Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Horror Adventures

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Horror Adventures
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There are things that dwell in the dark places of the world, in long-abandoned crypts or musty attics—terrible things that can destroy your body and shatter your mind. Few individuals would think to seek out such nightmares, but those drawn into the darkness often find it infecting them, corrupting them in ways both subtle and disgusting. Some believe those who die facing such horrors are the lucky ones, for the survivors are forever scarred by their experiences.

Pathfinder RPG Horror Adventures gives you everything you need to bring these nightmares to life. Within these pages, you'll find secrets to take your game into the darkest reaches of fantasy, where the dead hunger for the living, alien gods brood in dreams, and madness and death lurk around every corner. Rules for players and GMs alike pit brave champions against a darkness capable of devouring mind, body, and soul. To prepare to face such torments, the heroes can take new feats, learn powerful spells, and even acquire holy relics—for they'll need every edge possible to survive!

Pathfinder RPG Horror Adventures includes:

  • Corruptions that can turn your character into a powerful monster, from a blood-drinking vampire to a savage werewolf. The only cost is your soul!
  • Character options to help heroes oppose the forces of darkness, including horror-themed archetypes, feats, spells, and more!
  • A detailed system to represent sanity and madness, giving you all the tools you need to drive characters to the brink and beyond.
  • Tips and tools for running a genuinely scary game, along with an in-depth look at using horror's many subgenres in a Pathfinder campaign.
  • Expanded rules for curses, diseases, environments, fleshwarping, haunts, and deadly traps.
  • New templates to turn monsters into truly terrifying foes, from creatures made of living wax to a stalker that can never be stopped!
  • ... and much, much more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-849-6

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Spooky Fun, Can't Wait to Curse My Players

5/5

I am in love with this book. The themes for archetypes are spot on and everything goes beyond horror basics, it's much more than vampires, werewolves, and zombies (though they are included). Some of my favorite elements are the Deep One corruption (corruptions in general are sweet, this seems like a well balanced mechanic for horribly warping the PCs into monsters, while still giving them a way to fight it) and the Gingerbread Witch. The Deep One corruption is a great example of the depth of horror this book includes, this plays on a less often used horror theme of the paranoia of harming oneself (in this case, by drowning). This reminds me so much of elements from the book The Boy Who Drew Monsters, and the mom's terrible fascination with people who drowned in a shipwreck a hundred years ago. You could adopt this same corruption for vertigo or even a bodily harm thing. On a lighter side, the Gingerbread Witch made me so, so happy. It's a well thought out archetype, I'm not sure they'd be great as a player character (but there aren't evil restrictions, so have at!) but I can't wait to insert a horrible Gingerbread Witch near some unassuming town, with her creepy haunted gingerbread house and evil delicious familiar.

I just can't say enough good things about the mechanics. They are flexible enough that you don't have to have a horror specific campaign to use elements from this book. The fear and sanity rules can be used with any campaign to add realism or more of a gritty fantasy feel. If your level 1 characters just killed a person for the first time, maybe they should lose some sanity and wrestle with that emotion. If they are in a dank, creepy dungeon with skeletons, maybe some of them would be spooked. The rules for adapting fear resistant characters like Paladins are also nicely balanced and I appreciate that attention to detail - your paladins don't have to yawn at the sideline, they're vulnerable too, just in a way less debilitating way that actually paints them as more of a hero around evil and undead.

Lastly, the warning about needing consent before using this book in a campaign was a very nice touch. That totally hooked me when starting to read this book. I kind of thought I'd just have spooky themed elements, but that paragraph inspired me to try to take this to the next level. How fun would it be to have a session that turns your actual living room into a haunted house, or to be the director of the scariest experience your friends have had all year?

If Halloween is your favorite holiday or you love low, gritty fantasy, I highly recommend this book. I will be reading this one cover to cover and am excited to use its elements for many, many sessions.


An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

This massive hardcover clocks in at 255 pages - if you take away editorial, index, etc., you still arrive at 249 pages of content, which is A LOT.

I was gifted a copy of this book for the purpose of a fair and unbiased review. My review is based on the hardcover of this book.

Now, the first thing I'd ask you to do, is to read the series of Miscellaneous Musings I wrote on horror gaming in general. Or least the last one. Why? Because it is my firm conviction that one has to establish realistic expectations in order to review a book such as this.

(The articles are fully linked on my page.)

Alternatively, if you already own it, there is a sentence in the advice chapter on running horror games that should be taken to heart: "Pathfinder is not designed with horror in mind." I'd like to elaborate on this, at least briefly. As I have established in my long, long rants on the subject matter, it is my firm conviction that you can run horror in PFRPG, even purist horror, but that the base system per se is more conductive towards playing the angle of pitting horror against the angle of heroism, of allowing PCs to have a shot against the darkness. While you can modify PFRPG to play akin to CoC, the game is simply more conductive towards the heroic angle.

It is a testament to PFRPG's versatility that horror of any way works in the first place, in spite of the focus of the game. Now secondly, I'd like to address two aspects of the game and what we can expect, with the first being character options. We are all aware of the vast array of built-options available for PFRPG and thus, it should come as no surprise that yes, we do receive a significant array of player- (or at least character-)centric options. Which would bring me to the first observation: It is my firm convictions that players should stay out of this book.

No, really. You see, quite a lot of the new class options, like the blood alchemist, elder mythos cultist, hexenhammer or medium spirit-variants like the butcher or lich (for champion and archmage, to give two examples) scream "NPC" for me. I know, it is perhaps not what you'd expect me to do, but ultimately, I consider the material here to be mostly intended for the GM. Yes, we have martyr paladins with stigmata and bloody jake slayers and serial killer vigilantes. Yes, some players will want to play these...but from my experience as a horror-GM, it may actually make sense restricting these...or simply not telling the players about the rules. Before you're asking, btw.: From a min-maxing perspective, you'll probably find better options anyways...but if that's a consideration for you when playing in a horror game, I'd strongly suggest thinking about priorities and of what makes for a fun game for everyone - see my long, long posts on the necessary contract/gentlemen's agreement between the GM and player.

That being said, there is one aspect I am holding against this book, in spite of the aforementioned previous considerations, and that would be that there is no dividing line between content obviously designed for players/good guys and that for villains - it does show in the archetype-section and, more than that, in the feat-section, where we can find REALLY cool Story-feats alongside a bunch of feats intended for evil characters or monsters - in the latter case often enhancing universal monster abilities and providing further numerical escalation - which would be less of an issue, if PFRPG didn't have this many options to gain access to precisely these abilities. In short, we are catering to a mindset here that kinda undermines the horror premise the rest of the book is trying hard to set up. In short: We also get a lot of alternate racial traits for the core races, which generally fit with the themes of horror, though the fortification they offer against these challenges don't really fit my personal vision of what I like to play in the context of such a campaign, but your mileage here may obviously vary. These are my least favorite aspects of the book.

But let's move back to the very beginning: The advice given for players when making characters for horror adventures is extremely sound and should most certainly be read carefully - the book spells pretty much out what I did, minus the advice on Achilles heels, but I guess you can't have everything. The notes on making a compelling personality etc. makes sense, and so does the advice of roleplaying fear. I am a big fan of the note that the book emphasizes conspiration and communication with the GM here.

One of my favorite parts herein would be the more diversified take on Fear: We are introduced to a 7-step progression tree of various states of fear, including rules on immunity to fear and how it should be used in conjunction with this system. It works pretty seamlessly, though I honestly wished the already widely in use cowering condition had been implemented here as well - considering the effects of the highest fear-level "horrified", the differences are not that pronounced. And yes, I am aware that this adds a bit of potential complexity to some options, but here at least, I consider the trade off worth it.

Sanity...is a bit more clunky. We get a relatively simple system: Add mental attributes together and you have the sanity score; half of that is the sanity edge. This determines the severity of the madness incurred when something exceeds your sanity threshold - which is equal to the bonus of the highest mental attribute bonus. When you incur a sanity attack and its damage exceeds the threshold, you gain a madness - simple, yes...but it does ultimately reward characters that are SAD on a mental attribute, whereas in my opinion, sanity-shattering effects often are made worse by understanding them properly, perceiving them properly, etc. The system is not bad per se, but it requires managing three scores and for that, it doesn't deliver the results I'm personally looking for in such a system. Your mileage may vary, obviously, but yeah.

The star-subsystem here would be basically PFRPG's take on dark powers-checks, so-called corruptions. These tie in with character flaws of the PC and represent a dark and malevolent stain on the character that slowly mutates them, granting benefits, while at the same time driving them further down the dark path. Where previously, in Ravenloft, you ultimately became a darklord, corruptions now have 3 stages, with the final stage usually turning you NPC. Progression along this path is via a variety of actions and they generally have a catalyst to first spring them on a character. These corruptions also feature tempting powers, so-called manifestations, which also come with a stain, a drawback, that is in relation to the behavior in question.

Now, first things first: At one point, I wrote a pretty long essay on how to tempt both players and PCs at the same time with horrific power and the psychological reasons to do so - while it has been cut and never been published, let me summarize: I argued that a weakness of the monster-transformation aspect championed by Ravenloft was, that on the one hand, the PC should be horrified by what he does, while craving the power in question. Similarly, the player should feel the same.

If there is a disjoint between player and PC, roleplaying suffers. The corruptions, when looking at them, are surprisingly tame - not in their visuals, mind you: The hive, for example, is really icky. Still, it is somewhat surprising to see the heavy penalty of corruption stage 3...and at the same time, the significant array of manifestations each corruption offers. Now, some folks have complained about the risk of being turned NPC being too high (it's a sort of game over, after all), but from a meta-design perspective it can be a motivator for munchkins to take heed.

There is another aspect to the system pretty much every review I read did not pick up on - and I don't get why. In my third essay on horror gaming, I talked about the realities of being a big publisher and not one of the underground one-man operations. I also talked briefly about the witch hunts our hobby is subject to, one that continues in some regions and circles. More than that, moral and aesthetic limitations vary within persons - more so between folks. As the big dog that Paizo is, it is pretty hard to sell "play a monstrously vile thing and the descent into evil" to a part of their demographic - though, in particularly the hardcore horror fans will want exactly that, the teetering on the edge of damnation experience, for from this precipice, the best redemption stories are woven.

Here's the beautiful thing about the corruption system: The increase of manifestations is not tied to the corruption stage progression. At all. You can retain the whole save mechanics, variants and the whole rest and just throw out the three stages. You can introduce as many stages as you'd like (perhaps 7 or 5, as previous editions of the game did - perhaps 13, if you want to go an occult angle...) - the system's validity remains. And yes, I'll confess, my kneejerk response was like that of many out there, to complain and curse about the 3 stages - but know what? This is by far the best and most detailed (and balanced) such system I have seen for a d20-based game. It covers the company and at the same time, easily allows for PCs and NPCs, for GMs and players alike, to enjoy a system I never expected to see in this shape or form from a big publisher. Now personally, I would have actually increased the potency of the corruptions if you're running with the stage-limit and NPC-threat...but, once again, that is if you're planning on playing a relatively tame campaign. The fact that each manifestation has its custom gifts and stains, completely divorced from the stages, means that you retain maximum control when tweaking the system to your needs. The fact that the save to resist progression is tied to compulsive behavior means that even it, as an aspect, remains valid, its tie to further manifestations in the save-calculation providing a roleplaying catalyst even without the presence of the threat of NPCdom.

The chapter on magic provides a wide array of thematically fitting spells that range from the subtle to the in-your-face blunt - sleepwalking suggestions, massive, gory blood effects and cursed terrain generally make sense and even otherwise pretty standard damage spells included herein sport nice visuals: Screaming flames? Yes, I can see that working. I am honestly more in love with the fact that we get a 5 pretty neat occult rituals here that all are amazing in their own way, with each having the potential to act as a proper plot-cornerstone. I wished we got more of them!

Now, I mentioned that I consider this to be a GM-book and indeed, the GM-section is a bit of a treasure trove in some aspects: We get a couple of new curses and advice on making more, as well as notes on cursed lands and items - if the topic interests you: Both Legendary games and Rite Publishing have released whole supplements dealing with curses, often in really creative ways, but that as an aside. Curse templates allow for the customization of curses herein. Now, the disease chapter gets my full-blown applause for disease templates - and e.g. the one named "incurable." It actually does what it says on the tin! (minus the usual wish/miracle-caveat) - this is amazing. I mean it. Diseases have, in pretty much every d20-based system, been afterthoughts, crippled, lame and ultimately were the lame brothers of poison. This changes that. The sample diseases like "brain moss" or "gore worms" also make me tingle and twitch in a good way.

Speaking of things I like: We get a vast number of cool terrain hazards, haunted spots and the like to add to encounters, allowing for quick and easy eerie customizations. Domains of Evil can also be found. You know. Domains. With dread fog. That modify how magic works. With hazards and potentially different flow of time. That are haunted. Yeah, let's stop teh pretense here: If you're like me and a sucker for Ravenloft, then this chapter will have you smile from ear to ear, even before the rules on nightmares and the couple of traps. These, btw., unfortunately are the roll to see and disable kind - particularly in a horror game, team effort, complex traps that require multiple tasks make for the more compelling option, but I digress.

Now, the next section of rules is something that I was looking forward to, since it had been featured, but never codified properly in rules at least not by Paizo (there are a couple of 3pp-forays into that territory)- fleshwarping! And yes, it is cool. It sports a ton of nice effects, but the system is, to a degree, a double-edged sword: On one hand, fleshwarping works really well and on the other, its price is perhaps a bit too high: Let me elaborate: Fleshcrafts can either be permanent grafts or temporary mutations, instilled by an elixir that requires succeeding a Fort-save to gain the benefits. The temporary prices and benefits and being keyed to slots etc. makes sense for the elixirs, but since the effects also sport a penalty, the price for the respective fleshcraft grafts is still pretty high when compared to magic items - baseline for the grafts seems to have been 1/2 of a comparable item's base price to make up for the drawback. Considering the disfiguring nature of these options, that may still be pretty high, though. It depends a bit. Chaotic fleshwarping mutations can also be found - and unlike the chaositech mutations of yore, these generally are detrimental.

The extensive section on haunts that follows includes templates for them (called haunt elements) as well as variants like dimensional instabilities, maddening influence, magical scars and psychic haunts. The array presented ranges from humble Cr 1/4 to CR 20, including classics like being buried alive or the twisted wish. Madnesses are codified in lesser and greater madnesses - big plus here: For once, a supplement does not confuse schizophrenia with dissociated identities. (Seriously, if I had a buck whenever I saw that being confused...)

Now, one of the most useful sections regarding GM-considerations would be the massive chapter that deals with running horror games - which not only classifies and quantifies horror sub.genres, their tropes, etc., but also mentions all the classics like lighting, music, creating an undisturbed environment, etc. - tricks for dealing with various snags, how to encourage horror roleplaying etc. - and it is sad, but obviously necessary that, beyond talking about what does and does not fly with individual players, overdoing it does not work. HOWEVER, I do actually disagree with one aspect - involving outside people. To have an unrelated accomplice like a spouse play with the light on e.g. a stormy evening - not all the time, but once or twice, can be rather effective...but I generally get why these disclaimers are here. This section, obviously, is targeted at less experienced GMs in the genre - and in particular such GMs will also appreciate the section on improvising rules for e.g. being buried alive, crumbling structures, etc.

Part II of my review can be found here!


Subpar book, mostly for GMs

2/5

This book has a lot of systems, mechanics, archetypes, feats, spells, environment challenges, haunts, curses, etc. While most of it is clearly presented and has enough flavor text to give you some ideas on how to use it, everything just seems to fall flat.

My two biggest gripes (I have more than just two):
1) The sanity system is horribly balanced, heavily penalizing martial characters, and it's effects are easily cured by powerful spells. Really poorly executed, why make the gap between martials and casters even worse?
2) Most of the Archetypes are realistically for GM use only, as they are very niche. I wanted to give my players a lot of cool horror themed archetypes to play with, instead they got a scant few.

This book really could have been SO much better. Disappointed.


Paizo Knows Horror and Here's Their New Toolkit!

5/5

Paizo reviews come in two forms: players that whine because they wanted something other than what was in the book (^^^)and then gamemasters/players that actually review the material provided. This is a review from the latter.

Paizo has created some of the best horror themed adventures for Pathfinder and Dungeons and Dragons over the course of their existence. In this book, they round it all up and spell out all of the tricks and tips they use to make it happen.

I have written everything from adventures to comic books to film scripts and I would easily hand this book over to a non-gaming writer that needed advice on how to create horror. This book goes to great lengths to provide players with archetypes for classes to use in horror themed adventures as well as giving gamemasters tools they need to create horror in session after session.

Players get archetypes, feats, spells and new gear with which to battle the horrific forces of the multiverse. GMs get a ton of new tools including a nifty new Bestiary that brings us Pathfinder versions of Alien-style xenomorphs called the Hive AND a nice analogue for the Slender Man called the Unknown. Horror requires more than monsters, so you also get new rules on corruptions, curses, diseases, horrific environments, fleshwarping, haunts, madness and more!

Creating horror is more than giving players more 0's they can add to their attacks. It involves setting, tone, atmosphere and management of expectations. If you want to run a game that makes your players fear for their characters lives, then pick up this book and give it a read. Follow up with the recommended reading and required viewing and you'll get a feeling for how to instill dread in everyone sitting at your table.


More Like Evil Adventures

3/5

This book feels more like Pathfinder's version of the Book of Vile Darkness then horror themed adventures. Also this is a very DM heavy book though I thought it would be 70% player 30% DM but is actually the other way around.

The Good
-I loved the Dread Lord, Hive, Trompe L'Oeil, Unknown, and Waxwork Creature.
-I like the Corruptions.
-I like the reprint/expanding of madness rules.
-I like some of the magic items like mantle of life, monster almanac, and elder sign.
-I liked a few archetypes like the two for witches.

The Bad
-Too many evil archetypes, spells, etc.
-Do not like the sanity rules.
-Do not like the fleshwarping rules for characters.
-Most of archetypes were lacking or unusable for players.
-Very few interesting spells that are player friendly.
-Very few interesting feats.
-Not enough character options related to specific class features like wild talents, bloodlines, rogue talents, oracle curses/mysteries, etc.

I feel this book was a missed opportunity for same great horror based player character options. Such as expanded options for void kineticist like fear effects, controlling/creating undead, etc. new psychic disciplines, sorcerer/bloodrager bloodlines, oracle curses/mysteries, hexes, phantom emotion focuses, etc. I could even see some interesting ideas for rogue talents, rage powers, slayer talents, etc. I would have been fine with reprints like the pestilence sorcerer bloodline, kineticist void element, and other fitting options from past books.


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Inkfist wrote:
Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
Brandon Hodge wrote:
Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
...the Occultist options aren't all terrible in their mechanical benefits, they're just laugh out loud bad in what you have to do to get and keep them. A fair universe would award you a couple of mythic tiers for pulling that stuff off.
The occultist archetypes have been pretty well received and the critique doesn't seem to match the mechanics. Are you sure you're talking about the right class?
Medium! Occultist archetypes were amazing.

Playing with Herolab and the Haunt collector Occultist is a massive buff to the class. (actually due to the wording it may be on the level of the primalist bloodrager) Trading out weak resonance powers for a buff to your prefered playstyle is amazing.

At low levels an unbuffed transmutation/champion occultist hits like a barbarian, and the swift action spirit bonus shores up the biggest weakness of the melee occultist (you needed knowledge of whats coming up to prepare yourself adequately, now you can be effective without needing 2-3 rounds of prep)

For blaster occultists an archmage spirit is like free damage on all your spells, that stacks with the free damage evocation gives you. (did you really need that conjuration resonance power? free damage, a new power and still being able to keep your standard action 10 round summons sounds like an amazing deal. )

Being able to punch haunts is just icing on the cake.

No book on me, but the wording makes me think you're substituting Medium for Occultist here? At least I hope so because I'd love to see some decent options to make the Medium attractive as a Class.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Nope. Haunt Collector is Occultist.


Inkfist wrote:
Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
Brandon Hodge wrote:
Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
...the Occultist options aren't all terrible in their mechanical benefits, they're just laugh out loud bad in what you have to do to get and keep them. A fair universe would award you a couple of mythic tiers for pulling that stuff off.
The occultist archetypes have been pretty well received and the critique doesn't seem to match the mechanics. Are you sure you're talking about the right class?
Medium! Occultist archetypes were amazing.

Playing with Herolab and the Haunt collector Occultist is a massive buff to the class. (actually due to the wording it may be on the level of the primalist bloodrager) Trading out weak resonance powers for a buff to your prefered playstyle is amazing.

At low levels an unbuffed transmutation/champion occultist hits like a barbarian, and the swift action spirit bonus shores up the biggest weakness of the melee occultist (you needed knowledge of whats coming up to prepare yourself adequately, now you can be effective without needing 2-3 rounds of prep)

For blaster occultists an archmage spirit is like free damage on all your spells, that stacks with the free damage evocation gives you. (did you really need that conjuration resonance power? free damage, a new power and still being able to keep your standard action 10 round summons sounds like an amazing deal. )

Being able to punch haunts is just icing on the cake.

Thanks for that breakdown. Having little familiarity with Mediums I just blah blahed over that archetype. But now that you've called my attention to some of the benefits, I'm starting to really like it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gisher wrote:
Having little familiarity with Mediums

ARGH STOP IT GUYS

*Clutches head*


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Gisher wrote:
Having little familiarity with Mediums

ARGH STOP IT GUYS

*Clutches head*

I wasn't saying that Haunt Collector is a Medium archetype. I was saying that I had little familiarity with the Medium abilities (Spirit Bonuses, Seance Boons, etc.) and couldn't see how they would be useful to an Occultist.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Oh, I see.

*Removes hands from ears, grimacing*

Probably should have put the rot grub jars down first.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Oh, I see.

*Removes hands from ears, grimacing*

Probably should have put the rot grub jars down first.

Mmmm. Rot grubs.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Rot grubs are like pufferfish for kobolds. They taste good, but when you mess it up, well, it's itchy as f*#+.


Rot grubs make excellent stir fry. Just make sure to cook them well. ;)


At what level is the Haunt Collector's Extricate Haunt ability supposed to be available? From its placement in the archetype description and the abilities that it replaces, I think it was intended to start at 8th level, but it doesn't explicitly say that.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gisher wrote:
At what level is the Haunt Collector's Extricate Haunt ability supposed to be available? From its placement in the archetype description and the abilities that it replaces, I think it was intended to start at 8th level, but it doesn't explicitly say that.

I think it's always supposed to be there starting at level 2 when you can begin picking up haunted implements.


Pardon me, but how is the lich corruption simple template different from the actual lich template? They seem to grant all of the same things.


Axial wrote:
Pardon me, but how is the lich corruption simple template different from the actual lich template? They seem to grant all of the same things.

The whole point of these is that you do get the same sort of abilities (though Lich corruption does get possession powers I think). Corruptions make it so you get the abilities slowly and do not have to get LA.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Axial wrote:
Pardon me, but how is the lich corruption simple template different from the actual lich template? They seem to grant all of the same things.

But you're getting them one by one, and you'll no longer be playing the character well before getting all of them.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
QuidEst wrote:
Axial wrote:
Pardon me, but how is the lich corruption simple template different from the actual lich template? They seem to grant all of the same things.
But you're getting them one by one, and you'll no longer be playing the character well before getting all of them.

They are called corruptions for a reason. If you embrace them, you fall and lose control of your character. If you succeed in the struggle, you have more power. Magic always comes with a price, dearie.


Fourshadow wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Axial wrote:
Pardon me, but how is the lich corruption simple template different from the actual lich template? They seem to grant all of the same things.
But you're getting them one by one, and you'll no longer be playing the character well before getting all of them.
They are called corruptions for a reason. If you embrace them, you fall and lose control of your character. If you succeed in the struggle, you have more power. Magic always comes with a price, dearie.

I see what you did there. :)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Fourshadow wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Axial wrote:
Pardon me, but how is the lich corruption simple template different from the actual lich template? They seem to grant all of the same things.
But you're getting them one by one, and you'll no longer be playing the character well before getting all of them.
They are called corruptions for a reason. If you embrace them, you fall and lose control of your character. If you succeed in the struggle, you have more power. Magic always comes with a price, dearie.

Err, yes, not arguing that. The question was "isn't this just the lich template?", and I was pointing out the chief difference.


I'm not referring to the actual lich corruption, I'm referring to the lich simple template in the bestiary.


Fourshadow wrote:
Magic always comes with a price, dearie.

Have ya heard about this new "wizard" class? Or cleric, or druid, or sorcerer, or witch, or oracle, or arcanist, or shaman, or psychic?

Looks like magic without a "price" is easy to come by in Pathfinder.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Axial wrote:
I'm not referring to the actual lich corruption, I'm referring to the lich simple template in the bestiary.

Oh. Huh. It's interesting how things make more sense when I read them.


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

I guess the main difference is it doesn't require the possessor to have a certain number of HD or Craft Wondrous Item, though it does seem to have a phylactery, which is odd, since the lich corruption is described as usually being either a failed attempt at lichdom, though other possible methods are listed...still, it can be applied to more creatures, even creatures without spellcasting, so I guess it's technically more versatile...though really, there's already nothing stopping a GM from reflavoring the original lich template and/or using it in illegal manners.


In other words, it's superior to the actual lich template!


Alchemaic wrote:
Gisher wrote:
At what level is the Haunt Collector's Extricate Haunt ability supposed to be available? From its placement in the archetype description and the abilities that it replaces, I think it was intended to start at 8th level, but it doesn't explicitly say that.
I think it's always supposed to be there starting at level 2 when you can begin picking up haunted implements.

That was my first thought, but...

(1) Archetype features are normally listed in order of the levels when they are first acquired. Extricate Haunt is listed after Spirit Speaker which starts at 8th level. So I would expect Extricate Haunt to begin at 8th level or higher.

(2) Archetype features that replace other features are normally acquired at the same levels as the ones they replaced. Extricate Haunt replaces features at 8th, 12th, and 16th levels. It seems odd that it would follow a 2nd, 12th, and 16th level progression.

So I'm having an Occam's Razor moment where an editing mistake seems more likely to me than a deliberate choice to start the ability at 2nd level without mentioning that fact.


Axial wrote:
In other words, it's superior to the actual lich template!

Maybe but again templates are more DM oriented than PC oriented. So I'm not against say, a Lich simple template on a Lamia.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gisher wrote:
Alchemaic wrote:
Gisher wrote:
At what level is the Haunt Collector's Extricate Haunt ability supposed to be available? From its placement in the archetype description and the abilities that it replaces, I think it was intended to start at 8th level, but it doesn't explicitly say that.
I think it's always supposed to be there starting at level 2 when you can begin picking up haunted implements.

That was my first thought, but...

(1) Archetype features are normally listed in order of the levels when they are first acquired. Extricate Haunt is listed after Spirit Speaker which starts at 8th level. So I would expect Extricate Haunt to begin at 8th level or higher.

(2) Archetype features that replace other features are normally acquired at the same levels as the ones they replaced. Extricate Haunt replaces features at 8th, 12th, and 16th levels. It seems odd that it would follow a 2nd, 12th, and 16th level progression.

So I'm having an Occam's Razor moment where an editing mistake seems more likely to me than a deliberate choice to start the ability at 2nd level without mentioning that fact.

Well that's another thing on the errata pile then.

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Alchemaic wrote:
Gisher wrote:
Alchemaic wrote:
Gisher wrote:
At what level is the Haunt Collector's Extricate Haunt ability supposed to be available? From its placement in the archetype description and the abilities that it replaces, I think it was intended to start at 8th level, but it doesn't explicitly say that.
I think it's always supposed to be there starting at level 2 when you can begin picking up haunted implements.

That was my first thought, but...

(1) Archetype features are normally listed in order of the levels when they are first acquired...

(2) Archetype features that replace other features are normally acquired at the same levels...

So I'm having an Occam's Razor moment...

Well that's another thing on the errata pile then.

I'm not in a position to give you an official answer on this, but there's also a few reasons its formatted as it is that might ease your concerns:

Extricate Haunt is the haunt collector's signature ability, and was designed to be usable as soon as the archetype is capable of gaining haunted implements, which is 2nd level. But since it isn't a direct 1:1 swap with a specific 2nd level ability and *also* trades out with higher class abilities (at 12th & 16th), and the ability specifies that it is for use with haunted implements (which, again, you get access to at 2nd), it felt redundant (and possibly misleading; see below) to call out the level the ability begins, since you can use it once you get Possessed Possessions. As soon as 2nd level.

There's some important parsing there: ALSO keep in mind that you don't HAVE to get a haunted implement at 2nd level. It's an option: "he can gain access to a haunted implement." It would be silly to take this archetype and not take advantage of all the abilities, but it *is* a fluid option, and for this reason, the ability that plays off this option has to remain similarly fluid and level-unspecific. Because if you don't take the option to get a haunted implement until 6th level, you can't use Extricate Haunt until then. So there's that.

Also note that the archetype already has an 8th-level replacement ability (Spirit Speaker), and if Extricate Haunt was *also* an 8th-level class ability replacement, it would be listed alphabetically, and come *before* Spirit Speaker. It does not.

Given that the created haunt's destruction shuts down access to important abilities for the day, I felt that was a suitable balancing factor for earlier level entry.

As the final text matches what I turned over with only minor edits (and Mark sharing some kind words with me on its design at Gen Con), I would think the developers agreed with this design decision and the formatting. But if you feel more clarification is in order, maybe mark that one for FAQ.


*had a question* The spell pyrotechnic eruption for duration says "See Text" but the text doesn't actually list the duration.

Is that an error?

Contributor

Thomas Seitz wrote:

*had a question* The spell pyrotechnic eruption for duration says "See Text" but the text doesn't actually list the duration.

Is that an error?

"Each round, the damage dealt is reduced to half as many d6; the spell expires when it would do no damage."

So, if you're 8th level, the spell deals 8d6, then 4d6 the next round, then 2d6 the next, then 1d6, then nada, for a total duration of 4 rounds.


Ah! So if I'm 18th level this spell would last then...6 rounds?

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Thomas Seitz wrote:
Ah! So if I'm 18th level this spell would last then...6 rounds?

The longest the spell can ever last is 4 rounds due to max damage dice. In fact, it last 4 rounds in every casting scenario except 7th level, which, as a 4th-level spell, is its minimum casting level:

15d6 (max damage dice) > 7d6 (always round down in PF) > 3d6 > 1d6 = 4

14d6 > 7d6 > 3d6 > 1d6 = 4

13d6 > 6d6 > 3d6 > 1d6 = 4

12d6 > 6d6 > 3d6 > 1d6 = 4

11d6 > 5d6 > 2d6 > 1d6 = 4

10d6 > 5d6 > 2d6 > 1d6 = 4

9d6 > 4d6 > 2d6 > 1d6 = 4

8d6 > 4d6 > 2d6 > 1d6 = 4

7d6 > 3d6 > 1d6 = 3


*hangs his head in shame* I think I fail at math...


Brandon Hodge wrote:
[Lots of wonderful stuff.]

Thank you sooooo much for your feedback! No FAQ needed. It all makes sense to me now. Plus I got some cool insights into your design process. :)

I really should have caught the lack of alphabetization, but I think I was distracted by the voice in my head that keeps chanting "this is too good to be true." I've only been exploring its possibilities for a few days but I have already concluded not only that this is my favorite version of Occultist but that it is my favorite class option in all of Pathfinder.

Even if Extricate Haunt was delayed until 8th level, the other mechanics are amazing. But I'm very, very happy to get Extricate Haunt from 2nd level because I'm getting lots of ideas for how to use it. And I love the flavor this archetype has. I like the concept of the Battle Host having a Spirit associated with his Bonded Implement, but I don't really care for the Bonded Implement itself. This is so much better. I'm really looking forward to tracking down legends of haunted items and then tracking down the items themselves.

Thank you for writing this archetype!


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Brandon Hodge wrote:


There's some important parsing there: ALSO keep in mind that you don't HAVE to get a haunted implement at 2nd level. It's an option: "he can gain access to a haunted implement." It would be silly to take this archetype and not take advantage of all the abilities, but it *is* a fluid option, and for this reason, the ability that plays off this option has to remain similarly fluid and level-unspecific. Because if you don't take the...

I agree with what you said, but the problem is that it's worded weirdly enough that some people will make odd assumptions about when it's available. For example, a player picks up the Haunt Collector in a game, and at level 2 drops a Haunt. The DM thinks this is way overpowered, and after re-reading the archetype comes to the conclusion that since it's listed after the ability that comes online at level 8 and has no obviously listed starting level (and archetypes always list features in numerical order), the signature ability of the haunt collector comes online after level 8.

Something that should be obvious isn't necessarily going to be obvious to everyone.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

What to people think of some of the location horror rules? Personally i think some of them are really cool. Woods that can cause people to attempt suicide, Creepy dolls that will turn to focus their attention on anything moving close to them, and all manner of potential options.

I'm just wondering how people might integrate some of those into their games.
:)


Just got the PDF and have a quick question.

If I choose the living grimoire archetype for inquisitor, can I modify the book I use as my weapon to deal different types of damage?

For example, can I specially create and attune to a book that was specifically designed with a bladed, sharp edge on the covers so that it counts for slashing damage and qualifies for the slashing grace feat?

Or will the damage always be blunt, and I just have to wait until I can get the agile enchant on it?


Horror rules for locations are pretty neat Eris.


Gisher wrote:
Brandon Hodge wrote:
[Lots of wonderful stuff.]

Thank you sooooo much for your feedback! No FAQ needed. It all makes sense to me now. Plus I got some cool insights into your design process. :)

I really should have caught the lack of alphabetization, but I think I was distracted by the voice in my head that keeps chanting "this is too good to be true." I've only been exploring its possibilities for a few days but I have already concluded not only that this is my favorite version of Occultist but that it is my favorite class option in all of Pathfinder.

Even if Extricate Haunt was delayed until 8th level, the other mechanics are amazing. But I'm very, very happy to get Extricate Haunt from 2nd level because I'm getting lots of ideas for how to use it. And I love the flavor this archetype has. I like the concept of the Battle Host having a Spirit associated with his Bonded Implement, but I don't really care for the Bonded Implement itself. This is so much better. I'm really looking forward to tracking down legends of haunted items and then tracking down the items themselves.

Thank you for writing this archetype!

The haunt collector is easily my favourite archetype from a mechanical standpoint. From level 2 you get an option that is a pure buff to your preferred play style (melee, blaster, healer etc) but opens up a whole new suite of tools. The most interesting thing rather than swapping or replacing class features for the most part the cost and benifit is shifted to the player. Occultist can really only get max out two or so implements. Having say a champion haunted conjuration implement is great for a melee occultist but there is a distinct trade off for heavily investing mental focus across three implements. YOU as the player have the choice to work out where the trade off is (maybe less for abjuration and a bare bones investment in divination).

Trading magic circles for the ability to punch haunts and set them as traps is just gravy.


When will the information be available thru the prd? I've preordered from a different source and it won't ship til the 23rd, and just started a carrion crown campaign and was wondering if it will be available there before I get it in the mail


Redneckdevil wrote:
When will the information be available thru the prd? I've preordered from a different source and it won't ship til the 23rd, and just started a carrion crown campaign and was wondering if it will be available there before I get it in the mail

I think it normally takes at least half a year at least.


Milo v3 wrote:
Redneckdevil wrote:
When will the information be available thru the prd? I've preordered from a different source and it won't ship til the 23rd, and just started a carrion crown campaign and was wondering if it will be available there before I get it in the mail
I think it normally takes at least half a year at least.

Okay, so I just gotta be patient and wait for the book lol


Red, pretty much. I'm sure you can fine a copy...eventually. ;)


I'm going to be receiving my copy next week, but I'm too excited to wait so I wanted to ask: are there any horror themed Oracle mysteries in this book? If so, can someone give me a brief description of them?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
HeHateMe wrote:
I'm going to be receiving my copy next week, but I'm too excited to wait so I wanted to ask: are there any horror themed Oracle mysteries in this book? If so, can someone give me a brief description of them?

Nope, sorry. The only select-at-creation things are reprinted domains.


Bugger. Ah well, there are other cool things in this book.


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I was reading the Bloody Jake Slayer archetype. How can they not gain Performance Strings? Or at least get Ghost Sounds to produce the phantom banjo music?

Silver Crusade

So for the exciter archetype, a phantom with the zeal focus is kinda screwed at 12th level, as that's when it would gain steadfast servant to allow it to remain manifested even when its spiritualist master is unconscious or asleep (which it can't do since it can't manifest outside of the exciter). Does that then become a dead level for the phantom or is there some kind of fix for that?


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Blayde MacRonan wrote:
So for the exciter archetype, a phantom with the zeal focus is kinda screwed at 12th level, as that's when it would gain steadfast servant to allow it to remain manifested even when its spiritualist master is unconscious or asleep (which it can't do since it can't manifest outside of the exciter). Does that then become a dead level for the phantom or is there some kind of fix for that?

Pretty sure it's just a dead level...some emotional focus options are just better than others for the exciter.


Nohwear wrote:
I was reading the Bloody Jake Slayer archetype. How can they not gain Performance Strings? Or at least get Ghost Sounds to produce the phantom banjo music?

Eh. I'd let that slide into there as once per day ability.


I just got my copy of the Horror Adventures book and was looking at the new inquisitor archetypes (specifically the living grimoire). Well my question is thus, since they trade away all the judgement class features (for the Sacred Word ability), why do they keep the 17th level Slayer class feature that directly ties in with judgment?

Shouldn't they get something else to replace this class feature?

Slayer Class Feature:
At 17th level, an inquisitor learns to focus her judgment. Whenever an inquisitor uses her judgment ability, she must select one type of judgment. She is treated as if she were 5 levels higher for the purposes of determining the bonus granted by this judgment. Unlike other types of judgment, the one enhanced by this ability cannot be changed for the remainder of the judgment.

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kevinadnd wrote:

I just got my copy of the Horror Adventures book and was looking at the new inquisitor archetypes (specifically the living grimoire). Well my question is thus, since they trade away all the judgement class features (for the Sacred Word ability), why do they keep the 17th level Slayer class feature that directly ties in with judgment?

Shouldn't they get something else to replace this class feature?

** spoiler omitted **

Well, that's a pesky oversight. The Slayer class ability was meant to be folded into the trade-out of either the Sacred Word or Blessed Script abilities, but looks like it didn't make it in my final draft.

The good news is that the archetype is unaffected. Until fixed in errata, Living Grimoires will receive an ability at 17th level they can't use. From a design and mechanical standpoint, however, the trade-off in losing that ability at 17th was that level 16 is pretty front-loaded, and that's when Living Grimoires get their +4 enchantment for Sacred Word, an extra spell for Blessed Script, and 6th-level spells.

So, an annoying omission, yes, but by no means one that affects the function of the archetype in any way.

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