Pathfinder 1E Which Pathfinder Resources are "Must Haves?"

tylermalan

First Post
I was just now browsing Amazon for some Pathfinder books and saw a lot of the books I've seen in the past - many of these books seem to be a little obscure, especially the Companion line and some of the setting books.

I don't have many Pathfinder books and was hoping to get the community's opinion on books that you feel are real necessities at the table of a Pathfinder game. One that looks interesting to me, as an example, is Rule of Fear, but I've also seen one or two about deities and equipment and the like. I know I'm focusing on the obscure books, but I'm interested in hearing about the major releases, as well. As a reference, I and my group use the core rulebook, the APG, and I have the first Bestiary and the Inner Sea World Guide.

What books can you not live without?
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

SteelDraco

First Post
Ultimate Magic and, to a lesser degree, Ultimate Combat, are must-haves, in my opinion. I really like the classes in Ultimate Magic - I will probably play a magus and an alchemist as my next two PCs, honestly. The witch is very cool as well - there's one in my current Pathfinder game as the main caster, and she's effective and fun. UC is more important if someone is interested in playing a monk, or if you're going to have Asian influences in your game - the ninja is a nice rogue variant. The samurai I could take or leave. The monk got a very significant boost in Ultimate Combat, and the style feats are a cool addition to the game's mechanics.

I don't have any of the Golarion-specific material, as we're not using that setting in my group.
 

SlyDoubt

First Post
Sweet topic. I'd love to hear the same.

For me definitely the APG is a must have. Ultimate Combat is feeling like that too due to the immense amounts of monk love. I don't own any of the companions myself either and I'm curious too. I like that they're all about the same price as the adventure paths though, it's nice to be able to pick and choose what bits and pieces you want more info about at a very reasonable price.
 

Osagasu

Villager
Let's see, here's my opinion:

The CRB introduces the core races and classes and all of the basic mechanics. Must Have, period.

The APG steps out from under the WotC 3.5 umbrella with new classes and options for intermediate players. If your team is new, then this isn't really necessary, but as players learn they will want to branch out into the various base classes and PrCs, feats, favored class options, and so forth. These options aren't so much that they can't be worked into the vast majority of settings that allow the use of all the core classes.

UM is iffy. Mainly for use of advanced players, the options here are likely to change the flavor of people's campaigns beyond what some people are comfortable with. While the extra rules help streamline certain combat types (spell duels), and others add entirely new ways to play (Words) they're largely unnecessary. If your setting's magic was already fluffed to be word casting and not crunched that way, this is a pretty necessary book, but that's the only time I could see where it would be on my "must have" list

UC is also necessary in limited situations. A lot of DMs don't want guns in their campaign, which is half the book pretty much. However, the eastern armor, vehicles, and siege engine rules make this book nearly mandatory for any campaign that hopes to run with them.

The campaign setting books are mostly fluff, which most adding only one or two extra options, making them largely extraneous and only needed if you plan on running a campaign in Golarion.

I know this went a tad beyond the scope... I kinda got carried away. >.>
 

Asmo

First Post
"City of Strangers" by James L. Sutter (Pathfinder Chronicles) is one of the best rpg supplement I´ve ever read.
The book deals with a very special city - Kaer Maga - and its dark secrets.
A veritable smogasbord, filled with delicious treats off all kind, crammed in this 64 page wonder.

Asmo
 


enrious

Registered User
For the core books, certainly the core rulebook.

The APG is a nice addition that introduces mechanics that have sort of defined how Pathfinder is striking out on its own, such as archetypes.

The GameMastery Guide is useful even for experienced GMs (although naturally it's less useful the more experience you are), although having writeups of commonly encountered NPCs is very nice.

Ultimate Magic is as has been said a mixed bag. The magus is very well done, but if you're not looking for spells or playing a spell caster *and* your GM will allow the material (some of which is mechanically broken) then I wouldn't bother.

Ultimate Combat from my perspective is pretty horrible, unless you play a monk. The bulk of it consists of broken rules, broken material, and stuff that's at the level of 3.5 splatbook quality. So my advice is that unless you play a monk or a spellcaster (10% of the book is spells) then avoid this book. Oh I forgot, if you want some wonky not-really-beta-tested firearms rules, grab this book.

There was recent discussion that observed that there seems to be a difference in quality between the recent core rules products (such as Ultimate Combat and Ultimate Magic) and the Inner Seas/Chronicles products (for example, Inner Sea Magic even thought it's 64 pages is more useful to anyone in a Pathfinder campaign than Ultimate Magic) and there may be something to it.

I don't know. I do know that for the most part, UC and UM will be unused by us and that's a first for Paizo products.

If you have the Inner Sea World Guide, then presumably you're using that setting. In which case, I'd say grab Inner Sea Magic, Bestiary 1&2, Inner Sea Map Folio is nice but optional (and reasonably priced), and then it's a matter of deciding what interests you next, like Gods & Magic or some of the race books.

Bear in mind that the mechanics of the "core" books end up in the PRD, so for example you can head over to http://d20pfsrd.com and take a look at what's in the APG, GMG, Bestiaries, UM, and soon UC. Look before you buy.
 

DumbPaladin

First Post
Rules-book wise, APG and Ultimate Combat seem pretty good choices. Overall I like the archetypes in UC, and some of the stuff requiring so much fixing in Ultimate Magic makes it "not quite essential", in my book.

In terms of campaign flavor, Inner Sea World Guide is a must have. It's very well done and gives you a kernel of the flavor of all manner of regions to set your campaigns in.

The only other book I consider is the small softcover book detailing the different deities -- Gods & Magic. The "Faiths" books are nice if you have a cleric in need of that information or if you really need yet further deity information, but I'm not sure it'd be essential to most games. I certainly find "Faiths of Balance" very interesting.
 

TheAuldGrump

First Post
It may be something of a chorus now: APG. It marks a point where Paizo decided 'let's go this way, instead', compared to 3.X.

Ultimate Magic - for the Magus among other things. If you're doing your own adventures then I have to tell you, hitting the party with an 'in your face' Black Blade Magus lich is great fun.

Other than that, it depends on whether you are running or playing.

If running then the GMG is good - the rules for statting out towns and the stats for many NPCs. And let us not forget Page 55. (The mark of being a true nerd - knowing about the Page 55 Project. It was a website dedicated to Page 55 in many books, listing the first paragraph or page... Why did it exist? Why not? I think that it is gone now, and don't know if the GMG made it in, but I found it amusing that they apparently aimed a page right at the Project.)

If playing... I recommend downloading the free Player's Guides for the Adventure Paths, there are some nifty Traits in them, and the price is definitely right. :)

The Auld Grump
 

Steel_Wind

Adventurer
I dissent.

"Must" is not the same as "nice".

The "must haves" are , in my opinion, The Core RuleBook, the APG and Bestiary 1.

All else is nice, cool even. But not a "must", imo.

For that matter, the APG is not entirely a must -- but it is so useful and such a go to book that it has in the past 13 months essentially become a core book.

Now -- what would I get, were I you? Every Paizo hardcover, in the following order of acquisition: Bestiary 2, GameMastery Guide, Ultimate Magic, Ultimate Combat.

After that, it really does depend on taste and the campaign you are running.
 
Last edited:

paradox42

First Post
Tally another vote for Core, APG, and Bestiary 1- though it's worth noting that Bestiary 2 contains updated rules which supersede Bestiary 1's. Which is why I'll put in a second tier of "should-haves," especially if you're the GM: Bestiary 2, GMG, UM, and UC. UM and UC are full of rules variants, yes, but each one has many new class options that one should know about even if one doesn't use the variants. Magus is a prime example of that, but also on the list would be the Cavalier Archetypes (APG doesn't have any, and UM didn't have any since it was magic-focused) and some of the other Archetypes in UC (the Tactician Fighter comes to my mind- think Fighter using the Cavalier's Teamwork tactics and feats, which IMO is one of the best features of the Cavalier class).

On a side note, I've seen several people complain about UM and UC being "broken," but I just don't see it. I can only assume these people play the game very differently from me, because I haven't had a problem with anything from those books so far. Admittedly, I only play once/week and ran a high-power, high-magic game (which is why I suggest the people considering those books "broken" must be used to very different game styles from myself).
 


tylermalan

First Post
A couple of questions...

First, what is the Page 55 Project?

Second, why is the Bestiary 2 so essential? A lot of people have mentioned it, but almost every time I've ever bought a second "monster book" for a game I've regretted it, mainly because I just didn't use it so much. 3.5E and 4E are the most recent examples - I own two monster manuals for both games and certainly don't feel like I needed the second one.

Edit:

The only other book I consider is the small softcover book detailing the different deities -- Gods & Magic. The "Faiths" books are nice if you have a cleric in need of that information or if you really need yet further deity information, but I'm not sure it'd be essential to most games. I certainly find "Faiths of Balance" very interesting.

So, there is a review on Amazon for Gods and Magic that says it is not worth buying if you already have the Inner Sea World Guide. True? False?

And lastly, does no one buy the smaller paperback books that I mentioned in my OP? Interested in opinions on those, as well.
 
Last edited:

IronWolf

blank
I dissent.

"Must" is not the same as "nice".

The "must haves" are , in my opinion, The Core RuleBook, the APG and Bestiary 1.

I agree with this. When making a "must have" list for Pathfinder that would be the Core Rulebook, the APG and Bestiary 1. If you have those books then I think you have the "must haves" for Pathfinder.

All else is nice, cool even. But not a "must", imo.


Steel_Wind said:
Now -- what would I get, were I you? Every Paizo hardcover, in the following order of acquisition: Bestiary 2, GameMastery Guide, Ultimate Magic, Ultimate Combat.

Yep, also in agreement - though I might rank GameMastery Guide just a little lower if you aren't the one running the game. It is a great book, but more advantageous to the GM.

Steel_Wind said:
After that, it really does depend on taste and the campaign you are running.

Yep. There are so many cool books for Pathfinder and beyond the ones already mentioned. They tend to be more niche focused though, so they may or may not apply to the focus of ones campaign or personal interest. So from these pick and choose the ones that catch your fancy.
 

Vitulv

First Post
I only use the Core Rules and the Bestiary, so thats my "must-haves".

That said, I'm planning to get the Bestiary 2 and the Game Master Guide, just because they seem like nice products.

Some of my players use the APG, but I would'nt consider it a must, even if it brings some really nice additions for players.
 

Qik

First Post
As others have said, the degree to which a book is necessary comes in part from which classes catch your interest. Myself, I'm really keen on both the alchemist and the summoner, which made UM pretty important for the archetypes it gave (both classes got some great options). As has already been pointed out, UC is huge for monks - having seen what it offers, I couldn't play a monk without drawing on the various goodies it offers. But again, these are pretty circumstantial, so it really depends on which classes/mechanics/etc interest you.
 

enrious

Registered User
On a side note, I've seen several people complain about UM and UC being "broken," but I just don't see it. I can only assume these people play the game very differently from me, because I haven't had a problem with anything from those books so far. Admittedly, I only play once/week and ran a high-power, high-magic game (which is why I suggest the people considering those books "broken" must be used to very different game styles from myself).

That actually sounds like a fun campaign.

I can't speak for others, but for me, "broken" doesn't just imply over-powered. It means that it is broken mechanically - it doesn't do what it intends, it makes you worse for using it (unless that was an express goal), it makes you better for using it (out of proportion to other options or other classes/races/stuff) or due to horrible editing/playtesting, it is literally unplayable.

There are things in both UM and UC I'd allow and were I playing, things from both I'd consider.

However, compared with other books in the core line, they amount of material that is "broken" is much higher.

Ask me again after the errata is released and I may have a different opinion on them (especially UC), but for now it is what it is.

In any event, gotta echo CRB + APG + Bestiary 1 + Bestiary 2 as the absolute must haves.
 

TheAuldGrump

First Post
A couple of questions...

First, what is the Page 55 Project?
It was one of those silly things that happened in the early days of the interweb, after Mosaic and its kin started being used.

The original version was the text of Page 55 from a bunch of books.

Later this was reduced to just the first paragraph, both for space and for legal reasons.

Let me see if there is an archive somewhere....

Ah, found a current incarnation. :) Not updating as quickly, and now treated as a blog.

Page 55

This is a collection of excerpts from random books. All excerpts are from page 55, the first full paragraph.

No rhyme or reason, just something that... happened.

The Auld Grump
 


Steel_Wind

Adventurer
Kaer Maga seems pretty awesome. Where in the setting is it?
As mentioned it is in Varisia. The following products directly concern or are set in Kaer Maga:

City of Strangers
The Godsmouth Heresy
(Stand Alone Level 1 PFRPG module)
Pathfinder Society Scenario #51 City of Strangers Pt 1: The Shadow Gambit
Pathfinder Society Scenario #52 City of Strangers Pt 2: The Twofold Demise


Also, has anyone read Rule of Fear?
Yes, I have.

If you are going to run Carrion Crown Adventure Path or set your campaign in Ustalav, this would be a "must have" book. Otherwise? Probably not. It is a Chronicles Setting book which is highly particular to the Ustalav Region.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top