Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Moon (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Moon (PFRPG)
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A Perfect Night for a Curse!

Channel the power of the moon and turn the curse of lycanthropy into a potent blessing with Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Moon! Whether you were born with traces of bestial blood from a lycanthropic ancestor or you were bitten by a werewolf and have transformed into one completely, this volume contains everything you need to embrace the beast within and become a fearsome weapon against your enemies. Become a protector of the natural world as a scion of a werebear, revel in bloodshed with the wolf fighting style created by your ancestors, or find your calling in the witch practices of your werecrocodile forerunners. Even if you do not take directly after these bestial horrors of the night, there is much to learn from associating with them—as either ally or hunter. The choice is yours with Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Moon!

Inside this book, you’ll find:

  • Rules and information for the all-new skinwalker race—versatile humans distantly descended from lycanthropes, who have the power to take monstrous forms.
  • Eight unique skinwalker heritages to choose from, allowing characters to channel the power of such creatures as the mighty wereboar, cunning wererat, or brutal weretiger.
  • Tips, suggestions, and new ways to play a lycanthrope, hide your dreaded curse, and even find a cure for your affliction.
  • An in-depth examination of the lycanthropic transformation process, as well as a lunar calendar to track the phases of the moon on Golarion and ensure you don’t get caught off guard on the night of the next full moon.
  • New feats, spells, magic items, and rules options for characters from all walks of life— including the new lunar oracle mystery, transformative globes of moonlight, and mighty pelts that grant the powers of animals!

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

Written by Tim Akers, Adam Daigle, Neal Litherland, David N. Ross, and Tork Shaw.
Cover Art by Kieran Yanner.

Each monthly 32-page Pathfinder Player Companion contains several player-focused articles exploring the volume’s theme as well as short articles with innovative new rules for all types of characters, as well as traits to better anchor the player to the campaign.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-578-5

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

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4.30/5 (based on 7 ratings)

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Required for Every GM's Shelf

5/5

I don’t usually review Paizo books because they don’t require the same coverage as 3PP products do, but I’m making an exception for this book. I am going to come right out and say that this is a 5-Star product; perhaps the most useful, inventive product that I have ever seen in Paizo’s Player Companion line. Go ahead, place Blood of the Moon into your sidecart before scrolling down to see why I’m making this robust claim before I’ve even started my review. I’ll wait.

Crunch
Player Companions traditionally have more crunch in them than their companion product line, the Campaign Setting line, so it should be no surprise when I say that this product delivers an array of quality crunch. The product focuses much of its attention on a brand-new race, the skinwalker. Believe me when I say that this book goes into excruciating detail on the skinwalkers; the race itself has two pages of content, plus eight skinwalker heritages that each have two additional pages. You read right, 20 of this book’s 32 pages are allotted to the skinwalker race. If you’ve ever wanted to play a lycanthropic character in Pathfinder, you can’t do better than the skinwalker. Skinwalkers are the descendants of lycanthropes and retain a fraction of their ancestor’s transformative powers. The system itself is reminiscent of the kitsune’s shape change; the change has benefits and lasts indefinitely, but it comes with a small downside (a –4 penalty on Charisma-based skill checks against humanoids who aren’t shapechangers) and can only be invoked a limited number of times each day. If you have Blood of Fiends or Blood of Angels, the presentation of the new heritages for the skinwalker will not surprise you; each heritage modifies the standard skinwalker’s abilities slightly, for better or for worse. Overall, it’s a very familiar set-up for the Player Companion, so why the praises? Unlike previous installments in the Blood of … line, Blood of the Moon goes out of its way to make sure its new options are available to ALL characters, not just skinwalkers or lycanthropes. There are suggestions of course, but nothing in the prerequisites bars your humans and elves and kitsune from taking the choices presented in Blood of the Moon, meaning this book is crunchy goodness for virtually any PC. 5 / 5 Stars.

Flavor
Blood of the Moon has spectacular crunch, far beyond what I’ve come to expect for the Player Companion line, but what about its flavor? The Player Companions are traditionally stronger in Golarion flavor than crunch, and I’m thrilled to say that Blood of the Moon’s flavor is excellent as well. Reading through the text is like reading through the notes of a seasoned lycanthrope hunter intermingled with the personal diaries of a skinwalker; it is not only informative, it is enlightening. The product excels at giving small bursts of information between its delicious crunchy chunks, making this book an enjoyable read all-around. 5 / 5 Stars.

Texture
This is a Paizo product. Of course its Texture score is 5 / 5 Stars, so I want to take the time to highlight some of the better layouts in the book. At the book’s center is a lovely two-page spread detailing the physical changes of lycanthropy complete with an in-progress lycanthropic transformation. Each skinwalker heritage includes a small sidebar that talks about the trueblood lycanthrope associated with the heritage in question as well as an extra feat, rogue talent, or a similar, small bit of crunch. Those were some of my favorite bits of formatting: areas where it was clear that the formatting was added to use space intelligently rather than cover up unused space. 5 / 5 Stars

Final Score & Thoughts
Crunch: 5 / 5
Flavor: 5 / 5
Texture: 5 / 5

Blood of the Moon is a paragon of what Paizo’s Player Companion could, and should, be. It is a book that is useful to virtually anyone; whether you play in Golarion, on the far-off world of Eox, in Greyhawk, or in a world comprised completely of your imagination. If this book isn’t on your gaming shelf, it should be. End of discussion.

— Alexander Augunas


Over the moon about the writing; howlingly bad art

2/5

Let it be stated first and foremost: the cover to BLOOD OF THE MOON is one of the coolest images in Paizo history: out-bloody-standing layout, color balance, asymmetry, details, subtle humor, and implied narrative.

Now onto the "Steve Prescott Memorial* Review of the Art of BLOOD OF THE MOON Brought to You by the Steve Prescott Fan Club".

I credit Pathfinder's (and Paizo's) proliferation with reinvigorating the RPG/Fantasy art genre, especially where it bleeds through into pulp- and comics-inspired work. I fell newly in love with Steve Prescott's work by checking out the COUNCIL OF THIEVES cover art, and went on to buy some original work from him and to pore over the stacks of WEREWOLF: THE APOCALYPSE books - crammed full of his dynamic, crisp ink drawings - that I hadn't taken off my shelves in years.

See, hundreds of World of Darkness illustrations (and, quite literally, c. 10,000 years of human art) prove that it's hard to mess up something as innately compelling as animal-human hybrids. Prescott arguably made his career on mining that same vein and striking gold time and again.

The interior art of BLOOD OF THE MOON, astoundingly, belies this. In attempting to avoid ad hominem attacks on the individual artists (or on individual illustrations), I would like to merely suggest this to the (otherwise dedicated and successful) Paizo art editors: please be aware that awkward silhouetting, smudged details, imbalanced highlights, confused posing and proportions, Native American stereotyping that was stale when WoD brushed up against it, unrealistic clothing, simplistic props/weapons, overly-thick tattoos, and palsied hands can indeed make a book go from a "must-buy-as-it's-perfect-for-my-campaign-and-the-Halloween-Season" to a "must-rant-about-unfulfilled-expectations-on-the-Internet", despite rich writing, balanced rules, compelling fluff, and thoughtful layout.

Please also just give Steve Prescott gobs of money to reprint BLOOD OF THE MOON with his old WoD art in it. I'll buy three.

*I am aware Rottface is not dead. Rottface can never die.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Patrick Renie wrote:

Diego Rossi: Hey. So, after talking it over for some time with other rulesy Paizo folks, we came to the conclusion that the Surprising Combatant feat in this book—while well-intentioned and not without its merits—doesn't really work as-is. The more we tinkered with it the more convoluted it became, so we decided to rework the feat from the ground up. Here is what the full text of the Surprising Combatant feat should actually look like:

Blood of the Moon Fixed Text wrote:

Surprising Combatant (Combat)

You can get the drop on foes by tricking your opponents into overlooking you as a combatant.
Prerequisites: Improved Initiative, Bluff 3 ranks.
Benefit: At the beginning of a combat in which you would normally be able to act in a surprise round, after initiative is rolled but before the surprise round begins, you can attempt a Bluff check as a free action. The DC of this Bluff check is equal to 15 + the CR of the encounter. If you succeed at this Bluff check, you may treat the result of your Bluff check as your initiative result for the surprise round. If your Bluff check fails, you cannot act during the surprise round. Regardless, you use your normal initiative result to determine initiative for the remainder of the encounter.
Sorry about the confusion!

I´m aware that this feat was difficult.

I liked a part of it very much though, the "unaware" part of it and it´s consequences for a rogue. Of course a higher initiative means foes would be flat-footed and receive some nice sneak attack eventually, but given the DC and the fact that it is a CHA dependant thing makes me worry there a bit.
Will this become official errata? Does initiative result mean "roll for initiative" as in modifiers like DEX and Improved Initiative can be added? Or is the total outcome meant there?
Also not "aware of me" included the possibility to do a stealth check right? Seems like a sad loss.

Paizo Employee Developer

Hayato Ken wrote:
Will this become official errata?

Depends on what you mean by "official." It's official in that I (the developer of the book in question) posted a correction on our official company website. If you're asking whether or not it will appear in the errata section of the website, the answer is no, since we don't typically post errata for non-Pathfinder RPG (i.e., non-hardcover) books in that section. If you're asking in regards to PFS play, you'd be better served directing your question to that part of the messageboards.

Hayato Ken wrote:
Does initiative result mean "roll for initiative" as in modifiers like DEX and Improved Initiative can be added? Or is the total outcome meant there?

Initiative result means the total initiative score for that combat. Modifiers that normally apply to your initiative roll do not apply to this ability (though modifiers to your Bluff score help quite a lot here!).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ah right i was asking for PFS. Will clear that there.

But....

Improved initiative is then a prereq and you don´t get the bonus +4 from the feat when using this feat? That seems a bit off in my eyes. It´s clear that improved initiative has nothing to do with bluff, but why would you then have this feat as a prereq?

Thanks for the answers though! Very appreciated that you are so present here. And i have to say overall i really liked the book. Great flavor and one of the best oracle mysteries!

Only one minor flaw: Weretigerkin skincrawlers should have a constant +2 CHA and +2 STR(or what they get if i´m wrong) because they are cat people after all. And if the internet teaches us one thing, then that they must be cute^^

Paizo Employee Developer

Hayato Ken wrote:
Improved initiative is then a prereq and you don´t get the bonus +4 from the feat when using this feat? That seems a bit off in my eyes. It´s clear that improved initiative has nothing to do with bluff, but why would you then have this feat as a prereq?

Yeah, the feat prerequisite is a bit odd in that sense, but I think it's useful as a balancing factor and draws a connection to the idea that a character with the Surprising Combatant feat would have to be quick on their feet during non-surprise rounds as well. So in a sense, Improved Initiative works well for non-surprise rounds, while Surprising Combatant gives you a chance to act much quicker during the surprise round (since it's much easier to increase your Bluff check than it is to increase your initiative check).

Hayato Ken wrote:
Thanks for the answers though! Very appreciated that you are so present here. And i have to say overall i really liked the book. Great flavor and one of the best oracle mysteries!

Thanks! :]


Quick question Patrick, can't you guys post the clarifications in the Golarion FAQ, and they'd be binding for PFS?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah that would make things a lot easier for PFS^^
And be welcome also!


Is it possible to use the rules for skinwalkers to produce a super-powerful skinwalker like the naagloshii of Dresden Files?

Shadow Lodge

I had a quick question about this:

Blood of the Moon wrote:

A skinwalker of a specific heritage has the following racial traits (represented at the top of each skinwalker heritage section), which replace or alter the appropriate default racial traits of the skinwalker:

• A skinwalker gains bonuses and penalties to particular ability scores, but cannot select a different ability score to bolster each time she changes shape.
• A skinwalker gains access to a different spell-like ability based on her heritage.
• A skinwalker replaces bonuses on Handle Animal and wild empathy checks with bonuses on other checks.
A skinwalker gains access to a different, larger set of features when in bestial form.

I was wondering if the bolded sentence meant that alternate heritage skinwalkers can choose from those available to their own heritage and the base skinwalker Change Shape ability, or does it just mean that they get four options instead of the base three? It seems awkward that some of the options (Werecrocodile-kin, Wereshark-kin, for example) wouldn't get access to the natural armor bonus.

Shadow Lodge

"While in their bestial form, they gain a +2 racial bonus to either Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution (see Change Shape). They gain +2 Wisdom, –2 Intelligence, +2 to one physical ability score while shapechanged"

"In bestial form, a skinwalker gains a +2 racial bonus to either Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution."

So do they not have any ability score modifiers while nit changed?


I believe they get a +2 Wisdom and -2 Intelligence, regardless of form; it is their floating physical ability bonus that is only applicable when shapechanged to bestial form.


This may have been asked already, but are there any limits that apply to "Swamp's Grasp" , the Witch Hex option offered for the werecrocodile kin ?

Will it work on any sort of ground ? Stone floor ? Ship's deck ? Even on a horizontal wall of force ? The desert or arctic icefields ?

Or is there something missing from the description ?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

selfless *bump* ^^

Paizo Employee Developer

deathbydice wrote:

This may have been asked already, but are there any limits that apply to "Swamp's Grasp" , the Witch Hex option offered for the werecrocodile kin ?

Will it work on any sort of ground ? Stone floor ? Ship's deck ? Even on a horizontal wall of force ? The desert or arctic icefields ?

Or is there something missing from the description ?

As written, yes, this hex can be used on any sort of terrain. On stone, the floor becomes covered in slippery moss; on a deck, the planks become jagged and sticky; in the desert, the sand becomes wet and sucks on travelers' every footstep. I can see a GM ruling that this wouldn't work on a wall of force, though I can also see a GM ruling that it does (perhaps it disrupts the magic of the wall, causing it to rapidly flicker in and out of existence such that it becomes difficult terrain).

This hex is intended to be similar to the barbarian's ground breaker rage power, which, as written, can also be used on any kind of terrain that qualifies as "the floor." If there is a rules dispute regarding the hex, defer to the wording of the rage power.


Patrick Renie wrote:


As written, yes, this hex can be used on any sort of terrain. On stone, the floor becomes covered in slippery moss; on a deck, the planks become jagged and sticky; in the desert, the sand becomes wet and sucks on travelers' every footstep. I can see a GM ruling that this wouldn't work on a wall of force, though I can also see a GM ruling that it does (perhaps it disrupts the magic of the wall, causing it to rapidly flicker in and out of existence such that it becomes difficult terrain).

This hex is intended to be similar to the barbarian's ground breaker rage power, which, as written, can also be used on any kind of terrain that qualifies as "the floor." If there is a rules dispute regarding the hex, defer to the wording of the rage power.

Ouch.... and while similar to the barbarian's power (which can be used only once per rage), it seems slightly more useful for a ranged caster than for a melee-based fighter, and with endless repitition and re-location possibilities. Cue in - battle of Agincourt.

Thanks for the clarification

Sczarni RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

The skill bonuses the Scalehearts get seems odd. I get Stealth, but not wild empathy. Wouldn't Swim make a better choice?


I have a question regarding the ragebred bestial features. Unlike most PC natural attacks, these are listed as "hoof" and "gore" attacks. Given that it's relatively easy to also attain bite and claw attacks (with say, primal mutagen), how do the attacks interact? Do gore and bite compete for a head slot? There are monsters like the gargoyle that have both of these attacks, but I imagine gore means horns in that situation. Boar tusk gores and biting seem as though they might overlap a bit.
Thanks


I know I'm late to the party, but I just picked up this supplement and am looking forward to making a bat-kin character for an upcoming game. I was just wondering if someone could clarify the intention behind the bat shape feat.

Bats are normally diminutive. Do you become a tiny bat or do you become a diminutive bat, but use the tiny animal ability modifiers from beast shape 2? Does the feat contain a typo, and it should read beast shape 3, which does allow diminutive animals?

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