Pathfinder Gamemastery Guide

3.70/5 (based on 3 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

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Rulebook Subscription.

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Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

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Average product rating:

3.70/5 (based on 3 ratings)

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Level Up Your Adventure Paths!

4/5

As an experienced GM who only runs Adventure Paths, I felt that a good half of the content in this book wasn't targeted towards me. Much like the PF1 GMG, the PF2 GMG isn't a compulsory buy unless you are a new GM or plan on running custom campaigns.

However, the content in the other half has proven useful in running Adventure Paths:

- The subsystems provided give substance to aspects of the game that any other TTRPG would delegate to GM fiat. Victory points allow you to create your own subsystems on the fly. Adventure Paths can't cover every possibility, after all!
- The variant rules are knobs and dials that enable GMs to deliver a specific game experience (including those experiences popularized by the Pathfinder fanbase and even other TTRPGs). These will provide Adventure Paths with even more of replay value.
- The NPCs are easily modified/upgraded and allow GMs to stat out minor NPCs that don't typically get stats in Adventure Paths. Finally!

(edited 3/12/20)


Disappointing

2/5

Normally I'm a huge Paizo and Pathfinder fan. I've been playing and running Pathfinder since first edition and was keen when second edition was released.

This is a beautiful book. Sturdy, well lsid out, clear fonts, easy to read and no visible spelling errors that i've noticed. All the usual high Paizo production values that we've come to know and love.

For me the creature and NPC design rules (effectively the same thing in 2nd ed) are critical to run games.The rules are clear and seem well thought out.

However much of the rest of the book seems to be written simply to pad this section out into a viable publication. The gamemastery advice isn't revultionary or groundbreaking, the nation and settlement sections provide nothing mechanical and simply encourage GMs to lay out their information in the same format as Paizo.

On the whole I can't shake the feeling tha much of this book was written purely as padding for the sections surrounding creature, hazard and NPC creation and as a means to justify the $49.99 price tag.

This is the first time I've been left feeling disappointed by a Paizo release.


A great resource for GMs of all stripes

5/5

This is a great resource for GMs of all stripes.

There's a bunch of good advice for GMs, both beginning and experienced, advice on managing players, managing rarity, and so on.

Then there's a great chapter on building -- world-building (including building towns/cities, nations, and even entire planes), building your own monsters, building custom magic items and haunts, and so on. Also new rules governing cursed items, artifacts, and relics (items which increase in power as the players do).

There's a bunch of helpful material for GMs to add: a bunch of new curses, diseases, drugs, a bunch of new artifacts and some new cursed items, and a giant catalog of fully stated NPCs to use when the occasion arises.

There's a bunch of rules on new subsystems, including influence rules, research rules, chase rules, infiltration rules, reputation rules, duels, leadership, vehicles (including a couple pages of examples, including a steam-driven mech!), and so on.

Finally, there's my favorite part: variant rules of various kinds to use in your game. Lots of stuff people have asked for here: bounded accuracy variants, dual-classing variants, free archetypes, alternate ability score variants, ability score point and skill point variants, alignment free variants, level 0 characters, stamina, and so on.

And then there are my two favorite variant rules. (1) First, there's the deep backgrounds rules for character creation, which I find *enormously* helpful in helping players to flesh out their characters. And (2) the automatic bonus progression which is a great addition to the game in so many ways. It saves GMs the headache of having to constantly work to make sure players have gotten the right loot of the right kind to ensure they fit the expectations of the game, and don't get wiped out -- i.e., it removes magic items as math fixers, and instead leaves them as just fun and interesting things to add to the game.

All in all, a great addition to the game.


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4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Wish my copy would hurry up been pending since the 10th


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

My copy has been pending since the 10th as well.

I have an idea in my head for a campaign.

I know I will be using the relic rules

Free archetype rules.

Possibly the different methods to do bonuses based on level. Like now it is +1/level for most everything.

The one thing I would also like is like a base generic class. Everyone would be that class and then multi class into what base class you want.

That though might be going to far.

For example it would be like final fantasy type thing. Everyone is a hero. One might be a hero/wizard, another hero/fighter etc....


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I like the relics in the book.

Contributor

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Just chiming in to say that the 0-Level character rules have a picture of farmboy Valeros, and it's seriously my favorite piece of art in this book.

It's hard to draw kids well, even harder to draw kid versions of adult characters. The piece in this book is really good for capturing Valeros's feel while still making him look young, rather than a tiny adult.

The Exchange

Is it shipping or not. My order says shipped but it's in this not quite out the door state? Was there a snafu?

Silver Crusade

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

I would call or make a thread in the customer service forums rather than randomly ask here.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Is the Shadowstaff one of the artifacts in this book?


I would like to know if there are any new artifacts that have never shown up before. How are the relic rules, do people like them? Those sort of things.

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

Relic looks cool, having a strong magic item that grows with you, and the rules for it look neat so far.

As for Artifacts we have classics as well as the Pathfinder created SERITHTIAL!

Oh and Shot of the First Vault, dunno if that’s new.

Paizo Employee Design Manager

9 people marked this as a favorite.

The shot is brand new. It's no surprise that Luis Loza had ideas for some awesome new artifacts, and Eleanor Ferron's cursed items still make me smile every time, especially her conversion of Jason's bag of weasels from his Glass Cannon stream.

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

Yusssss, the Bag of Weasels is awesome!

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I got my physical books today. I'm not even 100% I ever got my shipping notification email.

Anyway, there's quite a bit of interesting stuff here, but 2e still just isn't grabbing me yet. One brief blurb with one power and no new feats for the antipaladin is disappointing. I know, I know, wait for the APG. It might have just been better to skip any info from it here, IMO.

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

… it's a NPC Codex for GMs, not a preview for players.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

How did anyone order the pdf already? I can only order the pdf beginning 26th?

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Those who subscribe receive the PDF when their order ships.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Those who subscribe receive the PDF when their order ships.

tnx then I shouldn't order at all.....got a subscription and waiting still

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
KageNoRyu wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Those who subscribe receive the PDF when their order ships.
tnx then I shouldn't order at all.....got a subscription and waiting still

Correct, when your subscription ships you'll get access to the PDFs.


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

hopefully before 26th then^^'


Question, how exactly do the NPC creation rules work? Been wondering that since they got rid of hit dice.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
VVKing wrote:
Question, how exactly do the NPC creation rules work? Been wondering that since they got rid of hit dice.

Um pretty sure they released the npc creation rules in a a blog post months ago

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paladinosaur wrote:
VVKing wrote:
Question, how exactly do the NPC creation rules work? Been wondering that since they got rid of hit dice.
Um pretty sure they released the npc creation rules in a a blog post months ago

Here it is!

https://paizo.com/products/btq021ct?Gamemastery-Guide-Monster-and-Hazard-Cr eation


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paladinosaur wrote:
Paladinosaur wrote:
VVKing wrote:
Question, how exactly do the NPC creation rules work? Been wondering that since they got rid of hit dice.
Um pretty sure they released the npc creation rules in a a blog post months ago

Here it is!

https://paizo.com/products/btq021ct?Gamemastery-Guide-Monster-and-Hazard-Cr eation

Linkified


I'd like to play PCs and thier NPCs families Campaign,
Commoner,expert classes and babies,chielden build rules so on are helpful.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Well this book has tons of cooler stuff I don't even remember them talking about :O Seriously holy crap

For example, there is steam giant in vehicles :O There is fricking steam powered mech in the vehicles xD

Dark Archive

The-Magic-Sword wrote:
dirtypool wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
The art obviously, but it was just a cropped shot of just the text on the table of contents that excluded all artwork, so it would just be a small portion of the trade dress (namely the font, and the placement of page number, section titles, etc) we're discussing. I'm actually not convinced it would be copyrightable, but this doesn't seem like the place to talk about it, and I removed it to keep the powers that be happy.
The completed work is copyrighted as a whole. Your own linked document does not say “the table of contents is exempted” it says that a listing of contents is exempted; meaning if you typed out a list of the the contents it would be exempt from the copyright of the original work - but a photograph of the actual TOC isn’t exempted.

You guys are right, and I'm wrong, it's a good thing that it would probably fall under Fair Use since the AMA is functionally reviewing the product, and also a good thing that I've already removed the picture.

_______________________________________________________________________

Moving on (seriously, I'm feeling uncomfortable having my face repeatedly rubbed in this and would prefer for it to end with my admission that I was wrong about it not being protected by copyright) the book is out for subscribers, what is everyone's favorite aspect of it?

I'm personally really enjoying The Free Archetype system, I'll probably eventually implement it on a permanent basis in my games, once we have all the archetypes coming in the APG.

Another librarian here, and although I haven't seen the image you posted, it sounds to me like it'd indeed count as a perfect example of Fair Use, at least according to my country's copyright laws. I should note that Finnish laws are probably more flexible; you're even allowed to legally scan copyrighted material for your own personal use (this also includes your family and "inner circle" of friends).

For example, you could check out and scan any number of Pathfinder books at your local library (max. 3 digital copies per book) and let your friends use the PDFs when you're gaming. You're not allowed to distribute the files, but you could hand them 3 USBs that contained the books and they would return those USBs to you after each session.


Hey so I'm trying to purchase the PDF but it keeps coming up "your request produced an error" am I just too early to the party and I have to wait for the switch to flip?


Should list the Deluxe edition together on the same item page tbh.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Trying to purchase PDF generates an error.

Seems the paizo pugwampies are bound and determined to make sure I don't see this book until they're good and ready to let me.


I bought the pdf ...no problem for me. Amazing book.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just got my PDF. Fantastic read so far!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Reckless wrote:

Trying to purchase PDF generates an error.

Seems the paizo pugwampies are bound and determined to make sure I don't see this book until they're good and ready to let me.

I would guess because you're a subscriber just purchasing the PDF before your order ships is probably the cause of the error.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Happy for y'all.

Me, not so much. Would be happy if subscription copy shipped before release date. Would settle for being able to buy PDF on release date, because I really want to read through this book. Neither of those scenarios are panning out.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
captain yesterday wrote:
Reckless wrote:

Trying to purchase PDF generates an error.

Seems the paizo pugwampies are bound and determined to make sure I don't see this book until they're good and ready to let me.

I would guess because you're a subscriber just purchasing the PDF before your order ships is probably the cause of the error.

Probably. This is just one of those rare circumstances where subscribing is worse than being a casual consumer.

Dark Archive

Reckless wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
Reckless wrote:

Trying to purchase PDF generates an error.

Seems the paizo pugwampies are bound and determined to make sure I don't see this book until they're good and ready to let me.

I would guess because you're a subscriber just purchasing the PDF before your order ships is probably the cause of the error.
Probably. This is just one of those rare circumstances where subscribing is worse than being a casual consumer.

Try clearing your cookies for paizo.com. I was having the same problem, and that fixed it.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Private mode also works for some reason(i guess it turns off cookies or something)


Yeah had to go private mode and it worked, thanks for the help peeps :)


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

Curses!! I see the dreaded "Antipaladin" has made it into the rules. There goes my hope of seeing the class get a more creative name. Guess I should expect Anti-Redeemer and Anti-Liberator as well. D:

The Exchange

Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ly'ualdre wrote:
Curses!! I see the dreaded "Antipaladin" has made it into the rules. There goes my hope of seeing the class get a more creative name. Guess I should expect Anti-Redeemer and Anti-Liberator as well. D:

They may be better than Abandoner and Incarcerator.

Paizo Employee Design Manager

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Shadowfoot wrote:
Ly'ualdre wrote:
Curses!! I see the dreaded "Antipaladin" has made it into the rules. There goes my hope of seeing the class get a more creative name. Guess I should expect Anti-Redeemer and Anti-Liberator as well. D:
They may be better than Abandoner and Incarcerator.

What about Skelm?


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

I like Skelm, but would have to be for a very particular subclass imo. One based in a part of Golarion that has a culture similar to South Africa.

Personally like the name Ravager. To ravage means to "cause severe and extensive damage or destruction", which is literally what the Antipaladin is all about. Holy warriors of wanton destruction, mayhem, and havoc. Plus, I think there's a way to shoehorn some lore behind the term being related to Rovagug.

I just really dislike the name Antipaladin. Always have, always will. It's uninspired to me, especially in a world were we now have the likes of the Redeemer and Liberator. I can't imagine that the LE and NE Champions will simply be Anti- versions of their Good counterparts. I'd hate to see every other subclasses get inspiring, meaningful names, and then the CE Champion is simply seen as the antithesis to the Paladin, which I'd argue isn't very accurate.

Just my personal two cents on the matter. I'll personally just refer to them as Ravagers either way in my games.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Ly'ualdre wrote:

I like Skelm, but would have to be for a very particular subclass imo. One based in a part of Golarion that has a culture similar to South Africa.

Personally like the name Ravager. To ravage means to "cause severe and extensive damage or destruction", which is literally what the Antipaladin is all about. Holy warriors of wanton destruction, mayhem, and havoc. Plus, I think there's a way to shoehorn some lore behind the term being related to Rovagug.

I just really dislike the name Antipaladin. Always have, always will. It's uninspired to me, especially in a world were we now have the likes of the Redeemer and Liberator. I can't imagine that the LE and NE Champions will simply be Anti- versions of their Good counterparts. I'd hate to see every other subclasses get inspiring, meaningful names, and then the CE Champion is simply seen as the antithesis to the Paladin, which I'd argue isn't very accurate.

Just my personal two cents on the matter. I'll personally just refer to them as Ravagers either way in my games.

I'm going to start referring to Paladins as Antiantipaladins.

Silver Crusade

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

Granted it's not an absolute guarantee that one of the Evil Champions in the APG is even named Antipaladin, this was just an NPC codex.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
Granted it's not an absolute guarantee that one of the Evil Champions in the APG is even named Antipaladin, this was just an NPC codex.

Fair, but given the sidebar information, I'm thinking it will be.

Also, wouldn't an Anti-Antipaladin just be an Paladin?


I don’t know where to put this, so its going here. I have one problem. In chapter 5 with the NPC Gallery, none of the action symbols can be read with my screen reader. It just shows up as a blank space instead of reaction, one-action, three-actions, etc. If you could fix this ASAP, that would be great. I’m assuming it just slipped under the radar at some point.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
CorvusMask wrote:
Private mode also works for some reason(i guess it turns off cookies or something)

Also worked for me, thanks. This one pdf won't be free, but at least now I can read the thing.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ly'ualdre wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Granted it's not an absolute guarantee that one of the Evil Champions in the APG is even named Antipaladin, this was just an NPC codex.

Fair, but given the sidebar information, I'm thinking it will be.

Also, wouldn't an Anti-Antipaladin just be an Paladin?

Yep.


On the other hand, none of the other NPCs in the gallery have a name that is that of a class or class path - no ruffians, no rangers, no warpriests, no wizards.
So if the APG CE champion path is called that, it will cause confusion (however little) between that and the NPC type, which I don't think Paizo would want.

So I wouldn't worry, personally.

...EDIT: Well okay immediately after saying that I spotted a ruffian on the list. Still, most of the names seem to avoid trying to correlate with what already exists for PC class/class path names.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Antipaladin has too long of a history in the game to ever change.

Though I agree that Ravager or Destroyer would be a great fit for CE, with Tyrant for LE and Terror for NE.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ly'ualdre wrote:


Also, wouldn't an Anti-Antipaladin just be an Paladin?

woooosh

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

The Anti-Antipaladin is the Vindictive Bastard from P1.

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