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Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium (PFRPG) PDF

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Heroes Assemble!

From the seas below to the skies above, from the land to the stars, heroes are all around us, and they come in many different forms. Now you can go beyond the common races and play a member of these 12 imaginative races in your game. Delve into each race’s culture and see the world from their unique point of view. Play a character that you have always dreamed of playing, with all-new specific character options tailored to each race’s flavor. Expand your horizons and your gaming experience with these Advanced Races today!

Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium is the essential guide for playing untold numbers of characters. This 254-page supplement features:

  • Racial Traits to play 12 different races, plus 60 Alternate Racial Traits and 49 Character Traits to customize your character for your desired unique play experience
  • 125 New Character Class Options, including archetypes, sorcerer and bloodrager bloodlines, oracle mysteries and shaman spirits, cavalier orders, cleric domains and subdomains, rogue talents, alchemist discoveries, familiars and animal companions, time thief temporal talents, soulknife blade skills, and much more
  • 93 New Feats, including martial arts styles, metamagic feats, combat feats, and feats to enhance your chosen racial traits
  • 84 New Magic Items, Mundane Items, and Technological Items
  • 61 New Spells and Psionic Powers
  • 23 New Deities and Philosophies, reflecting the unique viewpoints and values of each race
  • Details for crafting your unique adventurer, as well as suggestions for GMs on how to incorporate each of these races into your campaign world

Be Heroic With These Advanced Races Today!

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.

JBE0312E


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Product Discussion (28)
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1 person marked this as a favorite.

Now Available!

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Wahoo!!! Download today!


Any ETA on when this will be available for those of us who got the BoHR:AC Work-in-Progress version?

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Any ETA on when this will be available for those of us who got the BoHR:AC Work-in-Progress version?

It should have been in your downloads for over a week. I'll try re-uploading.


That seems to have done it, downloading now...

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
That seems to have done it, downloading now...

Wahoo! Great! And sorry it didn't work the first time.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Want to see what is inside the Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium before buying it. Well, there's a whole lot of previews right here.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Full List of Races Detailed Within:

Androids
Catfolk
Changelings
Elans
Gillmen
Lizardfolk
Merfolk
Samsarans
Skinwalkers
Tengus
Wyrwoods
Wyvarans

Beyond that, there's an appendix for favored class options (all Paizo classes up to and including the Advanced Class Guide, Ultimate Psionics and the Time Thief), and appendix for racial technology and a listing of all spells in the book.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Yesterday, we released 10 True Things about Lizardfolk. Read all about them on JonBrazer.com

Jon Brazer Enterprises

You will never believe these 10 True Things about Tengus. Link


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

From the perspective of someone who has the individual components of this compendium via your big bundle sale going on now, does this compendium have any new stuff or is it all compiled for convenience?

I think a short companion piece to this adding some traits, feats, spells, archetypes, etc. for these some of these races to work with the new classes from Ultimate Intrigue and Occult Adventures would be neat and a good buy. Maybe you could even hold off until Ultimate Wilderness drops and have some tie-ins to the Shifter class in that, riding the wave of interest that will generate!

Jon Brazer Enterprises

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Argendauss wrote:
From the perspective of someone who has the individual components of this compendium via your big bundle sale going on now, does this compendium have any new stuff or is it all compiled for convenience?

The Racial Technology Appendix as well as the spell lists, an index of all spells, archetypes, magic items, feats, etc is all catelogued.

Argendauss wrote:
I think a short companion piece to this adding some traits, feats, spells, archetypes, etc. for these some of these races to work with the new classes from Ultimate Intrigue and Occult Adventures would be neat and a good buy. Maybe you could even hold off until Ultimate Wilderness drops and have some tie-ins to the Shifter class in that, riding the wave of interest that will generate!

Interesting idea. I can call it Book of Heroic Races: Occult Intrigue in the Wilderness.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
]Interesting idea. I can call it Book of Heroic Races: Occult Intrigue in the Wilderness.

**Crack my wallet open**

Where can I get my copy of this wonderful product?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Argendauss wrote:
From the perspective of someone who has the individual components of this compendium via your big bundle sale going on now, does this compendium have any new stuff or is it all compiled for convenience?
The Racial Technology Appendix as well as the spell lists, an index of all spells, archetypes, magic items, feats, etc is all catelogued.

So 12x the convenience! Thanks.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Argendauss wrote:
I think a short companion piece to this adding some traits, feats, spells, archetypes, etc. for these some of these races to work with the new classes from Ultimate Intrigue and Occult Adventures would be neat and a good buy. Maybe you could even hold off until Ultimate Wilderness drops and have some tie-ins to the Shifter class in that, riding the wave of interest that will generate!
Interesting idea. I can call it Book of Heroic Races: Occult Intrigue in the Wilderness.

I would be very interested in such a tome.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Pagan priest wrote:
I would be very interested in such a tome.

Great!!! We are actually working on just such a thing. Mind you, Ultimate Wilderness doesn't come out until late this year, so it might be December (or even later) before this is released. We want to make sure we get it right so it'll be a while.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Part II of my review:

The next race within would be the lizardfolk, who get a potentially diseased bite, chameleon scales, bulky or small physiology - some cool alternate racial options here. The tribal defender fighter would be a defensive fighter who gains several nice abilities that enhance the protection of allies, though the competing attack roll mechanic introduced at higher levels is not something I'm fond of. The cannibal bloodrager bloodline makes for a cool and well-crafted one, though, once again, a high-level option isn't perfect and can be (slightly and not too efficiently) cheesed. The chapter also contains the Anointed One PrC, which provides full BAB-progression as well as 1/2 Fort- and Will-save progression and 2 + Int skills per level. The PrC focuses on an anointed weapon and the use of oils to enhance it, dabbling a bit in mutagens and discoveries for an alchemical fighter. The option to lock weapons with an attacker is interesting and concisely presented, making use of AoOs and the weapon in question to negate hits, which is per se, damn cool. A GM should just be weary to not let an indestructible weapon such as an artifact fall into the hands of the character. The serious array of racial feats allows for the expansion of the potency of the natural attacks. Personally, I am not a fan of yet another feat to increase the damage output of Vital Strikes. Two racial deities and 3 subdomains can be found, and no, I don't have any issues here. Oracles may choose the albinism curse, which is pretty cool The anti-fire battle-magic squall makes for a potent and neat spell and the magic items, for the most part, are neat - though once again there's an option here to further increase Vital Strike damage. As always, I'd advise caution here.

Among the merfolk, we gain two full-blown subtypes in addition to the alternate racial traits, with the angufolk and the octopi adding some nice visuals, though the latter, with +2 Dex and Con, are a bit lopsided on the physical side for my tastes. Still: Octopi-merfolk. Cool. Archetype-wise, the cyraniel bard is an investigator crossover with diminished spellcasting and an inspiration pool to enhance skills. The thematically-fitting aegan sorceror bloodline, which draws upon the Sea King's powers and the carcharodon bloodragers that tap into the wrath of megalodons, make for solid options, though the former has a purely cosmetic hiccup in the capstone header, sporting the "20" from the level it's gained. I really like the feat that lets you see better in murky water and mud and the swift octo-trip option among the racial feats. Edible cork and coral armor make for nice pieces of equipment. A new power lets you form legs on land and there are some nice utility underwater spells. The iconic belt of the land walker also provides a nice option to allow merfolk to adventure on dry land. I also liked the ink-grenades here and the artifact, the trident of the 7 seas, is appropriately potent!

The chapter on samsarans has the unfortunate handicap of having to compete with the Dynastic Races Compendium, though one should mention that it doesn't do a bad job at it - the alternate racial traits are solid and tie in well with the reincarnation-angle of the race. The pdf takes a different approach here, focusing more on the aspect of time, with the chronomancer wizard (who basically replaces schools etc. with spell echoes and customized bonus spells, arcane bond, etc.), the anti-evil knight eternal paladin and the timeless warden druid, who emphasizes the cyclical nature and is more a guardian-style priest of nature than a wood-stalking hermit, gaining channel energy, but losing wild shape, woodland stride, etc. The Panacean sorceror bloodline would, bingo, be another arcane healing option - their touch can provide nourishment and they even receive some lay on hands and mercy-tricks. Depending on your attributes, you may select feats to retain some knowledge from previous lives and some samsaran priests may even use channel energy to heal ability damage and drain - though thankfully with proper prerequisites and ratio - kudos! On the faith-side of things, the deity presented here is supplemented by the dreams mystery and the vision subdomain, both of which are solid options. I am particularly partial to the nonlethal damage causing touch that comes with a free merciful upgrade at later levels. Showing the truth of a soul via a polymorph-effect or gaining flashes of insight from previous lives are some examples for the spells featured herein...and there is a blade to grant final death to reincarnating creatures. It also makes sense to me that there are capsules that contain information from past lives. All in all, I liked the chapter, but compared to the in-depth look in Dynastic Races Compendium, it was shorter and thus had less space to develop its take on the race.

Next up would be the pretty potent skinwalker race, who gains alternate change shape options among the alternate racial traits and traits to ignore a single 5-ft.-square of difficult terrain while running or charging. The archetypes feature the beastwalker druid, who gains the ability to assume hybrid forms via wild shape. The kinetic assailant replaces the mind-blade enhancing options with the means to use move actions to store kinetic energy in unarmed or natural attacks, increasing their damage output. While generally functional, the core ability of the archetype deviates significantly in the way it is presented from how such rules-operations are usually phrased. As such, there are a couple of rough patches here. The rougarou witch replaces patron and may choose the governing attribute for her magic. With diminished spellcasting and familiar as well as a natural spellstrike variant, the archetype is really intriguing and provides an interesting playing experience - two thumbs up for this one! The wild stalker hunter is a minor tweak. Cursed scars and wounds and new animal foci make for more compelling options. The racial feats focus on enhancing natural attacks (such as using a swift action to add a grapple attempt to a bite), tripping foes that run from you, etc. - all in all an interesting selection and one that thankfully hides pounce behind a sufficient level-cap. Beyond 3 sample deities, we also get a new shaman spirit, who focuses on the moon - including "lunacy" to confuse targets - and yep, that's where the word comes from -in German it's "mondsüchtig" - moon-addicted, but that as an aside. I like the spirit! The moon/hunter-theme also extends to the spell-array, with one allowing for the sharing of the skinwalker's bestial form...The magic items cover an iteration of the classic lycanthrope-mantle, transformative masks and shape-locking arrows.

Next up would be the tengus, who can hail from ravens and sports a rather nice assortment of traits and solid alternate racial traits as well - no complaints here! Aerialist swashbucklers focus on jumping over foes, attacking them from above, etc., while crow shamans get modified class skills and spells as well as some trickster style at-range theft...and item-cloaking. Nice one! Kite fighters specialize in the war kite (!! - That's a new weapon herein, btw.) weapon, while raven knight cavaliers get a raven that can carry them at 1st level at 1/2 speed (important note, considering the limitations of aerial mounts - but I still wish it didn't use an absolute value and instead employed proper carrying capacity and size-interactions. Spell scavenger wizards can use left-over magic to power spells and siphon off magic from dispels - interesting. A critical Eye Gouge feat is interesting...though move action combat feat duplication once again suffers from per-encounter mechanics. Using filth to make weapons infectious is...disgusting, but cool. The pdf contains two racial deities as well as an OP damage channeler, whose channel energy damages both living and undead, excluding the character. Yeah, no. Full untyped damage there? Nope. The spying subdomain is nice and so are the new magic options, which include the long nose curse, sword snapping bite and the theft of eyes. The magic items include geta that allow tengus to walk through hurricanes and warkites that help jumping or call down lightning. Pretty cool chapter!

The final two races herein would be more potent than the others, which is why I considered them to be worthy of extra mentioning - the wyrwood has full construct immunities (but also their instantaneous 0 hp destruction), while the wyvarang begins play with unassisted personal flight. Both are imho aspects that require some GM-consideration. But both also have in common that we have basically heard and seen nothing about them or their respective culture before, with the wyrwood entry making pretty clear that they can be an intriguing option when handled with care. Their crafted nature and stone-based variant, the latter provided in the alternate, make for an interesting background. Similarly, there is an option for a wyrwood to have emotions, unlocking them for a variety of options. The character options have a really cool tactician, who gains 3 unique strategies as well as the option to act as full cover for allies and some free-form temporary hit points that are shared among the collective - I assume that these are replenished after a rest, but I'm not 100% sure - they could also manifest upon forming a collective. The golembreaker would be anti-construct/undead/etc. rogue - nice! Alchemists can gain construct-healing options via a discovery and there is the eldritch bloodline, which, for bloodragers, features shield and low-range force damage for those nearby while in a bloodrage. The sorceror iteration of the bloodline instead features at-range Sleight of Hand, spying, etc., focusing on arcane subterfuge. Feats to craft Wyrwoods and repair them are neat, but I am particularly impressed by the ability to hold positive or negative energy for a limited time and deliver it to targets - the two feats here are really intriguing. A form of variant channeling for constructs and two philosophies can be found alongside the amaranthine mystery, which focuses on knowledge and construct mastery - including flooding the minds of foes with information. Construct-affecting cure-variants can be found, and the remainder of the magic and psionic options is decent, with e.g. a psionic shield other variant. In the magic item section, an item class that can absorb energy damage to regain spell levels deserves some serious warning, as the item class can delimit spells. The massive price is what keeps me from complaining more here - not broken, but potent.

The wyvaran, forged by the Tinkerer from kobolds and wyverns in the magical forge known as Cauldron (no, not the city in the Volcano!) come with a slew of alternate racial traits that include honoring the trapmaking of their kobold forebears, poison glands, better darkvision and fast healing when taking electricity damage - thankfully with a daily maximum to avoid infinite healing exploits. The class options include the intuitor investigator, who replace Inspiration with Intuition (which is governed by Wisdom, as are other class features). Regulator rangers replace the druid-y components of the ranger with warpriest tricks, while stormlancer cavaliers gain either the Air or Weather blessing and flight-enhancing tricks instead of the whole mount/charge-tree - cool one! Skylord monks lose fast movement and slow fall in favor of better flight options. The wyvern bloodline allows, among other things, a bite and the option to assume a semi-wyvern form at higher levels. Including poison. The racial feat array includes several ones that enhance flight as well as options to use wings defensively and the option to use tail or wings for attacks - cool: These are properly codified as secondary/primary natural attacks. The equipment section sports shrieking armor (which makes a ruckus when charging) and there are two racial deities provided. Reaper clerics can deliver inflict spells via weaponry and they can use their scythes to generate arcs of energy that are half negative energy and half "pure force" - does that mean force damage? I'm honestly not sure, but either way, losing a domain and channel energy makes for a viable trade-off for these potent tricks. The racial spells include the 9th level pillar of doom, which is pretty damn badass (it can explode or topple) as well as the updraft cantrip, which can help while flying. The magic items this time around are less interesting in my book, offering a crown that causes panic, a morningstar with form of the dragon I - you get the idea.

It should be noted that the book contains a massive spells & powers appendix by class and level, as well as a massive 5-page index that helps navigating this massive tome.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are impressive for a crunch-book of this size. I mean it. The bonus and damage types are admirably, impressively consistent, the rules-language and narrative voices of the respective chapters have been brought together into a concise whole - the editors Richard Moore and Kevin Morris have done a really good job here. Considering the number of authors involved, that's an impressive accomplishment! Layout adheres to a 2-column full-color standard and the book sports a significant array of full-color artwork, both original and stock pieces. The book comes with EXCESSIVE, nested bookmarks for your convenience - in conjunction with the appendices, this makes navigation of the tome very comfortable. I cannot comment on the physical version, since I do not own it.

My heartfelt congratulations to the cadre of authors: Michael Eshleman, Joel Flank, Sasha Hall, Maurice de Mare, Dale McCoy Jr., Matthew Ryan, Richard Moore, Ken Morris, E. Steev Ramsdell, David N. Ross, Rachel Ventura and Goerge "Loki" Williams. Racial books have a hard time convincing me of their reason to exist - you see, I expect more from a race than stats - I expect a culture, an interesting roleplaying angle. That alone is, for many races, a hard task. This book had an even harder standing. I never made any pretensions of liking the ARG - I hate the book with a fiery passion. This tome is largely based on races from the ARG - but it manages to make them feel like more than the sum of their mechanics, adding depth and dimension to them. Now, I consider the wyvaran and wyrwood races, balance-wise, problematic; same goes for the skinwalkers, but it would not be fair to penalize this book, as it was crafted to build on the existing races. To cut an already oversized review short: This massive tome manages to add much-needed depth to the respective races. The racial class options, while not all pure amazing, most of the time tie in with racial options and forma concise whole that makes it pretty clear how they tie in with the race in question. This focused identity adds further dimensions to the races in question. The fluff serves to enhance the individual entries as well.

For a book of this size and depth, let it be known that the crunch is impressive - while there are some instances where I can complain and nitpick, as a whole, the book holds up really well. My gripes come mainly from my knowledge of combos, from minor nitpicks and a rather conservative power-aesthetic. I think, for example, that psionic options herein tend to severely undervalue the massive power that more psionic foci can net. It should be noted, that crunch I'd consider problematic remains the exception in a massive book.

Most folks probably will encounter no issues with the material herein and it should be strongly emphasized that the majority of the material herein works smoothly - to the point where I was honestly impressed. This may not be perfect, but it most assuredly is a high-quality compilation and an incredibly tightly-packed book of crunch that brings to life races that were nothing but pale stats before. What more can you ask for? If you hated these races before, then this book may change actually that! If you wanted more detail, then this book will deliver. My final verdict hence will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo.

Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS, etc.

Endzeitgeist out.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thank you for taking the time to review, EZG, and I am glad that you liked it so much. It was a work of love and I am really proud of how every single person on this project gave their best. Everyone did an amazing job.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Absolutely - it really shows! I was particularly impressed how unified the book felt, in spite of all these different authors! And how things like bonus and damage types and all those details have been maintained. Great job, everyone!!

Jon Brazer Enterprises

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Endzeitgeist wrote:
Absolutely - it really shows! I was particularly impressed how unified the book felt, in spite of all these different authors! And how things like bonus and damage types and all those details have been maintained. Great job, everyone!!

Kevin and Richard did a smashing job on that. They deserve serious props for their work.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Aye, it's why I called out their job as seriously well-done. :D

Jon Brazer Enterprises

1 person marked this as a favorite.

There's no better time than the present than to get yourself the Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium. With such an awesome review, you can get yourself ready for your fall campaign and plan out your next character.

If you are going to be playing Starfinder, read all about androids now with this book.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

This is awesome, but will there be a follow up for more races? Looking for something about how other races work in a technological setting. For instance--Shabti. Are they still being created--using clonepods? If so, how do the creators get around the negative stats/points... or do they? Were the originals just that much better? If Shabti get out of their eternal damnation, where do they go to avenge themselves? Is there a Shabti Corp they can blow up or bring to justice somewhere?

Also, seriously... you are killing me with the unfinished story. I started reading the Android chapter, and we never get to find out what happens to Unt 37 and his companion and whether they save his sister. That's seriously just cruel.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Zanbabe wrote:
This is awesome, but will there be a follow up for more races? Looking for something about how other races work in a technological setting. For instance--Shabti. Are they still being created--using clonepods? If so, how do the creators get around the negative stats/points... or do they? Were the originals just that much better? If Shabti get out of their eternal damnation, where do they go to avenge themselves? Is there a Shabti Corp they can blow up or bring to justice somewhere?

Honestly, I never considered the Shabti before now. I'll take a look at them.

Zanbabe wrote:
Also, seriously... you are killing me with the unfinished story. I started reading the Android chapter, and we never get to find out what happens to Unt 37 and his companion and whether they save his sister. That's seriously just cruel.

I'm glad you liked the story enough to want it to continue. The real question, however, is not how does the story end, but how does it continue for your android character?

The stories, while meant to entertain, are also supposed to be a jumping off point for players and GM's. It gets you in the mindset of the race, helping you to see the world from their prospective. Yet it is a tale without an ending, like so many of our characters that live on in our minds and hearts.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Here's my question: have wyrwoods or wyvarans gotten as much love as in this book? How about changelings or gillmen or mermaids? Or even catfolk or tengu?

For some races, this book gives more time and detail to them than they have ever gotten before.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

There really is no better time to pick this book up than right now. If you are starting a new Pathfinder campaign this fall, be read with a fantastic race that is new and fresh.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

My sincere apologies to contributing author Kevin Morris, whom I misquoted as Ken Morris in my reviews. Mea maxima culpa, sir!

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Endzeitgeist wrote:
My sincere apologies to contributing author Kevin Morris, whom I misquoted as Ken Morris in my reviews. Mea maxima culpa, sir!

Thank you very much. Both Kevin and I greatly appreciate it.

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