New to 3PP; what should I check out? What should I avoid?


Product Discussion

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I recently read a post by Ssalarn, here, in which he says that there are some great 3PP material out there and that there is a stigma from the old days about bad 3PP products that cause new products to do poorly.

This made me think. I'm one of those old school gamers who still holds some probably wrong beliefs about 3PP material. I've always been resistant to it, preferring to stick to Paizo (or WotC, TSR, etc...). But this post is making me think that I shouldn't be resistant to it. It's making me think that I should give them a chance.

I recently purchased Dream Scarred Press' book on psionics because my players have been wanting to play it, and that's one of the rare few I've bought. And I didn't buy it for me.

If I'm going to delve into the world of 3PP and check it out, I'd like some advice on which products are good and which to avoid. As a GM, what would you recommend for me? Who should I pay attention to in the future and who should I be wary of? What advice can you give?


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Depends on what you want. Modules? Crunch? Setting supplements? GM help?

In case you just want to browse 3pps, may I humbly suggest my website, endzeitgeist.com? I have *a lot* of 3pp-reviews there and am currently at ~1800 reviews of 3pp-products in total.

I have a series on my site called EZG Essentials - these pdfs are the bare minimum at my table, what I expect all my players to be familiar with, so that would be a starting point.

Otherwise, just ask what you're looking for and I'll recommend something. :)


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First and foremost some do nots

1. Do not donate to Kickstarters until you do proper research. Is this a new company? How good are their past works? Have they successfully done a kickstarter before? Are all good questions.

2. Do not trust a reviewer's opinion as universally true. Read multiple reviews and ignore star ratings. Find out what they actually like and dislike about the product. Heck if you buy a product compare your impressions to the review to get a stronger view point. For the same product one reviewer may find it overpowered, but are comparing to Fighter while another find it underpowered because he's comparing to an optimized Barbarian, Cavalier, or Paladin.

3. Do not try to buy everything. Too much going on for that! Buy what you need or what sounds interesting for your games. You want a unique sprawling premade adventure city? They got books for that. Books to create a Hong Kong Kung Fu vibe? Yeah. Gothic horror? Yeah. Psionics? Uep. If you don't know where to even begin to look then ask and we'll be cool and help.

4. Do not dissmiss something off the bat, give it a read. A lot of companies have stuff on pfsrd, have preview PDFs, or playtest docs that can help you make a more informed decision.

I tried to keep specific names out of the above post, but now I'm gonna mention specifics.

Settings/materials to enhance settings I like:
Kaidan
Obsidian Apocalypse
Dragon Tiger Ox

Crunch
DSP: Psionics
DSP: Path of War (some find it controversial)
Amora: Book of Collective Influence
Little Red Goblin: Most of their stuff. They have a lot of "small" releases.
Drop Dead Studios: Spheres of Power.


In addition to the above:
Many 3pp companies do free samples so it's worth having a look at those before buying something from them.

Also, check the 3pp authors, they may have written something you liked for Paizo, WoC etc.


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Endzeitgeist is definitely the most prolific product reviewer for Pathfinder 3PP material, and all his reviews are spoiler heavy, really looking at the nitty-gritty of any product - IMO, the best PF reviewer out there. Visit his website for a good start in your look at potential 3PP products that are for you. He is not hesitant of giving a one star, if he feels a product deserves that. Anything he gives the Endzeitgeist Seal of Approval and 5 stars are his top rated products - maybe start there and look for all "seal of approval" products first.

Although I'm primarily a freelancer and cartographer, the Kaidan setting of Japanese horror (PFRPG) mentioned by Insain Dragoon, is my published homebrew under Rite Publishing. Anything that I'd say about Kaidan is probably biased. However, look at other Rite Publishing products (most are not mine), I use a ton of Rite material in my games. Rite Publishing offers a ton of purely crunch books worth checking out.


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First try out all the FREE 3PP on the market. Then try some of the stuff from the free stuff you liked. Simple.


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As someone who disagrees with Endzeitgeist's sense of game balance, I still find his website invaluable.

He covers pretty much every nook and cranny of a book he can. If the book didn't have good editing, he can tell (and therefore tell you). He finds the rules inconsistencies too.

If you want to know what is in a book, read his reviews. When he talks about game balance, read what he says. He goes in depth enough that you can tell whether or not the option is overpowered for your own home games.

That said, I have not ran into much bad 3rd party material so far. This is because I pay attention to reviews, and (though many might see this as a bad thing) I listen to 4chan. Believe it or not, Dreamscarred Press and Rite Publishing are wildly popular on the Pathfinder threads there. To the point where this exchange is common.

"I am joining a game [insert information about game]. What should I play? By the way its core only."

and the general response is either "you don't play," or "sorry."

Anyway my recommendations are:
Dreamscarred Press (Ultimate Psionics, Akashic Mysteries, Path of War)
Rite Publishing
Amora Games (Liber Influxus Communis)
Rogue Genius Games (Just a lot of good stuff.)
Little Red Goblin Games (Lots of creative thinking here. Also Dragon Tiger Ox)
Drop Dead Studios (Keep an eye on these guys. They made Spheres of Power and are working on more exciting content)

I would love to recommend more but it would be unfair to recommend things I have not read. Also, I am relatively new to 3rd party content myself, so I have yet to see all that there is to offer (I didn't even know about Endzeitgeist's essentials until he talked about them earlier! So much interesting stuff there!).

Also, don't take my word for these recommendations. Read the reviews. Check their previews. I love these products, but every gamer and group is unique. For instance, I know PoW is polarizing among my group, despite the fact that I think its one of the funnest books written.


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Thanks for the great advice everyone. I really don't know what I want, I just thought that I should force myself to give 3PP a chance, since I never have before.

I guess one place I can start is to ask my players what they want and then to find appropriate 3PP material that covers their playing preferences. This would be in terms of character classes, abilities, etc...

As a GM, I'm aways on the look out for good modules, especially in galorian. One things I'd like to do is run some of the classic 1e modules, so if anyone knows of some good conversion material, I'd be interested in that. Or something that has the same feel as some of the classics. But really, I'm open.

I'm basically trying to force myself to try something new and to try something that I've been hesitant to try before.


bookrat wrote:
I'm aways on the look out for good modules, especially in galorian.

You won't find Paizo's setting represented through us. That said, if you want to try some new base classes, get in touch with me and I'll comp you a copy of something. A conversion is always a worthwhile cause!


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Yeah, as Interjection Games states, 3PP aren't allowed to use Golarian, so many create their own settings, or create crunch that can be used with any setting.

Not to beat you over the head with Kaidan, but if you want to expand someplace like Minkai, and you like modules, there are:

Curse of the Golden Spear, trilogy of introductory modules - The Gift, Dim Spirit, and Dark Path for levels 5, 6 and 7, party of five.

Frozen Wind is a FREE one-shot module for 5th level.

Haiku of Horror: Autumn Moon Bath House is a side quest adventure or extended encounter and adventure site with a curse, haunts and a ghost in varying CR 4 - 22 to fit any level of adventurers.

Up from Darkness is a creepy and very dark one-shot for a party of 7th level adventurers, though using the pregens is recommended.

The Tolling of Tears is a one-shot for 3rd level, but is more of an investigation of mundane opponents appearing as magical.

Insure you read the reviews for these products.


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4 dollar dungeons I think have a 1e feel. They certainly seem to be in-depth and comprehensive and all have reviewed well.

Webstore Gninja Minion

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Third-party publishers are prohibited from using Paizo's setting material in their releases. I do try and do a bi-weekly highlight of third-party releases in the Paizo store blog—here's a link to the latest.


I have, or had as of a few months ago, somewhere around half to three quarters of all products published by Rite Publishing and will recommend most anything published by them. Rogue Genius Games is excellent as well, particularly their talented class line, and Dreamscarred Press' psionic rules I consider as essential as the core PF rules for running a game. If you want a campaign setting Midgard by Kobold Press iPad many great offerings, and if you want something different the Cerulean Seas stuff by Alluria Publishing I've found very enjoyable to read even if I haven't used it much.

For reviews I recommend Endzeitgeist, who has hundreds and hundreds of comprhensive reviews. I've bought a number of products based on a review and recommendation, and I think End's reviews are responsible for ever Midgard purchase I've made.

As far as specific products go, it really depends on what you are looking for but there are some excellent products I would always recommend. The 101 series by Rite Publishing is full of excellent offerings like 101 Mythical Site properties, 101 Not So Simple Monster Templates, and 101 Hazards and Disasters. Their Book of Monster Templates is also excellent, and if you like monster templates you need the fantastic Advanced Bestiary by Green Ronin. On the subject of monsters, if you can't get enough of monsters Frog God Games has the fantastic Tome of Horrors Complete. If classes are more your thing the "Genius Guide to the Talented (class name)" line of products from Rogue Genius Games have excellent takes on the Pathfinder classes, while Kobold Press has the very nice New Paths Compendium with 7 new classes plus archetypes and more. Deep Magic, also a Kobold Press offering, has an enormous amount of excellent magical options, spells, and other magic related excellence.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg, there are dozens and dozens of publishers and products I don't have the time to name, some I've tried and some I haven't. Hope this helped you uncover some potentially fun products to try out and you have more luck checking out reviews and other opinions.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Any of Frog God Games' adventures are the king of old school modules. Nothing has a more old school feel in 3PP than they do, IMHO.

Grand Lodge

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@bookrat what is it you are specifically looking for? Or are you looking for any thing specific?

ie: Raging Swan Press offers a lot of good GM stuff.
ie: Rite Publishing offers a lot of diverse products, and several campaign settings.

With those examples the common names you will here people say are:
Little Red Goblin Games
Abandoned Arts
Rogue Genius Games
Super Genius Games
Raging Swan Press
Frog God Games
Kobold Press
Amora Game (shameless plug)
Rite Publishing
Louis Porter Jr Games (LPJ)
Dreamscarred Press

And a host of others.

With the proper product search, we can point you to where you need to go.
Soooo with that in mind.

What is your interests?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Being as how my name is mentioned (and linked to!) right in the OP, I suppose I should weigh in.

I have a very weird history with 3pp materials. 3 years ago, I was actually staunchly against them because my experiences with 3.5 had taught me that unless you were 1st party or directly licensed by 3pp (as Paizo was with the Dungeon /and/ Dragon magazines), you were not to be trusted, because there was like a 99% chance that your materials were ridiculously OP. Maybe that assessment was true at the time, maybe that was just a reflection of the people I played with.

Anyways, eventually I ended up with a group that wanted to try Pathfinder, and there was this aquatic campaign I'd been working on forever, so it seemed like a good time to try things out. I picked up the CRB and the 3.5 to PF conversion guide so I could port my favorite 3.5 book, Magic of Incarnum, over. At some point in all that I was told to check out this .pdf called Cerulean Seas. I was told it was amazingly well written and illustrated and had all the rules I was looking for for an aquatic setting, and probably a few I hadn't thought of. All of that turned out to be true, and I quickly became an avid follower of their materials.
With the door opened, I started looking for more stuff. I typed the words "psionic conversion + Pathfinder" into a search engine and was introduced to Dreamscarred Press, a company I now write for. Remember that conversion of MoI I mentioned? Turns out that was the seed that would eventually grow into the opportunity DSP gave me with Akashic Mysteries.

I would also come to discover Rite Publishing (love their playable monsters!), Little Red Goblin Games (some of my favorite "goofy" classes), Abandoned Arts (lords of awesome and affordable archetypes), Rogue Genius Games (whom I ended up writing The Genius Guide to Bravery Feats for), Amora Games (Greg is, I believe, a veteran like me and gave me an opportunity to write a military-themed class with Speciaties based on military MOS'), and most recently, Drop Dead Studios (whose alternate casting system is probably the most balanced and awesome thing I've seen since Ultimate Psionics). All of this stuff was so cool, and as small companies they're more willing to explore niche ideas, unusual subsystems, and other things that I didn't realize my game was desperately missing until I learned they existed.


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There are plenty of areas in the Pathfinder game where certain concepts are tiptoed around. Some of this is for legacy reasons, and some of it's simply because touching those areas requires work by talented humans. One thing 3pp publishers can do is identify areas of weakness or incompleteness in the rules and address them in a focused way.

Do you think fighters are bland or underpowered?
Do you think the monk is weak or lacks options?
Want to play a giant from 1st level?
... ride a dragon?
Do you think non-spellcasting concepts shouldn't prevent you from having good numbers and useful abilities?
Someone wants to be a "US Marine" in a Pathfinder game?

Done! The best material can be dropped straight into your game, no mess, no fuss. A lot of the material is modular, and definitely right-priced.


AAW Games (aka AdventureAWeek) has plenty of great products, but there's also the (ENnie-winning; if you see an ENnie award or nomination, that's a good indicator of product quality) AaWBlog, which updates daily with free Pathfinder content.


Ok, after talking with my players, here's what they would like to see more of:

New races, new balanced feats, and new balanced classes (even for NPCs!).

Since I'm in the middle of iron gods right now, I'd also like to see some more technology stuff. I already own the technology guide by Paizo, so this would be in addition to that. I'm thinking I can add it into the current AP. Not modern world tech, but futuristic tech that fits well into fantasy.

Regarding RJ's questions: yes, I beleive most martial classes are underpowered. I would love to see some martial classes that can do non-magical things on the same order that casters can do. I just mentioned a few days ago that I'd love to see some martials that make Lars Andersen look like a 3rd level character.

Going into my next campaign (beyond Iron Gods), I'll be looking at making a mix of classic 1e adventures combined with other random modules that seem fun, and since I'm forcing myself to try 3PP, I'll be looking there exclusively for my next campaign. While I'd love to make my own adventures, between work and kids I do not have the time, so I now prefer something already written. And when it comes to modules and adventures, I prefer something I can physically hold. While I'll still buy PDFs, I always prefer a real physical book. I just like books. I still have all my college text books.

As far as adventures go, I'm not sure what I want. Definitely not a fan of huge mega dungeons. I didn't like them as a player so I'm fairy certain I won't like them as a GM. But other than that, I'm up for anything (even if it can't be galorian).

And again, I can't thank you all enough for taking the time to help me explore this new world of 3PP. It's like its own adventure!


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bookrat wrote:
Regarding RJ's questions: yes, I beleive most martial classes are underpowered. I would love to see some martial classes that can do non-magical things on the same order that casters can do. I just mentioned a few days ago that I'd love to see some martials that make Lars Andersen look like a 3rd level character.

Please forgive my for plugging a project I'm involved in, but Path of War may be of use to you there.


Lots of publishers offer new races, balanced feats and classes - Rogue Genius, Super Genius, Rite Publishing, LPJ, Kobold Press, Red Goblin Games all come to mind.

EN Publishing came out with the Santiago setting set in alternate sci-fi galactic setting where magic is technology with altered classes, with some tech equipment, though not as extensive as the Tech Guide - that's pretty new niche material, I'm sure something will be released by some 3PP soon enough, but not much out there, as far as I know.

As far as adventures go - think themes that might interest you, there's so much and so much variety its hard to point to any one thing. Fire Mountain Games Way of the Wicked lets your PCs play evil adventurers fighting against good in full AP. Frog God Games has several including Razor Coast a pirates of the Pacific-ish flavored setting and unique AP. Cerulean Seas is a full undersea setting with its own AP. Rite Publishing has a high level setting and AP 15-20th set on the dream plane called Coloseum Morpheuon. I've already beat you over the head with Kaidan. From old school themes to exotica - there's too much to point at to decide what you best need. Give us some clues to your interests.

Shadow Lodge

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In terms of "crunch", I recommend anything by Dreamscarred Press, Frog God Games' monster books, and Green Ronin's Advanced Bestiary.

In terms of settings and adventures, I recommend absolutely everything by Frog God Games, as well as Kobold Press' Midgard line.

There is, of course, a lot of other great stuff, but all of these are what I consider "must buy".


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Balanced classes and Feats: DSP's stuff is pure gold here. I've loved their Psionics stuff for a while, but if anything Path of War is even better. I've only personally played the Stalker, but the classes have so many options without overpowering any one thing that it's pure heaven.

You want a martial character with high mobility? Pop around with the Veiled Moon Discipline!

Want to debuff foes, or buff yourself with no magic required? Most Disciplines have you covered on both, and all have one of the two.

Want to finally make a Thrown weapon character who doesn't need to look like Ahnold? Deadly throw is a godsend here.

I could gush about that stuff more, but I won't. But I could.

New races:

DSP's Psionics has a few neat ones. Elan especially has interesting flavor and solid mechanics.

Dragon Tiger Ox has a half-giant type thing and a SHARK MAN OM NOM NOM. That book as a whole is pure gold too, I'd check it out if you like Wuxia style movies and want to bring a bit of eastern flavor to your game. Even for Golarion, I'd say. Tia needs more love.

New monsters:

Frog God Games is the undisputed king here, from what i've seen. More monsters, and more high quality monsters and templates than most publishers I've seen.

What to avoid:

Super Genius Games, for the most part. Most of the things I've seen by them have been...ill conceived. Though I'll admit I haven't looked to deep into their stuff, so I may just have had a kneejerk reaction to something especially bad I saw.

Also, most untested publishers I'd ay either ignore, or make sure you know exactly what they have before you purchase. Otherwise you may end up with stuff that is neat in concept, but mechanically broken (in several senses). Like the Taskshaper.


Rynjin said basically what I was going to say.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

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Just following along, but I'm kind of surprised no one has mentioned Legendary Games yet. Pretty much all the same guys who work on the official Pathfinder products, but we're just throwing down on 3PP material in between assignments.

  • Easy-as-pie plug-in's to expand on various Adventure Paths, including new adventures, monsters, magic items, and rogue's galleries of NPCs (and even pregen PCs).
  • Mythic rules done right. With new mythic path expansions, spells, feats, and most importantly, monsters (which give you a new spin on just about everything).
  • An entire line of Ultimate rules expansions for kingdom-building, mass combat, and even NPC relationships.

I like to think we've broken some serious new ground while simultaneously supporting the core Pathfinder product lines published by Paizo. And we've got some pretty amazing stuff lined up for next year (which we'll be highlighting at PaizoCon and GenCon).

Liberty's Edge

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bookrat wrote:

Ok, after talking with my players, here's what they would like to see more of:

... new balanced feats, and new balanced classes.

I'll just echo what others here have said ... you should give the New Paths Compendium from Kobold Press a look!


Just out of curiosity, are there adventure modules with some of these great new classes already written into them?

Liberty's Edge

bookrat wrote:
Just out of curiosity, are there adventure modules with some of these great new classes already written into them?

Great question! Kobold Press definitely actively supports the NPC classes. There are new spells for them in Deep Magic, there are new archetypes for them in many of the Advanced Races line, there is plenty of support for them in the upcoming Southlands books, including the Gravebinder, a brand-new white necromancer archetype.

As for adventures, I believe a few Kobold Press adventures utilize classes from the NPC. Off the top of my head, the Raven's Call does and I know (because I wrote it:) that the upcoming adventure Shadows of the Dusk Queen definitely uses classes from the New Paths Compendium (as well as a few feats and spells!)

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Start small. Going big will overwhem you. Start with throwing in a monster from a Pathfinder Compatible publisher or changing out 1 or 2 spells a spellcaster has to something made by a Pathfinder Compatible publisher.

My recommendations include (and yes, some of these are from my own company):

#30 Traps for Tombs (Rite Publishing)
Book of Beasts: Monsters of the River Nations (Jon Brazer Enterprises, my company)
Rawr! Volume 1: Fear and Dread (TPK Games)
Monster Menagerie: Rise of the Goblinoids (Rogue Genius Games}
Psionic Bestiary Part 10 Dreamscarred Press (Note: I'd actually recommend the Psionic Bestiary itself, but since I am trying to keep the size (and price) limited, I'm recommending one of the pieces of the bestiary instead of the whole bestiary)

Book of Arcane Magic(4 Winds/Purple Duck)
Book of Magic: Signature Spells 2 (Jon Brazer Enterprises, my company)
Absolute Magic: Clerics (LPJ Design)

These would be a good place to start. Start with something small and expand from there.


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bookrat wrote:

Thanks for the great advice everyone. I really don't know what I want, I just thought that I should force myself to give 3PP a chance, since I never have before.

I guess one place I can start is to ask my players what they want and then to find appropriate 3PP material that covers their playing preferences. This would be in terms of character classes, abilities, etc...

As a GM, I'm aways on the look out for good modules, especially in galorian. One things I'd like to do is run some of the classic 1e modules, so if anyone knows of some good conversion material, I'd be interested in that. Or something that has the same feel as some of the classics. But really, I'm open.

I'm basically trying to force myself to try something new and to try something that I've been hesitant to try before.

If you're an old school fan, you should check out Raging Swan Press' Shadowed Keep on the Borderland for a fun old school module.

If you're looking for class optionos, the Rogue Genius series has plenty of fascinating classes such as the Time Thief, Time Warden and Dragon Rider.

You've already discovered Dreamscarred's Ultimate Psionics (or Psionics Unleashed) so check out their book on psionic NPCs Psionics Embodied or their amazing Psionic Bestiary. If you want more psionic beasties, then snap up Fat Goblin's Mindblast! series especially Mindblast! Classic Monsters Augmented for a selection of psionic variants of classic monsters.


It's definitely ok to recommend your own works and products. That's inevitable when asking the community about 3PP. Who knows 3PP the best? The people that write, publish, and review them.

I only ask that we be honest about our own works. If you know something you have isn't good, please either let me know or simply do not recommend it. Likewise, if you know something is well written and good material, I'd love to hear about it.

One of the reasons I love the pathfinder community is because there are so many good and honest people here. This is why I came here to ask about it.

Liberty's Edge

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Brother Fen wrote:


If you're an old school fan, you should check out Raging Swan Press' Shadowed Keep on the Borderland for a fun old school module.

Absolutely! That adventure is excellent!!! Creighton is an amazing adventure writer!

Another very well-reviewed adventure from Raging Swan worth checking out is The Sunken Pyramid. As an added bonus, the person who wrote it is a heck of a guy! :)


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Their are so many companies and products. it is hard to get started I own a fair number of the things offered by many of them. so let me tell you from a customers point of view what some of the better companies do.

Kobold Press is run and operated by Wolfgang Baur he has worked in the industry for many years he started as an editor for Dungeon magazine. Basically Kobold Press offers setting material, adventures and of course great crunch all set in their campaign setting of Midgard. A really nice setting with a bit of a steampunk twist to it. They put out some of the best adventures out their and their world is nicely developed.

Frog God games Is run by Bill Webb from the old necromancer games. This company has a campaign setting called Lost lands. They offer great monster books and mega adventures all with and old school feel these adventures are hard and they tend to be sandboxes. Their adventures are all top notch stuff though Rappen Athuk is a mega dungeon and you said you don't like those.

Legendary games is a nice little company that offers a lot of stuff that follows what Paizo is doing they are trying to make everything Mythic and they offer a lot of slip in adventures meant for Paizo's AP minus any mention of Golarion of course.

Rite Publishing has several campaign setting's they are working on Kaiden which has been mention, Coliseum Morpheoum which is a very cool high level setting and adventure, they also have Jade oath and they offer lots of crunch like spells and feats in small packages.

Rouge Genius Games is run by Owen Stephens who also works for Paizo. This company offer lots of supplements which feature innovative new classes, and new material for existing classes as well as new monster, feats, etc. they are very crunch heavy in their offerings.

Drop Dead Studios has a cool new magic system out called spheres of magic and they are currently working on a new setting called skyboure which hasn't been released yet.

Dreamscarred press is all about alternate power systems they are basically pathfinderizing all the cool books from 3.0 and 3.5 They have ultimate Psionics of course and now they are offering Path of war which is basically The old Tome of Battle from 3.5 and Akashic Mysteries which is Magic of Incarnum from 3.5.

Alluria publishing offers the Cerelean Seas campaign setting which is just about anything and everything you would ever want to know about underwater adventure they have supplements that cover artic waters, deep sea or the dark abyss and monsters they have lots of underseas monsters and lots of great new races.

Green Ronin is run by Chris Pramas, who is a wotc alum and they have put out the advanced Beastiary which is filled with incredible templetes for making monsters cooler and they are soon releasing Freeport their longtime pirate city.

Louis Porter Jr designs. Has not one but 2 really cool settings one is called Neo-exodus and it is a kind of steampunked world that feature a really cool class called the machinesmith and Obsidian Apocalyse which is basically a world where the bad won and turned the world into your worst nightmare. Now try and survive.

Their are so many more. TPK games offers killer Adventures, Fat Goblin games has lots of cool crunch, Raging Swan offers quick fill ins for the busy GM, Little Red Goblin games has great new races and classes. Their is even a company called Silver that offers a world filled with Magical Ponies. 3pp offer endless variety have fun checking it out.

Endzeitgeist's reviews offer a really good overview of what is in each product so read his reviews to get a feel for what is in a product.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Marc Radle wrote:
Brother Fen wrote:


If you're an old school fan, you should check out Raging Swan Press' Shadowed Keep on the Borderland for a fun old school module.

Absolutely! That adventure is excellent!!! Creighton is an amazing adventure writer!

Another very well-reviewed adventure from Raging Swan worth checking out is The Sunken Pyramid. As an added bonus, the person who wrote it is a heck of a guy! :)

I actually bought Sunken Pyramid myself, and it's one of my favorite adventure modules! There's cool use of classic critters, a mix of terrains that are a challenge in their own right... It's just good stuff.

ladydragona wrote:
...Dreamscarred press is all about alternate power systems they are basically pathfinderizing all the cool books from 3.0 and 3.5 They have ultimate Psionics of course and now they are offering Path of war which is basically The old Tome of Battle from 3.5 and Akashic Mysteries which is Magic of Incarnum from 3.5.

I just wanted to note that while not incorrect, this statement may be a smidge misleading about the content of the referenced products. Dreamscarred cleaned, fine-tuned, and rebalanced the psionics from 3.5, and then created a slew of awesome new classes, races, feats, powers and archetypes. Path of War features entirely new classes and disciplines built in the vein of the the old Tome of Battle, but unique in their own right.

I'm actually the writer and lead designer for Akashic Mysteries, and I took some big steps away from Magic of Incarnum in designing the materials. Veils (the equivalent to MoI soulmelds) don't compete with items for equipment slots, the math and basic functions are retuned, and the classes are something altogether different than MoI had to offer. I'd tell you that they're really cool, versatile, and well-balanced, but rather than toot my own horn, I'll just point you to the review done by the most thorough reviewer out there.


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What Ssalarn says is all true I just was trying to keep from writing a book about each publisher, and I could they all offer so much great stuff. I wish I could afford to buy it all.


bookrat wrote:

Ok, after talking with my players, here's what they would like to see more of:

New races, new balanced feats, and new balanced classes (even for NPCs!).

To keep from gushing endlessly about the various possible 3rd party publishers I'll just try to answer with recommendations for awesome and balanced classes which are worth looking into, in my opinion. They are in no particular order, I heartily recommend all of these products, no reservations.

First recommendation, hands down, is the talented classes line of products from Rogue Genius Games. The line "Genius Guide to the Talented [class]" includes the talented Barbarian, Cavalier, Monk, Fighter, Rogue, and Ranger at the moment and is excellent for letting a player customize these classes more than the base Pathfinder class allows. I've had a talented Barbarian in my games and used a talented Fighter and Rogue NPC and found them well worth the price.

Second recommendation is the New Paths Compendium from Kobold Press, which I would recommend simply for the Spell-less Ranger alone, even without the other awesome classes. A long running play by post game of mine recently had a player change over to a spell-less Ranger to better fit the character concept. My player is loving the class and I find it excellent as well. The other options in the book read very well but I don't have direct play experience with them.

Third recommendation is just me echoing nearly everybody else when I say that Ultimate Psionics is a must have book from Dreamscarred Press. This is a balanced system with loads of excellent classes, races, and abilities. I have built dozens of NPC "sorcerers" and "wizards" as well as "bladesingers" and other spell/melee types as psionic NPCs and found the system balanced and easy to use, especially for NPCs who might only last one single encounter. I hear good things mostly about the Path of War classes too but haven't used them myself and know that the Tome of Battle-like system can be very polarizing.

My final recommendation, from the GM side of things, is the War Master class from Rogue Genius Games, found in the book Genius Guide to the War Master. Putting one of these at the head of a group of generic NPC monsters or warriors allows them to use interesting tactics and really feels like the class allows you to do the things a leader sort should do.

This is by no means the extent of the good options out there, there are many companies producing excellent material, and you don't need to take my word for these products. Check out their reviews, or go to d20pfsrd.com and read over them yourself, many third party options can be found there freely available. If you like what you see, you can buy the book and use it, if not then you don't.


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Since I currenty have the Ultimate Psionics book, are there any recommendations for adventures or modules that utilize this book?


bookrat wrote:
Since I currenty have the Ultimate Psionics book, are there any recommendations for adventures or modules that utilize this book?

The Opened Mind is an introductory adventure to help a group get used to psionics, and the still-in-progress From the Deep adventure path is also heavily psionic in nature.


bookrat wrote:
Since I currenty have the Ultimate Psionics book, are there any recommendations for adventures or modules that utilize this book?

It is my belief that Ultimate Psionics can easily be made to fit into Iron Gods, or any Numeria set module. Some stuff just requires refluffing.

If you use psionics as a different breed of magic, it really fits everywhere.

There are a few DSP products that are meant to include Psionics specifically though. Their From the Deep adventure path set in their setting, and their introductory adventure The Opened Mind are both psionic friendly.


Forgotten Core Feats from Flaming Crab Games is a fantastic book to own, especially if you have any players who want to focus on skill based characters - or who want to add some skill abilities to their non-skill based characters.


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I'm somewhat surprised that no one else mentioned it since you said you were looking for more tech options (unless I missed it), but Age of Electrotech might be just what you are looking for. It is by the company that did the Pathfinder update to Pact Magic.

Other than that I can only echo what everyone else has said.

For player options: Ultimate Psionics, Path of War, Deep Magic are all great.
For settings my favorites are Midgard and Freeport.
For adventures you have Way of the Wicked and anything by Frog God Games, specifically Rappan Athuk and Slumbering Tsar.


For classes, it depends on what you want in a class. If you want a solid, mostly bog-standard class without complicated subsystems, Rite publishing's The Secrets Of is pretty good, although they vary in power from around tier four all the way up to one.

If you want classes using extensive, non-core subsystems from 3.5 or otherwise well-developed subsystems (e.g., psionics, martial maneuvers), then DSP is the go-to.

If, on the other hand, you want a class which introduces a completely new subsystem that is unlike anything you've seen before, I strongly recommend the Interjection Games classes. Ultimate Composition, Ultimate Ethermagic, Atipodist, the Sanguine Disciple, the Cartomancer, and Onmyoji are all well written and all have very distinct crunch.

For races, I like Rite's In the Company Of series. What they do is take an iconic monster which is too powerful for a 1st level PC, and make a weaker version appropriate for a LA+0 race. The weaker version usually comes with will-written alternate fluff to explain why it is weaker.
Then, they introduce a "racial paragon class" which is a class only available to members of the given race, which advances that race's powers. You can multiclass out of the racial paragon class at any point (or not take it at all). The whole thing ends up well balanced against "normal" PC race/class combinations, especially compared to savage species or the core "monsters as PCs" rules.
For other races, I've heard from people I trust that Little Red's new Nontraditional Races book is supposed to be really good, though I haven't had the chance to fully evaluate it yet.

Finally, feats. If you want feats to support specific class features or a specific subsystem, then whoever writes that subsystem/class is usually the best source for supporting feats. For feats that support class features of Paizo classes (e.g., Magus feats), or for feats not closely related to a specific class or subsystem, Rite's 101 series is the way to go.


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If your ever hesitant about something a lot of companies have systems in place to aleviate some of that uncertinty (we know that not everyone trusts 3pp content). Some will offer you partial samples, 100% free products, or even money-back guarantees.

LRGG has always had a 100% money back guarantee on our products for JUST that read so we there is no risk on it. If you buy our product and don't love it- send us an email and a paypal we can refund you and we will! To date, we've refunded 2 people (in aprox. 4 years). One bought the wrong product and asked us for help. The other one didn't read the description of the product and it wasn't what he wanted.

Also, "dawww shucks" :-) There is some really nice feedback for some of our stuff in this thread. Gives us a warm fuzzy feeling. Seriously though- lots of FANTASTIC non-LRGG products are out there too. I personally like some of Forest Garden Press' stuff. They don't get enough attention. Interjection does some fantastic work and I know the folks over at Dreamscarred have done some excellent work. Amora Games put out a 3rd party collaboration book "Liber Influxus Communis (The Book of Collective Influence)" that is also worth checking out.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm pretty cautious with 3PP, but overall my experience is pretty positive. Personally, I can recommend DSP, Legendary Games, Kobold Press, and Alluria Publishing.

If your unsure of a publisher, start small. Some stuff definitely caters to certain play styles, and like anything, their is a range of quality among 3pp.

A book I don't think anyone has mentioned, but if you are interested in Iron Gods, I hear It Came from the Stars from Zombie Sky Press is pretty good, and they even use a monster from this book in the last volume of divinity drive.


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Once again, I would like to thank everyone for their input. Since you've all taken the time to give such great recommendations and advice, I've decided to compile the entire thread into one post with links to the products.

Class Options
Path of War by Dream Scarred Press
Forgotten Core Feats by Flaming Crab Games
Book of Magic: signature spells by Jon Brazer Enterprises
Deep Magic by Kobold Press
New Paths Compendium by Kobold Press
Advanced Race line by Kobold Press
Dragon Tiger Ox by Little Red Goblin Games
Absolute magic: Clerics by Louis Porter Jr. Design
Book of arcane Magic by Purple Duck Games
101 series by Rite Publishing
The Secrets Of... by Rite Publishing
War Master class by Rogue Genius Games
Anachronistic Adventures: The Enforcer by Rogue Genius Games
Talented Fighter by Rogue Genius Games
Genius Giude to Bravery Feats by Rogue Genius Games
Talented Monk by Rogue Genius Games
Ponies for Pathfinder by Silver Games
A Fistful of Denarii by Tripod Machine
Monk Reborn by Tripod Machine

GM Options
Psionic Bestiary part 10 by Dream Scarred Press
Book of Beasts: Monsters of the River Nations by Jon Brazer Enterprises
Age of Electrotech by Radiance House
#30 Traps for Tombs by Rite Publishing
Monster Menagerie: Rise of the Goblinoids by Rogue Genius Games
Rawr! Volume 1: Fear of Dread by TPK Games
Book of Monster Templates by Rite Publishing

Adventures & Settings
Akashic Mysteries by Dream Scarred Press
Opened Mind by Dream Scarred Press
From the Deep by Dream Scarred Press
Way of the Wicked by Fire Mountain Games
Razor Coast by Frog God Games
Tome of Horrors Complete by Frog God Games
Lost Lands by Frog God Games
Freeport by Green Ronin
Midgard Setting by Kobold Press
Southlands Campaign Setting by Kobold Press
Neo Exodus by Louis Porter Jr. Design
Obsidian Apocalypse by Louis Porter Jr. Design
Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands by Raging Swan Press
The Sunken Pyramid adventure by Raging Swan Press
Curse of the Golden Spear (trilogy) by Rite Publishing
Frozen Wind by Rite Publishing
Haiku of Horror: Autum Moon Bath House by Rite Publishing
Up From Darkness by Rite Publishing
The Tolling of Tears by Rite Publishing
Coliseum Morpheuonby Rite Publishing

And lastly, because so many people recommended Endzeitgeist's reviews, here are his Essentials List:
Rogue Glory by Drop Dead Studios
Ultimate Psionics by Dream Scarred Press
Pact Magic Volume 1 & 2 by Radiance House
101 New Skills by Rite Publishing
Ultimate Ethermagic by Interjection Games
Champions of the Firmament by Geek Industrial Complex
Cerulian Seas by Alluria Publishing
Terrain Toolbox by Sneak Attack Press
Ultimate Battle by Legendary Games
101 Mythical Site Qualities by Rite Publishing
GM's Miscellany: Wilderness Dressing by Raging Swan Press
GM's Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing by Raging Swan Press
Ultimate War by Legendary Games
Psychological Combat by Everyman Games


Looks like you pretty much got it all. Tome of Horrors should be in the GM category (it is a bestiary, a giant one), Akashic Mysteries should be in the class options category (it's basically the same type of book that Ultimate Psionics and Path of War are, being the Pathfinder version of the Incarnum subsystem), and you left Rappan Athuk and Slumbering Tsar of the adventures list. Other than that, looks bueno.


I did want to note that Psionic Bestiary has a full release.


I try, but can't stop myself...

Rite Publishing Way of the Samurai (PFRPG) is a source book for samurai with lots of crunch in the form of traits, archetypes, samurai orders, prestige classes, and feats as well as rules for creating custom samurai houses based off the city stat block. In addition it comes with a sample clan, stated NPCs, some back story, magic item, and a full color map - not quite an adventure, but a potential place to start an adventure.

Rite Publishing Way of the Yakuza is the same, but for urban criminal syndicates.

Rite Publishing #30 Haunts for Kaidan is a collection of 30 haunts of varying CR, but these haunts come with deep back stories, with many associated haunts, a half dozen new undead monsters and a template. There's even a magic item to help detect haunts before they trigger. Potentially a short AP could be contrived from this single supplement.

Kaidan features 3 racial guides from Rite's In the Company of... series for Kappa, Hengeyokai and Tengu with culture, biology, alternate traits, archetypes, feats and racial paragon class.

So Kaidan is more than just adventures, though some supplements are almost adventures unto themselves.


Gambit wrote:
Looks like you pretty much got it all. Tome of Horrors should be in the GM category (it is a bestiary, a giant one), Akashic Mysteries should be in the class options category (it's basically the same type of book that Ultimate Psionics and Path of War are, being the Pathfinder version of the Incarnum subsystem), and you left Rappan Athuk and Slumbering Tsar of the adventures list. Other than that, looks bueno.

I knew I'd make a mistake somewhere. :)

Contributor

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bookrat wrote:

Once again, I would like to thank everyone for their input. Since you've all taken the time to give such great recommendations and advice, I've decided to compile the entire thread into one post with links to the products.

Bwuhahahahahahahahaha! I'm on that list four times! Exeeeeeecellent.

Twiddles fingers like Monty Burns.

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