I’ve been playing Pathfinder ever since it was released back in 2009 by Paizo Publishing. By the time I had got my hands on the Core Rulebook, I had been an avid 3rd Edition Dungeons and Dragons player, which is the rule system that Pathfinder is based off (thanks to Wizards of the Coast’s Open Gaming License). Over these past years, Paizo has released numerous books on its popular setting. Each book offers its own unique spin on the world of Golarion, which Pathfinder is set in.
While there’s a lot of books to choose from when it comes to Pathfinder, I decided to make a list of the books that have impacted my gaming sessions the most. So, I present to you my Top 5 Favorite Pathfinder Books!
I am a man that wears many hats; During the days I am a marketing strategist (you know, I help business get found online and stuff) and at nights I am a musician (in the band Brave the Sea), a paranormal investigator (in the groups Outlaw Paranormal Posse and Columbus RIP), an artist, and I do a podcast (which is to be name and can be found Here). Since I have so many things I am involved with, I often like to find things within tabletop games that remind me of some of the things I have experience with.
Occult Adventures involves conjuring spirits, unearthing relics for ancient rituals, and tapping into the far reaches of the mind, so it definitely tickled my fancy. The wonderful thing about Paizo’s products is that they can all be used in conjunction with each other or separately (paired with the Core Rulebook, of course). Occult Adventures is one of those books where you can run a creepy setting without help from much of the other books. If you cut a lot of the fantasy aspects out of the game, paired with this book, you get a spooky setting. Just in time for Halloween!
When it comes to roleplaying games, a lot of people seems to focus on combat; “I want to do the most damage all of the time.” The wonderful thing about Ultimate Intrigue is it focuses on the aspect of the game that a lot of people overlook: interaction with NPCs, talking, and stealth.
In Ultimate Intrigue, you can have a War of Words which is an encounter that functions of word-based combat. Think of a court room where two lawyers are going back and forth. I think a good story-driven plot paired with some interesting verbal encounters makes for a really intriguing game (hue, hue, hue). The ideal campaign consists of 33.3% Combat, 33.3% Exploration/Dungeoneering, and 33.3% Interacting with NPCs. Most of the books that are printed focus on Combat and Exploration, leaving the game of words to be left in the shadows… and that is where the rogues lurk.
There are some very interesting character options that can be found within the pages of Ultimate Intrigue. I love it when I am hosting a game and someone in the party is heavily based around role-playing versus roll-playing.
I know… I know… I just talked about getting away from all of the combat. However, there are times where a game’s setting requires heroes of a different caliber; it requires the heroes of myths and legends. Mythic Adventures does this. This books allows you to add that extra layer of “mmmph” onto your characters, NPCs, and monsters. I love adding some mythic tiers to a town elder that was known for some great feats in his day. Adding some mythic ranks to a creature that is notorious for leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.
Mythic Adventures provides a reward for a character beyond their levels. It’s an ascension that gives some unique nastiness to a character to utilize. I have played a catfolk monk that performed such great deeds, his god rewarded him through ascension. To this day my friends talk about the great deeds of my character in their campaigns. Meesha the catfolk monk has transcended through his campaign into other campaign’s lore.
I am a huge fan of Real-Time Strategy games such as Warcraft 3 and Starcraft. I can’t even fathom how many hours I spent playing the custom maps option in Warcraft 3 on Battle.net. What does that have to do with Pathfinder? Ultimate Campaign turns the game into a freaking RTS! You read that right. You can now explore hexes, gather resources, and build a kingdom. There’s also rules for mass combat, events, and downtime.
When I played Pathfinder’s campaign module called Kingmaker, I fell in love with its exploration system. What is interesting is Kingmaker came out before Ultimate Campaign, so it acted as a prototype for its rules. We journeyed through its lands, uncovered various secrets and treasures, and started our own kingdom. It was some of the best roleplaying I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of!
We have finally come to my favorite Pathfinder book. I actually referred to this book back in my article: What Is Your Favorite Class In A Roleplaying Game? I mentioned the above campaign where I played in the Kingmaker module. Well, during those sessions, I played a new class called the Bloodrager which is a mixture between a barbarian and a sorcerer.
The Advanced Class Guide takes two classes and combines them into a new and unique class. There are some reviews for this book that do not paint it in a good light. I would kindly ask that you disregard those reviews. The Advanced Class Guide is an awesome and unique book! The Bloodrager class was so fun that I will always remember my character: Malek Ulik the human bloodrager that was cast out from his tribe for being able to cast arcana. And since the classes are so unique, it’s very easy to come up with an interesting backstory for your character.
Well, that was my list of My Top 5 Pathfinder Books. Keep your eyes out for more Top 5 lists that will be rolling out on the site. If you have an idea, let me know! Stay awesome, adventurers!