Pathfinder Gamemastery Guide

4.10/5 (based on 10 ratings)
Pathfinder Gamemastery Guide
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Whether you are a new Game Master or experienced storyteller, you can always find new ways to hone your craft. This 256-page Pathfinder Second Edition rulebook contains a wealth of new information, tools, and rules systems to add to your game. Inside you will find handy advice for building your own adventures, designing towns, and creating vibrant characters alongside rules systems for dramatic chases, thrilling tournaments, and deadly duels. This book also includes more 40 pages of sample nonplayer characters, from the simple town guard to the vile cultist, presented to make your job as GM that much easier!

The Pathfinder Gamemastery Guide includes:

  • Rules, advice, and guidelines to build adventures, campaigns, and the denizens and treasures that lurk within, from settlements to nations to infinite planes!
  • Creative variant rules to customize the rules to make the game your own, including variant bonus, feat, and magic item progressions, characters gaining the power of multiple classes at once, and more!
  • All sorts of new and variant magic items including intelligent items, cursed items, artifacts, quirks you can add to items, and a brand new type of item called a relic that scales with your character!
  • A catalog of subsystems to handle unique situations, from thrilling chases to researching mysteries to vehicle combat to elaborate duels to sandbox-style "hexploration" and more! Plus, a universal victory point system to help you design your own subsystems!
  • More than 60 new NPCs to use in your game, designed for maximum usefulness to all Pathfinder campaigns!

ISBN: 978-1-64078-198-6

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

Hero Lab Online
Pathfinder Nexus on Demiplane
Roll20 Virtual Tabletop
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Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Rulebook Subscription.

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Average product rating:

4.10/5 (based on 10 ratings)

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4/5


Mix of really great and some very bad

4/5

The quality of this book is very extreme: either it's superb or outright terrible. Personally, everything was well designed except for:

* Hexploration: very confusingly written, so few activities that everyone has to homebrew the other 50%
* Leadership: plain boring and even detrimental if you use lieutenants as cohorts
* Skill Points & Ability Score Variants: there's no benefit of using these except to shut up 1e diehards. Incredibly complicated mechanisms that play out almost exactly the same.


Essential for a GM Stepping Outside the Box

5/5

Relic weaponry is my favorite thing about this book - really allows you to personalize weapons or equipment for story purposes.


Website ate my first review of this, so this will be brief

3/5

In short, a great book for some GMs and of limited value to others. The distinction rests primarily on how closely you follow prewritten adventures or if you generate all your own content. The further towards the home campaign you get, the more value this book has for you.

The specific encounter types like chases and infiltration are terrific. Solid subsystems and I've made good use adding one or two of these into adventure paths and scenarios I've run. They make definite sense and once players understand them, ratchet up the narrativist play in complex encounters instead of being all about single rolls. One of the biggest problems I've seen in other games is watching group subterfuge always fall apart because one player rolls bad once. This softens that out, adds concepts for how a not-sneaky player can add to a stealth mission, and so on. Really happy about this.

The alternate rules are quite nice and some are highly creative. I haven't gotten to use any at a table yet, but I will when the timing is right (for instance, I'm strongly considering running Agents of Edgewatch with automatic bonus progression to avoid some of the loot troubles that AP appears to have). Dual classing is incredibly popular, I have seen around here and elsewhere, though I haven't had a scenario where it was a particularly good fit.

Other additions are nice. Monster creation rules, NPC codex, and basic GM advice are never bad things, though they are a hard reason to strongly recommend this book.

Not a buy for players, probably shouldn't be one of the first books a new GM buys either. But established GMs, especially ones building campaigns and encounters on the regular, can definitely get some mileage from this book. Overall, not essential but probably beneficial.


Worthy addition for most GMs

5/5

When I first saw the pre-publication description I was skeptical about this book. Chase sub-systems? NPC gallery for not so interesting NPCs? Bah. I know how to run a chase.

First read improved my view but I was still pretty lukewarm. However, upon reflection, and a few sessions where I found myself referencing hazards, influence and chase, even some of the NPCs, my opinion of this book has grown to where I find it quite useful.

Things I've used and quite enjoy:
- The formal influence and chase rules are well considered. I've prepared several influence sessions (yet to run but look forward to it) and ran a fun underground chase, with the party pursued by a goblin warband to a dwarven city. I look forward to using the research and reputation systems too.
- NPCs: with my roll20 compendium, it's handy for pulling over many NPCs like guards, merchants, rogues, etc.
- Some of the lower level hazards, including complex ones, have made for some fun encounters and some of the higher level ones look insidious, plus the guidance on creating your own is well thought out
- Variants such as the racial paragon have proved to be a nice way to boost a small party. The multi-class variant could also be nice for the right group
- A like the relic rules and am using them already (although the players don't realize it yet)

Things I expect to use more of but haven't used yet:
- We don't tend to use a lot of vehicles but the rules should be helpful if and when we do
- The charts on saves, attacks, skills, etc. by level are very useful, not use for creating my own hazards and other encounters
- Notes on designing items and intelligent items look promising

Overall, this exceeded my initial expectations and I'm quite glad to have it in the library. Some things like the sub-systems would be useful for any game system


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Yaaaaay for gestalt characters!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
And as the preview on Paizo's Facebook indicates, there will be rules for gestalt PCs in this book.

Waste of space, if you ask me...

Paizo Employee Webstore Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Update: This product has been pushed back to a February release.

Dark Archive

Damn, i knew it. :-(


And here I go to postpone the start of the new campaign to March :/


A Pathfinder n00b here, but isn't gamemastery content coming to playtest? I'd love to get to testing vehicles and such already :D


Are gestalt characters that popular?


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Opustus wrote:
A Pathfinder n00b here, but isn't gamemastery content coming to playtest? I'd love to get to testing vehicles and such already :D

The playtest that was just released is for the four new classes in the Advanced Player's Guide, due out for Gen Con 2020. It is way too late to be playtesting anything in the Gamemastery Guide.


Thanks, David!


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Zaister wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
And as the preview on Paizo's Facebook indicates, there will be rules for gestalt PCs in this book.
Waste of space, if you ask me...

Although, I'd never use it, I don't begrudge fans that like the concept getting it.

However, it should really live in a book like PF Unchained!, IMO. Player options tend to take up lots of page count and anything that takes away tools from one of the likely rare GM-focused books will disappoint. In other words, I don't want chases, hexploration, or any of the subsystems given short shrift and reduced page count so gestalt could make it in.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Sure.

However, guidance/rules on how to handle/use gestalt characters (& how they'd affect the baseline assumptions of the game) would be very useful to those GMs who run groups much smaller than the assumed 4-player band (like 1 or 2 players). As such, I think gestalt characters have their place in the GM guide (although I'd agree that the usual plethora options for players using gestalt characters probably shouldn't be in the book...).

<shrug>

Carry on,

--C.

Dark Archive

sheduled to released at mid feb or later?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Shapeless wrote:
sheduled to released at mid feb or later?

Currently, the Release Schedule is showing late February

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

February 26th is the scheduled street date atm.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
Are gestalt characters that popular?

Yes, for the super heroic one-shot and to help balance a two or three man party while running a published adventure.

Humbly,
Yawar


Anyone else willing to bet that Jason designed the Everflame based on the Relic rules?


Katina Davis wrote:
Update: This product has been pushed back to a February release.

Just to note the original release date was "mid-January 2020"

Ref: https://www.enworld.org/threads/news-digest-pathfinder-2nd-ed-release-line- details-d-d-ranger-not-changing-battletech-clan-invasi.666435/


YawarFiesta wrote:
Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
Are gestalt characters that popular?

Yes, for the super heroic one-shot and to help balance a two or three man party while running a published adventure.

Humbly,
Yawar

That makes sense.


Gah! Is it February yet?!?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I wonder, will this book feature more elements of GM-friendly books that weren’t in the original GMG, but came later in PF1’s lifespan, like Ultimate Intrigue, Wilderness, or Occult Adventures? Those books have some really great rules and advice content, and it’d make running a campaign a lot easier off the bat if I had a lot of that stuff in one book already by the time I begin.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Strange there's Alaznist but not one of the runelords that are actively ruling New Thassilon right now

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The book doesn't have anything to do with New Thassilon so not really.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cyrad wrote:
Strange there's Alaznist but not one of the runelords that are actively ruling New Thassilon right now

Who and what?


7 people marked this as a favorite.

The Pathfinder Classic Gamemastery Guide had [redacted], who faced the PCs at the end of [redacted] on the cover, so it makes sense the second edition Guide would have [redacted], who the PCs face off against at the end of [redacted] on the cover.


Too much redaction, Captain Yesterday lol :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

On the contrary, if you don't know what I'm talking about then there is exactly enough redactions.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

lol


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Should I be seeing this in my sidecart? Because I don't see it, I have other Feb releases but not the most important one.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
captain yesterday wrote:
The Pathfinder Classic Gamemastery Guide had [redacted], who faced the PCs at the end of [redacted] on the cover, so it makes sense the second edition Guide would have [redacted], who the PCs face off against at the end of [redacted] on the cover.

This is just previewing their hardcover compilation of the [redacted] and [redacted] Adventure Paths converted to Second Edition. Or maybe [redacted], [redacted], and [redacted]?


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

I hope we get a Blog about Relics within the next few weeks.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

We're in the right month! Yee, I'm most looking forward to the settlement guidance, the relics, and the advice about modifying the alignment system myself.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Still no actual date though? Sad.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
product page wrote:

Product Availability

Preorder, expected approximately 26 Feb 2020

Additionally it's listed on the CS forum for February subscription fulfillment.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
redeux wrote:
product page wrote:

Product Availability

Preorder, expected approximately 26 Feb 2020

Additionally it's listed on the CS forum for February subscription fulfillment.

This page (the one we are on now) hasn't been updated, but we do have other sources (such as the February 2020 subscriptions thread) that give us that date.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Any idea why Paizo is offering less material? This is about 4/5ths the size of the 1st Edition Gamemastery Guide, and we're not getting a price break. I'm noticing a trend in Paizo where they are offering less product for more price.

Silver Crusade

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

Why? Because Paizo is finally raising the prices of their books to a reasonable level. Writing is criminally underpriced in the industry due to everybody trying to offer the books at the price point nerds want and expect, which is: the same as 10 years ago. I'm not even talking about inflation and costs rising for one reason or another.

Since you can't really save on art (if you would offer lesser rates, artists would just ignore you and work for industries that pay reasonable money, that being CCGs, board games and of course video games), insofar the idea was to skimp on writers (since they can't really go anywhere if they want to do what they love to do).

That's slowly changing, but that means that prices will rise and you'll finally be paying more for your funny books about pretending to be an elf than you did in 2009, good riddance, while the people working at/for Paizo will hopefully be able to pay the rent in Seattle and not die trying.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
...at the price point entitled bubbly nerds want and expect...

That's an...interesting (and not at all provocative) way to describe a demand curve.

That being said, I personally don't mind paying more if doing so means people make a living wage. Paizo sells gaming stuff, after all, not insulin.


Val'bryn2 wrote:
Based on what I've bought of Paizo so far, all 2nd Edition products to date, I'm wondering if it's worth it, because the value doesn't seem to fit the price. Player options, specifically, seem poorly balanced. Flavorful, in some cases, but utterly useless in practice. Does it make me "entitled" to expect to actually get something worth what I am paying?

No, of course not.

My experience, on the other hand, has been mostly different (of course, I avoid "player options" like the plague). In my opinion:

* The core PDFs remain a strong value at $15
* The GM screen is solid (and landscape!)
* The new Bestiary Box is an unparalleled value
* The Fall of Plaguestone was serviceable (if unremarkable)
* The maps line continues to be great (despite some inscrutable flip-tile releases which don't play to the strength of the product design at all)
* The 2E condition cards show some real innovation in the form of tracking duration/severity
* I may even have come around to the Combat Pad (which I've tried it before, but this time it may stick)

...which come to think of it, means I'm in well past $150 for a game system I don't even particularly like. *sigh*


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Val'bryn2 wrote:
Any idea why Paizo is offering less material? This is about 4/5ths the size of the 1st Edition Gamemastery Guide, and we're not getting a price break. I'm noticing a trend in Paizo where they are offering less product for more price.

Well, going by something like this inflation calculator, prices have risen by 17% since the time the 1st Edition Gamemastery Guide was published. So Paizo had two options for the 2nd Edition Gamemastery Guide:

1. Keep the new book the same size, and raise the cost by about 20%.

2. Keep the price the same, and lower the page count by about 20%.

And apparently they choose to do the latter.

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.
bugleyman wrote:
Val'bryn2 wrote:
Based on what I've bought of Paizo so far, all 2nd Edition products to date, I'm wondering if it's worth it, because the value doesn't seem to fit the price. Player options, specifically, seem poorly balanced. Flavorful, in some cases, but utterly useless in practice. Does it make me "entitled" to expect to actually get something worth what I am paying?

No, of course not.

My experience, on the other hand, has been mostly different (of course, I avoid "player options" like the plague). In my opinion:

* The core PDFs remain a strong value at $15
* The GM screen is solid (and landscape!)
* The new Bestiary Box is an unparalleled value
* The Fall of Plaguestone was serviceable (if unremarkable)
* The maps line continues to be great (despite some inscrutable flip-tile releases which don't play to the strength of the product design at all)
* The 2E condition cards show some real innovation in the form of tracking duration/severity
* I may even have come around to the Combat Pad (which I've tried it before, but this time it may stick)

...which come to think of it, means I'm in well past $150 for a game system I don't even particularly like. *sigh*

Why spend any money on a system you don't like? Out of support for Paizo? Then why complain about it? I'm confused, because I wouldn't spend money on any 2E products unless I genuinely liked them. I just couldn't afford it anymore, because my expenses have radically gone up since 1E came out, and yet my salary is still pretty much the same it was 9-10 years ago.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

They are actually lowering page count by roughly 20 percent and raising price by the same. Original Gamemastery Guide had an MSRP of 39.99, vs the new 49.99, with a page count in the 320s vs 256 for the new edition. We are charged more for less. And we already know roughly 30 of those pages are NPC statblocks,

Now how about you hold off on the personal attacks on someone who just likes to actually get value for his dollar.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Val'bryn2 wrote:

They are actually lowering page count by roughly 20 percent and raising price by the same. Original Gamemastery Guide had an MSRP of 39.99, vs the new 49.99, with a page count in the 320s vs 256 for the new edition. We are charged more for less. And we already know roughly 30 of those pages are NPC statblocks,

Now how about you hold off on the personal attacks on someone who just likes to actually get value for his dollar.

It's 2020, not 2010. The value of your dollar and the economy did change and so did the industry.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yes, as has been established, inflation rate is 17%, however the book has increased in price by 25%, while offering 20% less. I'd be okay with the 25% increase if 2 things happened: 1) the amount of information stayed the same, and 2) I knew it was top quality. We know issue 1 is confirmed to not be happening, and issue 2 is suspect.


14 people marked this as a favorite.

There's an easy solution, if you think the price is not right: Vote with your wallet. Don't buy things you think are too expensive.

I value Paizo's work. I value the work of Paizo's writers and artists.

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