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The Steward: A 3 / 4 BAB, 6 levels of spellcasting naturey (Druid / Ranger) class, community project?


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


So I was thinking earlier today and realized we've got Paladin/Inquisitor/Cleric, and while there's no Paladin equivalent for the Wizard by Paizo yet, there are Tejon's Iron Mage and Super Genius Games's Archon. You could say Iron Mage or Archon/Magus or Vanguard (also SGG)/Wizard or Sorcerer, but there's no equivalent in the Druid/Ranger(/Scout to some degree) theme. Now, I'm not saying there's a thematic need for such a class or any flavor gap to fill here, but I was thinking it could be fun to create such a class just as a mechanical exercise. See what people come up with. Here's what I've got so far, feel free to expand on it or shoot my ideas down completely and think of something better.

Tentative Name: Steward. Feels naturey. If anyone has anything better, go for it. I thought of Warden but don't want to confuse it with the 4e class.
6 levels of spellcasting a la the Bard, probably prepared Wisdom-based, drawing heavily from the Druid and Ranger lists.
3/4 BAB, d8 HD, 4+ or 6+int skill points/level, depending on how other things work out.

Now of course it needs a major feature, something like a Favored Enemy or Judgments or Hexes. I was thinking originally of some sort of battlefield control, adding effects to their melee attacks like entangling, but then realized there was no good reason to limit this class to melee. I do still like the idea of the class playing around with debilitating effects and movement, though. So I came up with... eh, let's call them Aspects for now. Pick one at first level, I'm imagining it structured somewhat like a Sorcerer's Bloodline, though maybe not precisely so. Some kind of attack power at first level, as well as defensive and utility benefits as one goes along. The attack power would also improve more than a Sorcerer's to make up for the lower casting. They may even grant bonus spells like Bloodlines do, it all depends really.

Aspect of Vines: Melee strike that entangles opponent with vines. Later on the vines last longer, constrict for damage, or completely immobilize. Also gain AC bonuses and the ability to survive with less/no food or water due to photosynthetic bark-like skin.

Aspect of Stone: Start out with the ability to lob stones at range, dealing lethal bludgeoning damage. Eventually can create difficult terrain, pass such terrain himself, maybe gain DR/- or AC bonuses.

Aspect of the Sea: Start out with something like Hydraulic Push, nonlethal damage plus a bull rush, but not just a spell-like ability. Gain swimming bonuses, maybe even a swim speed, the ability to breathe water (limited or unlimited depending on level).

I'm trying to go for a more primal sort of nature feel as opposed to something like air/earth/fire/water, I hope that's apparent. I'd also like an Aspect of Winds, but couldn't think of a good first level ability that wouldn't also involve bull rushing. Besides that probably some kind of Rogue Talent/Magus Arcana like system, some typical Druid/Ranger features like Trackless Step, and whatever else people think of. Anyone interested in helping out with this?

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

Tim4488 wrote:
I'm trying to go for a more primal sort of nature feel as opposed to something like air/earth/fire/water, I hope that's apparent. I'd also like an Aspect of Winds, but couldn't think of a good first level ability that wouldn't also involve bull rushing. Besides that probably some kind of Rogue Talent/Magus Arcana like system, some typical Druid/Ranger features like Trackless Step, and whatever else people think of. Anyone interested in helping out with this?

Interesting. For wind you could have a monk-esque fast move/slowfall progression, possibly with those spider step/cloud step feats as bonus feats at some point. You'd need some other abilities over time, obviously, to compete with the other aspects, but those could be a good baseline? I know it doesn't directly impair an opponent, but it gives superior maneuverability, which could give the steward a similar advantage.


Flak wrote:
Tim4488 wrote:
I'm trying to go for a more primal sort of nature feel as opposed to something like air/earth/fire/water, I hope that's apparent. I'd also like an Aspect of Winds, but couldn't think of a good first level ability that wouldn't also involve bull rushing. Besides that probably some kind of Rogue Talent/Magus Arcana like system, some typical Druid/Ranger features like Trackless Step, and whatever else people think of. Anyone interested in helping out with this?
Interesting. For wind you could have a monk-esque fast move/slowfall progression, possibly with those spider step/cloud step feats as bonus feats at some point. You'd need some other abilities over time, obviously, to compete with the other aspects, but those could be a good baseline? I know it doesn't directly impair an opponent, but it gives superior maneuverability, which could give the steward a similar advantage.

That actually sounds really good, thanks. Four aspects feels about right to start, too. Awesome.


For the wind wind aspect, maybe getting a bonus in thrown and ranged attacks, or against them? For the inicial attack, how about something like a wind blade attack (or vaccuum blade) that does lethal cutting damage at the same rate as the stones from Stone Aspect?


VM mercenario wrote:
For the wind wind aspect, maybe getting a bonus in thrown and ranged attacks, or against them? For the inicial attack, how about something like a wind blade attack (or vaccuum blade) that does lethal cutting damage at the same rate as the stones from Stone Aspect?

That latter idea works really well, actually. And then the movement speed boosts or slow fall that Flak suggested can happen at the same time as Stone's ignoring of difficult terrain and Sea's swim speed... I'm thinking every Aspect should have a basic attack gained at 1st which improves, some kind of mobility boost, and some kind of defensive ability. So when one Aspect gets NA, another aspect is getting DR, and another aspect is getting a save bonus, something like that.


For the vine aspect mobility ability, maybe a climb speed, from climbing on trees or something?


VM mercenario wrote:
For the vine aspect mobility ability, maybe a climb speed, from climbing on trees or something?

This sounds right. Stone could get a burrow speed as well, if we run out of other ideas.

So for defensive things... Wind gets some kind of Concealment thing along the lines of Wind Stance/Lightning Stance, Vine gets NA, Stone gets DR, and Sea gets... I don't want to do cold resistance, but I'm not really sure what would fit here.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

Tim4488 wrote:
VM mercenario wrote:
For the vine aspect mobility ability, maybe a climb speed, from climbing on trees or something?

This sounds right. Stone could get a burrow speed as well, if we run out of other ideas.

So for defensive things... Wind gets some kind of Concealment thing along the lines of Wind Stance/Lightning Stance, Vine gets NA, Stone gets DR, and Sea gets... I don't want to do cold resistance, but I'm not really sure what would fit here.

Maybe some kind of bonus on dodge ac and cmd, a la oracle water revelation?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I like the idea of a 3/4 BAB, 6/9 caster, 6 skill point, druidy type. My homebrew campaign has a Vatican-like druidic organization, so it could use a class like that, as an agent and advisor to the thrones.

I was working on an elemental alchemist back in the day, and the 4 defenses I used were DR, AC, Concealment, and Retribution (like fire shield). Different kinds of retributions can be made, like direct damage, ability damage, negative effects (shaken, fatigued, sickened), and maybe combat maneuvers (sunder (like Stone Oracle ability that breaks weapons that hit you), bull rush, disarm (like Baaz draconians, except maybe based on stickiness or magnetism or even telekinetic force effects), other penalties (to AC, Saves, Skills, Attack rolls), etc. etc.).


Ahh, that could be useful. So we get something like:

Flesh of Stone, DR
Oaken Skin, AC
Shielding Waves, Concealment
Lashing Winds, Retribution

(Could easily switch any of those around, especially the last two, but that's what springs to my mind).

At higher levels, Flesh of Stone can break weapons, Oaken Skin oozes a mildly venomous sap that causes Sickening (not my favorite, feel free to recommend something better), Shielding Waves will actually push out in a bull rush, and Lashing Winds will disarm a weapon as well as deal direct damage (most likely slashing or piercing).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I'm working on a Warden class now. 3/4 BAB, 6 spell levels, 6 skill points.
Their main thing are Wards, which are protective auras for the warden, similar to judgements, but none are offensive, just defensive.

I see the role of the warden in the campaign as similar to the Maesters from GRRM's Song of Ice and Fire. Advisors to the crown, no matter who wears the crown, but with an underlying fealty to their Vatican-like druid organisation, with a mission of preserving human life, treating humans as natural creatures, just like animals. Maybe with a drop of psychohistory thrown in.

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