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

I was a great fan of the Lapith (shapeshifting centaur) race in the 3rd party product Races of Hoof and Horn, but a perusal of the Race Builder rules in the Advanced Race Guide clearly implies that this race is overpowered by current Pathfinder standards.

As a result, I am looking forward to finding out how many Shifter levels will be required to approximate that race.


Well shoot, I was hoping for an Advanced NPC Codex or even Chronicle of the Righteous or Concordance of Rivals. Oh wells, you can't win them all I guess.


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

With all these reveals in the last few weeks or so, it makes me wonder what they will be revealing at Paizo Con.


Dragon78 wrote:
With all these reveals in the last few weeks or so, it makes me wonder what they will be revealing at Paizo Con.

Products for 2018.


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

I am hoping there will be a nice GM section going over ways to extend the use of environmental hazards and typical survival type problems in Pathfinder. As is, there are a lot of very low level spells that mostly remove these as problems for even very low level parties.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Marco Massoudi wrote:
I hope this book is better than Ultimate Intrigue or Horror Adventures - it certainly has the potential.

Well...in the product request page, Ultimate Wilderness was one of my top suggestions, because Ultimate Intrigue was so focused on urban games, and it was obvious that made a niche for this book.

So I am guessing this will be maybe similar in organization but perhaps opposite in content to Intrigue.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Nutcase Entertainment wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
With all these reveals in the last few weeks or so, it makes me wonder what they will be revealing at Paizo Con.
Products for 2018.

Well at least there's hope for a possible release of the other two volumes of Tabris the Chronicler's work next year then.


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

It's been a while, what were the other two books/volumes called?


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
It's been a while, what were the other two books/volumes called?

Chronicle of the Righteous and Concordance of Rivals.


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

I think I would love to see the Concordance of Rivals as a hardcover book.

Sovereign Court

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Disclaimer: The following is based upon observation of publishing practices and industry trends. I have no knowledge of private statements or discussions by Paizo staff on the matter.

I think it's in your best interest to make sure that the Adventurer's Guide does well. The Chronicle of the Righteous was one book where the Books of the Damned were three, so it has far less page count to fill up a hardcover. (Adding Concordance of Rivals content might swell that, but... see below.) If it's going to get an expanded and updated release, the 192-page format of the Adventurer's Guide is the most likely way it's going to happen. And since it's a world-specific book, that relies on the Adventurer's Guide doing well and proving the experiment successful.

Why not fold the Concordance of Rivals into that and make one big hardcover? The content is thematically dissonant. They're not going to put together Good and Neutral Outsider Worship. If someone has a better title idea, let James Jacobs know!

The biggest issue, though - the bane of Second Darkness and the Dragon Empires - is sales. The Book of the Damned exists as much because its components are out of stock as for any other reason. As long as copies of the Chronicle of the Righteous are still in the Paizo warehouse, a hardcover is not happening. The same almost certainly goes for a softcover Concordance of Rivals, for the record. (Staff passion and other factors influence this as well, but... if it won't sell, they won't make it.)

That said, we're derailing here. If you have further thoughts on this matter, I recommend creating a new thread in the Paizo Products subforum. Or at the very least, taking it to the Book of the Damned thread. ^_^

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Marco Massoudi wrote:
I hope this book is better than Ultimate Intrigue or Horror Adventures - it certainly has the potential.

Me too, and I really liked those books!


As much as all of the bits mentioned for this book sound interesting and useful, I lament that the poor, neglected Underground environment seems left out.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Urath DM wrote:
As much as all of the bits mentioned for this book sound interesting and useful, I lament that the poor, neglected Underground environment seems left out.

A Dungeon Adventures isn't out of the realm of possibility, you know...


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I know it was mentioned above but I would like to put in my vote for a nature loving, tree hugging wizard. Someone who wanders the land and helps out farmers and ranchers with their magic. Survival would be a class skill for them. Give them a mechanical reason to put ranks in Knowledge(Nature) and Profession(Herbalist), maybe the ability to make balms and salves to help live stock or rid plants of diseases.


Kalindlara wrote:
The biggest issue, though - the bane of Second Darkness and the Dragon Empires - is sales. The Book of the Damned exists as much because its components are out of stock as for any other reason. As long as copies of the Chronicle of the Righteous are still in the Paizo warehouse, a hardcover is not happening. The same almost certainly goes for a softcover Concordance of Rivals, for the record. (Staff passion and other factors influence this as well, but... if it won't sell, they won't make it.)

If you want to play smart, you left out the reasons why some of those have troubles selling.

Plus, less and less people are interested in the printed format, some out of concerns for the wilderness, other for economical (and sometime logistical) reasons, or both.

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Guy St-Amant wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
The biggest issue, though - the bane of Second Darkness and the Dragon Empires - is sales. The Book of the Damned exists as much because its components are out of stock as for any other reason. As long as copies of the Chronicle of the Righteous are still in the Paizo warehouse, a hardcover is not happening. The same almost certainly goes for a softcover Concordance of Rivals, for the record. (Staff passion and other factors influence this as well, but... if it won't sell, they won't make it.)

If you want to play smart, you left out the reasons why some of those have troubles selling.

Plus, less and less people are interested in the printed format, some out of concerns for the wilderness, other for economical (and sometime logistical) reasons, or both.

Dragon Empires is a great book and Chronicle of the Righteous is fantastic. It's just that they didn't find as much audience, as, say, Distant Worlds.

And the dead-tree-less people are still a minority, the hobby is mostly driven by people who prefer paper to electronic formats. The fact that Paizo's website remains one of the most mobile-unfriendly places I visit on the Web is a testament to how digitally conservative the user base is.

Sovereign Court

12 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Attacking my intelligence is unnecessary and uncalled-for.


Gorbacz wrote:
Guy St-Amant wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
The biggest issue, though - the bane of Second Darkness and the Dragon Empires - is sales. The Book of the Damned exists as much because its components are out of stock as for any other reason. As long as copies of the Chronicle of the Righteous are still in the Paizo warehouse, a hardcover is not happening. The same almost certainly goes for a softcover Concordance of Rivals, for the record. (Staff passion and other factors influence this as well, but... if it won't sell, they won't make it.)

If you want to play smart, you left out the reasons why some of those have troubles selling.

Plus, less and less people are interested in the printed format, some out of concerns for the wilderness, other for economical (and sometime logistical) reasons, or both.

Dragon Empires is a great book and Chronicle of the Righteous is fantastic.

Not saying they aren't.


Kalindlara wrote:
Attacking my intelligence is unnecessary and uncalled-for.

Sorry if it came out as that.

But leaving important points out just to "prove/make a point", is...

anyway, we should stop derailing.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Guy St-Amant wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Attacking my intelligence is unnecessary and uncalled-for.

Sorry if it came out as that.

But leaving important points out just to "prove/make a point", is...

anyway, we should stop derailing.

And what were the important points? Because saying things by not saying them is something best left to professionals.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Guy St-Amant wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Attacking my intelligence is unnecessary and uncalled-for.

Sorry if it came out as that.

But leaving important points out just to "prove/make a point", is...

anyway, we should stop derailing.

And what were the important points? Because saying things by not saying them is something best left to professionals.

Like lawyers.

>.>
<.<

:)


The shifter sounds interesting! I just hope that the shifter can choose specialties like a kineticist instead of being a jack of all trades shapeshifter. I've been wanting to run specialist shapeshifters with dragon or werewolf themes for a long time.


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Matrix Dragon, I am sure we will get stuff like through archetypes.


I am so ridiculously excited for this book!! Nature themed classes/fey stuff are some of my favorite elements of games/fantasy settings, so this book makes me super stoked to get more love, especially with the addition of a badass sounding class like the Shifter.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Guy St-Amant wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Attacking my intelligence is unnecessary and uncalled-for.

Sorry if it came out as that.

But leaving important points out just to "prove/make a point", is...

anyway, we should stop derailing.

And what were the important points? Because saying things by not saying them is something best left to professionals.

I guess he meant Second Darkness being "less than stellar", which might be a good reason that low sales do not always mean low audience for other products on the same theme.

I am not that enthusiastic about a Wilderness book myself since I do not see what exciting things can happen in the wilds compared to cities or dungeons. I would love to be proven wrong though

Maybe an open playtest for the Shifter would raise my interest in this book ;-)

Silver Crusade

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
The Raven Black wrote:

I am not that enthusiastic about a Wilderness book myself since I do not see what exciting things can happen in the wilds compared to cities or dungeons. I would love to be proven wrong though

Maybe an open playtest for the Shifter would raise my interest in this book ;-)

You need to go out of the town more often.

And I wouldn't count on an open playtest for the very same reason Starfinder didn't get one - open playtests are 20% useful feedback, 20% marketing stunt, 60% cesspools of anonymous toxicity.


I'm sure you haven't been in the wild enough. There, even the smallest bugs can provide you hours - if not days - of excitement... or pain.

Whereas in a world filled with monstrous folks, magical beasts, fey and aberrations.

Things that can happen in cities or dungeons could well happen in forests - I'm sure there are plenty of inhabitants that see forests as cities.

Silver Crusade

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

I am *very* excited for a book that will help spice up the good old trek from the town to the dungeon. I find myself at ease when describing urban scenes - after all, I am a city rat my whole life - but I kind of fall short when it comes to wilderness. Of course I won't mind Ultimate Dungeon and Ultimate City, but I'm happy to see this one come first.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Berselius wrote:
Well at least there's hope for a possible release of the other two volumes of Tabris the Chronicler's work next year then.

Er. Well... a snorgle of us proteans bumped into him as we were just starting what you mortals would describe as a crawl of intoxicant purveyor establishments. After the first couple "weeks", is that the term? (your concepts for marking temporal passage are so constricting), we realized he wasn't with us anymore. We, um, {looks uncomfortable} we sort of misplaced him, somewhere/somewhen out there.

{smiles brightly} But I'm sure he'll turn up eventually, with the majority of his ganglia, humours, appendages, and colors intact.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

I am very excited for this one, much more so then ultimate intrigue or horror adventures.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Is there going to be a playtest for the Shifter?

Paizo Employee Designer

Prince Setehrael wrote:
Is there going to be a playtest for the Shifter?

There was some discussion earlier in the thread. My post here is probably the most useful.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Prince Setehrael wrote:
Is there going to be a playtest for the Shifter?
There was some discussion earlier in the thread. My post here is probably the most useful.

Thank you.

Paizo Employee Designer

Prince Setehrael wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Prince Setehrael wrote:
Is there going to be a playtest for the Shifter?
There was some discussion earlier in the thread. My post here is probably the most useful.
Thank you.

No worries!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Do you suppose there are going to be a skinwalker specific archetype?


I do suppose that might be a thing


The NPC wrote:
Do you suppose there are going to be a skinwalker specific archetype?

Eventually yes, but I'm skeptical it will be in this book.

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

And we have the awesome Rougarou now as well!


Hmm...
Curious if this does anything with Arcane-Utility Ranger concept (or via Hunter chassis).

Seems very "player option-centric" overall,
but weather/terrain/natural hazards also seem interesting.

I personally feel the entire "Getting Lost" function of Survival is massively underplayed and ignored. I mean, what amounts to no-Save Confusion effect seems like a big deal, but it usually is glossed over. Beefing up that mechanic and providing content to make it more interesting might change that.


Will there be a play test for the new class?


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
Will there be a play test for the new class?

Might I direct you a few posts up?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Luthorne wrote:
Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
Will there be a play test for the new class?

Might I direct you a few posts up? [/QUOTE

Makes sense....the vast majority of the playtest just became toxic ego stroking....better to gather small groups privately.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Yep, no more play test for classes, it was fun while it lasted.


Is it wrong to be far more excited to known what will be announced in Paizocon 2017 because the already announced products are more them awesome? This book - with the shifter in it - could totally be the star between the announcements, but it's already here...

I'm a little too anxious...


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
Yep, no more play test for classes, it was fun while it lasted.

Don't worry, folks, that's not what was said. However, discussion of other playtesting other books belongs on another thread.


I think it's been mentioned but I'd like to see some stuff to help play a vigilante in the wild. maybe even an archetype that focuses on the social identity rather than the vigilante one. Or just enough social talents to compliment someone who spends time in the wild as their social identity.


Need some Rogue nature archetypes.

??? Natural/Nature Trap Finding?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Some feats designed specifically for animal companions would be nice.


8 people marked this as a favorite.

I am crossing my fingers for a dragon based archetype for the Shifter. I may finally be able to make Ryu from Breath of Fire.

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