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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A Drifting Shoebox wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
A Drifting Shoebox wrote:


Wouldn't it be better to compare it to the Hunter's Feral Hunter archetype, rather than the base Hunter? Base Hunter's aspects seem a very unfair comparison, given how many ways it can actually be used.
A problem with the archetype is that its not better than going old yeller.
If you're not going to have an animal companion at all via shooting it in the head and leaving it dead, not having the animal companion to begin with is logically better. Feral Hunter also makes it a better comparison to Shifter, as has been mentioned before, as it then would be doing the same sort of thing(s).

Feral hunters do not have full BAB, and there are no ways to increase the attack.


You do not have to be a feral hunter to use that tactic. Evading the conversation like that is not a good sign


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Logic doesn't always work. The archetype SHOULD be better than going companionless, but isn't. Since going companionless is an option thats what you have to make the comparison to, not an arbitrarily decided worse option.

I'm failing to follow this train of thought. If your argument is that a Vanilla Hunter with a dead animal companion is somehow better than an archetype that trades out the animal companion for something and still lets you keep the "benefits" of a dead companion, then perhaps I'm either missing obvious sarcasm somewhere or missing a very important detail contained within the class. The only painful thing I see is it loses teamwork feats for summon-related things, but that seems to be a trade of one meh feature for a different meh feature. If you can enlighten me, I'd be glad to know what I'm missing.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Painful Bugger wrote:

Well let's settle the debate for the Shifter's most ardent defenders.

Is the Shifter a good class?
http://www.strawpoll.me/14377765

I'm seeing a clear minority start to appear.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I am really looking forward to seeing the Iconic Design column where Alexander Augunas builds an effective Shifter. Bonus points to him if he is able to do so with no post-Ultimate Wilderness material.


graystone wrote:
JiCi wrote:
Is the Shifter THAT bad of a class?
The class is ok, I just don't think it's the shapeshifting class anyone wanted/expected.

It's the shapeshifting class Pathfinder deserves, but not the one it needs right now. Or something.

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Painful Bugger wrote:
Painful Bugger wrote:

Well let's settle the debate for the Shifter's most ardent defenders.

Is the Shifter a good class?
http://www.strawpoll.me/14377765

I'm seeing a clear minority start to appear.

If you think 61 forum visitors are a clear anything, well, you need to pick some lessons in statistics and quantitative research :)


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Painful Bugger wrote:
Painful Bugger wrote:

Well let's settle the debate for the Shifter's most ardent defenders.

Is the Shifter a good class?
http://www.strawpoll.me/14377765

I'm seeing a clear minority start to appear.
If you think 61 forum visitors are a clear anything, well, you need to pick some lessons in statistics and quantitative research :)

Keep moving that goalpost.


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

That poll is biased just by the lack of an actual link to it. Only people with very strongly held opinions would bother to jump through the hoops to vote in it -- and even these folks lacked the motivation to linkify the poll.

Grand Lodge

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Painful Bugger wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Painful Bugger wrote:
Painful Bugger wrote:

Well let's settle the debate for the Shifter's most ardent defenders.

Is the Shifter a good class?
http://www.strawpoll.me/14377765

I'm seeing a clear minority start to appear.
If you think 61 forum visitors are a clear anything, well, you need to pick some lessons in statistics and quantitative research :)
Keep moving that goalpost.

Lol that's not moving a goalpost. That's knowing how basic statistics and bias control work.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Painful Bugger wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Painful Bugger wrote:
Painful Bugger wrote:

Well let's settle the debate for the Shifter's most ardent defenders.

Is the Shifter a good class?
http://www.strawpoll.me/14377765

I'm seeing a clear minority start to appear.
If you think 61 forum visitors are a clear anything, well, you need to pick some lessons in statistics and quantitative research :)
Keep moving that goalpost.
Lol that's not moving a goalpost. That's knowing how basic statistics and bias control work.

I'm sorry, I dont have the means or time to get a 3000 person sample to satisfy the rigorous standards of tabletop hobby game enthusiasts. How about accepting that is likely good indicator that many people dont like the class and that maybe start accepting some rather good arguments being made that the class is a failure both in design and in concept. If the class wasn't what people expected but was good there would be less complaining and more hope of future archetypes. The simple fact of the matter is that paizo could've done better. But as of now let's look forward to that unchained version in 7 years.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Unsurprisingly, the fandom that involves rolling a die all of the time gets uppity about statistics.

Silver Crusade

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Painful Bugger wrote:
How about accepting that is likely good indicator that many people dont like the class and that maybe start accepting some rather good arguments being made that the class is a failure both in design and in concept.

Because that is blatantly not true.

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Painful Bugger wrote:
How about accepting that is likely good indicator that many people dont like the class

.....Yeah, I'm just gonna assume you've never taken a statistics class because that's not how that works at all.

Grand Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Painful Bugger wrote:
I'm seeing a clear minority start to appear.

It has been obvious from the start that the majority of people in this thread are upset with the shifter. We did not need a poll to determine that. It will not generalize to the rest of the customer base due to the lack of controls and representative population. It may be that the majority of players dislike the class, but your poll was never going to prove that, only that the product discussion has a high number of negative opinions.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Well "many people" may not like the class, but it seems fine to me. Of course, I didn't start out with any preconceived notions or hopes that it was going to do whatever the elusive bit is that "many people" are wanting.

I don't think that Paizo promised any of it, either. But this isn't the first and won't be the last class/archetype/spell/feat/magic item/thingy that "many people" dislike, think are nerfed or otherwise decry.

Change it for your own games, bite the bullet if you play in someone else's game or in PFS. This is gaming 101.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Painful Bugger wrote:
How about accepting that is likely good indicator that many people dont like the class
.....Yeah, I'm just gonna assume you've never taken a statistics class because that's not how that works at all.

If want to call me an idiot because you disagree with me then do so instead of thinking of round about ways to disregard my arguments or question my intellect.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm not calling you an idiot, I'm saying you don't understand how statistics and bias control work based on your apparent belief that your poll proves that the majority of people dislike the Shifter. That has nothing to do with intelligence, it just means you haven't studied statistics thoroughly.

But multiple people here who do have a solid grasp on statistics are trying to explain to you that a strawpoll with 63 responses from a forum does not even come close to proving an overall trend. Maybe instead of getting increasingly defensive and doubling down you could look into statistics instead of rambling about how you're right and everyone else is wrong.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jurassic Pratt wrote:

I'm not calling you an idiot, I'm saying you don't understand how statistics and bias control work based on your apparent belief that your poll proves that the majority of people dislike the Shifter. That has nothing to do with intelligence, it just means you haven't studied statistics thoroughly.

But multiple people here who have taken statistics classes are trying to explain to you that a strawpoll with 63 responses from a forum does not even come close to proving an overall trend. Maybe instead of getting increasingly defensive and doubling down you could look into statistics instead of rambling about how you're right and everyone else is wrong.

I'm a published biologist, I understand how to conduct a statistical survey. It's a beyond time consuming to conduct a proper one. The poll is not perfect, no survey is. What I'm seeing is many people being very dismissive of people upset about the shifter and its the same group of people who trip over themselves to defend paizo.

Grand Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I actually agree that the shifter is a little on the low side power wise. I don't agree with trying to use a poll that is statistically meaningless as evidence that this is true or the majority opinion.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

.....so are you guy's going to escalate to the point of having post's deleted ?.....just curious :P

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Painful Bugger wrote:

I'm a published biologist, I understand how to conduct a statistical survey. It's a beyond time consuming to conduct a proper one. The poll is not perfect, no survey is. What I'm seeing is many people being very dismissive of people upset about the shifter and its the same group of people who trip over themselves to defend paizo.

About those goalposts...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

People are awfully strident about a make-pretend character they didn’t have before.

I’m still looking forward to reading the class.

I’m currently playing a Skinwalker Feral Hunter in an Ironfang Invasion game who was raised by the beasts of the forest. My GM gave me permission to swap out spells for a d10 HD & +1BaB per level, swapping the Precise Companion ability for a natural weapon combat style feat (I chose Aspect of the Beast). So far Buck Wylde has been a blast to play. I’ll make the decision to retrain him to a Shifter when I get my copy of the PDF.

It’s a home game, so we have no problem changing things if needed.

But if my GM decided that I had to update to the official Shifter, I wouldn’t complain about it. I’d just subtly alter my backstory to be raised by a specific kind of animal (probably wolves because they’re iconic), and continue enjoying the game.

Players are vocal and have clear biases towards powerful options. Veteran players also have biases against beginner friendly options. A “My First Shapeshifter” class is ideal for teaching new players. Often when I teach new players the game they’re drawn to Druid for the Pet or the Shapeshifting (if they want magic they’re drawn to the wizard or sorcerer). Now with the Hunter and Shifter I can ease them into the game without overwhelming them with 3 of the most complicated class features in the game.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Right, please ignore the biased clicks of people who probably don't even have the book yet. Look instead to the the average 2.33 review average showing that there is actually a lot of strong support for this book among those who actually have it. Compare to the widely panned ACG, which has an average review of 3.06.


Xenocrat wrote:
Right, please ignore the biased clicks of people who probably don't even have the book yet. Look instead to the the average 2.33 review average showing that there is actually a lot of strong support for this book among those who actually have it. Compare to the widely panned ACG, which has an average review of 3.06.

Actually hadn't read the reviews yet....


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Note the poll is entirely on the shifter and not the entire book. I think the book itself is exceeding my (admittedly not particularly high as I like tech in my fantasy way too much) expectations, despite the Shifter being, in my opinion, little more than space and effort wasted by two lines of text.

Shadow Lodge

8 people marked this as a favorite.
knightnday wrote:
Of course, I didn't start out with any preconceived notions or hopes that it was going to do whatever the elusive bit is that "many people" are wanting.

My only "preconceived notion" was that a class dedicated to shape shifting, going so far as to call itself "Shifter" would be as good, if not slightly better, at shapeshifting than existing options. Barring that, I would have at least like to see a new take on polymorphing, something which differentiates itself from its predecessors. That is what is "promised" when a new class is created. Paizo failed to live up to that incredibly low bar, and instead created a class the majority of whose features are copy-pastes from existing class, with either no changes, or baffling nerfs added. Or, are features like the Claws that are counter-intuitive to both the fluff and the mechanics.

knightnday wrote:
Change it for your own games, bite the bullet if you play in someone else's game or in PFS. This is gaming 101.

Why should the consumer pay for the privilege of dedicating their own time and effort into making content usable? You can fix anything through homebrew, that doesn't justify companies printing lazy and uninspired content, then attempting to charge for it.

Shadow Lodge

5 people marked this as a favorite.
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Players are vocal and have clear biases towards powerful options. Veteran players also have biases against beginner friendly options. A “My First Shapeshifter” class is ideal for teaching new players.

I've seen this point brought up before, and if it's true, then it makes Shifter's failings even more inexcusable.

If this is the attempt to get new people into the game, to let them live out their fantasies, you shouldn't just throw crap at them and saying "lol, who cares noobs can't tell the difference." You need to try harder. You need to write better content, to allow them to explore and engage with the world, without falling behind when sharing a table with veteran players, or without gimping themselves with a bad choice. You need to make them feel like they've made a good choice, not that they're being punished for not playing a Druid.

Silver Crusade

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

From what I’ve read the Shifter is neither lazy nor uninspired nor unplayable. Paizo and the designers have failed no promises here. We were not promised a class that out shapechanged the Druid.

The absolutely only promise they gave was “full-BaB shapeshifter”, which they delivered. Making a class revolving around a complicated mechanic easy to pick up and run with is also not insulting, decrying ease of of access and playability in this instance as compared to other classes played by “veterans” with more system “mastery” is just malicious gatekpeeing.

Shadow Lodge

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
From what I’ve read the Shifter is neither lazy nor uninspired nor unplayable.

More than 70% of the content is copy-pasted from other classes. If that's not lazy, what is? If taking a concept like "shapeshifter" and restricting it to 1 form per 5 levels, chosen from a list of 15 animals, when compared to all of Creation, isn't uninspired, then what is? Are your standards really that low? Also, please stop putting words in my mouth, I never said the class was unplayable, only that it was markedly inferior to existing options.

Rysky wrote:
Paizo and the designers have failed no promises here. We were not promised a class that out shapechanged the Druid. The absolutely only promise they gave was “full-BaB shapeshifter”, which they delivered.

Cool. I suppose that's true. Paizo promised us nothing, and delivered exactly that. But why should anyone defend them for doing so?

Rysky wrote:
Making a class revolving around a complicated mechanic easy to pick up and run with is also not insulting, decrying ease of of access and playability in this instance as compared to other classes played by “veterans” with more system “mastery” is just malicious gatekpeeing.

EDIT: Nice job editing your post to include baseless accusations, without mentioning so. Could you please explain to me, how demanding higher quality content for new players is somehow "gatekeeping"? Or could you show me where I decried the "simplicity" or "pick up and run" nature of the class? If you've read what I've written, you'd know I haven't done anything of the sort; thus you're merely tossing out buzzwords in an attempt to mask your own intellectual dishonesty.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:

From what I’ve read the Shifter is neither lazy nor uninspired nor unplayable. Paizo and the designers have failed no promises here. We were not promised a class that out shapechanged the Druid.

The absolutely only promise they gave was “full-BaB shapeshifter”, which they delivered. Making a class revolving around a complicated mechanic easy to pick up and run with is also not insulting, decrying ease of of access and playability in this instance as compared to other classes played by “veterans” with more system “mastery” is just malicious gatekpeeing.

Really, the greatest frustration I ever experienced in playing has been learning that a class I enjoy is not only outdone at their specialty by another class, but that the other class has a multitude of further features. Claiming that the Shifter as a class shouldn't even match what the druid has as a class feature is insulting to new players and quite a discouraging path for designers to take.

Silver Crusade

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They didn’t give us “nothing”, they gave us a full BaB shapeshifter that a vocal group on here is venting about due to not meeting their expectations and assumptions.


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:

What we are seeing here is a bunch people who wanted an Animorph/Ben10 class which morphs from a tiger into a shark midway through air and didn't get that.

The only thing Paizo should have done better is manage expectations.

That is possibly an argument for public playtests. They are usually seen as a way for Paizo to get feedback from customers, but they are also a way to inform customers of the direction that Paizo is planning to take. In this case people were given the very evocative name, Shifter, with a few tidbits about the class, and they filled in the gaps with their dream options. It was basically a Rorschach test that meant the final product was bound to disappoint many. A playtest would have made clear the niche that this class was intended to fill, and feedback from the community might have resulted in some archetypes that would provide some of the features that they wanted.

Shadow Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.

You mean like the chimeric ability we didn't seem to get...?

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gisher wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

What we are seeing here is a bunch people who wanted an Animorph/Ben10 class which morphs from a tiger into a shark midway through air and didn't get that.

The only thing Paizo should have done better is manage expectations.

That is possibly an argument for public playtests. They are usually seen as a way for Paizo to get feedback from customers, but they are also a way to inform customers of the direction that Paizo is planning to take. In this case people were given the very evocative name, Shifter, with a few tidbits about the class, and they filled in the gaps with their dream options. It was basically a Rorschach test that meant the final product was bound to disappoint many. A playtest would have made clear the niche that this class was intended to fill, and feedback from the community might have resulted in some archetypes that would provide some of the features that they wanted.

The only result would be that Paizo would know that there is a vocal minority of people who want a very different class. Which, by this time, is something they can divine without running a playtest, because for every class there will be a vocal group that will want something specific. APG had people who wanted Oracle to by a copy-paste of Favoured Soul. ACG had people who wanted Swashbuckler to move and full attack. OA had the turbo-vocal "I WANT REAL PSIONICS" group. UI had the "I should be able to make Vigilante into Superman" group.

You don't need a playtest to anticipate that and if whatever means of gauging the market - and I'm pretty sure Paizo does quite a lot of gauging the market - inform you that the actual money-paying majority of people want the Shifter as it is and not as vocal minorities envision it, well, you know where your money comes from.

Shadow Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
They didn’t give us “nothing”, they gave us a full BaB shapeshifter that a vocal group on here is venting about due to not meeting their expectations and assumptions.

The moment your argument's only defense is "but technically..." is the moment your argument has failed.


graystone wrote:
Gisher wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:

...

Natural attack specialist- Only gets 2 claw attacks, max damage only 1d10, doesn't count as magic.
...
They don't overcome DR/magic? From previous posts I'd gotten the impression that the claws could overcome various forms of DR. I'm surprised that magic isn't one of them.

You have to take the feat Eldritch Claws if you want claws that bypass magic DR. Cold iron, silver, adamantine and - DR, but not magic.

EDIT: I'm surprised too. I guess they assume you're have an amulet to take care of that?

Huh. Given all the talk about the Shifter's Primal Magic overcoming DR/Magic seemed like an obvious feature to me. But mechanically I'd rather need a +1 Enhancement on my AoMF than need the +4 for overcoming DR/Adamantine. (If you multiclassed with an arcane casting class I suppose you could use Arcane Strike instead.)

Eldritch Claws seems a bit wasteful if they are already counted as Silver. Plus the Str requirement is at odds with the Dex-based Shifter that I find more appealing.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
RogueMortal wrote:
Rysky wrote:

From what I’ve read the Shifter is neither lazy nor uninspired nor unplayable. Paizo and the designers have failed no promises here. We were not promised a class that out shapechanged the Druid.

The absolutely only promise they gave was “full-BaB shapeshifter”, which they delivered. Making a class revolving around a complicated mechanic easy to pick up and run with is also not insulting, decrying ease of of access and playability in this instance as compared to other classes played by “veterans” with more system “mastery” is just malicious gatekpeeing.

Really, the greatest frustration I ever experienced in playing has been learning that a class I enjoy is not only outdone at their specialty by another class, but that the other class has a multitude of further features. Claiming that the Shifter as a class shouldn't even match what the druid has as a class feature is insulting to new players and quite a discouraging path for designers to take.

I made no such claim. I was pointing out that Paizo also made no such claim.

The Shifter doesn’t outdo the Druid, just like a Warpriest doesn’t outdo the Cleric. But give it some feats and Archetypes and we’ll see. Look at everything the Fighter’s gotten over the years. Look at everything all the classes has gotten over the years.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Gisher wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

What we are seeing here is a bunch people who wanted an Animorph/Ben10 class which morphs from a tiger into a shark midway through air and didn't get that.

The only thing Paizo should have done better is manage expectations.

That is possibly an argument for public playtests. They are usually seen as a way for Paizo to get feedback from customers, but they are also a way to inform customers of the direction that Paizo is planning to take. In this case people were given the very evocative name, Shifter, with a few tidbits about the class, and they filled in the gaps with their dream options. It was basically a Rorschach test that meant the final product was bound to disappoint many. A playtest would have made clear the niche that this class was intended to fill, and feedback from the community might have resulted in some archetypes that would provide some of the features that they wanted.

The only result would be that Paizo would know that there is a vocal minority of people who want a very different class. Which, by this time, is something they can divine without running a playtest, because for every class there will be a vocal group that will want something specific. APG had people who wanted Oracle to by a copy-paste of Favoured Soul. ACG had people who wanted Swashbuckler to move and full attack. OA had the turbo-vocal "I WANT REAL PSIONICS" group. UI had the "I should be able to make Vigilante into Superman" group.

You don't need a playtest to anticipate that and if whatever means of gauging the market - and I'm pretty sure Paizo does quite a lot of gauging the market - inform you that the actual money-paying majority of people want the Shifter as it is and not as vocal minorities envision it, well, you know where your money comes from.

I get the feeling that you didn't really read my post. You are focusing on whether Paizo would have gained information from the participant of the playtest. I was focusing on information flowing in the opposite direction. Using the playtest as a PR opportunity rather than as a data gathering one.


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Rysky wrote:
RogueMortal wrote:
Rysky wrote:
We were not promised a class that out shapechanged the Druid
Really, the greatest frustration I ever experienced in playing has been learning that a class I enjoy is not only outdone at their specialty by another class, but that the other class has a multitude of further features. Claiming that the Shifter as a class shouldn't even match what the druid has as a class feature is insulting to new players and quite a discouraging path for designers to take.

I made no such claim. I was pointing out that Paizo also made no such claim.

The Shifter doesn’t outdo the Druid, just like a Warpriest doesn’t outdo the Cleric. But give it some feats and Archetypes and we’ll see. Look at everything the Fighter’s gotten over the years. Look at everything all the classes has gotten over the years.

It appears you did say that, and as for the Fighter... what has the class gotten? A few options that slightly alter your fighting style, but nothing to really improve the class overall. Fighter hits things, often not even as well as other classes, and outside of hitting things it has.. what? I mean sure, if they were undeniably the absolute masters of combat I could see a case for not doing anything else, but again, Fighter is a decent combatant but hardly a show stopper.

Silver Crusade

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RogueMortal wrote:
Rysky wrote:
RogueMortal wrote:
Rysky wrote:
We were not promised a class that out shapechanged the Druid
Really, the greatest frustration I ever experienced in playing has been learning that a class I enjoy is not only outdone at their specialty by another class, but that the other class has a multitude of further features. Claiming that the Shifter as a class shouldn't even match what the druid has as a class feature is insulting to new players and quite a discouraging path for designers to take.

I made no such claim. I was pointing out that Paizo also made no such claim.

The Shifter doesn’t outdo the Druid, just like a Warpriest doesn’t outdo the Cleric. But give it some feats and Archetypes and we’ll see. Look at everything the Fighter’s gotten over the years. Look at everything all the classes has gotten over the years.

It appears you did say that, and as for the Fighter... what has the class gotten? A few options that slightly alter your fighting style, but nothing to really improve the class overall. Fighter hits things, often not even as well as other classes, and outside of hitting things it has.. what? I mean sure, if they were undeniably the absolute masters of combat I could see a case for not doing anything else, but again, Fighter is a decent combatant but hardly a show stopper.

“Claiming that the Shifter as a class shouldn't even match what the druid has” I did not say this. I said we weren’t promised such a class. And Paizo hadn’t promised such a class. I then followed it up with give it Time, and Feats and Archetypes, just like every other class.

As for Fighter look at the Advancing Training options.


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Gorbacz wrote:

What we are seeing here is a bunch people who wanted an Animorph/Ben10 class which morphs from a tiger into a shark midway through air and didn't get that.

The only thing Paizo should have done better is manage expectations.

Can't speak to the "Animorph/Ben10" reference....not sure what that means (I'm probably too old)....but I will agree they should have managed expectations better.

They at the very least strongly implied, on multiple occasions...we would have a shifter that was capable of chimeric (mix and match features of different animals....owlbear being the most common example). I'm actually not the least bit interested in a "class which morphs from a tiger into a shark midway through air"...what I wanted, and felt like I was getting (based on the information provided by the Dev's) was a shapeshifter that could be customised to create monstrous forms outside of standard animals.

And as the class is giving up Druid/Feral Hunter spell casting....you bet your butt I better be able to assume that form often enough and for long enough periods of time to make it through an adventuring day.

EDIT: Sorry if I sound a little heated....but to use the terminology of a few posts back...."that a vocal group on here is venting about due to not meeting their expectations and assumptions" is both disingenuous and rather insulting. It's correct that nobody was "promised" anything....nothing is ever promised with a class. Does that mean a new spellcasting class can be discussed, and peoples disappointment disregarded when they have 3/1st level spells a day at 20th level ?

It's not a "vocal group"....it's the vast majority of the people who have seen the class and commented. Only a few people who have seen the class, and commented...seem to be OK with it in fact.

So people on both sides should probably stop trying to trivialize other opinions.


Can anyone give me a rundown of Rot Warden (druid archetype)?

This might be the archetype I've been impatiently waiting for


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Rysky wrote:
RogueMortal wrote:
Rysky wrote:
RogueMortal wrote:
Rysky wrote:
We were not promised a class that out shapechanged the Druid
Really, the greatest frustration I ever experienced in playing has been learning that a class I enjoy is not only outdone at their specialty by another class, but that the other class has a multitude of further features. Claiming that the Shifter as a class shouldn't even match what the druid has as a class feature is insulting to new players and quite a discouraging path for designers to take.

I made no such claim. I was pointing out that Paizo also made no such claim.

The Shifter doesn’t outdo the Druid, just like a Warpriest doesn’t outdo the Cleric. But give it some feats and Archetypes and we’ll see. Look at everything the Fighter’s gotten over the years. Look at everything all the classes has gotten over the years.

It appears you did say that, and as for the Fighter... what has the class gotten? A few options that slightly alter your fighting style, but nothing to really improve the class overall. Fighter hits things, often not even as well as other classes, and outside of hitting things it has.. what? I mean sure, if they were undeniably the absolute masters of combat I could see a case for not doing anything else, but again, Fighter is a decent combatant but hardly a show stopper.

“Claiming that the Shifter as a class shouldn't even match what the druid has” I did not say this. I said we weren’t promised such a class. And Paizo hadn’t promised such a class. I then followed it up with give it Time, and Feats and Archetypes, just like every other class.

As for Fighter look at the Advancing Training options.

True, you merely said that a class which is built around shapeshifting was never promised to be better at it than a class for which shapeshifting is one of many abilities, as if the lack of a promise somehow makes the shifter situation fair or sensible.

It has archetypes, each of them finding a different way to insult anyone who may have been interested.

Advanced Training Options. Now this thread isn't really about fighters, but okay at least they can at least trade out some features for others?

And once again, doing this in the name of making an easy to use class for new players seems disingenuous, because the biggest lesson to be learned will be that others can easily outdo them at what they thought was going to be their niche, and those others continue to have more and stronger options.


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Gisher wrote:

Huh. Given all the talk about the Shifter's Primal Magic overcoming DR/Magic seemed like an obvious feature to me. But mechanically I'd rather need a +1 Enhancement on my AoMF than need the +4 for overcoming DR/Adamantine. (If you multiclassed with an arcane casting class I suppose you could use Arcane Strike instead.)

Eldritch Claws seems a bit wasteful if they are already counted as Silver. Plus the Str requirement is at odds with the Dex-based Shifter that I find more appealing.

Oh I agree; it seems quite odd that magic DC got missed. None of the options seem great, but I'm with you in thinking an amulet/wrap is the best option for picking it up.

Rot warden: spontaneous casting for 'rot' themed spells, must pick domain [destruction, erosion, repose, vermin], vermin empathy, summon swarm, bonus saves vs vermin/swarms, adds vermin to wildshape.


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Disk Elemental wrote:


knightnday wrote:
Change it for your own games, bite the bullet if you play in someone else's game or in PFS. This is gaming 101.
Why should the consumer pay for the privilege of dedicating their own time and effort into making content usable? You can fix anything through homebrew, that doesn't justify companies printing lazy and uninspired content, then attempting to charge for it.

Well there is the thing: you don't have to pay for the luxury. No one is forcing this book or any other on any one. I have no doubt that there will be a 3PP that will be seen as a better shifter coming out soon, perhaps from one of the people on the boards (or this thread) who are dissatisfied.

Or you could build your own class out of the ashes of what is seen as the perceived failure of this one.

As far as the comments above regarding the ratings, we're looking at a few from people that have gotten the book before the wide release. Some of the reviews seem low due to dislike of reprinted material and an intense dislike of the shifter, to the point where it colors the rest of the book.

We'll see how things go after more people get the book.

Shadow Lodge

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knightnday wrote:
Well there is the thing: you don't have to pay for the luxury. No one is forcing this book or any other on any one.

However, Paizo is still attempting to sell it. Which is why I stand by the low rating I've given the book, and would encourage others to do so as well. This content is not worth paying for, and should not be purchased without a great deal of forethought.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am waiting to see what the interaction between Druid/Hunter/Shifter is going to be as far as Wild Shape/Aspects before commenting further.

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