PF: Advanced Players Guide

Ben either loaned me that book or left it at my house by accident. Either way, thanks because it was a pretty good read. I meant to do a proper write-up of everything that was in it, but really, since everything is added to the SRD, you can pretty much look at everything in the book. The book really just adds context and cool art. Nothing wrong with that.


My initial impression of the new classes included (which are full classes, rather than prestige classes which are usually kind of cross-class specialists) is that they might be fun, they are well-balanced and they’re definitely Advanced. Some classes are just simpler than others. Monks and Fighters, for example, have a number of tricks they can do, but there is a lot less book-keeping than a spellcasting class. Almost all the new classes are spellcasting classes and if you’ve ever cast a Summoning spell, you can start imagining how much you’d have to keep track of as a Summoner.

Pro: Cleric BAB, Fort and Ref save, light armour proficiency, splash damage specialty, self-buffs, poison resistances, Int based class, so plenty of skill points.
Con: Will save, limited extracts per day compared to caster’s spells per day.
Pro: Probably the simplest new class. Flexibility of specialty with choice of Order.  Provides buffs to party like the Ranger does for favoured enemies. Decent skillset for people who want to play a smart fighter. Fighter BAB. Oddly, despite aligning oneself to an Order with goals and ways of doing things, you can be of any alignment.
Con: Will and Ref Saves suck. A lot of skills are dependent on being mounted. Others rely on waving a banner around.
Pro: No Spell Prep needed. Okay number of spells per day. Solo buff choices. Teamwork feats grant group buffs.
Con: d8 Hit Points seems like a drawback for what seems like a more combat-oriented version of the cleric. Small spell selection. Ref save.
Pro: No Spell Prep needed. Oracle Curse; also comes with some kind of benefit. Mystery provides specialization.
Con: Spells known low. Oracle Curse; some sort of physical ailment.
Pro: Another no spell prep needed class. d8 Hit Points for a jumped up Sorcerer?! The Eidolon is like a super-Familiar, a customizable Pokemon that grows with experience, to do most of your fighting for you. Summons monsters X times a day.
Con: Small number of spells known. 2+Int skill points. Fucking Book-keeping nightmare; honestly, I wouldn’t start this off at anything other than 1st level to get the hang of it.
Pro: Hexes, basically magic tricks. Quite a few decent debuffs. Patron choice provides early arcane spells or divine spells too. Class skills a little less academic than the Wizard’s.
Con: Wizard basic template. Spells must be prepped. Spells per day not great.
They’ve done this in other books, mostly some kind of cultural variant based on whatever locale the book covers. They’re fine ways of adding a bit more customization to the classes: You give up one of the Class features, you get a different, but thematically congruent feature in return. Most of the variants don’t seem obviously better than the iconic feature, so you’d really just have to choose a variant because you wanted to play that type of character; I don’t think one could leverage a “killer build” out of this. So that’s good.
New feats, does what it says. The new traits though is another thing: instead of getting a feat at 1st level, you get two traits. These reflect something about your past and they are usually pretty cool ways of building character background for people who aren’t too into building character backgrounds. They don’t call them half-feats, but they also keep pointing out that they are not half-feats, which lets us know that they spent a while thinking about them as half-feats. Next campaign, I’m totally using these.
My idea was to let new characters choose one trait directly and a second indirectly (to do with the set up of the campaign). OR roll two randomly and get the third indirectly. Player’s choice; tailor your background or ride the winds of fate and roll with what you are given.
I’m kind of surprised we don’t have any multi-class characters (although I guess it didn’t really work out for Corwin) or any prestige class characters yet. I mean, I’m glad everyone finds room within their class; it isn’t a bad thing at all.

7 Comments on “PF: Advanced Players Guide

  1. I like the flavor that traits add. I don’t know if I would want to exchange them for a feat though as those seem to be handier and are often prerequisites for cooler stuff. Can we house rule a, “attended Corwyn’s school for gifted half breeds” trait?

  2. YES. God yes, that’s a great idea.

    The next campaign (see you in 2014!) will hopefully incorporate some flavour based on the outcome of this one, even though there’ll only be a year between the happy end/catastrophic end of this campaign and the start of the next. But a Corwyn’s School for Gifted Halfbreeds (Go Fightin’ Halfmen!) and Baaz’s Tranquil Treehouse Dojo should certainly be possibilities for Varisian characters.

    The traits tend to have useful-but-not-outstanding benefits. While I think you’ll never impress anyone with a feat, you’ll feel them all the time. The flavour is an added benefit, for sure.

    Traits are also something that can get picked up as achievements. I.e. you spend a session rescuing the whip-mistress of Sadistia and she rewards you by teaching you her flicking technique that adds +1 to all disarms. By formalizing that as a trait, they make them kind of manageable packages of character advancement. They make them almost mini-games (e.g. Get on X Faction’s good side) but in ways that encourage and reward character interaction and depth.

  3. Also; a post from Singapore? Dodecaheathens International!

  4. You mentioned the next AP. Do you know what you’d like to run? I’ve been buying a few of these to run with the family (when I finally get off my ass and do this). It’s just Council of Thieves and Jade Regent at this point but I’m thinking about getting the subscription too ‘cause I love the fluff that comes with. I’d like to avoid any that you’re looking at thought to avoid spoilers. Also no one likes role playing with Martha Stewart.

  5. I do know what I’d like to run, although at the present rate, we will be finishing ROTRL next December. Lots of game still to go. I’ll tell you… IN SECRET!

    It has a cool start that I don’t want to blow, even a year in advance.

  6. I read in Rachel Ray magazine that Martha Stewart ruined their WOW clan because she cared more about the look of her sword than dps. She’s a terrible raider. Also she was convicted of insider gaming.