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Pathfinder Player Companion: Paths of the Righteous (PFRPG)

***** (based on 7 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: Paths of the Righteous (PFRPG)
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Walk the Path of Virtue

Those who serve honorable causes and worship the gods of goodness face dangerous and devious threats. To bolster them in their quests, their religions develop potent techniques and astonishing powers to reward those who follow the noble and devout course without fail. Pathfinder Player Companion: Paths of the Righteous presents more than a dozen prestige classes, each associated with a different good-aligned deity and customized to enhance your gameplay, whether your character's a member of a widespread religion or one that's relatively obscure.

Inside this book, you'll find:

  • Fourteen fully detailed prestige classes, from the undead-fighting Ashavic dancer to the rebellious rose warden to the mysterious stargazer.
  • New rules options for every religion featured, including a new witch patron, a magical weapon sure to delight any revolutionary, and a spell that invokes the aid of a vengeful angel.
  • Additional feats to bolster characters taking any prestige class, be they those of a religious bent or otherwise.

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.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-910-3

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

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Product Reviews (7)
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Average product rating:

***** (based on 7 ratings)

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*****

Amazing book with awesome prestige classes. This is how prestige classes can be done. Hopefully there is another book like this for the other alignments.


Amazing addition

*****

One of the best additions for non standard classes who want to add a touch of divine worship to their characters. A must have for anyone with any interest in the good aligned dieties of Golarian.


Prestige Classes Done Right

*****

TLDR: This is an excellent book that provides a number of balanced, versatile, thematic and well designed Prestige Classes that can be well used by fans of any base class published. The new options presented demonstrate the best use of Prestige Classes in Pathfinder to date.

Now for the detailed review.

I hope it doesn't come off as dramatic to say this Player's Companion lanced isn't just a collection of thematic, balanced and versatile prestige classes, but may just be a turning point for the game itself. The Prestige Classes offered are versatile enough to work with a number of base classes without overpowering the base-class only options. They are thematically appropriate but at the same time don't pidgeonhole you into one or two narrow predefined options. The classes here certainly can be used by players that don't want to have to delve into half a dozen books to figure out the best way to play them, but at the same time they use under-appreciate mechanics and the potential for combining the roles of other base classes. Tying the Prestige classes to established lore helps create characters already established in the setting. And using deities and factions like this secures their positions in a way that is less obstructive to GMs than “special requirement” classes. The best part is how the classes are largely untied to any base classes, allowing for maximum versatility and character adaptability.

The holy symbols in the inside cover and description of each deity will be a literal godsend to those who aren't as familiar with Golarion lore. The Prestigious Feats are incredibly helpful in giving prestige shy players a reason to take the more flavorful prestige classes of this and prior books without worrying so much about losing their favored class bonuses or spellcaster levels. The rest of the book is divided very cleanly by prestige class/deity, and I will separate my review as such.

Ashavic Dancer class seems limited in that almost every class feature mentions undead or haunts. But don't let its Bardic theme mislead you: This class is perfectly accessible by any caster and tailor made for an Oracle or Sorcerer who wants extra tools against the undead without sacrificing more than one level of spellcasting. Reading the class features as though they were merely a Mystery or Bloodline makes it a far more appealing class, even if it's narrow-use. The feat is oozing with flavor, even if it's not the most powerful in the book.

The Brewkeeper reminds me of how much fun Cayden Cailean characters can be. Making your own potions and enhancing them with Metamagic gives you a slew of options, whether your an alchemist or otherwise. Being able to use your own caster level when you drink or administer a Potion is the hidden gem of this class, but using the Brew Point system to enhance your extracts and bombs is where you will have your fun. The Two-Weapon Drunkard feat feels like the same feat we've seen at least once before for Cayden Cailean, but being able to use any old Tankard as a Divine Focus has its uses.

I didn't realize how cool Ragathiel was until I read the Crimson Templar. This fire-oriented divine-inspired anti-outsider assassin class just oozes flavor. Between the devastating holy fire, the burning wings and the divine obedience, the class is going to make a lot of melee character look and feel incredible. Mechanically, it's a full base attack bonus class with bonus feats and sneak attack dice. Essentially a divine Slayer. And whether its a vital strike or dual-wielding bastard sword build, you'll find yourself easily doing over 150 damage with only 5 levels in the Prestige Class. Shield of Wings is a really cool spell, effectively giving Clerics/Paladins of the deity a single spell-slot for both flight and fire resistance. It's nice to see the extra option, given both aren't always usable in every scenario...but you're often in trouble if you don't have them.

Mechanical Trivia? The class also confirms that you can take the Divine Obedience feat and not necessarily the Celestial Obedience feat for Ragathiel, opening up some new character options in other books. It also is a little disappointing that by RAW it's Fiendish Study class feature doesn't function on the spell-like abilities the class grants it via Divine Obedience.

The Darechaser was one of the most exciting classes in the book. It fits absolutely perfectly for a deity of Kurgess, and who doesn't love adding extra rolls to your d20? While the Daring Exploit feat clearly makes it ideal for a Sleuth or Swashbuckler, the class will work for any martial character and give you that thrill of adding to so many difference checks that you'll really feel like you're playing the exact kind of boisterous daredevil the class was intended to be! A total win for flavorful mechanics.

Dawnflower Anchorite gives you all the warm fuzzies of the goddess of the Sun in a highly versatile package. The Focused Class Feature Credence lets you advance a number of pre-existing base class features as you level, not only giving you way to continue progressing as any of the three-fourth base attack bonuses casters in Pathfinder, but even blend the two becoming a hybrid-class all of its own stacking, for example, Sacred Weapon and Bardic Performance. Of course your Spells per Day will still be stuck to only one class, but its still an option. The Solar Invocation ability will provide a fantastic party buff, and being an almost full spellcaster with three-fourths base attack bonus means the class can be applied to any number of base classes. The Flame Blade Dervish feat is a fantastic buff to Sarenrae's favorite spell.

Devoted Muse is my absolute favorite class in this book. Feint is probably the least touched upon feature in the combat section of the Core Rulebook, and this book has completely blown me away with a class that provides full martial characters with a new and exciting versatile combat option. Being able to debuff enemies with your feint and continue progressing in swashbuckler talents gives you this far less feat intensive pseudo Dirty Trick vibe. And Bladed Brush gives Swashbucklers, devoted muse or otherwise, the option use a Glaive as a Finesse and One-Handed weapon! That being said, the class can be deceptively trickier than the similar Vexing Devil archetype due to the vague nature of Feinting, with numerous Feinting feats not necessarily functioning with Artistic Flourish due to the nature of the feature replacing the Dex to AC bonus. Furthermore, the Deeds ability inadvertently works with Gunslinger better than Swashbuckler...but maybe that was intentional?

Heritor Knight is touted as both one of the most powerful and flavorful classes in the book, and I'm beginning to see why. The effects all look very narrow-use when you first read it, and I suspect that and the prerequisite feats are a good argument for its balance. Most of the effects are keyed against certain tactics that can make it a pain for melee characters, such as swallow hole, flight and incorporeality. But where it really gets nasty is at level 6, when it not only get Vital Strike and Improved Strike as bonus feats, but can use Improved/Greater Vital Strike as a Standard Action, allowing it to combine with a number of other class features and feats. The fact the class advances your fighter's weapon training and feat prerequisites is fabulous. Strike True looks pretty fun for Vital Strike builds, but usually you'll want to move around and its already a feat intensive build.

The Hinterlander is one of two classes I'm excited about. It'd be great in an Adventure Path that is all about defending a specific settlement, but most adventurers move around too much to use most of its class abilities. Defended Hearth can also be something of a game breaker, letting you know if there are any “unnatural” presences in your town without having to actually go out and investigate. Getting Imbue Arrow like an Arcane Archer is really powerful for a class with bonus feats and almost full spell-caster progression. The feat Erastil's Blessing looks good for Rangers who will want to focus on their spells, but absolutely fantastic for Zen Archers or bow-wielding Clerics.

The Rose Warden was the first class I used from this book. Mechanically, its a sort of advanced Pathfinder Field Agent, giving you Talents and Sneak Attack dice. But it does it so much better that I won't be surprised if more Milanites suddenly show up at your local Lodge. Shoring up Will Saves is absolutely something rogues have needed from the beginning, not that this class is tied exclusively to Rogues. Unchained Rogues will also appreciate being able to take “Chained” Talents with this class, in addition to its Synergies with the popular Scout Archetype (being able to charge through crowds/difficult terrain). The thorn-themed talents are really neat, but I was a little disappointed when I realized you can't actually add sneak attack dice to Chaos Hammer or Holy Smite. Thematically, the class oozes rose petals and rebellion, an excellent addition for Hell's Rebels or any Urban Campaign where you don't mind ruffling a few feathers. The Magic Item is quite nice too, especially if you have high Charisma. Its a little annoying that the class features of the Rose Warden keys off Intelligence but its Magic Item keys off Charisma, but I can understand why. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of Oracles and Sorcerers pick up an Everbloom Thorn.

The Rune Guard is a fascinating addition to the book I wasn't expecting. A “good Thassilonian Rune mage” that uses the original Virtues of Soralyon to buff its allies by sacrificing spell-slots. It's a pretty solid class if you want some new ways to help your friends, and the Charity Rune will allow some killer combinations depending on who else is in your party. Want to see a Rogue get Sneak Attack on their Ray? Spiffy.

The Sacred Sentinel is the least exciting class in the book, able to defend a certain number of allies a day by fighting defensively. It progresses Lay on Hands, Animal Companions, Familiars and Divine/Arcane Bond all the way through, but doesn't get spellcaster levels (instead opting for a full base attack bonus). It's kind of neat dedicating yourself to defending your Animal Companion or Familiar, and I can think of a number of Amusing Paladin/Druid or just straight Druid builds that will undoubtedly become powerful accessory items for their friends. Its just not the kind of class that appeals to me.

Now the Scar Seeker is a bit more flashy. Full Base Attack Bonus, half-casting progression, smite and lay on hands gives the worshiper of Vildeis a paladin feel, despite having no paladin-only prerequisites. Its abilities that require them to get hurt in order to activate, including powering up their weapon or exploding in healing and/or damage when they are brought to zero hit-points. It provides a nice “good aligned” variant to classes like the Pain Taster that are usually keyed to Evil aligned gods like Zon-Kuthon. The Smite Evil Magic feat looks like an absolute blast, and I can't wait to see a Paladin slice an ongoing spell-effect in half with their deities favored weapon.

The Sphere Singer is another example of how the Prestige Classes in this book reference other base classes (granting Bardic Music) without outright requiring you to take the class. It's a lovely little Prestige Class, right on target for a Desnic Gish looking to fly across the battlefield with a Starknife. The biggest aha moment here was the Versatile Performance class feature letting you retrain ranks in associated skills at no cost: An absolutely brilliant design move. The Guided Star feat is going to make a lot of Desnan Clerics very happy.

The Stargazer class has the most potential for a multiclass caster, improving spellcasting, channel, hexes, domains, mysteries, and familiars. The Arcana are flavorful, useful and flashy, and the fact its a ¾ Base Attack Bonus prestige class with full casting and no feat requirements makes it another versatile class. The Aurora Patron is going to be a top choice for witches regardless of Deity, both for the awe inspiring nature and flavor potential of the Aurora itself, and access to the powerful Color Spray spell.

In short, the book not only clarifies some rules, gives us fourteen wonderful prestige classes and a number of cool feats, spells and magic items, but could actually represent a turning point in Prestige Class design that makes me absolutely excited for the Adventurer's Guide coming out this Spring! Each class somehow retains a distinct playing style while not absolutely stapling itself to a base class, making them feel less like puzzles and more like tools you can use to express your character. The expanded lore for these deities is refreshing, especially with the focus on these “chosen followers”. And while I focus on this book largely as a player, it's an excellent tool for a GM who wants to fill their temple with distinct NPCs.

Overall the book is an amazing addition to the Player's Companion line and one I highly recommend.


An Amazing Collection

*****

This book contains fourteen prestige classes tied to various good deities for the Pathfinder setting. Prestige Classes got a bad rap back in the old 3.5 days because for a while it seemed like we were drowning in them. In Pathfinder, they have been relatively rare, with the idea being that a PrC should be something tied to the setting and that it should provide unique benefits that no regular character class can. This book gives us over a dozen such examples.

The Brewkeeper is for anyone who wants to play a brewer. Ah, but such a brewer! They can modify their spells or alchemical extracts with metamagic feats to aid or with harmful conditions to hinder. In tune with their patron Cayden Cailean, the drunken hero, they get bonuses on saves when they drink any of their own magical beverages. Really an original PrC, as well as a great option for the seemingly forgotten alchemist. I long wanted to play a dwarf alchemist brewer and with this I can make an amazing one.

The Dawnflower Anchorite is a sort of Sarenraen hermit. It is best for druids or clerics but allows itself to be modified for a great may spellcasting classes. Really, you can do almost anything with this one provided you're Neutral Good and worship Sarenrae. They can progress like druids, clerics, inquisitors, or warpriests with plenty of room for customization.

The Runeguard is focused on the dead realm of Thassilon and its lost virtues. Unlike some other PrCs this one is pretty much solely for wizards who specialize in Thassilonian spellcasting. That said it does so in great manner, to the point that if you were playing a good Thassilonian wizard this is the PrC you always wanted. They gain powers based on the virtues of Thassilon, and they all seem well thought-out and very thematic.

The Stargazer is a class best suited to the witch. Some fans complain about the weakness of the witch, or that it doesn't get very many prestige classes that can support both their spellcasting and their unique class features like hexes. The stargazer seems to be the answer to this. Full spellcasting, some new hexes from the shaman class, a cleric subdomain and associated spells, and some oracle revelations, what more do you want? A new witch patron based on the theme of the aurora? Class abilities focused around the Cosmic Caravan, the zodiac of Golarion, granting a number of unique powers? You get those too. Really, this one makes me want to play a good witch of Pulura and I never even thought of that empyreal lord very much before this. That seems to be the biggest problem with this book. I keep finding myself saying/thinking, 'okay now I HAVE to play one of those!'

Bards get their due with the Ashavic Dancer and Sphere Singer. The Ashavic Dancer specializes in sending ghosts and haunts to their rest, peacefully or otherwise. They get special dance performances that can quell undead, harm them, or even return them to their graves. The PrC also comes with a feat that grants the Necril language and gives bonuses on using social skills on the restless dead. Great class for anyone who wants to make an undead-busting bard, but aside from that utility may be a bit limited.

The Sphere Singer serves Desna and gains abilities in tune with her patron. She can sing and increase her speed, protect dreamers, and even fly. She can communicate through dreams and in the end, become a fey being, gain butterfly wings, and become immune to cold and even lose the need to breathe. Once again, this is really a great PrC that makes me want to play one of these characters.

Don't worry, martials get their share too. Ragathiel's Crimson Templars fill some niches I feel the game has needed for a long time. They're lawful good assassins and they specialize in fighting devils, though they're equally good against other evil outsiders. Really, why must every lawful good hero paint a target on their back by demanding that the villains face them out in the open? Why can't honorable good guys be sneaky when they have to? With this PrC now you can.

I was surprised at the Darechaser of Kurgess. The class itself is fine if a bit odd for Pathfinder. Basically, it turns you into an incredibly talented athlete. You can run faster, jump higher, and swim quicker than anyone else. You can also dare yourself to accomplish something great and get a variable but potentially amazing bonus on any attack or save or other roll that helps you to fulfill it. I originally expected Kurgess' chosen to be more fighters, but then In remember he's the god of competition, not mayhem. And this PrC does work very well in a fight anyway. It's really an amazing PrC for anyone who wants to play an athletic brawler in the game.

The Devoted Muse of Shelyn is one of the very best PrCs in the book. They're basically glaive-wielding, dancing swashbucklers of the goddess of art and beauty. They can wield their glaives with such gorgeous skill that foes are left gaping in disbelief, and perform attacks so elegant that even her comrades are inspired. This has to be one of the most original takes on the swashbuckler class I've ever seen, and to me it's the very best PrC in the entire book. You also get a feat allowing swashbucklers to use glaives like rapiers for the purpose of class features. I won't lie when I saw that I really want to see someone with this PrC show up in an official adventure someday.

Iomedae's Heritor Knight is probably the PrC most heavily based on setting material. They go through the same events that Iomedae did when she became a goddess, getting all their class-based abilities from them, It also comes with a fine feat that makes it easier to land a blow provided you're willing to take the time for it.

Erastil's Hinterlander is a defender of farming villages and other small communities across Golarion. Their powers revolve around defending others and archery. This PrC comes with a feat that allows Erastil's worshipers to use their Wisdom modifier on ranged attacks with bows, which is something this god's worshipers really can use.

Another great original PrC is the Rose Warden of Milani. Basically a divine PrC for rogues, they specialize in rousing angry mobs and urban fighting. This is an amazing class for good rogues and would work incredibly well in campaigns like Curse of the Crimson Throne. It's enough to make me want to play such an adventure of campaign just so I can make one of these characters.

Torag's Sacred Sentinel is an amazing PrC for anyone who wants to play a defender, especially a dwarf cavalier. They're great at protecting others and even develop a limited healing ability as they progress.

Vildeis' Scar Seeker is another defender. They can share in the pain of others, give forth one last burst of healing power when slain, inflict greater damage in melee at the price of bring hurt themselves, and gain paladin mercies. They can also accept injuries rather than expend daily uses of their powers; and eventually, they get morale bonuses on several rolls by doing so. This is yet another amazing and flavorful class in this book. Vildeis' faith revolves around martyrdom, and the powers of the class focus on accepting pain and injuries to spare others.

In the end this book is an amazing collection of prestige classes for a Golarion-based game. These PrCs are each unique, flavorful, and fill a niche in the setting. The biggest problem I have with the book is that I kept finding myself wanting to play these classes! It makes me hope that more such themed prestige class collections get done for Pathfinder, especially in they're on this level.


Yes

*****

Wonderfully powerful.


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