The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game is a system that uses an Open Gaming License (OGL) based on the 3.5 version of Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game. Ultimate Intrigue is a Companion Book to be used with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook and this companion book really fleshes out the game, adding depth and dimension to the playing experience.
What’s in the Book?
Ultimate Intrigue is a 253-page hardcover book that is divided into 6 Chapters.
Chapter 1 introduces a new character class: Vigilante. Some highlight of the class are: they are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light and medium armor, and shields. They also have a dual identity where they will hide their true identity while projecting an image of someone with a different persona. This allows for this class to have two alignments, which will affect spells, magic items, etc. There are a lot of special talents that come with experience as a Vigilante, with a cool one having a thrown weapon that returns. This class is something that will be of interest for many Pathfinder players.
There are also archetypes for the different classes to give more diversity to the game and broaden the horizon of which characters can perform and interact in the Pathfinder world.
Chapter 2 Introduces new Feats for the characters. There is a three-page table that helps give an overview of the feats.
Chapter 3 is the where this companion book starts to really shine. It is all about mastering intrigue. Intrigue acts as a counterpoint to battle and gives the storylines the characters in more time to breath and expand into a larger picture. Intrigue systems include planning and running heists which is something cool. Also some new elements include nemesis information and rules for long-term pursuits. There are several pages that spell out all of what it means to master intrigue.
Chapter 4 is all about social combat or a war of words if you will. The chapter outlines social combat with verbal warfare. There are several tactics outlined that both the player and Gamemaster can use for some interesting encounters.
Chapter 5 has new spells for use by the characters and Chapter 6 has new weapons, adventuring gear, alchemical tools and magic items.
From a production perspective, the book has great binding and the page layout is done well. I like the background on the pages. I do wish the font was in a larger point size to make it easier to read. I do like the size and bolding on the sub-sections in the chapters. There are plenty of images throughout the book, with several of them that are rather dark and obscured, giving further insight and emphasis on the shadows that Ultimate Intrigue brings the game into.
In my chapter descriptions above, I wanted to touch on some highlights in the book. To me, this companion book fleshes out and nicely expands the whole Pathfinder game system. I really dig the new Vigilante class and I think with some of the cool things like dual alignment, dual identity and some cool talents will certainly give some fresh approaches to Pathfinder players who may have grown tired of the system. The chapters on intrigue and social combat are the heart of the book. These chapters give an outline, guidelines, and rules to take the game down a darker path where there are more mental things going on. It allows players to delve into a darker side for their characters, with more things that rely on influence charisma. I like the idea of characters with a nemesis that will cause extra tension.
The social combat aspect is something I really like. In my own playing experience, I found that many players were quick to act with the sword and kill everyone and that kept the storyline thin. With the social combat, using words will allow different things to happen all to deepen the storyline and inject new information into the game.
New weapons and items are always welcome to the game so we get some of those as well.
In summary, I find this companion book a recommended supplement to be added for more experienced players who have a good handle on the Pathfinder rule system. I think the chapters in this book will benefit both the Gamemaster and the players in creating more mystery in the game and will lend to a lot more mental imagination. Plus, the companion gives the resources and the inspiration to make the game go beyond using the sword to kill everyone, and use some cunning and charm to manipulate situations and to show that sometimes words can be sharper than the sword. I also think the new class archetypes will give players even more options to enjoy while playing the Pathfinder system.
Disclaimer: This book was provided gratis by Paizo Publishing for the purpose of review. This is no way has any effect on my review.