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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Shifter: So several Questions.....
A) All day claws are good...scaling to bypass defenses are good....however, what was the Dev's deciding factor in not giving them a method of making up for iterative attacks ? Without something like "Wild flurry" the full BA seems to be meaningless ?

B) what was the deciding factor on the limits of Shifter Aspect ?
They are minor bonuses, and currently have limited if any use even with Chimeric kicking in.

C) Why does a class that gives up spell casting, animal companion, etc...etc...gain Wild Shape at the same time as those classes ?

It seems to me that it will always be far behind on versatility of almost every other class created so far.

A full BA class, that really only get's two attacks per round, on most days, is not only lackluster....but next to useless.

Am I missing something ???


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Isabelle Lee wrote:

Disclaimer: This is simply extrapolation based on personal experience. I don't have any sort of authoritative certainty.

...

More than anything else, this reminds me of the backlash around Wrath of the Righteous. I'm sure the people involved there on all sides thought themselves perfectly civil. The end result, though, was an abandoned subsystem now considered almost exclusively the province of GM material and NPCs.

So... I'm afraid I don't expect an official errata, of the scope people have demanded, any time soon (or really at all). We'll see the FAQs already in the pipeline, perhaps, and then the wait for the first printing to sell out. And even then, I wouldn't expect drastic changes for a variety of reasons - page layout and wordcount, consistency of material, etc.

You have a much better feel for this than most of us, so what you expect is probably what will happen.

One interesting disanalogy between the backlash against the Shifter and the backlash against the Mythic rules is that the former seems largely based on theorycrafting, while the latter seemed largely based on problems that arose in play.

I.e., in the case of the Shifter, it seems like most of those who are unhappy with the class for theorycrafting reasons, not because they played the class and didn't find it to be much fun. Whereas in the case of the Wrath of the Righteous AP, it seemed that a number of people excited about the mythic rules and the Wrath of the Righteous AP found themselves running into severe balance problems when they tried to run the AP; problems which were hard to fix, and which made the experience or running the AP significantly less fun.

So the developers had more reason to believe the mythic rules were problematic (lots of play with the rules that was frustrating and not fun for those involved) than they do (at this point) with the Shifter. So perhaps that's some reason to think they might not yet be set on abandoning the Shifter? (It might also the case that modifying the Shifter -- a 6 page class -- is easier, and thus more tenable, than trying to revamp the entire mythic ruleset.)

Of course, if I had to bet, I'd definitely bet on what someone with working knowledge of the process (you!) expects to happen. So that's what I expect.

Ps. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Interesting and enlightening, as always!


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It's the holiday season. Perhaps any expectation for responses should wait for the new year. After all, it isn't a matter of life or death to get any answers. :)

As for the book itself, after digesting it and going over it with my players I'd rank it a 3.5-4 star product. Yes, there are reprints -- that said, not everyone buys every single book so those reprints come in handy. The material is overall pretty good and hits a lot of marks and answers questions for wilderness campaigns.


knightnday wrote:

It's the holiday season. Perhaps any expectation for responses should wait for the new year. After all, it isn't a matter of life or death to get any answers. :)

As for the book itself, after digesting it and going over it with my players I'd rank it a 3.5-4 star product. Yes, there are reprints -- that said, not everyone buys every single book so those reprints come in handy. The material is overall pretty good and hits a lot of marks and answers questions for wilderness campaigns.

I'm fine with "we are thinking about it please wait till....XXX"

But we have not gotten anything like that thus far.

It's not like people are being unreasonable....they are just looking for dialog.


knightnday wrote:
Yes, there are reprints -- that said, not everyone buys every single book so those reprints come in handy.

I do....so I guess that has more of an impact on me than most ;)

I'm buying the same material over and over and over :P


nighttree wrote:
knightnday wrote:
Yes, there are reprints -- that said, not everyone buys every single book so those reprints come in handy.

I do....so I guess that has more of an impact on me than most ;)

I'm buying the same material over and over and over :P

Well, me too. But in the end it works out because then it is all in one place rather than spread among any number of books. Makes it easier to drag around if nothing else.

As far as speculating on a date that the dialog would begin .. that tends to put one in a bad place if you miss the deadline. Then people get more upset.


knightnday wrote:
nighttree wrote:
knightnday wrote:
Yes, there are reprints -- that said, not everyone buys every single book so those reprints come in handy.

I do....so I guess that has more of an impact on me than most ;)

I'm buying the same material over and over and over :P

Well, me too. But in the end it works out because then it is all in one place rather than spread among any number of books. Makes it easier to drag around if nothing else.

As far as speculating on a date that the dialog would begin .. that tends to put one in a bad place if you miss the deadline. Then people get more upset.

Only works out (IMO) if the new materials value outweighs all the reprints....which lately has been sorely pressed.

"All in one place" is rather subjective. I will always need to go through all of my books to keep track of all the elements. Hell I can't even imagine a scenario where I don't have to go through at least twenty books. If I did...I would think something was wrong...

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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We don't generally provide advance notice before releasing a reprint that incorporates new errata, as doing so could cause prospective buyers to delay their purchase until we start selling the new version, which would then cause stores to take longer to sell through the previous printing, meaning it could actually delay the release of the reprint.

But since this product has only been out a matter of weeks, that should be a pretty good clue that it'll be a while before we need to contemplate a reprint.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
knightnday wrote:
Well, me too. But in the end it works out because then it is all in one place rather than spread among any number of books. Makes it easier to drag around if nothing else.

It also means that the content will become part of the PRD in due time, granting third-party publishers easier access and allowing other products to reference it. (For example, had the kineticist's void element been added to the RPG line in this way, the terrakineticist would be able to directly reference it.)

Shadow Lodge

At least an errata document?


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nighttree wrote:
knightnday wrote:
nighttree wrote:
knightnday wrote:
Yes, there are reprints -- that said, not everyone buys every single book so those reprints come in handy.

I do....so I guess that has more of an impact on me than most ;)

I'm buying the same material over and over and over :P

Well, me too. But in the end it works out because then it is all in one place rather than spread among any number of books. Makes it easier to drag around if nothing else.

As far as speculating on a date that the dialog would begin .. that tends to put one in a bad place if you miss the deadline. Then people get more upset.

Only works out (IMO) if the new materials value outweighs all the reprints....which lately has been sorely pressed.

"All in one place" is rather subjective. I will always need to go through all of my books to keep track of all the elements. Hell I can't even imagine a scenario where I don't have to go through at least twenty books. If I did...I would think something was wrong...

LOL We're on the same wavelength here. if I wasn't sifting through a pile of books [or pdf's], it doesn't feel right. IMO the good/bad part or reprints into a hardback is that the dev team can FAQ/errata it easier. Since I've been seeing a LOT more FAQ's I disagree with than agree with lately, I'm seeing it in a bad light as the material isn't protected from the team anymore. :P

That said, I can understand those that want it all in one place. [or are looking for an FAQ for the material reprinted]. It's just not for me.

Vic: I don't think anyone is expecting news on reprints. I think everyone knows those are a while away. I think it's more FAQ's, ACG type errata sheets, blog posts or something of that kind of update.

So I don't think anyone is looking for an exact date or anything, but more a rough estimate. Like 'after the holidays we'll start looking into things' or " we're looking into a solution for the oozemorph' or something like that. For myself, I'm happy knowing the the issues have been acknowledged and someone's looking into it.

Kalindlara wrote:
It also means that the content will become part of the PRD in due time

With the glacial pace of PRD updating, that's a LOOOOOOOOOONG time away.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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The rules question team does not have a predetermined schedule that says "Friday the 23rd: Ultimate Wilderness questions." Though they do set aside time for work on rules questions, their priorities are determined largely by the FAQ queue. If you want your questions to be at the top of the FAQ queue, post them in the rules questions forum, and hit the FAQ button on them. The more people who agree that your issue is worthy of a FAQ, the more likely it will get the designers' attention when they have the opportunity.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Isabelle Lee wrote:
Benjamin Medrano wrote:

As an aside, Isabelle? Do you mind if I ask if you were involved in writing the Skirmisher Fighter Archetype, or the Flamewarden or Stormwalker Ranger Archetypes? Because I have to say, of the character options to come out of this book they are my absolute favorites.

There are a ton of rules that I like, too, but those are standouts for me.

I wasn't, I'm afraid. ^_^ My only contributions were the cavalier archetypes (green knight and saurian champion) and the following feats:

** spoiler omitted **

I think many of the feats you listed were the best part of the book.

Grand Lodge

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David knott 242 wrote:
Isabelle Lee wrote:
Benjamin Medrano wrote:

As an aside, Isabelle? Do you mind if I ask if you were involved in writing the Skirmisher Fighter Archetype, or the Flamewarden or Stormwalker Ranger Archetypes? Because I have to say, of the character options to come out of this book they are my absolute favorites.

There are a ton of rules that I like, too, but those are standouts for me.

I wasn't, I'm afraid. ^_^ My only contributions were the cavalier archetypes (green knight and saurian champion) and the following feats:

** spoiler omitted **

I think many of the feats you listed were the best part of the book.

Also the green knight is, IMO, the single greatest cavalier archetype in the game, and honestly the only thing that could get me to play one.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kalindlara wrote:
Alchemaic wrote:
Actually, the Skirmisher Fighter mention brought up another question for me. Does the Tribal Fighter qualify for Advanced Weapon Training? Since it doesn't get to choose other weapon groups, it looks like it doesn't.

Sort of. It's quite a cunning design, in fact. ^_^

You don't gain additional weapon groups to trade away. But as of 5th level, you are a fighter with the weapon training class feature, and thus qualify for the feat. And since you're still gaining a weapon training bonus, it's generally compatible with the advanced weapon training options (other than those that vary by group).

So you have to spend feats for it. I see.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Indeed. But you're not completely locked out, as many older fighter archetypes are.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kalindlara wrote:
Indeed. But you're not completely locked out, as many older fighter archetypes are.

Well yes, but in fairness those old archetypes were doing the best with what they had. Selecting other weapon groups has no benefit for an archetype focused around using polearms and exclusively polearms after all, so they got their own versions of AWT instead since it didn't exist back then.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
nighttree wrote:
"All in one place" is rather subjective. I will always need to go through all of my books to keep track of all the elements. Hell I can't even imagine a scenario where I don't have to go through at least twenty books. If I did...I would think something was wrong...

Might be part of the problem, though. I suspect that most buyers are way more casual about that. For example, while I collect a lot of Paizo materials, I am way behind reading with stuff as it's just too much for me (and I'm also reading a lot of other things^^). Add to that that I'm generally not too much into looking for mechanical benefits, and you might understand that I probably wouldn't even recognize most of the rules revisions and/or reprint contained in a new hardcover.

It's kinda the same with the campaign setting books. I'd rather have them reprint materials from older sources in the new Taldor book ( I have no idea if that's the case because I still have to even look at it) then having to sift through several sources to find what I'm looking for, especially when some of those sources already are several years old.

Probably one of the reasons why I would like to have a second edition that updates the core rules with what has been designed in the meantime. I would happily rebuy the stuff.


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I find the discussion and the reviews to be quite lopsided: This book contains more than the one base class it introduces. I'd say the shifter is a solid class, neither overpowered nor underpowered, neither incredibly creative nor boring. The shapeshifting starts slow, but that's likely to avoid players just dipping the class. It mostly does away with all this monk, ranger and whatever dipping for an unarmored natural weapon PC, which is a blessing. Getting 3+level minutes for aspect is appreciated, the level minutes of hunter were an awkward start. More problematic is the limited versatility later on - a feat Extra Shifter Aspect would be very welcome.

I am still busy reading through the other class options, and it for sure has some gems. A barbarian who gets so angry that she simply ignores the laws of physics and runs over water? Hilarious! Two oracle archetypes replace your curse by a dependency on something natural, might be nice for some people. Riding a dinosaur as a cavalier doesn't hurt either.


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SheepishEidolon wrote:

I find the discussion and the reviews to be quite lopsided: This book contains more than the one base class it introduces. I'd say the shifter is a solid class, neither overpowered nor underpowered, neither incredibly creative nor boring. The shapeshifting starts slow, but that's likely to avoid players just dipping the class. It mostly does away with all this monk, ranger and whatever dipping for an unarmored natural weapon PC, which is a blessing. Getting 3+level minutes for aspect is appreciated, the level minutes of hunter were an awkward start. More problematic is the limited versatility later on - a feat Extra Shifter Aspect would be very welcome.

I am still busy reading through the other class options, and it for sure has some gems. A barbarian who gets so angry that she simply ignores the laws of physics and runs over water? Hilarious! Two oracle archetypes replace your curse by a dependency on something natural, might be nice for some people. Riding a dinosaur as a cavalier doesn't hurt either.

Shifter was the flagship of the book. When the first float in a parade crashes and burns, that's what everyone talks about, not about how the other floats were nice once the parade starts up again. So I'm not surprised at all be the reviews. Add to that reprints that a lot of people have said they dislike and some loose wording and it's even less surprising. Even section that I found interesting have issues, like harvested poisons: they only last a day but stabilizing them takes longer than that...

Now I'll agree there are things to like about the book, but you have to look for them: what's wrong just kind of slaps you in the face IMO.

PS: I find the dinosaur riding cavalier interesting too along with the green knight which is saying something because I generally am not interested in caveliers. ;)

PPS: for myself, if they add a feat, I want one that allows the shifter to change forms without breaking wildshape.


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The Shifter is hardly the only problem I have with the book. Examples would be the removal of immunities from plant races, a lot of nerfs to reprinted materials, annoying or weird requirements for feats, not enough(or at all) class options I would like to see such as bloodlines, talents, hexes, etc. But some of these problems are hardly unique to this book.


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

An interesting bit of trivia: I believe Ultimate Wilderness now has more reviews than any other non-CRB product. The Advanced Class Guide was the previous record holder (with 51 reviews), but Ultimate Wilderness now has 56.

(That said, Ultimate Wilderness is still a distant second to the Pathfinder CRB, which has 130 reviews.)


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Isabelle Lee wrote:
Benjamin Medrano wrote:

As an aside, Isabelle? Do you mind if I ask if you were involved in writing the Skirmisher Fighter Archetype, or the Flamewarden or Stormwalker Ranger Archetypes? Because I have to say, of the character options to come out of this book they are my absolute favorites.

There are a ton of rules that I like, too, but those are standouts for me.

I wasn't, I'm afraid. ^_^ My only contributions were the cavalier archetypes (green knight and saurian champion) and the following feats:

** spoiler omitted **

I absolutely LOVE the Beastmaster style feats and Totemic as well! Thank you for these.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Isabelle Lee wrote:
Benjamin Medrano wrote:

As an aside, Isabelle? Do you mind if I ask if you were involved in writing the Skirmisher Fighter Archetype, or the Flamewarden or Stormwalker Ranger Archetypes? Because I have to say, of the character options to come out of this book they are my absolute favorites.

There are a ton of rules that I like, too, but those are standouts for me.

I wasn't, I'm afraid. ^_^ My only contributions were the cavalier archetypes (green knight and saurian champion) and the following feats:

** spoiler omitted **

As a medieval lit nerd, I especially LOVED the green knight. Great balance between the source of inspiration and good game mechanics. Thanks for your hard work!

===

Dragon78 wrote:
Examples would be the removal of immunities from plant races,

I recognize this may not, indeed probably won't, change your mind on this issue, but simply to be informative in case you are not aware:

As I discovered when I was trying to homebrew my own plant race... plant immunities are powerful. Per the race builder in the Advanced Race Guide, they are worth 10 RP --and most standard 0 HD races are only worth total around 10 RP, give or take a few. While Race Points are only a guideline for class building, it still gives you sense of how powerful the developers feel a given ability is. If you want to create, ergo, a plant race that is about the same power level as a human or a dwarf (which Paizo is going to do for its core game line), you have limited choices:
- Make a race with plant immunities that either has few if any other racial abilities, and/or has considerable weaknesses; or
- Make a race that eliminates or weakens plant immunities

The developers opted for the second to have more flavorful races. Whether it was worth it probably depends upon individual interpretation (personally I like the ghoran and the vine leshy, but your mileage obviously varies).

Again the purpose of this is simply to provide information--if you were already aware of this then forget I said anything.


IMO, plant races shouldn't have all of those ridiculous immunities anyway. Since when are plants immune to poison anyway?

A more realistic solution would have been to make poisons in general only work against specific creature types, though of course it is a little late to change that.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Matrix Dragon wrote:

IMO, plant races shouldn't have all of those ridiculous immunities anyway. Since when are plants immune to poison anyway?

A more realistic solution would have been to make poisons in general only work against specific creature types, though of course it is a little late to change that.

Legacy material, backwards compatibility, "we've blown thing upside down enough with making undead get Cha to HP, constructs susceptible to precision/criticals and Barbarians not being illiterate, let's keep plant immunities as they were or folks with get totally confused".


Gorbacz wrote:
Matrix Dragon wrote:

IMO, plant races shouldn't have all of those ridiculous immunities anyway. Since when are plants immune to poison anyway?

A more realistic solution would have been to make poisons in general only work against specific creature types, though of course it is a little late to change that.

Legacy material, backwards compatibility, "we've blown thing upside down enough with making undead get Cha to HP, constructs susceptible to precision/criticals and Barbarians not being illiterate, let's keep plant immunities as they were or folks with get totally confused".

Yea, I know that it was because of 3.5 edition. I should have stated that I was aiming the comment at that :)


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graystone wrote:
Shifter was the flagship of the book. When the first float in a parade crashes and burns, that's what everyone talks about, not about how the other floats were nice once the parade starts up again.

Well, they focused on the shifter in their announcements and it's the only base class in the book - I guess that's why it's perceived as the flagship by many people. When it comes to actual page count, shifter only makes up like 5%: 6 pages for the class + 6 for its archetypes, vs. roughly 256 pages overall.

As a game dev myself, I learned two lessons from it: Be careful where you draw attention to, and make sure the features with the highest interest are the most polished.

Quote:
Add to that reprints that a lot of people have said they dislike and some loose wording and it's even less surprising. Even section that I found interesting have issues, like harvested poisons: they only last a day but stabilizing them takes longer than that...

I noticed a few wording issues myself. For me, that's not much of an issue - I trust in Paizo to clarify a good share of them, over time, and I don't need the book's content urgently. Further I only bought the PDF, meaning updates are easier.

Of course, if someone bought an expensive hardcover, wants to use its content right now and isn't eager to do additional rulings to fill the gaps, I see why they are more annoyed.

Quote:
PS: I find the dinosaur riding cavalier interesting too along with the green knight which is saying something because I generally am not interested in caveliers. ;)

Sounds oddly familiar. Maybe it's about expectations: We don't expect much from certain book sections, but then there is this shiny gem. Meanwhile we expect more from other sections - so even if there is a shiny gem, we might be still uncontent because it's just one.


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I agree with the loss of immunity to mind-affecting effects for plant based races, that makes sense. The loss of immunity to polymorph is fine as well, that never made sense to begin with that plants are immune. Now the loss of immunity to sleep, stunning, and paralysis are a different story, none of those were game breaking. As for immunity to poison that is one I really like but I can somewhat understand. But the fact you get nothing in return for them taking the immunities away, not even save bonuses, that really bugs me.


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Admittedly, taking those immunities away feels like 4e and 5e style "The players are different from everything else" design. I've always felt that one of the best strengths of 3.5 style games was that the players and the monsters followed the same rules.


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SheepishEidolon wrote:

Well, they focused on the shifter in their announcements and it's the only base class in the book - I guess that's why it's perceived as the flagship by many people. When it comes to actual page count, shifter only makes up like 5%: 6 pages for the class + 6 for its archetypes, vs. roughly 256 pages overall.

As a game dev myself, I learned two lessons from it: Be careful where you draw attention to, and make sure the features with the highest interest are the most polished.

Overall I agree. For me though, I'd already written off other parts of the book that I'll most likely never use: the mastering the wild, 52 pages, and the races [don't care for plants and I already have the gathlain info] 18 pages. Then add in the reprint pages and the shifters percentage is magnified greatly as I was only expecting around 1/2 the book to be of any use to me and the one thing I KNEW I wanted out of that part flopped IMO.

SheepishEidolon wrote:
Maybe it's about expectations: We don't expect much from certain book sections, but then there is this shiny gem. Meanwhile we expect more from other sections - so even if there is a shiny gem, we might be still uncontent because it's just one.

For this book it seems to me that what I got was the inverse of what I expected: I found 'gems' in sections I assumed would be a write off and parts I had high hopes for turned out 'meh'. It's an odd situation to be in: when expectation are the complete opposite of what you thought it leaves you unsure how to feel. Does not getting what you want outweigh getting things you didn't know you wanted? It kind of ends up being a personal balancing act.

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Removed some additional posts, as well as some that were missed previously.

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Matrix Dragon wrote:
Admittedly, taking those immunities away feels like 4e and 5e style "The players are different from everything else" design. I've always felt that one of the best strengths of 3.5 style games was that the players and the monsters followed the same rules.

Yeah, I prefer the same rules for everyone, PC or NPC or 'monster,' but there's a lot of stuff that would need to change to wholly embrace that notion (like getting rid of monster abilities that are over the top, like create spawn or split or grant wishes).


Set wrote:
Matrix Dragon wrote:
Admittedly, taking those immunities away feels like 4e and 5e style "The players are different from everything else" design. I've always felt that one of the best strengths of 3.5 style games was that the players and the monsters followed the same rules.

Yeah, I prefer the same rules for everyone, PC or NPC or 'monster,' but there's a lot of stuff that would need to change to wholly embrace that notion (like getting rid of monster abilities that are over the top, like create spawn or split or grant wishes).

Yea, 3.5 only worked around the balance issues with racial adjustment levels or something? That wasn't exactly a pretty solution either.


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SheepishEidolon wrote:
graystone wrote:
Shifter was the flagship of the book. When the first float in a parade crashes and burns, that's what everyone talks about, not about how the other floats were nice once the parade starts up again.
Well, they focused on the shifter in their announcements and it's the only base class in the book - I guess that's why it's perceived as the flagship by many people. When it comes to actual page count, shifter only makes up like 5%: 6 pages for the class + 6 for its archetypes, vs. roughly 256 pages overall.

Yeah, that may be where some of the disconnect lies, at least for myself. I didn't pick up the book for the shifter anymore than I picked up Ultimate Intrigue for the Vigilante or Ultimate Magic for the Magus and so on.

Don't get me wrong, they are nice to have but they were not the main reason for buying the books (outside of my compulsion to own everything from the company.)


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knightnday wrote:
Yeah, that may be where some of the disconnect lies, at least for myself. I didn't pick up the book for the shifter anymore than I picked up Ultimate Intrigue for the Vigilante or Ultimate Magic for the Magus and so on.

For me, it was the SOLE reason I was interested in spending money on the product. I have access to all the books/pdf's as I have a friend that buys it ALL [he has to 'catch 'em all!']. That means they are only a short drive away to look through a book/tablet if I don't want to look it up online. Any 'gems' I would have found in other sections would be 'bonuses' to me.

And for me, the reason I didn't buy the Ultimate Intrigue WAS the Vigilante. Maybe if they someday print a viable replacement for dual identity. The rest of the book just wasn't a major draw, as much like wilderness i don't expect to see the relevant theme/rules used on a regular basis.

For ultimate magic, I actually expected to USE the majority of the book so I own one. So Magus wasn't the main reason for that book IMO.


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I am admittedly one of those people who have bought all of the books (well except the Kobold book...I think Kobolds are silly). I am starting to re-think this as of late however....especially with how this book has gone.

There are plenty of class concepts I'm simply not interested in...Paladin, Vigilante, and Gunslinger spring to mind....however I still look over the class, and I have never been uninterested in the class due to the mechanics of the class as presented....it's just not a character concept that resonates with me. And I never regret spending the money on the book, as there are usually things in there I can get excited about.

I also don't have the gripe's that some people seem to have with the APG classes (or is it the ACG classes ?).

During playtest some of the concepts were pretty rough, but when all was said and done, and in print...they all ended up hitting the standard I have come to expect of Paizo over the years.

Are there classes I'm not interested in playing ?....sure...but that's a function of the concept not being particularly attractive to me, not the class and how it's written. Sometimes an Archetype comes along and even makes me question my lack of interest in the class (which I actually enjoy).

The difficult spot for me here is that the idea of a Shifter is VERY MUCH of interest to me....it was the pearl I was waiting for, as the whole concept is something I'm interested in. And the hype seemed to imply I was going to see all of my wan't fulfilled in regards to a Shifter. It was NOT the primary reason for getting the book (like I said I have actually just dropped into a habit of buying them all)....but it WAS the primary reason for me being EXCITED about the book.

WARNING (the following is simply opinion)......

What we got was a base class that I can't find any interesting or compelling reason to take. I can do anything (of significance) a Shifter can with a Feral Hunter....with 6th level spells as icing on the cake.

Some of the Archetypes are actually flavorful and fun, Weretouched and Oozemorph being the stand outs IMO (although Oozemorph suffers from some very sketchy rules problems that need addressing).

But even after two weeks of working on an Oozemorph build (using liberal RAI)...I cant imagine a reason to do more than dip for two or three levels.

The base class simply suffers (again IMO) from a lack of imaginative and interesting class features to make it worth taking.

On top of that....anyone expressing disappointment in the class has been labeled "toxic" or has been directed to post their opinions in multiple threads.....which after a point amounts to "please shut up".

To add insult to injury.....the Dev's have been completely unwilling to chime in.

For me at least....the best thing that has come from this class being in print...is that I'm appreciating older classes and archetypes more. And I'm definitely going to be more cautious about purchases in the future....no more just buying everything site unseen.

Shadow Lodge

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Unwilling or unable. So far I'm only aware of one Paizo employee that has stated they are unwilling.


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Dragonborn3 wrote:
Unwilling or unable. So far I'm only aware of one Paizo employee that has stated they are unwilling.

Unwilling....unable....net result is the same.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

People haven't been labelled toxic for expressing their disappointment in the class. People have been labelled toxic for making personal attacks against writers and dev, calling for people to be fired, and not playing nice when people point out that those two things are not cool.

And frankly, I am unwilling to come into this thread most days. It has a caustic atmosphere that is unpleasant to read. That isn't the product of one person, that's the product of the community. But I'm not going to begrudge any staff who don't want to deal with this thread. Those who have come in have acted professionally. All the redirection to other threads I've seen has been to the FAQ/Rule Questions forums, which are likely to be much more productive venting here. In short, that's the Paizo Staff trying to help you make your voice be heard, not telling you to shut up.


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Isabelle Lee wrote:
Benjamin Medrano wrote:

As an aside, Isabelle? Do you mind if I ask if you were involved in writing the Skirmisher Fighter Archetype, or the Flamewarden or Stormwalker Ranger Archetypes? Because I have to say, of the character options to come out of this book they are my absolute favorites.

There are a ton of rules that I like, too, but those are standouts for me.

I wasn't, I'm afraid. ^_^ My only contributions were the cavalier archetypes (green knight and saurian champion) and the following feats:

** spoiler omitted **

I enjoy your cavalier archetypes and the feats. The saurian champion feels very much to me like something you'd find in Deep Tolguth (the 'Hollow Earth with dinosaurs and evil troglodyte overlords' place); in fact several archetypes in this book feel perfect for 'monstrous' races to use.

I especially enjoy the whole 'Wilding Strike' feat chain. It feels like a way to do a bare-handed Tarzan without making them a monk or brawler. I think a way to improve the unarmed strike damage of non-monks and brawlers was long overdue and am glad it was done here.

So thank you for what you did.


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Anyone else noticed that the hybrid form of the weretouched basically lets you play a bunch of races you're normally not allowed?
Catfolk+ falcon= griffin
Human+bull= minotaur
Grippli+bull= bullfrog
Ragebred+bear= ManBearPig
Tiefling+bat= gargoyle

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