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Review - Pathfinder Chronicles - Seeker of Secrets

Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.
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”.

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