Pathfinder Player Companion: Healer's Handbook (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Player Companion: Healer's Handbook (PFRPG)
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Good for What Ails You!

Whether it's for getting patched up after a fight, dealing with a debilitating disease contracted in a fetid dungeon, or negating the effects of a terrible poison in the middle of combat, eventually every adventurer needs a healer. Most healers have their own agendas, though, and these don't always end at mending their allies' ailments. With Pathfinder Player Companion: Healer's Handbook, characters can learn to efficiently heal their patients—without finding themselves reduced to being walking first-aid kits.

Inside this book, you'll find:

  • Healing-focused archetypes for 10 classes, such as the angelfire apostle cleric and invigorator paladin—plus options for arcane healers, such as the faith singer bard and arcane physician wizard.
  • Feats geared toward characters who like to heal on their own terms, plus feats that allow any adventurer to harness her own vigor in the heat of battle.
  • A host of new options to customize features for classes that dabble in healing, including focused blessings for warpriests, new paladin mercies, druidic herbalism, and a shaman spirit specialization.

This Pathfinder Player Companion is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be incorporated into any fantasy world.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-914-1

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

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New basic options for classes? Sold!

5/5

Book gets five stars for some really neat stuff design-wise. It expands the basic options for some classes- no archetype compatibility issues, no extra features you don't care about or trading out stuff you wanted. If you play a Druid or a Paladin, you now have additional options on your list. I'd love to see more of this in future books!

If you're a Druid, you can get an alchemist-esque potion-making ability for Nature's Bond. There are some balance issues on the money part of it, so I recommend GMs go with "you can stockpile, but not sell". Could be a good idea to rule that expensive material components still cost money, too.

If you're a Paladin, you can choose from three new bond choices instead of a weapon bond or mount. More healing, a communal ward against evil, or being one terrifying avatar of divine justice. In addition, there are a bunch of new choices for mercies ranging from things that are great for a character arc to cementing your position as the last thing an evil wizard wants to run into.

Another really neat design choice that I'd love to see more is explicitly compatible archetypes- the Alchemist's healing archetype is designed to work with Chirurgeon, addressing overlapping features. Having two compatible archetypes with similar goals is great for character customization- you now have three levels of healing archetype to apply (one, the other, or both). Also solves the big issue with Chirurgeon while it's at it! Both Alchemist archetypes are pretty awesome, and do a great job of expanding character options with good balance.

Clerics get an archetype that doesn't mess with their domains. Whoo! Warpriests and Shamans get subblessings and subspirits.

That said, this book will contain disappointments for people looking for certain things (as some of the other reviews show):
-There's really only one good thing for the heal skill, an inexpensive magic item to expand its effectiveness. Nonmagical healing in the book is not very impressive otherwise.
- If you wanted more healing on non-healing classes, this isn't the book for you. It's a book about making the existing healers better at their job or giving them more options while they do it.
- Sorry, evil Clerics. You're still preparing healing spells in slots like before. You can now use them for torture or manipulation, though, so those spells will be more versatile.

All in all, a great win for character versatility!


Some good options

4/5

This book is all about healing, as you probably guessed. But how does it provide more healing options?

Mainly Archetypes. Just over a dozen. Most are meh, a few are bad, and a few are good.

There are also some Feats. An interesting Feat chain is now available for characters with a 13+ CON, that lets them "rest" as a standard action to re-gain HP.

Outside of Archetypes and Feats, there are a few Traits and Magic Items and Spells that offer a bit here and there, but nothing too earth shattering from what I saw.

Overall I think this is a good book. Not quite 5 stars, and a bit on the bland side, but good.


2/5

A book on healing is going to be a very daunting task, so it's hard to judge too harshly here. I'm not terribly impressed with this book, but I'm not angry I purchased it either.

In general, I found the majority of the Archetypes very lacking, especially the Angelfire Apostle I was most excited about.

I'm also a bit disappointed that the book starts out describing how the ability to heal (including removing conditions and raising the dead) is the most miraculous and wondrous feat of all magic, but then the book basically goes out of it's way to hand it out like candy. I'm of the opinion that there is already too much available, cheap healing as is, and it's detrimental to the game, so adding even more, and basically stomping even more over the line of one of the defining traits of divine magic (vs Arcane, Occult, and Martial abilities) was a really poor call. Again, just my opinion.

It lacked much in the way of non-magical applications (or expansions) for the Heal Skill, or even much in the way of talking about healing equipment or goods.

Unfortunately, I just found most the material bland and/or mediocre. On one hand, I love just how much crunch they put in this book, and am honestly surprised with how much they touched on so much variety, (a trait for this deity, an option for that one), I didn't really expect to see.

I also like some of the spells the book offers, but at the same time, I really wish they where a few Spell Levels lower so that they might actually be used in play. Or at least had lesser versions.

I think there was just far too much split focus for this product to really have been that effective. No real Channel Energy or Lay On Hands options, and as I mentioned, nothing really for the Heal Skill. There is a bit for Occult stuff, but even being not a fan it looked kind of lackluster. For the most part, this book doesn't really make Being the Healer Fun as it offers a few different ways to do so, without really helping to much to do it well or that interestingly.


Healing Can Be Fun

4/5

Some interesting options for healing and curative related spells, powers, etc.

The good
-New kineticist wild talents, oracle mystery, witch hexes and patron, paladin divine bonds and mercies, bardic masterpieces, alchemist discoveries, warpriest blessings, and druid nature bond.
-New feats that allow you to heal yourself.
-Some interesting new archetypes.

The bad
-No new channeling, lay on hands, or healing enhancing feats.
-No healing focused archetypes for non-casters(except one monk and one ranger).


(Magic) Healer's/Supporter's Handbook

3/5

This book's kind of hard to get a perfect read on because it's so densely packed, but what I've been picking through seems average. There's a few interesting options such as the Angelfire Apostle that effectively adds a breath weapon to healing spells and the spell Balance of Suffering which allows you to heal one target at the expense of another's life force, or the Phoenix Feather which is just a Phoenix Down, or the Paladin stuff which is all pretty great. But a lot of the stuff just seems very bland at best. The Arcane Physician for example is probably the most "meh" thing in the book, since it's just a Wizard that gets healing spells. That's really about it. There's also a weirdly high amount of options dedicated to status suppression and miscellaneous support abilities instead of actual healing, such as the Sacred Attendant who gains the ability to boost Charisma checks.

Also, most of the options in the book are caster-oriented. There are two non-caster archetypes (a lesser but unchained-friendly version of Monk of the Healing Hand and a Ranger that's okay at finding plants), and the Combat Vigor feats are more work than they're worth unless you're a Fighter with plenty of feats to spare to make them worthwhile, not to mention they're self-only unlike a wand of a cure spell.

tl;dr, if you're expecting new uses for the Heal skill or new alchemical healing items, or feats and abilities that make even the least magically-inclined Barbarian into a somewhat viable out-of-combat healer, this isn't the book for you. If you're looking for new ways for your existing healer to heal more differently, then pick this up.


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Yeah, talk about highly disappointing news.


If we can't talk about what is actually in the book...then lets talk about fast healing some more.


Inquiring minds want to know.. how's the drood healing?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Oh, no we can talk about it all we want, the people who already have it just can't give away a bunch of stuff.

I wonder if the Arcane Physician will use Conjuration or Necromancy to heal?

Contributor

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BigNorseWolf wrote:

Inquiring minds want to know.. how's the drood healing?

Druids get a neat option with healing that uses herbs in a way similar to potions. It's quite interesting and I feel a lot of druids will be taking it.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:

Oh, no we can talk about it all we want, the people who already have it just can't give away a bunch of stuff.

I wonder if the Arcane Physician will use Conjuration or Necromancy to heal?

Same as anyone else!

Spoiler:

They added some healing spells to their spell list.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
donato wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Oh, no we can talk about it all we want, the people who already have it just can't give away a bunch of stuff.

I wonder if the Arcane Physician will use Conjuration or Necromancy to heal?

Same as anyone else!

** spoiler omitted **

O.O

... I did not see that coming.

Dark Archive

Skeld wrote:
Andrew Mullen wrote:
Dean HS Jones wrote:
*sets google alert for Skeld posting*

We were asked by Mr. Sutter in this thread to not be so detailed with our personal previews, so I wouldn't expect what had become the traditional treasure trove of mouthwatering info. Which is a little disappointing, sure, but I think totally understandable!

(Chris Lambertz also popped in later to clean up and ask that any discussion of that particular request/preview policy be discussed in Website Feedback, rather than a Product Discussion thread)

Right.

I got my shipping email a little over an hour ago, but I'm not going to be discussing the products. I'm not here to cause Paizo any problems or step on their toes with regard to sharing what's in their books. There have been a few posts like the ones above asking me/us to curtail our sharing and so I'm going to do as I've been asked.

-Skeld

Here is what James Sutter had to say to this subject:

James Sutter wrote wrote:


Kalindlara wrote:

Steve Geddes wrote:

I didn't take James to be requesting people not answer general questions about the book's contents (I think it's fine to say something like "there's two archetypes and a bunch of feats for rogues").

I think the point was more not to go into too many of the gory details (like not: "Here's a cut and paste of all the feats a rogue might be interested in").

This is my understanding as well. So when I get my copy, I might say "the angelfire apostle is good if you like Sarenrae's themes and want more channeling/greater versatility when channeling*"... but not a bulleted list of what it grants and replaces. (Things were getting kind of ridiculous there for a while.)

*Just an example; I don't actually know what it does yet.

It's an admittedly fuzzy line, but this seems like a great example of talking about the book without laying out every detail. Thanks!

So, i hope we can still get some not too detailed infos from you in the future, Skeld. :-)

Thanks for all the great stuff you revealed in the past, you made me buy a lot of books (mostly player companions), i wouldn´t had otherwise!

I wish you a great 2017!


I fear this thread's going downhill.


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Eagerly awaiting my shipping notice so I can get the nitty gritty on that Angelfire Apostle myself! If it has anything to do with what I think it does, I may make my first Cleric EVER! I've been playing since '83 or so...it has been awhile.


So, should Paizo just start including NDAs with their subscriber details, since apparently we're not allowed to talk about the details of the book until it comes out?

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Jessica Price wrote:

Folks, I don't care if you discuss/preview what's in the book.

If someone wants to talk about specific feats/traits, feel free. All I ask is that instead of giving every detail about it (this option gives you a +2 bonus to these six skills), you talk about it a little more generally (this option gives you a bump to CHA-based skills).

Essentially, if someone wants to use that option for their character, they should still need the book rather than being able to run it from a preview on the forum. :-)

Silver Crusade

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

*rolls eyes*

Overreacting a bit much, everyone?

You can talk about the book. You just can't rattle off mechanics.

"This is great for people who use bastard swords" okay

"This replaces the Rage Power at level 2 and gives you a scaling bonus to Attack" Not okay


Can someone share the archetype list? I'm pretty sure Paizo would be fine with that.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Axial wrote:
Can someone share the archetype list? I'm pretty sure Paizo would be fine with that.

Based on the above, it probably is. Here you go.

Angelfire Apostle (Cleric)
Arcane Physician (Wizard)
Benefactor (Shaman)
Disciple Of Wholeness (Monk)
Faith Singer (Bard)
Invigorator (Paladin)
Nature Priest (Druid)
Pei Zin Practitioner (Oracle)
Restorer (Druid)
Sacrament Alchemist (Alchemist)
Sacred Attendant (Cleric)
Solacer (Bard)
Stoic Caregiver (Cleric)
Wasteland Blightbreaker (Alchemist)
Wilderness Medic (Ranger)


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9 out of 15 archetypes are divine casters. Somewhat disappointing the narrow scope of the other options.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Not all benefits come in archetype form. For example, if the Vigor feats are combat feats - a likely possibility - that's a sort of backdoor buff for brawlers (who can summon them on demand).

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Fourshadow wrote:
Eagerly awaiting my shipping notice so I can get the nitty gritty on that Angelfire Apostle myself! If it has anything to do with what I think it does, I may make my first Cleric EVER! I've been playing since '83 or so...it has been awhile.

Angelfire apostle focuses more on channel energy. It gives up some spell casting and proficiencies in favor of expanded channeling options. Eventually, it can give up some uses per day to get some healing themed SLAs as well as expending uses to damage enemies with cleansing fire while healing allies.

Very fitting for worshipers of Sarenrae.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I'm surprised that there's no witch archetypes, but they probably get more hexes instead.

Contributor

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Kalindlara wrote:
I'm surprised that there's no witch archetypes, but they probably get more hexes instead.

Indeed! New spells, too!


donato wrote:
Fourshadow wrote:
Eagerly awaiting my shipping notice so I can get the nitty gritty on that Angelfire Apostle myself! If it has anything to do with what I think it does, I may make my first Cleric EVER! I've been playing since '83 or so...it has been awhile.

Angelfire apostle focuses more on channel energy. It gives up some spell casting and proficiencies in favor of expanded channeling options. Eventually, it can give up some uses per day to get some healing themed SLAs as well as expending uses to damage enemies with cleansing fire while healing allies.

Very fitting for worshipers of Sarenrae.

That is indeed what I was looking for! Nice. Now where is my PDF?! ;-;

Thank you donato.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Disappointed that most of the archetypes are divine and most are casters.

Any new sorcerer bloodlines, rogue talents, rage powers, alchemist discoveries, etc?

Anything for kineticist?

Contributor

Dragon78 wrote:

Disappointed that most of the archetypes are divine and all are casters.

Any new sorcerer bloodlines, rogue talents, rage powers, alchemist discoveries, etc?

Anything for kineticist?

There are new alchemist discoveries, warpriest blessings, bardic masterpieces, paladin mercies, kineticist wild talents, and more.


What element(s) get love for the wild talents?

Contributor

Dragon78 wrote:
What element(s) get love for the wild talents?

Aether and water, as well as a universal talent.


Dragon78 wrote:

Disappointed that most of the archetypes are divine and all are casters.

Any new sorcerer bloodlines, rogue talents, rage powers, alchemist discoveries, etc?

Anything for kineticist?

IMHO the new kineticist wild talents have some promise, and one of them is universal. The other class features are tied to classes with spells*.

*Including the alchemist as Donato says.


How many wild talents?

Are there any feats related to channeling, lay on hands, mercies, and/or other healing/curative abilities/effects?

Any alternate racial traits?


What sort of options might be good for leading builds?


Dragon78 wrote:

How many wild talents?

Are there any feats related to channeling, lay on hands, mercies, and/or other healing/curative abilities/effects?

Any alternate racial traits?

Just the 2 wild talents mentioned. As far as feats go I believe there's only 1 class-specific feat, and it's for Samurai, unless I skimmed past one in a different section. I can go into the feats more if you like, but there's some decent new mercies, no feat required I believe.

I don't recall seeing any racial traits, mostly regional (other) traits.

Stone Dog wrote:
What sort of options might be good for leading builds?

Sorry, my casual is showing. What's a leading build?

PS: Going into a game for 30ish minutes, just FYI.


Any new magic items, alchemist items, and/or mundane items?


Dragon78 wrote:
Any new magic items, alchemist items, and/or mundane items?

There's a decent quantity of new magic items. Personally I feel that the 4-digit options are overall stronger, while the 5-digit options are more specialist and expensive in a way that pushes them toward niche value. I might just be speaking from lack of experience at higher levels, though.

Grand Lodge

Ship, damn you, SHIP!
I never should have bought that GM screen and bundled it with my subscription. :(


Is there anything in here that can be used to kill my enemies? With kindness, perhaps?


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Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
Is there anything in here that can be used to kill my enemies? With kindness, perhaps?

There's a few offensive elements. The Angelfire Apostle for example has a handful of flame-themed riders, such as dazzling on its channel energy or producing bursts of flame when casting healing spells. It has style IMHO.

I can give more details. Just trying to stick to what people ask above the bar set earlier in the thread.


Disappointed that only one of the archetypes is a non caster, only 1 of the remaining is a class who usually has very limited healing options,and so many are divine.

Is it asking too much if the Disciple of Wholeness Monk can heal others, or is it more focused on taking care of itself?

Are there good options for non casters to get into healing others?


Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
Is there anything in here that can be used to kill my enemies? With kindness, perhaps?

I don't know about this book, but... give it time. I'm sure there will be something like that eventually. ^_^

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
Is there anything in here that can be used to kill my enemies? With kindness, perhaps?

No, but maybe with intense physical love based healing instead?

Scarab Sages

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Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
9 out of 15 archetypes are divine casters. Somewhat disappointing the narrow scope of the other options.

*belly rubs dungeon into submission*


jedi8187 wrote:

Disappointed that only one of the archetypes is a non caster, only 1 of the remaining is a class who usually has very limited healing options,and so many are divine.

Is it asking too much if the Disciple of Wholeness Monk can heal others, or is it more focused on taking care of itself?

Are there good options for non casters to get into healing others?

Yeah, I can't offer much solace to console your opening sentiment, sorry.

The Disciple of Wholeness Monk is... Capable of healing others. It has an alright pack of aiding abilities really, but it digs deep to pay for them.

There's some magic items for non-casters to step up their game in healing some. I'm not sure that matches the spirit of non-magical healing, though.

You can feel that item-driven influence in what I feel is one of the best offerings, which is Curative Mastery, an item mastery feat. It is still a gear-dependant option, but the character comes across as more credited in my view. Pretty much all the other martial feats focus on being healed or self-healing, but if the rest of the section went up in flames this alone would make publishing the book worth it to some players I think. It has a lot of cousins in PFS as is, so hopefully it'll make it into that as well.


How stoic is the Stoic Benefactor? :-p

Also, what is the Pei Zin that gets practiced by certain Oracles?


Anything to make healing in combat more viable? I can only assume so, But like, also efficiently? And not making it feel like you wasted a turn? I dunno how I mean this to sound. Not too many details, obviously. What donato was talking about with the cleric sounds cool for example. But anything besides that that you guys like?

Also, does anybody else completely support Skeld in spite of thinking they took it wrong? Like, feel free to not talk about it. That's very much a freedom they have, and as much as it feels like it, it's not required for them to reveal every detail of the book for us? As much as I like getting all the info early.


Ixos wrote:

How stoic is the Stoic Benefactor? :-p

Also, what is the Pei Zin that gets practiced by certain Oracles?

I'm guessing you mean Stoic Caregiver. Well, it has Midwife Training.

I'm serious, Midwife Training (Su). Seems to give up a domain for it.

Aside from that, it's good at weaponising positive energy, splitting the damage on positive channels and things like that.

The Pei Zin Oracle references the Alchemy Manual player companion, and is run on a strong Profession (Herbalist) basis and flavour. It's got a fair chunk of curative/removal skills packed in without giving up overly much, enough to become healbot 9,000 alongside Life mystery, which is suggested.


Artificial 20 wrote:
jedi8187 wrote:

Disappointed that only one of the archetypes is a non caster, only 1 of the remaining is a class who usually has very limited healing options,and so many are divine.

Is it asking too much if the Disciple of Wholeness Monk can heal others, or is it more focused on taking care of itself?

Are there good options for non casters to get into healing others?

Yeah, I can't offer much solace to console your opening sentiment, sorry.

The Disciple of Wholeness Monk is... Capable of healing others. It has an alright pack of aiding abilities really, but it digs deep to pay for them.

There's some magic items for non-casters to step up their game in healing some. I'm not sure that matches the spirit of non-magical healing, though.

You can feel that item-driven influence in what I feel is one of the best offerings, which is Curative Mastery, an item mastery feat. It is still a gear-dependant option, but the character comes across as more credited in my view. Pretty much all the other martial feats focus on being healed or self-healing, but if the rest of the section went up in flames this alone would make publishing the book worth it to some players I think. It has a lot of cousins in PFS as is, so hopefully it'll make it into that as well.

Thanks, I'll have to check the feat out when I get it. And even if I can't heal matial I'm sure there are plenty of fun caster options here.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Anything for Vigilantes?


What are the new kineticist wild talents called?

What the new hexes called?

As for the magic itemns, are there any rings, rods, amulets(neck slot items in general), and/or gems/stones?


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Lanitril wrote:

Anything to make healing in combat more viable? I can only assume so, But like, also efficiently? And not making it feel like you wasted a turn? I dunno how I mean this to sound. Not too many details, obviously. What donato was talking about with the cleric sounds cool for example. But anything besides that that you guys like?

Also, does anybody else completely support Skeld in spite of thinking they took it wrong? Like, feel free to not talk about it. That's very much a freedom they have, and as much as it feels like it, it's not required for them to reveal every detail of the book for us? As much as I like getting all the info early.

I dunno about Skeld myself, probably just trying to be courteous.

Healing in combat depends heavily where you look. They expanded the base list of paladin mercies for example, to give a hopefully not-too-spoilery specimen there's now a 9th level mercy to remove confused, which is handy.

Non-class options are... Competing with Godless Healing. I'm not sure any of them are winning, either. There's a second-tier feat that triggers off getting an attack of opportunity - it costs a swift action to use. That bar of quality probably sets the tone for the whole section for those people seeking a martial avenue into healing. Curative Mastery is really good, but it's like Excalibur's blade buried amongst dull stone.


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Artificial 20 wrote:

I'm guessing you mean Stoic Caregiver. Well, it has Midwife Training.

I'm serious, Midwife Training (SU). Seems to give up a domain for it.

Aside from that, it's good at weaponising positive energy, splitting the damage on positive channels and things like that.

The Pei Zin Oracle references the Alchemy Manual player companion, and is run on a strong Profession (Herbalist) basis and flavour. It's got a fair chunk of curative/removal skills packed in without giving up overly much, enough to become healbot 9,000 alongside Life mystery, which is suggested.

Thanks!

I will admit to giggling a little bit about supernatural midwifing. However, I've long thought that for a setting that has multiple fertility goddesses ranging from Folgrit to Lamashtu it was odd that nobody seemed to have specific fertility (or even natal) based powers. I know things like Regeneration get a bad rap for not having a robust mechanical benefit, but I like spells that have flavor. I would imagine that in world with curative magic, spells that help promote fertility or increase prenatal health would be in high demand from people who could afford such things.


Curse you, phone... I didn't mean leading builds, I meant oradin builds. How did you get leading from oradin, phone?

Oracle/paladin builds designed to use life link and lay on hands to provide swift action healing.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Anything for Vigilantes?

Not a peep specifically. I could see some of the more distinctive magic items fitting a Vigilante though, depending on their individual focuses.

Dragon78 wrote:

What are the new kineticist wild talents called?

What the new hexes called?

As for the magic itemns, are there any rings, rods, amulets(neck slot items in general), and/or gems/stones?

The universal talent is Kinetic Restoration, and the aether/water one is Kinetic Revivification, which needs training in Linguistics to say right.

The hexes are Ameliorating for normal, Major Ameliorating and Regenerate Sinew for major and Death Interrupted for grand hexes. The book generally has increased the supply of wedges for death's door, if that's your thing.

The magic items are mostly slotless and permanent, but there are 1 or 2 consumables. The neck slot has an transmutation-based vermin assistant to help with heal checks, and there's a (comparatively) poor man's ring of regeneration. The items get 4 pages in total and are one of the healthier sections IMHO. I can see the necklace and super healer's kit as popular.


So you need ranks in the linguistics skill to use kinetic revivification?

The hexes are for standard witches right, not archetype(s) or other requirements?

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