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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Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Nukruh wrote:
I just saw the preview images in the catalog. I am saddened by the use of larger fonts (and all the layout adjustments larger fonts bring) to stay within the Beginner Box layout even at 160 pages.

That image is just a mockup to communicate the concept, not an actual layout. The actual text hasn't even been written yet! I *do* expect the layout to take many cues from the Beginner Box layout, though, because it has proven to be a good layout for teaching this game.

Nukruh wrote:
It seems like it wants to be a rules compendium hidden behind a "helpful" how-to guide.

This is *nothing* like a rules compendium. I'm really puzzled by people coming to that conclusion. Can you help me understand why you think that?

Nukruh wrote:
An example of this would be Archetypes found in APG. If that system is not explained in here, you miss out on a major aspect of what the character creation process has become outside of the CRB.

The Advanced Player's Guide is intended for advanced players. This book is generally for beginners (though I believe a lot of experienced players will appreciate it).

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Caedwyr wrote:
I'm confused as to why this book is being created instead of producing a revised version of the core rulebook. The blurb and explanations in this thread seem to say "new players have trouble understanding the organization/explanation in the core rulebook so we are selling a second book to help explain the first."

What you propose is a job that is not mutually exclusive with this one, but it's also not the goal here.

Let me give you an example of the kind of thing this book does that the Core Rulebook does not do, and cannot reasonably do:

You've just reached third level, so you're gaining a feat. The Core Rulebook, quite rightly, presents *all* of the feats in the game—nearly 200 of them. But how many of those feats can your third-level druid with average stats actually take? Only a tiny percentage. And of the small number you *can* take, how many of them are actually really useful to your character? Just a handful. In the druid chapter of this book, we'll list the few feats that are actually relevant to you, and then we'll tell you a bit about how you really use them. And I'm not talking rules here—I'm talking strategy.

How does sneak attack work? That belongs in the Core Rulebook. But if you're a rogue with sneak attack, how do you take advantage of it? What do you consider when deciding where to move, and whom to attack? That belongs in the Strategy Guide.

If we were to rewrite the 576-page Core Rulebook to provide everything we plan to pack into the 160-page Strategy Guide, the result would *not* be a better 576-page Core Rulebook; it would be a 700-page Core Rulebook.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:

You've just reached third level, so you're gaining a feat. The Core Rulebook, quite rightly, presents *all* of the feats in the game—nearly 200 of them. But how many of those feats can your third-level druid with average stats actually take? Only a tiny percentage. And of the small number you *can* take, how many of them are actually really useful to your character? Just a handful. In the druid chapter of this book, we'll list the few feats that are actually relevant to you, and then we'll tell you a bit about how you really use them. And I'm not talking rules here—I'm talking strategy.

How does sneak attack work? That belongs in the Core Rulebook. But if you're a rogue with sneak attack, how do you take advantage of it? What do you consider when deciding where to move, and whom to attack? That belongs in the Strategy Guide.

Sounds terrific. Can I ask who'll be writing it?


Wolfgang Baur is one author, I can't remember the other author.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Thanks.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Nukruh wrote:
It seems like it wants to be a rules compendium hidden behind a "helpful" how-to guide.
This is *nothing* like a rules compendium. I'm really puzzled by people coming to that conclusion. Can you help me understand why you think that?

I wouldn't want to speak for nukruh, but I wonder if it stems from people who understand the rules well not realising what barriers exist to those of us who don't. Perhaps the fact that rules exist all over the place is an "obvious" problem a newcomer might face and thus (the thinking might go), this book must be a gathering together of the rules in a coherent way.

For my part, a setting out of the various "feat trees" which might suit a ranger (for example) would be a godsend. Similarly, some suggestions as to how to allocate stats would be useful (as I understand things, a monk should have decent strength, but a high dexterity is a luxury - that's the kind of thing I'd like to see in the monk section).

I wonder whether many of the forum regulars have this stuff so internalised that they don't see any need for it?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Could a new player making a character find everything they need in the Strategy Guide, or do they still need to reference the Core Rulebook/SRD?

Webstore Gninja Minion

Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
Wolfgang Baur is one author, I can't remember the other author.

John Compton, our PFS developer.

spamhammer wrote:
Could a new player making a character find everything they need in the Strategy Guide, or do they still need to reference the Core Rulebook/SRD?

The Strategy Guide isn't meant to replace either of them, so yes, you'll still need to reference another source.


There's also a possibly third, unannounced, author.


Vic Wertz wrote:
Caedwyr wrote:
I'm confused as to why this book is being created instead of producing a revised version of the core rulebook. The blurb and explanations in this thread seem to say "new players have trouble understanding the organization/explanation in the core rulebook so we are selling a second book to help explain the first."

What you propose is a job that is not mutually exclusive with this one, but it's also not the goal here.

Let me give you an example of the kind of thing this book does that the Core Rulebook does not do, and cannot reasonably do:

You've just reached third level, so you're gaining a feat. The Core Rulebook, quite rightly, presents *all* of the feats in the game—nearly 200 of them. But how many of those feats can your third-level druid with average stats actually take? Only a tiny percentage. And of the small number you *can* take, how many of them are actually really useful to your character? Just a handful. In the druid chapter of this book, we'll list the few feats that are actually relevant to you, and then we'll tell you a bit about how you really use them. And I'm not talking rules here—I'm talking strategy.

How does sneak attack work? That belongs in the Core Rulebook. But if you're a rogue with sneak attack, how do you take advantage of it? What do you consider when deciding where to move, and whom to attack? That belongs in the Strategy Guide.

If we were to rewrite the 576-page Core Rulebook to provide everything we plan to pack into the 160-page Strategy Guide, the result would *not* be a better 576-page Core Rulebook; it would be a 700-page Core Rulebook.

Thanks for the explanation.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Similarly, some suggestions as to how to allocate stats would be useful (as I understand things, a monk should have decent strength, but a high dexterity is a luxury - that's the kind of thing I'd like to see in the monk section).

How to allocate stats is a great example of the type of thing you'll find here.

But there are multiple approaches to that. The one we *won't* be taking would say "put your highest stat into WIS, and your worst stat into CHA" and so on. The approach we'll take here is about explaining *why* a particular class might benefit from a high WIS, and why CHA may be less important to that class unless you have a particular vision for your character in which it's more important. That is, we don't just want to give you directions to fill out a character sheet; we want to give you an understanding of what all that stuff on the sheet actually *means* for a character.


This book sounds pretty fantastic. As somebody who recently taught an entire group to play after moving from beginners box to core rulebook. This should hopefully help with some of the growing pains. That list of things that are gonna be in this book sounds like all the areas we have struggled with.

One thing that would be really cool is perhaps a bit on roleplaying. Players who come from boardgames really get into the rules, but kinda struggle with the roleplaying and seeing that they can attempt anything. Oh and be sure to tell wizards that they will need dexterity to hit things with rays and other touch attacks. Our poor wizard didn't invest in it and I didn't know enough to tell him he needed more dex.

My only disappointment is that this doesn't come out til next year.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Similarly, some suggestions as to how to allocate stats would be useful (as I understand things, a monk should have decent strength, but a high dexterity is a luxury - that's the kind of thing I'd like to see in the monk section).

How to allocate stats is a great example of the type of thing you'll find here.

But there are multiple approaches to that. The one we *won't* be taking would say "put your highest stat into WIS, and your worst stat into CHA" and so on. The approach we'll take here is about explaining *why* a particular class might benefit from a high WIS, and why CHA may be less important to that class unless you have a particular vision for your character in which it's more important. That is, we don't just want to give you directions to fill out a character sheet; we want to give you an understanding of what all that stuff on the sheet actually *means* for a character.

Just what I'm looking for. I can all but guarantee you'll have at least one very satisfied customer! :)

Will there be any discussion about "feat trees"? (In terms of - here's a good, ordered set of feats/options/character generation guidelines to take if you want to be an awesome archer, here's another set if you'd rather fight with a sword and a dagger...) We've run into the problem of not being able to take some feat we want at sixth level because we didnt pick the correct stats at level one (or the right pre-requisite feat at an earlier level), for example.


These lines are what keeps confusing me with the focus of the product and Vic saying it is not a Rules Compendium.

- Guidelines to help you navigate every aspect of the game, from dungeon exploration to combat to venturing into the wilderness.
- Comprehensive guide to complex Pathfinder RPG rules systems like combat maneuvers, attacks of opportunity, action types, and modifier stacking.

The first enty does not say it as much as the second one but it still holds some weight here as it covers an area of the rules used in play.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Steve Geddes wrote:
Will there be any discussion about "feat trees"? (In terms of - here's a good, ordered set of feats/options/character generation guidelines to take if you want to be an awesome archer, here's another set if you'd rather fight with a sword and a dagger...) We've run into the problem of not being able to take some feat we want at sixth level because we didnt pick the correct stats at level one (or the right pre-requisite feat at an earlier level), for example.

It hasn't been written yet, but I anticipate that at lower levels, we'll be recommending some feats that are early in trees, and as you level, we'll say "if you took X, consider taking Y now."

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Nukruh wrote:

These lines are what keeps confusing me with the focus of the product and Vic saying it is not a Rules Compendium.

- Guidelines to help you navigate every aspect of the game, from dungeon exploration to combat to venturing into the wilderness.
- Comprehensive guide to complex Pathfinder RPG rules systems like combat maneuvers, attacks of opportunity, action types, and modifier stacking.

The first enty does not say it as much as the second one but it still holds some weight here as it covers an area of the rules used in play.

The key is that these are guides to using the rules, not the rules themselves.

That is, the following are very different:

- Comprehensive guide to complex Pathfinder RPG rules systems like combat maneuvers, attacks of opportunity, action types, and modifier stacking.

- Complex Pathfinder RPG rules systems like combat maneuvers, attacks of opportunity, action types, and modifier stacking.

"Guide" may not be the best word... and all of this text will change when the product is finished, so we'll take that into consideration. Any suggestions on how better to say it?


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Vic Wertz wrote:
It hasn't been written yet, but I anticipate that at lower levels, we'll be recommending some feats that are early in trees, and as you level, we'll say "if you took X, consider taking Y now."

And hopefully give foresight as well, i.e. if you take this feat X now it lets you do this, but it is also necessary to take now if you want to take feat Y at the earliest level possible. for feats, alot of that stuff is class-agnostic or only affected by BAB, so it's probably best to somehow analyze the general feats/feat chains on their own (but in the context of character level generally) and then have the class specific coverage explain how that class specifically changes things (thru bonus feats, synergistic abilities that benefit from having a certain feat by level X, etc).

I think this is a great product to put out for new players. I find alot of new players just want to have it all, but I think a presentation like this can better ground them in the idea that you don't gain everything at once, and you have to make trade-offs/choices both for the immediate term and to achieve what you want down the road (level-wise).


Vic Wertz wrote:


"Guide" may not be the best word... and all of this text will change when the product is finished, so we'll take that into consideration. Any suggestions on how better to say it?

"Comprehensive guidance to.. "

"Comprehensive advice regarding..."
"Level-by-level tips for making choices in..."
"Comprehensive discussion of the pros and cons of complex choices as your character grows..."


Color me meh

I'm going to compare this book to a section of the 3.5 PHB II, character building. There was a huge chunk dedicated to feat trees, and building characters from scratch to high levels, stuff like that. Good stuff, really.

The thing I wish it had was: the other stuff the PHB II had. AKA: the Advanced Player's Guide.

I tend to favor 'splat-light' systems, but conversely I've been dissatisfied with the CRB CRB CRB-ness of 3.5 and to some extent Pathfinder. I mean, the NPC codex is great: but where are the oracles?

Hmm, what I'm saying is: the CRB doesn't contain 'enough' core for me. The APG did a great job of filling in some extra blanks (more gear, more classes, more prestige classes, racial feats, etc.)

I honestly think that this strategy guide should reference more than just core, some APG, and maybe even a little of the vanilla ARG.

To pick an example, one of my players and I were discussing his 3rd-level rogue. We found a great little feat line in the APG all about Dodge and being small and such-like. Great stuff! But it's not in the CRB. I think it should be part of this book's 'core assumption'.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Lisa Stevens wrote:
Unfortunately, we can't box great GMs and sell them to new players...

I smell a Kickstarter!


I really like the Idea of this book. it can prove a great aid to help gm's with new players and youngish player. That said the name is very misleading and did not bring to mind the intent of this book. In fact the title of the book event seems like it would be intimidating to new players the preventing them from even picking it up or. Even vet gm's from doing so. Please really reconsider name change "Character Guide" or something similar Is both less intimidating and give to be a customer a better idea what this book is meant to do.( honestly when I saw book title first thing I though was a advanced battle tactics guide not a players aid book.)

Sovereign Court

It turns out Paizo can even send you the person who wrote the adventure!

They're going to make the strategy guide obsolete before it comes out!

:D


GeraintElberion wrote:

It turns out Paizo can even send you the person who wrote the adventure!

They're going to make the strategy guide obsolete before it comes out!

:D

Kind of my fear Its like calling a book "Fast and Loud" and it being about home gardening.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I think I'll quite happily pass on this one too since I pretty much know character building inside out, so as I understand it there isn't much for me here. Might recommend to my gaming group that they might want to pool cash and buy a copy between themselves, though.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
137ben wrote:
I am sorta worried that this could mess up beginner spellcasters if the advice it gives is occasionally wrong. For example, if it recommends that 5th level wizards learn fireball right away, or if it suggests weapon specialization to fighters, beginners could end up with much less effective characters.

On this note, I really hope this book avoids telling newcomers that making a sub-optimal choice is "playing the game wrong" or some such nonsense. I hope, instead, that the book encourages them to find a playstyle that best fits themselves and their group.

I also think this book is going to open the Pathfinder team up to a new round of "Paizo fails at character building!" if the advice isn't in line with what the self-certified system masters would preach. Remember when the stats for Valeros were first published and people couldn't believe Paizo would advocate a TWF Fighter when a THF'er was clearly better?

I'm not very excited about this book, but I'm not the target audience. On the other hand, it might be nice to have on my bookshelf in the event my group eventually takes on another new player.

-Skeld

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Skeld wrote:
On this note, I really hope this book avoids telling newcomers that making a sub-optimal choice is "playing the game wrong" or some such nonsense. I hope, instead, that the book encourages them to find a playstyle that best fits themselves and their group.

That's been our approach with everything else, and it's certainly not going to change here.

Skeld wrote:
I also think this book is going to open the Pathfinder team up to a new round of "Paizo fails at character building!" if the advice isn't in line with what the self-certified system masters would preach. Remember when the stats for Valeros were first published and people couldn't believe Paizo would advocate a TWF Fighter when a THF'er was clearly better?

I have no doubt that you're correct.

This is not a book about minmaxing.


Nutbunnies, I was hoping beyond hope the next core release would be an ADVANCED NPC CODEX. Oh well, it can still happen right?


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Hey Paizo, I think I found a topic you can touch on in this!


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

This post by Jim Groves reminded me of something that I would find useful in this book - I'm not sure if it's covered in "Tips on getting the most utility out of spell selection and tactical suggestions for commonly cast spells", but I'd like to suggest it as something worth considering, if not.

It would be helpful to me if there were some list of 'common conditions and ways to prevent them/remove them'. Casting Remove Fear on someone affected by fear is pretty obvious but being reminded of the various protection spells that Jim mentions (for example) is the kind of thing that I suspect would be useful to a new player (especially ones like us who didnt play 3.5).

EDIT: especially given that subsequent discussion seems to indicate that such things are mildly unclear.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Skeld wrote:
137ben wrote:
I am sorta worried that this could mess up beginner spellcasters if the advice it gives is occasionally wrong. For example, if it recommends that 5th level wizards learn fireball right away, or if it suggests weapon specialization to fighters, beginners could end up with much less effective characters.

On this note, I really hope this book avoids telling newcomers that making a sub-optimal choice is "playing the game wrong" or some such nonsense. I hope, instead, that the book encourages them to find a playstyle that best fits themselves and their group.

I also think this book is going to open the Pathfinder team up to a new round of "Paizo fails at character building!" if the advice isn't in line with what the self-certified system masters would preach. Remember when the stats for Valeros were first published and people couldn't believe Paizo would advocate a TWF Fighter when a THF'er was clearly better?

I'm not very excited about this book, but I'm not the target audience. On the other hand, it might be nice to have on my bookshelf in the event my group eventually takes on another new player.

-Skeld

While I don't advocate min-maxing at all, I also don't advocate perpetuating the Stormwind Fallacy. I would expect this book to tell players how to build effective characters. Dead player characters don't RP too well, either. And if you play an AP at its expected limits (4 players, 15 points), they are often quite deadly. Especially if you went with a mix of the weaker archetypes and then took some trap options in your character development on top.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

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Steve Geddes wrote:

This post by Jim Groves reminded me of something that I would find useful in this book - I'm not sure if it's covered in "Tips on getting the most utility out of spell selection and tactical suggestions for commonly cast spells", but I'd like to suggest it as something worth considering, if not.

It would be helpful to me if there were some list of 'common conditions and ways to prevent them/remove them'. Casting Remove Fear on someone affected by fear is pretty obvious but being reminded of the various protection spells that Jim mentions (for example) is the kind of thing that I suspect would be useful to a new player (especially ones like us who didnt play 3.5).

EDIT: especially given that subsequent discussion seems to indicate that such things are mildly unclear.

+6 (an epic plus :)

I second this in a big way. I cannot underscore enough how handy it would be to have a section for each condition in the Conditions Deck giving common ways of overcoming and/or preventing that condition.

And I'd call it just that: common (or typical) solutions; it's not intended to cover every obscure spell and/or class power that might have an effect, it's meant to give the top few and/or most likely ways to deal with it.

It would be handy for the players, and I wouldn't end up feeling like I was either giving it away (when I know the players are missing an easy solution to their problem) or being a jerk (when I know the solution is simple and they're not seeing it and and the party is going down in flames).

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:
Skeld wrote:
137ben wrote:
I am sorta worried that this could mess up beginner spellcasters if the advice it gives is occasionally wrong. For example, if it recommends that 5th level wizards learn fireball right away, or if it suggests weapon specialization to fighters, beginners could end up with much less effective characters.

On this note, I really hope this book avoids telling newcomers that making a sub-optimal choice is "playing the game wrong" or some such nonsense. I hope, instead, that the book encourages them to find a playstyle that best fits themselves and their group.

I also think this book is going to open the Pathfinder team up to a new round of "Paizo fails at character building!" if the advice isn't in line with what the self-certified system masters would preach. Remember when the stats for Valeros were first published and people couldn't believe Paizo would advocate a TWF Fighter when a THF'er was clearly better?

I'm not very excited about this book, but I'm not the target audience. On the other hand, it might be nice to have on my bookshelf in the event my group eventually takes on another new player.

-Skeld

While I don't advocate min-maxing at all, I also don't advocate perpetuating the Stormwind Fallacy. I would expect this book to tell players how to build effective characters. Dead player characters don't RP too well, either. And if you play an AP at its expected limits (4 players, 15 points), they are often quite deadly. Especially if you went with a mix of the weaker archetypes and then took some trap options in your character development on top.

That's could, because my comment had nothing to do with Stormwind, his fallacy, or "roleplay > rollplay."

-Skeld


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I mentioned it as one of the aspects which put roleplaying before character survival. But it wasn't the main point of my post, anyway.

Scarab Sages

I have mixed feelings. I can imagine an 'official' strategy guide will hold back too much when criticizing some of the poorer feats/spells/classes. A lot of builds can be traps to new players.

I think what would be better if there was a fan-made source book compiling the best guides scattered around the forums and Google docs.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, well, I don't really expect them to say things like "And here we, uh, screwed up in our feat/class/skill design. Don't take those feats". :p

But not promoting trap options is something I would expect.

Scarab Sages

If anything, I think I would have rather a series of products like what 4e did where each class type was represented in a diffrent book. Grant it, They messed up big time by making seperate Player's guides for all the classes. With seperate books though you could essentially create about 4 to 5 fifteenth books at 10 to 15 dollars a pop. Thus generating more income for Paizo and less flake from the fans about what this book was designed to do.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

As someone who runs a high school gaming club and a PFS GM, I will likely order several of these. I know I can only help advise so many players at once and I constantly have new players.

Grand Lodge

dfsearles wrote:
If anything, I think I would have rather a series of products like what 4e did where each class type was represented in a diffrent book. Grant it, They messed up big time by making seperate Player's guides for all the classes. With seperate books though you could essentially create about 4 to 5 fifteenth books at 10 to 15 dollars a pop. Thus generating more income for Paizo and less flake from the fans about what this book was designed to do.

Actually the essentials books covered only 3 classes for one book and there were two of them. One for 3 classes and another for 3 classes. So while useful it was not so useful. Plus I do not like the idea of spending extra money like the Essentials line for Pathfinder.

The flak that was raised because of the essentials books was large to say the least. It became "essential" to own them because they had all the errata in them and basically made the players handbooks almost useless.. of which there was 3 of those. So people were almost forced to buy the essential books. This raised a big stink. I do not think it is in Paiso's best interest to do that and I am thinking that they would not at all.


I'll probably look into getting this thing just for the, hopefully, more in-depth explanations and tips for stuff like how combat maneuvers work. I never used them back in my early days of playing 3.0/3.5, despite constantly reading about how good they could be, since they just tended to confuse me. Pathfinder did a lot better job of simplifying them, but I still tend to avoid them because of how I could never figure them out well enough in the past. Yes, I know, it's stupid for me to avoid such a large part of the combat system, but my groups have always avoided them.

Also, since my character history has tended to be primarily "big dumb fighter" or "Oooh! Explodey spells!" the abridged class guides will probably open up a few possibilities for me.


Deanoth wrote:

Actually the essentials books covered only 3 classes for one book and there were two of them. One for 3 classes and another for 3 classes. So while useful it was not so useful. Plus I do not like the idea of spending extra money like the Essentials line for Pathfinder.

The flak that was raised because of the essentials books was large to say the least. It became "essential" to own them because they had all the errata in them and basically made the players handbooks almost useless.. of which there was 3 of those. So people were almost forced to buy the essential books. This raised a big stink. I do not think it is in Paiso's best interest to do that and I am thinking that they would not at all.

That's why the answer is to print "Essentials"-like books but use the current rules and existing versions of classes, and make it one class per book. Add in all the relevant splat material for that class too. Make them alternatives to the Core rulebook rather than replacements. Basically you should get what you'd get if you ripped the combat chapter, your class info, the other basic rules of the game, the spells/feats/prestige classes you can use out of the core rulebook and relevant supplements and bound them together.

Scarab Sages

Exactly Matt. Of course, now that this is my third time restarting this post, I am beginning to see problems with this. They could do a whole book just with feats! It would be nice though if there was a book that just said, "OK, if you want to be a sword and board fighter, here are the feats for you, Ranged no prob, use this list instead." And the same for casters, and skill classes. The only thing they could possibly do to either lighten the burden a little is to create a whole new line of books (Pathfinder Strategy?) that would just focus on coming out with these books, and making this one the first in the line. If this happened, then they could keep coming up with smaller books based on new core books that they publish.

Silver Crusade

Lisa Stevens wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
Ah...I thought hardcover were a little more expensive to make due the materials used in the cover and differrent bindings...but I will bow to your superior knowledge in this.

To be perfectly fair, it does cost a little bit more to make a hardcover, but only a few cents per book. Not enough to really materially affect the price, which is of course what most people want to change when they request a softcover over a hardcover. At best, you might see a lower price of a buck. And what is the difference between $29.99 vs. $28.99?

The only way to get this book cheaper is to make it a smaller number of pages, and that would defeat the purpose of the book by not allowing us to provide the content that is needed. We made it as small as we could to keep the price as low as we can.

-Lisa

Auntie Lisa,

I'm in the middle of watching Know Direction's (hi Ryan & Perram!) excellent video coverage of the Emerald Spire All-Star panel feom Gencon 2013, and it hit me in the gut with a crit: any way we could get some words in this product from the Immortal Frank "Red Box" Mentzer on role playing tips for the new player? Heck he basically volunteered 18 mins into the video!

What a coup that would be!

EDIT:

Link to the excellent video. What a product Emerald Spire will be!
http://youtu.be/cm7JWkfsN58


Because I GM an online campaign, I buy the rulebooks almost exclusively as PDFs. But this I am buying hardcover.

Excellent concept, especially for those new to Pathfinder and overwhelmed by options.

The Exchange

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The way I look at it is we could have gotten this, written by core writers with new players in mind, using artists and material from the line.

Or we could have gotten a Idiots Guide...

Ya, I'd rather get this!


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I'm excited about this but I'd be more excited if there was a Spell Compendium coming out? When is that going to happen...

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Yenir Wayrac wrote:
I'm excited about this but I'd be more excited if there was a Spell Compendium coming out? When is that going to happen...

Hopefully, never.

-Skeld


Re: Compendia
Compendia are generally books you put out to "close" the edition. They wrap up what's there, adding little new material and serving somewhat as filler while the developers polish the new edition.

Any similar books published before the end of an edition's life-cycle are generally obsolete before they finish being printed.

On-Topic:
The strategy guide sounds like a good book; I am hopeful it will have advice useful even for veteran gamers who are somewhat rules-challenged.

Silver Crusade

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I have a player that loves to game. She looks forward to it every Saturday and can't wait to play. She's played almost every incarnation of D&D since the late 70s up to, and including, 3.5

However, her comprehension of the Pathfinder rule set is frustrating to deal with at times because even after five years, she still has trouble understanding certain concepts within the system. And the CRB, that 576 page monster, intimidates her. All the members of the gaming group have tried to explain things to her when they come up, but she is someone who benefits from being able to read things for herself.

So for me, this product, is quite simply a godsend. The Strategy Guide's 160 pages is a count that's more manageable than the CRB and as the goal is to offer advice and explanations pertinent to the classes, my player would be more inclined to read this from cover to cover than the CRB. I actually plan on buying a copy of this when it becomes available and gifting it to her.


Yenir Wayrac wrote:
I'm excited about this but I'd be more excited if there was a Spell Compendium coming out? When is that going to happen...

If you're simply looking for a compilation of all the spells, you may want to look at the Pathfinder SRD and look under the "Magic" section of the left sidebar.

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