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Class Acts: Wizard Archetypes (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 4 ratings)

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The Class Acts PDFs introduce new class options for the base classes and core classes featured in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Every PDF contains two full pages of high quality content (no fluff or filler)!

Class Acts: Wizard Archetypes includes two new wizard archetypes: the Animist and the Guild Scholar.

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Product Reviews (4)

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 4 ratings)

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Animate!

*****

Disclaimer: This is a review of a complimentary review copy of the product.

The Animist studies an arcane art long since lost to most wizardly schools and practices – the strange and wondrous ability to bestow the inanimate with a semblance of life! I think perhaps should be called the Animator, however that's the only issue I have with this product. (Animist is more about all objects having souls than about animating said objects, which is what this archetype is about.) These are the transmuters which are masters of animating objects, even their own weaponry, gaining Hand of the Animist, at first level which is identical to Hand of the apprentice, replacing telekinetic fist. Object Familiar (su) replaces Arcane Bond, and provides an animated object as a familiar, which is built using 1 Construction Point utilizing the Animate object rules in ultimate magic. Replacing the Shape Change ability is the Empower Familiar class ability, which allows an increasing of the animated object (including additional Construction Pts.) The Final ability replaces the 10th and 20th level bonus feats, but grants animate object and the ability to swap construction points for special attacks with the objects. This ONE archetype is worth the price of admission. However...an amazing NPC diviner is also added.

The Guild Scholar - Promising arcane academics sometimes pursue a unique training program that emphasizes research and study, both mundane and divinatory, and delves deep into the arcane sciences of glyphs, symbols, and other runic spells.
It fills an oft overlooked archetypical gap, that of a guild trained wizard researcher. While it's not a great PC archetype, I love the flavor of it, from the Bonded spellbook, to erase (simple but very flavorful to the class), Guild Runic (granting special powers when modifying scrolls and symbols. Guild researcher is perfect for representing the NPC Sage that you go to to look for answers to the hardest questions at breakfast, and then come back at tea time for your answer. Finally, the Capstone, the Guild scholar becomes an intelligent magic item book...a VERY intelligent one. Amazing way to pass down your old character's legacy to a new one, or as a piece of crucial treasure. Great for an NPC, decent for a player.

It's a Solid 19 of 20, almost as good as it gets.

Epic RPG Blog


2 innovative, cool archetypes for less than a buck - the best Class Act so far

*****

This pdf is 4 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving 2 pages of content for the new wizard archetypes, so let's check them out!

The first archetype is the animist: An Animist can put life into a weapon, attacking with melee weapons at range a limited number of times per day, gain an animated object familiar and expand construction points when casting "Animate Objects" to grant them special qualities. Damn, the Animist is just cool, doing something heretofore not done and making the animating wizard a cooler option - two thumbs up!

The second archetype is the Guild Scholar, whose spellbook is especially resistant and contains infinite pages. Better yet, at cost they can rewrite symbols and marks like the classic sepia snake sigil. And the coolness keeps coming - the guild scholar may empower his divinations by casting them as rituals when having access to a library, enabling the sue of a meta-magic feat without increasing the spell-level or alternately get bonuses to knowledge checks. Finally, at the capstone, the scholar can transfer his consciousness into his bonded spellbook, becoming an immortal intelligent magic item - cool way to cheat death and weave interesting yarns as well as a nice way to have old PCs from campaigns past matter. Again, two thumbs up!

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches this time around. Layout adheres to a no-frills two-column standard and the pdf has neither bookmarks, nor artworks, but needs neither at this low price point and length. I'll make it short: Both archetypes are awesome, imaginative and unique, have at least one or two innovative abilities and I have no balance concerns. No complaints whatsoever. I absolutely love both archetypes and thus my final verdict will be 5 stars + endzeitgeist seal of approval. Well done!

Endzeitgeist out.


****( )

There is something to be said for Archetypes, they bring a sense of freshness to an all to familiar class, without changing so much that things become unrecognizable. Abandoned Arts takes a step into Archetypes with an assortment of class offerings, this one being the Wizard. With two archetypes offered in a 4 page PDF (a page and a half being dedicated to the new archetypes), we are presented with the Animist, and the Guild Scholar. So let's take a look then, shall we?

Formatted as a single column page, stepping away from the dual column approach, we open with the definition of the archetype as per the Advanced Player's Guide from Paizo. As has become a standard from this publisher, each PDF opens with a clarification of exactly what they are in fact working with, according to Paizo.

Up first is the Animist, a specialist transmutationist with a knack for animating the inanimate. Now, for those out there who have always wanted a wizard living in Disney's Beauty & the Beast castle, well, this is your archetype folks. With the ability to cast one's melee weapon from your grasp to strike upon its own before returning. A familiar literally created out of whatever object you take a fancy to, since it is an animated object (got to admit, I liked that idea a lot), that you can reshape into whatever else you might wish it to be...

Now, one might thing the Guild Scholar is simply the nerds of the arcane world...and one might be write, but let us not dismiss them quite so easily. Tied to the divination school, these folks have an interesting alternative to arcane bond, the bonded spellbook. Forcing them to carry their book everywhere to cast without a penalty, but with an infinite amount of pages, the bonded spellbook removes the fear of running out of room in one's arcane pursuits for knowledge. And then of course there is the 20th level perk, transferring one's consciousness into the bonded spellbook, becoming an intelligent magic item upon the moment of one's death....yeah OK, admit it, not bad for the nerdy guy with the book. But, before we get to such a dramatic end, there's runes and symbols to learn to write and copy, all made easier with additional archetype abilities and perks.

Once again, Abandoned Arts has shown some interesting ideas and some creative design. Would I liked to have seen the Animist get more than a half of a page? Yes. Was the archetype still represented and presented well? Yes. Am I sold on the Guild Scholar? About halfway. The bonded spellbook is awesome, and I love the Runic Immortality idea of becoming one with your spellbook...but am not as excited about the runes and symbols, nor the Researcher ability...

So, final tally, going with a 4 star for this, as the Animist is full of excellent potential for creative storytelling, and there is enough there in the Guild Scholar to intrigue me, just not entirely sell me...yet.


Two Solid Archetypes at A Solid Price

****( )

As always, I just want make it known I was offered on the EnWorld forums (and did accept, obviously) a review copy of this product, if anyone finds that relevant. Now on to the review.

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First of all, the formatting, layout, spelling and grammar, and overall appeal are all spot-on, as all the Class Acts PDFs typically are. There is one small typo (an errant spacebar keystroke) in the text of the first archetype.

We've got two lengthy archetypes here: the Animist and the Guild Scholar, with the first being the show-stealer.

The animist is a wizard who adds animate objects to his spell list. Not only does he add this cleric spell to his wizard spell list, but he specializes in that particular spell in a way that no other caster, arcane or divine, can do. He gains an eventually-beastly animated object familiar, nets extra "construction points" when animating objects, can bestow special properties on his animated objects' attacks, and can "animate" weapons to attack for him (but not really). The things that you can do with animated objects and with your familiar are very cool, and seem well-balanced to me. Moreover, this archetype looks fun, and makes me want to play it. That's good design.

The guild scholar is a pretty solid archetype from a design and balance perspective, but it's lacking the animist's "oomph." I will say that it does gain a very cool capstone ability, although we all know how often those actually see play. Otherwise, the abilities it gains have everything to do with spellbooks, symbol spells, nonmagical research, and divination. Not the most exciting stuff (and probably slightly underpowered?), but a good read nonetheless. For the record, I think the Guild Runic special ability should have required ranks in Craft (calligraphy).

Both archetypes are more or less rock-solid and thematically interesting, with the animist being very mechanically interesting, perfectly balanced, and lots of fun, to boot.

In conclusion: Class Acts: Wizard Archetypes is a solid buy, and probably worth the price for the Animist alone. I give this one four stars. *****

- Sara McLean


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