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

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PZO1114


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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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Aaron Bitman wrote:
In the GameMastery Guide, page 264, the pickpocket has a +1 armor bonus and a +3 Dex bonus, which I think should give him a touch AC of 13 and a flat-footed AC of 11. Yet the book says "touch 12, flat-footed 12". Am I missing something?

Never mind. I've just discovered the correction in the errata thread. It also pointed out the business of adding trapfinding to Disable Device.

Digital Products Assistant

1 person marked this as a favorite.

You can now find the worksheets found in this book on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Resources page.


Very cool, thanks! One thing, when I try to click on the Basic Rules Cheat Sheet I get directed to a page that says:
"Sorry
The requested URL was not found on this server, or you do not have permission to access this area. "
Everything else works great.

Digital Products Assistant

This should be fixed now.


It works for me now, thanks.

Liberty's Edge

This got listed as back-ordered. Are we expecting a new printing?


Brutal Ben wrote:
This got listed as back-ordered. Are we expecting a new printing?

I hope so! I ordered one form amazon to replace my first printing, then I realised that it was backordered, so now I'm hopefully getting the third printing ^^

Digital Products Assistant

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The PDF for this product has been updated to include errata from the third printing.

Paizo Employee

PDF doesn't download for me, both single file & lite versions. It goes to "personalizing" but clicking after waiting 10 seconds doesn't download & stays as "personalizing". I was able to download both versions of Ultimate Combat without any problems, plus a few other pdf's.

Webstore Gninja Minion

Elvis Aron Manypockets wrote:
PDF doesn't download for me, both single file & lite versions. It goes to "personalizing" but clicking after waiting 10 seconds doesn't download & stays as "personalizing". I was able to download both versions of Ultimate Combat without any problems, plus a few other pdf's.

Elvis (and anybody else having problems with downloading PDFs), please post your information here.


I've noticed some mistranslation in german on page 54. If the order of the column was supposed to be the English equivalent (The Column above), it's not correct. The English doesn't have the word emperor in it yet you have the word for emperor in Dutch, German, French, and Spanish. I can help you with the correct translation if you are interested in revising this book for future printings.


I just got this, and was reading the sample puzzles. I noticed something, and didn't see anywhere that anyone else had. (Unless my search-fu is bad.)

On the I never lie puzzle, (correct me if I'm wrong) the suggested solution question won't work.

Here's the set-up. Two doors, one leads to danger, one to safety; two guards, one always lies, one always tells the truth.

The question that's suggested is: If I asked you if the door you're guarding leads to safety, would you say yes?

The problem is (and again, correct me if I'm wrong) they'd both reply yes.

Other than this, great book.


Should a settlement's economy modifier from the Gamemastery Guide be applied to the PC's skilled work rolls to generate income using the downtime rules in Ultimate Campaign, assuming that the roll made is craft, perform or profession? Thanks!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Shaun wrote:
Should a settlement's economy modifier from the Gamemastery Guide be applied to the PC's skilled work rolls to generate income using the downtime rules in Ultimate Campaign, assuming that the roll made is craft, perform or profession? Thanks!

Ask in the Rules Questions forum.


Geistlinger wrote:

I just got this, and was reading the sample puzzles. I noticed something, and didn't see anywhere that anyone else had. (Unless my search-fu is bad.)

On the I never lie puzzle, (correct me if I'm wrong) the suggested solution question won't work.

Here's the set-up. Two doors, one leads to danger, one to safety; two guards, one always lies, one always tells the truth.

The question that's suggested is: If I asked you if the door you're guarding leads to safety, would you say yes?

The problem is (and again, correct me if I'm wrong) they'd both reply yes.

Other than this, great book.

I just started reading the guide (second printing November 2010) and came across the same problem with the "I Never Lie" puzzle on page 249. The answer provided in the book doesn't work, i.e. it is not a question that is blatantly true. An example of a question that would work would be to ask, "If I asked which pathway leads to safety, which pathway would the other guard point to?" Regardless of whether the guard lies or tells the truth, they will both show the way to the dangerous pathway.


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

That question is subtly different from the question "Does the door you're guarding lead to safety?" in a way that affects the lying guard's answer. What you are actually doing is asking the guard how he would answer that question. The truth telling guard would answer truthfully -- but the lying guard would lie about his lie, thus effectively telling the truth in regard to the simpler question.

Of course, asking what the other guard would say is a better and more obvious solution.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

I have a question about the Basic Rules Chat Sheet. Actually, it's more of a concern. It's got some bad information in it.

For reference, here's the link: http://paizo.com/download/pathfinder/PZO1114-BasicRulesCheatSheet.zip

One of my players found this and showed it to me. I think it's a wonderful resource, and I want to print them out for every new player. But there's a problem in the wording about "Flanking."

Cheat Sheet wrote:
Flanking: When a character or enemy is in battle with foes directly on opposite sides of him (directly in front and behind for example), he is considered “flanked.” Those who attack a flanked foe gain a +2 bonus on melee attack rolls against that foe.

Unless I've been playing wrong my WHOLE career, the only folks who get the benefit of flanking are those doing the flanking. This is an official Paizo document that says otherwise. I can see a pretty severe rules debate cropping up.

Is it possible to get that fixed?

Thanks!


Old to D&D, but new to Pathfinder. I have the Core Rulebook and Bestiary 1 and, after reading through the PDL, figured out that we are expected to use the Settlement Rules in the Game Mastery Guide to create lairs for some humanoids (Goblins, Hobgoblins) and all demi-humans (dwarves, elves).

Reading over the PDL for Settlements, there are some gaps. Some of these might perhaps be in the book (but not the PDL), but even that would be good info for me to know. (i.e., ultimate would be that all my questions are answered in the book and I just need to buy it).

1. Leaders/NPCs. Those in the Bestiary at least have details on ratio and level of leaders to "grunts"; no such info exists for Dwarves and Elves.

2. Guards. Humanoids have their percentage of warrior-to-noncombatant, but we have no such data for the good races. What percentage of a settlement's population would be expected to be Guard, and what percentage Militia (those who could be called up to fight in an emergency)? How much is this influenced by Settlement characteristics such as Danger?

3. Guard Gear. Again, the humanoids have 'typical' gear in the bestiary, but we lack this for good races. I assume too that guard gear would be influenced by the Economy of the Settlement?

Thanks - Andy

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

These sorts of questions are better posed in the Rules Questions forum.

Media Specialist, SmiteWorks USA (Fantasy Grounds)

Hello, all! So you know, this is now available for purchase from Fantasy Grounds or on Steam. Sync your account first to get it a discount equivalent to the PDF Price ($9.99)

Pathfinder RPG - GameMastery Guide
Publisher: Paizo Inc.
System: Pathfinder RPG and D&D 3.5/ OGL
Type: Accessory
Get it on Steam

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