Optionsmas is Neigh: Fluffy Tail Edition
First and foremost I want to thank our Paizo Overlords for such a timely release! There are lots of cool books this time around, and I’m here to help you sort out the most interesting and flavorful options for your next character. And whether your making Edward Eldric from Full-Metal Alchemist, a Kitsune Rogue who steals with her tails, or a Magus who hoverboards with their Floating Disk, these books have something for you! So without further ado, let’s dive in!
- City in the Lion’s Eye: The bardic pretender and sneak training talents are legal for play.
- Reaper’s Right Hand: Equipment: The band of triumph and seeking lens are legal for play. Spells: The halfling vengeance, mass halfling vengeance, and word of beckoning spells are legal for play but are accessible only to worshippers of Thamir Gixx. Misc.: The variant spellcasting options for clerics of Thamir Gixx are legal for play. The customized summon list is not legal for play.
- The Six-Legend Soul: Feats: The feats in this book are legal for play except Dragon Gold Crown. Spirits: The legendary spirits in this book are legal for play, except the taboo of Daronlyr XII. When you acquire a weapon associated with the Gennaris III spirit, have the GM note this item on your Chronicle sheet. A PC can only have the ability to contact one legendary spirit at a time, a PC permanently loses the ability to contact a legendary spirit if he breaks that spirit’s oath, and a PC can regain that spirit’s favor with an atonement (priced as if restoring a cleric’s spellcasting abilities).
Most Hype: The Legendary Spirits in this book ooze flavor and will make any Soviereign Court Medium very happy. Dirty Trick with a Hideous Laughter effect tacked on? Spell Reisstance 11+ level? A teamwork feat for everyone in the party?! Awesome! And who doesn’t want to channel the spirits of six of Taldor’s greatest rulers?! So cool!
Most Useful: The feats in Six-Legged Soul are legit. Blade of the Purge will let Inquisitors effortlessly unmask hidden cultists. Blood for the Empire is a welcome addition to any Outflank Hunter. Brash Stride lets chargers without Unarmed Strike finally run through difficult terrain. But my favorite feat in this book is Heaven’s Step, which gives you an extra attack using your off-hand whenever you use Step Up and Strike!
Flaming Lemon Award: The Lion Blade themed Rogue Talents are pretty bad. They let you qualify for Lion Blade without the prequisite Sneak Attack (sneak training) or Inspire Competence (bardic pretender). The Sneak Attack one still requires a level in Rogue, so is only useful if you wanted a Phantom Thief…and the Inspire Competence one means you will never get access to Dirge of Misfortune, one of the Lion Blade’s best abilities. Or maybe you will? The NPC in the book with this talent does, but I’ve already had GM’s advise me that its up to table variation, since by RAW you won’t actually have the Bardic Performance class feature that gives you the Performances per Day…and even if it does, you are better off taking a level of Bard as one of the Lion Blade’s best features is the ability to stack all Bardic Performances per day. Or so I’ve heard.
Dodged a Bullet: The Divine Obedience for Thamir Gixx was pretty busted. Invisibility Sphere 1/day can ruin campaigns, and taking a feat to get Hide in Plain Sight is way too good, even if it has a high HD requisite.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting:
Most Hype: Everyone is talking about the Jistkan Artificer! The class gives you a golem arm, which alone is worth taking it without bothering to read what else it does! Oh, you still want to know? It gives you an unarmed strike. That can threaten at 19-20. And Spellstrike. And, at level 13, deflect magic! Ok, so it’s not the strongest archetype ever written, especially in PFS where it doesn’t get Flurry…but it is flavorful and makes for a really cool miniature. And, as a Magus, you are more than strong enough to make up for it. Oh, and since you are an unarmed striker, you can take a Style feat too!
Most Useful: Poleiheira Adherent Wizard is one of the most powerful archetypes I’ve seen in a while. Being able to prepare 1/3 of your spells per day in 5 minutes makes what was already a versatile class into a utility monster. Throw in that scribe costs are cut in half, and this becomes the ultimate Arcane Batman. Oh, and you can cast one spell per day spontaneously incase, I dunno, your suddenly ambushed by something and you just have the perfect spell to end the encounter. The loss of really good Arcane School’s hurts, but the mount ability is actually deceptively good, letting you effectively make Ride an Int based skill you’ll already have max ranks in. Don’t underestimate Mouned Combat. The vehicular ability is pretty niche, unless you save up enough gold for an Airship just to really stick it to your GM.
Special Shoutouts: Tar Taargadth Trained gives you +1 to damage for your Ranged, Melee, Reach and Light weapon…if they are all Dwarven. The Vestige Bloodline can potentially give you +3 or more on attack rolls, assuming you are mounted with high ground and flanking.
Flaming Lemon Award: For decades melee Fighters have struggled with flying enemies, having to lug around extra Potions of Fly until they can afford their Flying Carpet or Celestial Armor. So I was prestty excited when I saw the Aerial Assaulter Fighter Archetype dedicated to aerial fighting styles. Except the Archetype itself doesn’t give you flight! Some might say it makes it more versatile, letting you pick how you get your flight. The rest of us are going to grumble and side-eye the Wizard, who for some reason gets strong ranged capabilities and the ability to cast Fly!
Dodged a Bullet: Strength of Obligation would have been so terrible for our campaign, with nearly everyone swearing an oath to complete whatever mission the Society sent them on, effectively getting a +2 morale bonus to all skill checks. Yuck.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game:
Dodged a Bullet: The Azatariel archetype made everything that was already good about the Swashbuckler better, then gave it Pounce. And charging over difficult terrain. Did I mention that its parry is better? And it can redirect parried attacks to enemies. Which sorta infers it can even have monsters hit themselves. Oh, and it doesn’t give up anything you’ll mss.
B-B-Bonus Review! Planar Infusions!
The Planar Infusion Feat sure is a doozy, isn’t it? It takes some Prestige to unlock in Pathfinder Society, and there are a few choices they just plane banned. But there are still a few spicy gems I wanted to bring up. Oh, and check out how many grant spell-like abilities.
Basic Traveling in the constantly changing First World has taught you to be ever ready for situations to shift in unpredictable ways. You gain a +2 bonus on Perception checks, initiative checks, and Charisma checks to shape the First World.
Improved Once per day, you can summon a fey creature from the First World to serve you, as if using summon nature’s ally IV as a spell-like ability. When you use this ability, you can choose to summon 1 boggart, 1 calpina, 1 huldra (a summoned huldra’s manipulate luck ability’s duration lasts only as long as the summoned huldra persists), 1 satyr, 1d3 liminal sprites, 1d3 pookas, 1d4+1 atomies, 1d4+1 brownies, 1d4+1 fauns, 1d4+1 grigs, or 1d4+1 mockingfeys.
Greater You can use fey form III as a spell-like ability once per day.
But Why is This So Good? +2 to Perception and initiative is worth a feat. Being able to summon monsters capable of doing over a dozen special abilities and spell-like abilities is certainly worth a feat. The fey form III is just icing on the cake. Especially the Calpina’s Fragrant Haze.
Negative Energy Plane
Basic You have been infused with unlife and are affected by positive and negative energy as if you were undead. Undead creatures who gain this ability instead gain a +2 bonus to their channel resistance.
Improved You can use enervation once per day as a spell-like ability.
Greater Negative energy suffuses your being and can be unleashed in a devastating burst once per day as an immediate action when are reduced to 0 or fewer hit points. This creates an explosion of negative energy in a 20-foot burst, centered on you, that deals 1d6 points of negative energy damage per Hit Die you have (maximum 20d6) to all creatures in the area of effect. Each affected creature can attempt a Reflex save (DC = 10 + half your Hit Dice + your Charisma modifier) to take half damage. This negative energy damage does not heal undead. When this effect is triggered, you regain a number of hit points equal to your total Hit Dice; this healing applies immediately, and if it brings your hit point total above a negative number equal to your Constitution (or above 0 if you are undead), then the healing prevents your death.
But Why is This So Good? The Basic Infusion alone makes negative channelling Clerics drool. There are a number of broken combos Dhampir have abused for years that give you nearly infinite healing with it. And if you happen upon any sources of unlimited negative energy damage (like a trap), you are set for the duration of the dungeon. Oh, and the greater ability would likely just tick off your party…although it would be kind of amusing on a Scarred Marytyr who explodes in positive energy when reduced to zero hit points.
Basic The horrific fecundity of the Abyss and its entropic drive to expand and consume have bolstered your body and enhanced your capacities for cruelty. You gain a +1 bonus on Fortitude saves, a +2 bonus on Intimidate checks to demoralize a foe, and a +2 bonus on attack rolls to confirm critical hits.
Improved You can call upon the Abyss to infect and transform the surrounding terrain, afflicting it with horrors and nightmares. You can use curse terrain as a spell-like ability once per day.
Greater You can flood a creature’s mind with horrific truths and the overwhelming chaos and evil from the Abyss. You can use insanity as a spell-like ability once per day.
But Why is This So Good? Bonuses to Intimidate are few and far between. And Curse Terrain is a banned spell for a good reason; it opens up a subsystem that player’s shouldn’t have access to!