Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Races (PFRPG)

3.20/5 (based on 13 ratings)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Races (PFRPG)
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Peoples and Powers!

The peoples of the Pathfinder Campaign Setting have raised empires, mastered the greatest secrets of magic, and explored their world and beyond. Now delve into their histories, cultures, and powers with Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Races! Inside this book, you'll find details on all the major races that shape the Inner Sea region, from elves and dwarves to celestial-touched aasimars and subterranean drow, along with new details on a variety of rare and mysterious populations. Dive into this tome of secrets and discover:

  • In-depth discussions of the natures, histories, and cultures of all seven core races—including 12 different human ethnicities—plus races like the maniacal goblins, crow-headed tengu, fiend-blooded tieflings, and more!
  • New feats, spells, magic items, armor, and weapons for characters of all the races commonly found in the Inner Sea region.
  • A summary of the rules for building a character of any featured race, as well as alternate heritages for races with diverse origins.
  • Character traits to help you get the most out of your character's cultural history, beliefs, and backstory.
  • Glimpses of rare races hardly ever seen in the Inner Sea region!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-722-2

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Great resource on Golarion races

4/5

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

Overall, Inner Sea Races is a very good and useful book. The first three chapters contain a wealth of information about the various races inhabiting the Inner Sea region, and although some of this information comes from previously published books, much of it has been updated and expanded upon. Importantly, it compiles all this information into one easy-to-reference book. The fourth chapter is the weakest part of the book, but there is still much in the chapter that is useful to people creating characters for the setting. The book is already a frequently referenced source for my own games and is likely to be for many other people’s games as well.


Filler, teamwork feats, repeated material, and teamwork feats.

1/5

I'm kind of iffy on buying fluff. I really don't like material I've seen before. This book is fluff that we've seen before.

The fluff isn't even that good. It's kind of bland, generic, stuff that's repeated elsewhere. There's no depth to it.

When it comes to the crunch it's teamwork feats, teamwork feats, teamwork feats... Almost NINETY PERCENT of the feats are teamwork feats. Teamwork feats start as problematic because you need someone else to take them, they get worse because they've been balanced for class features that are going to take them for free.
They're even WORSE for a race book, because you need a veritable celestial alignment of someone else with the feat AND the right positioning AND with the same build AND the same race as you.

With all the untapped potential for race related feats THATS what gets added in as crunch? You couldn't even think of one non teamwork feat per race?


INNER SEA HUMANS is more like it - Disappointing!

2/5

GOOD:
For people that don´t have the partly sold out Player Companions "xxx of Golarion", this book offers a brief overview of the different races that populate the "Inner Sea" and their history.

BAD:
This book does a very poor job of compiling all the great information from the 32 pages Player Companions into one source.
Humans get by far the most pages, with some other races barely getting mentioned. Also there is 90% flavor and 10% rules in here, of which most are unusable.

UGLY:
This book is not worth $45 or $32 for the pdf.

If you´ll buy the "Elves of Golarion" pdf for $6.99,
"Dwarves of Golarion" pdf for $7.99,
"Gnomes of Golarion" pdf for $7.99,
"Halflings of Golarion" pdf for $7.99 and
"Humans of Golarion" pdf for $7.99, you will get much more flavor and crunch.
The Players Companion: "Humans of Golarion" alone covers about a third of this Hardcover in it´s 32 pages.

I thought this volume would compile the most important parts of the 10 Players Companions (Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs, Halflings, Humans, Goblins, Blood of Fiends, Blood of Angels & Kobolds) into one volume, but it doesn´t.


Inferior to i.e. Humans of Golarion

1/5

and thus not worth buying. If you want the crunch, you can find it for free on PF crunch websites.

In other respects, all the changed in descriptive flavor (the things upon which role-playing is based) are actually steps backwards from previous products, such as Humans of Golarion.

Which is to say: this product is actually counter-productive. It actively makes the game worse. It indeed contributes to lack of RPing in the hobby, because the focus of the changes became what was fashionable in the current year. But nobody really needs a guide that caters to their own ideology; people who are going to play their own opinions out rather than immerse themselves in a fantasy mindeset can do it without a guide.

They will probably still buy it for confirming their views. I do concede there is some entertainment value in that sense. But for people interested in RPing in a fantasy sense, you are much, much better off simply buying the earlier race guides, which are still available, and giving this one a pass.


Great background and really glad it's not full of crunch

5/5

I had cut down on my Pathfinder purchases a lot because the volume of crunch is, to my mind, becoming pointless. Pathfinder Campaign Setting material is often the main exception to that and this is a great hardback, full of considerable detail on a great many races.

As others have pointed out, humans get a lot of coverage, but it doesn't feel like a bad idea, to me; they make up the substantial majority of playable individuals in Golarion, and have the most variety (on account of being so dominant over the Inner Sea), and as this isn't a bumper book of crunch--which I'd absolutely not have bought, anyway--then to my mind it makes a lot of sense.

Stuff like this is, in my opinion, where Paizo really excels. I get that the crunch-monster needs to be fed, but for many of me that obscures what I really liked about Paizo in the first place, which is that they make really engaging campaign material.


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Is there anything on the Tengu in this book? How about fluff on their presence outside Tian Xia?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Tengu get a few paragraphs of info in the Dragon Empires section. They also get a trait, a (non-teamwork) feat, and an alternate racial trait. They have at least one magic item.

Scarab Sages

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An additional point. I really disagree with the idea that the summaries of ethnic identities are for new players. I have been playing this game for a very long time, and had never put much thought into how other people would view a Garundi. Great part for both players and GMs.

I have been wondering for a while how Paizo would continue to grow the game without adding too many rules. It seems to me that books like this are just about perfect. A few rules to translate story to game impact, but mostly just world building. The more I read in this book, the more I like it.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
KingmanHighborn wrote:

If the ethnicities can/could be applied over all races in the books there might not be as much hate, and we do need a dog/wolf race and maybe a Lapine/Rabbit race. But that's neither here nor there.

The big problem with human-centric is many fold, 64 pages of hairless vanilla monkeys is a lot. When other races get 2 pages or less then a paragraph. Especially when humans have since the very beginning got 95% of the Pathfinder coverage. Then you look at what role humans play. 9/10 they are cannon fodder/monster food, or the mastermind BBEG. The 1 out of 10 humans are generally the named NPCs that either hand out quests or are speed bump villains. The PC human is generally in the minority of party composition for most gaming groups. (Our group only had one guy that even played the race.) Yet we are supposed to believe they are over 9 tenths of Golarion's humanoid population. So not only are they over saturated, but by and large just numbers alone they out number the races that are supposed to be the endless hordes like the orcs and goblins.

If they had those numbers then you have to look at either the breeding out of or given human nature the far more likely genocidal removal of every Elf, Dwarf, Gnome, all the way to the rarest of rare races within two generations. Humans are also stupidly overpowered/overly flexible in the mechanics of the game, with some of (if not across all classes) the best racial FC bonuses. A racial feat with more potential for abuse then even Leadership, and so many other annoy things.

So TLDR a lot of the hate of the human-centric stuff is the race is already getting the very best of the best, and yet they are generic, boring, oversaturated, over covered, and it feels like the race is really PUSHED on people whether they want them or not and those who play the game to ESCAPE being human in the real world.

Or for an even easier TLDR read this: http://horizonwalking.blogspot.com/2014/03/orthoss-observations-humans.html

I will agree that a dog/wolf race or even a rabbit race would be nice. It isn't needed. but it would be nice.

As for the rest, well .. this is the Inner Sea Races. The main portion of the races of the Inner Sea are humans, in all their infinite glory. Humans usually get a lot of attention in not only Pathfinder but in a wide assortment of RPGs and sci-fi/fantasy work. They thrive in Star Trek even though other races have powers that they don't. They appear to thrive in Star Wars, despite not being cool colored or furry.

I will say that the derogatory language about humans is where the blowback comes in from posters. If someone said that they are tired of meow meow kitty kitty cat people, you'd hear people howling for blood. Tired of the continued harping about kitsune and their tails, you'd have people asking for your head. It's cool to slam humans and/or the core races. It's the in thing to say that they are boring, that there is nothing to do with them, that the more exotic races are oh so much more interesting because .. well, they just are, right?

Constantin Stanislavski remarked that "there are no small parts, only small actors". I'd adjust that for gaming to read "There are no boring races, only boring players." Having fur or fangs or a really long bushy tail or fins doesn't make you interesting, doesn't make your character any more or less than a dwarf, or a human, or whatever else.

It is perfectly OK to prefer other races, but it isn't OK to say that the others are boring . I for one am thankful that there is ANY material at all about the less common races. It could have been a design choice to only mention them in passing and give nothing more than a few mechanics scattered across a few books about them.


CaladanCid wrote:

An additional point. I really disagree with the idea that the summaries of ethnic identities are for new players. I have been playing this game for a very long time, and had never put much thought into how other people would view a Garundi. Great part for both players and GMs.

I have been wondering for a while how Paizo would continue to grow the game without adding too many rules. It seems to me that books like this are just about perfect. A few rules to translate story to game impact, but mostly just world building. The more I read in this book, the more I like it.

I agree with you completely. I'm one of those people who almost never plays humans, but this book has me rethinking that. The descriptions of the human ethnicities did a lot to replace the "vanilla human" image that I had in my mind. And I definitely liked the "If you are a ___, you likely..." and "Others probably..." sidebars.

And I have to say that I enjoyed the "fluff" to "crunch" ratio. For once I wasn't just skimming through looking for the best new mechanics. Just reading the sections one-by-one was a nice change of pace. I do still love the crunchfest books, but once in a while it is nice to have the focus on the roleplaying aspect of the game. And while there may not be a huge emphasis on mechanical options, there are quite a few traits and feats that I really like.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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I think there are some players that lean on race/class to define their characters than others.

By which I mean, it you have a 'race of warriors' (Klingons) in your setting, there's going to be some people who will only make Klingon Barbarians - because if they're playing a fight-y type, they want to use the fight-y race. Even though you could make a human barbarian too.

I'd think that the human ethnicities would be actually great for these players - because it means you can play a Spartan, and not just a Klingon. But if you've already decided humans are boring, you'll never look.


Ross Byers wrote:


By which I mean, it you have a 'race of warriors' (Klingons) in your setting, there's going to be some people who will only make Klingon Barbarians - because if they're playing a fight-y type, they want to use the fight-y race. Even though you could make a human barbarian too.

And the others players want to make counterculture characters, like a Klingoon investigator or a klingon pacifist healer. As human are good in everthing, they can´t make their loved odd ducks.

I don´t believe it, as odd combinations are very possible, Varisians Paladins, Ulfen Wizards, Vudran Skaldi, Chelaxian Barbarians, etc, are allways special snowflakes.


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MMCJawa wrote:
I was fine with and enjoyed the coverage of the human ethnicities. If I have any complaints it's that we didn't get more treatment of the existing non-human ethnicities. It would have been nice if the Ekujae Elves, or the Pahmet dwarves, got there own two page or something entries. Also didn't really much care for the amount of space being spent on half-races, which don't have their own culture and tended to end up being a bit repetitive because of that.

Well to me it'd of been so much better if they had 2 pages of human coverage, and then spread the 62 pages ethnicity stuff over EVERY race in the Inner Sea. But in that light the Ekujae Elves and Pahmet dwarves should get coverage too, if that much detail is going to be locked to one race that already has everything.

knightnday wrote:

I will agree that a dog/wolf race or even a rabbit race would be nice. It isn't needed. but it would be nice.

As for the rest, well .. this is the Inner Sea Races. The main portion of the races of the Inner Sea are humans, in all their infinite glory. Humans usually get a lot of attention in not only Pathfinder but in a wide assortment of RPGs and sci-fi/fantasy work. They thrive in Star Trek even though other races have powers that they don't. They appear to thrive in Star Wars, despite not being cool colored or furry.

Well I'll admit, in this context 'need' and 'want' are interchangeable.

They do get a lot of attention, and that's why there are people clamoring to see them less, and the other races get a chance at the spotlight, as it is, humans get the sun while halflings, dwarves, and elves, and half races are equivalently in a basement with one 40 watt bulb flickering on and off. That's not to even compare the other non core races. I see the point on Trek and Wars, but thriving and dominating EVERYTHING are two different things. The human populace of the Federation doesn't own 95%+ of the known galaxy for example.

knightnday wrote:

I will say that the derogatory language about humans is where the blowback comes in from posters. If someone said that they are tired of meow meow kitty kitty cat people, you'd hear people howling for blood. Tired of the continued harping about kitsune and their tails, you'd have people asking for your head. It's cool to slam humans and/or the core races. It's the in thing to say that they are boring, that there is nothing to do with them, that the more exotic races are oh so much more interesting because .. well, they just are, right?

I for one am thankful that there is ANY material at all about the less common races. It could have been a design choice to only mention them in passing and give nothing more than a few mechanics scattered across a few books about them.

In that you are right I should lay off the 'monkey' stuff. But I have heard people on these forums bash 'xfolk race' or ban this race, ban that race it's overpowered, it's a furry ewww, or Paizo should kill off 'x' race. (That one got deleted though as I can't find it anymore.) To me personally humans are boring, the same way I personally find Superman boring, they get it all, best at everything, no real believable threats,(Worldwound maybe?) Etc. The only thing it seems that keeps humans from being 100% on Golarion is other humans. (Which is generally the generic fluff of Orcs in Fantasy, if they ever united yada yada unstoppable, but the inverse is more truthful.) If presented as a united front there isn't a place unconquerable on the map, Kyonin (Elf), 5 Kings Mountains (Dwarf), Hold of Belkzen (Orc), none of those places could possibly hold out.

And speaking of Elves, as example I guarantee you story wise it won't be an elf that takes out a big bad like Treerazer, it'll be a human with a special sword that after the big bad has slaughtered all the 'helpless' elves will 'bop' the monster and big bad is dead. Hooray the human. The only non-human, major protagonist in a D&D or Pathfinder novel series was Tanis, Drizzt, and Varian Jeggare. (And admittedly Cattie Brie, Artemis and Wulfgar are all really well done human characters. The Dragonlance ones...eh...I don't hate them but I mean Fizban isn't really a human either.)

Draco Bahamut wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:


By which I mean, it you have a 'race of warriors' (Klingons) in your setting, there's going to be some people who will only make Klingon Barbarians - because if they're playing a fight-y type, they want to use the fight-y race. Even though you could make a human barbarian too.

And the others players want to make counterculture characters, like a Klingoon investigator or a klingon pacifist healer. As human are good in everthing, they can´t make their loved odd ducks.

I don´t believe it, as odd combinations are very possible, Varisians Paladins, Ulfen Wizards, Vudran Skaldi, Chelaxian Barbarians, etc, are allways special snowflakes.

And yet I've seen people get hammered because they want to play the counter culture. "Oh no Dwarves can't/shouldn't be Wizards or Sorcerers. They should only be Clerics or Fighters." Or "Halflings can only be rogues" cause god forbid someone wants to play an agile yet very angry short fella with a big axe.

That said, I'm with the person that would like to play the Ulfen Sylph, I'd welcome that character concept to my table.

Project Manager

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KingmanHighborn wrote:
To me personally humans are boring ... The only thing it seems that keeps humans from being 100% on Golarion is other humans.

<wry>

You realize that this is a company filled with history buffs, right? Like, dude, you have a right to your opinion, but no one on the creative staff is going to be swayed by that argument. :-)


Jessica Price wrote:
KingmanHighborn wrote:
To me personally humans are boring ... The only thing it seems that keeps humans from being 100% on Golarion is other humans.

<wry>

You realize that this is a company filled with history buffs, right? Like, dude, you have a right to your opinion, but no one on the creative staff is going to be swayed by that argument. :-)

I'm a history buff too, which is probably why I'm so jaded and slightly misanthropic.

Anyway I'll try to back off on the anti-human and focus more the pro everything else.


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I wouldn't mind a greater focus on various non-human ethnicities both in terms of art and flavor. I only play on the boards, and it would be nice if there were more options for non-white, non human avatar pictures. It's hard out there for dark complexed dwarves. I think it's great that there are non-European looking human choices for avatars (I link that directly to Paizo's work to have a wide range of human ethnicities), but more could be done vis-a-vis representation.


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KingmanHighborn wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
I was fine with and enjoyed the coverage of the human ethnicities. If I have any complaints it's that we didn't get more treatment of the existing non-human ethnicities. It would have been nice if the Ekujae Elves, or the Pahmet dwarves, got there own two page or something entries. Also didn't really much care for the amount of space being spent on half-races, which don't have their own culture and tended to end up being a bit repetitive because of that.
Well to me it'd of been so much better if they had 2 pages of human coverage, and then spread the 62 pages ethnicity stuff over EVERY race in the Inner Sea. But in that light the Ekujae Elves and Pahmet dwarves should get coverage too, if that much detail is going to be locked to one race that already has everything.

Just want to chime in and say that these two suggestions would have made the book much more interesting to me personally. With a few rare exceptions, the other races seem strangely homogeneous compared to the cultural diversity of humans in Golarion.

I also agree in that I'd love to see more variety in how non-human races are portrayed. I found it was really hard to find artwork that depicted a male Garundi or Kelesh half-elf, for example.

Dark Archive

So got this game and yaaaaay vudrani entry uses polytheism word correctly! This is best thing ever :D

...I have weird priorities. Anyway, yeah, race info stuff is awesome and nice they as bonus have small info on more obscure races. Its nice to get some idea where the advanced race builder races can be found and I like the expanded reincarnation table. Lot of stuff I like, like details on gnome bleaching and stuff, too much stuff to say all of things I like

Dark Archive

This book compiles a lot of previous material into a single source. For those that get every player companion or campaign setting book it may very well be duplicative but for those who like to have things condensed into a single resource or...heaven forbid...NOT use the PFRPG rules but some other system this book represents a wealth of Golarian knowledge.

If you combine this book with the Campaign Setting all you need to do is add your favorite rules system and you've got the Golarian RPG:).

Dark Archive

Where are some of heritage pictures from anyway? .-. I don't recognize/remember wyrwood and wyvaran picture from anywhere, Trox one I guess is from advanced race guide? Need to check if its that one or different one

Grand Lodge

B4 and ARG respectively

Dark Archive

Umm, no, I just checked, art for those three aren't(I don't recognize gathlain or kasatha mugshots either, but kasatha to me understanding have art in more books than those two and I'd imagine there is a lot of fey art) from B4 or ARG, but I have hard time believing that they would have made new mugshots for those ones ._.; But I guess they have to be new since I have no clue where else they could be from.

Grand Lodge

CorvusMask wrote:
Umm, no, I just checked, art for those three aren't(I don't recognize gathlain or kasatha mugshots either, but kasatha to me understanding have art in more books than those two and I'd imagine there is a lot of fey art) from B4 or ARG, but I have hard time believing that they would have made new mugshots for those ones ._.; But I guess they have to be new since I have no clue where else they could be from.

Whoops, sorry I misread. I thought you meant where were the races from.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
CorvusMask wrote:
Where are some of heritage pictures from anyway? .-. I don't recognize/remember wyrwood and wyvaran picture from anywhere, Trox one I guess is from advanced race guide? Need to check if its that one or different one

I know at least some of the portraits seem to have been newly commissioned (possibly also the suli and triaxian, while some were definitely re-used. So it's quite possible those are in fact new. The trox one definitely isn't from the Advanced Race Guide, that one was this.

Edit: Kind of hoping to run across the original sized image for several of those, actually.


Ok, the minimum caster level to make the spells Lost Locale and Lost Passage permanent seems to be missing. Any idea what that would be?


Can a half-elf or half-orc have an ethnicity since they are considered full humans and can select human rules elements. I'm particularly curious about whether they can select an ethnicity and then get access to the race traits on pages 195-6.

Project Manager

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Don't see why not: ethnicity is cultural.


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Jessica Price wrote:
Don't see why not: ethnicity is cultural.

So if they are merely cultural then could a dwarf or ratfolk character also select an ethnicity from this book? I ask because the book often refers them as "human ethnicities" which suggests that these ethnicities were only available to humans.

I thought that half-elves and half-orcs might qualify as human for this purpose, but I wasn't sure since the book doesn't specify whether the ability to select an ethnicity is like a racial trait (such as the bonus feat that humans can get but the hybrids can't) or is more like a race trait which is available to the half-humans.

I find the ethnicities interesting, but I can't figure out how they fit in to the already existing rules elements.


Oh well, I always knew character description was meant to be purely mechanical. When I get to the table, my character is his abilities, equipment, and faction. I don't like that fact, I'd like my characters to be more grounded in the world of Golarion, but I'm willing to keep accepting that it's pointless to add extra fluff to my Organized Play characters in exchange for not paying $32 for a PDF that doesn't make the flavor more crunchy.

Edit: Call that cynical of me, but let's face it, tournament-style play just doesn't allow for much more than MMORPG playstyle. The book might be more useful for APs perhaps.

Paizo Employee Developer

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D6-shooter wrote:

Oh well, I always knew character description was meant to be purely mechanical. When I get to the table, my character is his abilities, equipment, and faction. I don't like that fact, I'd like my characters to be more grounded in the world of Golarion, but I'm willing to keep accepting that it's pointless to add extra fluff to my Organized Play characters in exchange for not paying $32 for a PDF that doesn't make the flavor more crunchy.

Edit: Call that cynical of me, but let's face it, tournament-style play just doesn't allow for much more than MMORPG playstyle. The book might be more useful for APs perhaps.

That's certainly one approach to take to the organized play program, though it's not the one I'd recommend personally. The "tournament-style play" you reference suggests some level of competition; whether that's the head-to-head clash of a tabletop miniatures wargaming event or an involved points-based scoring system associated with hitting numerous goals during a module (e.g. the tournament version of The Ghost Tower of Inverness). These are great games. They're also formats that facilitate one player or team definitively declaring that they did better than another player or team.

The purpose of the Pathfinder Society organized play program—for both the roleplaying game and the Adventure Card Game—isn't to beat someone else; it's to have fun. Mechanics certainly play into that experience, but so do bouts of dice-less roleplaying, exploration of the campaign setting, and the joy of devising creative solutions. I think that the more someone participates in Pathfinder Society, the more they learn how varied and wonderful the international gaming community really is.


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For any future errata:

Inner Sea Races Page 210 wrote:

Disinterested Observer: Elves who

frequently interact with shorter- lived species, especially members who hail from Varisia, often come to rely on their ability to weight out such impatient races.

I'm pretty sure that should be "wait."

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Gisher wrote:

For any future errata:

Inner Sea Races Page 210 wrote:

Disinterested Observer: Elves who

frequently interact with shorter- lived species, especially members who hail from Varisia, often come to rely on their ability to weight out such impatient races.
I'm pretty sure that should be "wait."

This discussion is getting heavy.


Quote:

Comprehensive Education: Humans raised with

skilled teachers draw upon vast swathes of knowledge
gained over centuries of civilization. They gain all
Knowledge skills as class skills, and they gain a +1 racial
bonus on skill checks for each Knowledge skill that they
gain as a class skill from their class levels.
This racial
trait replaces skilled.

This could have been worded a wee bit better, as written this is crazy good.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I don't see that it's "crazy" good. The best beneficiaries are classes like bards and wizards, who get the equivalent of ten extra skill points in preset skills, and in exchange, they have to give up twenty freely placeable skill points. With other classes, the benefit VERY rapidly goes way way down. I certainly wouldn't take it on every character.


Samy wrote:
I don't see that it's "crazy" good. The best beneficiaries are classes like bards and wizards, who get the equivalent of ten extra skill points in preset skills, and in exchange, they have to give up twenty freely placeable skill points. With other classes, the benefit VERY rapidly goes way way down. I certainly wouldn't take it on every character.

The thing is the wording seems to imply that the Racial Bonus applies to all "Skill Checks" not just Knowledge skills. Even if you rule that each +1 is a separate bonus, Racial Bonuses are one of the few bonus types that explicitly stack with each other.

Contributor

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Samy wrote:
I don't see that it's "crazy" good. The best beneficiaries are classes like bards and wizards, who get the equivalent of ten extra skill points in preset skills, and in exchange, they have to give up twenty freely placeable skill points. With other classes, the benefit VERY rapidly goes way way down. I certainly wouldn't take it on every character.

Read it again; like Deadkitten says, that treat currently says that you get a +1 bonus on ALL skill checks per Knowledge skill that your class gives you as a class skill. So if you're a bard and have ten Knowledge skills as class skills, you'd get a +10 on ALL skill checks.

Obviously, the problem is that the trait has a typo in it. Instead of "a +1 racial bonus on skill checks for each Knowledge skill..." it should read, "a +1 racial bonus on skill checks made with each Knowledge skill...."

Sorry if this offends, Deadkitten, but you'd have to be absolutely bonkers to allow that trait as written at your table. :-P

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

The "for" in the sentence does not stand for "per", and no sane individual would insist that it was meant that way. It stands for "to use in", as in "here's a sword for fighting". So it essentially reads "+1 racial bonus on skill checks to use in each Knowledge class skill".

The other interpretation is so ludicrous that it makes no sense whatsoever to dwell on it. Occam's razor here, people. Geez.


Alexander Augunas wrote:
Samy wrote:
I don't see that it's "crazy" good. The best beneficiaries are classes like bards and wizards, who get the equivalent of ten extra skill points in preset skills, and in exchange, they have to give up twenty freely placeable skill points. With other classes, the benefit VERY rapidly goes way way down. I certainly wouldn't take it on every character.

Read it again; like Deadkitten says, that treat currently says that you get a +1 bonus on ALL skill checks per Knowledge skill that your class gives you as a class skill. So if you're a bard and have ten Knowledge skills as class skills, you'd get a +10 on ALL skill checks.

Obviously, the problem is that the trait has a typo in it. Instead of "a +1 racial bonus on skill checks for each Knowledge skill..." it should read, "a +1 racial bonus on skill checks made with each Knowledge skill...."

Sorry if this offends, Deadkitten, but you'd have to be absolutely bonkers to allow that trait as written at your table. :-P

No problem. :)

I know its obviously a typo, I just was skimming Inner Sea Races and found it.

And to whether or not this would ever be allowed at tables I play at, sadly it just depends on what kinda mood the DM is in. My group tends toward high powered gestalt so this is hardly a crazy thing for them.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just got this book today. Love it. After reading the elf and gnome sections, I got a 100% better understanding of those races motivations and behaviour. Which is good as a GM.

Liberty's Edge

Alexander Augunas wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Is it just me, or is PDF more expensive than usual?

It is a hardback book that is not in the main Pathfinder RPG line. Inner Sea Gods was similarly expensive.

To iterate more on this, the price for Inner Sea Races PDF is industry-standard. The Core Rules PDFs get a heavy discount (aka the $10 price tag) because Paizo wants to assure that you have a cheap way to pick up their core rules. (Plus charging $30 for the rules doesn't make sense when you personally host all of their contents online for free). The Inner Sea World Guide is likewise reduced in price because its the core rulebook for the Inner Sea campaign setting. Inner Sea Gods and Inner Sea Races, on the other hand, aren't core rulebooks for anything.

Its better to think of the Core Rulebook line as having a special, discounted PDF (which it does) rather than think of Inner Sea Races as being more expensive.

What doesn't make sense to me, though, is that you can buy the actual hardcover for less than the PDF if you venture outside paizo.com. I'd imagine that means that Paizo has priced the PDF higher on their website than the wholesale price of the hardcover book. That doesn't seem right to me since the production costs for PDFs are lower.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
freeAgent wrote:
That doesn't seem right to me since the production costs for PDFs are lower.

Print costs are actually the smallest part of publishing costs, according to Paizo.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Book costs factors, in descending order: art, art, art, words, more art, editing, layout, misc. art (trade dress/fonts/etc), printing. Except for the very last, PDFs and print editions share every of them, not to mention PDFs having the whole "compile the file, add bookmarks, check for hiccups, make sure it works on Win/iOS/'droid/Amiga" step print books don't have.

Liberty's Edge

This product reminds me of a magic item I created for RPG Superstar a few years ago:

Ghoran Snaps
Aura faint transmutation; CL 5th
Slot none; Price 3,000 gp; Weight -
Description
These tasty wafers bestow a +1 competence bonus to all knowledge checks made by the consumer for 1d4 minutes for each wafer ingested. Untrained knowledge checks are allowed for the duration of this bonus. Each ingestion is a standard action and the bonuses and durations are cumulative.

As an outward manifestation of the ugly hearts in the Geb necromancers whose undead minions harvest the sentient ghoran used in baking this treat, the consumer also receives a -1 penalty to all charisma based skill checks for each wafer ingested in a day for the remainder of that day.

These wafers are extremely delicious. After ingesting one, a will save (DC 15 plus 1 for each wafer ingested in that day) must be made to overcome the urge to ingest another in the next round.

If more than 5 wafers are ingested in a day, the consumer receives a permanent loss of one charisma point due to an ugly facial distortion. Ghoran Snaps come in a bag of 15 wafers.
Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Gentile Repose, creator must have 5 ranks in knowledge(cooking); Cost 1,500 gp

P. 184/5 of core rule book


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
marv wrote:
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Gentile Repose, creator must have 5 ranks in knowledge(cooking); Cost 1,500 gp

I never knew there were Jews on Golarion...live and learn!

Liberty's Edge

Luthorne wrote:
marv wrote:
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Gentile Repose, creator must have 5 ranks in knowledge(cooking); Cost 1,500 gp
I never knew there were Jews on Golarion...live and learn!

Lmao. And those who aren't, apparently, like to rest a lot.

Liberty's Edge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
freeAgent wrote:
That doesn't seem right to me since the production costs for PDFs are lower.
Print costs are actually the smallest part of publishing costs, according to Paizo.

I would never deny that, but they are much greater than the cost of a PDF. That's my point. The book costs less than the PDF.

Liberty's Edge

Gorbacz wrote:
Book costs factors, in descending order: art, art, art, words, more art, editing, layout, misc. art (trade dress/fonts/etc), printing. Except for the very last, PDFs and print editions share every of them, not to mention PDFs having the whole "compile the file, add bookmarks, check for hiccups, make sure it works on Win/iOS/'droid/Amiga" step print books don't have.

All of those extra steps for a PDF must be done roughly once by a human. PDFs don't have "check to make sure the printer, cutter, binder, etc. didn't mess up" issues, which are ongoing. Given how many PDFs Paizo sells, the cost of adding bookmarks is negligible on a per-PDF basis. You do NOT have to check for compatibility on Win/iOS/Android. It's a PDF. A PDF is a PDF is a PDF. If it's properly formed, any proper PDF reader will handle it on any platform. I can almost guarantee you that Paizo does not check for PDF compatibility on every single possible reader.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
freeAgent wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
freeAgent wrote:
That doesn't seem right to me since the production costs for PDFs are lower.
Print costs are actually the smallest part of publishing costs, according to Paizo.
I would never deny that, but they are much greater than the cost of a PDF. That's my point. The book costs less than the PDF.

I don't see how. The PDF still requires everything else and more to be published. The production costs really aren't that much lower, so the slight discount on PDF pricing actually matches reality.

Liberty's Edge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
freeAgent wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
freeAgent wrote:
That doesn't seem right to me since the production costs for PDFs are lower.
Print costs are actually the smallest part of publishing costs, according to Paizo.
I would never deny that, but they are much greater than the cost of a PDF. That's my point. The book costs less than the PDF.
I don't see how. The PDF still requires everything else and more to be published. The production costs really aren't that much lower, so the slight discount on PDF pricing actually matches reality.

You don't see how what? There is no discount on the PDF. It's actually priced higher than the book (from a particular source other than Paizo.com). Assuming that source is not taking a loss on every book sold, that means that the wholesale cost of the physical book is lower than the retail cost of the PDF here (there is no wholesale PDF price because Paizo is the only retailer). For all other books I have purchased, the book has been more expensive than the PDF. That is not the case for Inner Sea Races, and it bothers me. I still see no justification for why the PDF is priced as it is.

If someone can demonstrate how the average cost of production of a PDF is actually higher than the average cost of production of a physical copy of this book, then I will change my opinion. Nobody has done that, and I doubt anyone will.


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If you don't like the price, find another retailer or don't buy it. I'm rather weary of seeing the price complaints in a Product Discussion thread. How about you take it up with Customer Service or someone else who can actually do something about it?!

Liberty's Edge

Fourshadow wrote:
If you don't like the price, find another retailer or don't buy it. I'm rather weary of seeing the price complaints in a Product Discussion thread. How about you take it up with Customer Service or someone else who can actually do something about it?!

At least one Paizo employee favorited a comment responding to me but has chosen to remain silent on the matter. I know Paizo employees have seen these posts, and they frequently respond in these threads. This is not a customer service issue. This is a product pricing issue.

I also wouldn't complain here if there were other outlets selling Paizo PDFs, but Paizo retains a monopoly on PDF distribution for their content. That's fine, but it means that when their pricing is out of line, I have no options other than to suck it up and buy it or to do without material for a game that I enjoy. I like PDFs and I don't pirate material. I've given Paizo a lot of business, but if pricing like this continues, it will stop.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
freeAgent wrote:
Fourshadow wrote:
If you don't like the price, find another retailer or don't buy it. I'm rather weary of seeing the price complaints in a Product Discussion thread. How about you take it up with Customer Service or someone else who can actually do something about it?!
At least one Paizo employee favorited a comment responding to me but has chosen to remain silent on the matter. I know Paizo employees have seen these posts, and they frequently respond in these threads. This is not a customer service issue. This is a product pricing issue.

This is not a Product Price thread, though. It is to discuss the content, not the price. I would greatly appreciate it if you would take it elsewhere.

Liberty's Edge

Fourshadow wrote:
This is not a Product Price thread, though. It is to discuss the content, not the price. I would greatly appreciate it if you would take it elsewhere.

This thread is titled "Product Discussion", which does not specify content. I thought I would be doing Paizo a favor by not leaving a poor review of this product due to its price. I'm trying to actually get an answer and/or justification rather than simply leaving a bad review (I have already purchased the PDF).

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

freeAgent, it seems like you haven't thought through how book pricing works;

Many sellers of physical books will reduce the cost over time. Even if that means they sell it for less than they paid... they are then still taking less of a loss than if they never sold it at all & lost display / storage space retaining it indefinitely.

Paizo doesn't have to 'buy' the books they produce from themselves and doesn't have to worry about display space for their stores. Thus, they generally keep the price fixed at the original level until a book gets really old - at which point they include it in one of their inventory clearance sales.

PDFs, of course, don't have display space OR inventory storage requirements, and thus can be maintained indefinitely at no additional cost. Ergo, they lack the primary factors which force down the price of physical books over time. Paizo still might include old PDFs in a discount sale seeking to generate more sales at a lower price point, but unlike physical books they aren't losing money keeping the PDF around unsold for a long time.

Nobody is 'ripping you off'... you just have unreasonable expectations of electronic media costs depreciating the same way that print media costs do.

Liberty's Edge

CBDunkerson wrote:

freeAgent, it seems like you haven't thought through how book pricing works;

Many sellers of physical books will reduce the cost over time. Even if that means they sell it for less than they paid... they are then still taking less of a loss than if they never sold it at all & lost display / storage space retaining it indefinitely.

Paizo doesn't have to 'buy' the books they produce from themselves and doesn't have to worry about display space for their stores. Thus, they generally keep the price fixed at the original level until a book gets really old - at which point they include it in one of their inventory clearance sales.

PDFs, of course, don't have display space OR inventory storage requirements, and thus can be maintained indefinitely at no additional cost. Ergo, they lack the primary factors which force down the price of physical books over time. Paizo still might include old PDFs in a discount sale seeking to generate more sales at a lower price point, but unlike physical books they aren't losing money keeping the PDF around unsold for a long time.

Nobody is 'ripping you off'... you just have unreasonable expectations of electronic media costs depreciating the same way that print media costs do.

No, that's not it. This is a new book and Amazon (easier to say than "not Paizo") has priced it in the same band as all other Paizo releases...which also do not actually drop in price over time. Amazon has not, so far as I can tell, dropped the price of this book from its initial offering. They're not selling it for a loss unless they sell all of Paizo's hardcovers for a loss.

Someone from Paizo can feel free to come in here and say that the wholesale price of the book is higher than the price of the PDF. Paizo has a monopoly on PDF distribution for their work, which is what I think is more of a factor here. They have competition for retail book sales, but no competition for retail PDF sales. The pricing for this product shows, to me, an abuse of that monopoly status.

I studied Economics in school, and thinking about how things are priced is something I do all the time.

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