Pathfinder Player Companion: Arcane Anthology (PFRPG)

3.80/5 (based on 4 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: Arcane Anthology (PFRPG)
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Throw the Book at Them!

If knowledge is power, then the eldritch secrets presented in Pathfinder Player Companion: Arcane Anthology represent significant sources of potential might! From magus and wizard spellbooks to alchemist formula books to mystical options for bards, bloodragers, sorcerers, and witches, this volume presents tomes of spells and uncanny knowledge written and recorded by Golarion's mightiest arcane casters. In addition to new spells and secrets of spell preparation found in spellbooks such as the collected Analects of Aroden, the Wisdom of Jatembe, and the Runes of Wealth, this Player Companion also includes archetypes, feats, and character options for PCs of nearly every character class. Inside this book, you'll find:

  • Rules for copying preparation rituals into new spellbooks, and ways for every spellcaster to use such rituals through prayer books and meditation books.
  • Archetypes for spellcasting traditions inspired by the fallen god Aroden, the legendary Old-Mage Jatembe, and a nearly forgotten runelord of greed.
  • Dozens of spells, ranging from handy low-level options such as expeditious construction and heckle to the powerful 9th-level mass Last Azlanti's defending sword.
  • New traits and character options, including alchemist discoveries known as anointings that transmute the inherent properties of any weapon or suit of armor.
  • New feats, including some inspired by the Ten Magic Warriors of Mwangi legend that allow characters to bond with ritual masks to hide their names and identities and enhance their spells' power.

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: 978-1-60125-814-4

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3.80/5 (based on 4 ratings)

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Nice concept, meh execution

3/5

I like that they tried to give some meat to the idea of books of magic qua books, but didn't think any of the actual results were amazing. GMs can probably get some use out of the premade spell books to spice up treasure they give the party, if that's what you want. I found the spells pretty mediocre to bad. Some (e.g. Celestial Healing) have rightly been aggressively mocked throughout the forums. A couple of the archetypes are interesting ideas, but as usual for the large majority of Paizo archetypes they aren't actually worth taking.

I will, however, offer some moderate praise for the Runes of Wealth section. I did enjoy that one.

If you're looking for a good magic supplement and are budget constrained, try the Magic Tactics Toolbox instead.


Loved it!

5/5

Plenty of goodies for bards--and that is my admitted bias--including an archetype reminiscent of the Arcane Archer but with a style all its own. There is also a Masterpiece than partially satisfies the frustrating lack of Spell Kenning for Bards.
Force Sword may be the spell you were looking for if you did not want to spend money on the ghost touch property. I love it--and because of the above mentioned Masterpiece, Bards can use it!
That's not even the tip of the ice berg. If you are fan of the arcane, you should have plenty of reasons to pick this up.
If you're looking for anything Occult, this isn't the place--Arcane Anthology is very aptly named.


Eh...

2/5

So, I was kind of hoping that this would be something *other* than just another bunch of spells. Yeah, a lot of them are cool (and if you're just looking for a bunch of spells, more power to ya'), but frankly, there's nothing all that special here.

Maybe I'm being a buzzkill, but the fluff was lacking, and I'd been hoping it would've focused on alternate casting, magical traditions, or (long shot I know) maybe some content for the Occult classes (specifically, the seriously lacking Kineticist). Again, while for the price, the spells weren't horrible, but after stuff like the Weapon Master's Handbook, and the Ranged/Melee/Dirty Trick handbooks, this is seriously weak-sauce.


Slick rules content matched with tightly-themed fluff

5/5

I feel that the more recent Player Companions have been hit or miss. Arcane Anthology is one of the hits.

Most of the new spells are ones I want to use. I dig the new rules for copying preparation rituals--they're not too overpowered and generally well-balanced for the cost, plus they lend much-needed flavor to what would otherwise just be a list of spells. The new prayer and meditation book rules also give options for more scholarly-minded casters who are members of classes that don't traditionally use spellbooks.

I especially like the Magaambya content--all of it. The new bloodrager and arcanist archetypes are on point.

All in all, a good marriage of rules content with interesting setting information, perfectly bundled.


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Dark Archive

Wait, forums aren't for debates and conversations? ._.


*thought this was a discussion on whether the spells were awesome or not*


There is a place for it, over in the PF RPG General Discussion board. You try to argue the "Roll vs Role" thing here and Chris is likely to remove your posts.


But was I right about my last posting, Ashram?

Shadow Lodge

To be a bit more positive here on my end I think Planar Inquiry is really cool, wish it cost a bit less (100 gp per hd at 5th is steep for what it's offering) but having an option to call outsiders just for questions and inquiries feels like something we've needed for a long time.

Huh, I've just realized that most of the stuff I've really found memorable from this book have come out of the Old Mage Jatembe section. Did not expect that.

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
doc the grey wrote:
Huh, I've just realized that most of the stuff I've really found memorable from this book have come out of the Old Mage Jatembe section. Did not expect that.

Huzzah! I've done my job!

Shadow Lodge

Alexander Augunas wrote:
doc the grey wrote:
Huh, I've just realized that most of the stuff I've really found memorable from this book have come out of the Old Mage Jatembe section. Did not expect that.

Huzzah! I've done my job!

Also if you wrote all the 40k/roman aquila stuff into aroden's spells then props. Totally excited to whip those out in my home game (and maybe make some orc variants!).

Contributor

doc the grey wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
doc the grey wrote:
Huh, I've just realized that most of the stuff I've really found memorable from this book have come out of the Old Mage Jatembe section. Did not expect that.

Huzzah! I've done my job!

Also if you wrote all the 40k/roman aquila stuff into aroden's spells then props. Totally excited to whip those out in my home game (and maybe make some orc variants!).

I did not. Each of the three of us (Steve, David, and myself) each took one of the "big name" spellbooks and two of the smaller books. (Except David; he took one small book and the Preparation rules.) I know Steve did the Analects of Aroden and David did the Runes of Wealth. I don't recall who did which mini spellbook, however. (Aside from my own, of course.)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Kalindlara wrote:

I simply must play a child of Acavna and Amaznen with the magus VMC.

That is all.

While it sounds cool, the lack of spell combat hurts a lot. It would make a neat build for mobility though, since you're losing the full attack anyway. Or get some Swift-action spells.


I believe I saw that you wrote Arrowsongs Lament (masterpiece), correct Alexander? I love it, by the way. Who wrote the Arrowsong Minstrel archetype? It may be my 2nd favorite Bard archetype (Sound Striker is my all time fav, too bad the two do not work together!).


Quick question: does the Arrowsong Minstrel work well with Arcane Strike, or are its swift action otherwise occupied?

Contributor

Fourshadow wrote:
I believe I saw that you wrote Arrowsongs Lament (masterpiece), correct Alexander? I love it, by the way. Who wrote the Arrowsong Minstrel archetype? It may be my 2nd favorite Bard archetype (Sound Striker is my all time fav, too bad the two do not work together!).

I wrote the entire Arrowsong Lament section, except for the two new combat feats. I believe Owen wrote those after-the-fact

Contributor

Secret Wizard wrote:
Quick question: does the Arrowsong Minstrel work well with Arcane Strike, or are its swift action otherwise occupied?

Your swift actions aren't many more occupied then those of a traditional bard, AFAIRemember.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

Alexander Augunas wrote:
I know Steve did the Analects of Aroden and David did the Runes of Wealth. I don't recall who did which mini spellbook, however. (Aside from my own, of course.)

That's backwards, dude. I got the intro, the Runelord stuff, the stage magic guy, and the Cold Irony section. David did the good guys.


I was a bit surprised to see no arcane discoveries for wizards, as that was something that was strongly encouraged above.

If I had to guess on something that will get the PFS ban, it is the trait that gives...

spoiler:
proficiency with longswords. I like it, but it is as strong as a feat (Martial Weapon Proficiency).

Dark Archive

BardWannabe wrote:

I was a bit surprised to see no arcane discoveries for wizards, as that was something that was strongly encouraged above.

If I had to guess on something that will get the PFS ban, it is the trait that gives...
** spoiler omitted **

There is already a trait that does that and gives light as a spell like ability once a day.

Chosen of Iomedae.

Dark Archive

DragoDorn wrote:
BardWannabe wrote:

I was a bit surprised to see no arcane discoveries for wizards, as that was something that was strongly encouraged above.

If I had to guess on something that will get the PFS ban, it is the trait that gives...
** spoiler omitted **

There is already a trait that does that and gives light as a spell like ability once a day.

Chosen of Iomedae.

It doesn't give you proficiency, just a masterwork version.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
BardWannabe wrote:

I was a bit surprised to see no arcane discoveries for wizards, as that was something that was strongly encouraged above.

If I had to guess on something that will get the PFS ban, it is the trait that gives...
** spoiler omitted **

Martial Weapon Proficiency gives proficiency with ALL martial weapons. If a trait only gives proficiency with one martial weapon, its not as strong as Martial Weapon Proficiency. (See the heirloom weapon trait, which lets you pick any martial weapon and get a few copy of said weapon, which is PFS legal.)


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Alexander Augunas wrote:
BardWannabe wrote:

I was a bit surprised to see no arcane discoveries for wizards, as that was something that was strongly encouraged above.

If I had to guess on something that will get the PFS ban, it is the trait that gives...
** spoiler omitted **

Martial Weapon Proficiency gives proficiency with ALL martial weapons. If a trait only gives proficiency with one martial weapon, its not as strong as Martial Weapon Proficiency. (See the heirloom weapon trait, which lets you pick any martial weapon and get a few copy of said weapon, which is PFS legal.)

Err...?


Alexander Augunas wrote:
BardWannabe wrote:

I was a bit surprised to see no arcane discoveries for wizards, as that was something that was strongly encouraged above.

If I had to guess on something that will get the PFS ban, it is the trait that gives...
** spoiler omitted **

Martial Weapon Proficiency gives proficiency with ALL martial weapons.

No, the Martial Weapon Proficiency feat gets you proficiency with one martial weapon. To get proficiency with all martial weapons, you need the class ability that grants such.


Gisher wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
BardWannabe wrote:

I was a bit surprised to see no arcane discoveries for wizards, as that was something that was strongly encouraged above.

If I had to guess on something that will get the PFS ban, it is the trait that gives...
** spoiler omitted **

Martial Weapon Proficiency gives proficiency with ALL martial weapons.
No, the Martial Weapon Proficiency feat gets you proficiency with one martial weapon. To get proficiency with all martial weapons, you need the class ability that grants such.

Furthermore, it is my understanding that Heirloom Weapon grants proficiency with the *one* weapon inherited through the family, not all weapons of that type (so your ancestral longsword, not all longswords).


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, LO Special Edition, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Urath DM wrote:
Furthermore, it is my understanding that Heirloom Weapon grants proficiency with the *one* weapon inherited through the family, not all weapons of that type (so your ancestral longsword, not all longswords).

That may be correct by RAW, but it doesn't make any sense. A longsword is a longsword. I suppose form matters to some extent. Proficiency with a European style longsword would not grant you proficiency with a katana (if you consider the latter a longsword) or vice-versa, but it would give you proficiency with a jian, even if you're using it in a European rather than a Chinese style.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ed Reppert wrote:
Urath DM wrote:
Furthermore, it is my understanding that Heirloom Weapon grants proficiency with the *one* weapon inherited through the family, not all weapons of that type (so your ancestral longsword, not all longswords).
That may be correct by RAW, but it doesn't make any sense. A longsword is a longsword. I suppose form matters to some extent. Proficiency with a European style longsword would not grant you proficiency with a katana (if you consider the latter a longsword) or vice-versa, but it would give you proficiency with a jian, even if you're using it in a European rather than a Chinese style.

I never said it made real-world sense.. but in terms of game mechanics, to keep a trait as less valuable than a Feat, it does.


Looking forward to this!

Liberty's Edge

Is there anything, other than the meditation time and bardic performance rounds (BPRs), preventing someone using Arrowsong's Lament multiple times in a single day?

That is, could a 1st level Bard give up a bard spell known (or Feat) to get the masterpiece and then spend 2 hours meditating and 6 BPRs to add two 1st level spells to their 'spells known' for the day? Or then later spending another hour and 3 more BPRs to add a third spell known?


CBDunkerson wrote:

Is there anything, other than the meditation time and bardic performance rounds (BPRs), preventing someone using Arrowsong's Lament multiple times in a single day?

That is, could a 1st level Bard give up a bard spell known (or Feat) to get the masterpiece and then spend 2 hours meditating and 6 BPRs to add two 1st level spells to their 'spells known' for the day? Or then later spending another hour and 3 more BPRs to add a third spell known?

Nope. I see nothing to limit or prohibit that at all. :)


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Since Int-based casters, especially those with 3/4 BAB, are my favorite classes I'm very excited about the many new Int-based options in this book. Less than a week left to wait!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
BardWannabe wrote:

I was a bit surprised to see no arcane discoveries for wizards, as that was something that was strongly encouraged above.

If I had to guess on something that will get the PFS ban, it is the trait that gives...
** spoiler omitted **

As far as I've heard, there'll be arcane discoveries in the Magic Tactics Toolbox coming out later this year.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I think this book will take you from "conjurer of cheap tricks" to "transmuter of bling". But..I wrote most of the bling parts so I could be biased.


Urath DM wrote:
in terms of game mechanics, to keep a trait as less valuable than a Feat

Actually the trait is less valueable than the Martial Weapon Proficiency feat. Because the trait locks you into longsword, the feat gives you a choice. There may be situations where you want a longsword anyway, then the trait is situationally better (because of its lower cost). But there are enough situations where you want something else, so in general (average) the feat is more valueable.

It's similiar to half-elf's Skill Focus and human's bonus feat. While both provide a feat, the latter one is more valueable - in general.


LuniasM wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:

I simply must play a child of Acavna and Amaznen with the magus VMC.

That is all.

While it sounds cool, the lack of spell combat hurts a lot. It would make a neat build for mobility though, since you're losing the full attack anyway. Or get some Swift-action spells.

They lose spell combat? That sounds rather awful. It's kind of one of the 2 defining features of the class.


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cruel Illusion wrote:
LuniasM wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:

I simply must play a child of Acavna and Amaznen with the magus VMC.

That is all.

While it sounds cool, the lack of spell combat hurts a lot. It would make a neat build for mobility though, since you're losing the full attack anyway. Or get some Swift-action spells.
They lose spell combat? That sounds rather awful. It's kind of one of the 2 defining features of the class.

...of the fighter? Since that's what Child of Acavna and Amaznen is an archetype of...


Luthorne wrote:
Cruel Illusion wrote:
LuniasM wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:

I simply must play a child of Acavna and Amaznen with the magus VMC.

That is all.

While it sounds cool, the lack of spell combat hurts a lot. It would make a neat build for mobility though, since you're losing the full attack anyway. Or get some Swift-action spells.
They lose spell combat? That sounds rather awful. It's kind of one of the 2 defining features of the class.
...of the fighter? Since that's what Child of Acavna and Amaznen is an archetype of...

Ah ok, missed that. Thanks.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cruel Illusion wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Cruel Illusion wrote:
LuniasM wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:

I simply must play a child of Acavna and Amaznen with the magus VMC.

That is all.

While it sounds cool, the lack of spell combat hurts a lot. It would make a neat build for mobility though, since you're losing the full attack anyway. Or get some Swift-action spells.
They lose spell combat? That sounds rather awful. It's kind of one of the 2 defining features of the class.
...of the fighter? Since that's what Child of Acavna and Amaznen is an archetype of...
Ah ok, missed that. Thanks.

The lack of spell combat is due to taking Magus variant Multiclassing rather than actual Magus class levels. Just to clarify.


I know it is an Arcane focused book, but any thing that a druid or hunter can access in the book?


Askanipsion wrote:
I know it is an Arcane focused book, but any thing that a druid or hunter can access in the book?

Yes- they get some spells, and of course things like feats and traits that are available to any class. The spells are Cyclic Reincarnation, Jatembe's Knife, Planar Inquiry, Legendary Proportions (too high level for Hunter to cast), Liquefy, and Tears to Wine.


Soo, I love this book, but I have to ask this: Is there any real point to running a fighter with the "Child of Acavna and Amazen" archetype? At first I was excited because it gives the fighter some bloodrager-like spellcasting ability. However, he gives up *all weapon training* and five feats for it! Six feats if you count the one lost for extra skills at level 1. What the?

I can see losing some feats to gain minor spellcasting, but losing weapon training as well is just silly. Why would you run this over a ranger, bloodrager, or paladin if you want a full BAB character with a little spellcasting?


Matrix Dragon wrote:

Soo, I love this book, but I have to ask this: Is there any real point to running a fighter with the "Child of Acavna and Amazen" archetype? At first I was excited because it gives the fighter some bloodrager-like spellcasting ability. However, he gives up *all weapon training* and five feats for it! Six feats if you count the one lost for extra skills at level 1. WHAT?

I can see losing some feats to gain minor spellcasting, but losing weapon training as well is just silly. Why would you ever run this over a ranger, bloodrager, or paladin if you want a full BAB character with a little spellcasting?

Prepared arcane 4/9 casting. That's the main draw, I think.


QuidEst wrote:
Matrix Dragon wrote:

Soo, I love this book, but I have to ask this: Is there any real point to running a fighter with the "Child of Acavna and Amazen" archetype? At first I was excited because it gives the fighter some bloodrager-like spellcasting ability. However, he gives up *all weapon training* and five feats for it! Six feats if you count the one lost for extra skills at level 1. WHAT?

I can see losing some feats to gain minor spellcasting, but losing weapon training as well is just silly. Why would you ever run this over a ranger, bloodrager, or paladin if you want a full BAB character with a little spellcasting?

Prepared arcane 4/9 casting. That's the main draw, I think.

True, I guess this is pretty much the only single classed full bab prepared caster. Well, that is arcane at least.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Child of AnA is the "arcane paladin" people have asked for off and on since before Pathfinder even came out.


Shisumo wrote:
Child of AnA is the "arcane paladin" people have asked for off and on since before Pathfinder even came out.

Right, the thing that bothers me is how weak it is compared to any other full bab caster. If you took away a paladin's ability to smite evil it *might* still be better than the Child of AnA.


Well, the child of AnA gets 1-4 wizard spells, so you get to be a fighter with see invisibility, fly, etc.


Are there any feats in here that would apply to a Keneticists blast ?

Liberty's Edge

Fourshadow wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:

Is there anything, other than the meditation time and bardic performance rounds (BPRs), preventing someone using Arrowsong's Lament multiple times in a single day?

That is, could a 1st level Bard give up a bard spell known (or Feat) to get the masterpiece and then spend 2 hours meditating and 6 BPRs to add two 1st level spells to their 'spells known' for the day? Or then later spending another hour and 3 more BPRs to add a third spell known?

Nope. I see nothing to limit or prohibit that at all. :)

It does raise the question of what the 1st thru 5th level spell versions of the masterpiece bring to the table though.

If the 6th level version can be used multiple times per day, for spells UP TO 6th level and at the same 3 bardic performance rounds per spell level cost... then is the only benefit of the 1st thru 5th level versions earlier access to the ability?

At that point, you could take it as a feat and retrain it to each higher spell level version as it became available. One feat instead of six (or six spells known).


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
nighttree wrote:
Are there any feats in here that would apply to a Keneticists blast ?

No. A Kineticist would get very little out of this book.

And thanks for asking a question I could answer after I got my long delayed PDF!


David knott 242 wrote:
nighttree wrote:
Are there any feats in here that would apply to a Keneticists blast ?

No. A Kineticist would get very little out of this book.

And thanks for asking a question I could answer after I got my long delayed PDF!

If you are looking for questions to answer, I can help. :)

(1) When a Puppetmaster adds Bard spells to her spell list can she choose any of them, or is she limited to the Enchantment and Illusion schools?

(2) Is the Eldritch Scoundrel an Int-based caster?

(3) What types of swords is a Sword Binder Wizard proficient with?


Gisher wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
nighttree wrote:
Are there any feats in here that would apply to a Keneticists blast ?

No. A Kineticist would get very little out of this book.

And thanks for asking a question I could answer after I got my long delayed PDF!

If you are looking for questions to answer, I can help. :)

(1) When a Puppetmaster adds Bard spells to her spell list can she choose any of them, or is she limited to the Enchantment and Illusion schools?

(2) Is the Eldritch Scoundrel an Int-based caster?

(3) What types of swords is a Sword Binder Wizard proficient with?

I forget number one.

2) Yes, Int-based prepared.
3) Pick one, and you get proficiency with that.


QuidEst wrote:
Gisher wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
nighttree wrote:
Are there any feats in here that would apply to a Keneticists blast ?

No. A Kineticist would get very little out of this book.

And thanks for asking a question I could answer after I got my long delayed PDF!

If you are looking for questions to answer, I can help. :)

(1) When a Puppetmaster adds Bard spells to her spell list can she choose any of them, or is she limited to the Enchantment and Illusion schools?

(2) Is the Eldritch Scoundrel an Int-based caster?

(3) What types of swords is a Sword Binder Wizard proficient with?

I forget number one.

2) Yes, Int-based prepared.

Yay!

QuidEst wrote:
3) Pick one, and you get proficiency with that.

So what qualifies as a 'sword'? I would assume shortsword, longsword, and greatsword. Is the Bastard Sword an option even though it is exotic? And what about swords like the rapier, gladius, Elven Curve Blade, Estoc, or katana that don't happen to have 'sword' in their names?

Scarab Sages Contributor

I can confirm that the Puppetmaster archetype can select ANY bard spells, even ones that require use of bardic performance.

Needless to say, this archetype mixed with VMC bard is a build I am creating as we speak.


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

@Gisher: It just says they have to pick a sword, no mention as to what does or does not count as a sword, nor that it has to be martial or can't be exotic.

Unrelatedly, shouldn't foretell failure be 10 or lower? I mean, it seems completely useless as written...unless it's purely to determine whether or not it's even possible.

Someone might have mentioned this already, but it's really strange that summoner gets human potential, mass without getting human potential.

The Mask Focus feat refers to the eyeless vision spell...is that one that got dropped, or did it get renamed to mask from divination?

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