Pathfinder Player Companion: Advanced Class Origins (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Player Companion: Advanced Class Origins (PFRPG)
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Top of Class!

Unlock your character’s potential and become a master of the hybrid classes with Pathfinder Player Companion: Advanced Class Origins! Featuring never-before-seen rules options for the 10 new classes from the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Class Guide, this volume is the ultimate companion for bringing your hybrid class adventurer into the Pathfinder campaign setting. Whether your character is one of Geb’s enigmatic Twilight Sage arcanists, an investigator trained at Lepidstadt Academy in gothic Ustalav, or a scimitar-wielding swashbuckler dervish from Qadira, Advanced Class Origins makes sure her connection to Golarion is as powerful as her unique new skills and abilities.

Inside this book, you’ll find:

  • New archetypes and character options that integrate each of the 10 classes detailed in the Pathfinder RPG Advanced Class Guide into the world of Golarion.
  • Details on homelands, organizations, and institutions around the Inner Sea region to inform the background of your hybrid class adventurer.
  • New traits to represent skills your adventurer acquired from locales such as the demon-plagued Tanglebriar, war-torn Nirmathas, and the deep vastness of the Mwangi Jungle.
  • Tips and advice on how to use the new hybrid classes to qualify for prestige classes and weave a path of renown through the legends and myths of the Inner Sea.
  • New feats, spells, and items to augment the hexing powers of shamans and witches, empower animal companions with acidic bites, and much more!

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 Dennis Baker, Ross Byers, Tom Phillips, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Owen Stephens.
Cover Art by Igor Grechanyi.

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: 978-1-60125-689-8

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

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Mechanical Options for the ACG classes


The bulk of Advanced Class Origins is made up of two page spreads for each of the ten new hybrid classes found in the Advanced Class Guide. Roughly one page is devoted to a discussion of common locations from where each hybrid class typically comes from, and the second page goes to mechanical options. The book then goes into new magic items, spells, and feats.

The flavor information is pretty much what a fan of Golarion would expect. Arcanists are from high magic societies, such as Absalom, Nex, and Geb; while skalds are from the Lands of the Linnorn Kings. I personally would have preferred more details on the less obvious choices. For example, skalds are apparently popular in the Taldor’s army, which is strange for the “empire in decline” to encourage raging warriors, and I would have liked to learn more about.

The meat of this book is the mechanical character options, which are to taste. For example, I like both the mechanics and flavor of the black blood bloodrager bloodline, and the seafaring dragon skald. However, some of the archetypes are for evil characters only, or are for very circumstantial builds. I do appreciate the callbacks to prior options, such as giving swashbucklers a whirling dervish archetype, and including scalykind and void blessings for warpriests. Each class spread has regional traits listed, some which are outrageously specific. For example, Lichblood can only be taken by characters from Belkzen with the undead bloodrager bloodline, and gives a +2 on Diplomacy and Intimidate checks only against orcs from Belkzen.

The book includes feats, magic items, and spells, of which the feats especially should have been in the Advanced Class Guide itself. Not just the infamous Fencing Grace (Dexterity to damage with the rapier), but Expanded Spell Kenning (allowing skalds to access the druid and witch spell list) and Pack Tactics (treating animal companions has fellow possessors of a teamwork feat).

Advanced Class Origins is recommended for players interested in the hybrid classes found in the Advanced Class Guide who are looking for a few additional mechanical options.


Good world-specific flavour

3/5

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

On the whole, there is quite a bit of useful material in Advanced Class Origins for people who use the hybrid classes from Advanced Class Guide. Even though there are a lot of classes to cover and not a lot of space in the book, it manages to provide a good variety of options for each of those classes. It also does a good job of adding a lot of Golarion-specific flavour to the classes, with archetypes and abilities that are tied to specific locations in the campaign setting. Overall, it's a pretty decent book.


Where did your character come from?

4/5

I feel that Paizo's staff really hit the mark with this book. I like Golarion and I want to anchor my character into the setting. Advanced Class Origins does an excellent job of providing that opportunity for the hybrid classes recently introduced to the campaign. The options aren't superior, but they are immersive.


Minimal

1/5

It does basically what the description says. Nothing more. Add in how disappointing the actual ACG was as a whole, this one basically does the minimum to fix or empower what is needed, but instead focuses on holding your hand to fit a great deal of the newer classes into the more obvious flavor themes of the setting.

But in a lot of ways it fails to actually bridge the gaps even on that front. It was pretty clear in the ACG that the writers loved some classes and well, had to do something for the others. Thats basically repeated here, where some classes get cool stuff and others get a whatever scraps are left just so they have a new option in the book.

Lack of Favored Class material for the common non-core races is a huge let down. There is a section about Prestige Classes, but is kind of worthless as it basically traslates to ask your DM, (well, duh). There is just nowhere near enough in this book. What is there is writen well and enjoyable, but tends to be not terribly useful in favor of being niche. It partially feels like some of the almost finished material that they just couldnt fit into the ACG but not enough for its own book, so they added some filling in the form of setting flavor.

If you thought the ACG was perfect, you will probably like this one. If you wanted some fixes for that same book, its probably not for you. Its possible that when they get around to redoing the ACG that this book might get an indidect boost. Its probably not fair that the issues with the ACG directly affect this book as much as they do, but hopefully (if) when that changes, the reverse might be true as well.


More stuff, but not all stuff I care about

3/5

Advanced Class Guide Origins is more material for the new classes from the Advanced Class Guide, but with more Golarion fluff mixed in. I was sad to see that their expansion of the Slayer didn't include more talents, and there wasn't a lot here I cared about. Their Osirion themed Hunter archetype traded away the base Focuses for desert focuses, but unless you're trying to build something really specific these seem almost universally weaker. While there was some cool stuff sprinkled throughout and they provided some guidance on where everything fits in the Golarion world, nothing here really excited me.


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Sovereign Court

The lack of Favored Class Bonuses for ARG is rather disappointing.

They easily could have used a different format in ACG where they listed them for core races only saved a ton of space and added them in the original book, but they had a second book coming so I just assumed it would be in ACO. Well ya it's not there either.

Are there any plans at all to add these at some point?


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Negative Zer0 wrote:
The lack of Favored Class Bonuses for ARG is rather disappointing.

But perhaps not unexpected, considering that this book is in the Campaign line, while ARG is in the Core line?

I'd like to see FCBs for the ARG races, myself, but somewhere more suitably neutral.

(That said, I'd also like to see FBCs for androids and ghorams, both of which are in the Golarion campaign setting and not the Core as yet.)


Hows that mad magic feat go?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

Now that I have the book in hand I confirmed something I was worried about, the Scarab Stalker archetype for hunters replaces the core animal foci except bull, falcon and snake. The replacements are interesting, but I was disappointed that bull was kept and not tiger. Since it seems that those to foci are a good wealth saver for archery/melee builds. Or perhaps I'm mistaken, would those ones usually get eschewed in favour of belts of that stat. So my gut reaction is that this archetype favours melee builds over archery, or am i just wrong?


This may have been answered earlier, but I don't know. On the Bekyar Demon Dancer archetype for Skald, what does Demonic Conquest replace if anything? The book seems to indicate that this ability is completely free, which doesn't make much sense. It seems to be either a loss of a Versatile Performance or a use of Lore Master.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Kalvit wrote:
This may have been answered earlier, but I don't know. On the Bekyar Demon Dancer archetype for Skald, what does Demonic Conquest replace if anything? The book seems to indicate that this ability is completely free, which doesn't make much sense. It seems to be either a loss of a Versatile Performance or a use of Lore Master.

It looks to me like there's nothing this ability replaces.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
Ed Reppert wrote:
Kalvit wrote:
This may have been answered earlier, but I don't know. On the Bekyar Demon Dancer archetype for Skald, what does Demonic Conquest replace if anything? The book seems to indicate that this ability is completely free, which doesn't make much sense. It seems to be either a loss of a Versatile Performance or a use of Lore Master.
It looks to me like there's nothing this ability replaces.

Sometimes an archetype has an ability replaced by multiple but they don't each specifically say what it is sort of a net balance kind of thing.


How long is the usual turn around for these types of books to be allowed in PFS? Not sure the normal timeline...Fencing Grace actually makes Inspired Blade useful now.


This book lists arcanist as a class which qualifies for the prestige class Magaambyan Arcanist. But Magaambyan Arcanist has Spell Mastery as a prerequisite and only wizards qualify for Spell Mastery. In the Advanced Class Guide Playtest arcanists had a bonus feats class feature which explicitly stated that they could take Spell Mastery, but I can't find any mention of this in the final version. So can arcanists take Spell Mastery or not?


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

Or is this another case like the shaman supposedly qualifying for Winter Witch?


I hadn't noticed that. A winter witch shaman. Very interesting.


... on reading this, my biggest question has to be -- why are white mage arcanists associated with the City of Brass?


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I've noticed the Sczarni Executioner loses Survival as a class skill, but retains the Track class ability.

is this deliberate?


I have considered Companion books for optional books for players, full of fluff and some additional mechanical choices. I have bought close to dozen before.

This time tho, I feel trapped to buy this book to get my Swashbuckler to work as intended. Kinda sad development!

EDIT - Hmm, and I guess I need to throw some extra bucks to get the material to HeroLab aswell. Ggrrr!


It has a few fun things in it at least.

Grand Lodge

I don't know if I was the only one that noticed (unlikely but possible) but it lists the warpriest being able to take levels in hellknight signifer, despite the fact the class cannot take a required feat warrior priest and it just seems werid for a warpriest to take arcane armor training (though technically the feat only requires a caster level and light armor training).


Yeah it seems like Warrior Priest should have been updated to include Blessings in this book or the ACG or there should have been an overarching rule that says that if a feat or other option mentions having to have the Domain class feature that Blessings would meet those requirements as Domains.


Dotting

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