Design an interesting class archetype in 450 words (a set of alternate class features for a specific class, not for a specific race) for use with one of the 11 core classes of Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook, the 6 base classes presented in the Advanced Player's Guide, the magus class presented in Ultimate Magic, or the gunslinger class presented in Ultimate Combat. An archetype alters a class by exchanging default class abilities of these classes for new class abilities. Examples of class archetypes appear in Chapter 2 of the Advanced Player's Guide and on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Reference Document. The archetype must be suitable for the River Kingdoms of Paizo's Golarion setting.
Entries from the Top 32 competitors must be submitted through the submission tool beginning at 2 PM Pacific time on January 22, 2013, and must be received by 2 PM Pacific time on January 25, 2013. As with Round 1, you probably shouldn't wait until the last minute to submit your archetype; Paizo has 4 alternates lined up to submit just in case one of the Top 32 fails to do so.
Voting begins at 2 PM Pacific Time on January 29, 2013, and ends at 2 PM Pacific Time on February 4, 2013. Judges will announce the top 16 entries on February 5, 2013.
For your convenience, the following text contains all the necessary formatting to make your submission comparable to those in the Advanced Player's Guide. You may copy this text to help format your submission, but are not required to do so. Remember that improperly formatted entries may be disqualified. You should not use ALL CAPS for any part of your archetype submission (Paizo's header format in books often looks like it is in all caps, but it isn't).
The following text goes in the Subject line of your submission: Archetype Name (Original Class Name)
The following text goes in the main text box of your submission: [b]Archetype Name (Original Class Name)[/b]
Your text goes here. This first paragraph is your descriptive introductory paragraph about the archetype. No game mechanics appear in this part of your submission. [b]Class Skills[/b]: Your text goes here. This should list any additional class skills that the original class does not have and any of the original class’s skills the archetype does not gain (in other words, do not create a complete list of all class skills for a character using the archetype). If your archetype does not alter the original class's class skills, omit this line. [b]Skill Ranks Per Level[/b]: Your text goes here. If your archetype does not alter the original class's skill ranks per level, omit this line. [b]Weapon and Armor Proficiency[/b]: Your text goes here. If your archetype does not alter the original class's weapon or armor proficiencies, omit this line. [b]Ability Name (Ex, Sp, or Su)[/b]: Your text goes here. Every new or altered ability your archetype has should have a bold entry like this one. Make sure you identify whether this ability is extraordinary (Ex), spell-like (Sp), or supernatural (Su) in the bold header. The ability should include a sentence that says which class feature of the original class it replaces, such as "This ability replaces evasion."
The following is an example of how to use the provided archetype format for your submission.
In the Subject line of the submission form: Rustic Druid (Druid)
In the main text box of the submission form: Rustic Druid (Druid)
A rustic druid typically lives on a remote farm or ranch in the River Kingdoms and uses her abilities to grow excellent crops or produce exceptional livestock. Rustic druids are bucolic and down to earth, concerned more with tending animals, playing folk music, and cooking delicious food than interacting with people. Class Skills: A rustic druid gains Perform as a class skill and does not gain Spellcraft as a class skill. Country Cooking (Su): At 3rd level, a rustic druid can spend 1 hour preparing a meal for up to 6 creatures. The meal takes 1 hour to consume, after which the creatures gain a +2 bonus on Fortitude saves for the next 12 hours. This ability replaces trackless step. Plant Speech (Su): At 4th level, a rustic druid can speak with any plant as if using speak with plants. This ability replaces resist nature’s lure. Stubborn Hayseed (Ex): At 9th level, a rustic druid gains a +4 bonus on saving throws against enchantment effects. This ability replaces venom immunity.
WORD COUNT: The entire submission (everything that appears in the main text box of your submission, including the name of the archetype and the original class's name), must not exceed 450 words. The submission form includes a Preview button to view what your submission will look like, and using the Preview button will give you a total word count for your submission as part of the subject line. You are strongly encouraged to use the Preview button to review your submission to make sure your submission doesn't exceed the word count. Using the Preview button also lets you check to make sure the formatting (with the included bold-text tags) is correct.
RIVER KINGDOMS: The archetype must be something appropriate to the River Kingdoms region of Paizo’s Pathfinder campaign setting. The River Kingdoms is a collection of small city-states and independent towns bound together by a code of justice called the Six River Freedoms. More information on the River Kingdoms can be found in The Inner Sea World Guide and Guide to the River Kingdoms. An archetype that is not appropriate to the River Kingdoms (specifically, one designed for another country such as Cheliax or Osirion) will be disqualified.
GAME BALANCE: Knowing how to balance your archetype's power level is a significant part of the Round 2 challenge. For example, if you trade a class's +2 bonus on saving throws for a +8 bonus on saving throws, your archetype is significantly more powerful than the base class. Keep the overall balance of the class's power in mind when designing your archetype. In general, it is best to replace one ability from the original class for a new archetype ability of the same power level, rather than replacing two or more abilities from the original class to add a new archetype ability that is as powerful as both original class abilities combined.
DISQUALIFICATION: Submissions may be disqualified for the following reasons:
Submission is not an archetype. Note that the Advanced Player's Guide includes new rules that are not archetypes and therefore are not valid submissions for Round 2 of RPG Superstar. Examples of these invalid rules are barbarian rage powers, cleric subdomains, alternate classes like the anti-paladin, ranger combat styles, rogue talents, sorcerer bloodlines, wizard schools, alchemist discoveries, cavalier orders, oracle mysteries or revelations, summoner evolutions, or witch hexes or patrons. Your submission must be an archetype.
Submission is not an archetype of one of the 11 core classes in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook (barbarian, bard, cleric, druid, fighter, monk, paladin, ranger, rogue, sorcerer, wizard), one of the 6 base classes in the Advanced Player's Guide (alchemist, cavalier, inquisitor, oracle, summoner, witch), the magus base class in Ultimate Magic, or the gunslinger base class in Ultimate Combat.
Submission exceeds 450 words.
Submission is not suitable for the River Kingdoms region of Paizo’s Pathfinder campaign setting.
Submission does not conform to the rules of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
Submission is copied from a previously published source.
Submission uses rules, archetypes, or copyrighted material from publishers other than Paizo.
Submission does not generally use correct English.
Every voter gets 8 votes this round, allowing you to vote for up to 8 submitted archetypes. You cannot vote more than once for any particular archetype. You can revise your votes at any time while the voting period is open. You are allowed to vote for yourself.
How much can I change a class before it is too much of a change for an archetype?
The 450-word limit prevents you from making too many changes. However, you could make significant changes in just a few words, such as by giving a sorcerer archetype the bard or summoner spell progression. Note that it is possible to make an archetype that skews too far from the standard class—for example, a wizard that can't cast spells and has no other magical abilities isn't much of a wizard. You should also read judge Sean K Reynolds's archetype advice on our messageboards.
Can I refer to class abilities in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook or Advanced Player's Guide?
Yes. For example, you could say:
At 6th level, the subtle singer gains a +1d6 sneak attack, as the rogue ability of the same name. This ability replaces suggestion.
However, you should understand that giving your archetype class abilities from other classes is not particularly creative or innovative, and the judges and voters are more likely to respond to new ideas and abilities. This is not to say that you shouldn't use these existing abilities at all, but an archetype that consists of nothing but swapped class abilities is probably a poor submission.
In previous competitions, there has been a "secret twist" revealed when the round starts. Is that happening this year?
Yes, although we're revealing the "twist" when voting closes for a round, rather than waiting until the next round begins, to give the contestants more time to prepare. The twist for the Round Two (archetype) design task is you must design an archetype suitable for the River Kingdoms of Paizo's Golarion setting.
Yes, though that is not likely to be a good example of your design talent. Remember that you're in a competition with other designers to see who can get the most votes for a cool and interesting archetype, and making changes to an archetype in the Advanced Player's Guide isn't likely to impress many voters.
Provided the campaign has never been published, this is fine, but keep in mind that all submissions become the property of Paizo Publishing, LLC. You are probably better off inventing a new world-reference or using Paizo's setting. Furthermore, your submission must be something appropriate to the River Kingdoms region of Paizo's Golarion campaign setting&,dash;make sure you adapt your archetype to fit the River Kingdoms.