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

Other Resources: This product is also available on the following platforms:

Hero Lab Online
Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop
Archives of Nethys

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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

I'm not sure how I feel about the Shifter yet. I was disappointed by the lack of hybrid forms because they really talked up the possibility of being an "owlbear" and stuff, but the mechanics aren't there. I thought it would be something like eidolon-lite where you could customize a unique animal or something along those lines, but it's really just druid wildshape restricted to a handful of forms with the benefit of enhancement bonuses for minutes/day.

But it's not all bad. You can use the scaling damage claws in your animal form if the form has claws or, if it doesn't, replace the damage of up to two of the form's natural attacks with the claw damage, which is nice. Even though most of the bonuses from minor aspects don't stack with magic items, it does allow you to save money as they're usable often enough for them to be relied on for most/all encounters throughout an adventuring day. It's true that Hunter gets unlimited duration on their aspects when they don't have an animal companion, but they can't have as many active at a time as the Shifter can. And while you only have a few aspects, they do cover a good range of options from full offense tigers to stealthy mice and flying hawks.

Overall, if you take a druid and a shifter, have them both go tiger form and go all out on an enemy, I'd say the shifter will come out ahead. For general utility excluding spells in a natural environment, shifter and druid are comparable with druid coming ahead slightly. But ultimately the druid has 9th level casting which is really hard to compete with. If you want a shapeshifter without dealing with spells, Shifter is fine. It's not Amazing, but it's not terrible either.


I wasn't able to find this....When will this book be legal for PFS?


So let me get this strait, the shifter class doesn't get wild shape at level 20, correct? What does it get at 20th level?

What are the shifter's good saves?


Dragon78 wrote:

So let me get this strait, the shifter class doesn't get wild shape at level 20, correct? What does it get at 20th level?

What are the shifter's good saves?

At 20, it gains a 5th aspect and the ability to take the minor forms of every animal aspect that it knows at one time.

Good saves at Fort and Ref.


Yeah I think I'm just gonna have to see it for myself The more details I get only seem to raise more questions.

Silver Crusade

Human Fighter wrote:
Details on the Tribal Fighter and Skirmisher archetypes?

Tribal Warrior is restricted to druid armors and weapons in the new "Tribal Weapon" group. They gain weapon training only in this group. The Tribal Warrior also more easily qualifies for style feats by having ranks in skills associated with them.

The Skirmisher is a light-armored fighter that gains resistances based on the climates he's adapted to, has altered class skills and ranks, and a scaling dodge bonus to AC when wearing light armor as well as some other defensive bonuses.

Human Fighter wrote:
Any new Advanced Weapon or Armor training options?

Nope.

Human Fighter wrote:
Any cool combat feats?

There are many feats listed, old and new. Some of my favorites are a new Beastmaster Style chain that's focused on fighting with an animal companion, the Wilding Strike chain that lets you improve the damage of your unarmed attacks (similar to monk's scaling damage but does not stack with it), and Nature's Weapon that lets you use whatever random stuff you find in the wilderness as an improvised weapon.


Sad to hear that the Shifter is a disappointment.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Morbid Eels wrote:
Sad to hear that the Shifter is a disappointment.

I would suggest still seeing it for yourself because of the "internet".

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Morbid Eels wrote:
Sad to hear that the Shifter is a disappointment.
I would suggest still seeing it for yourself because of the "internet".

I second this opinion. Even though it's not what I'd hoped, it's still not terrible. It's just different than what I was expecting so I'm working with it and trying different builds to see how I'd like to play it. I still intend to take one to PFS once it gets cleared.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
shalandar wrote:
I wasn't able to find this....When will this book be legal for PFS?

Shortly after it’s released.


Does anyone know if the 'Planar Focus' feat works with Shifters and their animal focuses? If so that may be some of the scaling and utility that people felt was missing.

Silver Crusade

Inkfist wrote:
Does anyone know if the 'Planar Focus' feat works with Shifters and their animal focuses? If so that may be some of the scaling and utility that people felt was missing.

Shifter's aspects do not count as the "Animal Focus" class ability and so they do not qualify, sadly. Even if the elemental focuses don't have major forms, it would be cool to have them available as minor forms. But keep in mind a Shifter only has at most 5 aspects unlike Hunters who can freely swap between all of them, so a Shifter would be hard up to sacrifice a possible wildshape form just for a minor buff.

Lantern Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
filgaiasguardian wrote:
Shifter's aspects do not count as the "Animal Focus" class ability and so they do not qualify, sadly. Even if the elemental focuses don't have major forms, it would be cool to have them available as minor forms. But keep in mind a Shifter only has at most 5 aspects unlike Hunters who can freely swap between all of them, so a Shifter would be hard up to sacrifice a possible wildshape form just for a minor buff.

So, on top of the limited number of aspects they don't actually count s the 'animal focus' ability so any feats related to that are useless for the class? Despite your positive outlook on the class, you're not making me any more confident in its abilities.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Disappointment about lack of varied shapeshifting aside (something we've known about the class for a while), I can't help but remember the Kineticist. There were a million threads about how the class was terrible when Occult Adventures came out. But people eventually warmed up to the class, and now it's generally regarded as a fun and well-balanced option (yes, I know someone's going to contest this the moment they see it.)

My own experience with the Hunter also comes to mind. I thought the class was a waste of space, a major misstep on Paizo's part, for the longest time. But just within the last few months, having built, played, and witnessed other players using the class, I've begun to warm up to it.

The Shifter could certainly be awful. Sometimes a class is just bad. However, I'm going to be cautious making any judgements too immediately.

And if it turns out the Shifter is bad, we'll probably get a player companion that has some fixes in a year or so.


Would anyone with the PDF mind telling me what spell lists the 'Fey Form' spells are on?

Silver Crusade

rabblerouser__ wrote:
Would anyone with the PDF mind telling me what spell lists the 'Fey Form' spells are on?

Alchemist, Bloodrager, Druid, Magus, Shaman, Sorc/Wiz and Witch.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Morbid Eels wrote:
Sad to hear that the Shifter is a disappointment.
I would suggest still seeing it for yourself because of the "internet".

The thing is the class is flawed at a conceptual level. The shapeshifting class should be flat out better at shapeshifting than the druid. The druid has shapeshifting as barely one third of its major class features yet a class that has shapeshifting as 100% of its class features is worse. To do otherwise is just obviously bad design.

Brew Bird wrote:
Disappointment about lack of varied shapeshifting aside (something we've known about the class for a while), I can't help but remember the Kineticist. There were a million threads about how the class was terrible when Occult Adventures came out. But people eventually warmed up to the class, and now it's generally regarded as a fun and well-balanced option (yes, I know someone's going to contest this the moment they see it.)

Well take all the fun out of it why don't ya.


filgaiasguardian wrote:
Human Fighter wrote:
Details on the Tribal Fighter and Skirmisher archetypes?
Tribal Warrior is restricted to druid armors and weapons in the new "Tribal Weapon" group. They gain weapon training only in this group. The Tribal Warrior also more easily qualifies for style feats by having ranks in skills associated with them.

Sigh. Why can't I have a dwarven tribalist using native gold or the guardian of an otherwise nomadic people's single smelter?

How dependant is the Shifter on Wis? Can the full Wis to AC be insignificant compared to wearing real, bona-fide, less-polluting-than-leatherworking steel?

Silver Crusade

The Sideromancer wrote:
How dependant is the Shifter on Wis? Can the full Wis to AC be insignificant compared to wearing real, bona-fide, less-polluting-than-leatherworking steel?

The only thing they use Wis for is the AC bonus. There's a feat that lets you add wis bonus to minutes/day of aspects as well. A Shifter that wears metal armor loses most of their class features while doing so and for 24 hours after, though.


Are there any stand out feats in the book?

What are the new weapon groups and what weapons are in them?

What is the elemental based shifter archetype like?

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
Are there any stand out feats in the book?

There's a lot and everyone has different ideas on what makes a feat good, but the coolest one I saw is one that works as a substitute for Skill Focus for the prereq of Eldritch Heritage and if you use it for that purpose, you can take a Wildblooded version of the bloodline.

Dragon78 wrote:
What are the new weapon groups and what weapons are in them?

Only weapon group is Tribal which contains club, dagger, greatclub, handaxe, heavy shield, light shield, shortspear, spear, throwing axe, and unarmed strike.

Dragon78 wrote:
What is the elemental based shifter archetype like?

You can add elemental damage to your attacks instead of grow claws and you wild shape into elementals of your chosen aspects instead of animals.


Honestly, I would be asking more questions, but i'm curious about so many of the options that I think i'll just wait for the book at this point.


Anyone know what about the rogue archetype? Talents?


filgaiasguardian wrote:
The Sideromancer wrote:
How dependant is the Shifter on Wis? Can the full Wis to AC be insignificant compared to wearing real, bona-fide, less-polluting-than-leatherworking steel?
The only thing they use Wis for is the AC bonus. There's a feat that lets you add wis bonus to minutes/day of aspects as well. A Shifter that wears metal armor loses most of their class features while doing so and for 24 hours after, though.

Okay, now I'm in the "should have had a playtest so the devs know what is and isn't needed" camp. Shifter is dead to me now, Antipaladin is more playable.

Silver Crusade

... the Shifter adding Wisdom to AC makes it dead to you?


Rysky wrote:
... the Shifter adding Wisdom to AC makes it dead to you?
filgaiasguardian wrote:
A Shifter that wears metal armor loses most of their class features while doing so and for 24 hours after, though.

Just like the Druid, the other class dead to me.

Silver Crusade

Bladelock wrote:
Anyone know what about the rogue archetype? Talents?

There are 5 Rogue archetypes: Fey Prankster, Desert Raider, River Rat, Sly Saboteur, and Sylvan Trickster. I did not see any new talents.


filgaiasguardian wrote:
Bladelock wrote:
Anyone know what about the rogue archetype? Talents?
There are 5 Rogue archetypes: Fey Prankster, Desert Raider, River Rat, Sly Saboteur, and Sylvan Trickster. I did not see any new talents.

Ooh, a trickster and a prankster…


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Just got my shipping notice. 4 to 8 days i'll have the book!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
The Sideromancer wrote:
Rysky wrote:
... the Shifter adding Wisdom to AC makes it dead to you?
filgaiasguardian wrote:
A Shifter that wears metal armor loses most of their class features while doing so and for 24 hours after, though.
Just like the Druid, the other class dead to me.

So no metal armor = Class is dead to you?

This is a curious line of thought, I have to say, especially (presumably) if you haven't seen the Shifter. Though I'm underwhelmed in my initial impressions of the class (and these are far from thorough, admittedly), this is a tremendously bold claim.


CorvusMask wrote:

Hmm, severals of my players are discussing it, apparently it says that it doesn't have magic item slots and can't hold objects, benefit from armor, cast spells, use or activate any magic item that is held or hold on the body.

So umm, yeah, oozemorph couldn't even use rings it seems <_< Which I could swear I've seen several adventure modules were ooze had survived on consuming someone with ring of sustenance. Or maybe that was my homebrew campaign, can't remember.

I'd personally just house rule it so that they can use magic items that work just by holding them inside their body. But yeah, it doesn't say technically that they can't carry items, but it definitely goes over the mile to say that they can't use any magic item at all. So even if they can carry item, not sure how you are supposed to play a class that can't use any loot you find ._.

Yeah I'm super confused about the archetype as well. So much so I feel that it is necessary to start a discussion on it. Going to be filling in all info I can in this thread below, feel free to join and bring up any points you could think of.

The Oozemorph mega(slimy)thread


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
Dark Midian wrote:
Painful Bugger wrote:
Thomas Seitz wrote:

Painful Bugger,

IN YOUR opinion...

...that The Shifter could have benefited from a public playtest to at least get the opinion of people on what they expected out of the class. Instead we got someone's pet project. A Druid that dump stats wisdom is a better shapeshifter then the Shifter. I'm certain many would agree with me.
This. By effectively taking their ball and going home on public playtests ("You guys are too toxic and all you do is theorycraft without playing the class!") they're not getting important testing data that could have made the shifter more appealing by having a larger base of testers who are likely more impartial. Not to mention all of the big, important devs besides Mark are incredibly hands-off and distant with their playtests, is it any surprise that people got salty?

No, they weren’t getting any useful testing data from the last playtest, or if there was they had to dig through a s@!$fest to find it, that’s why we don’t have public playtests anymore. The Vigilante playtest wasn’t a playtest, it was a burning dumpster fire overwhelmingly made up of people who just hated the very idea of the class. Compare to the ACG and Occult playtests when the Devs were around to answer questions and provide feedback. Compare to when the Devs were around on the Paizo site, period, to answer questions and provide feedback.

The Devs aren’t aloof, they just got sick of getting attacked for everything they did or said or made.

Its the same reason Onyx Path is backing away from Open Development for Chronicles of Darkness. It's a useful tool, the devs like it and the fans love it, but people have started talking about how they are "owed" more frequent previews and information. Layer that on top of a couple of really toxic jerks, and even the most useful feedback isn't really worth digging through all that crap.


Swordwraith wrote:
The Sideromancer wrote:
Rysky wrote:
... the Shifter adding Wisdom to AC makes it dead to you?
filgaiasguardian wrote:
A Shifter that wears metal armor loses most of their class features while doing so and for 24 hours after, though.
Just like the Druid, the other class dead to me.

So no metal armor = Class is dead to you?

This is a curious line of thought, I have to say, especially (presumably) if you haven't seen the Shifter. Though I'm underwhelmed in my initial impressions of the class (and these are far from thorough, admittedly), this is a tremendously bold claim.

Basically yes. There is so much stuff in nature that uses metallic properties (from the iron core of the earth shielding the planet from radiation, to the requirements of metals in metabolic protiens, to the iron core of a dying star allowing it's products to be spread throughout space) that any notion of a life force, or the energy of nature rejecting that essential group of elements completely destroys immersion. I've tried to play druids with other explanations for the restriction, but I keep thinking "I can't live this lie. This restriction should simply not exist." The closest I've gotten to ever having a druid in a playable state is using deity-specific options and less-than-certain rules interactions, and all I accomplished was a worse Titian Mauler.

That's a core class that has continually gotten options that I have tried to breach two lines of text on ever since I read the CRB. Why would the Shifter fare better?

But really, what did you expect from the guy who puts "master of iron" in his username?


What did the bard get?

Are there any class specific feats for kineticist, sorcerer, oracle, and/or swashbuckler?

What did the oracle get?

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The Druid and Shifter’s aversion to metal armor (note no aversion to using metal weapons) comes from the fact that metal armor represents civilization and production of manufactured armor that “messes”, more or less, with nature. As opposed to wearing hides.


Any interesting spells of note?

What are the magic plants like?

Did the Gathlain, Ghoran, and/or Leshy get any alternate racial traits and/or racial feats?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

What did the occultist get?

What did the monk get?

What are the shifter specific feats?


Rysky wrote:
The Druid and Shifter’s aversion to metal armor (note no aversion to using metal weapons) comes from the fact that metal armor represents civilization and production of manufactured armor that “messes”, more or less, with nature. As opposed to wearing hides.

That doesn't hold up to comparison. Stoneplate is druid-legal, despite also requiring quarrying and chemical treatments. Pursuit of quality hides has sure destroyed ecosystems for the sake of industry up here in Canada, not to mention all of the extra chemicals involved in making cow skin offer protection. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Gold represents less industry than leather since the former can be found just lying around and only needs to be shaped.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Anyone know if protector archetype and tumor familiar cheese is still viable?


Verzen wrote:
Anyone know if protector archetype and tumor familiar cheese is still viable?

They reprinted the protector archetype to specifically say that tumor familiars can't take it.


Anyone care to share details of the Psychic disciplines?

Sczarni

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Seriously will? My guy has it. Took a dip in bloodrager. What does that mean for my pfs char?


Verzen wrote:
Seriously will? My guy has it. Took a dip in bloodrager. What does that mean for my pfs char?

technically UW isn't PFS yet, so you got time. I don't do PFS so i can't help you with that anyways.

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