View Full Version : [Pathfinder] Archetypes (WIP,PEACH)

2011-06-03, 07:37 AM
I've posted this elsewhere, but have gotten few responses. Any input would be much appreciated. :) Also, even if you don't care for pathfinder, try to compare it to regular 3.5 and judge it by those standards.

So, I'm planning on DMing a campaign here in the near future and have been trying to think of a gimmick to make it different from all of our other campaigns. Most of our campaigns have been gestalt lately since, frankly, we all like it that way. I want to get us out of that rut without making us feel like we are being gimped, so I started coming up with the idea of archetype themed templates you could apply to a class instead of a race. I wanted these to add a significant amount of power to the class to which it was applied to give them a chance to survive the ridiculous threats I will be throwing at them without constant character replacement. For this campaign, if I'm not killing off half of them per encounter, I'm not running things right.

I was hoping that the community could help me balance these against each other and maybe help me judge how much more powerful they will make the PCs. I would rather not remove anything and would rather add or modify abilities to balance things out, but if something is especially broken please let me know how to make it better.

This is a Pathfinder campaign with some house rules I'm going to try out:

Spell Points (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/spellPoints.htm) except characters only receive half (round up) the listed spell points on both the spell points per day and bonus spell points charts and they recharge over the space of an hour.
No spell components.
Abilities that are usable once per day are now usable once per minute. Abilities that are usable multiple times per day are usable once per (10 - [2 x uses per day]) rounds (minimum 1 round).

Any suggestions as to tweaking, phrasing, adding or removing specific abilities or anything else would be nice, as would other archetype ideas. :D


Maximum HP per HD
Add HD to strength checks and strength based skill checks.
Weapon feats that make you choose a weapon (such as weapon focus) instead apply to all weapons which the warrior is proficient
May adopt one of two styles. Switching style is a swift action:
Offensive Style: deal +10% damage per 2 HD (maximum +100%), take +50% damage -5% per 2 HD(minimum 0%)
Defensive Style: deal -75% damage +5% per 2 HD damage (maximum -25%), take damage -25% damage -5% per 2 HD (minimum -75%)
Can taunt target enemy within 30ft. Target must approach to melee range and attack you with melee attacks for 5 rounds, can use once per minute (Will DC 10 + 1/2 HD + Str or Cha). The target will not take obviously self destructive actions (such as walking off a cliff) but will do everything in it's power to approach the warrior.
Armor the warrior is proficient with causes no speed loss, arcane spell failure or armor check penalty
May make a full attack as a standard action


May apply metamagic feat spontaneously by paying 2 mana per level increase as a free action once per round
May increase spell above maximum spell level by paying 4 mana for the first level over, 8 mana for the second, 16 for the third and so on. Only applies to metamagic feats
Full-round action refreshes 1/2 max mana, can be used once per 10 min
Sacrifice 1 mana to prevent 1 damage
May counter a spell even if it is unknown or unprepared by spending an amount of mana equal to the spells cost. May double the mana spent to instead redirect the spell to another legal target(s) or area.


Healing and buffing (I need a better way of phrasing this) spells maximized and extended
Healing and buffing spells with range of touch increased to 30
True Resurrection as 1st level spell, no components
True Resurrection on self once per day
May cast spells for 5 rounds after death without using any mana. Immune to all attacks and effects, including beneficial and resurrection ones.


Add HD to stealth, slight of hand, perception and disable device
First attack per encounter, if made with a light weapon and target is flat footed target, paralyzes target for 1d4+1 rounds (Fort DC 10 + 1/2 HD + Dex or Int)
Deal an extra 1 point of damage per HD against flat-footed opponents if made with a light weapon. This is precision-based damage
+2 to attack when attacking with two light weapons
Dex or Int to melee and thrown attack and damage, replaces Str

Pet Master

Gain a companion (identical to a Eidolon (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/base-classes/summoner#TOC-Eidolon) except companion can be of any creature type). This is in addition to any other, similar abilities and pet masters may use abilities normally reserved for their normal companion on the companion granted by this ability (example: a summoner pet master would be able to use Makers Call on either of his eidolon.)
May split damage taken in half with companion (up to 1 mile)
True Resurrection at will on companion as a full-round action once per 10 min
May enter trance, leaving own body helpless but gaining control of companion's body at will as a full-round action. If body takes damage the trance is broken. You may not cast spells or use spell-like, supernatural, or extraordinary abilities while using this ability


Dex to bow damage
Firing a bow doesn't provoke an attack of opportunity
Threaten out to 15ft with bows
Can perform combat maneuvers and other melee weapon based abilities with a bow
Can channel spell into arrow to use the bow's range instead of the spell's normal range. Using this ability is part of casting the spell; arrows can't be saved for later.

Would using these be fun? Does this make any sense?
This is my first time doing something like this. Please, be brutal. ;)

2011-06-04, 03:00 PM
Anything helps. Like, seriously, anything. Don't be shy. :smallwink:

2011-06-04, 06:57 PM
I have to say, I like that you did. It provides a fun alternitive to gestalt characters without making them feel like they are taking a huge cut in power.

I am gonna read over everything again, but from what I have read so far, I am likeing this, might try it out in the next game I run.

2011-06-05, 01:21 PM
I have to say, I like that you did. It provides a fun alternitive to gestalt characters without making them feel like they are taking a huge cut in power.

I am gonna read over everything again, but from what I have read so far, I am likeing this, might try it out in the next game I run.

I'm glad you like it. If you do end up using it I would love to hear how it works out.

Edit: It has come to my attention that having healers able to revive their teammates on a regular basis might be a bit much. I might end up taking it out for the "final draft," but I'm going to keep it for this specific campaign. I plan on killing the PCs a LOT and want death to be nothing more than a minor inconvenience.

Edit 2: I hate double posting. I've made a couple of changes:
- Removed armor check penalty
- Added HD to str checks and str skill checks
- Added pounce-like ability
- Changed the mages mana recharge ability to once per 10 min.
- Clarified that mages could only cast spells above their normal maximum spell level if done so using metamagic effects.

2011-06-08, 12:57 AM
I'm running out of ideas for abilities. Any suggestions? I'd like to have this ready for it's first test in about a week.

2011-06-10, 06:03 AM
One last bump, for old times sake.

2011-06-10, 02:21 PM
First off, I'd like to mention that most on this particular forum seem to have something (it differs from person to person) against Pathfinder - and that may be why you're not getting as much response. Previous posts I've made have been bogged down by that sentiment rather than actual critique.

That said, this is a very interesting alternative to gestalt characters. For the most part, I really enjoy what you have. Balance-wise, it is very well done and it looks like you've given it a great deal of thought. I may use the idea for my own Pathfinder game.

The only BIG thing balance-wise I'd point out it removing the alignments. In theory an okay thing, but some abilities get far too powerful if you unleash them totally. The Pathfinder version of the Paladin's Smite is a perfect example. If he can smite anything in his way... Pally just got a huge damage boost. Additionally, Cleric spells that only work on Evil opponents? Or only on Good opponents? It adds a lot of work for balancing these things.

Otherwise, the big question about balances is in who can take which archetypes. Are there prereqs? Can any class take them? Only certain ones? This sort of answer really defines wether these are what some would see as broken or not.

I'll poke at the smaller things one Archetype at a time.

- Wouldn't change the feats that require you to choose a weapon to apply to all weapons. There aren't many of them, true, so this isn't a balance issue. It's a thematic one. Having to choose a weapon to focus/specialize on is part of what actually makes one fighter different than another.
- Armor should still have Arcane Spell Failure, even if only a reduced one. If you're focusing on being a Warrior, you're not going to care about spells, much less learn how to use them properly. Would recommend cutting spell failure by half, or simply shaving 25% spell failure right off the top of all armors. This would effectively make some armors free of spell failure while greatly reducing others.

... I have nothing to add for this. That's friggin' awesome.
Might consider an ability to boost their counterspelling? Perhaps they can simply sacrifice mana to counterspell, if they can identify the spell? Just an afterthought, really.

- Would suggest against changing the range of "You" to being able to be put on others, especially if they get maximized and extended. Several of the "You" spells are more powerful than the ones they can cast on others for balance reasons. Others would mechanically or flavor-wise be difficult to do on another.
- More of a question than a comment... What stops the healer from rezzing themselves? Not technically cast on them, since it's on their body. If you see them as the same, does this stop someone from casting "Gentle Repose" to preserve their body from being rezzed later?

- While not particularly unbalanced, letting all skills be trained pretty much kills one of the Bards big special abilities.

Pet Master:
- If the pet is identical to the Eidolon, what is the point of the Summoner?
- Would suggest changing True Rez to to 10 minute action, to avoid people taking this just to have a walking health-tank.

... Don't have anything to add about this one either. Flippin' cool.
Would perhaps suggest noting which combat maneuvers don't make since to work with a bow, like power attack or sunder, though that's really the only two I can think of.

Hope that helps.

2011-06-12, 07:37 AM
It wouldn't be all that hard to convert this back into regular 3.5, so I wonder if I should just do that and change the thread title.

I agree, the whole "no alignment" thing might cause some problems, and it was more of a flavor thing anyway. Removed.

-I think there shouldn't be any prerequisites for these. I would actually try to tune each one to better accommodate a wider range of classes. Some combos might be unrealistic (what could I possibly give mage to make it appealing to a fighter or a barbarian?), but I'd like to get as close as I can.
-The idea behind weapon feat thing was the whole "master of every weapon" theme. You do have a point, though, and I'm going to have to think on it. Same goes for the arcane spell failure thing. I want wizards or sorcerers and such to be able to take warrior as a viable option.

-I really like the idea of a counterspelling ability for the mage. Added.

-Good point on personal spells. Removed.
-The only thing I can think of technically stopping a dead cleric from resurrecting themselves is the casting time on most resurrecting is longer than 5 rounds. As far as revify is concerned, I'm not sure. I'll tweak the wording.

-Another good point. The skill bonus they get is good enough, they don't need every other skill too.

Pet Master
-When thinking of how I was going to do pet master the only things I could think of was "copy eidolon" or "copy animal companion" and decided that eidolons have the versatility required to make it fit thematically with any given class and doesn't rely on preexisting creatures. I suppose a summoner would get 2 if they took this, but the special abilities that summoner gets regarding their eidolon wouldn't apply to the one granted by pet master, which could still be of any type. If anyone has any better ideas please let me know.
-Now normal casting time on true resurrection

-I personally think it would be awesome to have an archer sunder items with their bow, or shoot someone in the leg to trip them, or pull harder on the string to power attack. Would this be particularity broken?

2011-06-13, 12:18 PM
You don't have to convert it whichever way, I was merely offering a helpful suggestion as to why you might have been receiving silence.

The desire for no prerequisites is a good to know. The only real reason I asked is because that kind of changes the light you have to look at some of them as far as balance goes - Your point that you desire spellcasting types to be able to take the Warrior Archetype is a perfect example.

It seems that most of what you have is really well set and pretty good to go. The only one I'd still see any questions on is the Pet Master, as it is something that is difficult to balance against class abilities that already are a part of pet-based classes. Perhaps consider this as an alternative:
Pet Master would give an Animal Companion, following the Ranger Animal Companion progression (Their class level -3 to determine Animal Companion statistics). For Druid and Ranger, whom already gain an animal companion, their companions instead follow the Eidolon progression (including special abilities). Those with a familiar may have their familiar as this new animal companion.
This would do several things for you balance-wise: 1) It keeps a Druid from breaking their Now-Eidolon Animal Companion by changing it into a strange winged Griffon monstrocity by not allowing them to assign forms. 2) It gives the Summoner an actual reason to pick the Archetype, as they would get another companion which isn't weak. 3) It follows the gestalt idea of combining one class ability with another class, while not making where we get the ability from useless.

Now that I know you're wanting to make it available to all classes, however, I did come up with a couple other questions...

Concerning the Warrior Archetype:
- I understand the "master of every weapon" theme, but flavor-wise does it make sense for every class to be a master of every weapon? Some it does - Barbarian, Rogue perhaps, Paladin, Cleric, Fighter obviously, and maybe even Ranger. But Monks, Druids and dedicated spellcasters have enough to master as it is. This does, however, become less of an issue if you didn't automatically give the Warrior Archetype every proficiency. Most fighting classes get the proficiencies that make sense for the class. That would change it from 'master of every weapon' to a 'master of all -my- weapons', which still makes sense for a mage to have.
- If a spellcaster with the warrior Archetype sets down Wall of Fire, then taunts the enemy through it... Instant-win? Prismatic wall? A deep chasm? Seems abusable.
- Does the "Defense Style" change from a warrior Archetype apply to a spellcasters spell damage? If not, what encourages them to ever change out of it?

Suggestion, perhaps, is that since the Mage Archetype only appeals to those who have mana, word the warrior to appeal to those with heavier attack bonuses. It doesn't -stop- a mage from taking it, just like not having mana doesn't -stop- a barbarian from taking it thought he will gain no benefit.

I think I sound like I'm being overly picky at this point, though. Most of my suggestions come from the angle of keeping game-balance in line with flavor, though since this is your creation you would know where the flavor lies better than I.

Hope it helps, regardless.

2011-06-14, 06:22 AM
You make a few good points. I'm going to do some more tweaking with what you've said in mind.

2011-06-14, 06:47 AM
I've made a few alterations and clarifications again. I feel like it's pretty-much done. Thanks a bunch to everyone that helped :)

The only thing I'd like to do now is find a way to make the warriors stances require less calculators. I'm also afraid that the negatives outweigh the positives for a while in the beginning. How does +1 damage per 2 HD for offensive and -1 damage taken (regardless of the source) per 2 HD for defensive sound?