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Champion of Philosophy (Cavalier)


Round 2 - Top 32: Create an archetype

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Champion of Philosophy (Cavalier)
By devoting himself to a philosophical ideal rather than a knightly order, a cavalier gains great power to enforce his beliefs.
Alignment:Champion of philosophy must be neutral good, neutral evil, lawful neutral or chaotic neutral.
Moral Devotion: A champion of philosophy devotes his life to the teachings of his alignment (law, chaos, good or evil). Many of his class abilities affect opponents he would consider heretics. For the purpose of these abilities any foe whose alignment opposes his on either axis is considered a heretic. For example a lawful neutral champion would consider all chaotic opponents to be heretics. A champion must act in accordance with his alignment, failing to do so results in the loss of all abilities concerning heretics for a period of 24 hours. This ability replaces order.
Defy Heretic (Ex): Whenever a champion of philosophy issues a challenge to a heretic, he gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC as long as he is threatening the target of the challenge. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels the champion possesses.
Detect Heretic (Sp): At 1st level, a champion of philosophy can use Detect Evil, Law, Good, or Chaos as appropriate for his alignment. He may do this at will. This ability replaces tactician.
Protection from Heretics (Sp):At 2nd level, a champion of philosophy gains the constant effect of a Protection from spell of a type opposite to his moral devotion.
Banner (Ex): This ability functions much the same as the cavalier ability, except that the bonus applies to saves against effects with an alignment type opposite to the champion's moral devotion.
Philosophical Discourse (Ex): At 4th level, a champion of philosophy adds ½ his class level to Intimidate checks against heretics. This ability replaces expert trainer.
Magic Circle Against Heretics (Sp):At 8th level a champion of philosophy's protection from heretics becomes a Magic Circle Against effect instead.
Battle Heretic (Su) At 9th level, a champion of philosophy's natural weapons as well as any weapon he wields are considered to have his alignment type for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction. This ability replaces greater tactician.
Denounce Heretic (Sp): At 15th level, once per day a champion of philosophy can use Holy Word, Dictum, Blasphemy, or Word of Chaos as appropriate for his alignment.
Slaughter Heretic (Su): At 17th level, any magic weapon (+1 enhancement bonus or greater) is treated as either Holy, Axiomatic, Unholy or Anarchic when held by a champion of philosophy, as appropriate for this alignment. This quality may not cause the weapon's effective enhancement bonus to exceed +10. This quality disappears when the weapon leaves the champion's possession. This ability replaces master tactician.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

A cavalier archetype with an alignment restriction...all so the can be a champion of a certain philsophy. Interesting. Let's see how this one shakes out, shall we?

First, I get the need to define such a cavalier's moral devotion as well as what it means to be a heretic in relation to that devotion. Having a cavalier lose access to such heretic-affecting powers for just 24 hours, however, feels wrong to me. Like an ex-paladin or ex-cleric, I'd expect an atonement to become necessary to help such a cavalier rediscover his philosophical devotion.

Next up, we've got an escalating dodge bonus to AC against heretics. I'm not sure I'm cool with that. Dodge bonuses should be used sparingly, as they stack with themselves. And cavaliers already get a access to heavy armor, etc. Is it really necessary to give them further protection against heretics?

I like the Detect Heretic ability. Very appropriate. It's kind of like detect evil for a paladin. And I guess at this point, I start mentally comparing this build to a paladin.

The Protection From Heretics ability further reinforces that we're migrating into paladin-esque territory now with the protection from alignment abilities. Same thing with the magic circle against alignment as well. And then the Denounce Heretic ability by duplicating holy word etc. seemingly comes without having to lose anything from the base cavalier's class abilities...which seems odd to me.

I like most of the rest of the stuff, trading out all the tactician teamwork-oriented stuff to build up the champion's weapon against opposing alignments.

All in all, this is pretty polished and professional in presentation. I think the idea is sound. If further developing this archetype, I'd definitely compare it to a paladin the whole way through for playtesting and game balance. Along with the assassin's rose as your wondrous item, you've shown me enough here that I'm interested in seeing what you'll come up with next.

As such, I RECOMMEND this archetype design to advance to the next round.

CEO, Goblinworks

Total Points: 4 Points
Recommendation: Recommended for advancement

Comments In Detail

Name & Theme (1 point)
Good name and good theme

Mechanics (.5 point)
Mechanics are sound except the use of a Dodge bonus. Dodge stacks with itself and they can add up fast. Characters in heavy armor, riding mounts, and using big weapons shouldn't have them anyway.

I'm worried that although there's a lot of meat on this class, a simple choice by the GM could render most of it moot. You're gambling that you make the right alignment choice at character creation and that the GM feeds to that choice as you play. I guess you just pick NG and hope.

Awesomeness (1 point)
Pretty awesome, all things considered!

Template (1 point)
Good use of the template

Context (.5 point)
I'd much rather have seen this built on the Paladin class. You're not really a Knight here, you're a Defender of the Faith - a subtle (but important) distinction.

Paizo Employee Developer

Interesting direction, Nick. I see this much as the cavalier version of 3.5's variant paladins in Unearthed Arcana. Let's see how you did!

This whole archetype contains some strange sentence constructions and could be linguistically tightened up. Most of this comes from the need to define existing abilities, like protection from xxx spells with a variable definition of heretic. The whole heretic mechanic seems off to me, and though I understand it, it's a bit clunky and could really benefit from streamlining.

That aside, let's look at how you actually use this new mechanic. First, I'm with Neil that the scaling dodge bonus to AC is too much for the same reasons Neil mentions. I like the idea that there are mechanical benefits of going after those philosophically opposed to a member of this archetype, but I don't think this one is the right design decision.

In many ways, this is a backdoor design for a non-LG paladin, as your trading out a lot of the abilities that make cavaliers cavaliers. Eliminating order cuts down a huge chunk of the class's customizability, while taking away tactician and expert trainer which cement them as mounted battlefield leaders, replacing these with spell-like abilities and something mimicking a paladin's divine bond ability. While I can see the attraction to building pseudo-paladins in this manner, I think this archetype would have functioned better as an actual paladin archetype.

I'm torn on this one, as I think there's a clear spot in the game for champions of extreme alignments, but I do think you approached that niche in an awkward way. There are no huge balance issues here that I can see, but you have created a class with 4 options where there was formerly a class with many orders and variables to pick from. I can neither recommend this for advancement nor advise for you to be voted off the island, so I'll abstain from a decision and leave it to the voters. Best of luck!

Contributor

First of all, a super-nitpick: You didn't put the original class's name in the title of your submission!! Punish, punish!

Moral Devotion: Interesting. This is sort of an end-around the "you can't create a new order" rule for Round 2.

Detect Heretic: I assume that "as appropriate" means you're detecting the alignment opposite your own... you're not a lawful guy detecting lawfuls.

Protection from Heretics/Battle Heretic/Denounce Heretic/Slaughter Heretic: Okay, here's the thing. Obviously this is emulating a kind of paladin. And it's doing the whole "paladin of any alignment" thing, which is a noble effort, but unless you really go out of your way to customize the abilities, they all end up pretty bland and the same.

But the main thing is: you've taken one of the few completely nonmagical classes in the game and you've given it a bunch of Sp and Su abilities. Which is just really weird to me, like taking away most of the magical abilities from a wizard.

This all adds up to me not feeling right about this submission. You toed the line of what was allowed re: creating a new order, you created a paladin-like cavalier, you created an "easy" way to do a paladin of any alignment, and you gave a bunch of magical abilities to a nonmagical class. None of those is an actual failing, it's just setting a weird precedent that you're going to create stuff that goes in directions that we didn't ask for or that we know are problematic choices. And that worries me.

RECOMMENDATION: I do NOT recommend this archetype design for advancement in the competition.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014

I edited the title of this thread. The original version omitted "(Cavalier)" from the thread title.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013

Thanks for the input judges! You're seeing a lot of thing here that I didn't, I guess that's why you're pro's. I wish I could elaborate, but that'll have to wait I suppose. Sorry about the title and thanks again.

Best if luck everyone!

Shadow Lodge

I actually really like the things the judges docked you on: the dodge bonus, the Sp/Su, and alignment restriction. I'm definitely going to vote for this one. :)

Qadira

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

I could see plenty of places for this archetype!

Voted.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter 2013, Champion Voter 2014

I have been kinda disappointed by the archetypes so far, but I really like this one.

1. Is it balanced?
Yes
2. RPability?
Definitely
3. Combatiness?
Loses a lil, but not much
4. Would I play it?
This is the one of three archetypes in round 2 I would play in any campaign.


I'm inclined to like this one. I really do not care for the way the Pathfinder cavalier works (give me a PHB2 knight any day!), and my least favorite aspects of the class are the orders, which are totally out of keeping with the flavor of my game.

This archetype feels much more neutral and makes me want to give the class a try. It's not the spiciest, sexiest thing I've ever read, but I could play this character in almost any game and find an appropriate role. Big thumbs up.

Osirion RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka Steven T. Helt

I think I'll end up voting for this one, but I am not really sold on it. Why not LG and CE? Those are extreme alignemnts and based on some sort of defensible principle. Watch The Dark Knight and see if you think the Joker is fighting for his alignment. If you use the paladin/antipaladin defense, you should have gone straight to paladin instead of cavalier.

The challenge ability seems overpowered. Does it replace the normal challenge ability? It doesn't say so, and if not, it's the best challenge in the game. Why NOT be Order of the (Shadow?) Dragon, and gain oth bonuses as long as I threaten? Given your initial decription, I'd say that if the abilities stack, it's way to powerful, and if the abilties don't al you've done is given the cavalier a set of alignment based orders to join instead of the original ones, which is not an archetype.

The 17th level ability pales i comparison to the sacred bond a paladin might get with his weapon. In effect, your non-paladin calavier gets BOTH sacred bonds, just many level apart. Making the weapon holy for free is not as good as the paladin weapon, but getting a free holy weapon in addition to the weapon you already have and the mount is pretty tough. That it doesn't have a duration or activation makes it better: so the cavalier with Quickdraw has a whole efficient quiver full of holy weapons? every bow? all ammo? guns? Sweet!

I'm torn, it doesn't offer an archetype as I understand it, so I should disqualify it, but then the other archetypes are not good yet. You might jsut squeak by, in which case, be very unique and original in the next round.

And I really hope Paizo isn't going to ask you all for villain stat blocks using these archetypes. but I bet they do.


You`re getting my vote.
I think this is a solid rendition of your idea, and all the mechanics seem fairly balanced and functional. It`s pretty much a Cavalier-Paladin hybrid for non-LG/CE Alignments, i.e. an alternate aligment Paladin/Anti-Paladin... I think the way you went actually IS a pretty reasonable way to model that.
With your Wondrous Item, I feel like you will do good things in future rounds... Good Luck!


I am tired so I am to lazy to say why I like it, but you made the keep folder.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

I actually kind of wanted to like this one because your item was a personal favorite of mine, but everything here seems rather stale and predictable to me. Dodge bonus against enemy alignment, protection spell against enemy alignment, detect enemy alignment, turn a bonus vs. fear into a bonus vs [enemy alignment] effects, intimidate vs enemy alignment, magic circle against enemy alignment.. and that's it.

I can't be too harsh, because it's all perfectly appropriate and I don't think anything here is too powerful, it's just all really obvious and straightforward. Almost bland. I'm sure there are players who dig this but I don't think it really shows off any of your creativity.

The one touch I most liked was the name "Philosophical Discourse"; it's a comically polite way to describe what is certainly an ugly business (vicious threats and righteous furry) and that fits great with the character of the cavalier class. Likewise, the fact that offenses only shut down your powers for 24 hours fits the cavalier mentality just fine.

Overall I'm not a fan, but I'm sure there are those who are and wish you luck.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Very fine Paladin variant... whaddya mean it's not a Paladin?
Oh noes, somebody finally dared to make a simpler, workable Cavalier without little bonuses and weird limitations?
Let's keep it :)

In all seriousness, this is a very creative take on a holy warrior archetype. Without spells, the author managed to produce versatile and original class. As it reminds me of versatility of classes from Arcana Unearthed/Evolved, this gets my vote.

Verdict: RECOMMENDED.

Regards,
Ruemere

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I wanted to like this because I play a cavalier in PFS, played one the beta play test, and I was hoping a cavalier archetype would bring back what was lost when the final version came out without oaths.

Unfortunately I have to say that I would have liked it better if this was done as an order, and I think doing it this way was just a way of getting around the contest prohibition against submitting new orders as archetypes.

So, none for me, thanks.

Star Voter 2013

Not bad, but not great. I also really don't like reusing the word heretic in every single ability. Sure, you're using it to specify who it effects, but that should happen in the description, not in every ability name.

In the name of nine new abilities, you use Heretic seven times. I get it already, jees.

Osirion RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

It's an archetype that isn't exactly an order; a clever, if risky end-run around the contest rules but it works.

Many of the extra abilities you give don't have trade-offs, aside from the "if you act against your alignment you lose everything for 24 hours" rule, which is a non-restriction unless you and your GM disagree about alignment.

Constant Protection from Evil/Magic Circle vs. Evil was a massively overpowered ability for paladins in 1st Ed and it still is now - total immunity from natural weapons of opposite-aligned summoned creatures (and even vs. melee attacks without reach weapons) once magic circle kicks in) and immunity from enchantment (charm) and enchantment (compulsion) effects as long as the ability lasts... which is forever. Plus that little free +2 deflection/+2 resistance thing.

The ability also doesn't stipulate a caster level, so we don't know how hard it is to dispel or overcome with SR (for bodily contact or breaching the magic circle), nor what kind of action it is to renew it if it gets dispelled. For such an uber ability, you really need to include that kind of info.

Other than that, I like the name and the concept of the powers, and I don't mind a bit that you are making what is essentially a paladin-flavored cavalier, since there have been cavalier-flavored paladins since the cat was a kitten. There's room to gravitate towards the midpoint from both sides.

Your entry is generally solid, but has some serious problems. There are some format and syntax issues, but nothing earth-shatteringly bad. The voters will decide which way it goes.

Congrats on making the 2nd round, and best of luck.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter 2013

Ok, funny I voted for this, but forgot to comment.

I like this. We already have the precedent of classes that are extraordinary gaining supernatural abilities (Rogue talents for examples). I like this.
Almost as much as I like the Hound Tamer. :-)

Osirion RPG Superstar 2009 Top 4 , Star Voter 2013 aka raidou

Nick, I'm glad to see people trying out archetypes for classes in the APG where you have nothing to compare to. it's taking a creative leap, and I wholeheartedly support that. So in this round you are giving us a cavalier archetype that substitutes an alignment for an order. Interesting, let's see where this goes.

champion of philosophy wrote:
Moral Devotion: A champion of philosophy devotes his life to the teachings of his alignment (law, chaos, good or evil). Many of his class abilities affect opponents he would consider heretics. For the purpose of these abilities any foe whose alignment opposes his on either axis is considered a heretic. For example a lawful neutral champion would consider all chaotic opponents to be heretics. A champion must act in accordance with his alignment, failing to do so results in the loss of all abilities concerning heretics for a period of 24 hours. This ability replaces order.

The 24 hour loss of abilities fits the standard cavalier's loss of ability from violating the edicts of his order, so this is a nice touch.

champion of philosophy wrote:
Defy Heretic (Ex): Whenever a champion of philosophy issues a challenge to a heretic, he gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC as long as he is threatening the target of the challenge. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels the champion possesses.

Dodge bonus to AC is the wrong way to go here. You're already well armored and it doesn't feel like your focus should be on dodging your enemy's attacks; rather, beating him into the dirt as soundly as possible.

champion of philosophy wrote:
Detect Heretic (Sp): At 1st level, a champion of philosophy can use Detect Evil, Law, Good, or Chaos as appropriate for his alignment. He may do this at will. This ability replaces tactician.

Decent ability, although this is starting to feel more like a paladin archetype.

champion of philosophy wrote:

Protection from Heretics (Sp): At 2nd level, a champion of philosophy gains the constant effect of a Protection from spell of a type opposite to his moral devotion.

Magic Circle Against Heretics (Sp): At 8th level a champion of philosophy's protection from heretics becomes a Magic Circle Against effect instead.

OK, so now we're starting to get spell-like abilities rather than martial ones. This seems to be blurring the line between paladin and cavalier. I also don't really like the auto-win provided by a constant protection from evil aura. Aligned summoned critters can't touch you. You have a permanent AC and save bonus. You can't be charmed/dominated/commanded... that seems too much. Also, if this is a (Sp) ability, give me a little more info on things like caster level, action to restore it if dispelled, etc.

champion of philosophy wrote:
Banner (Ex): This ability functions much the same as the cavalier ability, except that the bonus applies to saves against effects with an alignment type opposite to the champion's moral devotion.

This is interesting, and I think it fits the theme rather well. Instead of a bonus against fear, it's now a bonus against unholy smite, or blasphemy, and spells of that sort. I kind of like this, and the number of those spells is limited enough that this balances pretty well.

champion of philosophy wrote:
Philosophical Discourse (Ex): At 4th level, a champion of philosophy adds ½ his class level to Intimidate checks against heretics. This ability replaces expert trainer.

Discourse through berating your opponent? I suppose it's pretty easy to talk philosophy with the other guy gagged and strapped to a chair.

champion of philosophy wrote:

Battle Heretic (Su): At 9th level, a champion of philosophy's natural weapons as well as any weapon he wields are considered to have his alignment type for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction. This ability replaces greater tactician.

Slaughter Heretic (Su): At 17th level, any magic weapon (+1 enhancement bonus or greater) is treated as either Holy, Axiomatic, Unholy or Anarchic when held by a champion of philosophy, as appropriate for this alignment.

Certainly some necessary abilities to battle supernatural heretics. Nothing hugely innovative, but some abilities need to be the workhorse-kind.

champion of philosophy wrote:
Denounce Heretic (Sp): At 15th level, once per day a champion of philosophy can use Holy Word, Dictum, Blasphemy, or Word of Chaos as appropriate for his alignment.

I think this guy continues to tread too far into the paladin's domain. There's not enough of the cavalier chassis here to continue calling this guy a cavalier. The fact that he still gets a mount kind of seems out of place in the end. While I applaud you trying out a cavalier archetype, I don't think this suite of abilities matches that class the best. I think you're really aiming to create an alternate-alignment paladin with these rules.

I'm on the fence at this time regarding voting for this. I want to recognize the mojo it takes to tackle something that doesn't have existing precedent. People who create archetypes for the new classes do so without a safety net, so they're taking risks just for moving in that direction. But on the other hand I don't think this is a particularly good fit for the chosen class, as its ability suite better fits a paladin, and its ROLE seems better suited to an inquisitor. I'll finish reviewing all of them and see if this one sits better with me later.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 aka The Leaping Gnome

I like this concept, the philosophical horseman who blathers on about his personal views and then annihilates anyone foolish enough to disagree with him. I image his spell-like and supernatural abilities are derived from his utter certainty that his way is the right way. I can see a NE champion of philosophy that is similar to Johnny Depp's character in Once Upon a Time in Mexico. Or the Joker in Dark Knight, though he was more CE.

I don't mind that this guy looks a bit like a paladin and I think it would have been foolish to have made this archetype for that class. The antipaladin set the standard for alternative alignment paladins.

I think Sean K. Reynolds brought up all the issues I found with this archetype.

Neil Spicer wrote:
…seemingly comes without having to lose anything from the base cavalier's class abilities...which seems odd to me.
Jason Nelson wrote:
Many of the extra abilities you give don't have trade-offs, aside from the "if you act against your alignment you lose everything for 24 hours" rule, which is a non-restriction unless you and your GM disagree about alignment.

He is trading things out, they're just abilities you get for your order (at 2nd, 8th, and 15th). That is a dangerous line to walk with the "don't make an order" restriction. This seems like an order with a couple of other things swapped out and in to bring the theme together.

I like it though (anything that swaps out the cavalier's tactician stuff is good in my book).

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Oh man. I want to like this, but I'm on the fence. Just like this archetype is on a weird fence bordering the cavalier, paladin, and inquisitor.

Honestly I'm not the hugest fan of alignment dictating class features, but it's not fair to use that prejudice to dock you points.

I really like how you took some risks to come up with an interesting archetype, but I feel like this archetype was tried on the paladin or inquisitor first, and then kind of shoe-horned onto the cavalier because it was working better.

I couldn't care less if people thought he was walking the line on "don't make an order." I think he succeeded on being on this side of the line, so that's no fuss to me.

I'm going to have to think about this one some more. Fortunately I get 8 votes, so I might go for this one towards the end.


The second archetype of the class I'm not a fan, and like the other this one also makes the class more interesting.
You have my vote.

Dedicated Voter 2013

I love the idea behind this archetype. I have to agree that the word paladin came to mind for me as well, both in flavor and abilities. Making this archetype a true cavalier through extraordinary rather than supernatural abilities would have been awesome, and I will probably have to go off and make my own version of this at some point.

You have my vote for inspiring me, but I hope you will give Mr. Reynold's comment on strange implementation serious thought and put it to shame in later rounds. Sorry if that came across as patronizing in any way, but I really want to read your adventure proposal!


Nick Bolhuis wrote:

Champion of Philosophy (Cavalier)

By devoting himself to a philosophical ideal rather than a knightly order, a cavalier gains great power to enforce his beliefs.
Alignment:Champion of philosophy must be neutral good, neutral evil, lawful neutral or chaotic neutral.
Moral Devotion: A champion of philosophy devotes his life to the teachings of his alignment (law, chaos, good or evil). Many of his class abilities affect opponents he would consider heretics. For the purpose of these abilities any foe whose alignment opposes his on either axis is considered a heretic. For example a lawful neutral champion would consider all chaotic opponents to be heretics. A champion must act in accordance with his alignment, failing to do so results in the loss of all abilities concerning heretics for a period of 24 hours. This ability replaces order.

Disclaimer:

You should know the drill by now, but in case you missed it the first time round, Ask A RPGSupersuccubus is posting from the point of view of a CE aligned succubus:
Spoiler:
Fairness is an adjective applicable to hair coloration, balance is what a couple of mortals rapidly losing it on opposite ends of a plank pivoted on a rocky spire a couple of hundred feet above a slowly rising pool of molten basalt try to do, and logic is one of those things which you could swear is there when you rattle the piggybank but if anyone other than a demon opens it the contents turn out to be a couple of dead moths and a three week old shopping list.
;)

Would you want this person sitting next to you as a guest at a formal evening dress dinner party?
No. Zealots like this are boring. They rabbit on and on and on about how many infidels they have purged this week; and if they're not doing that then they're trying to convert you to their cause.

How effective a flower-picker does this person seem likely to be?
This kind of person has not a drop of romance in their body. This kind of person is devoted exclusively to 'the philosophical cause'. He or she is too busy off putting the infidel to the sword to have time for flower-picking errands.

Could you hire one person like this to do a better job than one other trained mercenary and/or to do the jobs of two (or more) other trained mercenaries?
Whilst they're undoubtedly effective at what they do, this sort of zealous bigot tends not to be 'for hire'. If you're lucky one will agree to 'prioritise a task which serves the cause', but explaining just what it is which needs doing and convincing them that it matches their interests takes ages unless you've got a watertight case - and even then he or she may require you to make a substantial cash donation to 'prove your devotion to the banner of Chaos/Good/Law/Evil'.

Other comments?
Whomever it is who takes men that could make perfectly dashing knights on horseback, and turns them into fanatics by filling their heads with all sorts of philosophical junk should be hung upside down, lowered into a vat of steaming hot custard (infested with awakened half-dragon fiendish spinach), and broiled there. Slowly. Whilst being read poetry written by a pit-fiend.
Some people make the mistake of attempting to compare Champions of Philosophies with paladins. There isn't any comparison. Champions of philosophy care about words and debates about obscure matters and who has the biggest fanciest sounding word to use on the others. Paladins care about people. And as a succubus, I'd certainly much rather be cared about as a person than as an embodiment of a philosophical principle of either chaos or of evil...

Desirability:
Snack. (Although they probably taste foul, but 'the Abyss expects that every Succubus should pull her weight occasionally for the cause' and all that...)

Further Disclaimer:
Ask A RPGSupersuccubus (with half an eye on Lord Orcus) would like to clarify that mortal voters should probably rely on more than just her own (impeccable) assessments in making up their minds on how to vote. Thank You.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor , Dedicated Voter 2013

The main vibe I get out of this is that inquisitors should be rooting out heretics, not cavaliers. I know that's not completely fair, but the archetype just doesn't manage to ignite my fire. Looks like you've got good support regardless, so I'm thinking it's likely you'll have your chance in round 3 :)

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Name and concept: Despite my first assumption and the wording used throughout the entry, this is a champion of a philosophy, or rather a tendency already well-defined by the game's rules and history. Many smart people have already done a large amount of game design for this contestant. Let's see what's original about it.
Archetype mechanics, expression of the concept: Moral devotion: I'm struggling to see what part of this ability is original or interesting design, compared to the effort put in to either the cavalier or paladin. Or the inquisitor, for that matter, considering the uninteresting definition of a "heretic".
Defy Heretic: By dodging? Maybe that should say "Mock Heretic". I would have associated defiance more with something like DR or a save bonus.
Detect Heretic: What's "appropriate for his alignment"? Would I see that in a rulebook intended for new players?
This, Protection from Heretics, Magic Circle Against Heretics, Battle Heretic and Slaughter Heretic (hello, neutral good) all seem to be about making him a paladin by stealth - especially when giving away half the cavalier's class concept in the Tactician chain - so I'd be fascinated to know whether the contestant considered using paladin as the parent class. Many of these don't have a cost - or perhaps they're part of the Moral Devotion ability?
Banner: The champion and his allies might go a long time before seeing any effect with an alignment type demanding a save, let alone one of four. This more or less just takes away the class ability.
Philosophical Discourse at least has an amusing name.
Wider relationships: This looks like just picking up a tired Internet debate, copying and pasting a few paladin abilities and expecting credit for it.
How do we get this from the same writer as the Assassin's Rose?

This is pretty sad.


I'm not really excited by it, but I do think it's a good implementation of the theme.

I think it should be a little clearer than stating "appropriate for his alignment".


Nick Bolhuis wrote:

Champion of Philosophy (Cavalier)

Disclaimer: My ranking scheme for this round consists of given marks form 0 to 4 in the following three categories:

1.Is the Archetype conceptually interesting?
2.Are the mechanics of the Archetype interesting?
3.Are the mechanics of the Archetype balanced and well executed?
But rather than simply adding up the marks for a final score I'm gonna interpret them as a point in 3-dimensional space and the final mark of your submission will be the length of the vector between the origin and this point.
Note that my ranking doesn't need to directly correspond with my votes, as other factors like: Strength of your item submission, mood, my horrorscope and other random stuff still factor in. Also note that this scheme is highly subjective and only mirrors my perception and opinion about your archetype submission.

Conceptual Mojo (CM): 2, Nice concept, and I can clearly see a space for this in the game. But isn't a paladin a champion of the LG Philosophy? Wouldn't that be a better starting point? All those SU and SP abilities would be more at home there too.

Mechanical Mojo (MM): 1, Definitely focused on herectics and their punishment, but some odd notes are struck. Philosophical discourse is an intimidate bonus? Mostly Spelllikes and Supernaturals for a cavalier? Dodge bonus against all attacks when next to a heretic? Loosing abilities for 24 hours only?

Mechanical Execution (ME): 1, replacing order and then giving a challenge related benefit plus free abilities at the same levels is just a way to sneak in a new order, plus more.
The protection and magic circle effects are very powerful ( not even a paladin gets something like this).

Final note: This is too far away from a cavalier and too close to a paladin. The absence of SU an SP effects was one of the main things that set those classes apart. Presentation and basic idea are good, but I just can't get myself to like it.

Total Score: 2.449

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Nice Nick,

I like the 'heretic' angle. It is a little vague, but there is enough there that a GM can easily rule. Alignment is a tough card to play imho, Ryan Daney stated why, but again an easy GM rule. over all a meh from me, balance was good but not exciting.

In reading this I kept thinking that 'Su' should be an 'Sp' and that 'Sp'
should be an 'Su' Do they look correct to everyone else? This may change affect my vote. Meh is not a no vote after all :)

Good luck.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

I was curious coming into this entry. I enjoy philosophies in D&D as much as faiths; I was a big Planescape fan, after all. So I was a little disappointed to see that this was just an attempt to hack a cavalier into being an alternate paladin. I was even more disappointed with the actual abilities given to them. The suite of powers replacing the oath feel like an oath-but-we're-not-calling-it-that, which strikes me as a violation of the spirit of the rules, if not the letter. And they're all pretty rote abilities, giving them increasing protection-in-the-form-of-spells from their opposing alignment. But what's this? Protection from, then magic circle against constantly? With no CL? So they're immune to a pretty hefty class of spells by default?

This archetype strikes me as both boring and over-powered, a one-two punch into "not voting for it" land. Your conduct on the boards, offering friendly criticism and encouragement to other contestants has been splendid, however. Regardless of this item's success or failure, you have handled yourself commendably and I hope you stick around. Best of luck!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Firstly, spell names are not normally capitalized. I kind of liked this up until I realized that you replaced the order ability. To me orders have a fair amount of the flavor of cavaliers. I know they are fiddly but they give interesting options, like extra class skills. The dodge bonus that others noticed is really a moot point, the Order of the Lion has the exact same ability. I’m like a lot of the other people who have commented, I can see what you have done and why, and not the biggest fan of adding magic to a non-magical class. You have done fine on the execution (even if the continuous protection from evil is a bit good). I hope that people consider your writing and how you brought the concept together when voting.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

I think this will end up as "best of the rest" for me. It'll go on the meh pile, but will probably be at the top of it.

The "aligned champion" concept isn't new, of course. I was among many who were disappointed when the Paladins of all alignments were cut from the APG. You're tapping into something that many people want. This isn't the most exciting execution of the concept, but it's solid.


I liked the short-but-sweet flavor of your Rose,
and this entry makes me feel like you have a good handle on the relevant skills you need.
Hope to see you next round!

Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

This is the entry that I pondered over the longest.

Ultimetly, I think that you have something here with a "order-neutral" Cavalier.

Your execution is sound and while some call it bland I think that there are many archetypes in the APG that strike me "blander".


Nick Bolhuis wrote:

Champion of Philosophy (Cavalier)

Very nice. Though this somewhat feels like a variation on the Paladin, making it a Cavalier makes it that much more interesting. The abilities seem pretty good. The dodge is questionable, but on one can think of everything.

All in all I really like this one and would want to play one.

Good job!

Ken

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Glad to see you made the cut. I was really on the fence with this archetype, but I ended up voting for you because of how interesting the idea is, how well-executed this is, and because of your elegant assassin's rose. Congrats! Looking forward to your villain.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013

Yay! Now I can elaborate!

This idea was never tried on paladin or inquisitor before being hammered into the cavalier, and was intended as alignment-as-order, without being an order. Any abilities listed without what they replace are in lieu of lost order abilities.

I know a scaling dodge bonus is a big deal, but is exactly the same as existing challenge abilities from other orders, only here is limited by the alignment of the foe.

The reason I did not allow for LG CG LE CE variants was purely one of word count, by limiting the class to only one alignment extreme, identifying which foes he treated as heretics was a much simpler task. I know this caused "heretic this" and "heretic that", which in retrospect i would probably have changed. In fact, seeing which archetypes were well received and which were not might have made me go with my alternate idea (which at the time i thought was way too safe).

I know i magicked up a totally non magic class here, but if you don't want the magic you don't take the class. I also know i completely goofed on the CL for the protection and circle against, which i would have had a hard time fitting in on word count had i even considered it anyways. Bad Nick! Bad!

I think that covered most of the concerns you guys had, if not I'll be glad to field more questions.

Thanks to everyone who voted (and i mean everyone, not just the votes for me) you guys make this process work, and I am honoured to be a part of it.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter 2013

Thanks for the indights on your design, Nick. You've learned word counts suck :-)

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