Advanced Class Guide

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Just a few weeks ago, we announced the Pathfinder RPG Advanced Class Guide, an exciting new addition to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game due out next summer. While we talked about it a fair bit at Gencon, this blog post is here to get you caught up on all the news!

This 256-page rulebook will contain 10 new classes, each a mix of two existing classes, taking a bit from each class and adding new mechanics to give you a unique character. Around the office we're calling them "hybrid classes." You can think of the magus (from Ultimate Magic) as our first test of this concept. It takes some rules from the fighter, some rules from the wizard, and then adds its own unique mechanics.

At this point, you're probably wondering what new classes you can expect to see in the Advanced Class Guide. So far, we've announced five of the ten classes.

Bloodrager: This blend of sorcerer and barbarian can call upon the power of his blood whenever he goes into a rage. He also has a limited selection of spells he can call upon, even when in a mindless fury!

Hunter: Taking powers from both the druid and the ranger, the hunter is never without her trusted animal companion, hunting down foes with lethal accuracy.

Shaman: Calling upon the spirits to aid her, the shaman draws upon class features of the oracle and the witch. Each day, she can commune with different spirits to aid her and her allies.

Slayer: Look at all the blood! The slayer blends the rogue and the ranger to create a character that is all about taking down particular targets.

Warpriest: Most religions have martial traditions, and warpriests are often the backbones of such orders. This mix of cleric and fighter can call upon the blessings of the gods to defeat enemies of their faiths.

Of course, those are just half the classes in this book. There are four more we have yet to reveal.

"Four?" you say. "But I thought there were ten!" And you would be right—because I'm about to let you in on another of the classes that will appear in this book, which we haven't announced until this moment!

Swashbuckler: Break out your rapier and your wit! The swashbuckler uses panache and daring to get the job done, blending the powers of the fighter and the gunslinger! For those of you who don't use guns in your campaign, fear not—the base class is not proficient in firearms (although there will certainly be an archetype in the book that fix that).

But that's not all! This book will also contain archetypes for all 10 new classes, as well as a selection to help existing classes play with some of the new features in this book. There will also be feats and spells to support these new classes, as well as magic items that will undoubtedly become favorites for nearly any character. Last but not least, the final chapter in this book will give you a peek inside the design process for classes and archetypes, giving you plenty of tips and guides to build your own! Since class design is more art than science, this won't be a system (like in the Advanced Race Guide), but rather a chapter giving you advice on how the process works.

So, there you go. That's six of the 10 classes that will appear in the Advanced Class Guide and an overview of what else you can expect from this exciting new book. While it's due to release next August, you won't have to wait too long to get your hands on these classes, because we're planning to do a public playtest here this fall! Check back here for more news as the playtest draws close!

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

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Tags: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
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Ninja is an alt for rogue, not monk. I see what you're saying though.

chbgraphicarts wrote:

I understand that the Swashbuckler is OFFICIALLY a Fighter + Gunslinger hybrid, but (slightly tongue-in-cheek), I'm not buying it.

Panache, Deeds, and Nimble are obviously derived from the Gunslinger's Grit, Deeds, and Nimble features, but there is very little in the class to indicate any real influence from the Fighter.

The Bonus Feats, Training, and Mastery are from Fighter, but the Bonus Feats are only every 4th level - so it's already much more like a Gunslinger's Bonus Feats than a Fighter's (which are every other level). Additionally, Training is only for swashbuckling weapons (duh), and Mastery is only for those weapons; this mimic the Gunslinger's focus on firearms.

Swashbuckler is just a very, very solid Base Class with the Advanced Class moniker, and it's a shame. I'd rather the Swashbuckler Class be re-assigned as a simple Alternate Class of the Gunslinger, and not have to worry about the hybrid nature of the Advanced Classes.

The Swashbuckler has so little in common with the Fighter it doesn't warrant being considered a "hybrid;" instead, both from a cursory glance and upon close analysis, it's really just Gunslinger's Inigo-Montoya-Worshiping Evil Twin. The Gunslinger is Clint Eastwood to the Swashbuckler's Errol Flynn, and there's not an ounce of Fighter to be found in the class.

Heck, the Samurai is an Alternate Class of the Cavalier, so you can't even make the argument that all Alt Classes are only for Core Classes, not Base Classes (such as the Ninja being the Alt for the Monk, and the Antipaladin being the Alt of the - duh - Paladin).

I'm okay with the idea of Advanced Classes, but I'll be more than a bit miffed if Paizo puts out the Swashbuckler as an "Advanced" Class, when by all rights it should just be an Alternate Class solely for the Gunslinger, and leave the Fighter half out of the equation.

The thing do you have "half a Fighter"? The Fighter has no identity. The Fighter has 3 class features. Sorry, 4 if you count Bravery (lol).

Those class features are Bonus Feats (which most classes have, if not as many of), Weapon Training (which the Swashbuckler sorta kinda has I guess), and Armor Training (which it doesn't).

You can't split the Fighter up to be half a class because it already IS half a class features-wise.

The Brawler and the Warpriest have the same issue. The Brawler is just "Monk with none of the cool s!+%, and a few extra Feats" (though Martial Maneuvers is a cool concept), and the Warpriest is "What if the Paladin was a 6th level caster?" because the Fighter has no identity to impart to any of its child classes.

I'd be ok with giving swashbucklers a better fort save and saying that came from the fighter.

Really, even just between the two drafts, the classes got less like just combinations of their source classes. The Shaman, Arcanist, and Bloodrager fit into that category too, though the swashbuckler always was.

Any idea on when they might be updating the Playtest again? I'm wanting to run a Shaman in my GM's game, but he informed me that until they update it again, I won't be able to.

They won't be. The book comes out in August I think.

Rynjin wrote:
They won't be. The book comes out in August I think.

*Fingers crossed* Can't wait to see what the classes look like when they're released. GODS I can't wait to start getting my ass beat by some Skalds, Bloodragers, Warpriests, and the like. Make for some interesting changes from the standard enemies with the class levels that we all know and love!

Edit: Stupid butterfingers. Standard. Not 'stardard'.

Sovereign Court


Eagerly waiting for the 'official' pdf in August.

I've got a Halfling Bloodrager 1/Warpriest (Iomedae) 5 in PFS I need to update.

So far everything looks good! :P

Paul H

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