Friday, May 13, 2011

Junk Food For Thought: Ultimate Magic

I don't have the book.  Please keep that in mind.

However, I was already skeptical, and I'm reading a lot of people that are generally pretty sure of Paizo's ability to produce good material finding some issues with Ultimate Magic.

Ignoring the people that went ballistic over Paizo not fixing things that they hated since 3.0, I've not see quite so much wide ranging concern on the message boards in a while.

I won't go into some of the issues brought up, because I've not directly seen them myself, but I really do hope that this content ends up in the PRD soon so that I can evaluate it for myself.  Hopefully I'll be pleasantly surprised.


  1. Mark Moreland has stated that any change to PFS additional resources to include Ultimate Magic material won't happen before the general release on May 18. This seems a little strange to me, as they apparently have already begun shipping the book to subscription customers. If they were planning on including a lot of the book in the category of "PFS legal", then it might be a good selling point - "Look! Lots of cool stuff to use with your PFS character!!!". Is the reason that they are not pre-announcing any legality of material because not much will be PFS legal?

    To me, the willingness of the company to include its own material for use in its own Organized Play campaign seems a good indicator of the quality of the material. If they consider the material unbalanced or broken, then they are less likely to make much of it legal.

    My guess - Some (not all) of the archetypes will be legal. Most (but not all) of the feats will be PFS legal. Very little of the gear will be legal. Some (not all) of the spells will be PFS legal. Words of Power will not be PFS legal (the fact that they did not make it legal for the playtest seemed to provide reason enough to doubt its eventual use in the game).

    Going against my own boycott, I pre-ordered a copy of UM from The Gopher. And after reading some of the threads about the book, I'm wondering if it's going to be another "Tome of Battle" - lots of stuff that looks great on the surface, but once you actually look at the mechanics, it's a bunch of untested crap that the designers didn't bother to actually do testing and development on for internal consistency.

    Cloistered Cleric looks like a great big bundle of crap, and having SKR berate players for complaining about poorly designed crap is only - well - crap icing on a crap cake.

    The fact that there are spells referenced that were cut from the book provides some indication of poor editing.

    I dunno. I'll see what happens when it comes in this week.

  2. It also undermines the usefulness of the pre-generated spellbooks when you have to go through them to make sure that all of the spells included in the spellbook actually, well, exist.

    I was thinking at first it was just the cantrips, but it seems that a few more higher level spells were cut, and also not taken out of the spellbooks.

  3. should have it all posted by the end of the week.