Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Wilderness

3.00/5 (based on 59 ratings)
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Wilderness
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Wild, untamed lands hold a wealth of mystery and danger, providing the perfect backdrop for heroic adventure. Whether adventurers are climbing mountains in search of a dragon's lair, carving their way through the jungle, or seeking a long-lost holy city covered by desert sands, Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Wilderness gives them the tools to survive the wilds. A new 20-level base class, the shifter, puts animalistic powers into the hands—or claws—of player characters and villains alike, with new class features derived from animalistic attributes. Overviews of druidic sects and rituals, as well as new archetypes, character options, spells, and more, round out the latest contribution to the Pathfinder RPG rules!

Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Wilderness is an invaluable hardcover companion to the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. This imaginative tabletop game builds upon more than 10 years of system development and an open playtest featuring more than 50,000 gamers to create a cutting-edge RPG experience that brings the all-time best-selling set of fantasy rules into a new era.

Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Wilderness includes:

  • The shifter, a new character class that harnesses untamed forces to change shape and bring a heightened level of savagery to the battlefield!
  • Archetypes for alchemists, barbarians, bards, druids, hunters, investigators, kineticists, paladins, rangers, rogues, slayers, witches, and more!
  • Feats and magic items for characters of all sorts granting mastery over the perils of nature and enabling them to harvest natural power by cultivating magical plants.
  • Dozens of spells to channel, protect, or thwart the powers of natural environs.
  • New and expanded rules to push your animal companions, familiars, and mounts to wild new heights.
  • A section on the First World with advice, spells, and other features to integrate the fey realm into your campaign.
  • Systems for exploring new lands and challenging characters with natural hazards and strange terrain both mundane and feytouched.
  • ... and much, much more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-986-8

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

Hero Lab Online
Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop
Archives of Nethys

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Another Great Hardback Update Collection!

5/5

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

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

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

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


Lots of ptential, but none of it really sticks

2/5

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

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

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

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

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


Everything I wanted from Ultimate Wilderness

4/5

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


Reprinted material, lack of clarity

1/5

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


4/5


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
Well if we are going to have a shape shifting themed archetype for bard then why not ones for hunter, rogue, ranger, slayer, swashbuckler, medium, spiritualist, and monk.

First let's get the obvious ones out of the way.

Hunter: Has one already, the Feral Hunter.
Ranger: Has one already, the Shapeshifter.

As for the others, what would be fair to lose for the Rogue, Slayer, Swashbuckler, Medium, Spiritualist, Monk, or Bard to gain wild shape or an equivalent ability, whether based on the Shifter's or not?


Yeah Gold, like your the only one who wants a dragon based shifter archetype;)

What I was thinking for the ranger was that you could change into a specific animal or type of animal at will.

A hunter archetype that gains a plant companion and can change into plants and plant creatures.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Is it safe to assume that the section on the First World will contain campaign setting specific information?


Amanuensis wrote:
Is it safe to assume that the section on the First World will contain campaign setting specific information?

I would think it would have to...otherwise you have two different "First Worlds", right?

Silver Crusade Contributor

They included a section on the Boneyard in Occult Adventures. I suspect that the presentation here will be similar in terms of setting-specific information.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

The Boneyard is an interesting example. There is an entry in the GameMastery Guide for Purgatory (very short, setting-neutral), whereas Occult Adventures gave us more detailed and setting-specific information. It is not entirely clear whether one supersedes the other or not. (I'm still unhappy about how Occult Adventures changed/expanded on planar cosmology by making everything occult, but that seems to be the way it is). Then again, Occult Adventures does not claim to change planar cosmology per se but offers an occult perspective instead.

Occult Adventures 238 wrote:
The short summaries below offer an occult viewpoint on the realms generally referred to as the Esoteric Planes.

So the First World section could be setting-agnostic, setting-specific, or give us a particular perspective on the First World based on the book's general theme.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Do you listen to Know Direction? Pretty sure James Jacobs was on a few weeks ago and explained that the Roleplaying line was going to be getting more setting-specific material. (This might be it)

See also: Adventurer's Guide, Book of the Damned

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

I don't want to rehash old debates on this topic, I'm just curious. Expanded rules on 'shaping' (as described in First World, Realm of the Fey), for example, don't need to be setting-specific.

Designer

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Amanuensis wrote:

Then again, Occult Adventures does not claim to change planar cosmology per se but offers an occult perspective instead.

Occult Adventures 238 wrote:
The short summaries below offer an occult viewpoint on the realms generally referred to as the Esoteric Planes.

That's the way of it. There's even a lovely piece of art with Enora the arcanist and Rivani the psychic in a heated scholarly debate about the true nature of the planes.


We have plenty of time to debate the true nature of the planes before this book comes out;)


Is there anything about Planar Wilderness in this book?


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HenshinFanatic - While I don't know the other classes well enough to say without significantly more thought, the rogue class has plenty of things that could be retooled for a shiftery type dealio, especially the unchained rogue. For example, rogue's edge and the related skill unlocks could be replaced with skill related animal morphs, along the lines of pick a skill, gain the ability to morph bits and pieces of the body to gain additional uses/ability with said skill, so like sleight of hand could cause a monkey morph, growing a prehensile tail and more dexterous feet (ie, hands instead of feet), that sort of thing, fly could grow glidy fleshy bits under the arms and between the legs like a flying squirrel (or that could be for acrobatics, I don't judge), etc.

Alternatively (or in addition), a number of rogue talents could be replaced with other utility shifties, more partial morphs, like bits and pieces of the rogue shift to corresponding bits and pieces of various animals to aid with certain tasks as the situation demands.

Also, sneak attack could be altered with instead of every other level you gain an extra d6 damage for when nobody's looking, you gain an extra natural attack for when nobody's, they are all primary natural attacks, but you only get them when the conditions for sneak attack are met!

(I really find the idea of growing natural attacks as a sneak attack to be hilarious, a halfling with this ability and the childlike feats is in town, the townsfolk find the corpse of a huge monster on the outskirts of town, terribly and gruesomely mauled, and they wonder what could have possibly done THAT to THAT?! the filthy little vagrant kid who showed up the other day says "I did it, I'm a powerful adventurer!" No one believes him, but he says he can prove it, everyone stares at him with mild amusement to see what he is going to do, he sighs with exasperation and says, "well I can't do it with everyone staring at me, like that!!!" Everyone laughs, and he says, "No, seriously, trust me, if everyone would just look that way..." he points in the other direction, the crowd begrudgingly obliges, and when absolutely no one is looking at the kid, he suddenly grows ten feet tall, and a crap ton of tentacles with claws at the end grows from his body, and he just eviscerates the entire crowd in only six seconds. The end.)


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A monk archetype that lets them change into an animal(or animals) based on a martial arts style like monkey, mantis, tiger, etc. would be interesting.


I wonder if they will be a new take on poly morphing with the shifter. Or if it will be just like the druids.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:

A monk archetype that lets them change into an animal(or animals) based on a martial arts style like monkey, mantis, tiger, etc. would be interesting.

Thinking of Bloody Roar for some reasons.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Would love archetypes for bards, monks, rogues, and swashbucklers that grant them wild empathy and woodland stride.

Would love archetypes for barbarians, brawlers, druids, hunters, rangers, etc. that loose armor prof. for a monk-like AC, a hefty natural armor, constant mage armor, or some other mechanic so they don't need armor for a good AC. Heck I would like something like this for every class that has armor prof. Maybe instead of archetype as some kind of optional rules.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Insane KillMaster wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:

A monk archetype that lets them change into an animal(or animals) based on a martial arts style like monkey, mantis, tiger, etc. would be interesting.

Thinking of Bloody Roar for some reasons.

Loved that game (well, 2 and Primal Fury more than the first). But my first thought was the Form Mimicry of Lime, Mint, and Herb from Ranma 1/2.


Come to think of it, they could just give wild empathy(slayer already has it) and woodland stride as rogue talents.

Shadow Lodge

I really wish we'd get a playtest for this, especially since it apparently "builds on Open Playtest" but isn't one itself. I'd love to see if the shifter is actually, you know, good at shifting. It would be great if it could shapeshift like a kineticist can blast: all day, regardless of how many times the shifter changes forms.


Dragonborn3 wrote:
I really wish we'd get a playtest for this, especially since it apparently "builds on Open Playtest" but isn't one itself. I'd love to see if the shifter is actually, you know, good at shifting. It would be great if it could shapeshift like a kineticist can blast: all day, regardless of how many times the shifter changes forms.

We will know who to blame if it fails, so...

Silver Crusade

11 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Insane KillMaster wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
I really wish we'd get a playtest for this, especially since it apparently "builds on Open Playtest" but isn't one itself. I'd love to see if the shifter is actually, you know, good at shifting. It would be great if it could shapeshift like a kineticist can blast: all day, regardless of how many times the shifter changes forms.
We will know who to blame if it fails, so...

...and that's exactly the kind of attitude that likely led to Paizo giving up on playtests :)

Shadow Lodge

Which has the same reaction, more or less. It's unfortunate that it's going to lead to what is most likely a different kind of barbarian(shift rounds/day) or druid(shifting lasts unless yo swap forms) because Paizo and the Community can't actually help each other out. I think that's because of the terrible changes being made recently that remove options from the game or make no sense, but that's not a topic for this thread.

Silver Crusade

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No it's mostly from the utter dumpsterfire of toxicity that was the last open playtest.

Shadow Lodge

Well when it looks like no one is using the playtest results(the ones from actual play, mind you, not the "i don't like this, change it' threads)things happen.

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.

The ones from actual play were very few compared to the threads started to discuss them.

Regardless that in no way excuses the f+##ery that was the last playtest, where you had to dig through post after post of whining that the class exists to get to some actual criticism that you could learn from. You don't gain anything from all that negativity and toxicity.


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Folks, probably a good idea to make a separate thread for discussions of playtests.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
QuidEst wrote:
Folks, probably a good idea to make a separate thread for discussions of playtests.

A very good idea, but I have a feeling that the thread would crash and burn in flames.

Flames I say!!!


I really enjoyed the playtest for the Occult classes. Now as for the playtest for the Advanced Class Guide classes, that is a different story all together.


Well the last playtest was for the Vigilante class right? I actually really like the Vigilante class myself (Although IIRC I was largely in the minority)

I am excited about this shifter class though. Love me some shapeshifters. I wonder if we're gonna get the Pathfinder equivalent to artificers soon though.


Rysky wrote:
No it's mostly from the utter dumpsterfire of toxicity that was the last open playtest.

The last one was the Vigilante, the one before that were the Occult classes... I grant you that ACG and MA playtests were rather toxic, and are still rather toxic subjects of discussions.

The Shifter is something people have been wishing for since the CRB first came out, and we know from experiences that people will be toxic about it in one way (hatred) or another (love) anyway. Can't please everyone.

Silver Crusade Contributor

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I can't say that I've seen any examples of this "toxic love" around here... but this would certainly be the place for it. ^_^


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"Toxic love", that reminds me I need to watch FernGully again:)


Dragon78 wrote:

"Toxic love", that reminds me I need to watch FernGully again:)

Still can't remember if that was my first Tim curry movie.

Definitely the movie to watch to put you in the wilderness mood.. I need to base a game on this concept.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kalindlara wrote:
I can't say that I've seen any examples of this "toxic love" around here... but this would certainly be the place for it. ^_^

People defending stuff in an aggressive/annoying manners?


I wonder if this book will expand upon the rules for plant and vermin companions. Maybe even having stuff for magical beast and/or fey based companions.


Pathfinder LO Special Edition, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Hm. Perhaps a cockroach companion? Think 'archie and mehitabel'. Okay, mehitabel was a cat. :-)


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KM WolfMaw wrote:
Perspicacious Wanderer wrote:
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.
Cross your fingers for a good/decent/usable one.

Yea, with some luck we'll get something that will let us create a dragon themed character that can turn into a dragon before the campaign is over. It is beyond annoying that most dragon shapeshifters don't get Form of the Dragon until level 13+.

Maybe we need a 'Form of the Lesser Dragon' or 'Form of the Drake' spell line so characters can get dragon-like forms at earlier levels.


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Form of the fairy dragon, form of the pseudo dragon, etc.;)


*pause* Did the cover just change or am I imagining things...


Thomas Seitz wrote:
*pause* Did the cover just change or am I imagining things...

I think it changed too.


No, that is the same cover it has been.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm pretty sure it's a little more green that it was last week.

Lantern Lodge Customer Service Manager

Lets keep the thread on topic, discussion of playtests need to go elsewhere.

Lantern Lodge Customer Service Manager

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Thomas Seitz wrote:
*pause* Did the cover just change or am I imagining things...

Cover image has not been changed recently and is still the mock up. ;)


Thank you for clarifying Sara Marie!

Shadow Lodge

Can anyone say whether or not the Shifter is an at-will Shapeshifting class? I really don't want it to be just a different version of barabrian('shift' rounds instead of rage) or Druid. It would be awesome if it could shift as often as a Kineticist can blast.

Silver Crusade

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It'll probably be a little while before we get information like that, though I wouldn't mind being proven wrong ^w^

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would also prefer it to be at will. I am hoping!

Shadow Lodge

It's just... I know it's a capstone ability for Druids, but Druids also have either an animal companion or a domain and 9th level spells. Even just getting at-will around level 10 seems far too late for a new base class that's whole 'thing' is Shapeshifting.

Just keep pounce off the options until level 10 or so, like with barbarians, and there shouldn't be too many problems(besides people whining about how they are turning into big cats but can't full attack on a charge). :)

Sczarni

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm pretty positive the class will have permeate shapeshifting potential. It will probably be like the synthesis summoner but actually balanced.

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