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

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

Hero Lab Online
Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop
Archives of Nethys

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Another Great Hardback Update Collection!

5/5

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

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

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

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


Lots of ptential, but none of it really sticks

2/5

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

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

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

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

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


Everything I wanted from Ultimate Wilderness

4/5

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


Reprinted material, lack of clarity

1/5

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


4/5


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5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Which Know Direction was that? I've been meaning to listen to more of those...

Kalindlara,

I think he's talking bout Know Direction 154, right David?

The shifter officially isn't a spell caster, but it seems to have an awesome set of abilities. At least that's what Mr. Jacobs has revealed.

A YouTube link for those interested.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The way James describes the Shifter, it is like they are the martial nature defender for Druidic groups, basically a nature version of Paladins.


OMG! If that's the case, then my wildest dream of a Pathfinder version of the 4e Warden class seems like it might finally be coming! SQUEEE!!!

Also, re: wilderness-themed AP, seems like Ironfang Invasion, the current AP, is kinda fulfilling that role, especially in the first couple books. Guess the release of all these wilderness books gives me an excuse to wait on trying to get into a group or starting one up myself.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Luthorne wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Which Know Direction was that? I've been meaning to listen to more of those...

Kalindlara,

I think he's talking bout Know Direction 154, right David?

The shifter officially isn't a spell caster, but it seems to have an awesome set of abilities. At least that's what Mr. Jacobs has revealed.

A YouTube link for those interested.

That's the one!

The mp3 file probably won't show up at 35privatesancturary.com for a couple of weeks.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
The way James describes the Shifter, it is like they are the martial nature defender for Druidic groups, basically a nature version of Paladins.

Speaking of, I'd like something along the lines of 5e's oath of the ancients paladin.


Nature paladins you say?! *starts to scribble up an idea for a nature paladin of Gozreh*


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well the Shifter fills a similar role for nature or nature based groups that the paladin does for the church.

Liberty's Edge

Dragon78 wrote:
Well the Shifter fills a similar role for nature or nature based groups that the paladin does for the church.

Lawful Good-compatible church only alas

Likely the Shifter is the godless Warpriest of Nature

Grand Lodge

Now I finally get to play this guy!

I hope there will be an archetype that allows you to play an Shifter who isn't limited to just animals. I'd like something closer to a doppelganger in that they can shift into the shape of humanoids as well.

SM


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yeah, we'll have to see what the end product is like. With the nature theme, it might only be able to turn into animals, plants, and vermin, though I'd say humanoids are possible since they're also more 'natural' creatures, though I would love something less restrictive, but if it is, I hope for archetypes or feats or other potential options that would allow aberrations, magical beasts, dragons, monstrous humanoids, oozes, and other such, as well as other 'out there' options like constructs, fey, outsiders, and undead, whether in this book or future expansions, but we will just have to see.

Liberty's Edge

I want something very like a spell-less synthesist, possibly with all the various polymorph chains as spell-likes. Someone who can both become an elephant and just randomly grow wings, a barbed tail, and tusks because they feel like it.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

14 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm really eager to see what people think of the shifter. I had the opportunity to write the class' archetypes, and I tried to cover a pretty board gamut of concepts—some of which people are asking for in this thread!—so it'll be interesting to see what people think once this beast is in their hands.

That said, November is a long way off. If I was a betting man, I'd wager there'll probably be more official news at Paizocon. So, keep an eye out for that!

Paizo Employee Rule and Lore Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Robert Brookes wrote:
I'm really eager to see what people think of the shifter. I had the opportunity to write the class' archetypes, and I tried to cover a pretty board gamut of concepts—some of which people are asking for in this thread!—so it'll be interesting to see what people think once this beast is in their hands.

AHA!! I knew it!


Robert Brookes wrote:

I'm really eager to see what people think of the shifter. I had the opportunity to write the class' archetypes, and I tried to cover a pretty board gamut of concepts—some of which people are asking for in this thread!—so it'll be interesting to see what people think once this beast is in their hands.

That said, November is a long way off. If I was a betting man, I'd wager there'll probably be more official news at Paizocon. So, keep an eye out for that!

Even if it's not my ideas that got written up, I'm really happy to hear that the archetypes aim to cover a wide range of options!


Some nature based bard archetypes do sound nice, hopefully at least one of them gets wild empathy.

I am guessing that the mesmerists archetype deals with effecting animals and/or plants.


Very interested in this mesmerist archetype!
I’ve wanted to create a mysterious, mesmerist in the woods type character for a while, but never thought I’d have an archetype specific enough to help put it together. I hope the archetype is more based on nature-focused tricks, and fey-like enchantments than it is on controlling animals, or gaining an animal companion. There are already so many druid/ranger/hunter options to do the latter.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Joe Hex wrote:

Very interested in this mesmerist archetype!

I’ve wanted to create a mysterious, mesmerist in the woods type character for a while, but never thought I’d have an archetype specific enough to help put it together. I hope the archetype is more based on nature-focused tricks, and fey-like enchantments than it is on controlling animals, or gaining an animal companion. There are already so many druid/ranger/hunter options to do the latter.

Hmm, the fey trickster from Ultimate Intrigue sounds somewhat like what you describe?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Luthorne wrote:
Joe Hex wrote:

Very interested in this mesmerist archetype!

I’ve wanted to create a mysterious, mesmerist in the woods type character for a while, but never thought I’d have an archetype specific enough to help put it together. I hope the archetype is more based on nature-focused tricks, and fey-like enchantments than it is on controlling animals, or gaining an animal companion. There are already so many druid/ranger/hunter options to do the latter.
Hmm, the fey trickster from Ultimate Intrigue sounds somewhat like what you describe?

I am actually very fond of that archetype, but would like something more focused on fey-like enchantments. The fey trickster is almost completely illusion based with its “fey veils”. A real problem with the fey trickster I came across when I ran one as an NPC, is that the druid spell list does not work very well with any of the other mesmerist class features- Hypnotic Stare, and Mental Potency lost much of its usefulness with a spell list with so relatively very few will-save spells on it. The mesmerist’s spell list was always very important to making that class work. Still, fey trickster is cool, just not very effective overall.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Joe Hex wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Joe Hex wrote:

Very interested in this mesmerist archetype!

I’ve wanted to create a mysterious, mesmerist in the woods type character for a while, but never thought I’d have an archetype specific enough to help put it together. I hope the archetype is more based on nature-focused tricks, and fey-like enchantments than it is on controlling animals, or gaining an animal companion. There are already so many druid/ranger/hunter options to do the latter.
Hmm, the fey trickster from Ultimate Intrigue sounds somewhat like what you describe?
I am actually very fond of that archetype, but would like something more focused on fey-like enchantments. The fey trickster is almost completely illusion based with its “fey veils”. A real problem with the fey trickster I came across when I ran one as an NPC, is that the druid spell list does not work very well with any of the other mesmerist class features- Hypnotic Stare, and Mental Potency lost much of its usefulness with a spell list with so relatively very few will-save spells on it. The mesmerist’s spell list was always very important to making that class work. Still, fey trickster is cool, just not very effective overall.

I don't know about that, I think it works pretty well. If you take the infiltration bold stare (from Occult Realms) or the Sluggishness bold stare, you can target CMD or Reflex saves, and the hunter spell list has a number of spells that target these, and one could argue that both getting a larger number of spells that target other saves and aren't mind-affecting, as well as a number of spells that ignore spell resistance, has a lot of advantages over a normal mesmerist. As for mental potency, I'll be honest, I think it's a pretty useless ability for a mesmerist...most of the spells it applies to are - at least in my opinion - pretty terrible, except at lower levels...

But still, interesting to hear your perspective! I think the vanilla mesmerist is pretty good at focusing on fey-like enchantments, they get most of the spells already, and their other class abilities can definitely help there, so I'm not sure what more you would from an archetype?


A mesmerist with an animal companion would be nice, basically an animal trainer who uses hypnotism.


Joe Hex wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Joe Hex wrote:

Very interested in this mesmerist archetype!

I’ve wanted to create a mysterious, mesmerist in the woods type character for a while, but never thought I’d have an archetype specific enough to help put it together. I hope the archetype is more based on nature-focused tricks, and fey-like enchantments than it is on controlling animals, or gaining an animal companion. There are already so many druid/ranger/hunter options to do the latter.
Hmm, the fey trickster from Ultimate Intrigue sounds somewhat like what you describe?
I am actually very fond of that archetype, but would like something more focused on fey-like enchantments. The fey trickster is almost completely illusion based with its “fey veils”. A real problem with the fey trickster I came across when I ran one as an NPC, is that the druid spell list does not work very well with any of the other mesmerist class features- Hypnotic Stare, and Mental Potency lost much of its usefulness with a spell list with so relatively very few will-save spells on it. The mesmerist’s spell list was always very important to making that class work. Still, fey trickster is cool, just not very effective overall.

My experience was the same....I'm planning a Gnome/Vexing Trickster for Iron Fang.....hoping that will work more to my liking :P


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I hope we will find out more about this book during Paizo Con.


I would love to see a Druid archetype that switches out Wild Shape for something like the Oracle's Mysteries.


That would be interesting but it would have to loose more then just wild shape to get it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Robert Brookes wrote:
I tried to cover a pretty board gamut of concepts—some of which people are asking for in this thread!—

Casually slips Robert 20 gp

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Bribery wil get you everywhere.

Contributor

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Robert Brookes wrote:
Bribery wil get you everywhere.

Noooooo! The secrets, Robert! Don't you know that Norgerber is watching?!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I am very interested to see what the Shifter end's up looking like. I would like to see both an Urban version/Archetype that is more of a Mystique/Doppelganger type, as well as a an Archetype that allowed for swarm forms right out the gate (with increasing sizes/types of swarms as they level).

Eagerly watching this one....


2 people marked this as a favorite.

As far as archetypes for the Shifter, I hope we see an elemental archetype. I want to turn into a rock dude and punch guys.


archetypes could totally be all after different monster sub types.


I think turning into a fiend would be cool, especially if there's some mechanic that slowly corrupts you, or could result in the "Beast" taking over.
Turning into demons is already pretty well established as a thing that happens in Golarion, so fingers crossed.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Since the shifter is a nature based shape shifter then animal, plant, and vermin forms makes sense. It might also get elemental and fey(if they make up those spells) as well.

As for archetypes, I hope to see a dragon based one, a humanoid(humanoid, monstrous humanoid, giant) based one, a magical beast based one, and maybe even an aberration based one.


They need to retroactively add aberration shifter to ultimate horror.

Silver Crusade

Dragon78 wrote:

Since the shifter is a nature based shape shifter then animal, plant, and vermin forms makes sense. It might also get elemental and fey(if they make up those spells) as well.

As for archetypes, I hope to see a dragon based one, a humanoid(humanoid, monstrous humanoid, giant) based one, a magical beast based one, and maybe even an aberration based one.

I'm kinda hoping for something that runs the gamut and gets weirder and weirder as it levels up until eventually it can shift into anything in the Bestiary, robots included.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I wish Ultimate Horror got a new class, something fun that would have fit the focus of the book. Like a non-spell casting class that gained monster abilities were could choose a path to one specific creature type/subtype or combine the traits and abilities into something really weird.


Albatoonoe wrote:
As far as archetypes for the Shifter, I hope we see an elemental archetype. I want to turn into a rock dude and punch guys.

A person after my own heart.

Yeah I hope that either the base class or archetypes allow for vast arrays of what types you can become.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lemartes wrote:
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.

Well dang, that is pretty sweet. I've been falling behind on options, thanks for pointing that out.

Still, it would be AWESOME to turn into a small pack of wolves rather than one supped up Dire Wolf or what have you. But this definitely gets you 95% of the way there.


I can't wait to see what the final cover looks like and wich iconics made the cover.


I'm sure the shifter isn't one of the iconics in the cover. ;)

I would love if the shifter resembled the animal lord from bestiary 3.


The Shifter may or may not make the cover, you never know;)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

HE may or may not be on every cover sir.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

How do you know it is a he;)


I'm hoping it isn't a he, but a she, and a human she.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm counting for a male elf, about time.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
I'm counting for a male elf, about time.

The Alchemist is a male elf.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
I'm counting for a male elf, about time.
The Alchemist is a male elf.

I really need to throw the thought that he's a half-elf out of my head, thanks.


I'm hoping it's a female Astomoi - really confuse ppl

Dark Archive

I hope this book is better than Ultimate Intrigue or Horror Adventures - it certainly has the potential.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Something else that I would like to see in Ultimate Wilderness is a new spell descriptor such as 'Plant' or 'Wood', including a list of previously published spells that would have such a descriptor including: blight, entangle, spike growth, and warp wood.

There are a number of reasons why I want a 'Plant' or 'Wood' spell descriptor including: Simplifies the 'Resist Nature's Lure' class feature to simply state that it grants the save bonus against anything with such and such spell descriptor. It simplifies the creation of feats or traits for individuals who specialize in Plant-magic. With Phytokinesis as a new Element for Kineticists, I think it is about due.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Gold Sovereign wrote:

I'm sure the shifter isn't one of the iconics in the cover. ;)

it's a shifter. Don't be so sure..

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