Pathfinder Player Companion: Dirty Tactics Toolbox (PFRPG)

4.60/5 (based on 5 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: Dirty Tactics Toolbox (PFRPG)
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There are those who fight and die honorably, and there are those with pockets full of dirty tricks who live to brawl another day. Embrace the subversive with Dirty Tactics Toolbox, a player-focused manual filled with loads of deliciously devious tips, tricks, and rules options to ensure that your character never has to face a fair fight. Delve into the art of the ambush, research new poisons, and discover ways to enhance your sneak attacks and dirty trick combat maneuvers. And if none of that suits your sly sensibilities, arm yourself with magic that targets your enemy's jugular or turns her sword into an angry snake. Dirty Tactics Toolbox contains everything you need to gain the upper hand and then exploit the advantage mercilessly. Inside this book, you'll find:

  • Tips for using all manner of poisons, including feats that empower envenomed weapons and infuse magic with toxins, plus details on a bevy of new poisons.
  • General and specific tactics for using sneak attacks, plus new feats for characters who specialize in dealing precision damage.
  • Expanded ideas for using the dirty trick combat maneuver, plus ways to combine combat maneuvers with guile and a new combat style for those who admire the cunning kitsune.
  • Options for characters who worship trickster gods, such as manipulative Asmodeus and chaotic Calistria, plus a wasp familiar for the faithful of the Savored Sting.
  • A wide range of new equipment tricks, including novel uses for boots, cloaks, nets, thieves' tools, and wondrous items, plus new equipment, magic armor and weapons, and spells for your crooked arsenal.

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.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-763-5

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

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4.60/5 (based on 5 ratings)

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Good, but not spectacular

3/5

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

Dirty Tactics Toolbox follows in the vein of its predecessor “Toolbox” books: Ranged Tactics Toolbox and Melee Tactics Toolbox. And much like those two other books, I have the same basic issues with it. While it’s a perfectly functional book, there’s not a lot in it that really stands out and is memorable when compared with the vast amount of other options already available in the game. That said, I do think it edges out the previous two books by a small margin by having a few more things that did catch my attention and a few more instances of nicely integrated world flavour.


Tactics Toolbox series keeps getting better

5/5

It started with Melee Tactics Toolbox, then Ranged Tactics Toolbox, now Dirty Tactics Toolbox makes a excellent line turn STELLAR.

When a Player Companion has feat/archetypes/spells that make you want to start a new character JUST TO USE THE OPTIONS, then it is a great one indeed.

A few stand-outs are the Poison spells (a category of spell I thought was previously lacking), Accomplished Sneak Attacker feat (the Boon Companion feat for multiclass rogues and single class slayers), Dirty Fighting feat (as mentioned everywhere, a long waited for alternative to Combat Expertise) and the Monk of the Mantis archetype (monk with sneak attack PLUS options to work with Unchained Monk? Yes Please!!).

And there are a great number of other gems in here (for example the Sapping weapon property and sniping feat of which I forget the exact name).

The only downside is now my expectations for the next Tactics Toolbox are sky high.


A grand success!

5/5

This player companion is to-date my favorite player companion yet. The new format and the new methodology really paid off with this winning design.

The content walks a fine line between too much crunch and too much fluff by having a ton of both and making sure that the fluff options are still good options! The feats and archetypes are rich with character building ideas, setting lore and still great, viable archetypes that stand up well.

Overall, I don't have much to say other than buy this book! Its not just for Rogues, there are plenty of character options for anyone willing to fight a little dirty.


One of the best Player Companions yet

5/5

While I don't want to go into too many details prior to a broader release, the entirety of this book seems designed to enable builds and approaches that have been conventionally undersupported in the Pathfinder ruleset, and it accomplishes its goal admirably. I think this is one of the best purchases I've made in this line, and strongly suggest it for anyone considering playing a character following one of the concepts it focuses on: poison, sniping and sneak attack, dirty tricks, and ambush/surprise rounds.

I'm particularly fond of the additional sniping support, which has been direly needed for some time. The Dirty Fighting combat feat has the potential to steal the show, though, and may become a staple of various combat maneuver builds for years to come. Like most of the options in this book, it's probably not going to be overpowered; it just makes a previously hard-to-build concept be more effective and efficient.


Wily Options for Everyone

5/5

(I'll be intentionally vague on specific items, feats, and spells until the release date)

With Dirty Tactics Toolbox, Paizo has redeemed a number of design choices that arbitrarily limit those who favor stealthy, indirect, or clever approaches over more traditional "hit it with a big sword/spell" tactics. Dirty Tactics has options for virtually everyone, and a lot of the feats, spells, and abilities are less about power creep and more about bringing the less viable options into parity with the default "tetori monk, ragelancepouncebarian, archery ranger" tropes.

Not surprisingly, The book spends significant page count on the Dirty Trick combat maneuver, providing options to make it significantly more viable and interesting. There's even a feat for Swashbucklers (and Amateur Swashbucklers) that makes Dirty Trick pretty good starting from level 1.

Additional attention and love is given to poisoners - casters and mundanes alike - and all are given options to make poisioning... well, less bad. I still think Paizo's unreasonably concerned about making poisoning a valid tactic, but at least now there are a number of options that make poisoning an acceptable, if not optimized choice.

Stealth options are also present in the book, with feats that give rogues a reason to want to crit on their sneak attacks as well as making sniping a more viable strategy.

There are several creative and interesting spells as well. Nothing's too spectacular or "OMG Overpowered", but a number of options continue the book's general theme of making some less-viable character concepts more viable.

As a penultimate note, one particular feat solves a whole host of commonly brought up issues with combat maneuvers. Without getting too detailed, it satisfies many of the more silly prerequisites for combat maneuver feats, as well as lessens the penalty for being untrained in a given combat maneuver. Love the feat, hoping this gets made PFS legal.

Finally, I'd like to call out the Equipment Trick section for providing some genuinely useful equipment tricks - looking at you, Cape and Thieves' Tools. The existing equipment tricks were nothing to write home about, but these you could easily incorporate into any character that would fit the theme.

I heartily recommend this book to anyone who loves making stealth checks, ambushes, combat maneuvers, or who enjoys casting subtle spells. Get this book and help win the table focus back from the boring two-handed strength based types!


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Liz Courts wrote:
Barachiel Shina wrote:

I have a player who loves Roguish characters. He is playing one now, and is happy to see a double doze of Roguish material coming (this book and Heroes of the Streets).

If only "Ultimate Intrigue" were coming soon. He would have made a Vigilante character with the one he has currently but that's the con of TTRPGs...the ever long wait for the materials you need.

If only there might be a way for players and GMs everywhere to have a chance to look at the vigilante class...

I take it either the class is going to be up for playtest soon or there'll be a preview or playtest version coming during GenCon...? :D


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Major_Blackhart wrote:
This is cruel, to get me salivating for some dirty tricks in July and then push it back to August.

In short, quite the dirty trick they pulled on you?


Nuuuu, not August! D: *flails*


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

My Kitsune Ninja is ready!

And my other rogues. And future sneaky types.


I dunno if any specifics have been given about what might be in there, but I am really hoping for a Sorcerer Archetype that gains an innate access to Sneak Attack. Or maybe that gets rogue talents instead of bloodline powers (perhaps from a restricted list). Or both.

Community & Digital Content Director

Final product image and description are up!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

.... is he about to stab that thing where i think he's about to stab that thing?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:
.... is he about to stab that thing where i think he's about to stab that thing?

Well it is called DIRTY Tactics Toolbox after all.


And yes finally Wasp familiars for the followers of Calistria. :)

I have been asking for that forever it seems. :)


Interesting. Equipment tricks make a return.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Matrix Dragon wrote:

Is it bad that I am much more excited about this book now that I've seen that the advertisement for it on the back of the Monster Summoner's Handbook has a two-tailed kitsune? It does make sense that kitsune would get mentioned (or at least get a picture) in a Dirty Tactics book, I'm just surprised that Paizo is actually bothering to acknowledge a Dragon Empires race.

I have a feeling that this is Alexander Augunas' doing ;)

That depends on what you mean by "Alexander Augunas' doing." It was my idea to include some Kitsune stuff, along with a few other "trickster races." But it was absolutely Alex Augunas I contacted as a freelancer to get it written...

We really do pay attention. :)

Yes, you do. Especially since I did NOT write what is strongly appearing to be a kitsune combat style for this book.

I'm just as excited as everyone else to see what that looks like!

Liberty's Edge

Come out quicker! I have feats to plan!


Kitsune combat style? It'll be interesting to see what that is :)

Paizo Employee Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Matrix Dragon wrote:

Is it bad that I am much more excited about this book now that I've seen that the advertisement for it on the back of the Monster Summoner's Handbook has a two-tailed kitsune? It does make sense that kitsune would get mentioned (or at least get a picture) in a Dirty Tactics book, I'm just surprised that Paizo is actually bothering to acknowledge a Dragon Empires race.

I have a feeling that this is Alexander Augunas' doing ;)

That depends on what you mean by "Alexander Augunas' doing." It was my idea to include some Kitsune stuff, along with a few other "trickster races." But it was absolutely Alex Augunas I contacted as a freelancer to get it written...

We really do pay attention. :)

Yes, you do. Especially since I did NOT write what is strongly appearing to be a kitsune combat style for this book.

I'm just as excited as everyone else to see what that looks like!

I named it such in your honor, Alex!

Scarab Sages Developer

John Kretzer wrote:

And yes finally Wasp familiars for the followers of Calistria. :)

I have been asking for that forever it seems. :)

You have. I listened. This was the first place where it was a good fit that I was able to make it happen. (It might have made more sense in Familiar Folio, but for reasons too boring to go into that didn't work.)


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:

And yes finally Wasp familiars for the followers of Calistria. :)

I have been asking for that forever it seems. :)

You have. I listened. This was the first place where it was a good fit that I was able to make it happen. (It might have made more sense in Familiar Folio, but for reasons too boring to go into that didn't work.)

It could have made sense in the Inner Sea gods book or Faiths of Balance also...but I am so happy it could have been included in the Faiths of Law book for all I care.

Scarab Sages Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
John Kretzer wrote:
It could have made sense in the Inner Sea gods book or Faiths of Balance also...

Yes, good point. I was really only referring to books I helped develop, and those were before my tenure here.

John Kretzer wrote:
but I am so happy it could have been included in the Faiths of Law book for all I care.

Glad to hear it!

Liberty's Edge

7 people marked this as a favorite.

"What does the fox say?

"CRUSH YOUR ENEMIES, SEE THEM DRIVEN BEFORE YOU, AND HEAR THE LAMENTATIONS OF THEIR WOMEN!"

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:

And yes finally Wasp familiars for the followers of Calistria. :)

I have been asking for that forever it seems. :)

You have. I listened. This was the first place where it was a good fit that I was able to make it happen. (It might have made more sense in Familiar Folio, but for reasons too boring to go into that didn't work.)

That section was tons of fun to design. The Calistrian [redacted] that gives you a wasp familiar in particular--thanks for the idea, John! (:


Serpent wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:

And yes finally Wasp familiars for the followers of Calistria. :)

I have been asking for that forever it seems. :)

You have. I listened. This was the first place where it was a good fit that I was able to make it happen. (It might have made more sense in Familiar Folio, but for reasons too boring to go into that didn't work.)
That section was tons of fun to design. The Calistrian [redacted] that gives you a wasp familiar in particular--thanks for the idea, John! (:

Well it is not exactly my idea...it has something that has been hinted at before...

But I am happy for more options for Calistria followers...a lot of my characters seem to worship her.


So. Very. Excited.

(But I hope my expectations aren't too high).


Does this book provide a working definition of precision damage? I'm not a fan of defining core rules in non-core material, but so far the only way to figure out what precision damage is is through inference :)

Contributor

Luis Loza wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Matrix Dragon wrote:

Is it bad that I am much more excited about this book now that I've seen that the advertisement for it on the back of the Monster Summoner's Handbook has a two-tailed kitsune? It does make sense that kitsune would get mentioned (or at least get a picture) in a Dirty Tactics book, I'm just surprised that Paizo is actually bothering to acknowledge a Dragon Empires race.

I have a feeling that this is Alexander Augunas' doing ;)

That depends on what you mean by "Alexander Augunas' doing." It was my idea to include some Kitsune stuff, along with a few other "trickster races." But it was absolutely Alex Augunas I contacted as a freelancer to get it written...

We really do pay attention. :)

Yes, you do. Especially since I did NOT write what is strongly appearing to be a kitsune combat style for this book.

I'm just as excited as everyone else to see what that looks like!

I named it such in your honor, Alex!

After its legalized, I might just have to make a kitsune Unchained Monk to celebrate the occasion!

Paizo Employee Developer

Alexander Augunas wrote:
Luis Loza wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Matrix Dragon wrote:

Is it bad that I am much more excited about this book now that I've seen that the advertisement for it on the back of the Monster Summoner's Handbook has a two-tailed kitsune? It does make sense that kitsune would get mentioned (or at least get a picture) in a Dirty Tactics book, I'm just surprised that Paizo is actually bothering to acknowledge a Dragon Empires race.

I have a feeling that this is Alexander Augunas' doing ;)

That depends on what you mean by "Alexander Augunas' doing." It was my idea to include some Kitsune stuff, along with a few other "trickster races." But it was absolutely Alex Augunas I contacted as a freelancer to get it written...

We really do pay attention. :)

Yes, you do. Especially since I did NOT write what is strongly appearing to be a kitsune combat style for this book.

I'm just as excited as everyone else to see what that looks like!

I named it such in your honor, Alex!
After its legalized, I might just have to make a kitsune Unchained Monk to celebrate the occasion!

I was planning to do the same. The fun part about writing officials feats is you can kind of write the feats you would want to play with! :P

Scarab Sages Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Cheapy wrote:
Does this book provide a working definition of precision damage? I'm not a fan of defining core rules in non-core material, but so far the only way to figure out what precision damage is is through inference :)

No, we don't attempt to define core rules in this line. The action table on the inside back cover of Melee Tactics is as close as I think we've ever gotten. If there's going to be a firmer definition of precision damage, it'll be handled by the rules team, i expect in a new product, faq, or errata.

Contributor

Luis Loza wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
After its legalized, I might just have to make a kitsune Unchained Monk to celebrate the occasion!
I was planning to do the same. The fun part about writing officials feats is you can kind of write the feats you would want to play with! :P

Why yes. I know the feeling. >: )


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Gah, throwing my cash and credit card at the screen doesn't work for some reason.


At least you got a feat now.

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
djones wrote:
Gah, throwing my cash and credit card at the screen doesn't work for some reason.

The feels you're feeling? Its worse when you have a pretty good idea of what's in the product, but you have to wait just a teeny bit longer before the surge of excitement that comes with seeing all of the players read what insane things you managed to stuff into said product.

Just a few ... more ... days/weeks!

Contributor

Alexander Augunas wrote:
djones wrote:
Gah, throwing my cash and credit card at the screen doesn't work for some reason.
The feels you're feeling? Its worse when you have a pretty good idea of what's in the product, but you have to wait just a teeny bit longer before the surge of excitement that comes with seeing all of the players read what insane things you managed to stuff into said product.

Seconded.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Alexander Augunas wrote:
djones wrote:
Gah, throwing my cash and credit card at the screen doesn't work for some reason.
The feels you're feeling? Its worse when you have a pretty good idea of what's in the product, but you have to wait just a teeny bit longer before the surge of excitement that comes with seeing all of the players read what insane things you managed to stuff into said product.
donato wrote:
Seconded.

So true. I'm very excited to see this released.


Easily one of the Paizo books I've been most excited about, close with Heroes of the Streets.

All I need to know to start ordering this from my store is whether the Rogue-specific options will be available to the Unchained Rogue.

It would kill me if I found an INT-based Dirty Trick Monk archetype that doesn't work with Unchained Monks, too.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

"Twenty days hath August...", divide by two makes... Close enough, surely? :)


I'm really looking forward to this one. It unfortunately appears to be pushed back, darn. It previously said mid-August and now says September 2nd. After the feat preview from the blog I have a couple PFS characters I'm holding off playing until I can hopefully use this book.


If you want to keep up to date on the status of subscription items in any given month, check out the sticky threads in the Customer Service section.

An example is THIS thread covering subscription items for August.

Specifically, Sara Marie of Customer Service fame mentions a delay in post #9 of that thread (LINKED).


I LOVE how it goes from "early August" to "September 2"...*end sarcasm*

Dark Archive

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Barachiel Shina wrote:
I LOVE how it goes from "early August" to "September 2"...*end sarcasm*

Port delays. Nothing Paizo can do about it, so getting snarky at them is completely misplaced.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Just got my shipping soon email. Hopefully I'll have my pdf soon!

Contributor

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Jack of Dust wrote:
Just got my shipping soon email. Hopefully I'll have my pdf soon!

Shipping should start on Monday, according to Sara Marie. (Praise be to she, who ships the goodness of the golem with the help of her warehouse of minions and raptors.)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Oh, did the cover art change? This new one (big giant chasing two fighters) doesn't really scream 'sneaky stabby tricks in here!' Oh well, still going to order it!
(And just in time for the Summer Sale!)

Paizo Employee Developer

Well, Valeros is stabbing the ogre in the foot while Kess is apparently throwing mud towards its face. Seems pretty dirty to me!


So anybody has the pdf yet?

I really want to know what Calistrians get and of course the Wasp Familiar?

Scarab Sages Developer

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Well, I have my pdf!

For Calistria-specific options, there are two feats.

One is the Trick Spell metamagic feat, that allows you to have single-target enchantment spells also cause the target to attempt to dirty trick itself.

The other is Wasp Familiar, which allows a worshiper of Calistria of any class to gain a cat-sized wasp as a familiar. It normally has statistics similar to a flying greensting scorpion, but if you could already normally gain a familiar and are at least 5th level, it instead has statistics similar to an imp (with an unnatural lust spell-like ability replacing the invisibility spell-like ability).

Liberty's Edge

I haz PDF! (If the post is too detailed/spoileriffic, feel free to edit/delete it)

I'd like to congratulate Owen (and various contributors) on a great player companion. It's honestly my favorite companion yet, probably due to my love of sneaky/agility based tactics.

There's something for everything in the companion, and with one feat you guys solved series of very important long-running issues* and made a number of character concepts possible/feasible

I think you guys are still far too cautious about poison being mistaken for being good, but these poison-related feats are at least playable.

The spells have something for everyone, too, and while I'm still trying to figure out what niche Grease, Greater was trying to fill, I'm really impressed otherwise.

Also, much love for Kitsune Style; very nice, flavorful, and functional.

Issues:

  • Why does my fighter need to be smart to trip someone?
  • Why do I need to be able to punch well in order to grapple someone?
  • Why do all combat maneuvers provoke unless you've burned a feat on the "improved" version?)
  • Nice job!

    Paizo Employee Developer

    DrSwordopolis wrote:

    Also, much love for Kitsune Style; very nice, flavorful, and functional.

    Nice job!

    Glad you like the book! Also, really happy that you enjoy Kitsune Style. While working on it, I was tentatively referring to it as Jackie Chan Style, which didn't stick for obvious reasons.


    Hooray!! PDF's are here.

    Thanks Owen and DRSwordopolis for previews

    Can you please list any archetypes and a short description of each?


    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Kitsune Style details would be awesome! Very curious.

    Liberty's Edge

    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    (Are individual archetype names taboo here?)

    Archetypes:

  • Asmodean Advocate (Cleric) - Very flavorful and has its own associated feat. Hell's lawyer, essentially, provides a use for Profession: Barrister.
  • Kraken Caller (Druid) - Restricted to Besmarans, gives multiple abilities relating to aquatic combat. Lets you grow tentacles!
  • Monk of the Mantis (Monk) - Gives you some sneak attack abilities and makes stunning fist significantly more useful.
  • Reaper of Secrets (Inquisitor) - Norgorber themed inquisitor, has the ability to treat enemies as if they had certain teamwork feats.
  • Toxicant (Alchemist) - Alchemist that can become poisonous a la Grippli poisoned skin. Can harvest their poison for various uses.
  • Untamed Rager (Barbarian) - Dirty Trick Barbar, only archetype that I'm thinking may not make it to PFS legal status.
  • Waylayer (Rogue) - Rogue that focuses heavily on ambushes and going in the surprise round. Probably focused a bit too heavily on ambushes.

  • Liberty's Edge

    I can't be too specific with Kitsune Style because at a certain point I may as well just copy-paste the feats. The style focuses on dirty tricks and staying maneuverable. It eventually grants the ability to apply two conditions with one dirty trick maneuver, which is rather nice. I've got a flowing monk who would love to get his hands on it.


    Oooooohhh. Cool. Thanks!

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