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


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


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!


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


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


(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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2 people marked this as a favorite.
karlbadmannersV2 wrote:
I really wish the people who submit reviews would come back down to Earth a bit. I appreciate them taking the time and resources to acquire the books for review, but these reviews for the Companion splat books are out of control. Singing the highest praises and gushing about how amazing it is, is just such an over the top reaction. Yes I like the book too, but I'm not planning on having children with it! ;)

As the only person (so far) to give the book less than 5 stars, I have to say I don't understand your complaint. People liked the book, and they wrote reviews saying so. That's kind of the point. I don't really see anything over the top about them.

Dark Archive

Get a print copy or the (atm price-reduced) pdf, if you like combat maneuvers!
It's a good book imo.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

At the way these Tactics books are selling out, Paizo is missing out by not doing an Ultimate Tactics type hardcover.

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Brother Fen wrote:
At the way these Tactics books are selling out, Paizo is missing out by not doing an Ultimate Tactics type hardcover.

I would buy this in a heartbeat!

Elorebaen wrote:
Brother Fen wrote:
At the way these Tactics books are selling out, Paizo is missing out by not doing an Ultimate Tactics type hardcover.
I would buy this in a heartbeat!

Me too! I don't own this one (may remedy that in the near future) but all the others are in my collection.

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