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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Benjamin Medrano wrote:

I reviewed myself not long ago, while trying very hard not to overreact in either direction. I didn't feel that the shifter was terrible, but neither was it especially good. It's... solid for a martial class, not exceptional. Looking back, I realize that I was interpreting what was said at the various panels about it through the lenses of my own expectations, and that set me up for this. Mind, in all honesty I didn't want the shapeshifter everyone else wanted to begin with.

Still, to the devs: I loved the book on the whole. There were a few spots of disappointment, but I have absolutely no regrets about buying the hardcopy and PDF.

Personally, I've never been a big fan of "Master of Many Forms" style characters. I've been a fan of shapeshifters that specialize in one or two forms. So I'm actually on the other end of the spectrum of people who dislike the shifter, lol.

With the lycanthrope archetype, the shifter came *very close* to being my ideal class. It hit all of the right buttons for both theme and being fairly combat effective. Since this was so close to being my ideal class, the fact that it seemed boring to play and hampered by dead levels was kind of upsetting. There's also the issue that I'm going to feel forced to use one of the two forms that grants pounce, since they are by far the most combat effective.

Sure, this class may get upgrades with new archtypes in the future, but those archetypes will never be able to fix the dead levels in the Lycanthrope archetype that I had such high hopes for. It really would take a huge errata or an Unchained Shifter to fix this class for me.


Matrix Dragon wrote:


Personally, I've never been a big fan of "Master of Many Forms" style characters. I've been a fan of shapeshifters that specialize in one or two forms. So I'm actually on the other end of the spectrum of people who dislike the shifter, lol.

With the lycanthrope archetype, the shifter came *very close* to being my ideal class. It hit all of the right buttons for both theme and being fairly combat effective. Since this was so close to being my ideal class, the fact that it seemed boring to play and hampered by dead levels was kind of upsetting.

Sure, this class may get upgrades with archetypes, but those archetypes will never be able to fix the dead levels in the Lycanthrope archetype that I had such high hopes for.

For me, it was the realization that I really didn't want a shapeshifter at all. I was more interested in it for NPCs and for my wife's characters, and this hits what they'd need for those. I did want a fiend-shifter and celestial version... but in the end, I realized what I really wanted was an updated Synthesist Summoner without the spells. So I'm building that myself.

As for the archetype, I just want to point out that there's nothing that says that archetypes can't fill dead levels. All the advice on archetype construction just say that overall the class should end up at the same power level, so spreading out the upgrades over the entire levels works.

I feel that the Shifter is a decent chassis, just not exceptional. As always, though... YMMV.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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nighttree wrote:

Is there any concern about splitting questions into so many different threads it's a nightmare to keep track off (both for you guy's and us) ?

Specifically what kind of questions should be posted to the rules forum as opposed to here ? I could easily see this thread as being more for "general impressions" of the book.....should specific questions as to design etc....be posted to the rules forum ?

Posting rules questions in the Rules Question forum makes things *easier* to keep track of. After all, if everybody who had a question about a rule in the Core Rulebook posted it in the Core Rulebook product thread instead of the rules forum, that thread would quickly become useless for *any* purpose.

Not only are the designers looking for rules questions in the Rules Question forum and not the Product Dscussion forum, but posts in that forum can be marked as FAQ candidates by any user, increasing the likelihood that it gets an official answer if needed.

So yeah, you're right on target—this thread is intended for general discussion of the product, or for questions about the product rather than about its rules content. Questions like "How many classes are in this book?" are just fine here; questions like "Does Nereid's Grace apply Charisma to the kineticist abilities gained, or is it solely for monk abilities" belong in the rules question forum.


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.......so let me ask this.

Which forum would be a good bet to get responses from dev's on the disappointment for the Shifter class and it's associated Archetypes ?

Or is that just a no go ? (fine if that's the case...just don't want to keep wasting my time) ;)


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Alright, fair enough, the first sentence of that comment was a rules question, and belongs elsewhere.

So is there at least a response for why the Brawler Archetype gets a longer duration on Shifter Aspect by getting ability score synergy, but the Shifter itself (which the Brawler borrows that ability from) has to spend a feat to get ability score synergy? To clarify, Extended Aspects is in feat form, Feral Striker gets it just at level 10, no feat required.

And the same goes for the Warpriest archetype. The monk archetype treats Claws as a Shifter of their Monk level, which reduces the damage die of the Claws. However, the Warpriest gets full damage so it ends up doing more damage at level 20 with its claws than the Shifter.

I'm really not trying to sound hostile, but it boggles my mind that the base class gets a worse form of its unique ability than an archetype for another class that borrows the feature.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Same reason that if the doctor tells you that you got a positive test for a rare disease and the test only has a 1% false positive rate, you still almost certainly don't have the disease.

There’s a rather huge caveat here, in that if you’re in a high risk group or are experiencing symptoms of the rare disease, the above doesn’t apply.

Kind of nitty, but important as doctors are aware of this statistical quirk (it’s why screening programs are rarely rolled out universally) so if you have been selected for medical testing based on some diagnostic criteria, you shouldn’t discount a positive as the maths underlying Mark’s statement doesn’t hold true then


Steve Geddes wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Same reason that if the doctor tells you that you got a positive test for a rare disease and the test only has a 1% false positive rate, you still almost certainly don't have the disease.

There’s a rather huge caveat here, in that if you’re in a high risk group or are experiencing symptoms of the rare disease, the above doesn’t apply.

Kind of nitty, but important as doctors are aware of this statistical quirk (it’s why screening programs are rarely rolled out universally) so if you have been selected for medical testing based on some diagnostic criteria, you shouldn’t discount a positive as the maths underlying Mark’s statement doesn’t hold true then

???? Sorry....to me this sounds like Peanuts adults making noise....neither comment has anything to do with anything.....I must be missing something big time....

Paizo Employee Designer

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Steve Geddes wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Same reason that if the doctor tells you that you got a positive test for a rare disease and the test only has a 1% false positive rate, you still almost certainly don't have the disease.

There’s a rather huge caveat here, in that if you’re in a high risk group or are experiencing symptoms of the rare disease, the above doesn’t apply.

Kind of nitty, but important as doctors are aware of this statistical quirk (it’s why screening programs are rarely rolled out universally) so if you have been selected for medical testing based on some diagnostic criteria, you shouldn’t discount a positive as the maths underlying Mark’s statement doesn’t hold true then

Absolutely, you need to use an accurate prior probability for your chance of having it, factored for risk groups or rare and indicative symptoms or combinations of symptoms.

Math:
So if there's a disease that's pretty rare but you're in a risk group (say Tay-Sachs, which has the much higher rate of 1 in 3600 for Ashkenazi Jews compared to 1 in 350,000 in the general population), you need to use the rate that's right for you. That would change your odds, with a 1% false positive rate test up to 2.7% (still not very high but noticeable) from the extremely tiny .028% you'd have otherwise.

As a caveat, I am not a doctor and anyone reading this shouldn't get health advice from a product thread for a roleplaying game, no matter if it has rules for herbalism in it; it's more a matter of one of the interesting ways we often misestimate probabilities.


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nighttree wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Same reason that if the doctor tells you that you got a positive test for a rare disease and the test only has a 1% false positive rate, you still almost certainly don't have the disease.

There’s a rather huge caveat here, in that if you’re in a high risk group or are experiencing symptoms of the rare disease, the above doesn’t apply.

Kind of nitty, but important as doctors are aware of this statistical quirk (it’s why screening programs are rarely rolled out universally) so if you have been selected for medical testing based on some diagnostic criteria, you shouldn’t discount a positive as the maths underlying Mark’s statement doesn’t hold true then

???? Sorry....to me this sounds like Peanuts adults making noise....neither comment has anything to do with anything.....I must be missing something big time....

It was a tangent about probability and how bad we are at it. (And I made a nitty reply, but I’m going to claim a reasonable one anyhow).

The relevance is essentially “90% negative reviews doesn’t imply 90% dissatisfaction with a product”.


Steve Geddes wrote:
nighttree wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Same reason that if the doctor tells you that you got a positive test for a rare disease and the test only has a 1% false positive rate, you still almost certainly don't have the disease.

There’s a rather huge caveat here, in that if you’re in a high risk group or are experiencing symptoms of the rare disease, the above doesn’t apply.

Kind of nitty, but important as doctors are aware of this statistical quirk (it’s why screening programs are rarely rolled out universally) so if you have been selected for medical testing based on some diagnostic criteria, you shouldn’t discount a positive as the maths underlying Mark’s statement doesn’t hold true then

???? Sorry....to me this sounds like Peanuts adults making noise....neither comment has anything to do with anything.....I must be missing something big time....

It was a tangent about probability and how bad we are at it. (And I made a nitty reply, but I’m going to claim a reasonable one anyhow).

The relevance is essentially “90% negative reviews doesn’t imply 90% dissatisfaction with a product”.

So another attempt to disregard peoples disappointment ???

That's doing ZERO benefit when all is said and done....;)

The reality is that a large percentage (let's say over 50% of those willing to speak up) are disappointed. Trying to make that percentage feel trivial and smaller....in no way, shape, or form, improves the situation. ;)


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nighttree wrote:

So another attempt to disregard peoples disappointment ???

Nope. An attempt to share the joy of probability.

I’m very happy Paizo provide a space to give negative and positive feedback about their products. I definitely don’t want to get in the way of that (and I’m sure mark doesn’t either).

Maths is nonetheless awesome.

Edit: whilst I don’t share the disappointment in the shifter, it’s clearly an important issue to a significant portion of the fan base and I definitely think you should convey that to Paizo.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
nighttree wrote:

So another attempt to disregard peoples disappointment ???

Nope. An attempt to share the joy of probability.

I’m very happy Paizo provide a space to give negative and positive feedback about their products. I definitely don’t want to get in the way of that (and I’m sure mark doesn’t either).

Maths is nonetheless awesome.

Edit: whilst I don’t share the disappointment in the shifter, it’s clearly an important issue to a significant portion of the fan base and I definitely think you should convey that to Paizo.

And I appreciate that you are willing to move beyond your individual opinion and allow other people to express theirs ;)


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Keeping with math—and apropos of the Shifter viewpoint—we have what D&D 4ed designers dubbed "the gnome effect." Their research indicated that only 10% of players ever played gnomes. And most of those did not play gnomes exclusively. So it was felt that leaving the gnome as a PC race off the table for the initial roll-out would affect very few games.

What they failed to take into account was that the average gaming group consisted of five players. So it wasn't one in every ten games impinged, it was one in every two. Not 10%; 50%. That is huge.

So while I don't believe the Shifter dissatisfaction is anywhere near as universal as some might think, it will have a larger impact on the game than the actual numbers due to the gnome effect caused by this being a game played by multiple people at a time.

Please note that I like the class concept overall and consider its execution solid if not great. I gave the book five stars in my review (something I have mulled over carefully over the last week) as I consider the book as a whole to be a must have for anyone wanting to build a campaign in the wilderness. I don't consider it perfect by any means. (For an overview of how I use the star review system, SEE HERE.)


Feros wrote:

Keeping with math—and apropos of the Shifter viewpoint—we have what D&D 4ed designers dubbed "the gnome effect." Their research indicated that only 10% of players ever played gnomes. And most of those did not play gnomes exclusively. So it was felt that leaving the gnome as a PC race off the table for the initial roll-out would affect very few games.

What they failed to take into account was that the average gaming group consisted of five players. So it wasn't one in every ten games impinged, it was one in every two. Not 10%; 50%. That is huge.

So while I don't believe the Shifter dissatisfaction is anywhere near as universal as some might think, it will have a larger impact on the game than the actual numbers due to the gnome effect caused by this being a game played by multiple people at a time.

Please note that I like the class concept overall and consider its execution solid if not great. I gave the book five stars in my review (something I have mulled over carefully over the last week) as I consider the book as a whole to be a must have for anyone wanting to build a campaign in the wilderness. I don't consider it perfect by any means. (For an overview of how I use the star review system, SEE HERE.)

Nicely said.


Agreed. I tried to express as much in my review as well. For those of you who didn't get what you want... I do commiserate.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Christmas Lists and Expectation Management, for length:

Okay, so I had an epiphany as I was heading to the bank today, talking with my father. The topic came up about Christmas lists, and how my mother nearly had a stroke when she saw the first three items on his list (they were exceptionally high-ticket 'pie-in-the-sky' sort of items, that one should not reasonably expect).

And it came down to this:

Some people write their Christmas lists as a form of 'expectation management'. If they get even one thing on the list, they're happy as all heck, even if it's something minor or would seem somewhat trivial for many years, working in retail I had 'sleep until noon' as my number one wishlist item.

Other people write their Christmas list hoping that they will get everything (or almost everything) on it, and are disappointed with the number of failures but are polite enough for the most part to not show it.

Expectation management is an important and valuable retail tool. By promising a customer something, it becomes the retailer's obligation to try and adhere to it as close as possible for as wide as possible base of customers.

When it is successful, the retailer is happy, the customer is happy, and everyone feels pretty good about the transaction.

When the retailer 'over-sells' a product, or a customer has a higher expectation of the product than what the product can provide, the system starts to break down.

It becomes a customer relations nightmare, both for the customer and the retailer.

Example #1: The Starfinder Core rulebooks had a binding issue. Paizo Customer relations was on the case, and addressed it as soon as they were aware it was an issue, and met the customer's expectation of service by replacing at great cost damaged/unusable copies.

Example #2: The Advanced Class Guide had some... problems. Within six months there was a 'hotfix' in place, and a lot was corrected in the product to bring it back to the company standard. Again, the expectation management was on-task and focused on resolving the issue. It did take time, though.

Example #3: Ultimate Wilderness was hyped as having 'fluid shapeshifters capable of assuming many forms'. This flies in contrast to the published product, save in the broadest of terms. The hope is that the expectations of 'druid less spells' as it seemed to be initially is the proper path to manage, and a step away form the cumbersome mathematics that complicate the class rather than simplify it, and render it un-appealing to a good chunk of people who 'bought in' hoping for characters that could do the 'Beast Boy' thing.

To tie it back to Christmas lists, we have some people on one side of the discussion that either want small tweaks or want full-scale revisions. The suspicion is that the adjustments (and the class does need some as it currently stands, imo) will fall somewhere into the 'middle ground' between those.

The concern, though, is that a 'Christmas List Completist' will fail to see that good solid corrections have been made, and a 'Christmas List Hopeful' will see way too much corrected. Reaching that middle ground without either exceeding expectations or not meeting them at all is a daunting task, and the hope here is that the development team on this project can reach it without feeling bedeviled by any side of the equation.

Compared to other games and systems I have seen in thirty-something years of gaming, the wilderness exploration system has moved beyond the furtive steps of other methods.

From a somewhat self-ish perspective I'm hoping that the attention to detail in such an area can be focused on the area that was the *primary* cause for me to get a *subscription* to get the book, namely the character class within the tome, the main focal point that had grabbed my attention.

What the class does right now can be duplicated and/or improved on by several classes and archetypes, and that doesn't seem very fitting for a shiny new class.

Thank you very much for your time and patience.


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The foraging rules are interesting plus so are the the first world environment and haunt-like stuff.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

Thinking about it more, I am worried about what PFS will do to Shifter. Early access to pounce is really strong in society play. So I fear two forms will be illegal, then archetypes.

Fiendmorph - Evil, auto out.
Oozemorph - Really weirdly written, and super limiting, probably out.
The werewolf one - Maybe, haven't looked at it a ton
Ragemorph - Attacks allies, auto out given history
Elemental one - This one might be ok.


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Honestly, the shifter reminds me a lot of what the classes from the ACG looked like during the public playtest - good ideas, but too much a combination of other classes without a unique feature to call their own. This has the same feel, having no new mechanic or thing to call its own (outside of some awesome archtypes, I'll admit).

And even if numbers-wise the class ends up being perfectly balanced and good for play, I still feel cheated, since the class called the shifter, that's described as fluid in shape and form, is not good at shifting compared to other classes. The Hunter was better than the druid at taking care of the animal companion, but the shifter is so INCREDIBLY limited, especially at earlier levels, and what they do get is just enhancement or competence bonuses I can get anywhere else.

Now I DO love the idea of the chimera aspect, which is perhaps the most unique thing about the class, but when you get it, there's only a single "combo" form you can do. Later on, when you have 3 or 4 forms you can pick and choose from, then it looks like it would be lots of fun, but a lot of campaigns don't get that far, and it doesn't seem like it would be fun at early levels to go YEAH I HAVE +2 ENHANCEMENT TO STRENGTH! BEHOLD MY SHIFTING PROWESS!, while standing next to the fighter with a +2 Str Belt.

I feel like having just one or two more forms early on, perhaps basing the number of choices off of Wisdom, and getting Chimera Aspect a bit earlier, would make this class worlds better, and feel like a true shape-shifting martial.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Who says every Fighter wears a +Str belt?


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Who says every Fighter wears a +Str belt?

Game design usually does, though recently +Dex fighter belts have been on the rise. Of course both of those are usually paired up with a +Con belt, but normally only as a secondary and very rarely a primary.


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Ro9ge wrote:

Honestly, the shifter reminds me a lot of what the classes from the ACG looked like during the public playtest - good ideas, but too much a combination of other classes without a unique feature to call their own. This has the same feel, having no new mechanic or thing to call its own (outside of some awesome archtypes, I'll admit).

This is exactly how I feel about it...


So.....still nothing from the development team eh ?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It is Thanksgiving week in the US.

Not saying that'd be a deciding factor, but it might have a bit to do with delays?

Liberty's Edge

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Even absent a holiday, expecting, or to be more accurate demanding, a developer response, especially loudly and repeatedly like this, comes off as slightly unreasonable and is certainly quite unlikely to have a good result.

These things often take time, especially on a charged issue like this. Frankly, given how upset people have been previously, and even in this specific case, after they have misinterpreted what was said, or someone at Paizo has simply misspoken, the folks at Paizo are definitely gonna be considering the wording of any response to this sort of thing very carefully indeed.

Consideration and, likely, consultation of that sort take time. Often quite a bit of time. Especially with things like holidays getting in the way. You need to consider whether you want a response that is actually well thought out, or one right now. Those are usually mutually exclusive on something like this.


I suspect the development team will be absolutely silent on this.

There’s a chance we’ll hear something from the design team, though.

Liberty's Edge

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Passive Aggressive Poster wrote:

I suspect the development team will be absolutely silent on this.

There’s a chance we’ll hear something from the design team, though.

This is also very possible. I'm just saying that, if there is gonna be a response, it's not gonna be immediate and demanding for it to be isn't gonna help the situation.


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Y'know, the book itself offers tons of new rules, and many of them are interesting ones. A new race, spells, archetypes, items, survival skills, faiths, animals and vermins are great additions to any player.

I will admit that it's hard to get pass that a few of the shifter's class features could have used tweaking, mostly the fact that Major Forms are simply Wild Shape options (not granting animal traits while keeping your humanoid form) and that you cannot combine them using Chimeric Aspect (only Minor Forms).

I get that you can houserule those without a problem, but if you must houserule stuff like this, it often means that the core rules are problematic :(


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

I don't see why they should address it.

It's a class, not a controversy.


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captain yesterday wrote:

I don't see why they should address it.

It's a class, not a controversy.

That's certainly one route they can (and may) take....not a very wise one in my opinion....but when all is said and done, it's their decision.

Grand Lodge

nighttree wrote:
If your referring to my comment....it was a casual question, not a demand....don't try to paint it as such ;)

Some have already done too much damage by their self-righteousness. Up to the majority of the unhappy users to regulate themselves and making a good job at damage control to recapture enough legitimacy, all while flushing out the extremists who are sapping it.


I doubt there will be any direct engagement with the writers - it's generally considered unprofessional to do so.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Pretty sure I've figured out part of why the Shifter class as it is currently written burns me up so much.

There is this popular MMO out there that has a druid class, and at certain levels, forms would become available. Even at 'max' level, the number of forms that were available were exceptionally limited (because it would be difficult if not impossible to code for every single creature in the game-world).

It is even possible to create a character that wasn't designed around 'casting', much like the Shifter.

In an MMO, it makes a certain level of sense that the number of forms/shapes be limited, because there's a certain expectation of cost.

In a tabletop(virtual/physical/PbP) game, the only expectation of cost should be the limits of one's imagination.

As currently written, the class doesn't really allow for it -- most discussion thus far has been on two or three different Aspects, and that's it for combat/overall effectiveness.

Perhaps if the Shifter Class in Pathfinder (a class in a 'tabletop' RPG, last I heard) could be divorced from the concept of 'limited graphical/coding resources' and instead allowed proper morphological freedom at some point (such as Wild Shape at L4?), that could resolve the disconnect?

I play Pathfinder to avoid a given major MMO. I'm pretty sure there are other people who do as well.

If I wanted to have only a limited number of forms that could or could not cast, I'd be hard-pressed to choose between the two, and the MMO 'siren song' to lure in players is cost < value. (No, mathematically MMOs usually end up being far worse, but it's 'getting folks in the door' that's the distinction).

Silver Crusade

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

Comparing Pathfidner's Shifter to the swiss army knife that is WoW's Druid is kinda a non-sequitur (that and comparing two different types of games).

That, and uh, you do remember that Pathfinder has a Druid too right?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

More apropos, I'd point out that page space and word count is a limiting factor the same way coding is.

The Shifter certainly could have had full Wildshape the same as the Druid, but I doubt the PDT wanted another gonzo shapeshifter with the ability to cherry-pick the bestiaries.


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Rysky wrote:

Comparing Pathfidner's Shifter to the swiss army knife that is WoW's Druid is kinda a non-sequitur (that and comparing two different types of games).

That, and uh, you do remember that Pathfinder has a Druid too right?

I was relating why there was a feeling of a 'disconnect' and why that 'disconnect' was probably a causal factor in my dislike of the class, in an effort to try and move the conversation forward.

Yes, Pathfinder has a druid.

Which has the effective equivalents of the Hunter and Druid class from said MMO mashed together.

From a mathematical perspective, if we took the Hunter out of Druid, what's left of Druid?

(ie, spells, animal companion, Aspects -- which are a limited form of Wild Shape)

More or less than Shifter?

Silver Crusade

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

If you "remove the WoW Hunter from the Druid" the Shifter would very much come out ahead, and be far more interesting to play than that.

Grand Lodge

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Rysky wrote:
If you "remove the WoW Hunter from the Druid" the Shifter would very much come out ahead, and be far more interesting to play than that.

I disagree, a class that only had druids full wildshape would still be a more interesting to play class than base shifter. It *might* not be as strong, but it would be more interesting.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:

More apropos, I'd point out that page space and word count is a limiting factor the same way coding is.

The Shifter certainly could have had full Wildshape the same as the Druid, but I doubt the PDT wanted another gonzo shapeshifter with the ability to cherry-pick the bestiaries.

Yea, the druid's wildshape is kind of nuts. I totally understand why Paizo didn't want to give that to a full BAB character.

Shadow Lodge

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I still love my druid in Skull and Shackles. I'm going to make a go at converting him to a Shifter for PFS, but I doubt it will turn out well.

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