View Full Version : Pathfinder I need to decide on concepts for my classes and archetypes.

2014-03-31, 07:33 PM
I'm working on a modernish campaign setting (By that, I mean that I take my inspiration from the second half of the 20th century, but I am about as realistic to modern history as Pathfinder is to medieval history.), and I'm working on a class system. I like my classes based around concepts, not ability scores, so using existing products is not for me. I need to decide what concepts the classes of my setting should be based off of, and what concepts should be used for archetypes. I'm writing E6 classes and replacing magic items with inherent abilities (I dunno about normal E6, but in mine spells known/written down and spell points, grit, and so on will continue to increase as characters gain experience after level 6).

Technology is a big part of the setting, but mobile phones, personal computers, and the internet are not around yet. I don't have a specific real life year that I'm taking my technology level from. Most of what we had between the 50s and the 70s exists within the setting, with technology from the 80s and the 90s added in according to my whims. Magic is also a big part of the setting, but permanent enchantment of an object is very, very difficult (temporary, not so much). This setting evolved naturally from a "typical medieval fantasy world" over several centuries, so magic is a well known fact of life for the average person. The same applies to magical creatures. Everybody knows dragons and vampires are real.

Adventure hooks are mostly based around government employment unless in an undeveloped and lawless region or a difficult to patrol rural area. In an area based off of, say, urban California, you just don't go around killing monsters in public with automatic weapons and not have the cops get very tense about it. Unless you have the legal authority to do so, that is. Every government has an agency devoted to handling rogue spellcasters and monsters that the cops can't apprehend (When you've already killed some people and you have the power to fling 20 foot fireballs that can flash fry most cops, you come quietly the first time they ask, or they bring in a slayer. That's just how it works with people that dangerous and powerful.), and it's one of the main roles I have in mind for PCs. There are also a few wars either ongoing or about to begin for military campaigns, street gangs, cartels, biker gangs, and mafias for less moral adventuring parties, and poverty stricken regions plagued by organized crime, corrupt and violent governments, and guerilla rebels fighting for either a better world or their own shot at running the whole show, all of which are roles a party could fill.

Now that those important details are out of the way, on to the classes. I am looking to modify those Pathfinder classes that fit for the setting and add in classes for concepts that lack a class to modify. Every class gets a special thing that no other class is allowed to have access to. So far, I have the following:

Classes I will not be using:
Barbarian (Too easy to shoot)
Monk (Ditto)
Bard (I love them to death, but I have trouble taking them seriously)
Cleric (I don't want the thematic elements of this sort of religion for my setting)
Paladin (Ditto)
Oracle (Ditto)
Inquisitor (Ditto, but some of it's nonmagic abilities should maybe go to a Fighter archetype for hard bitten detectives)
Cavalier (Knights have been obsolete for a very long time)
Gunslingers (When everybody has guns, this class is redundant. Grit and deeds are perfect for the Fighter, though.)
Wizard (My view of that sort of arcane magic is very Witchcrafty, so witches [sans patron] are the primary full caster of the setting and Wizards an archetype)
Summoner (Personal taste)
Ranger (With the Fighter becoming something of a skill monkey it only takes a few modifications to make it a pretty good Ranger, so Ranger will be a Fighter archetype)


I view the fighter as rugged badass who can take whatever gets thrown at him and keep going, doesn't back down unless he damn well wants to, is keenly aware of his surroundings so that he doesn't get ambushed, and sure as hell won't let some sparky fingers control his mind. They might be military NCOs or officers, patrol officers or detectives, gang members, bodyguards, guerilla rebels, or many other things. They get 6 skill points per level because the two biggest PC roles for them, military special forces and law enforcement, demand a wide variety of different skills, and have some additional class skills like Perception, Bluff, Sense Motive, and Diplomacy (a detective might use Bluff quite a bit to trick suspects or unwilling sources of information and can't be a good cop at all without Sense Motive, and a law enforcement official really should have at least the option of Diplomacy.) and Stealth and Survival (Guerilla warfare can require a lot of sneaking around, and the military special forces units that would appeal to PCs require the ability to move unseen and unheard. I have never heard of a special forces operative who did not possess wilderness survival training, and there are plenty of guerilla warriors who know a lot about the subject, too.). Their class's special thing is grit and deeds. They have D10 HD and good Fort and Will saves.


I view the rogue as someone incredibly skilled at a variety of things, excellent at finding alternative routes to a target, able to talk her way into or out of almost anything, and eccentric, mysterious, flashy, daring, or a mixture of the above. They come in as many varieties as imaginable, linked only by their cunning and ability to improvise. They are skilled fighters with anything they can get their hands on, even if it isn't supposed to be a weapon. They can be undercover cops, military special forces, criminals, spies, and many other things. They have a full BAB, 10 skill points per level, all skills are class skills, D8 HD, and good Reflex saves. Their class's special thing is ki, which will be renamed and given some additional uses. Nobody else can get their rogue talents, either, and they are considered proficient with improvised weapons. They do not get sneak attack. I do plan to create some new rogue talents, especially ones that use ki.


This one needs some more thinking. With firearms as the main method of combat Wild Shape is far less powerful, so the Druid needs to find something else to focus on. I dunno what yet. I have decided that Druids as a class have no specific attitude towards technology and human settlements, because Druids are split into several camps, some of which are hermits, nature dwellers, or ecoterrorists, some of which are advocates of sustainable development (very often disagreeing on methods and degrees), and some of which see people as needing to manage most parts of the environment directly. There is a major nation in the setting in which Druids have attained a huge degree of political clout, so these differences of opinions are often argued in a very public manner. So, there will not be a technological equivalent of the ban on metal armor, because a ton of Druids are fine with living in a city and owning things like television sets. Druids become Druids by having the ability to commune with Nature and thereby gain access to secret magics and rituals. Anyone can try to commune with nature, but Nature only responds to certain people, and the rules as to who gets a response and thereby becomes a Druid are clear only to Nature. Their unique ability is access to spells nobody else can ever get and something else that I haven't thought up yet, because I still need ideas. Wild Shape is a group of spells unique to the Druid and more powerful than the spells they derive from, and is considered a minor class feature.


A spellcaster who uses the art of mimicry heavily. By focusing on one specific creature, element, or environment to ritually emulate, a shaman gains some attributes of whatever their ritual was about. These attributes can be changed by performing another ritual, which takes about a day. Basically a reskinned Sorcerer that changes bloodlines.

As you can probably tell, magic in this setting tends to have deep nature connections, and that is why the Cleric et all got the boot. Those gods and heroes exist in popular legend, and there are legends of a time when the gods showed themselves to the world, but there is no proof at all that such a time actually existed, and nobody knows for sure whether or not their are gods at all. Nature worship is, of course, very common, given that Druids do get magic from communing with Nature, proving that Nature certainly has power. I also lack any sort of arcane/divine divide with magic.

Can anyone provide critiques and suggestions for me to use as I do the class progression writeups? Suggestions for the classes not yet listed here (There are Alchemists and Magi in this world, I just haven't gotten to them yet.)? Ideas for archetypes for the classes listed here? Ideas for new classes that don't exist in the Pathfinder rules?