Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide Preview #5

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Advanced Player's Guide releases in just one week and already boxes and boxes are on their way to your FLGS and subscriber copies are shipping out. One week from today, we will all be at Gen Con, handing out copies of this meaty rulebook. But that's next week. Today we have the final preview of the book, taking a look at prestige classes and some of the new rules found in the APG.

There are eight prestige classes featured in the Advanced Players Guide, from the mighty Stalwart Defender to the sly Master Spy. Here is the name and brief summary of each class in the book.

Battle Herald: This class blends the best of the bard and the cavalier to create a character that can truly take control of the battlefield, granting big bonuses to his allies.
Holy Vindicator: Mixing cleric and paladin, the holy vindicator is the perfect weapon to deliver his deity's will, usually at the end of a sword.
Horizon Walker: A class that nearly anyone can qualify for, this class is perfect for adventurers that travel the world and the planes beyond, granting a wide variety of bonuses based on terrain.
Master Chymist: A prestige class for alchemists whose minds have split into two because of repeated use of their mutagen—now they are part monster and part dangerous madman.
Mastery Spy: Skilled at the art of lying, able to take on the appearance of others easily, and even able to hide their alignment from spells, the master spy is perfect for infiltrating and hiding with the enemy.
Nature Warden: Bonding closely with her animal companion and the lands around her, the nature warden is a force of nature, deadly when protecting the lands that she calls home.
Rage Prophet: Sometimes the spirits that speak to oracles drive them into a mad, rage-filled frenzy. This mix of barbarian and oracle is just that, blending spells and rage together.
Stalwart Defender: This is a revision of the Dwarven Defender and it is no longer just for dwarves. This class is known for holding its ground and taking whatever punishment the enemy throws at it.

Illustration by Eric Belisle
Illustration by Eric Belisle

Of course, that's not all that you'll find the APG. The last chapter of the book contains a host of new rules to use in your game, starting out with four new types of combat maneuver. The first, and perhaps my favorite, is the Dirty Trick combat maneuver. This maneuver lets you apply a penalty (either blinded, dazzled, deafened, entangled, shaken, or sickened) to your foe for 1 round plus 1 round for every 5 by which your check exceeds the target's CMD. The type of course, depends on the situation and your imagination. Kicking sand in an opponent's face might blind him, while pulling down his pants might entangle him.

The next maneuver is Drag. This works like Bull Rush, only in reverse. Next up is Reposition. This maneuver allows you to move your opponent to a different location within your threatened area, but you cannot use it to move a foe into a dangerous space, such as off a cliff or into a fire. Finally, there is Steal. This combat maneuver lets you snatch a small item that is loosely carried by your target. So while you cannot take the plate mail of a target or take the sword from his hand, you can rip the brooch off his cloak. Of course, each one of these maneuvers comes with a pair of feats (Improved and Greater) to increase your odds of success and grant additional bonuses.

After Combat Maneuvers is a complete system for using hero points in your game. This system grants PCs a small pool of points that they can spend at particularly dramatic moments, giving them an edge. The rules also include guidelines for granting new hero points, how they can be spent, and a number of feats, magic items, and spells that use these rules. We recognize that not everyone plays with a system like this, so this entire rules section is optional.

Last but not least is the system of character traits. This system first appeared in the Pathfinder Adventure Paths and it grants PCs a pair of small bonuses tied to their background at character creation. Your PC might bear a curious birthmark shaped like your deity's holy symbol that you can use as a divine focus or you might have grown up as a bully gaining a bonus on Intimidate. No matter what you choose, this system gives you a reason to work out where your hero came from.

Well, that about wraps up the previews of the Advanced Player's Guide. With the book hitting shelves next week, I hope that you will swing by Gen Con or your favorite game store and check it out. I would like to take a moment to thank all of the playtesters that, once again, helped contribute to a truly great book. Until next time.


Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Elves Eric Belisle Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Prestige Classes
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Dark Archive

::looks around for Paizo CEO::

I win initiative Lisa.

Jason in the blog wrote:


... while pulling down his pants might entangle him.

Finally rules we can use.


The Steal combat maneuver sounds like just the sort of thing an old 3.0/3.5 character of mine would have done. It would be fun try something like that.

Paizo Employee CEO

baron arem heshvaun wrote:

::looks around for Paizo CEO::

I win initiative Lisa.

Crap, rolled a "1". :(

-Lisa

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

That steal action looks pretty freakin awesome. I'm also looking forward to the new Prestige Classes. Oh man, I'm so excited!!!!!!


I'm in the fortunate position to have the PDF already (yay subscriptions!). YOU MUST GO BUY THIS PRODUCT!! It is the gaming nectar of the gods!


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
LoreKeeper wrote:

I'm in the fortunate position to have the PDF already (yay subscriptions!). YOU MUST GO BUY THIS PRODUCT!! It is the gaming nectar of the gods!

I would. Or will at such time as my subscriptions actually get shipped. *twiddles thumbs*

Dark Archive

hero points! woop!


ulgulanoth wrote:
hero points! woop!

mmmmhh... this I like as a GM:) Used it before this book even:)

Liberty's Edge

Sander Skeie aka Smands wrote:
ulgulanoth wrote:
hero points! woop!
mmmmhh... this I like as a GM:) Used it before this book even:)

Yeah I've skimmed that part of my PDF. We used these in shackled city after Eberron book came out. I even had a couple of the feats that gave you more and let you roll a larger die. I'd forgotten that part of the character till I read this :)


ulgulanoth wrote:
hero points! woop!

What's up with these? Are they like action points or more like the Arcana Evolved hero points? What can they be used for and what do they do?


I can't wait for the master Chymst...... hurry august 5th


Quote:
Stalwart Defender: This is a revision of the Dwarven Defender and it is no longer just for dwarves. This class is known for holding its ground and taking whatever punishment the enemy throws at it.

Is it still crap?


Cartigan wrote:
Quote:
Stalwart Defender: This is a revision of the Dwarven Defender and it is no longer just for dwarves. This class is known for holding its ground and taking whatever punishment the enemy throws at it.
Is it still crap?

Aka, can opponents still just go around him to get to the squishier people?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
QOShea wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Quote:
Stalwart Defender: This is a revision of the Dwarven Defender and it is no longer just for dwarves. This class is known for holding its ground and taking whatever punishment the enemy throws at it.
Is it still crap?
Aka, can opponents still just go around him to get to the squishier people?

It's still not the best executed class out there, but it's better than it was. And there's at least one way to try and stop creatures moving past you, though how effective it is might be debatable.

Halting Blow (Ex): If a foe’s movement in the defender’s
threatened area provokes an attack of opportunity and the
stalwart defender successfully hits the foe with the attack,
the foe’s movement ends immediately. The foe cannot
move again until its next turn but can still take the rest
of its action. A stalwart defender must have selected the
bulwark power prior to selecting halting blow.

Liberty's Edge

Kvantum wrote:

Halting Blow (Ex): If a foe’s movement in the defender’s

threatened area provokes an attack of opportunity and the
stalwart defender successfully hits the foe with the attack,
the foe’s movement ends immediately. The foe cannot
move again until its next turn but can still take the rest
of its action. A stalwart defender must have selected the
bulwark power prior to selecting halting blow.

Figured they'd probably have the Combat Patrol feat also, it would work well with this.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Does the steal combat maneuver address how it differs from using slight of hand for the same effect, or can the skill do the same thing, but using the skill rules instead of the CMB rules?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Tessius wrote:
Figured they'd probably have the Combat Patrol feat also, it would work well with this.

Combat Patrol seems tailor-made for Stalwart Defenders, though they basically have to waste a feat on Mobility to meet the pre-reqs.


Kvantum wrote:

It's still not the best executed class out there, but it's better than it was. And there's at least one way to try and stop creatures moving past you, though how effective it is might be debatable.

Halting Blow (Ex): If a foe’s movement in the defender’s
threatened area

Aka, still crap.

Seriously guys, you hold this off until the second release and STILL DON'T MAKE IT PLAYABLE. It was already only playable in tight hallways and it looks to still only be playable in tight hallways.

Looks like everyone rolling a Stalwart Defender should invest in a magic carpet.


Cartigan wrote:

Aka, still crap.

Seriously guys, you hold this off until the second release and STILL DON'T MAKE IT PLAYABLE. It was already only playable in tight hallways and it looks to still only be playable in tight hallways.

Looks like everyone rolling a Stalwart Defender should invest in a magic carpet.

Ring of Teleportation or Boots of Speed or something similar.

"Thou shall not pass!"

*runs around the Defender*

*Defender Teleports*

*WHAM* "I SAID NO!"


Anyone else get the feeling that the Nature Warden could use those braids for natural weapons? At least the big one. Looks like it'd hurt somebody!


Kvantum wrote:

Halting Blow (Ex): If a foe’s movement in the defender’s

threatened area provokes an attack of opportunity and the
stalwart defender successfully hits the foe with the attack,
the foe’s movement ends immediately. The foe cannot
move again until its next turn but can still take the rest
of its action. A stalwart defender must have selected the
bulwark power prior to selecting halting blow.

You know this would work well with the Comb...

Tessius wrote:
Figured they'd probably have the Combat Patrol feat also, it would work well with this.

Crap. lol

Dark Archive

Lisa Stevens wrote:
baron arem heshvaun wrote:

::looks around for Paizo CEO::

I win initiative Lisa.

Crap, rolled a "1". :(

-Lisa

Use an action point! Oh, wait, use a HERO point!

Sovereign Court

QOShea wrote:
Cartigan wrote:

Aka, still crap.

Seriously guys, you hold this off until the second release and STILL DON'T MAKE IT PLAYABLE. It was already only playable in tight hallways and it looks to still only be playable in tight hallways.

Looks like everyone rolling a Stalwart Defender should invest in a magic carpet.

Ring of Teleportation or Boots of Speed or something similar.

"Thou shall not pass!"

*runs around the Defender*

*Defender Teleports*

*WHAM* "I SAID NO!"

Combat patrol - extends your threatened area

Reach weapon
Lunge
etc..


[hint]Ooh! Ooh! What if the stalwart defender were to get an abilty that meant that any movement within his threatened area would provoke an AoO, regardless of whether it would do so normally? That might make a difference, yeah?[/hint]


baron arem heshvaun wrote:

::looks around for Paizo CEO::

I win initiative Lisa.

Jason in the blog wrote:


... while pulling down his pants might entangle him.
Finally rules we can use.

So mage hand at a distance... Is he wearing pants Combat Manuever is finally possible... Excellent.


Finally a use for Perform (Comedy)!

The bard tells a joke and uses mage hand to pants the bandit in front of him, then hits him with a Cream Pie +1.

Liberty's Edge

Cartigan wrote:


Aka, still crap.

Seriously guys, you hold this off until the second release and STILL DON'T MAKE IT PLAYABLE.

Wow ... charming and classy as ever ...

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Kvantum wrote:
Tessius wrote:
Figured they'd probably have the Combat Patrol feat also, it would work well with this.
Combat Patrol seems tailor-made for Stalwart Defenders, though they basically have to waste a feat on Mobility to meet the pre-reqs.

Hardly a waste, given that your movement while taking your Combat Patrol AoOs provokes - it may come up pretty frequently as you move around taking your AoOs.

The secret benefit of Combat Patrol is that there's no logical way in-game that a bad guy would know that you had the feat, which means that their typical sorts of maneuvers to avoid AoOs will instead lead them right into downtown Stabville, Population: them. Even if they trigger it once, they may not realize it's something you can do over and over, nor exactly what the radius of your threatened area is.

Take the Stand Still feat (if you're not a Stalwart Defender) and stop/block people rather than just whacking them.

Contributor

Carpy DM wrote:
[hint]Ooh! Ooh! What if the stalwart defender were to get an abilty that meant that any movement within his threatened area would provoke an AoO, regardless of whether it would do so normally? That might make a difference, yeah?[/hint]

Yeah, if only such a thing were on page 279.... :)

Scarab Sages

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Carpy DM wrote:
[hint]Ooh! Ooh! What if the stalwart defender were to get an abilty that meant that any movement within his threatened area would provoke an AoO, regardless of whether it would do so normally? That might make a difference, yeah?[/hint]
Yeah, if only such a thing were on page 279.... :)

Also there is a Stance you can take from Tome of Battle that does it too. (Would require 2 feats or a level of Crusader, but it's out there.)

Sovereign Court

I think there is a feat in the apg that causes teleporting into or out of your threatened area to provoke as well. Or it might be an alternate class feature. Don't have my pdf here on my lunch break.

Where you going? Nowhere!


Are there any options for non-shape shifting druids? I want to play a "Divine trickster" type character, but have an animal companion and druid spells. I COULD just ignore the shape shifting elements, or take the cleric with Animal and Plant domains, but I want a full progression critter :P

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Ender_rpm wrote:
Are there any options for non-shape shifting druids? I want to play a "Divine trickster" type character, but have an animal companion and druid spells. I COULD just ignore the shape shifting elements, or take the cleric with Animal and Plant domains, but I want a full progression critter :P

The urban druid will sort of get you in the neighborhood. He gets a thousand faces before wild shape and gets a number of charm and divination-type, but has to take a domain like Charm or Community instead of an animal comp. They can also spontaneously cast domain spells instead of SNA spells.


I'd have to ask if its possible for the requirements for the holy vindicator

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Steelfiredragon wrote:
I'd have to ask if its possible for the requirements for the holy vindicator

You gotta be holy.

And you gotta like vindacatin' stuff.

Spoiler:
no seriously, you need to be able to channel energy, to have at least one alignment channel or elemental channel feat, and I think a BAB requirement


Jason Nelson wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:
I'd have to ask if its possible for the requirements for the holy vindicator

You gotta be holy.

And you gotta like vindacatin' stuff.

** spoiler omitted **

I'd prefer Holy Eradicator ......

kill all evil......


Robert Hawkshaw wrote:
QOShea wrote:
Cartigan wrote:

Aka, still crap.

Seriously guys, you hold this off until the second release and STILL DON'T MAKE IT PLAYABLE. It was already only playable in tight hallways and it looks to still only be playable in tight hallways.

Looks like everyone rolling a Stalwart Defender should invest in a magic carpet.

Ring of Teleportation or Boots of Speed or something similar.

"Thou shall not pass!"

*runs around the Defender*

*Defender Teleports*

*WHAM* "I SAID NO!"

Combat patrol - extends your threatened area

Reach weapon
Lunge
etc..

And they walk around your extended reach, etc...

There is still NOTHING I've been told indicating the Stalwart Defender has the ability to cause the enemies to attack him.

Scarab Sages

Hmm. This sounds pretty interesting for my character...however, he's a Chaotic Good cleric/inquisitor -- do you need levels in paladin to take this PrC?

Jason Nelson wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:
I'd have to ask if its possible for the requirements for the holy vindicator

You gotta be holy.

And you gotta like vindacatin' stuff.

** spoiler omitted **


Cartigan wrote:
There is still NOTHING I've been told indicating the Stalwart Defender has the ability to cause the enemies to attack him.

There aren't challenges like the Knight had in 3.5?

Hm, that reminds me. I need to see if anyone's ported that into PF yet. I'm not a paladin fan, but I'd play the [adj] out of a knight. Hm, then again, there may be an option in the APG..

Grand Lodge

I thought I read somewhere earlier in a thread that they had "provoke/taunt" style feats in the APG... Maybe I am misremembering...

Plus, you can use tactics to keep them from running past you... bottleneck them! ^_^


If you want an ability to make the bad guy do something really stupid, play someone who can use magic to affect their mind.

That being said, many situations arise where good tactics an dthe stalwart defender prc would kick total butt. So its a big room, get them into the long hallway, defend the casters so they can make the bbeg weaker. its not for everyone, but your not going to get a tank class like in W.O.W. and i dont think they should.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Cartigan wrote:
And they walk around your extended reach, etc...

Except, of course, they don't know that you HAVE extended reach, so they walk right into it, thinking they're being clever for avoiding your (believed to be normal) reach. And then you stab/trip/Stand Still them. Or use the already referenced Stalwart Defender power to AoO people moving in your reach even if they wouldn't normally provoke.

Cartigan wrote:
There is still NOTHING I've been told indicating the Stalwart Defender has the ability to cause the enemies to attack him.

Who says they need to attack YOU? They just need to NOT attack someone else.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Card Game, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Machaeus wrote:
Jason Nelson wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
There is still NOTHING I've been told indicating the Stalwart Defender has the ability to cause the enemies to attack him.

Who says they need to attack YOU? They just need to NOT attack someone else.

Quoted for truth. If you want to force someone to attack you, please, try 4E. I'm sure they have something like that in Martial Power, probably for fighters, if not in the core PH. I'd look it up now but it's in moving boxes.

The fighter's mark thing is the core mechanic of the 4E fighter. Other defenders have variant versions IIRC

Grand Lodge

Just played 2 days ago a PFS game and a Monk tried the drag maneuver - well - this was his intention but he couldn't find it in the rules. Good to see I'm able to show him official rules now.

So far I only skim read a few bits from the APG - but I have to say I'm impressed and can recommend it. Too bad - Amazon UK doesn't allow me to write a review yet.

Thod


Cartigan wrote:
There is still NOTHING I've been told indicating the Stalwart Defender has the ability to cause the enemies to attack him.

Have a look at "Armor of Insults", p283. Not that I'm saying it is a good idea - but it's what you asking for.

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