Pathfinder Chronicles: NPC Guide (PFRPG)

2.70/5 (based on 7 ratings)
Pathfinder Chronicles: NPC Guide (PFRPG)
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Scores of Characters!

Save yourself some number crunching and use this collection of 91 fully statted and ready-to-run nonplayer characters. Whether you need a veteran Pathfinder, an eccentric Red Mantis assassin, an undead-hating Nexian mage, or just a rough-and-tumble thug, this book does the dirty work for you!

    Characters in this book include:
  • Thirty unique NPCs native to the myriad nations of Golarion, with illustrations, histories, complete stat blocks, and special boons for PCs who befriend them. While they bear flavor and history tied to their homelands, all 30 NPCs may appear in any part of the world, and in any setting—use them as mentors, allies, cohorts, or sworn enemies of your PCs.
  • More than 50 nameless NPC stat blocks, custom designed for maximum utility in your game, including raiders from the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, Katapeshi slavers, spider-riding goblins, Gillmen knife fighters, and evil cultists. Whether you use them as bosses in low-level adventures or minions for high-level enemies, you’ll save yourself hours of work by putting your own names and faces over these premade NPCs.
  • Seven adventurer PCs played by Paizo staff members, presented as NPCs with illustrations, histories, stat blocks, and player boons. Use one as a quick premade PC, or drop them all into your campaign as a rival adventuring group!

Pathfinder Chronicles: NPC Guide is intended for use with the Pathfinder Chronicles campaign setting, but is suitable for any setting using the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game or the 3.5 edition of the world’s oldest roleplaying game.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-219-7

A free Web Enhancement featuring five additional NPCs was featured in the Paizo Blog.

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscription.

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Average product rating:

2.70/5 (based on 7 ratings)

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Out of date.

3/5

Uses old D&D rules so no Witches or Maguses etc. The class builds are therefore not powerful enough for modern PF. They are also quite dull, far, far too many 5th level ranger guides and Dex based sword using rogue/fighter types. It is quite odd, they seem to account for about 50% of the characters.

A sequel is very much needed.

We need all the newer classes, and fill in chracters from other lands - Casmaron, Vudra etc. This is an area the book really shows its age - there are no proper Varisian or Sczarni characters and only one (fairly bland) Hellknight! Modern PF would probably have a dozen.

To its credit, the little picture portraits are great, and the mini biographies and boon hooks are of proper Paizo standard. It is hard to complain becuase this fluff is excellent, but the crunch lets it down and seeing as we don't even use those rules any more, it probably doesn't matter.

Still. Improved sequel please.


Severe Let down

1/5

Wow, all I can say is that this book was a bummer. Probably an ok resource if you are running a very low level campaign, but I have no problem stating third level characters, and the free resources on the web make it even easier. There are about two characters I can use in my game. I would recommend not wasting your money;)


Could have been far better.

2/5

Every GM's nightmare: NPCs. Coming up with believable, memorable and challenging personalities for PCs to interact with is an art, learned over years of experience and gaming. But that's just half of the challenge, since we're talking D&D/PF here, we need to tackle the daunting NPC statblocks, full of abilities, spells and other things that require time and energy to create.

So it would be a great thing to have some help here, right? A book with pre-generated NPCs is always a good idea. As long as the idea is well executed, that is...

NPC Guide consist of 3 chapters. Chapter 1, titled "Named NPCs" contains 30 fully-fleshed NPCs, each one with a portrait, backstory, statblock and suggested "boons" which they may bestow upon PCs. Chapter 2 presents 50 generic NPC statblocks - no fluff, just stats. Finally Chapter 3 describes Paizo staff PCs from their personal campaigns.

While the quality of writing, artwork, ideas and fluff is great, the book suffers from two serious problems, which somewhat cripple it's usefulness.

Firstly, almost all the statblocks presented in NPC Guide are low level. Only a couple of named NPCs are above CR 5 and all of the generic statblocks are below it. This is a major blow, because arguably the most time-consuming and demanding part of NPC creation is the science of statblock building.

The second problem is that there isn't really anything in the way of new rules elements (items, spells, feats, etc.) to support the NPCs. In fact, being mostly low-level, they tend to be rather bland on the crunch side.

While it's very nice to see dozens of both common, generic NPCs and more fleshed-out personalities, I fear that this wasn't exactly what a harried GM is after. Knocking together a level 3 NPC isn't that hard (especially with Hero Lab around), but the high level statblocks are killers.

Luckily, Paizo seems to have realized the error, and the recent Rival Guide is everything such book should be.


Does the Gruntwork of making Grunts.

5/5

A clever idea that proves surprisingly useful. A must have to pull together a surprise ambush or a contact in a seedy bar. Check out my full review NPC Guide




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Sovereign Court

Excellent Smithers...

--School of Vrock

Liberty's Edge

Some of the featured NPCs in the guide have Exile as a trait. Did I miss that one somewhere?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Arnim Thayer wrote:

Some of the featured NPCs in the guide have Exile as a trait. Did I miss that one somewhere?

If the characters you're referring to are from the final chapter of the book, where the Paizo PCs live, then Exile is a trait I made up for that particular game that I'm running for them.

Liberty's Edge

As is Favored Son, I suppose... any chance that those will become official traits some day? 'cause now I'm REALLY interested to see them!


+1 for seeing the Exile & Favoured Son traits

Contributor

Sounds like an easy blog post, James.... :)

Dark Archive

Busted?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So hey, when are we going to see the other 4 installments of the web enhancement for this? The last one was posted on the blog all the way back on April 2nd...

Contributor

I'll remind Crys about that. Though I think it's only another two installments.


i am hoping someone can help shed some light here for me... i am very new to running any kind of 3.5 or DnD campaign, although i have been running games for about 20 years now, i stayed away from dnd for some reason i never understood... now i am running pathfinder for my friends and they are loving it.

seeing as how i am a 'sandbox' GM, i tend to let the players create the adventures and give them an overall objective to acheive and use guides like this to save myself time and energy.

now my players are looking them over, and they are trying to figure out how some PC characters in the book where made (an example is Shensen)... and i dont have an answer for them. the stats seem kind of high for the level the character is supposed to be.

can anyone shed some light for me on how this character was created so i can get the player off my back about it?

what they are asking about is this:

if the characters where created using the 4d6 drop the lowest method, how did a 12th level character get 2 stats in the 20's (one 22 and one 24). even with a racial bonus of +2 for half elf, and +3 attribute increases for being 12th, that means at best one stat could be 23... my players want to know what else can give you bonuses to your stats.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I believe you'll find the answer to your question in the Combat Gear section of Shensen's stat block, specifically the belt of incredible dexterity +4 and the headband of alluring charisma +4.


cool! answers that question. i thought that only added a bonus to the stat bonus, not to the stat it self. thanks!


Shensen is a particularly complicated character; she's a reincarnated drow, so she also got the drow bonuses to her mental stats—those bonuses don't vanish when you get reincarnated.

Contributor

IOW, James is Cheaty McCheaterson. :)

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
IOW, James is Cheaty McCheaterson. :)

God bless you, I thought I was going to explode with the urge to post something snarky :P

And cool Shenshen avatar!

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

Shensen wrote:
Shensen is a particularly complicated character; she's a reincarnated drow, so she also got the drow bonuses to her mental stats—those bonuses don't vanish when you get reincarnated.

Hey, Shensen came by her cheatin' honestly... one brutal character death at a time!


Yeah; no cheating involved, to be honest. All that was earned with blood, sweat, and tears in confrontations with hook horrors, gorillas, demonic surgical machines, gorillas, overly templated dragons, gorillas, monsters I invented myself used against me, gorillas, insane fellow players with hyperdestructive characters, and gorillas.

Also, gorillas.


Shensen wrote:
Yeah; no cheating involved, to be honest.

I nominate this to be the quote of the day!

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

Shensen wrote:

Yeah; no cheating involved, to be honest. All that was earned with blood, sweat, and tears in confrontations with hook horrors, gorillas, demonic surgical machines, gorillas, overly templated dragons, gorillas, monsters I invented myself used against me, gorillas, insane fellow players with hyperdestructive characters, and gorillas.

Also, gorillas.

NOT to be confused with monkeys, of course.

Never.


Okay, after two months, I've finally gotten around to reading this thing. I'm curious about Halig Oaklage, the Gebbite ghast cleric on page 11. I thought that you had to have 4 or more Hit Dice to become a ghast. Otherwise, you just become a ghoul. So how did Halig get to be a ghast? Any thoughts on the subject?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Aaron Bitman wrote:
Okay, after two months, I've finally gotten around to reading this thing. I'm curious about Halig Oaklage, the Gebbite ghast cleric on page 11. I thought that you had to have 4 or more Hit Dice to become a ghast. Otherwise, you just become a ghoul. So how did Halig get to be a ghast? Any thoughts on the subject?

When you become a ghast (or a ghoul, for that matter), you lose all your class levels and basically "start over" with your new race. Halig's 3 cleric levels were gained after he became a ghast.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Aaron Bitman wrote:
Okay, after two months, I've finally gotten around to reading this thing. I'm curious about Halig Oaklage, the Gebbite ghast cleric on page 11. I thought that you had to have 4 or more Hit Dice to become a ghast. Otherwise, you just become a ghoul. So how did Halig get to be a ghast? Any thoughts on the subject?
When you become a ghast (or a ghoul, for that matter), you lose all your class levels and basically "start over" with your new race. Halig's 3 cleric levels were gained after he became a ghast.

It sucks, but at least he's immortal(ish) now. :)


James Jacobs wrote:
When you become a ghast (or a ghoul, for that matter), you lose all your class levels and basically "start over" with your new race. Halig's 3 cleric levels were gained after he became a ghast.

Interesting...

So Hallit got to at least 4th level growing fruit? I guess he could have had fights with other slaves.

Anyway, thank you for the reply.

Contributor

Aaron Bitman wrote:
So Hallit got to at least 4th level growing fruit? I guess he could have had fights with other slaves.

Or someone could have used create undead on his corpse, which doesn't have a level requirement for its target. It's not like he was killed in a ghast attack, after all, he was sacrificed as part of a ritual.

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

Shensen wrote:

Yeah; no cheating involved, to be honest. All that was earned with blood, sweat, and tears in confrontations with hook horrors, gorillas, demonic surgical machines, gorillas, overly templated dragons, gorillas, monsters I invented myself used against me, gorillas, insane fellow players with hyperdestructive characters, and gorillas.

Also, gorillas.

HA! Glitterhaunt FTW, and all those kaorti-spawned freak monsters. Oh the delicious, cruel irony...


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Or someone could have used create undead on his corpse, which doesn't have a level requirement for its target. It's not like he was killed in a ghast attack, after all, he was sacrificed as part of a ritual.

Ah yes!

Geb always intrigued me because I have trouble wrapping my brain around the idea of a society based heavily on necromancy. I always wanted to read more about Geb, because I have trouble thinking of ideas like THAT one. Thank you!


James Jacobs wrote:
Arnim Thayer wrote:

Some of the featured NPCs in the guide have Exile as a trait. Did I miss that one somewhere?

If the characters you're referring to are from the final chapter of the book, where the Paizo PCs live, then Exile is a trait I made up for that particular game that I'm running for them.

James know this was broached earlier in the thread but are we likely to see the Exile or any other traits from the NPC guide being published in either the APG or other forthcoming material [Inner Sea Hardcover]?

Cheers

BD

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder

Black Dow wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Arnim Thayer wrote:

Some of the featured NPCs in the guide have Exile as a trait. Did I miss that one somewhere?

If the characters you're referring to are from the final chapter of the book, where the Paizo PCs live, then Exile is a trait I made up for that particular game that I'm running for them.

James know this was broached earlier in the thread but are we likely to see the Exile or any other traits from the NPC guide being published in either the APG or other forthcoming material [Inner Sea Hardcover]?

Cheers

BD

A selection of traits from James's Sandpoint game (including Exile) do indeed make an appearance in the Advanced Player's Guide, as example Campaign Traits.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Black Dow wrote:
James know this was broached earlier in the thread but are we likely to see the Exile or any other traits from the NPC guide being published in either the APG or other forthcoming material [Inner Sea Hardcover]?

The Advanced Player's Guide puts traits into a hardcover book; and among those rules are rules for Campaign Traits. The traits for my Sandpoint campaign ended up being the ones used as an example for that book, so yes, these traits will be in print in the Advanced Player's Guide.


Thanks gents - think that just made the APG even more requisite [if that's possible!] :) - damn can't wait to get my hands on it now!

BD


Todd Stewart wrote:
spamhammer wrote:
Ezren is straight-up strangling a dude on that cover. Nice to see a wizard pushing sixty who isn't afraid to lay the smack down.
He's doing his best Hulk Hogan impression. :D

"Whatcha gonna do, Seltyiel, when these wrinkled 24-inch pythons run wild on you?"

Hmm, if Ezren is Hulk Hogan, then which iconic Pathfinder character would be the Rock or Mick Foley? ;)

More seriously, a question at the people who have a copy of this book -- does it just cover 'generic' NPCs or does it have a few specific characters as well?

EDIT: Never mind, if I'd read a bit more I'd have gotten an answer to my question. *sighs* But these original characters do sound pretty good. Yet another book on Ye Olde "Get It NOW!" list...


Just purchased this, eagerly awaiting my shipment!
Does anyone know when the PDF for this will be available for me to download? Shouldn't it already be available?

I cannae wait to read this!


Unless you actually subscribe to the Pathfinder Campaign Setting product line, you don't get a free PDF with your purchase, which is what I'm guessing is what you mean. You need to purchase the PDF separately if you want one. If you've purchased a PDF copy of the product, you can download it via My Downloads.

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