Favorite Prestige Classes


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The recent couple of PrC threads have been pretty interesting, but I thought I'd throw out a slightly different PrC question:

What's your favorite Prestige Class and why?

Doesn't have to be good or optimized, just wondering what PrC's out there really call out to people.

Are there any that you'd love to play, but the optimizer in you won't allow you to? (That'd be Mystic Theurge for me.)

What's been the most effective Prestige Class you've used? How did you use it? What was it that it offered that made it better for your character than just continuing in your base class?

For me, Hellknight Signifer is probably my favorite, though a lot of that has to do with the character and the campaign (a hellknight opposing the hordes of the Abyss in Wrath of the Righteous.) Mostly, what it offered over continuing as cleric was legitimacy for my character's campaign goals, which was to found a new Hellknight order (the Order of the Lesion in the Worldwound.) Taking HKS also granted some nifty abilities that were thematically appropriate and more than made up for the loss of improving domain powers (Assiduous Gaze, in particular, is just amazing.)


I have yet to actually play any, but the new Lion Blade looks interesting. I am not sure what has changed, but I suspect that it was mainly cleaning up some wording.


Oh so many...
Arcane Archer was and still is one of my favorite PrCs, Mystic Theurge was always a cool concept, I've still always wanted to play a Dragon Disciple and never gotten to. I also think that the Sentinel PrC is one of the more viable and still flavorful ones.

Liberty's Edge

My favorite is hard to choose, between Dragon disciple, spherewalker, champion of irori.

If you can get the stats for it, champion of irori feels freaking amazing, as you smite everyhkng and protect your party.

Horizon walker is one of my most effective prcs.


Stalwart Defender. Defensive stance is a bit of gravy, but d12 HD, DR, and a scaling AC bonus can make for a devastating reach tank. Throw up the stance, and all of the stance powers for keeping someone from moving, and its fantastic as a guard for the party squisheis if you are in a dungeon.


Pain Taster, love everything about it!


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Its an oldy but.
I utterly utterly love Dragon Disciple.. I only wish they'd update it t say "spell casting" not specifically Arcane.. SO I could make divine dragons. or psychic dragons. etc.
would cause some power issues I suppoosee for sommee people. but I honestly don't think it'd be any worse than anything else..

I love the dragon empowered human(oid) trope. Have since I grew up on Breath of Fire. I also love the idea of some inset anit squishy properties for casters, even if it makes them worse casters. I love having the on comand dragony abilities.
Its really just the main thing that drew me to Pathfinder, first character I ever made, ironically have't remade it since I learned how to actually play and how to build fairly well.

Second is shadow dancer.. but its rough making it truly effective on the kind of characters i like. Though probably could with the acg onward stuff. Been a while

As for effective? My friend made a barb DD that got banned and got the prestige banned because it was an absurd monster of damage and destruction. It was less dragon.. and more insane dragonic mutant monster

Things like that, is why I think prestige should still exist.. but become more open and less specific. In general most prestiges would be awesome if more generalized access, but the concept be very specific. "dragon guy" and "the hulk/hyde personality twist" stuff like that. but be more open for people


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Eldritch Knight, Mystic Theurge, and Arcane Trickster. Great and flexible options for those who want to mix-and-match. It's a real shame Pathfinder didn't take the opportunity to fix them, and left their draconian prerequisites and utter dearth of class features unchanged. Oh, they got a handful of class features but nothing significant. I'd really love to see Prestige Classes Unchained focusing on these three.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I like the Master Chymist. It seems like it would be really fun to play, especially if the base alchemist is built and played totally different than the new Mutagenic Form, like an elf archer alchemist and a big melee brute of a Mutagenic Form.

I also like the Holy Vindicator. I like playing tanks that can heal.


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I was having a lot of fun with Ultimate Magus.

<rant>
I don't think anything offered in PF, with the exception of Winter Witch and Evangelist, is really viable as a PrC. Mainly because Pazio builds PrCs so weak by design.
</rant>

/cevah


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Gray Gardener.


Dasrak wrote:
Eldritch Knight, Mystic Theurge, and Arcane Trickster. Great and flexible options for those who want to mix-and-match. It's a real shame Pathfinder didn't take the opportunity to fix them, and left their draconian prerequisites and utter dearth of class features unchanged. Oh, they got a handful of class features but nothing significant. I'd really love to see Prestige Classes Unchained focusing on these three.

Seconded.

Cevah wrote:

I was having a lot of fun with Ultimate Magus.

<rant>
I don't think anything offered in PF, with the exception of Winter Witch and Evangelist, is really viable as a PrC. Mainly because Pazio builds PrCs so weak by design.
</rant>

/cevah

Diabolist is quite good evil, otherwise I agree.


Very, very tough question.

I love the standard Hellknight, the Gray Gardener is awesome, and I like the concept of the Shieldmarshal even if it's not terribly great.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Skyseeker also looks like fun. :-)


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I have wanted to play a Magaambyan Arcanist ever since I first read about it. Its prerequisite feats are Scholar and Spell Mastery, and I don't even care; my next wizard/arcanist is going to take them and like it.
It may not be the strongest prestige class, but it feels right.
If the GM won't allow the it, I will try flattery, bribery, and begging.

If all of them fail, I might try to break free from my bias against 6-level casting by playing a Hunter or shudder an Alchemist (or Investigator). But hopefully not yet. Our current characters are still alive and well.

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Mammoth Rider, obviously.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'd like to make a Brother of The Seal for Wrath of the Righteous. Water Splitting Stone, FTW!! (F%@* the walls).


Hellknight, got to love that absolute order


Quote:
What's your favorite Prestige Class and why?

Winter Witch. I love the witch class, ice magic, and Irrisen!

Quote:
What's been the most effective Prestige Class you've used? How did you use it? What was it that it offered that made it better for your character than just continuing in your base class?

Winter Witch. I was primarily debuffs/battlefield control. I used a lot of cold and mind-affecting spells. AoE cold spells and Rime Spell are really great.

So far, I haven't been able to get high enough level, but eventually the Winter Witch can halve cold resistance and deal half damage to cold immune creatures. This means that all those nice cold spells I prepared don't become really weak after an enemy casts Resist Energy or is naturally resistant/immune. Also, the prestige class lets you see through fog, hail, blizzards, and such. Bombing people with magic while they're unable to see you sounds really great for dealing with ranged and caster enemies.


Favorite to play: Hellknight and Red Mantis Assassin. Also two of the few PrC that are actually playable at higher levels. I really wish Paizo would revisit prestige classes and make them worthwhile. I do miss that from 3.5 days.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have really enjoyed my Dragon disciple even thou she is not as powerful as some other characters.


I'm with Naal.

Scarab Sages

Agent of the Grave. No necromancer should be without it


I really want to do a Master Spy at some point. I need to save it for an evil campaign though, so I can dip an assassin level for death attack so I can do something relevant in combat from levels 6-15 or so.

Master Spy/Assassin with an int focus should be a fun crazy skills based character outside of combat, with high DC death attacks as its main in-combat thing.

I also want to do a Paladin/Monk/Oracle/Stalwart Defender with a bazillion HP, super high saves and an unhittable AC.


GM 7thGate wrote:

I really want to do a Master Spy at some point. I need to save it for an evil campaign though, so I can dip an assassin level for death attack so I can do something relevant in combat from levels 6-15 or so.

Master Spy/Assassin with an int focus should be a fun crazy skills based character outside of combat, with high DC death attacks as its main in-combat thing.

I also want to do a Paladin/Monk/Oracle/Stalwart Defender with a bazillion HP, super high saves and an unhittable AC.

While the Death Attack comes on line as early as 6th level, it takes 3 rounds to set up, by which time the fight is over. It does allow retries.

The Ninja master trick Assassinate comes on line at level 10, but only needs 1 round to set up. It does not allow retries for 24 hours.

DC of each is 10 + 1/2 level + StatMod.

/cevah


Death Attack does, however, work great in any scenario where you can prep for 3 rounds before combat begins, or when you can hide for 3 rounds in combat (more common if you're fighting alone, but is a possible options in some cases). The DC also scales as 5 + level + statmod, so the DCs are higher on Death Attack as it scales to higher level.


Missed that the death attack DC is plus full level rather than half level.

/cevah


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Shadowdancer.

No, really.

The "Hide in Plain Sight" bit is so delightfully creepy.

"You're looking right him. He steps back into a shadow...and now you can't see him. He's probably still there, but you can't tell."


Among ones I've played...

Loremaster, Eldritch Knight.

Ones I want to play...

Lantern Bearer, Duellist, Winter Witch, Dragon Disciple.


I have to say, there have been a lot of great suggestions here that I've never given a second glance at, including: Lion Blade, Spherewalker, Horizon Walker, Stalwart Defender, Pain Taster, Grey Gardener, Skyseeker, Brother of the Seal, Lantern Bearer - pretty cool stuff!

Hopefully I'm not the only one who's been looking up PrCs going, "Huh, really? I need to check that out!"


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Notable prestige classes

Agent of the Grave -- would have preferred a 10 level version, but except for the lack of progression of Negative Energy Channeling, this one gets Necromancy dead-on.

Arclord of Nex -- makes Universalist Wizard without the Exploiter archetype situationally the optimal choice.

Battle Herald -- cool idea, and recent material actually makes it work better. Still would like to see a Battle Herald Cavalier archetype to go with it (for entry with the least fuss).

Eldritch Knight -- really should become an archetype, but until we get a Magus archetype (other than Mindblade, which has its own extra specialization) that doesn't automatically shoot itself in the foot by using a two-handed weapon or two-weapon fighting, we need this.

Hellknight (both types) -- apart from needing to be updated to work properly with more recent material, these are templates for what alignment/philosophy/religion-specific exemplar Holy Warrior classes like Paladin/Antipaladin and above-the-law classes like Inquisitor(*) should have been (add a mix of D&D 3.5 Unearthed Arcana/Kirthfinder as needed).

(*)Nothing wrong with the Inquisitor chassis -- keep that around for different RP, probably remixed with Warpriest.

Inheritor's Crusader: One of very few prestige classes that can actually work properly with with both a 4/9 caster and a 9/9 caster -- would be properly balanced with both, except that the capstone ability is overpowered for a 3 level prestige class -- at least it's equally overpowered in both cases (because the other abilities do more for a Paladin than for a Cleric, to make up for equal progression of the much lesser spellcasting).

Noble Scion -- the prestige class for the top 0.01%. Obsoleted by Phantom Thief Rogue, though.

Technomancer -- just because.

Prestige classes that have cool ideas but terrible implementations

Bellflower Tiller -- gets Teamwork feats, but no Tactician ability or Solo tactics to go with them.

Blackfire Adept -- awesome flavor, and this one was written to be partly for Summoners . . . And then forgets to progress the Summon Monster spell-like ability.

Daivrat and Genie Binder -- Paizo D&D 3.5 prestige classes with awesome flavor that need rewrites to make them work properly with PFRPG; in the latter case, also need to rewrite to avoid railroading all characters through the same elemental progression.

Harrower -- really cool idea, but needs a major rewrite so that you aren't railroaded along one progression of powers associated with the 6 ability scores, and needs to be a 12 level class to make this work right.

Liberator -- cool idea for a class designed for liberating people from chains . . . And then doesn't give you anywhere enough skill ranks to do it.

Loremaster -- this was really cool in D&D 3.5, but didn't get much of an update for Pathfinder, so now it's just passable.

Mystic Theurge -- 1. Read this awesome Mystic Theurge guide. 2. Read this SLA FAQ nerf. 3. Cry a river.

Rage Prophet -- awesome idea, but it doesn't progress Rage rounds per day or award new Rage Powers or Mysteries. Needs to be made into a base class with 6/9 spellcasting or maybe a Barbarian archetype with 4/9 spellcasting.

Stalwart Defender -- cool idea, but takes too long to get online. Needs to become a Fighter archetype or maybe a Barbarian alternate class.

Lantern Lodge

Master Chymist for me, the Rp potential is amazing, and depending on what build you were going for, it might even not be too horrible from an optimization standpoint.....bonus points if you ca convince your gm that bomb progression should sub for sneak progression on vivisectionists.


Dragon Disciple and Arcane Archer for me.

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Eldritch Knight would be amazing if it got Armored Casting and a way to make a single melee or ranged weapon attack as a swift action anytime she casts a spell.


Naal wrote:

I have wanted to play a Magaambyan Arcanist ever since I first read about it. Its prerequisite feats are Scholar and Spell Mastery, and I don't even care; my next wizard/arcanist is going to take them and like it.

It may not be the strongest prestige class, but it feels right.
If the GM won't allow the it, I will try flattery, bribery, and begging.

If you haven't seen the Magaambyan Initiate Arcanist Archetype, you should take a look. (Note that d20pfsrd altered the name for legal reasons.)

It is decent on its own, but it was specifically designed to progress into the Magaambyan Arcanist Prestige Class. For example, it gets Spell Mastery as a Bonus Feat. It's from Arcane Anthology. It's also PFS legal is that matters to you.


The initiate looks cool, I really like classes that easily move into prestige classes like that, Dragon Disciple and Winter Witch.


Gisher wrote:
Naal wrote:
I have wanted to play a Magaambyan Arcanist ever since I first read about it. Its prerequisite feats are Scholar and Spell Mastery, and I don't even care; my next wizard/arcanist is going to take them and like it.

If you haven't seen the Magaambyan Initiate Arcanist Archetype, you should take a look. (Note that d20pfsrd altered the name for legal reasons.)

It is decent on its own, but it was specifically designed to progress into the Magaambyan Arcanist Prestige Class. For example, it gets Spell Mastery as a Bonus Feat. It's from Arcane Anthology. It's also PFS legal is that matters to you.

Thanks for reminding me! I have it on print, but binge-reading other stuff made the archetype slip from my mind. Thinking about a new character could be wise now, as our last game ended with the party between rock and a hard place.

(These characters are not for PFS. I have participated, but my work schedule is often uncooperative.)

Silver Crusade

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The Chevalier.


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The (REDACTED).


The inheritor's crusader seems pretty good, no loss of spell casting, no loss of smite evil effectiveness and some very nice bonuses.


Eldritch Knight. I've been slightly in love with the idea of a finesse-based Elf Eldritch Knight, using the ECB, for a long time. I started playing it. But given PFS levelling, and without early entry, it kind of looks like I'll spend the first half of my career being bad at fighting and the second half with magic being more important and being bad at that too. Also, the elf spear seems to have made the ECB redundant in context. Ah, well. Still in love with the idea, still doing it, unless tomorrow they release an ECB/EBS-compatible magus.

The arcane trickster is also an idea I really love. But the mechanics don't really fit the feel I want. The Eldritch Scoundrel might be better for me, but it's not unchained-compatible, which means it's out.


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Sah wrote:
The initiate looks cool, I really like classes that easily move into prestige classes like that, Dragon Disciple and Winter Witch.

I like that too. They've had a few things that make it easier to enter some Prestige Classes, but not enough for me. I keep hoping they'll make a book called Paths to Prestige and fill it with archetypes and fears that will help a variety of classes transition to Prestige Classes.


It's an odd choice but my favorite must be the Pathfinder Chronicler for those deep pockets.


Oh also since I didn't mention it in my last post, mammoth rider is my favorite. I love the flavor and mechanics of it fit my barbarian king character (kingmaker).

Like not being intimidated by larger creatures just because they are large and getting an appropriately sized mammoth (until I get into the prestige class, my mammoth will be the same size as the parties horses)


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Zwordsman wrote:

Its an oldy but.

I utterly utterly love Dragon Disciple.. I only wish they'd update it t say "spell casting" not specifically Arcane.. SO I could make divine dragons. or psychic dragons. etc.

Divine Dragon Disciples are actually doable -- you need the Scaled Disciple feat to do that, and that feat requires you to qualify as a Kobold and be a spontaneous divine caster.

If you don't want to actually be a Kobold, you can select Human or any other race that counts as Human and take the Racial Heritage (Kobold) feat.


I have been wanting to build from a witch and not go winter witch, so far the evangelist is the only option that works.... EK and MT just don't....


All my favorite PRCs are 3rd Party:

-Elocator: always floating is just cool

-Dark Tempest: Jedi PRC, combining mind powers with mindblade (conjuring the blade from a crystal hilt = lightsaber!)

-Metaforge: advancing both mindblade and astral suit?! Yes, please!

-Dragon's Fury: Dual wield goodness


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Dragon Disciple is great.

But I think my favorite is the Veiled Illusionist. If you like illusionist characters, this is a must take IMHO.


David knott 242 wrote:
Zwordsman wrote:

Its an oldy but.

I utterly utterly love Dragon Disciple.. I only wish they'd update it t say "spell casting" not specifically Arcane.. SO I could make divine dragons. or psychic dragons. etc.

Divine Dragon Disciples are actually doable -- you need the Scaled Disciple feat to do that, and that feat requires you to qualify as a Kobold and be a spontaneous divine caster.

If you don't want to actually be a Kobold, you can select Human or any other race that counts as Human and take the Racial Heritage (Kobold) feat.

Nice! That's pretty slick, actually, thanks for pointing that feat out!


Related to this thread:

Base Classes and Archetypes that Should Be Prestige Classes

Inquisitor: See previous post above. Would any self-respecting religion trust some random 1st level worshipper to become their behind-the-scenes, above-the-law Troubleshooter?

Paladin/Antipaladin: See previous post above. Would any self-respecting religion trust some random 1st level worshipper to be an exemplar holy warrior?

Monk: Like the above, but an exemplar of Order and Discipline of different style from the Hellknights (and often probably not getting along with them), and often more connected with a philosophy than with a religion.

Cardinal Cleric: Wait a minute, Cardinal is something you are supposed to become after rising through a lot of ranks within the church heirarchy? Another one that doesn't work conceptually at 1st level (never mind the mechanical deficiencies).

Witchguard Ranger: If you're going to be a Witch that needs a bodyguard, do you really want to trust somebody unproven?

Any of the Pathfinder-Society-specific archetypes.

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