Pathfinder Player Companion: Advanced Class Origins (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Player Companion: Advanced Class Origins (PFRPG)
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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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Origins probably isn't the right word, but it does sound cool.

3/5

The book is, in a nutshell, a short extensions of the ever-amazing Advanced Class Guide.

It has a few extra hybrid class options (like Investigator Talents), an extra archetype per hybrid class, feats, spell options from other sources for the hybrid classes, a bit more magic gear and a table for hybrid class pre-requisites for existing prestige classes (from the CRB and Paths of Prestige).

Noteworthy, it strangely doesn't include the extra retraining options for the hybrid classes mentioned in an earlier blog post (like how the Shaman can use the Druid's retraining options). Probably a page count omission.

For the price, you get what you pay for. It's not terribly useful for the most part, but probably still worth grabbing if you liked the ACG and need that little bit extra.


Sprinkled with goodstuff, some gaps

4/5

The book 5/5 aces its objective, which is adding context to the ACG classes and framing them to the world of Golarion. The fact that the Greenskin Stalkers exist made me add one more star to this review which would have been otherwise a 3.

The issues I have with this book are exclusively on the playing material. I feel a great part of the archetypes were done with "lose the general bonus, gain a higher bonus against a specific foe" mindset, which I honestly can't get behind of.
The ACG classes are really new and what they need is something to benefit every possible playstyle.

However, the score is still high because some times, Paizo shows they know how they can be done. The Sczarni Executioner is a great implementation of a specific specialization that still shows some local flavor. There's the whole issue with Intelligence being too low for Slayers for Assassinate to ever work, but that's something that the devs should see on their own.

Other great play-style explorations in the book are the Studied Ally talent (which allows for more defensive Slayers, perhaps a Vanguard?), Shackles Corsair archetype (skill-based Swashbuckler), Leipstadt Inspector archetype (Perception-based Investigator), and the Kyton Bloodrager bloodline (based on defense and harrying enemies).

Then there's the let downs. Some classes had glaring issues that did not get patched here.

Namely:
- Brawlers are a low AC and low mobility class that relies on full-attacks and high Strength. With Pummeling Charge banned on PFS, I expect these vulnerabilities to show themselves more. They can be partially balanced with high Dex, but I see no support for this playstyle (you'd need to make a deep investment into Weapon Finesse and Agile Maneuvers).
- I'm also sad that no Brawler archetype for small races was released.
- Feats seem hastily done and they are really underwhelming. Fencing Grace has a bonus to disarm CMD, but Swashbucklers can't be disarmed. Unfair Grip has Power Attack as a prerequisite, but Unarmed fighters have little incentive to take Power Attack. Know Weakness seems wonky - why does the bonus last for one round?
- There's a new archetype for Swashbucklers which grants Dex-to-damage with any Swashbuckler weapon, so clearly the developers don't think it overpowered... but still, other classes can't do it for some reason.
- I expected to see more rewards for high STR playstyles now that Dex-to-damage is more widespread, but I saw none. Still expecting an Armor Training feat with high STR as prerequisite.
- Another huge issue is the lack of anything to reduce the Swift Action glut of Swashbucklers.

Overall, it has some nice archetypes and bloodlines/blessings (I'd expect War Drummer and Winding Path Renegade to be staples of every Skald and Brawler, not because they are great but because they are mostly straight upgrades), some great fluff...
But I feel there's some wasted potential here.




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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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