So How has Unchained been treating you?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I'm using the Unchained versions of the character classes in my campaign, and they're all working out very well. I've removed by ban on the summoner, and now allow unchained summoner PCs.

I am using Background Skills. The players all loved that subsystem, and everyone has picked up a couple of ranks of Lore in an esoteric subject. (One character has "Lore (famous barbers)" and is always making up some famous barber who'd done something ridiculous in a situation similar to what the party was dealing with at the time.)

I am also using Skill Unlocks; currently on the rogue is taking advantage of the system, but anyone could take the feat.

I am using the revised affilctions rules. This really makes poison and disease seem like a real and immediate threat.

In my next campaign, I'll think about the Stamina system, but my current players already complain about how complex the rules are, and I don't want to throw even more at them. (Honestly, if I'd known how crunch-averse some of my players were when I started this campaign, I'd be running it in either D&D 5e or FATE.)


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Unchained has made my pirate rogue into a BEAST!

Here's why:
As a strength-based rogue, if his enemies don't get to him first, Kujo favors charging ahead, axe leading; very much like a shark darting after a fish. After landing his first blow his foe must suddenly contend with a host of horrible side-effects including bleed damage, debilitating injury penalties, demoralization, penalties to natural armor, the and the sickened condition. He is, in effect, the ultimate rogue debuffer.

What's more, as Kujo flenses his enemy, the horrific display not only terrifies surrounding foes as well, but also emboldens his allies to serve him better. With a single charge attack and a half way decent intimidate roll, it is quite possible for Kujo to send an entire deck full of enemies diving overboard in blind fear.

Should his enemies not flee in terror or die too quickly, Kujo bides his time, circling like a shark with his allies and hacking chunks off of his foe with his menacing axe (which boosts everyone's ability to flank).

Meant for an aquatic campaign, Kujo's ability to breathe underwater or swim like a fish is sure to serve him well. Even in a land-bound adventure, his ferocity and bite attack are sure to make him a fearsome foe.

Though some of his archetype abilities (brutal beating) are somewhat redundant with his flensing strike feat, the latter only works on living creatures susceptible to bleed. Thus, when fighting a creature immune to bleed damage, brutal beating still proves quite useful to have on hand.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:

Unchained has made my pirate rogue into a BEAST!

** spoiler omitted **

Finesse Training is surely wasted on that guy... LOL (if they come up with STR-based unchained rogue archetype that replaces Finesse Training with something else though, this guy will be a monster...)


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

Unchained has made my pirate rogue into a BEAST!

** spoiler omitted **

Finesse Training is surely wasted on that guy... LOL (if they come up with STR-based unchained rogue archetype that replaces Finesse Training with something else though, this guy will be a monster...)

Yeah, totally. He really isn't as optimized as he could be. I could have gone with a race without a built in penalty to Charisma-based skill checks and built him as a Dexterity rogue rather than a Strength rogue.

But I like the idea of a vicious shark man SO much better that I'm willing to take a small hit to the stats. (I was originally inspired by the portrait, so that's what I built towards.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Malwing wrote:
Has anyone been using options from Pathfinder Unchained? How has it been going?

Unchained has been treating my campaigns very, very well. It's provided the biggest impact to my campaigns since the APG and the optional subsystems deliver in a way that Ultimate Combat's failed to do (for the most part).

The Unchained classes and background skills were no brainers. Skill Unlocks has been pretty well received as were fractional-bonuses. The Stamina system will be implemented in some fashion but how hasn't been determined yet - I want to do some more playtesting first.

Automatic bonus progression is a likely add, as well, since I've always disliked the Christmas Tree Effect. However, I'm giving my players time to decide.


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The rogue has gone from the character I need to go through hoops to make useful to the damage powerhouse of the party.

Also, I really dig the relative alignment and affirmations mechanic. Helps to encourage roleplaying, and now I'm using the graph form the book to secretly track my players alignments, which may lead to some interesting plot twists later on.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

I have also completely massacred the DM's bbeg during last session, using my puny 10 STR rogue* 3 TWF via 2 puny little daggers... :)

it feels good.... :)

*unchained of course... :)


I'm glad people are enjoying it. Personally I've been wanting to experiment with using the revised action economy, condensed skill list, and automatic bonus progression to generate a sort of 5e-ish campaign which led me to think of Unchained differently. Its sort of a sideloaded customizable 2nd edition kit that doesn't disrupt the base game. My only disappointment is that I've only seen two third party companies really jump on some of the options, polish them up and generate incredible products. To me Unchained and Ultimate Campaign were third party gold mines.


I really like it. Combat Stamina and Skill Unlocks just help in giving me as a player more possible options to play with in a non power creep way.

I think all martials should get Combat Stamina with Fighters getting a larger pool of points though. The nice thing about Stamina is that it allows martial characters to have a little bit of extra decision making to go along with "I hit it with my sword"


Malwing wrote:
(...) My only disappointment is that I've only seen two third party companies really jump on some of the options, polish them up and generate incredible products. To me Unchained and Ultimate Campaign were third party gold mines.

A little off-topic, but what have been your experiences with 3rd party with unchained? I'm very interested in seeing what they come up with. ☺


Malwing wrote:

Has anyone been using options from Pathfinder Unchained? How has it been going?

So far I've seen the most out of the automatic bonus progression. Arcane casters have been suffering the most from it so enhancement bonuses for wands and staves have been around but not frequently.

The biggest obstacle for using skill differently has been finding a character sheet to support it. I've seen more background skill uses than consolidated skills but both have been well recieved.

Unchained Rogue, Unchained Monk and Fighters with free stamina pools have been almost mandatory for those classes although Unchained Monk still suffers from not being archetype compatible. No one seems to bother with stamina unless the fighter is involved making Fighters easily the most accurate class. It doesn't help that much unless used in conjuction with third party material.

I saw use of the alternate action economy early on but haven't seen it used lately. It seemed to work out well enough but people are wary of it.

It's a shame but i haven't had the time to try and take advantage of almost any of the content coming out for Pathfinder in the past two years, not event the excellent 3rd party content that's popped up.

Based on what I've heard, I'd probably use the automatically progressing bonuses and the unchained rogue, and I plan to run a campaign that allows Path of War/Psionics material so I'm hoping that will all change.


Kudaku wrote:
Malwing wrote:
(...) My only disappointment is that I've only seen two third party companies really jump on some of the options, polish them up and generate incredible products. To me Unchained and Ultimate Campaign were third party gold mines.
A little off-topic, but what have been your experiences with 3rd party with unchained? I'm very interested in seeing what they come up with. ☺

I haven't purchased any but Everyman Gaming has two products with archetypes for the Unchained Monk due to that the Unchained Monk isn't very archetype compatible. Also they have a skald book with unchained rage. Purple Duck Games has done the same thing but I cant compare since I haven't seen them. Legendary Games has a Rogue book where the description says it deals with the Unchained Rogue. Also have not actually looked at it.


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Update: Got several sessions in using background skills and more importantly Revised Action Economy. Background skills has made a 4 PC party able to cover all the necessary skills easily and still get some flavor skills in.

Revised Action Economy is now our Only Action Economy, but it required a bit of "tweaking". I went with the "middle" option from the thread on the topic (sorry don't have a link). Most swift actions are a simple action, except those that are a speed up (move becomes swift) or a per round ability (ki for extra attack, etc). Had to change a few feats like Many Shot and a few conditions, but common sense has made adjudicating the questionable stuff easy. I also gave a free Step when making an attack with all natural attacks (uses 3 actions). That helps the monsters with lots of attacks.

It has made combat more tactical and interesting, especially at low levels. Being able to finish a foe with an attack, move and make another attack is a very popular tactic. So is making multiple Steps to close or escape reach enemies.

I highly recommend giving it a shot if you are willing to make some adjustments. It is a shame they didn't have the space/time/whatever to make the rules complete, but it wasn't that hard to finish the job.


I've mostly just not "auditioned" for games here on the forums without background skills. Of everything in Unchained, it seems the least controversial and it makes my characters more interesting. It enables me to make my Brawler for RotRL a successful new blacksmith in Sandpoint in addition to having skills that will actually, you know, serve him in combat or likely even be all that useful. I love background skills. My home group we be adopting them when we return. I haven't looked much at "skill unlocks" much, although my three games here on the forums are all still level 1, so I can always change that around later. Consolidated skills reminds me of 4E, specifically one of the reasons I disliked it.

Wound penalties are... interesting, but quite lethal at low levels. I suspect at higher levels, when you have the means to actual take a hit or two before hitting the penalties, they work out much better. I've taken to making a house rule that Diehard builds off of Endurance's new feature (wound penalties are treated as one lower) and lets you treat them as bonuses instead of penalties for rounds equal to your Con modifier, after which they become penalties. This removes Diehard's original function, as wound penalties changes around when your character goes unconscious anyway. I think once you hit 3rd level and higher, it's a fun and interesting system to play with. Also makes casters more vulnerable, which is a start.

Removing iterative attacks is what I like the most, personally. It speeds up combat, for one, especially around an actual table. It also makes allowances for the fact that BAB/AC scale on different levels, allowing a lower AC to still be useful as it prevents characters from taking as MANY hits, especially when most monsters do not have the BAB drop the players do. I prefer it to the new action economy, as it requires less re-learning, and the major benefit of the new action economy (moving and attacking) is allowed in my games anyway.

Love the new disease and poison trackers. Makes them much more dangerous in the short term, which is necessary. It makes poisoning viable for a longer period of time, at least until enemies become immune to it.

That's all I've fiddled around with, so far.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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My monk player plans to create an unchained version of his character and have the two versions of his character fight to the death to determine whether or not he'll retrain as an unchained monk.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
Cyrad wrote:
My monk player plans to create an unchained version of his character and have the two versions of his character fight to the death to determine whether or not he'll retrain as an unchained monk.

It would be interesting to also use "unchained" or "non-unchained" version of PCs whenever they see their own reflections in this... :)


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Really strongly dislike the restrictions on the Unchained Summoner. It is a mess of restrictions, many of which do not seem to be balance based. Things like the Mount evolution used to be available to any Serpentine or Quadruped -- now they further limit it to only certain types. If you have an idea that doesn't fit into one of their types it really gets tough.

On the other hand I like the new Rogue. I like the idea of Skill Unlocks, but am not certain of the implementation.

The new Barbarian rage mechanic looks good but I haven't had time to really analyze it. The main attraction is that you don't RAGE QUIT life when you go down. It also means every barbarian doesn't require a 15 Con and Raging Vitality feat.

Overall I would say it is a mixed bag.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

most of the classes suck, but the alternate rule systems are amazing.


Background Skills
Wound Thresholds are currently about to be tested.
Poison and Disease are also going to be utilised!

Looking at removing Iterative attacks and auto bonus progression on items, will allow spell power ups, wild magic, skill unlocks and stamina if players wish.

Unchained classes are all used now, though aside from the summoner original classes can still be taken if the player wishes.

I like it, lovely little book.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Running a Giantslayer campaign, among other house rules, using Automatic Bonus Progression (with few/no magic items), Poison and Disease, Unchained Classes fitting into the other house rules (no "full casters"), and Background Skills. Using a variant of Wound Thresholds that allow for quicker healing on light wounds rather than one that cripples you as you get hurt.

Was considering using limited magic rule, but decided that limiting casters to only the 6 lvl or lower progression and granting automatic save bonuses from the Bonus Progression was enough gimping of magic for the campaign, especially with eliminating magic item crafting beyond scrolls wands and potions.

Everything is working wonderfully. One PC is a latent/carrier for filth fever and another has suffered the first stage of a poison, and will be dealing with its effects until she can get some rest.

Bonus progression is nice, and I'm running with the idea that magic items are either ancient (from when magic as more prevalent) or something spontaneous (Brinya's Love, True love locket) brought on by sacrificing some of your own personal magic potential (players don't know this bit yet.)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Also playing an unchained monk in Mummy's Mask and LOVING it.


I personally like the Rogue, Barbarian, and Monk. My players haven't really warmed up to them yet. Would also love to use the scaling items in my current campaign, but I just can't figure them out. I've tried reverse-mathing some existing items, such as the Armageddon Plate. It's making my brain hurt.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

I really like the Unchained Monk and Summoner. I don't think they went far enough with the Barbarian, so other than getting rid of 1/rage powers I don't really care one way or the other there. Unchained Rogue is alright, but seems to really only help one type of Rogue.

The Stamina system was neat, though I'm not super impressed with it as a Fighter "fix". Like a lot of the stuff in Unchained, it seems like a fix primarily targeted at the wrong things, though I can/have/will totally hijack it as a handy framework for further tweaks and customizations.

I like automatic bonus progression, but I thought the alternative to full attacking system was terrible and didn't match up with its stated goal of being simpler and more efficient than the full attack system already in place.

That's kind of my general feeling through the whole book. About half of it was stuff I really like, and the other half I have no use for. Considering that I've bought books that I liked substantially less than 50% of, I consider it a smashing success.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
Ssalarn wrote:

The Stamina system was neat, though I'm not super impressed with it as a Fighter "fix". Like a lot of the stuff in Unchained, it seems like a fix primarily targeted at the wrong things, though I can/have/will totally hijack it as a handy framework for further tweaks and customizations.

my upcoming home campaign has the following house rule for fighters:

Combat Stamina for free at 1st
Endurance as bonus feat at 3rd (fits with his ability to move faster in heavy armor);
Toughness bonus feat at 5th;
Diehard bonus feat at 7th;
Extra Stamina bonus feat at 9th;and
Push the Limit bonus feat at 11th.


I'm agreeing with you there Ssalarn: some things in unchained work and some don't (for me). overall the book is good and adds coll options - I hope they make a second one.

I originally liked the Stamina system ...
But then I tried to make a fighter using it ...
oh. my. world. - THAT sucked! (also the editing and setup of the feats with stamina options is horribly made and it hurts my eyes to browse through them, let alone read them.
No, the stamina system was a neat idea, but it needs a revamp to simplify it or streamline it-

Scaling items is something I love, but like Cranky, it makes my head hurt.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Cyrad wrote:
My monk player plans to create an unchained version of his character and have the two versions of his character fight to the death to determine whether or not he'll retrain as an unchained monk.

My player finally did this. The unchained version won by a landslide. Two of the matches she won with almost all her hit points remaining. Flying Kick made her very sticky and the normal version heavily relies on her first two flurry attacks to do any damage.

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