Pathfinder Player Companion: Black Markets (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Player Companion: Black Markets (PFRPG)
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Good Deals, Bad People

When the right tool for the job is on the wrong side of the law, it's time to look for it in the black markets! This player-focused volume includes dozens of items and rare spells not sold in any legal shop but still of great use to adventuring characters, as well as spells, feats, and character archetypes to help keep those illegal goods hidden. From new poisons and portable traps to necromantic magic items and eldritch smuggling tools, Pathfinder Player Companion: Black Markets has every underhanded implement you may desire when legality isn't a concern! Inside this book, you'll find:

  • Rules for running your own black markets and managing your under-the-table business dealings when you're between adventures.
  • New poisons of every description, from magic-infused poisons to nefarious necrotoxins that blend necromancy with deadly substances, as well as the eldritch poisoner alchemist archetype.
  • A guided tour of the largest and most unique black markets in the Inner Sea region, from the Nightstalls of Katapesh to the Tarnished Halls of Numeria.
  • Feats, traits, and spells to emphasize characters' criminal dealings and improve their mastery of the underworld economy.
  • New cursed magic items, portable traps, and grafts of undead flesh to fill your backpack and prepare you for any challenge.

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: 978-1-60125-789-5

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

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Worth it for Necrotoxins & Undead Grafts!

3/5

GOOD:
Necrotoxins - poisons crafted with the "craft wondrous item" feat and "Craft (alchemy)" skill.
Undead Grafts - body prothestics made from dead flesh!
Cursed Magic Item creation rules and prices.
The six Golarion Black Market descriptions.

BAD:
The Pack Mule Fighter Archetype.
Most feats and spells are rather specialized.

UGLY:
The Black Market rules are for a GM not player.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Feros wrote:

Interesting that it seems like Balazar is always buying from shady people.

What is he up to?

Why, what have you heard!?

Nothing substantive, but...


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

So we are getting details on various black markets. Very cool! :D


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That cover: Balazar is poking around in the shop while Feiya is talking with the shopkeeper. He opens a jar, and something comes out (looks like a shadow octopus). Shopkeeper: "No, wait, don't touch ... too late." Feiya: "I just can't take you anywhere, can I?" :)

And what's going on with Feiya's nail extensions? Is she trying to go undercover in the black market as a hag-wannabe?


Nice cover art.


Yes, I like this cover a lot!

I saw it asked, and maybe its too soon to answer, but will there be support in this for the Unchained poison rules, or compatibility?

Scarab Sages Developer

Cthulhudrew wrote:

Yes, I like this cover a lot!

I saw it asked, and maybe its too soon to answer, but will there be support in this for the Unchained poison rules, or compatibility?

No.

PU is, for the most part, a collection of optional rules and it's just not practical to support all of them in the PC line, just as words of power from UM isn't supported.

Where possible I do try to make sure the archetypes work with PU classes, but even that is not guaranteed.


oh more grafts my plans to make a pc who'll make a flesh golem look like he's more human is one step closer to completion.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Owen,

In response to your question about desires for the book, I think any reply probably requires both a setting response and a mechanics response.

In terms of the setting, I would really like to hear more about how trade routes work (and/or fail to work) in Golarion, so that black markets and underworld channels become necessary for certain goods and services. How do the various nation-states conduct and enable trade, in the midst of their wars, various supernatural calamities, and other fantastic issues. Do dragons simply sweep down upon caravans... or do they, too, involve themselves in commerce and trade? How does a dwarven market differ from an elven one? How are the racial and alignment characteristics of each population manifest in how each respectively employs, feeds, clothes, and otherwise maintains its people? How do various biases, cultural values, and insufficiencies of supply produce black markets that meet otherwise unmet demands?

In terms of the mechanics, please provide traits, archetypes, and feats that engage non-combat, non-explicitly social skills. Appraise, Linguistics, Profession... all of these could use more options, in order to round out characters that are merchants, tradesmen, bureaucrats, engineers, civil servants, and all the other "heroes" that keep civilization going... as well as their counterparts on the other side of the law.

For instance, and to my current knowledge, there is no +2/+4 at 10 ranks Feat option for Appraise and Linguistics. Something that simple could go a long way to enabling more diverse character types, as higher Appraise and Linguistics scores now have some relevance given recent Skill Unlock options out of Occult Adventures and Pathfinder Unchained.

So, if we could have more focus on how the economies of the various populations work, along with mechanics that enable play within those structures, I think this book could be very unique and quite essential to your playerbase.

Scarab Sages Developer

Wyrmfoe wrote:

Owen,

In response to your question about desires for the book,

First, let me say that this is great feedback. Sadly, the book is well past making any changes, and for various reasons there's not nearly as much of any of the things you suggest as I'd like there to be. I like what we did with it, but we took a different tack on what kind of material should be the focus of this volume.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Owen,

Completely understand and I very much appreciate the feedback and the outreach to your playerbase. Thank you for both!

Regarding design and vision for the product, are the concepts I raised interesting and/or reasonable, in light of future projects and supplements?

I understand that the above are not particularly flashy, especially when compared to combat options, expansion of magic systems, or even social skill/intrigue development. Further, in addition to providing us a fun and wonderful hobby, you and your associates are in business and must allocate resources to what the market demands... I which I expect is the above, far before some of the other options I suggested.

Nonetheless, I do hope there is a place for some additional focus on the above in future supplements, spread out perhaps over the course of books so to ensure market viability. I think there is something to be said for the "everyday hero" who, while perhaps swept up on fantastic adventures, brings a skill/feat/trait set of the everyman to whatever task might lay at hand.

In addition to the dashing swashbuckler, the noble cleric, and the cunning warrior, I would simply welcome the opportunity to more thoroughly resource the more humbler adventurer archetypes/concepts. With a bit more setting information and mechanics support, I think that could be very, very fun... as well as uniquely marketable.

Does any of this resonate or make sense? Do you have any thoughts on the matter, whether in concept or in reference to future products (that you might be able to plug now... :) )?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Ahhhhh, the black market. Where just about anything can be bought and sold for an exorbitant price, including those jars of souls that demons just cannot get enough of. And also the most potentially dangerous of the markets. You might grab a cursed sword, end up buying a collection of sealed ghosts in a box, get caught by the guards for contraband, or simply purchasing something that is 1.very Powerful. And 2.impossible to control.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I love the cover!!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ah, more poisons and poisoner information in this book. Sometimes I wish I wasn't so enamored of the Daggermark Poisoners' Guild and felt a need to get everything that can be related to them.

Maybe Paizo should just do a 'Poisoners of Golarion' and get it over with.

Scarab Sages Developer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Eric Hinkle wrote:

Ah, more poisons and poisoner information in this book. Sometimes I wish I wasn't so enamored of the Daggermark Poisoners' Guild and felt a need to get everything that can be related to them.

Maybe Paizo should just do a 'Poisoners of Golarion' and get it over with.

I suspect I'd call it Poison Master's Handbook, and I'd shoot for an Oct release, and that I haven't actually gotten it on the schedule yet.

...
If I were the sort of person who speculates on such things.


The big talk seems to be on Occult Origins, but I actually want to know more about this. Does anyone have this one yet?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Give me a few minutes to do some reading. ^_^

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

If anyone has any questions, I'll be watching this thread for a while. ^_^


Table of Contents? Maybe to start.

Sovereign Court

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Table of Contents:

Illicit Trade in the Inner Sea
For Your Character
Introduction
Black Market Rules
Black Markets of Golarion
Black Market Downtime
Black Market Poisons
The Corpse Trade
Cursed Relics
Pesh
Portable Traps
Secret Faith
Secret Signs
Smuggler Archetypes and Spells
Duplicitous Archetypes
Black Market Magic
Next Month

Sovereign Court

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Some of my favorites things about this book:

Spoiler:

Support for downtime activities! Let's run a thieves' guild!

Prices for cursed items, and rules for their creation! I've wanted this for years.

The pesh magic rules from Dark Markets: A Guide to Katapesh get a fresh coat of paint.

The pack mule fighter archetype is fabulous.


Any details on the archetypes?

Also secret faiths?

Sovereign Court

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Archetypes:
Eldritch poisoner (Alchemist; replaces bombs with a special toxin for weapons)
Hoaxer (Bard; gains witch hexes, tied to items that foes must be made to accept)
Pack mule (Fighter; more class skills/skill points, carry all the things)
Relic raider (Rogue; replaces uncanny dodge abilities with bonuses against curses and the ability to disable them, plus new talents)
Sorcerer of sleep (Sorcerer; uses some of the pesh rules)

Secret Faiths:
Some background on practicing faith in secret in the Inner Sea region, plus several new magic items to aid in hiding your faith.


Samy wrote:
Will Thieves' Cant be covered in any way?

Get yourself The Canting Crew by Gygax/Troll Lord Games


Archetype Discussion:
Pack Mule Fighter? Guess that confirms what Paizo really thinks about the class, haha. Is the archetype less of a joke than it sounds like?

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

@Arachnofiend:

It's not that bad, in my opinion. Depends on your group, though.

Fighter:
-4+Int skills, a bunch of bonus class skills (weirdly, no Perception)

-Scaling bonus to conceal items and to Strength for carry-cap.

-A form of armor training, but for encumbrance levels.

-Resistance to ability damage, but only at the highest level.

Worst case scenario, it makes a great cohort. They can't all be mutation warriors. ^_^


what are the spells?

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
xavier c wrote:
what are the spells?

Spells:

Adroit retrieval
Alleviate addiction
Arcane pocket
Authenticating gaze
Codespeak
Compel tongue
Contact high
Curse of keeping
Evaluator’s lens
Fleeting defect
Fleeting memory
Imbue with addiction
Incendiary runes
Mass compel tongue
Mass fleeting memory
Night blindness
Peerless integrity
Pesh vigor
Remarkable legerdemain
Secret coffer
Secret sign
Secret vault
Vacuous vessel
Venomous promise


This is sounding better by the post. Cursed item creation!? Nice! More downtime activities!? Awesome. I can't wait to grab this.

Are there any feats? What are they called and a quick one liner if you are able please?

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

The feats in this book tend to be closely tied to the new subsystems.

Feats:

-Wary Smuggler - bonus to conceal things on hand or in vehicle; always take 10 on certain skills in urban areas

-Black Market Dealings
-Black Market Sleuth
-Connected Criminal
The above feats make it easier for you to access black markets (one of the new subsystems; think of it as a way to bypass purchase limits or acquire forbidden goods)

-Infuse Poison (item creation) - lets you combine spells and poisons so that both affect the poisoned target

-Pesh Euphoria
-Pesh Healing
-Pesh Rejuvenation
-Sahir-Afiyun
The above are updated versions of feats from Dark Markets - A Guide to Katapesh. They let you access certain abilities when taking doses of pesh. Sahir-Afiyun is the exception; it adds a number of pesh-related spells to your list.


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

Can you tell us about necrotoxins and undead grafts?

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Necrotoxins are simple; they're basically...

Necrotoxins:
...just poisons created with Craft Wondrous Item, and with a heavy necromantic theme.

Undead Grafts:

Created with Craft Wondrous Item; usually requires ranks in Heal and various necromantic or healing spells.

You have a Necrosis Score based on the number of grafts you have. Grants DR against nonlethal, bonuses against some things, penalties against others. You're becoming closer to undeath.

Specific grafts:
Ghoulgut: feed on raw meat to "charge" it; bonuses against disease and poison for 1 day; burn the charge to reroll a Fortitude save
Gravespawn gland: like a brain-bomb, except that if it kills you (and it probably will), you rise as a zombie.
Necrograft arm: increases your lift-over-head, grants a slam attack; penalty on some rolls involving fine manipulation. Up to two; effects stack.
Necrograft leg: march farther overland before forced march; bonus against some combat maneuvers and caltrops. Up to two; effects stack.
Sallowflesh: natural armor buff with hide from undead-like effect
Strangler's tongue: it's a mohrg tongue. Reach out and touch someone.


Any new spells compatible with Permanency?


Kalindlara wrote:

The feats in this book tend to be closely tied to the new subsystems.

** spoiler omitted **

The pesh feats remind me of the cheese magic from the Witcher

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Read through this last night and was very disappointed. There's probably not a single thing that I'll use in my games.

Some of the standout disappointments:
1. Black market subsystem: This seems like the sort of thing that belongs in the campaign setting line, not the player companions. These are essentially rules for the GM to incorporate taking up space in the player companion.
2. The pack mule archetype trades away armor training, a bonus feat, and bravery to become.... a nonmagical bag of holding. That can't carry as much. The archetype succeeds at what it tries to do (carry stuff, sometimes secretly), but unless you're playing a game about running drugs across the border, I don't think this will ever be useful.

Things I liked (but probably won't use):
1. Intentionally crafting cursed items. It's cool, and now we know how to do it.
2. Necrografts. Body modification stuff is always cool, though only really appropriate in certain types of games.

Most of the rest of the stuff in the book may be good, but not really my style (alchemist archetype, mechanics for hiding your faith, pesh stuff).

I know you can't please everyone all the time, but it was unfortunate that this book was such a big miss for me. Even though I'm not a big fan of the Occult Adventures material, I found a decent chunk that I liked in Occult Origins. This one just left me searching for the good part, and I never really found it.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The deliberate crafting of cursed magical items didn't make much sense to me. Can someone help me better understand it? Specifically how they came to some of those prices on the table?

I have some items I'd like to have priced (specifically a cloak of emulation and dust of choking and sneezing), but there doesn't appear to be a formula for specific cursed items not on the table. How did the developers come up with those numbers?

Also, that's the market price on the table, right? It would generally cost half that amount to craft the cursed item in question?


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I must say, I'm not really sure what to do with this book.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bellona wrote:
And what's going on with Feiya's nail extensions? Is she trying to go undercover in the black market as a hag-wannabe?

Nails hex!


Kal,

What are the chances you could give me some insight into cursed magic items that are in this book?

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Pretty good, I'd say!

New Cursed Items:
Most of the new cursed items here are made to benefit the item's creator at the expense of its wearer.

Circlet of spell eating, type I-IV: This circlet seems to grant additional spells known... but after a few days, it begins draining spells known from the wearer. The creator gets to use one of those spells.

Spendthrift spectacles: These glasses seem to grant better appraisal skills, but after a week, the wearer takes a massive penalty to those skills and starts uncontrollably overpaying for things,

Style-stealing vambrace: This makes weapons keen... but on a critical hit, the vambrace (and the wearer's hand) teleports to the creator. The creator can use one of the wearer's combat feats.

Talisman of spying: A special ring allows the creator to spy on the wearer in various ways. The wearer is compelled to keep wearing the talisman.

There are also guidelines for creating previously printed cursed items, or items with drawbacks and such.


Kalindlara wrote:

Pretty good, I'd say!

** spoiler omitted **

Do the drawbacks increase or decrease creation cost ?

Would you consider the cost worth it compared to the drawback ?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Shadow_Charlatan wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:

Pretty good, I'd say!

** spoiler omitted **

Do the drawbacks increase or decrease creation cost ?

Would you consider the cost worth it compared to the drawback ?

Decrease.

It depends on the drawback. For the record, the drawbacks it lists are taken from the Core Rulebook.

Some of it, I just straight-up wouldn't allow. If you applied the system here without any GM discretion, you could create some absurdly broken items.

Dark Archive

Kali, would you be willing to detail what the new portable traps are? I've always enjoyed trap-based characters.

Sovereign Court

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

This will be my last for the night, and most of tomorrow - I have to get some sleep for PFS tomorrow. ^_^

Portable Traps:

Includes rules for crafting, including rules for making an improved version with better stats.

Alchemical tar paper: once laid, the next creature to step into the square is stuck, and remains sticky for several rounds (even after leaving the square).

Autosniper: attach to a crossbow and tripwire; fires the crossbow at the first thing to trip its tripwire.

Flask launcher: a crossbow-like trap that fires alchemical weapons. Tripwire included.

Net rigging: this, basically. Falling net also available.

Poison latch needle: the classic needle trap, found on chests and doors everywhere.

Pull-cord grenade: a bomb that goes off when its cord is pulled. Can be set to doors, drawers, or as a tripwire.

Portable pit (various): the only magic item on the list. Lay it down and speak the word, and it blends into the floor. When someone passes over, it pit-traps them in a manner similar to the various create pit spells. Comes in varieties similar to those spells.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Super excited to see the Pesh rules updated!!!


Thank for you that insight, Kal! :)


Hello...
What exactly does the Bard lose?
Is the Hoaxer(Bard Archetype) good, bad or ugly?

Please and ThankYou! (^.^)


Does Westcrown's Dusk Market get any exposure in this?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Fourshadow wrote:
Does Westcrown's Dusk Market get any exposure in this?

Yes. It is one of the six for which a full market stat block is provided, along with about a paragraph of fluff and a social trait.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
SamuraiFlamenco wrote:

Hello...

What exactly does the Bard lose?
Is the Hoaxer(Bard Archetype) good, bad or ugly?

Please and ThankYou! (^.^)

The Hoaxer archetype has the following features:

Counterfeiter replaces Bardic Knowledge.
Bad Deal (which includes access to witch hexes) replaces Inspire Courage, Inspire Competence, and Inspire Greatness.
Buyer Beware replaces Countersong.
Personal Guarantee replaces Distraction
Curse Breaker replaces Inspire Greatness (oops -- that is what the PDF says).
Misery replaces Versatile Performance.
Versed in Curses replaces Well-Versed.
Curse Crafter replaces Lore Master.


Is there anything on slave markets ? Since the main feature on the original cover was a slave market.

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