Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Paths of Prestige

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Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Paths of Prestige
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While many legendary heroes of Golarion fit easily into the core classes of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game—the sword-swinging fighters, fireball-flinging wizards, backstabbing rogues, and others—there are some who specialize in unique styles and techniques, perfectly customizing themselves for their roles. For these characters, there are prestige classes. From the undead-hunting Knights of Ozem to the revolutionary Gray Gardeners of Galt, this book collects 30 of the most prominent faiths and factions from around the Inner Sea and transforms them into prestige classes designed to help you take advantage of the tricks and tactics of some of Golarion’s most famous (and infamous) groups, all while rooting your character firmly in the lore and societies of the Pathfinder campaign setting.

    Within this 64-page book, you’ll find new prestige class options for every character class in the Pathfinder RPG, including:
  • The Aldori swordlord, world-renowned dueling master of the turbulent north.
  • The Hellknight signifer, an armored spellcaster who uses magic to pursue the perfect, iron-fisted law of Hell.
  • The gun-toting shieldmarshal, whose bright badge brings order to the chaos of the Mana Wastes.
  • The mammoth rider, savage megafauna cavalry expert.
  • The Sleepless detective, uniquely suited to solving mysteries both magical and mundane in haunted Ustalav.
  • The winter witch, whose ice magic keeps a whole nation in thrall.
  • ...and 24 more!

Paths of Prestige 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 Benjamin Bruck, Jason Bulmahn, Matt Goodall, and Jason Nelson

September 13, 2012 The Winter Witch prestige class has been updated and is available for download. (1.2MB zip/PDF)

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-451-1

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Campaign Setting Subscription.

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Everyman Product Reviews: Paths of Prestige

****( )

Final Score & Thoughts:
Crunch: 4/5 Stars
Flavor: 5/5 Stars
Texture: 4/5 Stars
Final Score: 13/15 Stars, or 4/5 Stars

Paths of Prestige is an awesome Paizo Product; it’s one of the very best by a long shot. That said, it isn’t without it’s flaws. Paizo hadn’t perfected the spellcaster prestige class by this point and honestly, maybe they never will; almost all spellcasting classes are dreadfully ill-designed for multiclassing because of the lack of a character-wide statistic like base attack bonus. Prestige Class flavor is awesome in this book, but don’t expect to be learning anything new about the organizations that they represent. That’s one of the curious things about these classes, as a matter of fact. The prestige classes that tend to be the most mechanically powerful are the ones that have campaign-neutral themes that are attached to specific organizations: for example, Bellflower Tiller is essentially “Harriet Tubman the Prestige Class,” Knight of Ozen is essentially “Undead-Slaying Knight,” and “Mammoth Rider” is less of an organization and more of a hobby-turned prestige class. This is coming from someone who is obviously biased on the topic, but I think Paths of Prestige proves that while prestige classes might be conceptually easier to design if they’re assigned to an organization, mechanically they’re more interesting and viable options if their themes are extend beyond that specific organization.

Read the full review at the Everyman Gaming blog.


*****

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


Solid guidebook

****( )

Pathfinder is better known for it’s complete and ‘go for 20 level’ base classes than it’s Prestige Classes. After all, the Archetypes make many PrC’s obsolete.

But here we have another thirty prestige classes for your use and reading pleasure. One I thought was great but might be a better base class is Noble Scion, which is Aristocrat done at a playable (but not power gamed) level.

Fun classes include the Mammoth Rider!

I have two quibbles- at least three of the PrC’s depend upon non-Core material, such as a feat found only in a sourcebook. The writers should have repeated the feat here. True, Core rulebook stuff doesn’t need to be, but this does. A more minor quibble is that some of these classes here are very region dependant.

A extra bonus is the table of where to find another three dozen Prestige classes, including some very basic info on each. Nice!


Many paths to choose from...

*****

This slim 64 page addition for the Pathfinder Campaign Setting adds 30 new prestige classes to your favorite Fantasy role-playing game.

Section One, "Arcana", has 8 new mage prestige classes, including the Arclord of Nex, the Blackfire Adept, the Magaambyan Arcanist, the Razmiran Priest, the Riftwarden, the Tattooed Mystic, the Veiled Illusionist, and the Winter Witch.

Section Two, "Brawn", has 9 new fighter prestige classes, including the Aldori Swordlord, the Brother of the Seal, the Golden Legionnaire, the Knight of Ozem, the Lantern Bearer, the Mammoth Rider, the Pit Fighter, the Shieldmarshal, and the Skyseeker.

Section Three, "Guile", has 6 new rogue prestige classes, including the Aspis Agent, the Bellflower Tiller, the Daggermark Poisoner, the Gray Gardener, the Noble Scion, and the Sleepless Detective.

Section Four, "Piety", has 7 new clerical prestige classes, including the Champion of Irori, the Dawnflower Dissident, the Green Faith Acolyte, the Hellknight Signifier, the Prophet of Kalistrade, the Storm Kindler, and the Umbral Court Agent.

There's also a chart showing where to find 36 other prestige classes. The classes in the book are presented in alphabetical order. A canny GM would look to see if any of these classes would be more appropriate for NPC's. There are two pages for each class, and the necessary chart, as well as a sample picture of what a generic member of that class would look like. All new prestige classes in this volume, and references to the prestige classes in other Pathfinder products, make this just about a must-have for GM's. Highly recommended.


Good and useful book

****( )

Read my full review on my blog.

If this book had come out during the time of 3.5, I probably would have groaned and ignored it. Over the years, I have had very few players ever take a prestige class (I’m pretty sure I could count the total number on one hand), and so this just would have been more bloat that would probably never get used. However, with recent emphasis being away from prestige classes, my reaction to this was one of interest. The scattered prestige classes that have appeared in other Golarion sources have all been very flavourful, so there was every reason to believe Paizo could keep it up with a book full of them. To be honest, most of the classes in this book will still likely never see use in any of my games; however, I would consider it very likely that some will get used, if only for NPCs. With only a couple of exceptions (that seem strangely generic), all the classes are extremely flavourful and help to add more options and life to the world of Golarion.


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Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I know a lot of you didn't see this coming!

Cover image is a mockup, and will change prior to publication.


This is really cool I really wanted to make a Kellid Barbarian who rode on a Mammoth.


I'm not nearly as fond as PrCs as I used to be since Pathfinder redid all the base classes. But coming from this company? They'll be great. I'll get it when it comes out.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

WANT


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Anything from the Technic League?


Cheapy wrote:
Anything from the Technic League?

I second this.


Eric Hinkle wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
Anything from the Technic League?
I second this.

I third it.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I find this odd...

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Perram wrote:
I find this odd...

In what way?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Ummm. sounds really, really cool. but send me a few of the presige classes so we can test their brokeness... I'd hate to see the thread "OMG the Technomancer prestige class is so OP". Just telling you before it happens..

Silver Crusade

I've been wondering when a book like this would come out. I actually wanted it when the CRB was release, but it makes even more sense now, as we have a lot more base (8) and alternate classes. I wouldn't be surprised, if it sells well, that in 2-3 years we have an expanded, hard cover, generalized version in the core line.

Wishlist (which is probably already too late, **sigh**):

1. Update the prestige classes in the 3.5 products. Especially, the Brightness Seeker, and the Liberator.

2. Concentration on player classes, i.e., only a few Book of the Damned style evil prestige classes. (The Grey Gardener's don't bother me, we'll see how they are differentiated from "regular" necromancers.)

Random thought: I like the Aldori swordsman as a concept. (Actually, I like the original Aldori a lot, with so many epic mages, its nice to have an epic fighter.) I'm just not sure a prestige class is necessary after the archetype and feats. Hopefully they will name the Aldori Swordlord prestige class something different from the Aldori Swordlord archetype (from the Inner Sea Primer), and provide different features.

Still awaiting a chance to play some PFS; hopefully the vast majority of this book will be legal.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

10 people marked this as a favorite.

Some of the prestige classes in this book are SPECIFICALLY named after archetypes, becasue they might require taking that archetype in order to qualify for the prestige class. Not sure that's what the Aldori Duelst or whatever it ends up being called will do... but it's absolutely what's going on with the Winter Witch prestige class.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

A playtest period might be a good idea with THIRTY PrCs!!!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

How much fluff is in the book for those of us who use a different system from Pathfinder/3.5?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I love the books of paizo, I just hope that the prestige classes in this book will let you make a diferent character(and concepts) not just a more powerful one.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations to Ben Bruck!!!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Starglyte wrote:
How much fluff is in the book for those of us who use a different system from Pathfinder/3.5?

Look at a prestige class in Inner Sea World Guide for an estimate—AKA, about 1/4 to 1/3 of a page of flavor text per prestige class.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Wow didn't see this coming.

Scarab Sages

4 people marked this as a favorite.

uberpimp
im buying at least 3 copies to try and encourage the release of paths of prestige II

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Yes! More Prestige Classes! 8^)

The Exchange

Cheapy wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
Anything from the Technic League?
I second this.
I third it.

How about a fourth?

Grand Lodge

Once again my wallet is going to get lighter!

Liberty's Edge

*sees the line about Arclords of Nex, and babbles incoheretly for 20 minutes* THAT'S what my life's been missing! Now, to talk the webmasters into setting up an option to just directly deposit my income tax refund with Paizo up front and eliminate the middleman...


D&D 3.5 had a real glut of PrCs, I think, to the point that a lot of people just didn't want to play base classes because of how much more powerful and interesting a lot of PrCs were.

I think Pathfinder has done a great job addressing this problem by putting a lot of work into beefing up the base classes and giving us lots of customizations options with archetypes, so the time is definitely ripe to fill in the relative lack of PrC options.

Tl;dr - this is coming out at the perfect time and I'm quite excited.


Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Okay, yeah, this is surprise!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Looks like I'm going to have to drive the Brink's truck to Indy to pay for all the stuff coming out at Gen-Con.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Eric - I'm with you. With no more dead levels in Pathfinder. The base classes are kinda where its at.

Mike

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Paizo has put the Prestige back into PrC. I didn't like 3.5 PrC's that you could plop into almost any campaign. I like the original 3.0 blue DMG concept that these classes were intimately tied to the campaign world. You don't become a Winter Witch in Thuvia! Bravo!

--Vrock on!

Silver Crusade

James,

1. My only claim to improving Golarion is starting a thread which helped result in changing "Skull and Bones" to the much improved "Skull and Shackles." Along the same lines I would suggest any of the following for a Winter Witch fed prestige class: White Witch (which is what the Inner Sea World Guide uses), Judwiga Witch, Whitethrone Witch (too specific, but nicely alliterative).

2. I don't like having duplicate game terms, even when one feeds into another. It just adds confusion, especially for new players.

3. Also, 7 level Witch (Winter Witch archetype)/ 7 level Winter Witch just doesn't have a. . . ring to it. Diviner/Loremaster works; even Fighter/Wizard/Arcane Archer works; Winter Witch/Winter Witch doesn't.

I'm assuming, true to the "Paizo style," that a 7 level Witch (Winter Witch archetype)/ 7 level Winter Witch is different from, but not generally, mechanically, better than a 14 level Witch (Winter Witch archetype). In other words, the prestige class is a choice, not a no-brainer like 3.5's Wizard into Archmage.

Minor, and hopefully constructive, criticism aside, "Paths of Prestige" is the Golarion book I'm most looking forward to in the next six months.


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm so happy. The backlash against Prestige Classes has gone on too long.

Liberty's Edge

Just to spare people some pain, it's pretty clear that since this book is coming out in August, there is no time for playtesting or revisions to names of things or whatnot. This has likely already been sent off to the printers.

Liberty's Edge

Ah! Sweet mystery of life at last I've found you...

Silver Crusade

Jeremiziah wrote:
Just to spare people some pain, it's pretty clear that since this book is coming out in August, there is no time for playtesting or revisions to names of things or whatnot. This has likely already been sent off to the printers.

You may be right. From James's comment above: "Not sure that's what the Aldori Duelst or whatever it ends up being called will do... but it's absolutely what's going on with the Winter Witch prestige class." I have hope that they have time to make some minor changes; "winter" to "white", for example. It's reasonable (but maybe inaccurate) to assume they're past the copy editing but haven't reached the final proof reading.


Are there going to be any generic, combinational prestige classes that let you merge two classes? Things like the Mystic Theurge, Arcane Trickster, Battle Herald, or Rage Prophet?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Jeremiziah wrote:
Just to spare people some pain, it's pretty clear that since this book is coming out in August, there is no time for playtesting or revisions to names of things or whatnot. This has likely already been sent off to the printers.

It actually has NOT been sent to the printers. It's actually still being written.

But no... we will not be doing a public playtest of this book.

At this point, if we can't pull off a book of prestige classes that are flavorful and well balanced and fun without needing a hardcover's level of work and playtest and refinement and extra TLC... we might as well just print novels is my opinion.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

9 people marked this as a favorite.
Derek Vande Brake wrote:
Are there going to be any generic, combinational prestige classes that let you merge two classes? Things like the Mystic Theurge, Arcane Trickster, Battle Herald, or Rage Prophet?

Just one. The Paladin of Irori will, I hope, be a good paladin/monk combo. I also hope it'll have Paladin of Irori code stuff, and some more flavor stuff. Classes like those mentioned above exist primarily in a world-flavor-vacuum, and are mostly of interest purely on a mechanical level for multiclassing. That's not what these prestige classes in "Paths of Prestige" are doing, for the most part.

There's a reason this book is in the Campaign Setting line, folks... my philosophy is that prestige classes are MUCH BETTER when they are used to present world-specific stuff. Like Hellknights, harrowers, red mantis assassins, and low templars. ALL of the prestige classes in this book are built to support Golarion-specific organizations and options. Several of them will work not only as PC options, but as prestige classes you can put onto monsters (something Pathfinder is SORELY missing at this point). And they'll all bring with them some new flavor to 30 different organizations and philosophies and faiths and factions and whatevers that need more info, in many cases.

Will the prestige classes be usable outside of Golarion? Absolutely—just as you can use Hellknights and harrowers and Red Mantis Assassins and Low Templars in other settings. You might need to fiddle a bit with flavor here and there, but they'll work.

Silver Crusade

James Jacobs wrote:
The Paladin of Irori will, I hope, be a good paladin/monk combo. I also hope it'll have Paladin of Irori code stuff, and some more flavor stuff.

O_O

Personal need for this book just skyrocketed.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Ajaxis wrote:

James,

1. My only claim to improving Golarion is starting a thread which helped result in changing "Skull and Bones" to the much improved "Skull and Shackles." Along the same lines I would suggest any of the following for a Winter Witch fed prestige class: White Witch (which is what the Inner Sea World Guide uses), Judwiga Witch, Whitethrone Witch (too specific, but nicely alliterative).

2. I don't like having duplicate game terms, even when one feeds into another. It just adds confusion, especially for new players.

3. Also, 7 level Witch (Winter Witch archetype)/ 7 level Winter Witch just doesn't have a. . . ring to it. Diviner/Loremaster works; even Fighter/Wizard/Arcane Archer works; Winter Witch/Winter Witch doesn't.

I'm assuming, true to the "Paizo style," that a 7 level Witch (Winter Witch archetype)/ 7 level Winter Witch is different from, but not generally, mechanically, better than a 14 level Witch (Winter Witch archetype). In other words, the prestige class is a choice, not a no-brainer like 3.5's Wizard into Archmage.

Minor, and hopefully constructive, criticism aside, "Paths of Prestige" is the Golarion book I'm most looking forward to in the next six months.

My take: you're not a REAL Winter Witch unless you have levels in the prestige class. If you're a witch with the winter witch archetype... you're "in training."

Since the winter witch prestige class will require that archetype as a prereq, I suspect that we'd refer to statted up winter witches as:

Human female witch 7/winter witch 7 or whatever. And the character herself would regard herself first and formost as a "winter witch."

We'll see. As I said in a previous post, the book's still being written.


Sigh.™ (<--- good and bad)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Ajaxis wrote:
Jeremiziah wrote:
Just to spare people some pain, it's pretty clear that since this book is coming out in August, there is no time for playtesting or revisions to names of things or whatnot. This has likely already been sent off to the printers.
You may be right. From James's comment above: "Not sure that's what the Aldori Duelst or whatever it ends up being called will do... but it's absolutely what's going on with the Winter Witch prestige class." I have hope that they have time to make some minor changes; "winter" to "white", for example. It's reasonable (but maybe inaccurate) to assume they're past the copy editing but haven't reached the final proof reading.

The problem there is that a "Winter Witch" is not the same thing as a "White Witch."

Liberty's Edge

James Jacobs wrote:
Jeremiziah wrote:
Just to spare people some pain, it's pretty clear that since this book is coming out in August, there is no time for playtesting or revisions to names of things or whatnot. This has likely already been sent off to the printers.

It actually has NOT been sent to the printers. It's actually still being written.

But no... we will not be doing a public playtest of this book.

At this point, if we can't pull off a book of prestige classes that are flavorful and well balanced and fun without needing a hardcover's level of work and playtest and refinement and extra TLC... we might as well just print novels is my opinion.

*Removes foot from mouth*

Needs pepper.

Silver Crusade

Wonder if any Shoanti-based prestige classes are in the cards here...Moon Maidens or otherwise.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

This would be a rare Golarion book you can add Gunslinger support...

Any Chances?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

First of all, a whole book of PrCs? Yay!!!

I just hope many of them are better than the new Inner Sea Pirate PrC we just got (yuck).

Swordlords, Gray Gardeners, Mammoth Riders, Arclords, and Shield Marshals all sound awesome. The only thing that concerns me is the use of archetypes as prerequisites. One or two here and there would be fine, but if 5 or 10 of these new PrCs have archetype prereqs then I am going to be sorely disappointed. The fact that you can accidentally bar your entry into certain PrCs during character creation just seems ludicrous. I can just see it now: "Sorry Joe, no you can't take the Awesome Bandit Lord™ PrC because when we made characters six months ago you just made a Rogue with a bunch of banditry related skills and tendencies, but you didn't make a Bandit archetype Rogue. Too bad."

And on top of that, having archetype requirements are extremely limiting. How many different ways are there to go into the Dragon Disciple PrC? Probably a hundred. How many ways are there to get into the Winter Witch PrC? One.

Like I said, a few of these are fine. A Winter Witch PrC sounds pretty awesome, actually. But I will get more use and more mileage out of the more flexible PrCs.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dragnmoon wrote:

This would be a rare Golarion book you can add Gunslinger support...

Any Chances?

I suggest reading the description of the product.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Joseph Wilson wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:

This would be a rare Golarion book you can add Gunslinger support...

Any Chances?

I suggest reading the description of the product.

Got it... Thanks!

Quote:
Looking for some respect and power for your gunslinger? Join the ranks of Alkenstar's Shield Marshals!


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
There's a reason this book is in the Campaign Setting line, folks... my philosophy is that prestige classes are MUCH BETTER when they are used to present world-specific stuff. Like Hellknights, harrowers, red mantis assassins, and low templars. ALL of the prestige classes in this book are built to support Golarion-specific organizations and options. Several of them will work not only as PC options, but as prestige classes you can put onto monsters (something Pathfinder is SORELY missing at this point). And they'll all bring with them some new flavor to 30 different organizations and philosophies and faiths and factions and whatevers that need more info, in many cases.

I have a significant amount of antipathy towards prestige classes, but this comment goes an enormous way towards nullifying that.


The idea behind this book is GENIUS, we can all pray to our various Gods that this will be pulled off as spectacularly as all the other books.

Scarab Sages

Are there going to be reprints of prestige classes from other sources, such as the Hellknight, Dai'vrat, Low Templar, Spherewalker?

I can't decide if having them all in the same place is better than having 30 new ones. I'm leaning towards the former.

Dark Archive Vendor - Fantasiapelit Tampere

Gray Gardeners! Hellknight Sginifiers! *fangirl scream* This is again, too awesome.

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