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Pathfinder Tabletop Games

Pathfinder character creation, part two: A class

Last time, in Pathfinder character creation, part one: An idea and a race, we came up with an idea for a character and looked at the options for their race. Afterwards, in Pathfinder explained: Commonly used terms, we covered the most commonly used terms in the Pathfinder RPG. This time, we will be looking at the classes that are available and how they work in brief, meaning that this isn’t a guide on how to play a class, but how to choose a class to best fit a concept based on what that class has to offer and, more importantly, what a class is comprised of. Because of how lengthy this section will be, I’m saving ideas for how to play the various classes effectively for a post that will follow this entire character creation outline.

We will be using some content, such as images and flavour text, from Pathfinder so here is the obligatory Community Use & OGL.

Pathfinder classes: a Druid and a Monk

Pick a class

The next thing we need to do is pick a class to fit the concept for the character that we came up with. The classes presented to us by Pathfinder represent a profession, such as a fighter representing one who is trained in combat or a wizard representing someone who has dedicated their lives to the study of the arcane. If this is a new character, they start at the first level in their chosen class and receive any abilities that are listed as being those gained at the first level. As they gain experience points (XP) for completing encounters, they go up in level, granting them new powers and abilities, as well as improved variants of ones they already have. Below is a list of the classes that you may choose from and further down is a description, including any Alignment restrictions, Hit Dice, Class Skills, and Skill Ranks received per level, plus a list and simple explanation of abilities of each class. The names of the classes in the list below may be clicked on to jump down to the more detailed description of each class and, if you want to skip the descriptions of classes, you can click here to move on to the section regarding fitting a class to an idea.

* The Antipaladin is an alternate class. Paizo believes that by shifting the details and tones of the paladin class they can capture an entirely different theme without designing an entire new class. However, this alternate class can be used just as any of the other base classes. (See the PZO1115 Advanced Player’s Guide or the Pathfinder SRD Paladin page for more information regarding making an Antipaladin.)

Now, as promised, here are the descriptions of each class and the Pathfinder iconic character for each class (if any).

Alchemist

Alchemist - Damiel

Whether secreted away in a smoky basement laboratory or gleefully experimenting in a well-respected school of magic, the alchemist is often regarded as being just as unstable, unpredictable, and dangerous as the concoctions he brews. While some creators of alchemical items content themselves with sedentary lives as merchants, providing tindertwigs and smokesticks, the true alchemist answers a deeper calling. Rather than cast magic like a spellcaster, the alchemist captures his own magic potential within liquids and extracts he creates, infusing his chemicals with virulent power to grant him impressive skill with poisons, explosives, and all manner of self-transformative magic.

Role: The alchemist’s reputation is not softened by his exuberance (some would say dangerous recklessness) in perfecting his magical extracts and potion-like creations, infusing these substances with magic siphoned from his aura and using his own body as experimental stock. Nor is it mollified by the alchemist’s almost gleeful passion for building explosive bombs and discovering strange new poisons and methods for their use. These traits, while making him a liability and risk for most civilised organizations and institutions of higher learning, seem to fit quite well with most adventuring groups.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d8
  • Class Skills: Appraise (Int), Craft (any) (Int), Disable Device (Dex), Fly (Dex), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Survival (Wis), Use Magic Device (Cha)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier

Arcanist

Arcanist - Enora

Some spellcasters weave magic into a beautiful tapestry. Others draw upon their innate gift to produce magic. Arcanists, though, take a different route. By combining innate magical talent with studious research, arcanists can see magic for what it really is, allowing them to tear apart the bonds that hold it together and force it to obey their will. It is not an easy task, but this talent allows them to wield magic like no others. They can consume the raw essence of magic to forge powerful effects, both wondrous and deadly.

Role: The arcanist is a scholar of all things magical. She constantly seeks out new forms of magic to find out how they work, and in many cases to collect the energy of such magic for her own uses. Many arcanists are seen as reckless, more concerned with the power of magic than the ramifications of that unleashing such power.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d6
  • Class Skills: Appraise (Int), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier

Barbarian

Barbarian Amiri

For some, there is only rage. In the ways of their people, in the fury of their passion, in the howl of battle, conflict is all these brutal souls know. Savages, hired muscle, masters of vicious martial techniques, they are not soldiers or professional warriors – they are the battle possessed, creatures of slaughter and spirits of war. Known as barbarians, these warmongers know little of training, preparation, or the rules of warfare; for them, only the moment exists, with the foes that stand before them and the knowledge that the next moment might hold their death. They possess a sixth sense in regard to danger and the endurance to weather all that might entail. These brutal warriors might rise from all walks of life, both civilised and savage, though whole societies embracing such philosophies roam the wild places of the world. Within barbarians storms the primal spirit of battle, and woe to those who face their rage.

Role: Barbarians excel in combat, possessing the martial prowess and fortitude to take on foes seemingly far superior to themselves. With rage granting them boldness and daring beyond that of most other warriors, barbarians charge furiously into battle and ruin all who would stand in their way.

  • Alignment: Any nonlawful
  • Hit Dice: d12
  • Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Perception (Wis), Ride (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Intelligence modifier

Bard

Bard - Lem

Untold wonders and secrets exist for those skillful enough to discover them. Through cleverness, talent, and magic, these cunning few unravel the wiles of the world, becoming adept in the arts of persuasion, manipulation, and inspiration. Typically masters of one or many forms of artistry, bards possess an uncanny ability to know more than they should and use what they learn to keep themselves and their allies ever one step ahead of danger. Bards are quick-witted and captivating, and their skills might lead them down many paths, be they gamblers or jacks-of-all-trades, scholars or performers, leaders or scoundrels, or even all of the above. For bards, every day brings its own opportunities, adventures, and challenges, and only by bucking the odds, knowing the most, and being the best might they claim the treasures of each.

Role: Bards capably confuse and confound their foes while inspiring their allies to ever-greater daring. While accomplished with both weapons and magic, the true strength of bards lies outside melee, where they can support their companions and undermine their foes without fear of interruptions to their performances.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d8
  • Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Intelligence modifier

Bloodrager

Bloodrager - Crowe

While many ferocious people can tap into a deep reservoir of rage somewhere in their very being, bloodragers have a more intrinsic power, one that seethes in their blood. Like sorcerers, bloodragers’ blood surges with arcane power. Many of their kin use this power primarily for spellcasting, but bloodragers enter an altered state where their bloodline becomes manifest – rage becomes reality, where the potency of strange ancestral unions and deeds lashes out with supernatural fury with devastating ends. And while in these states, they can as near-instinct cast some arcane spells. Fast, violent, and seemingly unstoppable, the bloodragers’ magic is murder.

Role: Masters of the battlefield, a bloodrager’s bloodline and skill wreaks havoc on his enemies as he unleashes fearful carnage. His place is up front in his enemies’ faces, supplying tremendous martial support with a smattering of arcane casting. Adventurers who travel with a bloodrager learn to stay out of his way.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d10
  • Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Perception (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier

Brawler

Deadly with their fists, brawlers eschew using the fighter’s heavy armour and the monk’s mysticism, focusing instead on perfecting many styles of brutal unarmed combat. Versatile, agile, and able to adapt to most enemy attacks, a brawler’s body is a powerful weapon.

Role: Brawlers are manoeuvrable and well suited for creating flanking situations or dealing with lightly armoured enemies, as well as quickly adapting to a rapidly changing battlefield.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d10
  • Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (History) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Swim (Str)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier

Cavalier

Cavalier - Alian

While many warriors strive to perfect their art, spending all of their time honing their skill at martial arms, others spend as much effort dedicating themselves to a cause. These warriors, known as cavaliers, swear themselves to a purpose, serving it above all else. Cavaliers are skilled at fighting from horseback, and are often found charging across a battlefield, with the symbol of their order trailing on a long, fluttering banner. The cavalier’s true power comes from the conviction of his ideals, the oaths that he swears, and the challenges he makes.

Role: Cavaliers tend to marshal forces on the battlefield, using their mounted talents and challenges to control the f low of the fight. Outside of battle, cavaliers can be found advancing their cause through diplomacy and, if needed, subterfuge. The cavalier is no stranger to courtly intrigue and can hold his own in even the most delicate of social situations.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d10
  • Class Skills: Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Swim (Str)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier

Cleric

Cleric - Kyra

In faith and the miracles of the divine, many find a greater purpose. Called to serve powers beyond most mortal understanding, all priests preach wonders and provide for the spiritual needs of their people. Clerics are more than mere priests, though; these emissaries of the divine work the will of their deities through strength of arms and the magic of their gods. Devoted to the tenets of the religions and philosophies that inspire them, these ecclesiastics quest to spread the knowledge and influence of their faith. Yet while they might share similar abilities, clerics prove as different from one another as the divinities they serve, with some offering healing and redemption, others judging law and truth, and still others spreading conflict and corruption. The ways of the cleric are varied, yet all who tread these paths walk with the mightiest of allies and bear the arms of the gods themselves.

Role: More than capable of upholding the honour of their deities in battle, clerics often prove stalwart and capable combatants. Their true strength lies in their capability to draw upon the power of their deities, whether to increase their own and their allies’ prowess in battle, to vex their foes with divine magic, or to lend healing to companions in need.

As their powers are influenced by their faith, all clerics must focus their worship upon a divine source. While the vast majority of clerics revere a specific deity, a small number dedicate themselves to a divine concept worthy of devotion – such as battle, death, justice, or knowledge – free of a deific abstraction.

  • Alignment: A cleric’s alignment must be within one step of their deity’s, along either the law/chaos axis or the good/evil axis
  • Hit Dice: d8
  • Class Skills: Appraise (Int), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (History) (Int), Knowledge (Nobility) (Int), Knowledge (Planes) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Druid

Druid - Lini

Within the purity of the elements and the order of the wilds lingers a power beyond the marvels of civilisation. Furtive yet undeniable, these primal magics are guarded over by servants of philosophical balance known as druids. Allies to beasts and manipulators of nature, these often misunderstood protectors of the wild strive to shield their lands from all who would threaten them and prove the might of the wilds to those who lock themselves behind city walls. Rewarded for their devotion with incredible powers, druids gain unparalleled shape-shifting abilities, the companionship of mighty beasts, and the power to call upon nature’s wrath. The mightiest temper powers akin to storms, earthquakes, and volcanoes with primeval wisdom long abandoned and forgotten by civilisation.

Role: While some druids might keep to the fringe of battle, allowing companions and summoned creatures to fight while they confound foes with the powers of nature, others transform into deadly beasts and savagely wade into combat. Druids worship personifications of elemental forces, natural powers, or nature itself. Typically this means devotion to a nature deity, though druids are just as likely to revere vague spirits, animalistic demigods, or even specific awe-inspiring natural wonders.

  • Alignment: Any neutral
  • Hit Dice: d8
  • Class Skills: Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (Geography) (Int), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier

Fighter

Fighter - Valeros

Some take up arms for glory, wealth, or revenge. Others do battle to prove themselves, to protect others, or because they know nothing else. Still others learn the ways of weapon-craft to hone their bodies in battle and prove their mettle in the forge of war. Lords of the battlefield, fighters are a disparate lot, training with many weapons or just one, perfecting the uses of armour, learning the fighting techniques of exotic masters, and studying the art of combat, all to shape themselves into living weapons. Far more than mere thugs, these skilled warriors reveal the true deadliness of their weapons, turning hunks of metal into arms capable of taming kingdoms, slaughtering monsters, and rousing the hearts of armies. Soldiers, knights, hunters, and artists of war, fighters are unparalleled champions, and woe to those who dare stand against them.

Role: Fighters excel at combat – defeating their enemies, controlling the f low of battle, and surviving such sorties themselves. While their specific weapons and methods grant them a wide variety of tactics, few can match fighters for sheer battle prowess.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d10
  • Class Skills: Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (Engineering) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier

Gunslinger

Gunslinger - Lirianne

For a renegade few, battle sounds different than it does for the typical fighter. The clash of steel and the sizzle of spell energy are drowned out by the thunderous rhythm of gunfire – the pounding beat of the gunslinger. Gunslingers are a bold and mysterious lot. While many treat the secrets of black powder with the same care and reverence that a wizard typically reserves for his spellbook, most gunslingers know that firearms are a secret that cannot remain concealed forever. While current firearms are simple, often imprecise, and even dangerous devices, they are a technology on the move, and one that will become even more powerful when it is fully fused with magic.

Role: Gunslingers are thunderous artillery, often found where the fighting is fiercest. Brave, clever, and frequently foolhardy, many gunslingers push to position themselves at close range, barrels blazing, to take down their foes and demoralize their enemies. Other gunslingers are masters of distant death, picking off enemies from afar with their strange and wondrous weapons.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d10
  • Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Engineering) (Int), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier

Hunter

Hunters are nature warriors who have forged close bonds with their trusted animal companions. Able to cast spells like druids and take on the abilities of various beasts, they focus their energies into fighting alongside their companion animals as a formidable team of two.

Role: Hunters can adapt their tactics to many kinds of opponents and cherish their highly trained animal companions. As a team, the hunter and her companion can react to danger with incredible speed, making them excellent scouts, explorers, and saboteurs.

  • Alignment: Any neutral
  • Hit Dice: d8
  • Class Skills: Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (Geography) (Int), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier

Inquisitor

Inquisitor - Imrijka

Grim and determined, the inquisitor roots out enemies of the faith, using trickery and guile when righteousness and purity is not enough. Although inquisitors are dedicated to a deity, they are above many of the normal rules and conventions of the church. They answer to their deity and their own sense of justice alone, and are willing to take extreme measures to meet their goals.

Role: Inquisitors tend to move from place to place, chasing down enemies and researching emerging threats. As a result, they often travel with others, if for no other reason than to mask their presence. Inquisitors work with members of their faith whenever possible, but even such allies are not above suspicion.

  • Alignment: An inquisitor’s alignment must be within one step of their deity’s, along either the law/chaos axis or the good/evil axis
  • Hit Dice: d8
  • Class Skills: Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (Dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Knowledge (Planes) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier

Investigator

Investigator - Quinn

Whether on the trail of a fugitive, a long-lost treasure trove, or the mastermind behind a dangerous conspiracy, investigators are motivated by an intense curiosity about the world and use the knowledge they’ve gained about it as weapons. Mixing gumption and learning into a personal alchemy of daring, investigators are full of surprises. Observing the world around them, they gain valuable knowledge of the situation, process that information using inspiration and deduction, and cut to the quick of the matter in unexpected ways. Often seeing both quiet and reserve, investigators are always evaluating situations they encounter, sizing up potential foes, and looking out for secret dangers, all while using their vast knowledge and powers of perception to find the solutions to the most perplexing problems. Like alchemists, they possess knowledge of alchemical reagents and admixtures, and can infuse them with personal magic to great effect. Like rogues, they’re always on the lookout for traps and perils, and are nimble enough of both mind and body to enough to escape ensnarement.

Role: An investigator lives to solve mysteries and find inventive ways to get out of jams. He serves as advisor and support for his adventuring party, but can take centre stage when knowledge and cunning are needed. No slouch in battle, he knows how to make surprise attacks, and can use his inspiration to push his attacks home.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d8
  • Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier

Magus

Magus - Seltyiel

There are those who spend their lives poring over ancient tomes and texts, unlocking the power of magic, and there are those who spend their time perfecting the use of individual weapons, becoming masters without equal. The magus is at once a student of both philosophies, blending magical ability and martial prowess into something entirely unique, a discipline in which both spell and steel are used to devastating effect. As he grows in power, the magus unlocks powerful forms of arcana that allow him to merge his talents further, and at the pinnacle of his art, the magus becomes a blur of steel and magic, a force that few foes would dare to stand against.

Role: Magi spend much of their time travelling the world, learning whatever martial or arcane secrets they can find. They might spend months learning a new sword-fighting style from a master warrior, while simultaneously moonlighting in the local library, poring through tomes of ancient lore. Most who take this path dabble in all sorts of lore, picking up anything that might aid them in their search for perfection.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d8
  • Class Skills: Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (Dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (Planes) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier

Monk

Monk - Sajan

For the truly exemplary, martial skill transcends the battlefield – it is a lifestyle, a doctrine, a state of mind. These warrior-artists search out methods of battle beyond swords and shields, finding weapons within themselves just as capable of crippling or killing as any blade. These monks (so called since they adhere to ancient philosophies and strict martial disciplines) elevate their bodies to become weapons of war, from battle-minded ascetics to self-taught brawlers. Monks tread the path of discipline, and those with the will to endure that path discover within themselves not what they are, but what they are meant to be.

Role: Monks excel at overcoming even the most daunting perils, striking where it’s least expected, and taking advantage of enemy vulnerabilities. Fleet of foot and skilled in combat, monks can navigate any battlefield with ease, aiding allies wherever they are needed most.

  • Alignment: Any lawful
  • Hit Dice: d8
  • Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (History) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Stealth (Dex), and Swim (Str)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier

Ninja

Ninja - Reiko

When the wealthy and the powerful need an enemy eliminated quietly and without fail, they call upon the ninja. When a general needs to sabotage the siege engines of his foes before they can reach the castle walls, he calls upon the ninja. And when fools dare to move against a ninja or her companions, they will find the ninja waiting for them while they sleep, ready to strike. These shadowy killers are masters of infiltration, sabotage, and assassination, using a wide variety of weapons, practised skills, and mystical powers to achieve their goals.

Role: The ninja spends almost all of her time honing her skills, practising her art, or working on her next assignment. Even when not specifically working, the ninja is ever vigilant and ready for the situation to turn deadly. Her line of work earns her many enemies, but it is a list that she frequently reduces through assassination and misdirection. The ninja is an alternate class for the rogue core class.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d8
  • Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Knowledge (Nobility) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 8 + Int modifier

Oracle

Oracle - Alahazra

Although the gods work through many agents, perhaps none is more mysterious than the oracle. These divine vessels are granted power without their choice, selected by providence to wield powers that even they do not fully understand. Unlike a cleric, who draws her magic through devotion to a deity, oracles garner strength and power from many sources, namely those patron deities who support their ideals. Instead of worshipping a single source, oracles tend to venerate all of the gods that share their beliefs. While some see the powers of the oracle as a gift, others view them as a curse, changing the life of the chosen in unforeseen ways.

Role: Oracles do not usually associate with any one church or temple, instead preferring to strike out on their own, or with a small group of like-minded individuals. Oracles typically use their spells and revelations to further their understanding of their mystery, be it through fighting mighty battles or tending to the poor and sick.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d8
  • Class Skills: Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (Planes) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int), plus Oracles receive additional class skills depending upon their oracle mystery
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier

Paladin

Paladin - Seelah

Through a select, worthy few shines the power of the divine. Called paladins, these noble souls dedicate their swords and lives to the battle against evil. Knights, crusaders, and law-bringers, paladins seek not just to spread divine justice but to embody the teachings of the virtuous deities they serve. In pursuit of their lofty goals, they adhere to ironclad laws of morality and discipline. As reward for their righteousness, these holy champions are blessed with boons to aid them in their quests: powers to banish evil, heal the innocent, and inspire the faithful. Although their convictions might lead them into conflict with the very souls they would save, paladins weather endless challenges of faith and dark temptations, risking their lives to do right and fighting to bring about a brighter future.

Role: Paladins serve as beacons for their allies within the chaos of battle. While deadly opponents of evil, they can also empower goodly souls to aid in their crusades. Their magic and martial skills also make them well suited to defending others and blessing the fallen with the strength to continue fighting.

  • Alignment: Lawful good
  • Hit Dice: d10
  • Class Skills: Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (Nobility) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier

Ranger

Ranger - Harsk

For those who relish the thrill of the hunt, there are only predators and prey. Be they scouts, trackers, or bounty hunters, rangers share much in common: unique mastery of specialized weapons, skill at stalking even the most elusive game, and the expertise to defeat a wide range of quarries. Knowledgeable, patient, and skilled hunters, these rangers hound man, beast, and monster alike, gaining insight into the way of the predator, skill in varied environments, and ever more lethal martial prowess. While some track man-eating creatures to protect the frontier, others pursue more cunning game – even fugitives among their own people.

Role: Rangers are deft skirmishers, either in melee or at range, capable of skilfully dancing in and out of battle. Their abilities allow them to deal significant harm to specific types of foes, but their skills are valuable against all manner of enemies.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d10
  • Class Skills: Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (Geography) (Int), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier

Rogue

Rogue - Merisiel

Life is an endless adventure for those who live by their wits. Ever just one step ahead of danger, rogues bank on their cunning, skill, and charm to bend fate to their favour. Never knowing what to expect, they prepare for
everything, becoming masters of a wide variety of skills, training themselves to be adept manipulators, agile acrobats, shadowy stalkers, or masters of any of dozens of other professions or talents. Thieves and gamblers, fast talkers and diplomats, bandits and bounty hunters, and explorers and investigators all might be considered rogues, as well as countless other professions that rely upon wits, prowess, or luck. Although many rogues favour cities and the innumerable opportunities of civilisation, some embrace lives on the road, journeying far, meeting exotic people, and facing fantastic danger in pursuit of equally fantastic riches. In the end, any who desire to shape their fates and live life on their own terms might come to be called rogues.

Role: Rogues excel at moving about unseen and catching foes unaware, and tend to avoid head-to-head combat. Their varied skills and abilities allow them to be highly versatile, with great variations in expertise existing between different rogues. Most, however, excel in overcoming hindrances of all types, from unlocking doors and disarming traps to outwitting magical hazards and conning dull-witted opponents.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d8
  • Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 8 + Int modifier

Samurai

Samurai - Hayato

Few warriors are more dedicated to honour and the code of the warrior than the samurai. Trained from an early age in the art of war and sworn to the service of a lord, the samurai holds a position of power and respect in many lands, often serving as the voice and justice of the local noble. The samurai takes on his training with zeal, learning the way of the blade (typically a katana), the bow, and the horse. Some even learn how to effectively use firearms, if they are available. The samurai is often the most trusted soldier in his lord’s employ. In him, the common folk see honour and sacrifice. He is an honourable warrior, dedicated to the realm and the leaders that guide it.

Role: While typically sworn to the service of a lord, a samurai is usually given free reign as to how he performs that service. As such, samurai can sometimes be found with other adventurers, taking the fight to the enemies of their masters. Other samurai become ronin, striving to serve an ideal without paying fealty to a lord. In either case, samurai make powerful allies, capable of withstanding nearly any harm while dispatching their foes with deadly precision. The samurai is an alternate class for the cavalier base class.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d10
  • Class Skills: Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Swim (Str)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier

Shaman

While some heroes speak to gods, draw inspiration from beyond, or even consort with otherworldly muses, the shaman commune with the spirits of the world and the energies that exist in every living thing, drawing upon their power to shape the world. Shamans have strong tie to these spirits, and while they form powerful bonds with particular spirits, as their power grows they learn to call upon other spirits in times of need.

Role: The shaman makes for a potent divine spellcaster, capable of using divine spells to aid her allies and destroy her foes. While she isn’t the healer that a cleric is, she can still fill the role when needed.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d8
  • Class Skills: Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Fly (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Knowledge (Planes) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), and Survival (Wis)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier

Skald

Skald - Hakon

Skalds are poets, historians, and keepers of lore, using their gift for song to inspire allies into a frenzied rage. They balance a violent spirit with the veneer of civilisation, recording events such as heroic battles and the deeds of great leaders, enhancing these stories in the retelling to earn bloodier victories in combat. A skald’s poetry is nuanced and often has multiple overlapping meanings, and they apply similar talents to emulate magic from other spellcasters.

Role: A skald inspires his allies, and often presses forward to fight enemies in melee. Outside of combat, he’s useful as a healer and scholar, less versatile but more durable than a bard.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d8
  • Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (oratory, percussion, sing, string) (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier

Slayer

Skilled at tracking down targets and bringing an end to them, slayers are consummate hunters, living for the chase and the deadly stroke that brings it to an end. Slayers spend most of their time honing their weapon skills, studying the habits and anatomy of foes, and practising combat manoeuvres. Theirs is a dedication to the art of death.

Role: Slayers are elusive and good at finding the opportune time and location to strike. Combining the deadliest talents of rangers and rogues, a slayer’s abilities are all about getting into combat, dealing with a target, then getting back out again.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d10
  • Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (Geography) (Int), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier

Sorcerer

Sorcerer - Seoni

Scions of innately magical bloodlines, the chosen of deities, the spawn of monsters, pawns of fate and destiny, or simply flukes of fickle magic, sorcerers look within themselves for arcane prowess and draw forth might few mortals can imagine. Emboldened by lives ever threatening to be consumed by their innate powers, these magic-touched souls endlessly indulge in and refine their mysterious abilities, gradually learning how to harness their birthright and coax forth ever greater arcane feats. Just as varied as these innately powerful spellcasters’ abilities and inspirations are the ways in which they choose to utilize their gifts. While some seek to control their abilities through meditation and discipline, becoming masters of their fantastic birthright, others give in to their magic, letting it rule their lives with often explosive results. Regardless, sorcerers live and breathe that which other spellcasters devote their lives to mastering, and for them magic is more than a boon or a field of study; it is life itself.

Role: Sorcerers excel at casting a selection of favoured spells frequently, making them powerful battle mages. As they become familiar with a specific and ever-widening set of spells, sorcerers often discover new and versatile ways of making use of magics other spellcasters might overlook. Their bloodlines also grant them additional abilities, assuring that no two sorcerers are ever quite alike.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d6
  • Class Skills: Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier

Summoner

Summoner - Balazar

While many who dabble in the arcane become adept at beckoning monsters from the farthest reaches of the planes, none are more skilled at it than the summoner. This practitioner of the arcane arts forms a close bond with one particular outsider, known as an eidolon, who gains power as the summoner becomes more proficient at his summoning. Over time, the two become linked, eventually even sharing a shard of the same soul. But this power comes with a price: the summoner’s spells and abilities are limited due to his time spent enhancing the power and exploring the nature of his eidolon.

Role: Summoners spend much of their time exploring the arcane arts alongside their eidolons. While their power comes from within, they rely heavily on their eidolon companions in dangerous situations. While a summoner and his eidolon function as individuals, their true power lies in what they can accomplish together.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d8
  • Class Skills: Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier

Swashbuckler

Swashbuckler - Jirelle

Whereas many warriors brave battle encased in a suit of armour and wielding large and powerful weapons, swashbucklers rely on speed, agility, and panache. Swashbucklers dart in and out of the fray, wearing down their opponents with annoying lunges and feints, and foiling the powerful attacks with a f lick of the wrist and a f lash of the blade before delivering a fatal riposte that is carnage made an art form. Some may be arrogant, self-involved, and very devil-may-care, but behind this veneer are people deeply dedicated to her craft. Swashbucklers spend much of their time practising footwork, stances, and precise strikes. Those of smaller races are particularly out to prove that the right mix of discipline and daring is the perfect counter to size and strength. They enjoy nothing more than to take down lumbering brutes and bullies.

Role: Using fancy footwork alongside quick and precise lunges, the swashbuckler darts in and out of battle, harassing and thwarting her opponents. The fast and agile warrior serves as protectors for spellcasters and f lank mates for rogues and slayers, while waiting for the opportunity to show her panache and score the final killing blow on some lumbering hulk. The swashbuckler often faces death with wry humour, and mocks it with jabbing wit.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d10
  • Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Knowledge (Nobility) (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), and Swim (Str)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier

Warpriest

Warpriest - Oloch

Warrior of the faith, skilled at arms and armour, the warpriest is a soldier for his faith. Capable of calling upon the power of the gods in the form of blessings and spells, the warpriest blends divine magic with martial skill. Although many think of the paladin as the ultimate warrior of faith, the warpriest can serve any deity and his morals can more closely match those of his god.

Role: Although not as capable at healing as a cleric, the warpriest can still serve as a capable healer or spellcaster, calling upon his divine powers from the centre of the fight, where his armour and martial skill can be put to the test.

  • Alignment: A warpriest’s alignment must be within one step of their deity’s, along either the law/chaos axis or the good/evil axis
  • Hit Dice: d8
  • Class Skills: Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Engineering) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier

Wizard

Wizard - Ezren

Beyond the veil of the mundane hide the secrets of absolute power. The works of beings beyond mortals, the legends of realms where gods and spirits tread, the lore of creations both wondrous and terrible – such mysteries call to those with the ambition and the intellect to rise above the common folk to grasp true might. Such is the path of the wizard. These shrewd magic-users seek, collect, and covet esoteric knowledge, drawing on cultic arts to work wonders beyond the abilities of mere mortals. While some might choose a particular field of magical study and become masters of such powers, others embrace versatility, revelling in the unbounded wonders of all magic. In either case, wizards prove a cunning and potent lot, capable of smiting their foes, empowering their allies, and shaping the world to their every desire.

Role: While universalist wizards might study to prepare themselves for any manner of danger, specialist wizards research schools of magic that make them exceptionally skilled within a specific focus. Yet no matter their speciality, all wizards are masters of the impossible and can aid their allies in overcoming any danger.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d6
  • Class Skills: Appraise (Int), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier

Witch

Witch - Feiya

Some gain power through study, some through devotion, others through blood, but the witch gains power from her communion with the unknown. Generally feared and misunderstood, the witch draws her magic from a pact made with an otherworldly power. Communing with that source, using her familiar as a conduit, the witch gains not only a host of spells, but a number of strange abilities known as hexes. As a witch grows in power, she might learn about the source of her magic, but some remain blissfully unaware. Some are even afraid of that source, fearful of what it might be or where its true purposes lie.

Role: While many witches are recluses, living on the edge of civilisation, some live within society, openly or in hiding. The blend of witches’ spells makes them adept at filling a number of different roles, from seer to healer, and their hexes grant them a number of abilities that are useful in a fight. Some witches travel about, seeking greater knowledge and better understanding of the mysterious powers that
guide them.

  • Alignment: Any
  • Hit Dice: d6
  • Class Skills: Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (History) (Int), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Knowledge (Planes) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha)
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier

Fitting a class to an idea

This is the part where we look at the classes and decide which best fits out original concept, if any. It is always a good idea to go over a couple of options to see what would fit better and be more interesting than to settle on the first thing we see – the latter usually ends up with missed opportunities that could have turned out to be really awesome. For example, just because our character is a devout follower of a specific deity or religion, it doesn’t mean that we have to pick a Cleric or even an Oracle. If the deity they follow is of nature or balance, we could look at Druids and Rangers instead. Alternatively, if the deity has no impact on the character’s life whatsoever, we could pick any class even if they do not receive any kind of spells, such as a Swashbuckler or a Rogue, yet still have that character crusading around as the messenger of their deity.

We don’t have to go as far as that, however, as some of the more simple ideas can still be interesting. Back in Pathfinder character creation, part one: An idea and a race, I listed a bunch of ideas that we had come up with for our own campaigns. Here are some of them again with the classes that were eventually chosen for them and why.

The warrior from the mountains

A young man who doesn’t truly fit in with his people due to both his beliefs and a permanently wounded leg leaves his tribe in the mountains. He goes on a journey in the hopes that he will transcend his human form and show the world that he truly is the Avatar of Gorum. In doing so, he hopes to gain a great following and prove himself. (You can read about Rendar in The Legend of Rendar: The rise of the Crimson Order, part one, part two, and part three, although the story is not yet completed.)

The class: Barbarian and Oracle

Why Barbarian and Oracle: Here we are using two classes, each fulfilling a different purpose. It was decided that he would be an Oracle of the Battle Mystery to symbolise his belief that he was in fact an Avatar of Gorum, the god of battle, strength, and weapons. To portray his permanently injured leg, the Oracle Curse, Lame, was chosen. This Curse negated his +10 ft. speed gain from being a Barbarian, making him seem like the weaker member of his tribe which consisted mainly of ‘true tribal warriors’ (Barbarians), which fit the story quite well.

The girl learning in secret

A girl that wants to become a calligrapher but, aside from being a girl, her family’s standing in society won’t allow for her to even attend classes. She secretly sneaks into calligraphy school where she hides in the ceiling and watches classes. She practises in her hiding spot using scraps of paper and ink that she has found in the refuse pile.

The class: Charlatan archetype Rogue

Why Charlatan Rogue: The Charlatan Rogue is still good at sneaking around and dodging like a normal Rogue, although they lose their ability to find and sense traps – two abilities which wouldn’t have made much sense to give this character anyway. However, the Charlatan Rogue then gains the ability to Bluff against the same subject more effectively and becomes much more adept at fabricating the truth by way of receiving the Rumourmonger Advanced Talent seven levels earlier than a normal Rogue could. These features help up portray someone who has successfully learnt to sneak and Bluff their way around effectively and has the capability to gain many Skills (as Rogues gain Skill ranks per level at 8 + their Intelligence modifier).

The unfortunate child of the Void

A girl who has lost her mother during childbirth is found to have a strange affliction when she is very young – she is born a Dhampir, half vampire and half human. Her father seeks help from all the gods but none will save her. In desperation, he turns to the Old Ones who cure her of her vampiric condition, but the cost for them doing so is unknown. The town believes she died but her father has kept her hidden away in secret and now he is dying of old age. It is time for her to rise and make her way in the world. (You can read about Silvia/Katerina in my post about her backstory, Silvia: A girl born to unfortunate circumstances, as well as Katerina: Cursed by blood, blessed by the Old Ones, part one and part two, although the story is not yet completed.)

The class: Commoner NPC (with plans to add levels in Void-Touched archetype Sorcerer in the future)

Why Void-Touched Sorcerer: We wanted the character to be in seriously dangerous position in a low-magic world (and the fact that she would eventually have innate magical abilities could easily get her tried and executed as a witch if anyone found out). However, we wanted to start from one of her most life-changing moments and explore how her magical abilities were awoken, thus we decided to go with 10 point-buy for her stats and gave her the weakest NPC class for her first level. (NPC classes are generally much weaker than the normal player classes.) The reasoning behind her being a Void-Touched Sorcer however, is due to her connection with the Old Ones who dwell within the void of the universe – they took away her vampiric nature and made her a vessel of their own. It’s quite simple, eh?

The master of bows and blades

Another example of finding a class for an idea might be, say you want to create a character that is extremely skilled with shortbows or longbows as well as bladed weapons such as a scimitar or longsword and a shortsword. However, you don’t want to have to deal with an animal companion or casting spells. The solution? Have a look at the Fighter and plan to take Weapon Training (explained below) in Bows, Heavy Blades, and Light Blades.

Weapon Training (Ex)

Starting at 5th level, a fighter can select one group of weapons. Whenever he attacks with a weapon from this group, he gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls.

Every four levels thereafter (9th, 13th, and 17th), a fighter becomes further trained in another group of weapons. He gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls when using a weapon from this group. In addition, the bonuses granted by previous weapon groups increase by +1 each. For example, when a fighter reaches 9th level, he receives a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls with one weapon group and a +2 bonus on attack and damage rolls with the weapon group selected at 5th level. Bonuses granted from overlapping groups do not stack. Take the highest bonus granted for a weapon if it resides in two or more groups.

A fighter also adds this bonus to any Combat Manoeuvre checks made with weapons from this group. This bonus also applies to the fighter’s Combat Manoeuvre Defence (CMD) when defending against disarm and sunder attempts made against weapons from this group.

A fighter in combat against a bunch of goblins

The Archer, a Fighter archetype

Additionally, if you are feeling comfortable with the way classes work already, we can have a look at the Archer archetype from the PZO1115 Advanced Player’s Guide. This one is much more specialised as, you guessed it, an archer. How an archetype works is by swapping out some of the base Class Features with some more specialised ones. The details of this particular archetype are shown below along with the Class Features that get replaced by each new one.

New Class Features

Hawkeye (Ex)
At 2nd level, an archer gains a +1 bonus on Perception checks, and the range increment for any bow he uses increases by 5 feet. These bonuses increase by +1 and 5 additional feet for every 4 levels beyond 2nd. (This ability replaces Bravery.)
Trick Shot (Ex)
At 3rd level, an archer can choose one of the following combat manoeuvres or actions: disarm, feint, or sunder. He can perform this action with a bow against any target within 30 feet, with a –4 penalty to his CMB. Every four levels beyond 3rd, he may choose an additional trick shot to learn. These manoeuvres use up arrows as normal. At 11th level, he may also choose from the following combat manoeuvres: bull rush, grapple, trip. A target grappled by an arrow can break free by destroying the archer’s arrow (hardness 5, hit points 1, break DC 13) or with an Escape Artist or CMB check (against the archer’s CMD –4). (This ability replaces Armour Training 1, 2, 3, and 4.)
Expert Archer (Ex)
At 5th level, an archer gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls with bows. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels beyond 5th. (This ability replaces Weapon Training 1.)
Safe Shot (Ex)
At 9th level, an archer does not provoke attacks of opportunity when making ranged attacks with a bow. (This ability replaces Weapon Training 2.)
Evasive Archer (Ex)
At 13th level, an archer gains a +2 dodge bonus to AC against ranged attacks. This bonus increases to +4 at 17th level. (This ability replaces Weapon Training 3.)
Volley (Ex): At 17th level, as a full-round action, an archer can make a single bow attack at his highest base attack bonus against any number of creatures in a 15-foot radius burst, making separate attack and damage rolls for each creature. (This ability replaces Weapon Training 4.)
Ranged Defence (Ex)
At 19th level, an archer gains DR 5/ – against ranged attacks. In addition, as an immediate action, he can catch an arrow fired at him and shoot it any target he chooses, as if he had the Snatch Arrows feat. (This ability replaces Armour Mastery.)
Weapon Mastery (Ex)
An archer must choose a type of bow for his Weapon Mastery class feature.

So, instead of Bravery (Ex) which, starting at the second level, would grant the Fighter a +1 bonus on Will saves against fear (the bonus increasing by +1 for every four levels beyond second), the Fighter would gain Hawkeye (Ex), allowing then to spot potential enemies sooner and attack them more effectively from further away.

If you are interested in trying out some archetypes yourself but don’t want to get into overly complicated territory, the Void-Touched archetype* for the Sorcerer mentioned earlier only makes a couple of minor changes to the Starsoul bloodline* for the Sorcerer. The default Bloodline Arcana causes targets who fail their save against one of our evocation spells to become dazzled by tiny sparkling star-lights. However, the Void-Touched Sorcerer changes it to allow us to select one affected target that fails its save against one of our evocation spells to become silenced for one round instead. Additionally, instead of summoning a rain of tiny meteorites that deal fire damage (as per the Minute Meteors Spell-like Ability), we summon a rain of tiny black motes that deal cold damage. The only other change is that instead of creating a sheet of cascading colours that acts as a Wall of Fire* that inflicts cold damage and does not radiate heat (as per the Aurora Borealis Spell-like Ability), we create an area influenced by the black void that acts as an Ice Storm* except the area is also subject to Deeper Darkness*. As such, if you want to learn about how to use archetypes, starting with simple ones like the alternative Wildblooded* bloodlines for the Sorcerer might be a good idea.

Note: An asterisk (*) above denotes a link that goes to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game System Reference Document.

Wrapping up class selection

As you can see, there are now a great number of different kinds of characters we can make, especially when we start including archetypes – the sets of options for each class that allow us to customise the class even further by swapping out and adding various Class features. Other examples of the use of archetypes include a Musket Master Gunslinger becomes much more focused in the use of two-handed firearms, and a Skirmisher Ranger loses their spells to gain some cool Extraordinary (Ex) abilities called Hunter’s Tricks. However, these archetypes are not at all necessary to make genuinely interesting characters. If we are just starting out, it is better to leave archetypes until we are more familiar with the game, how it works, and have tried a couple of different characters in actual campaigns to get a feel for what we like and are comfortable with.

If there was any one point which I would recommend the most from all of the above, I would say that it is to remember to be open to different options for classes. There isn’t one right way to create an interesting character and that’s probably one of the greatest freedoms that playing such a role-playing game allows. And with that, this is the end of our look at the different classes that are available. Next time, we will be looking at Ability Scores in more detail. Until then, that’s all from me.

Pathfinder character creation outline

Part one: An idea and a race
Part one starts with coming up with an idea for our character and a detailed look at the options for their race.
Part three: Ability Scores
Part three continues with a look at the six ability scores and how they affect our character in and out of combat.
Part four: Skills
Part four continues with a look at the various skills and how they can be used both in and out of combat.
Part five: Traits and drawbacks
Part five continues with a look at traits and drawbacks – lovely bite-size pieces of flavour we give our character.
Part six: Equipment and hit points
Part six continues with a look at buying starting equipment and determining our starting hit points (HP).

Pathfinder explained

Commonly used terms
As an accompaniment to my Pathfinder Character Creation outline, here is a list and explanation of the most commonly used terms in the Pathfinder RPG.
A favoured class
As an accompaniment to my Pathfinder Character Creation outline, here we cover choosing a favoured class and favoured class options in the Pathfinder RPG.

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