Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: GameMastery Guide (OGL)

4.30/5 (based on 44 ratings)
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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Errata
Last Updated - 1/22/2014

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Rulebook Subscription.

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4.30/5 (based on 44 ratings)

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You Know, I Don't Give These Out Often

5/5

This book is absolutely amazing. If you think you already know the advice in this book, you are probably right, but honestly, its not the words, but the presentation. You'll want to remind yourself why some of this stuff is the sort of thing you should be doing when you run your game.

The NPC, Campaign, and Settlement tracking sheets are amazing, not because they have brand new things you have never thought of on them, but because they are put together in a great format to make you want to use them.

The NPC Gallery alone is worth the price of admission, and I have to say, its much more useful than the old NPC stats in the 3.5 DMG, since these characters are built not to be a generic member of a class at X level, but rather these are characters to fit a theme (pirate, adventuring wizard, tomb raider, etc)

The optional rules, such as insanity, chase rules, and haunts, are great GM resources.

I could go on and on, but honestly, this is just a great collection of tools and advice for any GM. You can't go wrong, and you may want to use things like the Campaign sheet or the NPC sheet no matter what game you are playing.


A Magnificent Work

5/5

Received my copy of this work and wondered prior to opening the covers if this would be another reasonable yet average GM Tool.

Quite the reverse. This is a monumental work and after finishing reading it cover to cover I am very excited by the breadth and diversity of well-thought out ideas for the needy, time pressed Game Master or for the perfectionist GM who wants to further perfect her world. But it contains introductory chapters catering to newer or starting out GMs on how to make a game memorable and how to deal with the needs of demanding players. The text is well-written and concise and sets out each section intelligently and logically with each chapter concentrating on a subject and following through with a wealth of new ideas.

This is a more than just a a list of charts and statistics too, though you are given plenty of both throughout the text. This is a book written by GM's for GM's with chapters devoted to world building, adventure writing and designing, creating memorable NPCs, and lots of extra goodies in particularly an easy to use system for running difficult encounters like the "Chase" scene in game.

The artwork is superlative, and Paizo continues the chapter opening painting idea and snippets from the adventures of Valeros, Merisiel, Seoni and the gang of iconic characters which I think is a really novel way to start each chapter and I hope Paizo continues the tradition.

This is the perfect complementary (I would almost say necessary) text for any GM's library; rules-light, but packed with novel ideas, helpful advice and a host of creative ideas. The NPC gallery at the end will be a lifesaver for any GM who needs a well fleshed out NPC in a pinch.

The GM no longer needs to be an expert meteorologist, geologist, or economist to create a believable world. This book has it covered. I was going to be mean by knocking off a star for the printing quality on the occasional page or the odd typo. But this book is too good to lose points for that.


An excellent tool for the improv-impaired

4/5

I just downloaded the PDF of the Gamemastery Guide about an hour ago, and I'm thrilled. The tables, both random and non-random, are excellent. To me, they feel far more inspired than similar products I have seen in the past. Between the tables and the NPC gallery, I think I may start using this book as an argument against those who insist that d20 demands too much preparation time. My only complaint about the tables is that some of the entries are so narrow or specific that it would be hard to roll those entries twice and not have the exact same scenario, but that isn't true of the majority of the random table entries.

I also find that the advice is well-considered and practical. The basic "dirty tricks" players will use against a GM are already predicted and accounted for. No book I've ever read before suggested things like the best workarounds against mystery-ruining divinations, which, as a younger GM playing 3.5, I struggled with for session after session.

The NPC Gallery is fantastic, covering almost any need for a stock NPC. The only complaint I have, honestly, is that there was no high-level Wizard stat block. I think the characters in that NPC gallery could cover almost anything else I would ever need.

Unquestionably worth the PDF price, and I'm seriously considering the print version.


A GM Guide that offers something for everyone

4/5

It’s perhaps unfortunate, but a guide for gamemasters is usually written for two audiences; the fresh-faced newcomer and the grizzled veteran. As you might expect, these two audiences probably want very different things out of a book designed for GMs. The Gamemastery Guide does try to speak to both audiences. Topics that the new GM might be interested include basic advice on how to run a game, including an example of play (yay!). There is also advice on building encounters, running smooth combats and an interesting series of questions to answer when creating a campaign world. For the veteran, there are a variety of tools and items that can be dropped into a game. These include a plethora of random tables for everything from urban encounters to random magic items. There are also 50+ pages devoted to pre-generated NPCs (yay again!). You will find everything from the CR 1 Guard to the CR 11 Cult Leader.

Physically, the Gamemastery Guide is another example of Paizo’s high production standards. There are dozens of luscious illustrations, including many that depict the pre-generated NPCs. My only gripe is that the font is both small and light. Combining that with somewhat dense paragraphs makes for a tough reading experience for my aging eyes.

Speaking as a veteran GM, the best thing about the Gamemastery Guide for me are the set pieces that I can use to drop into my game. When I need a shopkeeper, I will just flip to page 284. When I need a quick sewer encounter, I will turn to page 213. Likewise, the sections on running chases and quick ship combats are tools that I can really use. Indices that include tables and the pre-generated NPCs are also a welcome addition. I only wish that more of the drop in items like the pre-generated settlements had been included and less of the random tables of weather and the like.

Of course there is a lot more in the book that I haven’t mentioned. Flipping through, you will stumble on everything from a list of words that every GM should know to a list of recommended music. There is enough content that I expect to be happily discovering new surprises for some time to come. And while I don’t think the book is perfect, I applaud Paizo for releasing a GM guide that really does have something to offer almost any gamemaster.


Excellent, as usual

5/5

A well written book, with superlative art and content. The cover alone is, in my humble estimation, worth the price of admission. And what's inside just seals the deal.

I highly recommend this for all GM's - from seasoned veterans to novices. I truly believe any GM can benefit greatly from this wonderful tome.


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Jon Brazer Enterprises

I just got my "happy" (its coming soon) email!!!!!


I have received my "...shipping in the next week or so..." email also.

Does a Happy-Happy-Joy-Joy dance and doesn't break his hip doing it!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Bizarrely, I got my 'in the next week or so' e-mail when I signed up for the subscription back in May. I hope that I get mine at the same time as the rest of you. >_>


Wow. I just now saw that the pdf is going to be 10. If I'm too strapped this summer, I may go pdf. Thanks, Paizo.


lol; Reading the trail of comments makes me feel like I found my perfect support group. I used to have desires of putting money away for retirement, now all I want to do is buy the next awesome product that comes out from Paizo. Whoever is the mastermind behind this stuff, BRAVO!!! The combination of amazing art, cool writing, and great game mechanics has me hooked. This book sounds like a good fit for what I need


Vic Wertz wrote:
vagrant-poet wrote:
BryonD wrote:
And I just got my "in the next week or so..." e-mail.
Huzzah! That means their in the offices or will be soon! Shipping might start monday!
The "unavailable" status was the result of somebody flipping a switch that shouldn't have been flipped. We are indeed preparing to fulfill subscription copies and preorders starting next week.

Next Week? YAHOO!!!! I know I pre-ordered this baby. If this puppy gets to me sometime before June 24 I will be a happy wolfman.

Dark Archive

Vic, I preordered this book at my FLGS, and yesterday they told me that they're having problems with getting copies (they suspected it's already sold out). So, have you guys already sold out the first printing, or is it just delayed?

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Asgetrion wrote:
Vic, I preordered this book at my FLGS, and yesterday they told me that they're having problems with getting copies (they suspected it's already sold out). So, have you guys already sold out the first printing, or is it just delayed?

It probably means the distributor has already committed their entire first order and won't confirm additional orders until they verify that they can get more of the first run from Paizo. (I'm guessing.)

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Well loks like second mortgage time is here! Why must you guys put out SO MUCH great , can't live without it stuff!!

Dark Archive

delabarre wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
Vic, I preordered this book at my FLGS, and yesterday they told me that they're having problems with getting copies (they suspected it's already sold out). So, have you guys already sold out the first printing, or is it just delayed?
It probably means the distributor has already committed their entire first order and won't confirm additional orders until they verify that they can get more of the first run from Paizo. (I'm guessing.)

It's possible; I sure hope they'll get more copies ASAP. If it weren't for the shipping costs plus taxes (and I also want to support my FLGS), I'd order the books directly from Paizo.

Dark Archive

Rocannon II wrote:
Well loks like second mortgage time is here! Why must you guys put out SO MUCH great , can't live without it stuff!!

Mrs. Asgetrion hates Paizo for this very reason...

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Asgetrion wrote:
It's possible; I sure hope they'll get more copies ASAP. If it weren't for the shipping costs plus taxes (and I also want to support my FLGS), I'd order the books directly from Paizo.

Taxes? Paizo doesn't collect sales taxes (and under Quill vs. North Dakota, doesn't have to) except for WA, AFAIK.

Here in Monroe County, NY I'd have to pay $39.99 + 8% = $43.19 at Millennium Games for the GMG, my sub price with S&H is $37.76, and I get the book sooner (I think).

Dark Archive

delabarre wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
It's possible; I sure hope they'll get more copies ASAP. If it weren't for the shipping costs plus taxes (and I also want to support my FLGS), I'd order the books directly from Paizo.

Taxes? Paizo doesn't collect sales taxes (and under Quill vs. North Dakota, doesn't have to) except for WA, AFAIK.

Here in Monroe County, NY I'd have to pay $39.99 + 8% = $43.19 at Millennium Games for the GMG, my sub price with S&H is $37.76, and I get the book sooner (I think).

No, but unless I'm totally wrong, there are EU taxes on imported U.S. material and it is collected by the customs (I live in Northern Europe). The shipping costs are another 12 bucks on top of that, I think.


Carnivorous_Bean wrote:
Sunos wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
Ah well time to sell a kidney.
I hear you can get $90,000 for a testicle. And with roleplaying being almost as expensive a habit as hard drugs, you may just need it.
Dang, $90,000? That's pretty tempting, ya know .... ;) Especially since the operation is a lot less invasive .... hmmm ....

Selling your left nut for your gaming habit just sunds wrong...lol

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Asgetrion wrote:
Vic, I preordered this book at my FLGS, and yesterday they told me that they're having problems with getting copies (they suspected it's already sold out). So, have you guys already sold out the first printing, or is it just delayed?

Neither—it's just not released yet. Our distributors should be getting copies in the next week or so, and retailers a week or so after that. Your retailer should be able to place a preorder with his distributor, though.


Um, anyone know what prestige classes are in this book?

Dark Archive

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

I'm pretty sure there are no prestige classes in this book. Advanced Player's Guide, on the other hand, contains prestige classes and a ton of other game mechanics.


I hope there are not prestige classes in here. Just as I hope that by the time I board an Amrtak train from Philly to Pittsburgh, this book will be available for me to read as a way to pass the time.


PrC is player material, which they left for the APG. So I doubt there's PrC in this book. (though villainous/monstrous PrC would be very nice to have in a GMG, I doubt they have any of those in there)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

There are no prestige classes in this book.

Liberty's Edge

So, any word if its shipping this week?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I got my "in the pipeline" e-mail, so we can safely assume that shipments kick off this week :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

How much does this book weigh in Kg, please?


Julian Neale wrote:
How much does this book weigh in Kg, please?

According to Amazon.ca, it weighs 0.79 kg. Take that number with a grain of salt, of course.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah. Amazon.com says shipping weight is 1.7 Kg (which includes packaging of course!), while amazon.co.uk says nothing... :(


Yeah, I wanna know when this is shipping too. I have anxiety now about certain things and this and the other 2 books coming out will be one less financial headache to endure as I can anticipate when to put money back on my credit card potentially so I won't be stiffed in Pittsburgh when I charge my room for the convention.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Julian Neale wrote:
Yeah. Amazon.com says shipping weight is 1.7 Kg (which includes packaging of course!), while amazon.co.uk says nothing... :(

I don't know how Amazon would have a shipping weight, as they don't actually have any copies yet... maybe they're guessing based on page count.

I have a copy right here, though, and a postal scale tells me it weighs 2 pounds, 8.7 ounces... so a hair over 0.7 kg.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Er, Victor muss be usin Canadian units er sumtin...cuz 1 lb = 454 g, so
dat 2 n a half pounds is about 1.1 kg.

Dis message brought to you by the Scientists fer Righteous Units and Pie.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

OK; thanks Vic and Burni! Good to know!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

burni wrote:

Er, Victor muss be usin Canadian units er sumtin...cuz 1 lb = 454 g, so

dat 2 n a half pounds is about 1.1 kg.

Dis message brought to you by the Scientists fer Righteous Units and Pie.

D'oh! Looks like I converted 1 pound, 8.7 ounces. So yeah... 1.15 kg is better.

(Math is hard. Let's go shopping!)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

*dances upon receiving the shipping notice and acquiring the PDF*

52% downloaded...

Dark Archive

Cydeth wrote:

*dances upon receiving the shipping notice and acquiring the PDF*

52% downloaded...

*GRRRRR*....

Dark Archive

Vic Wertz wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
Vic, I preordered this book at my FLGS, and yesterday they told me that they're having problems with getting copies (they suspected it's already sold out). So, have you guys already sold out the first printing, or is it just delayed?
Neither—it's just not released yet. Our distributors should be getting copies in the next week or so, and retailers a week or so after that. Your retailer should be able to place a preorder with his distributor, though.

Hmmm... they said it's not showing on their lists (and they said it should). Weird. Well, I shall keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best! :)


yay.
Yay!
YAY!
YAYYY!!!

:p

Downloaded!

Liberty's Edge

Dumb Question, can the hardcover now be ordered and it ship like now?

Liberty's Edge

Cydeth wrote:

*dances upon receiving the shipping notice and acquiring the PDF*

52% downloaded...

Oh days left....perhaps today....perhaps Friday but it is coming!!!!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Asgetrion wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
Vic, I preordered this book at my FLGS, and yesterday they told me that they're having problems with getting copies (they suspected it's already sold out). So, have you guys already sold out the first printing, or is it just delayed?
Neither—it's just not released yet. Our distributors should be getting copies in the next week or so, and retailers a week or so after that. Your retailer should be able to place a preorder with his distributor, though.
Hmmm... they said it's not showing on their lists (and they said it should). Weird. Well, I shall keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best! :)

Did they say who their distributor is?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

CapeCodRPGer wrote:
Dumb Question, can the hardcover now be ordered and it ship like now?

It would get in line behind a bunch of subscription orders and preorders, but yes.


First look over: This book is awesome!

I notice that there are no hyperlinks however.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

I HAS IT!!!! Well, the PDF anyways. But OHHHHHHHH!

Dark Archive

Vic Wertz wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
Vic, I preordered this book at my FLGS, and yesterday they told me that they're having problems with getting copies (they suspected it's already sold out). So, have you guys already sold out the first printing, or is it just delayed?
Neither—it's just not released yet. Our distributors should be getting copies in the next week or so, and retailers a week or so after that. Your retailer should be able to place a preorder with his distributor, though.
Hmmm... they said it's not showing on their lists (and they said it should). Weird. Well, I shall keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best! :)
Did they say who their distributor is?

No, they didn't; I'm used to getting my Paizo stuff being 2-4 weeks later than U.S. customers, but this time they said "something is fishy here" (I understood this to mean that the distributor cannot send any copies once the book is out; hence my question about GMG being sold out).

Dark Archive

DMcCoy1693 wrote:
I HAS IT!!!! Well, the PDF anyways. But OHHHHHHHH!

Beware my Fiendish Dire Squirrels... I shall unleash them at any braggarts who torment us less fortunate customers! ;P

Shadow Lodge

Grr!

*spends next few days on the Downloads page pressing Reload*


Have been reading through the book. Verrry Interesting!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

F5,F5,F5,F5,F5,F5,F5,F5,F5...

Liberty's Edge

Vic Wertz wrote:
CapeCodRPGer wrote:
Dumb Question, can the hardcover now be ordered and it ship like now?
It would get in line behind a bunch of subscription orders and preorders, but yes.

So, how long is the line?


Whoo hoo PDF downloaded..but my AP volume for this month hasnt been despatched yet.


Lets create a tavern at random shall we..

The Blind Cliff was once run by a succubus. It specialises in Lapin dishes such as boiled rabbit and hare soup and offers guides and a private room for meetings amongst its facilities

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sharing a boiled rabbit with a succubus in a private room ...


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Will the rule part of this book get added to the PRD?

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