Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Strategy Guide (OGL)

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Strategy Guide (OGL)
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Master the Game!

Unlock the secrets of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game! Whether you’re a new player eager to jump into the action or an experienced roleplayer looking for insights and a convenient teaching tool, this 160-page guide is your new advisor at the gaming table. Unsure which feat to choose or spell to prepare? Detailed walkthroughs of all 11 core classes help you create and customize exactly the characters you want to play, and continue to offer advice as you take your adventurers all the way to the heights of power. At the same time, this book provides a quick and easy introduction to combat and advanced rules options, tips for battlefield domination and better roleplaying, and more!

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Strategy Guide is an indispensable introduction to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and 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.

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Strategy Guide includes:

  • Illustrated, step-by-step guides to creating, advancing, and playing characters of all 11 core classes, with specific tips and tactics for 26 different classic character themes, such as the archer, the trickster, the crusader, the conjurer, and more!
  • A clear and user-friendly introduction to the basics of combat and narrative play, with easy-to- understand explanations of Pathfinder RPG terminology, systems, and core concepts.
  • Advice for getting the most out of game sessions, collaborating with other players, and succeeding both on and off the battlefield.
  • An overview of how to get started in the Pathfinder Society organized play program.
  • AND MUCH, MUCH MORE!

Written by Wolfgang Baur, Jason Bulmahn, John Compton, Jessica Price, Sean K Reynolds, and Russ Taylor.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-626-3

Note: This product is not part of any subscription, but Pathfinder Roleplaying Game subscribers who preorder this set will receive a free PDF edition of this product when the print edition ships. (Note that you will need to have an active Pathfinder RPG subscription at the time this product ships in order to receive the PDF for free.)

Note: This product was originally solicited for a June 2014 release. In order to ensure that it is the best book it can possibly be, we've decided to move the book to a February 2015 release. We appreciate your patience.

Note: Due to circumstances outside of our control, this product has been moved to the March 2015 product schedule. We appreciate your patience.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Strategy Guide (OGL)

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Perfect for new players

5/5

I tend to run a lot of games to introduce players who are new to RPGs to Pathfinder, a lot pick it up quickly but for some it can take longer, there is no better book for all of them than the Strategy Guide. I'm frankly amazed how well it's written, it's basically the Core Rulebook for new players in a far, faaaar more easily digestible format.

Every new player I've sat down with this book has come out of it with not only a solid character that actually fits the idea they had, but a much better grasp of the rules than those who don't, it's my go-to now for any new players.


Should have been the basis for an updated Core Rulebook

4/5

Page 5 'What this book isn't' tells you what you need to know about this book. To paraphrase, there are 2 main points:

1) This is not an optimisation guide for advanced (or even intermediate) players.

2) This book doesn't replace the core rules : it's a player's guide to them.

Fundamentally, the book brings the Pathfinder Beginner Box style of presentation & organisation to the full (core rulebook only) Pathfinder RPG.

The Pathfinder Beginner Box showed how much more concise and readable the same basic game could be made & showed up how wordy & non-visual the Core Rulebook is.

Unfortunately, Paizo haven't quite had the courage of their conviction to use this as the basis of a new Core Rules but instead have hedged their bets and made it basically a Player's Guide to the Core Rules - That's right a Player's Guide to the actual Player's guide !

Nevertheless - it's a really well presented guide to the 'Core 11' classes for a beginner. It's also very useful for experienced players stepping into a new type of class or a DM making NPCs for a class they don't normally play.


Great for New Players, Great for New to a Class

5/5

I picked this up out of curiosity, and as I'm bring in new players they are finding this a good resource for coming up with ideas for characters while understanding the change from 3.5 to Pathfinder. It's not just "I've never RPed" it's a good reference for "Oh, that changed to these names" type of resources.
I've pulled it up on occasion after being in a group that players had specific preferences for classes when I was branching out to new classes and wanted to get a good feel for ideal builds. I may not have stayed with all their choices but it's a good framework for ideas.


2/5


Great resource for new players!

5/5

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

The Strategy Guide is a great resource for introducing players to the full Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, whether they are coming from the Beginner Box, have played a few times before but are still confused about elements of the rules, or are jumping straight into the game with no prior experience. While you will still need the Core Rulebook to play the game, this book is far less intimidating than that heftier tome, and succeeds at explaining the game far, far better. It's a book I'm proud to have on my shelf and I will be eagerly lending it out to new players who join my games in the future.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Samy wrote:
Are traits discussed?

Yes, but only very briefly as an optional rules set that the Pathfinder Society uses. As such, it is mentioned in the PS section near the back.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

j b 200 wrote:
Alan_Beven wrote:
So if I were to get a role playing game subscription right now and order this book would I still get the PDF or has that ship sailed???
You would have had to subscribe in time to get the Monster Codex back in the fall to qualify for the PDF

No, you just needed to have an active RPG subscription and to have preordered this book before it began shipping.


Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
j b 200 wrote:
Alan_Beven wrote:
So if I were to get a role playing game subscription right now and order this book would I still get the PDF or has that ship sailed???
You would have had to subscribe in time to get the Monster Codex back in the fall to qualify for the PDF
No, you just needed to have an active RPG subscription and to have preordered this book before it began shipping.

I thought to you had to have an item ship on that subscription for it to be "active"?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

j b 200 wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
j b 200 wrote:
Alan_Beven wrote:
So if I were to get a role playing game subscription right now and order this book would I still get the PDF or has that ship sailed???
You would have had to subscribe in time to get the Monster Codex back in the fall to qualify for the PDF
No, you just needed to have an active RPG subscription and to have preordered this book before it began shipping.
I thought to you had to have an item ship on that subscription for it to be "active"?

You can also subscribe starting with the previous product.


Jessica Price wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
Hows art in the book any new stuff?
You might want to keep an eye on the blog on Wednesday. :-)

So, um..... :)

Project Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dustin Ashe wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
Hows art in the book any new stuff?
You might want to keep an eye on the blog on Wednesday. :-)
So, um..... :)

It's coming. :-P


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dustin Ashe wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
Hows art in the book any new stuff?
You might want to keep an eye on the blog on Wednesday. :-)
So, um..... :)

Patience is a virtue, my son.

0:)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

See?

0:)


Jessica Price wrote:
It's coming. :-P

Ah, there it is. Living on the east coast makes it seem like Paizo is always burning the midnight oil.

Thanks Jessica!

Project Manager

3 people marked this as a favorite.

You're not entirely wrong about that. :-)

And my pleasure!

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Dustin Ashe wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
It's coming. :-P

Ah, there it is. Living on the east coast makes it seem like Paizo is always burning the midnight oil.

Thanks Jessica!

Try NZT like me, everything is always late :D


So, lets talk specific rules in the strategy guide: page 128 "Understanding your square", the threatened areas:

I didn't know you'd get AoO's for someone/thing leaving those dark grey squares that you actually don't threaten...

Oversight?

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DM Sothal wrote:

So, lets talk specific rules in the strategy guide: page 128 "Understanding your square", the threatened areas:

I didn't know you'd get AoO's for someone/thing leaving those dark grey squares that you actually don't threaten...

Oversight?

No, it's intentional because without that AoO, you could approach a character wielding a reach weapon completely unopposed so long as you approach from the corner. It's literally a rule to fix a corner case.

-Skeld


Ah. Interesting. When / Where was that introduced?

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I looked over my PDF last night and from what I saw I'd like to say that this is a really good book for beginners. There is a bunch of very helpful information in here. Experienced players probably won't get much out of it, but there were a couple nuggets that I came across in my casual flip-through.

The book is kinda repetitive in places. Also, players that like to optimize will find some of the advice (especially feat selection) hard to swallow. That's just a reflection of Paizo's particular philosophy on character design, but I wouldn't be surprised if some players take exception.

Again, very good book for beginners.

-Skeld

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DM Sothal wrote:
Ah. Interesting. When / Where was that introduced?

I don't really know. "Corners aren't threatened" is a rule I've ignored from the beginning (I think it was a change from 3.5e), so I haven't followed the evolution closely. I know it's been debated on the boards a number of times though.

-Skeld


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
DM Sothal wrote:
When / Where was that introduced?

In the Rules Reference cards. Look at the example cards shown on the product page. Discussion of the clarification/stealth errata began when the images were posted last August.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Quick question: If you have no subscriptions going out this month, will this end up shipping next month? I'm just wondering as I've preordered this and it's still not shipped (or at least I didn't get an e-mail or the PDF). Mind you, I don't mind waiting and paying less for shipping and handling....


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Yes, if you chose the "ship with next subscription" option, I believe it will ship in April. I'm in the same boat with no subscription shipment this month.


Joana wrote:
DM Sothal wrote:
When / Where was that introduced?
In the Rules Reference cards. Look at the example cards shown on the product page. Discussion of the clarification/stealth errata began when the images were posted last August.

Thanks again. Looking at that card though, it is not the same ruling.

As by the card you threaten that square at the corner,
as by the guide you don't threaten it, but receive an AoO when someone leaves it to move closer.

So does the Guide now create a corner case of the corner case?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The Strategy Guide was put together and printed before the recent FAQ ruling that reversed that rule and introduced the exception that the corners—as in D&D v.3.5—are indeed threatened.


Danke Zaister.

Many thanks for the link to the FAQ.

Too bad the rule received that overhaul after it was printed in this hardcover, but it is the best solution, I think.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
DM Sothal wrote:

Looking at that card though, it is not the same ruling.

As by the card you threaten that square at the corner,
as by the guide you don't threaten it, but receive an AoO when someone leaves it to move closer.

Ah. I don't have the Guide yet, so I assumed it would be the same rule. It's a shame there's still confusion about this depending on which source a person picks up. As demonstrated, the Rules Reference card predates the FAQ by almost 4 months. :P

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Man, talk about confusing. Good thing I don't take the rules too seriously! ;)

-Skeld

Paizo Employee Designer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Zaister wrote:
The Strategy Guide was put together and printed before the recent FAQ ruling that reversed that rule and introduced the exception that the corners—as in D&D v.3.5—are indeed threatened.

Indeed. It's a relic of how long ago the Strategy Guide was originally written (as an interesting side note—an eagle-eyed new editor did figure this out just barely in time to help with all the foreign language Strategy Guides; rock on, Joe, and nobody usually finds out when the editors eliminate a problem!). The fact that we knew the Strategy Guide was going to contradict the Rules Reference Cards was a strong motivator in my attempts to have us put out a conclusive FAQ for it one way or the other. Happily, we went with the cleaner solution from the cards in the end!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Is a lite version of the pdf coming?

Paizo Glitterati Robot

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Joe Wells wrote:
Is a lite version of the pdf coming?

Nope. The layout of this book is pretty clean and the file size is optimal enough that we chose not to put the PDF through this process.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Zaister wrote:
The Strategy Guide was put together and printed before the recent FAQ ruling that reversed that rule and introduced the exception that the corners—as in D&D v.3.5—are indeed threatened.

How annoying. I checked and re-checked that when the book was being written, making sure that it matched up with the rules as they were at that time. Some times you just can't predict the future :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

New font. Sans serif. That'll take some getting used to.

It almost feels like a different game. :)


I've gotta know before I throw down $40 for a book I don't need... is there anything in here for experienced players, or is it just a guide for newbies to build their characters? With a title like "Strategy Guide" I was expecting a book with interesting strategies using equipment, spells and combat maneuvers in interesting combinations to pull off various effects and tactics. Y'know, about Strategy. But from what I can read on this book in this thread, it looks more like it should have been called "Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Character Creation Guide (OGL)"... am I wrong?

So what's in it to appeal to us tired ol' grognards?

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

This is very much a book you hand off to the new players in your group. I've only skimmed it, but it covers only the core rules and will be quite simple reading for an experienced player. There may perhaps be some nuggets of information of use to me and you, but I expect I will have to dig deep for them.


Is there any advice on how to pick equipment? I'm a newbie, and that seems to be the thing that trips me up the most. (I'm considering picking this up once the PDF is available.)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
TaliaKirana wrote:
Is there any advice on how to pick equipment? I'm a newbie, and that seems to be the thing that trips me up the most. (I'm considering picking this up once the PDF is available.)

Yes! It gives suggested starting gear for each theme chosen in a sidebar at the start of each class section. There is also general advice on equipment in the additional details section at the end of the class section.

If unsure of what equipment to use or get as you go up in levels, stick to that initial list and simply get magical versions whenever you can.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

9 people marked this as a favorite.
Maveric28 wrote:
So what's in it to appeal to us tired ol' grognards?

Help recruiting the next batch of future grognards?


TaliaKirana wrote:
Is there any advice on how to pick equipment? I'm a newbie, and that seems to be the thing that trips me up the most. (I'm considering picking this up once the PDF is available.)

I don't know what this book will do for you, Talia, but if you need help picking equipment, I would go with the PATHFINDER ROLEPLAYING GAME: ULTIMATE EQUIPMENT book instead. I LOVE that book and one of the neatest things I've found is under the general equipment list there is a starting equipment set for each specific Class; Fighter's kit, Cleric's kit, Magus's kit, etc. Give it a shot, it's by far the best book available for players right behind the Core Rulebook and the Advanced Players Guide.

Scarab Sages

Vic Wertz wrote:

The main reason for this product is that I believe the Core Rulebook presents a number of barriers to entry into the game for many people, among them...


  • It's a big, heavy book filled with a bazillion words, tables, and lists that appear daunting to newcomers.
  • Really important rules, like how you level up your character, are split into multiple places, and much of it is easy to miss.
  • It tells you how to make a character, but it doesn't help you figure out which of the many choices you can make are the ones you want to make.
  • Options for *your* character class, like feats and spells, have to be extracted from dense chapters that also cover options that your character can't actually use.

This book is intended to solve those problems, and I believe that it will bring many more players to the table.

goldomark wrote:
160 pages? Seems pretty small.
I really, really wanted it to be 100 pages, but we just couldn't accomplish everything we needed in that space.

Thank you! As a very new player this sounds exactly like the kind of companion book I need to my core rulebook! Looks like my timing to get into the game is perfect with this book :) I look forward to purchasing the PDF next week!


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This book is great for new players. I all ready got some of my new players to get the pdf.

The most useful thing I see is the level up guide for each of the core classes. Though I do have a slight problem...some of my new players are playing classes not found in Core. Is there any chance we will see a level advancing guide for all the classes?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
Maveric28 wrote:
TaliaKirana wrote:
Is there any advice on how to pick equipment? I'm a newbie, and that seems to be the thing that trips me up the most. (I'm considering picking this up once the PDF is available.)

I don't know what this book will do for you, Talia, but if you need help picking equipment, I would go with the PATHFINDER ROLEPLAYING GAME: ULTIMATE EQUIPMENT book instead. I LOVE that book and one of the neatest things I've found is under the general equipment list there is a starting equipment set for each specific Class; Fighter's kit, Cleric's kit, Magus's kit, etc. Give it a shot, it's by far the best book available for players right behind the Core Rulebook and the Advanced Players Guide.

Adding even more options is not going to help if you're already having a hard time picking tje right equipment for your character.

Silver Crusade

Kajehase wrote:
Maveric28 wrote:
TaliaKirana wrote:
Is there any advice on how to pick equipment? I'm a newbie, and that seems to be the thing that trips me up the most. (I'm considering picking this up once the PDF is available.)

I don't know what this book will do for you, Talia, but if you need help picking equipment, I would go with the PATHFINDER ROLEPLAYING GAME: ULTIMATE EQUIPMENT book instead. I LOVE that book and one of the neatest things I've found is under the general equipment list there is a starting equipment set for each specific Class; Fighter's kit, Cleric's kit, Magus's kit, etc. Give it a shot, it's by far the best book available for players right behind the Core Rulebook and the Advanced Players Guide.

Adding even more options is not going to help if you're already having a hard time picking tje right equipment for your character.

While true, what he's getting at is that Ultimate Equipment has the preselected class kits in it, which bundle all the mundane gear that X class needs. It's worth noting that the Advanced Class Guide has similar for all the classes contained within it in its equipment chapter, though many of them are just copy-pasted from one of the parent classes.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
John Kretzer wrote:
Is there any chance we will see a level advancing guide for all the classes?

Step this way...


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dustin Ashe wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
Is there any chance we will see a level advancing guide for all the classes?
Step this way...

Nice work. I'll be sure to keep a eye on that thread.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

My poor 13 year old cousin got super confused by the first level Sorcerer spells section. The icon images by the spell suggestions use the Wizard role icons not the Sorcerer ones. She's figured it out since then, but she mentioned that I should inform you in her words that "They should get that fixed."

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I was going to FAQ your post, but that doesn't seem to be available in this thread.

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

My copy of this arrived yesterday, and it looks like just what I was expecting. I'll probably pick up another one to lend out to new players.

I did spot one problem on a quick perusal of the pages:
When talking about where to allocate skills for a brand new Wizard character, one of the recommendations is to put a rank in 'Fly'.
It's my understanding that you can't do this.

CRB pp96-97 - Fly wrote:

You cannot take ranks in this skill without a natural means of flight or gliding.

Creatures can also take ranks in Fly if they possess a reliable means of flying every day (either through a spell or other special ability).

That says that a typical Wizard generally can't put ranks into 'Fly' until he's able to cast a Fly spell, which he doesn't get until 5th level.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Don't hate me... To me this is the WORST book out so far. I got mine and find this book great if you are a new player, or you want to Min/Max your character so bad it is not funny.

I am seeing more and more of Pathfinder becoming a Min/Maxer system. I see it in PFS, I see it in regular play. This book offers nothing to a player of more than 5 year.

If your new to Pen and Pager RPG, then this book might be for you, that is if you want to make a character that is so bad arse they can kill a dragon at 5th level. If you want to play a good realiastic flawed character that is far more fun to RP... then avoid this book.

But do not take advice from a gamer of 30+ years, unless you want good advice

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
IceniQueen wrote:
...this book might be for you, that is if you want to make a character that is so bad arse they can kill a dragon at 5th level.

It really isn't that good, unless you're talking a CR3 or 4 dragon...

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
IceniQueen wrote:
If you want to play a good realiastic flawed character

I'm trying to imagine one, but most people I met IRL never fought a dragon, or their claims to have done so appear vastly exaggerated.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

IceniQueen, you are now immortal. Your post is probably going to be linked in a great many future discussions. You might even get your post's general idea named after you for easier reference. Granted that's just my own speculation, but I'm pretty confident. At the very least, I know that *I* will be linking your post in future discussions. But I really do think you're going to be a reference point for a loooong time.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
IceniQueen wrote:
If you want to play a good realistic flawed character that is far more fun to RP... then avoid this book.

I'm not sure how one would write a book about how to build a flawed character. I think that comes quite naturally to a beginner. ;)

More seriously, I don't think this is a min/max book. It'll make guide you about how to make a decent character, but not a superhero.

For one thing, they've used only the options found in the Core Rulebook. And for another, you'll notice that they leave you to your own devices at higher levels. The Class Guides really hold your hand at first level, then a little less so 2-5. And then by 15-20 it just alerts you to select a feat or whatever and makes no suggestions. Thirdly, there are a lot of options here. These aren't builds, they're suggestions and even within a theme there are more feats and abilities than one could actually take. It doesn't really rank your options either. And finally, even with the themes I think these suggestions are too general to be considered min/maxing. These aren't builds, they're whittled-down options. Training wheels, not a min/max guide.

And this is coming from a decidedly not min/maxer. If you saw my current character, you'd agree.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

the description of the reach weapon threatened squares in this guide does not seem to match the FAQ item on this same topic

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