Pathfinder Player Companion: Antihero's Handbook (PFRPG)

4.30/5 (based on 3 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: Antihero's Handbook (PFRPG)
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Join the Moral Minority!

Not all adventurers are exemplars of heroism, righteousness, and justice, but that doesn't mean they can't get the job done. With Pathfinder Player Companion: Antihero's Handbook, you'll find new rules options for characters on the shady side of morality. Whether you need a less-than-heroic background to justify your character's flaws, are looking to join an antiheroic organization, or seek ways to play corrupt or cowardly adventurers, this book has just what you're after. Featuring new archetypes, alchemical items and discoveries, and magic items, Antihero's Handbook is the perfect guide for anyone not willing to stick to the straight and narrow.

Inside this book, you'll find:

  • New archetypes, including a vigilante who changes identities even more radically than most, a rogue who handles jobs discreetly, and a gunslinger who talks big to keep his enemies off their game.
  • A new bloodrager bloodline, corruption, and phantom emotional focus to help bring an adventurer's dark past to bear in the present with still darker power.
  • New drawbacks, feats, poisons, and even cursed items that antiheroic adventurers can use to further their questionable causes, often at the expense of their reputation—or their allies!

This Pathfinder Player Companion is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but it can easily be incorporated into any fantasy world.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-973-8

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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4.30/5 (based on 3 ratings)

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Excellent book, no regrets about this purchase!

5/5

I bought this book for the Ex-Paladin Archtype. Upon reading it, I rolled an Ex-Cleric! Solid player book, review below more eloquently and fulsomely addresses its contents. For me: I am confident it was a good purchase.


Pretty good

4/5

The amazing:
* Ex-classes: Finally more depth to failing a class' tenets than 'get atonement as soon as possible'!
* More vigilante talents in the tradition of Ultimate Intrigue: Combat Expertise without Int 13 and a Cleave focused talent
* Cursed items: Become overly talkative, turn into a compulsive kleptomaniac or hit your allies with electricity - great ideas, at least for GMs

The good:
* The introduction and backgrounds show a multitude of interesting approaches to creating an antihero
* Drawbacks are mostly vicious, but always creative
* Traits tend to be weak, but there are some interesting ones - and some of both groups are creative
* Seven 'flawed teamwork' feats: Think betrayal feats from Champions of Corruption, but both sides can abuse their partner for better results, for example treat them as conduit for touch spells
* Ex-paladin archetype (vindicative bastard): Focuses more on supporting her allies and has an pretty cool capstone (desintegrates a foe who took out one of her allies!)
* Creative social talents for the vigilante, such as pretending to be clumsy to become a better pickpocketer
* Vigilante archetype (splintersoul): Works more effectively with two very different alignments, can multiclass with paladin etc. for a softer code of conduct, and use startling / frightening / stunning appearance after a quick identity change
* Suffering phantom is very thematic
* Catalyst corruption is a nice tool for a GM, as the temptation of evil comes up a lot
* Investigator archetype (ruthless agent) is basically a crossbreed with the interrogation side of an inquisitor - very thematic
* Alchemist discoveries (grow spines, build bombs quickly and throw sand bombs) are creative and seem useful

The solid:
* Five regular feats, three about combat, standout is maybe a stacking bonus on AOO as long as you miss (!) with them
* Hunter archetype (colluding scoundrel) focuses on making someone else the tank
* Ex-cleric archetype (channeler of the unknown) is maybe weaker as a plain cleric, but flavorful: Kill your enemies in the name of the Outer Gods! (or similar entities)
* Ex-druid archetype (planar extremist): Gets an eidolon (without evolutions) and bloodrage and an aura - well, not more patchwork than the normal druid, I guess
* Ex-monk archetype (sin monk): Nice idea, get a bunch of different bonuses for sin points (which replace ki points), and literally burden others with your sins; the capstone is weird though (after coming back from death you turn into a NPC?!)
* Bloodrager bloodline (martyred) is ok, but not exciting
* Antiheroic organizations are described shortly, somewhat inspiring for PCs
* Rogue archetype (discretion specialist) is odd: Quite good at social skills (including talking people out of their memory) and prohibiting a foe's retreat, but sacrifices two talents (at important levels) to be able to dress / remove a corpse

The bad:
* Gunslinger archetype (blatherskite) seems unfocused (I might miss a reference though)
* Description of heroic organizations for antiheroes - with too much emphasis on the organizations themselves (at least if you did read a lot about them already) and with not much more than 'well, they need antiheroes for the rough tasks'

So overall it's a pretty good book with a lot of options, it just lacks a WOW effect and might be handicapped by its topic - I got the impression players often prefer the pure hero of holy light or the bad*** fiend. Quite some similarities to Agents of Evil - which is also a pretty good book.


A few good options

4/5

This Companion has a few good options, like a lot of Companion Books tend to have, and some cool flavor text + decent art.

Nothing stands out as super amazing, so it's a 4 out of 5 for me.


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Thank you Kvantum.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

** spoiler omitted **

Thanks, Kvantum!

Sounds like this is going to be a useful book for my neck-deep-in-Korvosian-bastardry Martial Artist Monk.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

The ex-cleric

Spoiler:
Channeler of the Unknown channels a void energy that effects ALL who can be impacted by negative and positive energy alike.

Very cool.
I like the overcharged staff, especially if your character already has resistance to electricity...just stand apart from your allies!


Fourshadow wrote:

The ex-cleric ** spoiler omitted **

They still have spells I assume ?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
nighttree wrote:
Fourshadow wrote:

The ex-cleric ** spoiler omitted **

They still have spells I assume ?

They do. There's a fair amount of tweaking that goes on there, though. It's an interesting balance point, and I like it.


QuidEst wrote:
nighttree wrote:
Fourshadow wrote:

The ex-cleric ** spoiler omitted **

They still have spells I assume ?
They do. There's a fair amount of tweaking that goes on there, though. It's an interesting balance point, and I like it.

I have wanted to do an "Ur Priest" type character, someone who "steals" divine power from the gods....does it look like this would work for that ?

Dark Archive

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
nighttree wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
nighttree wrote:
Fourshadow wrote:

The ex-cleric ** spoiler omitted **

They still have spells I assume ?
They do. There's a fair amount of tweaking that goes on there, though. It's an interesting balance point, and I like it.
I have wanted to do an "Ur Priest" type character, someone who "steals" divine power from the gods....does it look like this would work for that ?

Not really. It's more "I keep saying my prayers out of habit if nothing else, and then something... else... starts answering those prayers."


Anything religion/god related specifically?


*crosses fingers for some answer from the Great Old Ones perhaps*


That would be a "No", Seitz and Kretzer. Nothing specific about them at all in this book.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Thomas Seitz wrote:
*crosses fingers for some answer from the Great Old Ones perhaps*

Well, if you're an ex-cleric who prays hard enough, long enough, then just maybe they might respond...


Four,

Darn.

Kvantum,

There's that! ;)


Kvantum wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

That's a very fine Bloodrager bloodline, no two ways about it. Yet I'm wondering where the 'antivillainous' aspect comes in.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Kvantum wrote:
** spoiler omitted **
That's a very fine Bloodrager bloodline, no two ways about it. Yet I'm wondering where the 'antivillainous' aspect comes in.

The pained, agonizing, reluctant antihero isn't that much of a stretch. There's already a Martyred Sorcerer bloodline.

The Suffering focus for a spiritualist's Phantom is all-new, though.


What is the suffering focus like?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Am I reading the splintersoul right in that you could theoretically use it to have levels of both paladin AND anti-paladin (just only get access to the abilities depending on which identity you're in)?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Nate Z wrote:
Am I reading the splintersoul right in that you could theoretically use it to have levels of both paladin AND anti-paladin (just only get access to the abilities depending on which identity you're in)?

Nope.

- The Vigilante limitation of one step in either direction isn't allowed; you can't have a good and evil identity. There are archetypes to overcome this, and the pairings of LN with LE or NE would be possible.
- You are not completely absolved of all behavior in your other identity.
- You can't have levels in both paladin and antipaladin because of the alternate class rules.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think I've found a typo in the Martyred bloodline. Either that or an insanely powerful ability. The level 12 ability says that when using your level 1 ability (which does aligned damage) against an enemy of the opposite alignment, you get to add 2d6 additional 2d6 points of damage. I'm hoping that second 2d6 is a typo, because getting 4 to 144 bonus damage, even if it is just a few times per day, is pretty insane.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Shinigami02 wrote:
I think I've found a typo in the Martyred bloodline. Either that or an insanely powerful ability. The level 12 ability says that when using your level 1 ability (which does aligned damage) against an enemy of the opposite alignment, you get to add 2d6 additional 2d6 points of damage. I'm hoping that second 2d6 is a typo, because getting 4 to 144 bonus damage, even if it is just a few times per day, is pretty insane.

On average it's just 49. :-D


Cant wait to get my hands on this.

What does the paladin archetype trade out? Does it still get spells for example?

Oh, and does it lose its code of conduct/alignment restriction?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
QuidEst wrote:
Nate Z wrote:
Am I reading the splintersoul right in that you could theoretically use it to have levels of both paladin AND anti-paladin (just only get access to the abilities depending on which identity you're in)?

Nope.

- The Vigilante limitation of one step in either direction isn't allowed; you can't have a good and evil identity. There are archetypes to overcome this, and the pairings of LN with LE or NE would be possible.
- You are not completely absolved of all behavior in your other identity.
- You can't have levels in both paladin and antipaladin because of the alternate class rules.

Thought I was reading too much into that. Thanks for clarifying.


SillyString wrote:

Cant wait to get my hands on this.

What does the paladin archetype trade out? Does it still get spells for example?

Oh, and does it lose its code of conduct/alignment restriction?

Trades out most everything except spells from my perusal of the information...which is interesting, I think. Smite changes, Lay on Hands and Mercy and Channel are all replaced along with Divine Grace, Divine Health, Auras of Faith/Righteousness, Holy Champion. It is quite intriguing, but I hesitate to divulge it all until available in print.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I will mention that while normally swapping out Divine Grace is a deal breaker, the ability to smite anything (at full damage, no less) is a pretty reasonable trade.


Fourshadow wrote:
It is quite intriguing, but I hesitate to divulge it all until available in print.

That's ok, I don't even need to know any ability details, but before I get too excited I would like to know if it is still going to be locked into lawful good & small deity selection with a stick up the butt code of conduct, if at all possible :)


Could we get a list of the archetypes?
Thanks!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Helllllllllllloooo my little delectableness...

You can probably play the Linnorm prince with this little book. After all, he was an anti-hero, until his virgin wife stripped naked and made him strip too.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
EltonJ wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Helllllllllllloooo my little delectableness...
You can probably play the Linnorm prince with this little book. After all, he was an anti-hero, until his virgin wife stripped naked and made him strip too.

Oooooo...


I too am curious about the new Phantom option, and if they thought to include its options for the various feats and archetypes that provide different options based on the emotional focus of the phantom (such as Emotional Conduit and Fractured Mind).

Silver Crusade

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

Don't forget the Id Rager!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I love the Nasty Alchemy esp the Dung Gernades.


Jem'Nai wrote:
I love the Nasty Alchemy esp the Dung Gernades.

Sounds like the kind of things Goblins would be tossing around.

Grand Lodge Contributor

9 people marked this as a favorite.

The splintersoul (mentioned above) and blatherskite (mentioned in the preview blog) are a few of the things I designed for this book. The splintersoul is probably the weirdest archetype I've designed for PF in that it sort of encourages the PC to multiclass, while I guess usually archetypes are supposed to make you want to take more levels in that class. I'm curious to hear what folks think about it and how you're going to use it in character builds.

Sadly, the Antihero's Handbook is the last of many Player Companions I contributed to last year and earlier this year. Recently, I've been writing adventures and Starfinder, but I do hope I'll eventually find the time to write more Companions. I love 'em!

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
DrakeRoberts wrote:
I too am curious about the new Phantom option, and if they thought to include its options for the various feats and archetypes that provide different options based on the emotional focus of the phantom (such as Emotional Conduit and Fractured Mind).
Rysky wrote:
Don't forget the Id Rager!

No to both, sadly. -_-

First thing I looked for, when I saw the new focus.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Kalindlara wrote:
DrakeRoberts wrote:
I too am curious about the new Phantom option, and if they thought to include its options for the various feats and archetypes that provide different options based on the emotional focus of the phantom (such as Emotional Conduit and Fractured Mind).
Rysky wrote:
Don't forget the Id Rager!

No to both, sadly. -_-

First thing I looked for, when I saw the new focus.

Awwww :(

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Mikko Kallio wrote:
The splintersoul (mentioned above) and blatherskite (mentioned in the preview blog) are a few of the things I designed for this book. The splintersoul is probably the weirdest archetype I've designed for PF in that it sort of encourages the PC to multiclass, while I guess usually archetypes are supposed to make you want to take more levels in that class. I'm curious to hear what folks think about it and how you're going to use it in character builds.

The blatherskite is all right - my only regret is that it's only for gunslinger, whereas I would have liked to see some broader "coward" mechanics.

I like the splintersoul, and it's certainly well-done. I was hoping it would let you break the one-step rule for identity alignment, though. (For a while now, I've wanted to play a changeling vigilante that flips from neutral good to neutral evil.)

Mikko Kallio wrote:
Sadly, the Antihero's Handbook is the last of many Player Companions I contributed to last year and earlier this year. Recently, I've been writing adventures and Starfinder, but I do hope I'll eventually find the time to write more Companions. I love 'em!

I hope you do too. ^_^


So what are the new drawbacks like?


SillyString wrote:
Fourshadow wrote:
It is quite intriguing, but I hesitate to divulge it all until available in print.
That's ok, I don't even need to know any ability details, but before I get too excited I would like to know if it is still going to be locked into lawful good & small deity selection with a stick up the butt code of conduct, if at all possible :)

All it says is that they are far more interested in revenge against those who have harmed them or their allies than anything about a deity.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
So what are the new drawbacks like?

There are about 10 of them. They include things that have to do with fears, cowardice, impatience, self-doubt, etc.


Rysky wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
DrakeRoberts wrote:
I too am curious about the new Phantom option, and if they thought to include its options for the various feats and archetypes that provide different options based on the emotional focus of the phantom (such as Emotional Conduit and Fractured Mind).
Rysky wrote:
Don't forget the Id Rager!

No to both, sadly. -_-

First thing I looked for, when I saw the new focus.

Awwww :(

The new focus is passive, bordering on pacifistic. The only offensive ability is shoving an enemy five feet away. It'd be an odd choice for Id Rager, or even Fractured Mind, but in a home game, the spells it provides should probably focus on protecting against conditions and taking on conditions for somebody else.


Surprised there were no new spells in this. Is this the first companion not to have new spells?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Barachiel Shina wrote:
Surprised there were no new spells in this. Is this the first companion not to have new spells?

Weapon Master's handbook didn't have any, either.

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I got my copy!

*reads the Vindictive Bastard*

"It me!"

Silver Crusade

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

But seriously, that's an awesome archetype, it's up there with the Tortured Crusader for my favourite Paladin archetype.

Thankies to whoever wrote it!

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I am sad that there's no ex-Barbarian archetype though.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
I am sad that there's no ex-Barbarian archetype though.

Um...huh?! I was a barbarian, now I am educated?! Nah, not going to work.


11 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
I am sad that there's no ex-Barbarian archetype though.

"I'm taking anger management classes and I'm in a 1d12 step program."


Yeah, ex-barbarian would be cool, but I think that'd be really out of place in this book, but maybe in a future one


Very odd question, but are there any options in this book revolving around cowardice? I mean like some of the racial options halflings got in the Advanced Race Guide such as the 'craven' alt race trait or the Cautious Fighter feat?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
14 sided die wrote:
Yeah, ex-barbarian would be cool, but I think that'd be really out of place in this book, but maybe in a future one

How so? All the other ex-Archetypes are in this book.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Very odd question, but are there any options in this book revolving around cowardice? I mean like some of the racial options halflings got in the Advanced Race Guide such as the 'craven' alt race trait or the Cautious Fighter feat?

Yep, some of the Drawbacks, don't know about anything beyond that though atm.

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