Pathfinder Player Companion: Heroes of the High Court (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Player Companion: Heroes of the High Court (PFRPG)
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Discover Your Noble Side!

Adventure is not limited to forbidding dungeons and grimy back alleys; sometimes the greatest risks and rewards are found in the gleaming halls of queens and emperors. Pathfinder Player Companion: Heroes of the High Court presents everything you need to take your escapades into the royal courts and noble houses of Golarion. Learn how to dress and act in high society, gain access to the echelons of political power, and take advantage of the privileges afforded to those who have mastered the arts of courtly intrigue!

Inside this book, you'll find:

  • Archetypes for a variety of classes, such as the court fool bard to the butterfly blade slayer, who performs a noble's dirty work in the shadows.
  • Equipment and magical courtly regalia suitable for any ruler, including thrones that grant great power to whoever earns the right to sit upon them!
  • New traits, feats, and spells for characters who wish to mingle with nobility, as well as new tactics that let a participant of a verbal duel cut her opponent down to size.

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: 978-1-60125-920-2

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

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Not Very Heroic or Interesting

2/5

I didn't really have much expectations for this one and yet I am still disappointed.


One of the best!

5/5

Rules driven purely by roleplay? Heck yeah!

Not only does it cover both sides of the coin well - both pro and anti-Royalty, the spells and magic items - often stale filler, are inspired and fitting. The section of Knightly Favors like a magic kerchief granted by a Lady had me impressed.

This is exactly what a perfect Player Companion should be - main focus is lore and regions and roleplay, with rules and archetupes and items/spells to make it all possible in your game. A-freaking-plus.


5/5


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm toying with the idea of making an Occultist who is a psychic investigator, focusing on abilities like object reading and aura sight, and taking divination as one of their implements. Does the Silksworn archetype seem like a good fit for such a character?

(I.e., does it trade out object reading and aura sight (bad for this concept)? Does it get access to a wider array of divination spells (good for this concept)? Or to "talky" abilities to use when investigating (good for this concept)?)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Porridge wrote:
I'm toying with the idea of making an Occultist who is a psychic investigator, focusing on abilities like object reading and aura sight, and taking divination as one of their implements. Does the Silksworn archetype seem like a good fit for such a character?

Well... perhaps. If you're not too attached to the "psychic" part. Still, let's see what we can do for you. ^_^

The silksworn:
Porridge wrote:
(I.e., does it trade out object reading and aura sight (bad for this concept)?

Still there.

Porridge wrote:
Does it get access to a wider array of divination spells (good for this concept)?

Not anything the occultist couldn't already learn. But you'll get more of what you could already access.

Porridge wrote:
Or to "talky" abilities to use when investigating (good for this concept)?)

It definitely gets a bit of that.

Any further questions?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

To add on to that, if "psychic" is a big deal, the Psychic Sensitivity feat is great for getting that flavor back.


QuidEst wrote:
To add on to that, if "psychic" is a big deal, the Psychic Sensitivity feat is great for getting that flavor back.

I thought this three times, and still somehow forgot to include it in my post. ^_^


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hot dog! Awesome!

(Especially since the Occultist divination spells lend themselves very well to the idea of a psychic detective. So having access to more of them than 1/lvl would be great.)

Definitely got to pick up a copy of this!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Luthorne wrote:
steelhead wrote:
Luthorne wrote:

Alright, had some time to read through this, here's my thoughts on it.

** spoiler omitted **...

Hey Luthorne, could you enter this post as a review? It provides a lot of detail and the only reviewer just posted a star rating rather than giving your level of thought to the review. People will be more likely to read your exposition if it is a review, and it will help prospective buyers. Thanks!
I think I would have to pare it down considerably if it was going to be a proper review...since it's, well, rather rambly...

You say that Luthorne but your review and list of things has convinced me that this is an immediate buy for me.


How soon before this will be in Brick and Mortar shops?

Silver Crusade

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

Tomorrow!


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Isabelle Lee wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
To add on to that, if "psychic" is a big deal, the Psychic Sensitivity feat is great for getting that flavor back.
I thought this three times, and still somehow forgot to include it in my post. ^_^

You didn't accidentally summon Beetlejuice, did you?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Cthulhudrew wrote:
Isabelle Lee wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
To add on to that, if "psychic" is a big deal, the Psychic Sensitivity feat is great for getting that flavor back.
I thought this three times, and still somehow forgot to include it in my post. ^_^
You didn't accidentally summon Beetlejuice, did you?

Not this time...


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Too sleepy for a detailed analysis, but my initial impression is that the Silksworn Occultist is very cool. I want to see what it looks like with some levels in Dragon Disciple. ;)


The Pageantry Psychic discipline is cool, but has some issues. Most are minor.

1. The one that is NOT minor is the 4th level bonus spell: Overwhelming Presence. This is a 9th level spell that was errata'd out of the OA Psychic spell list assigning it to the (way) wrong level. So this discipline doesn't have a legal 4th level bonus spell.

2. Ritual Unity: This is the only discipline ability that refreshes phrenic pool and doesn't provide a per day limit on attempts/successes. Usually it's either the pool ability modifier or 3+ the pool ability modifier, but as written this is a way to refresh your phrenic pool an infinite number of times per day. Since skill Aid Another checks are pretty much possible to spam infinitely, this is a problem.

3. The fact that all of the other discipline abilities require expending a phrenic point is an issue if a limit on refreshing your pool gets implementedl. Except for Power from Pageantry (which has the very significant 1 round casting limitation already built in) none of these are obviously powerful enough to justify spending pool on them, an approach only otherwise taken on the (stronger) discipline abilities form Occult Origins. Power from Pageantry aside, a per Cha modifier limit per day would have been better and more consistent with most Psychic disciplines.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Plausible Pseudonym wrote:

The Pageantry Psychic discipline is cool, but has some issues. Most are minor.

1. The one that is NOT minor is the 4th level bonus spell: Overwhelming Presence. This is a 9th level spell that was errata'd out of the OA Psychic spell list assigning it to the (way) wrong level. So this discipline doesn't have a legal 4th level bonus spell.

2. Ritual Unity: This is the only discipline ability that refreshes phrenic pool and doesn't provide a per day limit on attempts/successes. Usually it's either the pool ability modifier or 3+ the pool ability modifier, but as written this is a way to refresh your phrenic pool an infinite number of times per day. Since skill Aid Another checks are pretty much possible to spam infinitely, this is a problem.

3. The fact that all of the other discipline abilities require expending a phrenic point is an issue if a limit on refreshing your pool gets implementedl. Except for Power from Pageantry (which has the very significant 1 round casting limitation already built in) none of these are obviously powerful enough to justify spending pool on them, an approach only otherwise taken on the (stronger) discipline abilities form Occult Origins. Power from Pageantry aside, a per Cha modifier limit per day would have been better and more consistent with most Psychic disciplines.

In regards to Ritual Unity, it could have definitely been worded better, but I believe the intent was for it to only apply on aid another skill checks that are part of a Ritual, not on all aid another skill checks.


Rysky wrote:
In regards to Ritual Unity, it could have definitely been worded better, but I believe the intent was for it to only apply on aid another skill checks that are part of a Ritual, not on all aid another skill checks.

I considered and rejected that because that would make this LOL bad. Vanishingly rare opportunities to attempt it, and how often do you want to do an Aid Another on someone else rather than doing the skill checks yourself? You're an Int based character with class skills in all Knowledge skills, it's not very often that a party member will be a better option even if you could boost them via Aid Another (at a relative -2 penalty because you'd be forgoing your own +2 bonus from doing it yourself). Which you can't.

Occult Rituals rules wrote:
These checks cannot benefit from the aid another action

Secondary casters (with a flat +1 per four participants) are the only way to boost a ritual.

Ritual Unity for all skill Aid Another attempts is actually fine and well balanced (given the Phrenic pool suck on all other abilities), it just needs a use/success per day limitation. Compare to the Self Perfection discipline, which also has an (even easier) instant win trigger condition to refresh pool by jumping around.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Ok, Silksworn Occultists are awesome! And they do synergize really well with Dragon Disciple. Now I want to play one who gradually becomes more dragony while wearing his hoard in the form of gold-threaded and gem-encrusted garments.


Slowly working through this, but I have to say that as much as I love the panoplies in Psychic Anthology I have to admit that Silksworn is probably going to make me ignore them. This is unquestionably the best 6th level caster in the game when it comes to actual spellcasting. If you wanted to play a Wizard but can live without high level spells (or your GM bans full casters) this is an easy and very cool and powerful choice that can potentially outshine it in several areas with the right build, especially after 16th level and the +2 DC boosters come online.


I do wonder flavor-wise why the Silksworn is arcane. Getting psychic power from resonances in items makes a sort of sense, getting arcane power from a love of bling does not.

Mechanically I assume it was done to avoid wearing déclassé armor over your finery, but it's hard to justify in universe.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Plausible Pseudonym wrote:

I do wonder flavor-wise why the Silksworn is arcane. Getting psychic power from resonances in items makes a sort of sense, getting arcane power from a love of bling does not.

Mechanically I assume it was done to avoid wearing déclassé armor over your finery, but it's hard to justify in universe.

It's the mechanical reason.

If you want a fluff reason, though, my choice would be that it's a Prophecies of Kalistrade thing. Money is power, and you are getting the universe to sit down and acknowledge that.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

The silksworn originally had flavor tying it more firmly to Vudrani lore and to the courts of Nex. It got left by the wayside at some point, alas; wordcount is a cruel, cruel mistress, and Mavaro's art always takes up a lot of room. (It does make a really good Prophet of Kalistrade, though, especially since the PrC establishes them as arcane spellcasters.)

As for the original inspiration, it went along the following lines:
-"They're supposed to wear fancy clothing, which suggests no armor."
-"Who doesn't wear armor in this game? Sorcerers, wizards, and monks."
-"We already have a divine occultist, so why not an arcane one?"

...now I just need to find a way to make an alchemical occultist, and we'll have the set. ^_^


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Isabelle Lee wrote:

The silksworn originally had flavor tying it more firmly to Vudrani lore and to the courts of Nex. It got left by the wayside at some point, alas; wordcount is a cruel, cruel mistress, and Mavaro's art always takes up a lot of room. (It does make a really good Prophet of Kalistrade, though, especially since the PrC establishes them as arcane spellcasters.)

As for the original inspiration, it went along the following lines:
-"They're supposed to wear fancy clothing, which suggests no armor."
-"Who doesn't wear armor in this game? Sorcerers, wizards, and monks."
-"We already have a divine occultist, so why not an arcane one?"

...now I just need to find a way to make an alchemical occultist, and we'll have the set. ^_^

The Blood Alchemist is kind of one coming from the other direction. Gets various circle abilities, at least.


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Isabelle Lee wrote:


...now I just need to find a way to make an alchemical occultist, and we'll have the set. ^_^

My body is ready.


My compliments to the author of the occult ritual tea ceremony, this is a nice buff that I could see being part of the daily ritual for a party if you've got someone willing to accept the primary caster backlash.

Legalistic Reading feat's ability to cast a scroll spell two consecutive rounds is almost a great ability, but by the time you can make the CL check you'll have better options than scrolls.


A silksworn occultist VMCed with an Oracle could be pretty neat if you choose the Covetous curse.


Has anyone praised the Invested Regent monk archetype? I think it's brilliant from a design perspective, maximum flexibility allowing limited use prequisite skipping feats or SLAs to be chosen in place of regular or bonus feats. Because of the way it's written it should stack with any archetype that doesn't trade out the 1st level bonus feat. It's hard to see why this wouldn't be a reasonable pick for everyone else.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Isabelle Lee wrote:

...now I just need to find a way to make an alchemical occultist, and we'll have the set. ^_^

Well, have you ever seen the movie "Zapped"?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
Has anyone praised the Invested Regent monk archetype? I think it's brilliant from a design perspective, maximum flexibility allowing limited use prequisite skipping feats or SLAs to be chosen in place of regular or bonus feats. Because of the way it's written it should stack with any archetype that doesn't trade out the 1st level bonus feat. It's hard to see why this wouldn't be a reasonable pick for everyone else.

Well it *is* Cha based, which is usually the one stat that a Monk can afford to dump, but yeah, all in all, pretty nice.


You can get plenty out of it without boosting Cha, the level 1 ability is an ok 1 point boost to a save when you have an immediate action to spare, and you just buy a self buff you don't need that often with a later feat. You'd have to do a really big Cha investment to make a big difference, so play it slow.


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Or combine it with the Scaled Fist archetype and say that your right to rule comes from your association with Imperial Dragons.


thecursor wrote:
Isabelle Lee wrote:

...now I just need to find a way to make an alchemical occultist, and we'll have the set. ^_^

Well, have you ever seen the movie "Zapped"?

It's not finding out how to flavor it - that's a breeze. ^_^

It's more "I need to be assigned to write an occultist archetype, in a book where adding such an archetype makes sense." And that can be way harder than you'd think, for various reasons. For example, the silksworn would look much different if it had been in Psychic Anthology instead.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Isabelle Lee wrote:

The silksworn originally had flavor tying it more firmly to Vudrani lore and to the courts of Nex. It got left by the wayside at some point, alas; wordcount is a cruel, cruel mistress, and Mavaro's art always takes up a lot of room. (It does make a really good Prophet of Kalistrade, though, especially since the PrC establishes them as arcane spellcasters.)

As for the original inspiration, it went along the following lines:
-"They're supposed to wear fancy clothing, which suggests no armor."
-"Who doesn't wear armor in this game? Sorcerers, wizards, and monks."
-"We already have a divine occultist, so why not an arcane one?"

...now I just need to find a way to make an alchemical occultist, and we'll have the set. ^_^

Heh, heh! My plan is working. :)


Whoa, the Chastising Baton! Only 5,000 gp to add a permanent +1 DC to all compulsion spells, and the targets is sickened for 1 round and takes 1d6 nonlethal even if they save! An early must have for Psychics, Mesmerists, and Enchanters.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Isabelle Lee wrote:


It's not finding out how to flavor it - that's a breeze. ^_^

It's more "I need to be assigned to write an occultist archetype, in a book where adding such an archetype makes sense." And that can be way harder than you'd think, for various reasons. For example, the silksworn would look much different if it had been in Psychic Anthology instead.

I was half joking, please don't do an Alchemical Kineticist based on Zapped, that would be awful.

However...I just PMed you with a suggestion you could pitch...

Dark Archive

5 people marked this as a favorite.
QuidEst wrote:
If you want a fluff reason, though, my choice would be that it's a Prophecies of Kalistrade thing. Money is power, and you are getting the universe to sit down and acknowledge that.

Arcane power from gods (or archfiends, etc.) associated with wealth or greed, such as Abadar or Mammon, could also be a suitable Golarion flavor connection, although it does seem perfect for a Prophet of the Kalistrade.

Flavoring the fancy garb as implanted gemstones, a la Karzoug, could be a way to tie it to the Runelord of Greed, and his Thassilonian courtiers, as well.

Going in another direction, the 'silk' itself could be special, in some way, being produced by aranea or phase spiders or jorugumo. Perhaps not any old silk will have the arcane resonances for this sort of thing.

The Silksworn is just thematic and flavorful as heck. You could easily design an entire class, with a dozen different flavorful options, based on this one archetype, and it can thematically integrate with the setting (thanks to the Kalistocracy, Greed magic, Mammon, etc.) than some other archetypes (or even whole classes...).

Dark Archive

Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
Legalistic Reading feat's ability to cast a scroll spell two consecutive rounds is almost a great ability, but by the time you can make the CL check you'll have better options than scrolls.

Yeah, it's not something you'll be able to make even half the time with even a 1st level scroll before 16th level or so, which makes it a strange option for someone to be able to take at 3rd level (three levels before it will work even on a natural 20).

OTOH, it *might* synergize with the Cypermage ability of Focused Scroll.

Quote:
Focused Scroll (Su): As a swift action, a cyphermage can add a bonus equal to twice his Intelligence modifier on any caster level checks made with a scroll spell, including checks to overcome SR. He can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 1/3 his cyphermage level (minimum 1).

It would be neat if it somehow interacted with the Scrollmaster and / or Scroll Scholar Archetypes.

Compared to the Druid herbalist option in Healer's Handbook to create a bunch of free potions each day (potentially even of higher level druid spells!), it's nothing to write home about.


I see some people suggesting to stack the Invested Regent archetype with the Scaled Fist but... I'm not sure if you could actually do that by a hard reading of the rules. Scaled Fist changes up the bonus feat list and the Investitures replace bonus feats.

Since that isn't actually a conflict that could cause mechanical issues I think most GM's would ignore that issue but it might be a problem in PFS.


Pageantry Discipline-FIXED

Bonus Spells ...Complex Hallucination (UI) (8th)...

Ritual Unity (Su): You receive a +2 bonus on all skill checks attempted as part of an occult ritual. In addition, when you take the Aid Another action to assist an ally with a skill check and succeed at a DC 20 check, you impart a +4 bonus to your ally. When you successfully aid an ally in this way, you regain 1 point in your phrenic pool. The maximum number of points you can regain in this way per day is equal to your CHA modifier. (Note that if you fail the DC 20 check, but still succeed at a DC 10 check, then you still impart the standard +2 bonus but do not regain any points in your phrenic pool.)

Power from Pageantry (Su): When casting a spell with a casting time of 1 standard action or less, you can spend 2 points from your phrenic pool to extend the casting time to 1 full round as you create a showy display of psychic power. By doing so, the cost of any phrenic amplification you link to that spell is reduced by 1 (to a minimum of 0 phrenic points). You can use this ability a maximum number of times per day equal to 3 + your CHA modifier.


Bryan MANGUM wrote:

Pageantry Discipline-FIXED

Bonus Spells ...Complex Hallucination (UI) (8th)...

Ritual Unity (Su): You receive a +2 bonus on all skill checks attempted as part of an occult ritual. In addition, when you take the Aid Another action to assist an ally with a skill check and succeed at a DC 20 check, you impart a +4 bonus to your ally. When you successfully aid an ally in this way, you regain 1 point in your phrenic pool. The maximum number of points you can regain in this way per day is equal to your CHA modifier. (Note that if you fail the DC 20 check, but still succeed at a DC 10 check, then you still impart the standard +2 bonus but do not regain any points in your phrenic pool.)

Power from Pageantry (Su): When casting a spell with a casting time of 1 standard action or less, you can spend 2 points from your phrenic pool to extend the casting time to 1 full round as you create a showy display of psychic power. By doing so, the cost of any phrenic amplification you link to that spell is reduced by 1 (to a minimum of 0 phrenic points). You can use this ability a maximum number of times per day equal to 3 + your CHA modifier.

1. I don't see what that spell has to do with Pageantry.

2. This is how it should work, agreed.

3. This didn't need a nerf, and your change actually makes this useless. You're paying 2 phrenic points and extending your casting time in order to...save 1 point, for a net loss of actions and and 1 phrenic point.

Grand Lodge

Verzen wrote:
Markov Spiked Chain wrote:
Another Skald Archetype that replaces Inspired Rage without any mention of using or replacing Rage Powers. :(
You can still use rage powers with their new song. My question is... can my allies who accept it cast spells?

There's nothing in the Song's description, or in the description of rage powers, that would let affect characters use Rage Powers, any more than they could under Song of Marching.

I don't see any reason your allies can't cast spells/concentrate. Presumably the whole point is to be a bard for caster DCs.


Would Scion of Highhelm be restricted to dwarves ?

Paizo Employee Developer

Technically, no. It's a lot harder to justify a non-dwarf as a Scion of Highhelm, but if you and your GM can work out a good reason for it, there's no reason it shouldn't work.


were you intending the hex "Protective Luck (Su)" to be unlimited uses on a target per day or did you forget to include the "a creature cannot be
the target of this hex again for 1 day" line on this? It seems incredibly strong if you can use it on your party whenever you want.


Samuel K 495 wrote:

were you intending the hex "Protective Luck (Su)" to be unlimited uses on a target per day or did you forget to include the "a creature cannot be

the target of this hex again for 1 day" line on this? It seems incredibly strong if you can use it on your party whenever you want.

SHHHHHHH! Keep that on the down low or they will take away such pretty things!

Honestly, sheesh. Don't ruin it for the rest of us!

:P


It's not a shock, but Silksworn didn't get approved for PFS, nor the Chastising Baton. I'd also hoped for a campaign clarification to make the Pageantry Psychic discipline actually work, but they banned it. Probably too many issues to deal with.


Sorry for the delayed response; I was out of country.

Samuel K 495 wrote:
were you intending the hex "Protective Luck (Su)" to be unlimited uses on a target per day or did you forget to include the "a creature cannot be the target of this hex again for 1 day" line on this? It seems incredibly strong if you can use it on your party whenever you want.

I can't speak for Paizo's official response, but my intent when I wrote it was for it to have unlimited uses per day on a target (a la the fortune hex, which it was modeled after).


Fortune Hex wrote:
The witch can grant a creature within 30 feet a bit of good luck for 1 round. The target can call upon this good luck once per round, allowing him to reroll any ability check, attack roll, saving throw, or skill check, taking the better result. He must decide to use this ability before the first roll is made. At 8th level and 16th level, the duration of this hex is extended by 1 round. Once a creature has benefited from the fortune hex, it cannot benefit from it again for 24 hours.


Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Fortune Hex wrote:
The witch can grant a creature within 30 feet a bit of good luck for 1 round. The target can call upon this good luck once per round, allowing him to reroll any ability check, attack roll, saving throw, or skill check, taking the better result. He must decide to use this ability before the first roll is made. At 8th level and 16th level, the duration of this hex is extended by 1 round. Once a creature has benefited from the fortune hex, it cannot benefit from it again for 24 hours.

Dur. And this is why you don't respond while still recovering from vacation. :)


Is the Invested Regent intended to be stackable with other archetypes? The wording comes across very similar to the Qinggong monk archetype, but I was hoping someone involved in making it could clarify the intention.

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