Everyman Options: Paranormal Classes (PFRPG) PDF

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Delve into a world of strange and wondrous power with Everyman Options: Paranormal Classes, by Everyman Gaming, LLC. Designed for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, as a perfect companion to Everyman Gaming’s own Paranormal Adventures, Everyman Options: Paranormal Classes adds a plethora of unique and strange archetypes, class features, and feats for a variety of Pathfinder Roleplaying Game classes.

Everyman Options: Paranormal Classes includes:

  • Over a dozen all-new animal kingdoms for Paranormal Adventure’s shapeshifter class to transform into using their change shape ability.
  • Eight all-new passengers for Paranormal Adventure’s vessel class to harbor within their body or mind.
  • Over a dozen all-new archetypes for a variety of Pathfinder Roleplaying Game classes that are designed to emulate characters and horrors from various cult television shows and movies, including the consumer alchemist, who eats living flesh in order to gain supernatural powers, and the poppet witch, who can manipulate and control inanimate toys and later command and control other creatures as if they were common dolls.
  • New class features that characters for characters of a variety of Pathfinder Roleplaying Game classes to choose from, including new ki powers for unchained monks, new rogue talents for rogues, and new subkingdoms for shapeshifters.
  • Usurpers, a new passenger-like option for vessels that allows the character to become possessed by a material creature, such as a ghost, instead of an outsider.
  • New feats that allow paranormal characters to tap into their strange knowledge and powers.
  • And much, much more!
With Everyman Gaming, innovation is never more than a page away!

Pages: 48

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

This massive expansion for the new base-classes introduced in Paranormal Adventures clocks in at 49 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 5 pages of SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, leaving us with 39 pages of content, so let's take a look!

This review is based on the revised version of the pdf.

We begin, as always in Everyman Gaming publications, with an introduction, ToC and a kind of mission statement, if you will - but beyond that, we begin directly with one of the most requested aspects for the shapeshifter class: MORE kingdoms. These, however, also come with new base shape abilities, so what do they offer? Well, for one, marine creatures are primarily air-breathers, but spend a lot of time in the water and thus gain Hold Breath, which also exists on its own. Being able to squeeze through narrow confines similarly is possible. Very interesting: Being Faceless is just as possible as gaining a shell, the later enhancing defensive fighting or total defense by the respectively noted bonus to AC. The respective kingdoms introduced follow the established formula. To recap: We get base shape, shape sizes, speed and the respective abilities granted by the kingdom, which are unlocked at 2nd, 8th and 15th level, respectively. The governing attributes of the respective kingdom are provided for one's convenience in brackets after the name. Simple and elegant in presentation.

Now it is the selection of shapeshifter kingdoms that proves to be the intriguing aspect: Aardvarks can, for example, not only run pretty fast, they can actually smell through rock, dirt, etc. and at higher levels, they excel at fighting prone and kipping up from a prone position...and at 15th level, they may even rend while prone. This may sound goofy at first glance, but this actually allows for an interesting fighting style. Anteaters gain a repositioning tongue that can pull targets closer (alas, sans synergy for the purpose of standard reposition maneuvers) - there is one issue here, though - I think that the tongue probably should have a reach. It can be intended as default reach, which is why I won't hold that against the pdf, but from the context and multiple repositioning (and flair)-perspective, I think that reach was perhaps intended. (And it would be cool...but perhaps, I watched too many pink panther cartoons as a child...) I digress. Armadillos, surprisingly, are all about defense, while bats begin with unassisted personal flight -as always, my usual "DMs should take heed of low-level flight"-caveat applies, but overall balance-wise, I am pretty okay with it. I really like the bivalve kingdom that can fluidly clamp the shell shut and burrow at higher levels. The Bovine kingdom plays on the sexual dimorphism of the species and grants different options for the sexes as well as trample capability. And as someone who has once evaded a charging wild boar, let me tell you, these are NOT to be trifled with.

A wide smile graced my face, when I noticed that camels can dirty trick-spit foes as well as move through difficult terrain - the combo makes for a relatively nice skirmishing action here. Centipedes gain poison, grab and constrict and those seeking to emulate our sleeping overlords in the sunken cities are in luck: The cephalopod kingdom's part of the deal as well. And yes, at 15th level, you'll have up to 8 tentacle attacks. OUCH. Cetaceans can bull rush in a unique way, while crustaceans at high level are expert grapplers, though both kingdoms are more conservative in design. Deer make nice skirmishers and are highly mobile, while echidna gain defensive spines and, once again, a tongue. Elephants could potentially be problematic, depending on the game - their shape size is Huge. Enchinoderms get pull and staggering spines and yes, friends of horses etc. - the equine kingdom's part of the deal! Gastropods and Marsupials are similarly covered...in the latter case, I am sorely tempted of making a monk who uses his trampling as well as a tail attack. (Kudos if you got that reference!) Mongoose are ferocious and are resilient to poison, while monkeys excel at skills, dirty tricks, etc. Raccoons follow a similar base-line, while the rhinoceros kingdom is suitably unsubtle. Scorpions similarly are unlocked, as are sirenias, sloths and skunks. And yes, sloths can gain a neat burst of speed, while skunks get their signature sickening spray (later nauseated). Turtles and Weasels complement the impressive array of new options here.

Unless I have miscounted, you may also choose from no less than 25 (!!) subkingdoms that should make our friends Down Under happy - koala and kangaroo are part of the deal, just so you know...and so are Gophers, who can carry significant loads in their cheeks and retrieve them via swift actions! That is SO AMAZING. I mean, come on, don't tell me you never wanted to make a badass hamster-hero? Hilarious RP-potential, btw.: While carrying stuff in your cheeks, you're difficult to understand. Add some M&Ms, grapes or similar goodies, stuff them in while playing, et voilà - hilarity. Two thumbs up! Legless humanoids, megabats...and there is a blanaced version of multi-armed humanoid options here...same goes for multiple heads. Whether you want to go rabbit or starfish...or even, yes, sheep - the subkingdoms are intriguing and often are associated with different attributes than the regular kingdoms.

Now the vessel class was a surprise to me back in the day - I frankly believed I had that role covered, but it did bring an interesting engine to the table that made me slowly come around to liking it. The class also receives an assortment of various new passengers to choose from. These follow the established formula. To recap: Each has an alignment, associated domains (3), a damage reduction, a flavorful manifestation of grace as well as a linear sequence of grace boons, which are gained/enhanced at 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter. Concept-wise, these passengers provide a diverse array - we begin with the animate dream, who receives the defensive capabilities you'd expect (better saves vs. emotion, fear, etc. effects) and SR, but also receives tiring strikes, higher-level intangibility and suggestion implanting. It should be noted that said dream, like nightshade or oni, do not receive bracketed subtypes, though e.g. asura and manasaputra do receive these. The former btw. do receive nondetection as well as high-level resistance towards divine magic., while the latter provides Cha-based monk-like defenses. At higher levels, these guys can fire rays of cosmic fire, which inflict both fire damage and positive energy damage - and in contrast to another instance of 3pp-use of positive energy damage, it does not harm creatures usually not harmed by it, which makes it more in line with established depictions of the damage type, so I'm good with it.

Nightshade vessels are the nightmares of evil clerics, being healed by negative energy as well as by positive energy in an interesting variation of the usual type of depictions of such abilities. Channeling energy and summon forth undead similarly are in line with the expected tricks. Oni passengers convey better revitalizing, grace-powered immediate action death knell and such nasty combos. Qlippoth-bound vessels gain tentacles and may capitalize on the aberrant anatomy of their passengers, inflict horrid fungal infections and receive a nasty gaze at 9th level. More subtle and deceptive would be the spells added, courtesy of the rakshasa passenger, as well as the shape changing and spell-poaching, later more flexible when used in conjunction with grace expenditure. The sakhil are slightly less interesting, with a focus on fear and emotion and a grace-powered frightful presence that can be combined with other actions.

The vessel also gets to choose two different archetypes - the possessed vessel is treated as the passenger's type and is susceptible to possession, but may also expend grace to eject passengers. Nice tweak of the base engine. The Psychic Vessel gains psychic spellcasting drawn from the psychic's spell-list of up to 6th level and replaces 2nd level's omen with a small phrenic pool and a phrenic amplification. A total of 4 new omens can be found: Breath of Grace is basically a grace-powered variant of breath of life; Omen of Sorcery nets one or two sorc-spells; quick weal-woe visions and divination with really cool associated imagery of speaking in tongues complement this assortment.

Now perhaps the most radical of flavor-paradigm-innovations herein would be vessel usurpers. Vessels usually are outsiders; usurpers behave very much like passengers, but grant insight bonuses instead of sacred/profane bonuses and generally tend to not be too nice - whether it's the fey, ghost or yithian, I don't applaud the respective usurpers for their designs per se - they behave very much like passengers. I do love, however, that e.g. the Yithian allows me to go full-blown Loath Nolder (kudos if you know those games; more kudos if you've completed them!) - their design is certainly nice! However, at the same time, I found myself wishing that they had a more pronounced behavioral change mechanic to complement their flavor...or a more different feel. That being said, I very much consider the concept to be rife with potential!

Beyond the new class options for the original paranormal classes, we also receive an assortment of archetypes that unlocks options for existing ones: The Devourer alchemist, for example, replaces mutagen (and cognatogen, if applicable) with the option to consume parts of a creature vanquished, allowing them to scavenge abilities associated with the kingdoms and subkingdoms of the shapeshifter. As such, it should come as no surprise that the archetype receives a more melee-centric replacement for throw anything, as well as the option to receive instincts instead of discoveries. The kingdom abilities of the creature consumed are unlocked at 4th level, with higher-level kingdom abilities being unlocked later, thus consuming 3 discoveries the class would usually receive. 14th level increases the duration of the shapeshifting, thus replacing persistent mutagen.

NICE one: The pdf takes the concept of animal companion archetypes and introduces the fey-touched archetype for such companions: Instead of Str/Dex-bonus with becoming intelligent and a fey creature; 3rd level replaces evasion with fey-associated resistances and DR/cold iron and 9th level provides Eldritch Claws instead of Multiattack, with 15th level providing short-range teleport. I *REALLY* like this one; it trades raw power for versatility and it even provides concise synergy with previously established hunter levels. Kudos!! The Linewalker arcanist is, as the title implies, a specialist of detecting ley lines - instead of consuming spells, the arcane reservois of this archetype may be replenished via tapping into ley lines, which not only is flavorful, it also puts some control in the hands of the GM, a design decision I do applaud. However, before the power-gamers start pulling out the pitchforks, I should mention that these guys can seriously enhance spell save DCs and, at high levels, make better use of places of power. I'm not the biggest fan of the class, but I found myself contemplating this archetype quite a bit - kudos!

Now, the original Paranormal Adventures is basically an unabashed love-letter to the Supernatural TV-series and the bloodrager leviathan spawn, locked into the aberrant bloodline, would be a continuation of the themes established - with environmental and even planar adaption and high-level fast healing while raging, the archetype manages to convey well (and in a balanced form) the power of the leviathan. Similarly, the sorcerors may now choose the levialogos mutated bloodline that enhances your disguises and nets you nasty tentacles.

A new bardic masterpiece that first exhausts targets, then sends them asleep. As a minor complaint - the page-reference of the Blessed Conduit cleric archetype is incorrect for the book (the page it should reference is 23, where the spell is found - not 13), though these Magic domain-using clerics would otherwise be a neat take on the ley line using cleric. The Occultist receives the essence guide archetype, who gets an alternate array of spells, sense undead, expend mental focus to generate an aura that impedes undead, generate anti-undead circles - basically a ghost-hunter. Solid, if not mind-boggling.

Unchained Monks may use new ki powers to gain ghost touch, remove fear and similar emotion effects and even separate from the body to project his spirit - the latter in particular is nice, The pdf also provides a wide array of ranger traps (YEAH!) that include ghost salt traps, net launchers, etc. Rogues may elect to receive Psychic Sensitivity and a total of 7 new shapeshifter insticts can be found - these include becoming more lethal when faced with multiple enemies (you know, cornered beast and all...) as well as the ability to smell poison, which is pretty amazing.

Vigilantes also are covered, beginning with the cryptid, whose vigilante identity basically takes use of shapechanger mechanics - think of that as pretty much every werewolf-superhero or e.g. the archetype for fans of "The Wolf Among US" (the adaption of the Fables-comics). The invoker, unsurprisingly, would then be basically a vigilante/vessel-crossover, replacing, akin to the shapeshifter-crossover, vigilante specialization, having the passenger take care of the transformation. Basically, you could go Captain Marvel with that one, with grace accepting etc. - Shazam! (And nope, transformation is NOT subtle...but pretty fast!)

The final archetype is pretty complex and creepy as all hell - the poppet witch, who replaces patron spells with her own array: The witch receives an animated toy as a creepy construct familiar that has a soul focus that can be used to replace bodies...think of that a bit like Chucky, your new familiar. Oh, and the hexes further enhance this theme, allowing you to gain eitehr Improved Familiar...or an animal companion's power! Yes, your creepy killer-doll can actually...be a good creepy killer doll and you won't be penalized thanks to aforementioned soul mechanic, for sending it into the fray. Marionette-like domination, transforming targets into doll-effigies. This archetype is supremely creepy, mechanically complex and pretty much represents the designer at his best. LOVE it.

We conclude this pdf with a total of 9 feats: Cursing stares for mesmerists is neat; similarly, using channel energy to generate a mobile barrier versus fey, better defenses versus emotion effects, sharing a square with same-sized eidolon/phantom...some cool tricks there, though sharing a square and counting as flanking can be seriously nasty. Gaining a stun-inducing defense versus telepathic contact or divination and ghost touch shots for gunslingers are cool. Finally, the pdf introduces the new Sphinx Style, which provides benefits versus foes that you have identified - including potential negation of energy resistances or hardness, based on feats of the style. I usually am NOT a fan of such metagame-y tricks...but here, the implementation is damn cool.

Part II of my review can be found in the product discussion here!


Community Manager

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

As any cultured, elegant, and distinguishing gentleman/lady/person would indubitably say...

...YOINK.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A little disappointed we didn't get those extra Hybrid Shape adaptations you mentioned earlier, or any other adaptations...are you planning on releasing those in a future product?

There are a LOT of new kingdoms and subkingdoms, though, which is certainly nice, though. Mostly looked at the shapeshifter stuff in detail (probably unsurprisingly), but did notice a few possible errors...

Spoiler:

Page 05, minor typo, "Most species of anteater have long, prehensile tails and secret a sticky saliva..." should be "secrete".

Page 07, possible typo, you mention the "nautalisks"; did you mean nautiluses? A quick search didn't turn up anything related to a "nautalisk", at any rate...

Page 08, minor typo, "...and deadly pincers makes many crustaceans formidable predactors." Should be "predators".

Page 08, minor typo, "...you pull the target 5 feet closer to you, plus 5 additional feat..." Should be feet. At first I was like, whoa, FIVE EXTRA FEATS and then I read it more carefully and was 'oh, yes, that makes more sense'.

Page 10, minor typo, "Gastropods are a highly diverse caste of invertebrates that possess a single foot-like structure that allows them to slowly slide their away along the ground." Should be, "slide their way along the ground".

Page 10, the 2nd-level Gastropod ability says it acts like grease, but is an extraordinary ability; what's the DC for this ability? If it was a spell-like ability, it would be 11 + Charisma, but since it isn't...I would guess 10 + 1/2 the shapeshifter’s level + the shapeshifter’s Constitution modifier?

Page 11, Raccoon and Rhinoceros are missing their base shapes, though I presume they are biped and quadruped, respectively.

Page 15-16, the oni is out of order; alphabetically, it should be between the nightshade and qlippoth.

Page 29-30, it mentions the Penguin subkindom getting access to the aquatic mobility shapeshifter instinct, which I don't see...is that supposed to be the instinctual mobility shapeshifter instinct, perhaps? Or something else? Or am I just blind?

Page 31, the Tortoise subkingdom is stated to be associated with the Rodent kingdom, and I rather suspect it is supposed to be associated with the Turtle kingdom instead...?

Page 32, minor typo, "...closer in appearance to a small bear then a weasel." Should be "than".

Page 32, minor typo, "These temporary hit points are lost first when you take damage, disappear when the rage end..." Should be "when the rage ends...".

That said, I still hope for more expansions, especially more insect-related subkingdoms...so far we've only gotten ants, mantises, and wasps, and I'd love to see ant lions, bees, beetles (possibly with a bombadier beetle alternative?), cockroaches, dragonflies, fleas, flies, grasshoppers, mosquitos, phasmatodea, ticks (okay they're arachnids, so maybe not insect subkingdom, but still), and water striders. That said, I am definitely happy we got centipedes, crustaceans, and scorpions for some exoskeletal love! And mantises are super-cool too.

Really happy that bats, cephalopods, and monkeys made it in, I always thought it was strange they weren't, in addition to the centipedes, crustaceans, and scorpions already, but only so much room in the original, I suppose! Definitely some really strange options here as well, though I was a little surprised you didn't put in jellyfish given some of the strange kingdoms and subkingdoms that didn't make it in...anyways, yeah, lots of fun stuff for the shapeshifter, even if I still want more...

And of course, someday I'd like the option - even if walled off behind various archetypes - to get shapeshifters that can turn into aberrations, dragons, magical beasts, oozes, maybe even constructs or undead. Aberration, magical beast, and ooze kingdoms in particular would be interesting to see...and having enjoyed Everyman Unchained: Eidolons, I definitely think you could pull it off sometime in the right supplemental!

Okay, okay, I'm done gushing about how much I love the shapeshifter (at least for now. In this post, anyways).

Anyways, for those who want to know what's inside before buying...

Overview:

We start off with some new base forms for odder Kingdoms introduced for the shapeshifter, modifying the usual note about it being only the number of legs that counts to also taking into account how it moves, primarily for those with no legs, who were previously classified universally as undulatory, we now have radial, sessile, and valve as options, as well as monopod for those with only one leg. Similarly, there are some new base shape abilities; hold breath, malleable, marine, faceless, and shell.

We then gain the following (not in this order)...

Archetypes
Blessed Conduit (Cleric)
Cryptid (Vigilante)
Devourer (Alchemist)
Essence Guide (Occultist)
Fey-Touched (Animal Companion)
Invoker (Vigilante)
Leviathan Spawn (Bloodrager)
Linewalker (Arcanist)
Poppet Witch (Witch)
Possessed Vessel (Vessel)
Psychic Vessel (Vessel)

Bardic Masterpiece
Exhausting Reel

Feats
Accursed Stare (Stare) (Mesmerist level 15th, painful stare class feature, ability to cast bestow curse)
Channeled Barrier (Channel energy class feature 4d6)
Conditioned Intellect (Psychic Sensitivity or ability to cast psychic spells)
Coordinated Companion (Eidolon or phantom class feature)
Knowledge from Beyond (Mystery, patron, or spirit class feature)
Specter Hunter Deed (Grit) (Grit class feature or Amateur Gunslinger feat, Knowledge (religion) 5 ranks)
Sphinx Savagery (Combat) (Int 13 or monster lore class feature, Sphinx Secret, Sphinx Style, Weapon Focus with the chosen weapon, at least 9 ranks in 3 different Knowledge skills)
Sphinx Secret (Combat) (Int 13 or monster lore class feature, Sphinx Style, Weapon Focus with the chosen weapon, at least 5 ranks in 3 different Knowledge skills)
Sphinx Style (Combat, Style) (Int 13 or monster lore class feature, Weapon Focus with the chosen weapon, at least 3 ranks in 3 different Knowledge skills)

Ki Powers
Spirit Touch
Soothing Influence
Unfettered Soul

Mutated Bloodline
Levialogos (Aberrant)

Passengers
Animate Dream
Asura
Manasaputra
Nightshade
Oni
Qlippoth
Rakshasa
Sakhil

Ranger Traps
Anchoring Trap
Blanched Trap
Deafening Trap
Ghost Salt Trap
Net Launcher Trap
Smoke Cloud Trap

Rogue Talents
Shapeshifter's Sorrow
Spirit Sabotage
Unlocked Potential

Shapeshifter Instincts
Acrobatic Maneuver
Bestial Bravery
Cornered Beast
Deft Maneuver
Instinctual Mobility
Slippery
Smell Toxin

Shapeshifter Kingdoms
Aardvarks
Anteater
Armadillo
Bat
Bivalve
Bovine
Camel
Centipede
Cephalopods
Cetaceans
Crustaceans
Deer
Echidna
Elephant
Echinoderm
Equine
Gastropod
Marsupial
Mongoose
Monkey
Raccoon
Rhinoceros
Scorpions
Sirenias
Sloth
Skunk
Turtle
Weasel

Shapeshifter Subkingdoms
Badger
Beaver
Gopher
Kangaroo
Koala
Legless Humanoid
Megabat
Mantis
Multi-Armed Humanoid
Multi-Headed Humanoid
Narwhal
Native Outsider
Ostrich
Otter
Penguin
Possum
Rabbit
Sheep
Starfish
Thylacine
Tortoise
Vampire Bat
Walrus
Whale
Wolverine

Spell
Place of Power (occultist 6, psychic 7, shaman 7, sorcerer/wizard 7, witch 7)

Vessel Omens
Breath of Grace
Omen of Sorcery
Prophecies of Weal and Woe
Soothsayer's Babble

Usurpers*
Fey
Ghost
Yithian

*Usurpers are a new concept for vessels that act like passengers, but aren't outsiders, and don't desire a peaceful partnership with them. They use strain instead of grace, but are otherwise basically the same from a mechanical viewpoint.

I hope this helps convince people they want this!

Contributor

Thanks Luthorne.

Tell me, which Adaptations are you referring to? I looked through my notes when I put thi together and didn't find any reminders of teased adaptations.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Alexander Augunas wrote:

Thanks Luthorne.

Tell me, which Adaptations are you referring to? I looked through my notes when I put thi together and didn't find any reminders of teased adaptations.

You mentioned it here...greater hybrid shape and true hybrid shape adaptations. Though you also said it was going to be Everyman Options: Shapeshifter, so maybe that's still in the future, I had just assumed that product evolved into this one...


Luthorne makes this sound like one heck of a book.

Contributor

Luthorne wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:

Thanks Luthorne.

Tell me, which Adaptations are you referring to? I looked through my notes when I put thi together and didn't find any reminders of teased adaptations.

You mentioned it here...greater hybrid shape and true hybrid shape adaptations. Though you also said it was going to be Everyman Options: Shapeshifter, so maybe that's still in the future, I had just assumed that product evolved into this one...

Aw, crap.

Yeah, totally slipped my mind. I'll put it in the que "for realz" this time and make sure it happens in a future product. You're right that the original concept for an EMO: Shapeshifters got merged into this product, but that doesn't mean I can't still do another one somewhere down the line! (Or find a place to put this in sooner.)


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Luthorne makes this sound like one heck of a book.

That's because it is, obviously! Lots of fun material, even if I'm pretty focused on new shapeshifter stuff. The devourer alchemist is pretty darn cool, as is the unfettered soul ki power, I love the cryptid vigilante, and the poppet witch looks pretty amazing. Sadly, I prefer to stick to spontaneous casters, but it's a super-cool concept. Anyways, yeah, very neat product.

Also all the shapeshifter goodness give it to me I neeeeeeed it.......~

Alexander Augunas wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:

Thanks Luthorne.

Tell me, which Adaptations are you referring to? I looked through my notes when I put thi together and didn't find any reminders of teased adaptations.

You mentioned it here...greater hybrid shape and true hybrid shape adaptations. Though you also said it was going to be Everyman Options: Shapeshifter, so maybe that's still in the future, I had just assumed that product evolved into this one...

Aw, crap.

Yeah, totally slipped my mind. I'll put it in the que "for realz" this time and make sure it happens in a future product. You're right that the original concept for an EMO: Shapeshifters got merged into this product, but that doesn't mean I can't still do another one somewhere down the line! (Or find a place to put this in sooner.)

I'll look forward to it, then!


Alexander Augunas wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:

Thanks Luthorne.

Tell me, which Adaptations are you referring to? I looked through my notes when I put thi together and didn't find any reminders of teased adaptations.

You mentioned it here...greater hybrid shape and true hybrid shape adaptations. Though you also said it was going to be Everyman Options: Shapeshifter, so maybe that's still in the future, I had just assumed that product evolved into this one...

Aw, crap.

Yeah, totally slipped my mind. I'll put it in the que "for realz" this time and make sure it happens in a future product. You're right that the original concept for an EMO: Shapeshifters got merged into this product, but that doesn't mean I can't still do another one somewhere down the line! (Or find a place to put this in sooner.)

I'll be looking forward to that.


Luthorne wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Luthorne makes this sound like one heck of a book.

That's because it is, obviously! Lots of fun material, even if I'm pretty focused on new shapeshifter stuff. The devourer alchemist is pretty darn cool, as is the unfettered soul ki power, I love the cryptid vigilante, and the poppet witch looks pretty amazing. Sadly, I prefer to stick to spontaneous casters, but it's a super-cool concept. Anyways, yeah, very neat product.

Okay, just what is the devourer alchemist?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Luthorne makes this sound like one heck of a book.

That's because it is, obviously! Lots of fun material, even if I'm pretty focused on new shapeshifter stuff. The devourer alchemist is pretty darn cool, as is the unfettered soul ki power, I love the cryptid vigilante, and the poppet witch looks pretty amazing. Sadly, I prefer to stick to spontaneous casters, but it's a super-cool concept. Anyways, yeah, very neat product.

Okay, just what is the devourer alchemist?

They make creatures into ingredients, trading out mutagen and the ability to take either mutagen or cognatogen as a discovery for being able to gain various abilities of a creature they eat some of for ten minutes per level, as per the shapeshifter kingdom/subkingdom of said creature, though a bit more modularly than a shapeshifter does, trades out bombs, Throw Anything, and the ability to take discoveries that modify bombs for Improved Unarmed Strike and the shapeshifter's savagery ability, and can take shapeshifter instincts as discoveries.


That sounds nice and creepy. The Hannibal Lecter alchemist.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Eric Hinkle wrote:
That sounds nice and creepy. The Hannibal Lecter alchemist.

Following our "cult media" trend for Paranormal Adventures, its actually more based around the alchemist from Supernatural. (Specifically, the episode Dog Dean Days.)

Of course, it 100% works for a Hannibal Lector character. That's just icing on the brain!

Contributor

Also, I need to give author Matt Morris a shoutout—he conceptualized pretty much everything in the book that isn't shapeshifter-related. He did some mean work on this one!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

Luthorne wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Luthorne makes this sound like one heck of a book.

That's because it is, obviously! Lots of fun material, even if I'm pretty focused on new shapeshifter stuff. The devourer alchemist is pretty darn cool, as is the unfettered soul ki power, I love the cryptid vigilante, and the poppet witch looks pretty amazing. Sadly, I prefer to stick to spontaneous casters, but it's a super-cool concept. Anyways, yeah, very neat product.

Glad you liked it!

Contributor

Luthorne wrote:
Page 10, the 2nd-level Gastropod ability says it acts like grease, but is an extraordinary ability; what's the DC for this ability? If it was a spell-like ability, it would be 11 + Charisma, but since it isn't...I would guess 10 + 1/2 the shapeshifter’s level + the shapeshifter’s Constitution modifier?

Yes.

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Page 11, Raccoon and Rhinoceros are missing their base shapes, though I presume they are biped and quadruped, respectively.

Yes.

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Page 29-30, it mentions the Penguin subkindom getting access to the aquatic mobility shapeshifter instinct, which I don't see...is that supposed to be the instinctual mobility shapeshifter instinct, perhaps? Or something else? Or am I just blind?

Yes. Originally there was a [MOVEMENT] mobility instinct for each movement type, but late in the development of the product I decided that such separation was against the spirit of the class, so the lot of them were combined into a single instinct. Guess this one *slipped* through the cracks.

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Page 31, the Tortoise subkingdom is stated to be associated with the Rodent kingdom, and I rather suspect it is supposed to be associated with the Turtle kingdom instead...?

That dastardly villain Copypaste strikes again!

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That said, I still hope for more expansions, especially more insect-related subkingdoms...so far we've only gotten ants, mantises, and wasps, and I'd love to see ant lions, bees, beetles (possibly with a bombadier beetle alternative?), cockroaches, dragonflies, fleas, flies, grasshoppers, mosquitos, phasmatodea, ticks (okay they're arachnids, so maybe not insect subkingdom, but still), and water striders. That said, I am definitely happy we got centipedes, crustaceans, and scorpions for some exoskeletal love! And mantises are super-cool too.

Paranormal Adventures was *super* popular. (Not Ultimate Charisma or Kitsune Compendium popular, but popular enough to warrant expanding upon the classes. If this product is popular and I see more people asking for more vessel / shapeshifter stuff, it'll happen. If I don't, they don't. (Part of the reason that Paranormal Classes happened instead of EMO: Shapeshifters is that Paranormal Adventures was popular, but the classes didn't seem like they had caught on.)

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Really happy that bats, cephalopods, and monkeys made it in, I always thought it was strange they weren't, in addition to the centipedes, crustaceans, and scorpions already, but only so much room in the original, I suppose! Definitely some really strange options here as well, though I was a little surprised you didn't put in jellyfish given some of the strange kingdoms and subkingdoms that didn't make it in...anyways, yeah, lots of fun stuff for the shapeshifter, even if I still want more...

Don't ask me to recall which, but a bunch of the shapes and subshapes are things that were cut from Paranormal Adventures for space. I'm almost positive that monkeys, crustaetans, and cetaceans were on that list.

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And of course, someday I'd like the option - even if walled off behind various archetypes - to get shapeshifters that can turn into aberrations, dragons, magical beasts, oozes, maybe even constructs or undead. Aberration, magical beast, and ooze kingdoms in particular would be interesting to see...and having enjoyed Everyman Unchained: Eidolons, I definitely think you could pull it off sometime in the right supplemental!

Slowly. Very, very slowly. With a class as flexible as the shapeshifter, it is VERY tricky to build up to a "you can turn into anything," system. Takes time and iteration.

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Okay, okay, I'm done gushing about how much I love the shapeshifter (at least for now. In this post, anyways).

No, by all means keep gushing. The more Paranormal Adventures and Paranormal Classes sales I make, the more likely expansions on the shapeshifter and vessel are.

I mean, after all, you DO want more usurpers, don't you? >: )

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ChesterCopperpot wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Luthorne makes this sound like one heck of a book.

That's because it is, obviously! Lots of fun material, even if I'm pretty focused on new shapeshifter stuff. The devourer alchemist is pretty darn cool, as is the unfettered soul ki power, I love the cryptid vigilante, and the poppet witch looks pretty amazing. Sadly, I prefer to stick to spontaneous casters, but it's a super-cool concept. Anyways, yeah, very neat product.

Glad you liked it!

We need to get you to a point where you can use your real name and not be confused for *that other Matt Morris* (who actually doesn't go by Matt Morris).

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

Alexander Augunas wrote:

We need to get you to a point where you can use your real name and not be confused for *that other Matt Morris* (who actually doesn't go by Matt Morris).

Nothing would make me happier! For now, I'll have to settle for real name in the RPG Superstar forums.


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

Yeah, I remember I felt a bit frustrated when I noticed that the Ape Kingdom specifically excluded monkeys back when Paranormal Adventures came out, but now that we have the Monkey Kingdom, it's all good.

And yeah, it's just something I would like to see sometime. There's certainly plenty of variety...though I think a botanical slant on the shapeshifter would be really interesting to see sometime. Bringing in various Plant/Fungi Kingdoms...though there's still plenty of animal-related Kingdoms I'd like to see, too. Not sure if a plant-based version would need an archetype, or if you think plants and fungi fit within the bounds of the shapeshifter's concept.

Hmm, the vessel...it's definitely interesting, but I'm going to be honest, when it comes to housing spirits, I gotta lean towards the binder/occultist/pactmage or whatever you want to call it. I'm just a pact magic junkie...love the flavor and all the unique details of every spirit, especially the physical and mental influence, but the really unique abilities fascinate me too. Loved it back in Tome of Magic, and really looking forward the Grimoire of Lost Souls. I mean, the vessel does have a somewhat different niche, since it sticks to a single entity in way that would be difficult for pact magic to emulate with the various levels of spirits, though probably not impossible...hmm, sorry, gushing about pact magic now. Anyways! A vessel archetype that gets a permanent spirit instead of a passenger and possibly trades out spellcasting for more spirit powers would probably be a lot more interesting to me. Not that the vessel is boring, mind you, but I only have so many GMs willing to allow third party material, unfortunately...

...I definitely love the shapeshifter though. I've always loved shapeshifting as a concept, but druids always just had all this other baggage, like 9th-level prepared spellcasting and the whole nature-priest concept and I have to wait until 4th level to get my shapeshifting at all...the shapeshifter on the other hand takes shapeshifting and runs with it. From first level you get a few forms to swap between as often as you like, and you get a nice assembly of possible forms...I just kind of wish the wildheart instinct was a default! And adaptations just allow so many cool things, though I hope we get more, especially those hybrid shape ones...but yeah. I could only wish Paizo would pay you to add it into an official book so more GMs would allow me to play it...well, that and for lots more expansions! Ultimate Shapeshifter certainly sounds like a nice hardcover...

...okay, that's enough dreaming. Well, I suppose if the shapeshifter gets enough demand, eventually you could do a hardcover, but I'm probably not going to be holding my breath there. Whether that would be Ultimate Shapeshifter or Ultimate Paranormal or what have you. For now, I'll just hope people give this product the love it deserves, enough for yet another!

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Luthorne wrote:
nd yeah, it's just something I would like to see sometime. There's certainly plenty of variety...though I think a botanical slant on the shapeshifter would be really interesting to see sometime. Bringing in various Plant/Fungi Kingdoms...though there's still plenty of animal-related Kingdoms I'd like to see, too. Not sure if a plant-based version would need an archetype, or if you think plants and fungi fit within the bounds of the shapeshifter's concept.

Its definitely something I could do. The question is whether it would be better as an archetype or as a part of the base class. (I'm thinking that botany would be better serviced as an archetype myself.)

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Hmm, the vessel...it's definitely interesting, but I'm going to be honest, when it comes to housing spirits, I gotta lean towards the binder/occultist/pactmage or whatever you want to call it. I'm just a pact magic junkie...love the flavor and all the unique details of every spirit, especially the physical and mental influence, but the really unique abilities fascinate me too.

I'm certainly not upset with ANYONE preferring pact magic to the vessel, but the vessel isn't trying to BE pact magic. With pact magic, you're reaching out to stranger powers and binding them to yourself. To an extent, the quality of the bind is completely under your control.

With the vessel, those stranger powers are typically reaching out to YOU and taking you over as a result. The flavor is completely different.

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Anyways! A vessel archetype that gets a permanent spirit instead of a passenger and possibly trades out spellcasting for more spirit powers would probably be a lot more interesting to me. Not that the vessel is boring, mind you, but I only have so many GMs willing to allow third party material, unfortunately...

That's totally in the realm of, "Maybe someday," but the last time I did a Pact Magic support under Everyman Gaming, it wasn't popular. (Occult Options 1 is my absolute worst-selling product.)


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

Yeah, I did say that I could see their different niches...what I was ultimately trying to say is that I prefer both the more individualistic nature of spirits, with their own very distinctive peculiarities, versus the somewhat more generic nature of the passengers which represents a group more than an individual. Just by nature of the fact that they are aberrations and unique individuals, they just get my attention more. And mechanically, of course, I think spirits are also more interesting with their unique and asundry powers. And, really, to some extent the flavor can vary...I often enjoy having practitioners of pact magic who find themselves 'called' to it in some way...perhaps via strange dreams, a mysterious birthmark, or something else along those lines. And if you lose your passenger by offending them, you can gain a new one via a ritual, which is rather pact magic-esque...but yeah, they are different, they just have somewhat similar themes. Anyways, yeah, big ol' tangent...could go further, but still.

And I'm sorry to hear that, I really liked Occult Options, Issue #1: Binder Secrets, I thought it had lots of neat ideas, and still make use of it when designing characters. Was always hoping there would be more, guess I know why there wasn't now. Maybe Grimoire of Lost Souls will stir up some more interest...? I'd love to see it updated for any changes for the Grimoire of Lost Souls and new pact magic products, but yeah, got to go with what sells, after all.

Contributor

Luthorne wrote:
And I'm sorry to hear that, I really liked Occult Options, Issue #1: Binder Secrets, I thought it had lots of neat ideas, and still make use of it when designing characters. Was always hoping there would be more, guess I know why there wasn't now. Maybe Grimoire of Lost Souls will stir up some more interest...? I'd love to see it updated for any changes for the Grimoire of Lost Souls and new pact magic products, but yeah, got to go with what sells, after all.

I'll probably end up updating the language in Occult Options 1 to reflect the name change of the occultist class. I'm not really sure what I would put in an Occult Options 2 at this point in time, though.


Damn you Alex, just when I have no money I see this... sigh, I'll have to wait to get the dough for this book, I luv the vessel! Please, a monster template that is like the vessel, but for monsters ;)

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the xiao wrote:
Damn you Alex, just when I have no money I see this... sigh, I'll have to wait to get the dough for this book, I luv the vessel! Please, a monster template that is like the vessel, but for monsters ;)

I actually did that! You can find the "monster template for the vessel" in Paranormal Adventures—there's a simple class template for the class that's along the same lines as the ones for the core classes that are in the Monster Codex.

Also, don't worry. Any time, any place, this product will be waiting for you. ;-)


Luthorne wrote:
Yeah, I did say that I could see their different niches...what I was ultimately trying to say is that I prefer both the more individualistic nature of spirits, with their own very distinctive peculiarities, versus the somewhat more generic nature of the passengers which represents a group more than an individual. Just by nature of the fact that they are aberrations and unique individuals, they just get my attention more. And mechanically, of course, I think spirits are also more interesting with their unique and asundry powers. And, really, to some extent the flavor can vary...I often enjoy having practitioners of pact magic who find themselves 'called' to it in some way...perhaps via strange dreams, a mysterious birthmark, or something else along those lines. And if you lose your passenger by offending them, you can gain a new one via a ritual, which is rather pact magic-esque...but yeah, they are different, they just have somewhat similar themes. Anyways, yeah, big ol' tangent...could go further, but still.

Considering that Vessels are casters, have you considered replacing their spellcasting with binding per the usual rules for such?


I'm surprised how many australian animals are shapechange-able in this book, nice to see.

Contributor

Milo v3 wrote:
I'm surprised how many australian animals are shapechange-able in this book, nice to see.

Thanks! I tried to listen to what people were asking for after Paranormal Adventures got the positive reception that it did. (I also thought it was humorous that with the right combination of adaptations, you could basically be a drop bear if you wanted to.)


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Part II of my review:

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting, while very good, aren't perfect - there are a couple of minor hiccups, though they do not impede the functionality of the rules- Rules-language, as pretty much always in Alexander Augunas' books, is precise and to the point. The pdf's artworks are in full-color and Jacob Blackmon's signature style. Layout adheres to a 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience, though individual kingdoms and passengers have not been bookmarked, which may require a bit of page-flipping.

Alexander Augunas and Matt Morris deliver a cool expansion for the Paranormal Adventures classes; the material herein unlocks several of the neat tricks for other classes and features some true gems - the poppet witch, for example, is amazing and the yithian usurper similarly is cool. Plus: HAMSTER-cheek-action! I mean, come on, how cool is that? That being said, not each and every component herein is that inspired. A couple of the options feel, at least to me, like they could have carried a bit more. That being said, this is simply me being horribly spoiled by Everyman Gaming and similar high-caliber designers/publishers - this is pretty much a must-own expansion for the cool Paranormal Classes - and as such, this receives a final verdict of 5 stars.

Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS, etc.

Endzeitgeist out.

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Thanks for your amazingly analytic review, End! Matt and I are glad you enjoyed this as much as you did.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

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Alexander Augunas wrote:
Thanks for your amazingly analytic review, End! Matt and I are glad you enjoyed this as much as you did.

Yes! Thanks for the amazingly thorough review, End!

-Matt


Great job, gentlemen! This one took forever to get done...but I'm catching up!!

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