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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Several issues are at play in my opinion.

A) The class was billed as "X".....and came no were close to being "X".

B) The class obviously aimed for being "Y".....and in the opinion of many/most fall's short of being that as well.

C) Many people expressed disappointment about "X and Y"....and then some people felt the need to dismiss/counter those viewpoints....which actually just made things worse.

D) Designers have remained tight lipped and have not been willing to act "transparent"....which leaves those with complaints feeling like they are being ignored.....and has made everything worse.


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

For what it's worth, I know ten people that play pathfinder, not a single one of them has ever been to the website.


captain yesterday wrote:
For what it's worth, I know ten people that play pathfinder, not a single one of them has ever been to the website.

Did those 10 people buy the book in question?


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

I don't know I've been working.


captain yesterday wrote:
For what it's worth, I know ten people that play pathfinder, not a single one of them has ever been to the website.

If they don't come to the website.....and don't express their opinion....then they are moot points.

Customers that chose to have no say.....have no say....It simply does not matter.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

I put off making a shapeshifting character for months just so I could see if the Shifter would be better than Druid for it. (Spoilers, it isn't.) Not just because Shifter is mediocre at best, but also because the Shifter can turn into a a small pool out of a dozen creatures. I wanted to have a hippo-themed character, and can the Shifter turn into a hippo? No, it cannot. Can it turn into a moose? No, it cannot. Can it turn into anything that isn't listed on the Shifter page? No, it cannot.

I ended up making a Feral Hunter, because the Feral Hunter is literally the Shifter without being garbage. I got this book for the Shifter, and it is severely disappointing that it's not better than existing options. Hell, it's not better than the combo ATs that steal parts of it for other classes. Menhir Guardian is better at fighting with claws because it gets a flurry with them. Feral Champion is better because its claws scale properly and its wild shape isn't garbage. Sure, it's Druid -3, no plants or elementals, but it's DRUID wild shape, not the inferior Shifter one.

Now, I liked several of the things in this. As a lot of people have said, the archetypes are good. I especially like the Monk and Kineticist ones, as they're my favorite classes. Some of the feats are pretty neat as well. But the Shifter is just sad and when I got the book for that, well...


Not to naysay your comment up their but I think a mouse is actually one of the few things a shifter can turn into.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Not to naysay your comment up their but I think a mouse is actually one of the few things a shifter can turn into.

They said moose, not mouse. Easy mistake to make.


Oh my bad.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I tried making a mouse... once.


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

You really give it your all too. It was tough to watch your enthusiasm die.

Silver Crusade

lol!

unto my next project... got a Samsaran boon and no idea what to do with it... :)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
nighttree wrote:
Feros wrote:
nighttree wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
nighttree wrote:
It's actually a "no brainer" from the responses over the last few weeks that the Shifter was the main attraction.

How many individual posters are there in this thread that have offered an opinion? I'm guessing 25-100, just as a very loose estimate.

Do you think that includes all of the people buying the book? Do you think it includes a majority of the buyers? Even without Paizo's production numbers in front of me, I can guarantee you that it isn't.

As such, it's hardly a "no-brainer", as you put it. This is a sample of the subset of customers dedicated enough to use the forums. It can't be said to be statistically reliable - at best, it's a data point.

Are you implying that most buyers don't comment ?
I read it as implying that most of the people who buy this book don't actually frequent the forums here. If that was the sum total of the people buying books from Paizo, they would be out of business in a week.

I read it as implying that most people who buy the books don't bother to express their opinions of the books.

If that's the case, that's fine.....but if you have an opinion.....express it :P

I play with about 35ish different people across 6 different games, we usually let one person get the book and then decide if others will after looking it over and we can all read it together. Sadly i was the guinea pig on this book. I read it and flat out stated this was a horrible pile of poo, nerfs, reprints that were nerfs, a horrible class that everyone was previously looking forward to. The book even had fairly bad archtypes for what we all play. A lot of the people I play with didn't believe me until I showed them my book, we all looked it over with absolute disgust. Not one single person I play with will purchase the book now, and there are a few of them that have almost every single book in hardcover from paz. Not all of us frequent the forums, heck until this book even I would just throw a passing glance at them. This book was so bad that I had to speak up.

Liberty's Edge

12 people marked this as a favorite.
nighttree wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
For what it's worth, I know ten people that play pathfinder, not a single one of them has ever been to the website.

If they don't come to the website.....and don't express their opinion....then they are moot points.

Customers that chose to have no say.....have no say....It simply does not matter.

All other arguments aside (and I actually agree that Shifter fell short of what people wanted, I just disagree strongly that it fell quite as far short as some people say, and think the rest of the book is about on par with other books), this is factually untrue.

What matters, from a business perspective, and thus to a company, is not whether people comment here. That's pretty close to completely irrelevant. What's relevant is whether someone buys the book.

If literally everyone on this Forum hates a book, but nobody who doesn't come here notices that fact and most of them buy it anyway...that book is a success. So the people whose voices matter are the ones who choose to spend money. Or choose not to.

That's just how being a business selling a product works.

Quality is still very relevant, since people won't generally buy products they think are likely to suck, but the barometer of 'how many people complain about this on the internet' is not always a good one in regards to a product's quality or sales.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
nighttree wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
For what it's worth, I know ten people that play pathfinder, not a single one of them has ever been to the website.

If they don't come to the website.....and don't express their opinion....then they are moot points.

Customers that chose to have no say.....have no say....It simply does not matter.

Unless they are voicing their opinions with their wallets and their time. If they buy the book then they most certainly matter.

The web site is a nice place to interact and give feedback, but we are a small minority of the total players, and Paizo has to take the silent majority into account as well as those vocal on any side of an argument.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Wildstag wrote:

I think the issue they have is that they don't want you doing +10 damage on an attack at level 10. What I think the FAQ team forgot is that Claws only get two attacks, even with full BAB.

As it is, it's powerful enough to make up for the lack of iterative attacks. The worst part is that if you're really using a Dex build, you'd probably try to have a +10 Dex mod by level 14. So Dex-To-Damage would actually just be a better ability than "Dex-to-hit and half-level-to-damage".

Like Mark mentioned, currently as written the feat explodes the vigilante's Lethal Grace out of the water (and vigilante talents are supposed to be stronger than feats balance-wise). Basically, this cements Shifter's Grace as a feat tax for Str-based shifters—if left unchanged, it would be the only way to play the class. The feat was designed to help Dex shifters better keep pace with Str-based ones, not as a buff to Str-based shifters.

Additionally, Shifter's Edge is better for shifters then, say, an agile amulet of mighty fists in situations where you want to be Dex-based and using an Aspect that is Medium or Large. Basically, Medium and Large shapes tend to offer Strength bonuses when you're wild shaped, and many of their universal monster abilities are Strength-dependent (like the monkey aspect's rend ability at 15th-level).

This isn't to say that Shifter's Edge is designed to be mandatory, nor is it inherently better (or worse) then wearing an agile amulet of might fists. The feat was designed to support a very specific kind of play style with very specific animal forms. Your mileage may vary.

I'm not sure I'm following or perhaps I've missed something about the claws? I haven't really played around with the shifter enough yet.

The vigilante has iterative attacks, can two weapon fight etc. The lethal grace talent also grants finesse as a bonus feat, effectively. So its clearly better than a standard feat.

Shifters edge allows you to add level to damage when using the claws or the wildshaped aspect natural attacks - so again no iterative attacks plus you must get the finesse feat first. A shifter must have invested in dex at the expense of strength. You could see this as as feat tax on str based shifters but there are far better options if you want to go down the strength based option.

As it reads I take it to apply only on attacks made using weapon finesse - not necessarily an optimal choice on the large wildshape creatures. I suppose you could also attack with the claws as a secondary natural attack while using a weapon? That could tip the balance?

Im not sold on being better than another classes talent as a great reason to reduce its effectiveness - the swashbucklers precise strike just as good if not better than he vigilante talent - no prereq, adds level to damage, iterative attacks permitted, only need to focus on dex.

Maybe I'm missing something? Misreading something? Perhaps its theory craft time. Would anyone like to compare the shifter, swashbuckler and vigilante in a separate forum?


Sorry for my lateness, but I have a question as I don't have access to the book right now.

Can the Shifter use its minor forms alongside its major form? I'm sure it can use more than one minor form at the same time, but I'm more interested in merging minor forms with a major form.

For example, merging the bear major form with two other animal minor forms.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
The Gold Sovereign wrote:

Sorry for my lateness, but I have a question as I don't have access to the book right now.

Can the Shifter use its minor forms alongside its major form? I'm sure it can use more than one minor form at the same time, but I'm more interested in merging minor forms with a major form.

For example, merging the bear major form with two other animal minor forms.

Yep.


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

...eventually. It takes a good bunch of levels to get to that point...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
...eventually. It takes a good bunch of levels to get to that point...

Level 5, the first level after you get Wild Shape.


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

When do you get two minor forms in addition to your major and the ability to use the three items together, again?

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
When do you get two minor forms in addition to your major and the ability to use the three items together, again?

You get your second Aspect at 5th, so you can mix and match then.

You get Chimerac Aspect at 9th so you can use two minor forms at the same time and third Aspect at 10th.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Heladriell wrote:
Not only the shifter is basically unsalvageable, but most archetypes and feats are useless or subpar.

I understand the frustration with the Shifter (though I'm in the camp who would describe it as "meh, a little boring" instead of "unsalvageable"). But I'm puzzled by the (admittedly much smaller) camp of people who have expressed frustration with the archetypes in the book. I mean, every book has some archetypes which are duds. But I found the ratio of cool/interesting archetypes-to-dud archetypes in this book to be better than in any other recent hardback I can think of.

So a question for those disappointed with the archetypes (driven purely by curiosity): what other Paizo hardbacks do you feel did better in this respect? (I.e., what are the hardbacks that you think have a better cool/interesting archetypes-to-dud archetypes ratio?)

Liberty's Edge

I will admit, I was so excited to get this book.

then Read it
The shifter is horrible. It has some fun theatricallity but as far as actual class or archetypes, nope it is horrid. I will be rating this book a 1 star and I recommend everyone does cause noone ever reads this page


Ssalarn wrote:
Given that the shifter exists in a pretty crowded field of 1pp and 3pp shapechanging options

Does it really though? This is the first thread I've heard people complain about the shapeshifting archetype being overcrowded.

From what I remember part of the reason the hype for the shifter was so overblown was specifically because there wasn't a satisfactory first party shapeshifting option, especially for options outside the purview of wild shape.

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

That's not true. We had Druid and Beastmorph Alchemists. Also spells.

So... yeah, there are a lot of ways to play a satisfactory shapeshifter. First and Third Party.

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragonborn3 wrote:

That's not true. We had Druid and Beastmorph Alchemists. Also spells.

So... yeah, there are a lot of ways to play a satisfactory shapeshifter. First and Third Party.

Also Feral Hunters.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Phranklin wrote:
I tried making a mouse... once.

A moose is a mouse built to government specifications.


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

Representacritter 1: "So, we should give it some horns, y'know, to make it menacing!"

Representacritter 2: "But if we give it horns we should also give it hooves, y'know, so it's like one of those reindeer-thingies?"

Representacritter 3: "We should keep it herbivorous, though, because otherwise it sounds like we're making some sort of biological terror weapon...

...etc, etc...etc...


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Squiggit wrote:
Does it really though? This is the first thread I've heard people complain about the shapeshifting archetype being overcrowded.

Well EVERY druid archetype, that doesn't trade out wildshape, is a wildshaping/shapechanging archetype. Then add Skald, alchemist, hunter, summoner [synthesist], barbarian [flesh eater], Mesmerist, Inquisitor [Urban Infiltrator], ect... That's BEFORE any spells are cast...

So there are a butt load of shifting archetypes. What we were missing was a martial with shifting option that allowed for meaningful shifting choices throughout the day to overcome varied obstacles. We still don't have that.

If all we wanted was the shifter as it is now, there are already a dozen ways to make one that would be better at whatever niche you want. it's like the chained fighter, pre weapon/armor training. Playable, but unexciting and outdone by other options. Why make a new base class with the awesome power level of a core fighter level in it's niche?


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I mentioned the drubbing that the Shifter class got on these boards to my gaming group. The two who had read Ultimate Wilderness were actually surprised by this -- and one of them is notorious for building very mechanically strong characters.

I wonder how much it would imbalance the class if the character chose his available aspects during his morning prep instead of when leveling up?


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

And allowed unlimited 'shift on the fly' between 'prepared Aspects' during the course of a day?

I'd buy that as a decent fix.

Not as great as say real Wild Shape as practiced by the 'parent class', but getting closer to what the stated goal of the class was?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
David knott 242 wrote:

I mentioned the drubbing that the Shifter class got on these boards to my gaming group. The two who had read Ultimate Wilderness were actually surprised by this -- and one of them is notorious for building very mechanically strong characters.

I wonder how much it would imbalance the class if the character chose his available aspects during his morning prep instead of when leveling up?

Probably very little if at all. I mean what, you're going to suddenly become too powerful because you can change between flying or pouncing in combat at the start of the day? Makes it less of a newbie trap too.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
David knott 242 wrote:
The two who had read Ultimate Wilderness were actually surprised by this -- and one of them is notorious for building very mechanically strong characters.

It really depends on what you look at and how far you think about the mechanics. 1 hour/level might seem ok until you need to do something other than pounce: opening a door, climb a rope, drinking a potion, ect are all things that'd require wasting 1 whole shift to do as does using ANY kind of utility shift [climb, swim, ect].

So focusing on the pounce might let it seem ok, and in some games it might be, but if the game requires something from players other than 'I pounce' to solve, the whole picture view isn't as rosy.

David knott 242 wrote:
I wonder how much it would imbalance the class if the character chose his available aspects during his morning prep instead of when leveling up?

I wouldn't say no to it but that's really the least of it's problems. Without more uses and/or the ability to break up durations into smaller parts, the class is quite limited. An individual 1 hour shift/level would do wonders for the class, allowing even lower level shifter to tailor their form to the situation or have the ability to leave shifted form without shooting themselves in the foot for the rest of the day.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Fourshadow wrote:

Rating a 250+ page book on 12 pages of content? Priceless.

{/sarcasm}

Yea, this is why I gave the book 3/5 stars instead of 1 or 2/5

David knott 242 wrote:

I mentioned the drubbing that the Shifter class got on these boards to my gaming group. The two who had read Ultimate Wilderness were actually surprised by this -- and one of them is notorious for building very mechanically strong characters.

I wonder how much it would imbalance the class if the character chose his available aspects during his morning prep instead of when leveling up?

I think the issue with the shifter has more to do with it being boring to play rather than it not being a strong class. The thing is, in combat it is basically just a pounce machine. We already have plenty of those, and the other pounce classes have other tricks in addition to the pouncing.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

12 people marked this as a favorite.

Removed a post and series of sarcastic and dismissive replies. It's okay to like things and it's okay to not like things. Be respectful of each other when posting and if you feel like something is not adhering to our community guidelines, flag it and move on.

As many have noted, the Paizo, Pathfinder, Starfinder and Adventure Card game communities do have overlap with the paizo.com community, but it is not the exclusive outlet for commentary on our products and it is not okay to state or imply that the opinions and voices people playing our game but not posting on the forums are irrelevant.


Does anyone know how long it usually takes for Paizo to release errata for a book? Any idea when we might see errata for this book?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Coffee Demon wrote:
Does anyone know how long it usually takes for Paizo to release errata for a book? Any idea when we might see errata for this book?

It varies a lot. Advanced Class Guide hit the ground with errata, while others take longer. I’d just presume “before the next big hardcover”.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo issues errata only when the sell out of a printing. Yes, that means if you want errata you must wait until the next printing, which could take YEARS because of this policy.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
QuidEst wrote:
Advanced Class Guide hit the ground with errata

ACG was an aberration [because of the many/varied issues with the book]. The normal errata time is when the book gets a reprint.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

But they can issue a FAQ any time. Maybe we will get the one for Shifter's Edge tomorrow?


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

FAQs and errata don't really do the same thing, though. As far as I'm aware, FAQs are used to clarify vague or contradictory rules (more or less), and errata is used to correct typos and misprinted information.

An FAQ wouldn't be very appropriate for Shifter's Edge because as it stands, there is no vague-ness or clarification required - they just flat out printed the wrong text :)

That's my understanding of things, anyway. I could be wrong.

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