Up until now, I have actively not talked about my fellow Pathfinder Compatible companies because I always felt that it was not proper. If I said anything less than positive, I felt that that was a snide way of saying my products are better, and if I said something glowing I was always afraid that someone would say that I am “shilling for my buddies.” So I stayed away from it. But honestly, I was not being true to myself. I typically love the work that my fellow Pathfinder Compatible publishers do and I want to take a few moments to share with you every so often some of my favorite Pathfinder Compatible books. Allow me to start with what I feel is the best Pathfinder Compatible book, and quite frankly better than some Pathfinder RPG books, available: Ultimate Psionics by Dreamscarred Press.
Let me start off by saying that I was not a fan of WotC 3.5 Psionics. I saw them gamebreakingly abused and outright banned them in my game. When Dreamscarred first brought them into Pathfinder, I rolled my eyes and continued the ban. But finally, I gave Dreamscarred’s version a fair chance and I was slowly won over. The mechanics are balanced, the classes are well thought out and are downright imaginative. How much do I love them? In the Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Series, two of my signature characters (the elan, pictured above, and the skinwalker) use classes from this book. So without further ado, here are 5 reasons why I love Ultimate Psionics.
5. The Aegis is the Summoner Done Right. The concept of the summoner is a good idea but it is a broken class in far too many respects: you have a ‘pet’ that is just as good as you in combat, effectively doubling your number of attacks and your ability to flank, it has the spell list of a 9 level spellcaster compressed into 6 levels, and it gets many key spells earlier than their other spellcasting counterparts. So you have the option of allowing the eidolon to hit things while you cast spells a 6-level caster should not have or the two to team up for a flanking duo. Under the right circumstances, any one of these would be fine, but all together, the class is just too good.
Enter the Aegis. Its a full BAB class that focuses on one thing: hitting things. There is no second creature you can flank with, no spellcasting. The main focus is a magical suit of armor that lets you either hit hard, hit fast or be in the middle. All your customization options are for you and not your other creature. I call it close to a ranger in the way it plays (at least, by the way that I played one), but there is no denying its summoner inspiration and definitely no denying that it got it right.
4. The Cryptic and the Dread are Just Damn Cool. Whether you can see the code behind the world, Matrix style, or you inspire terror in everyone you meet, these two classes are just freaking fun. I haven’t actually played either of these classes yet, but oh man do I want to. Sharing with my character’s enemies my fear of spiders should be entertaining to watch. Or simply erasing the target right in front of me. Yea, I want to play these classes.
3. They Mixed Classes Together Before it was Cool. Ultimate Psionics includes archetypes and options to mix psionic options for the core rulebook classes, way before the Advanced Class Guide did it. Augment your druidic spells with psionic power points, take the psionic cleric domain or psychic sorcerer bloodline, Add some psionic powers to your rogue, monk or fighter. Its all good.
2. Expanded Psionic Races. As a lover of ‘less than usual’ races, Ultimate Psionics has all mysterious races you remember of 3.5 psionics but they add in several of their own. The one I want to try the most is the forge born. This half-construct race is straight up magical cyborg. If you are not a fan of mixing your sci-fi with your fantasy, this race gets it right. Check it out. Also, if you see me at PaizoCon, be sure to ask me about my half-giant fighter sometime. 😉
1. Nothing Stands Out as Being Too Good. The hallmark of good game design is that everything feels reasonable in play and I have yet to find anything that is the “must have” option for the power gamer. Not worrying about that and allowing me to focus on telling a good story is what I love.
Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Favored Class Options has favored class options for all 10 psionic classes in Ultimate Psionics for each of the 12 races covered in the Book of Heroic Races Advanced Series. Download it today at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, d20PFSRD, and Paizo.com.