Pathfinder Player Companion: Weapon Master's Handbook (PFRPG)

****½ (based on 7 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: Weapon Master's Handbook (PFRPG)
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Don't just hack and slash like a fresh recruit! Rise above the rank and file to become a true artist of combat with the secrets found within Pathfinder Player Companion: Weapon Master's Handbook! Emulate the fighting style of your patron deity, learn to use your weapons in tricky new ways, or simply enchant your boring old sword with new and exciting magical abilities. Whether you want to perfect the use of a single weapon, become an expert on a whole group of them, or dedicate yourself to a specific fighting style, this player-friendly volume contains everything you need!

Inside this book, you'll find:

  • Weapon style feats giving characters focusing on one type of weapon or weapon combination new options unavailable to less specialized combatants.
  • Advanced weapon mastery options that let specialized fighters continue to improve with their chosen weapons, even at higher levels.
  • Magic item mastery, which pits a character's martial spirit against the essential nature of their magic items, resulting in radically different magic effects.
  • An expansion of the combat trick and stamina system introduced in Pathfinder RPG Pathfinder Unchained to cover combat feats from several Pathfinder Campaign Setting sourcebooks.
  • A weapon design system that allows Game Masters to let their imaginations run wild, adding almost any conceivable weapon to their campaigns.

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: 978-1-60125-796-3

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

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****½ (based on 7 ratings)

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Amazing for Fighters

*****

This book started it all for Fighters in 2106. Finally, the class gets options that lift it from bottom of the barrel.

Combine whats in this book with the combat stamina system from pathfinder unchained, get the armor master handbook and magic tactics toolbox, google "Iron Caster", and enjoy playing fighters that are amazing.


So nice I bought it twice

*****

I bought this book from my local game store some time ago and just now bought the PDF so I could have a copy on my tablet. This is, in my opinion, probably one of the best books Paizo has put out including other product lines such as the Core books and APs. It's chock full of interesting options for martial characters, especially the Fighter. The Fighter, which has traditionally been the most boring class in the game, got elevated to one of my favorite classes to tinker with thanks to this book alone. Not everything's a hit, like the weapon creation rules which are kind of funky and seem more like a tool to powergame weapon groups in weird ways, but they're minor enough issues or just not bad enough to detract from the book as a whole.

Absolutely pick this book up, if for no other reason than to support this kind of content in the future.


This book unchains the fighter

*****

The fighter has needed some love for a long time.

You have a plethora of worthwhile options to build the fighter you want to. Some things i love. You ever watch a movie and your hero does some neat trick like blind the bad guy by pulling his helmet over his eyes while stabbing someone else, this book legalizes this! There are bunch of trick options to give you legal ways to do neat things in combat.

They have some combat styles that definitely have their niche. More feats for throwing weapons that are long over due, and they are very potent. Almost essential for someone relying on thrown weapons.

They have ways for warrior types to use magical items in ways not intended. Now I do not see this fitting a weapon master thing to use my incredible health to force a goblin fire drum to make me fly! There issue with this, but it is neat if not out of place. I would have used cha for this ability option.

This was a great book done well. Anyone that like variety in their fighters this is a must buy. Great job Paizo!


When all you have is a hammer, SMASH SMASH SMASH

*****

Have you ever wanted to ricochet a hammer across the skulls of 3 orcs? Are you intrigued by the idea of lockpicking with a crossbow? Do you ever just want to punch a disintegration ray out of your way with a gauntlet while smugly proclaiming "Not today, buddy!" All this, plus more is possible in the Weapon Master's Handbook. Paizo is pushing the limits of what martial characters can achieve in the Pathfinder ruleset, and I freaking love every bit of it.

Highlights from the book include:

Alternate bonuses fighters can take at each tier of weapon mastery, such as adding bravery to all will saves, applying weapon finesse to any weapon group, proficiency with all exotic weapons, replacing skill requirements with BAB, and more.

New style feats. Who says they have to be restricted to monks? These include a style that specializes in whacking people with bows/guns, one that specializes in 5-foot steps and lunges, and a style that turns spears into double weapons.

Butt loads of other feats. What I love about them is just how usable they are. In Ultimate Combat, maybe 10-25% of the feats seemed usable, but in here, I can find uses and potential build ideas for most of the ones in this book. Some of my favorites are Spellcut (substitute base saves with BAB against magic), Smash from the Air (knock away magic attacks and freaking boulders), and Cayden Cailean's Blade and Tankard, which specializes in using a tankard as an off-hand weapon!

The only potential downside I can see to this book, is that a lot of the features are specific to fighters, or require weapon mastery as a class feature to qualify. That being said, I was disappointed by their lack of inclusion in Pathfinder Unchained, so I feel they were overdue for some love.

I really hope Paizo continues in this direction for fun, flavorful, and most importantly, useful combat options. This is probably my favorite player companion of all time, and I can't wait to try out all these new builds swimming around in my head.


I iz martial, can I haz nice things?

*****

A book on martials, in particular Fighters, getting cool things. Like flying without having to rely upon a spellcaster. Or getting more out-of-combat options, which you likely did not expect from a book like this. Excellent, well-thought, innovative material.

The new direction of Player Companions under Owen is excellent. If Armor Master Handbook will be half as good... my only gripe will be that these too should be put together into a hardcover.


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Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I didn´t like the stamina and combat trick optional rules in Pathfinder Unchained (but a lot of other stuff in there).

Also i think we have had enough new combat options for this year in the excellent "Ranged Tactics Toolbox" and "Melee Tactics Toolbox".

I´ll pass on this one.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Interesting.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Marco Massoudi wrote:
I didn´t like the stamina and combat trick optional rules in Pathfinder Unchained (but a lot of other stuff in there).

Absolutely couldn't agree more. I hope that isn't set in stone.

Marco Massoudi wrote:
Also i think we have had enough new combat options for this year in the excellent "Ranged Tactics Toolbox" and "Melee Tactics Toolbox".

Honestly, I found both fairly underwhelming, but Melee Tactics Toolbox especially so.

Marco Massoudi wrote:
I´ll pass on this one.

Might be right there with you, really based mostly on the Pathfinder Unchained portion above. Was pretty excited when I first noticed this after the Melee Tactics book, though, so I'm not sure. I guess wait and see.

Dark Archive

I want these divine fighting techs now!!!!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Please have an updated and good version of the Weapon Master fighter archetype in there. I'll get it in pdf just because. But I'd love to see some fighter love in there for the weapon master. It should be a given. The book is named after the damn archetype.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Major_Blackhart wrote:
Please have an updated and good version of the Weapon Master fighter archetype in there. I'll get it in pdf just because. But I'd love to see some fighter love in there for the weapon master. It should be a given. The book is named after the damn archetype.

Totally agree.

I am still holding out for style feats for weapons. Like longswords and axes. Or even fighting style like sword and board fighting, two handed fighting, and two-weapon fighting (even though TWF is a very feat intensive fighting style already).


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Weapon fighting styles would be awesome. I want my orc tribe the axe dancers to live up to their name


I appreciate the temporary cover with shirtless Valeros. We need more shirtless heroes. ;)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Yes that cover is really cool!

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
DM Beckett wrote:
OmegaZ wrote:
I appreciate the temporary cover with shirtless Valeros. We need more shirtless heroes. ;)
Damnit!, I honestly thought for a minute we where finally getting away from those stupid iconic characters, and this was a new barbarian or something. :(
xevious573 wrote:
and Mythic Seoni.

Dang, looking at a tine pic from my phone, I didn't even see her, and though it was some sort of mist rising in the background. ha ha

Nice art, but at the same time, dang, hopes crushed.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Those be Mythic Valeros and Mythic Seoni.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

I find it more humorous that Seoni finds her way onto the (temporary) cover of the Weapon Master book instead of any of the martial characters.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Weapon Style: Ray/Touch Spell?

90% sarcasm and humor. 90%. . .


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

Interesting. I wonder what this will have to offer that we haven't already gotten in the likes of the XX Tactics books or Inner Sea Combat. Curious to know more.

Grand Lodge

11 people marked this as a favorite.

I can't wait for this! I absolutely love the stamina and combat trick rules in Pathfinder Unchained! I would really, really like for you to continue to support those rules in future products when it makes sense to do so.

SM


StarMartyr365 wrote:

I can't wait for this! I absolutely love the stamina and combat trick rules in Pathfinder Unchained! I would really, really like for you to continue to support those rules in future products when it makes sense to do so.

SM

Yeah, I'm right there with you on this. I loved the system.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
OmegaZ wrote:
I appreciate the temporary cover with shirtless Valeros. We need more shirtless heroes. ;)

I will buy anything with Mythic Seltyiel on the cover.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Since we had to deal with yet another scimitar wielding archetype in the ACG companion, would a Rolondo (you know the falcate and buckler) style archetype for the swashbuckler. OR better still, an expanded Rolondo style available to everyone. (There needs to be a Rolondo Magus archetype too)

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Isn't it Rondelero style?

Other than that, I agree completely. ^_^

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Kalindlara wrote:

Isn't it Rondelero style?

Other than that, I agree completely. ^_^

Quite likely, since I don't have my books in front of me :P

Amusingly I just realized I've two bards (archeologist, normal bard) who fight Rondelero style, because I think the falcata looks cool and flashy.

falcata tangent:
Since there's nothing that says you can't two hand the falcata, I picture Golarion falcatas looking less like this in the hilt and more like this If I could draw worth a damn, I'd hybrid the two.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DM Beckett wrote:

Weapon Style: Ray/Touch Spell?

90% sarcasm and humor. 90%. . .

Seems like your sarcasm filter combined with confirmation bias made you miss the blurb about "divine fighting techniques". Who knows, maybe the elusive Paladin of Jesus Christ is finally around the corner? ;-)

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Not likely in a book called Weapon Master's Handbook. And I'm not sure about the Divine Fighting Techniques, to be honest.

Now <non-Monk> Weapon Style Feats would be amazing, especially if they also focused on a few of the more common Deity's Favored Weapons, too.

Longsword and Board, Greatsword-(Siegfried-style), Scimitar/Falchion, Mace/Flail, and a big F'ing Hammer would be awesome. Longspear, Polearms, and Battleaxes, too.


Gorbacz wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:

Weapon Style: Ray/Touch Spell?

90% sarcasm and humor. 90%. . .

Seems like your sarcasm filter combined with confirmation bias made you miss the blurb about "divine fighting techniques". Who knows, maybe the elusive Paladin of Jesus Christ is finally around the corner? ;-)

Not sure your point, Seoni is arcane.

Shadow Lodge

It was a quip about my affinity for divine characters, thinking I missed the "Divine Fighting Techniques" portion. Not sure about the rest, honestly, ha ha.

Grand Lodge

Maybe is a fighting style that specializes in beating the sacred snot out of divine casters and those uppity paladins, inquisitors, hunters and rangers.

SM


OmegaZ wrote:
I appreciate the temporary cover with shirtless Valeros. We need more shirtless heroes. ;)

Heroes, heroines, it's all good.

I'm hoping at least some of those divine fighting techniques are Monk/Brawler friendly.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Someone posted that the book is said to have rules for creating and modifying weapons in it. That sounds pretty interesting to me (and something that I was pondering ways to do a while back.)


3 people marked this as a favorite.
brad2411 wrote:
I am still holding out for style feats for weapons.

I am currently looking at doing fighting styles for weapon *groups* (so it's easier to cover a broad range), and then some common weapons combos ("weapon and board," since it shouldn't have to be a sword with your shield, two weapon, strapped weapon-as-backup, thrown, and so on).


2 people marked this as a favorite.
StarMartyr365 wrote:

I can't wait for this! I absolutely love the stamina and combat trick rules in Pathfinder Unchained! I would really, really like for you to continue to support those rules in future products when it makes sense to do so.

SM

I am a fan of the system. I'm not going to use huge chunks of the book for it, but it'll definitely get a spread.


DM Beckett wrote:
And I'm not sure about the Divine Fighting Techniques, to be honest.

A lot of gods use weapons.

Caden Cailean fights with a rapier, for example.

So, what secrets of rapier fighting might Cayden have discovered now that he's a god?


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Owen KC Stephens wrote:
So, what secrets of rapier fighting might Cayden have discovered now that he's a god?

Drunken Rapier Style? aka Sword and Stein - "Dueling Without Spilling A Drop!"

How about a combo Beer-Stein/Rapier?

Shadow Lodge

Probably none that he actually remembers, honestly. :)

But in all seriousness, I was more weary of their presentation than anything. Could be really cool or really, well, not, and a lot of that, at least to me, is going to depend on just how much mechanics there are, and how much mechanics measure up with the flavor.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Fingers crossed for some solid editorial passes.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Owen KC Stephens wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:
And I'm not sure about the Divine Fighting Techniques, to be honest.

A lot of gods use weapons.

Caden Cailean fights with a rapier, for example.

So, what secrets of rapier fighting might Cayden have discovered now that he's a god?

Sloshedbuckler style?

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Or perhaps sword and floored?


DM Beckett wrote:
Or perhaps sword and floored?

Nice!

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
DM Beckett wrote:
Or perhaps sword and floored?

Now I'm having flashbacks to the 'famous duel on Boston Commons' in Highlander. Awesome drunken swordfight!


Cthulhudrew wrote:
Owen KC Stephens wrote:
So, what secrets of rapier fighting might Cayden have discovered now that he's a god?

Drunken Rapier Style? aka Sword and Stein - "Dueling Without Spilling A Drop!"

How about a combo Beer-Stein/Rapier?

He already has that in Inner Sea Gods, his religious-themed weapon is a rapier with a beer mug for a hilt with a hole in the side to put your hand.

Dark Archive

Owen KC Stephens wrote:
brad2411 wrote:
I am still holding out for style feats for weapons.
I am currently looking at doing fighting styles for weapon *groups* (so it's easier to cover a broad range), and then some common weapons combos ("weapon and board," since it shouldn't have to be a sword with your shield, two weapon, strapped weapon-as-backup, thrown, and so on).

Letting me know how they turn out and if there for sell I will buy them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ashram wrote:
He already has that in Inner Sea Gods, his religious-themed weapon is a rapier with a beer mug for a hilt with a hole in the side to put your hand.

Unless it holds booze, it doesn't count.


God I really want Gorum, the most martial and warrior focused of deities, to have a greatsword based fighting style.

Dark Archive

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Major_Blackhart wrote:
God I really want Gorum, the most martial and warrior focused of deities, to have a greatsword based fighting style.

Personally, I hope he has a greatsword and spiked armor fighting style.


I've been seeing way more support for Pathfinder Unchained options than I expected.

Overall I'm liking all the ideas described. I think this Player Companion is going to become a 'buy' for me.


I would like to see something where fighters can automatically get styles based on the feats they have chosen. Rather than spend another resource, they would simply know the style. Maybe get one free style every 4 levels or one free style for every point of Intelligence bonus or something similar.

I like fighters but every time a new option comes out that's a feat, I think it forces them to specialize too much. I would like to see the system allow them to generalize better.


Bob_Loblaw wrote:

I would like to see something where fighters can automatically get styles based on the feats they have chosen. Rather than spend another resource, they would simply know the style. Maybe get one free style every 4 levels or one free style for every point of Intelligence bonus or something similar.

I like fighters but every time a new option comes out that's a feat, I think it forces them to specialize too much. I would like to see the system allow them to generalize better.

I think they'd have to use up something to gain stuff regardless of how they are actually balanced. However I can understand losing some levels of weapon training for some weapon style abilities. As it stands there's too much incentive for a fighter to specialize in one weapon so Weapon Training 2-4 feel kind of useless. I feel like that point is confirmed by how many of the the fighter archetypes work. Likewise it would make sense for a fighter to be able to lose some levels of Armor Training for defensive stances or footwork.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I really want to see a weapon master archetype that has an additional 3 abilities tacked on, to replace weapon training 2-4. Really, something that increases damage output or is a fighting style option similar to the Tengu sword master rogue archetype.


In 3.5 there were the martial arts, which were free bonuses you got for having specific feat and skill rank combinations. They were overall balanced just by having a very high investment cost. Things like the jump kick only coming in once you have dodge, mobility, spring attack, and power attack. By that point they've already invested enough that giving them a free one is perfectly balanced and fair. Though this ability was very different from the pathfinder unchained jump kick so it'd need a new name.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cthulhudrew wrote:
Someone posted that the book is said to have rules for creating and modifying weapons in it. That sounds pretty interesting to me (and something that I was pondering ways to do a while back.)

Trailblazer covered that pretty well and in a page or less, IIRC.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
BlackKestrel wrote:
Cthulhudrew wrote:
Someone posted that the book is said to have rules for creating and modifying weapons in it. That sounds pretty interesting to me (and something that I was pondering ways to do a while back.)
Trailblazer covered that pretty well and in a page or less, IIRC.

Is Trailblazer Open Game License Compatible? If it is, could you post it here once the book is out for comparison sake?

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