Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Pathfinder Unchained (OGL)

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Pathfinder Unchained (OGL)
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Get ready to shake up your game! Within these pages, the designers of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game unleash their wildest ideas, and nothing is safe. From totally revised fundamentals like core classes and monster design to brand-new systems for expanding the way you play, this book offers fresh ideas while still blending with the existing system. With Pathfinder Unchained, you become the game designer!

Pathfinder Unchained is an indispensable companion to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook. This imaginative tabletop game builds upon more than 15 years of system development and an Open Playtest featuring more than 50,000 gamers to create a cutting-edge RPG experience that brings the all-time best-selling set of fantasy rules into a new era.

Pathfinder Unchained includes:

  • New versions of the barbarian, monk, rogue, and summoner classes, all revised to make them more balanced and easier to play.
  • New skill options for both those who want more skills to fill out their characters' backgrounds and those seeking streamlined systems for speed and simplicity.
  • Changes to how combat works, from a revised action system to an exhaustive list of combat tricks that draw upon your character's stamina.
  • Magic items that power up with you throughout your career—and ways to maintain variety while still letting players choose the "best" magic items.
  • Simplified monster creation rules for making new creatures on the fly.
  • Exotic material components ready to supercharge your spellcasting.
  • New takes on alignment, multiclassing, iterative attacks, wounds, diseases and poisons, and item creation.
  • ... and much, much more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-715-4

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Great Optional Toolkit

5/5

Having completed a couple of adventure paths as GM and gearing up for my third, I felt I had enough experience under my belt to see about implementing some of the alternative rules systems from Pathfinder Unchained. The book presents 254 pages of different or additional ways to do things in Pathfinder, and it’s certainly worth a look if you’re planning a new campaign—chances are there’s something for every GM. These aren’t little things like a new feat, but major redesigns of entire classes, monster creation, magic, and more. The only caveat is that the more you stray from the Core rules, the more unresolved issues are likely to arise, so think carefully through the implications of a change and make sure players are willing to buy in to any adjustments. Anyway, there’s a ton of material to discuss, so let’s get to it!

I’m not a big fan of the cover. The golem or animated statue or whatever it is has a crazy narrow waist that really annoys me for some reason, even though I do acknowledge the whirling chains are a nice nod to the book’s title. The introduction (2 pages long) notes that Pathfinder was released seven years earlier (at that point) and that it’s time to offer a workshop full of tools for GMs to select from to update and customise their game. It provides a brief but useful overview of the major new changes, and is worth a skim.

Chapter 1 is “Classes” (36 pages) and contains the most widely adopted changes across the Pathfinder community. The chapter presents new “Unchained” versions of the Barbarian, Monk, Rogue, and Summoner, and even PFS allows them because they are almost unanimously accepted as more playable (and better balanced) revisions. The Unchained Barbarian has simplified calculations for rage duration (though it still lasts too long, in my opinion) and makes it easier to use rage powers. The Unchained Monk has a simplified Flurry of Blows and new ki powers for versatility. The Unchained Rogue gets skill unlocks (discussed later) and important abilities like debilitating injury, weapon finesse, and (eventually) Dex to damage. The Unchained Summoner is frankly a nerf, but a much-needed one; the biggest change is to the eidolon, but it also fixes the Summoner spell list. I’m happy with all the class revisions, and I only wish Paizo got around to making Unchained versions of some of the other problematic classes out there. The chapter also contains a new method to compute BABs and saves to help multiclass characters, but it looks too complicated to me. Finally, there’s a new “staggered advancement” mechanism that sort of allows a character to partially level up as they go instead of doing it all at once when they reach a new XP threshold; I think it’s more effort than its worth.

Chapter 2 is “Skills and Options” (44 pages). It starts with an optional “Background” skills system, which essentially gives each PC a free rank each level to spend on a non-combat oriented skill like Craft, Perform, etc. I tried it once in a previous campaign but found it was rarely used to flesh out a character and was instead just dumped into learning another language or another point in a Knowledge skill. I do like the expanded skill uses for Craft, Perform, and Profession—they’re easy to integrate into a campaign because they essentially give the GM a list of uses and DCs to make those skills more valuable in ordinary gameplay (such as using Craft to determine what culture made an item, for example). Another optional change is a consolidated skill list that cuts the number of skills in a third! This is essentially what Starfinder did, and I’m not a fan at all because it makes for too much homogeneity within a group. Another proposal is “grouped skills” which makes PCs more broadly skilled but less specialised; complicated but interesting. Next, there are alternative Crafting and Profession rules. I like the changes to Crafting (simplifies and details DCs better) but it doesn’t address magical item crafting which, frankly, is the most likely to be used and abused. The changes to Profession are only for running a business. Perhaps most pertinent are the “Skill Unlocks” for Unchained Rogue (or any other PC who takes a particular feat)—these allow a character who has 5, 10, 15, and 20 ranks in a skill to gain a particular ability with that skill. These aren’t game-changers for the most part, but they do speed up their use or remove penalties, and are worth having for the most part. Last, there’s a new way to handle multiclassing; essentially, you give up feats to get the secondary powers of another class. I found it interesting but ultimately unsatisfactory.

Chapter 3 is “Gameplay” (46 pages) and is a real grab bag of options. The first involves alignment: either making it a bigger part of the game by tracking PCs’ alignment more finely and providing bonuses accordingly, or removing it altogether (which would require a *lot* of GM legwork). Some people like the revised action economy (a version of which was implemented in PF2), which changes the admittedly initially confusing dichotomy of Free/Swift/Immediate/Move/Standard/Full to just “Simple” and “Advanced”. However, I’ve also heard issues with how it handles certain classes. Another proposal is to remove iterative attacks; it looks interesting but too complicated for easy adoption. Next are “stamina points” and “combat tricks”—basically, a pool of points to use for a bonus on an attack or to do certain tricks that improve combat feats; I could certainly see using this. Also tempting is the idea of “wound thresholds”, which means there’s a degradation of fighting ability the more hit points are lost—this would create some new tactical considerations though it would also require some more GM tracking. Last are Starfinder-style disease and poison progression tracks, which make them *much* deadlier (I think they’re too hard to integrate at this stage in Pathfinder, however).

Chapter Four is “Magic” (38 pages). It starts with “Simplified Spellcasting”, in which a spellcaster only prepares spells for their three highest spell levels with all lesser spells grouped in a pool; this provides them even more flexibility, which is anathema to those (like me) unhappy with the caster/martial disparity at higher levels. Next are “Spell Alterations”, and some of these are more my jam: limited magic, wild magic, spell crits and fumbles, and material components have a cost for every spell (old school!). I know a lot of groups use the “Automatic Bonus Progression” rules, which provide a fixed bonus at each level so that the “Big Six” magic item slots can be used for more interesting and flavourful things than just stat boosting gear. Next are magical items that scale; I think one or two of these in a campaign could be really fun (and manageable), though I wouldn’t want to overdo it just because of the complications. Last up is a new way of handling magic item creation that involves the whole party overcoming challenges in order to add unique powers to items; it’s certainly flavourful and worth considering.

Chapter Five is “Monsters” (62 pages). It presents a whole new (and allegedly much faster) way of creating monsters. It’s the method adopted in Starfinder, and is based on arrays and grafts rather than building a creature from the “ground up”. I’m personally not a fan of it (I like knowing monsters follow the same “rules” as everyone else), but I do sympathise with the homebrewers out there who want a faster way to stock a dungeon with custom creations.

And that’s Pathfinder Unchained. If you’ve been playing or GMing for a while and have a good sense of the Core rules, it’s certainly worth a look.


Some of the suggested mechanics are worth the entire price

5/5

Automatic Bonus Progression is enough to justify the entire price of the book. Better versions of the Rogue and Monk, as well as fixes to the summoner and streamlining the barabarian seal the deal. There is a lot of other good stuff in here as well. Well worth it!


Upgraded Mechanics!

5/5

I love the idea of this book, I wish this happened more often. They took what they saw wrong with their game and spent proper time and effort to come up with proper solutions. It's pretty rare for a company to spend this much effort on tweaking things. The new proposed mechanics for combat and skills are unique and great ideas to help customize your groups' gaming experience.
I hope they release more books like this in the future. I've love for more variations for multiclassing, and I'm still waiting for a summoner archetype that removes the class summon monster ability and focuses more on the eidolon.
Highly recommend it, especially for anyone interested in how someone goes about making a gaming system. It provides awesome insights.


Fantastic product

5/5

It's been a while since it took me so long to digest a Pathfinder book, and boy, did Unchained ever keep me digesting. More optional rules than you can shake a stick at, to be implemented in modular or wholesale fashion, to tweak your game to your heart's content, and with top-notch art throughout, to boot. Excellent work by Paizo and one of their finest offerings in a while.

As for the negatives, the only thing I can really point out is that the writing can be somewhat scattershot and unfocused in a couple of reasonably complex sections, which would have benefited greatly from examples or bolded formulae.


Love The Options

5/5

This book is a great addition. Options are optional, and it's great that this book has so many. It really makes customizing a campaign easy. Of you'll like you never use every option, or likely even half of them in a single you play or run, but having them really gives you a great toolbox to use. Some people are finicky about house rules, so having an official batch of "house rules" to choose from is nice for people who prefer to stick to official products. No book is perfect, but being this book isn't really being forced on anyone (of course I suppose none of the supplements are), and that is a giant bag of options that you can pick and choose from to enhance the game, for those who'd like it enhanced, I give this product 5 stars, especially if I am comparing it to the usefulness of the average Pathfinder product.


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Insain Dragoon wrote:

Actually I would prefer if they make a summoner that's more like the Master Summoner.

These classes are "unchained" so I want to see new and innovative takes on the concepts that are actually unchained from 3.5 and 3.P

Rogue without Sneak attack
Barb without Rage
Monk without Flurry and abilities with contradictory playstyles
Summoner that specializes in summoning magic and augmenting summons

Problem with master summoner is that it really slows down play to a crawl. If they could make it work, great. And if they could make the "summon monster" aspect as rewarding as using the ediolon, that'd be awesome. But honestly, the eidolon was such a cool aspect to the class that I'd hate to see it completely gutted in favor for a something akin to animal companions. To me, it'd be boring and sad to see such cool mechanics abandoned in favor of something that's already been used for other classes.

Does the summoner need some balance work? Yes, definitely. I just don't want to see one of my favorite innovations in 3.5 gutted because of that.


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Has Paizo stated anywhere whether these classes will replace material ALA MRP, or are they simply new classes like the ACG classes that have new names?

Once this book comes out is the old Summoner and Barb going to disappear?

If not, then I don't care too much where Paizo directs these new ones because the classes I know and love still exist.

So far all evidence points towards all these classes being optional rewrites.


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Odraude wrote:
I can think of many people I know that would firebomb Paizo HQ if 2Ed were announced ;)

Sadly I'm not sure you're mistaken.

Sometimes treating a game like SERIOUS BUSINESS wears more than a little thin. :/


Insain Dragoon wrote:

Has Paizo stated anywhere whether these classes will replace material ALA MRP, or are they simply new classes like the ACG classes that have new names?

Once this book comes out is the old Summoner and Barb going to disappear?

If not, then I don't care too much where Paizo directs these new ones because the classes I know and love still exist.

So far all evidence points towards all these classes being optional rewrites.

GMs will see these revamps version and chances are, they will probably use these newer ones. Why wouldn't they? Not only will they be free on the PFSRD, but it's taking a problematic class like the summoner and make it easier to deal with for GMs. GMs tend to be harder on banning casters than martials. So I'd be hard-pressed to find a GM to allow the older style summoner if the new "balanced" version exists that guts my favorite aspect of the summoner. And if I'm a GM, that does me no good since I'm not playing a summoner character.

All I'm saying is that I want the eidolon to remain an option. If this new summoner can have that option, be better balanced with a better spell list, and even have the option for augmenting summons like you want, then I'd be really happy. But given how much JJ despises the summoner, I'm not exactly holding my breath for it.


Well fortunately for us this isn't the Golarian group, so Jason and Stephen will be handling these.


Insain Dragoon wrote:
Well fortunately for us this isn't the Golarian group, so Jason and Stephen will be handling these.

JJ still helps with rules and such. He did a lot of work with the Swashbuckler for the ACG coming out.

Sorry if it sounds like I'm being a downer. The other stuff sounds awesome. But the summoner is one of my favorite classes and I'd hate to see what I love about it removed. Having played though when GMs only allowed DnD Essentials instead of 4ed PHB 1, 2, and 3, I'm concerned about this. It's the nature of GMs.


I feel for you man :( didn't think far enough ahead to realize some GMs would do that. For your sake and fun's sake I hope that these new classes are as fun as the originals.


Insain Dragoon wrote:
I feel for you man :( didn't think far enough ahead to realize some GMs would do that. For your sake and fun's sake I hope that these new classes are as fun as the originals.

Amen to that. For those that don't understand, think of it this way. Pathfinder is 3.5 compatible, but how many GMs do you know of actually allow 3.5 material? I think I'm the only GM in my area that uses 3.5 stuff (and even 3.0 stuff... but I don't think Advanced Bestiary counts ;) ).


James Jacobs wrote:

Yah, we use non-core material all the time in our modules and Adventure Paths. It's more or less an absolute requirement, in fact... we're currently working on AP #17 after all, and keeping things fresh and interesting after so many campaigns demands using more than just what's in the Core Rulebook.

Just how the elements of Pathfinder Unchained get picked up and used in our adventures, though... that's something we're still figuring out. We'll see!

And not just that, sometimes you guys use third party content in your APs!

An example would be the:
Flayed Angel from Frog God Games Tome of Horrors IV in Wrath of the Righteous part 5.

Speaking of Advanced Bestiary... You excited for the Pathfinder Advanced Bestiary?

Link in case you weren't aware

Contributor

Hey Jason / Stephen / Mark, was it mentioned whether the new "Unchained" classes are going to maintain backwards compatibility with existing Pathfinder material? Specifically archetypes?

Contributor

Odraude wrote:

GMs will see these revamps version and chances are, they will probably use these newer ones. Why wouldn't they? Not only will they be free on the PFSRD, but it's taking a problematic class like the summoner and make it easier to deal with for GMs. GMs tend to be harder on banning casters than martials. So I'd be hard-pressed to find a GM to allow the older style summoner if the new "balanced" version exists that guts my favorite aspect of the summoner. And if I'm a GM, that does me no good since I'm not playing a summoner character.

All I'm saying is that I want the eidolon to remain an option. If this new summoner can have that option, be better balanced with a better spell list, and even have the option for augmenting summons like you want, then I'd be really happy. But given how much JJ despises the summoner, I'm not exactly holding my breath for it.

I'm sorry that you like the summoner as-is. Honestly, there are parts that I like about it too. Synthesist Summoner is an awesome way to handle iconic characters who go through a form change (Power Rangers, He-Man, Sailor Moon, Eren Yaeger). I would miss that if it was gone. But making a personal attack on James isn't likely to get your point across any better than just stating your hopes and fears without the insult.


That wasn't a personal attack in any way. Jason has been on record in multiple threads stating that he does in fact dislike the Summoner and informing us that it's banned at his table.

How did you interpret "But given how much JJ despises the summoner, I'm not exactly holding my breath for it" as a personal insult?


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Alexander Augunas wrote:
Odraude wrote:

GMs will see these revamps version and chances are, they will probably use these newer ones. Why wouldn't they? Not only will they be free on the PFSRD, but it's taking a problematic class like the summoner and make it easier to deal with for GMs. GMs tend to be harder on banning casters than martials. So I'd be hard-pressed to find a GM to allow the older style summoner if the new "balanced" version exists that guts my favorite aspect of the summoner. And if I'm a GM, that does me no good since I'm not playing a summoner character.

All I'm saying is that I want the eidolon to remain an option. If this new summoner can have that option, be better balanced with a better spell list, and even have the option for augmenting summons like you want, then I'd be really happy. But given how much JJ despises the summoner, I'm not exactly holding my breath for it.

I'm sorry that you like the summoner as-is. Honestly, there are parts that I like about it too. Synthesist Summoner is an awesome way to handle iconic characters who go through a form change (Power Rangers, He-Man, Sailor Moon, Eren Yaeger). I would miss that if it was gone. But making a personal attack on James isn't likely to get your point across any better than just stating your hopes and fears without the insult.

It's not an attack nor an insult. There are several posts where he states that does not like the summoner. He has good points, like the spell list being reworked. Some spells the summoner gets early enough to make wands of. Wands of teleport is kind of crazy. But he also wants to remove the eidolon in favor of an outsider companion similar to the animal companion. And for me, that would really kill the summoner. So it's not like I'm saying he's a terrible person. I'm saying he has more pull in the company than some random schmuck on the internet, and if he wants to gut the eidolon like he has posted several times on these forums, the rules team is going to consider his opinion greatly.

I understand the balance issues the summoner causes. But, I'd rather see the balance problems with the eidolon fixed, not completely gutted. Though JJ's issues with the eidolon also stem from the fact that the player has control over what the eidolon is, which can be at odds with a game setting and verisimilitude. Personally, I don't have a problem with that and have that built into my setting to account for it.


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The coolest part of the Eidolon is that you actually customize it. I'd rather see the spell list gutted than customization killed.

Also the player having control over how his Eidolon manifests shouldn't be at odds with the game setting because it's the character whos CREATING a body for a disembodied outsider.

Silver Crusade

Insain Dragoon wrote:
Jason and Stephen will be handling these.

And Mark!

Mark Seifter wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Pathfinder Unchained must be the absolute coolest thing to walk into for a newly hired designer. I can't imagine how cool it must have been for Jason and Stephen to say, "Hey, welcome to the office! Have a seat, we're just tinkering with the ENTIRE WORLD'S PERCEPTION ON HOW TO PLAY PATHFINDER. No pressure."
Yeah that meeting was...extremely exciting. I'm really looking forward to getting my hands dirty with Unchained--this kind of stuff is right up my alley and plays to my strengths in a way that my minor contributions to the end of the Monster Codex cycle did not!


I would guess that the goal for the summoner is to make something that Paizo can actually use in an AP - the Rivals Guide is the only thing I can think of that actually had statted up summoners. Otherwise, Paizo stays the hell away from the things as NPCs or opponents.

I would also welcome a GM-friendly version of the summoner that actually uses the eidolon.


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Insain Dragoon wrote:

The coolest part of the Eidolon is that you actually customize it. I'd rather see the spell list gutted than customization killed.

Also the player having control over how his Eidolon manifests shouldn't be at odds with the game setting because it's the character whos CREATING a body for a disembodied outsider.

EXACTLY! I love tinkering, both as a GM and as a player. The eidolon gives me the option to tinker and customize something as a player in a way you didn't see with other classes that have a pet (druid, ranger, cavalier). It would be disappointing to see that go. I'd rather have more, balanced options than removal of options.


How wide will the developer/designer net be cast? Is it entirely in-house or is it likely (possible?) that there'll be input from freelancers?


Insain Dragoon wrote:

Speaking of Advanced Bestiary... You excited for the Pathfinder Advanced Bestiary?

Link in case you weren't aware

Yeah, when's that supposed to come out, anyway?


Apparently the PDF will be released by the end of July. Dunno about the hardcopy.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

See when it comes to the Summoner I'd prefer more specific flavourful chassis with limited customization based on specific kinds of outsiders (Angel, Azata, Devil, Demon, Daemon, Elemental, Genie, Inevitable, Proteans, Psychopomps, Q'lippoth etc).

Right now the Summoner is both overpowered AND flavorless. The Eidolon just doesn't have any real meaningful character in and of itself and might as well just be an extension of the PC. An eidolon with agendas of its own, perhaps bound to a summoner who doesn't share its outlook is far more interesting than the boring class as it exists.


I prefer that. Magic is its own flavor and it allows more creative character concepts.

Grand Lodge

Zhangar wrote:

I would guess that the goal for the summoner is to make something that Paizo can actually use in an AP - the Rivals Guide is the only thing I can think of that actually had statted up summoners. Otherwise, Paizo stays the hell away from the things as NPCs or opponents.

There is one in a recent AP volume.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

See when it comes to the Summoner I'd prefer more specific flavourful chassis with limited customization based on specific kinds of outsiders (Angel, Azata, Devil, Demon, Daemon, Elemental, Genie, Inevitable, Proteans, Psychopomps, Q'lippoth etc).

Right now the Summoner is both overpowered AND flavorless. The Eidolon just doesn't have any real meaningful character in and of itself and might as well just be an extension of the PC. An eidolon with agendas of its own, perhaps bound to a summoner who doesn't share its outlook is far more interesting than the boring class as it exists.

The Eidolon being based off specific kinds of outsiders sounds like a great archetype. Definitely not the base Summoner. The base summoner's current fluff is that they give a physical body to an already existent and disembodied mind from somewhere in the multiverse. I don't know about you, but that sounds flavorful enough for me. Reading the iconic summoner's backstory will really help you out. The class just requires more effort on the player's part to give it the writing it deserves, since the Summoner as a class is about as clean of a slate as a martial.

Also, each rank of angel, azata, devil, demon, daemon, inevitable, psychopmps, and qlippoth is so different from eachother that its impossible to have an eidolon be based off just the creature type.

Also, I want to put my vote in for a remade Fighter as well.


Scribbling Rambler wrote:
Zhangar wrote:

I would guess that the goal for the summoner is to make something that Paizo can actually use in an AP - the Rivals Guide is the only thing I can think of that actually had statted up summoners. Otherwise, Paizo stays the hell away from the things as NPCs or opponents.

There is one in a recent AP volume.

There's a summoner statted up in The Harrowing module, as well.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There's one in a PFS Scenario as well as one in the Emerald Spire.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

See when it comes to the Summoner I'd prefer more specific flavourful chassis with limited customization based on specific kinds of outsiders (Angel, Azata, Devil, Demon, Daemon, Elemental, Genie, Inevitable, Proteans, Psychopomps, Q'lippoth etc).

Right now the Summoner is both overpowered AND flavorless. The Eidolon just doesn't have any real meaningful character in and of itself and might as well just be an extension of the PC. An eidolon with agendas of its own, perhaps bound to a summoner who doesn't share its outlook is far more interesting than the boring class as it exists.

See I think of it as the opposite. The eidolon is a blank canvas that the PC and GM can apply their own flavor to. It could be the summoner's imaginary friend, or psychic essence, or an outsider called in with its own agendas, or a stand. I love that blank aspect on it because I can put whatever flavor I wish to it (with GM approval of course). That's the big draw for me. I prefer flavorless classes that I can mold into what I wish, rather than flavor-focused classes that are unbending and rigid.


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I doubt they're looking for suggestions. BUT if they were.

I would love some touchups along these lines:

crafting maybe
Quick draw that allows splash weapons and alchemical items.
ways to boost alehcmial items (either paying more and able to increase the DC to add a d6. Easy enough and not unbalanced i think)
Maybe increasing poison ability so PC's could use it potentially.
Well the ability to increase the DC of alchemical items in general. Even if it's just like add 5-10 to the craft dc to add +1 to the Dc. and +5-10craft dc to add damage boosts or something.
Maybe add a weapons category for alchemical items and a weapons training like feat line.

It's a really niche/small time thing, since there are very few other than myself who are stupid obsessed with alchemical items/splash weapons/poisons but they fall out of use so quickly. it's not likely to ever occur but I would utterly love to play a fighter or an alchemist who was all about alcheimcal weapons.

As for summoner, I think changing sythesist summoner so instead of utterly replacing stats it just added a ediolion bonus to the rolls. (i.e. the edoion stats were 18 str, 15dex 14 con. then it would add straight up to on the summoner's stats. (summoner str 13(+1) dex 18(+4) con 14 would get +4 their str totally a +5. Kinda like a power suitt instead of replacing it copmletely. That way they can't utter dump things as easily. Only way i could think of to play some weird natural attack ideas (poison tail <3)

could be along the lines of psionic's aegis I guess. That seems pretty popular and pretty similiar.


Zwordsman wrote:

I doubt they're looking for suggestions. BUT if they were.

I would love some touchups along these lines:

crafting maybe
Quick draw that allows splash weapons and alchemical items.
ways to boost alehcmial items (either paying more and able to increase the DC to add a d6. Easy enough and not unbalanced i think)
Maybe increasing poison ability so PC's could use it potentially.
Well the ability to increase the DC of alchemical items in general. Even if it's just like add 5-10 to the craft dc to add +1 to the Dc. and +5-10craft dc to add damage boosts or something.
Maybe add a weapons category for alchemical items and a weapons training like feat line.

It's a really niche/small time thing, since there are very few other than myself who are stupid obsessed with alchemical items/splash weapons/poisons but they fall out of use so quickly. it's not likely to ever occur but I would utterly love to play a fighter or an alchemist who was all about alcheimcal weapons.

As for summoner, I think changing sythesist summoner so instead of utterly replacing stats it just added a ediolion bonus to the rolls. (i.e. the edoion stats were 18 str, 15dex 14 con. then it would add straight up to on the summoner's stats. (summoner str 13(+1) dex 18(+4) con 14 would get +4 their str totally a +5. Kinda like a power suitt instead of replacing it copmletely. That way they can't utter dump things as easily. Only way i could think of to play some weird natural attack ideas (poison tail <3)

could be along the lines of psionic's aegis I guess. That seems pretty popular and pretty similiar.

Yeah, if the summoner just gave a bonus to the physical stats like Wild Shape does, that would be better I feel.


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Odraude wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

See when it comes to the Summoner I'd prefer more specific flavourful chassis with limited customization based on specific kinds of outsiders (Angel, Azata, Devil, Demon, Daemon, Elemental, Genie, Inevitable, Proteans, Psychopomps, Q'lippoth etc).

Right now the Summoner is both overpowered AND flavorless. The Eidolon just doesn't have any real meaningful character in and of itself and might as well just be an extension of the PC. An eidolon with agendas of its own, perhaps bound to a summoner who doesn't share its outlook is far more interesting than the boring class as it exists.

See I think of it as the opposite. The eidolon is a blank canvas that the PC and GM can apply their own flavor to. It could be the summoner's imaginary friend, or psychic essence, or an outsider called in with its own agendas, or a stand. I love that blank aspect on it because I can put whatever flavor I wish to it (with GM approval of course). That's the big draw for me. I prefer flavorless classes that I can mold into what I wish, rather than flavor-focused classes that are unbending and rigid.

Oh, you've gone and done it now.

I now have an urge to make a summoner with an eidolon that looks like this :D

Dark Archive

I would like to see more on the alternate rules, say like having a +1 on every stat above 10 and how to integrate it into the game


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It would be great if the book has rules to make the characters less gear dependent. That and the problems of action economy can make that a really great book. The changes to monk and rogue will help, of course. A pair of questions;
- The changes of the classes will allow still the known archetypes?
- This is a spring or summer book? Contradictory information on this.


What I doubly like about this is I still have 9 months to save up for it :)


Insain Dragoon wrote:
I prefer that. Magic is its own flavor and it allows more creative character concepts.

Just re-fluff whatever comes closest. You don't need mechanics for a character concept, just change the way it looks and feels and use the mechanics as-is. Because nothing is going to sit exactly with what you have in your head anyway, it's all a compromise.

But summoners are just stupid anyway, I hope they nerf them to heck and back. Combat round hoarders, improv Deus Ex Scenicus and general outside context problem specialists. They're as bad as wizards. Not to mention hard to build, hard to audit, and have a tendency towards silliness.

At least once they're built, they're done. Wizards can turn the world upside down every day.

All IMHO of course :-)


Fighters may benefit from some attention but overall the class progression is solid so it's understandable they aren't on the list for a reworking. The "new resource pool for martial characters, allowing for exciting new tactical options" sounds ideal.
Barbarians rage cycling isn't an issue in my opinion, but I'm sure there's other places they might need work, and the only place I can see where 'work'='complete redesign' would be changing how rage works (perhaps explicitly include rage cycling as a feature).
Rogues are soft, stealth is hard to adjudicate/explain/envisage and the class doesn't stand up to a 20 level progression so again happy this is getting a redesign.
Monks are a class I have never EVER played or GMed for. That says something right there, but not enough to make it an opinion of monks in general.
I've already covered Summoners :-) but I'm surprised Magic isn't getting a lot of attention to depower stuff: getting rid of terms like "immune to" and instead having "+20 to roll against DC" perhaps, or improved DR, or "1/2 of 1/2" damage or duration against effects. Immunity is a pretty final statement.

256 pages is a lot though - can't wait to see what else they've got in there.

Shadow Lodge

I will say I'm with people who have mixed feelings about this since on the one hand I totally want some overhaul updates to certain stuff (cough rogue & monk cough) but at the same time I get the worries about completely changing something in a system that already has 5 years of content in print for it.

That being said I do like the idea of a "book of paizo houserules" coming out to give us a view at some of the more out there stuff they are working on and potentially test the waters for the next addition. If this is the best way they feel they can present that stuff but not up end all their previous work I'm willing to give it a try and check in on spoilers and an open beta.

Scarab Sages

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Insain Dragoon wrote:
The coolest part of the Eidolon is that you actually customize it. I'd rather see the spell list gutted than customization killed.

I would be happy with 6 level progression on the standard wizard spell list.

Pathfinder has too many spell lists.


Odraude wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

See when it comes to the Summoner I'd prefer more specific flavourful chassis with limited customization based on specific kinds of outsiders (Angel, Azata, Devil, Demon, Daemon, Elemental, Genie, Inevitable, Proteans, Psychopomps, Q'lippoth etc).

Right now the Summoner is both overpowered AND flavorless. The Eidolon just doesn't have any real meaningful character in and of itself and might as well just be an extension of the PC. An eidolon with agendas of its own, perhaps bound to a summoner who doesn't share its outlook is far more interesting than the boring class as it exists.

See I think of it as the opposite. The eidolon is a blank canvas that the PC and GM can apply their own flavor to. It could be the summoner's imaginary friend, or psychic essence, or an outsider called in with its own agendas, or a stand. I love that blank aspect on it because I can put whatever flavor I wish to it (with GM approval of course). That's the big draw for me. I prefer flavorless classes that I can mold into what I wish, rather than flavor-focused classes that are unbending and rigid.

+1. Love me the customization. Have to agree that "i have an angel/fiend/etc. buddy" would make a great secondary archetype, but the blank slate, anything-is-possible customization and flavoring of the core Summoner is what makes it so cool.

My first Summoner's Eidolon was based on a Lavos Spawn. Tell me where I can find an already-existing critter in the game that will let me replicate that.


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Add me to the list of people that don't think the fighter needs a full rework. It's a popular target on the boards, but in my eye it serves the need for a simple to build, simple to run class that anyone can play. It doesn't need to have as many toys as casters as that's not the point. The inevitably low will save on most fighters is a weakness but you need to have one, right?


I think the fighter just needs more options for stuff to do outside of combat. And perhaps a way to diversify its fighting modes without having to spread his overall fighting power between them. (fighters I see usually, always do the same thing every round because its the only thing they are good at, or they get feats for multiple things and arent really good at anything)

This book sounds pretty awesome. I can't wait to see what it has in store.


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I am wondering if we will get something halfway between the "design a eidolon" and "summon a outsider". Like kits directed towards building certain types of outsiders. So you pick Qlipppoth and you can build a eidolon from a set group of features for Qlippoths. Pick Protean and you can another, partial overlapping set of options to chose from. And so on.


I would argue proteans make a sort of thematic sense for getting a random power.


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Some Rule Options I personally would like to see:

- Ability score bonuses to TWO or even THREE ability scores every four levels, to lessen the gap between MAD and SAD classes.
- Set aside the Big Six magic items and the Wealth By Level chart. Give inherent bonuses (or alternative 20-level progressions) for BAB, saves, and AC.
- Give martial characters a major bonus against fear effects. I've always found it weird that martial characters usually have low Will saves and are the most likely to run away from yeth hounds and the like.
- Give melee characters a way to stay equally effective while being mobile in combat. Right now, they're too dependent on standing still and doing Full Attacks, which can get boring. (I haven't seen the Book of Nine Swords, but popular options from there might be introduced as options.)
- Advice on how to simplify higher level play. This can include lessening the number of attacks characters can have. Maybe replace the +20/+15/+10/+5 progression with something akin to +18/+18. Limit each character to a set number of buff effects. (I don't like the potential for Scry and Fry.)
- Make multiclassing more viable by having a single BAB progression chart that goes up to 80: a level in a full BAB class gives you 4 "points," a level in a medium BAB class gives you 3 "points," a level in a low-BAB class gives you 2 "points."
- Make a lot more spells have 1-round or longer casting times or make them into rituals, especially for some higher-level spells. Personally, I like the idea from 1E that higher-level spells take longer to cast and require that the party protect the caster.
- Making two-weapon fighting and one-handed weapon fighting more viable. (Or maybe even give an initiative penalty to two-handed fighters.)

By the way, should we have a thread to talk about things we'd like to see in Pathfinder Unchained? I know the design team already has ideas of what to do, but I'd love to participate in and follow such a thread.

Paizo Employee Design Manager

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drumlord wrote:
Add me to the list of people that don't think the fighter needs a full rework. It's a popular target on the boards, but in my eye it serves the need for a simple to build, simple to run class that anyone can play. It doesn't need to have as many toys as casters as that's not the point. The inevitably low will save on most fighters is a weakness but you need to have one, right?

Fighter is a class I'm feeling pretty confident we'll see in here. It's fairly flawed, between inexplicably poor skills, bad saves that impede its ability to do its job, and a fairly dichotomous relationship between ease of play and ease of creation. It's certainly got more complications, weaknesses, and issues than other classes that are getting an eyeball, like the Barbarian.

And I don't think making a Fighter better intrinsically entails that the Fighter become more complicated. I'm confident that there's a lot of design space available for a Fighter that's as easy to build as it is to play, and which is capable of competently and reliably doing the things it's expected to do.


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I don't see the hysteria dying down yet.

As far as I can understand everything I have read form the developers:

These unchained classes will be new options. And thus optional. They will not supersede anything published before. They may not preserve backwards compatibility. Archetypes may not still apply. New ones may be created.

I could be reading things wrong.

Apart from that:

* Put me in the "i love the open-ness of Eidolons - their flavor is eternally mutable" camp. Having said that, the Deep Magic book showed what a determined flavor can do for the Summoner.

* I'd be happy to see a "simplified" Barbarian for beginners.

* I'm quite looking forward to Pathfinder Unchained. :)

Paizo Employee Design Manager

Oceanshieldwolf wrote:

As far as I can understand everything I have read form the developers:

These unchained classes will be new options. And thus optional. They will not supersede anything published before. They may not preserve backwards compatibility. Archetypes may not still apply. New ones may be created.

***

This is pretty much exactly how I understood it from listening to Jason talk about the book during the banquet. I'm pretty sure he even said "You can use some of it, all of it, whatever you want to mine from this thing for your table".

I'd imagine that a full BAB monk probably won't have all the same class features as a standard monk, so there probably won't be 100% compatibility with all archetypes, and I wouldn't expect there to be. Based on things that have been discussed in the past I'm pretty sure a re-balanced Summoner is going to look very different that a core Summoner currently looks. These aren't bad things. They're new options made to run in the system as the existing options, but with less legacy and more Paizo. That, to me, can really only be a good thing.


I would suspect that the class redesigns will be alternate classes, similar to the ninja's relationship to the rogue. So that way, they have more freedom to "remix" the whole class.

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

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Hey there folks,

While it is way too early for me to be giving out specifics, I will mention a few points here...

1. The classes mentioned fall into a special category in my mind. That being: Classes I would do differently today than the way they were done years ago during their initial design phase. Its not that we dislike them, it is just that they do not quite live up to our current design philosophies here in the office. This is a chance for us to revisit them in a safe environment, while allowing all of you to play with the results.

2. There will be things for everyone in this book. Although we only mentioned four classes, that list might grow. In addition, there are a number of other systems and rules bits that will apply to a wide variety of characters, giving them new ways to play the game. I think, as we get closer and are able to share some additional details, folks are going to be very excited about these options.

3. Careful with the wish-listing. I'd prefer folks not set up false expectations for this book. Its going to have a lot of things no one expects, and probably in the end, be missing some things that you might think are a no-brainer. Lets just be careful about wishing for the sky. In the end, the pieces of this book will still need to work with a lot of the game, so that does put some limits on what we can do, even if we are tinkering with other big systems.

At any rate.. glad to see a lot of enthusiasm here. We are excited to be working on this awesome book.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

Dark Archive

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Orthos wrote:
+1. Love me the customization. Have to agree that "i have an angel/fiend/etc. buddy" would make a great secondary archetype, but the blank slate, anything-is-possible customization and flavoring of the core Summoner is what makes it so cool.

More classes should be open in this way.

The Fighter class should straight up be open and modular and able to model light-armored highly mobile desert warriors, and not have class abilities geared around being a heavily armored European style fighter, for instance.

Clerics of ethos should be possible. Using the Rogue chassis to make for other skill specialists, replacing advanced uses of Perception/Disable Device through Trapfinding with advanced uses of Heal through Chirurgy or whatever, could be kind of awesome.

If all those options aren't allowed in a specific setting, because Designer X was bitten by a non-LG Paladin as a child, then fine, that's Golarion setting-specific and explicitly has no business being reflected in the setting-neutral Pathfinder game mechanics anyway.

More options. Less 'hardcoded flavor' (like mechanically equivalent versions of hand axes from the far east being Exotic Weapons for no darn reason at all). The GM can decide which of them to add or remove, so that the stew is flavored to his preferences.

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