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An Artisan *Player* Class


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


My gaming groups tend to be more about roleplaying than power gaming, and I'm always trying to come up with new, interesting builds that fit into their own little niche in the fantasy genre.

Something I haven't found in any of the classes, though, is a true Artisan/Crafter class. Alchemist is in a way, but the potion maker is only one iconic type of craftsman. What about the legendary smiths that craft the sacred swords and the Samwise Gamgees of the world that hold their party up with a hot meal or an even hotter forge? As it is, crafting and professions are sort of a tack-on to supplement your character, and there are very few feats that customize crafting abilities or give one more to do with them.

Artisan (a working title) would be a non-magic, support-based class. d8 hit die, medium BAB progression, proficient with simple weapons and light armor. Like most classes, they would have a number of core abilities that all Artisans shared, plus a selection of talents (called trades, maybe?) that they may choose from which require ranks in certain craft or profession skills.

Some examples of what how they might work

Smith (Craft in weapons, armor, metalworking etc.)
-Gain proficiency with his trademark weapon/armor type
-Identify weaknesses in opponents armor.
-improved Sunder bonus feat
-Master Crasftman as a bonus feat, and able to use unspecified exotic material to mimic some spells when creating magic items.

Innkeeper
-Catch Off Guard as bonus feat
-Resistant to the sickened condition (he drank almost as much as he served)
-Making non-magical brews like Wake-Up Juice to provide small benefits
-Strong unarmed strike moves, but can only deal nonlethal damage (Anyone familiar with d20 Modern feats?)

Cook (good for laughs, like Witches)
-Speedy natural healing thanks to good meals
-Able to find more food in the wilderness
-Bonuses against plant and animal creatures (cuz, you know, they look like food)


If you're talking about NPCs, I find the expert class pretty adaptable. If it doesn't quite fit, then I houserule a trait or feat to make it fit. I'm not sure there's a need to make a whole raft of NPC archetypes.

If you're talking about PCs, expert is a pretty good starting place again, but you really need to juice it up. I tried an expert PC once and was really disappointed. All the downsides of playing a rogue with none of the upsides. It's probably something I'd be more inclined to try on a one off basis than codify as a class or archetype.


I am referring to a PC class specifically. The friends that I play with are more than happy to have their character go to work as they are go on adventures (whether that's crafting swords or crafting pokeballs), so developing a player class that could facilitate either in a flavorful, epic-feeling way is something I'm interested in.

It could make for some interesting reversals. Instead of scouring the globe searching for the legendary smith that can reforge the royal sword, the player is the legendary smith who, in addition to fighting off troll incursions that make it into his dwarven enclave, has to deal with would-be adventurers that want him to fix weapons for free on a regular basis.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I created an Artisan class in Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Kahrvass Fleymbrow, Smith of Burning Desire. Please let me know what you think if you check it out.


Big Lemon wrote:

My gaming groups tend to be more about roleplaying than power gaming, and I'm always trying to come up with new, interesting builds that fit into their own little niche in the fantasy genre.

Something I haven't found in any of the classes, though, is a true Artisan/Crafter class. Alchemist is in a way, but the potion maker is only one iconic type of craftsman. What about the legendary smiths that craft the sacred swords and the Samwise Gamgees of the world that hold their party up with a hot meal or an even hotter forge? As it is, crafting and professions are sort of a tack-on to supplement your character, and there are very few feats that customize crafting abilities or give one more to do with them.

Artisan (a working title) would be a non-magic, support-based class. d8 hit die, medium BAB progression, proficient with simple weapons and light armor. Like most classes, they would have a number of core abilities that all Artisans shared, plus a selection of talents (called trades, maybe?) that they may choose from which require ranks in certain craft or profession skills.

Some examples of what how they might work

Smith (Craft in weapons, armor, metalworking etc.)
-Gain proficiency with his trademark weapon/armor type
-Identify weaknesses in opponents armor.
-improved Sunder bonus feat
-Master Crasftman as a bonus feat, and able to use unspecified exotic material to mimic some spells when creating magic items.

Innkeeper
-Catch Off Guard as bonus feat
-Resistant to the sickened condition (he drank almost as much as he served)
-Making non-magical brews like Wake-Up Juice to provide small benefits
-Strong unarmed strike moves, but can only deal nonlethal damage (Anyone familiar with d20 Modern feats?)

Cook (good for laughs, like Witches)
-Speedy natural healing thanks to good meals
-Able to find more food in the wilderness
-Bonuses against plant and animal creatures (cuz, you know, they look like food)

It is challenging to make such a class equate to PC classes. In my experience, you can give a class all the neat utility or even defensive abilities you want, but if they have no combat POWER, it doesn't work for adventuring.

Then again, if your campaign relies on RP and skills more than battle prowess...what about the poor fighter?

It looks like you have some good ideas. Run with them, and tell us what you find.

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