Pact Magic Unbound, Vol. 1 (PFRPG)

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Immerse yourself in the intricate rituals and legends of Goetian magic. Grab thick chalk, inscribe a geometric seal around yourself, and invoke the name of a terrible spirit to aid your quest. Behold! With a final intonation you seal a bargain with the spirit and a quivering surge of power emanates from deep within. Are you ready? Embark on your journey with the spirit of a shivering demon, martyred titan, lost mortal, chastised god, or stranger being still. The vestiges of thirty-two sundered souls lie at your fingertips, yours to command if you dare.

You will discover...

  • An introduction to fantasy pact-making for your campaign.
  • A new base class, the occultist, as well as an occultist archetype.
  • Archetypes for the 11 core classes.
  • Add-ons: a new cleric domain, barbarian rage powers, rogue talents, an oathbound paladin oath, and more!
  • A new type of feat to modify your pact magic, known as occult feats.
  • Binder Secrets, which are special abilities that an occultist can take in place of a feat.
  • Constellation aspects, which are like 0-level spirit powers that allow you to increase the binding DC of a spirit in order to gain an additional granted ability.
  • Most Important! 32 starter spirits from 1st through 9th level. These spirits are favorites drawn from the original Secrets of Pact Magic and Villains of Pact Magic, with 3 brand new spirits.

This 84-page guide opens gateways to perilous and exciting adventures. This is first volume of several to launch you on adventures of dangerous occult power.

For use in your Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Requires the use of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook, published by Paizo Publishing LLC.

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****½ (based on 5 ratings)

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Nice Adaptation

****( )

I was a real fan of the Pact Magic mechanic when it came out in 3.5 so I was tickled to see it done in PF. Radiance House has done a very nice job with making a good adaptation and making it their own.

There are some differences so be aware.
First, the entities you bind to yourself are no longer called vestiges but spirits. Not sure why. Second, the goetia-based spirits from the original TOM are not to be found here which was the only disappointing thing for me. You have lots of spirits but they are all like they were once living creatures instead of the extreme creepy weirdness from the original TOM. I might have to convert the original vestiges to this system as I really liked them.

Anyway, there is a lot to sink your teeth into here. Volume 2 is worth getting as well as it has options for classes found outside the core book and even utilizes character background rules from the Ultimate Campaign book. I'm looking forward to rolling an occultist (the new binder class) and seeing how they play. Looks like lots of fun!


An Endzeitgeist.com review

****( )

The first book converting pact-magic to PFRPG is 86 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 81 pages of content, so let's check this out, but only after a short glance back:

When I bought the "Tome of Magic" for D&D 3.5, I immediately fell in love with Pact Magic - I loved the concept, the great fluff...but power-wise, it came apart. With the notable exception of some minor supplemental material in certain Dragon-APs by Paizo, I never saw any supplemental material and if you're like me and have a LOT of books, that's a big drawback. And then, when the now deceased Kobold Quarterly magazine featured a pact magic ad, I clicked on it and ordered the books in blind faith. And if there was ONE defining experience that still makes me check out unknown 3pps, it was this one: I got gorgeously-crafted, beautiful hardcover books for a very low price and they've seen a lot of use in my subsequent campaigns.

With PFRPG, we now FINALLY get the update of my favorite magic system and it's more than just a cut-copy-paste-job - in fact, we get a completely new base-class, but for those of you not familiar with the concept, here's the spin: First, binding a spirit requires drawing a seal on a free 5-foot square - depending on the spirit, you'll have to draw the seal e.g. in darkness, with blood, etc. After drawing this symbol, you perform a ceremony, which is unique for each spirit and might range from the weird to the creepy. After witnessing the manifestation of the spirit, the binder barters with it: Each spirit comes with a binding DC that is compared to a binder's binding-check. Said check is d20+ 1/2 binder's level+cha-mod. You enter a pact with the spirit regardless of whether you succeed the check, but it does have consequences: For 24 hours, the binder shares soul and body with the entity and the check determines the amount of influence the spirit exercises over the binder. Successful checks indicate e.g. that the binder can suppress potentially weird physical signs that accompany entering a pact with a spirit. Also, the spirit's personality affects your behavior and you may ignore the spirit's restrictions like "not lying", gold as a top priority, short tempers etc. Now this system thus does not only provide a magic-system, it also provides a GLORIOUS role-playing catalyst.

That out of the way, Pact Magic, fluff-wise, is also a somewhat scorned upon practice that brings out the fanatics in e.g. some clerics and has always carried the allure of the forbidden - after all, the practitioners channel spirits that are beyond mortality and often, the range of the gods. Thus, rules provided for hiding the physical signs etc. are provided. Since the forbidden aspect is partially based on an availability, other classes can wilder in the territory of Pact Magic - especially interesting for paladins, who can now vow oaths against spirits or become Templars of Spirits, who may smite those bound as well as evil and perform exorcisms.

Clerics may become occult priests, take the occult domain and even worship spirits now - though whether sanctioned or as a heresy depends on your world. Oh, detecting heretics is supplemented by 3 new spells. Pactsworn Pagan-druids modify their shape to be more pleasing to the spirit and pay for their binding with diminished spellcasting, while the monks of the empyrean friar blends martial arts with being possessed by spirits and their supernatural abilities - I had a similar character in one of my campaigns once and it rocked, so cool concept! And yes, even fighter may opt to become so-called warshades and benefit from pact magic.
Rangers get a new archetype to gain some limited pact magic-associated abilities, while rogues may select new talents to hide supernatural aspects, improve capabilities of spirits or play an untouchable, who always gets the short end of the stick, bargain-wise, but apply a skill-bonus to a whole attribute's array.

Sorcerors may chose the Ergon bloodline that has tumor-like, eye-resembling growths spawn on the body and work as eyes as well as the power to devour magic and transcend into a half-construct as per the ARG. The second bloodline, the ravaged, is closer to a more conventional pact magic/sorceror blending. Wizards may opt to take the new soul weaver archetype, who have their spellcasting prowess diminished and forsake 3 schools, but may in turn fuse pact magic and regular magic by e.g. sacrificing prepared spells into granted abilities for more flexibility. Barbarians may become totemic sages (and also get 2 rage powers) and bards soul muses. Bards also benefit from a new masterpiece to daze foes.

You may have noticed some confusing terms here, so let me elaborate: A spirit's write-up takes up at least 1 page and not for no reason - each spirit has totems, mementos that remind him/her/it of its former life that grant the binding character a +2 insight bonus on binding checks when present, +4 when all are present - researching these can, again, be a great roleplaying opportunity.

The aforementioned ceremonies can be rushed, but that makes the result be more prone to being unfavorable for the binder. Binding spirits has multiple benefits: First of which would be minor benefits - and plural is appropriate indeed - for each spirit has at least a couple of these benefits. They range from permanent boons while being bound to the spirit to abilities that can be used 1/character level to some that have a cool-down of a couple of rounds, but no other restriction. Major abilities are simply the stronger ones granted by the spirit. Beyond these, each spirit has a capstone empowerment, which only becomes available to the binder if he/she succeeds at the binding check by 10 or more, making even low-level spirits bring something new to the table. All spirits also are aligned to one of 13 eldritch constellations and almost all of aforementioned archetypes are limited in their constellation choices. Each spirit has a favored enemy and ally constellation (sometimes multiple) that can be further enhanced by feats and makes binding spirits to allied races easier/harder, respectively. Furthermore, each constellation has 4 different potential constellation benefits. Now, the binders may also opt to forego a minor ability to instead gain the service of a so-called vestigial companion (after vestiges, the name originally applied to the spirits). The spirits also are grouped by levels from 1st to 9th, following in that regard the traditional presentation.

Now, it should come as no surprise that we also get a full binding class, the Occultist, who gets 3/4 BAB-progression, d8, 4+Int skills per level, and bind multiple aspects and squeeze augmentation bonuses out of their spirits.

But what are these spirits? Well, for example, you could bind Cave Mother, she who discovered fire, General Hessant, the Patron of Lost Soldiers, a tall story come to life by enough people believing in it, N'alyia, the First Vampire, the first of the otyughs, a living curse, Loh'Moi the geometer that sought to think 4-dimensional by teleporting into his brain, ultimately to turn back time, famed Dagon (Yes, mythos-aficionados - one constellation is called Dark beyond...), a psychotic elven princess turned black unicorn, a king betrayed by any and all as well as the sworn enemy of time. And no, that were not all contained herein.

A total of 20 feats are also part of the deal to expand the options of your pact magic-casters. Interesting is also that multiple models of spirits-known are presented for the DM, putting control essentially in your hands while featuring guidelines that help maintaining balance easy.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good, though I noticed some minor typo-style glitches, I encountered very few and far-between, so nothing to truly complain about here. Layout adheres to a b/w-2-column standard with many of the artworks of the 3.5-version and one artwork for each seal. The pdf comes fully bookmarked, but sans nested bookmarks.

Pact Magic Unbound Vol.1 is a great streamlined version of the Pact Magic-rules I've come to love and enjoy in my home-games. The thing is... I have both 3.5 hardcovers, which are now out of stock everywhere I look. And I realize these two probably have been produced at a loss - at least that would explain the stitch-binding and top-quality paper. In direct comparison, this one still just feels so...incomplete to me. While there are quite a bunch of cool spirits in here, there's a factor that made me LOVE, ADORE the original book, which is only partially present herein:

In the original, EVERY spirit had a legend, an expertly-written, sometimes, creepy, sometimes tragic, sometimes philosophic, but never boring history spanning a whole page as well as a cliff-notes version for the DM. While multiple of the spirits have retained their legends in this book, there also are several that have been omitted - for example the disturbing legend of evening star. The PFRPG-mechanics are awesome (and I hope, we'll get APG, UM and UC-support in Vol. II), the omission of the legends/cutting them down to mere paragraphs may conserve page-count, but it also detracts from what made pact magic stand out in my mind - not necessarily the mechanics, but the storytelling. The AWESOME flavor that made Pact Magic feel much more magical than regular magic.
Don't get me wrong - this is still a great offering. Its crunch is actually better, getting rid of alignment-changes etc. On the fluff-side, though, it just isn't as brilliant, as mind-boggling in its fluff as its previous incarnation and I really hope Vol. II will come with ALL legends - for more than anything else, more than the solid mechanics, it's always been the stories that, for me, defined Pact Magic.

Due to this factor, I will settle for a final verdict of 4 stars + seal of approval, for the rules are awesome - but the cut legends and the useful cliff-notes make this pdf suffer a bit. If you can, somehow hunt down the 3.5-books as well - they are worth every cent and having legends for ALL spirits makes them so much cooler.

Endzeitgeist out.


My thoughts on this!

****( )

Yasha gave a more fully detailed review outlining what's in this book, and I generally agree with it.

Here’s my thoughts on volume 1, hopefully to guide your thoughts on volume 2:

I would love to give it 5/5, but I can’t. I can’t give it 3/5, either; that would be too mean IMO, so it gets a 4/5 from me.

I should note that I thought the introduction of binders in 3.5 TOM was great. However, that had its flaws, which I’ll get to in a minute.

Things missing from volume 1:
No index.
No feat table.
No table providing a summary of what each spirit does.
Considering that there were four blank pages at the back, I thought it a shame that the above weren’t there! Such items would have been very useful!

The thing I loathed about the 3.5 TOM binder was the class fluff. The TOM introduced this amazing class, but the fluff said “everyone hates you”. Which I thought was total B.S. What makes binders so bad that everyone hates them? An evil binder is no worse than an evil sorcerer, evil cleric, and so on. A good binder isn’t evil, yet people still hated them. I loathed that fluff.
To a large extent, PMU volume 1 got rid of that rubbish, but not entirely. :-( For instance, there is no way I’d ever allow the paladin archetype, and the rogue archetype is pretty questionable to me, too.
Later on in volume 1, it talks about the level of availability of pact magic, but even at the “Pact Magic is Prominent” level, it still has the “everyone hates you” crap. What I would have preferred is that the binders (occultist etc) are treated just like any other class. You could then have had a sidebar saying something along the lines of “Pact magic is based on a theory developed in the real world Renaissance, and as such the Catholic Church was strongly against it. If you wish to introduce a flavour that binders, sorcerers, witches, etc are hunted by strong churches in particular lands, then feel free to do so. [These archetypes] are recommended if you want to use such a background, otherwise it is recommended that you do not use them if will not enhance the fun of the game.” Or better yet, Radiance House releases a compiled hardback, please have a chapter with the “everyone hates you” stuff that is optional, and take the view that the rest of the stuff is just treated normally!

The spirits. My favourites are Tyrant Cromwell, Ubro, and Serapith. It’d be good if the spirits in future books have just as much “oomph” as those. Some of the spirits just seem a bit random!!
It occurs to me, that with nine levels of spirits and thirteen constellations, there should eventually be at least 117 spirits. I’m sure it’ll be a while before we see that many, though!

Overall, I really like this book- don’t think otherwise. I just wanted to make the above points and hope that you’ll take them into consideration!

This book is well worth buying!


Pact Magic done properly

*****

Alright, Pact Magic! Being a longtime fan of the Binder from the Tome of Magic, I decided to bite the bullet and buy the Print/PDF Bundle. Here goes.
Lets start with the "Binder" class, the Occultist. The Occultist is a solid conversion and update of the ToM Binder Class. There are a few small gripes though. It has lost the Soul Guardian tree of abilities, likely that Occultists can bind a variety of Spirits in order to get similar abilities instead. While I understand while those abilities didn't make it into the finished class, I still miss them.
The ultimate and penultimate abilities of the class are new, interesting and have a lot of potential for fun usage. All while being totally unique to the Occultist.
One thing that did strike me as odd is this; the level at which you max out the number of spirits you can bind. It seems arbitrary, it also essentially spells out that Occultists of level 21+ don't gain any additional spirits either. While I understand most folks don't play much past 15th level, I find this limits options a bit (especially since I am running an epic game right now).

The archetypes: interesting and a good way to introduce spirit binding into your campaign. One that does seem a bit unclear and I imagine will cause some confusion is that the Bind Spirit features don't specifically mention if the number of spirits you can bind increases or not. If it doesn't (as I read it) thats good and will keep these archetypes balanced against others. If it does (which the lack of Bind Additional Spirits as a class feature makes me think it doesn't), then these archetypes are looking overpowered. Clarity on this will likely stop arguments at the table. If the archetypes work the way I think they do, then they would be a welcome addition to the repertoire of the various PFRPG classes, at least at my table.

Constellations: This is an interesting little mechanic. Think of them as Occultist cantrips. They are customizable (always good) on which ones you select, there is a wide range of choices, and with multiple spirits bound you could end up with a wide range of little abilities that help out. Also, its optional to even try for a constellation ability while binding a spirit, so its up to the player whether to worry about it or not (also good).

Feats: The feats seem nice and balanced (nothing randomly OP) and fit with the flavor of the class. Reminiscent of the ToM feats but also some totally new and good stuff in there too.

Chapter Fiction: There is a reason this is a section! I like having chapter fiction/samples of characters like this. Its a little short story that lets you hear a narrative about a character like the one you are likely creating. Oddly though the "Pact Magic in Action" one lists someone using Spirits that aren't in the book at all. After reading it, I wanted to look those spirits up. Hopefully they make the next volume.

Spirits: I still need to look at them more in depth, but my general impression is of a job well done. They seem more comparable to other vestiges of the same level than the ToM ones did. At any given level, its more situation and circumstance that will determine which vestiges are best, not one just being flat out better. Great job on this section folks! I really like that you can increase the binding DC to get an empowerment on the main ability of the vestige. It actually will encourage players to try for them and hopefully make bad pacts (which is fun). I only saw one spirit that really gave much in the way of resistances or immunities though, and it is 9th level. Overall there are a lot of attack abilities and what seems like fewer defensive ones. I'd have to really give various selections of spirits trials in game to give a better opinion, that is just my initial impression.

Final Impression: Overall (despite a few little gripes), I love this book. Obviously, the developers knew what they were doing and actually liked the old ToM Binder class. They did the spirit of the class justice and brought it into the PFRPG system with style.


The Standard for Pact Magic and/or Binders

*****

Back around the time the Pathfinder RPG first came out, I saw some posts about a 3rd party version of Wizards of the Coast's Binder from Tome of Magic. I'd seen a number of people say that the Binder had some good ideas, but had some mechanical problems. The general consensus was that this 3rd party publication "Secrets of Pact Magic" was 'the binder, done right'.

Now, the authors of Secrets of Pact Magic have updated their book to the Pathfinder RPG. This isn't just a quick and dirty conversion, the authors have taken advantage of the innovations introduced by PFRPG to make their Pact Magic book blend seamlessly with the overall system. It's a very elegant and professionally put together system and there is something in here for pretty much every game whether or not you decide to use the new class added by this book or if you want to use an archetype for an existing class.

Bottom line, this comes highly recommended and I hope to see more such material from Radiance House.


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Contributor

Pact magic returns! Woot! Now available!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Are there plans for a print version of this?


Just bought it! I'm gonna read it later, but what's changed from the playtest?

Contributor

Liz Courts wrote:
Pact magic returns! Woot! Now available!

Its been a long time coming, too! Thanks for your help, Ms. Ninja! :-)

ericthecleric wrote:
Are there plans for a print version of this?

Yes! There already is one, actually. Dario and I currently have the print version available through Radiance House. Here's a link to the product page.

Jackiscool wrote:
Just bought it! I'm gonna read it later, but what's changed from the playtest?

There are a couple of small things that changed from the last playtest document, but nothing too major. Off the top of my head:


  • There is now a second Occultist archetype, the Seal-Etched Occultist.
  • There is now a second Sorcerer bloodline, the Ergon Bloodline.
  • There are now three spells in the Cleric section. They mostly deal with divination and weeding out heretics (aka pact mages) but they're pretty versatile in scope.

Since this is the "nice" copy of the final product, it also has several short stories spread throughout it; Dario Nardi's original legends from the 3.5 version of this product.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Just got my dead tree copy. Amusingly faster than I got my PDF.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Matthew Morris wrote:
Just got my dead tree copy. Amusingly faster than I got my PDF.

My parents ordered two copies (our baby is getting his first book published!) and we were surprised by how expeditious Dario is as well! One copy is for my grandmother; not sure about how I feel about having to sign a book with a picture of a naked woman transforming into a unicorn for my grandmother's 87th birthday though.

If you liked what you saw, please don't hesitate to leave a review for all the people who are still trying to make up their minds. :)

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Folks, know that a hardcopy--and hardcopy with PDF bundle--will be available shortly for pre-orders from Paizo.

As for 87-year old grandmas, just make sure you have an oxygen tank and defibrillator on hand. Naw. The book is pretty tame.

Contributor

And preorders up. :D

Contributor

Liz Courts wrote:
And preorders up. :D

I suppose that's two thank yous that I owe you today? Will a courtly ninja bow suffice?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

@Alexander I understand, when the tankard of the cheerful duelist showed up in KQ, I got copies for my parents :-)


I like what I'm seeing so far.
The occultist class is well done, as are the Archytypes.

Where these "binder" focused products always fall flat for me are the actual vestiges.....

I guess what I'm really looking for is a mechanic that allows me to flip open any bestiary....and say I wan't to bind a Cabal Devil....so how would that translate as a vestige ?

Maybe that's just me though :(

Contributor

nighttree wrote:

I like what I'm seeing so far.

The occultist class is well done, as are the Archytypes.

Where these "binder" focused products always fall flat for me are the actual vestiges.....

I guess what I'm really looking for is a mechanic that allows me to flip open any bestiary....and say I wan't to bind a Cabal Devil....so how would that translate as a vestige ?

Maybe that's just me though :(

Its not just you, the original Secrets of Pact Magic had an Angel Binder and a Devil Binder prestige class. Even if it didn't, I want to do something with binding outsiders for the occultist, believe me, but now's not the time for that. Just wait two, maybe three miles down the road. I'll get there! In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy the spirits that are in this book for the time being.


How does this compare to the Pact Magic in Tome of Magic? Is it similar, or is it different?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Twin Dragons wrote:
How does this compare to the Pact Magic in Tome of Magic? Is it similar, or is it different?

Do you realize you're one of the vestiges?

EDIT: And for an actual answer, it's very similar.

Contributor

Twin Dragons wrote:
How does this compare to the Pact Magic in Tome of Magic? Is it similar, or is it different?

Short answer, yes. Long answer ....

Tome of Magic was the foundation for Radiance House's Secrets of Pact Magic, and as a successor and update to that book, Pact Magic Unbound, Vol. 1 is also heavily influenced by Tome of Magic.

At its core, you'll see many of the mechanics (binder level, granted abilities, binding checks / DCs, physical sign, and influence are the big five). Secrets of Pact Magic added mechanics like Favored Allies and Favored Enemies (creatures that the spirit likes / doesn't like), Vestigial Companions (creatures you can gain if you give up a different granted ability), Constellations (similar to arcane schools for spells), and 9 levels of spirits as opposed to the eight from Tome of Magic. Finally, this book polished the mechanics further and adds some new bits of flavor, such as replacing requirements for totems (instead of forcing you to do or have something to bind the spirit, you get bonuses to binding for doing or having something), and the separation of granted abilities into major and minor abilities.

If you know Tome of Magic, you'll be ahead of the game when digesting this book. This book, however, assumes that you're a Pathfinder child and have never heard of Pact Magic before. :)

Contributor

Jackissocool wrote:
Twin Dragons wrote:
How does this compare to the Pact Magic in Tome of Magic? Is it similar, or is it different?

Do you realize you're one of the vestiges?

EDIT: And for an actual answer, it's very similar.

Spirits, Jack, spirits! The term vestige isn't open content! :)

However, he is correct. Essek Avix, the Twins Rejoined is an 8th level Dragon constellation in the book. Looks like the stars are telling you to add this to cart after all!


Oh, crap. I should unbuy my copy. I'm embarassed.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jackissocool wrote:
Oh, crap. I should unbuy my copy. I'm embarassed.

Actually, it means you should buy two copies so you can study them twice as hard! :-P

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Hmm, I'm going to have to look at an archtype that bonds the spirit to the cavalier's mount.


Matthew Morris wrote:
Hmm, I'm going to have to look at an archtype that bonds the spirit to the cavalier's mount.

Now THAT is a cool idea for an archetype.

Contributor

That is pretty neat! I actually just finished my alpha for the Cavalier material in Pact Magic Unbound, Vol. 2. Wasn't going to do any archetypes, though. I wrote two Cavalier Orders. :-P

If you end up writing something cool, talk to Dario. He's taken submissions in the past (this book originally started as a small submission from me, as a matter of fact!).

Fun Factoid: My original submission that grew into this book was the Empyrean Friar, the Foe Reaper, and the Soul Weaver archetypes.


So, has anyone else picked this up. Any thoughts on the book from those who have?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've purchased this, Caedwyr. I loved the concept of binders when introduced in the 3.5 Tome of Magic. I've had a quick look through it and read some of it properly, and it's still a great idea.
The book is very well put together, and the idea still works the same; ie that a character can bind spirits that grant a suite of various abilities, allowing for very flexible characters.

Shadow Lodge

Want. So. Much.

If my name wasn't a giveaway of how much I love Binders.... ahem Occultists....

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Still digesting since Dr Nardi saved my mail from my spam protection. :-)

IT is very good.

Contributor

Caedwyr wrote:
So, has anyone else picked this up. Any thoughts on the book from those who have?

I have some thoughts on it! Too bad they're all completely biased. :)

In all seriousness, though, if you bought the product and liked it, I deeply encourage you to write the book a review here on the website. As much as I hate to talk about the gps, Volume 2 can happen much quicker if Dario and I feel that there is a more receptive audience to this sort of product. If you didn't like it, that's find too, and I still encourage you to write a review. That can help me make any erratas that may need to happen, give me an idea of what I can do better on the next volume, and your description might still help someone decide that they want the product, even if you didn't like it.

ericthecleric wrote:

I've purchased this, Caedwyr. I loved the concept of binders when introduced in the 3.5 Tome of Magic. I've had a quick look through it and read some of it properly, and it's still a great idea.

The book is very well put together, and the idea still works the same; ie that a character can bind spirits that grant a suite of various abilities, allowing for very flexible characters.

Thanks for the kind words! Occultists were most certainly designed to be true "jack of all trades" characters, and that's a role they fit very well into. They also excel at long-lasting encounters because their resources do not dwindle as quickly as other classes. They're basically the opposite of "nova psions;" characters who blow off everything at once for massive burst potential. It is almost impossible to be a nova savant with the occultist, and in many cases taking pact magic on other classes makes you less bursty as well.

Orthos wrote:

Want. So. Much.

If my name wasn't a giveaway of how much I love Binders.... ahem Occultists....

Well, I want you to pick up this book / PDF! :)

Matthew Morris wrote:

Still digesting since Dr Nardi saved my mail from my spam protection. :-)

It is very good.

Dario tends to save everyone and every thing from themselves. Like this one time when my manuscript for a book I wrote came back bleeding red ink and he fixed all of my grammar mistakes.

(HINT: It was Pact Magic Unbound, Vol. 1!)

(MORE HINTS: He'll probably have to save me for Vol. 2 as well!)


Caedwyr wrote:
So, has anyone else picked this up. Any thoughts on the book from those who have?

I have, and as I said I think they have done a GREAT job.

Admittedly, I'm more likely to use the archytypes than the base class, as for me the whole shtick is more of an "add on" to another class.
But they have done a better job than any preiviouse material I have seen (IMO).

I'm also more inclined to create my own spirits for binding( guidlines on how to balance that would be sweet)....

Now we just need a Witch archytype that replaces thier familiar with a bound spirit ;)

Contributor

nighttree wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:
So, has anyone else picked this up. Any thoughts on the book from those who have?

I have, and as I said I think they have done a GREAT job.

Admittedly, I'm more likely to use the archytypes than the base class, as for me the whole shtick is more of an "add on" to another class.
But they have done a better job than any preiviouse material I have seen (IMO).

Thank you for the complement! The archetypes are there for people who would rather add-on instead of devote themselves to pact magic. If you want to specialize in it, however, the occultist is clearly better at the spirit game so it works as intended. :)

Quote:
I'm also more inclined to create my own spirits for binding( guidlines on how to balance that would be sweet)....

That very section has been requested several times now, both in and out of playtest. You can expect to see it in Volume 2.

Quote:
Now we just need a Witch archytype that replaces thier familiar with a bound spirit ;)

That's actually not the direction I'm going in. I'm going for the less expected route!

Here's an excerpt for you, if you want a hint as to what I've planned.

Spoiler:
Of all vocations, few are better suited to the occult arts than the witch. Many witches who dabble in the occult walk this path on behalf of one or more spirits, who see the witch as a potential vessel that they can experience the world through. They possess (or create) animals or other creatures and approach the would-be witch with a bargain for power; the spirits use the witch and the animal to taste our reality and the witch gains occult power in exchange.


Any word on when this is shipping?


What's new in this compared to Secrets of Pact Magic & Villains of Pact Magic. Are there new feats, spirits, prestige classes?

Contributor

The Guardian Beyond Beyond wrote:
What's new in this compared to Secrets of Pact Magic & Villains of Pact Magic. Are there new feats, spirits, prestige classes?

Well, let's see ...

There's a new base class, the Occultist. Its loosely based off of a combination of the 3.5 binder and the Spirit Binder class from Secrets of Pact Magic. Most of the other SoPM / VoPM classes return as character archetypes, off the top of my head:


  • Empyrean Monk - Empyrean Friar (monk)
  • Unbound witch - Unbound Occultist (occultist)
  • Soul Muse - Soul Muse (bard)
  • Templar - Templar of Souls (paladin)
  • Foe Hunter - Foe Reaper (ranger)
  • Soul Weaver - Soul Weaver (wizard)
  • Occult Priest - Occult Priest (cleric)
  • Pact Warrior / Warbinder - Warshade (fighter)

In addition to these archetypes, the following have been added:


  • Totemic Sage: Barbarian who uses totems to enhance their communions with the spirits.
  • Spiritshaper: Druid who can wild shape into their bound spirit's vestigial companion.
  • Oath Against Spirits: Oathbound Paladin Oath taken against occult forces.
  • Untouchable: Rogue archetype focused on a person who is born ravaged by the spirits and is therefore undesirable.
  • Ergon Bloodline / Ravaged Bloodline: Sorcerer bloodlines; the ergon bloodline is a sorcerer who has been tampered with and experimented upon by the mysterious ergon race (they were called cyclopeans in SoPM, but Dario and I opted to change the name because cyclopes are actual monsters in Pathfinder) and the ravaged bloodline is someone who has occult taint in their blood.

Many of the best feats return from SoPM and VoPM as well as some newer ones. In addition, many of the Prestige Classes from SoPM have been boiled down into Binder Secrets, which function a lot like Arcane Discoveries (see Ultimate Magic) for the Occultist.

Finally, while most of the spirits are returning spirits from SoPM and VoPM, they all have had major upgrades in terms of their granted abilities. Granted abilities are now divided into two categories; major and minor, and instead of having requirements all spirits possess totems; totems reward you for meeting prerequisites instead of forcing you to meet them to communicate with the spirit in the first place. Finally, three all-new spirits appear in this book; Sevnoir, the Meandering Mastiff, Serapith, the Scouring Light, and Daeminthos, Crystal Eye of the Mind.

This book doesn't have any prestige classes, but its something that I am actively pursuing in Volume 2.

Hope that helps out! :)

Contributor

Twin Dragons wrote:
Any word on when this is shipping?

That's more of a Dario / Liz question then one for me, I'm afraid; Dario ships the books to Paizo and Liz would know if Paizo received them or not. I'm an East Coaster while they're both chilling by the Pacific. Last I heard, Dario mentioned last Thursday as the day he was expecting Paizo to get his shipment, but something could have come up or the books might have arrived over the weekend while the warehouse was closed or something. Hopefully you'll get your answer on Monday!

Silver Crusade

I ordered this book as I was a big fan of the binder from 3.5. The pdf looks good from what I have read so far. Can't wait for my print copy too.

Contributor

I haven't seen the print product yet, though I'm looking forward to proclaiming its arrival here at Paizo. :D


Alexander Augunas wrote:


Quote:
Now we just need a Witch archytype that replaces thier familiar with a bound spirit ;)

That's actually not the direction I'm going in. I'm going for the less expected route!

Here's an excerpt for you, if you want a hint as to what I've planned.

** spoiler omitted **

That not only sounds awsome....but it sounds like it's more in line with what I was hoping for from the witches famalier when they first announced the class.

An entity that takes on the form of an animal, but isn't actually what it appears to be....fit's the lore perfectly ;)

Contributor

nighttree wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:


Quote:
Now we just need a Witch archytype that replaces thier familiar with a bound spirit ;)

That's actually not the direction I'm going in. I'm going for the less expected route!

Here's an excerpt for you, if you want a hint as to what I've planned.

** spoiler omitted **

That not only sounds awsome....but it sounds like it's more in line with what I was hoping for from the witches famalier when they first announced the class.

An entity that takes on the form of an animal, but isn't actually what it appears to be....fit's the lore perfectly ;)

I guess I better kick it up a notch to make sure the playtest comes out sooner! :-P


Hope Paizo gets their fill of these soon!

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

I, for one, am waiting with baited breath for this to come out of "pre-order" status. :)

Contributor

Fatespinner wrote:
I, for one, am waiting with baited breath for this to come out of "pre-order" status. :)

Trust me, Dario and I are waiting too! I don't know for certain (shipping is, again, a Dario topic) but from what Vic Wertz said over in the Ultimate Equipment thread, it sounds like there's a general warehouse issue going on and that could be affecting this book. More likely that they just haven't gotten it in yet, though. :)

Contributor

The print version hasn't arrived in our warehouse yet.

Contributor

Print version now available!

Contributor

Liz Courts wrote:
Print version now available!

Huzzah!

Hopefully Dario and I can sort it out so the next batch doesn't take nearly as long to travel there.

Silver Crusade

So are the print versions already shipped or are in the process of shipping? I bought the pdf/print bundle on 8-10. I was just curious if Paizo has already shipped out the print copies?

Contributor

They should be in process Chris, and your print copy is on a pick list waiting to be fulfilled. :)

Silver Crusade

Thanks Liz, I am happy to hear that things are moving along.


Okay, so I picked this up at DriveThru RPG, and a few things jumped out at me.

1. The bookmarks are pretty much non-existent (Cover, Page 2, Back). More bookmarks would have been nice.

2. Cover art and internal Black and White art is good. A lot of the inside art is reused from the previous books, but given that this is a conversion, that makes sense.

3. YAY, you included the starting wealth for the Occultist. No one ever does that.

4. I actually prefer the more select expanded legend text sprinkled throughout the spirit section. It feels more like each legend that is shown is the cream of the crop, rather than just a filling in the spirit statblock exercise.

5. At first glance, you seem to have done a good job at balancing things, and the effects of the playtest shows.

6. This is a alternate magic system that is very easy to import into most games, and works well alongside other more traditional magic systems.

Contributor

Caedwyr wrote:


1. The bookmarks are pretty much non-existent (Cover, Page 2, Back). More bookmarks would have been nice.

Noted. Dario is away at the Burning Man convention this week, but when he returns I'll make sure to pass this along to him.

Quote:
2. Cover art and internal Black and White art is good. A lot of the inside art is reused from the previous books, but given that this is a conversion, that makes sense.

To be honest, I think all of the art is reused from the previous books, and any art that isn't was probably left out for space. As you noted, we reused our art simply because Dario and I wanted to invoke the style of the original books with Volume 1.

Quote:
3. YAY, you included the starting wealth for the Occultist. No one ever does that.

I'll be completely honest, I think that was something that was suggested in playtesting. It might even have been you!

Quote:
4. I actually prefer the more select expanded legend text sprinkled throughout the spirit section. It feels more like each legend that is shown is the cream of the crop, rather than just a filling in the spirit statblock exercise.

Believe me, it is, as Dario really struggled trying to decide which of his legends he wanted to use! Overall, I'm really happy that he did decide to include them; I think they tie the book together nicely and its something we're going to keep doing for Volume 2.

Quote:

5. At first glance, you seem to have done a good job at balancing things, and the effects of the playtest shows.

Quote:
6. This is a alternate magic system that is very easy to import into most games, and works well alongside other more traditional magic systems.

Thanks for the kind words!


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Question, I ordered the hard copy of this product and went through the check out and had it put in my side cart for my next shipment. Now that this product is unavailable, will I still get a copy sent when my next subscription shipment mails out to me?

Grand Lodge

Yeah, I just went online to purchase after putting it in my shopping cart yesterday, and it's now listed as unavailable. Any news on what's going on? I'd rather order the print/pdf bundle than the pdf.

Thanks!

Contributor

@Towns and Michael: I'm not Liz nor do I claim to be, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. That being said, I would assume that the Warehouse has run out of hard copies to sell, which is why its no longer available. Dario handles the printing and shipping to Paizo as he is on the West Coast and I am not, but he is away at the Burning Man convention until next week.

In the meantime, here are your definite options:

1) You can buy the PDF now and the softcover separately when it comes out. I suppose the advantage is that if you hate this book, you won't be stuck with the print copy. I'm going to toot my own horn, however, and assure you that you won't hate this product, though. :-P

2) You can go to the Radiance House website and order the book / PDF combo directly from us. If the issues are due to the fact that Paizo is out of books, this option will get the product to you quicker.

3) You can wait for Liz's reply and order the Bundle from Paizo when its available again.

At the very least, I suggest waiting until Liz or someone else replies with a less speculative answer to your question before making a decision.

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