Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Wilderness

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

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

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

Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Wilderness includes:

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

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

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

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Another Great Hardback Update Collection!

5/5

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

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

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

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


Lots of ptential, but none of it really sticks

2/5

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

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

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

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

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


Everything I wanted from Ultimate Wilderness

4/5

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


Reprinted material, lack of clarity

1/5

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


4/5


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Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:
needs theme music

It starts that way, then it's all


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Can I just throw money at this now, or do I have to wait? *checks release date* Wait? Aww, not again!


I hope the new iconic is a female catfolk(B3 style), yeah I know, it will never happen.

Dark Archive

I have been wanting something like this since the early days of 3.5.

I love wild shape and have always wanted a class that was pure wild shape without any of those pesky spells involved.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

But maybe the new iconic likes to shift into a large feline form?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thinking about previous iconics, one of the things people havce been asking for is a martial small race character, So I would be very happy to see a Female Halfling Shifter.

Or we could get our first Arcadian Human Iconic, that would be so cool!


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I feel like then Shifter class is going to focus entirely on using natural weapons to fight sort of like a claw and fang wielding Brawler. with minor shifting at earlier levels with more options and more powerful shapechanging effects as they go up in levels.

I wouldn't be surprised if we get something like a Brawler with a Druid. no spellcasting but able to get abilities and specific forms based on what animal allegiances you choose. perhaps with the later abilities to alter your own body at will.

I am as excited for this class as I was with the Kineticist! An at will shapeshifting class!

I am curious as to if they will do something of a feat or option that combines the class with the skinwalker's change shape racial ability.


What I find most interesting about the Shifter class is the potential to explore shapeshifing in ways untouched by other classes; as an example, the Shifter could perhaps have access to a larger pool of abilities than those listed under Beast Shape and its variants, and archetypes could allow the class to assume entirely new forms. For instance, a "Pact Shifter" archetype could strike a bargain with powerful forces to transform into Outsiders whose aligned subtype(s) match the Shifter alignment; a "Primal Shifter" archetype could channel the forces of nature to transform into Elementals, including those not covered by Elemental Body; an "Outer Shifter" archetype could assume the likeness of its alien masters to become Aberrations; and a "Shape Savant" archetype could behave similarly to the 3.5e Master Transmogrifier Prestige Class, limiting its shapeshifing abilities to a handful of forms but gaining Supernatural abilities and adding traits from one form to another.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Andrew Mullen wrote:
I hope this means the occasionally headache-inducing polymorph rules get something like the unchained treatment! Shapeshifting is a super cool concept but is pretty daunting for new players.

I've been hoping for a while now that we might see some more offensive shapeshifting spells rather than the defensive/utility types that are currently in-game, so maybe this will tackle that niche. More ways of transforming opponents in mild (or major) ways rather than just friendly faces.


Will there be rules on Lycanthropes, Lycantropy, how to play them, etc?

^ and I mean Lycanthropes, not Skinwalkers.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Pennate wrote:
What I find most interesting about the Shifter class is the potential to explore shapeshifing in ways untouched by other classes; as an example, the Shifter could perhaps have access to a larger pool of abilities than those listed under Beast Shape and its variants, and archetypes could allow the class to assume entirely new forms. For instance, a "Pact Shifter" archetype could strike a bargain with powerful forces to transform into Outsiders whose aligned subtype(s) match the Shifter alignment; a "Primal Shifter" archetype could channel the forces of nature to transform into Elementals, including those not covered by Elemental Body; an "Outer Shifter" archetype could assume the likeness of its alien masters to become Aberrations; and a "Shape Savant" archetype could behave similarly to the 3.5e Master Transmogrifier Prestige Class, limiting its shapeshifing abilities to a handful of forms but gaining Supernatural abilities and adding traits from one form to another.

True that could be cool, though I imagine there would also be different themes of more 'basic' shifter as well. Like a shifter that transforms due to a bezerker raging style, or one that uses some science/alchemical method to maximise potential of the changes as best he can, or even a pseudo-Druid or tribal warrior, that harnesses their inner beast aspect to defend their people or nature. There's so much potential for this to make some truely interesting characters. Plus another iconic to join our cast of miscreant heroes and one irredeemable monster is always fun. Especially if they actually don't take any of said characters biased and foolhardy opinions on topics he does not truely understand without damaging his mug a little.


It would be nice to see a larger pool of abilities then under the polymorph spells. Maybe they can break some of the rules like keep their armor if they choose, change into a specific creature/person, etc. I hope the class gains immunity to Lycanthropy and maybe even harmful polymorph and petrification effects.


**after release date

Is there a Pathfinder Tales story featuring the new shifter class? ;-)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I hope that Barbarians, monks, summoners, and swashbucklers will get some archetype love as well.

I hope there will be new bloodrager/sorcerer bloodlines, oracle curses/mysteries, and witch hexes/patrons.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

They had me at shifter. I think like everyone has been wanting one of those for years.

Sovereign Court

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

First of all, how dare you?

Second, what gives you the right?

Shapeshifter is literally my number one class that I've been clamouring for since the dawn of time. The only fantasy archetype I wasn't satisfied with (no offence Druid but you have entirely too much going on).

And then you just GIVE this to us! Fulfilling the hopes and dreams of generations?

I'm excited.

One day I'll talk my players into a Champions of Nature Party:

Barbarian
Druid
Ranger
Hunter
Kineticist
Shifter

Sure they won't be the strongest in matters arcane, but I think they'll be quite formidable indeed.

Wood Elementalist gets you arcane.


Shifter: spell-less and pet-less druid that gets wildshape at level 1?


Since we already got a First World related book I wonder what kind of info we will get and how many pages.


Dragon78 wrote:
Since we already got a First World related book I wonder what kind of info we will get and how many pages.

As this is a book in the RPG line, even if we got 100% reprinted content, it would still be worth. We have close to nothing on the Eldest (in the RPG line) to support their worshipers and followers.


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

Would be interested in seeing an archetype that transforms into a pack of animals (represented by breaking swarm rules?). Though that's mostly coming from Malazan love. Could never build proper D'ivers.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Hopefully there will be an archetype that dedicates to a single animal form if the base class can shift between multiple forms; or vice versa, if the base class can just pick one animal form, then an archetype that can shift between different animals.

I also hope that there will be an archetype or other solution that will reduce bookkeeping and make it so that the shifter won't need to keep different character sheets for different forms.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm guessing that Skinwalker Shifters will be popular.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Brinebeast wrote:
kevin_video wrote:
Brinebeast wrote:
Just thought I would mention that several years ago Kobold Quarterly did a spelless shfter druid class for PRPG rules and I am very excited to see how this Shifter class is both similar and different and how they compliment each other!
Did they? I completely bypassed that. I only remember the spell-less ranger.

Kobold Quarterly issue 15 has 3 alternate versions of the Druid class.

There's also a full BAB non-caster shifter class in Kobold Press's New Path Compendium - the skin-changer!


I am more interested in how this one will turn out.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
GeraintElberion wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

First of all, how dare you?

Second, what gives you the right?

Shapeshifter is literally my number one class that I've been clamouring for since the dawn of time. The only fantasy archetype I wasn't satisfied with (no offence Druid but you have entirely too much going on).

And then you just GIVE this to us! Fulfilling the hopes and dreams of generations?

I'm excited.

One day I'll talk my players into a Champions of Nature Party:

Barbarian
Druid
Ranger
Hunter
Kineticist
Shifter

Sure they won't be the strongest in matters arcane, but I think they'll be quite formidable indeed.

Wood Elementalist gets you arcane.

I was thinking maybe swapping out Kineticist for Witch, since there is a nature subtheme to that class. Also Shaman fits into that particular paradigm.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
GeraintElberion wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

First of all, how dare you?

Second, what gives you the right?

Shapeshifter is literally my number one class that I've been clamouring for since the dawn of time. The only fantasy archetype I wasn't satisfied with (no offence Druid but you have entirely too much going on).

And then you just GIVE this to us! Fulfilling the hopes and dreams of generations?

I'm excited.

One day I'll talk my players into a Champions of Nature Party:

Barbarian
Druid
Ranger
Hunter
Kineticist
Shifter

Sure they won't be the strongest in matters arcane, but I think they'll be quite formidable indeed.

Wood Elementalist gets you arcane.
I was thinking maybe swapping out Kineticist for Witch, since there is a nature subtheme to that class. Also Shaman fits into that particular paradigm.

A wildblooded sylvan sorcerer could also fit the theme. Or perhaps the verdant bloodline, if you don't want to use archetypes.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

There's a plant-eidolon summoner archetype in Heroes of the Wild.


There is also a fey themed summoner archetype(actually I think there are two).


Will there be any new animal companions, plant companions, vermin companions, monster companions, etc.?

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Xethik wrote:
Would be interested in seeing an archetype that transforms into a pack of animals (represented by breaking swarm rules?). Though that's mostly coming from Malazan love. Could never build proper D'ivers.

You could play both a crazy cat lady AND her swarm of furbabies!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dean HS Jones wrote:
Xethik wrote:
Would be interested in seeing an archetype that transforms into a pack of animals (represented by breaking swarm rules?). Though that's mostly coming from Malazan love. Could never build proper D'ivers.
You could play both a crazy cat lady AND her swarm of furbabies!

That is certainly an option.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

QuidEst wrote:
Dean HS Jones wrote:
Xethik wrote:
Would be interested in seeing an archetype that transforms into a pack of animals (represented by breaking swarm rules?). Though that's mostly coming from Malazan love. Could never build proper D'ivers.
You could play both a crazy cat lady AND her swarm of furbabies!
That is certainly an option.

Can't believe I've never seen this archetype! I'm gonna have to play one of these!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
cartmanbeck wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Dean HS Jones wrote:
Xethik wrote:
Would be interested in seeing an archetype that transforms into a pack of animals (represented by breaking swarm rules?). Though that's mostly coming from Malazan love. Could never build proper D'ivers.
You could play both a crazy cat lady AND her swarm of furbabies!
That is certainly an option.
Can't believe I've never seen this archetype! I'm gonna have to play one of these!

Yeah! Probably my favorite 2016 archetype. Blood of Beasts is really good as a whole- check it out and make sure you didn't miss the other cool stuff, like ancestor eidolons.


QuidEst wrote:
cartmanbeck wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Dean HS Jones wrote:
Xethik wrote:
Would be interested in seeing an archetype that transforms into a pack of animals (represented by breaking swarm rules?). Though that's mostly coming from Malazan love. Could never build proper D'ivers.
You could play both a crazy cat lady AND her swarm of furbabies!
That is certainly an option.
Can't believe I've never seen this archetype! I'm gonna have to play one of these!
Yeah! Probably my favorite 2016 archetype. The book is really good as a whole- check it out and make sure you didn't miss the other cool stuff, like ancestor eidolons.

That is an awesome archetype.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hopefully this book will have a lot more player options then mostly archetypes, feats, and spells.

I wonder if there will be any new alternate racial traits, favorite class bonuses, traits, and/or racial feats.


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Cthulhusquatch wrote:
Ultimate Suburban?

Contains the location of every Tim Horton's and Starbucks on Golarion, plus a Traffic Codex.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

I hope the shifter is an interesting class and not just a martial with wildshape that most 3pp books do!

I'm very excited.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Seifter wrote:
I think that's an excellent mindset to have. I seem to remember someone who was completely convinced that Ultimate Intrigue was going to have a spell to change into an ooze in it, and then when it didn't, he was very upset.

{rolls 1 on Perception check} Soooo... you're saying the oozy shape spell is in this book? :)

Mark Seifter wrote:
Also, I just realized the synergy today: check out the new Bestiary 6 blog for a new type of monster themed on different types of wilderness, perfect in combination with Ultimate Wilderness!

{rolls 1 on Sense Motive check} Oozy shape spell confirmed! :)

---

Seriously though, really excited about the new shifter class. If the shifter isn't a full BAB, spell-less class, I imagine some shifting abilities could be grafted into a bloodrager archetype to replace/alter its bloodrage.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Also, with The First World: Realm of the Fey, Legacy of the First World, Monster Hunter's Handbook, and now this book, that's alot of crunchy groundwork already laid for a potential wilderness-focused AP...

maybe...

one in Arcadia? Pwetty pwease?

Scarab Sages

What I'd really like to see in the Shifter, is a class that isn't just a retread of the abilities of Wildshape, the hunter abilities, or the the various Druid Shaman archetype abilities.

In real world native spirituality, shifters are often what's referred to those who can spiritually enter the body of an animal and see through its eyes (e.g. Beastmaster). So a way to do things like remote viewing and such. It might be interesting to see something along these lines but also including shifting just the legs to get jumping or speed or just the arms to get extra lifting power, or the head to get bite attacks and special sight. Grow wings, etc.


A Wilderness AP, maybe in Arcadia, maybe in the first world, maybe on earth...

I hope it is a fighter base class with a better version of wild shape and a focus on natural attacks both in and out of polymorphed forms.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:

Also, with The First World: Realm of the Fey, Legacy of the First World, Monster Hunter's Handbook, and now this book, that's alot of crunchy groundwork already laid for a potential wilderness-focused AP...

maybe...

one in Arcadia? Pwetty pwease?

Their new AP seems wilderness focused. The Lost Outpost


I think the Aquatic Adventures book, and the Blood of the Sea book go best with that AP. If there is any sea stuff in the wilderness book, I do see why it could be useful...

GeneticDrift wrote:
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:

Also, with The First World: Realm of the Fey, Legacy of the First World, Monster Hunter's Handbook, and now this book, that's alot of crunchy groundwork already laid for a potential wilderness-focused AP...

maybe...

one in Arcadia? Pwetty pwease?

Their new AP seems wilderness focused. The Lost Outpost


That one is more the in/around/under water AP.

The Exchange

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

the first 2 books seem to be very land based, book 3 seems mostly land based and we do not know about 5/6 yet. Water is still wilderness and is very appropriate to a wilderness adventure; finding it, crossing it, using it to survive, and finding scimitars in it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
GeneticDrift wrote:
the first 2 books seem to be very land based, book 3 seems mostly land based and we do not know about 5/6 yet. Water is still wilderness and is very appropriate to a wilderness adventure; finding it, crossing it, using it to survive, and finding scimitars in it.

I believe the developers have said that the aquatic books are being released to coincide with Ruins of Azlant. That's a big hint that they consider it aquatic in nature. Not to say wilderness won't help. And I'm hoping for a shifter with aquatic options (either in the base class or as an archetype if needed)


Does the book talk about Golarion setting specific areas other then the First World?


10 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

FYI -- In his Know Direction interview, James Jacobs confirmed the Shifter as a non-spellcasting class.

Sovereign Court

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

Which Know Direction was that? I've been meaning to listen to more of those...


Cool, the Shifter is not a spell casting class.

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