Pathfinder Player Companion: Melee Tactics Toolbox (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Player Companion: Melee Tactics Toolbox (PFRPG)
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Look Your Enemies in the Eye!

Get up close and personal with Melee Tactics Toolbox! The new tips, tricks, and tactics in this volume enable your Pathfinder Roleplaying Game character to perform a huge variety of daring deeds in hand-to-hand combat, whether you’re dashing around a foe to flank it by yourself or inspiring allies to hold the line on a castle wall.

Melee Tactics Toolbox is a player-focused manual that makes the most of in-your-face abilities, spells, and weapons, in addition to providing a plethora of new rules options to make you even more formidable in combat. Each Pathfinder Player Companion includes new options and tools for every Pathfinder RPG player. Inside this book, you’ll find:

  • Tips on how best to fight in melee, including suggestions for rules options that can give you an edge, as well as general tactics available to all characters.
  • Dozens of new kinds of magic armor and melee weapons, weapon special abilities, and wondrous items to hinder your foes or protect you from close-combat attackers.
  • Thirty new feats to bolster your staying power in close combat, including combat, style, and teamwork feats.
  • An illustrated guide comparing more than 20 different styles of swords, including the falchion, katana, and urumi.
  • Tons of new spells, equipment, weapons, class archetypes, and character options, including a new bardic masterpiece.
This Pathfinder Player Companion is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be incorporated into any fantasy world.

Written by Paris Crenshaw, Ron Lundeen, and David Schwartz.
Cover Art by Milivoj Ceran.

Each monthly 32-page Pathfinder Player Companion contains several player-focused articles exploring the volume’s theme as well as short articles with innovative new rules for all types of characters, as well as traits to better anchor the player to the campaign.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-732-1

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

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Average product rating:

3.80/5 (based on 8 ratings)

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Judge this book by its (awesome) cover

4/5

Visit A Gaymer's Quest to read the whole review.

Let's start with the obvious: there's a calikang on the cover of this module. I've loved this monster since I first saw it in the Inner Sea World Guide, so I'm always happy to see it getting some press. Sajan and Jirelle look like they will get the best of it. It's interesting that Sajan is holding a weapon. One of the book's later sections goes to great pains to remind us that unarmed combat is melee combat as well, so I would have liked to have seen him fighting unarmed. Calikangs don't have any damage resistance, so a good flurry of blows (unchained or core) would be a great attack on one of these beasts.

But that's imputing game design on art. Art's job is too look cool. And while I think it might have been fun to have Sajan flurrying away on the calikang, he and Jirelle (who I hope has some sneak attack damage coming, swashbuckler or no) look like the bad asses they are taking on this hulk. In fact, much of the book's art is really good. It's not an action scene, but page sixteen illustrates all the various swords that exist in the game. It's very cool and helpful--the best quality in a gaming aide. Page 27 also has a good picture of Lini holding what appears to be a spell siphoning sickle and ready to make trouble for anybody messing with her.

Visit A Gaymer's Quest to read the whole review.


The best Player Companion in years - A must have!

5/5

THE GOOD:
Very diverse - something for everyone:
-On the inside front cover you find 4 war colleges of the Inner Sea.
-The 4 types of melee and how to act best during them: 1 on 1, 1 vs. many, many vs. 1 and many vs. many.
-30 new feats some of which are awesome, for example "press against the wall" which allowes you to treat solid objects like walls and columns or trees as allies that flank with you - how awesome is this?
-An overview of 21 swords used in the Inner Sea region in comparison to one another.
-16 new melee weapons!
-12 new tool and equipment pieces!
-11 new magic armors/shields!
-11 new magic weapons!
-5 new armor special abilities!
-6 new weapon special abilities!
-11 new wondrous items!
-10 new melee spells!
-A combat options overview on the inside back cover!

THE BAD:
Page 17 shows an axe, a mace and a sword and names their parts.

THE UGLY:
Nothing ugly here.

This book is recommended for EVERY character because it gives you all the options you have in every situation of melee combats!


generally okay, back inside cover is the best!

4/5

I only glanced over the main portion of the book, but the back inside cover glued my eyes to it. And it's perfect.

The detailed table and description of the different types of actions one can take during any given combat round on one page, easy to reference, and nice to see the differences.

Might update this review later on.


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Contributor

Who are the authors for this book?


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
I did, in fact, include the estoc.

Huzzah! I am still bothered by the inaccurate Falchion in Core Rules. You know, the one that is SUPPOSED to be a one handed archer's sword or sword of Agincourt?

D20 has a point: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/equipment---final/weapons/weapon-descriptions/falch ion


Is this book going to expand racial weapons at all?

Scarab Sages Modules Overlord

Insain Dragoon wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
I did, in fact, include the estoc.
Was your involvement in this book similar to the Dirty Fighting book coming soon?

No, I just developed this. Sometimes when developing, you find you have a little more room than expected (for any of a variety of reasons), and need to add something. In this case, I added the estoc.

Eric Hinkle wrote:
Good news, and thanks. I do seem to recall you also mentioning it in one of the old Super Genius PDFs, I'm eager to see the 'canon' version of that blade.

I did, several years ago. I carefully didn't look at the old SGG version while design the official Paizo version. This was both so I wouldn't give my old design undo influence, and because I didn't want to have to add the SGG book to the section 15 OGL entry. If anyone can be certain some rule is independent of a previous product, it's the guy designing the rule both products.

I did go back and check my old version after the book was off to print. I can honestly say I like the new version better.

Dark Archive

Will there be a swords style feat?


I think I'm going to hold off on this one until I can look at someone else's copy. The Ranged Tactics book was a real disappointment to me.


I'd love to see class archetypes similar to the teng sword master archetype, maybe something for slayers considering they are a combination of rogue and ranger. Maybe a ranger or slayer archetype that allows for heavy armor and combat styles to be taken with it.

There are a LOT of possibilities for this book, and it's certainly impossible to fit them all in. But I'd love just additional options not just in archetype form but also in plain simple feats that can be taken by any class which enhance melee prowess.


This product should have rules and an official chart for oversized weapons and weapons for exceptionally large creatures!

Really, the Giant Hunter's book should have had it too! That book even offered more ways to use oversized weapons.

Get on it Paizo! It is long, long, long overdue.

Dark Archive

Nardoz Zardoz wrote:

This product should have rules and an official chart for oversized weapons and weapons for exceptionally large creatures!

Really, the Giant Hunter's book should have had it too! That book even offered more ways to use oversized weapons.

Get on it Paizo! It is long, long, long overdue.

There technically is rules for oversized weapons and archetypes that take advantage of them.


I think Nardoz meant an official chart that illustrates how weapon damage scales with size.

Webstore Gninja Minion

Are you looking for something like the Tiny and Large Weapon Damage, but for bigger critters?


Nardoz Zardoz wrote:

This product should have rules and an official chart for oversized weapons and weapons for exceptionally large creatures!

Really, the Giant Hunter's book should have had it too! That book even offered more ways to use oversized weapons.

Get on it Paizo! It is long, long, long overdue.

If you're willing to buy a 3rd party product, there is a table listing weapon damage at different sizes going from Fine to Colossal in Everyman Games' Microsized Adventures PDF. It's also got some great combat maneuver rules that can be used with giants.


Liz Courts wrote:
Are you looking for something like the Tiny and Large Weapon Damage, but for bigger critters?

Yep! That's precisely what I'm talking about.

There is a very extensive thread going on the rules questions forums about the topic. It's the most FAQ'd topic ever, with 500+ requests and over 10 pages of discussion.

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2qwfo?Can-we-please-get-an-FAQ-posted-for-damag e#1

Seems like time to really address this topic.

Scarab Sages Modules Overlord

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Yes, that needs a errata/FAQ entry. We're well aware of it, and I'd bet Mark Seifter is working on it. It's much better for such things to get handled with our formal process of errata, rather than being covered in a Pathfinder Player Companion, where we don't generally do major rules clarifications and not everyone would know to look for it there, and it's not easily searchable.


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Yes, that needs a errata/FAQ entry. We're well aware of it, and I'd bet Mark Seifter is working on it. It's much better for such things to get handled with our formal process of errata, rather than being covered in a Pathfinder Player Companion, where we don't generally do major rules clarifications and not everyone would know to look for it there, and it's not easily searchable.

That makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the reply!


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Questions for when subscribers get their PDFs,

1.What are the 20 swords in the illustrated guide?
2.What are the new Archetypes?
3.What are the new Weapons?
4.What are the new Magic Items/Weapons?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Has any of the Subscribers received the PDF yet?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

No pdf yet but I did get my shipping soon e-mail. Hopefully a pdf is soon to follow. :)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
zergtitan wrote:

Questions for when subscribers get their PDFs,

1.What are the 20 swords in the illustrated guide?

Sword Illustrations:
Butterfly Sword

Falcata
Short Sword
Temple Sword
Khopesh
Seven-Branched Sword
Scimitar
Shotel
Aldori Dueling Sword
Katana
Rapier
LongSword
Nine-ring Broadsword
Rhoka Sword
Sawtooth Sabre
Falchion
Bastard Sword
Elven Curve Blade
Greatsword
Nodachi
Urumi

zergtitan wrote:
2.What are the new Archetypes?

Archetypes:
Bloody-knuckled rowdy (Bloodrager - some brawler-like abilities)

Castellan (Cavalier - defender of castles and walls)
Drill sergeant (Fighter - gains some of the cavalier's tactician abilities)
Makeshift scrapper (Rogue - uses improvised weapons to great effect)

zergtitan wrote:
3.What are the new Weapons?

New Weapons:
Ankus

Crook
Deer Horn Knife:
Elven Branched Spear
Estoc
Gandasa
Gnome Pincher
Halfling Rope-Shot
Kumade
Kumade, Collapsible
Machete
Manople
Orc Skull Ram
Planson
Tongi
Weighted Spear

zergtitan wrote:
4.What are the new Magic Items/Weapons?

Too many to easily list:

Magic Armor: 11
Magic Weapons: 11
Armor Special Abilities: 5
Weapon Special Abilities: 6
Wondrous Items: 11


Any new magic rings?

How many new feats?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Great now we can get the difference between the Aldori Dueling Sword and the katana in appearance based form. I believe JJ said that the Dueling sword was based on the katana before it was ever statted out, so if would be nice to see how it differs appearence-wise.

By the way Feros you might want to use spoiler tags for people who don't want to know yet.


Who doesn't want to know?!?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Dragon78 wrote:

Any new magic rings?

How many new feats?

No new rings, but as for feats:

Combat Feats:

Aquatic Combatant
Armored Athlete
Artful Dodge
Circling Mongoose
Deadly Grappler
Explosive Escape
Heroic Leader
Juke
Just out of Reach
Leaping Evasion
Mirror Move
Phalanx Formation
Press to the Wall
Redirect Attack
Shrug On
Steadfast Slayer

General and Metamagic Feats:

Aquatic Spell (Metamagic)
Grappled Caster
One Eye Open
Reactive Arcane Shield

Style Feats:

Cudgeler Style
Cudgeler Sweep
Cudgeler Takedown
Kraken Style
Kraken Throttle
Kraken Wrack

Teamwork Feats:

Got Your Back
Harrying Partners
Open Up
Stick Together

Shadow Lodge

Would you mind giving some basic themes on the the style feats. Are they weapons styles? Can Monks not take them?


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DM Beckett wrote:
Would you mind giving some basic themes on the the style feats. Are they weapons styles? Can Monks not take them?

Cudgeler Style:
Prerequisite: Bludgeoner.

Hammering blows after charging in to quickly take down an opponent using non-lethal damage. Weapons or unarmed.

Kraken Style:
Prerequisites: Wis 13, Improved Grapple, Improved Unarmed Strike, base attack bonus +3 or monk level 3rd.

Squeezing and twisting in a grapple does more damage. Unarmed grapple, no weapons.

Monks can take either style so long as they have the prerequisites.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thanks for volunteering information, Feros. Would you be willing to share any new spells, the new weapon and armor enchantments, the new wondrous items, and any other new character options?

Also, would you be willing to say what weapon categories the new weapons are (ie, simple, martial, or exotic)?


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Luthorne wrote:

Thanks for volunteering information, Feros. Would you be willing to share any new spells, the new weapon and armor enchantments, the new wondrous items, and any other new character options?

Also, would you be willing to say what weapon categories the new weapons are (ie, simple, martial, or exotic)?

If I answered all the above, the post would go on a long time. I can do a small overview however:

Some New Spells:

Darting Duplicate—create a duplicate to draw an AoO from a foe.
Dimensional Blade—cause your weapon to become 2D an act as touch attack against armor.
Instant Weapon—create a melee weapon out of force energy.

There are 10 new spells all told.

New Armor Enchantments:

Channelling—adds 1 dice to channeling when this shield is wielded by someone who can channel energy.

Evolving—rather revolting armor that adds summoner evolutions to the wearer for 30 minutes a day.

Frosted-ice covered armor does cold damage to grapplers and is slippery.

Singing—shield sings to produce bardic countersong effect.

Volcanic—heavy armor that can spout smoke and hot molten liquid.

New Weapon Enchantments:

Culling—slashing melee weapon that does extra damage with Cleave.

Growing—increase size and damage of the melee weapon without making it harder to use.

Shrinking—shrinks melee weapon to size of dagger to make it easier to conceal.

Smashing—bludgeoning melee weapon that does extra damage to inanimate objects.

Spell Siphon—melee weapon can remove a single combat spell from a target onto the wielder.

Sticky—reach, piercing melee, and flail weapons only. Allows a steal attempt on critical hits instead of damage.

New Weapon Group Categories:

Axes: Collapsible kumade, gandasa, kumade, tongi.
Blades, Heavy: Ankus, estoc.
Blades, Light: Deer horn knife, machete, manople.
Double: Weighted spear.
Flails: Gnome pincher, halfling rope-shot.
Hammers: Planson.
Monk: Deer horn knife.
Polearms: Crook.
Spears: Elven branched spear, orc skull ram, planson, weighted spear.
Thrown: Deer horn knife.

New Weapon Categories (general):

Simple Two-Handed
Kumade
Kumade, Collapsible
Weighted Spear

Martial Light
Machete

Martial One-Handed
Ankus
Gandasa
Manople

Martial Two-Handed
Planson

Exotic Light
Deer Horn Knife
Gnome Pincher
Halfling Rope-Shot

Exotic One-Handed
Estoc
Tongi

Exotic Two-Handed
Crook
Elven Branched Spear
Orc Skull Ram


This looks very interesting I gotta say.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
zergtitan wrote:

Great now we can get the difference between the Aldori Dueling Sword and the katana in appearance based form. I believe JJ said that the Dueling sword was based on the katana before it was ever statted out, so if would be nice to see how it differs appearence-wise.

By the way Feros you might want to use spoiler tags for people who don't want to know yet.

Actually, the Aldori Dueling Sword and the katana are side by side. So you can see the similarities and differences. :)


I love the Juke and Just Out of Reach feats.


I just wish the Aldori sword was more like the Katana in critical power, etc.

Silver Crusade

@Feros: Thanks for all those spoiler, but since I only play PFS these days, I think I will wait. Some of those magic weapon and armor abilities seem quite likely to get banned. Just mentioning the word "evolution" is usually enough.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

That channeling enhancement looks pretty awesome. A free d6 just for wielding a shield? Sign me up.

What's the enhancement bonus on that bad boy?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Care to elaborate on what an Orc Skull Ram is?


Grappled caster and readctive arcane shield sound interesting.


donato wrote:
Who are the authors for this book?

The credited authors are Paris Crenshaw, Ron Lundeen, and David Schwartz.

The cover artist is Milivoj Ceran.


Wow I can't wait to get my hands on this. Ugh, March 25th is so far away...

Could you give short descriptions to the feats?

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Oh man, the Channeling shield enchantment is SO going to my channeler cleric. Instantly. :)


Yeah, I also like the channeling shield enchantment.


Another weapon with "orc" in the name /swoon.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

That makeshift scrapper archetype sounds like it would be a pretty good fit for the rogue/brawler that I've got.


What list and at what levels is Instant Weapon on?

Does Dimensional Blade have anything stopping it from being used on a Monk's unarmed strike (which can get spell effects as a manufactured weapon)?


If your attack is bludgeoning damage the dimensional blade spell makes it slashing but you do only half damage so it wouldn't be as useful for the monk.


Cudgeler Style sounds like it would work with a bounty hunter slayer or a skulking slayer rogue real well. How many feats is it?

Contributor

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I'm surprised that no one's begun swooning over the new bardic masterpiece in this book. Absolutely, unquestionably, incredibly amazing.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ashram wrote:

That channeling enhancement looks pretty awesome. A free d6 just for wielding a shield? Sign me up.

What's the enhancement bonus on that bad boy?

Channeling:
CL 8th; +18,000 gp price so doesn't count towards max enhancement.

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
doc the grey wrote:
Care to elaborate on what an Orc Skull Ram is?

Orc Skull Ram:
It's a wooden log with a shoulder strap. Orcs traditionally make the ram’s head out of a large skull. On a critical hit, you get a free Combat Maneuver Attack to bull rush the target.

Don't know as much about the rest of the companion, but I LOVE the back inside cover: "Combat options overview"!

Detailing what is what type of action, and detailing the differences between those: Free action, swift action, attack action, melee action, standard action, and full-round action.

That page alone is a heaven-sent.

Printing out this one for my players and myself...


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Barachiel Shina wrote:

Wow I can't wait to get my hands on this. Ugh, March 25th is so far away...

Could you give short descriptions to the feats?

There are so many, it would take more time than I have. Any in particular interest you?


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deuxhero wrote:

What list and at what levels is Instant Weapon on?

Does Dimensional Blade have anything stopping it from being used on a Monk's unarmed strike (which can get spell effects as a manufactured weapon)?

Instant Weapon:
School conjuration (creation) [force]; Level bard 2, bloodrager 2, cleric 2, inquisitor 2, magus 2, sorcerer/wizard 2

Dimensional Blade:
Yes, it only works on held melee weapons. Manufactured isn't the issue; you can't hold your unarmed strikes in your hands as they are your hands.

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