Pathfinder Player Companion: Dragon Empires Primer (PFRPG)

3.60/5 (based on 10 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: Dragon Empires Primer (PFRPG)
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The distant continent of Tian Xia rests on the opposite side of the world from the Inner Sea region, and it shows. From the treacherous jungles of naga-ruled Nagajor to the sorcerous kingdom of Dtang Ma, and from the trackless and unforgiving deserts of Shaguang to the wondrous city of Goka, countless opportunities can be found for any character or adventure in amazingly expansive Tian Xia. While the extensive Dragon Empires Gazetteer unveils dozens of the mystical continent’s secrets, the Dragon Empires Primer provides information pertinent to creating characters for campaigns set in this vast and diverse region. This volume of Pathfinder Player Companion provides players and Game Masters alike with all of the settingspecific traits and trappings they need to customize and play characters in the Dragon Empires.

    Inside this Pathfinder Player Companion, you’ll find:
  • Overviews of all of Tian Xia’s nations, including important details for players to integrate into their characters’ backstories and new character traits for every region to give characters boons that further tie them to their homelands.
  • Rules for Tian Xia’s five most prominent races: the shapeshifting kitsune, ophidian nagaji, transmigratory samsarans, avian tengus, and shadowy wayangs.
  • Four new archetypes with distinctly Tian flavors, including the lotus geisha (bard), sword saint (samurai), white-haired witch (witch), and yokai hunter (ranger).
  • New feats for combative characters that bolster prowess in martial arts and swordplay.
  • An extensive look at the gods and philosophies of the Dragon Empires, as well as rules for the moon subdomain.
  • A new bloodline for sorcerers tainted with oni blood, and a new school of magic for wizards who wish to harness the power of the mysterious void.
  • New rules mechanics for establishing and maintaining one’s honor in the Dragon Empires.

This Pathfinder Player Companion works best with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game or the 3.5 version of the world’s oldest fantasy roleplaying game, but can be easily incorporated into any fantasy world.

Written by Tim Hitchcock and Colin McComb

Each bimonthly 32-page Pathfinder Companion contains several player-focused articles exploring the volume’s theme as well as short articles with innovative new rules for social, magic, religious, and combat-focused characters, as well as traits to better anchor the player to the campaign.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-386-6

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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A nice entry

4/5

This book is a nice entry to Tian Xia, directed at players.
You find lots of good background information about different regions and deities here.
The races are all great and fun to play.
Archetypes are all very cool in idea and concept, the execution isn´t the best though unfortunately.
The feats are interesting and usefull enough though, just as the magic school and sorcerer bloodline.

The book suffers from the fact that most of the really useful content is printed in other books, from Dragon Empires Gazeteer to the Advanced Race Guide, as well as the archetypes having mechanical problems.
It would be very awesome if some of them receive updates/reprints/errata.
I also feel the sword saint could be a swashbuckler archtype.

The pro of the book is definately the Tian Xia Background info as well as the introduced races.

Should you be a fan of Tian Xia or like it: buy!


3/5

I've reviewed this book over on RPGGeek.com.


Good introduction to a fascinating setting

4/5

Read my full review on my blog.

Dragon Empires Primer presents a broad overview of the setting from a player perspective. As it serves the same basic purpose as the Inner Sea Primer (which provides an overview of the Inner Sea region), it shares the same style of layout and structure as that book, with half-page entries on each of the nations and main regions, along with new races, archetypes and feats, brief descriptions of the setting’s gods, and a system for keeping track of characters’ honour. Each nation’s entry also includes a pair of regional traits for characters from that land. It’s important to point out, however, that people expecting in-depth detail won’t find it here. Half a page is not a lot of space to describe an entire nation with anything more than the broadest strokes. What the book does do is provide an introduction to the setting, one to whet the appetites of players, and it does this very well. It provides just enough information to get players thinking about the types of characters they might like to play in the setting, and sets the stage for later, more in-depth development, provided by either the GM or future supplements.


Some use to players, a waste for DMs

1/5

So......I bought the Dragon Empires Primer PDF after getting the Gazeteer and finding that it left out some info on the Dragon Empires that would be included in the Primer. Like kitsune racial feats, and regional traits. What a waste this turned out to be.

Not only is most of the Primer just condensed or copied descriptions from the Dragon Empires Gazeteer (meaning I basically paid twice for most of the Primer's content), but there's hardly any new or useful info in the Primer for anyone who already has the Dragon Empires Gazeteer. Only 2 regional character traits for each country/region, 3 kitsune racial feats (all based on changing to fox form and back, quickly; nothing for their spell-like abilities or other racial traits), 1 bard archetype (Lotus Geisha), 1 samurai archetype (Sword Saint), 1 ranger archetype (Yokai Hunter), 1 witch archetype (White-Haired Witch), 10 new combat feats (only 1-3 of which are any use to non-monks....and 5 of the new feats are worse than core feats or just fairly pointless), 1 new samurai order (for evil samurai, and nothing new or special about it), 1 new sorcerer bloodline (the Oni Bloodline, which has a standard sorcerer skill as its bloodline class skill), 1 new wizard school (the void elemental school, which is a bit odd and requires both the Advanced Player's Guide and Ultimate Magic since some of its spells are only in those sources), 1 new wizard spell, and 2 pages describing Honor mechanics for the Dragon Empires as an optional rule.

The new material only occupies around 9 pages, and at least 1-2 of those are worthless to DMs. All in all.....the Dragon Empires Primer just isn't worth it for a DM, unless money and value are non-issues to you. Just get the DE Gazeteer PDF, if even that, which is only somewhat more detailed but more useful to DMs.

Players, at least, will get enough out of the Primer to at least make some characters hailing from the Dragon Empires, but only just. The 4 class archetypes are interesting enough and should be capable enough in a Dragon Empires campaign (perhaps the Jade Regent Adventure Path), though the Lotus Geisha and Yokai Hunter and some regional traits are unlikely to be as useful in some other parts of Golarion. The Void Elemental wizard school is neat and Call the Void is a cool spell, but with an error (it says victims can't cast spells with somatic components, when it should say verbal components, since victims can't speak in the airless void), and you'll need the APG and Ultimate Magic if you want to use its other spells. A few of the combat feats are actually useful, like Sleeper Hold, but most are weaker/more-limited than core feats.


Interesting, but has some problems

3/5

The Companion line is supposed to present a player-friendly product to help in creating characters from particular regions/races/religions/whatever. I bought the Dragon Empires Primer (DEP) for this very reason, thinking that it would be just as useful as the Inner Sea Primer (ISP).

Well, the Dragon Empires Primer certainly is similar to the Inner Sea Primer. They both have short-but-interesting half-page summaries for each country in the region covered, and a couple of pages each on archetypes (DEP has lotus geisha bard, sword saint samurai, white-haired witch, and yokai hunter ranger), arcane spellcaster variations (DEP has the oni bloodline and the void elemental wizard school), and major deities and other religions/philosophies.

The DEP has two more pages devoted to races than the ISP (which has only two). That is not surprising, as five new PC-playable races have been introduced along with a multitude of Tian ethnicities. There are also three kitsune racial feats plus a double hand-full of combat-related feats.

Unlike the ISP, the DEP does not have an abbreviated time-line to bring players up to speed on both the broad strokes of history (Earthfall/Age of Darkness, other Ages, etc.) and some of the most recent current events.

Also unlike the ISP, the DEP has two pages devoted to honour in the region, its importance, and how to track it. The system is similar to the Reputation system for the Land of the Linnorm Kings (Campaign Setting sourcebook).

The problems ...

Mistakes in the crunch/rules-heavy part. Examples include the oni bloodline's class skill, a spell name changed between a school spell list and the actual spell write-up (the same spell also has an error), and an error relating to the sword saint archetype's brutal slash class feature.

Lack of one very important player aid when creating a character - deity domains (and sub-domains). Something like that is easily left out of the ISP because those same deities are also in the Core Rules (which presumably a player has access to when creating a character). But what about a player making a character for/from the Dragon Empires?!? Most of those deities' domains are not listed in the Core Rules (exceptions: Abadar, Desna, Irori, Lamashtu, Pharasma, and Shelyn - which leaves 14 others).

Quite honestly, I think that the DEP should have used one page for listing the domains of the deities worshipped in the Dragon Empires, and one page for describing the importance of honour in the region. (While putting this information in the player-friendly sourcebook is probably a good "heads up" for players, the actual rules relating to honour should have been put in the Gazetteer.)

The lack of an abbreviated time-line also irritated me. I'm still not sure which are the 16 Successor States, and I won't know unless I do some careful reading of the 28 individual country write-ups.


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This really has my interest. Dotting the heck out of this for purchasing later.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Matrixryu wrote:

Hmm, pretty much fine with the feats being based on BAB for consistency sake as long as the BAB requirements don't go past +10 ;)

I just hope that none of the new feats will require a caster level, otherwise only a few classes will actually be able to get all of them.

Actually, more classes have caster levels than don't... so in a way, caster levels are LESS restrictive than BAB restrictions.


James Jacobs wrote:
Matrixryu wrote:

Hmm, pretty much fine with the feats being based on BAB for consistency sake as long as the BAB requirements don't go past +10 ;)

I just hope that none of the new feats will require a caster level, otherwise only a few classes will actually be able to get all of them.

Actually, more classes have caster levels than don't... so in a way, caster levels are LESS restrictive than BAB restrictions.

True, I guess I am underestimating the number of caster classes.

The reason I said that was because one Kitsune feat already requires BAB +10. This feat means that only full BAB or 3/4 BAB casters would be able to get all the feats before level 21. Though, I guess there are only three 1/2 BAB classes, so this technicality doesn't exclude that many additional classes XD


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Matrixryu wrote:
I just hope that none of the new feats will require a caster level, otherwise only a few classes will actually be able to get all of them.

Do they need to be able to get all of them? Some feats will be good for casters. Others will be good for fighter types. In theory, they could write 50 new kitsune feats and no character could reasonably get all of them.

Feats are options. Not all options are available to all characters.

Edit: It should be noted, my order is stuck in the snowpocalypse, so I haven't seen this particular PDF yet.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Matrixryu wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Matrixryu wrote:

Hmm, pretty much fine with the feats being based on BAB for consistency sake as long as the BAB requirements don't go past +10 ;)

I just hope that none of the new feats will require a caster level, otherwise only a few classes will actually be able to get all of them.

Actually, more classes have caster levels than don't... so in a way, caster levels are LESS restrictive than BAB restrictions.

True, I guess I am underestimating the number of caster classes.

The reason I said that was because one Kitsune feat already requires BAB +10. This feat means that only full BAB or 3/4 BAB casters would be able to get all the feats before level 21. Though, I guess there are only three 1/2 BAB classes, so this technicality doesn't exclude that many additional classes XD

True... but that feat is really meant to be a combat feat, not a spellcasting feat.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Ævux wrote:
Ah, but that is exactly my point. That is the last time you made racial feats that were designed not to be taken at level 1. All other racial feats you've made since then have been takable at level one, or required a previous feat (thus making them takeable at level 3)

I don't want to derail the conversation, but those drow feats (in 3.5), like Umbral Scion, were intended to provide a route for drow being played as PC to gain really powerful spell-like abilities that were granted to drow in the context of being monsters.

So that you could play drow and say "hey I can cast dispel magic as a spell-like ability just like Bestiary or Monster Manual drow!" or "I have spell resistance too! I have become a noble drow!"

But when you look at a non-racial feat that allows you to cast a 3rd level spell as a spell-like ability, you do see that those non-racial feats do have minimum levels. They have to, for balance purposes. So if a racial feats does something comparable, it should have a comparable prerequisite.

Otherwise, you might have standardize all racial feats to much lower level of what they can grant, in order to make them appropriate for lower level characters.

I don't wish to contradict Developers or pass myself off as an expert in design philosophy, but I do want to point out that the drow can be particularly tricky to treat as a PC race. Especially if you want have a path forward from zero-level, standard, and noble.

EDIT: I'm going to refrain from further drow derailments past this point. So this is just my two cents.


James Jacobs wrote:


True... but that feat is really meant to be a combat feat, not a spellcasting feat.

Yep, I know. I'm just imagining a 'worst case scenario' where there are exactly 8 kitsune feats with a variety of prerequisites and what kind of character would actually be able to get them all if he wanted to become a 'nine tails'. ;)


James Jacobs wrote:
Matrixryu wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Matrixryu wrote:

Hmm, pretty much fine with the feats being based on BAB for consistency sake as long as the BAB requirements don't go past +10 ;)

I just hope that none of the new feats will require a caster level, otherwise only a few classes will actually be able to get all of them.

Actually, more classes have caster levels than don't... so in a way, caster levels are LESS restrictive than BAB restrictions.

True, I guess I am underestimating the number of caster classes.

The reason I said that was because one Kitsune feat already requires BAB +10. This feat means that only full BAB or 3/4 BAB casters would be able to get all the feats before level 21. Though, I guess there are only three 1/2 BAB classes, so this technicality doesn't exclude that many additional classes XD

True... but that feat is really meant to be a combat feat, not a spellcasting feat.

I think the problem is that the idea of earning those nine tails is a very satisfying character goal to most would-be kitsune players; what with all of the folklore that surrounds them and all :).

Since you apparently can't get to nine yet, I'm sure that people are scraping up ways to get to as many tails as possible, regardless of who those feats are designed to service. ^_~


I like the idea of racial feats that you can get at various levels. For example a feat tree for Aasimar that grants various spell-like abilities like 3/day bless and 1/day protection from evil at 3rd, 1/day holy smite, dispel evil at 9th, 1/day holy aura, heal at 17th.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Golden-Esque wrote:

I think the problem is that the idea of earning those nine tails is a very satisfying character goal to most would-be kitsune players; what with all of the folklore that surrounds them and all :).

Since you apparently can't get to nine yet, I'm sure that people are scraping up ways to get to as many tails as possible, regardless of who those feats are designed to service. ^_~

Thats why the third one is okay, but still quite steep. Perhaps a bab of 7 character level of 11. A low bab wouldn't be able to get it until level 15, and they really have no reason to.

But the first two feats? I don't know the exact specifics on it, but I don't see "Turn into a fox" equal being able to hit people with sharp pointy instruments of doom. Same with "turn into a fox faster".

Like I said, this is like designing a feat for diplomacy and for some reason basing it on BAB even though the feat is quite far from doing ANYTHING in combat.

James Jacobs wrote:


True... but that feat is really meant to be a combat feat, not a spellcasting feat.

And the first two feats? How is "turn into a fox" combat related?

Like I said, its fine if they are combat related to apply BAB as a pre-req, but too high ends up getting a little too restrictive. Not many High BAB classes rely on CHA that much in ability. Paladins, Cavalier, Samurai and Mysterious Gunslinger.. But Cav/Sam is very dependent on order. Cav/Sam and Paladin aren't really that much towards to flavor of the race, so many people might end up avoiding those.. (Though the idea of a small fox riding a horse..) The biggest class, Ninja, ends up having to wait till level 15 to get that pounce one.. (While a summoner is pouncing at level 4.)

Course I'm lucky, I ended up deciding to go gunslinger instead of ninja or sorcerer. I would have hated having to wait till level 7, just to be able to turn into a fox.

Jim Groves wrote:


I don't want to derail the conversation, but those drow feats (in 3.5), like Umbral Scion, were intended to provide a route for drow being played as PC to gain really powerful spell-like abilities that were granted to drow in the context of being monsters.

So that you could play drow and say "hey I can cast dispel magic as a spell-like ability just like Bestiary or Monster Manual drow!" or "I have spell resistance too! I have become a noble drow!"

But when you look at a non-racial feat that allows you to cast a 3rd level spell as a spell-like ability, you do see that those non-racial feats do have minimum levels. They have to, for balance purposes. So if a racial feats does something comparable, it should have a comparable prerequisite.

Otherwise, you might have standardize all racial feats to much lower level of what they can grant, in order to make them appropriate for lower level characters.

I don't wish to contradict Developers or pass myself off as an expert in design philosophy, but I do want to point out that the drow can be particularly tricky to treat as a PC race. Especially if you want have a path forward from zero-level, standard, and noble.

EDIT: I'm going to refrain from further drow derailments past this point. So this is just my two cents.

Well that's how I feel at least, that the first 2 kitsune feats should have been treated. The third could have stood to have its BAB requirements reduced a bit so that med characters could actually use it (and requires level 10)

I've searched around for a bit, but I can't seem to find any other racial feats that required BAB/Caster level that well.. weren't geared towards combat or spell casting. (I'm not even sure if ones geared towards combat or spellcasting even existed..)

This seems too much like a car company suddenly designs a motorcycle and puts on four wheels, airbag and seat belt on it. Cause that's what they do when designing cars.


Golden-Esque wrote:

I think the problem is that the idea of earning those nine tails is a very satisfying character goal to most would-be kitsune players; what with all of the folklore that surrounds them and all :).

Since you apparently can't get to nine yet, I'm sure that people are scraping up ways to get to as many tails as possible, regardless of who those feats are designed to service. ^_~

Yea, pretty much this. I'm just lucky that the kitsune character I already had in mind will work well with the current 3 feats, muahaha.

Liberty's Edge

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

You know, I've just realized: the sword saint gives up "mounted charge," which isn't actually an ability that exists from what I can tell - and if it is, as I suspect, supposed to be a reference to the cavalier's charge ability, samurai don't have that either, since they sacrifice it to gain the weapon expertise ability. Since sword saints have no mount, perhaps the brutal slash ability of the sword saint archetype is supposed to replace the mounted archer ability of the samurai? If this is the case, should the sword saint still get brutal slash at 3rd level, or should it be delayed to 4th?


The sword saint sount interesting, I love the idea of not mounted combat Samurai.

So what are all the archtypes in the book and what class is each one for?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

@AeVux

I started a thread here to talk about different feat requirement philosophies, to keep from derailing the product discussion.

@Dragon78

Lotus Geisha = Bard
Sword Saint = Samurai
White Haired Witch = Witch
Yokai Hunter = Ranger


Thanks for the info Mathew.

Other then the Kitsune feats what kind of feats are in the book?

Are there any new traits in the book?

Any racial favorite class bonuses?

Any magical items, spells, mundane items, or new weapons?

The Exchange

New Feats

  • Blinding Flash (Combat)
  • Disorienting Blow (Combat)
  • Enhanced Ki Throw (Combat)
  • Feinting Flurry (Combat)
  • Fox Shape (Kitsune)
  • Hold the Blade (Combat)
  • Improved Feinting Flurry (Combat)
  • Quivering Palm Adept (Combat)
  • Quivering Palm Versatility (Combat)
  • Sleeper Hold (Combat)
  • Stunning Fist Adept (Combat)
  • Swift Kitsune Shapechanger (Kitsune)
  • Vulpine Pounce (Combat, Kitsune)

New Archetypes / Class Options

  • Lotus Geisha (Bard Archetype)
  • Sword Saint (Samurai Archetype)
  • White-Haired Witch (Witch Archetype)
  • Oni (Sorcerer Bloodline)
  • Order of the Black Daimyo (Samurai Order - a copy of Order of the Warrior in all but name)
  • Yokai Hunter (Ranger Archetype)
  • Void Elemental (Arcane School)

New Spells
Call the Void (Spell sorcerer/wizard 3, witch 3)


James Jacobs wrote:
Matrixryu wrote:

Hmm, pretty much fine with the feats being based on BAB for consistency sake as long as the BAB requirements don't go past +10 ;)

I just hope that none of the new feats will require a caster level, otherwise only a few classes will actually be able to get all of them.

Actually, more classes have caster levels than don't... so in a way, caster levels are LESS restrictive than BAB restrictions.

Umm, how exactly is that true. All classes have BAB, not all classes have a CL. What you appear to be implying is that some classes have CL but no BAB while a smaller group of classes have BAB but no CL. What were you intending to say in the quoted text?


Thanks for the info d20pfsrd.com.


Oh no... there is a Blinding Flash feat. My ninja build might be having even more space problems.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Caedwyr wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Matrixryu wrote:

Hmm, pretty much fine with the feats being based on BAB for consistency sake as long as the BAB requirements don't go past +10 ;)

I just hope that none of the new feats will require a caster level, otherwise only a few classes will actually be able to get all of them.

Actually, more classes have caster levels than don't... so in a way, caster levels are LESS restrictive than BAB restrictions.
Umm, how exactly is that true. All classes have BAB, not all classes have a CL. What you appear to be implying is that some classes have CL but no BAB while a smaller group of classes have BAB but no CL. What were you intending to say in the quoted text?

No, what I'm "implying" is that the statement that "only a few classes will be able to get them" is wrong, since in fact a LOT of classes can get them if they have spellcaster requirements.


Ah, okay. I was confused by the part that said CL was less restrictive than BAB restrictions. I guess the degree of restrictiveness depends entirely on how high the CL and BAB requirements are set.

Shadow Lodge

Is there an ETA on the PDF purchase?

Contributor

This PDF will be available for purchase at midnight tonight (Pacific Time).


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Bah, they should totally make it available sooner! Snow can't stop the Internets!


Woot! I'll be staying up til 1 am (Mountain Time) to buy it!


Well, I should at least get the PDF of this while I wait for my subscribed AP to ship. That should hold me over.

I at least know I'll be awake by 3AM Eastern time.


Liz Courts wrote:
This PDF will be available for purchase at midnight tonight (Pacific Time).

Gahhh, it is going to be hard to resist buying the pdf when it becomes available even though I'll get it for free if I simply wait long enough.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Curse you Internets! I wants it.


Yay got PDF. I'm pretty happy with the Sword Saint fitting with my potential samurai concept (it's always been more anime-like than reality). Now just gotta see if my player wants it or not.


Well, I caved in and spent the extra $7 to download the PDF early. There's a lot of really good stuff in here.

I skipped right to the Kitsune stuff of course. Fox Shape is a really really good feat for a stealth character, so that means I'm getting it as soon as possible for my Ninja. I mean, fox form essentially gives you +10 speed, scent, and a +10 bonus to stealth. Good luck finding a Ninja Kitsune who is using that and invisibility at the same time. I'm tempted to stack Skill Focus (stealth) on top of that for additional absurdity.

One thing though...I don't like to rant on the design of Paizo's feats, but I can't help but point out that I don't think anyone would ever use Blinding Flash. Why would you want to spend a feat to just have a chance to dazzle your opponent with a move action? On top of that it allows a fort save, and requires that you be in an area with bright light. Wouldn't it be better to just take Dodge and be done with it? Is there some sort of use for this feat that I'm missing?

Are you guys sure you didn't mean to have Blinding Flash to cause 1 round blindness? I mean, it is called "Blinding Flash"...

I really like the monk feats though, I'm pondering redesigning my character as a Monk/Ninja because of them...

Edit: Looking at blinding flash again, I just noticed that the descriptive text says "You can temporarily blind your opponent...", so I'm becoming convinced that the dazzled condition must be some sort of editing error. If this is the case, the feat will become much better once an errata comes out.


Question: Does this have any new art for the Dragon Empires player races or is the same stuff from the gazetteer? Very curious as to what female nagaji look like, as this is the first time I'm actually HOPING a female reptilian humanoid has mammaries. (due to their close association with naga)

Also, any racial feats/traits for races other than Kitsune?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

You'll have to wait for the Advanced Race Guide, alas, for new art and new feats and options for these races—the Primer was pack-full of content already and didn't have the room for much more along these lines.


shisumo wrote:
You know, I've just realized: the sword saint gives up "mounted charge," which isn't actually an ability that exists from what I can tell - and if it is, as I suspect, supposed to be a reference to the cavalier's charge ability, samurai don't have that either, since they sacrifice it to gain the weapon expertise ability. Since sword saints have no mount, perhaps the brutal slash ability of the sword saint archetype is supposed to replace the mounted archer ability of the samurai? If this is the case, should the sword saint still get brutal slash at 3rd level, or should it be delayed to 4th?

lol i noticed the same thing, guess they get a free ability.

Does anyone else feel kind of cheated that there is no love for the ninja?

and also I thought this book was supposed to have Style feats but alas...

Still a good book though, Im itching to try the Sword saint out.

Samurai "Mack" here i come

Paizo Employee Developer

StealthElite wrote:
shisumo wrote:
You know, I've just realized: the sword saint gives up "mounted charge," which isn't actually an ability that exists from what I can tell - and if it is, as I suspect, supposed to be a reference to the cavalier's charge ability, samurai don't have that either, since they sacrifice it to gain the weapon expertise ability. Since sword saints have no mount, perhaps the brutal slash ability of the sword saint archetype is supposed to replace the mounted archer ability of the samurai? If this is the case, should the sword saint still get brutal slash at 3rd level, or should it be delayed to 4th?
lol i noticed the same thing, guess they get a free ability.

A sword saint should receive the brutal slash ability at 4th level. This ability should replace the samurai's mounted archer ability.


Man... so tempted to buy the pdf... my poor pending jan. shipment... stupid snow. *checks bank balance* hmm.. tax return hasn't posted yet. ah well. Patience!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Problem with the oni sorcerer bloodline - its associated class skill is Intimidate, but Intimidate is already a sorcerer class skill. What skill does the oni bloodline actually grant?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Generic Villain wrote:
Problem with the oni sorcerer bloodline - its associated class skill is Intimidate, but Intimidate is already a sorcerer class skill. What skill does the oni bloodline actually grant?

I would say Disguise.


Is there any new information about the samsarans? The Gazetteer entry felt lacking -- there was no information at all about how they're born if not to samsaran parents, why they're a single nation rather than scattered around the continent, why they don't raise their human children, how and why their cycle of reincarnation works -- these questions aren't even raised, never mind addressed, and their writeup just felt empty compared to the others despite having more or less the same word count.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Is there any new information about the samsarans? The Gazetteer entry felt lacking -- there was no information at all about how they're born if not to samsaran parents, why they're a single nation rather than scattered around the continent, why they don't raise their human children, how and why their cycle of reincarnation works -- these questions aren't even raised, never mind addressed, and their writeup just felt empty compared to the others despite having more or less the same word count.

Not yet. Samsarans are brand new; we invented the race for the Dragon Empires, after all. If folks are really intrigued by them, we can certainly look at doing some more information about them. They'll have some more info in the Advanced Race Guide... albiet in a world-neutral form.

If you want to know more... let us know!


You invented the wayangs and naga-ji for DE, too, and their writeups are admirably informative -- they're sort of anti-gnomes from the Plane of Shadow, or engineered servants for the naga masters. Bang, there you go! ^.^

...But yeah, samsarans are intriguing from what you've told us so far, and I'd like to see a "Samsarans of Golarion" Companion or some such, along with companions for the others.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:

You invented the wayangs and naga-ji for DE, too, and their writeups are admirably informative -- they're sort of anti-gnomes from the Plane of Shadow, or engineered servants for the naga masters. Bang, there you go! ^.^

...But yeah, samsarans are intriguing from what you've told us so far, and I'd like to see a "Samsarans of Golarion" Companion or some such, along with companions for the others.

The wayangs and the nagaji are to a certain extent "easier" to grasp and thus easier to summarize. Nagaji are basically 0 HD lizardfolk, while as you say, the wayangs are "reverse gnomes."

The samsarans are really pretty new; they're pretty unique and unlike much else. Furthermore, their strange method of birth and death, which is their defining characteristic, required a lot of the space in their entry. They were hands down the HARDEST part of the book to make fit in their allocated space. No contest.

I'd love a chance to expand upon them more... and a lot of interest from the customers will only increase the chances we'll be able to do just that.

Until then, I'm certainly willing to answer any questions folks have about them to the best of my ability.


All righty, then...

* How did samsarans as a whole come to be? Can humans who aren't samsarans' children be reincarnated as samsarans?

* Are samsarans born to human parents?

* How much social pressure is there, on both sides, to give up the children to the other race? Do human parents ever raise samsaran children, or vice versa?

* What is the history of Zi Ha? How did it come to be the samsaran homeland? A "lack of young children" is described, does this mean that samsaran children born elsewhere are not sent to Zi Ha? Do samsarans just pop into existence as adults, like 4th ed. devas?

...I think that covers all the most vital "missing" elements, and in any case I'm too tired to think of anything else, so good night and thanks for putting up with me. :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:

All righty, then...

1 How did samsarans as a whole come to be? Can humans who aren't samsarans' children be reincarnated as samsarans?

2 Are samsarans born to human parents?

3 How much social pressure is there, on both sides, to give up the children to the other race? Do human parents ever raise samsaran children, or vice versa?

4 What is the history of Zi Ha? How did it come to be the samsaran homeland? A "lack of young children" is described, does this mean that samsaran children born elsewhere are not sent to Zi Ha? Do samsarans just pop into existence as adults, like 4th ed. devas?

...I think that covers all the most vital "missing" elements, and in any case I'm too tired to think of anything else, so good night and thanks for putting up with me. :)

(I numbered your questions for ease of reference...)

1) Samsarans are old; one of the oldest races in the Dragon Empires. They did not exist before Earthfall, but after the Age of Darkness, they had appeared. In spots all over, but mostly in Zi Ha and nearby, where they seemed to be drawn by a mystic pull. Where exactly they came from is actually a mystery, but those who believe that Tian Xia's original humans were the result of the dead of Azlant reincarnating on the opposite side of the world that the samsarans are the reincarnations of the particularly religious of Azlant. This is, of course, only one of many theories...

Human parents can certainly raise samsaran children, or vice-versa, but prejuduce (usually against samsarans) runs deep in many parts of the world, where folks are freaked out by the way samsarans are.

2) Nope. No samsaran is ever "born" in a biological sense. They incarnate out of past lives.

3) In most samsaran societies there's a lot of social pressure, since a human raised in a samsaran society won't come to learn the values of humanity, and thus, the fear is that when that person dies, they won't reincarnate as a samsaran at all. Being able to grow up as a human among humans is important to spiritual growth, believe most samsarans. I suspect some samsarans buck the trend and keep their kids, but they do so secretly or go into self-exile to do so.

4) The history of Zi Ha is actually pretty shrouded in mystery. There's a lot of danger there... but SOMETHING in the region draws those souls with a prediliction for reincarnation as samsarans to the region. The thing that does draw them there is not known to outsiders, and not even known to most samsarans. It's actually one of THOSE secrets that I'm kinda playing close to the chest for now since, some day, it'd make a cool thing to do something with...

The "lack of young children" means that when a new samsaran incarnates from a previous life, they tend to be older (teenagers) and not toddlers, infants, or the like. They DO just pop into existance (I'm not familiar with how 4E devas work) but do so as children... ranging from babies to teenagers, but are usually teenagers. And those who DO incarnate don't always do so in Zi Ha; they have to make their way there, after all, and that's dangerous. Many die along the way, only to reincarnate again and again, getting closer to Zi Ha each time until finally they make it... by which point the majority are no longer "young children" but on the cusp of adulthood.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I am confused about a couple of things with the Void Elemental School

Void Magic: twilight knife, wandering star motes and moment of prescience are already on the Wizards spell at the listed spell levels so why are they mentioned here?

Call the Void: Shouldn't this spell be on the Void Elementalist Wizard Spells list?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragnmoon wrote:

I am confused about a couple of things with the Void Elemental School

Void Magic: twilight knife, wandering star motes and moment of prescience are already on the Wizards spell at the listed spell levels so why are they mentioned here?

Call the Void: Shouldn't this spell be on the Void Elementalist Wizard Spells list?

You're partially correct. In fact, every single spell listed under "void magic" is already a wizard/sorcerer spell of the listed spell level, meaning that "void magic" is completely redundant/unnecessary. My guess is that it's an artifact that someone forgot to edit out.

As for "call of the void," it looks like it's misnamed as "tapestry's embrace" under the Void Elementalist Wizard Spells section. Both are 3rd-level spells - "tapestry's embrace" is probably an earlier name of "call of the void."


Sheesh. I can't wait until the Year of Asian-themed Pathfinder products comes to an end. It seems to have been going on forever. Has any one theme ever received such an avalanche of stuff? It even got two-thirds of the Ultimate Combat classes.

Paizo seems to have gone 'all in' on this concept.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I for one can't wait until the whining about the Year of Asian-Themed Pathfinder Products comes to an end. Asian-themed has had 1 Companion and 1 Chronicle. These have been hotly anticipated in general and also unavoidably delayed, so they've been talked about for longer than would be normal. There is half an AP in the Orient. There are two alternate classes and some archetypes in Ultimate Combat. This 'onslaught' is really piffling as onslaughts go. More of an offslaught. Not that facts should really get in the way of these discussions, of course.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Is there any new information about the samsarans? The Gazetteer entry felt lacking -- there was no information at all about how they're born if not to samsaran parents, why they're a single nation rather than scattered around the continent, why they don't raise their human children, how and why their cycle of reincarnation works -- these questions aren't even raised, never mind addressed, and their writeup just felt empty compared to the others despite having more or less the same word count.

Not yet. Samsarans are brand new; we invented the race for the Dragon Empires, after all. If folks are really intrigued by them, we can certainly look at doing some more information about them. They'll have some more info in the Advanced Race Guide... albiet in a world-neutral form.

If you want to know more... let us know!

Signed... +1... whatever I have to say to get more Asian-inspired content; especially on the Samsarans!

Thanks for answering these questions, James. I have been wondering about the answers to those questions on the Samsarans since the day I read about the Samsarans in the Dragon Empires Gazetteer last month. Thanks to your answers on the Samsarans, I have a great character concept for a Samsaran White-Haired Witch born in the Inner Sea with a reason of her own for joining up with the caravan in the Jade Regent AP. She feels an unusual pull to go to the Dragon Empires that she doesn't yet understand herself after being an ostracized member of Chelaxian society for so long - most thought she was just another, if unusual, Tiefling. I wouldn't have thought of that excellent background and motive for an Inner Sea-based Samsaran character without knowing what you posted here.

I'm with Paul Watson on this matter. I, for one, would love to see more Asian-styled content as well as any other non-Euro-centric content Paizo wants to put out. If I can't have Asian content, then please give me India-inspired or Polynesian-inspired content. I would love that just as much. If there is a "glut" of gaming content oriented to any culture out there in the market - Paizo's or otherwise - it is of the Anglo-European variety and I would love more material that deviates from that so I can expand my adventuring horizons.


HolmesandWatson wrote:

Sheesh. I can't wait until the Year of Asian-themed Pathfinder products comes to an end. It seems to have been going on forever. Has any one theme ever received such an avalanche of stuff? It even got two-thirds of the Ultimate Combat classes.

Paizo seems to have gone 'all in' on this concept.

Well, they have to release a lot of content in order to make sure that the stuff has even a respectable amount of support. I would have been annoyed if they had released say... a ninja class but no asian themed campaign information.

Dark Archive

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Matrixryu wrote:
Edit: Looking at blinding flash again, I just noticed that the descriptive text says "You can temporarily blind your opponent...", so I'm becoming convinced that the dazzled condition must be some sort of editing error. If this is the case, the feat will become much better once an errata comes out.

Unlike Sickened/Nauseated, Shaken/Panicked and Fatigued/Exhausted, the Dazzled/Blind 'tree' starts off with a total crap debuff.

Change it to a -2 to Perception checks and all foes of the Dazzled target benefitting from partial concealment (20% miss chance) and the Dazzled condition is actually worth taking (and the Flare and Flare Burst spells actually worth casting).

As written, since 3.0, Dazzled has been the saddest condition to take up a sentence or two in the Condition summary.

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