Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Wilderness

3.00/5 (based on 59 ratings)
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Wilderness

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Wild, untamed lands hold a wealth of mystery and danger, providing the perfect backdrop for heroic adventure. Whether adventurers are climbing mountains in search of a dragon's lair, carving their way through the jungle, or seeking a long-lost holy city covered by desert sands, Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Wilderness gives them the tools to survive the wilds. A new 20-level base class, the shifter, puts animalistic powers into the hands—or claws—of player characters and villains alike, with new class features derived from animalistic attributes. Overviews of druidic sects and rituals, as well as new archetypes, character options, spells, and more, round out the latest contribution to the Pathfinder RPG rules!

Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Wilderness is an invaluable hardcover companion to the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. This imaginative tabletop game builds upon more than 10 years of system development and an open playtest featuring more than 50,000 gamers to create a cutting-edge RPG experience that brings the all-time best-selling set of fantasy rules into a new era.

Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Wilderness includes:

  • The shifter, a new character class that harnesses untamed forces to change shape and bring a heightened level of savagery to the battlefield!
  • Archetypes for alchemists, barbarians, bards, druids, hunters, investigators, kineticists, paladins, rangers, rogues, slayers, witches, and more!
  • Feats and magic items for characters of all sorts granting mastery over the perils of nature and enabling them to harvest natural power by cultivating magical plants.
  • Dozens of spells to channel, protect, or thwart the powers of natural environs.
  • New and expanded rules to push your animal companions, familiars, and mounts to wild new heights.
  • A section on the First World with advice, spells, and other features to integrate the fey realm into your campaign.
  • Systems for exploring new lands and challenging characters with natural hazards and strange terrain both mundane and feytouched.
  • ... and much, much more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-986-8

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

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Another Great Hardback Update Collection!

5/5

Ultimate Wilderness is a much better book than some reviewers might lead you to believe. You get the new shifter class - which has had some basic errata since release - along with great archetypes for most of the other classes to help them fit into a wilderness-based campaign.

It's a great book to help players prepping to play something like Kingmaker or Ironfang Invasion. You get new spells, feats and a new exploration mode.

The book itself maintains the high quality of work that most Paizo products exhibit. The art in this book is some of my favorite in any of the hardback collections. There are a few updated spells that needed errata, such as snowball.

As a fan, I really like that several of the archetypes convert the flavor of many Game of Thrones characters into Pathfinder mechanics. What more could you ask for?


Lots of ptential, but none of it really sticks

2/5

I was extremely excited for this publication, so it's rather depressing how disappointing the books contents turned out to be.

The shifter class was an interesting idea, but when put down on paper is just druidic wild shape with hunter focus, in the form of aspects. It, unfortunately, never surpasses the druid in the wild shape department, and is, in fact, rather limited, and the temporary nature of all the aspects means that the shifter isn't terribly impressive in that regard either. The archetypes, both for the shifter and other classes, are interesting, but several suffer from massive drawbacks, for little to no gain. Like taking on druidic weapon/armor proficiencies and restrictions, including losing abilities for wearing metal, but don't gain any significant power to mkae up for it.

The new rules expansions are, for the most part, only thrown off by some conflicting skill applications (survival to harvest poison, but heal to take internal organ trophies?) but these are easy to ignore, or fix by homebrew. So these chapters are the most stable and useful of the lot.

One of the most exciting discoveries was the Cultivate Magic Plants feat, allowing you to grow plants that copy spell effects, but the price tag attached to them, especially when attached to something with the considerable disadvantages of being an immobile magical item, makes it entirely useless next to the crafting cost of regular magical items, especially if you have a GM that's willing to allow players to use the rules on creating new magical items. Just for an example, a goodberry bush can fully feed 2 people per day forever... for 4000 GP to craft. While you could make an item to infinitely cast goodberry for 2000 gp if you have to wear it, or better yet create food and water (for about 30000).

In conclusion, the book has a lot of cool stuff in it, but only for GMs. Players won't be able to make good use of many of the archetypes and feats as they revolve too much around staying in a single environment or working with nonsensical restrictions. While many of the feats are just too focused (or expensive) to be useful except to an NPC. GMs, grab it, it's got good stuff, but players will (and should) probably stick to what they've already got.


Everything I wanted from Ultimate Wilderness

4/5

Great race write ups, a fun new class (that doesn't require a ton of source books to play) and tons of information and systems to run a wilderness adventure or spice up the wilderness sections of any game. Definitely happy to add this one to my bookshelf.


Reprinted material, lack of clarity

1/5

First off, I'm a huge fan of Pathfinder. But I'm not a fan of "Ultimate Wilderness." There are a number of issues with the content in the book, mostly the clarity of language. A lot of the rules seem unclear and not straightforward. The shifter is the biggest example of this.
To be honest I was looking forward to the shifter, being far more robust than it actually is. And I understand that this is my issue with what I expected from them, but what built up my anticipation of the shifter was the quality of past classes released by Paizo: summoner, alchemist, witch, bloodrager, investigator, brawler, spiritualist, medium (even if it isn't harrowed), magus, ninja, hunter and so on and so forth.
Past that, I'm not a big fan of the reprinted material because I buy the smaller books. If I'm buying the smaller books why would I want to buy them again with a hardcover?
That being said, I'm still a big Pathfinder fan, but I'd like for future releases to take a different developmental cycle than what "Ultimate Wilderness" received. This book seems like it lacked editing and playtesting.


4/5


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Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Brew Bird wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Brew Bird wrote:
Azten wrote:
Guy St-Amant wrote:
Dunno how I feel about the Shifter getting Wild Shape at 5th level, but I am guessing many will be pissed off by that.
Because it's awful that they can't shapeshift as a combat option for five whole levels? Woohoo, claw attacks you'd be better off not using and getting a two handed weapon. It sounds like a "here, be a shapeshifter eventually but until you can actually shapeshift use a weapon like everyone else."
At early levels, natural attacks are an incredibly solid option. Why do you think Feral Mutagen is so good? Not to mention it sounds like the Shifter has more than just claws and wild shape in their "shapeshifting" repertoire. We only know 2 of their class features, and only the bare minimum of each. It's a little early to be so pessimistic, don't you think?
Ah, you're new to Azten, aren't you?
Uh oh, is he one of those guys?

Now now, let's not assume the gender.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I stopped being excited about the design choices Paizo makes because it is extremely likely anything cool/used by a lot of people will get errata into a waste of page space.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Nice cover art.

Why would the Gathlain need an "update"?

I wonder if the shifter(or any archetype in the book) will grant immunity to lycanthropy.


I like the new cover art. Very "Wild" :) Plus new rituals will be cool.


Brew Bird wrote:


At early levels, natural attacks are an incredibly solid option. Why do you think Feral Mutagen is so good?

I for one intend to make a toothy half-orc shifter to have some feral fun from the get go.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

While I'm absolutely hoping that phytokineticist will get reprinted in its entirety (AKA, with all of the new options of Psychic Anthology that actually give them their second blast), I do hope that at some point chaokineticist gets a reprint with all of its goodies as well.


Dark Midian wrote:
While I'm absolutely hoping that phytokineticist will get reprinted in its entirety (AKA, with all of the new options of Psychic Anthology that actually give them their second blast), I do hope that at some point chaokineticist gets a reprint with all of its goodies as well.

You'll probably have to wait for Ultimate Dark Void of Space for that one.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Azten wrote:
Guy St-Amant wrote:
Dunno how I feel about the Shifter getting Wild Shape at 5th level, but I am guessing many will be pissed off by that.
Because it's awful that they can't shapeshift as a combat option for five whole levels? Woohoo, claw attacks you'd be better off not using and getting a two handed weapon. It sounds like a "here, be a shapeshifter eventually but until you can actually shapeshift use a weapon like everyone else."

Compared to Druid getting it at Level 4, especially since the class is based on shapeshifting


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ventnor wrote:
Dark Midian wrote:
While I'm absolutely hoping that phytokineticist will get reprinted in its entirety (AKA, with all of the new options of Psychic Anthology that actually give them their second blast), I do hope that at some point chaokineticist gets a reprint with all of its goodies as well.
You'll probably have to wait for Ultimate Dark Void of Space for that one.

But I thought space was one big wilderness? The final frontier? ;)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Oh look. The book art changed. Now its looking a bit more snazzy.

also 3 girls, their animal pets, and a pack of what looks to be were-wolves(or at least some form of lupine beasts).

and its the druid, witch, and shifter...

yeah this will get messy.

EDIT:Oh my. it looks like our shifter has left some talon prints in the snow. Why her. well lets just say i don't believe our other iconics are capable of leaving those kinds of tracks.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

They look like werewolves to me, but you never know, could be something else.

I am surprised that the iconic hunter didn't make the cover.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Dragon78 wrote:

They look like werewolves to me, but you never know, could be something else.

I am surprised that the iconic hunter didn't make the cover.

Too much wolf.


Rysky wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:

They look like werewolves to me, but you never know, could be something else.

I am surprised that the iconic hunter didn't make the cover.

Too much wolf.

Now if they were for some reason in London then maybe it would be OK.


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

Funny enough, I was wondering last year how I would be able to afford both pathfinder and starfinder. But with everything from pathfinder being reprints with a little extra, suddenly it's not an issue.

Starfinder it is.


If the shifter is getting a dragon themed archetype, I hope it will also get the form of the exotic dragon and form of the alien dragon spells as well as the standard form of the dragon spells.

Other archetype themes I would like to see for the shifter would be fey, plant, elemental, humanoid(including giant), monstrous humanoid, and aberration. Also if the base version doesn't get magical beast, I would like to see an archetype for that as well.

I am glad that the wood element is getting a reprint/fix, I hope there will be a hardcover book that will get the void element one day...soon.

So exactly how many books are we getting reprints from?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Yeah I am not seeing anything that would suggest this will be very reprint heavy...

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I'm pretty excited for the Shifter. Full BAB and always on claws means you can build for natural attacks from level 1. I really like the chimera ability to mix and match the special qualities of your different forms. I don't mind having focused forms rather than unlimited wild shape, becoming an owl-bear (or bear-owl if you prefer) is pretty nifty.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

You can already do natural attacks from level one. There are several options for claws from races, most skinwalkers have one or two natural attacks(Ragebred can have three with one feat, and five at level two if they are a ranger or barbarian). If they actually get a mix and match Shapeshifting ability it would be new, so I'll give it that. I still think they should be able to full shift at level one. It's kinda what they're supposed to do.

It's like making Wizards wait to get 1st level spells or making Barbarians wait to rage until 5th level.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Azten wrote:

You can already do natural attacks from level one. There are several options for claws from races, most skinwalkers have one or two natural attacks(Ragebred can have three with one feat, and five at level two if they are a ranger or barbarian). If they actually get a mix and match Shapeshifting ability it would be new, so I'll give it that. I still think they should be able to full shift at level one. It's kinda what they're supposed to do.

It's like making Wizards wait to get 1st level spells or making Barbarians wait to rage until 5th level.

Long-winded disagreement.

Spoiler:
Beast Shape I is a third level spell, so it's like making wizards wait to get third-level spells. If it skipped straight ahead to arbitrary forms from level one, it'd mess things up a bunch. Turning into a wolf or a fox (like the various racial options) wouldn't break things, but grabbing something with a million natural attacks would. Low-level balance is important, and it's the one time where you can't just point to wizard as an example of something more powerful.

If the claws follow monk progression, then you're looking at d6 claws right off the bat, making it comparable to using a broadsword. (Full attack does an extra 0.5 Str on average, but you lose out on damage if you have to move or run up against early DR.) And I know some races have claw attacks, but some races have bite attacks (or the occasional gore attack) that synergize really well with free claw attacks. Now you're solidly outperforming a basic THF, even if they also got the bite attack. Since you didn't have to spend a feat, you get power attack like the THF.

If you got first level wild shape, you'd have double movement speed and four natural attacks on any race, on top of bonuses comparable to rage. They'd need to heavily modify how the shifting worked, and it'd be confusing. While it might be appropriate for an archetype, it seems like a bad idea to have that on the main class.

I'm pretty pumped for the class! Since a lot of GMs are willing to waive class restrictions for a concept, I'll probably be using it for monstrous and trickster characters more than as druid-paladin. Looking forward to the archetypes!


yeh, but now you'll be able to do claws without being limited to a small amount of races or using any feats


I wonder if a race already has claws if they gain a benefit for being a shifter or will they hope for a good alternate racial trait instead.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I would guess that the players might need take the better, or if the GM is kind, add a bonus to the claws to improve them further. Like 1d6 going either to 1d8, or 1d6+avg claw dice(rounded down to a minimum of 1, so 1d3 claws are 1, 1d4 claws are 2 etc). I'm sure there will be something for races with pre existing claws.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am hoping for a dragon and werewolf archetype for the shifter....

werewolf giving the ability to enter a hybrid state and dragon having a delayed beast shape but able to turn into a dragon.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Were-Direwolves? I can understand the big ball of fire.


Was there any info about whether Wood kineticists would have enough material to not have to become aero/geo/hydro/pyro/telekinetics?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Milo v3 wrote:
Was there any info about whether Wood kineticists would have enough material to not have to become aero/geo/hydro/pyro/telekinetics?

I'm not sure if it was said at Paizocon, but one of the devs said if they reprinted wood it would be with basic phyto and positive blast if I remember correctly. So looks good.

Paizo Employee Designer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
jedi8187 wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Was there any info about whether Wood kineticists would have enough material to not have to become aero/geo/hydro/pyro/telekinetics?
I'm not sure if it was said at Paizocon, but one of the devs said if they reprinted wood it would be with basic phyto and positive blast if I remember correctly. So looks good.

I said that on the boards, at the time cagily due to not having announced that it would be in UW. Basic phyto and all current wood wild talents I'm aware of confirmed to be in the book at Paizocon!


What were the playable types of leshy again?


Could we expect non-unchained summoner stuff in the future? Unchained is the only optional system that keeps getting support and it would be nice to see other stuff(like Words of Power) gets some support too. And the 'build your own flavor' summoner.


Still 5-6 months away, that is awhile to wait.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Azten wrote:
Could we expect non-unchained summoner stuff in the future? Unchained is the only optional system that keeps getting support and it would be nice to see other stuff(like Words of Power) gets some support too. And the 'build your own flavor' summoner.

It doesn't look promising on the summoner front, but fortunately for you most archetypes are backwards compatible. (The new twin summoner, for instance, works with both. Unchained just gets a unique subtype from it.) Words of power is no.


Is the Shifter having any playesting....or are we too late?

I always feel that playtesting of a new class has huge benefits for everyone.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

The shifter's mechanics are straightforward enough for internal and limited playtesting to sufficiently work through kinks.


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

I wonder if there will be a sidebar in the Wood element section discussing what creatures - if any - should be considered to have the wood subtype for use with the draining infusion, as well as with the elemental grip utility talent.


I hope that you can use the positive energy blast with the merciful foliage utility ability.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
I hope that you can use the positive energy blast with the merciful foliage utility ability.

It would be nice, though very niche since undead are immune to nonlethal damage, making it mostly useful for taking dhampir and a few similar creatures who are harmed by negative energy alive...


No, it is so that you can deal non-leathal damage with the positive blast to living creatures. So it could be actually useful beyond a undead heavy campaign.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
No, it is so that you can deal non-lethal damage with the positive blast to living creatures. So it could be actually useful beyond a undead heavy campaign.

That's an interesting viewpoint, but I'm pretty sure that even nonlethal damage dealt by a positive blast would still be subject to the restrictions that it only deals damage to undead and creatures who are harmed by negative energy, even if merciful foilage allowed it or you did it by using kinetic blade nonlethally. After all, I believe most would agree that a merciful fireball still deals fire damage, just nonlethal fire damage instead of lethal fire damage...

That would potentially be a cool adaptation of merciful foilage if it was rewritten to grant that special ability to positive blasts, though...

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Luthorne wrote:
That would potentially be a cool adaptation of merciful foilage if it was rewritten to grant that special ability to positive blasts, though...

100% agreed on this point. I may actually adopt this as a houserule. ^_^


After all the merciful foliage was made long before the positive blast was granted to the element.

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