Liber Influxus Communis (PFRPG)

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Liber Influxus Communis (PFRPG)

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Adapt. Overcome. Survive! The Book of Collective Influence brings 14 Pathfinder classes.

Breathe new life into to your game with material from the twisted minds of game designers of the some of the top third-party publishers.

Adapt them to your game. Overcome all obstacles. Survive against anything your GM throws at you!

  • Battle Lord: Marshal the field of battle by conduction drills to your allies.
  • Conduit: Absorb magic and blast your enemies.
  • Demiurge: The enlightened scholar that pulls ideals from the Perfect World to create facsimiles.
  • Medium: Act as a host for a spirit companion.
  • Metamorph: Evolve into the perfect species.
  • Mnemonic: Monks that modify the memory of their aggressors, causing them to second guess.
  • Momenta: A minor jack of all trades that plays the sidekick and motivates his allies from the sidelines.
  • Mystic: Bend the elements with martial prowess and direct them at your enemies.
  • Pauper: Carry the weight of world on your shoulders and use it to penalize your foes.
  • Survivor: Cut from the rawness of life experience and muscle through the worst of situations.
  • Synergist: The success of your allies cycles through you, as you empower your allies.
  • Umbra: Born from the heritage granted by the planes, you take control of your bloodline.
  • Warloghe: Their heretic practices bonds these spellcasters with twisted spirits.

FEATS! New feats available to all classes. Featuring new teamwork and style feats

  • 15+ pages full of archetypes & character options
  • Haunts, Hazards, Magical Pollution - OH MY!
  • Contains templates: magical bred Arcbrood and magical touched Arcane-Infused
  • Spelltouched FEATS!

This 182 page PDF book includes feats and archetypes to be worked into your Pathfinder games.

Designers: Greg LaRose, Alexander Augunas, Bradley Crouch, Daron Woodson, Eric Morton, Mike Myler, Scott Gladstein, Wayne Canepa, Will McCardell, Wojciech Gruchala, Michael Sayre, Morgan Boehringer, Sasha Hall, Erik Ottosen, Kevin Bond

Adapt. Overcome. Survive.

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

*****

This massive book clocks in at 184 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page KS-thanks-list, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a massive 177 pages of content, so let's take a look!

Disclaimer: I was a backer of the kickstarter for this project, but was in no other way involved with the creation of this book.

After a brief introduction and one pages summing up the starting gold, we dive into the massive array of classes herein - the reason why this review took forever to get done. So expect one epic-length monster of a review here!

The first class would be Michael Sayre's Battle Lord, who gets d10, 4+Int skills, proficiency with simple and martial weapons, shields and light and medium armor as well as full BAB-progression and good ref- and will-saves. The battle lord receives a 10-ft aura that scales up by +5 ft at 3rd level, +5 every other level thereafter. Drills can be envisioned as such auras, only not centered on the Battle Lord himself; instead, they can originate anywhere within line of sight and require audible or visual components to execute; however, since the drills themselves are pretty easy to understand, even language-barriers can be overcome with some time and training (properly codified), thus rendering this kind-of, but not really a language-dependant extraordinary ability. A battle lord begins play with 2 drills and adds +1 at 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter, which conversely is also when the skill-bonuses conferred by drills, if any, scale up by +1. Initiating a drill is a move action, switching them is a swift action - neither of which provoke AoOs, so yes, front-line commander-style here.

Drills can be, in their benefits, be summed up as teamwork feats that do not suck - essentially, some of the most useful teamwork feats (like Stealth Synergy) are granted to the targets for as long as the drill persists, while also granting additional bonuses to skills, damage rolls or minor enhancements to movement speed. The array of drills is expanded at 12th level, when the Battle Lord may choose to learn greater combat drills for mass bonus-fire damage to attacks, for example. Healing allies via fast healing up to 50% of their health, but with a daily cap, also works rather well. It should be noted that Int governs, if applicable, the Battle Lord's drills. At 8th and 16th level, a battle lord may maintain up to two (or three) auras and drills at the same time, changing all in one fell swoop, should he elect to do so.

At 3rd level, the Battle Lord receives a Noble Aura - this can be considered a non-combat exclusive buff that helps with investigations, social interaction, etc., depending on which auras are chosen - interestingly, this achieves what no other class of this type had managed to this point - render the Battle Lord relevant in contexts that are NOT fighting. At 15th level, these auras are expanded by an array of Imperial Auras, which can also be used in combat and have some SPs mixed in - the wording is solid here. At 20th level, one of some exclusive auras also doubles as a capstone. A battle lord also has a specialty, which can be considered a bloodline-like progression of abilities that modifies the class skill list. At 2nd level and every 4 levels thereafter, the specialty unlocks a new part of a linear ability-progression. A total of 4 such specialties are provided - from artillerist to mundane healing via the medic and to the more stealthy scout, the options here are nice. The class also sports 3 archetypes - the aquatic marine, the sword and pistol mounted specialist cavalryman and the eldritch chevalier, who gets a very limited selection of spells. All are okay. It should be noted that the Battle Lord also receives Bravery, which would be unremarkable, were it not for Michael Sayre's glorious Bravery Feats, released by Rogue Genius Games, for which the Battle Lord coincidentally qualifies...

The second class herein would be the Conduit, written by Mike Myler. The class gets d8, 4+Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons and light armor, 3/4 BAB-progression and good will-saves. The conduit can be envisioned as a magical battery - they have a conduct pool that begins at 3 and scales up to 35 - each point of said pool representing a spell-level the conduit can absorb. Conduits may also absorb spell-like abilities, but they need to be the targets of said spells and execute an immediate action, with the pool's max size and 1/2 class level as restrictions, the latter denoting the maximum amount of points he can expend per ability. On the nitpicky side, the latter should specify a minimum of 1, otherwise the conduit can't absorb anything but cantrips and orisons at first level - said spells do btw. NOT grant conduct pool points; instead, the conduit has SR against them equal to 11+ class level. Nice catch here! A conduit can only absorb a spell if its level does not surpass the level-dependant cap and when she has enough conduct pool points available - no excess point.

The conduit may unleash said energy as a standard action as a ranged touch attack with a range of 25 ft. that deals 2d6 points of FORCE damage, +1 per additional point spent. The range increases by +5 feet per conduit level at 2nd level. Now, you may have guessed it -I am NOT a fan of force damage here; I have bashed classes in the past for warlocky blasting via force and Interjection Games' ethermagic wisely handled that differently. However, the conduit's blasts must be envisioned as a limited resource and thus, be compared to spells - and indeed, in practice, this provided no issues. Kudos. Now nothing sucks more than being stranded sans resources and thus, the conduit receives options over the levels to inflict damage (and attribute damage etc.) on herself to generate a limited amount of points - thankfully, both with a daily limit and sans means to cheese the regain abilities.

At 3rd level, the conduit may select one of several conduit powers, +1 every 3 levels thereafter. Conduit powers provoke AoOs and are SUs with DCs, if applicable, scaling via the 10 + 1/2 class level + cha-mod formula. The activation of these powers tends to also be powered by conduit points and as such, vary in the precise effects - from bonuses to skill-checks to passive abilities that allow the conduit to deliver mystic bolts as melee touch attacks to invisibility that scales up to its improved version, we have a significant array of choices, including duplicating low level spells, 1 1st level spell per power taken. The pool may also be used to generate weapons and shields with enhancement bonuses and movement can also be powered by the resource. Higher levels net SR and potential for AoE-spell absorption via will-save versus spellcaster level-check. At 11th level, the conduit receives a +2 enhancement bonus to an attribute whenever she expends points, lasting 1 hour per point expended and scaling up to +6 at 19th level. It should be noted that this is not bonus times points expended, as I first read the ability, but that the per-point-caveat only extends to duration. Here, the wording could have been slightly clearer. High level abilities also include leeching spell levels from foes, redirecting spells and forcing rerolls and the capstone is a magic-immune apotheosis.

The class also sports two archetypes. The Arrhythmic conduit bleeds points over time and, once empty, has a harder time regaining them and deals sonic damage instead of force damage. However, the archetype receives superior action economy, allowing for some nasty combos that allow for multiple abilities to be activated as once, or to have them interact in fluid ways - dismiss mystical protection for a free mystical bolt, for example. I really liked this archetype since it actually plays pretty much different! The cyclic channeler is brilliant - it adds a cooldown period for abilities, but increases their potency and as a bonus, we also get a nice alchemical item - however, the price of said item is high - it costs 50 Gp and can be created by a conduit with a spellcaster ad infinitum; selling it could break an economy, so DM-discretion is advised here.

The third class featured herein would be Will McCardell and Linda Zayas-Palmer's Demiurge had me, conceptually, grin from here to ear - it's essentially Plato's Theory of Forms, the class. And yes, I'm aware that being excited about this pretty much makes me a total nerd. The class receives d8, 6+Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons, light armor and shields, 3/4 BAB-progression and good will-saves. This class is complex, so bear with me as I try to explain it to you - and no, once you get it, it's not that bad. First of all, the demiurge chooses an enlightenment. Enlightenments can be likened to bloodlines or mysteries in that they provide a conceptual focus as well as a linear progression of abilities - these change the basic means of facsimile creation and provide beyond their base abilities, new ones at 2nd, 8th and 15th level - think of them akin to how a cavalier's order modifies challenge and the options of the class. I will return to this concept later with examples.

Among the "small" abilities, social and perception-focused abilities can be found in the progression of the class. The true signature ability of the class, though, would be the facsimile. A facsimile is a creature born from the ideals of the world of perfect, ideal forms - despite their autonomy, much like tinker automata, facsimiles are dependent on a demiurge's commands - he may issue a number of commands equal to his Charisma modifier as a move action, though not all need to be issued to the same facsimile. The creation of one facsimile (which manifests within 30 ft.)is a full-round action that can be hastened by additional quintessence expenditure (+0.5 total cost) to a standard action. Cost is not equal to cost, though - establishing a basic facsimile entails a maintenance cost, which becomes relevant upon facsimile destruction or dismissal (which can be executed as a standard action) - an array of said points, usually half, can be regained. The aforementioned additional cost thus is not refunded. Facsimiles have no duration and a demiurge can have up to half his class level (min 1) in facsimiles at a given time.

In order to create facsimiles, a demiurge has to expend quintessence points, a minimum of 6 are required for each facsimile. A demiurge has quintessence equal to Int-mod times two plus a fixed array of bonus points determined by the class level - this begins at +15 at 1st level and scales up to +155 at 20th level. Quintessence regaining requires 1 hour of contemplation and at least 4 hours of sleep - it should be noted that increases of Int-mod do not increase the quintessence pool. If a demiurge wishes to keep facsimiles around, he must pay the maintenance cost and deduct it from the total of his quintessence pool.

Facsimiles are based on one of two base forms - jack or brute. They have fixed ability scores that are either good or poor and the same holds true for saves. Attributes and saves scale up each level, with handy tables listing them. The different base-forms have different base size categories and skills available that you can assign. Their sizes can be enhanced by the expenditure of additional quintessence. They receive default magic slam attacks and a deflection bonus equal to the demiurge's Int-mod, but do not gain feats or magic items and they count as having HD equal to the demiurge's class level. A facsimile is treated as a construct for the purposes of spells and effects, but not for the purposes of base qualities. Now as ideas, facsimiles are somewhat more ephemeral than your average summoned creature - every time the facsimile receives damage, it has to make a dissipation check, with d20 +1/3 demiurge class level + facsimile's Cha-mod versus DC 10 + 1 per 2 points of damage taken, with natural 20s and 1s constituting automatic successes and failures, respectively. Some ideals and class abilities allow a facsimile to ignore some chances of dissipation and at 9th level and every 4 levels thereafter, the demiurge's facsimiles receive +1 chance to ignore dissipation. Upon destruction that is not an intended dismissal, a demiurge only receives 1/4 of a facsimile's maintenance cost back, as opposed to 1/2 of it. And yes, facsimiles, as ideal, do not have hit points.

Now each facsimile has 5 ideals that are drawn from 4 categories: Locomotion, Manipulative, Sensorial and Special. Each facsimile has one slot per category, 2 in the special category. However, each ideal's quintessence cost (or augmentation) can be doubled so it instead can be applied to occupy another category's slot. Facsimiles can thus be enhanced to have a massive array of different abilities and shapes, from humanoid ones that disrupt the terrain to those that can grant senses - want to make a tripedal moving facsimile that can share senses and dissipate itself to heal adjacent creatures? Possible.

The vast array of customizations here are impressive indeed, though not all augmentations feel like they are perfectly balanced, something that especially comes to mind when thinking about the ray ideal: This is an SP untyped ray that deals 1d4 + Cha-mod damage, with a base cost of 2. For +4 quintessence, the facsimile receives +1 ray attack and per 1 point of quintessence spent on this augmentation, the damage dice increases by +1d4, to a maximum of half the demiurge's class level. Now, if you're taking notes, you'll realize how this can be used to make one devastating laser battery at higher levels - if you ever wanted to make a final fantasy-summon style kill-all laser battery, well, there you go. Do the math. Even with *only* Int 18, one would get163 quintessence. Then take minimum cost for all ideals apart from rays, for 4 points beyond the base costs, one would be left with 151 points, which would translate to more than 30 ray attacks (37.75) à 10d4+Cha-mod damage. With Dex = 29 and full BAB, this laser battery can evaporate just about anything. This one component of the facsimile-building system is what doesn't work and honestly, I would have been somewhat confused, but I'm not the only one reading it this way. I believe the ability has undergone a layout glitch or oversight, since the rays also lack a range. My advice, at least for now, is to simply apply the cap on the augmentation that also applies to damage dice increase - 3 rays à 10d4+Cha-mod for a total of 10 quintessence seems like the more reasonable and probably, intended, cap - a minor rephrasing of the ideal would work here. Now do NOT let this one hiccup in this impressive class get in the way of appreciation of this glorious class, for that's not where things end!

The demiurge also sports a linear sequence of abilities, from 4th level on, which is called rhetoric. When using these abilities, one determines one facsimile designated as an argument facsimile and one as an arguer facsimile. The argument facsimile is considered the origin, the arguer the beneficiary. The argument facsimile's maintenance cost must be equal to or exceed that of the arguer. Performing the like is a full-round action and unless otherwise noted, the facsimiles need to be adjacent to one another. Rhetorics have a duration of 1 round per 2 demiurge levels and some may cause the argument facsimile to become disoriented, allowing them to only perform either a move action or a standard action and may still perform swift, immediate or free actions. A demiurge begins with 3 rhetorics and learns more as the levels progress. These rhetorics are what renders the facsimiles EVEN MORE interesting - they allow, for example, for the addition of the argument's locomotion ideals to the arguer while the rhetoric persists. Other options include making the facsimiles a wall and combining reaches of the facsimiles involved. It should be noted that the abilities themselves also sport some nice easter-eggs in the nomenclature.

Part II of my review begins at post #78 in the product discussion - see you there! (Or just go to my site to read it.)


An excellent supplement, full of awesome additions for any game


I need to open this disclaimer with the fact that I was both a Kickstarter backer, and a contributor. I wrote the Battle Lord and his archetypes, so I'll try to avoid any claims as to his quality or strength. The rest of this book though, I saw at the same time as everyone else when they got to open their .pdf or hardcopy for the first time.

This book contains 14 new classes, roughly 10 pages of new feats, archetypes for almost all the new classes (and the one that doesn't get archetypes is with good reason, which I'll explain later), and a chapter full of haunts and environmental hazards to expand the breadth of your game. I'll start by digging into the classes.

The first class is the Battle Lord. Since I won't be discussing the quality of my own work to maintain the integrity of this review, I'll just tell you how this class came to be. I love characters with a "martial" bent, guys who swing swords and lead armies, holding their own in a world full of guys who can command dragons and create their own dimensions. I never felt like the Fighter really did that. I wanted to be able to play characters like Dujek Onearm or Sergeant Whiskeyjack from the Malazan Book of the Fallen series, Admiral Akbar from Star Wars who pitted his military cunning against an army led by a powerful force user, or Captain America, a relatively normal guy whose leadership and tactical acumen not just had him standing side by side with beings far more powerful than him, but leading them. Enter the Battle Lord, a full BAB class with 4+Int skills and Good Reflex and Will who uses "Drills" to coordinate and share feats with his allies, and "Auras" to influence people off the battlefield. I also really wanted to incorporate some of my own military background into the class, which is where "Specialties" come in; each Battle Lord chooses a Specialty like Artillerist, Medic, Scout, or Soldier, further defining the way they interact with combat and what role they support on a team.

The next class is the Conduit, a 3/4 BAB, 4+Int skill, Good Will save magic-eater. It's obvious that the designer has had some experience with flawed magic-eater classes before; the 3.5 Spellthief was notorious for being exactly as powerful as the campaign allowed him to be. The conduit has several tools for regulating his "Mystical Conduction" ability, his focus for eating/absorbing magic:
1) Starting out, he can only absorb targeted effects directed specifically at him, and they must have a minimu level of power as defined in the ability (he can't have the party wizard fill him up on cantrips, for example).
2) He has a "Maximum Conduct Pool" laid out in his class table dictating exactly how much energy his body can store; not enough room left means he can't absorb an incoming spell.
3) "Desperate Measures" is the ability that separates the Conduit from failed predecessors like the Spellthief. He can convert his own life force into mystical energy, taking damage in exchange for filling his pool with mystical energy. This means that even if you don't run into a single spellcasting or SLA using enemy, you're not relegated to being a non-magical peasant for the day.
The Conduit also gains "Powers", fairly similar to Oracle Revelations or Alchemist Discoveries, so as his level progresses he gains more and more ways to utilize absorbed mystical energy.
At the end of the day, the class really does function better in a high magic setting; I had a couple low level adventure arcs where I was burning hit points so I could fling a Mystical Bolt, and that was about the only time I got to feel particularly magical. The higher magic the setting, the more awesome the class feels. While I wouldn't recommend it for low point buy (it needs at least decent CHA, DEX, and CON, in that order, and STR doesn't hurt either) or gritty Conan-esque campaigns, it definitely has a place in the games I play, and I really love it.

The Demiurge comes next, and this class has a well-deserved complexity warning right on the first page. This 3/4 BAB, 6+INT, Good Will save pseudo-caster was inspired by ancient Greek Philosophers, and it's obvious in the naming conventions of abilities like "Enlightenment" "Sophistry" and "Rhetoric". The class' main schtick is whipping up animated magical constructs called "Facsimiles" that it can use for various purposes. There is a lot of floating math involved in creating and adjudicating these things, so thankfully there's several pages of pre-built Facsimiles to draw from until you get the hang of things. Remember how I mentioned one class didn't get archetypes? That's this guy; instead he just got more example facsimiles. Played right, this class can give you an awesome and balanced version of the Master Summoner, but it also shares some of that archetype's weaknesses, like having far too many moving parts on the battlefield. At the end of the day, at my tables this class is restricted to veteran players who have proven they have both the math and time management skills to successfully run it at the table. Probably not for every group or every game, but definitely a unique and interesting addition to the table.

After the Demiurge, we have the Medium, a 3/4 BAB, 2+INT, Good Will save diviner that at first glance isn't a complete class. Diving into the class description though, we quickly see that it's not a complete class because it's potentially any class. The Medium allows herself to be possessed by a Spirit Companion who has their own class levels on par with the Medium. While possessed by her Spirit Companion, the Medium's personality is subsumed by the spirit's and she uses those class features and abilities in place of her own. This is an awesome class for that guy who's always getting bored and wanting to try something new every month. If you're a GM who's getting tired of having to constantly weave new characters in and out of the story while trying to maintain a reason for the group to care about and be invested in the adventure, steer your fickle player towards this class. When he has a new class he wants to play with, he can swap in a new spirit, and everyone else gets the benefit of a consistent cast of characters.

Following the Medium comes the Metamorph. I seriously love this 3/4 BAB, 4+INT, Good Fortitude and Reflex chassis. This is basically your playable eidolon, with a pool of evoutions influenced by your "Genesis" and "Phenotype". Genesis and Phenotypes work similarly to Sorcerer bloodlines, with Genesis determining your primary mental stat for determining DCs and some abilities, and Phenotype determing your basic nature (Aberrant, Bestial, Draconic, etc.). This class is great for creating mutant characters adapted to particular environments; in our Third-Party Thursdays game one of the players just finished playing a gnome with the Plant phenotype who had a climb speed, 10 foot acid-dripping vines he could attack with, and invasive spores that could lower his enemies' Constitution.

Next up is the Mnemonic. This 3/4 BAB, 6+INT, Good Reflex and Will class is basically Taskmaster from Marvel comics. You gain the ability to learn your opponent's feats and eventually their Extraordinary abilities while combating them. You also gain a variety of mental techniques as your level increases, things like telepathy and the ability to sift information from the minds around you to enhance your Knowledge skills. The Mnemonic is part Monk, part Psion, and entirely cool.

Now to talk about the 1/2 BAB, 6+Int, Good Will save Momenta. This is that class you really don't see coming. It comes right out and tells you it's a henchman class, the guy who supports the "real" heroes with abilities like "Pack Mule" which increases the character's carrying capacity. Turns out, this class is unexpectedly amazing! Their main schtick in combat is "Motivation". A Momenta starts each combat with a pool of Motivation equal to his Charisma modifier, and gains an additional point for each ally who gets to take their turn before any enemy acts. He can spend these points to add a 1d6 to an ally's skill check, attack roll, or saving throw, or to activate a "Stimulus", a more complex ability that may involve changing where an ally's turn falls in the initiative order, adding a bit of sneak attack damage on a flank, or a variety of other options. The Momenta also gains Utility spells, spells that are useful for securing a campsite or smoothing over a misunderstanding at the inn, but which cannot be used in combat, and some healing capabilities that can be used in or out of a fight. This is that guy you've seen so many variations of in cinema and comic books: Subotai or Akiro from Schwarzenegger's Conan, Nodwick from the comics of the same name, or Durnik from the Belgariad. And just like that eclectic spread of characters, the Momenta somehow feels right at home in any adventure, whether the party consists of psionic superheroes from a high point buy Dreamscarred Press dream team, or low point buy Fighter and Rogue scrappers trying to scrape a living in a gritty Conan-esque world. This class is not only welcome, but actively sought after in my games.

The Mystic is a 3/4 BAB, 4+INT, all Good saves class that is unabashedly your chance to play an Avatar-style bender. Where Paizo's upcoming Kineticist could be fluffed to be a bender or a super-hero, or what-have-you, the Mystic directly incorporates martial arts and elemental abilities into its chassis, and even the iconic art is highly reminiscent of an airbender as portrayed in the Nickelodeon series. It does pretty much exactly what you'd expet, and it does it well, covering the four elements and a fifth "Force" element that basically gives you what you need to play a Jedi. This is a slick and well made class.

The Pauper, a 3/4 BAB, 4+INT, Good Will class... It's got a cool premise. You have pools of Hope and Despair that can be used to activate different thematic abilities. The class feels a bit weak to me, and seems like it is going to click better with low point buy campaigns where its somewhat unfocused spread of abilities will feel like more of a handy tool box than a random smattering of non-synergistic abilities. I can't say much more without additional playtesting.

The d12 hit die, full BAB, 6+INT, Good Fortitude save Survivor is exactly what the name implies. The Survivor is stacked with abilities that are all focused on keeping him alive and/or helping him avoid or get out of trouble. While the class' fluff and mechanics don't make him the best team player, he's definitely going to appeal to a lot of players, and he can play a similar role in the party to the Ranger, without the magical guardian of nature baggage that some people may not want.

Where the Battle Lord leads, the 3/4 BAB, 4+INT, Good Fort and Will Synergist coordinates. The Synergist has hints of classes like Dreamscarred Press' Tactician in its design, designating allies as members of its "Cast" and applying various benefits to them. If you want to see something funny, throw a Battle Lord, a Momenta, and a Synergist into the same group...

The Umbra is your custom "plane-touched in a 20 level class progression". This 3/4 BAB, 2+INT, Good Will save class picks an energy type (or energy types) to be associated with, and this isn't just limited to the classic 4. There's also negative and positive energy, and a host of demiplanar affiliations that are a combination of two of the elements. The element/plane you associate with really determines your role in the party and the nature of your abilities. This is a seriously fun class, not just for the cool theme, but for the huge amount of replay value the chassis offers.

The Warloghe, 3/4 BAB, 4+INT, Good Fort and Will, is a dark spellcaster who gains their powers by forging bonds with dark powers. This cool little class has a whole slew of special abilities that are customized even further by the spirit you form your your bond with, and it definitely has a kind of dark anti-hero thing going on. My biggest issue with the class is that it's so squishy; it specifically can't use armor or shields, and yet its spell list and abilities are almost exclusively offensive in nature. The Spirit Shield taboo is so essential to staying alive that I really feel like it shouldn't have been a Taboo (think Revelation/Discovery) at all, but rather just a standard class feature. Still, it's a lot of fun and brings some cool stuff to the table.

The Warsmith is the last of the new classes. This 3/4 BAB, 4+INT, Good Fortitude chassis is basically a combat engineer, able to Craft magic items without being a spellcaster, excelling in sundering, and with a variety of abilities called "Designs" to choose from to further customize his role in the group. My biggest issue with this class is that for some reason it uses Charisma to determine the effects of its various abilities rather than Intelligence. Everything about this class screams to me that it should have been Int-based, so much so that I'll be houseruling it that way at my tables. Other than that, it's pretty cool, though it is tip-toeing the line between PC class and NPC class.

Now, to feats...
There's all of the requisite "Extra XYZ" feats for the new classes, as well as a slew of new Teamwork and style feats. There's a bit of variation in quality between some of the Teamwork and Style feats, but RAI is pretty clear in all cases. Overall, I like the bulk of the feats presented here, and many of them give you cool ways to fill in abilities that you might otherwise need to multiclass for, like effective unarmed strikes.

After feats we get archetypes. The Battle Lord gets expanded a bit, with roles that couldn't be adequately represented in Specialties, like the Marine and Cavalryman, getting put into play. The Conduit gains some rhythm and pattern based archetypes that are interesting, though I'm still testing how they actually play out. The Medium gains some cool options, like a psionic variant and an archetype that allows her to maintain a relationship with two spirit companions simultaneously, sacrificing power for versatility. I think I'm running out of space here, so let me just wrap this section by saying that the archetypes are solid, and either explore interesting new territory or fill in any gaps I may have wondered about in the core classes.

The last section of the book contains a variety of new Haunts, awesome for creepy campaigns, unusual environmental hazards like rat infestations that eat black powder to dangerous effect, and some new templates and feats that tie into various environmental effects. There's also some facsimile character sheets, a final aid in making that complicated class as accessible as possible.

Overall, this is an amazing book, with relatively few typos (I spotted a couple "there"s that should have been "their"s and some gender reference inconsistencies ("he"s where there were "she"s in the prior sentence) but overall very acceptable. The page stock is a wonderful glossy print, and the art is of a consistent quality throughout, largely on the same level as that seen on the cover. While it may not be Wayne Reynolds, it sets the tone for the book excellently.


****( )

This review reiterates a lot of my opinion I posted in the forums with some tweaks to reflect the changes I've seen in the final book.

So this book introduces 14 new classes. There are other things but I'll spend a lot of time on the classes.

Battle Lord

Battle Lord makes as much sense as anything else. Of course it has the same problem that I generally find in classes like Cavalier and other support classes in that how broken it is depends on how many martials are in the same area. This will make a nightmare of an NPC but relatively niche for PCs. I like the class

Conduit

The Conduit is much more interesting than I thought it would be. I thought it would be weird and cumbersome but mechanically this is pretty nice. I'm guessing he can absorb AOE spells if he's in the target zone? My only real problem is that my games will have veils, spheres, powers and other non-spell magics so this guy may have limited use in the future. I've heard promises of a patch that works in other magic systems so there's that to look forward to although if you're in a low magic situation the problem still persists. Also there's kind of an 'Uphill battle to awesome' situation here where fighting casters buffs you which is a dangerous thing to do. Its not really bad as it has plenty of workarounds but requires a clever player to make the most of the dynamic. I like the class.

Demiurge

I was skeptical about the Demiurge as soon as I saw that there is a complexity disclaimer, and low and behold I still don't quite understand how the class works. So it gets 'Enlightenments' which are pretty much Demiurge domains but where it gets tricky is the Fascimiles and everything involved with them. They are obviously 'creatures of law' considering that their abilities read like a contract: "rhetoric always involves two facsimiles, one that is designated as the “argument” facsimile, and the other as the “arguer” facsimile.". Oh god there has to be a way to explain what these things are doing without a huge use of philosophy book sub-terms. I can barely read the class and even then I'm forced to track a large number (quintessense) and my mental constructs need directions measured in commands that I don't feel are well defined. At the moment this class is banned from my games until it's rewritten to be simpler or I figure out how it actually works. Its just a philospher with summoned thought constructs. I really don't like the class

Medium

With Paizo's upcoming Medium, Radiance house's Occultist and Thunderscape's Thaumaturge I was not looking forward to looking at this class. Its basically a class that has the spirit of another character that it can gain abilities from.It has a place despite the Occultist medium and Thaumaturge existing so I don't dislike it as much as I used to. Its fun, somewhat unique and allows for an interesting playstyle. I'm okay with the class.

Metamorph

The Metamorph is something that I felt I'd seen before (LJP's The Host) but its a bit more refined and diverse. It feels like an eidolon and a sorcerer had a baby, with a bloodline-like selection that gains powers and access to evolutions. If you want to 'play the monster' like a sorcerer without the baggage of being a full arcane caster then this is the class for you. I love the Genesis concept allowing a lot of different flavors to fall into the class. I really like the class.

Mnemonic

The concept of blue mages in Pathfinder is a hard road to travel becaust there are so many kinds of abilities in the game (more if third parties are involved) that scale differently it's hard to determine how such a thing would actually work. The Mnemonic works well enough for that I guess. Its way less book keeping than other classes I've seen that try the concept out (Rite Publishing's Taskshaper) and for that it gets five stars. I like that it doesn't even try for spells. Overall I like the class.

Momenta

Sort of the Wendy and Marvin of classes. I don't mind support classes. I've had players be each other's butler and this class fills that role. I do have a complaint that it gets points at the start of combat rather than regaining its pool after a minute of rest. I just hate abilities that call out whether it works in or out of combat but that's kind of a minor complaint since the Inquisitor already prompted me to have to define the beginning and end of combat so no harm done. I really enjoy the idea of using the Momenta to make a 'Princess' or aristcrat character. This class is a good way to go about the concept which is great because most other solutions I've seen involve class-based gold acquisition (I hate class-entitled treasure) or some sort of social subsystem. I really like the class.

Mystic

When the Kineticist came out for the Occult Adventures playtest it became the playtest's darling for being the most mechanically fascinating and weakest class in the playtest. The Mystic is less mechanically interesting but definitely stronger and more interesting in other ways. Smart move in making it off of the Monk's chassis, as it adds some flavor and doesn't pigeonhole the class into being 'the blaster'. The class itself is surprisingly rich by comparison too. Two mystics of the same element can look drastically different. I really like the class.

Pauper

The whole despair/hope mechanic irks me for being fueled by something so abstract and environment dependent. I feel like its an argument waiting to happen. Other than that its an okay class despite being the most wimpy flavor-wise. Think of being the brunette girl from Yugioh and that's the class here. I'm not sure if I like the class, I feel like it could have been absorbed by the Momenta.

Survivor

The survivor is probably the most boring and best functioning class here. I really like it. Its basically a spell-less ranger that's not a racist serial killer or too bogged down by the whole nature them. I feel like chest hair should have been a class feature. I like the class.

Synergist

There are a lot of support classes in this product. I think designating people as your cast feels kind of useless. It feels like just more language. I like the class but it doesn't excite me as much as some of the others.

Umbra

Okay so this has two pools of points that have a third term for what they are collectively? I know its somewhat nessesary but couldn't things be built so that it doesn't need a laundry list of extra language? I feel like I have ADD with some of these classes, add to that some of the classes have relatively esoteric terms. That said this doesn't apply to this class that much, its just not complicated like the and doesn't require too much bookkeeping. Its kind of like an incarnum kineticist, getting power to invest in ties to different inner planes. I like the class.

Warloghe

Warlogue is the spooky class. Basically someone taited so attracts and can bind spirits in a minor way to pretty much become a walking haunted house. I like the class a lot.

Warsmith

This class is boring. Its practically a Magus' Arcane pool attached to a crafter with some sunder sneak attack ability. I love it! Its kind of the artificer I've always wanted without weird mechanics or some kind of spell-like technology. Just a guy that can make stuff and break stuff really really well. But seriously this class deserves way more support.

Chapters 2 and 3 are pretty basic. Just some things to support the classes. Nothing terribly fascinating or gamechanging. Then there are new haunts and hazards which are nice.

Overall I have problems with the Conduit and Demiurge but a lot of these classes add to niches unexplored or refined rare niches that other products have only graced. Even the ones I complained about brings something new to the table and the two most boring classes are some of my favorites. There's enough holes filled that I want to call this a must-have but I feel like its not for everyone as it hits a few pet peeves I have on class design. If the problems above aren't your kind of problems this is a five star, but I'm giving it four stars.


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Now available!


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Review up.

I've been excited about this book for a while. I am glad I finally got my chance to read it.


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Have it, love it, just buy it and enjoy.

I haven't seen such unique classes in a long time it's just refreshing! Most of these classes cover a familiar niche in a way that you wouldn't usually expect.

A class capable of removing debilitating status effects without spellcasting? Yeah.

A class that siphons the strength of spells to fuel its own powers? Awesome

A class that combines martial arts with elemental control in a fun, interesting, and highly customizable manner? Oh god yes.

A martial artist based on Intelligence who can copy feats and abilities or even steal memories (feats and skills)? I didn't even know I wanted it, but now I know I need it.

and way more! I haven't finished looking over everything and I'm nowhere near ready to write a review, but I love how these classes tackle things from new and unique perspectives.

This book is just so fricken cool.


Thank you Chris.

Thank you for the review Adam!

I-Dragoon, Thank you for the kind words.

Thanks to all of you that have purchased this already. Sales have almost passed the Mystic. Thank you! Glad the classes are getting love.


Wish I had the chance to pay into your Kickstarter. If I had known then you would have hit the next stretch goal. This Kickstarter really truly delivered.


I'm rather interseted in the metamorph and demiurge. Can the Metamorph flexibly change his mutations or are they set? (I like hte idea of someone who can hulk out if need be but doesn't always look like a mass of evolutionary changes).

Equally, how does the demiurge compare to the summoner? It sounds like he can whistle up a wider variety of conjured entities but what does he give up for that flexibility?


gharlane wrote:

I'm rather interseted in the metamorph and demiurge. Can the Metamorph flexibly change his mutations or are they set? (I like hte idea of someone who can hulk out if need be but doesn't always look like a mass of evolutionary changes).

Equally, how does the demiurge compare to the summoner? It sounds like he can whistle up a wider variety of conjured entities but what does he give up for that flexibility?

As for the metamorph, their choices can be re-chosen every level, and at 20th level they can remake their choices with 8 hours of solitude. They never "hulk out" and instead all their awesome is on at all times.

Demiurge has no magic compared to a summoner. Demiurge has skill points, class abilities that buff skill usage, and can have multiple fascimiles as opposed to one eidolon.


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Yep, the demiurge does not have any spells, but the theory goes that the versatility of the facsimiles should make up for that. Most enlightenments should have an ability that they can use fairly often as well, which provides some measure of fall-back.


Can I rapid Shot my Elemental Strike if I have the Elemental Blast talent and Effortless strikes+Fast Strikes?

As written it seems no, but if Axexander intended us too I would use his word.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Insain Dragoon wrote:
Wish I had the chance to pay into your Kickstarter. If I had known then you would have hit the next stretch goal. This Kickstarter really truly delivered.

I hate it when I find out about an awesome Kickstarter way too late for it to matter. Unfortunately, it happens pretty much any time I don't know someone actually involved in the KS.


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I was lucky that I played Warmachine and knew to pay into the Warmachine Tactics Kickstarter. It ended up giving me 2 free tours and a mention in the game's credits because the game staff love their players so much.

I have missed at least 5 good Kickstarters though :(

Glad I could at least buy this book though!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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For anyone who's a fan of the battle lord, I just sent three new archetypes over to Greg for development and layout that will be added to the WIP: the Marine, the Cavalryman, and the Eldritch Chevalier. They're all concepts I thought were better embodied by archetypes than Specialties so that I could alter the class a little more fundamentally. The marine specializes in aquatic combat and infiltration, the cavalryman fights with sword and pistol (or musket-axe if that's your thing!) from horseback, and the eldritch chevalier gains a unique but limited casting mechanic.


Go Marine!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Insain Dragoon wrote:
Go Marine!

Hopefully you're okay with the harpoon being a heavily encouraged weapon; several of the abilities play off of it, with options like increasing its range increment and (later in the game) getting to activate its grapple property any time you successfully harpoon an enemy using an attack action. I also played around with water conditions a bit, letting him treat conditions as though they were one step better than they actually are (Stormy > Rough > Calm) and gaining an effective swim speed equal to his base land speed in naturally calm conditions. If you're thinking about playing Skull & Shackles anytime soon, this is the perfect archetype to go get your Ahab, Sinbad, Jason, or Drachma on with.

(For anyone who didn't play Skies of Arcadia, Drachma was an old ship captain with a mechanical peg-leg and a harpoon prosthetic arm who... You know what? If you never played Skies of Arcadia, you're seriously missing out. Bust out the Wii or Gamecube, track a copy down, and go play it.)


For a Naval campaign Harpoons make sense.

Piercing (Better underwater)
Good for Throwing
Grappling weapon
Thematic

Aside from that Battle Lord is a martial and as long as he can apply a 2 handed power attack to it, nobody will care what weapon it is.

I think his calm water swim speed should eventually be applied to rough waters.

Grappling enemies on non-crits is super awesome cool


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Just picked this up.

Its really cool. I like the Mystic class way more than the upcoming Kineticist class from Occult Adventures, and the other classes look neat as well. In particular I like the concept of the Pauper and Demiurge classes.

Still, wish there were bookmarks for this.


Final PDF has been updated (sans bookmarks (we will have one more file with it, but the finished doc is up). The description and cover image will be update once it works thru the servers. Until then, the file should be downloadable with the current doc.


Azure Flames pg 76 of the book (78 on the PDF)still says

Quote:

Azure Flames (Su): As a swift action, the mystic can

spend 1 ki point in order to allow her elemental strike,
elemental techniques, and mystic talents to ignore 5
points of fire resistance until the end of the turn.

I thought Alex rewrote that ability? His comment is here.

Additionally I find it odd that the marine class grants competence bonuses to stealth, swim, and survival as generally class bonuses to skills are untyped or not competence (AKA that bonus that items give for super cheap. Greater shadow enchant is a +15 competence bonus to stealth isn't it?)


Insain Dragoon wrote:

Azure Flames pg 76 of the book (78 on the PDF)still says

Quote:

Azure Flames (Su): As a swift action, the mystic can

spend 1 ki point in order to allow her elemental strike,
elemental techniques, and mystic talents to ignore 5
points of fire resistance until the end of the turn.

I thought Alex rewrote that ability? His comment is here.

Additionally I find it odd that the marine class grants competence bonuses to stealth, swim, and survival as generally class bonuses to skills are untyped or not competence (AKA that bonus that items give for super cheap. Greater shadow enchant is a +15 competence bonus to stealth isn't it?)

Updated, updated.

And bookmarked.


That was quick! Also looking back my post could have been worded a little nicer, so thank you for looking past my rudeness and at the real feedback.

The bookmarks are peeerrrrffecctttt! It's so easy to find everything!

Also thank you for putting such an amazing book on the market. I wish I could give each of the authors a high five and ask for an autograph! When I get a physical copy of course.


Those bookmarks are marvelous! Thank you so much! Really make the navigation easy.


@insain dragoon - I didn't ever read anything as rude. No worries.

Glad to hear the bookmarks are a success lol.


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I put a placeholder review.


Ahh man, I'm so ready to purchase a print copy :)


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:-) I sent the Cosignment team an email late last night. So just waiting to hear back from them about what we need to do. Then it should be up.
~Greg

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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I need this thing on my shelf man. Though I'm still debating the implications of signing my own copy :P


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Ssalarn wrote:
I need this thing on my shelf man. Though I'm still debating the implications of signing my own copy :P

How about this? You sign your own copy, then I mail you my copy and you mail me your copy?

Webstore Gninja Minion

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Jazz hands!


*unzips wallet*

Well tomorrow when I get my paycheck anyway.


YAY Jazz Hands!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Amora Game wrote:
YAY Jazz Hands!

When will the Kickstarted copies of the hardcover be going out?


They are scheduled to arrive in my hands on Feb 20th. They will start shipping a day later, once I can print labels. A day after that the rest will ship to Paizo.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Eeexcelllent....

That means there's a good chance it'll be here just in time for my group to look through it in the event any of their characters die during our Iron Gods game on the 28th :)

I totally won't go out of my way to off them just to see these classes in play, I swear.


Really can't be stated enough how much I like this book.

A lot of the classes are simple and elegant in executing a unique concept. Which is a huge plus for people who just want a class that "works."

Then some of the classes have a bunch of fiddly bits that can give advanced players a rewarding experience and gameplay style as an alternative to playing a God Wizard or CoDzilla.

Also lots of love for all the people into Mystic Martial arts/Jedi/Benders with the Mystic class! One of my all time most anticipated classes to play. Where the Kineticist from Occult adventures focuses on being a laser the Mystic functions as a fusion of elemental might and martial prowess.

Contributor

I think I'm probably going to have to get a hardcover copy of this myself.


I purchased the PDF from DrivethruRPG. What should I do in terms of ordering the print?


that site will be a topic in a FB post, but I believe we have already emailed :)

For those on the P to the Izo, books come in soon, and then shipped to Paizo. So the wait time will be minimal till they get it in stock.

Thank you to those that have secured your preorders. We hope to do a record in sales with it.

Again, humbled by those of you that have preordered.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Amora Game wrote:

that site will be a topic in a FB post, but I believe we have already emailed :)

For those on the P to the Izo, books come in soon, and then shipped to Paizo. So the wait time will be minimal till they get it in stock.

Thank you to those that have secured your preorders. We hope to do a record in sales with it.

Again, humbled by those of you that have preordered.

I need my copy Greg! I'm trying to start a "3pp PFS" thing over here in the Seattle area and I need some slick high-quality books I can pass around to show people who don't "do 3pp" what they're missing out on :)

Hmmm....

Maybe I need an extra copy I can pass around the table while preserving my own...


The print run should be here in STL tomorrow, barring any weather issues. Once in I plan to start shipping the same/next day. There will be he ks update once they arrive. :)


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Books are officially "in the mail" to Paizo.


You updated your book, so I updated my review. Seriously, the haunts, hazards, and magical contamination stuff was great!


Thank you Adam! I'm glad you found the final section entertaining.

It was a lot of fun writing that chapter.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

The guys down at my game store are already asking how they can get a copy!

This is a great book, and it looks mighty fine on my bookshelf :)

Contributor

I think I'm going to have to take advantage of the GM's Day sale and pick up a hardcover copy for myself.


Amora Game wrote:

Thank you Adam! I'm glad you found the final section entertaining.

It was a lot of fun writing that chapter.

I can tell! Exploding rats are always a telltale sign of fun. Haunts in general are underused despite that they are basically interactive traps with some good roleplay aspects. They also aren't dealt with by thumping with club, spamming dispel magic, or simply springing the haunt, then waiting for it to go away.

And Magical Contamination was basically a picture perfect fit for something I really wanted in my campaigns, but nobody had a good ruleset for.


So, let's say that I use Spheres of Power, Akashic Mysteries, and Psionics. Should I make something up as to how those interact with the Conduit or should I just say that its a spell deconstructionist not a manifestation/veil/sphere specialist?


Malwing wrote:
So, let's say that I use Spheres of Power, Akashic Mysteries, and Psionics. Should I make something up as to how those interact with the Conduit or should I just say that its a spell deconstructionist not a manifestation/veil/sphere specialist?

There's something in the works elsewhere (I can't quite say where atm) but a psionics equivalent is on the way. :)

As a rule of thumb, ~3 PP = 1 spell level should get you by until then.


Malwing wrote:
So, let's say that I use Spheres of Power, Akashic Mysteries, and Psionics. Should I make something up as to how those interact with the Conduit or should I just say that its a spell deconstructionist not a manifestation/veil/sphere specialist?

I would recommend coming up with something to allow the Conduit to interact with spherecasters.

From a player's perspective, it would be very frustrating to play an anti-mage in a game where nobody uses magic (that he can interact with).

1 power point is a first level spell, and then for every 2 additional power points spent it should go up. Second level powers cost 3 PP. 3rd level powers cost 5 PP.

For spheres, I'd base it off 1/5th the caster level of the sphere ability (minimum 1) + the number of spell points spent. That way, a spherecasting party member can't just fill up a conduit with one casting.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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I'll actually be running an event at our local game store featuring a few of the classes from Liber Influxus Communis. If you happen to be in the area, feel free to stop on by! Details here.


Adam B. 135 wrote:
Malwing wrote:
So, let's say that I use Spheres of Power, Akashic Mysteries, and Psionics. Should I make something up as to how those interact with the Conduit or should I just say that its a spell deconstructionist not a manifestation/veil/sphere specialist?

I would recommend coming up with something to allow the Conduit to interact with spherecasters.

From a player's perspective, it would be very frustrating to play an anti-mage in a game where nobody uses magic (that he can interact with).

1 power point is a first level spell, and then for every 2 additional power points spent it should go up. Second level powers cost 3 PP. 3rd level powers cost 5 PP.

For spheres, I'd base it off 1/5th the caster level of the sphere ability (minimum 1) + the number of spell points spent. That way, a spherecasting party member can't just fill up a conduit with one casting.

I have been working on a conversion. It will be apart of a series of "expansions" for the book.

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