a particularly powerful spirit), gaining a bunch of great powers linked to that entity but at the cost of needing to struggle with the force for control over their body. After all, these entities are going to have some very clear drives to certain things(like a demon might be drawn towards evil acts, a spirit might be drawn to things important in that spirits past life etc), some of which you will want to resist for good reasons(like not wanting to kill an innocent, or get caught and thrown in jail).

Silver Crusade

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

Oooo... yes please more Spiritualist, Phantom (and Id Rager), and Medium related stuff please and thank you.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Curse you! I can barely afford my living expenses and you throw more and more at me that I must have!


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hopeful for more Phantoms, like others here.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I would be surprised if there wasn't anything in this book for the medium, spiritualist, and shaman.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

All I want is for my mid-to-high level full caster to be able to dramatically fry somebody's puny first-level Protection from Evil spell when attempting to possess them without just being neutral.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
QuidEst wrote:
All I want is for my mid-to-high level full caster to be able to dramatically fry somebody's puny first-level Protection from Evil spell when attempting to possess them without just being neutral.

Since possession often replaces magic jar, it's possible that a GM would allow you to use Penetrating Possession (from Demons Revisited) with possession and similar spells.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Luthorne wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
All I want is for my mid-to-high level full caster to be able to dramatically fry somebody's puny first-level Protection from Evil spell when attempting to possess them without just being neutral.
Since possession often replaces magic jar, it's possible that a GM would allow you to use Penetrating Possession (from Demons Revisited) with possession and similar spells.

Sadly, that's five more charisma than I'm likely to ever have on the character.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I agree with the hopes for love for the Spiritualist, Medium, and Shaman. I think there's some good potential with this book, but I'd like to see more of what might be included.

Some possible ideas:
- Ghost hunting Alchemist, Rangers, and Hunters
- Investigator talents that are spirit based.
- Ghost/Ancestor Trained Monks and/or Magus (There was a build in the Book of Nine Swords that involved the notion of your ancestors training you. This could easily be converted to a haunted concept.)
- Maybe a "ghost-touched" race? An ethereal tied race +2 Dex and Wis -2 Con, that can "flicker" (blink). Heh... that would be cool.

Just some random thoughts.

Shadow Lodge

Hopefully they stay away from Occult Adventures for a while. I could see this being pretty cool for the Cleric, Paladin, and Witch, though.


If Horror Adventures introduces new classes, it could be stuff for them. Even if there are no new classes, this book may still be based around the Horror Adventures book.


To be fair, I hope this book will contain something nice for the Medium class. Perhaps an archetype to help simplify the class (like...rather than picking from a multitude of different spirits each day...this medium archetype offers players the chance to pick a single legendary spirit for life). Now granted, this would require a lot of changes to the medium class, but I think it would be neat. I'd probably call it 'Reborn Hero' or something.


I just want more love for spiritualists myself, Dusky.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Duskblade wrote:
To be fair, I hope this book will contain something nice for the Medium class. Perhaps an archetype to help simplify the class (like...rather than picking from a multitude of different spirits each day...this medium archetype offers players the chance to pick a single legendary spirit for life). Now granted, this would require a lot of changes to the medium class, but I think it would be neat. I'd probably call it 'Reborn Hero' or something.

There's already the Relic Channeler which goes down to one set of choices per spirit until you loose an item, I don't see much reason to go even more restrictive. Not that I would mind medium love,plan on playing one in Strange Aeons.

As an aside I had an idea for a vigilante archetype that got one medium spirit for life. I call it The Legacy.

Store Manager - Gator Games & Hobby

Hoping fiercely for an option for Mediums to let them swap spirits mid adventure. Not mid combat, but with down time roughly equivalent to wizards swapping in new spells.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cwethan wrote:
Hoping fiercely for an option for Mediums to let them swap spirits mid adventure. Not mid combat, but with down time roughly equivalent to wizards swapping in new spells.

Wizards swap in new spells after a night's rest, which is also what it takes for Mediums to change spirits. Wizards can leave slots unprepared if that's what you're referring to, but Medium probably doesn't want to walk around without class features.


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Cwethan wrote:
Hoping fiercely for an option for Mediums to let them swap spirits mid adventure. Not mid combat, but with down time roughly equivalent to wizards swapping in new spells.

The Spirit Dancer archetype can access all six spirits over the course of the day, but he has very limited access to any powers at all (as he must expend rounds of "spirit dance" to access the powers of any spirit), has to wait a minute after accessing one spirit to access another, and must make all of his spirit choices (such as archmage and hierophant spells known) at the beginning of the day during his seance.

I could see somebody coming up with a "Second Seance" feat that allows a standard medium to perform his seance a second time during the day to access a second spirit, at the cost of transferring his existing influence plus one to the new spirit.

Grand Lodge

I look forward to this product!


I presume this ties in somewhat with Horror Adventures?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Here's hoping we'll get a cool divine-based undead slaying prestige class.


I'll settle for more spiritualist loving myself Berselius.


That would be cool. :D


Berselius wrote:
That would be cool. :D

That's what I said!


I know. I'm feeding off the knowledge of your brain. :D


Great another Illithid that sneaks up on me when I'm sleeping. :p ;)


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Yesss...your thoughts betray you....your feelings for them are strong...especially...
...
...
...Pamela Anderson IN A SLAVE BIKINI?

(five minutes later)

Emperor:...are you SURE that's what he was thinking about?

Me: I'M TELLING YOU! THAT'S ALL THAT'S IN THERE!


*is glad he had that bottle of whatever rotgut Robert J Schwalb had in his basement*

Paizo Employee Community & Digital Content Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Updated with final product image and description!


Meh. I liked the other cover better. Still like the updating info though.

Dark Archive

Don't like the cover and the info is very vague.

I'll have to wait until it is in shops.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like the cover but the info is only mildly interesting. I will wait on this one.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Doesn't look like it'll have the PC-cast possession goodies I was hoping for, but this'll be right up the alley for some of my players. Got a Haunted Spiritualist NPC that could really use this stuff too!

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