Blood & Steel, Book 1: The Fighter (PFRPG) PDF

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Blood & Steel, Book 1: The Fighter is the first in a new series from Publishing focusing on martial combat oriented classes and focuses on the FIGHTER.

"The fighter's best friend is steel. Steel in his hands, used to end the lives of his foes, and steel on his back, protecting him from fang and claw of the monsters he faces."

This book introduces tons of new options for fighters including:

  • 9 New Archetypes: Beast Hunter, Gun Fighter, Harpooner, Highborn Fighter, Iaidoka Master, Navaja, Siege Engineer, Thrower, Wicked Wrecker
  • 19 New Feats: Agile Charger, Bola Adept, Bola Wing Pin, Braced Against All, Crush Armor, Improved Crush Armor, Dazing Bola, Demolish Everything, Demolition Expert, Entangling Bolas, Find the Crack, Hidden Weapon, Hold 'em Down, Light Sleeper, Magebane, Rally the Troops, Second Wind, Tag Team, Thrown Bull Rush
  • 2 New Weapons: Battle Parasol, Harpoon
  • 1 New Shield: Lantern Shield
  • 5 New Magic Weapons: Caster's Foe, Dimensional Bolas, Flame Strike Gauntlet, Grounding Net, Javelin of the Ram
  • 1 New Wondrous Item: Charm of Returning

PLUS Bonus Content!

  • Berserker (Fighter Archetype)
  • Holy Warrior (Fighter Archetype)

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An review


This pdf clocks in at 31 pages of content, 1 page front cover, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page "Thank you"-note, leaving us with 27 pages of content, so let's take a look!

The first archetype herein would be the Beast Hunter, who replaces medium, heavy armor proficiency and tower shields with bola, lasso, mancatcher and net and also actually make these subpar weapon choices rather valid with increased range, concentration DCs of those caught and even capture larger adversaries - the archetype and its focus on catching creatures via uncommon weaponry is AWESOME. It's simple, elegant and nice. Personally, I would have preferred more tricks here or some special talents, but the archetype is more than functional in that it provides options for a build previously unsupported.

The Gun Fighter, the second archetype herein, can be considered a type of gunslinger light - more realistic and down-to-earth: No deeds, no faster reloading etc. - a working fighter with firearm focus, if not a perfect one - for groups looking for a more low-powered approach to firearms, the archetype definitely works - so design goal achieved.

Third would be the harpooner, taking a new take on the harpoon (complete with entangled foes, penalty on subsequent attacks etc.) and making a weapon specialist for it - further penalizing foes, cover by water, tying off harpoons at higher level to keep hands free - a cool specialist archetype overall, though one that could use some drag-combat maneuver love...still, won't hold that against the pdf.

The Highborn Fighter, essentially the niche that the cavalier was supposed to fill, can also be filled by archetype of said name - beyond proficiency with sword-canes et al, these guys use cha instead of dex to calculate ref-saves etc. - and would also receive cha-bonus to damage. And here I'd be complaining, were it not for the smart decision to scale the maximum bonus. Nice and definitely something I'll scavenge for talented classes etc. Kudos!

The Iaidoka Master is a master of feinting and quick first attacks - solid one, but somewhat lacking in the department that provides truly unique options. The Navaja is also a little archetype, but a great one - specific weapons, mostly subpar choices like daggers, can benefit from increased damage output and the navaja may stick knifes in foes and let them inside to accumulate debuff-effects on the pincushion'd foe.

The Siege Engineer is a must-have in war-themed campaigns and a great option as a cohort - as a master of the truly big weaponry, The biggest achievement here, though, would be that played a siege weapon master isn't boring - the option to be more efficient and commandeer multiple siege weapons makes for rewarding gameplay even for PCs. While surely not perfect for every campaign, it is awesome for some and quite probably worth the whole book if you're looking for a character like that.

The thrower is a throwing specialist archetype that gains increased reach and damage output to offset the base weapon's. While I'm not big on ranged combat maneuvers, 15th level is sufficiently late to not make this an issue. Okay, I guess.

The final archetype would be Wicked Wrecker, a specialist in using armor spikes and bull rushing/grappling foes to smithereens and even cobble foes with those moved away via bull rushes - again: Cool option for an underutilized weapon-type.

A total of 19 new feats can also be found within these pages - changing direction when charging, bola feat tree (including flight-impeding bolas that temporarily can send foes crashing down), bracing against foes that have moved 10 feet (not only against chargers), making sundered armor truly impede their wearers, damaging adjacent structures faster drawing of hidden/concealed weaponry, better saves versus identified spells or what about increased chances to perceive foes while sleeping - quite an array of interesting feats are assembled here.

Beyond these feats, we also get weaponized parasols, aforementioned harpoon that actually works and lantern shields make for neat mundane items, while a collection of 12 magical items, from dimensional bolas to mud bombs and anti-object grenades add nice notes.

In the spirit of 3pp-camraderie, some great excerpts from 101 Magical Armor and Shield Properties and 101 Magical Weapon Properties by Rite Publishing are provided as a bonus.


Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a neat 2-column full color standard with thematically fitting stock art. The pdf comes hyperlinked and bookmarked for your convenience.

Taylor Hubler, John Reyst and Jason Linker deliver a book full of highly uncommon fighter niche builds - and they work. And they are cool. I was honestly surprised, but this book actually proved to be rather cool, offering some unique and fun options I'm sure to use in the future - and sometimes, like in the case of the Navaja, the concepts even are downright awesome and deserve accolades. That being said, at the same time, there are a few archetypes herein that don't have that much going for them beyond their gimmick, which is a bit of a pity - just about every niche-weapon-style just asks for more tools, more abilities etc. - and that's a GOOD thing here - it means the basic archetypes do a good basic job, one that can be expanded in future releases. The content herein inspires to create more, to make the individual basic systems of the archetypes even more diverse -and that is an achievement indeed. Making harpoons, dagger-fighters etc. NOT suck is a neat achievement for this humble pdf. I did not expect this pdf to be as compelling as it turned out to be - after so many fighter-supplements, it's hard to provide something new and this one zooms in on many fringe-cases and options and makes them better - and for that, this pdf, in spite of some archetypes not being that interesting, has a majority of options that are downright cool. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Blood & Steel!


As I have become an older, more "mature" gamer the desire to play a fighter has fell the the wayside, as I have come to see fighters as the class that the newbies learn how to play with. But BEHOLD!!!!! Blood & Steel has ignited my innermost desire to bash something's head into red foamy paste!!!!!! This book has done a great job of bringing out the multiple flavors and directions that come with being Fighter! Alas, you don't have to be a B.S.F. any longer!!!!!

Solid, enjoyable.


Blood and Steel: The Fighter is an archetype focused pdf based on the fighter core class plus a few extra goodies.

The archetypes themselves ranges from enabling a specific flavor to enabling a specific tactic. I'll give my impression of each of them. Some of them have the potential for abuse, but really I think that's something the fighter class could use.

Beast Hunter: This archetype has less to do with beasts and more to do with entangling enemies with disabling weapons. It looks fun but less lethal than standard Fighter.

Gun Fighter: Its a fighter with a gun. Imagine a Gunslinger without grit and a bunch of bonus feats. That's pretty much it. Not particularly exciting but as far as I know there is no other non 3pp gun archetypes for fighters so it seems to have a place.

Harpooner: This looks less useful if you're not playing a water campaign, so seems more like an NPC archetype.

Highborn fighter: The main difference that jumps out with this archetype is that you gain 4+int skill ranks, Charisma can replace Dex for AC,CMD and Reflex saves and a butteload of Charisma can potentially boost your damage really high thus enabling Charisma as a potential primary stat.

Iaidoka Master: If you've seen Rurouni Kenshin, you're effectively battousai the manslayer. Its awesome but has on ability that may be too powerful.

Navaja: The highlight of this archetype is the ability to leave weapons inside the enemy to impose penalties. I'd rather see a rogue with this ability but it is a fun and funny ability although I can see how TWF and quickdraw can make this goofy.

Siege Engineer: another NPC archetype by virtue of not getting a free siege engine.

Thrower: A chucking Fighter. It is what it says on the box. Looks fun.

Wicked Wrecker: If you were to play a rugby character who decided to put on spiked armor and go adventuring this is the archetype to use.

Following the archetypes are new combat feats. None of them are really impressive or are gamechangers but they do their job within their niche and none of them feel truly useless.

After that are two new pieces of equipment, the Battle Parasol (?!) and the Harpoon (different from normal harpoon.), then a new mundane shield that sheds light (sadly throwing it does not deal fire damage).

Then there are new magic weapons/wonderous items. Nothing exciting but nothing bad. Mostly enabling the archetypes.

Past this is bonus content; Select entries from Rite Publishing's 101 Magical Armor and Shield Properties and 101 Magical Weapon Properties. (I have one but not the other so it was good advertising on the other.)

Overall I'd recommend Blood and Steel. The archetypes seem fun even though a few seem more at home as NPCs. I definitely see myself using a good chunk of these as a player and a GM. My only real criticism is that for an entire pdf on fighter this seemed rather mundane as opposed to something so gamechanging that you NEED to buy it for all your fighters. I'd give it a 4.5 rounded up to 5 for being a solid product in general.

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The Exchange

Thanks Liz!

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

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As the writer, I have been very excited to see how this would turn out. I am not disappointed at all.

The second release really cleaned up this product. Interesting that the bonus content turned into essentially a sample from Rite Publishing. I do hope this is a running theme. If I didn't already have the product sampled it would have been very nice to have a sneak peak at some related crunch. The 101 weapon/armor properties was a good choice because they really do compliment the fighter.

The Exchange

@Malwing: That was kind of the new Bonus Content idea, to promote some other publishers products by including some portion of that other product which compliments the product I'm adding it to. I've spoken to the Rite Publishing and gotten their approval to do so, which isn't necessarily required by the terms of the OGL but I wanted to make sure he was cool with it. He was so I do plan to do similar for future books with other 3pp who are agreeable to the same concept.

It seems appropriate since has related ads for 3pp in the class entries, although it makes the end content feel more like a showcase magazine for 3pp.

Reviewed first on, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and's shop.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks for the review End!

Hey there folks. Quick question for you. How does the navaja interact with the double slice when wielding 2 knife like weapons?

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