Pathfinder Player Companion: Wilderness Origins

****½ (based on 2 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: Wilderness Origins

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Go Back to Your Roots!

Harness the unstoppable force and life-giving power of the natural world! Pathfinder Player Companion: Wilderness Origins provides new options for those who peacefully coexist with their environments. Learn the magical secrets of the wilderness, tame fierce allies, and channel the awesome destructive power of nature and the elements, from the deadly rush of a flash flood to the inferno of a forest fire!

Inside this book you'll find:

  • Options for the shifter class, including new animal aspects, feats to augment the shifter's animal forms, and archetypes that channel the fury of dragons or the power of fey!
  • Racial traits, feats, and archetypes for the vine leshy, gathlain, and ghoran that allow them to further leverage their inherent connection to the verdant power of nature!
  • New player options for characters who draw their inspiration from nature, from witches who draw on the magic of wildflowers to summoners and spiritualists who bargain with kami!

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: 978-1-64078-107-8

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

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****½ (based on 2 ratings)

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Wilderness Power!

****( )

The dragon shifter archetype could have been better(No Form of the Dragon III?), in fact I still don't understand why they didn't take away any of the nature themed abilities for more dragon related options. Also it would have been nice for the dragon and fey archetypes to use charisma instead of wisdom for AC or at least get a feat for it. Other then that the book has a lot of great options like alternate natural attacks for the shifter, animal companion archetypes, kineticist wild talents, flower power, etc..


Tons of cool options

*****

Let's get it out of the way. The Dragonblood Shifter archetype is bad. (To be more specific, introduces a large gap in your advancement, and fails to live up to builds trying to accomplish similar things.) Just set that aside.

The Feyform Shifter more than makes up for it, though. Minor Aspect becomes a central combat ability now, and you now consistently get something before the Druid does, all while keeping weak versions of the basic class's abilities. Furthermore, Shifter gets a bunch of content for the base class. New aspects, some interesting feats (finally combine major forms!), and free alternatives to claws better in keeping with different aspects.

New animal companion and familiar archetypes (one of the coolest parts- all three familiar archetypes are ones I'll strongly consider every time), plus a feat for a speaking familiar, or a shapeshifting familiar!

Cool Oracle curses, new racial options, a trait to eat raw meat, and at least one hex that is probably a little too good for a basic hex.

Also impressive is the quality of the feats. It's a really good ratio of things I'll seriously consider on characters, rather than just a few gems.


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Paizo Employee Developer

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Jean-Philippe Suter wrote:

Likely typo: on p. 16, under Gravebane Petals construction requirements, shouldn't the spell be *gentle repose* instead of *rage*? I'd very much appreciate an official reply. Thank you!

Indeed! Gentle repose is correct.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Luis Loza wrote:
Jean-Philippe Suter wrote:

Likely typo: on p. 16, under Gravebane Petals construction requirements, shouldn't the spell be *gentle repose* instead of *rage*? I'd very much appreciate an official reply. Thank you!

Indeed! Gentle repose is correct.

I want a spell named gentle rage now.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

It's nice that the three races from UW got some love again in this book but there are other nature themed races that haven't really gotten any love such as the Naiad and Rougarou. The Skinwalker has gotten some love but could use more.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
I want a spell named gentle rage now.

That's the name of my Quiet Riot cover band.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Thank you very much!!


I have a question for people with the book:

What does the Occult Messenger familiar replace?

If that is too much, does it replace Speak With Animals of Your Kind or otherwise bar entry into Improved Familiar?


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
StygianRose wrote:

I have a question for people with the book:

What does the Occult Messenger familiar replace?

If that is too much, does it replace Speak With Animals of Your Kind or otherwise bar entry into Improved Familiar?

All it replaces are Alertness and the ability to deliver touch spells.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Once again Paizo fails to deliver shifter wise. You can now pay 3 feat to basicaly gain the benefit of an amulet of natural weapon+5. You may also combine two Major form but will and I quote receive no new natural attack or movement change thus what exactly does this apply to?

1. Bonus feat like flyby attack useless for non flyers well I guess if you use some item you could play a flying bear?
2. Weird feature like rage from wolverine.

Finaly the fey shifter and dragon shifter major form last in minute increment, was giving hour increment duration even this difficult?

Seems for all this book promise the only viable shifter remains the adaptive one wich somewhat ironicaly uses next to none of these new features


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

i was hoping you'd be able to do what it shows on the cover and gain a fly speed without using wildshape, or have an octopus with claws or a bear with wings, maybe an elk with a scorpion stinger. that would be so much better


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

also you can use shifter's aspect while wildshaped already but the new feat doesn't use uses of that ability


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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
kyubi3009 wrote:
Once again Paizo fails to deliver shifter wise. You can now pay 3 feat to basicaly gain the benefit of an amulet of natural weapon+5.

Look at the first two feats, though, because those are really good. You can have reach natural attacks for a single feat, which is pretty solid. The second feat lets you get magical weapon properties at a steeply discounted price. I would definitely get those, and just not worry about the last one.

kyubi3009 wrote:

You may also combine two Major form but will and I quote receive no new natural attack or movement change thus what exactly does this apply to?

1. Bonus feat like flyby attack useless for non flyers well I guess if you use some item you could play a flying bear?
2. Weird feature like rage from wolverine.

Rage powers was the first thing I thought of! Would I take two feats for two rage powers? Heck yeah! I do that on Barbarian even after I've taken half a dozen rage powers. (And the first feat is amazing in its own right earlier on; you get a free minor form for the full duration of every major form use? Now I can get plan on having that enhancement bonus up all day and spend my minor form duration on something else.)

Other useful stuff: free trip attempts on forms with a bite, senses like scent or blindsense, improvements to certain natural attacks (multiattack, improved natural attack, better crits), always act in the surprise round, combat reflexes (didn't we just see a way to add reach to all your natural attacks?), and some more.

kyubi3009 wrote:
Finaly the fey shifter and dragon shifter major form last in minute increment, was giving hour increment duration even this difficult?

The fey archetype gets flight in any form and a miss chance as a martial class, plus it keeps the ability to wild shape into an animal with hour duration (although they get forms slower and they don't improve). Then you also get the option of a fey form using minute duration to use without giving up your weapons. It's going to be a strong contender every time I play a martial character.

kyubi3009 wrote:
Seems for all this book promise the only viable shifter remains the adaptive one wich somewhat ironicaly uses next to none of these new features

I disagree. Feyform shifter is pretty beastly. The content in the book gives a nice boost to regular shifters, especially at the higher levels where they needed it; I don't think adaptive needed a bunch of help. (The weapon properties feat still helps them out, though.)


Here is me doing a confusion. The swarm shifter gets the vermin aspect and the enlarged size. But is the damage swarm damage i.e 1D6? does it scale with HD like a swarm template creature type? How should damage be done and caculated since you cant shifter claw outside of "normal form" but since vermin aspect REPLACES the old considered change can you shifter claw/attack in that?

Paizo Employee Developer

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You can use your weapon attacks while in vermin form. Once you gain the swarmer ability, you gain a touch attack that replicates a swarm attack that you can use in either normal or vermin form (so you can choose to do either a weapon or touch attack). At higher levels, the damage for the touch attack scales up and eventually allows you to automatically deal the touch attack damage to all creatures in your space, like a swarm.


Thank you very much. I just wanted to make sure. Muchly appreciated.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm really digging the new stuff in the book except for Shifter. Like I thought Shifter is being burdened by the original Shifter design for many of it's archetypes design choices. It makes archetype abilities have weird pacing issues and not enough legitimate class abilities to replace or change for the new archetype to change. The extra natural attacks should've been there from day one and some of those feats introduced should've been class abilities from the start.

Swarm shifter feels promising but I feel that to many of it's abilities come online way too late, the capstone is amazing though.

Dragon shifter feels incomplete, especially when it's not addressing the other dragon types. I can suck it up with FOTD coming online at 9th level as Druid typically gets it's wildshape forms only a level earlier then the Wizard, so Shifter is getting it 2 levels earlier. But does it have to be minutes equal to lvl+wis mod? Maybe 10 minutes per lvl+wis mod. He's not casting spells and he doesn't get bonus feats so why not give the Shifter utility? And no FOTD 3? Not even as a capstone? Come on guys. Also I hope this a typo because the breath weapon is charisma based, I'm hoping it was meant to be Con or at least Wis otherwise you a charater that needs 4 stats to be decent. The spell resistance is nice at level 20, not asked for but won't be argued against.

Fey shifter is alright except for the amount time spent in fey form. Could've ditched the animal aspects part of the archetype and increased fey form to hours per level.


I so glad for greater variety for Shifters made available in Wilderness Origins.

I see Wilderness Origins brings a major change to Shifter Class (Su) in terms of alternative attack forms for the claws. Does it now make Adaptive Claws (Su) of Adaptive Shifter archetype redundant?


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
DarkOne the Drow wrote:

I so glad for greater variety for Shifters made available in Wilderness Origins.

I see Wilderness Origins brings a major change to Shifter Class (Su) in terms of alternative attack forms for the claws. Does it now make Adaptive Claws (Su) of Adaptive Shifter archetype redundant?

No. The adaptive claws feature prevents the archetype from missing out on the alternate attack forms feature entirely. It’s flexible, but often slightly weaker than base Shifter. (Base Shifter with wolf would get two claws or claw plus bite, Adaptive would get two claws or just bite, but have gore and tail slap available as options.) Or, viewed another way, Shifter now also gets one of the archetype’s advantages with an added boost.

Paizo Employee Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Painful Bugger wrote:
Also I hope this a typo because the breath weapon is charisma based, I'm hoping it was meant to be Con or at least Wis otherwise you a charater that needs 4 stats to be decent.

Yeah, that should definitely be Constitution-based. Not entirely sure how that ended up Cha-based. Apologies for that!


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

The prerequisites for the Shapeless Familiar and Changeling Familiar include caster levels. Should those requirements be effective wizard level instead?

As it is, non-casters with familiars would never qualify for these feats, while those who are spellcasters who dipped into another class to get 1st level familiars would qualify.


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

As a fan of all things Fey, I adore the Sworn of the Eldest Inquisitor.


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All I know is after reading this; This is the book I hand to players after I give them Ultimate Wilderness.

Silver Crusade

I'm a little disappointed that the new shifter feats ALL require Wild Shape class feature, since some of the archetypes trade away that class feature, and thematically being able to add fire damage to a Fiendflesh's claws or Acid to an Oozemorph's morphic weapons would be cool, but I appreciate that those are pretty strong archetypes already as they stand.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thought I'd try asking some of the questions I have about the new "Alternate Natural Attack" rules here too.

First off, does changing the shifter claws from claws to another damage type free up that hand for something else, like wielding a weapon?

Second, can you utilize the "Alternate Natural Attack" rules while in a Weretouched shifter's hybrid form?

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
I want a spell named gentle rage now.

Ooh, picturing something like murderous command, but the person affected is overcome with an urge to use nonlethal damage on the nearest applicable target... (or to 'hug' (grapple!) them?)


For Kineticist talent Elemental Exile, would it be appropriate that kineticists with the Aether/Void/Wood would transport to Ethereal/Negative Energy Plane/The First World ?

Also would a Parasite (Familiar Archetype) Sage (Familiar Archetype) familiar be a viable option for a kineticist with the Elemental Whispers talent ?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Personally the fey alternate natural attacks should have included gore and slam options.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
Personally the fey alternate natural attacks should have included gore and slam options.

Bite and sting make sense for a fairy, but for gore and slam, I'd need to start thinking of less obvious fey. And, the archetype also gets an animal aspect at first level. If you want to have antlers to gore people with, you can take stag. You can get gore and slam with bull.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Jonas Seaborn wrote:

For Kineticist talent Elemental Exile, would it be appropriate that kineticists with the Aether/Void/Wood would transport to Ethereal/Negative Energy Plane/The First World ?

Also would a Parasite (Familiar Archetype) Sage (Familiar Archetype) familiar be a viable option for a kineticist with the Elemental Whispers talent ?

Elemental Whispers familiars can't take Parasite because they don't have Speak With Animals of its Kind to trade away. (Plus, needing to spend a standard action every turn to allow it to stay inside somebody would be difficult.)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
QuidEst wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Personally the fey alternate natural attacks should have included gore and slam options.
Bite and sting make sense for a fairy, but for gore and slam, I'd need to start thinking of less obvious fey.

Satyr.


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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Personally the fey alternate natural attacks should have included gore and slam options.
Bite and sting make sense for a fairy, but for gore and slam, I'd need to start thinking of less obvious fey.
Satyr.

Ah, yeah. I was off in nucklavee territory. I don’t think they could get away with giving fey the most natural attack options when they also get to pick an animal, though.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
QuidEst wrote:
Rysky wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Personally the fey alternate natural attacks should have included gore and slam options.
Bite and sting make sense for a fairy, but for gore and slam, I'd need to start thinking of less obvious fey.
Satyr.
Ah, yeah. I was off in nucklavee territory. I don’t think they could get away with giving fey the most natural attack options when they also get to pick an animal, though.

*nods*

I now want Nucklavee Shifter to be a thing too.


QuidEst wrote:
Jonas Seaborn wrote:


Also would a Parasite (Familiar Archetype) Sage (Familiar Archetype) familiar be a viable option for a kineticist with the Elemental Whispers talent ?
Elemental Whispers familiars can't take Parasite because they don't have Speak With Animals of its Kind to trade away. (Plus, needing to spend a standard action every turn to allow it to stay inside somebody would be difficult.)

Forgot that part, that sucks, but thanks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

There are plenty of fey with horns/antlers and slam attacks make sense for any humanoid shaped creature. Though can you list any actual fey that has a sting attack?


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So I was looking through the book and saw the new Cherry Blossom spell. Right above it there is a section saying gathlains have access to the following feats, but Cherry Blossom doesn't have Gathlain as a pre-req for the feat. Is it open to everyone, or just Gathlain?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Andrew Mullen wrote:
Skarlit Begonia wrote:
Any word about what classes will be getting archetypes for Vine Leshies? I've got a vine leshy boon that I'm starting to think about planning for.
I can’t talk about what I wrote for the moment, but once the book’s out I’ll happily give you the sales pitch!

Forgot about this!

Short fiction:
The owlbear tightens its hold, and the man gasps as immense feathered arms begin to squeeze the breath from him. He feels the sharp points of the creature’s claws begin to press through his chain mail. He can hear the links beginning to strain and break. He looks frantically around the clearing for something, anything, that could aid him against the rampaging beast.

A sudden flash of green, back in the undergrowth beyond the tree line. Rapid footsteps, growing ever louder, followed by a sound like a bending bough.


The ferns and brambles part silently, and a wolf—at least, it’s in the shape of a wolf—leaps into the glade. Sinuous vines twine around its glowing yellow eyes, and glossy leaves form its ears. It bares thorny teeth and growls, the low rattling of branches in the wind.

And then there’s the rider. A small, stout figure, clad in overlapping sheets of bark and what seems to be a hollowed-out orange gourd for a helmet. Their stern face is more vines, more leaves—indeed, both they and the wolf seem to be of a kind.


The rider gives a little huff of effort and raises an arm. Another flash of green, and wrist-thick tendrils burst out of the appendage and shoot towards the owlbear. 

The man pulls strength from somewhere, strains against the beast’s hold, and manages to push away one feathered arm. He drops to the ground and sprints towards the rider. The owlbear hoots in frustration, but when it reaches to snatch the man back, those glowing vines batter its arms aside.



He reaches the wolf and spins, panting in exertion. The strange creature noses his sword scabbard, and the rider grunts in agreement. The man draws his sword, the wolf snaps its teeth, and the rider hefts a hammer with a stone head nearly as large as their torso.



The owlbear clacks its beak and clenches it claws. The new allies brandish their own weapons and charge across the forest floor.

The verdivant is a cavalier archetype that draws on the vine leshy’s inherently magical nature to grow their own plant mount. My main goals with the archetype were to provide a rad plant mount (of course!), plus some visual pizzazz and magical flavor. The latter come from efflorescences, magically-infused plant effects that sprout from either the verdivant or their mount. Efflorescences are short ranged party buffs, such as the protection from attacks of opportunity in the fiction above! They get 8 different efflorescences by 14th level, and all get new or improved effects over the course of the verdivant’s adventuring career. 

It alters mount and cavalier’s charge, and trades out expert trainer, tactician, banner, greater tactician, greater banner, master tactician, and bonus feats.




Further design ramblings:

I really like the fact that leshys are just straight-up magical, since they’re animated by a nature spirit. When you add in the fact that they’re plants, and that plants grow and change all the time, it gives you a lot of cool flavor to play with!

I knew I wanted to draw on that magical growth to justify the verdivant growing its plant mount. If I had more word count I would’ve added some rules to show the stronger bond between mount and rider, but partially rewriting animal companion rules was a bit much for the 900 words I had to play with!

I was originally going to use that same magical growth justification to give the mount something like eidolon evolutions, but those weren’t as good a fit as I’d thought. Enter efflorescences!

I tend to play spellcasters because I like magic’s huge visual flavor potential; spells and abilities can look like all kinds of stuff, nor do they always need the same description. I definitely wanted to bring some of that to the cavalier! I also wanted to give them a main ability they could use more frequently than tactician.

The verdivant does lose some flexibility in that trade—efflorescences have set effects, versus tactician’s ability to pull from the long list of teamwork feats. In exchange, however, they get more powerful but more limited options that they can use more frequently. Most of those options are focused on defensive buffs like energy resistance or a high level freedom of movement aura, though there is an efflorescence that fills the same niche as the banner ability the verdivant loses.

Oh, and since they can grow their own mount, the verdivant has an easier narrative time of getting e.g. a monstrous mount, plus they can replace a slain mount in less time than the base cavalier!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Looks like there was a crediting issue on this one!

Ron Lundeen at least wrote shifter aspects but doesn't appear in the list of authors.
Also missing is Nathanael James, the artist who did the grumpy leshy, Wadjet paladin, and lantern-y gathlain art. Here's his ArtStation!


I kinda wish Axebeak was on the expanded ranger companion list like it is on the Cavalier, but luckily I usually play with GMs that are willing to allow unusual companions if you have a good story idea.

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