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Advanced Class Guide

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Just a few weeks ago, we announced the Pathfinder RPG Advanced Class Guide, an exciting new addition to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game due out next summer. While we talked about it a fair bit at Gencon, this blog post is here to get you caught up on all the news!

This 256-page rulebook will contain 10 new classes, each a mix of two existing classes, taking a bit from each class and adding new mechanics to give you a unique character. Around the office we're calling them "hybrid classes." You can think of the magus (from Ultimate Magic) as our first test of this concept. It takes some rules from the fighter, some rules from the wizard, and then adds its own unique mechanics.

At this point, you're probably wondering what new classes you can expect to see in the Advanced Class Guide. So far, we've announced five of the ten classes.

Bloodrager: This blend of sorcerer and barbarian can call upon the power of his blood whenever he goes into a rage. He also has a limited selection of spells he can call upon, even when in a mindless fury!

Hunter: Taking powers from both the druid and the ranger, the hunter is never without her trusted animal companion, hunting down foes with lethal accuracy.

Shaman: Calling upon the spirits to aid her, the shaman draws upon class features of the oracle and the witch. Each day, she can commune with different spirits to aid her and her allies.

Slayer: Look at all the blood! The slayer blends the rogue and the ranger to create a character that is all about taking down particular targets.

Warpriest: Most religions have martial traditions, and warpriests are often the backbones of such orders. This mix of cleric and fighter can call upon the blessings of the gods to defeat enemies of their faiths.

Of course, those are just half the classes in this book. There are four more we have yet to reveal.

"Four?" you say. "But I thought there were ten!" And you would be right—because I'm about to let you in on another of the classes that will appear in this book, which we haven't announced until this moment!

Swashbuckler: Break out your rapier and your wit! The swashbuckler uses panache and daring to get the job done, blending the powers of the fighter and the gunslinger! For those of you who don't use guns in your campaign, fear not—the base class is not proficient in firearms (although there will certainly be an archetype in the book that fix that).

But that's not all! This book will also contain archetypes for all 10 new classes, as well as a selection to help existing classes play with some of the new features in this book. There will also be feats and spells to support these new classes, as well as magic items that will undoubtedly become favorites for nearly any character. Last but not least, the final chapter in this book will give you a peek inside the design process for classes and archetypes, giving you plenty of tips and guides to build your own! Since class design is more art than science, this won't be a system (like in the Advanced Race Guide), but rather a chapter giving you advice on how the process works.

So, there you go. That's six of the 10 classes that will appear in the Advanced Class Guide and an overview of what else you can expect from this exciting new book. While it's due to release next August, you won't have to wait too long to get your hands on these classes, because we're planning to do a public playtest here this fall! Check back here for more news as the playtest draws close!

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
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2 people marked this as a favorite.

I was worried about 10 more classes, but this makes me feel a little bit better. Some example of unbalanced versus balanced might be nice for the design chapter. Heck things from playtests and or the PFRPG Beta could be used.

Marathon Voter 2013

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Swashbuckler that isn't a fighter / rogue? Color me intrigued.

Marathon Voter 2013

13 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am happy to see that there won't be a class creation system, and doubly happy to see that there'll be some tips and guidelines for creation of archetypes and classes.


This is so bloody exciting! I can't wait to play a swashbuckler! Very much looking forward to this book!


Isn't a Gunslinger already a Fighter except with Guns and Deeds instead of all the bonus feats?

Scarab Sages

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Swashbuckler: fighter using the Grit mechanics....

Marathon Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Is the Hunter basically the Nature Warden, The Base Class?

Marathon Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TheCSpider wrote:
Isn't a Gunslinger already a Fighter except with Guns and Deeds instead of all the bonus feats?

It was at one point. But then they moved away from the idea of it being a fighter alternative class.

Scarab Sages

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Wait wait, bloodrager? No, it can't be possibly a 4 level full bab arcane caster? That would be unconstitutional!


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Cheapy wrote:
I am happy to see that there won't be a class creation system, and doubly happy to see that there'll be some tips and guidelines for creation of archetypes and classes.

This. Advice is so much more useful to me than a point-based system is.

Also the bloodrager and shaman would be fun to mix in with a bunch of barbarians to build a tribal war band. It's nice that we'll have more classes that fit that archetype.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Cheapy wrote:
Is the Hunter basically the Nature Warden, The Base Class?

I can't help wondering if (following how the magus is EK as a base class) the four unannounced hybrids might include base class versions of Mystic Theurge, Arcane Archer, and Arcane Trickster (and one other).


Thanks Jason!

Dark Archive

Cheers Jason,

Glad there is no total system on class creation mechanics, that would be just a can of worms with the theory builders about having RAW to back arguments up. The guidelines will instead allow GMs and players to have sensible discussions on the subject. And besides, how would Paizo justify making new classes in the future?

The Swashbuckler is a fine idea, the Grit (or Derring-Do) points for stylish actions will be popular.

If Bloodrager has 4th level arcane spells, that'll be just what the doctor ordered.

DarthPinkHippo wrote:


Also the bloodrager and shaman would be fun to mix in with a bunch of barbarians to build a tribal war band. It's nice that we'll have more classes that fit that archetype.

Indeed. Throw in a savage bard and you have a super-competent balanced tribe.

I'll be making a Shaman first. Curses, revelations and hexes will make for some bad, bad juju...


Are you guys toying around with hybrid PrC's or archtypes?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Ranger has always been my favorite class since DnD V1, with Druid as #3. Now a class that combines them !!!!!!

Woo Hoo !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- david


14 people marked this as a favorite.

This is exciting! I'm going to high-five strangers today as I walk around, pretending that they are Paizo staff. Awesome!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Very interested in this book! I think making the swashbuckler as a grit using fighter is a great idea. Also, Bloodrager might be usable as the base class version of a dragon disciple that I've been waiting for :D


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yes, Swashbuckler! Not exactly the class combination I was thinking (I'd personally have gone in the direction of Fighter/Ranger with a heavy focus on acrobatics), but I'm sure it will be good. Looking forward to the playtest!

Thanks, Jason!

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Matrix Dragon wrote:
Very interested in this book! I think making the swashbuckler as a grit using fighter is a great idea. Also, Bloodrager might be usable as the base class version of a dragon disciple that I've been waiting for :D

You are so right. Bloodrager is bound to be great with Dragon Disciple.

RAAAWR


22 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

"Announcing the Swashbuckler...so you can stop nagging Jason about it in the off topic forum"


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Swashbuckler mechanic proposal I've used before: A witty putdown so good it can interrupt spell casting.Can't wait for this!

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I have to admit I'm happy to hear the way that the Swashbuckler is being done (I'm not a huge fan of the concept, but QSS), as it's quite thematic for them. Honestly the thing that's getting me the most excited is the Bloodrager, as it seems like a class with a lot of promise that's exploring a rather untapped niche.

One thing I both do and don't like is that these classes are hybrids, as while it gives them access to previously released material (I'd be shocked if the Bloodrager didn't have access to Rage Powers), it also stifles more new features.

When we look at the new classes from the APG, the real standouts there (at least to me) were the Alchemist and Summoner, as they were the ones breaking the most new ground. Every other class felt like a shuffling of mechanics, and I'm not incredibly excited to see 10 new classes that base around that. There's been a lot of buzz about people wanting an Artificer, as well as a more competent Monk, and I'd really like to see the direction those are heading in, as at least the Artificer has the chance to be very different from what we already have.

I guess what I'm looking forward is to new mechanics rather than a shuffling of older ones, as I've been very happy with what's been done already in that respect. Seeing this as a chance to really go out and do something crazy and dangerous seems like the best reason to make new classes, to enter new territory that would really help make Pathfinder its own game.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hopefully some more spontaneous arcane casters besides bloodrager! Can't wait!

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
MMCJawa wrote:
"Announcing the Swashbuckler...so you can stop nagging Jason about it in the off topic forum"

Don't worry, we have a list of other things to bother him with :3


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I like the sound of the Slayer. I love rogues but I've always wanted to play one less skilly, more killy. So I'm glad to see this. And I also am happy to finally see a shaman in here!

Sczarni

Woo, Slayer!

I hope these classes are designed with prestige classes in mind -- not just as replacements for "classic" PrCs like Eldritch Knight, Mystic Theurge, or Assassin, but as either distinct alternatives to them or really good gateways into those prestige classes.

For example, Magus vs. Eldritch Knight is good design, because while they share some conceptual overlap, they are still quite distinct in their strengths (EK eventually gets a lot more spellcasting than a Magus does, for example).

It would be really cool if you could build a Slayer/Assassin and it would be distinct from both a standard Rogue/Assassin and a straight Slayer.

Dark Archive Star Voter 2013

One of the items I really liked in 4ED D&D was that in the PH3 they had ½classes that made character creation a bit more flexable. I understand pathfinder is already flexible with the feats and multiclassing but this makes many items much easier and balanced.

Please have a Pal/Sorc!!!


Now that I think about it, the Blood Rager would be perfect for a character concept I had of a Barbarian/Dragon Sorcerer that went into Dragon Disciple. Most excellent!


I wonder, what will be the mechanical differences between Warpriest and Inquisitor? I am curious, because I did not really see the need for such a class.

Maybe more akin to the Ranger, with full BAB but only four levels of spells?


Jiggy wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
Is the Hunter basically the Nature Warden, The Base Class?
I can't help wondering if (following how the magus is EK as a base class) the four unannounced hybrids might include base class versions of Mystic Theurge, Arcane Archer, and Arcane Trickster (and one other).

It seems like they're also potentially addressing the problems Fighters (Swashbuckler) and Rogues (Slayer) have, so "(and one other)" might be something to bring Monks in line with the other classes?

Count my interest piqued. I've been wanting to do a Cyrano de Bergerac style character, and Fighter/Cleric was one of my favorite multi classes back in the day, so I'm really curious about Warpriests and Swashbucklers.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Huzah! Swashbuckler! I've been working on my own homebrew version of the class that sounds very much like this (basically a melee fighter using a charisma based grit like mechanic). It is a really good fit. I look forward to seeing what the rest of them are like. Looking forward to the playtest, I know I'll be trying these classes out.

Silver Crusade

This is going to be fun...


Looking forward to pitting these classes against my PCs in the playtest.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Kudos on pursuing the swashbuckler. That would work well for a gunpowder-themed pirate crew in Skull & Shackles, something similar for Razor Coast, or even a musketeer-type campaign (with or without the actual muskets) set in Galt.

Lots of promise for the other hybrid classes, as well. I like this approach. It adds an extra rules option to the archetypes and prestige classes for customizing character builds.

::thumbs up::

Marathon Voter 2013

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Woo, Slayer! \m/


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

This swashbuckler concept is most intriguing...


I like what I see so far! Swashbuckler and slayer are my favorites at the moment. Can't wait for the playtest :)


8 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm... on the fence. A lot of these do sound interesting, and the magus did pull off the old and notorious fighter/wizard hybrid very well, so there's some precedent.

But one of my favorite things about PF as a system is that the archetypes allow the handful of "vanilla" classes to cover a wide range of concepts, even by combining elements from other classes sometimes. Unlike in 3.5, you don't need a special scout class (for example) when you can just tweak a ranger or rogue to fit the niche. In fact, I'd argue that the ninja and samurai should have just been meaty rogue and cavalier archetypes, but that's behind us now.

Furthermore, a lot of these concepts were already very close together. Rangers were already pretty similar to druids and rogues, and "battle clerics" have never been very hard to make. The magus works so well because wizards and fighters have virtually no overlap, so combining them creates something very new. From what we've seen, the battlerager is probably closest to this formula, and I'm actually pretty interested in seeing it. The barbarian and the sorcerer are already like dumber, flashier cousins to the fighter and wizard.

ALL THAT SAID, I'm interested in all the other material this book offers, even if I'm not guaranteed to buy it (or let my players use some of these hybrids if I'm feeling really curmudgeony). If there's one thing I'm always grateful for, it's the online reference document.

Grand Lodge

7 people marked this as a favorite.

I like where this is going, but not to be a spoil sport but, Jason, you really need to work on your naming conventions.

Bloodrager = great idea but terrible name. Please consider Marauder, Conqueror, or vanquisher. Something less fake compound word sounding.

Hunter = It sounds more like a warden.

Shaman and Slayer are ok.

Warpriest = Templar, crusader, champion or perhaps sentinel.

Swashbuckler = Normally just fine, but there is an archetype by that name. To avoid confusion consider buccaneer.

There I got it off my chest, otherwise I'm really looking forward to this one.

Liberty's Edge

Zombie Ninja wrote:

Bloodrager = great idea but terrible name. Please consider Marauder, Conqueror, or vanquisher. Something less fake compound word sounding.

My thought would be that since these classes are going to be pulling class features and abilities from existing classes, this is probably a good indication that this class will have both the Barbarian's Rage and the Sorcerer's Bloodline(s).

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber

Ooooh, the Swashbuckler is a combo of Fighter and Gunslinger. My favorite character ever was a Swashbuckler who was essentially a Fighter/Rogue/Gunslinger. Delthos was his name. This makes me happy.

Grand Lodge

Ssalarn wrote:
Zombie Ninja wrote:

Bloodrager = great idea but terrible name. Please consider Marauder, Conqueror, or vanquisher. Something less fake compound word sounding.

My thought would be that since these classes are going to be pulling class features and abilities from existing classes, this is probably a good indication that this class will have both the Barbarian's Rage and the Sorcerer's Bloodline(s).

Then call it the tempest, basically a furious storm. Sorry but bloodrager doesn't sound like a anything to me, maybe a class ability, but not a class.

Marathon Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well, it's a bit better than sounding like a Shakespearean play.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Zombie Ninja wrote:

I like where this is going, but not to be a spoil sport but, Jason, you really need to work on your naming conventions.

Bloodrager = great idea but terrible name. Please consider Marauder, Conqueror, or vanquisher. Something less fake compound word sounding.

Hunter = It sounds more like a warden.

Shaman and Slayer are ok.

Warpriest = Templar, crusader, champion or perhaps sentinel.

Swashbuckler = Normally just fine, but there is an archetype by that name. To avoid confusion consider buccaneer.

There I got it off my chest, otherwise I'm really looking forward to this one.

Quote:
Warpriest = Templar, crusader, champion or perhaps sentinel.
Quote:
Warpriest = Templar

Oh f*** the hell YES. [/hellsingabridged]


I'm eager to see how this plays out, especially the Shaman....
I may actually be able to do a more traditional version of a Warlock after all ;)

I hope they plan on having WR do iconics of the new classes :P

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Cards, Maps Subscriber

I really hope they put out a Hybrid Oracle/ Sorcerer.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Bloodrager- I do not like the name or the concept behind it, if I was going to combine sorcerer with another class it would monk, fighter, or rouge. Personally I would much rather have a class that uses d8HD, cleric BA, and two good saves, a class that focuses on bloodline powers so you could play a monster character with some combat ability and little or no spell casting.

Shaman- If it's not going to be a cha based spontaneous caster with the druid's spell list and chooses a totem animal spirit that acts as it's mystery/bloodline then I am not interested. If it uses the Witch's spell list then call it a Wicca, Witchdoctor, or even Warlock but do not call it a shaman.

Swashbuckler- A fighter plus Gunslinger, Meh, now if you add rouge instead of gunslinger then I will be interested. What we really need is a dex based fighter class that is worth it and has some cool rouge abilities.

Hunter- Might be interesting it if focuses more on the animal companion. though if that was the case I would prefer the name Beastmaster and that it could get a magical beast companion or at least turn it's animal companion into a magical beast at a certain level.

Slayer- I would much rather have a Ranger+Monk hybrid so I could play a class like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and no, I am not kidding.

Warpriest- Interesting but call them Templars, Crusaders, or maybe even Champions. I can't wait to see what these blessings are like.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Zombie Ninja wrote:
To avoid confusion consider buccaneer.

Buccaneer is a Bard archetype in Pirates of the Inner Sea and a Gunslinger archetype in the Advanced Race Guide. Swashbuckler is fine as a base class name, and if anything the Rogue archetype is more of a slashbuckler than a swashbuckler.

And assuming Jason is reading this, PLEASE make sure that there is SOME sort of reference to the fact that Prestige Classes exist in this book. The fact that they hardly appear at all after nearly six years of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game's history is a travesty at best. Even if they were over used and over done, they are still a fundamental part of 3.5's Legacy.

At the very least, I would like for tips for building Prestige Classes specifically to appear in this book. The book's not called the Advanced Base Class Guide, after all!

Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Very interesting...


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
Swashbuckler- A fighter plus Gunslinger, Meh, now if you add rouge instead of gunslinger then I will be interested. What we really need is a dex based fighter that is worth it.

Love you to death, Dragon, but that statement is REALLY contradictory.

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