The Most Intriguing Classes

Wednesday, March 10, 2016

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Intrigue is only a few weeks away, and it's time for the first rules preview blog—this time focusing on classes!

The new class in Ultimate Intrigue is the vigilante. An upstanding member of society by day and adventurer by night, the vigilante has two different identities which can even have different alignments. Unless someone discovers that the two identities are the same, divinations like scrying only work when the vigilante is in the form the diviner is trying to scry. Each vigilante chooses to be either a stalker, focusing on sneaking up on foes and punishing them before the foe notices the stalker is there, or the avenger, focusing on giving foes a more straightforward beatdown and gaining a full base attack bonus. The vigilante class is extremely modular, with a talent option at every level, switching off between social talents that give him an edge in social situations and other intrigue hijinks out of combat, and vigilante talents, which generally provide powerful combat options that he can use in either identity, though it might give him away if people see him using them in his social identity.


Illustrations by Tomasz Chistowski

If you've been with us since the playtest, the biggest change is that zealot and warlock are now archetypes, and while avenger and stalker each have some talents that only that specialization can choose, many of the talents that seemed like they fit the vigilante in general are now available to all vigilantes, as you requested in the playtest. Also, you asked for social talents based on being a craftsman or professional, and those are now available as well!

So I mentioned that warlock and zealot (which were arcane and divine vigilantes for those of you not part of the playtest) are now archetypes. All told, the vigilante has 10 pages of archetypes, the most that any class has ever received in a book. After all, he has plenty of catch-up in order to match his older cousins that have been around for more books. The brute has a hulking out-of control vigilante identity, and he can't always stop the transformation when he's in danger. Cabalists make blood pacts with dark patrons, gaining witch spells, blood powers, and a familiar. Gunmasters bring justice with firearms, and they gain a bunch of deeds as potential vigilante talents. The magical child archetype covers the "magical girl" trope, with a transformation sequence ability (faster switch between identities, but with flashy lights and music), summoner spells, and an otherworldly buddy. Mounted furies are mounted vigilantes like Zorro whose steeds also have a secret identity. Psychometrists are gadgetmasters and tinkerers who create personal occult gadgets to do things like fly (basically creating gadgets that each perform a single occultist focus power). Warlocks, are arcane casters from the magus list, with elemental options and mystic bolts of energy. Wildsouls are vigilantes who gain animalistic features in their vigilante identity. Finally, zealots are secret champions of their faiths, often because their religion is outlawed or persecuted, who cast from the inquisitor list and smite foes of one opposing alignment.

But vigilantes aren't the only ones with archetypes. Exciting archetypes for other classes include the tyrant (a lawful evil antipaladin archetype!), cardinal (a politics-heavy cleric with 6 skill points per level), gray paladin (can be one step from lawful good and smite any foe, but the lack of absolute conviction makes many abilities less absolute), fey caller (unchained summoner that summons a fey, with an all-new fey eidolon), zeitgeist binder (spiritualist that calls in a local zeitgeist based on a settlement statistic like corruption or society), battle scion (Celt/King Arthur blend skald that can call others to a quest and go into a deathlike sleep to return some day), dandy (a courtly ranger with the ability to manipulate rumors instead of wild empathy), vizier (a mesmerist that has a "power behind the throne" ability to make it look like his allies are the real threat while insidiously influencing them for his own agenda), feyspeaker (a fey-themed druid with 6 skill points per level that casts using Charisma!), and plenty more. In addition, the classes chapter two new inquisitions (Crime and Secrets), three new ranger combat styles (deceptive, menacing, and underhanded), four new rogue talents (follow along, shades of gray, hidden mind, and stalker talent), an oracle mystery (Intrigue), and even five intrigue-themed kineticist utility wild talents (earthmeld, flame trap, spying touchsight, greater voice of the wind, and greater watersense).

Tune in next week to hear more about some of the cool feats, spells, and magic items of intrigue!

Mark Seifter
Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder RPG Tomasz Chistowski Ultimate Intrigue Vigilante
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chbgraphicarts wrote:

I'm glad to see the class was wittled down to 2 Specializations, but I'm still not convinced that what needed to be done was actually done to this class.

It still sounds like the Fighter but with Class Options instead of Feats and even less actual baseline mechanics than Weapon and Armor Training... which isn't good.

"Modular" is shorthand for "godforsakenly awful unless you know exactly what you're doing"... which is a less-nice way of saying "PhD in System Mastery required".

---

The Magical Child archetype allowing for a "transformation sequence" seems to hint towards the baseline Vigilante taking a fair amount of time to transform, which was one of the biggest complaints against the class in the Playtest (you'll be in one form over the other 90% of the time just because transforming takes far too long).

---

I'm really hoping I'm wrong here, 'cause I usually like to put more faith in PF stuff, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this class probably still has far too much roleplaying fluff shoved sideways into it while being called "mechanics" than actually having hard mechanics that a Class rightly should have - since it gives the class more direct identity and makes building simpler & more intuitive.

Unless they've been neutered to innocuousness or non-integral status to the Class (like making a Base actually optional, instead of required or virtually required), the "fluffchanics" will remain not only awkward & restrictive (as they were in the playtest), but ultimately downright harmful to players (hope you're not caught in a surprise fight while in the wrong form...).

I'll still end up getting the book; I'll just make sure to look through a physical copy before buying it in case the class takes up a good chunk of the book and is still mostly as bad as the playtest was - if that ends up being the case, it might get put way on the backburner if the rest of the book doesn't make up for the bad stuff.

Definitely something to be worried about.

I felt like the Medium we actually got in OA (as opposed to the un-relased Harrow one) was highly restricted by where it can or can't invoke it's spirits, imposing heavy gameplay restrictions.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You know, I have a Medium in a game I run and this never been a major issue. A creative player and an open-minded GM is all it takes. I guess the same goes for the Vigilante.


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Well...

I can see a lot was done to the vigilante... But it had so many awful design choices in its playtest version that I can't help but wonder if the changes are enough. Hopefully they are...

But I won't find out until the book is out, and the ACG taught me to never preorder anything Paizo ever again... So I'll save my judgement for later.


I like any archetypes that grant sorcerer bloodlines hopefully the Vigilante has one for that and maybe some other classes as well.

I hope the Vigilante has some options for kineticist abilities as well.


"The magical child archetype covers the "magical girl" trope, with a transformation sequence ability (faster switch between identities, but with flashy lights and music), summoner spells, and an otherworldly buddy."

I chuckled XD This is gonna be an awesome book :D


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Yay for feyspeaker! Finally a fey based Druid :)

Scarab Sages

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You know, some of us were playing Magical Girls in Pathfinder before it was cool. ;)

The Amethyst Princess Warrior my friend made for my magical girl series of PFS characters is actually a Vigilante... I think she's going to flip out when she learns there'll be an archetype perfectly suited to transforming with the powers of love and friendship!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Heh, 'Shades of Grey' talent... Anything to do with rope tricks and whip proficiency?

Sovereign Court

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Loving the alignment-changing paladin and anti-paladin archetypes. Hoping the Gray Paladin goes PFS legal. I love paladins, love playing with them, but don't like playing LG myself.


I can't wait to see what else is in this book.

Grand Lodge

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chbgraphicarts wrote:

...

"PhD in System Mastery required".

There's a PhD program!? And here I thought I was sitting pretty with a Master's in System Mastery. No wonder I can't get any of the good jobs in the Modular Industry.

Luthorne wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Also...lawful neutral gray paladins of Asmodeus?
Nope, she must still follow a lawful good, neutral good, or lawful neutral deity.
Aww, no paladins of Cayden either...so sad. Ah, well.

I'M FINE GUYS! I CAN TOTALLY SHMITE ALL DAY! JUST SHOW ME SOME NEER-DOES-WELL, er, NE'ER-DO-GOODERS, um, BAD GUYSH!


So this magical girl archetype has to be a girl? And I ask this as a guy that plays a fair number of female characters. I just see it as unnecessarily limiting. Easy enough to house rule but it strikes me as odd as I've never heard of the magical girl trope but the magical child or chosen one I've heard of plenty in fantasy. ie: Not gender limited.

Anyways, curious design decision.


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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lemartes wrote:

So this magical girl archetype has to be a girl? And I ask this as a guy that plays a fair number of female characters. I just see it as unnecessarily limiting. Easy enough to house rule but it strikes me as odd as I've never heard of the magical girl trope but the magical child or chosen one I've heard of plenty in fantasy. ie: Not gender limited.

Anyways, curious design decision.

No, Mark Seifter said here that the Magical Child archetype isn't limited to females. Presumably, it works reasonably well for super sentai and similar concepts.


Cool good to know. Thanks Luthorne! :)


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Luthorne wrote:
Lemartes wrote:

So this magical girl archetype has to be a girl? And I ask this as a guy that plays a fair number of female characters. I just see it as unnecessarily limiting. Easy enough to house rule but it strikes me as odd as I've never heard of the magical girl trope but the magical child or chosen one I've heard of plenty in fantasy. ie: Not gender limited.

Anyways, curious design decision.

No, Mark Seifter said here that the Magical Child archetype isn't limited to females. Presumably, it works reasonably well for super sentai and similar concepts.

IT'S BLOODY F***ING MORPHING TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!


master_marshmallow wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Lemartes wrote:

So this magical girl archetype has to be a girl? And I ask this as a guy that plays a fair number of female characters. I just see it as unnecessarily limiting. Easy enough to house rule but it strikes me as odd as I've never heard of the magical girl trope but the magical child or chosen one I've heard of plenty in fantasy. ie: Not gender limited.

Anyways, curious design decision.

No, Mark Seifter said here that the Magical Child archetype isn't limited to females. Presumably, it works reasonably well for super sentai and similar concepts.
IT'S BLOODY F***ING MORPHING TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!

Emphasis on bloody.


Now we can have true Paladin/Barbarians and Paladin/Druids.

We're only one alignment (and alternate class restriction) away from Paladin/Antipaladins.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

*looks at Vizier picture*

It's Jafar!

Where's the parrot?

Grand Lodge

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My Self wrote:

Now we can have true Paladin/Barbarians and Paladin/Druids.

We're only one alignment (and alternate class restriction) away from Paladin/Antipaladins.

Paladin/Antipaladin of Nethys?


Lemmy wrote:

Well...

I can see a lot was done to the vigilante... But it had so many awful design choices in its playtest version that I can't help but wonder if the changes are enough. Hopefully they are...

But I won't find out until the book is out, and the ACG taught me to never preorder anything Paizo ever again... So I'll save my judgement for later.

Remember how terrible the playtest Occultist was? Paizo definitely has a history of successful iteration. I'm feeling pretty good about the changes being previewed here.


Arachnofiend wrote:
Lemmy wrote:

Well...

I can see a lot was done to the vigilante... But it had so many awful design choices in its playtest version that I can't help but wonder if the changes are enough. Hopefully they are...

But I won't find out until the book is out, and the ACG taught me to never preorder anything Paizo ever again... So I'll save my judgement for later.

Remember how terrible the playtest Occultist was? Paizo definitely has a history of successful iteration. I'm feeling pretty good about the changes being previewed here.

Well... I also remember the Swashbuckler... Which is pretty much just as disappointing as the playtest version and ended up being a huge wasted opportunity. And the Arcanist ended up even more unbalanced than it was.

But you're right. Sometimes Paizo does fix things quite well. Which is why I said I'll save my judgement for later. I have zero expectations or excitement one way or another... So at least I won't be disappointed.


.... and my playtest vigilante is invalidated now with the warlock change... I shall miss him.


Wouldn't he just be a Vigilante with the Warlock Archetype now?


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One thing just hit me...

Why does the vigilante even have archetypes to begin with?

If what changes between archetypes is the alter ego, then why does it need different archetypes? A Stalker or an Avenger... is technically an archetype, since you're given a choice. Unless the archetypes are actually changing the civilian identity part, I hardly see the necessity of archetypes for a viligante... when they can all be regular choices for the class itself.

If a vigilante (Stalker) and a vigilante (Brute) only have different secret identities, with the civilian identities remaining the exact same thing (same features across both classes), I don't really see the point of having archetypes.


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

JiCi...you just described every class submechanic in the game. Every bloodline, wizard school, or cavalier order could be an archetype.


Ventnor wrote:
Wouldn't he just be a Vigilante with the Warlock Archetype now?

The warlock's spell list change invalidates my concept since it used spells that aren't on the magus spell list as some of his most used things.


Ravingdork wrote:
JiCi...you just described every class submechanic in the game. Every bloodline, wizard school, or cavalier order could be an archetype.

These are specializations... and that's why they are so instead of being archetypes.

A vigilante's alternate set of features could easily be a specialization, not an archetype. What's so archetype-ish about being a gunmaster instead of being a stalker or an avenger?

I could understand if the archetypes change both aspects of the vigilante, but from what I can see, the archetypes change only one aspect.


JiCi wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
JiCi...you just described every class submechanic in the game. Every bloodline, wizard school, or cavalier order could be an archetype.

These are specializations... and that's why they are so instead of being archetypes.

A vigilante's alternate set of features could easily be a specialization, not an archetype. What's so archetype-ish about being a gunmaster instead of being a stalker or an avenger?

I could understand if the archetypes change both aspects of the vigilante, but from what I can see, the archetypes change only one aspect.

Think of them as archetypes applying changes to the specialization, like Wildblooded sorcerers.


I don't see any reason to assume that at least some archetypes won't change things with both aspects.


1. We don't know what all they change yet.

2. During the playtest many people were unhappy with how the spellcasting for Warlock and Zealot worked, doing an archetype instead says you get less talents in exchange for 6th level casting and a more normal increase in spells per day than the talent system based one. And while not all archetypes bring spellcasting, most do. Meanwhile the brute likely has some variation of rage, and instead of making you spend talents to keep it up, you take reduced talents for the rage mechanic. It makes less false choices.

3. Many fighter archetypes just get rid of weapon and armor specialization abilities in favor of abilities that could possibly be put in the respective category. It's not a unique occurrence.


JiCi wrote:

One thing just hit me...

Why does the vigilante even have archetypes to begin with?

If what changes between archetypes is the alter ego, then why does it need different archetypes? A Stalker or an Avenger... is technically an archetype, since you're given a choice. Unless the archetypes are actually changing the civilian identity part, I hardly see the necessity of archetypes for a viligante... when they can all be regular choices for the class itself.

If a vigilante (Stalker) and a vigilante (Brute) only have different secret identities, with the civilian identities remaining the exact same thing (same features across both classes), I don't really see the point of having archetypes.

Simplicity. Casting replaced half your talents before, but it was really lopsided in how it worked- you were late in casting stuff sometimes, and you could go six levels before you saw your next non-casting talent. As an archetype, you can just strip out half the talents at an even rate and give normal casting. As mentioned, though, it's probably so that other stuff can be changed as well. Magical Child, for instance, is modifying transformation and fitting in a pet somewhere.


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zergtitan wrote:

*looks at Vizier picture*

It's Jafar!

Where's the parrot?

Jafar is the crimefightin' costumed supermurderhobo identity... of Iago, the mild-mannered wise-crackering parrot.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

So we get Jafar and Cardinal Richelieu


Ya got a problem pinkie?


Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

I am hoping the Alchemist get archtype of Artificer.


I've got to get some cash so I can buy this.


QuidEst wrote:
JiCi wrote:

One thing just hit me...

Why does the vigilante even have archetypes to begin with?

If what changes between archetypes is the alter ego, then why does it need different archetypes? A Stalker or an Avenger... is technically an archetype, since you're given a choice. Unless the archetypes are actually changing the civilian identity part, I hardly see the necessity of archetypes for a viligante... when they can all be regular choices for the class itself.

If a vigilante (Stalker) and a vigilante (Brute) only have different secret identities, with the civilian identities remaining the exact same thing (same features across both classes), I don't really see the point of having archetypes.

Simplicity. Casting replaced half your talents before, but it was really lopsided in how it worked- you were late in casting stuff sometimes, and you could go six levels before you saw your next non-casting talent. As an archetype, you can just strip out half the talents at an even rate and give normal casting. As mentioned, though, it's probably so that other stuff can be changed as well. Magical Child, for instance, is modifying transformation and fitting in a pet somewhere.

I'm curious about how the Magical Child will interact with spells. I feel like it shouldn't have any casting innately but be made to stack with the casting archetype.


I just hope there are ways for the magical child archetype to get holy smite, dispel evil, and some healing spells.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Jem'Nai wrote:
I am hoping the Alchemist get archtype of Artificer.

Or Quartermaster Q!

Also, JiCi, 5th Edition D&D built all their archetypes into the base classes.

I think (the powers that be can correct me if I'm wrong) Paizo either didn't think of archetypes until the Advanced Players Guide, or they decided not to include them in the original Core Classes because they wanted maintain backward compatibility with 3.5 D&D.


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Seems almost like the Vigilante class needs more than one iconic.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

Seems almost like the Vigilante class needs more than one iconic.

Well the vigilante does have two "Meet the Iconics".


*sigh* So we can't have a secret-identity inquisitor? Just Inquisitions?


4 people marked this as a favorite.

^Yeah, what's up with that -- surely we can get an Inquisitor that nobody expects?


The zealot uses the inquisitor spell list, and if they keep talent selection from the play test get access to some of it's other abilities I think.


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Bardess wrote:
*sigh* So we can't have a secret-identity inquisitor? Just Inquisitions?

If amateur vigilante feats were made then you could have a secret-identity inquisitor.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

So.... are you saying that nobody expects the secret inquisition?


I hope there is a vigilante archetype that gives them the spiritualist's spell list.

Grand Lodge Contributor

Thanks for the preview, Mark! Glad to see the feyspeaker was mentioned, can't wait to see the final version (and the other druid archetypes, which should be equally intriguing!)


master_marshmallow wrote:
JiCi wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
JiCi...you just described every class submechanic in the game. Every bloodline, wizard school, or cavalier order could be an archetype.

These are specializations... and that's why they are so instead of being archetypes.

A vigilante's alternate set of features could easily be a specialization, not an archetype. What's so archetype-ish about being a gunmaster instead of being a stalker or an avenger?

I could understand if the archetypes change both aspects of the vigilante, but from what I can see, the archetypes change only one aspect.

Think of them as archetypes applying changes to the specialization, like Wildblooded sorcerers.

Ok, Wildblooded, I can see the similarity. However, right now, the vigilante aspect... seems to be like an Oracle's Mystery. Changing the Mystery, ok, but simply "adding a mystery" isn't much an archetype as it is a new standard Mystery. Same goes with the Bloodline.

Ian Bell wrote:
I don't see any reason to assume that at least some archetypes won't change things with both aspects.

This is what we don't know. If it changes both aspects then yes, it is considered an archetype, but if it only changes the vigilante aspect, then "not really". No archetype is needed. If it changes the civilian aspect, then yes, I could see it as an archetype.

jedi8187 wrote:

1. We don't know what all they change yet.

2. During the playtest many people were unhappy with how the spellcasting for Warlock and Zealot worked, doing an archetype instead says you get less talents in exchange for 6th level casting and a more normal increase in spells per day than the talent system based one. And while not all archetypes bring spellcasting, most do. Meanwhile the brute likely has some variation of rage, and instead of making you spend talents to keep it up, you take reduced talents for the rage mechanic. It makes less false choices.

3. Many fighter archetypes just get rid of weapon and armor specialization abilities in favor of abilities that could possibly be put in the respective category. It's not a unique occurrence.

1. True

2. Hmmm... I see...

3. I know that. For a vigilante however, it's basically like picking an Oracle Mystery.

QuidEst wrote:
JiCi wrote:

One thing just hit me...

Why does the vigilante even have archetypes to begin with?

If what changes between archetypes is the alter ego, then why does it need different archetypes? A Stalker or an Avenger... is technically an archetype, since you're given a choice. Unless the archetypes are actually changing the civilian identity part, I hardly see the necessity of archetypes for a viligante... when they can all be regular choices for the class itself.

If a vigilante (Stalker) and a vigilante (Brute) only have different secret identities, with the civilian identities remaining the exact same thing (same features across both classes), I don't really see the point of having archetypes.

Simplicity. Casting replaced half your talents before, but it was really lopsided in how it worked- you were late in casting stuff sometimes, and you could go six levels before you saw your next non-casting talent. As an archetype, you can just strip out half the talents at an even rate and give normal casting. As mentioned, though, it's probably so that other stuff can be changed as well. Magical Child, for instance, is modifying transformation and fitting in a pet somewhere.

Oh I get now...


For all we know the spellcasting archetypes may even replace some social abilities.

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