Pathfinder 3PP Suggestions


Product Discussion

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Silver Crusade

I have a confession to make. I'm a recovering 3pp snob. I grew up ignoring 3pp publications at best and disdaining them at worst. If it wasn't officially published and part of an official campaign setting, I thumbed my nose at it and moved on.

I was stupid.

Frog God Games and Dreamscarred Press really opened my eyes to the quality and potential that is 3pp. I thoroughly enjoy the Pathfinder system and I am a huge fan of the Golarion setting, but I enjoy a departure to other realms and atmospheres to keep variety and unexpected flavors present.

Since the Pathfinder community is full of helpful and friendly people, I was wondering what other quality third-party Pathfinder compatible modules, adventures, and settings would you recommend and why.

I enjoy the Ultimate Psionics book by Dreamscarred and I am a huge fan of both the setting and old-school feel that Frog God Games/ Necromancer brings to the table. I'm intrigued by the upcoming Dragon Kings products that are forth coming. Apart from these, my knowledge is limited.

What else (that's good) is out there and why do you recommend it? Thanks in advance to all the great suggestions and recommendations that'll come forth. I look forward to expanding my horizons and discussing your thoughts.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I love slumbering tsar (along with their tome of horrors remake) from frog god games for adventure material. Its a HUGE advenutre. Seriously, you could beat someone to death with that hard cover. Its literally more content then i know what to do with. Very old school but not cheesy. Just a big 'over there be monsters' sign and an invitation to head over.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

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You should check out Flying Pincushion Games. The first 2 books, Into the Breach: The Summoner and Into the Breach: The Magus were published in partnership with d20PFSRD.com and the latest book Into the Breach: The Oracle was published as their own entity.

Lots of crunch with some fluff and there is a lot more coming.

Silver Crusade

Slumbering Tsar was the main catalyst which turned me into a 3pp seeker. That adventure, it's depth, atmosphere, complexity, and old-school feel just blew my mind. I can't wait to run it as my next campaign. I haven't read Rappan Athuk yet. Has anyone here attempted that? How does it compare to Slumbering Tsar?


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Rob Rose wrote:
I have a confession to make. I'm a recovering 3pp snob. I grew up ignoring 3pp publications at best and disdaining them at worst. If it wasn't officially published and part of an official campaign setting, I thumbed my nose at it and moved on.

I have never understood this concept. 3PP might not be "official", but is it GOOD? I mean isn't that what is really important?

Quote:
What else (that's good) is out there and why do you recommend it? Thanks in advance to all the great suggestions and recommendations that'll come forth. I look forward to expanding my horizons and discussing your thoughts.

I would suggest Obsidian Apocalypse if you are looking for post-apocalyptic survival horror campaign took kit. It was inspired as a Dark Sun & Ravenloft mash up. It just received a 5 stars + seal of approval from Endzeitgeist.com Hope this helps!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

So, cool 3pp stuff...

For aquatic campaign settings you absolutely have to have Alluria Publishing's Cerulean Seas. It's amazing, great art, mechanics , everything.

Thunderscape: The World of Aden is one of my current 3pp geek-outs, with a ton of cool races, classes, archetypes, etc. for a pseudo-post-apocalyptic campaign setting, though no one does post-apocalyptic quite like Louis Porter Jr. with his NeoExodus product line.

Kobold Press' Midgard campaign setting and the supporting materials like their Guide to the Crossroads are just amazing, with cool combinations of shadow magic and clockwork, amongst numerous other goodies.

In addition to their psionics materials, Dreamscarred Press has two ongoing projects, Path of War and Akashic Mysteries, that are, if I may say so, very cool.

Rite Publishing has a great collection of materials for playing unusual races and you pretty much can't go wrong with anything they put out.

Little Red Goblin Games has a great collection of quirky or unusual classes that are very well designed. I love them for the Runesmith and hate them for the Battlechef.

Interjection Games recently released the Edgewalker, a monk/assassin type character who can wield the powers of light and darkness. It rocks, so check it out.

Abandoned Arts are pretty much the go-to guys for awesome and affordable archetypes.

Dreadfox Games recently came to my attention, and their Swordmaster class is pretty much the best class I've ever seen for playing a martial character whose combat style is reminiscent of the sword master's like Lan Mandragoran or Tam al'Thor from the Wheel of Time books.

**EDIT**

I almost forgot. If aerial combat or flying castles are your thing, Geek Industrial Complex did a book called Companions of the Firmament that is awesome. It assembles all of the flying and falling rules for the books and puts them into a handy reference guide, introduces new mounts, companions, and archetypes for flight-centric campaigns, and has a great GM section for creating and managing aerial encounters.


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While Rite Publishing creates a vast amount of excellent crunch in the form of feats, traits, archetypes, new classes, etc. As far as settings and adventures go, you needn't look further than Questhaven, Heroes of the Jade Oath or the Kaidan setting of Japanese horror (PFRPG), the latter one being my homebrew as a published setting.

While the setting guides for Kaidan are still in development, though its being wrapped up at this time, we have an introductory trilogy of modules called the Curse of the Golden Spear (link only points to the first of 3 modules) with a good amount of setting material in the appendices, as well as 3 one-shot modules: Up from Darkness, Tolling of Tears and Frozen Wind (the latter one is a free module) and a complete mapped adventure site, called Haiku of Horror: Autumn Moon Bath House.

Kaidan can best be described as a cross between Oriental Adventures and Ravenloft using Pathfinder rules.

I see that you've already convinced yourself that 3PP is actually worth the look, another consideration is that many of the authors and publishers of 3PP Pathfinder material are also contributing writers for Paizo modules - so in many ways 3PP are the same as Paizo developers. I wrote parts of the City of Kasai gazetteer for The Empty Throne module of the Jade Regent AP, as well as designing the original hand-drawn map of the City of Kasai. Most of the other publishers have done a lot more than me regarding creating material directly for Paizo Publishing.


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Rite's 101 __ series is really good...actually all Rite stuff is great.

I've found a lot of the Purple Duck Games stuff to be hit-or-miss, but the good stuff its really good. Most Kobold Press stuff is good as well, with occasional outliers.

I'd also recommend looking at reviews written by Endzeitgeist. You can sort them by type of product (modules, monsters, feats book, etc) and by rating. While I don't always agree with his ratings, I'm not aware of anyone else who does such a thorough job reviewing pathfinder products. Any of the 233 products with the 'seal of approval' tag are probably quite good.


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To quote myself [slightly edited and updated] from this old Recommendations for 3PP products thread:

What do you seek? Tell us about your campaign, your PCs, or where you want your campaign to go.

That said:

Necromancer Games/Frog God Games: old school adventures, dungeons, megadungeons, mini sandboxes. Slumbering Tsar, Rappan Athuk, Stoneheart Valley, The Lost Lands, City of Barakus, Tome of Horrors revised (which is also on PFSRD). Also Razor Coast! Just read the reviews. Tome of Adventure Design! Upcoming: The Blight by Richard Pett.

Kobold Press/Open Design: Midgard campaign setting (more eastern european myth/tropes incorporated vs traditional western fanatasy), excellent adventures. Excellent books on Game Design.

Legendary Games: stellar supplements to Paizo APs, mythic material.

Raging Swan Press: Generic, medieval fluff and cruch, great DM aids, great adventures. Check out the numerous free previews for any product on their website.

Rite Publishing: great crunch pieces, Coliseum Morpheon (high level advanture in the plane of dream) & Faces of the Tarnished Souk (great NPCs), Japanese Horror setting: Kaidan (check out the free adventure), Adventure Quarterly is Dungeon magazine's successor.

AdventureAWeek: lots of adventures, Rise of the Drow super adventure

Dreamscarred Press: PF Psionics

Fire Mountain Games: Way of the Wicked (the evil AP), Underdark Sandbox AP is in the works but i would recommend buying it only when finished

0One Games: The Great City material, City AP.

TPK Games: Bleeding Hollow & The Reaping Stone horror adventures, Laying Waste: A Guide to Critical Combat.

Alluria Publishing: awesome underwater stuff and some fey material

Super Genius Games/Rogue Genius Games: great crunch.

Drop Dead Studios: Rogue Glory (fixing the Rogue class, also check out 101 Skill Uses by Rite for this)

Four Dollar Dungeons (4DD): outstangid, cheap adventures. Just read the reviews.


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As for keeping up with new 3PP products Endzeitgeists reviews and this forum are a great place for that.


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If you're looking for base classes, my Maestro and Truenamer are the only two brand new classes this year nominated for Endzeitgeist's top 10 of 2014. :)


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Necromancers of the Northwest have put out quite a few really excellent supplements, although it's probably important to note that their name is misleading. Most of their material has little or nothing to do with necromancy.


theheadkase wrote:

You should check out Flying Pincushion Games. The first 2 books, Into the Breach: The Summoner and Into the Breach: The Magus were published in partnership with d20PFSRD.com and the latest book Into the Breach: The Oracle was published as their own entity.

Lots of crunch with some fluff and there is a lot more coming.

I hate to be 'that guy' but I have to disagree. While Inter the Breach: The Summoner went through a revision that made it so much more useable its original content left me unsatisfied with their quality control. The Magus book is still rife with errors making me never really wanting to use it. The problems range from simple language errors where RAI is clear to class features that grant abilities that the class already has and class features that grant abilities to support other abilities that don't exist, and they bring down a lot of the crunch.

The more recent Oracle book has subdued but but very similar errors but I cannot elaborate because I am still cross-referencing rules to validate or dispel my initial opinion.


Rob Rose wrote:
Slumbering Tsar was the main catalyst which turned me into a 3pp seeker. That adventure, it's depth, atmosphere, complexity, and old-school feel just blew my mind. I can't wait to run it as my next campaign. I haven't read Rappan Athuk yet. Has anyone here attempted that? How does it compare to Slumbering Tsar?

Check out this unfortunately unfinished play report of RA. I would say that almost all of Necromancer Games /Frog God Games products will have this feel.


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I've been summoned from the depths of real life???

Kidding aside, if you require specific guidance, don't hesitate to contact me via my site and thanks to everyone pointing out that both I and my reviewing exist. :)

Contributor

Note that many of your favorite Paizo authors also work for or own their own 3PP companies. Follow authors you like and find out where else they are writing or publishing. There are some great things being created by 3PPs!

Silver Crusade

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Endzeitgeist wrote:

I've been summoned from the depths of real life???

Kidding aside, if you require specific guidance, don't hesitate to contact me via my site and thanks to everyone pointing out that both I and my reviewing exist. :)

a while back, I was recommended The Slumbering Tsar. It was actually your review that prompted me to check it out. Needless to say, I'll be reading more of your reviews.

Thanks to veryone for their suggestions. I've plenty of material to sort through, now.

My only problem now is that I need more personal time and an extended life-span to read and run all these! Better get started!


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Question about Rappan Athuk from someone interested in running it

1. Is it literally a 1-20 adventure?
2. How is the magic mart in it?
3. Is it literally a dungeon that you enter at x level then get spit out at 20th?
4. Do you enter the dungeon, do stuff, then backtrack out to rest or are players expected to rest there?
5. How much narrative is there? Is the story simply what players make of it, or is their an underlying plot the players are aware of and have some control over?

Silver Crusade

I'm curious about these very same questions. Anyone here played this?


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Quote:

Ssalarn

Rite Publishing has a great collection of materials for playing unusual races and you pretty much can't go wrong with anything they put out.

137ben
Rite's 101 __ series is really good...actually all Rite stuff is great.

Thanael
Rite Publishing: great crunch pieces, Coliseum Morpheon (high level advanture in the plane of dream) & Faces of the Tarnished Souk (great NPCs), Japanese Horror setting: Kaidan (check out the free adventure), Adventure Quarterly is Dungeon magazine's successor.

Thanks for all the kind words. .

You can see my list of Good 3pp that are not mine that need more Love over HERE!


LMPjr007 wrote:


I would suggest Obsidian Apocalypse if you are looking for post-apocalyptic survival horror campaign took kit. It was inspired as a Dark Sun & Ravenloft mash up.

dammit, You ninjaded my suggestion.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

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Insain Dragoon wrote:

Question about Rappan Athuk from someone interested in running it

1. Is it literally a 1-20 adventure?
2. How is the magic mart in it?
3. Is it literally a dungeon that you enter at x level then get spit out at 20th?
4. Do you enter the dungeon, do stuff, then backtrack out to rest or are players expected to rest there?
5. How much narrative is there? Is the story simply what players make of it, or is their an underlying plot the players are aware of and have some control over?

I think that Skeeter Green can answer these better than I, but her goes from an FGG guy. :)

1. That depends on what you mean. Is it an adventure path? No. Is there content in the Rappan Athuk book for leveling 1 through 20? Yes. Most of the early leveling would be done while exploring the wilderness around Rappan Athuk proper and the town of Zelkor's Ferry (usable as a home base). The Cloister of The Frog God and a few other areas has some low-level adventure and areas in them that will require a return trip at much higher levels to possibly conquer.

2. Not exactly sure what you mean here. There aren't any "magic shops" or such, there are items to find, but remember that the author - Bill Webb - isn't big on handing out magic items like candy.

3 & 4. This is not a linear dungeon. There are at least 5 different entrances to various parts of the dungeon. It's not a traipse in and out affair, there is the very real danger of leaving the dungeon just to get mugged by bandits who make their living off of adventurers who think "fresh air" means "home base". There are areas of the dungeon where you can negotiate with the inhabitants, areas that you should avoid, creatures you should assess whether or not you need to run away from, fight, or parlay with. There's a level that is an entire city. You can bypass entire levels depending on how you delve through The Dungeon of Graves. It can be a meat-grinder if players think that anything put before them is of the appropriate level. And, as is true of all of the adventures from Frog God Games (Rappan Athuk being the model), be prepared to create new characters.

5. There are things going on, but it's mostly like a sandbox. Plot hooks are needed to delve into the dungeon, but on the other hand, there's plenty of ideas from retrieving an item right up to endeavoring to destroy Orcus. There is a backstory to The Dungeon of Graves, and it connects to The Slumbering Tsar Saga (itself an adventure of huge scope).

I hope that answered some of your questions.


It answered me very well thank you!

I had never heard of Rappan Athuk or Slumbering Tsar before this thread, but all these tales really intrigued me. It's just that the product description sounded very different from what I usually see as prewritten adventures and I was curious.

Supposing one owned both Slumbering Tsar and Rappan Athuk, how would the two books interact?

Edit: If I were to buy only one it would be enough for me to take my players on an adventure from 1-20 with minimal GM additions?

Publisher, Frog God Games

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They completely interact--Tsar was written by Greg in response to my writing of RA. The legacy and mythology is integrated well.


Hmmm, I think I'll download that first part to Slumbering Tsar that's free on Paizo and take a look!

Honestly though I'm more likely to simply buy the cheaper book.

My group has blasted through a lot of Paizo APs with no cares in the world, so something like one of these adventures may give them a real challenge.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

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For lower level adventure that is in the same style you might want to check out our book "Stoneheart Valley".

The Lost City of Barakus is also low level and in the same style, but it's not up for sale yet (kickstarter just ended a couple of weeks ago).

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

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Rappan Athuk could go 1 through 20.

The Slumbering Tsar Saga starts off about level 7 if I recall correctly. Greg actually used the books that became Stoneheart Valley to lead into his Slumbering Tsar campaign. (Wizard's Amulet, Crucible of Frey, and Tomb of Abysthor).

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

And I have to say that if your players aren't ready for the "good ol' Dungeon Delve" you might wind up with a mutiny on your hands playing Rappan Athuk.


I gotta admit, having employees tell me about things is really really cool! I think I'll pick up Stoneheart Valley and use it to dip my feet in your studio. Thank you very much for being patient with me.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

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You're welcome! What's even more cool is that Steve Russell (Rite Publishing) pinged me on Facebook to let me know someone was asking about us.

That's why 3rd Party Publishers are so cool. <grin>


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Raging Swan Press also offers a really good free adventure called The Sunken Pyramid which you should check out. You can't go wrong with any of the mega-adventures from Frog God Games though. Endzeitgeist also has top ten lists and accompanying reviews from the past few years that are filled with amazing products. This is truly the Golden Age of 3PP.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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The Sunken Pyramid was so good that I turned around and immediately bought the physical copy. It's still queued up to play in Roll20 as soon as I get the chance.


Insain Dragoon wrote:
I gotta admit, having employees tell me about things is really really cool!

Chuck Wright = the cool, he's like The Fonz


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Seconding props for Companions of the Firmament (Geek Industrial Complex) and Cerulean Seas (Alluria Publishing).

If by air or sea your adventure glides,
these products for their element nothing elide.


Sunken Pyramid is not completely free but they have the first act as a free preview. Also check out their free mini setting The Lonwly Coast.

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

I'd just like to say thank you for the mention and that we helped turn you to other third party publishers! That's pretty cool.

I don't really have much to add beyond that - the publishers I would have mentioned have been or are in the thread that Steve linked.


I can't say I have sampled all the publishers, but so far I have liked what I have seen from Open Design/Kobold Press, the Cerulean Seas Campaign Setting from Alluria Publishing, Ultimate Psionics from Dreamscarred Press, and some material from Rite Publishing and Legendary Games (I think I got the last one right)


900+ pages? Is the bible that thick?
If used as a shield, on top of AC it would give DR.

Liberty's Edge

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Thanael wrote:
Sunken Pyramid is not completely free but they have the first act as a free preview. Also check out their free mini setting The Lonwly Coast.

Hey, thanks for the nice words about The Sunken Pyramid! I'm incredibly proud of that adventure, so it's always great to hear folks like it :)

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

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Thanks to everyone who mentioned Raging Swan Press! I'm delighted you chaps find our products so handy!

@Rob Rose: You can browse our full catalogue here. Every product has a free sample available (apart from the products that are completely free anyway!)


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One of the nice things about Pathfinder 3pp is the Endzeitgeist.com resource. Hundreds of high quality critical reviews by a reviewer that uses the entire review scale. The reviews are in depth and explain the what and why behind the conclusion and score. It makes it much much easier to sort the wheat from the chaff and lets the consumer know exactly what they are getting. There's lots of great stuff out there and it has never been easier to find all the best of the best. I'd suggest that it's actually easier to figure out what are the best 3pp products than it is to find out what are the best Paizo products as there are no reviewers who consistently provide the same breadth and quality of reviews for the Paizo products.

Contributor

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Caedwyr wrote:
One of the nice things about Pathfinder 3pp is the Endzeitgeist.com resource.

I totally agree! 3PPs LOVE Endzeitgeist's thoroughness. We have a great deal of respect for what Thilo does!

Pathfinder Rules Conversion, Frog God Games

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Kolokotroni wrote:
Slumbering Tsar...Seriously, you could beat someone to death with that hard cover.

This may be the best compliment we have received at Frog God Games.

Skeeter Green
Frog God Games


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Yeah, don't do something that will make a GM running Slumbering Tsar or Rappan Athuk throw the book at you. 'Cause that's a trip to the ER.


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I've been trying to come up with a way to get a hardcover book that is the same heft as a Frog God Games adventure path. So far, the most effective way to do so is to strap a brick to each copy.

Silver Crusade

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Wow! Not only tons of responses from the Pathfinder community, but several from the actual authors and publishers as well. I'm very happy to have discovered this little community and the wonderful realm that is known as 3pp. The endzeitgeist reviews are a big help (how do you find time to read all these and run them while still living a real life?) and the links provided are helpful, as well. I need a clone to help sort and run these all.

Shadow Lodge

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One that I haven't seen listed is LPJ Design. NeoExodus is a pretty cool campaign setting, and Obsidian Apocalypse is amazing. He's also got some of the coolest art of any of the Pathfinder 3PPs.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

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I'll second LPJ's Obsidian Apocalypse. If you are into very bleak survival horror...this is it for you.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Kthulhu wrote:
One that I haven't seen listed is LPJ Design. NeoExodus is a pretty cool campaign setting, and Obsidian Apocalypse is amazing. He's also got some of the coolest art of any of the Pathfinder 3PPs.
Ssalarn in the 6th post from the OP wrote:

no one does post-apocalyptic quite like Louis Porter Jr. with his NeoExodus product line.

;)

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