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Optionsmas is Neigh: Fluffy Tail Edition

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!

Adventure Paths:

    • 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:

  • Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Distant Realms: Archetypes: All archetypes in this book are legal for play. Feats: All feats in this book are legal for play except Choral Support. Traits: The traits listed in this book are not character traits; they are monster traits for petitioners, and are therefore not legal for play. Misc.: All alchemist discoveries, bardic masterpieces, magic tricks, rogue and slayer talents, and sorcerer bloodlines in this book are legal for play. The aszite special material is legal for play.Most Hype:  Props on whomever designed Magic Trick! I usually scoff at anything that gives casters more utility, but something about the feat just feels right. Floating Disk is a criminally underused spell, and adding these extra options is flavorful and, let’s admit, pretty badass! I wish we weren’t at the tail end of the Pathfinder 1e line, as I’d love to see more of these “Tricks”!Most Nifty Build-Around Feat: Lantern Style looks really good. Maybe not as good as Startoss Style. And those prerequisites are high, but I can think of at least one class that will want it. But for three feats anyone hit by your thrown weapon is dazzled, potentially shaken and you bypass their DR? What’s not to like.Most Useful Class: Adaptive Shifter is going to be a really popular 2 level dip for Martials. It gives up its normal Shifting to instead get Reaction Aspects. And while the limited number of Reactive Aspects per day might make some shy away from the class, just check out what some of them do. Wisdom to a Saving Throw? Enlarge Self as a Swift Action? Oh, and if you want to take 5 levels one of your changes lasts all day…effectively letting you play a Large Creature, which is pretty cool! Unlike many other Shifter archetypes, it keeps its Wisdom to AC. Oh, and if you are a Shapechanger, you don’t have to worry about losing your natural Polymorph bonuses! Looks legit for a Rougarou.Flaming Lemon Award: Joined Wings is just so terrible. Don’t get me wrong, most of the Pattern feats in this book are bad too, but they are enchancing something that is already very strong. Yeah, there are archetypes and items that let you share Teamwork feats with allies, but if you are trying to protect your allies with Teamwork feats you should look into buffing their AC or taking hits instead of them (so you can heal yourself as a Swift Action with your Lay on Fervor). Even if this feat let you use it on any target a limited number of times per day, I wouldn’t bother taking it. Oh, and a special Flaming Lemon Award to the Sixth Wing Bulwark for having no synergy with the Crimson Templar. Ok, that’s a personal gripe. A Sixth Wing Bulwark in a party with a Crimson Templar would still be pretty cool.

    Dodged a Bullet: Druchite is the kind of material that you never want in your PC’s hands. 10% miss chance for 1,000 gold? Yeah, no thanks.

    Pathfinder Player Companion

  • Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Ancients: Archetypes: The archetypes in the book are legal for play except aeromancer and hinyasi. A Jistkan artificer does not gain access to flurrying arm. The arcane warden gains access to Persuasive as a bonus feat in place of Leadership. Equipment: The equipment and magic items in this book are legal for play except chisel of excavation and null spike. Feats: The feats in this book are legal for play except Pathologist, Saoc Brethren Initiate, Saoc Brethren Scholar, and Strength of Obligation. Spells: The spells in this book are legal for play except ashen path, brightest night, and shared training. Traits: The traits in this book are legal for play except Rejected Emperor. Misc.: The bardic masterpieces, bloodlines, and legendary spirits in this book are legal for play except Song of Sarkoris. The vestige sorcerer bloodline grants Alertness and Persuasive as bonus feats in place of Craft Wondrous Item and Leadership.

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:

  • Planar Adventures: Archetypes: The archetypes in the book are legal for play except Azatariel, Dreamthief, and Progenitor. An idealist must select a plane for which the planar bond ability lists the three granted spells. Equipment: The equipment and magic items in this book are legal for play except anointed holy symbol, gug hide, soultether ring, and metamagic rods of Authoritative Spell and Stygian Spell. Feats: The feats in this book are legal for play except Authoritative Spell, Channel Deific Essence, Healer’s Hands, Primal Bloom, Stygian Spell, and Tempting Bargain. To qualify to take the Planar Infusion feat, a PC must first participate in an adventure that takes place partially on the plane and successfully complete at least one encounter on that plane. Afterward, the PC can spend her Downtime and 2 PP to attune herself to that plane. She must also select a legal planar infusion (see below). Spells: The spells in this book are legal for play. In the invoke deity spell, the Death, Healing, Luck, and Rune domains are not legal options. Misc.: The planar tuning rules on pages 85-86 are not legal for play. Instead, as specified in the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide, PCs receive free tuning forks from the Grand Lodge keyed to the Material Plane and all other planes of the Inner and Outer Spheres. They cannot obtain tuning forks keyed to dimensions (such as the Dimension of Dreams) or to demiplanes (such as the Hao Jin Tapestry). Planar infusions are legal for all character options that reference them except the basic and improved infusions for the Abaddon and the Positive Energy Plane, as well as the greater infusions for Abaddon, Axis, Cynosure, Leng, and the Positive Energy Plane.Most Hype: The Gloomblade is really cool, a sort of “soulknife” that can make weapons out of shadows! It effectively let’s the fighter use a bunch of different weapons without having to pay all that extra gold, letting it save up for some nice wondrous items…and switch weapon ranges pretty darned easily!Most Most Hype: Aaah you thought I forgot My Precious Tail Feats?! While it doesn’t let you attack with nine tails at once, it does let you use your tails to disarm and steal without provoking! Kitsune Alchemists, Gunslingers and Rogues all just got considerably better. Oh, and Witches. Take that Tieflings!Most Useful: The Protean Cloaks are super useful. They are effectively a third of a Saving Throw that can change its bonus once a day. I can see classes like Rogue’s investing in one for Will Saves. I’m not 100% sure if it can be upgraded to a Cloak of Resistance, since strictly speaking a Cloak cannot change what type of saving throw it benefits…not that it would need to since it benefits all three.

    Flaming Lemon Award: Apocalyptic Spell is actually really good. But if you have a few melee players in your party, its going to quickly  become a pain in the arse, especially if they rely on charging.

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.

First World

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.

Abyss

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!

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