Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Pathfinder Society Field Guide (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Pathfinder Society Field Guide (PFRPG)
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The Pathfinder Society is an eccentric organization of adventurers, explorers, and scholars with agents spread across Golarion and beyond. While members are expected to be fairly self-sufficient, the organization’s leadership knows that those equipped with the knowledge and gear to face the challenges of the job are most likely to survive to bring back priceless treasures and to fill the Pathfinder Chronicles with tales of their daring exploits. The Pathfinder Society Field Guide breaks down what it means to be a Pathfinder and gives players and GMs tools to build characters and campaigns around the illustrious organization. In addition, all content within this book is 100% legal for use in the world-spanning Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign.

    Within this 64-page book, Pathfinders will find:
  • An overview of Absalom, City at the Center of the World, where the Pathfinder Society keeps its headquarters
  • Details on 10 factions within the Pathfinder Society, and the benefits available to those agents loyal to each
  • New archetypes for Pathfinders of all three branches of the organization: the Scrolls, the Spells, and the Swords
  • A complete field guide covering threats to Pathfinder agents, as well as suggestions on building PCs prepared to face them
  • Rules for day jobs and professions, property, followers, and other ways to customize your character
  • A system for turning characters’ fame and prestige into valuable in-game rewards
  • Dozens of new spells, magic items, specialized adventuring tools, and more!

The Pathfinder Society Field Guide is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be used in any fantasy game setting.

by Erik Mona, Mark Moreland, Russ Taylor, and Larry Wilhelm

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-305-7

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

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Very helpful for someone new to PFS

4/5

This is the first book that I purchased from Paizo, on the advice of my local VC. While I can understand that this book would be "old hat" to some veterans of the game, it gave me a quick insight as to what PFS play was all about.

Probably the best part of the book for me was the section on factions, how to play a Pathfinder from that faction and what the possible Prestige awards were. I will definitely be going after a few of these with my characters.

The illustrations were great, as I have seen in several of the products.


Totally Useless

1/5

The only information in this guide that's of any use at all is already in the free Guide to Society Play (e.g., info on prestige points and what they buy, info on the different factions, etc.) I can't think of the last time I've been so disappointed in losing $14.


Needed more focus

3/5

The Pathfinder Society Field Guide is a good introduction to the Pathfinder Society as an organization and certain elements of Organized Play. There is some good information on ranks within the Pathfinder Society and the branches represented within. Unfortunately the book seems to be targeting too many audiences between the Pathfinder Organized Play aspect and the Pathfinder Society as a part of Golarion giving it a disjointed feel. Likely useful to someone brand new to the Pathfinder Society, it is less so for someone who has been reading about Golarion already and considers themselves comfortable with the world and the Society.

See my full review at irontavern.com


A forum post I made that probably belongs here.

4/5

Just bought my hardcopy of the Pathfinder Society Field Guide at Millennium Games in Rochester, NY.

Mostly, this is a good book for:

People playing in PFS
People playing Pathfinders
people playing in Absalom

And the sizable field guide chapter, although an amusing read, is suitable for:

People who don't know what to expect from written adventures and APs.

Since none of the above bullet points describe me, you might think I was disappointed with the purchase. Oh, my, no.

The equipment chapter is good, offering kits which I regard quite highly. A "Campsite Kit" and a "Deluxe Campsite kit" are unfortunate omissions, however, we might yet see them in Ultimate Equipment *nudge nudge*

But oh! The Vanities section. That's why I chose to post in this thread. The vanities section shows me that some really competent, campaign-focused design is continuing, bit by bit, in the various campaign setting products.

These vanities expand on the role of prestige points with organizations, but now they also let own businesses, and acquire followers. I would love to see these kind of rules brought into the core in the next edition. The ability to acquire followers outside the framework of the Leadership feat does much to assuage my (bitter, long-held) issues with that feat as a GM.

The rest of the Vanities are awesome too. I would like to request that the Campaign setting products continue to expand in this direction. Give us rules for acquiring prestige with multiple organizations (already possible I think), continue to "fix" rules like Leadership (PP followers), the craft, perform and profession skills (day jobs), and the complexity of gear management and purchasing.

These things should make their way to the core design, eventually. I could see a general (non-organizational) prestige system replacing a number of problematic aspects of the core rules.

Campaign Setting Line, you are the dark horse of Pathfinder game design, and you don't get nearly the attention you deserve.


Good Overall but a Little Disappointing

4/5

Inside cover: pictures of the 10 faction leaders

Welcome to the Pathfinder Society These two pages give a basic background of Pathfinder Society for Organized play and reprint Day Job and Prestige And Fame rules from the free Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play.

2/5: Most of the information is available free in the Guild to PFSOP.

Absalom Eight pages describe the various quarters of Absalom. The material in this section feels like it’s stuff Paizo couldn’t fit in the Guide to Absalom. The included city map is the same art as in Guide to Absalom recolored and with better labeling.

3/5: Good material but it feels out of place.

Factions Twelve pages describe ten factions within the Pathfinder Society. Included with each faction are several boon that can be purchased with prestige points. These range from titles, to skill bonuses, to equipment. Though some of this material is essentially what's available in the free Guide to PSOP,it is still one of my favorite sections of the book.

4/5: Some repeated information in the free Guide to PFSOP but lots of new good stuff.

Pathfinder Society Archetypes As the name implies, these eight pages detail six archetypes. Scroll Scholar (Cleric or Wizard), Scroll Scoundrel (Rogue), Dimensional Occultist (Witch), Seeker (Oracle or Sorcerer), Grenadier (Alchemist) and Lore Warden (Fighter). My favorite is the Lore Warden which I think is really well thought out. I only wish they would have had more Archetypes for ‘outdoor’ classes (Barbarian, Druid and Ranger).

5/5: Good archetypes.

Field Guide Here we have fourteen pages describing some of the various roles a Pathfinder can take. These include Ambush Specialist, Cultist, Environmental Dangers and Getting Stuck. This section is all fluff, no rules, feats, or traits.

3/5: While not bad, this section didn’t really spark my interest.

Society Resources: Eighteen pages filled with gear, magic items, spells and vanities. This is my favorite section. Adventuring Kits are introduced, “bundles of equipment organized around common adventuring goal” … and include a small discount. Five new Wayfinders. There is no reference to ioun stones use in these Wayfinders as was described in Seeker of Secrets. The last four pages describe Vanities, boons that can be purchased with Prestige Points. You can purchase a business that gives you bonuses to certain skills while in the city where your business is, and providing a bonus to day job rolls. You can join an organization that allows you to use various additional skills to use on day job rolls such as Survival, Sleight of Hand and Intimidate.

5/5: I think most people will find a lot to use from this section.

The last page is an ad for Pathfinder Society Organized Play and the inside back cover is a clean piece of art of the cover.

Overall 22/30 = 4/5 stars. Though some parts feel out of place and material that is free on the web is included, overall I like this book.

-Swiftbrook
Just My Thoughts


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Ok, having taken time to read more of the book in greater depth, I have to say that the Introduction does a poor job of setting the tone. The introduction, as I noted, makes it sound like a book almost entirely for PFS. The content in the various chapters, however, is actually much more usable in home games than the Introduction would make one think.

Grand Lodge

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I have to say, that after (the much maligned) Adventurer's Armory and Seekers of Secrets this one was a major disappointment. Nearly everything in the book can be found in other books. I bought the book, read it, and probably will never open it ever again. Even for brand new players I can't really find any reason for the Field Guide section other than "flavor" and to fill space. The Introduction, Absalom and Factions can be found in other sources and seem to have been copied for the most part. Some flavor was added, sure, but not much. The Archetypes left me wanting. They seem like they would would make good NPCs or cohorts or henchmen... oh wait... :)

The only interesting part of the book was Resources and even then a lot of that was less than inspiring.

And this is coming from a guy that likes lots of fluff and less crunch! The fluff (and there was a LOT of fluff) just seemed either uninspired or copied from other sources. Between Adventurer's Armory, Seekers of Secrets, the free Guide to Society Play, and Guide to Absalom or even Inner Sea World Guide, you have most of what is presented in this book.

I understand that Seeker of Secrets and Adventurer's Armory may be out of print, but honestly I'd rather Paizo had reprinted either one of them rather than having me waste my money on a rehash of information I already have.

At the last PFS meeting I made sure to tell the more than 25 players that this book was part of the Core Assumption and for everyone to get it. I regret that now. Next time I will read the book before I suggest players get it. Lesson learned.


Krome,

Yes, Seekers is basically out of print and it is also no longer a part of the Core Assumption for PFS play, having been replaced by this book. So telling your players that they need this book for PFS play was correct. Oh, and Adventurer's Armory is still available and just had it's second printing put out.

Grand Lodge

Enevhar Aldarion wrote:

Krome,

Yes, Seekers is basically out of print and it is also no longer a part of the Core Assumption for PFS play, having been replaced by this book. So telling your players that they need this book for PFS play was correct. Oh, and Adventurer's Armory is still available and just had it's second printing put out.

Yes, my point is they should have reprinted Seekers rather than printing this one.

While it is correct that the book is part of the Core Assumption, I can find very nearly no use for it. I would say that 99.99% of all Society players would be fine never even browsing it. Honestly I feel that the only reason it is Core is that is the only way to get anyone to buy it.

I suppose its real target audience is for games not actually a part of the Pathfinder Society. GMs wanting to use the society in their games and unaware of the free Guide MIGHT find something useful in it. But actual Society players... I just can't see anyone finding any use at all in this book.

Seekers of Secrets was a much better book. At least the fluff was more informative.

And just because it is Core does not mean it is a book actually worth having. I do regret that I told so many to get it. First Paizo book I have regretted. (Considering how many they have made, not bad!)

Liberty's Edge

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

Ok really Confused...

There is a Weapon Special Ability in the Field Guide with he same name as one in the Advanced Players Guide, Dueling.

They are totally different and cost differently.

Please tell me this was just a Mistake in the naming of it and not a replacement of the Dueling Weapon ability from the APG...


Useful book but one of the illustrations gets me a little anxy. I saw a pachycephalosaurus charging illustration but to my knowledge that particular dinosaur is not in any bestiary currently available that I know of. Am I mistaken or did we get a teaser for something that is coming further down the line? If I am please direct me to where I can find PFRPG stats for a bonehead please.


It could just be that the artist took liberties with his or her commission and Paizo got the art too late to have it fixed or replaced by another piece. They have admitted that this has happened before.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

FenrysStar wrote:
Useful book but one of the illustrations gets me a little anxy. I saw a pachycephalosaurus charging illustration but to my knowledge that particular dinosaur is not in any bestiary currently available that I know of. Am I mistaken or did we get a teaser for something that is coming further down the line? If I am please direct me to where I can find PFRPG stats for a bonehead please.

Well...

We DO have Bestiary 3 coming soon down the line. Just sayin'.


Mark Moreland wrote:
hogarth wrote:
Ah, that makes sense. Do you plan to go back through the Season 1 & 2 scenarios and insert the non-reprinted material from Seekers of Secrets now that it's not going to be "core"?
I honestly can't think of any instances when mechanics from Seekers of Secrets were ever used in a scenario during the entire time it was part of the Core Assumption, so I don't think that would be necessary. But if something was used, I'd certainly take a look and see if it was a lynchpin in running the scenario smoothly, and if it was, would consider revising the pdf to make it a viable adventure, when time allowed.

I believe that a magic item from Seekers of the Secrets appears in Heresy of Man Part 1.

Then, while I can't recall where it might be, I almost want to say that there was a scenario that used one of the more expensive wayfinders, but I can't recall the name or if I'm just imagining it.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Blazej wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
hogarth wrote:
Ah, that makes sense. Do you plan to go back through the Season 1 & 2 scenarios and insert the non-reprinted material from Seekers of Secrets now that it's not going to be "core"?
I honestly can't think of any instances when mechanics from Seekers of Secrets were ever used in a scenario during the entire time it was part of the Core Assumption, so I don't think that would be necessary. But if something was used, I'd certainly take a look and see if it was a lynchpin in running the scenario smoothly, and if it was, would consider revising the pdf to make it a viable adventure, when time allowed.

I believe that a magic item from Seekers of the Secrets appears in Heresy of Man Part 1.

Then, while I can't recall where it might be, I almost want to say that there was a scenario that used one of the more expensive wayfinders, but I can't recall the name or if I'm just imagining it.

Yep, In Heresy of Manpt.1 or 2 you get access to an Ebon Wayfinder.

Sovereign Court

Krome wrote:
I suppose its real target audience is for games not actually a part of the Pathfinder Society. GMs wanting to use the society in their games and unaware of the free Guide MIGHT find something useful in it. But actual Society players... I just can't see anyone finding any use at all in this book.

I can safely say that this book is going to get a lot of use from me and my wife.

The Sword Archetypes are excellent. Poison use in PFS is far too expensive and fussy to be viable, and so the Grenadier helps trim the fat from the Alchemist class by getting rid of the poison abilities and instead boosting the bomb performance. To me that pretty much sums up what an archetype is supposed to be about.

The Lore Warden likewise is finally delivering on an intelligent fighter build. Once again, it tosses out the unnecessary armor training abilities and replaces them with great class features that help bring out a lightly armored and agile warrior. I'm finally excited to play an Int based fighter.

In terms of flavor, finally there is a product that is really meshing fluff with stuff! For myself the best rule elements are when flavor and mechanics blend together. You get the context from the flavor, and the sense of simulation from the mechanics. Between the Factions section and the Resources section it's crammed with all sorts of perks that flesh out how you stand in your factions and the society, and give some room within adventures to strut your stuff with things like ships, servants, and even being resurrected in the service of a god-king.

PFS is far too constrained of a gaming environment to be able to aimlessly dwell in non-mechanical flavor. You've got a slot of time and need to cram through the scenario with wildly divergent player styles and tastes. The way these rules were written really helps to individualize your character to the other players, without needing to have lengthy digressions that a game slot can't afford.

My only real complaint with the book is that the perks of "being a Pathfinder" were largely subsumed into the faction layer of the campaign. I'd hoped to see a strong faction layer, along with a strong Pathfinder layer. Instead it's pick an external faction to be deeply tied to, or be a hard core pathfinder within one of its fractured sub-groups.

Sovereign Court

One question I had was with the Lore Warden on page 31.

Under the Expertise class ability, it says that it replaces "Bravery 1."

Now that "1" is unique in terms of Fighter archetypes. Every other Fighter archetype I've looked at has a new class ability replacing Bravery as a whole, rather than just the first instance of it.

So I was wondering if "Bravery 1" was intentional, or if that is just a mistake?

If it is intentional, then I assume Bravery just begins at level 6 and then progresses as normal through the levels.


James Jacobs wrote:
FenrysStar wrote:
Useful book but one of the illustrations gets me a little anxy. I saw a pachycephalosaurus charging illustration but to my knowledge that particular dinosaur is not in any bestiary currently available that I know of. Am I mistaken or did we get a teaser for something that is coming further down the line? If I am please direct me to where I can find PFRPG stats for a bonehead please.

Well...

We DO have Bestiary 3 coming soon down the line. Just sayin'.

I think I found an Easter egg. Or at least I hope so. In my own stories I often use dome-skulls as beasts of burdens in my furry worlds that I am writing about. Having this same dinosaur for my Pathfinder campaigns would be much appreciated.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Dragnmoon wrote:

Ok really Confused...

There is a Weapon Special Ability in the Field Guide with he same name as one in the Advanced Players Guide, Dueling.

They are totally different and cost differently.

Please tell me this was just a Mistake in the naming of it and not a replacement of the Dueling Weapon ability from the APG...

I usually don't bump things, but this has gotten me really worried....

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dragnmoon wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:

Ok really Confused...

There is a Weapon Special Ability in the Field Guide with he same name as one in the Advanced Players Guide, Dueling.

They are totally different and cost differently.

Please tell me this was just a Mistake in the naming of it and not a replacement of the Dueling Weapon ability from the APG...

I usually don't bump things, but this has gotten me really worried....

I've actually been waiting for an error like this to happen, but I thought it'd happen to a Feat first.

It is indeed an error, though—as we produce more and more rules, that increases the amount of rules that our authors and we ourselves have to keep ahead of, and I've been worried that we'll soon reach a point where we might start repeating ourselves. If this has only happened this once with the dueling weapon property, though... that's somewhat mollifying to me—since it hasn't happened, it sounds like, MORE than once.

In any case, the dueling quality from the APG should not be changed—as it's in a hardcover, it's out there in more hands than the Field Society will ever be in, and thus if anything changes, it should be the thing that appears in the less widespread book.

So! The dueling weapon quality in the Pathfinder Society Field Guide should probably be renamed. I would suggest swashbuckling as the replacement weapon quality name for that one.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

James Jacobs wrote:
I've actually been waiting for an error like this to happen, but I thought it'd happen to a Feat first.

Not exactly the same thing but very close. There is "Extra Bane" in Ultimate Combat and "Extended Bane" in Ultimate Magic which do nearly the exact same thing.

I'll admit to being the guilty party there *cringe*, but I didn't have access to Ultimate Magic when I penned it.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dennis Baker wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
I've actually been waiting for an error like this to happen, but I thought it'd happen to a Feat first.

Not exactly the same thing but very close. There is "Extra Bane" in Ultimate Combat and "Extended Bane" in Ultimate Magic which do nearly the exact same thing.

I'll admit to being the guilty party there *cringe*, but I didn't have access to Ultimate Magic when I penned it.

That, I'm less worried about. Even if they do similar things and have similar names.... and even if one is better than the other. The fact that they have slightly different names means that we don't cause confusion when we talk about one or the other.


James Jacobs wrote:
If this has only happened this once with the dueling weapon property, though... that's somewhat mollifying to me—since it hasn't happened, it sounds like, MORE than once.

There's no shortage of examples of name space collisions:

  • Weapon Training (rogue talent, fighter class feature; this was pointed out in Jan 2009!
  • Hard to Fool (rogue talent, advanced rogue talent)
  • Improved Natural Armor (feat, eidolon evolution)
  • ...and of course a zillion other one-word abilities/spells/whatever like Poison, Resistance, Web, Mount, etc.

An easy way to spot some is to look at the APG class descriptions in the PRD; a script was used to automatically create hyperlinks, and you can see many places where it got confused with other abilities of the same name.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

FenrysStar wrote:
... please direct me to where I can find PFRPG stats for a bonehead please.

Hey!

:-)


James Jacobs wrote:

I've actually been waiting for an error like this to happen, but I thought it'd happen to a Feat first.

It is indeed an error, though—as we produce more and more rules, that increases the amount of rules that our authors and we ourselves have to keep ahead of, and I've been worried that we'll soon reach a point where we might start repeating ourselves. If this has only happened this once with the dueling weapon property, though... that's somewhat mollifying to me—since it hasn't happened, it sounds like, MORE than once.

In any case, the dueling quality from the APG should not be changed—as it's in a hardcover, it's out there in more hands than the Field Society will ever be in, and thus if anything changes, it should be the thing that appears in the less widespread book.

So! The dueling weapon quality in the Pathfinder Society Field Guide should probably be renamed. I would suggest swashbuckling as the replacement weapon quality name for that one.

And as you point out, as the volume of rules stacks up with no end in sight, this sort of thing is just going to become more common.

Sorry to jump on you here, James, but as someone in the anti-bloat camp, this is exactly what I was afraid of (and was repeatedly told wasn't a problem).

James Jacobs wrote:


That, I'm less worried about. Even if they do similar things and have similar names.... and even if one is better than the other. The fact that they have slightly different names means that we don't cause confusion when we talk about one or the other.

While I agree this is less bad, it is still a proliferation of rules for absolutely no purpose whatsoever, especially if one is just better than the other. To say nothing of the confusion the name space pollution is likely to cause.

Please, slow down on the crunch.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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If occasional name collisions are the biggest problem we have to worry about then I think rules bloat isn't an issue :D

Dark Archive

There are also two archetypes called Dawnflower Dervish, one from Inner Sea Primer and one from Inner Sea Magic.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Jadeite wrote:
There are also two archetypes called Dawnflower Dervish, one from Inner Sea Primer and one from Inner Sea Magic.

I believe that is actually deliberate. They are for different classes to pursue a similar path.

The Exchange

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
That, I'm less worried about. Even if they do similar things and have similar names.... and even if one is better than the other. The fact that they have slightly different names means that we don't cause confusion when we talk about one or the other.

Just to put my 2cp on it...

I saw those two feats and went "Cool! There's one for a high wisdom, more caster type inquisitor and one for a less wisdom melee based inquisitor." I actually don't see one as "better" than another one, as some inquisitors may never have a chance in hell of getting to 16 wisdom.


Dennis Baker wrote:
If occasional name collisions are the biggest problem we have to worry about then I think rules bloat isn't an issue :D

Alas, they are far from the biggest problem, but I'll leave that horse at rest.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Hmm, a bit frustrating, on page 48 there is a list of Alchemical and Clockwork items but there is no Craft DC to craft the alchemical items. Should we just assume DC 25?

Sovereign Court

Dennis Baker wrote:
Jadeite wrote:
There are also two archetypes called Dawnflower Dervish, one from Inner Sea Primer and one from Inner Sea Magic.
I believe that is actually deliberate. They are for different classes to pursue a similar path.

Fine line I suppose:

Dawnflower Dervish (Bard)
Dawnflower Dervish (Fighter)

Could definitely have tweaked one of the names.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Dennis Baker wrote:
Hmm, a bit frustrating, on page 48 there is a list of Alchemical and Clockwork items but there is no Craft DC to craft the alchemical items. Should we just assume DC 25?

For air crystals and ghost salt weapon blanch, yes, it's a DC 25 Craft (alchemy) check to create them.

For the clockwork items, those would require Craft (clockwork) to create (and yes, I'm aware that's a weird craft skill, but it's the right one). The normal version would be DC 20 (complex/superior item), while the super fancy one would be DC 25 (since it's a super fancy version of a complex item).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
GeraintElberion wrote:
Dennis Baker wrote:
Jadeite wrote:
There are also two archetypes called Dawnflower Dervish, one from Inner Sea Primer and one from Inner Sea Magic.
I believe that is actually deliberate. They are for different classes to pursue a similar path.

Fine line I suppose:

Dawnflower Dervish (Bard)
Dawnflower Dervish (Fighter)

Could definitely have tweaked one of the names.

Could have... but I'd rather not. This is a case where reusing the same names is actually a good thing in my book, and in this case it was absolutely deliberate.

I'm actually fine with archetypes that essentially have the same basic flavor but apply to different classes having the same name. I like the precedent that sets a LOT more than the precedent that if you're a pirate, you have to be a rogue.

Now, if the two dawnflower dervishes were different archetypes mechanically but were both for the same class... THAT would be an error. They're not though, so I'm fine with that.

(Frankly, this is the reason I actually prefer prestige classes over archetypes, because when you create a prestige class, it's a LOT easier to customize it for multiple classes at once without hedging out class options that make a lot of sense—I could, for example, also see bards, monks, fighters, and rangers wanting to become swashbukclers, not just rogues).


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
I'm actually fine with archetypes that essentially have the same basic flavor but apply to different classes having the same name. I like the precedent that sets a LOT more than the precedent that if you're a pirate, you have to be a rogue.

I look forward to more pirate archetypes in Skull and Shackles and supporting material. ;)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:


(Frankly, this is the reason I actually prefer prestige classes over archetypes, because when you create a prestige class, it's a LOT easier to customize it for multiple classes at once without hedging out class options that make a lot of sense—I could, for example, also see bards, monks, fighters, and rangers wanting to become swashbukclers, not just rogues).

Except that a PrC that tries to be something for everyone ends up as nothing for nobody.

Great example: Shackles Pirate!

PrCs work only if they synergize with the base class in any manner, and a "generic" PrC supposed to fit Fighter, Monk, Bard and Ranger will end up always an inferior choice to going straight class.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Gorbacz wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


(Frankly, this is the reason I actually prefer prestige classes over archetypes, because when you create a prestige class, it's a LOT easier to customize it for multiple classes at once without hedging out class options that make a lot of sense—I could, for example, also see bards, monks, fighters, and rangers wanting to become swashbukclers, not just rogues).

Except that a PrC that tries to be something for everyone ends up as nothing for nobody.

Great example: Shackles Pirate!

PrCs work only if they synergize with the base class in any manner, and a "generic" PrC supposed to fit Fighter, Monk, Bard and Ranger will end up always an inferior choice to going straight class.

The shackles pirate will be revised in the future—its problem wasn't that it was trying to be something for everyone, but that it only really worked in one small part of the campaign setting and even then only for a type of play that is rare to begin with.

The harrower is a good example of a prestige class that's usable by a wide range of characters without being generic.

Dark Archive

The Grenadier archetype for the Alchemist is hawt. I wasn't a huge fan of using poisons anyway, due to the high cost and time to take effect, so losing some poison use abilities was kind of a non-event, for me.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


(Frankly, this is the reason I actually prefer prestige classes over archetypes, because when you create a prestige class, it's a LOT easier to customize it for multiple classes at once without hedging out class options that make a lot of sense—I could, for example, also see bards, monks, fighters, and rangers wanting to become swashbukclers, not just rogues).

Except that a PrC that tries to be something for everyone ends up as nothing for nobody.

Great example: Shackles Pirate!

PrCs work only if they synergize with the base class in any manner, and a "generic" PrC supposed to fit Fighter, Monk, Bard and Ranger will end up always an inferior choice to going straight class.

The shackles pirate will be revised in the future—its problem wasn't that it was trying to be something for everyone, but that it only really worked in one small part of the campaign setting and even then only for a type of play that is rare to begin with.

The harrower is a good example of a prestige class that's usable by a wide range of characters without being generic.

Yeah, because Harrower is a caster prestige class. Those are rather easy - as long as they don't sacrifice more than 1-2 caster levels, they're worth looking at. You don't lose that much out of base classes, because domains/schools/bloodlines are all icing on the full-caster progression cake.

Other classes however, are a problem. A Rogue will want to keep his sneak attack going up. A Barbarian will want his rage rounds going up. A Ranger will want his companion and favoured terrain/enemy going up.
A Monk will want his flurry of blows going up. A Bard will want his performance rounds going up and so on and so on.

In the end you face the same problem - the PrC is either narrow enough to fit one class, or it fits no classes. You might pull a multiclass PrC out (EK, Battle Herald, MT) but it's hard to do so (why do we have Magi and Witches? Because EK and MT were awkward).

I prefer to have Pirate (Rogue), Pirate (Fighter) and Pirate (Bard) archetypes instead of having some "meh" catch-it-all PrC that nobody will bother to take, because going straight class and wearing the right hat and an eyepatch will be a better solution for everyone concerned.

Dark Archive

Gorbacz wrote:

Yeah, because Harrower is a caster prestige class. Those are rather easy - as long as they don't sacrifice more than 1-2 caster levels, they're worth looking at. You don't lose that much out of base classes, because domains/schools/bloodlines are all icing on the full-caster progression cake.

Other classes however, are a problem. A Rogue will want to keep his sneak attack going up. A Barbarian will want his rage rounds going up. A Ranger will want his companion and favoured terrain/enemy going up.
A Monk will want his flurry of blows going up. A Bard will want his performance rounds going up and so on and so on.

IMO, the best 'fix' for this sort of thing is to have all PrCs savagely cut down to 1 to 3 levels. Any level which is 'advances spellcasting ability' or '+1d6 sneak attack' or 'bonus fighter feat' is absolutely pointless, and you should have been taking a wizard, rogue or fighter level, instead.

Trying to stretch them out to 10 levels creates anywhere from three to seven levels that seem to be 'same as the class you should have been taking' instead of providing something unique or thematically appropriate, or, in some cases, random filler stuff that seems to have been tacked on merely to justify the PrC being 5, 7 or 10 levels long.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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I would love to see more short/ fast prestige classes. The harrower is a fun PrC but seems to me could have served it's purpose as a 3-5 level class.


On p. 31, Hair's Breadth (Ex) wrote:
At 11th level, a lore warden can attempt an Acrobatics check as an immediate action to negate a confirmation role for a critical hit.

I'd make that homonym a confirmation "roll" for a crit.

Also, I like what Set said about tightening up PrCs. We're there for what's different, not what's the same. If you're padding it out on purpose due to a new class ability that's too powerful and/or cool to get quickly, then maybe it should be in an archetype replacing something equally awesome.

At the same time, I don't know enough about game design to say what to do when you have a concept that works for multiple classes, yet the mechanics would be too powerful if all the new things were crammed together. A decompressed PrC? A compressed PrC plus several archetypes? Just a slew of archetypes? Good luck.

Sovereign Court

Some mistakes I found with the Adventuring Kits:

The Dungeoneering Kite and Deluxe Dungeoneering Kits are both listed as 1 lb. too heavy.

The Spelunking Kit is listed as costing 174gp. When you add up the actual cost all of the items only come out to 117.7gp. It likewise is 1 lb. too heavy in it's weight listing.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Thanks for pointing those out, Mok. We'll keep those notes handy in case we reprint or update this book.

Liberty's Edge

Mok wrote:

One question I had was with the Lore Warden on page 31.

Under the Expertise class ability, it says that it replaces "Bravery 1."

Now that "1" is unique in terms of Fighter archetypes. Every other Fighter archetype I've looked at has a new class ability replacing Bravery as a whole, rather than just the first instance of it.

So I was wondering if "Bravery 1" was intentional, or if that is just a mistake?

If it is intentional, then I assume Bravery just begins at level 6 and then progresses as normal through the levels.

Doesn't look like this was ever answered, so just bumping this question.

Do Fighter (Lore Wardens) get the Bravery ability starting at level 6, as it would seem to be implied?


I waas actually a little disappointed in the disparity in the Prestige Awards for the various Factions. Some (like Lantern Lodge, Quadira, and Grand Lodge) have Prestige Awards that are useful in multiple scenarios and can be useful for just about anyone. (Use your Fame and PP to gain an exotic weapon proficiency, gain Appraise as a Class Skill, and use Knowledge Skills Untrained, respectively).

Others (like th Shadow Lodge) only have very situational Awards that will rarely come up in the game. (Bonus to detect peple pretending to be other memebrs of the Shadow Lodge?)

It would have been nice to see some better parity among the Factions. Not that the only reason to join a faction is the cool mechanics, but the imbalance between them is pretty obvious.

Liberty's Edge

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

I just noticed something...

Alchemists Extracts cannot be made from spells that have focus requirements, Aram Zey’s Focus is a spell that uses a Focus but is listed as an Alchemist spell.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dragnmoon wrote:

I just noticed something...

Alchemists Extracts cannot be made from spells that have focus requirements, Aram Zey’s Focus is a spell that uses a Focus but is listed as an Alchemist spell.

It's also a spell for other classes. When an alchemist prepares it as an extract, he ignores the focus component, just as a wizard preparing a spell shared with a cleric ignores the divine focus component.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
It's also a spell for other classes. When an alchemist prepares it as an extract, he ignores the focus component, just as a wizard preparing a spell shared with a cleric ignores the divine focus component.

Thanks James, I will run it like that for now on, but so you know that is not what it says in the APG.

APG Pg 27 wrote:
Extracts cannot be made from spells that have focus requirements (alchemist extracts that duplicate divine spells never have a divine focus requirement).

APG only says they get to ignore divine focus for divine spells, which is different then the spell I mentioned, Which is a Arcane spell with a regular Focus.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dragnmoon wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
It's also a spell for other classes. When an alchemist prepares it as an extract, he ignores the focus component, just as a wizard preparing a spell shared with a cleric ignores the divine focus component.

Thanks James, I will run it like that for now on, but so you know that is not what it says in the APG.

APG Pg 27 wrote:
Extracts cannot be made from spells that have focus requirements (alchemist extracts that duplicate divine spells never have a divine focus requirement).
APG only says they get to ignore divine focus for divine spells, which is different then the spell I mentioned, Which is a Arcane spell with a regular Focus.

Grr.


Last week's newsletter said this is in limited supply. Does that mean it's out of print and being replaced in the PSOP core assumption?

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

We still have copies in stock, so it's not being replaced on the core assumption anytime soon. When it eventually runs out, we'll have to make a decision about what to do with it, but there are a lot of factors that go into deciding what's core assumption and what we reprint, so I don't have an answer at this time. If we do switch the core assumption, we'd do so at the start of a season, and if we run out before then, the PDF will remain available until such time as a reprint arrived or the book was taken off the core assumption.

Silver Crusade

I am looking into expanding my cleric (Elaina Eargold-lvl4) but with just the Core book at this time, I'm not sure what products would be crucial especially with the rules: gotta own the book to own the gear.

Is the field guide still a good idea for a PFS character 1 of3


Is this thing still being used? I've heard it was up for replacement, and it's pretty much impossible to find a print copy of it. If not, is there another book I should pick up?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This book is still legal in PFS. It no longer the first point of reference for information about the in-game Pathfinder Society, but the information is still mostly accurate and all the crunch is still legal in PFS. (And some of it is really good - Lore Warden fighters, Seeker oracles/sorceres, and dweomer essence being 3 highlights)

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