Lords of the Leaves: Elven Archetypes (PFRPG) PDF

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Be the Best Elf You Can Be!

Majestic and graceful, ageless and wise, beautiful and terrible, there’s a lot that can be said about elves. They are often praised for their close bonds with the natural world, and at the same time are responsible for breathtaking and beautiful feats of engineering in their glistening, artistic cities. They are masters of sword and bow, but also great adepts at magic. It seems like there’s nothing that an elves aren’t good at.

Of course, when you choose to make your player character an elf, all that you really care about is the +2 bonus to your Dexterity and Intelligence scores (and who needs Constitution, anyway?), so why bother playing an elven shaman or bard? Even if a +2 bonus doesn’t really make that much of a difference, it just feels so wrong to knowingly combine a race and class that don’t go well together, and, as a result, many players never bother to consider it.

This book aims to give players who want the fact that their character is an elf to matter more a way to make that happen, while also providing support for elven characters of a variety of classes that don’t typically make much mechanical sense for elves. Included are the elven berserker, a barbarian archetype that turns elves into more primal and savage warriors, the elven lyrist, a bard archetype that allows for classically-trained elves to perform with their skill and prowess instead of their charm and good looks, the willow blade, a fighter archetype that focuses on using the famed elven curve blade, the glade guardian, a ranger archetype for elven rangers who are a bit more in touch with the natural world than most, and the spirit speaker, a shaman archetype for elves in greater communion with the spirit world.

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Picked this up on a whim because I like racial archetypes. Overall an alright product. However, the willow blade was for me a bit of a dud. I believe it could use some additional abilities instead of simply predefined feat choices. Given the fluff I would have liked to have seen an ability that granted a dodge bonus to AC or possibly a competence bonus to reflex saves and evasion?



Thanks for commenting on the product! Sorry to hear that you didn't like the willow blade. While there are some class features in that archetype besides predefined feat choices, in retrospect, you're right that there do seem to be a lot of those masquerading as class features with that particular archetype. I think part of this has to do with the fact that fighter, as a class, uses bonus feats as a large amount of its class features, but even so, there are better options.

If you were looking for something else to add to the archetype, I would probably suggest something along the following lines:

Battle Grace (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a willow blade gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC as long as he is wearing light armor or no armor, is carrying no more than a light load. Every four levels thereafter (7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th), this bonus increases by +1 (to a maximum of +5 at 19th level).

This ability replaces armor training and armor mastery.

As far as evasion goes, it probably wouldn't be too game-breaking to trade evasion for one of the bonus feats granted by the archetype, but I'd be wary about improved evasion. Were I to add it to the archetype, I would probably do so in place of the bonus feat at 12th level.

Hope that helps!

Really like what you've created NotN!! Because I like the idea of the archetype so much I went ahead and added a few more things to round it out. Hopefully you don't mind.


Elven Reflexes (Ex): A willow blade focuses more on fluid and quick movements and disdains the use of heavy armor as it interferes with their sword style. Instead they focus on improving their already incredible elven reflexes. Due to this focus a willow blade has a good reflex saving throw progression.

This ability replaces medium and heavy armor proficiency as well as shield proficiency.

Evasion: At 8th the willow blade gains evasion as per the rogue class ability.

This ability replaces the bonus feat obtained at 8th level.


Willow Style: Adherents to this ancient form of elven swordplay requires the practioner to concentrate on flowing forms, lithe movements and insightful swordsmanship. This style focuses on grace, defense and movement moreso than offense.

Willow Style (Combat, Style)
Your deft body movements and fluid swordsmanship allow you to shield your body from harm.

Prerequisite: Dodge, base attack bonus +1.

Benefit: While using the Willow Style feat, you gain a +1 insight bonus to AC.

Weaving Willow (Combat, Style)
Your body's fluid movements allow you to both defend yourself and to reflexively counterattack an opponents strike.

Prerequisite: Weaving Willow, Willow Style, Dodge, Combat Reflexes, base attack bonus +3.

Benefit: While you are using the Willow Style feat, the insight bonus the style grants to your AC applies to your CMD and touch AC. Whenever an opponent misses you with a melee attack while you are using the Willow Style feat, you can, as an immediate action, make an attack of opportunity against that opponent, but with a –2 penalty. This attack counts towards the maximum amount of attacks of opportunity you can make in a round.

Willow in the Wind (Combat, Style)
You are a reed in the wind ...

Prerequisite: Weaving Willow, Willow Style, Dodge, Combat Reflexes, base attack bonus +5.

Benefit: While using the Willow Style feat, the insight bonus the style grants to your AC increases to +3, and you no longer suffer a -2 penalty to attacks of opportunity when using the Weaving Willow style feat.


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