The only feats I’ve seen for ancestries have to do one race. Why not regional ancestries? People from a cold place should be able to survive the cold regardless if they are human, dwarf, or orc. Let’s start.
Cold Tolerance Feat 5
Prerequisites raised in cold location
You grew up in a land of ice and snow, and it hardened you against the cold. You gain resistance 5 to cold damage.
How about an idea for a monk? Always fun to learn new folklore!
Monk-Student of Ōya no Tarō Mitsukuni
Monks that follow Ōya no Tarō Mitsukuni follow this samurai due to his battle prowess and ability to overcome the impossible. Having heard tales of this man kill the unkillable giant skeletons sent against him by a practitioner of black magic, you now learn at the feat of the master as he reveals his secrets to you. He is a warrior first and an honorable competent second, but you find it hard to belittle the man for his results. You now learn to combine his techniques with your monastic training to survive the unsurvivable.
Path of the Sword
Starting when you choose this tradition at 3rd level, you learn how to use a longsword/katana. This weapon counts as a monk weapon for your flurry of blows. When you increase your unarmed damage, increase your longsword damage as well.
Learning From Your Foe
At 6th level you learn how the masters sneak into the enemy’s home and even their very bed to learn the secrets of its attack. You gain proficiency in Deception and Stealth skills. If you are already proficient in either of these skills, gain a +2 bonus to that skill instead.
Mastery of Onmyōdō
Beginning at 11th level, the master reveals the magics of life and death to you and how to survive the magic assaults on your life. When you are attacked by a magic attack or effect, you can spend a ki point to gain advantage on the saving throw.
Against the Impossible
At 17th level you no longer need the master to teach you how to do what must be done, you have learned to master the impossible. When you would be reduced to zero hit points, you can spend 3 or all your remaining ki points (whichever is less) to avoid the attack and gain hit points up to your maximum. You can only do this once and then you must complete a long rest before you can use this feature again.
Your companion is a ooze or another type of slime. Size Small Melee
pseudopod, Damage 1d6 acid Str +3, Dex +1, Con +4, Int -4, Wis -2, Cha -2 Hit Points 8 Skill Athletics Senses motion sense 40 feet, no vision Speed 30 feet Support Benefit Your ooze grabs the target preventing it from fully reacting to your strikes. Until the start of your next turn, your Strikes that damage creatures your ooze threatens give the flat-footed condition to the target until the end of your current turn (until the start of your next turn on a critical success) . Advanced Maneuver envelop
Requirements The animal companion’s last action was a successful pseudopod Strike.
The ooze grabs the target and the target takes acid damage equal to your level automatically until the target escapes the grab.
TL; DR– Almost the best text book it could be. 86%
Basics– Welcome to the Age of Lost Omens and Golarion! Pathfinder Lost Omens: Legends is the current standing of the world of Golarion and its people. It updates the setting from Pathfinder 1st ed. to Pathfinder 2nd ed., gives a good overview of the major areas of the Inner Sea, and provides some player options to help players get some mechanical links to the areas of their game. Let’s look at the pieces of this book.
Mechanics or Crunch-This book has some solid mechanics, but I’d still like a bit more. What is really surprising is this book has archetypes for each region’s specific known combat enthusiast. Think of having a Special Forces archetype if you were to do a write up on the US. That is surprising and enjoyable. Also there are backgrounds for each area. Both of those are VERY welcome in the equivalent of a fantasy high school geography book that only the GM might spend a lot of time reading through. I would like a bit more though. Give me some ancestry feats that all the people from an area might get. It doesn’t matter if you are an orc, dwarf, or human, if you come from the cold place of ice and snow, odds are you picked up some cold tolerance! Even some more general feats would be good additions to this book. What is here is some solid mechanics that you don’t often see in these books, but I would just like a bit more to really drive home that players need this book. 4.5/5
Theme or Fluff– This is another solid area of this book, but the book needs a bit more to fully round it out. This book is both too short and too long. If you read this from cover to cover you will not enjoy it as much as if you just wanted to read about one area quickly. You wouldn’t read all of wikipedia in one day, but you would drop in to read quickly on an area if you are studying as an example. This honestly is a fantasy high school geography book as you will get 10-20 pages on an area. That is a good introduction, but the book needs a bit more like who are the gods and more world building. Those things are mentioned, but I feel I need more on them. As a Pathfinder 1st ed. player, I know a lot of that world stuff, but for a new player, they will have to do outside research on who some of the key players are. I learned a few things that maybe I missed before, and I can see where Paizo is setting up the next 10 years worth of adventure paths in the mix, but I felt like I needed a bit more content to better understand the world if I was an outsider. 4.5/5
Execution– PDF? Yes. Hyperlinked? NO! If you buy a college textbook today or even a highschool text on an ipad, it is hyperlinked. This is getting crazy as this is an over 100 page civics book and I have to scroll around and find random bits I want to read more on. What is here is good. If you read in chunks, it reads well enough and is enjoyable. If you marathon the book in one sitting, then it’s not as much fun as it does feel too long and too short. Long for its got LOTS of information, but short because I feel like I need some explanation on a few of the players. The art is good and you get a few headshots of major movers and shakers in the world ,so you can drop them in your game. The layout is nice in general with enough breaks to make the reader not go crazy staring in a textbook. I just need a few more additions to really make this an amazing book 4/5
Summary– I have compared this book to a textbook often, and it is a well done textbook. If you needed to learn what most people in an area would know about the region, this would be a great resource to give the players. Also, if you like me haven’t read every splatbook or adventure path put out by Paizo in the last 10 years, then this is a good way to get deep into the world quickly. Now, there is room for improvement. I need a bit more on the world. Gods play an incredible role in the setting, and I feel like they don’t get enough exploration in this book. I also love what’s here mechanically, but I want more. So, all players, not just who decide to make a hellknight, can lay claim to a heritage from Cheliax. Also, PAIZO LEARN TO HYPERLINK! Let me click around your book with ease please. Most textbooks do it now, and your world textbook needs to as well! This is a good world book with a few key flaws that keep it from being great. 86%
You summon forth a five foot sphere of blue light to a point in range. The sphere radiates an area of faint blue light to to 20 feet that drains the will to live of any creature in it.. All creatures that enter the area of the blue light must make a Will saving throw. A creature that succeeds at the saving throw is only fatigued, unless it is already fatigued, in which case it instead becomes exhausted despite the saving throw. Creatures that fail the save are instead are exhausted. If a creature leave the area of blue light, the conditions from the sphere ends. As a swift action, each turn you can move the sphere up to 30 feet.
Casting Time:1 action Range:60 feet Components: V, S, M (a blue marble) Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
A 1-foot-diameter blue sphere of light in an unoccupied space of your choice within range and lasts for the duration. Any creature that ends its turn within 30 feet of the sphere must make a Wisdom saving throw feels the crushing weight of failure. The creature has disadvantage on checks saves and attacks while within rage on the sphere on a failed save. On a successful save the creature is not affected. If a creature leaves the area and reenters, it must attempt a save again.
As a bonus action, you can move the sphere up to 30 feet. If you move the sphere onto unaffected characters, they must attempt the save again at the start of their turn.
When you move the sphere, you can direct it over barriers up to 5 feet tall and jump it across pits up to 10 feet wide.
TL; DR– Good light pulp adventure game with a few flaws. 87%
Basics– Onwards to adventure! Broken Compass is a classic pulp RPG where the characters play adventurers like Indiana Jones as they run across the world solving ancient puzzles and surviving gun battles with groups of minions among the skeletons of those that have come before. This is much more of a rules light, roleplay heavy game. Let’s see the pieces themselves.
Character Build- Character generation and build is incredibly easy. Each character has a bunch of skills that you can think of as attributes in DnD and fields you can think of like skills in DnD. Each skill has multiple fields that are linked to it. All players start with 2 ranks in each skill and one in each focus. You get the skill and foci for your character via choosing two tags the describe your character in two words. You also choose expertise that further describes what things your characters are good at. You then get a bit of gear and you’re done. It’s VERY quick.
Base Mechanics-Fitting quick character building, the mechanics are also very quick. When you face a problem in this game, you choose a skill and a field within that skill. The GM called the fortune master may give you additional dice called advantages or make you lose dice called disadvantages. In addition, you may get additional dice or penalties depending on your condition aka how you feel. You roll a number of six sided dice equal to this total. The goal is to get sets of dice with the same value like three of a kind. For basic challenges, you need two of a kind. For challenging encounters you need three of a kind and so on. Some conditions and events require you to get multiple sets to succeed like shooting a gun as a challenging encounter while driving a car in a storm as a basic encounter. If you fail but have one set but not enough of that set, you can risk the result and reroll any dice you want to hopefully get the successes you need. In addition, if you have expertise from your character background in what you are doing, you get a reroll for free on that activity.
Challenge vs danger– There are differences between reading an ancient scroll and shooting a nazi. This is reflected by challenges and danger. Challenges are fail forward encounters where a player attempts something that might fail, but if they fail the story continues. This may alert the enemy or cause you to miss a vital clue yet find the hidden temple just not notice the trap at the entrance. Dangers are fights or traps that might hurt a player. If you fail a check, you take damage in the form of luck. Basic challenges cause you to lose one luck while more advanced things cause you to lose much more luck. When you are out of luck (the book is VERY pulp heavy!), you have to spend a luck coin to stay in the fight. Between fights, you can rest up and get back your luck.
Let’s dig deep into my thoughts on this game!
Mechanics or Crunch-This is a fast game that is not for crunch heavy gamers. The game is very light and lets the players just free form ideas as long as the GM goes with it. It’s also reminiscent of Numenera as the GM doesn’t really roll dice. Players roll dice and success or failure determines what happens, not GM rolls or attacks. When a player is attacked, the player tells the fortune keeper how they avoid the attack. It’s very fast. The one problem I have is I would like a bit more complexity. It’s solid enough, and I like rolling d6s and hoping for sets. But, I like a bit more crunch for the system. Feats or special abilities would help a bit here. Also leveling up doesn’t really get you much. That’s good as the players can hop in to basically any adventure, but it also means long term play doesn’t net the characters many gains. The system I compare this the most to is Numenera, and in that system when you level up, you get a bit more. Also in Numenera, there is just a bit more crunch for players to dig into. Broken Compass is fun and light, but I want a bit more crunch in this system. 4.5/5
Theme or Fluff-Hands down this is an amazing, fluff filled game. Every character is set up to look like a pulp stereotype, both modern and old school. The adventures are written to be replaceable and generic but relatable in that classic way as things like OLD MAN, ANCIENT TEMPLE, RIVAL are used to be plug and play with different characters but the fortune master is given tons of different materials to help make the story. Is the OLD MAN a survivor of the great war who saw the temple in the Jungles while on patrol or is the RIVAL a silicon valley billionaire out for world conquest with the Eye of Ra? Its light in a good way so you can put this into any time or place with that good pulp feel. Stories flow from Amazon adventures to exploration under the Egyption pyramids. Every page has lots of fluff and art that makes a player or a fortune master feel like they are part of a classic pulp book in the discount bin of a grocery store. If you want to feel like your Indiana Jones or at least someone reading an Indiana Jones story, this is a solid book to read through. 5/5
Execution– PDF? Yes. Hyperlinked? Yes! I like this book, but don’t love it. The book reads well, is well laid out, and has great art. There are even pregens and a quick adventure where the players and the fortune master can get playing asap instead of having to figure out character generation and adventure creation on their own. Those are all great reasons to check this book. But, the major fault of this book is I need more on how to run the game. There are explanations of how single players encounter things, but I need a bit more on how multiple players encounter a thing. Does everyone face the threat or just one? Even fighting one on many, how does that work? A bit more would really help me better understand how to run this game. This is a solid game, but it needs a bit more explanation to make it rock solid. 3.5/5
Summary-I like this game, but it has some small faults. The idea of rolling a bunch of dice and hope for sets of numbers is a fun one. The theme is great and well presented. The book overall is a solid read and way to get into the game. One major issue I have is I want more crunch, so players feel like they are progressing. Good for one shots or short campaigns, but longer multi story arcs might not be as much fun. The other major issue I have is I need more explanation on how to run this as a fortune master. The system works, but I have questions if I’ve done it right. That’s never a good feeling to have. If you play with people who just want to have a good time, it will be fun. But the power gamer out there won’t enjoy this as much. If you want some good pulp, this is worth your golden idol. If you need a bit more crunch and a bit more explanation, maybe look in another tomb. 86%