Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Pathfinder Unchained (OGL)

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Pathfinder Unchained (OGL)
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Get ready to shake up your game! Within these pages, the designers of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game unleash their wildest ideas, and nothing is safe. From totally revised fundamentals like core classes and monster design to brand-new systems for expanding the way you play, this book offers fresh ideas while still blending with the existing system. With Pathfinder Unchained, you become the game designer!

Pathfinder Unchained is an indispensable 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.

Pathfinder Unchained includes:

  • New versions of the barbarian, monk, rogue, and summoner classes, all revised to make them more balanced and easier to play.
  • New skill options for both those who want more skills to fill out their characters' backgrounds and those seeking streamlined systems for speed and simplicity.
  • Changes to how combat works, from a revised action system to an exhaustive list of combat tricks that draw upon your character's stamina.
  • Magic items that power up with you throughout your career—and ways to maintain variety while still letting players choose the "best" magic items.
  • Simplified monster creation rules for making new creatures on the fly.
  • Exotic material components ready to supercharge your spellcasting.
  • New takes on alignment, multiclassing, iterative attacks, wounds, diseases and poisons, and item creation.
  • ... and much, much more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-715-4

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Rulebook Subscription.

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Some of the suggested mechanics are worth the entire price

5/5

Automatic Bonus Progression is enough to justify the entire price of the book. Better versions of the Rogue and Monk, as well as fixes to the summoner and streamlining the barabarian seal the deal. There is a lot of other good stuff in here as well. Well worth it!


Upgraded Mechanics!

5/5

I love the idea of this book, I wish this happened more often. They took what they saw wrong with their game and spent proper time and effort to come up with proper solutions. It's pretty rare for a company to spend this much effort on tweaking things. The new proposed mechanics for combat and skills are unique and great ideas to help customize your groups' gaming experience.
I hope they release more books like this in the future. I've love for more variations for multiclassing, and I'm still waiting for a summoner archetype that removes the class summon monster ability and focuses more on the eidolon.
Highly recommend it, especially for anyone interested in how someone goes about making a gaming system. It provides awesome insights.


Fantastic product

5/5

It's been a while since it took me so long to digest a Pathfinder book, and boy, did Unchained ever keep me digesting. More optional rules than you can shake a stick at, to be implemented in modular or wholesale fashion, to tweak your game to your heart's content, and with top-notch art throughout, to boot. Excellent work by Paizo and one of their finest offerings in a while.

As for the negatives, the only thing I can really point out is that the writing can be somewhat scattershot and unfocused in a couple of reasonably complex sections, which would have benefited greatly from examples or bolded formulae.


Love The Options

5/5

This book is a great addition. Options are optional, and it's great that this book has so many. It really makes customizing a campaign easy. Of you'll like you never use every option, or likely even half of them in a single you play or run, but having them really gives you a great toolbox to use. Some people are finicky about house rules, so having an official batch of "house rules" to choose from is nice for people who prefer to stick to official products. No book is perfect, but being this book isn't really being forced on anyone (of course I suppose none of the supplements are), and that is a giant bag of options that you can pick and choose from to enhance the game, for those who'd like it enhanced, I give this product 5 stars, especially if I am comparing it to the usefulness of the average Pathfinder product.


Great Options for Pathfinder

5/5

I'm a huge fan of the rules options in Pathfinder Unchained. They do a great job of creating fixes to some of the potential issues with the Pathfinder system without upsetting the entire rule system.

I'm one of those weird people who loved playing my TWF core rogue through all 11 levels of PFS, but I have to admit that the unchained rogue is an improvement. I also actually prefer the unchained summoner to the base summoner; even though the new one may seem less powerful, it's more thematically appropriate. I'm considering playing a summoner for the first time.

I've been using some of the alternate rules systems in my Hell's Rebels campaign, and I like how they are working out. I'm using automatic bonus progression at least in part because I know some of my players like to ignore the Big 6, or spend all their gold on +6 stat items as soon as possible to the exclusion of other items. This way I know their AC is still going up, and they'll end up more balanced. I can now also let them craft---using the much more engaging dynamic item creation rules---without worrying too much about wealth by level.

Some of the rules I wouldn't personally implement. I feel like alignment affirmations will just lead to alignment arguments at the table, and in my experience, multiclassers don't need the boost from partial base attack bonus increases. But I am glad that these options exist for tables that want them.


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Okay, well, you guys should definitely consider Mouse Guard RPG at this point, but I'll not derail the thread further.


FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:
Are we going to see some revamping of the prestige classes as well?

Wait...Paizo does prestige classes? Since when...? /sarcasm


Really hoping for prestige classes getting redone, but I know putting my faith in paizo for that is not a wise decision.

Let's hope we are all (pleasantly) surprised.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

Aren't we only like 6 weeks from the pdf dropping for PU? Some weekly previews of the new class redesigns would be nice. At least give the people who play summoners that long to enjoy their class before the hammer drops.

The Doomsday Clock is ticking louder and louder...


Zark wrote:
Cool. What news had they on the Shaman and the Skald?

It doesn't seem like they are addressing these, very specific, points with this book. But who knows?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Arturus Caeldhon wrote:
Zark wrote:
Cool. What news had they on the Shaman and the Skald?
It doesn't seem like they are addressing these, very specific, points with this book. But who knows?

A while ago there was a thread going on about Unchained speculation. One thing I noted on there was that a lot of people have really specific desires out of the product or hopes that it addresses things that are far away from the items in the product description and/or would take enormous amounts of pages. I think this book is going to lead to a lot of disappointment due to the really wild expectations going around.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

We will more then likely get previews for this one in late March early April. Though I wouldn't complain if they started earlier, hint, hint, nudge, nudge, wink, wink;)


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Dr. Johnny Fever wrote:
Aren't we only like 6 weeks from the pdf dropping for PU?

6 weeks?! But I'll be old by then!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Dare I ask if this will later be implemented in future products?

I mean... this book could either be a side product for alternate rules... or a "mandatory" product that will make its way later on.

I really don't mind paying $10 for it (I've been buying PDF files since Day 1), but I'd like to know if it's "just on the side" or if it's supposed to be a major upgrade to the current system.

For instance, when WotC released Unearthed Arcana, none of the rules in it got imposed later on, as it was just "take it or leave it". Is Unchained gonna be the same?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I've gotten the impression it's strictly 'on the side'. I'm not sure how it could be 'imposed' anyway.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Ashram wrote:
Kinda curious, does the sword suddenly and magically transform into cold iron? That seems kinda silly.

Wizards summoning demons from the abyss and druids reincarnating lost allies in new bodies = cool.

Magic sword magically turning from normal steel to cold iron = silly. ;)

It's funny which things seem to tweak our suspension of disbelief in fantasy games.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ross Byers wrote:
I've gotten the impression it's strictly 'on the side'. I'm not sure how it could be 'imposed' anyway.

Plus, if this book is anything like Unearthed Arcana, its rules may not even all be consistent with each other. If somebody wants to turn it into a set of "official" new rules, they would probably have to choose among options to accept and options to reject.


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JiCi wrote:
...when WotC released Unearthed Arcana, none of the rules in it got imposed later on, as it was just "take it or leave it". Is Unchained gonna be the same?

I'm not certain the source, but I do believe Jason Bulmahn was once quoted as saying something along the lines of "while I can't say it's Pathfinder's Unearthed Arcana, it is".


In the future will Paizo APs, modules, ect be using Unchained classes or rules?

For example will we be seeing Unchained Rogues when called for?

Paizo Glitterati Robot

Removed some posts. Take this debate elsewhere.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Superscriber

I know this product has over a month until its release date, but could we get a preview of something, anything really, that is in the book?


5 people marked this as a favorite.

The best page ever to see previewed would be the table of contents.

Contributor

DragoDorn wrote:
I know this product has over a month until its release date, but could we get a preview of something, anything really, that is in the book?

I doubt that we'll see anything until after the Strategy Guide previews are done in a few weeks.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm most looking forward to the following:

•Monk changes. The Monk is my favorite class by far. I love the 3.x implementation, even if it ends up not being near as strong as it could be. It's fun, though, and I love the grab-bag of esoteric abilities.

•New monster creation system. This is huge for me. It's part of why the 3.x/PF prep-work is too much for me. I love creating monsters, even if I could just fudge existing writeups or reskin some things.

•Skills and combat changes. I like the skill list, it got some much-needed condensing going into PF as I recall, and hopefully the new options will be good. I like the sounds of good options for maneuvers and things, because it sounds like it will give martial characters fun stuff to do and make combat more dynamic. Anything that helps with the martial/caster divide is good. Same with the changes to iterative attacks and stuff, if they're good changes (from my perspective, which is very subjective).

•New rules for multiclassing, wounds, etc., all sound pretty fun, too.

I'm really hoping this game gives me the groundwork to make Unchained versions of basic classes, too, and I can start using Pathfinder as my go-to fantasy game. I have plans for a Planeswalker-type game, and I'm holding off on settling for another system until I get Pathfinder Unchained and look it over.


Where/who said the streamlining combat rules got nixed?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

It's the third bullet in the final description. Doesn't look nixed to me .


I noticed that, too. But there were some comments that hinted that had changed. It's possible I misread them.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Full.
BaB.
Monk.

Shut up and take my money!


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I am really looking forward to the "MUCH, MUCH MORE!" part.


... I want an "Unarmed Ranger" archetype or Ranger/Monk hybrid.


Will there be any archetypes in this book? Since it is book of optional rules I doubt it, but you never know.


For me it's the scaling weapons, as a GM I love character development and having something in place that also allows their gear to also increase as they do will open up some interesting new opportunities.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
Will there be any archetypes in this book? Since it is book of optional rules I doubt it, but you never know.

Well, we are effectively getting "archetypes" of four classes. My guess is that we will get the equivalent of archetypes through methods that the archetype system doesn't quite cover properly.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
David knott 242 wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Will there be any archetypes in this book? Since it is book of optional rules I doubt it, but you never know.

Well, we are effectively getting "archetypes" of four classes. My guess is that we will get the equivalent of archetypes through methods that the archetype system doesn't quite cover properly.

While not word of God, James Jacobs seems certain there won't be archetypes in the book.

(quote has been shortened for length)

James Jacobs wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
...Speaking of archetypes, are barbarian/monk/rogue/summoner archetypes going to be reworked as well in unchained? I don't know if they need to, I'm just curious of whether old archetypes will be compatible with new versions of the classes...
...I didn't actually work on Unchained, and have only glanced through it... but I'm 99% sure that archetypes aren't involved in the book. The point of Unchained is to get crazy and try all sorts of new things, not to muddy the waters with variant archetypes...


I think what Dragon78 means is that the variants of the classes effectively are "archetypes" by a different name.

They're different enough that I'd actually consider them "variant classes" (which is what PF tries to do) but that's getting into semantics.


No, I actually meant regular archetypes because people kept asking for archetypes and I was wondering if they would actually have any. Though I am not surprised they don't because it is book of optional rules but you never know.


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How will these rules play out in Herolab?


Dragon78 wrote:
No, I actually meant regular archetypes because people kept asking for archetypes and I was wondering if they would actually have any. Though I am not surprised they don't because it is book of optional rules but you never know.

Welp, I was wrong! :D

Sczarni

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Will unchained have reworks of the broken archetypes such as Synthesis?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Caleb D'natin wrote:
How will these rules play out in Herolab?

The only thing stated by the Hero Lab people that I can find is that they will be supporting it.

http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=51627&highlight=unchained


Rogue already got the perfect revision...it's called the Ninja (which - with the exception of trapfinding - is what the Rogue should've been in the first place).

As for the rest of Unchained, there's already so many options available between archetypes, hybrid classes, prestige classes, hundreds and hundreds of feats and spells, etc, that this just seems like unnecessary overkill to me.

...Unless it has psionics, in which case I totally retract my previous statement and support it 100%. lol.


james knowles wrote:

Rogue already got the perfect revision...it's called the Ninja (which - with the exception of trapfinding - is what the Rogue should've been in the first place).

As for the rest of Unchained, there's already so many options available between archetypes, hybrid classes, prestige classes, hundreds and hundreds of feats and spells, etc, that this just seems like unnecessary overkill to me.

...Unless it has psionics, in which case I totally retract my previous statement and support it 100%. lol.

Fun fact, Occult Adventures comes out later this year with 10 new Psychic themed classes.

Psychic Magic does not mean psionics, however. Psionics is solely the realm of Dereamscarred Press. Paizo has opted to use the Psychic Magic system, one of their own creation, instead.


Tels wrote:

Fun fact, Occult Adventures comes out later this year with 10 new Psychic themed classes.

Psychic Magic does not mean psionics, however. Psionics is solely the realm of Dereamscarred Press. Paizo has opted to use the Psychic Magic system, one of their own creation, instead.

I hadn't heard about occult adventures so I'll have to check that out, and I absolutely love Ultimate Psionics. Unfortunately, many DM's (including mine) don't allow 3rd party stuff, so until Paizo decides to finally do an official psionics book guys like me are just s.o.l.


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james knowles wrote:
Tels wrote:

Fun fact, Occult Adventures comes out later this year with 10 new Psychic themed classes.

Psychic Magic does not mean psionics, however. Psionics is solely the realm of Dereamscarred Press. Paizo has opted to use the Psychic Magic system, one of their own creation, instead.

I hadn't heard about occult adventures so I'll have to check that out, and I absolutely love Ultimate Psionics. Unfortunately, many DM's (including mine) don't allow 3rd party stuff, so until Paizo decides to finally do an official psionics book guys like me are just s.o.l.

My mistake, I misspoke about Occult Adventures, it's actually 6 new classes, not 10 (I was thinking of the Advanced Class Guide).

Occult Adventures is Paizo's answer to those who desire psychic themed classes and stuff in the game. However, Paizo is not fond of the Power Point system, so Psychic Magic functions just like normal magic does, only it's powered by a different source.

You can download the playtest document, but, be warned, the playtest is already over and many things will likely have changed once the book is released later this year. Still, it functions as a good preview of things to come.


Tels wrote:


Occult Adventures is Paizo's answer to those who desire psychic themed classes and stuff in the game. However, Paizo is not fond of the Power Point system, so Psychic Magic functions just like normal magic does, only it's powered by a different source.

I just got done reading the Occult Adventures thread, and that watered down bastardization of psionics sounds horrible to me. I guess I'll just have to try and find a DM that allows 3rd party stuff.

Manager - The Kessel Run

djones wrote:

Something I'd very much like to see in the book is a re-examination of the interaction between spellcasting and sneak attacks. Right now you get 1 set of sneak dice from scorching ray due to a holdover from 3.5 based upon a ruling for Manyshot, even though Manyshot is a single attack roll and Scorching Ray requires each ray to make it's own attack.

It's understandable that this ruling would carry over and be made in this way, but adding the option of making the Arcane Trickster a lot blastier than it currently is would be a nice shot in the arm for the prestige class. Perhaps rather than having all the rays use the primary attack bonus they could use iterative attacks when targeting more than one enemy? Although that might cause issues for straight arcane casters.

Allowing sneak dice on all the missiles from a Surprise Spells magic missiles would be pretty sweet too and make that an impressive capstone.

My group plays RAW and we allow sneak dice on any attack roll. It is balanced, and works fine. Simply allowing it, is the answer.

Dark Archive

james knowles wrote:
Tels wrote:


Occult Adventures is Paizo's answer to those who desire psychic themed classes and stuff in the game. However, Paizo is not fond of the Power Point system, so Psychic Magic functions just like normal magic does, only it's powered by a different source.

I just got done reading the Occult Adventures thread, and that watered down bastardization of psionics sounds horrible to me. I guess I'll just have to try and find a DM that allows 3rd party stuff.

Or you could wait until you see what the fluff is like. Plus psionics didn't ever allow you to play as a bender from what I remember :p


CorvusMask wrote:
james knowles wrote:
Tels wrote:


Occult Adventures is Paizo's answer to those who desire psychic themed classes and stuff in the game. However, Paizo is not fond of the Power Point system, so Psychic Magic functions just like normal magic does, only it's powered by a different source.

I just got done reading the Occult Adventures thread, and that watered down bastardization of psionics sounds horrible to me. I guess I'll just have to try and find a DM that allows 3rd party stuff.

Or you could wait until you see what the fluff is like. Plus psionics didn't ever allow you to play as a bender from what I remember :p

I understand that the end result may change from the playtest, but I think that the kineticist fails at being a bender. Decent class, but no bender. Also based off the playtest I will always prefer the psion over the psychic. PP just feels better than spell slots.

Contributor

Quote:
Quote:
Or you could wait until you see what the fluff is like. Plus psionics didn't ever allow you to play as a bender from what I remember :p
I understand that the end result may change from the playtest, but I think that the kineticist fails at being a bender. Decent class, but no bender. Also based off the playtest I will always prefer the psion over the psychic. PP just feels better than spell slots.

Personally, I think the kineticist is more Marvel Universe than Avatar. Bending in avatar is equal parts physical and spiritual, and being focused on Constitution rather than Wisdom doesn't help the kineticist capture that feel. In contrast, the kineticist looks great for capturing characters like Human Torch or Ice Man, who really just blast stuff all day long.

But then again, this is coming from the guy who designed a bending class for Liber Influxus Communis, so your milage might vary.

Steering my post back on-topic, I find myself getting more giddy about Unchained rather than Occult Adventures, and I'm crossing my fingers that some of the rules that have been previewed thus far (like the new classes, the fatigue pool for fighters, and the additional skill ranks per level) are legal for Society play. To me, the presence of Unchained suddenly makes the Core Campaign "make sense," so to speak. Meaning that you assume the Core Campaign is core and the standard campaign benefits from the tweaks and changes made by Unchained.

So yeah! Optimistically hopeful.

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