Alternate Paths: Martial Characters 3 (PFRPG) PDF

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Fighters Can Have Nice Things too!
Ever played a martial character and got tired of saying, "I move up and hit it"? Well hold on to something because we've got a book for you! Alternate Paths: Martial Characters 3 focuses on giving dynamic options for martial characters, while exploring the design space normally occupied by the fighter & cavalier, and providing support for those classes!

The book is JAM PACKED with content! Each section could be its own product!


  • 4 New Base Classes! Archer, Reaper, Swordsman, Weapon Master
  • The Return of the Skirmisher Base Class!
  • The Berserker Alternate Class! (YELL AT STORM! EAT A BEAR!)
  • 15 Combat Schools: A new subsystem that adds flavor to all martial characters!
  • 12 New Alternate Rules (Along with how to implement them & avoid power creep!)
  • DEMONIC WEAPONS! (With great power comes great corruption!)
  • The Faithful Hound Racial Paragon Class for Dogs! (Play a war dog! Or an awakened dog! Also includes racial stats and game mastery rules for playing a dog)
  • The Hanzo Slayer/Ninja Hybrid Class!
  • The Pikeman Archetype for Fighters (Become a GOD of reach and attacks of opportunity!)
  • The Mahout Archetype for Cavaliers (Ride a WAR ELEPHANT!)
  • Chariots! So many chariots! 2 archetypes for chariots! Big chariots! Small chariots!
  • Equipment! 2 new wondrous items, 2 new magic weapon special abilities, and 2 new artifact weapons (including Excalibur!)
  • 31 New Feats! 24 general, 7 class support

A Deeper Dive

  • Archer: This isn't your "runs through the forest and snipes at birds" sort of archer- this is a medieval tank. This class is a Strength-based war archer who can fight in armor and isn't afraid to mix it up on the front line. They've got a mechanic that grants them true strike with a bow a few times per day and are just brutal to fight.
  • Reaper: You're big, you're bad, and you've got a swing that hits several creatures at once! Meet the worse nightmare of a horde of enemies; fate thy name is reaper!
  • Swordsman: This supernatural swordsman is a master of the blade! Its main mechanic focuses around gaining the vorpal quality on your weapons at an early level (with provisions made for strong targets)!
  • Weapon Master: The switch hitter from hell! Draw weapons on the fly, gain bonuses for switching weapons, enchant weapons just by holding them, and keep them guessing with your two different combat schools!
  • Skirmisher: A fast, light, critical-hit scoring machine! This revised version of the skirmisher (one of our earliest products) has a unique "creativity" mechanic which lets you use numbers adjacent to the one you rolled (if lower) to gain unique effects so long as you can describe how you do them!
  • Berserker: This isn't your dad's barbarian! This alternate class can rage but gains a modified version of the confused condition while it does so. They also are indoctrinated into secret warrior cults that let them do everything from intimidate storms to gain a giant wolf companion.
    -Included Alternate Rules: Mundane Enhancement Bonuses, Fast Combat, Kicking Down the Door, Overkilling, Outclassing, Reflexive Initiative, Revised Weapon Special Features, Rock Paper Hammer, Simple Encumbrance, Solid Characters, Variant Penalties for Armor, and a reprint of the Broken Bone Condition!

Page Count: 94 pages (1 cover, 1 credit, 1 OGL, 91 content)
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Print Friendly Version Included (Please note that it preserves page counts for cross referencing)

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Kudos for another fine product as usual.

The two standouts for me would be an archer with hunting lodge style or weapon master with drunkard style.

One makes your character a walking machine gun, and the other allows you to Jackie Chan it up with a +5 chair or ale mug or fork.....

I do have a rules question though- Saint Style revolves around using vital strike, but no mention of the later improvements on that feat got mentioned that I saw.

Was Saint Style intended to only be usable with vital strike and not its improvements?

Rules as written it would seem to be a no, since the feats improved and greater vital strike don't have language such as "when using vital strike you now do so and so damage."

But it seems odd to me to build a style around vital strike and ignore the later feats, so I'm really wondering if that was rules as intended.

So when you use an improved version of Vital Strike, you are still benefiting from Vital Strike. The same logic applies with things like Power Attack: it doesn't matter if your first strike is also benefiting from Furious Focus, it's still ALSO Power Attack. The system uses that logic a lot. Like if you are a 3rd level fighter you are ALSO a 2nd level fighter and a 1st level fighter.

Short version: It works with Vital Strike improvements and were tested with such.

That's how I figured you meant things to go. Thanks.

It certainly would be easier if the vital strike feats were written with "When you use vital strike, you now do this much damage."

Instead things like the vital punishment vigilante talent and the devastating strike feat descriptions spending words to specifically mention that they work with greater and improved vital strike.

Unfortunate clunkiness.

Silver Crusade

What is the Swordsman and Berserker like?

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Swordsman is more a "supernatural swordsman". They are very much the wuxia swordsman, a samurai from some anime, or that legendary swordsman of some secret sect. Their main mechanics include giving some of their stuff vorpal, sizing up people by "sensing their killing intent", some critical stuff, they get to make one sword of their choice a school weapon, and they've got a list of talents called "kenjutsu' that represent some dynamic options (sonic damage pressure waves, dark pacts that increase their power, sword dancing, etc).

Berserker is an alternate barbarian. They've got the berserkergang, which grants them rage but also imposes a quasi-confused state on them (it's got its own chart). They also state how many rounds they want to enter rage for and can't end it prematurely (though they have ways of doing it later). Their real fun comes from their "warrior cults". See berserkers are closer to their historical counterparts in that they are loyal to king or group or something- not just slobbering marauders. Your warrior cult kind of works like a bloodline or domain; it grants you stuff at level 1, 4, 8, and 14. Some of them let you do stuff like intimidate and fight storms, get a giant wolf, gain some spell-likes, buff allies, etc. They are REALLY varied and flavorful and are their main difference from barbarians.

Silver Crusade

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Interesting, thankies!

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Rysky wrote:
Interesting, thankies!

LRGG did an sufficient explanation of the two classes I thought I'd pipe in and mention that the school chosen will really change how the Swordsman plays.

A fencer style Swordsman with la Reine is going to play differently than an iaijutsu master of Saint Style.

Who will play differently than a battlefield control expert of the Doppelsoldner association.

Who is going to play differently than a swordsman who just grabs whatever sword like object is around to use Drunkard style, etc.

Schools basically play out as the class paths of the Swordsman, even though they are shared among multiple classes, although naturally some schools are more synergistic with certain classes.

Thought I'd mention it in case you weren't sufficiently pumped about the book. :)

Silver Crusade

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The odds of me getting this are increasing, most likely as a Christmas present to myself :3

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Yeah there is a whole sub system involving schools. Most of the classes in this book (notably: archer, reaper, swordsman, and weapon master) have a "combat school" they can select. There are rules for most martial classes gaining them (kind of like archetypes) but they offer a suite of new abilities centered around a theme. Like StSword said, your school will DRASTICALLY impact how the class plays. While an oni school reaper will basically be an AOE physical debuffer a reaper with from Gryphon’s Legion will be kind of like a cavalier in that they could be tossing out teamwork feats and buffing allies, and a Silver Lance reaper would be a mounted AEO character with a crazy reach and some respectable charge damage.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Oh that's cool.

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