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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5 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragonborn3 wrote:
quibblemuch wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Oh, there's no need. It may sound udderly ridiculous that it might work that way, but expect dairy variation?
Call me a coward, but I’m just going to steer clear of this thread...
You guys are really milking this for all it's worth.

It’s really quite well done, it’s rare to see this kind of performance.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dragonborn3 wrote:
quibblemuch wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Oh, there's no need. It may sound udderly ridiculous that it might work that way, but expect dairy variation?
Call me a coward, but I’m just going to steer clear of this thread...
You guys are really milking this for all it's worth.

Oh, the bovinity!


5 people marked this as a favorite.

People say cow puns are lame, but I think these are an excellent example of a rare medium well done.

Just steer clear of sausage jokes. They're the wurst.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

These puns caught my flank and grazed me. I think I need to hoof it out of here.


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

I'd just like to make my mootives clear. I don't want a character that can turn into a steer, I want MooZilla! ...no, not a Firefox


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Some of these puns are so old, they're cheesy.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

You know its gone full crop circle when we get to the cow puds... eh puns I mean.


Duke of Dosh wrote:
This seems like the best place to ask- can a Menhir Guardian Monk's claws benefit from 'Shifter's Edge'? I've got a feeling the answer is no, but it'd be a nice way to use Shifter's Edge

I'd say yes. They have the Shifter claws class feature and treats his monk level as his shifter level for it. Some think it doesn't though, saying the feat is looking for actual shifter level, so it's most likely a FAQ candidate.


nighttree wrote:

.......I'm not sure that it's reasonable to assume lack of playtesting caused any of the problems.

Paizo put out many high quality classes before they even tried the playtest thing.

Realistically they are the only ones who will know what factors contributed to the problems in this book. We can make wild guesses till the cow's come home but it's nothing more than speculation.

They haven't for Dragon Magazine, but an RPG system like Pathfinder they did do a playtest for the material. Even the rules material, not just the classes.

After that it was all classes, except for Words of Power.

Now...nothing at all?


Ordered.


so i finally got around to look through some of the stuff in this book and i have good and bad to say about the style feats that are/would have been relevant to some of my characters.

wolf style is great, it will replace my stand still feat after i n oticedthat one only applies to adjacent enemies. great choice to not completly restrict it to unarmed attacks.

in comparison beastmaster style is so conditional, the second feat in the line is great, prolly very expensive in feat cost due to the alertness prereq, but at least usable while just adjacent.
the third feat beastmasters ire though is hilariously bad, it only procs from the base style(which is still horrible restricted from the positioning clause) and not the second feat beastmaster salvation.

will do some more featback if i find anything that is remotly interesting to me


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

what was the reasoning behind including a "basic" or "starter" class in a $50 niche book?

I ask because, of the 6-8 people in the twice monthly DnD group I play with, I am 1 of 2 that buys Pathfinder (or any DnD) material. the people who want/need "simple" classes (like the magus who, after 2 years of play, still does not understand that she can cast spells and attack at the same time, despite patient, repeated explanations to her) would never, ever pay $50 dollars for a book full of stuff they don't understand, nor would they ever even look.

I, as someone who loves this stuff, find it insulting that a $50 book contains a dumbed-down version of the Druid that's way less imaginative or useful than any archetype, and is the exact opposite of what all the player base wanted (either a great pseudo-lycanthrope class or a great shapechanger class). what makes this more ridiculous is that this comes after making the "un"Chained Summoner, which utterly failed to address the issue that everyone hated it for (the summon monster SLA) and smashed utility/spellcaster eidolons into the ground - like even if the playtests in the past have been "toxic garbage fires" - why not at least shop the idea to people outside of the dev team to see what might be actually wanted by the community?

$50 dollars for a poorly-edited book (which nobody can refute), with %50 filler feats (which absolutely is true, they're bloat that nobody will take and most DMs will ignore - I don't even see DMs waste people's time with Handle Animal checks in PFS) and a class that is clearly for an audience that is not going to buy the book in the first place... Like is this going to be the quality level of PF "Ultimate" books from now on? Books that used to be staples are now just "eh we threw some stuff together, whatever, the community won't know any better, they're toxic anyways, don't like? just tell them to go 3pp"?

I don't actually care that the shifter is a lackluster, forgettable class that (as people point out) is objectively worse than existing stuff; that's fine. some people like boring stuff. sometimes I'm one of those people! what I AM disappointed with is the decision to dedicate design space in a niche book to material for newbies, apparently not put much investment into what the community is looking for, and then on top of it all, not even do a good job with the final product. I mean come on the class is made for people who "want a quick pick-up class" (i.e. meaning they don't understand wildshape), but you call it Shifter (guaranteeing confusion with the shifter race, which actually has negative synergy with it), and expect these people who don't get PF rules to instead buy a book about Wilderness instead of just looking up a basic guide to druids online (which is free)?

come on. at this point I don't know if I'm more irritated at the low quality of this book or the response to perfectly justified criticism of dev responses to this thread. a quarter of the negative reviews were from people who explicitly stated here, in April and May, almost 6-8 months prior to the book's release, that they were reasonably led to believe they were getting X and then were disappointed to see that the book gave Y. it really wasn't possible to just state that the shifter was going to be "an entry level wildshape class" before the book came out?

I dunno. long time Paizo fan who normally does not care about power level and whatever, but still really really disappointed in a lot of the design decisions and then responses with this book here. it just seems like a slight bit of effort could have gone to making this thing perfectly palatable instead vying with Ultimate Magic for most divisive paizo book.


The lack of any real response from the company bothers me a whole lot. Something, anything, should be said at this point. Hopefully a future blog post or whatever.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Barachiel Shina wrote:
The lack of any real response from the company bothers me a whole lot. Something, anything, should be said at this point. Hopefully a future blog post or whatever.

James did respond recently on one of the threads.

They are aware of the response and criticisms, and once they are back from the holiday's and settled in, it sounds like they will start addressing things.

It would help immensely.....IMO.... if when they start addressing things, they don't get blasted with everything all at once.

There are frankly a lot of criticisms to address.....it's going to take some time ;)


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Jason Bulmahn chimed in as well.

I'm respecting that and waiting hopefully for a positive result from the discussion.


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Link to Jason's post

(Wei Ji - your link goes to the top of the page...)


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

Jason Bulmahn chimed in as well.

I'm respecting that and waiting hopefully for a positive result from the discussion.

That's the one I was talking about.

Shadow Lodge

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xeose4 wrote:
what was the reasoning behind including a "basic" or "starter" class in a $50 niche book?

It came about as a response to the way people were talking down about the Shifter, and then was proven false since it was not simpler.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Where exactly was that claimed, anyway?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Where exactly was that claimed, anyway?

The "It's supposed to be a simple shapeshifter" claim? I think someone cited it as a Know Direction podcast-related thing, might have been one where they recorded a Paizocon panel about the book.


At PaizoCon, they said that they didn't want to give Wild Shape from level 1 due to the sheer complexity. That's all I remember about it.


That makes me feel so much better about the whole thing.


Wild Shape at level one would not be complex, too powerful maybe, but not complex. Especially considering the Shifter is very limited in what forms it can take.


I'm OK with wild shape at level 4. I think they should have alter self at 1st level for flavors sake.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
I'm OK with wild shape at level 4. I think they should have alter self at 1st level for flavors sake.

I don't think Alter Self really fit's the feel.

Wild Shape, as Beast Shape 1, at first level wouldn't be overpowered IMO. then scaling to Beast Shape 2 at 4th level, etc....would go a long way to making the class worth playing.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thinking about it, allowing claws/slams/bites/tail-whips/etc might make the natural attack better but not o/p.

No change to damage dice, but possibly damage type?


It would be cool if at first level you could choose what type of natural attacks you could get. Starting with two at level 1 and gaining additional ones as you level maxing out around 6-7 by level 20.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
It would be cool if at first level you could choose what type of natural attacks you could get. Starting with two at level 1 and gaining additional ones as you level maxing out around 6-7 by level 20.

6-7 attacks made at full BAB with your full damage bonus would probably be considered too strong though. On the other hand, having two attacks that are your primary ones and have the others be secondary would probably be more palatable and would still make the Shifter a pretty handy natural weapon fighter.


Well how about we keep just the two natural attacks but they they cap at 3d6(or even 4d6) instead of 1d10. Also instead of just claws you could change(one of or both of) your hands/arms into different natural attacks for different effects.


how about give a natural attack like claws and then if you gain one from wild shape it ups the die like improved natural attack.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Not all things have claws. Some have Slams, some have Tail Whips, some have Bites...etc.

Though the idea of bumping things up a die in 'attack of choice' is kind of interesting.


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Technically when in wild shape you use the shifter's claw damage if it is greater.

I would love a "morphic defense" ability. Basically you have 1-3 defense slots you could fill (and change at will) with special defenses like uncanny doge, evasion, energy resistance, natural armor, immunity(choices based on level), quills, poisonous skin, etc.

Also a shifter adaptation ability would be cool. Basically you have 1 or more adaption slots you can fill(and change at will) with abilities like gills to breath underwater, wings to fly and attack with, webbed hands/feet to swim, antlers/horns/tusks to gain a gore attack, tail for attack and balance, keener senses(low-light vision, darkvision,scent), tentacles for attacking and grabbing, climb speed, burrow speed, slimy skin for bonuses on escape artist checks and against grappling, etc.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Sort of like Brawler's Martial Flexibility, but until 'turned off' and unlimited per day?


Yes Wei Ji the Learner, basically like that:)


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I could even see a 'check' on it being 'number of things one can keep going' a combination of Wisdom bonus and class level starting at L2 or L3, to prevent the easy 'dip' to get one thing (like say, darkvision, etc).


Well I wouldn't have those abilities at level 1 anyway. At level one I would have "minor morphing" wich is just the ability to alter hair, skin, and eye color and facial features at will to grant a +2 bonus on disguise or stealth checks.


Dragon78 wrote:
Well I wouldn't have those abilities at level 1 anyway. At level one I would have "minor morphing" wich is just the ability to alter hair, skin, and eye color and facial features at will to grant a +2 bonus on disguise or stealth checks.

I like that and have it scale as you level.


Yeah that would be a good idea to have it scale.

Maybe also add a "shifter power" ability were you can pick and choose offensive abilities like web, poison, spit acid, throw quills, etc.


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Has there been any news relative to a good rework/errata of the shifter? I've been expectant to see some news, since a Month has passed since Jason said they were "addressing" the problems.

Has it gone under the rug? Please don't make 3rd parties have the responsibility of having to "correct" the class. Some juggling with the abilities and some tweaks to numbers would go a really long way.

Open a new playtest for the class, making the community active in helping the development team make the class respectable.

And release afterwards an errata/small pdf of the changes. I know Starfinder is your golden goose now, but it was Pathfinder and it's community that helped the company reach where it is right now.

Anyway, Still eager to see some news relative to the Shifter.

Cheers.


Ahmadin wrote:

Has there been any news relative to a good rework/errata of the shifter? I've been expectant to see some news, since a Month has passed since Jason said they were "addressing" the problems.

Has it gone under the rug? Please don't make 3rd parties have the responsibility of having to "correct" the class. Some juggling with the abilities and some tweaks to numbers would go a really long way.

Open a new playtest for the class, making the community active in helping the development team make the class respectable.

And release afterwards an errata/small pdf of the changes. I know Starfinder is your golden goose now, but it was Pathfinder and it's community that helped the company reach where it is right now.

Anyway, Still eager to see some news relative to the Shifter.

Cheers.

Not to my knowledge...

If I were them....I'd wait till most of the vitriol had cooled off(which it mostly has....just a couple of people still making jabs whenever they can). I rather hope we start hearing some kind of dialog soon. I have an Oozemorph going into a new AP as soon as we wrap up the one we are on, and I would like to have it square before the new AP starts :P

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ahmadin wrote:

Has there been any news relative to a good rework/errata of the shifter? I've been expectant to see some news, since a Month has passed since Jason said they were "addressing" the problems.

Has it gone under the rug? Please don't make 3rd parties have the responsibility of having to "correct" the class. Some juggling with the abilities and some tweaks to numbers would go a really long way.

Open a new playtest for the class, making the community active in helping the development team make the class respectable.

And release afterwards an errata/small pdf of the changes. I know Starfinder is your golden goose now, but it was Pathfinder and it's community that helped the company reach where it is right now.

Anyway, Still eager to see some news relative to the Shifter.

Cheers.

Jason said they'd be looking into it after they got back from the holidays and we're only a few weeks after the end of the holidays. It's probably gonna take a lot of internal discussion to decide exactly what to do so I wouldn't expect any big news super soon.


Only 197 more posts asking about or bemoaning the shifter to make this the most commented on product discussion thread ever. I'm surprised Bestiary 6 is the current leader.

Shadow Lodge

I bet it would be an easy win if they had printed more 'noun giants' in the book.

Leshy Giant would have been pretty neat though, now that I think about it. Do we have things that have the giant subtype but aren't humanoids yet?


Oni can have the giant subtype and I think there is a monstrous humanoid with the giant subtype as well.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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I want a book called "Ultimate Loremastery" or something like that, and I want an actual creature called a "noun giant" in it. It's a 10 foot tall archivist who wants to collect one of every person, place, or thing in existence.

I actually like this book (Ultimate Wilderness) for the record. It suffers from inconsistent language use for the shifter class which is something that should have been caught in editing--whoever edited the shifter class should have been handed the archetypes to edit too, and I have a feeling that wasn't the case, though I could be wrong (yes, I'm sure someone looked over the whole book as well but it's harder to catch stuff like that unless you're looking at both right next to each other). And aside from obvious editing or development errors (like some of the forms requiring abilities not explicitly granted by the form), I have little issue honestly with the class itself--it's actually exactly what I expected from Paizo in the way that they tend to structure and balance classes, especially martial ones. But what I expected and some others hoped for was probably different. That is what it is. I can't fully judge it till I get a chance to see it in play anyway--sometimes what looks like it works or doesn't in theory ends up being very different in practice, especially in Pathfinder.

But there's so much in this I plan to use as a player and a GM... lots of great stuff for wilderness campaigns and character concepts that I've had. The only thing I've been personally disinterested in is the fey section, but that's just because I'm tired of the fey. Even there, it's still a well-written section. The bulk of the campaign material is stuff I really want to dig my hooks into and master. If I look, page and content wise, of the stuff I can and will use and/or think is well-written, versus the stuff I won't, it was a good purchase for me personally to make, and I'm glad I bought it.


I do really like the Sylvan Trickster archetype.

Shadow Lodge

I really wish it stacked with Eldritch Scoundrel, but that might be too good.


What book was Eldritch scoundrel in?


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

Has anyone done a comparison of the shifter with Kobold Games' skin-changer?

Shadow Lodge

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Dragon78 wrote:
What book was Eldritch scoundrel in?

Arcane Anthology, I believe,

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