Heroes of the West (PFRPG) PDF

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Out in the west, they say there are a thousand stories.

A few of them belong to those who make their own path. Many are tales of battle, sneaking and finding, or seeing all we’ve worked for crumbling to dust. But those who pull themselves out of the pitfalls, those who fight even a losing battle, and those who make mountains out of molehills. Those are the stories that people remember.

Included:

  • 20 page document
  • Brave: A native warrior who uses honor and cunning to outdo foes.
  • Jaguar Warrior: A ferocious combatant who takes on their totem’s form in a furious rampage.
  • Painted Rider: A mounted outrider using their bond with nature to bear down on their enemies.
  • Conquistador: A merciless mercenary who adapts to their enemies and stifles empathy for profit.
  • Spirit Walker: A naturalist whose close bond with an animal gives them insight into the world around them.
  • Cowboy: A.K.A Vaquero, this gunslinger specializes in mounted combat and trick riding.
  • Mountain Man: A wilderness expert who lives by the words “desperate times call for desperate measures.”
  • Vigilante: A watchdog who’s been forced to watch too much bites back. The vigilante serves out justice, no matter whose clothing the villain wears.

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5.00/5 (based on 2 ratings)

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Very useful resource

5/5

When it comes to worldbuilding for my campaign settings, I tend to focus mainly on North America. It's where my passion lies and where I do my best work. So, I was very interested in picking up this PDF. So far, it hasn't disappointed. While I haven't seen any glaring balance problems so far, I haven't played any of these classes yet, so I can't say for sure nothing is wonky. I don't really think much is, though. I forsee myself using most of these rather often.


Wow

5/5

Really the title says it all but in an effort for completeness I will continue.

First a little background. I picked this book up with some store credit I had left over from GM'ing Gencon and in an effort to stem my pining for the October releases of Bestiary 4 and Blood of the Moon and because of an ever growing love of ancient american history. In short, I have not been disappointed thus far.

To start the book drops a whole new class on us called The Brave, a full attack melee character built around the iconic american brave and it is fantastic. Basically a Brave is a full BAB melee fighter with this pool of points he collects (referred to as coup) that he can use for everything from bonuses to his attack and damage to bursts of movement, extra attacks, and full party healing. Trick is that the only way to collect these points is to do risky things in combat like tapping enemies, performing combat maneuvers, never taking damage, and stealing and mounting an enemies mount with the most dangerous options netting the most points. On top of this the pool starts to leak points the longer a Brave goes without actually performing risky maneuvers so it encourages the player to get risky. On top of this you get various other abilities we are all familiar with like uncanny dodge, track, specialized weapon training, and pass without trace making it easy to build this tomahawk wielding guerrilla warrior who pops in and vanishes before anyone knows what hit them. Top this off with a few other abilities like the ability to Intimidate an opponent with a hit so badly that you get to add your Intimidate ranks to your damage when you hit him, stealth while being observed, and double rolls vs. fear saves and I have to say that I am sold.

Next we get 8 new archetypes which, as far as I have gotten as of this writing have been stellar. The Painted Warrior is an archetype to play as this classic painted warrior, hunting down enemies on horseback with a bow and arrow, bedecked in ceremonial warpaint, and taking it down. What's even more amazing is that it's an archetype for the samurai class and it works, especially when you stack it with the new Order of the Nomadic Warrior. On top of this is an awesome mechanic which grants you AC thanks to crafting and applying warpaint to yourself and you have an excellent archetype that takes a very different class and molds it perfectly to make it fit in a world of native Americans, buffalo, and the great plains.

Next we get the Conquistador, Spirit walker, Jaguar warrior, Cowbowy, Mountain Man, and Vigilante. The Conquistador gives you this amoral mercenary Fighter archetype with a proficiency in guns, an amoral attitude, and a knack for knocking off indigenous peoples. Basically you trade weapon training, armor training, and some of your feats for gun training, a mount, and the ability to select a race and gain proficiency with all their native weapons, know their language, and gain an intimidate bonus equal to half your level against them. Run on I know but that I just love that last ability, giving a fighter a free ability that grants him languages, knowledge of his enemies, and the ability to strike fear into them just oozes with so much style that I can see this arch working in just about any game that can field mounts and fire arms, from the conquering Spaniard it's based on to the blackpowder wielding dwarf determined to wipe the Orc menace from his home.

The spirit walker is a ranger arch that allows you to take an animal companion much earlier, bond with it, and enter a spirit walk where you and your animal become one and destroy your enemies. Add to this the fact that your animal companion eventually becomes fiendish/celestial and eventually half fiend/celestial depending on your choices and you have all the makings of an absolutely badass spirit walker and his half celestial bear, smiting whatever is foolish enough to threaten his home.

Next is the Jaguar Warrior, a barbarian archetype that allows you to become more and more like the Jaguar. It starts by modifying rage a bit swapping the bonuses to Str and Dex and penalizing Int and Cha then follows it up by giving you claws, a bite, and pounce as you level. Combine this with other optional jaguar traits you can take in rage powers and the loss of a few of your rage powers is more then worth the price of admission.

Special mention goes to the art in this book. It has about 5 pieces of art 2 of which are for some of the new weapons but what is there absolutely sells the piece. The images of the painted warrior are absolutely beautiful as well as the spirit walker and the Jaguar warrior is just mean looking. All of them are rendered in this kind of rough oil painting style that just bleeds cool and makes me a little jealous of what my players might think up looking at them as they are giving me a million character ideas.

Now I'm still working my way through this book but I haven't even scratched the surface of some of the other mechanics like new rage powers (including totems) sacrifice mechanics, feats, and new weapons. This book is absolutely dense with new fun stuff to play with that I think any player or GM would kill for. In short if you like cool new mechanics, buy this. If you like the old west, or native american themed options why do you not already have this? Go, spend money, this one is worth the price.


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Just seen this now, going to buy it after I get back from work.


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Picked this up last night, friggin awesome. As a Native American myself I feel this is a good representation of us. Good job.


Care to post a review?


@Arkady Zelenka
Thank god. We were trying to represent them in the best possible light. We didn't want to offend! :-)

And reviews are always welcome!


I have a quick question! Are these new base classes, archetypes, or PrCs?


Yes

Shadow Lodge

Ariakon wrote:
I have a quick question! Are these new base classes, archetypes, or PrCs?

This guys question.


This book is filled with all sorts of archetypes as well (7+ a toolbox to make more for the Jaguar warrior) and a new base class based on the Great Plains Indians.

~Red


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

This is a really good book. If you ever make a second one, I'd love to see you guys add the nagual. Either a witch archetype with Wildshape, or (preferably for me) a Prestige Class. Would be most excellent!

Scarab Sages

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I think this book was a fantastic idea and does a great job of balance and of not offending native americans

Shadow Lodge

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Dude hats off, this is one hell of an offering and has some amazing art. You've successfully whetted my appetite until Bestiary 4 and blood of the moon hit and I'm already trying to think of ways to make a skinwalker brave.

Just posted a review and hope you do more of this. Also hats off to your art guy, those images were perfect and look amazing on my Nook.


Hey guys, thanks SO much for the kind words about HoW.
I personally LOVE this book (it's one of my favorite one's I've written... don't tell Necropunk) and the concepts we got to explore with it.

We are actually from Arizona (at least 90% of us) and this was topic near and dear to our hearts. A lot of research went into the book (special thanks to the Heard Museum) and we are really glad you guys enjoyed it so much.

We could defiantly work on something in the future. We like exploring a lot of different cultures though and giving them the same treatment and attention as the Native American and western american cultures we got to do in this book. We did China, Japan, Korea, and a bit of India in our Heroes of the East line. We are now doing our "Dragon Tiger Ox" Kickstarter to do this kind of things with ancient China in particular. We'd love to do something set in a Salvic/Russian area or maybe something set in on Africa. A Greek or Egyptian (though we did the medjay base class) setting would be a lot of fun too.

That having been said, I still think there is a lot of material we DIDN'T cover in HoW and it's now on our list of "things people want us to make so let's get on that".

Doc the Grey, that you SO much for your review. Reviews like that vindicate us of any misgivings we had about taking a risk on subject matter so far removed from what people typically do and it validates the concepts for others. I really hope a lot of folks get their hands on this book (maybe a sale?).

You might also like the book Tome of Munitions II. It has a lot of grit based classes that draw from the same kind of wellspring (though they are not specifically native american and/or western).


*cough*I want to do greece really badly*cough, cough*

Shadow Lodge

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Mythic +10 Artifact Toaster wrote:
*cough*I want to do greece really badly*cough, cough*

*cough* Yes, and Slavic, More Americas, Russian, Egyptian, and African in that order (well you can flip around the first two).*cough*

But yes I love books on cultures that don't get much development in the system and if you can bring this level of demse detail to them then power to you. I at least am getting sick of western europe post rome saturating the market and feel more variety adds to the game rather the detracts.

I'm already praying for a Brave player in my next game or a orc hunting conquistador.

Shadow Lodge

Ohh also quick question man. Is there supposed to be a feat that allows you to finesse a macquihtal or some way in which a jaguar warrior can finesse the weapon? Seems like the night slash ability is meant to build off using one in tandem with it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mythic +10 Artifact Toaster wrote:
*cough*I want to do greece really badly*cough, cough*

I've got chills, they're multiplying

And I'm losing control
Cause the power you're supplying, it's electrifying.

You better shape up, cause I need a man
and my heart is set on you
You better shape up, you'd better understand
to my heart I must be true
Nothing left, nothing left for me to do.

You're the one that I want
Ooh, ooh, ooh
The one that I want
Ooh, ooh, ooh
The one that I want
Ooh, ooh, ooh


1 person marked this as a favorite.
doc the grey wrote:
Ohh also quick question man. Is there supposed to be a feat that allows you to finesse a macquihtal or some way in which a jaguar warrior can finesse the weapon? Seems like the night slash ability is meant to build off using one in tandem with it.

Alas no. We specifically did not because we didn't want the class to become a 1 stat pony (i.e you can't totally ignore Strength).

@Kajehase:
I know a few people over at LRGG that would be unbelievably excited to do a Greek supplement.

Also, as a general update we added Brave to the list of classes getting some love in the "Tome of Tomes" book we are currently working on. It is a little section, but it should afford them a few new things.

~Red

Shadow Lodge

Little Red Goblin Games wrote:
doc the grey wrote:
Ohh also quick question man. Is there supposed to be a feat that allows you to finesse a macquihtal or some way in which a jaguar warrior can finesse the weapon? Seems like the night slash ability is meant to build off using one in tandem with it.

Alas no. We specifically did not because we didn't want the class to become a 1 stat pony (i.e you can't totally ignore Strength).

@Kajehase:
I know a few people over at LRGG that would be unbelievably excited to do a Greek supplement.

Also, as a general update we added Brave to the list of classes getting some love in the "Tome of Tomes" book we are currently working on. It is a little section, but it should afford them a few new things.

~Red

Cool! Ohh I also saw mention of a crow totem in the totem discription, is that something that was cut from editing or just a typo?


Seems like it. Where did you see it mentioned?

Shadow Lodge

It was in the totems section in the very beginning. It is used as an example for why you can not have 2 different totems with the same character.


Ahh I see it now. Yeah that was an early stage thing that got cut.

-Red


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I also want Mythic +10 to do a product on Greece. Maybe you guys can throw in some additional rules for KoR to tie in with it, like Pankration and Greco-Roman wrestling.


Arkady Zelenka wrote:
I also want Mythic +10 to do a product on Greece. Maybe you guys can throw in some additional rules for KoR to tie in with it, like Pankration and Greco-Roman wrestling.

You'll be very happy to know that we have a small greek book in the works. Should be about 10-15 pages. Kind of a "campaign inspiration" like Equinox, Of Angels and Demons, and A Land Out of Time.

It has a few new races, a half god template, the 12 Olympians as deities (domains, favored weapons, etc), some new weapons and armor, an extensive section on running a Greek style campaign, and an archetype or two.

Not sure on a release date. But it's in the works.


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Throw in a style feat or two and I'm sold. Who am I kidding, I'm sold already.

Shadow Lodge

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Little Red Goblin Games wrote:

Ahh I see it now. Yeah that was an early stage thing that got cut.

-Red

Cool. Anyway we will be seeing any more american west stuff put to print in the near future?

Also do you have any good references for sources on native american societies in the great plains regions you could recommend?

Also thanks again for the book, I now have a bearkin skinwalker player in my next game and I am soo excited.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

@Arkady
Thinking about some wrestling stuff. We'll see if that happens.

@Doc
We have some brave content in the upcoming Tome of Tomes.

-Red


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Arkady Zelenka wrote:
I also want Mythic +10 to do a product on Greece. Maybe you guys can throw in some additional rules for KoR to tie in with it, like Pankration and Greco-Roman wrestling.

well, its going and im involved. So wish granted good sir.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Bestiary 4 added a great deal of monsters from Greek folklore. Definitely look into that.


Ask for a Greek book and we deliver!


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I think I want to see a sequel of this. I do most of my world building in North America inspired continents, so it adds some wonderful options that I'll get plenty of use out of. Looking through the PDF, I can't see much that I won't use.


Fantastic to hear. Unfortunately, you are one of the few people who loved it. This product didn't seem to resonate well with folks, despite being on my (Scott) personal favorite products.

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