Pathfinder Advanced Player’s Guide Review
First Glance: When you page through the book you’ll first run across race options, from the pyromaniac gnome to the chain fighting half-orc. Next you come across the new classes, The Alchemist, Summoner, Oracle, Inquisitor, Witch and Cavalier; filing in some missing spaces in the class line-up. Next you come across the Core class options, the introduction of archetypes, and pretty much that’s where my personal first glance stopped, as I became fully engrossed in the options.
This chapter deals with races, each racial entry is broken into adventurers, alternate racial traits and favored class options. The adventurer’s section describes how each race fits into the different classes. Alternate Racial traits, give more options, by allowing a player to swap out different abilities.
This is pure perfection, to me anyway; of course it’s based on some of the work in the complete guides from 3.5, as they were the original options that swapped out class abilities for new focused class abilities. But, somehow Paizo does it so much better, fully capturing the essence of the different classes. Effectively an archetype works in such a way as to replace certain class abilities, for example, a fighter archetype, The Crossbowman, gives up the standard armor and weapon training lines to gain abilities which make him deadly with a crossbow, eventually getting the ability to make trip or bulrush attacks with the crossbow, or shooting through a target on a critical. One of the things archetypes have allowed is for classes such as the paladin and ranger to drop spell-use; the skirmisher ranger archetype replaces spell use with ranger tricks, which are similar to rogue talents.
With dozens and dozens of new feats, I’m only going to say, that some of the new feats close gaps in what you could normally do in combat. In addition, race feats are introduced; feats such as Razor Tusk or Racial Heritage.
New weapons, armor, alchemical creations are always nice.
Almost 50 pages of news spells.
Adds the following prestige classes: Battle Herald, Holy Vindicator, Horizon Walker, Master Chymist, Master Spy, Nature Warden, Rage Prophet, and the Stalwart Defender.
Always fun in a book.
Combat maneuvers; 4 new combat maneuvers are introduced which are definitely gap fills. The age old Dirty Trick maneuver, such as sand in the face, is introduced, it was missing and needed. Drag, which was most assuredly over looked. Reposition, grab your opponent and move him against the wall. And the steal maneuver, snatch something off your opponent, oops, were you looking for that heal potion. Pathfinder introduces its own Hero Point system. Including hero point related feats and spells, and magic items. Traits are given their Pathfinder update in this volume, including updating the campaign traits from Rise of the Runelords AP.
Replay Value: The archetype options alone in the Advanced Player’s Guide provide so many combinations, that you could play hundreds of games and never play the exact same character. Even if you’re someone who enjoys a particular concept, reusing the name and vision of your character, you could play a dozen or more times, with slight modifications, using the same character.