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Archetypes that do a class better than the class does


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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N. Jolly wrote:


I'd debate that, I'd say it depends on the quality of the base class, as having to chain one's self to poor design due to previously made poor design isn't great like the swashbuckler.

Yes absolutely.... but then logic and common sense dictates that the solution is to sort out the base class.... and this can be done in a miriad of ways. Even if it means slotting in an slightly OP class specific feat or similar to balance the equation.

Putting in OP archetypes does nothing but screw over the whole class.


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Δaedalus wrote:
Where's the Chronomancer from? It's not showing up in my searches.

From what I can gather, its not quite in the Pact Wizard category of WTF?!?.... but its halfway there!!

Paizo and their OP Wizard archetypes... I just dont get it

Exploiter, Pact Wizard... and in all probability Chronomancer

When fiddling around with a 9th level caster... let alone the most powerful 9th level caster... you have to be v.v.careful with what you do.

I like to think of things in 2 categories

1) Standard action enhancers

2) Standard action options

SA options are just other things that can be done with SA.... eg) Hexes, SLA. These are far less problematic to give out and trade off in full caster archetypes because they shouldnt upset the balancing factor, ie) spells are the best option for a SA

SA enhancers on the other hand.... should have DANGER DO NOT USE UNLESS IN AN EMERGENCY splattered all over them. Things like inherent bonuses to DC/CL/Saves/Initiative... etc are very easy to misuse in archetypes. They can be used at the same time and enhance the most powerful class features... ie) the spells... = bad news.

Recent Wizard archetypes have gone wrong because they opted for SA enhancers.... and without any real kind of balancing factor.

There should be a Barbarian-esque factor in these things.... if you can tap into some kind of resevoir to power up your spells/effectiveness as a Wizard, you should pay an appropriate SA reducing price.... some kind of 'caster fatigue'

Silver Crusade

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I've said it in other threads but I'll repeat it here, I don't really care how powerful or versatile the vanilla Wizard can be, I rather they have access to awesome archetypes than boring ones.


Rysky wrote:
I've said it in other threads but I'll repeat it here, I don't really care how powerful or versatile the vanilla Wizard can be, I rather they have access to awesome archetypes than boring ones.

You can easily make 'awesome' archetypes without violating the basic concept of archetype design.

But to be honest, I'm not even sure what you mean by an 'awesome' or 'boring' archetype in this context??

What you seem to be suggesting is 'Awesome' = Unbalanced

If that is the case we really have very little to discuss.

Silver Crusade

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*shrugs*

I don't think so, since I see the base Wizard as boring.


Rysky wrote:

*shrugs*

I don't think so, since I see the base Wizard as boring.

You disappoint me since you strike me as someone whose played PF for a while...

One of the fundamental laws of the universe = YOU CANT HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT

1) How on earth can you be the most powerful class in the game and be bored?!!?

2) How on earth does giving you an archetype that makes you even more powerful solve anything?!?!

3) So you want to be the most powerful class AND be really exciting to play as well??

'With great power comes great responsibility' or even better...'Every action has an equal and opposite reaction'

The gaping flaw with recent Wizard archetypes is that they up the power level in certain areas but dont appropriately weaken it in others.... and thus break the concept of good archetype design.

Its RPG common sense...

Silver Crusade

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Yes, I want the class to be exciting, otherwise I won't play it.

Yes, I agree that Wizard is one of the strongest classes in the game not only due to their versatility but also literally with what their spells are capable of. But the spells are also available to Sorcerers (who are locked into them and have less, yes I know this) who are not boring to me.

If I had to choose between playing a base Wizard and base Sorcerer I would pick Sorcerer because their Bloodlines really interest me, the Wizard's Schools? Not so much.

When I say I find the Wizard boring I'm being literal, I don't find them weak. They bore me. Power is nice but it is secondary to me. I still want to be interesting and hopefully effective, so having an archetype that is both is just awesome, rather than a bad thing.

So yes I want my cake and I want to eat it, otherwise why would I get cake in the first place?

Edit since you edited yours.

'With great power comes great responsibility'... and? I don't think that quote means what you think it means.

I am amused though with your comments of "break the concept of good archetype design" and "it's RPG Common Sense, it makes you sound like you came up with the idea and widespread use of archetypes and not Paizo lol

Silver Crusade

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To talk about good archetype design and something you brought up I think absolutely no archetype should make the base class weaker. Trade things out and specialize in other areas, yes, but they should never penalize the class.

Liberty's Edge

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I believe Rysky's point is that archetypes such as Pact Wizard aren't awesome because of the power level, but because of the twist they add to the class and its feel as a role.

The Pact Wizard makes a deal with a power much greater than themselves, and accepts the price the pay with their body. Their abilities are all about tapping into that dangerous power and pushing themselves to their limits.

The archetype was executed poorly from a balance perspective, but from a role-playing perspective, it's awesome.

And, from a personal point of view, it's better to print an archetype that's above the power curve than one that's so far below it that it's irrelevant. Especially if it creates new options or brings a new flavor. I feel the Sanctified Slayer Inquisitor is a great example of this.

Silver Crusade

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Thank you for stating that far more eloquently than I ever could, aptly and awesomely named Dandy Lion ^w^


Rysky wrote:

Yes, I want the class to be exciting, otherwise I won't play it.

Yes, I agree that Wizard is one of the strongest classes in the game not only due to their versatility but also literally with what their spells are capable of. But the spells are also available to Sorcerers (who are locked into them and have less, yes I know this) who are not boring to me.

If I had to choose between playing a base Wizard and base Sorcerer I would pick Sorcerer because their Bloodlines really interest me, the Wizard's Schools? Not so much.

When I say I find the Wizard boring I'm being literal, I don't find them weak. They bore me. Power is nice but it is secondary to me. I still want to be interesting and hopefully effective, so having an archetype that is both is just awesome, rather than a bad thing.

So yes I want my cake and I want to eat it, otherwise why would I get cake in the first place?

Edit since you edited yours.

'With great power comes great responsibility'... and? I don't think that quote means what you think it means.

I am amused though with your comments of "break the concept of good archetype design" and "it's RPG Common Sense, it makes you sound like you came up with the idea and widespread use of archetypes and not Paizo lol

You havent really addressed the fundamentals....

How does making the most powerful class in the game more powerful with archetypes solve anything?

Do you advocate unbalanced archetypes?

And yes the quote is relevant hence why I paired it with the other...

Ohh heres another... Energy in = Energy out :))

FYI...In essence its discussing how every upside has a downside

And what I find amusing is that you seem to think Paizo is the only voice worth listening to??

It really is RPG common sense.... if an archetype is more powerful than the original base class it basically invalidates the base class. Having a weaker archetype isnt great but at least it doesnt invalidate the base class.

Let me guess you were one of the people that thought Pact Wizard was balanced?!?..LOL


The Dandy Lion wrote:

I believe Rysky's point is that archetypes such as Pact Wizard aren't awesome because of the power level, but because of the twist they add to the class and its feel as a role.

The Pact Wizard makes a deal with a power much greater than themselves, and accepts the price the pay with their body. Their abilities are all about tapping into that dangerous power and pushing themselves to their limits.

The archetype was executed poorly from a balance perspective, but from a role-playing perspective, it's awesome.

And, from a personal point of view, it's better to print an archetype that's above the power curve than one that's so far below it that it's irrelevant. Especially if it creates new options or brings a new flavor. I feel the Sanctified Slayer Inquisitor is a great example of this.

Cant agree with that I'm afraid.... the 'RP flavour' of the Pact Wizard could easily have been achieved without any increase in power.

Making a class 'more RP' is easy peezy and does not require any increase on overall power.... so I'm sorry that viewpoint holds no water.

The problem is magnified when dealing with a class that is ALREADY the most powerful class.... having an OP option on a relatively weak base class isnt great but its no way near as unbalancing.

The fact that PFS took one look at it and said "Noooooo thanks" screams Unbalanced archetype!

Silver Crusade

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Having a weaker archetype most likely means it will never get played either, but having an archetype like Pact Wizard doesn't invalidate the Wizard, I've barely seen anyone play one or put one up in recruitment. Only one in fact.

And it's not so much Paizo is the only voice worth listening to so much as the way you're stating things come across as if you're claiming you're the authority on the subject, when you're not. Especially since you're suggestions are seeming boil down to having to weaken the base class, and weaken it further the stronger it is for it to have interesting things in it's archetypes. I don't agree with that design philosophy at all.

The Dandy Lion already stated my points better than I could, but yes, I much rather have really strong and "unbalanced" archetypes than boring and weak ones. The Pact Wizard is very strong, but I don't see it as too unbalanced, especially when what it is applied to, the Wizard.

Liberty's Edge

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doc roc wrote:


It really is RPG common sense.... if an archetype is more powerful than the original base class it basically invalidates the base class. Having a weaker archetype isnt great but at least it doesnt invalidate the base class.

I see the premise of this sentiment, but I don't think it actually holds true, in practise, save that the base class is fundamentally flawed (Core monk), or if the archetype does overwhelmingly more (Primalist bloodrager).

In the former case, such replacement archetypes exist in attempts to fix the class - the Qinggong Monk and Sohei are both fully intended to do this, and add a lot to the class. Core Monk is simply not an option in the first place. This design was proven when the Unchained Monk was built not to interact with those archetypes.

In the latter case, well, okay. I do think this archetype was a mistake. It set out to do what the Qinggong Monk did, but the class did not need it. I would submit that even the Qinggong Monk should have just been presented as a new class option (such as Sorcerer bloodline mutations), rather than an archetype.

But with these extreme examples aside, are any of the base classes redundant or forgotten? The Inquisitor has two extremely powerful archetypes in Sanctified Slayer/Sacred Huntsman (and now the new Ravener Hunter), but I still see vanilla Inquisitors all the time. The Molthuni Arsenal Chaplain is an archetype that significantly overpowers the base Warpriest, but it also gives the class a much stronger identity between Cleric, Paladin and Inquisitor that the class formerly received a lot of flak for. And even then I see a bunch of people eschewing it for Vanilla because they're not interested in Weapon Training as a class feature, and prefer to keep Channel Energy and the different blessings. Even with the Bloodrager, I've yet to see anyone bother with the Primalist within our group - no-one cares.

At the lower optimisation level, base classes are more accessible, and more visible. They will always be played, and some people will pick them over more optimal archetypes simply because they prefer the flavor, or would actually rather have 4 feats than a curse, spells and a bunch of critical rerolls.

On a higher optimisation level, these archetypes typically increase the power level because they add more options to the pool. Sanctified Slayers and Arsenal Chaplains are just more interesting to build and find synergies for than the base classes, anyway.

...and it's a role playing game. People will pick flavor over mechanics, when they want. And it's easier to pick a base class over that 10% better archetype, when you know the base class is still good, then look at the Sword Devil Ranger and wonder just how much you want to give up for your class to fit your character.


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Cenorin wrote:
You can argue that the various "specialized" Fighter archetypes like Two-Handed Fighter, Phalanx Soldier, and such do a better job of reflecting the character concepts that most people have when making Fighters - it's much more common for someone to be thinking "I want to be the ultimate greatsword user" or "I want to be the ultimate pikeman" than "I want to be really good at wielding a wide variety of weapons", in which case you don't need the Weapon Training in five different weapon groups offered by the base class.

The problem is now that advanced weapon training enables you to trade out those extra groups for incredibly good things, most of those archetypes aren't worth it now.

Silver Crusade

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Claxon wrote:
Cenorin wrote:
You can argue that the various "specialized" Fighter archetypes like Two-Handed Fighter, Phalanx Soldier, and such do a better job of reflecting the character concepts that most people have when making Fighters - it's much more common for someone to be thinking "I want to be the ultimate greatsword user" or "I want to be the ultimate pikeman" than "I want to be really good at wielding a wide variety of weapons", in which case you don't need the Weapon Training in five different weapon groups offered by the base class.
The problem is now that advanced weapon training enables you to trade out those extra groups for incredibly good things, most of those archetypes aren't worth it now.

You still get extra groups with Two-Handed Fighter so they're still good ^w^


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doc roc wrote:


Paizo and their OP Wizard archetypes... I just dont get it

Exploiter, Pact Wizard... and in all probability Chronomancer

The Exploiter is fine; the loss of arcane school really hits hard. It's noteworthy for being the only (current) Wizard archetype that trades away the arcane school that actually gets something equivalent in return.

The Dandy Lion wrote:
And, from a personal point of view, it's better to print an archetype that's above the power curve than one that's so far below it that it's irrelevant. Especially if it creates new options or brings a new flavor. I feel the Sanctified Slayer Inquisitor is a great example of this.

I would strongly disagree with this. When an archetype is printed that's above the power curve, then it raises the power curve and leaves previously published archetypes below said curve. You can see this issue with the Fighter; with the publishing of the Advanced Weapon Training option, most of the archetypes that traded away the Weapon Training class feature are now functionally obsolete.

Most people tend to agree that the Fighter needed this, and it was well executed in the sense that many of the new options significantly broadened what you can do with a single-class Fighter build (skill monkey fighters are now a thing. I never thought I'd see the day). However, it did come with a pretty hefty price tag in terms of rendering former options into underpowered garbage.

What gets me with the Wizard in particular is that there's lots of room to create interesting archetypes with powerful abilities. Any archetype that trades off the arcane school class feature reduces the wizard's spellcasting power significantly, especially at his highest spell level. This loss in spellcasting power gives you a lot of room to create class features that would be overpowered in other contexts. If the Pact Wizard had traded off the Arcane School and gotten something less insane than the reroll effect, it would have been a much more nuanced and balanced archetype.


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there is the possibility that really weak options are specifically for GMs to use with NPCs

Shadow Lodge

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Porridge wrote:

Here's one that was pointed out (in a different thread by Kalindlara):

Class: Cleric
Archetype that does it better: Divine Paragon

The basic cleric is supposed to be all about worshiping, deriving divine power from, and advancing the interests of your god.

With the basic cleric, the god you worship doesn't have much mechanical bearing on your abilities -- mechanically, there's not much of a difference between a cleric of Desna and a cleric of Asmodeus. Likewise, besides your alignment restrictions, there isn't much by way of role-playing or religious requirements that relate to the particular deity you worship. A cleric of one deity will play much like any other.

The Divine Paragon is a strictly better fit with the idea of being devoted to a particular deity. By giving you access to the unique obedience boons associated with your deity, it gives clerics of different deities unique distinguishing abilities. And by requiring you to perform daily obediences, it makes clerics of different deities have a clearly different feel, with a constant role-playing requirement to remind you of who you worship, and how a worshiper of that god should behave.

I find the Divine Paragon a bit underwelming until much higher level when it is a little too late.

Id say that both the Roaming Exorcist, (to a lesser degree), and Herald Caller do a better job at general Cleric than the Cleric. The Herald Caller gets more skill points and trades out a Domain to get a few key Feats that leaves room to use your normal Feats for whatever build you might want to go with.


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The Dandy Lion wrote:

I see the premise of this sentiment, but I don't think it actually holds true, in practise, save that the base class is fundamentally flawed (Core monk), or if the archetype does overwhelmingly more (Primalist bloodrager).

You're missing the purple and green elephant in the room....

By going on about Inquisitor... etc archetypes you're comparing apples and oranges

The Inquisitor by almost universal agreement is a Tier 3 class. If you make an archetype that is OP in comparison to the vanilla its not great, but in all probability it will not cause any problems.

Same with the Monk.... Unchained is what Tier 3/4 now??

Now the wizard on the other hand....

This is the most powerful class in the game ALREADY..it is Tier 1.. the margin for error on archetype design is waaaaaaayyy smaller than that for a Tier 3 or 4 class. OP archetypes are hugely problematic in games because for the simple fact that the base class is already so powerful.

The reason why you maybe haven't seen many Pact Wizards played is simple. They are banned in PFS! I guarantee you, if they weren't banned in PFS you would see a lot more of them..... its common sense.

And using your Inquisitor argument, the Monster Tactician archetype is banned in PFS also. Why?? Because the shift in power is so noticeable from the base class. And as someone who has played in several games where they were present.... I can tell you they are indeed monsters!!! However, again since they are PFS banned they just don't crop up that often.

Even if you had never played PF before, the above arguments are just plain logic....

The more powerful the base class, the more careful you have to be with archetype design.


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DM Beckett wrote:


I find the Divine Paragon a bit underwelming until much higher level when it is a little too late.

I agree... people got all excited when it came out but I didnt see it.

There are a few deities where it could be worth it but then you dont get the boons until 5th, 11th, 14th ??? By then you're firmly in 7th level spell territory.

Its only worth IMO is as a free entry to Evangelist PrC to become more of a skill monkey.... but even then you're giving up a caster level and deecent saves so its a bit 50/50 even then...

DM Beckett wrote:
Id say that both the Roaming Exorcist, (to a lesser degree), and Herald Caller do a better job at general Cleric than the Cleric. The Herald Caller gets more skill points and trades out a Domain to get a few key Feats that leaves room to use your normal Feats for whatever build you might want to go with.

But heres the thing you can still build very decent summoning builds with vanilla cleric....

I saw this played at a PFS once...

Dwarf Cleric of Iomedae:

- Heroism and Archon subdomains

Scion of War, Steel soul, Sacred Summons, Heedful Readiness, Glory of Old.... dont know what its 7th and 9th level feats were

So it was adding CHA, Cleric level and WIS to initiative
Full armoured 9th level casting
Standard action summoning of archons.... well buffed using both the 8th level domain abilities
Very resistant to magic

To this day I've seen a few Herald Callers played but they werent as good as this guy!... Ergo the archtype is actually pretty well designed.


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DM Beckett wrote:

I find the Divine Paragon a bit underwelming until much higher level when it is a little too late.

Id say that both the Roaming Exorcist, (to a lesser degree), and Herald Caller do a better job at general Cleric than the Cleric. The Herald Caller gets more skill points and trades out a Domain to get a few key Feats that leaves room to use your normal Feats for whatever build you might want to go with.

--With respect to the Divine Paragon: I agree that, power-wise, it can be underwhelming for a number of deities. So I'm definitely not arguing that the Divine Paragon is a better_2 cleric than the cleric. Rather, I was arguing that the Divine Paragon does a better job of fitting the idea behind the cleric class than the cleric does.

I.e., it's always struck me as funny that there are strict requirements a paladin has to adhere to, or else the gods will strip them of their powers, but not equivalent constraints imposed on clerics -- who you would think would be subject to even stricter scrutiny! Likewise, one would expect a lot of variation from cleric to cleric depending on the deity they worship. But mechanically, the basic cleric plays much the same regardless of who you worship. The Divine Paragon, with the unique boons and obediences, gets around these problems.

--With respect to the Herald Caller: A neat archetype. I'll definitely grant that it's a better_2 cleric than the cleric, especially if you want to go the summoning-cleric route.

Less confident it better fits the idea behind the cleric than the cleric; i.e., that it's a better_1 cleric than the cleric. It seems you have to play a summoning-type given this archetype, but there are a number of cleric tropes that don't fit that kind of character, no?...

--With respect to the Roaming Exorcist: Another neat archetype. (Thanks for drawing my attention to these, by the way!) And one that actually does a better job of fitting the idea of a "spiritual priest" than the cleric does -- more skill points/lvl and a slew of abilities helping them notice supernatural/spiritual things like haunts, possession, curses, and the like. This seems like a great fit for a wide range of cleric types you find in (say) popular fantasy fiction.

Not as good a fit with the idea of a "militant priest" than the cleric, since it gives up medium armor proficiency and shield proficiencies. But the "militant priest" idea was already an awkward fit with a 9th level caster, and the "militant priest" idea is better satisfied by the warpriest and inquisitor anyway... So I think I'm pretty much on board with this. For a wide range of cleric tropes, the Roaming Exorcist does seem to be a better_1 cleric than the cleric. Nice!

Shadow Lodge

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I'm not saying that the Herald Caller is strictly "better" (as in stronger/ OP) than every possible Cleric build. Only that, as an Archetype, (and particularly as one of the only good Cleric Archetypes), it does an amazing job.

It touches on being a specialized faithful by changing the way Summoning Spells work to a more restricted but flavorful list. It gives a few unique abilities (such as the ability to speak directly to anything you Summon, regardless of language) and to heal it (or ignore it) with Channel Energy regardless of it's location in the area.

But another key is that the Herald Caller gets a few key Feats for free (and ignoring useless prereqs) that they can devote all of their other Feats to doing whatever they want without splitting focus. So, you could build a Herald Caller that never even uses Summon Monster spells as a Reach Battle Cleric, who can still fill in the generic Divine Caster (healer/buffer) role if needed, and without really putting any effort into boosting Summoning at all, still be a pretty good Summoner build to boot.

So, what I mean is that it allows for a lot of versatility for building a Cleric, even if you do not really want to focus on Summoning Spells at all. It's not the "best".


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Ventnor wrote:
The Teisatsu Vigilante archetype is basically the Stalker Vigilante, but with the ability to get Ki Powers instead of Rogue talents. So, I think it qualifies.

Another nice find. It does seem to be a better_2 Stalker vigilante than the basic Stalker vigilante, since the ki pool and access to ninja talents and ki powers is definitely worth a vigilante talent and the loss of access to rogue talents (which are almost uniformly awful).

Is the Teisatsu a better_1 Stalker vigilante than the Stalker vigilante? I.e., does it better fit the "stealthy and sneaky superhero-type" idea?... Yeah, I think it does. A lot of stealthy and sneaky superhero types have abilities bordering on mystical and supernatural, if not abilities that are outright mystical and supernatural, and the ninja talents and ki powers fit this idea nicely. Nice!


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@RJGrady, Cenorin, on the Unbreakable and specialized fighters as better_1 fighters: This is another case where 18 months I would have agreed with you without question, but now that the Advanced Weapon Training and Advanced Armor Training options have come out, I'm a lot less sure... (But several people noted this already, so I won't belabor the point!)

Dasrak wrote:
The vanilla summoner is very bad at having large numbers of summoned creatures. His true strength isn't in bursting, but rather sustain. He has a large number of uses of the highest level Summon Monster spell, the duration is much longer than normal, he can activate it as a standard action, and he only begins to tap into it once his eidolon is downed. He may not be able to bring all that to bear at once, but that's a lot of resources. And that's true for both chained and unchained.

That sounds right. And a sound piece of analysis on how to think of the tactical and strategic strengths of the summoner. (Still hard for me to get a good grasp on the what *intuitive* idea behind the summoner was... i.e., if a rogue is supposed to be a "generally sneaky, skillful, but mundane operative", then the summoner is supposed to be... what, exactly?)

DM Beckett wrote:

I'm not saying that the Herald Caller is strictly "better" (as in stronger/ OP) than every possible Cleric build. Only that, as an Archetype, (and particularly as one of the only good Cleric Archetypes), it does an amazing job. ...

it allows for a lot of versatility for building a Cleric, even if you do not really want to focus on Summoning Spells at all.

Yeah, good. I agree with all of this!

Shadow Lodge

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Porridge wrote:

With respect to the Herald Caller: A neat archetype. I'll definitely grant that it's a better_2 cleric than the cleric, especially if you want to go the summoning-cleric route.

Less confident it better fits the idea behind the cleric than the cleric; i.e., that it's a better_1 cleric than the cleric. It seems you have to play a summoning-type given this archetype, but there are a number of cleric tropes that don't fit that kind of character, no?...

I would argue that it does and can. You can almost entirely ignore the Summoning aspect of the Archetype as extra icing on the cake in order to build a Battle Cleric almost exactly as you would a "Battle Cleric" without the Archetype, that trades out a bit of AC for more Skill Points, (which is pretty much the major issue with the Battle Cleric). Furthermore, a dip into Fighter/Paladin/Ranger/etc. . . can get you most of the things you give up if you want to view it that way. (Not sure I would consider that power gaming or gaming the system as a Battle Cleric is likely to do this already, you would just get a slightly better benefit for it for slightly less drawbacks in the end).

Porridge wrote:
With respect to the Roaming Exorcist: Another neat archetype. (Thanks for drawing my attention to these, by the way!) And one that actually does a better job of fitting the idea of a "spiritual priest" than the cleric does -- more skill points/lvl and a...

Similarly, the thing about the Roaming Exorcist is that you do not have to build it much different than you would almost any other Cleric Build. You do not have to capitalize either heavily or exclusively on the aspects that the Archetype strengthens, although you very much can.

Both simply add more potential and more versatility to the existing builds with less drawbacks overall.

So in that sense, I'd argue that both Archetypes do allow for both #1 and #2 of doing the Cleric's overall job/role better than the basic class itself, but not to the degree that it is 100% better all around. The Roaming Exorcist in particular is to a lesser extent, and is also a lot more dependent on the style of game and challenges faced.

Shadow Lodge

doc roc wrote:

I agree... people got all excited when it came out but I didnt see it.

There are a few deities where it could be worth it but then you dont get the boons until 5th, 11th, 14th ??? By then you're firmly in 7th level spell territory.

Its only worth IMO is as a free entry to Evangelist PrC to become more of a skill monkey.... but even then you're giving up a caster level and deecent saves so its a bit 50/50 even then...

This is largely why I see the Divine Paragon as a fairly poor Archetype. It is largely based on focusing on flavor, but realistically it is a rather small portion of flavor, (and sort of seems like an individual trying to tell everyone the "right way" to play a Cleric, so that other styles are "wrong").

It trades out mostly mechanics to get mostly "flavor" options until much higher level, so basically it makes promises and insinuations that it doesn't generally keep, and works just as poorly for some deities as it does mediocre for others. It's bad design, although overall, viewed from the better and worse possible extremes, it's not overall terrible. It's just not great either.


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In my opinion the Invulnerable Rager Barbarian fits my concept of the barbarian better than the base class. IMO the things the archetype gives up, uncanny dodge / imp uncanny dodge and TRAP SENSE, are more rogue like abilities. The barbarian class write up mentions that they have a sixth sense, but I still find it odd that the core barbarian has trap sense.

I don't think that uncanny dodge or imp uncanny dodge are bad, I think they're great defensive abilities, but I think the Invulnerable Rager is a more true to my concept of the barbarian.


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Rysky wrote:
I've said it in other threads but I'll repeat it here, I don't really care how powerful or versatile the vanilla Wizard can be, I rather they have access to awesome archetypes than boring ones.

Indeed. I haven't played a wizard since before Hasbro bought TSR, but just from the fluff of the Chronomancer (haven't seen the book yet, just read the product thread) I have ideas for characters I'd like to play with that archetype.

Probably the only thing that would get me to look forward to playing a Wizard is an archetype whose concept I love, and if that concept were backed up by really weak mechanics I probably wouldn't follow through.


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ChaiGuy wrote:

In my opinion the Invulnerable Rager Barbarian fits my concept of the barbarian better than the base class. IMO the things the archetype gives up, uncanny dodge / imp uncanny dodge and TRAP SENSE, are more rogue like abilities. The barbarian class write up mentions that they have a sixth sense, but I still find it odd that the core barbarian has trap sense.

I don't think that uncanny dodge or imp uncanny dodge are bad, I think they're great defensive abilities, but I think the Invulnerable Rager is a more true to my concept of the barbarian.

If your idea for a barbarian is Conan, then the original barbarian class features fit.


necromental wrote:
ChaiGuy wrote:

In my opinion the Invulnerable Rager Barbarian fits my concept of the barbarian better than the base class. IMO the things the archetype gives up, uncanny dodge / imp uncanny dodge and TRAP SENSE, are more rogue like abilities. The barbarian class write up mentions that they have a sixth sense, but I still find it odd that the core barbarian has trap sense.

I don't think that uncanny dodge or imp uncanny dodge are bad, I think they're great defensive abilities, but I think the Invulnerable Rager is a more true to my concept of the barbarian.

If your idea for a barbarian is Conan, then the original barbarian class features fit.

While I have heard of Conan, and I suppose I watched a Conan movie (with Arnold schwarzenegger) that is not my go to inspiration for a barbarian character. I usually think of Kenpachi of Bleach (anime).

I'm not saying all barbarians should be be Kenpachi clones, it's just what I think of.


ChaiGuy wrote:
necromental wrote:
ChaiGuy wrote:

In my opinion the Invulnerable Rager Barbarian fits my concept of the barbarian better than the base class. IMO the things the archetype gives up, uncanny dodge / imp uncanny dodge and TRAP SENSE, are more rogue like abilities. The barbarian class write up mentions that they have a sixth sense, but I still find it odd that the core barbarian has trap sense.

I don't think that uncanny dodge or imp uncanny dodge are bad, I think they're great defensive abilities, but I think the Invulnerable Rager is a more true to my concept of the barbarian.

If your idea for a barbarian is Conan, then the original barbarian class features fit.

While I have heard of Conan, and I suppose I watched a Conan movie (with Arnold schwarzenegger) that is not my go to inspiration for a barbarian character. I usually think of Kenpachi of Bleach (anime).

I'm not saying all barbarians should be be Kenpachi clones, it's just what I think of.

No, definitely not Shwarzy's Conan, he's too slow. Momoa's maybe, but inspiration was the literary one (maybe the old comic books), IMO. Not saying your idea doesn't fit.


I'll try to get a hold of a Conan book or two, it sounds like a good read. :)


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necromental wrote:
ChaiGuy wrote:

In my opinion the Invulnerable Rager Barbarian fits my concept of the barbarian better than the base class. IMO the things the archetype gives up, uncanny dodge / imp uncanny dodge and TRAP SENSE, are more rogue like abilities. The barbarian class write up mentions that they have a sixth sense, but I still find it odd that the core barbarian has trap sense.

I don't think that uncanny dodge or imp uncanny dodge are bad, I think they're great defensive abilities, but I think the Invulnerable Rager is a more true to my concept of the barbarian.

If your idea for a barbarian is Conan, then the original barbarian class features fit.

Except Conan was a typical multiclassed character, with levels in Barbarian, Rogue, Fighter (or other class giving proficiency in heavy armor) possibly ranger or brawler...

@Chai Guy : Do read some Conan, the actual Robert E Howard stuff, nothing better than the original.


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doc roc wrote:
the margin for error on archetype design is waaaaaaayyy smaller than that for a Tier 3 or 4 class. OP archetypes are hugely problematic in games because for the simple fact that the base class is already so powerful.

I think you could actually make a compelling argument for the opposite.

Wizards are so powerful as written that an archetype that makes them objectively more powerful doesn't matter much, because they're already so powerful that the impact of enhancing that power is less pronounced.

A fighter has an apple. A really good fighter archetype gives him a second apple. WHOA. You've just DOUBLED the number of apples, that's a big deal. If he eats both apples, that's twice as much food. That's an impact that has weight.

A wizard? A wizard has a thousand elephants. An elephant is a lot bigger than an apple, but if you give the wizard another elephant and they all trample you you'll be hard pressed to tell the difference between being run over by a thousand elephants or a thousand and one elephants.

It's just a matter of diminishing returns.


Klorox wrote:
necromental wrote:
ChaiGuy wrote:

In my opinion the Invulnerable Rager Barbarian fits my concept of the barbarian better than the base class. IMO the things the archetype gives up, uncanny dodge / imp uncanny dodge and TRAP SENSE, are more rogue like abilities. The barbarian class write up mentions that they have a sixth sense, but I still find it odd that the core barbarian has trap sense.

I don't think that uncanny dodge or imp uncanny dodge are bad, I think they're great defensive abilities, but I think the Invulnerable Rager is a more true to my concept of the barbarian.

If your idea for a barbarian is Conan, then the original barbarian class features fit.
Except Conan was a typical multiclassed character, with levels in Barbarian, Rogue, Fighter (or other class giving proficiency in heavy armor) possibly ranger or brawler...

Again as I stated in multiple threads, Conan fights with ferocity and cat-like reflexes, a scoffs at people who are better-trained, and nothing in his thievery uses rogue-skill set as his thievery is mostly acrobatics athletics, superior reflexes and strength checks. And rogue like features are emulated with uncanny dodge and trap sense. Later when he is king, well, there is only one Howard's story about that so I don't know what levels could he have multiclassed at.


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at least 2 stories where he dons plate armor, : The Scarlet Citadel and The Hour of the Dragon (aka Conan the Conqueror) also, in stories located early in his biography (like The Tower of the Elephant or The God in the Bowl) he is most definitely described as a thief.


Klorox wrote:
also, in sotries located early in his biography (like The Tower of the Elephant or The God in the Urn) he is most definitely described as a thief.

Thief is an occupation. He uses stealth, climbs a rope, and breaks open couple of doors or windows. He doesn't use disable device, or open lock, and he doesn't sneak attack anybody.

Klorox wrote:
at least 2 stories where he dons plate armor, : The Scarlet Citadel and The Hour of the Dragon (aka Conan the Conqueror)

Yes, he is king there and it feels he took somekind of Leadership-based prestige class, maybe he took a couple levels of fighter there, and tempered his raging. Not that he doesn't use it when the need arises.

Again, his combat style is described as angry, ferocious, often unskilled compared to his enemies, and he doesn't use a specific weapon. He takes glancing blows, has cat-like reflexes and awareness, and has strength and endurance usually unparalleled in human enemies.
Even if he has a couple of levels in other classes, he is still mostly a barbarian and you can find quotes that perfectly mirror core barbarian class features.

Sorry for the derail.


Not so sure... he seems to be mostly of a class that gives a lot of skill points (though he almost certainly is of above average intelligence...) so I'd almost say that he's got quite a few levels as a ranger, to boot, he's much les the berserker than was his forefather Kull.


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Klorox wrote:
Not so sure... he seems to be mostly of a class that gives a lot of skill points (though he almost certainly is of above average intelligence...) so I'd almost say that he's got quite a few levels as a ranger, to boot, he's much les the berserker than was his forefather Kull.

Other than skill points (of which as a barbarian, he could have 6-7 per level with no problem), what ranger class features does he have? He doesn't seem to use favored enemy (not even human), doesn't have an animal companion (he rides horses but not super friendly bonded horses), he certainly doesn't have spells.

Go other way around, and try justifying barbarian:
Increased movement - often described as very fast runner
Rage - angry and ferocious combat (don't remember about Kull that well, but Conan doesn't rage every fight, could be just that Kull has shorter fuse).
Uncanny dodge - always reacts on time when attacked
Imp.uncanny dodge - combats multiple opponents with no perceived difficulty, described as having eyes in the back of his head.
DR - frequently turning serious blows into glancing ones.
Rage powers - strength burst, skill enhancing ones, knockback could all fit.
Trap Sense - his way in dealing with (rare) traps is avoidance or breaking, rather than disabling it.

He does seem to have some skill deficiency, but even rangers 2 extra don't necessarily help. Rogue had much better case in 3.5 when there was almost double number of skills that fit Conan. But not all of the skill need to be maxed out (like climb and swim), especially with great stats (Conan isn't built on 15 pt buy, that's for sure), and simply the case of not putting in all the virtues of a single character when designing a class.


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Not saying he has no levels as a barb, but I'd not take that class as his defining trait... his lack of ranger defining traits (like favored enemy or animal companion, or, the gods forbid, spells) is why I'm not firm on saying he has ranger levels... but I'll certainly give him levels in rogue (even though he's never shown using mechanical skills, I'll say he probably has evasion as a class feature, and some levels in sleight of hand, as well as climbing maxed out) Given his mastery of languages and lore (remember, his first appearance in literature he's compiling a geographical treatise, or how he knows how to invoke Jhebbal Sag in Beyond the Black River) as well as his humongous charisma, I'd like to find a bard archetype that focuses on fighting rather than on magic or performance to give him access to those.


Maybe he's an archetype that trades in a little rage for a few other class features?


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Thassilonian Sin Specialist does wizard better than wizard in my opinion. A scholar deeply focused on ancient and arcane rituals learning magic to fulfill his/her deepest desires fits better thematically when the drawback for focus is actually a drawback. And mechanically, the bonus spell/level makes early levels easier, and helps with popular roles like blasting or summoning. Plus removing tools from a wizard's toolkit can help to balance most levels. As a GM, I would personally allow and even advocate letting players choose forbidden schools and have divination as an option.


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Paradozen wrote:
Thassilonian Sin Specialist does wizard better than wizard in my opinion.

The problem with the Thassilonian specialist is that you completely lose access to your opposition schools and those opposition schools are locked in by your specialist choice. This pretty much makes the Evocation, Illusion, and Enchantment specialist schools unviable. You lose access to completely critical spells. Necromancy also suffers from its Abjuration opposition; normally an Abjuration opposition can be handled, but completely losing access to the school is crippling at high levels. Abjuration has great opposition schools, but due to the very long duration typical of Abjuration spells gains very little from the duplicate spell slot. That leaves Conjuration and Transmutation as the only really viable options for Sin Specialist. This isn't displacing a regular Wizard, not at all.


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I think its better than you have to ban schools.

It lets the wizard have some flavor, instead of the current base wizard which is "I can cast and do anything i want"


Have to agree with Dasrak, the Thassilonian Specialist is all that 2nd ed specialist wizard was and worse... there's good reason PF mitigated the specialist wizard rule by turning inaccessibility into double slots, and further mitigated it with the arcane discoveries rule.


CWheezy wrote:

I think its better than you have to ban schools.

It lets the wizard have some flavor, instead of the current base wizard which is "I can cast and do anything i want"

Where you say 'flavour', I smell impotence. Renouncing to whole schools of magic no less than cripples your character, I've played enough specialists in 3.5 to know that for a fact... the times I've wished I had acess to invisibility or enchanment spells (suggestion, geas etc, or even just Tasha's irresitible laughter...) and couldn't have confirmed that thes rules are no less than crippling, and crippled magician has a flavor of rotting meat too strong for my palate.


I would like to see a reload of the Tassilonian Sin Magic Specialist, as a hybrid of Wizard and Psychic: They still hurt from having Prohibited Schools, but when casting from their Specialty School, they can bend reality with their mind. Also have a handful of Reduced Opposition spells (if in your Opposition School, treated as non-Opposition/non-Specialty; if in your Prohibited School, treated as Opposition) -- Detect Magic, Read Magic, and Dispel Magic come to mind, and probably need to add a few others.


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Klorox wrote:
Where you say 'flavour', I smell impotence.

If you look at any written wizard, they are nothing like a spellcaster in pathfinder. Usually they have very stringent limitations, must make sacrifices, etc.

Right now pathfinder wizards have zero flavor, as they can become essentially gods by the last 1/3rd of the game. Because they have zero limitations and can do anything and everything, it sort of condenses all wizards into a formless blob

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