Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Class Guide (OGL)

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Class Guide (OGL)
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A New Breed of Hero

Adventure like never before with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Advanced Class Guide! Explore new heights of heroism with 10 new base classes, each with 20 levels of amazing abilities. Incredible powers also await existing characters, with more than a hundred new archetypes and class options. Prepare characters for their most legendary adventure ever with massive selections of never-before-seen spells, magic items, and more!

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Advanced Class Guide is a must-have companion volume to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook. This imaginative tabletop game builds upon more than 15 years of system development and an open playtest featuring more than 50,000 gamers to create a cutting-edge RPG experience that brings the all-time best-selling set of fantasy rules into the new millennium.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Advanced Class Guide includes:

  • Ten new base classes—the magic-twisting arcanist, the ferocious bloodrager, the cunning investigator, the daring swashbuckler, the formidable warpriest, and others.
  • Variant class abilities and thematic archetypes for all 29 base classes, such as the counterfeit mage and the mutagenic mauler.
  • Nearly a hundred new feats for characters of all classes, including style feats, teamwork feats like Coordinated Shot, and more.
  • Hundreds of new spells and magic items, such as feast on fear and skullcrusher gauntlets.
  • An entire armory of amazing equipment, from vital new adventuring gear to deadly alchemical weapons.
  • ... and much, much more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-671-3

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Last Updated - 7/22/2015

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An average product, I'd say...

2/5

I wasn't sure what to think about this book. It felt like they took the prestige classes and threw them out the window. If you want to be a Mystic Theurge or whatever, (presented in the Core Rulebook) great for you! You've earned it, I'd say. But they take a perfectly good prestige class and turn it into something no-one's going to want, because you already have your class that already has power over the arcane and divine.(Like the Arcanist). That takes all the fun out of multiclassing. I mean, if you liked way OP characters, that's fine by me, but I can't stand overpowered characters in MY game. I frankly think Paizo ran out of ideas for this one. It has some good qualities to it, but mostly I thought it a waste.


Ring Side Report- RPG Review of the Advanced Class Guide

4/5

Originally posted at Throat Punch Games, a new idea, everyday!

Product- Advanced Class Guide
System- Pathfinder
Producer- Paizo Publishing
Price- $40
TL; DR- This books walks the balance, mostly. 90%

Basics-Why not a wizard/sorcerer? Why not a ranger/rogue? The Advanced Class Guide is the book to make that happen. This book has 10 new classes, archetypes for almost every class, feats, and new spells. This book is a giant resource of new ideas and abilities for the Pathfinder RPG focusing on hybrids of the other classes. Here are the new 10 classes and the classes they come from:

Arcanist (wizard/sorcerer)
Bloodrager (barbarian/sorcerer)
Brawler (fighter/monk)
Hunter (druid/ranger)
Investigator (alchemist/rogue)
Shaman(oracle/witch)
Skald(barbarian/bard)
Slayer(ranger/rogue)
Swashbuckler(fighter/gunslinger)
Warpriest(cleric/fighter)

Mechanics or Crunch-This book has a hard job here, but it does it pretty well. Every one of the new classes feels balanced if a little more powerful than the original classes. It’s a fine line to walk, but overall it did it well. Sometimes a few concepts are thrown in that muddy the water, without adding as much as you would expect. A key example is panache, grit, and luck. All three of these subsystems are almost exactly the same with characters gaining any combination of the three are able to combine the three into one giant pool. That's good for theme, but bad and confusing when players have to build characters. The other extra additions like feats to splash new half classes into the original classes are done well, and the new archetypes and spells all feel fresh and new. 4.5/5

Theme or Fluff-This isn’t a book full of stores for the world of Golarion, but it does have some fluff. Each class has a bit of story to it that helps introduce and mold the class and its use. However, the stories are in a bit of a vacuum. What’s there is great, but this book is designed to be plugged into any world. It works well in that respect, but it’s a bit sterile. Other books from Paizo focus on the story of each class in Paizo’s world, but this book doesn’t really do that. 4/5

Execution- It’s Paizo-they know how to make a book. Maybe a few more pictures, but for the amount of information, it reads quick and is entertaining. Paizo-they make good books! 5/5

Summary-I liked this book, but as the system grows, it get’s a little heavy and unwieldy. This book adds an astounding amount to the system and keeps it all in balance relatively well. This is not a book to build stories off of though as what's here is ok, but think of the addition in this book more like Legos-no real ideas by themselves, but together and with your own imagination they become awesome creations. As for the book itself, it’s a Paizo book, so it’s done well. If you want more character options in your pathfinder game, this is most definitely an awesome addition to your game but something that might upset the power level a bit. 90%


A bit rushed

3/5

Please note that this review was done after the major erratas.

The original release of Advanced class was heavily hampered by unclear cases and vague wording. It needed another month or two of editing. Now paizo has released their set of erratas and the result is....okay.

It isn't great but it isn't bad either. By combining classes it seemed Paizo was trying to meet a lot of people halfway so cross classing would be reduced. Some options work and some try too hard to be half and half and meet no ones expectations.

I like my core books to be full of new and meaty options. I want to struggle with my character builds when a core book comes out as I drool over new options.

This book doesn't meet my expectations from a core release. It suffers a bit of splat book specialization ie Options so utterly specific that they are only useful for fluff or related only to contents of that book. I am fine with those options in chronicles or companion books but not in core products.


A new must own for PF fans

5/5

If you have tried multi-classing or prestiging in Pathfinder, you know how hard it can be to make all the right sacrifices without gimping your character or creating imbalance headaches for the GM. Many players felt that the "pure" classes were always the best option and only the archetypes were worth investment.

The advanced class guide addresses these issues while introducing some of the most iconic roles into the Pathfinder world. Many of the hybrid classes outlined here capture the more obvious class combinations, such as druid + ranger (hunter), cleric + fighter (warpriest), and ranger + rogue (slayer), and wraps them in ready-to-play and balanced party members.

Every hybrid class gains benefits from 2 parent classes, while also taking on certain restrictions, similiar to the traditional treatments of red mages in classic RPGs. This has provided a much needed alternative to multi-classing while opening up fantastic flexibility to your potential party makeup.

Finally, the new archetypes and feats are very strong options for both the new hybrids and the existing classes. My group already considers this new entry a must-own alongside the core and APG for our campaigns. Well done Paizo!


Power Creep Incoming

1/5

Just a glance at any of these classes compared to other preexisting ones, it's obvious that most of the ACG classes are by far superior in their versatility and pure DPS ability (Swashbuckler, I'm looking at you!) After playing through a few of these classes I felt were the worse culprits, my fears are confirmed - it's obvious that balance was the last thing that went through the developers' minds.

It's disappointing, because I am a huge fan of Paizo and have been impressed with all of their products up until this one. I've always felt comfortable buying Paizo products because they are polished and balanced, but this is the complete opposite. As other reviewers have said, if this is the new trend in Paizo products I will have to sadly start looking start looking for other systems (and I've spent a ton of money so I reaaaaaaaallly don't want to do that).

I fail to see why after all the years of successfully utilizing the archetypes method with minimum classes added (10 in 6 years!) they arbitrarily hit full throttle and miss the mark completely. It's sad, because this is now going to be the only core paizo book I have to ban from my sessions. Disappointing. I really hope the power creep that destroyed 3.5 stays away from Pathfinder, but if this book is any indication, I won't hold my breath.


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Liberty's Edge

You can look at the cover of the free rpg day adventure The Risen from the Sands to see what are presumed to be the iconic Swashbuckler and Warpriest

Grand Lodge

Please Please Please tell me they made the change for the Hunter to be a Spontaneous Caster pulling known spells off the Druid & Ranger spell lists.

I've stopped playing my hunter until the ACG comes out because I know I'll probably have to do a full rebuild if this is the case.


The Shaman needs an optional negative channeling/commanding Undead ability, and then it's nearly perfect...


The Shaman needs a LOT more work than that....if it's going to look anything like a Shaman...

Silver Crusade

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
nighttree wrote:
The Shaman needs a LOT more work than that....if it's going to look anything like a Shaman...

Sure, Shaman really needs totems, Windfury Weapon and Chain Heal, else that ain't really a Shaman.


While some abilities need some work, I like the Hex/Mystery Combo of the Shaman. For me, it works conceptually and is pretty neat. Feels like a witch flavored druid.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Which to me implies shaman.

Hope they got their own spell list though.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Iconic Arcanist!!!! So want that one.


Cheapy wrote:

Which to me implies shaman.

Hope they got their own spell list though.

To me it implies New Ager...


nighttree wrote:
Cheapy wrote:

Which to me implies shaman.

Hope they got their own spell list though.

To me it implies New Ager...

I hope they got away from the Druid spell list, and "totem" familiar, and focused more on making pacts with multiple spirits.


brad2411 wrote:

Iconic Arcanist!!!! So want that one.

Arcanist was the class I was the most pleased with as it developed.

It went rapidly from being a mish mash of two classes, and instead became the love child of two classes with it's own personality.

REALLY eager to see the final product...and the Iconic associated with it ;)


nighttree wrote:
brad2411 wrote:

Iconic Arcanist!!!! So want that one.

Arcanist was the class I was the most pleased with as it developed.

It went rapidly from being a mish mash of two classes, and instead became the love child of two classes with it's own personality.

REALLY eager to see the final product...and the Iconic associated with it ;)

i, for one, want to see a male half-orc arcanist, but i bet that will be the slayer.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Using only the core races, some of the most interesting race/ACG juxtapositions to me would be:

Dwarf arcanist: The industrious nature of dwarves applied to the magical arts.

Gnome slayer: A bleachling gnome, his emotionless demeanor making him an effective stalker and assassin.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

All I can think of is how much of a nightmare a lich arcanist would be.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
nighttree wrote:
nighttree wrote:
Cheapy wrote:

Which to me implies shaman.

Hope they got their own spell list though.

To me it implies New Ager...
I hope they got away from the Druid spell list, and "totem" familiar, and focused more on making pacts with multiple spirits.

I'm really hoping they started to put more of the witch back into the mix instead of more druid. The shaman was starting to look the like the milk mans child of the druid and oracle rather then the oracle witch combo it was billed as.

Also I really hope they patch how it's spirits work. Right now as it stands if the mysteries get ported over more or less unchanged but you can pick essentially from the whole list at any given time it's going to leave the whole class really imbalanced.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
christos gurd wrote:
nighttree wrote:
brad2411 wrote:

Iconic Arcanist!!!! So want that one.

Arcanist was the class I was the most pleased with as it developed.

It went rapidly from being a mish mash of two classes, and instead became the love child of two classes with it's own personality.

REALLY eager to see the final product...and the Iconic associated with it ;)

i, for one, want to see a male half-orc arcanist, but i bet that will be the slayer.

The male half-orc is a warpriest of Gorum.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Male Elf - Alchemist
Female Elf - Rogue

Male Half-Orc - Warpriest ?
Female Half-Orc - Inquisitor

Male Dwarf - Ranger
Female Dwarf - None

Male Gnome - Summoner
Female Gnome - Druid

Male Halfling - Bard
Female Halfling - None

Male Half-Elf - Magus
Female Half-Elf - Gunslinger

Humans :

Barbarian (Kellid)
Sorcerer (Varisian)
Fighter (Andoran)
Wizard (Taldan ?)
Cleric (Kellishite)
Paladin (Mwangi)
Monk (Vuldran)
Cavalier (Taldan)
Oracle (Garundi)
Witch (Tian)
Ninja (Tian)
Samurai (Tian)

Missing Human Ethnicity:

- Ulfen, Shoanti, Chelaxian, Erutaki, Jadwiga.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
doc the grey wrote:

I'm really hoping they started to put more of the witch back into the mix instead of more druid. The shaman was starting to look the like the milk mans child of the druid and oracle rather then the oracle witch combo it was billed as.

Also I really hope they patch how it's spirits work. Right now as it stands if the mysteries get ported over more or less unchanged but you can pick essentially from the whole list at any given time it's going to leave the whole class really imbalanced.

Only if it's the RIGHT parts of the witch...

Witches and the specalists we refer to as "Shamans" have almost nothing in common, in either folklore or actual cultural traditions.

Shamans in most cultures function as the antithesis of witches...part of why the term "witch doctor" is used for someone who undoes the harm caused by witches.

There is a strong thread of folklore regarding a witch learning her art from a spirit guised as a mortal animal.

But a shaman should have an entire chorus of spirits working for him, and tied to the many "tools" they use (rattles, mirrors, hair whisks, etc...etc...)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

My biggest complaint has always been the way the shaman was working. It just wasn't a mechanical blending of Witch/Druid/Oracle. It only borrowed a little Witch flavor and the name of Hex for powers. All the other classes I was fine with this was the one I had the highest hopes and most enthusiasm for.

Unless it got a huge facelift to be a true Witch/Oracle/Druid mix as opposed to a Druid/Oracle mix it'll be a big let down for my table.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Also want to see the Hunter get a nice overhaul. As he stands he is like a nerfed version of any other class I could reasonably compare him to. His combat prowess is worse then either of his parents martial or spell based, his animal companion is awful compared to any other class that grants one due to how weak the character is on his own and how unamazing the animal companion is without good support.

It really felt like they were trying to shoehorn a 6th level druidic caster into a class that was built around rolling out with an animal companion and made something worse for both of them.


I wonder what kind of archetypes there will be for the ACG classes. I'm finding that many of them are difficult to use with existing "base" hybrids, as even though some of the abilities to switch out are the same, not all of them are; so either you can't take the archetype as it doesn't have some, or (and I'm not even sure if this is possible) you can only advance as far in that archetype as the missing "swap" abilities.

In any event, some of the archetypes I'd like to see are:

Swashbuckler: I believe it's been mentioned as planned, but obviously some kind of Musketeer archetype would be cool, as would a Robin Hood-esque Swashbuckler with some wilderness abilities.

Brawler: A street fighter archetype- a guy who uses things like Dirty Tricks, etc. I'd also like to see archetypes that focused on single styles; perhaps trading out the versatility of the Martial Maneuvers feature for allowing early access/bypassing certain prerequisites of a chosen style or feat chain. Pit fighter would be cool, too.

Arcanist: A "true name" sort of arcanist might be fun; someone who delves into the "real" nature of people and things and is able to exert control over them.

Shaman: A witch doctor- a shaman who focuses on treating and countering the abilities of witches. I also think a Voudon type of shaman would be neat, but perhaps they might save that for a Garundi supplement down the road.

Slayer: I think a Bounty Hunter is kind of a must have with this one.

Skald: I have no suggestions here, but I'm interested to see what they'll come up with. I still feel that the Skald is a bit too specialized and niche to provide much versatility beyond the base class, but I'm sure they gave it some thought and I'll be curious to see it.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I originally had no desire to pick this book up. That was until I read this part in the description:
"Plenty of advice on how to construct a new character class, archetype, or prestige class, giving the GM powerful tools to make the rules they need for their game."

Insta-buy. :)


Just be aware that it's not a system like the Race Builder, and it's most likely more like the Create A Spell chapter of Ultimate Magic!


Still not happy with these being "hybrids" instead of "true classes." Any idea if these can still multiclass properly? (As in, I can have me an Arcanist/Sorcerer or Investigator/Rogue if I wanted?)


I haven't heard any updates on that.


Draco Bahamut wrote:

Male Elf - Alchemist

Female Elf - Rogue

Male Half-Orc - Warpriest ?
Female Half-Orc - Inquisitor

Male Dwarf - Ranger
Female Dwarf - None

Male Gnome - Summoner
Female Gnome - Druid

Male Halfling - Bard
Female Halfling - None

Male Half-Elf - Magus
Female Half-Elf - Gunslinger

Humans :

Barbarian (Kellid)
Sorcerer (Varisian)
Fighter (Andoran)
Wizard (Taldan ?)
Cleric (Kellishite)
Paladin (Mwangi)
Monk (Vuldran)
Cavalier (Taldan)
Oracle (Garundi)
Witch (Tian)
Ninja (Tian)
Samurai (Tian)

Missing Human Ethnicity:

- Ulfen, Shoanti, Chelaxian, Erutaki, Jadwiga.

Seelah is garundi, not mwangi.

Silver Crusade

Cheapy wrote:
Just be aware that it's not a system like the Race Builder, and it's most likely more like the Create A Spell chapter of Ultimate Magic!

So just to be clear, it's less like the Race Builder and more like Designing Spells section of the Mastering Magic chapter? I'm actually still okay with this either way.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Now in games with Cosmic Horrors, wicked GM will have fun with: "Eat 1D4 Investigators a round".

Auxmaulous wrote:
Quote:
Plenty of advice on how to construct a new character class, archetype, or prestige class, giving the GM powerful tools to make the rules they need for their game.

Can any of the devs on this project give me a page count for this specific entry in this book?

I have no interest in yet another player focused splat book and there was some chatter early on that a class building toolkit was not really being considered for this book. So is this a 10 page chapter on advice, existing class ability breakdowns, or?

Would it be possible to get some better definition on this aspect? This is the only reason why I would consider getting this book - some kind of toolkit/guidelines, even it it isn't an class ability scoring system.

Thanks

I would love a class builder as well, but even if it isn't...

Dark Archive

Guy St-Amant wrote:

Now in games with Cosmic Horrors, wicked GM will have fun with: "Eat 1D4 Investigators a round".

Auxmaulous wrote:
Quote:
Plenty of advice on how to construct a new character class, archetype, or prestige class, giving the GM powerful tools to make the rules they need for their game.

Can any of the devs on this project give me a page count for this specific entry in this book?

I have no interest in yet another player focused splat book and there was some chatter early on that a class building toolkit was not really being considered for this book. So is this a 10 page chapter on advice, existing class ability breakdowns, or?

Would it be possible to get some better definition on this aspect? This is the only reason why I would consider getting this book - some kind of toolkit/guidelines, even it it isn't an class ability scoring system.

Thanks

I would love a class builder as well, but even if it isn't...

While a few of the classes hold some interest – I don’t want to buy the next installment of the PHB/APG/UC/UM series of books.

Now if there was a toolkit for balancing out class abilities it would be invaluable to me and I would be all over this. So far from what I’ve read here this sounds more like APG II (new hybrid classes, spells, etc) and they are not talking about the blurb I initially cited – which leads me to believe it isn’t going to be a very big part of the book.

And that’s ok – seems like the smart business decision is to appeal to the players vs. providing a DM toolkit just on the ratio of players: DMs. Can’t blame them as a financial decision just seems like every time they say "well, this isn’t really a toolkit" or "we can’t accurately do that" is a missed opportunity to put out a good resource book.


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

I can't wait to find out how many feats and spells are in this book or at least how many pages are devoted to them. I hope all the classes got some love not just the 10 new ones, including ninja and samurai.

I really hope this book gives a way for classes to add spells to there spell list that would fit there class choices/concepts. Case in point adding certain cleric spells to a celestial bloodline sorcerer such as holy smite, deathward, cure light wounds, prayer, etc. Another example is the elemental mysteries for the oracle. It would be cool to get more earth/acid spells for the stone mystery or water/cold spells for the waves mystery. The Verdant sorcerer bloodline and the nature mystery could use more plant based spells, etc., etc..


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Honestly, I don't think a point-buy class builder is as valuable as it may appear. Coming from a large background of point-buy systems (HERO, GURPS), I can tell you off the bat that A) it won't be balanced and B) there will be A LOT of loopholes someone can use to break the game.

As a DM, advice similar to spells in UM is much more valuable. It can tell you how to adjucate class abilities much better than a point buy system can. I know you want an easy way to just slap a class together, but I'm afraid that just isn't possible given all of the inner workings that abilities, feats, and spells have on classes.

And I'm of the maxim that anything a player can use, I can use. So I regard this as much as a DM book as a player book.


Odraude wrote:

Honestly, I don't think a point-buy class builder is as valuable as it may appear. Coming from a large background of point-buy systems (HERO, GURPS), I can tell you off the bat that A) it won't be balanced and B) there will be A LOT of loopholes someone can use to break the game.

As a DM, advice similar to spells in UM is much more valuable. It can tell you how to adjucate class abilities much better than a point buy system can. I know you want an easy way to just slap a class together, but I'm afraid that just isn't possible given all of the inner workings that abilities, feats, and spells have on classes.

And I'm of the maxim that anything a player can use, I can use. So I regard this as much as a DM book as a player book.

I have seen GMs who said they would sooner let their players use a Classes Builder than the Races Builder.

And a Classes Builder might let Paizo slow down on the rulebooks.

(and like Races Builder, doesn't have to be allowed in PFS).

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Odraude wrote:
Honestly, I don't think a point-buy class builder is as valuable as it may appear. Coming from a large background of point-buy systems (HERO, GURPS), I can tell you off the bat that A) it won't be balanced and B) there will be A LOT of loopholes someone can use to break the game.

It wouldn't be for the players - just a guidebook for me (the DM).

Also - if Paizo cannot break down and rebuild their own classes based off of a point buy system, then that's more of a reflection on existing class balance issues/quantifying abilities fairly than the class builder itself.

Odraude wrote:
As a DM, advice similar to spells in UM is much more valuable. It can tell you how to adjucate class abilities much better than a point buy system can. I know you want an easy way to just slap a class together, but I'm afraid that just isn't possible given all of the inner workings that abilities, feats, and spells have on classes.

I think that spells have a wider range of variables than class abilities or features. I just don't want to know about class abilities - I want the breakdown of base cost for slow/med/fast BAB, value based on saves, HD per level in addition to any class abilities or scoring those abilities.

My motivation is not to "easily" slap a class together. I am trying to run an alternate/lowered powered PF game where I would like to see each class on the slab, dissected. Then I can take out the bad parts and rebuild each according to what I'm trying to attain for my game.

Having the "experts" (and it's starting to sound more and more like there are no real experts) weight in with a class building system as a guide would have been very helpful.

Odraude wrote:
And I'm of the maxim that anything a player can use, I can use. So I regard this as much as a DM book as a player book.

Yes and no.

Having all sorts of cool options for Paladins for example doesn't give me (the DM) much more in tools when my players primarily play good PCs. Sure I can make an NPCs with these new Paladin abilities to show them off - not exactly the most exciting thing on the DM side. For me that's new monsters, hazards, modules, threats, groups, seed ideas, campaigns, templates, mechanical concepts and all the meta-tools to make my own.

This is a PC focused book. If they had strong NPCs tools (classes, magic items and spells) that would lend to greater scenario design for DMs then I would agree with you. These classes are primarily for players as will be the spells, items, etc. I can only see a few features based off the released doc that interest me as DM.
I am almost 100% certain that all the new classes and their features will be focused on "Adventure Use", i.e. spells that won't really help to make my NPCs more memorable..

I will use Guards and Wards as an example to illustrate my point of DM use spells vs. PC use spells:

Guards and Wards is primarily a DM/NPC spell. Mind you, players could use it for their fortress, or if they are in an area that they are preparing against attack (to slow down the attackers), but it's core use is for a bad guy NPC to set up his base to creep out/hinder intruding adventuring parties. The old erd ed Book of Vile Darkness was the closest thing to a DM-focused NPC book, and that was just because it dealt with evil sources (and most PCs are Good or at least of a Neutral bent).

The ratio of DM-only use/focused features vs. player features doesn't even chart in this game. Not talking about the basic features to give npcs (Weapon specialization, etc) I'm talking DM or NPC only focused material - It's not measurable because it doesn't really exist out side of Bestiary entries.

Anyway, I'll look at this at my FLGS when it comes out to see how big the section is on class design and how technical vs. design philosophy is for that part of the book.

I'm sure it will have cool options for Players though.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Auxmaulous wrote:
Odraude wrote:
Honestly, I don't think a point-buy class builder is as valuable as it may appear. Coming from a large background of point-buy systems (HERO, GURPS), I can tell you off the bat that A) it won't be balanced and B) there will be A LOT of loopholes someone can use to break the game.

It wouldn't be for the players - just a guidebook for me (the DM).

Also - if Paizo cannot break down and rebuild their own classes based off of a point buy system, then that's more of a reflection on existing class balance issues/quantifying abilities fairly than the class builder itself.

It's more or less what I think the untold reason is.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Auxmaulous wrote:
Odraude wrote:
Honestly, I don't think a point-buy class builder is as valuable as it may appear. Coming from a large background of point-buy systems (HERO, GURPS), I can tell you off the bat that A) it won't be balanced and B) there will be A LOT of loopholes someone can use to break the game.

It wouldn't be for the players - just a guidebook for me (the DM).

Also - if Paizo cannot break down and rebuild their own classes based off of a point buy system, then that's more of a reflection on existing class balance issues/quantifying abilities fairly than the class builder itself.

Players aren't the only ones that use loopholes to game the system. There are plenty of GMs that will game the system to beat their players. So a point buy system can, by existence, be used to screw over players. It doesn't matter how balanced you try and make it, there will always be a way to game the system that a GM may or may not see. Even though you as the GM may try hard not to game it, the player with the class you made will find a way to game your class. This is why advice will be much more valuable, so that GMs can make better decisions based on experience, advice, nuance, and balance, rather than imperfect math and point buy. You might be the one making the classes, but it'll be your players that game it. And trust me, from years of running HERO, it will be gamed despite your best attempts. From what this advice sounds, it isn't going to be a simple "slap together" of stuff, so you won't want to worry about that. It will probably be dissected and explained, but there won't be any point-buy or costs.

And yes, there are existing balance issues. Anyone with half a brain could tell you that. If a class has spells, by definition, it will have more options. No matter what cool stuff you give martials, casters can still unmake reality and scry and teleport. Personally, I don't care, because martials get fun and flavorful options that can help in adventuring. But, you cannot quantify spellcasting because there are so many spells that a player can choose from. There is no value that you can add that would balance it without remove a lot of fun, flavorful, but powerful spells. That said, if you have such little faith in their advice, I'd suggest doing it yourself and letting me know how well that turns out. I can guarantee it's not as simple as you think it'll be.

As for spell options and such being more for adventures and PCs, honestly, I think that comes from a lack of creativity on the DM's side. If one can't take a spell or feat or magical item that is "primarily for PCs" and make it memorable, then perhaps the problem isn't with the options, but with the GM. And personally, I prefer options that have multiple uses beyond Only DM or Only PC. But I like thinking outside of the box as a DM and looking at feats and spells and seeing how I can use them for memorable NPC encounters. I am fairly creative and never had problems making memorable encounters. So for me, that's why I don't have a problem with the PC/NPC disparity since for me, there is no disparity.

I can understand wanting much of these things, like modules, templates, and seed ideas. Personally, I can find campaign seed ideas online for free, so I don't really need a book completely on that. I can always hit up The Alexandrian, or simply just ask a forum. Still, defintely with you on a book of templates.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Guy St-Amant wrote:
I have seen GMs who said they would sooner let their players use a Classes Builder than the Races Builder.

That point should be obvious. Racial abilities are not supposed to be optimized for any single character -- but if you let player characters freely use the Race Builder to build their characters, then of course the sole member of that race (the PC) will be designed so that his chosen class is the perfect one for his race.

At least a custom class really can be justified as reflecting the unique experiences of a given individual.

Dark Archive

Odraude wrote:
Players aren't the only ones that use loopholes to game the system. There are plenty of GMs that will game the system to beat their players. So a point buy system can, by existence, be used to screw over players. It doesn't matter how balanced you try and make it, there will always be a way to game the system that a GM may or may not see. Even though you as the GM may try hard not to game it, the player with the class you made will find a way to game your class. This is why advice will be much more valuable, so that GMs can make better decisions based on experience, advice, nuance, and balance, rather than imperfect math and point buy. You might be the one making the classes, but it'll be your players that game it. And trust me, from years of running HERO, it will be gamed despite your best attempts.

Disagree. Balance is derived from two sources

- Player options (spells, feats or acquired items)

- Built in features that are not mutable (core class abilities)

If you see that there is a "must have" feat or ability, you have a problem with your game design and choice options. If you see wild disparities in class or choice effectiveness, you have a problem with your game design and choice options.

I have worked on creating my own games and modifying existing games and I know where the problems lie in wide-option games. I'm not looking for imperfect math and point buy, just curious to what the designers (some who were around at the genesis of 3.5) look at when they made this rule set. The hows and whys of the changes from 2nd to 3rd, their design notes if you will.

Gaming systems are based upon the options (the two major categories I listed above) presented in the game - that plus their core action resolution mechanic. Fix those and the "gaming the system" aspect of play is minimized. I want a game that focuses on play, not character optimizations and the mini-game of "what should I/need to pick" at this level.

Odraude wrote:
That said, if you have such little faith in their advice, I'd suggest doing it yourself and letting me know how well that turns out. I can guarantee it's not as simple as you think it'll be.

If I don't get the tools from the people who designed the game to take it to the level I want, I would rather abandon the system or start from scratch instead of trying to guess at how they built/converted things from 2nd/3rd/3.5/PFRPG. I'm not asking for the keys to the kingdom here. How do they design classes, what mechanical guidelines do they use when deciding class abilities, saves, casting ability/type, hd, BAB.

I never said it was simple, otherwise I wouldn't be asking for this.

Odraude wrote:
As for spell options and such being more for adventures and PCs, honestly, I think that comes from a lack of creativity on the DM's side. If one can't take a spell or feat or magical item that is "primarily for PCs" and make it memorable, then perhaps the problem isn't with the options, but with the GM. And personally, I prefer options that have multiple uses beyond Only DM or Only PC. But I like thinking outside of the box as a DM and looking at feats and spells and seeing how I can use them for memorable NPC encounters. I am fairly creative and never had problems making memorable encounters. So for me, that's why I don't have a problem with the PC/NPC disparity since for me, there is no disparity.

Kind of backhanded way to attack me and my creativity as a DM, that's cool.

I don't have problems making memorable encounters, I just stick to the Bestiaries and my imagination - since the APG/UM/UC are useless to me.

How about this - since you don't like DM-only resource why don't you run your games only using those nice player options for ALL your encounters and just disregard the Bestiaries - since they are DM-only (primarily) resources? See how much fun it is to run an all humanoid encounters fantasy game and let me know how that works out for you.

Sorry, I'm just not interested in converting spells designed for PC to play the adventure/beat encounters into something interesting and unique. I'd rather have a small section of "not for PCs" resources like Guards and Wards to draw from than converting Liberating Command or Effortless Armor or Ant Haul into really cool and memorable NPC used spells, when in fact spells like these are 99% player focused utilities.

Can I do it, yes - do I want do it, no. Do they inspire me to make an NPC use the feature - no they do not. Not at all.

They are just written with players in mind and the needs of the adventure.

Webstore Gninja Minion

Removed some fighty/snipy posts and their replies. Agree to disagree folks, and be civil to each other.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

3 people marked this as a favorite.

If you think that something as complicated as a 20 level class can be broken down into a point system, then you don't really understand how the game works.

Are there flaws in the existing classes? Yeah, probably. But that's not the only reason. When abilities synergize, then static point values aren't fair. Metamagic and item creation feats are obviously useless to a Fighter: he isn't a spellcaster. But only slightly less obvious is that Combat feats are pretty useless to a Wizard, because he doesn't have the BAB to actually use them effectively.

That is why classes like the Summoner can range from underpowered to pushing the game to its breaking point: if you pick non-synergistic abilities, the Eidolon is just another animal companion. If you pick evolutions that benefit each other, it can be one of the most powerful class features ever.


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Ross Byers wrote:

If you think that something as complicated as a 20 level class can be broken down into a point system, then you don't really understand how the game works.

Are there flaws in the existing classes? Yeah, probably. But that's not the only reason. When abilities synergize, then static point values aren't fair. Metamagic and item creation feats are obviously useless to a Fighter: he isn't a spellcaster. But only slightly less obvious is that Combat feats are pretty useless to a Wizard, because he doesn't have the BAB to actually use them effectively.

That is why classes like the Summoner can range from underpowered to pushing the game to its breaking point: if you pick non-synergistic abilities, the Eidolon is just another animal companion. If you pick evolutions that benefit each other, it can be one of the most powerful class features ever.

I would love a Classes Builder, but I know it would be hard to do (especially if trying to keep the numbers low like in the Race Builder.)

On topic, still want this book.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I am really looking forward to the archetypes, feats, and similar material that did not make the playtest. I strongly suspect that the most powerful and flexible material is outside of the ten new classes.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I wish they would start doing little "snippet" previews....the wait is killing me :(

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

You're probably going to need to wait until PaizoCon before we hear anything else. If past years are any indication, that when more information about the GenCon book release comes out.


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Hopefully they will update the art for the cover before then.


Dragon78 wrote:
Hopefully they will update the art for the cover before then.

Hard to say, hopefully, they won't forget to do so until one week before release...

Webstore Gninja Minion

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Guy St-Amant wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Hopefully they will update the art for the cover before then.

Hard to say, hopefully, they won't forget to do so until one week before release...

We won't.

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