Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Intrigue (PFRPG)

3.30/5 (based on 18 ratings)
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Intrigue (PFRPG)
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Words Cut Deep

In the right setting, a single scathing word can prove deadlier than a poisoned dagger. Behind the scenes of heroic battles and magical realms lies a seething underbelly of danger and deception. This world of intrigue holds endless possibilities for adventure, as heroes duel with words instead of steel, plot daring heists, and engage in battles of wills against relentless nemeses. A high-stakes game of shadows and secrets is yours to master—if you have the wits!

Whether the heroes are taming the blood-soaked back alleys of their favorite metropolis or jockeying for the queen's favor alongside highborn nobles, Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Intrigue is an invaluable companion to the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. This imaginative tabletop game builds upon more than 10 years of system development and an Open Playtest featuring more than 50,000 gamers to create a cutting-edge RPG experience that brings the all-time best-selling set of fantasy rules into a new era.

Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Intrigue includes:

  • The vigilante, a new character class that lives two lives—that of an unassuming member of the community, and a cloaked crusader with his own agenda!
  • New archetypes for alchemists, bards, druids, hunters, inquisitors, investigators, mesmerists, rangers, rogues, slayers, spiritualists, and more!
  • New feats and magic items for characters of all sorts, granting mastery of street-smart combat, impenetrable disguises, and misdirection.
  • Dozens of spells to manipulate tense social settings, whether to reveal adversaries' secrets or hide the truth.
  • A complete system of influence, providing new goals and rewards to challenge players and link their fortunes to nonplayer characters and organizations.
  • Systems and advice to help Game Masters introduce a variety of new encounters into their games­—daring heists, extended pursuits, and tense searches for buried secrets.
  • Rules for social combat and verbal duels, allowing characters to use words as weapons to sway hearts and humiliate foes.
  • ... and much, much more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-826-7

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Rulebook Subscription.

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1/5

Don't get me wrong I love Paizo books, I love their work, and I'm proud to own almost all of their publications.

However, Ultimate Intrigue is the one book I regret buying. It's even more than that, it's the one book i regret they ever published.

We need rules and systems, ok. We need a magic system because magic isn't a real thing. We need a combat system otherwise playing with your grilfriend become home abuse. But we don't need a social system because it's a ROLEPLAYING game. Either you want intrigue heavy campaign and you roleplay them, or you want to dungeon crawl or investigate (that's fine too) and you don't play intrigues. You can even do both and it's great.

Aside from that massive problem, the book suffers from "a turn normal actions into feats/class ability" syndrome. I can't count the number of time where players made me fighters to wizards or rogues with a dual identity. We didn't need the Vigilante, and still don't. And I loved when wizard use to get clever and ask for linguistics/bluff roll to blend a spell into a phrase. Now you need a feat for it. Thanks, Ultimate Intrigue. If that was not enough, some of these nonsense feat are built in feat tax chains.

But the one thing I hate the most about this book is the stupid FAQ it bestowed upon us to promote itself (https://paizo.com/paizo/faq/v5748nruor1fm#v5748eaic9tza). That makes a whole school of magic (illusion) utterly useless, and destroys a lot of others (enchantment).

Now I know I can just refuse to use it. But i use to love pathfinder for the clarity and perfect sense with out need to houserule much.

Now it's gone.


I'm tired of paizo trying to stuff this book down our face

1/5

If I was playing a home campaign this book might be more fitting,

For society play this verbal debate and other ideas for this book really bog down the game play. I like social aspect of games and role playing but as I said society play it slows the game way down to try and get people up to snuff on the mechanics


An amazing new class in a hit and miss supplement

4/5

So, Ultimate Intrigue took a long time for me to come to a complete opinion on.

The Vigilante class introduced in this book is, in my opinion, easily the best non-spellcasting class Paizo has ever created. It breaks up its social options and combat options in such a way that you have a great character able to participate in all areas of the game without having to choose whether you want to be competent in combat or in the myriad other facets of the game like exploration, social encounters, etc. It has deep and well-designed talents that allow you to pick any of a variety of different ways to participate in combat, with or without weapons, and numerous tools for allowing players to influence the story with safe houses, contacts, and more.

At PAX Prime 2016 I had the opportunity to visit Paizo's Pathfinder demo area and play their pregenerated vigilante character. I honestly didn't expect it to go terribly well; after all, the vigilante is a class built around balancing two identities and moving between different social strata, so you'd think that this would require a more controlled environment where you know the other players in advance and have time to plan out how your character fits into the game world with your GM ahead of time, right? Turns out, I was wrong. The vigilante class is well-crafted enough that even while playing a 1st level pregen I was able to easily deal with situations in and out of combat, and it took me about 60 seconds of conversation to establish with the group that I had a secret identity they were privy to and might need them to cover for my character from time to time if he needed to swap identities. It didn't hurt matters that the only downside to anyone learning a vigilante's secret identity is that, well, they know his or her secret identity. You can go all Tony Stark if you want, announce that you are Iron Man, and carry on as normal. Very few of the vigilante's abilities actually require you to maintain truly secret identities, and the only real hit you take is that you're a bit easier to find by magical means (though even this can be addressed with clever use of the Safe House Social Talent).

The book also elaborates on the intent behind numerous spells that often prove problematic for GMs in games where they want to have a focus on gritty investigation of mystery, such as the various detect spells, speak with dead, etc.

I think my biggest disappointments with the book, and the reason I can't give it 5 stars, lie in the feats and archetypes. I'll start with the feats, and a bit about why I see most of them as representative of missed opportunities.

To start with, Pathfinder's skill system is heavily dated. When Paizo brought it over from 3.5, they combined a few extraneous skills, but otherwise did little to update things, meaning the core area of the rules covering everything in the game that isn't casting spells or hitting things is now well over a decade old and out of date. Several skills don't even actually work, or work well, as written, have interactions you're just supposed to kind of assume or make up (Ride and Handle Animal are a mess, Stealth requires one to check out FAQs and blog posts online to use as intended, Bluff and Diplomacy have more than a few vague areas and inconsistencies, etc.), so what better book to address, update, and expand these core components of the game than a book about playing skill and intrigue heavy campaigns? Unfortunately, Paizo chose not to go that route, instead relying on feats to stretch skills over their gaps and issues, leading to many of the feats in the this book providing skill uses that I've seen GMs at hundreds of tables houserule as basic functions of those skills to begin with. Instead of formalizing intuitive uses of existing skills into their basic function, they added a feat tax to allow characters to do things many people already thought they could do. While there is a section in the book going over several of the vague areas in a few key skills, these are primarily common sense clarifications instead of the full address the skills could have used.

The archetypes, like many Paizo hardcovers, are all over the place. Some of them are interesting and dynamic, like the Masked Performer bard archetype, some show an attempt at embodying a cool and modern concept but fail to achieve that concept in the actual execution, like the Magical Child vigilante archetype, and some are just plain bad, so obviously terribly designed that you almost wonder if the person who wrote them has ever actually played Pathfinder, like the Brute vigilante archetype.

Now, don't let the above wall of negativity mislead you; there is a lot of great stuff in this book, including perhaps the most inspired and well-crafted class Paizo has ever produced, a class that introduces really interesting design concepts, plays with components of the class chassis we haven't seen classes treat as quite so malleable before, and is a genuinely fun and interesting class to play in and of itself. Despite many of the feats ranging from useless to frustrating, there are still quite a few that are interesting and viable, and while the archetypes are very hit or miss, that's generally true of Paizo books in general and probably shouldn't be held against this one in particular.

My final verdict on Ultimate Intrigue is 4 stars, and a strong recommendation to pick it up, if for no other reason than to add the Vigilante class to your game (though there definitely are other reasons to add this book to your collection).


Pathfinder presents Batman!

4/5

No seriously. The vigilante class is freaking batman. Look at the art for chapter one and for the character. HE'S BATMAN. Of course they also have archetypes if you want to make Hulk, Sailor Moon, even He-Man. With the archetypes from other books the list goes on.
My favorite part, and I cannot wait to test this properly in a game, is the social combat. It works a lot like playing craps or roulette. You get a pool of Determination points which you use to place a bet then you roll off with your social skills check! Seriously it sounds like lots of fun!


Some good, some bad

3/5

There is really a good amount of cool things in here like the vigilante evne thought i dont like the dual identity system. it feels like a better fighter, which is something i've wanted for a while. but the problem is there's too many rules for things that didnt really need them, so it kind of drags down everything because of it. Some clarification is okay, but this was too much of putting rules on things that didn't need it for me.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Personally i want to see how they tackle heists. Its something i have wanted to see done well and approached in a way that is not just a dungeon crawl full of traps and guards to swipe loot.


Are you thinking of Ocean's Eleven type scenarios where there is a lot of trickery involved?


Absolutely. Intrigue implies conflict.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gisher wrote:
Are you thinking of Ocean's Eleven type scenarios where there is a lot of trickery involved?

"Working as a team to steal a valuable object or vital piece of information." Sounds very Ocean's Eleven to me. Let me have the fantasy of running a game like an episode of Leverage.


Hey Mark, do you care to weigh in on the comments in this thread about the current/upcoming state of the Vigilante class? Supposedly the different specializations will be split off into archetypes?

Paizo Employee Designer

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Midnight Phil wrote:
Hey Mark, do you care to weigh in on the comments in this thread about the current/upcoming state of the Vigilante class? Supposedly the different specializations will be split off into archetypes?

Basically, it's what Jason said at Dragoncon: The playtest version was too scattershot and fragmented, so now many vigilante talents are available for all, and the only split in the initial class is stalker vs avenger, each of which has some unique talents. Archetypes come with their own unique talents and special abilities, and there's more than just zealot and warlock in the archetypes section.


Wow! Thanks, Mark. Nicely customized class, it would appear.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Midnight Phil wrote:
Hey Mark, do you care to weigh in on the comments in this thread about the current/upcoming state of the Vigilante class? Supposedly the different specializations will be split off into archetypes?
Basically, it's what Jason said at Dragoncon: The playtest version was too scattershot and fragmented, so now many vigilante talents are available for all, and the only split in the initial class is stalker vs avenger, each of which has some unique talents. Archetypes come with their own unique talents and special abilities, and there's more than just zealot and warlock in the archetypes section.

Ah, thanks for clearing that up! I'd only heard second-hand about Jason's comments, and wasn't having any luck tracking them down myself. I'm sure there's someplace obvious I should've looked. ^_^;


Mark Seifter wrote:
Midnight Phil wrote:
Hey Mark, do you care to weigh in on the comments in this thread about the current/upcoming state of the Vigilante class? Supposedly the different specializations will be split off into archetypes?
Basically, it's what Jason said at Dragoncon: The playtest version was too scattershot and fragmented, so now many vigilante talents are available for all, and the only split in the initial class is stalker vs avenger, each of which has some unique talents. Archetypes come with their own unique talents and special abilities, and there's more than just zealot and warlock in the archetypes section.

I don't suppose you can also spill the beans on whether the magic-themed archetypes still have talent-based spellcasting? O:)

Paizo Employee Designer

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Midnight Phil wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Midnight Phil wrote:
Hey Mark, do you care to weigh in on the comments in this thread about the current/upcoming state of the Vigilante class? Supposedly the different specializations will be split off into archetypes?
Basically, it's what Jason said at Dragoncon: The playtest version was too scattershot and fragmented, so now many vigilante talents are available for all, and the only split in the initial class is stalker vs avenger, each of which has some unique talents. Archetypes come with their own unique talents and special abilities, and there's more than just zealot and warlock in the archetypes section.
I don't suppose you can also spill the beans on whether the magic-themed archetypes still have talent-based spellcasting? O:)

The beauty of archetypes is you can just give something spellcasting and take away other things without creating a horribly byzantine set of class charts.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Midnight Phil wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Midnight Phil wrote:
Hey Mark, do you care to weigh in on the comments in this thread about the current/upcoming state of the Vigilante class? Supposedly the different specializations will be split off into archetypes?
Basically, it's what Jason said at Dragoncon: The playtest version was too scattershot and fragmented, so now many vigilante talents are available for all, and the only split in the initial class is stalker vs avenger, each of which has some unique talents. Archetypes come with their own unique talents and special abilities, and there's more than just zealot and warlock in the archetypes section.
I don't suppose you can also spill the beans on whether the magic-themed archetypes still have talent-based spellcasting? O:)
The beauty of archetypes is you can just give something spellcasting and take away other things without creating a horribly byzantine set of class charts.

Intriguing... (pun intended) Looking forward to reading the full version. :) Thanks Mark!


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Midnight Phil wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Midnight Phil wrote:
Hey Mark, do you care to weigh in on the comments in this thread about the current/upcoming state of the Vigilante class? Supposedly the different specializations will be split off into archetypes?
Basically, it's what Jason said at Dragoncon: The playtest version was too scattershot and fragmented, so now many vigilante talents are available for all, and the only split in the initial class is stalker vs avenger, each of which has some unique talents. Archetypes come with their own unique talents and special abilities, and there's more than just zealot and warlock in the archetypes section.
I don't suppose you can also spill the beans on whether the magic-themed archetypes still have talent-based spellcasting? O:)
The beauty of archetypes is you can just give something spellcasting and take away other things without creating a horribly byzantine set of class charts.

I was really interested in the Warlock. Then the playtest came and I stopped being interested. Now I'm interested again. :)


What about the amount of time it takes you to change identities? Did it become shorter?

Paizo Employee Designer

Axial wrote:
What about the amount of time it takes you to change identities? Did it become shorter?

That actually already happened part way through the playtest.

Contributor

April seems so far away... *stares forlornly at his PFS warlock, gathering dust in his binder*


So, given the nature of intrigue, I was wondering if we should be looking forward to anything that will introduce new methods and options for casting spells in covert and subtle ways?

There's quite a few spells already that you would think were perfect for being all sneaky with, and they are. ...except that from what I've recently learned, casting a spell is done with clearly-spoken words (As opposed to being murmured under your breath), showy hand movements and gestures, followed by an obvious light-show.

None of which really seems to grab me as being sneaky, subtle, or suited for covert work. >>;

I know the Cunning Caster feat supposedly helps deal with that to a degree, but it's a fairly steep feat-investment (Still Spell, Silent Spell, Eschew Materials, Deceitful, and then Cunning Caster itself) to mitigate all those various penalties.

So yeah... I'm not sure about other people, but I'd welcome a few alternative ways to go about being sneaky-casty that doesn't involve such a heavy investment of feats.


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It's is a shame that the vigilante is the only new class, would have love some more skill focused classes and a non-spellcaster shape changer class would have fit as well.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

So Mark, if the revamped class needs any more playtesting...

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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Dragon78 wrote:
It's is a shame that the vigilante is the only new class, would have love some more skill focused classes and a non-spellcaster shape changer class would have fit as well.

I like you, Dragon78. We have some similar ideas ;)


As long as there are ways to counter powerful divination used in the game that make Intrigue play practically not fun and extremely difficult, I will be happy. Things like Discern Shapechanger and True Seeing make it difficult and Nondetection can be beaten with caster level checks.


I hope the avenger vigilante at least keeps the full BAB from the playtest.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

This is the book that helps simplify the ideas behind more complicated scemes and plans, opening up the potential damage that a rogue or manipulator can do. The scheming works both ways though, as inquisitors and investigators can potentially uncover and unravel the webs that stretch across the great cities.

I wonder if reputation and influence with certain groups can be used in some way to help or hinder the actions of certain parties. Say you are planning on performing a heist. How do you get the floor plans? Will guards become a factor? Who is the fence and can they be trusted? How are you getting in, and then going to make a getaway? Do you leave a calling card? All of these things are factors that might require manipulating the web of favours owed and debts to pay off later.

And then there's the vigilante. Able to subtly(or unsubtly) affect the web in ways a rogue or fighter cannot pull of as easily. If the house jewel of thrune goes missing and everybody knows it was the rogue that hangs out at 'the hangmans jig', chances are the rogue will need to skip town or lay low until they stop searching for the rogue. If however it was stolen by the legendary phantom theif, Masqurade, then an investigation to track down the phantom theif is started, which gives the phantom thief time to don civies and vanish into the crowd, stolen gem in tow, to make some good money and go back to the life of a humble museum curator. And they might never find out how he did it.

Liberty's Edge

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Marco Massoudi wrote:


I am much more excited for ULTIMATE HORROR!

I would be excited for that to, but I'm not sure what kinds of characters you could play. An alchemist specialising in strange devices? A gunslinger wielding a possessed/cursed firearm? A creature born on the mortuary slab? A practicioner of unstable dark magics? So many option, and what sort of rules to go with it. Fear is defiantly a factor, as might the old sanity play a part. One does not face down Cthulhu and not lose ones head(figuratively or literally).

My guess is that a fear system could be introduced, and players could pick up a phobia for a bonus during character creation. The downside of having a phobia, any time you encounter a thing that triggers the phobia, you need to take a check to act normally at the start of the combat. If you fail, a roll on the fear chart happens and the character could end up frozen with fear for a few rounds, backing away involuntarily, suffering penalties to checks for some time, or even going insane with fear. It's not always bad though, sometimes you get bonuses for that encounter. So it's kind of a mixed curse/blessing. While it could be cool to have the undead phobia fueled barbarian being able to face their fears and come out stronger, it could also be really bad if the arachnophobic cleric suddenly goes catatonic in the face of a spider swarm and its monsterous brood mother.

My point is that we won't know until it happens. But we can always hope. ;)


ErisAcolyte-Chaos jester wrote:


My guess is that a fear system could be introduced, and players could pick up a phobia for a bonus during character creation. The downside of having a phobia, any time you encounter a thing that triggers the phobia, you need to take a check to act normally at the start of the combat. If you fail, a roll on the fear chart happens and the character could end up frozen with fear for a few rounds, backing away involuntarily, suffering penalties to checks for some time, or even going insane with fear. It's not always bad though, sometimes you get bonuses for that encounter. So it's kind of a mixed curse/blessing. While it could be cool to have the undead phobia fueled barbarian being able to face their fears and come out stronger, it could also be really bad if the arachnophobic cleric suddenly goes catatonic in the face of a spider swarm and its monsterous brood mother.

I hope not, there are already rules for phobias and getting them as an insanity.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Milo v3 wrote:
ErisAcolyte-Chaos jester wrote:


My guess is that a fear system could be introduced, and players could pick up a phobia for a bonus during character creation. The downside of having a phobia, any time you encounter a thing that triggers the phobia, you need to take a check to act normally at the start of the combat. If you fail, a roll on the fear chart happens and the character could end up frozen with fear for a few rounds, backing away involuntarily, suffering penalties to checks for some time, or even going insane with fear. It's not always bad though, sometimes you get bonuses for that encounter. So it's kind of a mixed curse/blessing. While it could be cool to have the undead phobia fueled barbarian being able to face their fears and come out stronger, it could also be really bad if the arachnophobic cleric suddenly goes catatonic in the face of a spider swarm and its monsterous brood mother.
I hope not, there are already rules for phobias and getting them as an insanity.

Please tell me where I can find them.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
ErisAcolyte-Chaos jester wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:


I hope not, there are already rules for phobias and getting them as an insanity.
Please tell me where I can find them.

Gamemastery Guide, page 250. On the PRD here. ^_^


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

All I really know is that I will be picking this up when it drops. This sort of thing is what I have in the background and whether the PCs pick up on it or not is up to them. And the idea of letting them take part in those sort of thing is just the icing on the cake. Although I do hope that it will include stuff for adding elements of the espionage or spy genre to the game as well.


I will be getting this one because I get almost every hardcover book that comes out.

Liberty's Edge

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This is for the picaresque heroes, the rogues and manipulators of lives. The ones that don't win every battle, but can win wars before they even happen. I like this for the other options that help tie the players to a set place and people to relate to. The priest or farmer might not be able to lend a lot of gold pieces to the players for their efforts, but they could offer a place of refuge, cheaper healing or minor supplies, maybe even putting in a good word if things don't go as well and the guards try to haul you away.

A little influence can go a long way for getting things done more easily, and with a lot... Well expect more than just free drinks, guards looking the other way, and groups of people that will give you things or lend a hand. Enough influence, and you won't even need a crown to have the city at your fingertips.


Hmm, that cover art. Let me guess, he's the Mad Barber of Absalom, who wanders the streets at night giving free shaves to unsuspecting citizens?


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

"Who knows what evil lurks with the ingrown hairs of men? The BARBER knows!"

Dark Archive

"The Vigilante - a new character class that lives two lives."

I can already see two problems with this class:

1: Does he still need 8 hours of sleep plus 1 hour of spell-preparation or does he get a build-in lesser restoration? The ability to go without much sleep (only about 4 hours) would need to be fairly low-level.
Which brings us to the next problem:

2: How does he explain constant wounds and how does he regenerate them without getting 8 hours of sleep?
It may be possible once or twice to explain it with a riding accident or to disguise them but only with light wounds.
So the vigilante needs a fast healing ability that works out of combat like a stance. Something like 1 hp per level per 10 minutes.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Marco Massoudi wrote:

"The Vigilante - a new character class that lives two lives."

I can already see two problems with this class:

1: Does he still need 8 hours of sleep plus 1 hour of spell-preparation or does he get a build-in lesser restoration? The ability to go without much sleep (only about 4 hours) would need to be fairly low-level.
Which brings us to the next problem:

2: How does he explain constant wounds and how does he regenerate them without getting 8 hours of sleep?
It may be possible once or twice to explain it with a riding accident or to disguise them but only with light wounds.
So the vigilante needs a fast healing ability that works out of combat like a stance. Something like 1 hp per level per 10 minutes.

This is probably where influence and contacts come in. Batman has Alfred to help patch up his wounds as well as covering for him when his identity is about to be revealed. No vigilante flies completely solo, since there are always a number of people that help support the efforts of the vigilantes. If the vigilante is in a party, then they probably know the identity of their ally, and can help cover for him.

And as for wounds... this is a setting with monsters, killers and heroes. If you get injured by a guard or something, the guard isn't necessarily going to hunt you down immediately. you have some time to find a safe spot, address the wound, change out of vigilante guise, and find some rest or healing. If you can pay them, they aren't so likely to question you about where you got the wounds, as much as treating them. you are only in trouble you pass out in the middle of the street while wearing the vig outfit, other wise you should be able to get some medical attention, or at least be ignored by the guards going after you. Because they are after the vig, not some poor sap that is lying bleeding in the street.

Liberty's Edge

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Eric Hinkle wrote:
Hmm, that cover art. Let me guess, he's the Mad Barber of Absalom, who wanders the streets at night giving free shaves to unsuspecting citizens?

2 jokes i can make.

1. so like Sweeney Todd, except with less singing and instigating of unaware cannibalism, and more sneaking, stalking and throat slashing.

2.Shave and a hair cut. TO BITS!

In all fairness, he could also be the Shadowy Slasher of Stonebridge. i totally made that up but you get the idea, we have no real idea who this character could be(or at least i don't).


Marco Massoudi wrote:

"The Vigilante - a new character class that lives two lives."

I can already see two problems with this class:

1: Does he still need 8 hours of sleep plus 1 hour of spell-preparation or does he get a build-in lesser restoration? The ability to go without much sleep (only about 4 hours) would need to be fairly low-level.
Which brings us to the next problem:

2: How does he explain constant wounds and how does he regenerate them without getting 8 hours of sleep?
It may be possible once or twice to explain it with a riding accident or to disguise them but only with light wounds.
So the vigilante needs a fast healing ability that works out of combat like a stance. Something like 1 hp per level per 10 minutes.

I see an interesting opportunity for a class-specific ability where active hours spent in the non-combat role allow faster healing. It could incentivize a good balance between Roleplaying in both guises.

Could probably abuse it in lots of ways, but I bet there are clever ways to make it work.


Cytonus wrote:

So, given the nature of intrigue, I was wondering if we should be looking forward to anything that will introduce new methods and options for casting spells in covert and subtle ways?

There's quite a few spells already that you would think were perfect for being all sneaky with, and they are. ...except that from what I've recently learned, casting a spell is done with clearly-spoken words (As opposed to being murmured under your breath), showy hand movements and gestures, followed by an obvious light-show.

None of which really seems to grab me as being sneaky, subtle, or suited for covert work. >>;

I know the Cunning Caster feat supposedly helps deal with that to a degree, but it's a fairly steep feat-investment (Still Spell, Silent Spell, Eschew Materials, Deceitful, and then Cunning Caster itself) to mitigate all those various penalties.

So yeah... I'm not sure about other people, but I'd welcome a few alternative ways to go about being sneaky-casty that doesn't involve such a heavy investment of feats.

I mentioned this exact same topic over in the Arcane Anthology book in this same sub-forum.

It looks like there's a few upcoming Paizo titles (including this one) that would have the chance to re-address this problematic approach to having thematicly-viable "Stealthcasters".


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Crai wrote:
Cytonus wrote:

So, given the nature of intrigue, I was wondering if we should be looking forward to anything that will introduce new methods and options for casting spells in covert and subtle ways?

There's quite a few spells already that you would think were perfect for being all sneaky with, and they are. ...except that from what I've recently learned, casting a spell is done with clearly-spoken words (As opposed to being murmured under your breath), showy hand movements and gestures, followed by an obvious light-show.

None of which really seems to grab me as being sneaky, subtle, or suited for covert work. >>;

I know the Cunning Caster feat supposedly helps deal with that to a degree, but it's a fairly steep feat-investment (Still Spell, Silent Spell, Eschew Materials, Deceitful, and then Cunning Caster itself) to mitigate all those various penalties.

So yeah... I'm not sure about other people, but I'd welcome a few alternative ways to go about being sneaky-casty that doesn't involve such a heavy investment of feats.

I mentioned this exact same topic over in the Arcane Anthology book in this same sub-forum.

It looks like there's a few upcoming Paizo titles (including this one) that would have the chance to re-address this problematic approach to having thematicly-viable "Stealthcasters".

Well, they said in the FAQ in question that, "Special abilities exist (and more are likely to appear in Ultimate Intrigue) that specifically facilitate a spellcaster using chicanery to misdirect people from those manifestations and allow them to go unnoticed, but they will always provide an onlooker some sort of chance to detect the ruse."

So it seems quite likely that there will be some abilities along those lines, though how open they will be to all classes is hard to say.


I certainly hope so. Because the current Cunning Caster pathway is extremely burdensome to implement ... and for the buildcrafting cost it incurs, it has a very low bang-for-the-buck return value.

I can't honestly imagine anybody actually going the Cunning Caster path in a serious stealthcasting build.


Crai wrote:

I certainly hope so. Because the current Cunning Caster pathway is extremely burdensome to implement ... and for the buildcrafting cost it incurs, it has a very low bang-for-the-buck return value.

I can't honestly imagine anybody actually going the Cunning Caster path in a serious stealthcasting build.

Oh, I'm definitely using it. Psychic casters get the full benefit from just two feats, which is a much better deal.


QuidEst wrote:
Crai wrote:

I certainly hope so. Because the current Cunning Caster pathway is extremely burdensome to implement ... and for the buildcrafting cost it incurs, it has a very low bang-for-the-buck return value.

I can't honestly imagine anybody actually going the Cunning Caster path in a serious stealthcasting build.

Oh, I'm definitely using it. Psychic casters get the full benefit from just two feats, which is a much better deal.

What two Feats? (I could probably check myself but away from books and lazy) :)


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Coffee Demon wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Crai wrote:

I certainly hope so. Because the current Cunning Caster pathway is extremely burdensome to implement ... and for the buildcrafting cost it incurs, it has a very low bang-for-the-buck return value.

I can't honestly imagine anybody actually going the Cunning Caster path in a serious stealthcasting build.

Oh, I'm definitely using it. Psychic casters get the full benefit from just two feats, which is a much better deal.
What two Feats? (I could probably check myself but away from books and lazy) :)

Cunning Caster and its prerequisite, Deceitful.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I wonder if social encounters rules could also include social camouflage. I mean at a masked ball, or in the hustle and bustle of a busy market or crowd, there are lots of people to hide behind or intermingle with to help throw pursuers and guards off track, at the same time you might want to send a message without creating a scene(if the player is yelling out 'I'm a member of the rebellion, do you have anything I can do', people are going to notice-like spies and investigators that are also hidden among the crowd, since if you are doing any secretive/illegal activity, you need to inform your contacts that it's been done and get payed as well.


Mark Seifter wrote:
The beauty of archetypes is you can just give something spellcasting and take away other things without creating a horribly byzantine set of class charts.

... oh g** d@*nit you actually did it didn't you. You took the advice of all the whiners and took away talents in favor of more spells. God forbid my build of stopping at level 2 spells and then going full gish be given any consideration.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

i wonder how verbal dueling is going to influence the way a rouge or other characters with the gift of the gab might be able to mess with people. Maybe you could confuse an enemy so badly they might need to spend some time alone in the barracks to reorganise their thoughts. Or perhaps you can use it to win a verbal, non-violent duels.

I Hope so, since it would be interesting to be able to solve disputes without going straight to the blades, but also coming out ahead.


ErisAcolyte-Chaos jester wrote:

i wonder how verbal dueling is going to influence the way a rouge or other characters with the gift of the gab might be able to mess with people. Maybe you could confuse an enemy so badly they might need to spend some time alone in the barracks to reorganise their thoughts. Or perhaps you can use it to win a verbal, non-violent duels.

I Hope so, since it would be interesting to be able to solve disputes without going straight to the blades, but also coming out ahead.

Oh, but the damage optimizers might hate that! ;P Role-players would love it.


I do hope that the new social systems wont require players to take any additional feats to do it and that it will just be additive.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Milo v3 wrote:
I do hope that the new social systems wont require players to take any additional feats to do it and that it will just be additive.

Our thought overall is that you should always be able to use these things additively, though we're not averse to feats existing that might give someone who loves that system an edge. Also, we gave instructions that any archetypes that might tie into these systems should trade out for a combination of a cool power that doesn't involve the system and a cool power that involves the system, so that way someone who isn't using a given system still gets something cool for each trade-off.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Our thought overall is that you should always be able to use these things additively, though we're not averse to feats existing that might give someone who loves that system an edge. Also, we gave instructions that any archetypes that might tie into these systems should trade out for a combination of a cool power that doesn't involve the system and a cool power that involves the system, so that way someone who isn't using a given system still gets something cool for each trade-off.

That sounds like a good way to handle it.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
FedoraFerret wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
The beauty of archetypes is you can just give something spellcasting and take away other things without creating a horribly byzantine set of class charts.
... oh g*% d!~nit you actually did it didn't you. You took the advice of all the whiners and took away talents in favor of more spells. God forbid my build of stopping at level 2 spells and then going full gish be given any consideration.

Maybe. Or maybe the base class has Hidden Strike and that's what archetypes trade away.

But I agree, being able to take spells to a given level and then take no more would be cool.

Community & Digital Content Director

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