Pathfinder Player Companion: Champions of Purity

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Pathfinder Player Companion: Champions of Purity
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Greatest Good!

You don’t have to be a holy warrior to be a true hero. Join in the fight against evil and be a paragon of righteousness as a character of any class with Pathfinder Player Companion: Champions of Purity. Arm yourself with a host of new options specifically designed for good-aligned characters—like new fighting techniques striking the balance between capture and execution, life-fostering magic, rules for the redemption of evil characters, and morally challenging alignment-changing alchemy. With new insights into what it means to play good-aligned hardliners and how to get paid for being a good guy, deal with evil companions, redeem villains, and handle all those goblin babies, this book will change the way you think about playing honorable characters. Also, learn more about some of the greatest do-gooders and virtuous organizations on Golarion—with a focus on nonreligious groups, since the fight between good and evil doesn’t have to unfold entirely in the arena of faith. Join the ranks of the just with Pathfinder Player Companion: Champions of Purity! Inside this book, you’ll find:

  • Detailed discussion on what it means to play a character of each of the three good alignments, including ideas for character generation and specific challenges of these alignments.
  • A look into good-aligned races, good-aligned homelands, and good-aligned organizations for your character, as well as some of the challenges of being good and what happens when good characters come from bad places.
  • A method for redeeming evil characters who your adventuring party encounters during the campaign.
  • New good-based feats, magical weapons and gear, rage powers, rogue talents, subdomains, and more!

This Pathfinder Player Companion is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, but can easily be incorporated into any fantasy world.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-511-2

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

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Shallow Treatment, with a Handful of Good Options

3/5

Champions of Purity is a sort of sequel to the earlier [/i]Faiths of Purity[/i]. Whereas the previous book was primarily about the gods and their devotees (clerics and paladins), Champions of Purity has a broader theme: characters of good alignment generally. Since PCs of any class can be on the side of good, a book designed for those characters makes sense. But although there are certainly some useful class options here and there, the book as a whole adopts the scattergun approach of throwing a lot of stuff out there and seeing what sticks. Written mostly by a crop of freelancers, the book is a loose collection of shallow two-page entries on vaguely-related topics. It doesn't really have much in the way of depth, but that seems to be the norm for many of the books in the Player Companion line.

Still, to give credit where it's due, we have to admire the great cover of Seelah cutting through a horde of monsters. The inside front cover is a table of good-aligned deities in Golarion that includes the usual suspects from the Core Rulebook along with some that are lesser-known, including several from the Asian-themed Dragon Empires. The inside back cover does an odd thing and introduces a new feat, "Summon Good Monster," that allows good-aligned spellcasters to substitute a good-aligned creature from the accompanying table in place of what the spell would normally allow, and to give them Diehard to boot. Not too shabby!

The book proper starts with a two-page introduction, "Why Be Good?", that talks about some more specific motivations for PCs, like freedom, honor, justice, mercy, order, and more. It then goes on to give some suggestions as to where characters with those goals might hail from geographically.

Next, each of the three good alignments (Lawful Good, Neutral Good, and Chaotic Good) are discussed in a separate two-page entry which is divided into Philosophies (Lawful Good PCs might be seen as Crusaders or Guardians, for example, while Neutral Good PCs might be seen as Mediators or Redeemers), Advantages & Challenges (in terms of role-playing), Opportunities & Allies (ways those PCs might fit into Golarion specifically), and finally Traits (three new ones each). One of the criticisms I have of the book is that its treatment of alignment issues only barely skims the surface: there's no mention, for example, of how hard it is to play a truly good character when the lowest common denominator is lazy players with a "kill things and take their stuff" mentality. Characters of good alignment face hard decisions and restrictions that other alignments don't, and this can create problems for groups. These are some of the issues that would be worth discussing.

The remaining two-page sections consist of the following:

"Paragons of Virtue" has a line or two on good-aligned races (Aasimars, Catfolk, Elves, and Samsarans), good-aligned organisations (like knightly orders), and good-aligned homelands (like Andoran), but it's a very cursory treatment and of very little use to those familiar with Golarion. Four new traits are included.

"Good Characters in Bad Situations" raises the classic "what do you do with goblin babies" quandary and then suggests (in a sentence or two each) some "bad places" that good characters could come from. Again, the book has identified an interesting issue but has a shallow and wishy-washy treatment of it. Don't look for any deep insights into alignment and RPGs here. (I do love the artwork of the samurai with the goblin babies!)

"Heavenly Virtues" presents one new feat called "Virtuous Creed" that has different effects depending on which specific virtue the PC identifies with (such as humility, courage, freedom, etc.). In a way, it's like six feats in one, which is interesting, but the different virtues have very different power levels in a mechanical sense.

"Redemption" presents a rules sub-system for tracking an evil creature's progress towards becoming good, along with a variety of penances they can do to help atone. I'm skeptical of these little sub-systems that I know will never be referenced again or expanded upon. This one looks a bit rough, but I guess it does add some content and perhaps guidance to a GM dealing with the issue. I wouldn't follow it too strictly, however.

"Divine Influence" introduces seven new clerical subdomains: Cooperation, Dragon, Imagination, Judgment, Redemption, Revelation, and Revelry. Each subdomain replaces the domain spells and granted power of a specific Core Rulebook domain. It looks like there are some good options.

"Fighting the Good Fight" is a miscellany: a new barbarian rage power (Celestial Totem), two new inquisitor inquisitions (Final Rest and Recovery), six new feats (including one very useful one to keep you from accidentally killing enemies outright and a silly one that adds a single point of damage when you hit with a good-aligned weapon), and a sidebar on subduing and binding opponents (no new rules, but it's useful to have the material all in one place).

"Grace and Guile" has a handful of new alchemist discoveries, a couple of bardic masterpieces, and three new rogue talents. The book really is trying to have something for everyone! The alchemist discoveries seem reasonable, one of the bardic masterpieces seems crazily overpowered (blinding and deafening, or even stunning, all evil creatures that hear the performance and fail a save), and I really like the rogue talent Sacrifice Self that allows a rogue to ignore the effects of their evasion ability to help shield an ally from harm.

"Sublime Spellcraft" has a couple of new summoner evolutions (I wouldn't touch summoners with a ten-foot-pole, so I have no opinion of these), three new witch patrons (which are apparently just bland lists of replacement spells), a few new hexes, and two new wizard arcane discoveries. I mostly liked what I saw here.

"Spells of the Just" includes ten new spells, most of which are for both divine and arcane spellcasters. I really liked the little story in the sidebar about how these spells came to be known, and I wish there were more attempts like this to explain the appearance of new spells and magic items.

"Tools for Good" introduces several new magic items. Although damned expensive, I really liked the Devil's Key (allowing you to follow an outsider to its home plane to kill it for good) and the Equalizer Shield (creating an antimagic field to stymie those pesky spellcasters!).

I think books like this have little enduring value because there's hardly any interesting setting lore or discussion, and readers will just cherry-pick a new spell or class option from an online database. Buy this one if you need to for PFS, but otherwise you can safely give it a pass.


Some interesting parts, but mostly uninspiring

3/5

I liked the first half, which explored the different ways to support the cause of Good, but I thought it lacked depth and I would have welcomed more discussion and examples of gameplay or stories in the campaign world for context. e.g. the illustration of Valeros in the Neutral Good section helped me understand what the writers were trying to convey. I found the second half less interesting, but those who enjoy technical details may find it useful.

My main gripe is that I expected a focus on Champions and the stuff that champions do, but I felt like I was reading the guide for Men-at-Arms or Sergeants for Purity.


Useful for many classes, but not necessarily all good characters

4/5

Champions of Purity will be useful for some good characters, and I think this depends less on the character’s class and more on the character concept. If you are creating a character that is built around his or her goodness – call it good with a capital “G” – I think there’s a fair amount of useful material here, no matter what class your character is. If not, you will probably pass over most of the character options for ones in other sources that provide more mechanical benefit or highlight other aspects of the character’s personality, talents, and backstory. There’s also a fair amount of space devoted to collecting information found in other sourcebooks (e.g., good-aligned deities, races, organizations, homelands, nonlethal weapons, spells with the good descriptor).

I am giving it 4 stars because if you are picking this up specifically to help you build characters which are "actively" rather than "passively" good, I think it works well.

See my full review at my blog Delver's Diary here.


Worth every penny

4/5

Champions of Purity is a good quality product with large collection of rules options for most classes along with a range of role playing advice for anyone interested in a playing a Good character.

Champions of Purity starts with an examination of good, trying to answer the general question of “Why to be good?” and then focusing in each of the three alignments individually. It provides generalized motivations for any sort of good character along with locations where characters with each motivation might originate. This provides a nice connection to Golarion in a book that is relatively light on setting details. The different alignment focuses provide examples of different types of philosophies that characters of a given alignment may fall into, along with some of the pros and cons of playing each good alignment. Golarion specific information about opportunities and allies that each alignment may be involved with round out the sections. The only concerns I have with these sections are the listing of the different philosophies, and with the included traits. I worry that players reading these, especially if they’re new players, may see the philosophy suggestions as more rigid limitations rather than just possible ways for characters of each alignment to be portrayed. The traits in each section are listed as complementing a given alignment, but having them listed in a section devoted to that alignment gives the impression that they’re only for that alignment.

The next section is entitled Paragons of Virtue and covers a range of setting information to make a completely Good character, what race to play, organizations to be a part of, and where to be from. Generally this is presented well though I was surprised that none of the good churches were mentioned under the good aligned organizations. The inclusion of countries in Tian Xia as potential character origins was nice, as Tian Xia is often underrepresented in most products. There’s also a list of potential Prestige Classes for good characters, which I appreciated because it’s often hard for players to know about what classes are out there, as they show up in a variety of products. One minor complaint I did have here was that in one of this sections traits they mention an empyreal lord; it seems like there should have been an explanation somewhere of what an empyreal lord is, as players may not know this.

This is followed by Good Characters in Bad Situations, which examines moral quandaries that good players may find themselves in, and shows how different good characters may react to the same situation in different ways. This is quite well done as it covers situations that may come up during gameplay, though a greater list of actual evil acts would have been nice. The list of how good characters fit within “evil” nations is nice, but all the different lists of where good characters come from makes me think that perhaps they all should have been together. It also seems like it could have been a good place to cover how good characters deal with worshiping neutral (or even evil) deities.

The center spread in Champions of Purity is devoted to Heavenly Virtues, creeds for players to live by that provide benefits when the associated feat is taken. All of the benefits seem to be reasonably balanced, but the creeds will require some DM work to keep track of, as breaking a creed means the character loses the benefit of the feat. Some creeds may not be appropriate in all campaigns as the situations they reference may not be present, making them impossible to violate. The art on these two pages is great, with a stained glass style that really works with the virtue theme. On the topic of virtues, I’m starting to feel like Virtue is becoming a bit of an overloaded term, now it may be because I’m running Rise of the Runelords where they come up a bit, but perhaps a different term should have been used.

Redemption is covered next, with a rules framework for an evil character to be turned from the dark side. It seems like a good system to me, though it will require a large amount of DM tracking; a lot of that could probably be avoided by combining it with in game story events. It does include rules for one or more characters helping a character seeking redemption, but I feel that some examination of how a PC could help an NPC seek redemption in a more role playing sense would have been good (and potentially more frequently useful).

The remaining sections of the book are a collection of character options, firstly separated up into Divine, Combat, Skilled, and Arcane characters, and then followed by new spells and items. The divine portion provides details of all the good deities which complements the inside front cover where all the deity’s Domains, Favored Weapons and the like are listed. A number of new subdomains are presented, with Cooperation and Redemption having the most interesting powers. For combat focused characters there are new rage powers and inquisitions, as well as a handful of new feats. There’s also a sidebar on taking enemies alive, going over the rules and options relating to subdual attacks and binding opponents. Some coverage of how to bind someone during a grapple and maybe a feat to go along with it would have been good fit here. For skill based characters there are new alchemical discoveries, masterpieces, and rogue talents, to go with a sidebar on character types for less straight forward good characters. The most interesting new options here are a couple of discoveries that can forcibly change the alignment of the imbiber. Included in the descriptions are the moralistic questions that arise from forcing an alignment change on someone. In the Sublime Spellcasting section arcane casters are the focus, with summoners getting new evolutions, witches getting new patrons and hexes, and wizards getting new arcane discoveries. The mechanics of the Celestial Appearance evolution are interesting, where it’s one 3-point evolution with an increasing point cost if you want to do more with it, so it can be up to a 7-point evolution if you so desire. Based on its name and effect I can see a devil/demon/etc. version showing up somewhere along the line.

In Spells of the Just there are 10 new spells, all with the good type, and a sidebar detailing a scroll that contains them all. I particularly like the Angelic Aspect chain of spells, and Burst of Radiance. For magic items there are a couple of new weapon special abilities and then 9 new magic items (which are said to be wondrous items, when only 2 of them are wondrous items). Surprisingly most of the items are new magic weapons or armor, with only 2 being not combat related. The neatest one is probably the Mantle of the Protector, a way to share some of a character’s armor bonuses. My only concern with all this new rule content is that a lot of it makes players very good at killing Evil things, which may make it on the high end of the power scale in campaigns with few neutral opponents. For instance I can see this material having a big draw in the upcoming Wrath of the Righteous AP.

The art in Champions of Purity is top notch, with good portraits of most of the iconics and a few others; I especially like the ones of Feiya and Kyra. The cover is also very good; however the two other larger pieces in the product are not really to my liking. On the topic of graphic design the font used on the cover and as the section headers is truly awful, I understand that its look probably matches the content of the book is some fashion but this is a situation where function is more important than form.

Champions of Purity is a great product which adds to the quality of the Player Companion line. There’s lots of interesting material here both for those looking for roleplaying ideas and suggestions and those looking for new mechanical tools to play with. A similar book for the neutral alignments would be good, as I find it harder to player neutral characters than good, though it may be hard to find as much neutral specific rules material as there’s fewer obvious things to build off of and because the core rules are written in a rather neutrally aligned way already.


4/5

I agree with almost everything that the previous poster mentioned (except the 3E material). There are areas I wish they had gone more in depth or expanded upon a topic, but over all, a very good book. Unlike many of the other player's guide books, this one does seem to offer options for basically everyone, rather than focus on a handfull of classes. The amount of mechanics in this book is great, and shows that it doesn't detract from the fluff material. Not too much of it is terribly etting specific, either.

The art is pretty good, particularly the cover and the center fold, while most of the other art is generally just various iconics is some sort of pose, but not really relvant to the topics.

The magic items are ok, not great. Nothing really jumps out, with a lot of it at the higher GP end.

The spells mostly look nice. I'm not really sure, (yes I know that Alchemists are their new baby and all) that the Alchemist's materail either needed to be in this book or was really thought out that well. Even at 12th+ level, a single save that can rob some clases of all class features (and can argueably require an Atonement even if it's a temp thing) probably needs to be errata'd a lot or out.

I'm very happy that Roles where not included in this book. Don't care for them. The Virtues look good, though I wish there there where more, or perhaps some of them would be switched out. I'm sad to see that they require a Feat to utilize, as I'm not sure most of them really are worth a Feat, and what's worse the main classes that the flavor really fits are generally the ones that are totally Feat-starved. About the same power level as the Knightly Traits in Knights of the Inner Sea, except in general even more situational, that I'm not really sure they are really worth a Trait. Other than that, they are great and look interesting.

All in all, a great and fun book. I would love to see more books like this, both in the amount of material presented as well as focusing on Good, heroic characters and play. I'd definetly buy a Champions of Purity 2 and 3, or a similar book that is not setting specific, but along the same lines.


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Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
I mean, there's a whole page that reads "Celestial Totems" with only one sentence on it "MUHAHAHA DENIED, AGAIN!".

lol you might be the first person defeated by those totems at this rate. In other news this might finally prove to us that Mikaze is a CG barbarian who's just been waiting for proof of his rage power choices.

Paizo Employee Developer

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
OH NO THEY LEFT OUT CELESTIAL TOTEMS!!!!! ;-)

Thanks for freaking me out enough to go check the book to make sure.

Mumblemumbletoothybagmumblemumble.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Reading. Trying hard not to bounce back and forth through it.:)

Incomplete thoughts while on the go:

Front inside cover lists all the expected core good gods, as well as others that have been introduced over time, including those from the Dragon Empires. Which means more people will now be curious about how awesome Tsukiyo is.

Do really like that each of the three alignments got a spectrum of possibilities to pull from for players introduced through this book.

Very VERY happy that orphanages or other approaches to give "monster" children a better life got a serious mention. :)

Really liking the Heavenly Virtues options as a sort of "monk vows for all classes" kind of deal. Love that Humility got some time in the sun(and is also very useful for sociable monks!)

omg

Blood of Fiends cover tiefling on page 18. Her location in the book and the icon inside her cape. Called it! :D

seriously though, that image makes me happier than I would have expected :)

I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about mechanics for redemption, but I really like the effects of sponsorship and penance. And it's suggested that GMs not hesitate to make it feel more organic if need be.

Wow, Redemption Subdomain is going to catch a lot of villains off gaurd, I think.

Celestial Totems! I never stopped believing, Mr. Jason Nelson. :)

Having gotten real familiar with what happens when subdual damage rolls well over the edge into lethal, Golden Legion's Stayed Blade is looking extremely useful. Same thing for Compassionate weapons. PCs looking for ways to spare lives when subduing enemies are going to be getting a lot more options with this book.

Alchemists got a bunch of new toys, and boy howdy the product description wasn't kidding about "morally challenging". There's going to be a lot of debating back and forth over this one. ;) (Celestial poisons are a thing here too, but for those having flashbacks to the old ravages from Book of Exalted Deeds, these aren't nearly so sadistic. Think more "couatl poison.)

Bards and Ragathiel fans are going to want to check out the Masterpieces section. The other masterpiece may not be as obviously metal, but it's no less potent in letting bards leave the places behind them better off than they were before.

The "Sacrifice Self" rogue talent is going to make for some stories to tell, and offers another route for bodyguard-style characters.

Pg. 26 is the coolest and most intimidating Balazar's pal has looked yet. The new evolutions seem geared to let Summoners make full-blown celestial eidolons.

Someone elsewhere was hoping for a "good witch" archetype. They may not be getting an archetype, but they're certainly getting a lot of tools to make a full-blown good witch.

accept affliction - Okay, this is how I've always wanted to heal as a good caster. :)

angelic aspect - This is going to be a lot of fun in Wrath of the Righteous.

chains of light - As above, and it's another option that makes capturing particularly slippery foes easier.

We get a few more hints about the culture Old-Mage Jatembe came from, as well as some of his surviving works. I really want to get to know this guy better. srsly

As mentioned before, Compassionate weapons are cool. There's the new Redeemed quality too, which lets you be just like Shelyn. ;) There's a specific example of one called the Devil's Key, which is designed from the ground up to absolutely ruin a fiend's day. You know how some folks have complained about the paladin's Holy Champion ability undermine their ability to put fiends down? This weapon flips that potential issue around.

For lovers of irony, there's also an anti-kyton whip. So all you subculture folks that felt left out in the cold, now you can "take it back". ;)

Gunslingers get one specific item. It's also a very cool one.

The back cover is going to be a real treat to a lot of folks: Revised Summon Monster lists for all levels. If I'm reading it right, this full list requires a feat, but that feat also grants every one of those new Good summon creatures the Diehard feat.

Okay, that's on the quick first pass, starting the second and taking my time now.

Thanks so much for this book, to everyone involved. :)

edit-Oh wow, I remember that Jim Backus paladin!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

And I need to wait about one month before it arrives here. :( Oh, well.

Mikaze, can you post the name of the feat which allows those extended Summon Monster lists? I reckon that it'll show up on D20PFSRD.com sooner or later, but they don't seem to label new stuff, so it's easier to find with the search option. ^^

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sooo...how long until "Champions of Ruin" and "Champions of Indifference"? Us heartless grimdark emo egoists need some love, too! You can only dissect puppies and steal bikes that far...


Gorbacz wrote:
Sooo...how long until "Champions of Ruin" and "Champions of Indifference"? Us heartless grimdark emo egoists need some love, too! You can only dissect puppies and steal bikes that far...

Evil already has lots of awesome stuff on the shelves. There's no good equivalent to the Rival Guide, and you have three books of the Damned already to go with as well. Wanting more only proves just how vile you people are ;3


Icyshadow wrote:
Evil already has lots of awesome stuff on the shelves. There's no good equivalent to the Rival Guide, and you have three books of the Damned already to go with as well. Wanting more only proves just how vile you people are ;3

All 4 being GM-centric books, of course. ;)

I'd buy a Champions of Ruin book in a heartbeat, although I wouldn't mind a slightly different name so as to not confuse it with the Forgotten Realms sourcebook of the same name.

It seems there's some focus on how to play the Good alignments in Champion of Purity and the three Evil alignments would certainly benefit from the same treatment, I think, if for no other reason than to show players AND GMs that it's quite possible to play an Evil character in a regular campaign, and that not all Evil characters are MURDER PILLAGE MAIN VIOLEEENCE. Not to say that MURDER PILLAGE MAIN VIOLEEENCE isn't an option, of course. :)


Rape, don't forget rape. Because evil does that on a regular basis too.

And how can you say that when the Books of the Damned gives evil PCs three cool Prestige Classes to choose from?


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Icyshadow wrote:
Rape, don't forget rape. Because evil does that on a regular basis too.

If I was to include every single act committed by evil, it'd be a very long list. I'm not personally particularly fond of discussing rape in public forums for several reasons and so I didn't include that in the list. But yes, rape is indeed an example of extreme evil.


Quote:
And how can you say that when the Books of the Damned gives evil PCs three cool Prestige Classes to choose from?

Under the right circumstances (read: if a GM allows it), any game mechanic from any book is there for players to choose from. It's my understanding that the three prestige classes are primarily intended for GM use. But, just like a player can play a minotaur or a red dragon, a player can also utilize prestige classes originally written with NPCs in mind.


That's your interpretation and not a fact.

But there's no use discussing that, my opinion is what it is, as is yours.

I actually want to see more options for Good because I see so many cool toys on team Evil.


Icyshadow wrote:
That's your interpretation and not a fact.

I'm fairly certain I never said otherwise. :)

Quote:
But there's no use discussing that, my opinion is what it is, as is yours.

Very true. But when you respond to another post saying that Evil has enough toys and then list 4 books that I consider to be GM-centric books, I do feel that I'm allowed to voice my considerations. :)

Quote:
I actually want to see more options for Good because I see so many cool toys on team Evil.

I do too but not for the same reason. I don't feel there are all that many toys on Team Evil from a player perspective. I would like to see more for both Good- and Evil-aligned characters. Again, that's just my two coppers on the matter. Your preferences differ from mine, and that's all good. :)

Silver Crusade

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Aaand that's how battles between pro-Evil and pro-Good folks keep us from getting anything cool for Those Who Sit On The Fence. I'd really love to smite someone with pure concentrated Power of Ontological Indifference, you know? Pro-active Neutrality deserves its' spotlight! Cease your extremities! WHAT ABOUT THE MIDDLE GROUND, YOU RADICALS?


Neutral gets the best of both worlds, considering they can freely cast Good and Evil spells, can choose whether they channel positive or negative, and have much less moral issues to worry about than Good and Evil combined. You can be nice the first day and horrid the second, so long as your diet of moral choices is properly balanced.


Gorbacz wrote:
Cease your extremities! WHAT ABOUT THE MIDDLE GROUND, YOU RADICALS?

Hehe I'll be right there with you, Toothy Bag of...Toothiness, fighting the good (or is that Neutral?) fight. As much as I would like to see a Champions of <INSERT PROPER WORD> for Evil-aligned characters, I would love a book of the same kind, only dedicated to the Neutral alignment spectrum.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't think that sexually violating puppies on Monday and funding a dog shelter on Tuesday is what Neutrality is all about, you know.

I'd actually prefer some cool options for characters that align themselves with forces of creative chaos devoid of abyssal destruction or celestial benelovence, or with stern pursuit of rules and laws without regard to morals or with rigorous adherence to balance in the universe, hunting anyone who seeks to break the principles of the universe.

Running a Neutral character that actually has some set of values beyond "shrug, whatever as long as it's not extreme" is a challenge I'd love to see explored.

Champions of Purity looks like a great book with and I absolutely dig the format that joins solid crunch with sound gameplay tips, so if Champions of Balance follows suit, it's a sale here.


I would never play a Neutral via that first interpretation, but the latter one just seems to be natural for it. But can't you face that challenge on your own by making a Neutral character and trying to RP them with the set of values you speak about here? The staff at Paizo don't need to hold my hand when I make characters of the appropriate alignments, so why would you need them to do so in your case? We all have our brains for a reason, bro.

Dark Archive

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Icyshadow wrote:
I actually want to see more options for Good because I see so many cool toys on team Evil.

I agree with that, and yet the three PrCs in the Books of the Damned are pretty modular. Swamp some alignments around and replace the fiendish stuff with celestial stuff, and they could work for spellcasters who have dedicated their powers (and their souls) to an angelic / archonic / azatan patron.

Or even a neutral patron, such as an axiomite, protean or psychopomp.

A 'mirror universe Souldrinker' could serve Pharasma, for example, through a greater psychopomp patron, and have a lesser one as a familiar. Their goal would be to send incorporeal undead (or spiritual remnants) 'on,' through doing a quest to resolve a ghost's issues, dismantling haunts or shredding specters/wraiths/shadows. Instead of capturing or devouring souls, they'd get some sort of rush of spiritual energy as a reward from their patron, which they would capture in flasks like liquid, and drink to unleash the benefits (similar to the souldrinker's soul pool). In most cases, the actual 'meat' of the Prestige Class could remain the same, with names and themes swapped around, so that 'Damned' could become 'Saved' or 'Sworn' or 'Pledged' and represent one's soul still being earmarked to one's outsider patron. Flip the base of the PrC (destroy souls for power) around (to *save* souls for power), change out spells and bonus abilities to be more in tune with the new head-boss-in-charge, and it's pretty much good to go.

Regardless of the intent of a PrC or Feat or whatever, it's easy enough to go with the 'Author is Dead' philosophy and look at *everything* as a tool, which can be used to fashion a radically different manner.

Some specific parts of Golarion, for instance, might not be of any great interest to me, but that doesn't mean that books about those areas won't contain some lovely bones for me to work with, once I strip all the meat off of them and redecorate them with my own meats.

And, ew. That went to a weird place.


There's still the problem that a certain brand of DM exists that thinks reskinning is pure sacrilege and anyone suggesting such should burn in the deepest pits of Hell. I could always try looking for those that don't, but the loud screams of the ones that do are making that all the more challenging.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sure we all have brains, but ideas, hooks and guidelines are always welcome. I have the slight advantage of having Champions of Purity before my eyes, and roughly half of the book is devoted to tips on how to roleplay Good characters, how to handle some moral dilemmas a Good character might face (e.g. the famous Goblin babies problem), where do Good characters come from (places both benevolent and malign), what values might a Good PC pursue. I'd love a similar set of tips for Neutrals :)

Contributor

magnuskn wrote:
Mikaze, can you post the name of the feat which allows those extended Summon Monster lists? I reckon that it'll show up on D20PFSRD.com sooner or later, but they don't seem to label new stuff, so it's easier to find with the search option. ^^

I got you covered:

 
SUMMON GOOD MONSTER
You can summon the aid of creatures driven by their very nature to
destroy evil.
Prerequisite: Good alignment

And that's all you get for now! ;P

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

First impressions: a lot of diverse mechanics. I see a little love for witches, summoners, a holy gun (and many other diverse magic items), new spells, feats, bardic masterpieces. Looks like many classes get a little love.

The return of simple straight forward subdual rules.

Lots of roleplaying discussions.

An article on redemption.

Mister Schneider, I don't go to the bathroom this long, dude!

(Referring to a JOKE about attention span and the Companion line).

This book looks chock full of interesting, useful, and actually thoughtful content. This is first impression only.

Good job Patrick, Wes, and Team!


I ordered my book today. I am eagerly awaiting this product!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Icyshadow wrote:
The staff at Paizo don't need to hold my hand when I make characters of the appropriate alignments, so why would you need them to do so in your case? We all have our brains for a reason, bro.

The counter argument being, that being the case, what do we need a 36 page book on 'how to be GOOD'? This book, which I LURVE, provides Players more toys & tools for their game to make GOOD Characters 'shiny'.

I mean, my Good Aligned Summoners finally get to !SUMMON ANGELS! as Eidolons & that is wonderfully badass. Why shouldn't the LN, TN & CN characters get something similarly cool?


A bunch of Good spells for wizards + that new expanded summon list = Magaambyan Arcanist just got even more awesome. :)

...the Arcanist gets to add a few druid spells of choice to her wizard spell list, does Yuelral's Blessing cover those or only the ones that are natively on both?

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
The staff at Paizo don't need to hold my hand when I make characters of the appropriate alignments, so why would you need them to do so in your case? We all have our brains for a reason, bro.

The counter argument being, that being the case, what do we need a 36 page book on 'how to be GOOD'? This book, which I LURVE, provides Players more toys & tools for their game to make GOOD Characters 'shiny'.

I mean, my Good Aligned Summoners finally get to !SUMMON ANGELS! as Eidolons & that is wonderfully badass. Why shouldn't the LN, TN & CN characters get something similarly cool?

Irnk says it well. This book doesn't presume to just teach you to play a particular alignment, it really provides a nice suite a mechanical options for playing distinctively good aligned characters. I dare so that is a plus, particularly in stances where good characters can seem to be almost identical to neutral characters.

Plus this is a nice snack tray book with a little something to augment most classes. I "lurve" the idea of "good witch" patrons and hexes particularly.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Good needs some love too. It can get old when everything is about being bad or an anti-hero.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
donato wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Mikaze, can you post the name of the feat which allows those extended Summon Monster lists? I reckon that it'll show up on D20PFSRD.com sooner or later, but they don't seem to label new stuff, so it's easier to find with the search option. ^^

I got you covered:

 
SUMMON GOOD MONSTER
You can summon the aid of creatures driven by their very nature to
destroy evil.
Prerequisite: Good alignment

And that's all you get for now! ;P

Thanks, good enough. If my ( currently neutral ) Wizard ever turns to full time good, this feat might fit into his feat schedule. ;)


crunch details where they at?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Okay, I have a question. I saw a reference to the Champion of Ironi Prestige Class. Where do I find this class?

Silver Crusade

Shem wrote:
Okay, I have a question. I saw a reference to the Champion of Ironi Prestige Class. Where do I find this class?

It's in Paths of Prestige.

Also, it's awesome. :)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Thank you...

And why didn't I think of that....?

Silver Crusade

magnuskn wrote:

Thanks, good enough. If my ( currently neutral ) Wizard ever turns to full time good, this feat might fit into his feat schedule. ;)

Also, celestial giant octopus is on the list!


My copy is still waiting on my subscriptions to ship. :(

Really am looking forward to this one myself.

Silver Crusade

Gorbacz wrote:

I'd actually prefer some cool options for characters that align themselves with forces of creative chaos devoid of abyssal destruction or celestial benelovence, or with stern pursuit of rules and laws without regard to morals or with rigorous adherence to balance in the universe, hunting anyone who seeks to break the principles of the universe.

Running a Neutral character that actually has some set of values beyond "shrug, whatever as long as it's not extreme" is a challenge I'd love to see explored.

Champions of Purity looks like a great book with and I absolutely dig the format that joins solid crunch with sound gameplay tips, so if Champions of Balance follows suit, it's a sale here.

One possibility that leaps to mind is dealing with some of the more difficult elements of the setting and exploring how people live with them. For example, it would be easy for an exploration of how neutrals view certain forms of slavery(such as the debt-based and voluntary kinds mentioned in this very book) falling into "good/evil but not too much" territory, but getting a deep look at how these cultures deal with it could be really useful(and not just to neutral characters, because good and evil PCs live in those places too). Heck, Abadar alone provides a lot of fuel for that fire.

On the other side of things, protean, psychopomp, and inevitible-based philosophies sound kinda hot.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Mikaze, you must be pretty stoked with this book overall. You got your celestial rager right off the bat. (have my PDF also, greatly enjoyed it.)

Silver Crusade

Rathendar wrote:
Mikaze, you must be pretty stoked with this book overall. You got your celestial rager right off the bat. (have my PDF also, greatly enjoyed it.)

<- my face when reading

The flavor of the celestial totems themselves really seems to mesh with what was hinted at in the Aasimar section of Advanced Race Guide. It really fits well how those barbarians were described. They also make for some very nice imagery for barbarians from more monstrous tribes serving as a guiding light of sorts.

It also has me even more excited about Chronicles of the Righteous. There are a lot of options for flavorful deities on the inside front cover of this book. Chronicles is probably going to multiply that number quite a bit. :D

eager for the print copy so's the good old sit-down read can happen!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Yep, i hear ya. I am looking forward to that one also.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Back to Summoners, particularly in regards to the Summon Good Monster Feat on the inside Back cover. It specifically states when casting Summon Monster. Does that mean it would not apply to Summoners use of their Summon Monster Spell-like-ability?

Contributor

Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
Back to Summoners, particularly in regards to the Summon Good Monster Feat on the inside Back cover. It specifically states when casting Summon Monster. Does that mean it would not apply to Summoners use of their Summon Monster Spell-like-ability?

I would say it still works considerng:

PRD wrote:

Spell-Like Abilities: Usually, a spell-like ability works just like the spell of that name. A spell-like ability has no verbal, somatic, or material component, nor does it require a focus. The user activates it mentally. Armor never affects a spell-like ability's use, even if the ability resembles an arcane spell with a somatic component.

A spell-like ability has a casting time of 1 standard action unless noted otherwise in the ability or spell description. In all other ways, a spell-like ability functions just like a spell.


Jim Groves wrote:
First impressions: a lot of diverse mechanics. I see a little love for witches, summoners, a holy gun (and many other diverse magic items), new spells, feats, bardic masterpieces. Looks like many classes get a little love.

A holy gun sounds incredible, because I'm planning on making Kendra Lorrimar an amateur gunsling'ing undead-hunting rogue in my Carrion Crown campaign :)

Silver Crusade

Tirisfal wrote:
Jim Groves wrote:
First impressions: a lot of diverse mechanics. I see a little love for witches, summoners, a holy gun (and many other diverse magic items), new spells, feats, bardic masterpieces. Looks like many classes get a little love.
A holy gun sounds incredible, because I'm planning on making Kendra Lorrimar a amateur gunsling'ing undead-hunting rogue in my Carrion Crown campaign :)

That particular gun pretty much lets you mark someone for a unhindered beatdown by your pals.

Opening up with a shot from that pistol along with chains of light? Oh ho ho ho

Think of it like shooting Dracula to make him human for a while. ;)

You know, I wonder if any GM is going to spring the Devil's Key on a player without telling them exactly how it functions. Man is that PC going to feel badass if he makes it back alive... If they aren't overwhelmed by the trauma of the experience that is.


Mikaze wrote:
Tirisfal wrote:
Jim Groves wrote:
First impressions: a lot of diverse mechanics. I see a little love for witches, summoners, a holy gun (and many other diverse magic items), new spells, feats, bardic masterpieces. Looks like many classes get a little love.
A holy gun sounds incredible, because I'm planning on making Kendra Lorrimar a amateur gunsling'ing undead-hunting rogue in my Carrion Crown campaign :)

That particular gun pretty much lets you mark someone for a unhindered beatdown by your pals.

Opening up with a shot from that pistol along with chains of light? Oh ho ho ho

Think of it like shooting Dracula to make him human for a while. ;)

That sounds even better, considering the PCs are going to find themselves in Count Olix's castle at some point :)

Silver Crusade

Mind, it doesn't work exactly like that. Just laying on the metaphors pretty thick to avoid spoiling everything in the book. :)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

With regard to Summon Good Monster, does granting the summoned creatures the Diehard feat actually do anything, from a practical standpoint? Since the spell automatically returns the summoned creature to its home plane when it hits 0 hit points, what does it matter if it has Diehard?

Silver Crusade

I figure the intention is to let them be able to stick around after slipping into the negatives rather than popping back. Given the prevalence of healing abilities in that list, this could make for a very tenacious squadron of celestials.


@Mikaze: So how happy are you with the book? Is there any problems? On this subject I would consider you the best gauge.


No new toys for sorcerers specifically...how disappointing.

Liberty's Edge

Shisumo wrote:
With regard to Summon Good Monster, does granting the summoned creatures the Diehard feat actually do anything, from a practical standpoint? Since the spell automatically returns the summoned creature to its home plane when it hits 0 hit points, what does it matter if it has Diehard?

I haven't found this point about disappearing when brought at 0 hit points in the spell description. The only thing about duration I could find is the 1 rd/lvl. Did I miss some errata or something ?


And for those of us who only want the PDF, we've got to wait until next week... ;_;

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