First off I was planning to do a review of the Pathfinder Game Mastery Guide… However Newbie DM did a wonderful review on it, so I will just point that out to everyone.
I will go out and say that the Game Mastery Guide and the new Advanced Players Guide are BOTH only $9.99 for the PDF, which is an AMAZING price for a product of this quality. Do yourself a favor and buy these products.
Ok.. On to the Players Guide.The Geek Life Project has a short and sweet review of the Advanced Players Guide. Check it out.
I’m going to just say something that everyone already knows.. Paizo knows their shit. The products they come out with are gorgeous, packed with tons of great ideas and useful information, and more importantly a true love for the game and product they are creating.
Gush Gush Gush
I’m not going to cover all the feats, spells, and magic items that are jam packed into this book. For two reasons, one- there are a lot of them and two- I’ve only skimmed through them and haven’t had time to get down and dirty and do a real in depth reading of em..
I will say that the new feats and spells, from the little peaks I’ve taken, nothing seems truly game breaking or really over powered as some of the stuff that came out in the Complete Series books for DnD (the Complete Arcane comes to mind here) where a spell was ridiculous or a feat allows a level 4 caster to be casting as though they are level 8.
I will say that it is possible this stuff is in there and I just didn’t notice it.
The thing I REALLY like is the variant rules for the classes.
I really like that they created variant abilities and feats that can be switched out for ones of the standard class, rather than creating a whole new class.
One– In 3.5 a Swashbuckler was a variant starting class in the Complete Fighter with its own level progression.
In Pathfinder you play a Rogue and progress down that level path, however you choose the Swashbuckler Variant you lose Trapfinding as a class ability and instead gain Martian Training which allows some goodies that make sense for the type of character you are wanting design.
Two– In 3.5 a Drunken Master was a Prestige Class that you had to plan far in advance as a player to achieve, and while it was fun and had great flavor text and abilities, many of my players who got there expressed a complaint that it was too much of a pain to get there.
You choose Drunken Master as a Variant Monk Class at level one.. BOOM. You are a monk with an alcohol problem who somehow still kicks major ass.
The Monk at 3rd level gets the ability Drunken Ki, which replaces Still Mind.
As The Geek Life Project put it so eloquently, with this one book Pathfinder basically made it so you can toss away all those pointless Splat books.
Seriously, there are TONS of variants:
Cleric- A huge amount of new Domains.
Paladin- 6, plus a new class called the Antipaladin
Ranger- 8 and several new combat styles
Sorcerer- 10 new bloodlines
Wizard- 4 elemental styles and 16 new school specializations
This is wicked sick crazy! Bat fucking nuts!
I love it!
I love the route that Paizo has gone with this book. I would rather see the options done like this than tons of variant classes with tons of their own progressions.
Now I know Pathfinder is not the first company to due this. WotC did it in Star Wars: The Saga Editions, with each class having three variants, and 4e DnD does the same thing with the classes.
The book also contains more info on how to utilize Combat Maneuvers and something called Traits.
Add a Small Dash of Salt for Flavor
Paizo released a small PDF back during the Core Rulebook Beta test with something called Traits. These are little “mini feats” that add small bonuses to skills, saves, attack and CMB/CMD and flush out the character more.
These are awesome and are not game breaking or require more bookkeeping.
This book is amazing and for only $9.99 PDF, or $40 in Dead Tree version, it is a must have gem!