Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Wilderness

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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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Maybe the shifter can still change into a small or tiny animal at level one 1/day or can at least alter their hair, skin, and eye color at will.

Grand Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
MMCJawa wrote:
I admit personally I was hoping for something more along the lines of Wild Shape at level one, but having a limited number of options for the early levels. Like maybe you can only shapeshift into one form at level 1, which you choose at character creation.

Not gonna lie, kind of was too. Something along the lines of the 3.5 totem druid where what animal companion you chose, that's the only form you could turn into. Or even the 3.5 shapeshift druid, where you transformed into a single creature at-will, and then gained a new transformation every 4-5 levels.

Maybe we'll see that for the archetypes.


Wild shape at level one would be too good unless they didn't get stat mods until level 4/5.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

It's only a +2 Dex or Str and a bit of natural armor, Barbarian gets far more than that at level 1, and unlike Wildshape is usable more than once a day (though 1 Wildshape will last a while if you don't need to be Humanoid for something or other.) The bigger issue IMO would be the abilities, which could probably be easily trimmed down (say, 15 foot move speeds, 30 foot Darkvision, and just cut Scent.) Or heck, just make it so you only gain one of the creature's abilities as applicable instead of all of them.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Well barbarians at level one wouldn't get flight, swim, climb, darkvision, scent, low-light vision, etc. combined plus turning into a small or smaller animal can get you out of situations that you normally might not be able to otherwise.

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Getting flight and swim at level 1 is one of the main reasons why wild shape at level one is a bad idea. Wrecks way too many adventures which were designed under the "can't fly or breathe underwater realiably before 5th level" core paradigm.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm one of the ones who gave initial information on the Shifter from PaizoCon, and I need to clarify something.

I'm the one who suggested that they got wild shape at level 5, because I never play druids and forgot they get it at 4th, and the panelists said something about the Shifter getting it about the same time as druid, so that much is my fault. I don't know if they'll get it at 5th or 4th.

However, the reason they decided against shapeshifting at game start was simple. New players. They want all classes to be relatively easy for a brand new player to sit down and play a level 1 version, and any form of wild shape at level 1 will confuse things dramatically. Thus they tried to give a few options for the flavor of shapeshifting, while giving the players some time to get used to the class and system.


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I wonder if we will get Clawed Gauntlet, similar to the "Demon Talon" (from Book of the Damned) and the "Claw Gauntlet" (from Horror Adventures)? maybe with mechanics similar to them, outside of being grafts.


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

One of the things I enjoyed about playing a druid in the original World of Warcraft MMO was the quest to learn (finally) how to shape-shift. It wasn't nearly as much fun after Blizzard nerfed it. IIRC, you finally finished it somewhere around 14th level. OTOH, max level at that time was 60, so about the same, proportionally, as PF.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am just glad that in Pathfinder you don't need to go on quests just to get class features.


Dragon78 wrote:
I am just glad that in Pathfinder you don't need to go on quests just to get class features.

Could be an interesting concept for a game however.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Interesting if you are gaining abilities, spells, skills, etc. that you would not normally have. But lame if you had to quest for stuff you would normally get from the class you are playing.


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

Define "normally".


Ed Reppert wrote:
Define "normally".

IE...the Norm....what the majority are doing :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
nighttree wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
Define "normally".

IE...the Norm....what the majority are doing :) AKA BORING


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Though questing to get a spell added to your class list, a stat increase, more class skills, more skill points, etc. would be just as interesting as standard new magic items, followers, treasure, etc.

Anyway back to the subject of this product.

I wonder if this book will talk about wilderness terrain beyond the prime material and the first world.


I wonder if there will be a feat that grants anyone energy resistance of 5 or at least lets races with energy resistance to improve their resistance to 10 (or more). I hope there will be feats that grant save bonuses vs heat, cold, poison, disease, sickness, nausea, weather, and other environmental and nature related effects.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
I am just glad that in Pathfinder you don't need to go on quests just to get class features.

Not RAW, but some campaigns have such for Prestige Classes, etc. In ours, I have to hit the Magic Market or one of the Guildes to get my 'free' spells and Wizard feats. You can't just take a level in some Classes without a RP event/reason (for Sorcerer, it requires intimate contact with that Bloodline. Intimate includes bleeding all over each other).

Racial advances are innate and there is overlap. You can't just declare you're a noble at level 7; in campaign, that's a feat with serious benefits and hassles. Ancestral weapons seem a great thing until you have to temper it with Dragonfire before it becomes 'flaming'. It may seem unfair, etc., but the group all RP more than H&S, so this kinda nonsense is par for the course.

Not for every group, but...


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Benjamin Medrano wrote:

hey'll get it at 5th or 4th.

However, the reason they decided against shapeshifting at game start was simple. New players. They want all classes to be relatively easy for a brand new player to sit down and play a level 1 version, and any form of wild shape at level 1 will confuse things dramatically. Thus they tried to give a few options for the flavor of shapeshifting, while giving the players some time to get used to the class and system.

You know, by the time your picking up books like advanced wilderness, I'd be surprised if more than a few players were new at all. It also seems like a case where if that's the main reason, they're also harming the utility of the class by toning down it's defining trait.


Will there be any artifacts in this one?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
gharlane wrote:
Benjamin Medrano wrote:

hey'll get it at 5th or 4th.

However, the reason they decided against shapeshifting at game start was simple. New players. They want all classes to be relatively easy for a brand new player to sit down and play a level 1 version, and any form of wild shape at level 1 will confuse things dramatically. Thus they tried to give a few options for the flavor of shapeshifting, while giving the players some time to get used to the class and system.

You know, by the time your picking up books like advanced wilderness, I'd be surprised if more than a few players were new at all. It also seems like a case where if that's the main reason, they're also harming the utility of the class by toning down it's defining trait.

Nah, that's not how it works for a lot of groups. New players often just see a list of all the classes on the site, or present an idea for what they want to play so the GM can work something out. I have new players gravitating towards the newer occult classes or vigilante plenty of times. In my games, shifter will hopefully handle requests for werewolf characters, take over monster characters from the more complicated synthesist summoner (the mention of an ooze option is promising!), and provide me with some race-neutral shapeshifting trickster options.


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So no pup shape (self only) at level one? Sad.


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gharlane wrote:
Benjamin Medrano wrote:

hey'll get it at 5th or 4th.

However, the reason they decided against shapeshifting at game start was simple. New players. They want all classes to be relatively easy for a brand new player to sit down and play a level 1 version, and any form of wild shape at level 1 will confuse things dramatically. Thus they tried to give a few options for the flavor of shapeshifting, while giving the players some time to get used to the class and system.

You know, by the time your picking up books like advanced wilderness, I'd be surprised if more than a few players were new at all. It also seems like a case where if that's the main reason, they're also harming the utility of the class by toning down it's defining trait.

I've had brand-new players who had never even touched an RPG ask me to play some of the weirdest things, from Dante from Devil May Cry to Yuna from Final Fantasy X, as two off the top of my head. I have a friend who grew up with Animorphs, who loves shapeshifting, and I know there are others. If a new player asks me "How can I play X?" I tell them. If it isn't user-friendly, what's the point of the class?

I agree with the choice to delay the full ability to shapechange, but I hope it'll be more than just Wild Shape Redux. We don't know if it will be or not, though. It's possible they may have Wild Shape effectively at-will. It might add additional abilities. Thing is, we don't know yet. Personally, I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and wait and see. Since it's the only new class in the book, I'm far more hopeful than I was for the Advanced Class Guide, and not just because I look forward to the contents of the book as well.

Sovereign Court

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

We do know some things. Like, we know the abilities you can gain won't be strictly limited to those listed in beast shape. We also know that you can mix and match abilities from your different animal aspects. That's a pretty big plus for the class, in my opinion.


I agree, we know some things, but we don't have a clear picture of everything that's possible. It's possible with what we know that the class could utterly suck. It's also possible for it to be overpowered (unlikely, since it isn't a spellcaster). I'm looking forward to seeing it, personally.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I hope the shifter will get the ability to alter eye/hair/skin/fur/feather/scale color at will.

When/where did they say that abilities you can gain will not be strictly limited to those listed in beast shape?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:

I hope the shifter will get the ability to alter eye/hair/skin/fur/feather/scale color at will.

When/where did they say that abilities you can gain will not be strictly limited to those listed in beast shape?

PaizoCon panel discussions. Check out the Ultimate Wilderness Preview panel.


Thank you for posting KingOfAnything.

I really don't like the idea of nerfing the plant immunities for plant based 0HD races. Just give us alternate racial traits and let us decide if want to change or alter stuff like that.

Silver Crusade

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:

Thank you for posting KingOfAnything.

I really don't like the idea of nerfing the plant immunities for plant based 0HD races. Just give us alternate racial traits and let us decide if want to change or alter stuff like that.

You *really* think that a 0hd race with immunity to all mind-affecting effects, paralysis, poison, polymorph, sleep effects, and stunning with the doesn't need to sleep cherry on the top is something that should exist?


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Gorbacz wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:

Thank you for posting KingOfAnything.

I really don't like the idea of nerfing the plant immunities for plant based 0HD races. Just give us alternate racial traits and let us decide if want to change or alter stuff like that.

You *really* think that a 0hd race with immunity to all mind-affecting effects, paralysis, poison, polymorph, sleep effects, and stunning with the doesn't need to sleep cherry on the top is something that should exist?

Yeah, GMs might actually allow me to play a ghoran or the upcoming vine leshy now. Maybe.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

All right then, I take that back, we have a precedent. But really, a *plant* 0-hd race? All one really needs now is to wait until there's a class/archetype which has some mind-effecting/poison debuff as an offset balancing its strengths.

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Whoever designed plants to be not sleeping (day/night cycle) and being immune to poison (herbicides) has been doing a questionable job anyway. ;-p

Sovereign Court

*Looks about in a shifty manner.*

I... totally agree!

Dark Archive

Marco Massoudi wrote:
Whoever designed plants to be not sleeping (day/night cycle) and being immune to poison (herbicides) has been doing a questionable job anyway. ;-p

Indeed. Immune to polymorph? Why? What exactly makes a plant less susceptible to transmutation magic than an animal, or a rock?

Plus racial blanket immunities are rarely a great idea anyway. Too all-or-nothing, IMO.

Eberron had to deal with that with the Warforged (PC Construct race), creating a kind of living construct sub-type, so that the 1st level PCs didn't start out with a raft of immunities, and the same problem creeps in for attempts to make PC races out of undead (like the necropolitan), plants (like the ghoran), oozes (drawing a blank, here...), even dragons, to a lesser extent.

Just giving the creature types racial bonuses to resist certain affects would probably work better, so that it's no longer impossible to paralyze a dragon-type creature, or whatever, just really hard.


I would rule that (most) mind-affecting effects would work on every player race regardless of creature type though most of the other immunities I am fine with. But I agree about polymorph, never understood why plants where immune to that one.


Dragon78 wrote:
I would rule that (most) mind-affecting effects would work on every player race regardless of creature type though most of the other immunities I am fine with. But I agree about polymorph, never understood why plants where immune to that one.

For PF, Backward compatibility with DnD 3.5?


Yeah, I know that, but it never made sense then as well.

I don't see why the new version of the Ghoran only gets immunity to sleep because immunity to paralysis and stunning is hardly game breaking. Well if they are taking most of their plant immunities away then they should take away their weaknesses as well.

I wonder when we see these changes for androids, duergar, and wyrwood.


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Immunity to paralysis and stunning is pretty powerful, those are extremely nasty conditions. Being stunned disarms you usually in addition to not letting you act, while being paralyzed not only makes your AC very low - especially in melee - but it can let an enemy coup de grace you.

Plants don't really have any weaknesses, though? They're not proficient with armor and weapons automatically due to their type, but a 0-HD plant race will get that from their class anyways...


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The ghoran have two weaknesses(delicious and light dependent).

Also being immune to paralysis and stunning is not game breaking a all. Now being immune to mind-affecting effects, ability damage, ability drain, energy drain, death effects, and curses would be.


Dragon78 wrote:

The ghoran have two weaknesses(delicious and light dependent).

Also being immune to paralysis and stunning is not game breaking a all. Now being immune to mind-affecting effects, ability damage, ability drain, energy drain, death effects, and curses would be.

Well, obviously being immune to two nasty conditions isn't gamebreaking compared to being immune to almost every other nasty condition.


Sorry, meant to say "and/or" not just "and".


Why are plants immune to curse?

I meant, even Jesus cursed a tree. :o


Maybe it only works when divinities do curses? I dunno.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Plants are not immune to curse effects but I was listing immunities much more powerful then paralysis, sleep, and stunning.


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

Yeah, plants are immune to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms), as well as to paralysis, poison, polymorph, sleep effects, and stunning, and get low-light vision.

I don't think immunity to curses would be that powerful comparatively, I've run into paralysis and stunning much more often than I've run into curses. Just last night, I got paralyzed for 9 rounds by a ghoul...or was it a ghast? Can't remember the last time I had to worry about a curse as a PC, other than cursed NPCs.

Wyrwood do have a much worse set of immunities, though it comes with some hefty prices, such as dying at 0 HP, no Constitution bonus to HP, being unable to benefit from normal healing, and not being able to be raised or resurrected normally.


Luthorne,

Depends on the curse involved.


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lycanthropy, baleful polymorph, cursed magic items, many witch hexes, linnorm death curses, etc. are all curse effects.


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Dragon78 wrote:
lycanthropy, baleful polymorph, cursed magic items, many witch hexes, linnorm death curses, etc. are all curse effects.

And I very rarely run into any of those. Lycanthropes are only used on occasion, same with linnorms, there aren't that many witch NPCs I've ever fought, if any (not that that many witch hexes are curses, most of the ones that are aren't that dangerous), cursed magic items are also rare, and baleful polymorph is something I don't think I've ever had cast on a character of mine...usually I've only seen PCs use it. If anything, immunity to lycanthropy seems more convenient for the GM, since they don't have to worry about the player gaining a template.

Sovereign Court

Also, in the case of wyrwoods, they may be made of wood but count as constructs not plant creatures (like me).


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The Invenusable Flytrap wrote:
Also, in the case of wyrwoods, they may be made of wood but count as constructs not plant creatures (like me).

Indeed. I was saying that a true construct race (unlike the toned down android race) has even more immunities, though the downsides are indeed pretty harsh.

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