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<![CDATA[Pen & Paper Games - Blogs - WhiteTiger]]> http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/blog.php/8816-WhiteTiger Pen and Paper Games hosts a very powerful, but easy to seach and join database of players and game masters in the United States and Canada. Our forums are also a great place to find the most recent news, product releases, tips, and rpg discussion. en Tue, 24 May 2016 08:09:54 GMT vBulletin 60 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/pnpg_style/misc/rss.jpg <![CDATA[Pen & Paper Games - Blogs - WhiteTiger]]> http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/blog.php/8816-WhiteTiger Pathfinder Bestiary Review http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1020-Pathfinder-Bestiary-Review Fri, 19 Feb 2010 17:23:46 GMT *_Pathfinder Bestiary Review_* Well, Here it is February and it’s time for another review. This time is the Pathfinder Bestiary up for review.... Pathfinder Bestiary Review

Well, Here it is February and it’s time for another review. This time is the Pathfinder Bestiary up for review. This book is largely a remake of the D&D 3.5 monster manual that has been brought up to date with the newer stats and abilities that are found within the Pathfinder system.

This review will be fairly short as I will not be describing every monster in the book.

Starting right off the bat on page 5 is a short chart of monster icons. These are small symbols denoting the type of each monster that you may encounter ranging from Aberrations to vermin. There are also icons denoting terrain types that each monster is likely to be found in as well as climate (cold, temperate, tropical). These icons are handy but will take some time to memorize so you will need to reference page 5 often.

The basic layout of the Monster stats is nearly identical with a couple of additions. Mainly the addition of XP in bold at the top of the description as well as the addition of CMB / CMD stats on the same line as BAB. The stats are broken down into sections. These sections are Defense, Offense, Statistics, Ecology & Special Abilities. The layout is very organized, neat and easy to read.

List of Monsters

Aasimar did not change. The rules for playing one are listed. There is technically no Level adjustment required nor any XP penalties in order to play one, but it is recommended within the council of thieves player’s guide although they primarily mention Tieflings in that issue.


Angel the 3 main types are described here. Astral Deva, Planetar & Solar. They seem to be pretty close to the versions in 3.5. I like the artwork.

Animated Object This has some cool construction rules for extra speed, attacks, trample, etc.

Ankhegs, Ants & Apes

ArchonsThere are 3 listed types, Hound, Lantern, Trumpet. These seem to be pretty much the same as they were in 3.5

Assassin Vine

AzataThese are Eladrin renamed. There are 3 listed, Bralani, Ghaele & Lillend. The Lillend is pretty cool. It is a picture of a creature with a torso of a woman with wings and the lower torso and legs are snake-like. The lillend has bard powers and can play musical instruments. There are a couple of minor changes for the Bralani & Ghaele but nothing worth mentioning.


Basidirond a new plant monster with the power to throw a hallucination cloud at you.

Basilisk, Bats, Bears - (the Dire Bear looks stupid like it has some sort of fungal disease.

Bebilith - The Bebilith is no longer considered a demon but is still a hunter of demons. It retains it’s arachnid type.

Beetles, Behir, Black pudding, Boars

Boggard - The boggard is an anthropomorphic toad with a sticky tongue, holds it’s breath underwater for nearly six minutes and can move through swamp terrain with no penalties. It also has a terrifying croak that can make become “shaken”.

Bugbear, Bulette, Cats (cheetah & leopard), Cave Fisher, Centaur, Centipede, Chimera, Choker , Chuul, Cloaker, Cockatrice, Couatl I love the picture of the Couatl.

Crab (Giant), Crab(Swarm), Crocodile, Dire Crocodile, Cyclops, Dark Creeper, Dark Stalker,
Dark Mantle

Demons – The demons did not change a lot but they did add a little bit to the Balor. There is a paragraph that denotes the Balor Lord which has a higher CR rating and more powers such as lifedrinker (ability to heal when it kills something), more spell-casting (automatic spell-like abilities in spells from the sorc/wizard list) and soul swallow (fort save or die and you come back as a babau or succubus or a shadow demon under the control of the Balor Lord. The Balor Lord is ultra-powerful.

Devils –The Devils got a similar treatment just like the Demons. I loved the artwork for the Erinyes. The Pit fiends also got a couple of paragraphs that dealt with the Dukes of hell and their abilities are similar to the Balor Lords. Although the Dukes of Hell frequently get a Hellfire Breath weapon (Unholy damage & Fire Damage), plus more spell like abilities and the ability to create ghosts from slain enemies.


Dinosaurs - I’m not a big fan of Dinosaurs but there are several here.

Dogs, Dolphins & Orca, Doppleganger

Dragons - Paizo apparently decided to do a much more standardized template progression system than 3.5 did. Essentially, other than a few special powers, spell-like abilities and possible immunities and/or vulnerabilities, all dragons are essentially the same regarding (HD, BAB, physical stats, mental stats, natural amor, fly speed, spell resistance & levels of spellcasting (all dragons can now get up to 19th level sorcerer). In some ways I like it because it’s quicker to generate but it feels more canned. You’ll have to decide for yourself if you like the changes or not.

One thing I didn’t like was that I don’t feel that dragons got enough hitpoints. They get 4D12 at wyrmling and then increase by 2D12 every age category instead of 3D12 that 3.5 gave them. They essentially end up with 11D12 less hit points than 3.5. I think this is a mistake. This makes them easier to kill and harder to create a longer drawn out combat.

I also think that they should have been allowed to substitute their spellcasting for other types of spellcasting. Yes, technically, you could give them levels in cleric or whatever but I was thinking maybe substituting the Sorcerer levels for Bard levels since their both spontaneous arcane casters. Granted, their offense would suffer but it would offer additional role playing opportunities and some cool defensive possibilities.

Dragon Turtle, Drider

Drow – There are 2 Drow templates that you could use to play a character. The regular drow & noble drow. The regular drow get +2 dex, +2 cha, -3 con, darkvision 60, SR = 6 + character level, spell-like abilities (faerie fire, darkness & dancing lights). They also suffer light blindness. They have poison use and weapon familiarity (rapier, crossbow (hand), short sword). The nobles have all of the normal drow powers plus an extra +2 dex, +2 intelligence & +2 wisdom. They also have more SR. SR 11 + character level and additional spell-like abilities (deeper darkness, feather fall, levitate, detect magic,
Divine favor, dispel magic & suggestion. The regular drow are pretty tought but the nobles are even more so. These can be played as characters but some penalty should be imposed since they are much more powerful than the regular races.

Eagle & Giant Eagle, Eel & Electric Eel

ElementalsThe Elementals do not appear to have changed too much.

Elephant & Mastodon Elephant, Ettercap & Ettin

FamiliarsThere is a fairly extensive section on familiars ranging from bats to weasel’s.’

Giant Flytrap, Frogs & Poison Frogs, Frogemoth , Gargoyles, Gelatinous Cube

Genies – There is some revamping done here for the Genies. There is 1 genie per elemental type that was not present in the original D20 srd. The Marid is the new Water Genie and the Shaitan is the new Earth Genie. In addition there are also “Noble” versions for each type including the lesser Genie… the Janni. These noble versions each have 2 – 3 extra hit dice and have extra spell-like abilities and in at least one case… increased wish magic. I really like the new genies and the upgrades.

Ghosts, Ghouls & Giants - They stayed roughly the same. I hate the artwork for the Giants.

Gibbering Mouther, Girallon, Gnoll, Goblin

Goblin DogThis is new from Paizo. They really only get along with goblins especially once you find out that they have allergic dander to anyone that isn’t a goblinoid.

Golems (Clay, Flesh, Ice, Iron, Stone & Wood) – I like the new additions plus the rules for creating them and Shield Guardians.

Gorgon The new Gorgon breath attack does not turn you to stone permanently. It is only temporary and you get to make a new save every round. However, if the Gorgon breathes on you a second and you fail a second save then you are turned to stone permanently.

Gray ooze, Green Hag , Griffon

Half-Celestial, Half-Dragon, Half-Fiend -These all got simplified, more flexible and potentially cheaper to play. If I use the Half-Celestial as an example, It has a CR rating of CR + 3 if you have 11 HD or more. If were to translate that to a level adjustment. I would say that a level adjustment of +3 would seem to be fair and it would put it at the same cost that it used to be in 3.0 because in 3.5, WOTC upped the cost to +4 which made it too expensive for most people to play and it made the character too weak. For both the Half-Celestial & Half-Fiend, 3 of your stats (your choice) go up by +4 and the other 3 stats go up by +2. This is great if you like to customize your character which is something that 3.5 lacked. The Half-dragon puts out fixed stat increases. Overall, I like the new Half-templates. They are easier to use and more customizable and in the hands of a fair DM… potentially cheaper.

Harpy, Hell Hound

Nessian Hell HoundThis is a large version of the Hell hound with a lot more hit points, Armor Class & a huge breath weapon attack.

Herd animals, Hobgoblin, Homunculus, Horses, Hydras, Hyenas, Intellect Devourer
, Invisible Stalker, Iron Cobra

Kobold – The stats to play a kobold are listed but as expected they are very weak.

Kraken, Kyton (love the artwork), Lamia, Leeches, Lich

Linnorm These are basically primeval dragons. There are 3 types presented. Crag, Ice & Tarn. They can fly and have breath attacks but they are quite a bit weaker than your standard dragons.

Lion & Dire Lion, Lizard & Monitor Lizard, Lizardfolk

Lycanthrope – There are some pretty good rules for creating and potentially playing a Lycanthrope but Paizo rightfully recommends that you do not allow players to play a lycanthrope since it makes their character much more powerful and when you switch forms, your character frequently ends up doings that are potentially opposite of their alignment.

Manticore, Giant Mantis, Medusa

MephitsThere are 10 types of mephits listed here. All with different powers. They are really cool and they can wreak havoc against a party if there is a mob of them.

Merfolk, Mimic (cool pic), Minotaur

Mitethis is a weak small evil fey creature with only prestidigitation & doom for powers.


Morlock They are degenerate humanoids that evolved into monstrous humanoids by dwelling in subterranean depths. They have darkvision 120 ft and are immune to poison & disease.

Mummy, Nagas (Dark, Guardian, Spirit)

NeothelidA Gargantuan Aberration that looks like a worm with 4 tongue attacks, a huge 14d10 Acid breath attack (50ft cone), mind thrust & psychic crush attacks as well as swallow whole. It has DR 10/cold iron and SR 26. Very Nasty.

Night Hag, Nightmare & Nightmare Cauchemar, Nymph, Ochre Jelly, Octopus & Giant Octopus, Ogre & Ogre Mage (Oni), Orc, Oytugh, Owlbear, Pegasus, Phase Spider, Phoenix, Pixie, Pseudodragon, Purple Worm, Rakshasa, Dire Rat, Rat swarm, Remorhaz,

Retriever – This is a huge extraplanar construct that looks like a spider. It has a bite attack plus 4 claw attacks. It also has the ability to fire one of 4 different type of eye (ray) attacks that deals fire, cold, electricity or petrification. It has a land speed of 50ft and has a constant spider climb & water walk powers.

Rhinocerous & Wooly version, Roc, Roper, Rust Monster, Sahuagin, Salamander, Satyr,
Giant Scorpion, Sea Hag, Sea Serpent, Shadow (Greater), Shambling Mound, Shark (Dire), Shocker Lizard, Shoggoth, Skeleton, Skeletal Champion, Skum, Giant Slug, Snake (Constrictor & Venomous), Spectre, Sphinx, Spider (Giant & Swarm), Squid (Giant & normal), Stirge, Svirfneblin, Tarrasque

Tengu The tengu are a race of avian humanoids that resemble either a crow or a raven. There are playable stats if you want to play one as a character (+2 dex, -2 con, +2 wisdom). Low-light vision, +2 perception & stealth. They are sword trained and are gifted linguists. These are really cool and are a welcome addition for those that are looking to play something different.

Tiefling, Tiger (regular & dire versions), Treant, Troglodyte, Troll, Unicorn, Vampire (excellent creation rules), Vargouille

Vegepygmys –They are a race born from russet mold fungus that only grows in dark wet caverns. If anyone is infected with the mold spores, they have to make a DC 15 fort save or they are infected and have to make continuous saves or take 2 points of con damage. If you go to zero, you die and 1D6 vegepygmys burst from the dead body. They are small and use the remnants of the dead body to make a weapons or jewelry.

Violet FungusAnother plant that deals a rot attack that is actually poison based. It deals strength & Constitution damage.

Wasp (Giant & Swarm), Wight, Will-o-Wisp, Wolf (Normal & Dire), Wolverine (Normal & Dire), Worg (normal & Winter), Wraith (Normal & Dread), Wyvern, Xill, Xorn, Yellow Musk Creeper & Zombie, Yeth Hound, Yeti, Zombie

The Good

I like most of the artwork and the adult feel.
The layout is more organized and easier to read.
I love the new symbols that denote the type of monster it is, as well as the descriptions of each type at the end of the book.
I love the fact that they stick to whole pages for monsters and they don’t start a new monster in the middle of a page.
Most monsters are fully described in 1 or 2 pages with only a few exceptions like Dragons.
I love the XP system. You do not need to cross check CR tables to get XP. It’s already listed as part of the Monster.
I won’t be reviewing the Bonus Bestiary but would like say thanks to Paizo for offering up some
extra monsters for free and it partially makes up for the missing monsters in the bestiary.

The Bad

There are not as many monsters in this bestiary as compared to the original 3.5 Monster Manual.
Dragons seem weaker.

Final Score 9.5 out of 10 :second: (Silver Award) This book is very near-perfect., one of Paizo’s best books to date. I consider this a must have if you are into Pathfinder. You won’t be disappointed. I will be waiting with bated breath for Bestiary 2 which promises to release most of the monsters that were not in the first bestiary and a whole bunch of new ones.

Scoring System:

10 – Gold Award - You would be a fool not to get this. As close to perfect as you’ll ever see.

9 to 9.5 - Silver Award - This is an excellent and important addition to your collection. This product only has maybe 1 or 2 minor issues that are easily overlooked.

8 to 8.5 - Bronze Award – This is also an excellent and important addition to your collection but has several issues that may need to be dealt with thru errata or house-rules.

7 to 7.5 – Honorable mention – This is probably worthy of consideration. It is a nice product but has several major issues or only offers a couple of new ideas.

6 – 6.5 - Fair - This product is ok but should only be bought if you are bored and have extra cash. This score shows that the product doesn’t deliver as promised or delves into other material that is separate from what was supposed to be discussed. The info presented in this product may also break your game either in too good a way or in a horrible way. This product may also offer little in the way of new rules or ideas.

5 to 5.5 – Poor - This product is really bad and should not be bought. This might have horrible artwork and/or poor organization and/or poor spellchecking. This product may also offer nothing new in the way of rules or crunch and may just be an incoherent rambling of thoughts.

4.5 or less - Use this product for kindling… `nuff said.

Reviews for the Future (in no particular order):

Dark Markets of Katapesh
Adventurer’s Armory
Gnomes of Golarion
Guide to the River Kingdoms ]]>
WhiteTiger http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1020-Pathfinder-Bestiary-Review
Pathfinder Companion Review - Qadira http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/908-Pathfinder-Companion-Review-Qadira Wed, 30 Dec 2009 16:57:35 GMT *_Review – Pathfinder Companion – Qadira_* Happy holidays, Everyone. Well here I am, back again for another Pathfinder Product Review. This... Review – Pathfinder Companion – Qadira

Happy holidays, Everyone. Well here I am, back again for another Pathfinder Product Review. This time it’s The Pathfinder Companion – Qadira that is on the proverbial chopping block.

This issue deals with a specific area within the Golarion world called Qadira. This area of Golarion reminds me of the Early Ottoman Empire in Turkey only hotter and with more desert terrain.

Page 1 – Map of current Qadira.

Page 2 – 4 – History of Qadira.

(Pre-Padishah Empire (Prior to -43 AR)Prior to the Padishah Emperor, Qadira had no government and had just a handful of gatherers and Goat herders
(Keleshite Qadira (-78 AR to 1531 AR) – Qadira was conquered by the Padishah Emperor Adalan IV in -43 AR ushering in a new era.

(Rising Qadira (1531 AR to 4606 AR)This era is when Qadira and the Keleshite Empire went to war with Taldor & Osirion. Osirion is easily conquered. Taldor manages to hold off the invaders but loses vassal States such as Cheliax.

Pages 4 - 6 – Politics of Qadira

In present day, Qadira is ruled by the Padishah Emperor Kalish XXII, a Human male around 80 years of age. He has more than 50 wives and at least twice that many in concubines.

Qadira is run on a day to day basis by the Satrap (essentially a Governor). The current Satrap is Xerbystes II. He has a thirst for conquest even though the Emperor currently is not interested in starting a war.

Hebizid Vraj - Imperial Vizier: He is in personal contact with the Emperor through magical Means. He is constantly having to keep Xerbystes in check from starting a war with Taldor.

Peerless: Numbering around 2 dozen men and women. They are famous generals, merchants, Sailors and adventurers that have a special title that allows them great latitude in dealing with issues concerning the realm.

The Keleshite Princes: The children of royalty. There are roughly 200 princes & princesses that occupy the Qadiran court. Although they are the sons & daughters of the Emperor, there is little chance that any of them will inherit their father’s title.

Satrap’s Armies. 100,000 strong of trained soldiers, sailors, archers & cavalry. `nuff said. The most promienent general is Zarathus.

Foreign policy – They would like to take over Absolam but will wait for the right time. They are relatively friendly with Katapesh but would like to take over the Island of okeno. They are still friendly with Osirion although the current ruler is native. Things are always tense with Taldor. Qadira is generally friendly towards Jalmeray.

Pages 6 – 7 – Trade

This section mentions Genie-booned light warhorses but does not give any stats.
This section talks about how Qadira is a self-sustaining nation but still had needs such as Root vegetables, certain meats. This section also discusses Slavery. It’s only one long Paragraph but it discusses the types of slaves that come through and a rough idea of how much an “average slave” sells for in Qadira… about 100 gp. Personally, I think that is too low but that’s just me.

Pages 7 – 8 – Classes of People

Nobles – They run the show and all are human. There are no known non-human nobles.

Citizens – Any native born keleshite is a citizen. Although non-humans never get the same level of respect as a full human. Half-breeds aren’t treated much better.

Foreigners – Foreigners have to register if you want to gain entry and must state intentions. Foreigner must also pay a gift to gain entry and to leave.

Slaves – This is pretty straight forward with some sub-sections for concubines and eunuchs. Slavery is usually permanent unless it is in the form of debt bondage and there is a contract involving a specified amount of time.

Feats & Traits

There are 2 feats:

Mounted Blade - which is a general feat good for getting an extra attack If you use your ride-by-attack feat and there is an adjacent enemy to The enemy you just hit. I personally don’t see this getting used much but it’s there just the same.

Dervish Dance - you get to add your dexterity modifier to both attack and damage Rolls as long as that it your only weapon and it is treated as both A slashing weapon and a piercing weapon.. You can’t have nor use an off-hand weapon or a shield in order for this feat to work. This is pretty good feat.

There are 12 Traits. These traits are scattered throughout the book but

Strong Arm, Supple Wrist – You can add 10 feet to the range increment of a thrown weapon As long as you moved at least 10 feet before you throw.

Rider of Paresh (Qadira) – When mounted and making a charge, your mount’s speed is Increased by 10 feet but only for the charge and you have to Have the mounted combat feat for this trait to work.

Watching Taldor (Qadira) - +1 trait bonus to initiative checks and if you are able to act during The surprise round of an encounter, you can draw a weapon as a free action. This could be very useful.

Keleshite Princess (Qadiran Keleshite Female): you have been raised to expect obedience from those around you, regardless of their station, and are not shy about demanding what you want. You gain a +1 trait bonus to Diplomacy and Intimidate checks, and one of these skills (your choice) is always a class skill.

Merchant of Katheer (Qadira): You gain a +1 trait bonus to appraise checks and Appraise is always a class skill for you.

Venicaan Medic (Qadira): you gain a +2 trait bonus to heal checks to treat diseases and/or Poisons and Heal is always a class skill for you.

Flame of the Dawnflower (Sarenrae): If you score a critical hit with a scimitar. You deal an Extra 2 points of fire damage.

Alchemical Prodigy: Choose one 1st level spell from the bard, cleric, druid or sorcerer/wizard List. If you have the brew potion feat, you may create potions of this spell as if it were on your list.

Elemental pupil: Choose one energy type: Acid, Cold, electricity or fire. When casting a spell of 1st level or higher, you deal 1 extra point of damage of this type.

Genie-Caller: Once per day, you may cast one conjuration (summoning) spell as if your caster Level were 2 levels higher than normal.

Keeper of the Veil: +1 competence bonus on Bluff and Disguise checks and one of these skills (your choice) is always a class skill for you.

Walking Ward: +1 bonus on saving throws against 1 type of energy (acid, cold, electricity, fire) Picked when you take this trait.

Pages 8 – 11 – Geography – There are several cities and landmarks that get mentioned here.

Al-Bashir – Abandoned city overrun by Harpies for the last 500 years.

Dimayen – small farming colony of about 5,000. They seem to be having problems with Ankhegs.

Gurat – small city of about 8,500. There is a Cyclops sage whose nickname is the "Mouth Piece”.

Omash – Large City of about 27,000. This city sits on the border of Taldor. There are 12 Schools of war.

Sedeq – Population 90,000. Massive Slave-port. This is a perverse sanctuary of slavers
and their chattel. Sedeq is a place of contradictions. Built for luxury and relaxation, Sedeq is blanketed with opulent gardens of every flower imaginable. Nearly half of The population are slaves. All methods of discipline are used to ensure that all Slaves fall into line, from whipping to branding to starvation. The glorious scents of the Qalli Spice Market are a pleasant distraction from the screams of Sedeq’s

Shadun – A former massive city carved into the rock of the Zho mountains. Nearly a millennia Ago, a crack formed between the twin mountains of Zhobl and Zhonar and lava poured forth destroying the city. A few of the inhabitant.s escaped but nearly
starved to death. They turned to eating the flesh of hyenas and became cursed and were turned into hyena-like things.

Other locations mentioned are Ketz Desert, Hatavit, Khoka, Koor, Plains of Paresh, Tapur Forest and the Tents of Erukh.

Pages 12 – 15 – Society

This section deals mostly with race relations. There is a lengthy explanation as to how Keleshite humans treat other humans from other countries. There is also a lengthy explanation as to how well non-humans are treated. Dwarves and Elves are treated well. Half-elves not so well and a Half-elf with a Keleshite heritage are highly prized as pleasure slaves. For some strange reason they are constantly gawked at in public.

Gnomes are treated well and generally allowed to do whatever they like. Due to their Magic prowess and the problems involving the Bleaching, they are not generally singled out for slavery.

Nearly all Halflings in Qadira are slaves since there are virtually none that are native to
this area. They are generally used as messengers, runners, servants, hawkers or a
nimble-thumb (A Qadiran euphemism for marketplace thief) or a lucky mascot for a
mercenary band.

Orcs & Half-Orcs do not get any distinction. They are both considered inhuman and are
only good for 3 things. Slave, Soldier or enemy.

The next section deals with possible adventures based on your character class. I’ll skip this small section since it doesn’t have much relevance.

Next up is Customs & Quirks.

Hospitality is taken very seriously in Qadira. All homes in Qadira possess a Zraka which
is a greeting room. All visitors are welcomed into the house, offered water to drink and
wash and allowed to rest for an hour or 2 on pillows or a couch. If you offer a gift
as long as it isn’t money or the clothes off your back then you can expect to be invited
in for a meal and possibly asked to spend the night.

Gender in Qadira. Women are treated exceptionally well in Qadira. Qadira is very
superstitious when it comes to daughters. A Keleshite house with no daughters is
considered empty and a widower who dies with only male heirs is considered cursed
by the gods. No profession is barred to a Qadiran woman. If a woman is rich enough
she can even have multiple husbands as long as she is not part of the royal house or
bloodline. Wealth and status are also traced through matrilineal descent. Males only
inherit swords & horses and generally have to make their own mark in life.

Pages 16 – 19 – Katheer – Capital of Qadira

It’s recorded age of settlement is found within the copies of the annual Histaqen horse race. The Histaqen is an ancient horse race that runs along the length of the pashman river starting at Katheer and goes all the way to the foot of the Zho mountains and then back down the westbank of the river and the finish is in Katheer. The port of Katheer is a mile long and slaves work tirelessly loading and unloading cargo. The Great Market of Katheer is where you can buy anything and yes.. that means more slaves.

There are also several paragraphs involving the Art of Haggling.

Several important locations within Katheer are also mentioned. The Temple-Monastery
Of Irori. Zenith of the Dawnflower and the Venicaan College of Medicaments & Chirurgery.

Pages 20 – 21 – The Daivrat – The Genie’s Friend

This prestige class is fully pathfinder compatible meaning it was actually written using Pathfinder’s rules before the Main book was published but Paizo did not advertise this to the public. Although they have mentioned it in their messageboards. The Daivrat has the usual D6 hit die for arcane spellcasters and this is an arcane spellcaster only PRC.

The prerequisites are Knowledge (Arcana) 7 ranks, Knowledge (planes) 7 ranks, Spellcraft
5 ranks. Feat: Spell Focus conjuration. Able to cast 3rd level spells. One special language. Aquan, Auran, Ignan, Terran. You also must have had peaceful contact with a true genie. (Djinni, Efreeti, Marid or Shaitan). You can’t have an evil alignment.

You get 9 levels of spellcasting. Elemental focus – pick one energy type. All spells of that Energy type are treated as if you had Spell focus feat for that spell. Genie-Tongue - +2to all charisma-based checks for influencing attitudes of genies and +4 to all knowledge Checks involving Genies. Spell-Fetch. This is the main reason for this class. You can Summon a minor genie to fetch a spell and this spell can be any spell from any list. If the Spell is on your list then it is treated as 1 level higher than it actually is and if it is on Another class list then it is treated as 2 levels higher than it actually is. Genie’s friend +2 bonus to caster level for summoning genies. This increases to +4 at 9th level. Elemental attunement gives you energy resistance 5 against one energy type. You pick It and you can not change it thereafter. You can summon a Zhyen familiar at 6th level. At 7th level, Your spell focus power for your elemental spells now becomes a Greater Spell focus. At 10th level, Your type changes to Native Outsider. Your main elemental Resistance improves to 10. You also gain resist 5 for the other 3 energy types that you didn’t pick and DR 5/-.

All in all, this is a pretty cool class if you are into summoning genies.

Pages 22 – 23 – Faiths in Qadira

The main faith in Qadira is Sarenrae. The others are Irori, Rovagug, Abadar & Gorum. The others have too few followers to be mentioned. The temple of Irori in Katheer have an order of monks called the Open hand of Sheehad.

Pages 24 – 25 – Magic: Traditions & schools.

This section talks about the different type of magic schools in Qadira but gives no rules. Examples are: Alchemical magic, Elemental Magic, Gen-Magic, Veil Magic, Warding Magic.

Alchemical item: Silversheen – Cost is 750 Gp per use. This is used for weapons. This makes the weapon immune to rusting grasp and all rust monster attacks including normal rusting due to time. Silversheen automatically makes the item Masterwork quality. You need 5 ranks in Craft(alchemy) & 5 ranks in Craft(Weaponsmithing). Personally, I think that this could also be applied to armor but the rules don't mention it.

Pages 26 – 31 – Bestiary & new playable races

Half-Janni – If I read the rules correctly. This inherited template can only be applied to a human only. They age at the same rate as a Half-Elf. Size is the same but they are Native Outsiders.

Abilities: +2 Str, +2 Dex, +2 Int, +4 Wis, +4 Cha
+1 Natural armor bonus and stacks with all other natural armor bonuses.
Fly 20 (good maneuverability)
Darkvision 60 feet
Immune to all diseases ( I think that includes magic diseases as well)
Fire Resistance 10

Spell-Like Abilites:

Level 1 – 2: Speak with animals 3/day
Level 3 – 6: Enlarge person or reduce person 2/day in any combination)
Level 7 – 8: Invisibility (self only) 3/day
Level 9 – 14: Create Food & water 1/day
Level 15 – 16: Ethereal Jaunt 1/day

Challenge rating: CR +2
Pathfinder no longer uses Level adjustment but in most cases of the old 3.5 system. The
Bonus to challenge rating is usually the same as the LA. My recommendation is to apply a +2 LA if you want to allow this character in your game. This new Half-Janni is much more powerful than the one in Sandstorm and cheaper. I like it a lot. :biggrin:


They are a race onto themselves. They are essentially humans with a genie bloodline.
They age the same as a human.

+2 Strength, +2 Charisma
Medium Size
Land Speed 30 feet
Low light vision
+2 to Diplomacy & Sense Motive checks
Acid, Cold, Electricity & Fire resistance 5. Yes, Resist 5 to all 4 elements.
Languages: Kelish. Common and 1 elemental language (pick one). Ignan, Aquan, Auran, Terran.
Elemental Assault – Once per day as a swift action, You can shroud your arms with one
Element (acid, cold, electricity or fire). Unarmed strikes & weapon strikes deal +1D6 of Elemental damage. This lasts 1 round per level. You can dismiss it as a free action but can not reactivate until the next day. You can pick a new energy type each day.

Challenge Rating: CR + 0.
This race is pretty powerful, more powerful than a standard race similar in power curve to an Aasimar. I would recommend following the ideas presented in the council of thieves player’s guide. Whereby you would assign a 1,000xp or possibly higher XP penalty to play this race.

Zhyen – Tiny Genie

It has 2 hit dice and flies 30 with perfect maneuverability and has 1D4 elemental attack. The Zhyen can be summoned as a familiar if you are a Daivrat.

The Good

Excellent explanations of culture, geography & politics.
Excellent Artwork.
Love the new Half-Janni & Suli-Jann playable races.
Nifty tiny Genie - The Zhyen
Cool Prestige Class – The Daivrat
Lots of traits.

The Bad

Needs more feats.
Genie-booned horses mentioned in special paragraph but no rules. (seems odd)
No new spells , only 1 magic item & 1 alchemical item..
I would have liked to have seen more genie powers or feats for players to take.
There is little mention about crime and punishment.

Final Score 9 out of 10 (Silver Award) :second: This book is excellent, one of Paizo’s better companion books to date. Well worth the $11. I consider this a must have if you are playing any sort of Desert or Al-Qadim or Arabian Nights type of Campaign. You won’t be disappointed.

Scoring System:

10 – Gold Award - You would be a fool not to get this. As close to perfect as you’ll ever see.

9 to 9.5 - Silver Award - This is an excellent and important addition to your collection. This product only has maybe 1 or 2 minor issues that are easily overlooked.

8 to 8.5 - Bronze Award – This is also an excellent and important addition to your collection but has several issues that may need to be dealt with thru errata or house-rules.

7 to 7.5 – Honorable mention – This is probably worthy of consideration. It is a nice product but has several major issues or only offers a couple of new ideas.

6 – 6.5 - Fair - This product is ok but should only be bought if you are bored and have extra cash. This score shows that the product doesn’t deliver as promised or delves into other material that is separate from what was supposed to be discussed. The info presented in this product may also break your game either in too good a way or in a horrible way. This product may also offer little in the way of new rules or ideas.

5 to 5.5 – Poor - This product is really bad and should not be bought. This might have Horrible artwork and/or poor organization and/or poor spellchecking. This product may also offer nothing new in the way of rules or crunch and may just be an incoherent rambling of thoughts.

4.5 or less - Use this product for kindling… `nuff said.

Reviews for the Future (in no particular order):

Pathfinder Bestiary
Dark Markets of Katapesh
Adventurer’s Armory
Gnomes of Golarion ]]>
WhiteTiger http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/908-Pathfinder-Companion-Review-Qadira
Short Review - Pathfinder - DM Screen http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/880-Short-Review-Pathfinder-DM-Screen Fri, 11 Dec 2009 18:13:15 GMT Pathfinder Review - DM Screen

Hello, Everyone. It's time for another review. This one will be very quick. It's the new DM screen from Paizo.

It's generally pretty rare that I am ever surprised when I get a new accessory for my hobbies but this is one of those rare occassions where I am pleasantly surprised. This new DM screen is of the highest quality that I have ever seen and is easily superior to any screen that I have ever owned for any gaming system.

This new screen is made what looks like 2 sets of hard book covers (4 pages) similar to what you see and feel when you pick up the main Pathfinder book. All of the pictures of characters are on the front (Lini, Seoni, etc).

On the first page (extrreme left if you are the DM) is where the skill check charts begin and continue on to page 2 (middle left) in alphabetic order. They are very well organized and they use the same fonts, graphics & typeface that you normally see coming out of Paizo's graphic department. The rules are straightforward and very concise. Examples: High jump, long jump.

On Page 3 (middle right) - is where the rules for combat maneuvers are as well as the rules for conditions (blinded, exhausted, staggered, etc). There are also the main combat rules that cover things like (cover, concealment, etc).

On Page 4 (extreme right) give hardness & hit points for weapons, armor, doors, walls etc. There are also 2 charts, 1 for XP based on Challenge rating and the other chart is Gold reward based on Challenge rating.

I think the old screens from 1st or 2nd edition used to have a list for basic equipment plus weapons & armor but I guess you can't have everything and there's no room for all of that without sacrificing other charts. Besides this screen is designed for roleplay and combat not Monty hall-ism for people looking to buy or hawk their wares.

I'd have to say that I can find little to nothing wrong with this DM screen. It's a little pricey at $15.00 but you get what you pay for and there is every reason to believe that with even minor care this new screen should last you several years and possibly beyond. The old screens used to cost $10 and this is a way better deal for longevity sake.


Built from ultra-thick Book covers.
Skill charts organized alphabetically.
Nearly everything you could ask for
to do combat & combat maneuvers.
Thickness & HP for weapons, armor, walls, etc.
XP chart & gold reward chart for monsters.

Cons: none

Final Score: 10/10 - If you are a DM, this is a must have. :first: ]]>
WhiteTiger http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/880-Short-Review-Pathfinder-DM-Screen
Review - Pathfinder Chronicles - Seeker of Secrets http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/865-Review-Pathfinder-Chronicles-Seeker-of-Secrets Fri, 04 Dec 2009 20:23:12 GMT *_Review – Pathfinder Chronicles – Seeker of Secrets_* Well here I am, back again for another review of Pathfinder products. This time I have... Review – Pathfinder Chronicles – Seeker of Secrets

Well here I am, back again for another review of Pathfinder products. This time I have the pleasure of reviewing a smaller product. An issue of the Chronicle series called “Seeker of Secrets”. This issue deals with the Pathfinder Organization itself. The information in this book will give you a lengthy description as to its rank structure, rules & tenets, recruiting methods and its current status in all of the different countries & states.

Page 1 – Map of existing & defunct major Pathfinder Lodges.

Pages 2 – 16 – Give rules for gaining entrance to the Pathfinder Society, rank structure, precepts, Rules, objectives, recruiting methods and the status of Pathfinder lodges & society members within all of the different countries & city-states. At the bottom of pages 10 – 14 is a description of famous and/or notorious members of Pathfinder.

Pages 16 – 17 – 3 feats

Boon companion – adds 4 effective levels to determine the power & Level of either your animal companion or your familiar but it doesn’t exceed your level. Only good for a ranger or gish.

Dilettante – makes a skill monkey a super-skill monkey. It adds a +2
to all of your knowledge skills as long as you have 1 or more skills
in that knowledge skill. Prerequisite: 2 or more ranks in 5 different
Knowledge skills.

Friendly Switch – Prerequisite: BAB +1. You can do a 5 foot step
and switch places with a friendly ally that is equal in size or smaller
than you. This can be done as a 5-foot step or as a part of your
Normal movement.

Pages 17 – 18 – Spells

Book Ward - 2nd level spell (anyone can take it). Protects book from acid & fire
Damage and makes it waterproof.

Questing Stone – 4th level bard or sorc/wizard. Works like arcane eye except that it uses an Ioun stone as the
Scrying sensor.

Revelation – 2nd level bard (3rd for everyone else)
This gives a +10 to caster level check to determine inner workings of a
Puzzle, device or trap but for some strange reason you are not allowed
To explain the inner working to anyone else.

Scriviner’s chant – 0-level spell (all)

Enchants a quill and copies non-magical text at the rate of one page
Per minute. This lasts 1 minute per level.

Teleport trap – 7-level sorc/wiz only

This spells redirects the teleportation to another location. This includes
Teleporting into and out of the targeted area. It’s also programmable to
Only allow or deny certain creature types. This can also be made permanent.
This could be very handy but only in certain situations.

Pages 18 – 25 – More information on running campaigns with this book as well as Adventure ideas.
There is a list of odd jobs that a Pathfinder can do to earn prestige & money.

Pages 22 – 23 are 2 more famous member of Pathfinder. There are also rules on The Hierarchy.

Pages 26 – 27 – Timeline of Pathfinder from Founding to present

Pages 28 – 39 – Deep explanation of the Pathfinder Lodges which includes layout, location, what it Looks like and in some cases who is in charge of each. Pages 30 – 31 are 2 more Famous pathfinders.

Pages 40 – 57 – Tools of the Trade. This includes a list of adventuring equipment, alchemical items.

Pages 43 – 55 covers all the rules for Ioun stones including rules to have one
Surgically implanted and rules for making your own. This is really useful to GM’s.
There are also rules for “cracked” “flawed” “scorched” & “cursed” Ioun stones.
Pages 50 – 51 are rules for wayfinders which allow you to stick multiple Ioun
Stones in this device if you don’t want to have it circle your head and you don’t
Want to implant it into your arm. Pages 55 – 57 gives you a list of magic items and
A couple of rare ioun stones.

Pages 58 – 63 – 3 prestige classes.

Pathfinder Delver – based on Bard entry but offers no spellcasting. A rogue could also gain entry but gains no sneak attack damage. You gain a few cool abilities like being able to disable device without tools but that’s hardly noteworthy. A bonus to initiative equal to half your PRC level. You also gain True seeing once a day. Once per day, reroll a failed saving throw. There is a bunch of small abilities listed here (trap sense bonus – whooptie fricking doo!!) but this class just won’t cut it with anyone that I know.

Pathfinder Savant – A caster based PRC and it can be divine or arcane. I think the Wizard would benefit the most from it. You have to take the Magical aptitude feat & 1 item craft feat plus 5 ranks in Knowledge (Arcana) plus 5 in spellcraft and 5 in use magic device. This is an odd 7 level PRC that you only rarely see. You only get 6 caster levels out of 7 which can be a big no-no for some Spellcasting purists.

The big benefit is gaining access to spells from other spellcasting lists. Starting at 2nd level and at each new Level, you get to add 1 new spell from any list that you could cast. If the spell is not on your list then it is treated as 1 spell level Higher. Example: Cure Serious wounds would be a 4th level spell for a wizard. You effectively lose 1 level of spellcasting to gain the ability to pick 6 spells that are not on your list. This is potentially very handy.

You also gain identify as a spell-like ability. Analyze Dweomer as a spell-like ability. 3 times a days you can cast a spell of 6th level or lower as if you wielded a silent Metamagic rod and you can spontaneously convert any spell that you know or prepared into either a dispel magic or a Greater Dispel Magic. If you are a sorcerer then you add those 2 spells to your spell list. Overall, I kinda like this class. It adds a lot of versatility to any primary spell casting class. The wizard benefits the most since you won’t lose channel energy dice or worry about your animal companion becoming too weak or not getting all of Your bloodline powers if you are sorcerer.

Student of War – At first I thought, Yes.. finally a really useful PRC for fighters. The title of this PRC alone evokes thoughts of Sun Tzu. Unfortunately, This PRC isn’t quite what I was hoping for although it is on the right track. The entry costs are pretty steep. BAB +5, Feats – Combat Expertise, Dodge & skill focus (any one knowledge skill), Skills – 4 ranks each in 2 separate knowledge skills. Proficiency in at least 2 martial weapons. At first glance, this is seems to be more of a ranger based PRC but it doesn’t offer any spellcasting so that’s not much of a help although the ranger casts very few spells anyway. There is also no level stack for your animal companion which means you have to take the boon companion feat so that your animal companion will keep up. Student of War levels do not count as Fighter levels for feat qualification in the same way as the Eldritch knight.

This is a D10 PRC with a full BAB progression. The big powers are as follows:
Know your enemy – You have to spend a move action to make this work. You then have to make an appropriate knowledge check against your enemy (DC 10 + creatures HD). This will give an insight bonus to your list of “Stances”. There are 3 stances. Martial, Defensive & Tactical. Martial gives bonus to attack & damage rolls plus when you hit 4th level, You are always treated as if you had the Critical focus feat against your studied enemy. Defensive stance gives you an insight bonus to armor class & saving throws.
Tactical gives you a bonus to your CMB & CMD. At 8th level, you do not provoke an AOO against your studied foe if you attempt to do a Grapple, Trip or other combat maneuver. Your insight bonus maxes out
At +3 at 7th level.

3 Combat feats at 2nd, 5th & 8th level.

2nd level - Mind over Metal – use your intelligence bonus in place of your dexterity to calculate your Armor class.

3rd Level – Anticipate – once per day as an immediate action, you can ignore all damage and effects from a spell or spell-like ability if you just successfully saved against it.

6th level – Telling blow – against your studied foe, you can ignore 3 points of DR as long as that DR has a
Type. This does not work against untyped DR (Example: DR 10/-). This will however stack with the Penetrating Strike Feat.

9th Level – Nemesis – Once per day as a swift action, You can give your chosen weapon the “Bane” property against a creature that you have successfully studied. This lasts for 1 minute.

10th level – Deadly Blow – When you study your foe, If you beat the roll by 10 or more then you can ignore
All of the target’s DR and their immunity to critical hits and sneak attack. This only makes the target susceptible to your critical hits/sneak attack damage and this can not be bestowed upon an ally.
(note: this power does not mention whether or not the ignored DR has to be typed or not.) The GM will
have to make a call on that

Overall, I think this is a really cool writeup. I will be making a house-rule that Student of War levels count
As fighter levels for feat qualification. This might make it more palatable for my players. I just don’t know if anyone will take this because you end up giving up a lot like extra feats, spellcasting, armor training, weapon training, etc.

Personally, I think this should have been a 32 page companion book rather than a 64-page chronicle
Book due to the fact that it felt like they were stretching the “fluff” pretty hard. I almost think you’d
Be better off using the basic 3.5 rules and create your own organization and save yourself the $20.

The Good

The rules for Ioun Stones is really cool.
Student of War PRC could be useful if you house-rule it.
Pathfinder Savant PRC could be useful but almost might need to be house-ruled.
Pathfinder ranks and benefits are ok but you could make this up yourself.

The Bad

Spells aren’t much to brag about
And neither are the magic items
Pathfinder Delver PRC is useless.
Very few feats and no traits that I could find.
Far too many pages devoted to lengthy – read: “Ad Nauseam” explanations about the Pathfinder Society.

Final Score – 6 out of 10. This book is “fair” if you have extra money in your pocketbook. You might find some use out of the Ioun Stone tables and maybe a PRC or possibly a magic item but to me it’s not worth the $20. $10 maybe but not $20. I would have liked to have had more info on the Aspis Consortium. They probably should have called this the “Book of Ioun Stones”. ]]>
WhiteTiger http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/865-Review-Pathfinder-Chronicles-Seeker-of-Secrets
The Final Part 4 - Pathfinder Review http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/823-The-Final-Part-4-Pathfinder-Review Thu, 29 Oct 2009 17:17:37 GMT Hi folks and welcome back to the final part of the Pathfinder Review. First, I want to expound on the Vital Strike Feat that I talked about... Hi folks and welcome back to the final part of the Pathfinder Review.

First, I want to expound on the Vital Strike Feat that I talked about previously. The vital strike feat will work on a full attack action as well as a standard action and it’s based on your highest BAB. You can only use the vital strike power on one attack but after it’s been used, you can still make the rest of your attacks as normal. Sorry for any confusion.

Chapter 11 – Prestige classes

Arcane Archer – Let’s see what changed for Arcane Archer. Hit die bumped to D10. The prerequisites did not change. The enhance arrows power works a bit different, instead of just scaling the magic bonus from +1 to +5. It starts at +1 and then gains different qualities that you can add such as flaming, shock, distance, burst, holy, unholy, anarchic, axiomatic, etc. The arrow death fort save is DC 20 + charisma mod instead of just DC 20. This is the bulk of the changes for this class. Not a whole lot in my opinion and a very popular class either.

Arcane Trickster – The arcane trickster got hit die bumped to D6. The prerequisites did not really change other than the reduction in skill ranks but then you can only have a number ranks equal to your level anyway so I knew about that anyway. The big 3 additions is Tricky spells, Invisible Thief and Surprise spells. Tricky spells allows you to cast spells without having to use verbal or somatic components. This is super handy if you get captured and you are bound and gagged. If you have sorcerer levels then you don’t have to worry about memorization & spell book problems. Invisible thief allows you to become invisible as if you had the Greater Invisible power for a number rounds per day equal to this PRC’s levels. Surprise spells allows to add your sneak attack damage to any spell that deal damage. I could see some huge damage like a 10D6 fireball that also deals another 10D6 sneak damage. Very useful and very powerful.

Assassin – Well, the Assassin got quite a change up. A hit die bump up to D8 as expected. The new Assassin no longer has any spellcasting ability but is given a few REALLY powerful abilities that I am going to talk about. Hidden weapons – adds your assassin level to all Sleight of Hands checks.

This is nifty but not overly powerful. The big things to note are the “Death” powers. There are 4 of them. True Death is if you kill someone, it essentially hits the victim with a curse so that a remove curse has to be performed before you can raise dead or resurrect them. The DC for the remove curse is 15 + assassins level. Quiet death allows you to sneak attack / assassinate someone with an increased chance of not getting noticed… always a good thing. Swift Death allows you to Once per day use your assassinate power without having to study the target first. The final power - Angel of death – Once per day, when the assassin makes a successful death attack, he can cause the target's body to crumble to dust. This prevents raise dead and resurrection (although true resurrection works as normal). The assassin must declare the use of this ability before the attack is made. If the attack misses or the target successfully saves against the death attack, this ability is wasted with no effect. .

All I can say is that this is really powerful. Almost too powerful and potentially abusive if the GM is allowing evil characters or is playing an evil campaign. The odds that a player might use this on another player is awfully tempting. The usual Save or die effects that I have been seeing at high levels has now become “Save or dust”. I just can’t agree with anyone that thinks this is a balanced power. I’m going to have to dock a couple of points for something that I feel breaks the spirit of the game.

Dragon Disciple – The Dragon Disciple got a couple of changes that really made it mold into the Base classes better, in particular the Sorcerer. This is really a Sorcerer only prestige class. In theory, you could do it with a bard but I can’t see why you would. If you have sorcerer levels, then you must have the draconic bloodline. You also need to speak draconic and have 5 ranks in Knowledge (Arcana). The 2 big changes in this PRC is that you gain actual spellcaster levels rather than just bonus spells so now you gain both more spells & more spell levels which is an awesome thing. The other major bump up is the fact this PRC stacks with sorcerer levels for purposes of gaining most of those nifty draconic powers listed in the sorcerer section. What this really comes down to is that for a loss of 3 caster levels, you effectively gain a huge hit die (D12), an improved BAB (at 20th level it would be +12 instead of +10), and you would effectively be turned into almost a Half-Dragon (+4 strength, +2 con, +2 int, +3 natural armor, Breath weapon 4/day, Claw & Bite attacks, Fly 90 with average maneuverability, blindsense 60 ft , immune to one energy type, 4 bloodline feats and you still have 17 levels of sorcerer spellcasting.

Ummm.. ok… What’s not to love about this prestige class. We have a real winner here folks.

Duelist – Duelists gain automatic proficiency with light armor that they didn’t before. Here’s a list of added powers: No retreat at 9th level, which give the duelist a free AOO when the enemy attempts a full withdrawal. Precise strike changed in that you add your duelist level to your damage but doesn’t work on an enemy that is immune to crit’s. Parry at 2nd level, allows you to save an attack from your previous action in case you think that an enemy might hit you when the enemy attacks, you can then make a roll based on the bab of the attack that you withheld. If you roll higher than the enemy did, then the attack is successfully parried. Crippling Critical allows you to penalties to the enemy if you inflicted damage. Some examples are a reduction in speed, strength damage, dexterity damage, -4 to all saving throws, -4 to AC or 2D6 bleed damage.
Over all, some small improvements to the Duelist, although I’ve never been much of a fan of the duelist.

Eldritch Knight – The eldritch knight got some much needed fixing. All Eldritch knight levels count as Fighter levels for feat qualification. This is pretty sweet and long overdue. Your hit die got double bumped from D6 to D10 which is yet another big improvement. You get 3 combat feats in pathfinder vs. only 1 in 3.5 and at 10th level, you get this spell critical power which allows you to cast a spell as a swift action if you got a critical as part of an attack. Your target has to be the one that you hit with the critical. Overall, this is what the consummate Fighter/Mage gish character should have been all along especially when you throw in those arcane armor training feats.

LoreMaster – In all honesty, other than a hit die bump to D6. I didn’t notice any appreciable change to this class. I’ve never considered this class to be that great to begin with.

Mystic Theurge – The mystic theurge was a cool class in that you could cast both arcane & divine spells but it seriously lacked hit points & had other issues. The new version did get a bump up in the Hit die department to D6. It’s BAB did not improve nor are you able to cast spells thru armor.
You are allowed to use spell slots from opposite spell lists to cast your spells but they use up one higher level spell slot. At 10th level, spell synthesis allows you to cast 2 spells at once, one from each type and inflicts a -2 save for each spell if the target is hit by both spells. This class has gotten a few improvements but nothing earth shattering.

Pathfinder Chronicler – This is supposed to be the crowning prestige class for Pathfinder but personally, I think this an epic fail. It’s primarily based off the Bard class but offers no spellcasting levels and that’s half of the bard powers. Yes, you gain some pretty cool powers like being able to generate a “Doom” effect and being able to summon 1D4+1 5th level barbarians with magic weapons & armor. I can’t help this nagging feeling that few players will actually play this class.

Shadowdancer – Shadow Master gains some rogue talents. It’s hit die did not change. You gain the ability to do Shadow Conjurations & Shadow Evocations & the distance for Shadow Jump doubled to 320 feet. You also gain DR 10/- and a +2 luck bonus to all saving throws when you are in a dimly lit area. Over all, some nice improvements but this isn’t a sneak attack class, although you might be able to throw in a few levels on top of a Rogue/Assassin gish character for flavor.

Chapter 12 – GameMastering

The big thing that changed here is the XP chart for what you killed based on it’s challenge rating.
It goes all the way up to a CR 25 which yields something like 1,638,000 xp which is huge. There is a basic summary of how to run a game but there will be a GM guide coming out in 2010 so if you need more information just hold on because it will be out soon.

Chapter 13 – Environment

This is a well thought out chapter. It gives out structure values for walls and it gives out a nice long list of traps that involve pits, arrows, & magic attacks. There are also rules for slime & fungus….mmm… yummm.

Next up are the rules for terrain such as mountains, desert, aquatic & all of the rest.

The next set of rules are for conducting sieges, specifically rules for Catapults, ballistas, rams & Seige Towers… Oh My… :biggrin: !!!

Chapter 14 – NPC’s

This chapter about NPC’s is pretty straight forward. There are 5 basic types of NPC’s. Adept, Aristocrat, Commoner, Expert & Warrior. The old spellcaster that was in the 3.5 Unearthed Arcana is not present in this book. The adept is a combo cleric/sorcerer but only had access up to 5th level spells. The classes don’t get any special powers, just pick feats. The chart for NPC gear in on page 454 and is well laid out and broken out by types of gear.

Chapter 15 – Magic Items

There is a new chart for magic item availability on page 461. I think it could be fun to use it and I think it enforces a little bit more magic item rarity than 3.5 did. The powers available for Armor & Weapons stayed roughly the same. The costs for these powers stayed roughly the same.

Pathfinder does have a few new magic items that bestow multiple bonuses to your ability scores such as the belt of physical might (improves 2 scores) & the Belt of Physical Perfection (boost all 3 physical scores), Headband of Mental Superiority (boosts all 3 mental scores).

As far as magic item creation rules go, XP costs are gone and are replaced by time & gold factors.
You have to make a DC check = 5 + caster level for the item but that’s about it. The gold factor is = ½ of all base prices for what you need to make the item. It also take 8 hours per 1,000 gp to make the item with a minimum of 8 hours. You can rush it and do it in 4 hours per 1,000gp but it will add +5 to the DC check. You can only work on one item at a time. If you fail the check then all materials are considered wasted.

Pathfinder vs. 3.5 vs. 4th edition

I suppose no review of any D&D type system would be complete without throwing out the usual comparisons between the reviewed game & 4th edition D&D. The first thing I’d like to say is that I do not personally feel that there is any way that someone can make any sort of logical argument as to why one system is somehow better than the other. It always boils down to personal taste.
Upon listening to other people comments, I’ve noticed that most sentences of comparison start with the words “I think”. This is very important since it denotes an opinion rather than an established fact.

The big difference between Pathfinder & 4th edition is the market that they serve and believe it or not, they actually service 2 separate markets. 4th edition is mass-marketed to the most common denominator and that group is kids. 4th edition is written as a lead-in to roleplay and while it doesn’t stifle roleplay in and of itself, it’s very mechanics can not actively support it.
The following link explains what I am getting at quite well. http://www.indie-rpgs.com/articles/3/

An example would be where 4th edition shifted away from feet to squares as an easier way to use miniatures & maps. The problem that I’ve seen at hobby stores is when you try to use your combat powers outside of combat and noticed the blank stare coming from the GM. 4th edition heavily supports gamism & simulationism but only lightly on Narrativism. I’ve rarely ever played a game that did well on all 3 points. Pathfinder is still heavy Narrativism but it has slightly increased it’s level of gamism & simulationism in an attempt to maintain a delicate balance between the two and in doing so appeal to as many people as possible especially the 30-something to 40-something crowd that started playing back in the 80’s. Pathfinder also has many adventures tied to it that are much darker & grittier than I’ve seen come from WOTC and the adventures deal with subject matter that would make most PTA’s cringe (Slavery, Sexism, Racism, necrophilia, drugs, bestiality, etc).

If you want to play a quicker Smash & Dash game that is light on acting & heavy on high fantasy & magic items then 4th edition is your game. If you want a slower, grittier, darker game with more tailorable characters then Pathfinder might be right up your alley.


All in all, I think that Pathfinder fixes more than it breaks and is a relatively solid upgrade to 3.5 and I think that many 3.5 fans will move to Pathfinder. I have found that combat moves along just as fast if not slightly faster than 3.5 with a few less issues to boot. A few people might not be too keen on the power creep that was instituted in the game but for now, I am going to go with the assumption that the power creep was done with the idea of balancing the classes out which appears to be mostly successful. If I had to take a guess on backwards compatibility then my personal guess would be about 85% as there will be some needed conversion work to make some of the old 3.5 splatbooks compatible.

One of the questions is whether or not, you need to buy this book. For some very intelligent & enterprising GM’s, the answer could very well be no, since a few may very well have managed to write their own house rules that already addresses some of 3.5’s drawbacks. If that is the case then you probably don’t need to buy the book especially if you are short on cash and in the current state of the economy, I certainly don’t blame you if you can’t afford it. I hope that Pathfinder is a success for Paizo and I hope that the game grows but not too much. Mass Marketing is always a zero-sum game that usually dilutes gaming down to quantity rather than quality. I’ve never been keen on My hobby being considered an industry because to me, it’s a hobby and it should stay that way!!! Happy Gaming !!! :biggrin:

The Good

Skills consolidated
Feat Types consolidated
Combat streamlined (grapple, bull rush, trip, etc)
Difficult powers to adjudicate now more streamlined (Wild Shape, Turn undead).
Most base classes are now much closer in equality as far as relative power curve is concerned.
I like the artwork and the adult feel.
Layout more organized and easier to read.
The single mega-book release is easier to track than multiple smaller books.
This newer, updated version of 3.5 may stimulate the younger generation & the disaffected from other systems to give it a try.

The Bad

Adding more save or die effects is a poor & lazy way to balance classes.
Some Prestige classes not as balanced as Base Classes. (Ex. Assassin vs. Pathfinder Chronicler)

The Mediocre

Magic item creation still not ideal or not what I’m looking for but at least they tried.
If you have a lot of old 3.5 splatbooks, extra conversion work will be required to maintain balance & compatibility.
A few new powers seem odd or don’t seem to be well explained. (Ex. Barbarian Rage Powers)

Final Score – 8.5 out of 10

I also learned that I need to come up with a shortened bullet point system because this narrative review is too long. :sleep: ]]>
WhiteTiger http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/823-The-Final-Part-4-Pathfinder-Review
Pathfinder Review - Part 3 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/793-Pathfinder-Review-Part-3 Thu, 15 Oct 2009 21:07:57 GMT Power Attack got better. Instead of +1 damage for every -1 to hit. It’s now +2 damage for every -1 to hit. Cleave is now entirely different,... Power Attack got better. Instead of +1 damage for every -1 to hit. It’s now +2 damage for every -1 to hit.

Cleave is now entirely different, instead needing to drop an opponent and then get an immediate extra attack against an enemy. You now get an immediate extra attack, if you hit the first foe, against an adjacent foe even if you didn’t drop the first. There are 2 downsides that I see. The first is you suffer a -2 to your AC until your next turn and you can only do a cleave as a standard action and you only get one attack. The way I read it is that if you take a full action and make multiple attacks then you can’t do cleave at all. If that’s true then it becomes near worthless once a fighter goes beyond 6th level. Great cleave is the same as cleave but you can continue to make additional attacks as long as there are more foes to attack but you can never make more than 1 attack per foe.

There are a bunch of “extra” feats that allow classes with special banked powers like ki pool, Rage uses, lay on hands uses, etc. These allow you more points or more uses. This is standard trope stuff.

Arcane strike is sort of a new feat but not really since it’s very similar to the one in complete Arcane. If you are an arcane caster, you can spend a swift action to imbue your weapon with magic energy, which adds +1 damage and is considered magical in order to overcome damage reduction. This is not a bad feat.

The 3 Vital strike feats allow you to double, triple or even quadruple your damage on a single attack but you can only make a single attack on your turn. The whole point of this feat is to quickly off a boss monster by only having to deal with Damage resistance once. In the old 3.5, a fighter would make four attacks and have to roll damage and then compare against DR a total of 4 times.

In many cases, you ended up only doing a couple of points of damage. These feats allow you to pile on a lot of damage with a single throw but you had better hit.

Penetrating strike allows you to ignore up to 5 points of damage reduction but only if the DR is overcomeable, if it’s not then it’s of no use until you take the “Greater” feat then you can ignore up to 10 points of DR but only 5 if it’s DR 5/- or higher.

The next thing I’d like to talk about are the “Crit” feats. Most of these only work if the foe is not immune to crits, otherwise they don’t work. So undead, oozes and others don’t have to worry too much about these. These are more “trick” feats to give the fighter another avenue of approach in order to stay relevant in the higher levels. I can’t say for sure how good these really are and I am dubious if these would work. However, Critical focus is absolutely needed since that +4 to confirm the crit is just so desperately needed for the fighter. I think this feat existed in 3.5, I believe it was called Power Critical.

I’ve always said that the fighter needs maximum Damage output to stay relevant. The only real way of doing that is to get yourself a BFS (Big F***ing Sword) and take every feat that improves your chances of getting a crit including magic enhancements and magic items.
2D6 + bonuses just isn’t enough. At double digit levels, the fighter needs to be doing 4D6, maybe even 6D6 + bonuses per hit to stay in the game otherwise the fighter is just a big obstacle who is tying down enemies but not killing anything.

If you can consistently crit then you are doing the equivalent of 4D6 + bonuses which is pretty good but if you can’t do it consistently then it’s not much good. The only other feat that partially helps out is “Deadly Stroke” which allows you to take a standard action and make a swing and if you hit you do double damage plus 1 point of con bleed which is nice but you only get to make one attack per round and it only works against a stunned or flat-footed opponent. If there is a way to do this twice or more per round then I haven’t found it yet. This is yet one more limited use feat. The only way to make that work is to take 2 or more crit feats and then if your opponent becomes stunned and then the next round you can off him with Deadly stroke. As I said before, Feat selection for the fighter is super-crucial.

There are a whole slew of added on feats like a feat that helps you push a foe off his mount (i.e. Dismount) but that’s only useful if you are playing in a campaign with a lot of cavalry. Catch-off-guard lets you use improvised weapons without penalties.

The metamagic feats stayed roughly the same. The item creation feats stayed roughly the same except that they changed the level requirements on some of them. The one feat I am not keen on is the Master Craftsman feat. This allows someone to make magic items even if they are not a spellcaster. I suppose for some people this is acceptable but I am an old grognard and this feat won’t cut it. I will most likely ban this feat outright. It’s not that I think it’s too powerful. I really just think it’s dumb and bypasses a major point of being a spellcaster.

One final note on feats. I noticed that Paizo went nuts with the whole Improved / Greater list of Feats. I have to agree with John Reyst who has made the www.d20pfsrd.org site. The whole list of those has gotten to be pretty silly. I have to side with john and say that they should have changed It to something more practical like (Grapple 1, Grapple 2, Bull Rush 1, Bull Rush 2, etc). I just think it would have been easier to read. I realize that it makes it look a bit video game-ish but after about the 10th entry, it kinda started looking tired.

Anyway, there are a lot of new feats designed to help all characters out. The monk can grapple better, the fighter has more options and hopefully everyone is happy but I will be looking forward to the Advanced Player’s Guide due out in August 2010 and hopefully certain feats that I think should have been in the main book end up making it into the next book.


Weapons didn’t change a whole lot. Although, the chart is expanded by one column to show you any special qualities that the weapon has, such as, monk or trip or reach, etc. They threw in one or 2 new weapons such as the starknife but other than that, not a whole lot changed.

Armor got a little bit of an upgrade. Light armor stayed the same but medium armor got a +1 bump up in the chain mail & breastplate armor bonus. Heavy armor also got a +1 bump up. Full plate can now yield a +10 bonus if you have a +1 dex bonus. The armor alone now yields a +9 bonus on it’s own. This is a good thing since it makes heavy armor more relevant than in the old 3.5 version.

Special materials such as Adamantine, Silver, cold iron & mithral pretty much stayed the same.

Your adventuring gear didn’t really change too much either.

Additional Rules

The rules for Size, weight & age didn’t change.

The rules for overland movement and encumbrance didn’t change either that I could see.

Carrying capacity, mounts, ships, light sources, hardness & rules to break stuff doesn’t appear to have changed too much.


The combat round stays pretty much the same at 6 second per round. Your attack roll and attack bonuses stayed the same. The rules for touch attacks pretty well stayed the same. Damage changed a little bit unless I missed something. If you hit a foe and your damage is reduced to 0, you still deal 1 point of nonlethal damage regardless. I don’t recall that being in 3.5.

Rules for dying changed, instead of everyone dying at -10, now you die based on your constitution score. If your half-orc barbarian has a 20 constitution then the Half-orc doesn’t bleed out until You hit -20. Conversely, if your sorcerer only has an 8 constitution then you run the risk of dying sooner. In Pathfinder, it pays to have a high constitution.

The types of actions that you can take are pretty much the same as 3.5 but better organized and easier to read. Attacks of opportunity pretty much work the same as they ever did and there is a huge list on page 183. I can’t memorize nor compare the whole list so you will have to go through it on your own.

Stabilizing from death is easier now. You only need to make a DC 10 constitution check to stabilize.

The big thing to talk about for Combat is the new CMB/CMD system. This system is the new big fix for things like grappling, disarm, bull rush, over run, sunder & trip.

It’s pretty easy and it loosely resembles 4th edition D&D mechanics.

CMB is your attack result and CMD is a target number similar to your AC.

CMB = BAB (Base Attack Bonus) + Strength modifier + Size modifier + relevant feats (Improved grapple) if it applies to the specific act that you are attempting to perform.

CMD = 10 + BAB + Strength mod + Dex Mod + Size Modifiers + relevant feats

I will use grapple as an example to show you how this works.

A monk will grapple the wizard. The monk rolls a D20 and adds his bab + strength + size + feats. In this case, lets assume that the monk is 1st level with improved grapple and a 14 strength.

Let’s also assume that the wizard is also 1st level and has a 10 strength and a 14 dexterity but no relevant feats to improve his CMD. In this case the wizard’s CMD = 12 (10 + 0 bab + 0 strength + 2 dexterity + no feats)

The monk rolls a D20 and adds +4 to his roll (+2 strength, +0 for bab, +2 to improved grapple). If the monk rolls a 10 then he successfully grappled the wizard since he meet or exceeded the target number since the monk’s total is 14 beating a 12. The monk can now proceed to inflict his unarmed strike damage on your next turn, since you can’t do damage on the turn that you initiated the grapple, and keep the wizard grappled.

At this point, the wizard is screwed since he has to cast while grappled and taking damage. Usually, a grapple would provoke an AOO but since the monk has improved grapple, the wizard doesn’t get one and is even more screwed. The wizard (i.e. the defender) does not get an opposed roll but will have to wait until it’s his turn to do something which would be to either cast while grappled or break the grapple and neither is probably going to work out too well.

This is way easier and much more efficient and potentially deadly especially for the monk who can now do things that he couldn’t before and should have been able to. The standard character sheets and most modified character sheets that I have seen all have boxes for you to fill in for both stats.

Next up is Magic.


Casting spells hasn’t really changed that I can see. Spell resistance still works pretty much like it has before. Preparing spells and copying spells for spellbooks seems to be pretty straight forward. The costs and specific DC target numbers may have changed ever so slightly but not enough to mention as being a big change.

This big thing to note is that you will need to look at individual spells as several of those have changed. The most notable of course is polymorph. This has been changed extensively and a whole slew of “Shape” spells have been added. Reincarnate now gives negative levels and the rules for negative levels has changed as well. A Negative level bestows a -1 to all checks and rolls such as attack rolls, skills checks, saving throws, CMB & CMD. You also lose 5 hit points per negative level. Restoration & Greater Restoration can still remove negative levels. You still die if you have a number of negative levels equal to or greater than the number of total character levels that you have.

Another new spell, such as overland flight which gives you specific mechanics that tell you how far you can fly. Summon Monster and Summon Nature’s Ally each got a slightly expanded list of things to summon but the mechanics stayed the same.

In Part 4, I will finish up with Prestige Classes, Magic Items, Environments, NPCs, Gamemastering and a final word on the current situation between 4th edition, Pathfinder & 3.5 as well as a final score assigned to this book. Till then…. ]]>
WhiteTiger http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/793-Pathfinder-Review-Part-3
Review of Southern Front Gaming Convention http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/788-Review-of-Southern-Front-Gaming-Convention Mon, 12 Oct 2009 21:44:58 GMT If you are into historical miniatures and you want to go to a convention then you might want to check out the Southern Front Convention that is held... If you are into historical miniatures and you want to go to a convention then you might want to check out the Southern Front Convention that is held yearly in Raleigh, NC during the Late September – Early October time of year. I decided to do this short review since this is my 2nd time going and I thought it deserved to be mentioned.

It is not a huge convention but it is growing. This year they have hit a new high of 228 attendees. If gamers can get enough word out then there maybe a chance of breaking 250 next year. This convention’s main highlights are Civil War, World War 1, World War 2, Napoleonics, War of independence & Ancients. This also includes Air combat (World War 1, WW2 & Korea) and Sea Combat (from Wooden Ships all the way up to Battleships). There is also a Flames of War tournament and a Circus Maximus tournament (Chariot racing). There are also a couple of Sci-fi & fantasy games to help introduce young kids into gaming. There are also a few demo games from some of the local GM’s using their own home grown rules.

There are a basic 6 time zones for games.

1: Friday Afternoon (1 – 5)
2: Friday Evening (7 – 11)
3: Saturday morning (9 – 1)
4: Saturday afternoon (2 – 6)
5: Saturday night (8 – Midnight)
6: Sunday late morning (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

I can say that I managed to get into a game in every time zone and all of them were a lot of fun. It is held at a large Hilton Hotel on Wake Forest Drive in Raleigh. The cost for a room is kinda steep for those of you on a tight budget which is $105 per night. The atmosphere is very adult and fairly well organized. The entry fee is really cheap at $20 for the whole weekend and you can prereg for a mere $15. The staff & GM’s are all very knowledgeable and are very open to teaching newbies. There is also one more small caveat. The con is held in a single large room and during Saturday’s games, it got pretty cramped. I hope that for next year they have a slightly bigger budget to rent some more space from the hotel.

The dealers are pretty cool and some are even willing to haggle which can be a real bonus as some people snagged some really good deals. Sunday morning is a good time since it’s not crowded and they are more amiable to give you a good deal so they have less to lug home which is good for everyone. Food is expensive within the hotel which means you’ll have to drive around to get food but you can get pizza & Chinese take-out delivered.

All in all, this is very good small Con that allows you to get immersed into the games without feeling overwhelmed by the Big cons. If you live within an hour’s drive… you’d be crazy not to go
since this is one of the cheapest forms of entertainment that I’ve ever seen. If you live 2 or more hours away and need a room then be prepared for the sticker shock for the room. Personally, I use My AAA card and other points and coupons and stay at a cheaper hotel. The choice is up to you.


Tons of Gaming fun to be had by all
Above Average organization
Easy to get to – Right off the interstate


Hotel is expensive for all things (lodging & food)
It will most likely need more space in future.

Final Score: 9 out of 10 – If local. 8 out of 10 - If you have to travel.

Very good to Excellent ]]>
WhiteTiger http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/788-Review-of-Southern-Front-Gaming-Convention
Pathfinder Review - Part 2 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/782-Pathfinder-Review-Part-2 Thu, 08 Oct 2009 21:12:03 GMT *Cleric* The new cleric has had a few notable changes. The cleric lost heavy armor but automatically gains proficiency in his/her diety’s favored... Cleric

The new cleric has had a few notable changes. The cleric lost heavy armor but automatically gains proficiency in his/her diety’s favored weapon. In 3.5, you only got that if you took the war domain. Now everyone gets it. A few skills got changed around. You lost Concentration but then Pathfinder dropped that skill all together. The cleric gained Appraise, Knowledge (Nobility), Linguistics (note: this is a new skill) and Sense Motive. Overall, I like the new skill list.

The old rules for turn undead are gone replaced by Channel Energy. I haven’t fully tested this yet but I think this could be a lot more fun to use and easier to use. You can also use it to heal your Party members, but be warned, you will need to take one of the selective channel energy feats in the book otherwise you may well end up healing the enemies if they are living creatures and not undead. This power essentially primarily deals a scaling amount of D6 damage to undead within a 30-foot radius burst. This damage maxes out at 10D6 at 19th level.

Domains grant 2 powers instead of one. I also wanted to make note that not only did Paizo attempt to fix the classes and put them more in line with each other but they also got a power Boost and for a few classes they got a big power boost.

Clerics now cast orisons which are 0-level spells that they can cast an unlimited number of times per day. Paizo did get rid of cure minor wounds and replaced it with stabilize. If you are evil, I believe it is called bleed. You can choose up to 4 orisons per day.

Overall, I think that the cleric has improved a fair bit in terms of flexibility and ease of use. As far as How much of an increase in the power curve of things did the cleric get? Answer: Hard to say, I think some of that will depend on the domains that you choose. The animal domain grants you an animal companion but at a -3 effective level. The fire domain gives you resistance and eventually immunity to fire at 20th level plus access to some really good sorcerer/wizard type spells like burning hands & fireball. Pathfinder has it’s own pantheon so you’ll need to get used to a new list of deities.


The druid got a couple of changes that are noteworthy. The first change is that the Druid now has a choice between choosing a domain from a short list or choosing an Animal Companion. This choice give player’s more flexibility for his/her character as to whether or not you wanted an animal companion as some people might not want one or if they felt that it wasn’t powerful enough to survive.

The animal companion got fixed enough in my humble opinion to the point that I do not feel that you need to pick a domain. The animal companion now levels at the same rate that the druid does and that has been a thorny issue that needed to be fixed for some time now. The druid is not a great melee class so having the animal companion around can really help out in a pinch. If you have a companion that flies…well that’s even better since you now have something that can go on short scouting missions.

The last big thing that changed is Wild shape. Now, instead of digging through your monster manual to figure out what your new stats are when you wild shape, the stats are presented as being identical to the new shape spells (beast, plant, elemental, etc) which of course replaced the old polymorph spell.

I know some people might not like it since it reduces your wild shape to a few stat boots and a handful of powers but I believe the intent was to speed up the game and to reduce the time spent for a player to go digging through a monster manual to figure out what your new stats are. It’s now all in one book. It may take a little getting used to but I think with a little imagination, most people will come to enjoy the new experience. I believe that Paizo employed a “KISS” it mentality when they re-wrote 3.5. KISS = Keep it, Simple Stupid !!! I for one will be very interested to see how far they went in streamlining the 3.5 system into this new release.

Finally, the Druid gains the following skills: Climb, Fly (new skill), Knowledge (geography), Perception (combined from listen, spot). These are all good choices and they all make sense.

I think the druid got cleaned up a little and gained some flexibility. The only real change in the Druid’s power curve is in the fact that animal companion now has a chance to keep up with the Druid but that’s ok since it’s been an established fact that the druid has long since been considered to be one of the most powerful classes in the old 3.5 system.


Out of all of the classes that needed a fix the most, I would say without a doubt the fighter needed it the most. The question is did the fighter get a big enough of a fix??? Answer: I’m not so sure.

The first thing I noticed is that the feats got consolidated into something much more readable and desirable when it came to figuring what the fighter could take as a “fighter bonus feat”. They are now called “combat feats”. YAY!!! This is much easier. The real issue here is whether or not the new feat list has enough feats that the fighter can use to stay relevant at all levels.

The fighter gets 11 bonus combat feats plus 10 general feats. If you play a human, you would end up with a whopping 22 feats. These feats are the fighter’s bread and butter and making the right choices at the right moment is absolutely crucial. Taking a quick gander through the feats, I notice feats like Vital strike & Penetrating Strike. Vital strike allows you to double, triple or even quadruple your damage on a single attack but you can only make a single attack on your turn. Penetrating strike allows you to ignore up to 10 points of damage reduction if you take both the regular feat and the Greater feat. I think these feats in conjunction with the new “critical” condition feats can help the fighter out quite a bit.

I will talk more about the feats when I get to the feat section but for now, I’d just like to say that the new “crit” feats are interesting but they are very much race & type dependent. It’s not like you can make an ooze go deaf so I’d be careful when you spend your Feats and not go too crazy on these. Fortunately, you can get replace old feats that you feel are no longer working for you. At 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter, you can replace one old feat for a new one.

The next thing is a power called “Bravery” which is essentially a scaling +1 to your will saves Vs. Fear. It maxes out at +5 at 18th level. This is good since it will help keep your meat shield from running home to mommy.

Armor training allows the fighter to lower his/her armor check penalty by 1 down to a minimum of 0 and it also adds +1 to his/her maximum dex bonus.

Weapon Training starts at 5th level and allows you to pick a group of weapons by type such as Heavy Blades, Light Blades, bows, crossbows, etc and you gain a +1 to hit & damage for all weapons in that group.

Every 4 levels thereafter you get to pick an additional group and apply that bonus as well. Here is the big bonus. The first group you picked now has it’s bonus increased by a further +1 to hit & damage and it continues to increase up to a max of +5 for your first group. Your second group maxes out at +4 and so on. It is very important to pick what you feel is the most important group for you character. Weapon training also stacks with weapon focus & weapon specialization so your bonuses will grow to become quite huge.

At 19th level, you gain a DR 5/- as long as you wear armor or wield a shield.

At 20th level, you pick one weapon. You can never be disarmed when using that weapon. Your crit threat range increases by 1 as well as the critical multiplier. You also automatically confirm possible crit’s with that weapon.

All in all, there have been quite a few positive changes for the fighter but I can’t help feel that more could have been done. It’s not so much that I’m worried about damage output, it’s just the fact that the Fighter never seemed to be very “special” to play. I think it would have been nicer to see the fighter have some sort of special schtick. I was thinking that maybe the fighter should gain some sort of simplified maneuver system, potentially similar to what was presented in the Book of Nine Swords. Although I understand that Paizo probably can’t do that due to a potential lawsuit from WOTC for stealing copyrighted material. I think it would be really cool to maybe give the fighter a way to perform a coup-de-grace against an opponent even if they are not helpless but say when the opponent is down to less than ¼ of their hit points or if they suffer from a special condition such as staggered, stunned, fatigued, exhausted, etc. It’s just a thought.


The new monk has undergone a few notable changes as well. The first big change was Flurry of Blows. Originally you started with 2 attacks at a -2 to hit and it maxed out with 5 attacks, 3 of them at +15, 1 at +10 & 1 at +5. It now starts with 2 attacks at a -1 to hit and then uses a Fighter BAB progression system adding a +1 at every level that maxes out at +18 at 20th level. The monk now has 7 attacks, 2 at +18, 2 at +13, 2 at +8, and 1 at +3. He is now quite literally a whirlwind of destruction. The monk now automatically starts with the stunning fist feat. This was an obvious fix since I hated spending a precious feat on something that you should’ve had all along.

The next big thing is Ki pool. This ki pool is equal to ½ monk level + wisdom modifier. You spend 1 point per round on the following: +20 land speed or 1 extra attack for flurry of blows at your highest attack bonus or +4 dodge bonus to your AC. These affects only last for 1 round. You also need to make sure that you keep at least 1 point in your ki pool otherwise your unarmed strikes will be considered to be normal and not magical nor lawful nor adamantine.

The monk also gets an expanded list of feats to choose from for bonus feats. I will get into those later when I review the feats but for now feats like Scorpion Style & Medusa’s Fist seem very interesting. The monk also gets the usual consolidation of skills with the exception that Knowledge (Arcana) got replaced by Knowledge (History). In short, The monk should be just as effective as the Fighter and the Barbarian, perhaps more so. I cringe to think of how powerful this new monk would be if you allowed the old Vow of Poverty feat.


Well what’s to say about the Paladin, It’s always been a really popular character all the way back to 1st edition. It was useful before and now it’s even more so. Quickly glancing at the chart, The paladin gets something new at every level. The rules for detect evil have been changed, it only works one object or person at a time within 60 feet and you have to concentrate for 3 rounds.

Smite evil now doubles in damage output if the enemy is an outsider or undead (i.e. 2 points per paladin level). The new big power is “Mercy”. This allows the paladin to not only lay on hands and heal damage but also remove condition effects such as fatigued, shaken, poisoned, diseased, blindness, deafness, etc). Since mercies work based on the lay-on-hands power, You gain a number uses equal to ½ your paladin + charisma modifier.

You also gain several new aura’s which give you immunities to certain types of spells and you can give your allies temporary access to the smite ability. At 17th level, you gain DR 5/evil and at 20th, it becomes DR 10/evil. Your smite evil power will then be able to banish evil outsiders. Your paladin can also channel positive energy just like a cleric but uses up 2 uses of your lay on hands ability. You gain an extra 1st level spell and an extra 2nd level spell but that’s about it as far as spellcasting goes.

Overall, I think the paladin does a bang-up job playing a backup healer. The new upgraded lay on hands abilities really makes having one in the party become a real life-saver.


The ranger hasn’t been too popular of a character in 3.5 at least not in my gaming group. Let’s see if whether or not the new Ranger is more to our liking. The ranger’s hit die is bumped up to a D10. He gains improved evasion at 16th level which is very useful even if you are getting it late in the game. The big things of note are the “Combat style feat”. Personally they should have renamed this to something else like “Combat Paths” or something. Basically, you get 1 of 2 choices. Archery or 2 weapon combat. You get a total of 5 bonus feats to boost your character but only in 1 path and you can’t mix or match.

Next up is favored terrain, you get a +2 bonus to perception, geography, stealth & survival checks in that terrain. In the higher levels, you can track while running. Oh, I almost forgot, you have the option of either bonding with your allies or gain an animal companion. The animal companion levels at your level but at -3. The ranger also get a save or die power at 20th level. If you hit a favored enemy with a single attack at your highest BAB, the favored enemy has to make a fort save or die. As I said before… not keen on save or die effects. The ranger gets some nice bump ups but I’m not a big fan of the ranger.


The rogue gets a hit die bump to D8. The big things that the Rogue get are Rogue Talent, Advanced talent’s and Master strike. Rogue talents allow you to potentially (cast a low level spell such as a 0-level or 1st-level), bonus combat feat, weapon focus, temporary hit points, a bleeding attack that deals and 1 point of extra damage per die of sneak attack, quick disarm trip or easier to spot a trap. The advanced talents are improved evasion or slippery mind (reroll against enchantment spells), or a bonus feat, or skill mastery (you can take a 10 even during combat against a number of skills = 3 + int modifier). Master strike gives you the ability to either put the
target to sleep, paralyzed or dead. You get a save against it. If you are immune to sneak attack then you are immune to the effect. Ah well, it looks like another point deduction for introducing yet one more save or die effect. The rogue got better but only slightly.


The big things that changed with the sorcerer. The familiar feat was replaced with eschew materials. This was an obvious fix since I’ve never used a familiar with the sorcerer. Although having a familiar is not as painful as it used to be if it died. You gain a free bloodline. This makes perfect sense and since it’s free, I no longer lose levels taking a bloodline or spending feats to make the sorcerer more useful. The bloodlines are quite extensive and from what I hear more of them will be coming in next year’s Advanced Player’s Guide. Some of them are quite powerful such as Air Elemental which allows you to fly 60 feet with average maneuverability at 15th level and at 20th level you are immune to electricity. You can even throw small electric bolts at your enemies. You also gain 9 bonus spells (1 per spell level) and 3 bloodline feats. The Sorcerer now has a D6.

Interestingly enough, the Draconic bloodline ties in directly with the Dragon Disciple prestige class but more on that later. Overall, I love the new Sorcerer and is definitely much more in line with the rest of the classes. The only minor caveat is the fact that the bonus spells show up later than I care for. I may end up house-ruling that you get the bonus spells 1 level earlier each respectively.


Finally, the last class. The wizard is hit die bumped to D6. The wizard can now bond to an object and not just a familiar. The bonded object can automatically cast one spell that is in your spellbook once per day even if it isn’t prepared. You can also add powers to it via magic item feats.

You can now pick an arcane school and instead of just getting a small bump up in effective spellcasting and maybe a bump in DC saves. You now actually gain a few real powers. For example, the Abjuration school allows you to have energy resistance with eventual immunity.

You gain a deflection bonus to your AC and you can do Energy Absorption. This is pretty sweet stuff. The wizard has always been the “go-to” class and has always been really powerful. It gained a little bit of power but is more fleshed out now as role-play class.

Chapter 4 – Skills

A quick list of skills that got consolidated.

Hide & Move Silent = Stealth
Listen, Search & Spot = Perception
Balance, Jump & Tumble = Acrobatics

Gather Information & Concentration got deleted.
All concentration checks are D20 + caster level + ability modifier + any applicable power or feats.

Fly is a new skill
Linguistics is a new skill but was sort of re-added from 3.0

Basically, 10 skills got removed but 5 took their place for a net loss of 5. I may have gotten the count wrong but I think that’s right.

Some of the rules changed as to how you approach each new skill but I’ll leave it to you to read up on it. The one big thing of note is that if you have at least one rank or more in a class skill then you get a bonus +3 to the check. This is very helpful but you are only allowed a maximum of ranks equal to your level. I still don’t think you get enough ranks and I may have to house rule in some extra ranks. I would like to say that I like the new list.

Chapter 5 – Feats

Here is the list of the new groupings for feats:

Combat Feats – This is a new group and a fix from the old Fighter bonus feat problem of old.

Critical Feats – This is a brand new group to help fix the fighter primarily

Item Creation Feats

Metamagic Feats.

I can’t go through all of the feats but I am going to try and touch on the ones that I felt were really important. The first general thing that I noticed was that some of the old skill check feats got a minor bump-up. Example: Athletic = +2 to climb & swim checks. You now get +4 if you have 10 or more ranks. This bump-up plays out in several other skill check feats.

The first new feats that I really like is Arcane Armor training. There are 2 levels. The 2nd being Arcane armor mastery. Each one gives a 10% point reduction in arcane spell failure chance when casting thru armor. If you have both feats, you get a 20% point reduction. The only caveat is that for some strange reason, you have to spend a swift action to activate it. Ok, this just begs the question, Just what exactly are you doing during that swift action? Adjusting your codpiece… shifting that chain metal bra ??? I mean come on… seriously, spend a swift action? No, I don’t
think so. I’m going to house rule that it’s a permanent effect and you don’t have to spend an action.

Wind stance and Lightning Stance give you 20% & 50% concealment when you are on the move.

These are awesome feats. Granted the requirements are somewhat stiff but they should be considering what your getting.

Scorpion Style allows you to reduce a target’s speed to just 5ft. Gorgon’s Fist allows you to stagger your foe if his speed has been reduced and Medusa’s wrath allows you to make 2 extra attacks against a hindered foe. All in all these chain feats are designed to stop someone dead in their Tracks and beat them into oblivion. I’ll be very interested in testing this out someday.

Sometime next week, I will try to put out Part 3 which will finish the feats section and then jump into combat and possibly magic. Till then... ]]>
WhiteTiger http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/782-Pathfinder-Review-Part-2
My First Blog and My first Review - Pathfinder Part 1. http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/765-My-First-Blog-and-My-first-Review-Pathfinder-Part-1 Fri, 02 Oct 2009 21:45:46 GMT My First Attempt at a Review – Pathfinder RPG

Greetings, Ladies & Gentlemen. (said in the immortal Heath Ledger’s Voice of the Joker)

For tonight’s entertainment, I bring you My crazy, non-sensical, illogical, emotional, tyrannical
and generally over-the-top & low-blow tirade review of….. (brace for it)….

Pathfinder the Roleplaying Game

Now I’m not going to explain what Pathfinder is, since anyone who is actually going to read this already knows what it is. So without further ado and in the immortal Heath Ledger’s Joker’s Words… Here We go !!!

First off, This book is a gargantuan 3D6 bludgeoning improvised weapon that pretty much overcomes any and all damage resistance. This thing comes in at a whopping 575 pages and weighs over 4 pounds. Now don’t forget to record that on your character sheet so that you can remember how much encumbrance your character is suffering from. It pretty much combines all of the old requisite Player’s handbook and GameMaster’s Guide rules and combines them into one big behemoth of a Tome which is a good thing since it probably reduces printing costs and I don’t have to worry about keeping track of a multitude of books. The art on the front cover is good and
most of us have probably seen it before on Paizo’s website and on various other books that Paizo has published in the past.

Now moving into the guts of this thing. You get the usual introductions by the authors, which in this case is first done by none other than Monte Cook, a well-respected author of many fine books within the d20 open gaming license universe and another introduction by the Lead Designer – Jason Buhlman. I personally don’t know very much about Jason Buhlman. I recall that He did some work on the Eberron universe… I believe it was called Secrets of Xen`drik. I’ve never played Eberron nor read any of the associated works but since Paizo hired him, I can only assume that they must have great confidence in his ability to reinvigorate the old D&D 3.5 community with this new updated work. Oh and by the way, the 3.5 community is not as old as some people try to make it sound.

In Chapter 1, you get the usual description of what this game is all about, what you need to play, etc. It gives you a fairly lengthy and solid description of all of the common terms that you will need when you play such as, what a GM is, what BAB is, Damage Resistance, Spell Resistance, Hit points, different conditions that your character is suffering from like prone or disease, etc. You then get a sample narrative of how a combat scene takes place. After that, We jump into Character creation. One of My favorite parts, I might add.

The first step in creating your character is determining your ability scores. Personally, I like to choose my race first but it doesn’t really matter that much either way. They give you 5 different ways to do it. The standard way is roll 4d6 six times. The classic method is to roll 3d6 six times. Obviously, You will statistically end up with a weaker character but it could still be interesting to try it once in a while. The heroic method is that you roll 2d6 and add 6 to the result. This method of rolling mostly eliminates low scores (i.e. never getting less than an 8) although high scores will still be fairly rare. The 4th choice is to use a dice pool. You grab 24 D6’s and you have to assign a minimum of 3d6 to each ability score roll. There is no maximum, so if you feel you need a super high score in one ability you could assign something like 6d6 to one score in the hopes of getting that 18. The final choice is purchase. The chart is on page 16 and the GM will tell you how many points you have to spend.

This chart is different than the one presented in the old 3.5 GM book. The usual stat bonus chart on page 17 gives your character the usual list of bonuses that you mark on your character sheet to show how good your character is physically and/or mentally including bonus spell slots. This chart is the same as 3.5 which is what I expected. I am going to wait until I start the 3rd chapter before I remark on why I felt Paizo did what it did in regards to the change in purchase points, race enhancement s and XP charts but for now, let’s move on.

Chapter 2 – Races

I can say without a doubt that all of the races got stat improvements. Although some got a lot more than others. First up are the Dwarves. At first, I thought they got a lot of improvements but it was my eyes playing tricks on me. Paizo put labels on each of the stat bonuses and threw me off for a second but after checking the old PHB, the only real difference is the +2 wisdom. I do admit though, it looks better organized and easier to read. Oh and by the way, The Dwarves of golarion is due out sometime in November, 2009 so if you are looking for more options then you might want to check it out.

Now it’s the Elves turn. They get a +2 to intelligence which is awesome for wizards and they get a +2 to overcome spell resistance and identifying magic items. All I can say is “Wow, are these new elves super-powerful spell-casters in this new edition”. I think we are going to see a lot more elf arcane characters from now on. The elves get a +2 to perception which is a condensation of Listen, Search & Spot which is great. I did notice that they got rid of the 5-foot free search check to spot a secret door. I don’t have a problem with that since I feel that everyone should get a chance to make a roll to notice it anyway. How come only the elves got to do that in the first place??? I guess I’ll never know.

Now here we have the Gnomes. I admit that I don’t play short or small races and the Gnomes are no exception but I do like where Paizo is taking them. In April 2010, Paizo is releasing a Gnomes of Golarion companion book where they will talking about the Gnomes history, specifically they will be talking about the “Bleaching” which is some kind of weird aging process because they used to be fey and because they left that world and came to Golarion. Oh, at this point, I feel I have to comment on the artwork of the races. It’s interesting how Paizo decided to show them in their underwear, it particularly reminds me of a fundoshi. In a way, I kind of like that because it makes me feel like the book was built more for adults than kids.

The Dwarf is pretty standard. The elf strangely has black eyes and looks like he wants to rip your throat out. The Gnome is cute and she looks like a punk teenager and if she were my daughter, I’d probably never let her out of the house looking like that.

For the most part, the Gnomes didn’t gain much. They get a +2 to charisma which is an obvious boost since the Gnomes most obvious class(es) to take would be either the Bard or the Sorcerer. The original +2 to craft (alchemy) is now +2 to any craft or profession skill. This is a good thing since it allows you to tailor your character more to your liking. The +2 listen is now +2 perception similar to the Elf.

The Half-elf is the uber-hottie in this book as far as I’m concerned. They get to add a +2 to any ability score of their choosing. This is an awesome thing for flexibility in building your character. They also gain a free Skill focus feat at 1st level which can be useful. The last big thing that they gain is “Multi-talented”. This allows the player to choose up to 2 favored classes and every time you gain a level in either class, you can choose to gain either an extra hit point or a skill point.
In a word… Sweet!!!

The Half-Orc got fixed in a major way. I’ve noticed in the past of how few players actually played one and I’m sure that was due to the net negative -2 that they suffered. Who wants to play an inferior character??? Answer: No one that I know of. They get the same bonus that the Half-elf does and no longer suffers any negatives. YAY!!! They also gain a +2 to intimidate checks. They also gain “Ferocity” which allows them fight on for more round if they brought to 0 or lower Hit points. Overall, I’d say that the Half-Orc is now roughly on par with everyone else. Oh and by the way, I noticed that the new Half-Orc seems to have gained some “Hulk” blood or maybe He’s been hanging out with the WoW crowd. Zug-Zug!!! Dabu!!!

The Halfling didn’t change too much either. The Sure-footed power is a roll-up of the old 3.5 skillsas well as the Keen senses ability. The rules for small didn’t really change and the Halfling still gets a +1 to all saving throws and a +2 to fear effects. The only thing the Halfling gets is a +2 to Charisma which is the same as Gnome and the class choices for the Halfling would be either rogue, bard or sorcerer or a multi-class version of what I just mentioned. Oh, and speaking of classes, I just read the latest on Paizo’s website. They now have a sample character of the new Oracle class. This is a spontaneous divine caster that uses charisma as it’s main attribute. I can definitely see any race with a bonus to charisma should be able to play this class pretty effectively.
The poor halfing though, He doesn’t look too happy posing in his jockstrap though. LOL!!!

Lastly, it’s the Human. Well, long story short, they got the absolute least amount of changes.
You get a +2 to one ability score and that’s it. It’s exactly the same as 3.5.
The female though looks like she is about to audition for a bout on the UFC.

Chapter 3 – Classes

Starting on Page 30, you will notice a brand new XP progression chart. This chart has 3 “speeds”, - Slow, Medium and Fast. I’d be willing to bet that few players will be too keen on playing on the slow chart. Personally, as a GM, I plan on testing this using the Fast chart. Besides, I can always withhold XP until I feel the time is right anyways. This new chart evokes some thoughts of nostalgia due to the fact that I used to play 1st & 2nd edition and back then the charts used to go up to 2 and possibly 3 million XP so this is kind of cool. You get 10 feats, 1 at every odd level instead of the old 7. This is an EPIC win as far as I am concerned. WOTC produced dozens of splatbooks that generated several hundred feats for you to choose from but you could only get 7??? You pretty much had to play a human and/or a class that gave you more feats if that was what you wanted.

There are no more penalties for multi-classing. YES!!! It’s about frickin` time. No more calculating XP loss. Favored Class now actually means something and when you take a level in your favored class, you can choose either a bonus hit point or a bonus skill rank. I can’t argue with that choice.

Before I get too involved talking about what changes occurred with all of the classes. I wanted to talk about why I felt Paizo ramped up the stats for all the races. It seems to be pretty obvious that they wanted to close the gap between the regular races and the level adjusted races. The most obvious proof is located in the Council of Thieves player’s guide. This guide is free and you can go to Paizo’s website and download it whenever you feel like it. I believe the entry is on page 5 or 6. It basically gives you some different options as to how to deal with the tiefling if the GM allows it in the game. One of these choices is for the GM to enforce an XP hit. Basically, the player would only earn ½ XP until the GM felt that a reasonable amount of XP difference between the tiefling player and the rest of the group. This XP difference could be 1,000 or even 2,000. There are other methods available such as reducing the tieflings powers. Although, I doubt if too many player’s would be willing to go down that road.

I also noticed that there are less points to spend if you use the purchase points system. You only get 25 points if you use Epic but in the old 3.5 it was 32. When you spend your 25 points and then add in your bonuses, you should be just about the same as the old 32 point chart. The trick here is that putting in a stat boost and reducing the point expenditure, you somewhat close the gap between the non-Level adjusted races and those that are, but your starting stats are still roughly the same as in 3.5. That’s pretty smart there, Paizo.

I’m guessing that if you wanted to play an even higher level adjusted race, you could probably apply the same rules and still be relatively balanced. If for example, the GM allowed you to play a Half-Janni from the Qadira companion book, you would have to suffer a 2 level loss to stay balanced in a standard 3.5 setting but in Pathfinder, you would first take a 2,000 XP loss (example: earning only ½ XP until you reached 4,000 xp) and then at some point down the road you then take a one level loss. This would make the Half-Janni much more tolerable and less painful to play and you could play it at a lower level. I see this as a win-win for everyone.


The big thing that changed for the Barbarian was how Rage was handled. You gain a number of uses that increases as you level and you get to pick additional types of rage powers as you level. The different uses can generate a lot of different effects such as more DR, more damage, faster speed, resistance or immunity to certain conditions, etc. I do have to say that I think a couple of them are kinda stupid. Example: I rage and My vision get better??? (i.e. gain low-light).
Man, I can see it now…. “RRRRRAAAARRRGH, Hey look guys, now I can see!”. I think I smell a little WOTC primal power getting figured into this new Barbarian. It’s almost like it’s tapping into animal powers. If you were going to do that then you should have given the barbarian access to Totemic powers. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if Paizo does exactly that in a future splatbook but I wouldn’t hold My breath for getting a check in the mail for coming up with good ideas.
For now, I am going to dock a point from the final score for adding stupid powers unless a new splatbook from Paizo comes out that ties some of these powers to something that makes sense.
The barbarian was always a useful class and is now even better, albeit with a few corny powers.


The bard gains a bigger hit die, D8 vs D6. It gains more spells known and more spell slots but not more spell levels although it’s still treated as a full spellcaster. The bard also gains more musical powers. Most of them are pretty cool like being able to generate a Mass Cure Serious Wounds for the party. That’s really awesome. The bard can also prevent certain conditions from occurring like frightened or shaken and the bard can cause fear against his/her enemies.

The only thing I don’t like is adding more save or die effects to the game. I think this just boils down to when you get to end of the campaign. I prefer a knuckle-drag-out of a fight rather than just chuck “save-or-die” powers at each other and the winner is the one who got lucky and made their saves. Okay, that to me is not fun. I think a better power for the bard would be to allow the bard to generate more damage from sonic spells without having to use a larger spell slot.

I’m probably going to dock points from Paizo, every time they add more “save-or-die” effects. The power that I was referring to is “Deadly Performance”. I think it would also be useful to add some sort of focus for the bard in a future splatbook. What I am getting at is to allow the bard to maybe pick either 1 - 7th level cleric spell or 1 - 7th level sorcerer/wizard spell at a high level and be able to use it as a spell-like ability up to maybe twice a day. I’ve noticed several situations where 6th level and lower spells don’t work against some of the really powerful monsters and I still feel that the bard is too weak at the upper levels. He’s pretty good in a mid-level campaign but of limited use when you start getting close to epic level. The bard did get better but still needs more work. ]]>
WhiteTiger http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/765-My-First-Blog-and-My-first-Review-Pathfinder-Part-1