Pathfinder Player Companion: Varisia, Birthplace of Legends (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Player Companion: Varisia, Birthplace of Legends (PFRPG)
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Begin an adventure like no other in Varisia, a land of ancient mysteries and fantastic danger. Within this book you’ll find countless player-friendly possibilities as you explore one of the most richly detailed corners of the Pathfinder campaign setting. Will you indulge fortune as a Varisian wanderer, retake your tribal lands as a fierce Shoanti barbarian, uncover the secrets of a lost arcane empire, or fight to protect your peaceful home from dark magic and fierce monsters? The choices are endless, but you'll find the ones that are right for you with this primer to an entire realm of adventure.

Varisia, Birthplace of Legends presents a player-focused overview of the land, people, magic, and mysteries of the region of Varisia, one of the best-loved and most explored frontiers of the Pathfinder campaign setting. Every Pathfinder Player Companion includes new options and tools for every Pathfinder RPG player.

    These are just a few of the features you’ll find inside this book:
  • A bold new format with new features, revealing more exciting topics, options, and inspirations every time you turn the page.
  • A look into the lives of Varisia’s native peoples, the proud tribal Shoanti and far-traveling Varisians, with new ways to play members of both cultures.
  • New archetypes, feats, equipment, and traits to make characters a part of Varisia, plus many that link to Adventure Paths set in the region, like Rise of the Runelords.
  • A player-friendly map of Varisia, featuring major settlements, distances between locations, and hints at adventure sites to explore.
  • A player’s guide for the Shattered Star Adventure Path, giving players everything they need to know to create characters ready to face this deadly new campaign.

Written by F. Wesley Schneider, Amber E. Scott, Tork Shaw, James L. Sutter, and Jerome Virnich

Each monthly 32-page Pathfinder Player Companion contains several player-focused articles exploring the volume’s theme as well as short articles with innovative new rules for all types of characters, as well as traits to better anchor the player to the campaign. This Pathfinder Player Companion is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, but can easily be incorporated into any fantasy world.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-453-5

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

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Great, Player-Friendly Overview of Varisia

5/5

Varisia, the rugged wilderness that contains only a few scattered city-states and several small settlements, is home to five (soon to be six) adventure paths; so it’s only fitting that it receive a sourcebook. Oddly, instead of appearing in the campaign setting line, Paizo decided to make Varisia, Birthplace of Legend a Player Companion book. This means it’s shorter (32 pages) and more focused on options for PCs. Still, it’s a great addition to the canon: full of gorgeous artwork with clear, accessible introductions to the peoples and places that make Varisia a great place to adventure.

The fantastic artwork starts with the cover, the best representation we’ve seen of the Sandpoint Devil to date. The interior front cover is all about Shoanti tribal lands, explaining how the various nations (“quahs”) have different totems and traditions. As it provides cleric domains and oracle mysteries for each quah, it’s quite useful for a player hoping to add some depth to their Shoanti PC. The inside back cover features something about the other indigenous people of the area, the nomadic Varisians. The focus here is on Varisian caravan routes, but the feature most useful to GMs is a grid showing how far (in miles and travel days) it takes to go between most of Varisia’s major settlements by land. I often forget this is here, and I wish I wouldn’t.

The interior has a really fresh, bold art layout that sets this Player Companion apart from previous ones in the line. After the usual table of contents, there’s an overview of which classes get special attention in the book and which options can be made use of by all PCs. Then, after a rules index (perhaps oddly placed near the beginning instead of the end of the book), there’s a two-page overview of Varisia that includes a paragraph on each of the core races and (my favourite) a sidebar on “Five Things Everyone Knows About Varisia.” This last bit is the sort of thing GMs can pass around to new players without overwhelming them with world-lore.

The next two pages focus on the Shoanti. The Shoanti race traits are great, and the section on common Shoanti sayings are quite evocative. My favourite part of the new Player Companion design was the introduction of the idea of “roles”. Roles are essentially flavourful build-suggestions that help a player focus around a key concept—here, it’s “Shoanti Outrider” and “Shoanti Totem Shaman.” The roles include suggested classes, class features, personality traits, and preferred equipment. The nice thing about the roles is that they help players create well fleshed-out characters without simply adding more mechanical bloat.

The following two pages are on the Varisians, and follow a similar format. I’d say the race traits aren’t as useful, but the roles are still interesting: “Varisian Bravo” and “Varisian Fortune-Teller.”
“Battle in Varisia” (two pages) introduces two new feats and two new archetypes. One of the new feats, “Thunder and Fang,” is pretty cool—it allows a character to use an earthbreaker in one hand! The archetypes are “Kapenia Dancer,” a flavourful magus archetype that only comes online at high levels, and “Thundercaller,” a more offense-oriented bard archetype.

“Magic & Faith in Varisia” (two pages) provides short, one-paragraph long overviews of the various arcane schools in the land. I didn’t find this particularly useful, as the information provided is cursory and appears elsewhere. There’s an overview of common faiths in Varisia that includes the mystery cults of Magnimar and the totemism of the Shoanti, but again it’s only the briefest of introductions. A “What is Thassilon” paragraph is nice in answering the “what does my PC know about Thassilon?” question that can easily come up in some APs.

“Equipment in Varisia” (two pages) is a bit odd, as it provides descriptions and stats for weapons (like starknives, bladed scarves, and klars) that have already appeared in the Core Rulebook or Inner Sea World Guide. I guess it’s worth emphasizing them as common Varisian weapons for players unfamiliar with those sources though. Some minor alchemical and spellcrafting items are also introduced here, though they’re all pretty minor and niche in terms of usefulness.

Perhaps the best thing about Varisia, Birthplace of Legend is the pull-out map in the center. The map, which is drawn as an “in-world” artefact, is a gorgeous representation of where major cities and geographical features lay. In addition, it’s quite useful as it provides the distance in miles between each set of landmarks. I’ve happily let my players use this, and I’ve used it myself as the GM when I didn’t have a more detailed “zoomed-in” map available.

Next up, each of the three major city-states in Varisia (Korvosa, Magnimar, and Riddleport) gets a two-page spread. Each of the entries provides the full settlement stat block for the city, a page of general description, two roles for characters from that city, and a couple of new regional traits. Understandably, these entries are just brief overviews, but they’re well-done and give the reader a good taste of how each of the three cities is very different than the other two. Two of the smaller cities in Varisia (Janderhoff and Kaer Maga) receive a similar one-page treatment, with one role and one trait apiece. Finally, Sandpoint and many of the smaller settlements in the area are covered in a single two-page spread; with so many communities to cover, each tends to get only a line or two of coverage.

The next two pages are especially relevant to anyone playing in the Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne, Second Darkness, or Jade Regent Adventure Paths: new campaign traits! It’s pretty cool to see older APs get support, and I wish this trend would have continued more.

Last up is a two-page player’s guide for the then-new Shattered Star AP. It includes the usual (but important) tips on what sorts of characters are appropriate for the campaign, as well as several campaign traits.

All in all, this is a nice, clear, colourful overview of Varisia. As far as I’m concerned, it should be distributed to everyone playing in a campaign set there.


Useful, if brief, overview of Varisia and its people

4/5

Read my full review on my blog.

As a GM, I have found this book extremely useful in preparing NPCs and general flavour for my Varisia-based campaign. Since there is no Campaign Setting book that covers Varisia as a whole (and I don’t really expect there to be one in the future), this is the next best thing to get a good overview of the types of people who live in the region.

This book also looks good, with great cover art and some really nice interior pieces. I recommend it for anyone spending significant time in the Varisia region.


4/5

I have never had much interest in varisia, neither its inhabitants nor its cities, do this book make me change my mind?, lets see.

The people: There is some good fluff on shoanti and varisians, like the names of the most common shoanti tattoos of every tribe. However, there is no more information about the tribes, I have to look at wikigolarion for the information. The same for varisians, good but too little.

The land: As before, good but too little. What is the point in saying "more details in player companion second darkness"?

The Rules: I have to say that most of the time traits are a waste of space, and that is true for this book. There are a couple of good ones, but a lot are just pointless.

About the feats, Deadly dealer is really cool but it is just weak. Thunder and fang is just great and unique.

Roles: This book present something called "roles". They are like a guide to flesh out your characters.

They have a good side and the bad side. The good side is that they are full of fluff, which is, IMHO, something that player companions to golarion should have in abundance.

The bad side is that they take too much space but do not any new rule. It is a wasted opportunity. A dusk warden is just the same old urban ranger.

If there is not going to be nothing new mechanically, then the class options, preferred equipment and preferred options should not be there.

So far, the book is a solid 4 star. However, the advertisement of APs made in pages 28 to 30 is really annoying and a waste of space that should have been dedicated to more useful things.

So, I give it a weak 4 star.


5/5

I've reviewed this product on RPGGeek.com.

You can find it here.


disappointing

1/5

Having most if not all of the paizo catalog since being a dungeon/dragon subscriber, I've been getting/subscribing to much of their products.

Have to say this one is disappointing. The product is 32 pages long. However, the last 4 out of 5 feel like advertising for other products(the last being an actual advert). The middle is a 2 page map spread that doesnt add much as far as content. The first is the table of contents, the next two are roles for characters which turn to "here are the other products and page numbers where they are".

Which is the biggest complaint I have for this. You scroll through places- lets say City of Magnimar- you get to the end of one page of the two page spread it says "for more details can be found in product pathfinder campaign setting Magnimar, city of monuments" Same with some weapons only to be told for more details to go look in the core rule book or inner sea guide.

Why am I spending money on this product only to be told more details are in other products and places? I bought the product to have all the Varisia items


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Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
So, by making the heart of the player's guides part of the player companion line, we can produce something more exciting and better looking without overtaxing the AP crew.

Can't go wrong with that. I'm interested to see where you guys take things. In terms of the free Player's Guides, Legendary Games had been driving off the campaign traits you provided in them. Will those campaign traits still be showing up? Or is that changing, too? If so, we'll need to adapt how we're doing the pregen PC's for the AP plug-in line.

Contributor

Neil Spicer wrote:
Can't go wrong with that. I'm interested to see where you guys take things. In terms of the free Player's Guides, Legendary Games had been driving off the campaign traits you provided them. Will those campaign traits still be showing up? Or is that changing, too? If so, we'll need to adapt how we're doing the pregen PC's for the AP plug-in line.

If I'm understanding your question right, we're still totally doing campaign traits. That's going to be the biggest crossover between PC: Varisia and the Shattered Star Player's Guide, a slew of campaign traits perfect for players stating Shattered Star, or just starting out in Magnimar.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Cool. You understood the question correctly. As long as the campaign traits are still there, we should be able to reference them. Even so, I want to check this with the rest of the LG crew. Might not be a bad idea to discuss it at PaizoCon if I can bend your ear (or Vic's) for a moment, as well. I want to make sure we're adhering to the open license the way we've done in the past and the way we intend to going forward.

Contributor

Neil Spicer wrote:
Might not be a bad idea to discuss it at PaizoCon if I can bend your ear (or Vic's) for a moment, as well.

You know where we'll be. See you then!


So, I'm interested in running an adventure here...and sorry to be a downer, but I'd like to

a) allow as few splatbooks as possible (so, PH, APG, and this)
b) allow extra Varisian 'stuff', but not much else stuff

I know this is a weird question to ask, but, will this product have a reasonable list of other sorts of Varisian class options found in other books?

Like 'go here for Harrower, and there for Tattooed Sorcerer, and over there for Order of the Flourescent Tube (or whichever they are, in Korvosa) Hellknight', that kind of thing?

Silver Crusade

ohako wrote:

So, I'm interested in running an adventure here...and sorry to be a downer, but I'd like to

a) allow as few splatbooks as possible (so, PH, APG, and this)
b) allow extra Varisian 'stuff', but not much else stuff

I know this is a weird question to ask, but, will this product have a reasonable list of other sorts of Varisian class options found in other books?

Like 'go here for Harrower, and there for Tattooed Sorcerer, and over there for Order of the Flourescent Tube (or whichever they are, in Korvosa) Hellknight', that kind of thing?

Haven't seen the book, but I'd doubt it. There's not a lot of cross referencing in these books, from what I've seen.

But it sounds like what you want is going to mostly be in Inner Sea World Guide and Inner Sea Magic. Those cover Varisian Tattoo magic, and I think the Harrower stuff, too.


pretty cool. starting a new home game tomorrow, with rotating gms and i have a rogue that i decided was a great candidate to be a Varisian. Gambler, worships Desna (luck and travel), is mysterious...i just might have to get this to try o flesh him out.

Paizo Employee Developer

ohako wrote:

So, I'm interested in running an adventure here...and sorry to be a downer, but I'd like to

a) allow as few splatbooks as possible (so, PH, APG, and this)
b) allow extra Varisian 'stuff', but not much else stuff

I know this is a weird question to ask, but, will this product have a reasonable list of other sorts of Varisian class options found in other books?

Like 'go here for Harrower, and there for Tattooed Sorcerer, and over there for Order of the Flourescent Tube (or whichever they are, in Korvosa) Hellknight', that kind of thing?

This book has an interesting new feature we'll want lots of feedback on from you as well as many others.


Will there be mention of the Horselords of the Velashu Region?

This is a tantalizing group that has been ignored for 5 years.

Silver Crusade

Patrick Renie wrote:


This book has an interesting new feature we'll want lots of feedback on from you as well as many others.

??? Can you be more specific? Are we talking about an interesting new way of formatting the book, or an interesting new game mechanic?

And if it is a new game mechanic, can we get a hint about what it relates to, so those of us who aren't planning the book might get tempted into changing our minds? I have a new tattooed sorcerer character, so if it relates to that, I might consider buying the book. Otherwise, I wasn't planning to buy it.

Contributor

Fromper wrote:
??? Can you be more specific? Are we talking about an interesting new way of formatting the book, or an interesting new game mechanic?

Yes.

Fromper wrote:
And if it is a new game mechanic, can we get a hint about what it relates to, so those of us who aren't planning the book might get tempted into changing our minds? I have a new tattooed sorcerer character, so if it relates to that, I might consider buying the book. Otherwise, I wasn't planning to buy it.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for quite a few previews.

Sovereign Court

Hey Wes, any comment as to whether or not Xin-Shalast and other endgame Rise of the Runelords material will be in this book? I'd love to have a reference for my players who haven't experienced Golarion yet, but I'd hate to spoil the adventure path for them.

Silver Crusade

zagnabbit wrote:

Will there be mention of the Horselords of the Velashu Region?

This is a tantalizing group that has been ignored for 5 years.

This, plus anything else about the other Shoanti Quahs or for Shoanti PCs.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I like the new layout in the PDF.
I hope it translates well in-hand.
The panoramic images for the major settlements are stunning and I can't wait to see them as intended.

Paizo Employee Developer

Neverwillibreak wrote:
Hey Wes, any comment as to whether or not Xin-Shalast and other endgame Rise of the Runelords material will be in this book? I'd love to have a reference for my players who haven't experienced Golarion yet, but I'd hate to spoil the adventure path for them.

As with all Player Companions, this is intended to be a spoiler-free guide to Golarion specifically meant for players. This book provides information that will help players make viable and fleshed-out characters for use in both the Rise of the Runelords and the Shattered Star APs (as well as any campaign set in or around Varisia), while omitting any and all spoilers for these campaigns.


The new format looks great!

Regarding the Sable Company Marine character role:

- Why aren't cavaliers listed as an option?
- Is the Sable Company Marine feat still usable?
- What are the mechanics for a paladin obtaining a hippogriff mount?

Contributor

Neverwillibreak wrote:
Hey Wes, any comment as to whether or not Xin-Shalast and other endgame Rise of the Runelords material will be in this book? I'd love to have a reference for my players who haven't experienced Golarion yet, but I'd hate to spoil the adventure path for them.

No spoilers. In fact, that's the point! If you want to hand this book to players preping for Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne, Second Darkness, Jade Regent, or Shattered Star, not only can you rest assured that none of those plots will be spoiled for ya, but that they'll find relevant campaign traits for each.

In other words, no, Xin-Shalast is NOT on the map.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

So, I just started looking over this pdf myself, and this book is AWESOME!!! So much sweet sweet flavor and cultural goodness. Loaded with great character ideas, and even a bit of rules elements to sweeten the deal!

Absolutely love the new format. I only recently (some might say finally) subscribed to the Companion line, and I did so just in time. Hope to have more detailed thoughts later, as I've only skimmed it for now, but as far as I'm concerned you've hit it out of the park with this one! (and just in time too, as I'm about to start up RotR!)

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mikaze wrote:
zagnabbit wrote:

Will there be mention of the Horselords of the Velashu Region?

This is a tantalizing group that has been ignored for 5 years.

This, plus anything else about the other Shoanti Quahs or for Shoanti PCs.

Very little. But there's a ton more on Shoanti. Like where their territories are in a pretty nifty little map and all about how to embrace their unique totems. Cool stuff!

Dark Archive

I just want to know why my book hasn't shipped yet. *taps foot*


Dark_Mistress wrote:
I just want to know why my book hasn't shipped yet. *taps foot*

Your not the only one.

Sovereign Court

At this rate, I'll need a new carpet.

[tappety, tappety, tap]

Contributor

Simong wrote:
- Why aren't cavaliers listed as an option?

Let me nip this in the bud right away, as I suspect this will come up a lot as folks process roles.

Roles are meant to present just a few ways we here at Paizo would build a type of character. They are NEVER meant to show all of the possible ways a character could be built or limit players in the ways they might choose to build such a character. No role should ever be treated as a restriction.

As noted on page 2 "Every aspect of a role is just a suggestion, and roles present multiple ways to create a character, so feel free to make other choices to personalize roles in whatever ways most appeal to you."

A cavalier would make a GREAT member of the sable company. As would a fighter. As would a cleric. As would an alchemist (oh gawd!). Etc. If if you want to go that route, by all means.

In this case, ranger seemed like an obvious choice. Cavalier does too, but we wanted to accent the do-gooder vibe of the Sable Company in a city that has a notable lack of do-goodery. So those too. But the sky remains the limit for the Sable Company and much of which applies to the two classes describes still applies to cavaliers and classes of all sorts!

Simong wrote:
- Is the Sable Company Marine feat still usable?

If your GM is cool with it, go for it.

Simong wrote:
- What are the mechanics for a paladin obtaining a hippogriff mount?

Same as most other classes, hop on and go for it! The write-up on hippogriffs in Bestiary 2 has a bit on how they function as mounts. Divine bond doesn't factor into this too terribly much (except that you still get an awesome steed in your off hours, which is still pretty clutch for any reputable hero of Korvosa), but shining knight is going to assure that you're one of the best horsemen (bird-horsemen?) in the sky!

Hope that helps!

Contributor

Joseph Wilson wrote:

So, I just started looking over this pdf myself, and this book is AWESOME!!! So much sweet sweet flavor and cultural goodness. Loaded with great character ideas, and even a bit of rules elements to sweeten the deal!

Absolutely love the new format. I only recently (some might say finally) subscribed to the Companion line, and I did so just in time. Hope to have more detailed thoughts later, as I've only skimmed it for now, but as far as I'm concerned you've hit it out of the park with this one! (and just in time too, as I'm about to start up RotR!)

Yay! Thanks J. W.! Glad you're liking it. In fact, this sounds like exactly the sort of thing that would go great in a product review. If you love something, tell folks where it counts! :)

Thanks man!

Dark Archive

Well got mine, what this has taught me is. Being whinny and demanding gets you what you want. Except with my parents. But it seems to work with Paizo and boys... so does that mean i am now dating Paizo?....

Nah if I was dating Paizo they would send me stuff for free, call to be sure I got it, then call and ask if I am busy and would like to go out or something.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Really well done on the revamped format and layout for this product line, Wes. I got to see a copy during the impromptu tour of the Paizo offices at PaizoCon and it's easily the best-looking (and usable) Player Companion product. I look forward to seeing you guys do more of these.


New format is a huge improvement, nice job.

Silver Crusade

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
But there's a ton more on Shoanti. Like where their territories are in a pretty nifty little map and all about how to embrace their unique totems. Cool stuff!

WAWNT!


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Simong wrote:
- Why aren't cavaliers listed as an option?

Let me nip this in the bud right away, as I suspect this will come up a lot as folks process roles.

Roles are meant to present just a few ways we here at Paizo would build a type of character. They are NEVER meant to show all of the possible ways a character could be built or limit players in the ways they might choose to build such a character. No role should ever be treated as a restriction.

As noted on page 2 "Every aspect of a role is just a suggestion, and roles present multiple ways to create a character, so feel free to make other choices to personalize roles in whatever ways most appeal to you."

A cavalier would make a GREAT member of the sable company. As would a fighter. As would a cleric. As would an alchemist (oh gawd!). Etc. If if you want to go that route, by all means.

In this case, ranger seemed like an obvious choice. Cavalier does too, but we wanted to accent the do-gooder vibe of the Sable Company in a city that has a notable lack of do-goodery. So those too. But the sky remains the limit for the Sable Company and much of which applies to the two classes describes still applies to cavaliers and classes of all sorts!

I'm afraid I suspect you should copy that answer into a handy file for use in threads about future publications.

Contributor

Yay, thanks all! Glad to hear so many folks are digging it!

I'm going to post up some previews for folks who haven't seen anything yet, and - for those who have seen everything already - maybe some of Knights of the Inner Sea. Check back in the morning and we'll see. ;)

Kajehase wrote:
I'm afraid I suspect you should copy that answer into a handy file for use in threads about future publications.

Oh, I've got my six-shooter loaded. This is a new thing and there's bound to be plenty of questions. No worries! Patrick, Sutter, and I are keeping our eyes peeled to answer any questions folks might have about the new format and the philosophies that led to our choices. If anyone is wondering about anything they see, just ask!

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I just read Deadly Dealer.

I want a feat that mixes it with throw anything.

"After all dis time an I still manage to impress myself." :-)

Silver Crusade

Skimmed the pdf last night and loved it. The layout is great. The map is awesome ,wish a copy came as pull out. How much would a pc have to pay for map like that from the gnome in Sandpoint?

Liberty's Edge

I'm having such a nerdgasam reading there my PDF. I'm at work and it's very hard not squeal in joy.

I love, I say love that we have the distances in miles on the map between places. I don't have to try to figure it our with a ruler. So awesome.

Love the settlement's flags!

Don't know about Roles yet, though it's neat idea. Will probably be useful to newish payers or those unfamiliar with the setting.

Everything looks awesome, can't wait to see more of this from the companion line,

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

First scan and I love, love, love this: content, layout, style... excuse me while I leave the park so that I can fetch the ball.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Quick question about Thunder and Fang. The old Thunder and Fang basically allowed you to hit with the Earthbreaker two handed for strength and a half on damage, from the way the new feat is phrased it seems that is no longer the case. The way I imagined the Thunder and Fang style working was as you swung your hammer down two handed the blade on your klar sliced the enemy forcing them a step back so the hammer head collided with them.

The new phrasing seems to look like you wield the hammer one handed and basically punch them with the klar. I'm just curious if it's still intended that those who use this style can use the Earthbreaker two handed for all the benefits that entails and get that extra hit with the klar as well.

Liberty's Edge

Fromper wrote:
ohako wrote:

So, I'm interested in running an adventure here...and sorry to be a downer, but I'd like to

a) allow as few splatbooks as possible (so, PH, APG, and this)
b) allow extra Varisian 'stuff', but not much else stuff

I know this is a weird question to ask, but, will this product have a reasonable list of other sorts of Varisian class options found in other books?

Like 'go here for Harrower, and there for Tattooed Sorcerer, and over there for Order of the Flourescent Tube (or whichever they are, in Korvosa) Hellknight', that kind of thing?

Haven't seen the book, but I'd doubt it. There's not a lot of cross referencing in these books, from what I've seen.

But it sounds like what you want is going to mostly be in Inner Sea World Guide and Inner Sea Magic. Those cover Varisian Tattoo magic, and I think the Harrower stuff, too.

Actually there is a bit more sourcing other books in this book, more than most PF books.

Paizo Employee Developer

Robert Jordan wrote:

Quick question about Thunder and Fang. The old Thunder and Fang basically allowed you to hit with the Earthbreaker two handed for strength and a half on damage, from the way the new feat is phrased it seems that is no longer the case. The way I imagined the Thunder and Fang style working was as you swung your hammer down two handed the blade on your klar sliced the enemy forcing them a step back so the hammer head collided with them.

The new phrasing seems to look like you wield the hammer one handed and basically punch them with the klar. I'm just curious if it's still intended that those who use this style can use the Earthbreaker two handed for all the benefits that entails and get that extra hit with the klar as well.

The new Thunder and Fang feat basically allows you to wield an earth breaker in one hand (without accruing the penalties usually associated with doing so) and a klar in the other. In addition, you retain your shield bonus to AC from the klar, even when using it to attack.

As opposed to the old Thunder and Fang feat (from Pathfinder Adventure Path #10), the new feat does not allow you to use the earth breaker as a two-handed weapon while wielding a klar—you can either wield the earth breaker two-handed and forfeit the use of your klar, or wield the earth breaker in one hand and the klar in the other (adjusting damage and other variables accordingly for two-weapon fighting).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Robert Jordan wrote:

Quick question about Thunder and Fang. The old Thunder and Fang basically allowed you to hit with the Earthbreaker two handed for strength and a half on damage, from the way the new feat is phrased it seems that is no longer the case. The way I imagined the Thunder and Fang style working was as you swung your hammer down two handed the blade on your klar sliced the enemy forcing them a step back so the hammer head collided with them.

The new phrasing seems to look like you wield the hammer one handed and basically punch them with the klar. I'm just curious if it's still intended that those who use this style can use the Earthbreaker two handed for all the benefits that entails and get that extra hit with the klar as well.

The way this style looks in-world is that the dude holds the earthbreaker normally in two hands. On one hand (the lower one on the earthbreaker's shaft) he wears a klar, so that the blade on the klar protrudes parallel to the length of his forearm and perpendicular to the Earthbreaker's shaft. In profile, this makes the earthbreaker look like a letter "T" with a spike sticking out of the middle.

When he attacks, the dude swings down the hammer normally, and on the backswing, pushes forward with the klar in a rocking motion to deliver the secondary stab/slash.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Right the way James explains it is how I envisioned it using the Earthbreaker in two hands. I appreciate both James and Patrick chiming in and I get that it was changed to be a more traditional two weapon style of two "one" handed weapons. Out of curiosity why was it changed to the new version? I will personally still allow the use of the Earthbreaker two handed as James has described, but I am curious what drove the change in mechanics.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Holy crapolooza, best layout ever. This is such an improvement over the previous Companions. Actually I now want them all re-made this way.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Robert Jordan wrote:
Right the way James explains it is how I envisioned it using the Earthbreaker in two hands. I appreciate both James and Patrick chiming in and I get that it was changed to be a more traditional two weapon style of two "one" handed weapons. Out of curiosity why was it changed to the new version? I will personally still allow the use of the Earthbreaker two handed as James has described, but I am curious what drove the change in mechanics.

I wasn't involved in the revision, so I can't say.

Paizo Employee Developer

James Jacobs wrote:
Robert Jordan wrote:
Right the way James explains it is how I envisioned it using the Earthbreaker in two hands. I appreciate both James and Patrick chiming in and I get that it was changed to be a more traditional two weapon style of two "one" handed weapons. Out of curiosity why was it changed to the new version? I will personally still allow the use of the Earthbreaker two handed as James has described, but I am curious what drove the change in mechanics.
I wasn't involved in the revision, so I can't say.

I believe Wes designed the new rendition of the feat; he might be able to comment on this matter.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I wanna say how much I love Paizo, especially for their staff. One of my favorite things to see on a forum is when developers respond to questions and when they catch something they personally can't answer they tell you who can, and then potentially point it out to said person. Riot Games does it too, makes me smile and appreciate how much you guys like us.

Dark Archive

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

This has to be the most player-friendly gaming product I've ever seen. The layout is absolutely fantastic and the book contains a ton of details (such as Ask Your GM) that sets up the player for some great roleplaying, ensuring that the player gets all the help he or she can possibly get. I'll definitely suggest to my players that they get a subscription for this product line.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Yeah I'll chime in with my new layout = win, loving it so far. Much more a PLAYER companion than previous ones.


When I first saw this I thought, "Crap! They're starting to do re-releases of the Player Companions!", which would be a bad thing because I'm still trying to catch up on all the ones released to date.

But then I checked my shelf and realized Varisia hadn't been covered yet so this is a big THUMBS UP from me!!

Contributor

Robert Jordan wrote:
Right the way James explains it is how I envisioned it using the Earthbreaker in two hands. I appreciate both James and Patrick chiming in and I get that it was changed to be a more traditional two weapon style of two "one" handed weapons. Out of curiosity why was it changed to the new version? I will personally still allow the use of the Earthbreaker two handed as James has described, but I am curious what drove the change in mechanics.

Rules wise, the crunchiest parts of every Player Companion get run through our design department and they're constantly endeavoring to bring all of our offerings up to date with the most current standards of the Pathfinder rules. If I recall, this got tinkered with just to make it a bit more standard, not to change the flavor.

That said, I don't think the aesthetics of how you've been envisioning this fighting style needs to change one bit. The klar's still a big weapon that could use some stabilization in its swing, so a user with a klar guiding the hammer's big stroke but not holding its heft firmly has the flexibility to lash out a bit more with his shield-blade. It's always assumed with all of our combat rules that there's a fair deal of finesse the characters in-world are performing that comprise their personal or cultural fighting styles, so ultimately, the specifics of the rules shouldn't be viewed as too much of an impediment on how you think a character should look in the throes of battle. Doubly so if you've already got something awesome in your head.

And all of that said, if you as a GM are still keen on the previous version, by all means run with it!

Contributor

Ravenmantle wrote:
This has to be the most player-friendly gaming product I've ever seen. The layout is absolutely fantastic and the book contains a ton of details (such as Ask Your GM) that sets up the player for some great roleplaying, ensuring that the player gets all the help he or she can possibly get. I'll definitely suggest to my players that they get a subscription for this product line.

Yay! Thanks all! Someone hitting that subscription button is really the highest praise we can get!

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Just when I got out of the Subscription for Pathfinder Companion, you pull me back in!!! :) I really look forward to getting this one!!!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Someone hitting that subscription button is really the highest praise we can get!

Well, my wife saw that the next volume was about Varisia (handy for the tattooed sorcerer she was contemplating for Rise of the Runelords), the one after that was about Knights (she's already got a cavalier as one PFS character), and that there were ones coming up about People of the North (she's got an Ulfen, too), an Animal Archive (familiars? maybe the cavalier again?) and the Dungeoneer's handbook (just generally useful), and she only had one question - Why didn't my list of subscriptions include the Player Companion line? As you can see from my tag, that shortcoming has since been eliminated.

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