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Pathfinder Books safe for players


Pathfinder Campaign Setting General Discussion


In another thread, I was pointed out that “ISWG is for players too.” I believed it was a book only for game masters. But at the same time I know that there is crunch in it, ie. Prestige classes, spells and other stuff. Except from those crunch bits, is the book safe for players to read? I ask the questions to GM more than anyone else, what I would like is to avoid reading what is supposed to be GM background and story plots. I don’t find it fun to have to do mental gymnastic to pretend not knowing that X, King of Y, is not a human but a shapechanger for example.

So, once again my question is, is Inner Sea World Guide entirely player safe, if no how much percentage is?

I have similar questions for almost all Pathfinder Settings books in fact, but also Player Companion books. I heard that Faith of Corruption spoils an AP for example. The book I am more interested in knowing if they are safe or not are Dragon Empire Gazetteer, Paths of Prestige, Gods and Magic, Inner Sea Magic. On top of it, knowing if they are useful for players would be great too.

Thanks in advance for anyone answering.


Not only are they all good for players, but they were made for players. all they do is detail the world and gives the player a better understanding of the world and therefore helps them make more in depth characters.


I don’t get it. Why have a Players Companion line if the Campaign Setting line is for players? It seems strange that monster revisited/redeemed and the books of damned to be for players.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If you want to completely avoid spoilers, you'll want to limit yourself to the player's Companion line. There is a large amount of non spoiler stuff in the campaign line, but it tends to be mixed in with spoilers. For example, there is one nation where in the Inner Sea Primer you have effectively the nation's propaganda, whilst the ISWG tells you what's really going on.

However, it can quite often be nice to have a few spoilers...

Paths of Prestige should be mostly spoiler free, but sonme of the classes will give you clues that things aren't right with certain nations & organisations. Gods and Magic should be fine, as it's all high level overviews of the religions, not their secret plans. Dragon Empire Gazeteer will be spoilery, and Inner Sea Magic is probably ok if you skip over the couple of pages of portraits of major casters - quite a few are BBEGs and the like.

Grand Lodge

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

I realize that I am in the extreme minority here, but I truly miss the days of separate books for the Player's and DM's...

I think that a good majority of the Pathfinder books (across the board) contain too much information that should be "GM's eyes only". Heck, even some of the AP Player's Guides contain far too many spoilers...

Spoiler:
I mean (IMHO), even knowing the names of a few of the APs gives things away to the players.

Of course Paizo's model of doing things has not kept me from supporting them! ;-)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Admitted, it's an older book, but...

'Guide to Korvosa' contains two chapters that are definitely not for players' eyes. (One highlighting the secrets of the city; one stating class, type, and alignment of all the important NPCs). Several of these things become important in CoCT.

So, players, unless you are hell-bent on getting spoilered, keep out of those chapters!

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Digitalelf wrote:
I realize that I am in the extreme minority here, but I truly miss the days of separate books for the Player's and DM's...

How do you reconcile that to players who also DM?


There are some groups with one DM, so thats easy. Others have more than one. For those groups, a gamer does not read the information until he or she needs it for an upcoming game he or she will DM.

Cheliax

How should I know that I need information if I don't know what it says?

Also, in ye olde days there was little distinction between player knowledge and character knowledge. Metagaming was the way to go. Though I guess the preferred term for that is 'common sense'.


The Chronicles (now Campaign Setting) line is for 64-page books, and the Companion (now Player Companion) line is for 32-page books. With the recent re-launch of the Player Companion line, one of the goals was to make it more player-friendly to match the name; but I predict that you're still going to see player-friendly books that need 64 pages, and GM-friendly books that only need 32. So don't read too much into the names of the lines.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
How do you reconcile that to players who also DM?

Pretty much as Ciaran Barnes said above...

I try not to run things that my player's have read, and I also have a group that is trustworthy enough to not read something I ask them not to...

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What if you need that information for a character you or your player is running?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jadeite wrote:
How should I know that I need information if I don't know what it says?

Because if you plan on running something in say, Magnimar, then you can probably figure out that the book on Magnimar has the information you'll need. But you're not going to need that information to run a game while you still have a PC running around Magnimar...

Jadeite wrote:
Also, in ye olde days there was little distinction between player knowledge and character knowledge. Metagaming was the way to go. Though I guess the preferred term for that is 'common sense'.

This may be your experience, but my experience has been that there is a HUGE distinction between the two, which for me has been "common sense"...

But I'm not going to make a broad statement that says my anecdotal experiences were the way things were for everybody "in ye olde days" because even though that's the way things indeed were for me in my 30+ years of gaming, I know they weren't that way for everybody...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
What if you need that information for a character you or your player is running?

I see it as my duty as a GM to provide you with the pertinent information you'll need to run your character...

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I guess I just don't see the relevance of keeping players in the dark when other players aren't. Every player should have the ability to separate character knowledge from player knowledge. I'm not going to use enforced method acting in my games.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I guess I just don't see the relevance of keeping players in the dark when other players aren't.

My players are only in the dark insofar as the stuff they as players (IMHO) have no business knowing (e.g. NPC stats and abilities, knowledge of secret organization's inner workings, who REALLY rules the city they are adventuring in, etc.)...

When a player tells me his character concept, I then start providing him with all the information he'll need to run that character effectively.

I'm very up front about how I run my games with new players, and so far, this method has worked well for me...

And like I said, I know this is not a view shared by many. But it works for me and my groups...

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

And like I said, it doesn't work for mine. Thanks for explaining however. I think our styles are similar despite our methods differing.


If we go back to the 'bad old days' of GM books and Player books then players will not have access to information on magic items. Want a magic item? tough, it is in the DMG and you cannot read that.

Want to know how terrain works? Tough, that is in the DMG.
Want to know what strange Leadership options there are? Tough, DMG again.
Honestly, the DMG was mostly information that could be used by anyone.

Monster Manual was no different. Many DMs claimed that a player never has any buisiness looking at a MM. Want to summon a monster? Nope, DM territory. Want to polymorph into a monster? DM territory. Want to have a familiar or animal companion? Still DM territory.

Now, modules...keep out of modules. :D

There is very little that is GM only territory anymore and rightly so.

- Gauss

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gauss wrote:
players will not have access to information on magic items. Want a magic item? tough, it is in the DMG and you cannot read that.

Well, if you come from the position that magic items are rare and wondrous, then the player (again, IMHO) indeed has no business reading the section on magic items.

I admit that with 3.x and Pathfinder characters need magical items to survive, but that does not preclude them from remaining mysterious. And when a player of a wizard (or other spell caster) wishes to research an item of magic, I can inform that player of the specifics of the item he wishes his character to research.

Monster Manuals are no different.

YMMV and all of that...


Digitalelf:

Unfortunately, 3.X and PF left that particular model of magic items (1st/2nd edition) behind. Magic items are no longer mysterious and are now commodities to be bought and sold openly. Now, if some GMs choose to run things differently that is fine. That is what houserules are for. :)

- Gauss

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gauss wrote:
Unfortunately, 3.X and PF left that particular model of magic items (1st/2nd edition) behind.

Unfortunate indeed...

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hey, something we agree on! :D


TOZ, I did not state it was 'unfortunate for me'. :) Personally, I am fine with both models.

- Gauss

Shadow Lodge

I wasn't talking to you tho Gauss.

Do we disagree a lot? I don't remember.


TOZ:

I dont know if we disagree either. I don't keep those kinds of records. :D

Since you had not pointed out a person you were responding to I assume that your response was to the last message posted. That would be DigitalElf and myself.

- Gauss


勝20100 wrote:

...

So, once again my question is, is Inner Sea World Guide entirely player safe, if no how much percentage is?

I have similar questions for almost all Pathfinder Settings books in fact, but also Player Companion books. I heard that Faith of Corruption spoils an AP for example. The book I am more interested in knowing if they are safe or not are Dragon Empire Gazetteer, Paths of Prestige, Gods and Magic, Inner Sea Magic. On top of it, knowing if they are useful for players would be great too.

Thanks in advance for anyone answering.

Here's my take on the sourcebooks which you mentioned ...

Like someone mentioned up-thread, the Inner Sea Primer (Companion line) is better for players than the Inner Sea World Guide (Campaign Setting/Chronicles line). However, certain parts of the ISWG can certainly be lifted out and presented to the players. (Feats, equipment, etc.)

The Dragon Empires Primer (C) is better for players than the Dragon Empires Gazetteer (CS), which is technically DM-only, although I don't have it yet myself. One thing, though: the deity entries in that Primer do not list their domains. For that, apparently a DM must lift the relevant information from the Gazetteer, or tell the player to check an on-line source (I've forgotten where).

Paths of Prestige: I don't have it yet, so I can't comment. Technically, it is in the CS line.

Gods and Magic, although in the CS line, doesn't spoil much. Unless one doesn't want one's players to know about the presence of the Great Old Ones/Mythos deities, Groetus, and other assorted bad/odd divine powers.

Inner Sea Magic also is technically in the CS line. I certainly would keep parts of it out of player hands (NPC spellcaster list, certain magical variants used by "bad guys", etc.). However, if a player wants to play a vampire hunter, tattooed sorcerer, some sort of secret priest, etc., then I would lift the relevant sections from ISM. Some magic school information I would keep hidden, but other magic schools are more open/transparent.

Faiths of Corruption is theoretically meant for players, but only if they want their characters to follow evil deities. I suspect that it was included more for completeness' sake (Faiths of Purity, Balance, and Corruption) than for real player-friendliness. The only AP spoiler related to it (that I can think of) is the cover, and that's only for the first installment of a particular AP. If I recall correctly, that particular NPC is first encountered near the end of the module (and there is no doubt as to the NPC's culpability). There is a similar picture of that NPC in ISM. So long as the artwork is not connected to that NPC by name, it shouldn't present a problem. In part, it depends upon how much your players hang out on the messageboards here, and how nosy they are ...

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