Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: GameMastery Guide (OGL)

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: GameMastery Guide (OGL)
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Rule Your World!

Players may be the heroes of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, but whole worlds rest on the Game Master's shoulders. Fortunately for GMs, the Pathfinder RPG GameMastery Guide is here to back you up. Packed with invaluable hints and information, this book contains everything you need to take your game to the next level, from advice on the nuts and bolts of running a session to the greater mysteries of crafting engaging worlds and storylines. Whether you've run one game or a thousand, this book has page after page of secrets to make you sharper, faster, and more creative, while always staying one step ahead of your players.

The 320-page Pathfinder RPG GameMastery Guide is a must-have companion volume to the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. This imaginative tabletop game builds upon more than 10 years of system development and an Open Playtest featuring more than 50,000 gamers to create a cutting-edge RPG experience that brings the all-time best-selling set of fantasy rules into the new millennium.

The Pathfinder RPG GameMastery Guide includes:

  • Tips and tricks for preparing and running a better game, suitable for beginning GMs and battle-hardened veterans.
  • Step-by-step walkthroughs for creating campaign worlds, cities, cosmologies, feudal systems, and alternate dimensions.
  • Difficult player types, and how to handle them gracefully.
  • New rules for subsystems like hauntings, chase scenes, fortune-telling, gambling games, mysteries, and insanity.
  • Charts to help you generate everything from interesting NPCs and fantastic treasures to instant encounters in any terrain.
  • Advanced topics such as PC death, game-breaking rules, overpowered parties, solo campaigns, and derailed storylines.
  • Sample NPC statistics for dozens of common adventuring situations, such as cultists, guardsmen, barmaids, and pirates.
  • ... and much, much more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-217-3

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Last Updated - 1/22/2014

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Essential for New GMs, Handy for Veterans

5/5

Published back in 2009, the GameMastery Guide was one of the early hardcover books released for Pathfinder. I think it's an overlooked gem, as I crack it open before and during sessions as often as any book other than the Core Rulebook. Weighing in at a hefty 320 pages, the GameMastery Guide has advice on the usual topics that new GMs need help with, but it also contains so much more, like little new rules subsystems, a gallery of pre-made NPCs, all sorts of random tables, tracking sheets, etc. It's a very handy compilation of material specifically designed for Pathfinder, and I'd recommend it as an early purchase for any GM getting into the game.

We have to start with a shout-out to that awesome cover, featuring Runelord Karzoug seated on his throne. I'm partial, since I'm running a certain AP at the moment, but artist Wayne Reynolds knocked it out of the park there. There's no way the interior artwork could be as good, and it's true that many of the interstitial drawings are recycled from other products or are forgettable placeholders. However, the artwork accompanying the NPC gallery is solid and fits the feel of Golarion. If I were using letter ratings, the cover art would get an A+ and the interior art and layout would get a C+.

The book is divided into 9 chapters, with multiple appendices and indices.

Chapter 1, "Getting Started", is stuff that experienced GMs will have seen a thousand times before, but that new GMs will appreciate. It covers stuff like a gaming glossary, how to deal with sensitive topics, how to find players and set aside a place to play, developing house rules, etc. It's standard advice, and if I had to quibble with anything it's that the section is so focussed on catering to players' desires that it leaves out a crucial consideration: the GM needs to have fun too! I did like the idea of creating a custom player's guide before each new campaign, and that's something I'll probably do in the future.

Chapter 2, "Running the Game", talks about preparation, presentation (music, handouts, lighting, etc.), building encounters and adventures, and how to handle in-game problems (PCs missing a clue, getting too much treasure, etc.). Again, it's all solid advice (though I don't agree with customising encounters for PC abilities, as that holds the risk of undermining the very advantages they've worked to gain). I think the best bit in the chapter is the "Game Changers" section, with talks about how to handle problems specific to Pathfinder: spells involving invisibility, teleportation, lie/evil detection, flying, auguries, and more. These spells can dramatically change the game and wreck certain types of plots if a GM isn't careful. The section ends with some good tables: fifty different adventure plots, twenty plot twists, and a bunch of macguffins. Good material if you're creating your own adventures and get stuck in the brainstorming.

Chapter 3, "Player Characters," talks about handling metagaming, introducing new players into the game, handling treasure and character death, whether to allow evil PCs, and different types of common players like the "One-Trick Pony" and the "Rules Lawyer". It's a good and useful discussion, as experienced GMs will encounter these various player types sooner or later and knowing what to look out for and handle them is important if groups are going to persist in the long-run. I think what the chapter is missing is the frank advice that some players just aren't right for some groups, some groups are dysfunctional and need to disband, and that the GM (unfortunately) often has to make the hard calls. It's a responsibility that goes beyond preparing and running adventures, since real people, real relationships, and real emotions can be involved. I'd rank the chapter as average.

Chapter 4, "Nonplayer Characters," goes into the basics of giving NPCs personalities and roles in the game. I especially liked the section on traps a GM needs to avoid when running NPCs (such as making them too intrusive, too decisive, too good at combat, etc.). The section introduces a new concept of "NPC Boons," which are special little plot or mechanical advantages that NPCs of different types can give to PCs. We'll see this concept more in the NPC Gallery at the end of the book, but the idea would be that, for example, befriending a local tracker would give the PCs a +2 on Survival checks in the area for one month, or that buying a drink for a down-on-his-luck nobleman could result in a primer on local politics and a +2 bonus on Knowledge (nobility) in the city. Etc. It's a nice way to quantify and reward PCs for good role-playing and encourage those players who are only in it for the bottom line to have more patience with what may at first seem like irrelevant asides. After some fairly mundane advice on villains, the chapter concludes with a great collection of tables: NPC backgrounds, goals, physical characteristics, personality characteristics (some of these are hilarious and memorable, and I wish players were as creative!), occupations, secrets and rewards, and even the surely-delightful "Random Adventuring Party Name Generator". If you want to be cool, join the "Reputable Pearly Kraken Monster-Slayers in the Shadow of Angels"!

Chapter 5, "Rewards," contains an insightful discussion of why rewards manner and the different ways they can be conceptualised and allocated. It goes through the difference between steady small rewards versus occasional big ones, intrinsic vs. extrinsic rewards, and how different players value different things (e.g., is it all about the gold, or is getting on a first-name basis with the barmaid better?). It even gets into little details, such as exactly when XP can be awarded (I forget that some groups do it after every single encounter, while others only do it during true in-game downtime). There's some good advice on how to handle spell research and magic item crafting that makes it clear the whole process needs to be treated more as an art than a mechanical formula. This chapter has a *lot* of random item and random magic item tables, which is really useful when you need to see what a little shop in a small town happens to have in stock, or what that NPC wizard you weren't expecting the PCs to rob from has in his satchel.

Chapter 6, "Creating a World," is for GMs who do something I've never really done in Pathfinder (though I have in science fiction settings): create a brand new campaign setting. It has a nice process of answering a set list of questions to gradually firm up the details of the new world and to simplify (to some degree) the difficulty of conceptualising everything all at once. The geography advice is probably over-ambitious, but the concepts are explained really well. The chapter goes through different types of societies and different technological levels. It's not a chapter I'll use, but it's very good for homebrew GMs.

Chapter 7, "Adventures," has tips for running stories in different environments (dungeons, the wilderness, etc.). It has particularly good advice on dungeons, with a useful key to map symbols that I should use more often. Again, there's a ton of great tables to stimulate creativity, including random tables on where dungeons can be found, what type they are, what's in different rooms, and several random monster encounter tables (which I wouldn't actually roll on, as they have the common problem of spreading CRs from as low as 1 to as high as 13 in the same table!). The chapter has a section on planes and planar traits, which is an important reference for later products that make specific use of the mechanics presented here. Similarly, it has a section on stat blocks for settlements (used in most Pathfinder products) that is quite important in determining what's for sale in a community, the highest-level of spellcaster available, etc. I use the settlement rules a lot, and although I think they're sometimes a bit cumbersome in play, they're important in making sure that a hamlet "acts" differently than a metropolis. This chapter is packed with a lot of other material, including a two-page rules-set for ship combat (it seems worth trying), lots of random tables for ships and sailors, and, one of my favourite things, random tables for tavern names and unique traits. There's a lot here that I'm going to photocopy and keep with my GM screen to help me quickly come up with more flavourful interludes when I'm running games.

Chapter 8, "Advanced Topics," introduces several new little rules sub-systems: chases (elegant, but not completely satisfying), natural disasters, drugs and addiction (happens too quickly and needs a slower progression of effects), fortune-telling (too general), gambling (done well), haunts (one of the best innovations of Pathfinder, great for story-telling), hazards (mostly supernatural ones, but very clever), and sanity/madness (too simplistic, but not bad for just 2 pages). Some of these sub-systems, like chases and haunts, are seen in a lot of other Paizo products, so having the rules on how to run them is really useful. Other topics touched on in this chapter have been developed in far more detail elsewhere, and may be of more limited usefulness. Still, there's enough of enduring value to make the material here worth reading.

Chapter 9, "NPC Gallery", is one of those things every Pathfinder GM needs: full stats (and even pictures and descriptions) for NPCs encountered on short notice: bandits to spice up overland travel, city guards for when the "Chaotic Stupid" PC gets too obnoxious, the bard intended purely as tavern-dressing that the PCs are surprisingly interested in, the shopkeep they want to try to bluff for a discount, etc. There are dozens and dozens of great NPCs here, both low-level "townsfolk" and high-level threats, and all are fully fleshed out with gear and boons (from Chapter 4). In addition, there's really good advice on how to swap out a feat here or a weapon there to create different variations on the stock NPC. I've used this chapter a lot (as have many PFS scenarios). The later publication of the NPC Codex and Villain Codex makes this section slightly less crucial, but I still get a lot of use out of it.

Apart from indices and an appendix (on recommend reading and films), the book ends with a miscellany of tracking sheets--a Campaign Sheet, a Settlement Sheet (something I should actually use, now that I think of it), an NPC Sheet, and a Basic Rules Cheat Sheet (that I'm going to start handing out to new players to ease their transition into the game).

From the chapter summaries above, you can tell the book is just chock-full of useful advice and resources for running the game. Although essential for new GMs, even experienced ones will still find a lot here to make the book worth buying and reading.


Right Next To The Core Rulebook On My Shelf!

5/5

This product was amazing. I was blown away by the advice given to create a world and how to deal with several issues that have come up in recent gaming sessions. The crunchy side of the book was OK, but I really haven't had any need to pull out those rules and use them in my games. I overall really enjoyed this product, and can't wait to see what comes next!


The Essential Tome of GM'ing

5/5

This pearl of GM manuals should be found from every already practising or aspiring-to-be GM's collection. Yes, it's that great, even for folks who don't run Pathfinder. Well written, easy to understand, beautiful to look at... not to mention a well of inspiration it also achieves to be. It's a near perfect package of knowledge how to run smooth, richer, better RPG campaign. Sure, there are chunks of system specific stuff inside, but the most important bits of knowledge of how to run your game are universal and will fit in any system and game table. For juniors, it is essential. For the vets, well, if you're already good at what you're doing, you can always be better, and perhaps you're not perfect and can learn at least one useful new trick out of it.


Great addition

4/5

Read the book cover to cover. Although most of it is repetition for old-time gm's I like the style, flavour and content of the book. It's pure inspiration and also a few goodies that are easily put to work: chases, hazards, haunts - now tried out with success in my current campaign.

A bit to many references to the Core Rulebook annoys a bit.


As a veteran GM thus book left me pining for alot more

3/5

Honestly this book is not at all needed if you have any GM experience at all. Has some good world creation tips but otherwise feels overly simplistic. My opinion would change greatly on this book if I was new to gaming however.


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Evil Lincoln wrote:


Yes, if you are not a GM looking for general advice (the first half of the book) or if you're not a GM who likes statblocks and writer's-block tables (the second half), this book probably isn't for you. As far as precedent, I think that's what most DM books have been.

Statblocks and writer's-block tables are my bread and butter, so I'm having a hard time grasping your response. I can only imagine your style of GMing is radically different from my own. Paging through this book gives me the desperate urge to GM.

You've probably best grasped the situation - I'm not a GM looking for general advice. I've been playing for 32 years now, and I end up as GM roughly 80% of the time, so I really only need plot/story arc ideas, game mechanics, setting info, etc. General advice, while always welcome, is not something I need in print - print items are things I need to refer to on a regular basis, while advice I will read once/year as a refresher.


Shadrhar wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:
stuff
You've probably best grasped the situation - I'm not a GM looking for general advice. I've been playing for 32 years now, and I end up as GM roughly 80% of the time, so I really only need plot/story arc ideas, game mechanics, setting info, etc. General advice, while always welcome, is not something I need in print - print items are things I need to refer to on a regular basis, while advice I will read once/year as a refresher.

Well, since you now own the book, I recommend that you look at those tables in the adventure section again. Actually rolling on those tables during a game seems... amateur. But if you're looking for "plot/story arc ideas" I find that kind of tool is phenomenal for getting you to break out of ruts and write things that neither you nor your player was expecting.

I hope that helps you get the most out of this book.


Well time to go without food for a couple of weeks.

Liberty's Edge

Just curious (and hopeful) before I place the order, will I get the PDF copy too if I purchase the hardcover?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Only if you subscribe to the RPG line.

Contributor

Gorbacz wrote:
Turns out that handling over the "words every GM should know" chapter to a hairy, half-mad British genius was a brilliant move. Well played Paizo, please hire Mr. Pett more often. His madness is most pleasant to behold.

Ah, too kind, and I'm always happy to do any task those lovely Paizo chaps and chapesses wish me to as they know. But at least half the credit should go to that charming, quite totally mad Mr Maclean, who shared half those infernal lists with me and was a joy to work with:)

The Listtheliststhelists.

I'm over them now.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Are you trying to tell us that Mr MacLean isn't a split personality of yours ... Dr Pett and Mr MacLean ... I can totally imagine that !


I got to flip through this book and I was ecstatic at the amount of humor and pop-culture references rife through the book. It revitalized my thought process and got me kicked into writing an adventure I was excited to write.

The advice column stuff? Not so much. But the ideas... the ideas are great!

Contributor

Gorbacz wrote:
Are you trying to tell us that Mr MacLean isn't a split personality of yours ... Dr Pett and Mr MacLean ... I can totally imagine that !

Absolutely not.

Hal

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:

Quite honestly, I think the book is very well done, and the only things I don't care for are ones that I still think should be in the book.

There are long sections about how to plot a game, types of player personality types and how to deal with them, styles of games, etc. With almost thirty years of GMing experience under my belt, these sections are of little use to me, but they would have been amazingly useful to me thirty years back, and they need to be in the book because for many GMs, this will be their first book and the advice is necessary and useful.

Everything else is neatly laid out and is something I will use all the time. I've lost track of the number of times I've needed the stats for the unstatted barmaid, but right there in the book are the stats for the barmaid along with a couple other tavern denizens. And then there's just plain fun stuff like the incredible page of fine point words that every DM should know. I'm a sucker for new vocabulary and I'm going to be perusing that page a great deal, combing through for the words that are unfamiliar to me or that I only faintly know.

I am in total agreement with this. I love what I've read of this book so far, but I could have used far less verbosity in the advice sections and even more concrete tools (which is not to say the "tools" are minimal).

I understand why they have the advice in there, and I hope it's useful to someone. But I don't know if even a new GM wants to read THAT much (especially since ultimately a GM likes to develop her own style). I may well of course be proven wrong, and I heartily welcome it.

That said, it's an incredibly well written book and I am certain I will use a great deal of it; certainly worth getting IMO.

Unrelated (to the above) Question: I noticed a slight error in one of the tables. Should that be reported here or should I create a new thread in the RPG products subforum?


Can someone give me an idea of what they give on the following topics?
* Airships
* Extraterrestrials
* Parallel Worlds
* Space Travel
* Steam Power
* Planets/Moons
Is it rules and/or advice, and how much (approximately) do they give on each?


So who´s going to write the first review?

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:

Can someone give me an idea of what they give on the following topics?

* Airships
* Extraterrestrials
* Parallel Worlds
* Space Travel
* Steam Power
* Planets/Moons
Is it rules and/or advice, and how much (approximately) do they give on each?

No rules for any of them, alas. Some of them get about a paragraph, but parallel worlds gets about a full page.

Liberty's Edge

Talon wrote:
So who´s going to write the first review?

There's two up so far I think.

Personally I'm really curious on how good this book is going to be. A lot of GM stuff was crammed into the Core Rulebook which tipped the book to 600 pages with about 200 of it being GM material. Despite this they managed another 300 pages into this one. I think we'll see some rehashing of rules from their other books (which is a good thing) combined with a healthy dose of new rules and tons of advice for running games (which they emphasize.)

Paizo just posted that the PDF will be available for $9.99. They have been awesome with providing us with an excellent value on their core rulebooks. I know that I am not the only person who has turned around and purchased the hard covers after getting back into RPGs because of the PDF's pricing.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

Richard Pett wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Are you trying to tell us that Mr MacLean isn't a split personality of yours ... Dr Pett and Mr MacLean ... I can totally imagine that !

Absolutely not.

Hal

Ditto.

Mr. P.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Shadrhar wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:


Yes, if you are not a GM looking for general advice (the first half of the book) or if you're not a GM who likes statblocks and writer's-block tables (the second half), this book probably isn't for you. As far as precedent, I think that's what most DM books have been.

Statblocks and writer's-block tables are my bread and butter, so I'm having a hard time grasping your response. I can only imagine your style of GMing is radically different from my own. Paging through this book gives me the desperate urge to GM.

You've probably best grasped the situation - I'm not a GM looking for general advice. I've been playing for 32 years now, and I end up as GM roughly 80% of the time, so I really only need plot/story arc ideas, game mechanics, setting info, etc. General advice, while always welcome, is not something I need in print - print items are things I need to refer to on a regular basis, while advice I will read once/year as a refresher.

One thing that I'm surprised of is how many times I hear this arguement. 'I've been playing for X years now...' Your post really isn't the typical one, you don't follow it with a 'I don't have anything left to learn' line.

We've always got more to learn, there isn't some magic ceiling of GMing where you are as good as anyone can ever get. Our hobby isn't even old enough to have the 'one true way' discovered, yet.

And of course as we all grow older, new people are born and joining the hobby, and our culture itself changes at a rapid pace... we're always going to have something to learn!

Whether this book has something in it for us is a different question. I felt that it had quite a bit of useful information for me, but other GM's milage may vary.

But don't dismiss the book entirely because advice was one of its major goals was advice.

---

To reference my quote above a bit more directly, though... Not every book is meant to be a table reference. Goodness, if they were how on earth would I cary everything to my games?! Books are meant to be read, and not everything is meant to be digital these days. Dead trees still have a place in the world.

Since so much of this book (about half) isn't game materials... I would really prefer having something I can curl up in the couch and read.

And for those that prefer a digital method for these... the PDF is a good alternative adn only $10!

Grand Lodge

+1


Just posted my review of the Gamemastery Guide on the product page. Keep in mind that I was limited to 400 words or so...

Liberty's Edge

WOOT mine is shippping today. I can't wait. It was fast, I just ordered it. I did not pre order or subscribe.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

DeathQuaker wrote:

I noticed a slight error in one of the tables. Should that be reported here or should I create a new thread in the RPG products subforum?

We'll be launching a new errata/FAQ system in the coming weeks, so if you want to wait until then, that would be fine... but if you think you'll forget, go ahead and post in the Paizo RPG products subforum.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
CapeCodRPGer wrote:
WOOT mine is shippping today. I can't wait. It was fast, I just ordered it. I did not pre order or subscribe.

Hey! Who let you jump in line? I ordered mine as a subscriber last week and it still hasn't shipped.


Wasn't the Anti-Paladin suppost to be in the Gamemastery Guide?

Dark Archive

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

Nope, it (was?) supposed to be in the Advanced Player's Guide.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Vic Wertz wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:

I noticed a slight error in one of the tables. Should that be reported here or should I create a new thread in the RPG products subforum?

We'll be launching a new errata/FAQ system in the coming weeks, so if you want to wait until then, that would be fine... but if you think you'll forget, go ahead and post in the Paizo RPG products subforum.

Actually, since there's already an appropriate thread, you might as well go ahead and use that.


Still waiting to get a copy of the Gamemastery Guide. Although a lot of the stuff in the book sounds useful, I'm most curious about the new rule systems, especially for "Chases" and "Mysteries and Investigations". Just wondering if anyone with the book can share their opinion on this chapter of the Gamemastery Guide.

Thanks.

- Jeffrey


I like this book. I really just bought it because I'm too lazy to take myself off the subscriber list, and I feel like Paizo provides enough value that a donation from time to time is OK. There isn't much in the first half of the book I can use, but it is well-written and a pleasure to read. I don't think it hurts to have random treasure tables, either, since every once in a while I might want to use them.

The section I really like is the NPCs. It cracks me up that the foot soldier gets his behind handed to him in a bar fight by, well, everyone from the drunkard to the beggar, the pickpocket, the prostitute, the shopkeep in there for a nightcap, shipmate, farmer, storyteller, vagabond. Yeah, pretty much everyone. Oh, but he can take the village idiot. :)

Oh, and the CN cannibal? Hunts and eats sentient beings, but not evil. Perhaps just misunderstood? :) Good stuff, though.


I can't read this fast enough! I want to use all these ideas. The NPCs alone are worth the price of the book! THANK YOU for that!!!!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Sharoth wrote:
Wasn't the Anti-Paladin suppost to be in the Gamemastery Guide?

No, but there is a picture of Seelah as an Anti-Paladin in the section on evil characters.


I hope no one minds if I just keep posting things I love about this book, because I'm gonna.

...I love that maturity and sensitive topics are dealt with on page 10 and not in a separate book. There's drugs and even a drug dealer NPC. I'm not saying I'm obsessed with these topics or advocate real-life use of such things, I'm just glad Paizo is treating us like adults.


I'm glad Paizo is including objects of interest (tables, NPC stats) rather than just advice. Reference objects, if you will, are what will get me to buy this book. Specifically GM ones, like common NPCs, and random treasure tables should help.


Paizo Staff -

Amazing job on this book. I received it yesterday, and I am constantly impressed with the quality of your work. Well, well done.

K.


Well, reading through it, the book seems pretty awesome, cant wait to get a hard copy :D

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Just got this yesterday. Wow. Just, wow.


As a side note, can someone from Paizo get Amazon to update their picture of the Gamemastery Guide from the placeholder image? Just saying...


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
totoro wrote:
Oh, but he can take the village idiot. :)

Are you sure about that? I checked the village idiot's gear, and he's wielding a turnip. Those things are nasty in a bar fight.


People, keep that crazed Louie PJ away from my Peaches!


I have been going over my PDF copy and have a question that I have not found answered so far in the discussion. This actually has to do with the drugs in chapter 8 and specifically Shiver.

It appears that shiver is listed as 500gp a dose, however in the crimson throne path I believe it was listed at 50pg? Is this a type error or is it actual supposed to be a high end drug? Almost all of the rest run 15-50gp per dose.

If this is a type error it would also call into question the 500gp cost on the Elven Absinthe...but that sounds like it should be expensive!

Any official word on this?

Thank you.

Liberty's Edge

Worth the 10 bucks I paid for it, not a penny more. The only truly useful info was the community information (should've been in the core book) and the NPC write ups. The rest of the book is just an update of 3.5 material most of which is not rules specific anyway (player types, how to prepare for a game, handling problems during a game, etc.). So while I enjoyed reading the book (with some new art actually) it just isn't worth 40 dollars, maybe $27 from amazon, but even that is pushing it.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You might want to consider that this book is supposed to be useful for both veteran GMs with three bookshelves of 3.5 material and new Pathfinder GMs who don't have such experience nor library. It's hard to do a good book for both those audiences, and I think that Paizo pulled it out perfectly.

A veteran will likely find some of the GMG material "old story", while a newbie will never use some of the advice on more advanced world building topics, but this book is useful for both.

Also, random tables. You can't have enough of these.


Worth every penny I paid for it. (At full price)


Can never have too many tables..but they missed the table to roll on to tell you which table to roll on..only kidding guys.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Hammerblade wrote:

I have been going over my PDF copy and have a question that I have not found answered so far in the discussion. This actually has to do with the drugs in chapter 8 and specifically Shiver.

It appears that shiver is listed as 500gp a dose, however in the crimson throne path I believe it was listed at 50pg? Is this a type error or is it actual supposed to be a high end drug? Almost all of the rest run 15-50gp per dose.

If this is a type error it would also call into question the 500gp cost on the Elven Absinthe...but that sounds like it should be expensive!

Any official word on this?

Thank you.

Shiver should indeed be only 50 gp a dose.


Excellent, thank you!

Love the book. Unlike 3.5 which contained the magic item rules, I do not see it being a constant source of reference during a game session; however between game sessions and in preparation for a new campaign I can see it as a great boon.

Thanks again!

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

AnthonyRoberson wrote:
As a side note, can someone from Paizo get Amazon to update their picture of the Gamemastery Guide from the placeholder image? Just saying...

Working on it, for the third time. Getting covers switched on Amazon is more difficult than re-doing 3.5 sometimes.

Ugh.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Just to weigh in.

I was not very hot on this book from the time it was announced. Kind of felt it would be a throwaway book for me due to my subscription.

I love it and am very happy with it. There are things I wish I had years ago and are not as relevent for me after 30 years of playing but I will find this very useful and love the charts and the NPCs and the new rules, etc.

Thank you Paizo for being the best in the industry.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Looking at some of the reviews I have an impression that some folks didn't bother to read the description of the book and bought it under the impression that it's gonna be "the perfect book for me and me only" ... Read the blurbs at the back guys, GMG was not meant to be a rulebook, nor it wasn't meant to be a pure advice book for beginners, nor it wasn't meant to be a book for advanced readers only. It wasn meant to be all this at once.

Dark Archive

Gorbacz wrote:
Looking at some of the reviews I have an impression that some folks didn't bother to read the description of the book and bought it under the impression that it's gonna be "the perfect book for me and me only" ... Read the blurbs at the back guys, GMG was not meant to be a rulebook, nor it wasn't meant to be a pure advice book for beginners, nor it wasn't meant to be a book for advanced readers only. It wasn meant to be all this at once.

A few people also seem to think this is PFRPGs DMG....

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Looking at some of the reviews I have an impression that some folks didn't bother to read the description of the book and bought it under the impression that it's gonna be "the perfect book for me and me only" ... Read the blurbs at the back guys, GMG was not meant to be a rulebook, nor it wasn't meant to be a pure advice book for beginners, nor it wasn't meant to be a book for advanced readers only. It wasn meant to be all this at once.

Aye. It's pretty clear to me that what's in the product description is what's in the book. No more, no less. It seems to me that some of the reviewers haven't actually read the blurb on the product page.

Sovereign Court

Erik Mona wrote:

Rest assured that not even Paizo's vaunted editorial pit knew all of the words on that page. They were contributed by a Briton, so take that for what it's worth (a few shillings, at least).

And yes, I did force the editors to look up any words they didn't know, thank you. :)

Only a Brit could be that mean. I thought I knew lots of words! Now I am humbled. :(

Sovereign Court

James Jacobs wrote:
Ravenmantle wrote:
Just one sample haunt (bleeding walls) and the rules to create your own haunts. No new traps.

Yeah... I had a few more sample haunts in there but the format of that chapter kept us from being able to do more than one sample haunt.

Of course, that just tempts me to do a big book of haunts and traps and hazards...

I'd buy that ;)

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