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To whichever one of you Paizo mad scientists it was that came up with the sensei archetype:
Thank you. Thank you very much.
I'm playing a level 4 qingong ki mystic sensei monk and loving it. It may be the most fun I've had playing a d20 game in years.
He has something meaningful to do (and sometimes more than just one thing) every single round regardless of where he is or where the bad guys are.
Anyone else this in love with an archetype or archetypes? Even if they aren't "optimal"?
The internal alchemist's breath mastery ability. Solid, flavorful, and available at lv 1.
I'm just making a Rogue/Alchemist/Barnbarian for my next game - the idea is to act as a poisoner extraordinaire (alchemist / rogue) and mobile combatant (barbarian / rogue). I took this archetype specifically for the trick of breaking a container with poison that I changed to gas (one of the discoveries allows that) and not breathing for a loong time :)
Not optimal by far, but still it could be fun.
The Holy Tactician Paladin.
The watered down Smite Evil sucks, but you get to apply part of the bonus to the group. The best thing is, if your group has even 2 other people in melee, it's actually BETTER than the standard Smite Evil (even if it doesn't last as long). Your entire group gets one free teamwork feat on ALL THE TIME, and you can switch which one they get as a swift action (which is AMAZINGLY useful). Plus, you gain the ability to give your allies free 5-foot steps, eventually through difficult terrain.
It's, really, what I've always felt a paladins should have always been: Inspirational combat leaders.
Bladebound and Kensai for Magus, and Sacret Servant for the Paladin.
The first because they are just awesome! And the second because my first ever character back in 3.5 was a paladin of bahamut, and i always felt a little sad that she sucked so much compared to everyone else in the group, and got nothing for being dedicated to a specific deity.
I'm willing to admit that a lot of archetypes strike my fancy because they are powerful, but as to which ones I love: The ones that break the mold of the character class. Those age-old traditions that exist just to a)simulate some old fictional hero b)bring unneeded legacy baggage to the game. Some of them do it with only relative success(I'm looking at you Archivist Cleric), but other are real gems, like the Skirmisher ranger.
Here's a few:
- Urban Barbarian - Both the ranged barbarian and the flexible local boxer benefit from this archetype. Really, the very fact that it makes rage less of a chaotic fury and more like a controlled combat trance is a great feature. I like having things in mechanics to support the flavour. Flavoring rage into a trance worked relatively alright earlier, but now the rules support it too.
- Martial Artist - I'll try to avoid all of these examples being of martial characters, but this needs to be mentioned. Reading the Martial Artist archetype was like spring rains for many of my previously unmanageble, thanks to alignment reasons and the kung-fu flavor, concepts. Wanna try emulating Brad Pitt in Snatch? Downey Jr's Explosion Holmes? Hell yes, now you can. If I could just find a way to make the AC intelligence-based, this might be the only monk I ever play.
- Wildblooded Sorcerer - Multiclassing has never felt so good thanks to being able to pick your casting stat from three mental options. It's also a great way to play sorcerers without racial adjustments to stats getting in the way. Sure, Empyreal and Sage limit your options of what kind of backgrounds characters might have, but at least those options are not alignment-restricted.
- Urban Druid - the archetype that at first appears non-sensical, almost an oxymoron when taking the mythology of the class into account, but then the possibilities dawn on you. Sages, next-door herbalists, strangely "off" gentlemen meeting at country clubs and scholars of ruins gone native. Sure, all of these could be represented by witches, but they could never go crack some skulls on the side. Absolutely a favorite of mine.
Thanks Paizo. It's been a fun ride so far.
Arcane Duelist Bard: Not too Inspire Competence or skill driven or Suggestion, it just kills. It is like playing an Eldritch Knight, really.
Rogues have LOTS of fun options. Swashbuckler/Sanctified Rogue for gods of Luck and trickery, rake option looks really fun and flavorful, Scout/Sniper, Bandit/Knife Masters, etc.
So much customization and it helps a weaker class out.
Urban Barbarian looks like a lot of fun. I'd like to be Half Elf, go Ancestral Arms for Elven Curve Blade, Weapon Finesse, Agile and add Dexterity when raging. Nicccce.
I was playing a Black Dragon Socerer/ Monk of the Sacred mountain. Possibly one of the best characters I have ever played. There were very few situation where I couldn't do something to really contribute to the group. I kind of want to pick it up again and start using all the new claw using feats that are in UC...
Not because it would be powerful but because the image of a monk ripping people apart with his claws during a flurry of blows makes me smile.