Spell Free Classes


Advice


Ok, I have a rather funky idea for a campaign, and I need some information.

Up front the premise is to take a team from Alkenstar and run Rise of the Runelords. This would mean a team lacking in any spellcasters. I would allow alchemists (and turn their abilities to Supernatural).

What I need to know is what classes and archetypes could be considered as valid coming from a place where magic doesn't occur. I mean sure, Fighters,Cavaliers, Rogues, and Barbarians are pretty obvious. You can also throw in Trapper Rangers as well.

Then do I consider Ki magical? Probably not, so perhaps Monks and Ninjas will get the nod (maybe, depends on flavor considerations).

I was wondering if anyone is familiar with, say, bard, inquisitor, or some of the other middle casting classes and if there are any spell free versions (I imagine not, but it doesn't hurt to ask). Also, is there a Paladin variant which passes on spells like the Trapper Ranger?


Warrior of the Holy Light and Stonelord are both spell-less Paladin archetypes. Skirmisher Rangers are a second spell-less Ranger archetype.

There aren't any first-party archetypes for removing spellcasting from 6-level or 9-level casters, though there are some third-party archetypes.


OK, thanks. Didn't expect them to take spells away from the spell classes, but didn't hurt to ask.


There is a third party idea called archetype packages.

Archetype Packages

I think the basic idea is that you can exchange some specific set of class features, like "bard spellcasting" for some other set of class features, like "half of a fighter's bonus feats" or "half a rogues sneak attack".

I'm not exactly sure how it works, but it might be good for your ideas.


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drbuzzard wrote:

Ok, I have a rather funky idea for a campaign, and I need some information.

Up front the premise is to take a team from Alkenstar and run Rise of the Runelords. This would mean a team lacking in any spellcasters. I would allow alchemists (and turn their abilities to Supernatural).

What I need to know is what classes and archetypes could be considered as valid coming from a place where magic doesn't occur...

Wait... so you want to run a campaign with zero magic, but the RotR is based on a bunch of crazy old super casters.... how does that work?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Salindurthas wrote:

There is a third party idea called archetype packages.

Archetype Packages

I think the basic idea is that you can exchange some specific set of class features, like "bard spellcasting" for some other set of class features, like "half of a fighter's bonus feats" or "half a rogues sneak attack".

I'm not exactly sure how it works, but it might be good for your ideas.

This is from the supergenius games archetype products (you can find the actual pdfs here in the paizo store). How it works is ANY class can trade out a specific suite of abilities one of the archetypes from any of these products. Inquisitor and bard could both trade their spellcasting for one of the archetypes if you want spell free classes, so can a paladin, and ranger adding variety to what those classes could be in your game.

There is also the spellless ranger available from kobold press, or a bunch of non-caster classes from various other 3rd party classes.

The issue you'd have is ofcourse that the game pretty heavily relies on spells, a party with no spell casters is going to have alot of trouble with many of the challenges in rise of the runelords, especially healing and recovering from debilitating effects. A party without any magical knowledge is going to be pretty darn lost in that particular adventure as well.

An alchemist can help with this, but it would pretty much be a requirement for the party to be able to function.

Liberty's Edge

If I were the PCs, I would hire at least one NPC caster post-haste.

Shadow Lodge

Will you be allowing your characters to multiclass into spellcasting classes? I love the idea of a rogue from Alkenstar who sees what wizards can do (maybe one of the early big bads completely evades them all with Invisibility) and sees the incredible potential for mischief, and immediately resolves to learn how to do that, spurring him to become an Arcane Trickster.

With a one or two multiclass caster and nice alchemist, I think this could totally work, and it sounds like a fun new spin on the adventure.

Lantern Lodge

If the game has no casters than the following will be the best healer and only thing able to rez. I linked this build a while back with the stats rolled by the person asking for help with such a campaign for what to make and what to do.

-Race / Class-
Human, Paladin (Hospitaler / Warrior of the Holy Light)

-Stats-
STR 14 (Base 14)
DEX 12 (Base 12)
CON 16 (Base 16)
INT 08 (Base 08)
WIS 10 (Base 10)
CHA 25 (Base 18)(Racial 2)(Leveling 5)

-Feats-
01 Fey Foundling, Toughness
02
03 Word Healing
04
05 Greater Mercy
06
07 Ultimate Mercy
08
09 Extra Lay on Hands
10
11 Extra Lay on Hands
12
13 Extra Lay on Hands
14
15 Channeled Revival
16
17 Extra Lay on Hands
18
19 Extra Lay on Hands
20

-Misc-
32 uses of LoH, 9 Channel Positive Energy Attempts, and +7 to all saves. Can expend 10 uses of LoH to perform Raise Dead and expend 3 channels to cast Breath of Life. Character is a healer only but can act as a decent meat shield for early to mid level. If taking divine bond with a weapon u would have a to hit of 27 (20 BaB + 2 Mod + 5 DBWeapon).


Dragonamedrake wrote:

Wait... so you want to run a campaign with zero magic, but the RotR is based on a bunch of crazy old super casters.... how does that work?

No, the idea is a team from a land of no magic trying to put down a high magic threat. PCs could opt to pick a magic using class, it would just lack some benefits from being part of the initial Alkenstar group. Also alchemists really aren't that shabby as a substitute for a casting class.

It really is an experiment. If things go poorly, I will certainly let people change over if necessary.


Psion-Psycho wrote:


32 uses of LoH, 9 Channel Positive Energy Attempts, and +7 to all saves. Can expend 10 uses of LoH to perform Raise Dead and expend 3 channels to cast Breath of Life. Character is a healer only but can act as a decent meat shield for early to mid level. If taking divine bond with a weapon u would have a to hit of 27 (20 BaB + 2 Mod + 5 DBWeapon).

Nice build. That would certainly be a strong option for the group.

I haven't run the concept by the whole group yet anyway, and they may balk. I just think it would be an interesting twist.

But to note in favor of the Alkenstar people, everyone would get the firearms exotic weapon proficiency feat for free, and I would be using advanced firearms (somewhat modified since I'm fairly underwhelmed with the rules for guns). Rifles would be better in my rules for example. There would also be nothing preventing the PCs from gaining magic items as they would be in Varisia with its fairly large cities.

Lantern Lodge

The only problem with a no magic campaign is, from personal experience, that combat can get a bit stale and if guns exists there is no reason to play any thing else. U should ban the gunslinger class an all firearms imo because if u have players/mobs using weapons that target touch ac then armor becomes useless. If u dont ban it then house rule that u cant reload firearms as a free action and the minimal amount of time needed to reload any firearm is a swift action. Having swift action reloads will make it were the guy targeting touch ac only gets 1-2 attacks a round. Since ur allowing alchemist though this still can be abused with the explosive missile and explosive bomb discoveries and vital strike feats.


I'm sure you could go through the bard/ inquisitor spell list and make some fiat rulings to make some of the spells seem like special abilities. Morale buffs/ debuffs and insight bonuses and such.


drbuzzard wrote:
Dragonamedrake wrote:

Wait... so you want to run a campaign with zero magic, but the RotR is based on a bunch of crazy old super casters.... how does that work?

No, the idea is a team from a land of no magic trying to put down a high magic threat. PCs could opt to pick a magic using class, it would just lack some benefits from being part of the initial Alkenstar group. Also alchemists really aren't that shabby as a substitute for a casting class.

It really is an experiment. If things go poorly, I will certainly let people change over if necessary.

Ahh gotcha now. Wasn't familiar with Alkenstar. That would work. I agree with others here. You can use the ability subs, but if I where in that group I would hire a Magic user post haste.

Sounds fun though. Good luck.

Lantern Lodge

Psion-Psycho wrote:
The only problem with a no magic campaign is, from personal experience, that combat can get a bit stale and if guns exists there is no reason to play any thing else. U should ban the gunslinger class an all firearms imo because if u have players/mobs using weapons that target touch ac then armor becomes useless. If u dont ban it then house rule that u cant reload firearms as a free action and the minimal amount of time needed to reload any firearm is a swift action. Having swift action reloads will make it were the guy targeting touch ac only gets 1-2 attacks a round. Since ur allowing alchemist though this still can be abused with the explosive missile and explosive bomb discoveries and vital strike feats.

To OP,

Sorry i misunderstood thought it was a 0 spell game. The fact that spells would be available if they so chose to multiclass into it is fine. The above then holds no real ground but i still think that imposing a minimum to reload speed would be best. If the players give u lip for it then enforce that only 1 free action is allowed in a single round that way only a maximum of 2 shots could be fired in a single round.


Another thing to keep in mind is movement. Magic means easy access to flying, dim door, etc. Without it, a lot of encounters are going to be a very troublesome sooner or later.

No magic also greatly increases the risk of TPKs once things go wrong, since mass evacuation is no longer an option. Combine this with limited healing and you see the problem looming, I assume.


Yeah, I expect there might be difficulties. I will be changing the firearm rules in a number of ways -improve mostly, but with some limitations on the touch AC business. All will be advanced firearms (actually I will be aiming for around 1880 firearms with an old west bent, so revolvers and lever action rifles). Reloading will be long (probably 2 full rounds to reload either before any feats apply, which is a number I get from timing myself reloading my Peacemaker). I'll have to look at Gunslinger closer, but I suspect this won't get anyone below a move action to reload at best.

Knowing my players I almost wonder if we'll end up with a caster or not, which could result in the difficulties. Not that many of them really like playing casters. I figure an alchemist can fill some gaps at least. The point about no rapid retreat is valid, but on a large party that's going to happen anyway with the limitations on teleport.


You could allow martial adepts. If you're working with those limitations, it's probably not PFS play, so other allowances can be made.

This helps to bring back some of the options that default martial classes sadly tend to lack; as well as bringing in a greater degree of choice than the standard "I full attack it", or "I charge it" or "I move and attack it" that they can often end up falling into.

A character might not be able to fly up a building, but the shadow hand focused swordsage could enter leaping dragon stance to gain what is effectively +40 to acrobatics on vertical leaps, and combine it with their own move action jump, sudden leap, and shadow jaunt in order to cover a fairly significant amount of distance in a turn.

The white raven Crusader/Bard [With Song of the White Raven] (it would be worth it even without the spellcasting ability) feels awesome when you manage to convince a group of peasants to stand with you, and their Inspire Courage + Leading the Charge Stance + Leading the Attack Strike allows them to have a decent chance at striking, and when they do, doing significantly more than they would have previously. Or when trying to help a group flee, a dousing/covering strike allows the mass that they're trying to protect to run past a guardian without provoking attacks of opportunity.

The Iron Heart Warblade tears through swarms of lesser foes with Steel Wind, Mithril Tornado and Adamantine Hurricane. Combined with an alchemist's infusion of enlarge person, the lunge feat, and the dancing blade form stance, they rival a traditional fireball in area of effect.

Tiger Claw and Diamond Mind allow skirmisher concepts to work, in that a martial character doesn't need to be locked down in order to use their full abilities. Sudden Leap, Pouncing Charge, Death from above, Ruby Nightmare Blade and Sapphire Nightmare Blade all promote action on the move.


I honestly have no idea what you are talking about.


Time of battle... Or sword magi


Tome of Battle, Byrd, also known as the Book of Nine Swords.

It's an awesome martial splat from 3.5 which, in my experience, is actually pretty balanced in Pathfinder taken as-is (although Diamond Mind requires some DM adjustment, due to being based on the 3.5 Concentration Skill)


Lol... Mis-type. I call them sword magi, because their maneuvers are like some spells. Especially shadow school.


Yeah, Shadow Hand and Desert Wind are Supernatural, as are some maneuvers in Divine Spirit.

Mostly it's just martial badassery though, especially Iron Heart, Diamond Mind, and Tiger Claw.

Here's the Maneuver System, that site also hosts the classes, which you would want to search for if the maneuvers pique your interest.

Warblade, Swordsage, and Crusader.


Ahh, had a feeling it might be that book. Never bought it.


I just linked you to the rules in question drbuzzard. It's not exactly like the book from which those rules were drawn is in print anymore anyway (except by personal printer)


Didn't see that, thanks.

Liberty's Edge

drbuzzard wrote:

Yeah, I expect there might be difficulties. I will be changing the firearm rules in a number of ways -improve mostly, but with some limitations on the touch AC business. All will be advanced firearms (actually I will be aiming for around 1880 firearms with an old west bent, so revolvers and lever action rifles). Reloading will be long (probably 2 full rounds to reload either before any feats apply, which is a number I get from timing myself reloading my Peacemaker). I'll have to look at Gunslinger closer, but I suspect this won't get anyone below a move action to reload at best.

Knowing my players I almost wonder if we'll end up with a caster or not, which could result in the difficulties. Not that many of them really like playing casters. I figure an alchemist can fill some gaps at least. The point about no rapid retreat is valid, but on a large party that's going to happen anyway with the limitations on teleport.

Guns are not the only thing they could have brought back with them.

I think even a high-level magic user or a dragon might have some trouble dealing with dynamite, especially if they do not even know what it is and what it does (let's say maximized empowered fireball with no SR, no save and not affected by Dispel Magic or some such).


Yeah, I was thinking about what tech options I might include. I'd like to limit it to my tech period in question, but really there's a good number of impressive things available in the 1880s compared to the Medieval/Renaissance tech that is the norm for the game.

Heck, even just the quality of steel is drastically better.

Lantern Lodge

Ar there gonna be constructs in ur game? If so u could use a construct idea that i have implemented in the game im currently playing, it will cost a lot though. Think of a construct, humanoid body, with 12 other constructs on it, Run Guardians, and a Rifle located in one of its arm slots. Rifle does nice sniper shots while the Rune Guardians detach and use at will Magic Missile attacks every round. My wizard made this and i dont need to really do any thing but sit back and watch the fun as my money bots blow things away. Also when i get the cash together i plan on making another construct with Rocket packs on its shoulders, in its torso, an on the sides of its legs, with its arms/hands acting as Flame throwers with Burning Hands or Dragon Breath Perma enchanted on it. Btw Rocket packs are perfectly doable in a game that has access to fireworks. Reason being is the Chinese. Btw if going with Mr. Rockets the bot will not be able to reload those some1 else will have to do it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Will you allow the Master Craftsman feat, as a way for non-magical PCs to create magical items?

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