A Challenge! Worst archetypes ever for a PFS party!


Pathfinder Society

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Grand Lodge

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Chris Sharpe, Venture Captain of New Zealand, has thrown down the gauntlet!

We need to make characters using the worst archetypes and classes possible.

No dump stats are allowed, and every character must enter a class appropriate Prestige Class. All characters must be races from the Core Rulebook only.

So far suggestions include a Mystic Theurge sorcerer / oracle without early entry, and a rogue / bellflower tiller. Any monks will be required to have a vow of poverty. There will be a Crossbowman Fighter.

Can you help us? The best entries will go into a hat for us to draw out a character we will have to build.

Their first scenario will be the Dalsine Affair. Can you suggest other hard scenarios for us to play these characters in?

Thanks for your help :-)

We will keep you updated about their glorious exploits (and horrible deaths)....

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Survivor Druid.

Smuggler Rogue.

Monk of the Seven Winds.

True Primitive Barbarian.

Weapon Bearer Squire Fighter.

Gun Scavenger Gunslinger.

Arcane Bomber Wizard.

Greensting Slayer Magus.

...and more. Need more research.

Dark Archive 4/5

Those are all excellent suggestions and will go into the hat.

I look forward to the New Zealand pathfinders picking up and running with this. The more suggestions we get means the more players we can get involved.


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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
blackbloodtroll wrote:

Survivor Druid.

Smuggler Rogue.

Monk of the Seven Winds.

True Primitive Barbarian.

Weapon Bearer Squire Fighter.

Gun Scavenger Gunslinger.

Arcane Bomber Wizard.

Greensting Slayer Magus.

...and more. Need more research.

I said to Chris and Simon that BBT would have some good suggestions. Thanks for coming through for us!


Wishcrafters are pretty bad sorcerer archetypes. Wild Rager can be detrimental.

Dark Archive 4/5

Wishcrafter is definitely bad, unfortunately I think it'd be hard pressed to tell my players to use a racial boon to make a terrible character in Pathfinder Society

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

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You could probably make a whole team of useless Rogue archetypes (Roof Runner! Driver!). Plus a Cloistered Cleric and Celebrity Bard.

But hey, I've played with an Arcane Bomber before, and he can kick some serious butt.

5/5

For sorcerer you are probably looking at some sort of crossblooded combination which doesn't sync very well at all and uses some of the many terrible bloodlines.

I propose a dwarven fighter1/crossblooded sorcerer5/eldritch knight x. Take abyssal and aberrant as your bloodlines. Neither of your arcana will do much for you at all and you lose 2 spell casting levels. By the time you reach level 11 you will finally know 1 4th level spell.

Liberty's Edge

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Clearly, a Spellslinger going into Riftwarden is the way to go as a Wizard.

This isn't a completely unworkable build...but it's sure not an ideal one, either.

Any of the Squire Archetypes from Knights of the Inner Sea are legitimately a lot less good than the base class, and should be considere for this concept.

The Daredevil Bard also leaps to mind, as does the Holy Gun Paladin,

Crossblooded Sorcerer is also potentially really bad if you go with two non-synergistic Bloodlines.

The Savage Barbarian, if actually going without armor and actually using a shield on a Str build (all clearly the intent) is also a really sub-par choice for PFS play.

It should be noted that, as I write this, I'm coming up with ways to make all these characters effective...but none as much so as if they lacked the archetype, y'know?

Shadow Lodge

First World Summoner, bring forth your wimped out eidolon. Too bad we can't combine it with broadmaster.

Geisha Bard.

Dwarven cross blooded sorcerer.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Yeah, there are just a ton of Rogue archetypes that are terrible.

Tranquil Guardian Paladin is pretty bad.

Now, you also have a number of archetype combos that are just terrible.

Scarab Sages

Crossbowman can be surprisingly effective if you take all the vital strike feats and use deadshot. If you PRC or into something with Sneak attack it becomes even better.

If you want a really bad fighter archetype, go with savage warrior, but don't play a race with any natural attacks.

Dark Archive

There are at least a handful of archetypes that have been mentioned that are far from awful. I see some pretty decent builds for at least half of what has been suggested so far.

Seems to me like this is turning out to be more of a challenge than originally intended, at least from my point of view.

I have yet to come across an archetype, prestige class, or multiclass combo that CANNOT be used effectively. But maybe I'm just being optimistic.

The Wishcrafter sorcerer archetype is as close as it gets, but I'll tell you I built one of these for use in Way of the Wicked and it turned out to be a wonderful build. Not just fun to play, but moderately effective in combat. The only thing is that your party has to be willing to work with you. It can be a horrible build if nobody is willing to RP and make it work. So my vote is Wishcrafter sorcerer.

Winter Witch in a desert setting. Any of the aquatic druid archetypes in the desert. But even that isn't based on build, just situation.

Knife Master rogue who doesn't use knives. :D

Now I'm just being a troll.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Okay, there are bad builds, but I am sure the OP wants bad archetypes.

Just because you can try really hard, and use some system mastery to make an archetype viable, doesn't mean it's not a bad archetype.


Barbarian True Primitive ranged combat build

Siege Mage


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Core Monk.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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are we allowed to saddle people with terrible race/class combos too?
if so, how about:

xenophobic dwarf; maestro sorcerer 4/rogue 3/arcane trickster

gnome; tetori monk 5/pathfinder chronicler

halfling; armored hulk barbarian 1/kensai magus 7/eldritch knight

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Some of these suggestions(spellslinger for example) aren't PFS legal.

More bad suggestions:
Seperatist cleric, take a domain your god gets anyway.
Emissary cavalier looks pretty bad, especially if you are in situations where you can't be mounted. Medium cavalier, of course.
Empyreal Knight with its infamous "trade divine grace for speaking Celestial"
Trapper ranger.

Scarab Sages

chaoseffect wrote:
Core Monk.

Even worse: Monk of the Healing Hand.

Shadow Lodge

Street performer


Witch with both Sea Witch and Medium archetypes. You lose most of your hexes and all of your patron spells and get very poor replacements.

I've got to second Geisha Bard. How often can you perform a tea ceremony immediately before battle?

A Ragechemist Alchemist looks better than it is. The intelligence penalties can be crippling and the will save penalties (on a poor will save base, and a non-wisdom caster) can be lethal.


avr wrote:


I've got to second Geisha Bard. How often can you perform a tea ceremony immediately before battle?

Well, it don't replace any perform: if you can use it, good! If you can't, you do the normal bard stuff. They will be better than the random bard as a face (half level to, let's say, Diplomacy and Sense motive with Versatile performance?), and can stack scroll in downtime to improve their casting abilities. All that, for a more limited weapon choice, -3 AC than a normal bard and less skills in knowledge... if it's not that good, it's not that bad. I would even say that the Arcehologist is worst as a bard....

Scarab Sages

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Saigo Takamori wrote:
I would even say that the Arcehologist is worst as a bard....

You could say that. You would be wrong, but you could say it. :)

Dark Archive 4/5

Thanks for all the suggestions thus far. The players who end up playing these archetypes are free to min Max them, however the spirit of the challenge is to use the custom abilities given by the archetype. Having a crossbowmen Fighter who uses a greatsword technically works, but is hardly worth making a fuss about.

Note we will roll randomly to determine race, and not allowing any stat below 10 means that MAD archetypes will naturally be worse. Monk archetypes are what we're dreading the most.


Imbicatus wrote:

You could say that. You would be wrong, but you could say it. :)

I don't think that I'm wrong, and I will clarify. The Archeologist is a great rogue, but a poor bard (if you understand my position). Yeah, for himself he is great, but he loose the 2 main points of the bard: to be the greatest skill monkey and to be one of the best support character (two points that the Geisha keep). So yeah, if you are lookin for a Rogue, the Archeolgist is great. If you are looking for a Bard, it is poor IMO.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

Geisha aren't so bad, they still have the ability to perform normally and they get a free Spell Focus feat in PFS.

Trapper Rangers have a lot to suffer through, and Titan Mauler barbarians are bad at their only focus. Dual-Cursed oracles with Clouded Vision and Deaf make for hilariously difficult characters to play.

What about just terrible character concepts? I've managed to get a dedicated human slinger to level 7 without dying (so far).


As far as hard scenarios go, how about Temple of Enlightenment? Or perhaps thornkeep?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Chris Sharpe wrote:
Note we will roll randomly to determine race

lol- that's not quite as brutal as assigning poor fitting races but its still fairly brutal. i love it.

did i miss something or is prorposing PrC builds ok?
even without a bad race i feel like my suggestions were pretty terrible...
- arcane trickster is pretty lackluster to begin with, take away early entry and make them start as a sorc (for worse spell progression, even later entry, and less priority on Int for less skill points) and it should be rough.
- monks are super MAD to begin with, combo that with a PrC that's Int/Cha (like the chronicler) and they need all 6 stats (plus chronicler is another PrC that never seemed any good to me).
- magus and barb have terrible synergy to begin with (can't use spellstrike/combat while raging, so your always losing most benefits from one class), stack armored hulk with kensai and you've got a brutal combo... send that into EK (which you can't qualify for without barb because kensai aren't proficient with all martials) and someone really got a rough draw.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Yeah I don't think geisha is that bad either - you don't gain much but you also don't lose much.

How about Detective as a bad bard archetype? Lose Inspire Courage to get a version that only adds to Initiative, Perception, and Disable Device. Oh and bonuses versus traps, for all those times you already have bardic music going when you trigger a trap. Also lose bardic knowledge and versatile performance for more situational stuff.

Scarab Sages

I don't get the Trapper bashing. They loose spellcasting which hurts, but traps are pretty nifty, especially when they can shoot them.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

Imbicatus wrote:
I don't get the Trapper bashing. They loose spellcasting which hurts, but traps are pretty nifty, especially when they can shoot them.

At higher levels, they're definitely fun. The problem is that PFS will rarely give you an opportunity to set them up ahead of time, and you can't fire them until level 10, which is almost retirement for most PFS characters.

Myrmidarch Magus take ages to get off the ground properly. Combine with gunslinger for the slowest gain in usefulness ever.

Scrollmaster Wizards are costly and frustrating to play.

Wave Rider Cavalier will be exceptionally difficult to play in PFS. Taking a dip level in something with Create Water is practically a necessity, if not hiring porters to drag around a collapsible bathtub full of water.

Requiring any casting class to dip levels in True Primitive Barbarian is practically a death sentence.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

This is surprisingly fun.

Feral Child druid.

You could pick very poor paths to get into PrCs - think paladin/magus/mystic theurge.

Sovereign Court 3/5

Medium sized sohei monk

If you want some ideas for prestige classes aswell, then:
Pathfinder chronicler (without any bard levels)
Group leader (without cavalier or inquisitor levels)
Master spy

Scarab Sages

Rasmus Spile wrote:

Medium sized sohei monk

What? Sohei is one of the best monk archtypes there is. Being Medium wouldn't hurt them at all for PFS as they don't actually get a mount.


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ryric wrote:
... think paladin/magus/mystic theurge.

shudder I would rather not

.

.

.

Airgh! Now I can't stop thinking about trying to get it to work. No! Make it stop...

Scarab Sages

Aasimar Ex-Paladin 1/Eldritch Knight 10 with no Arcane class.


At that point why not just roll up a Commoner?


Athaleon wrote:
At that point why not just roll up a Commoner?

Because I don't think NPC classes are legal in PFS. Also, Irorian Paladin is another great terrible archetype. Still better than most monks, ironically enough.

1/5

There is always the Bard (Sandman) eventually going into Arcane Trickster.


I would suggest Totem Warrior Barbarian, but that just does nothing. What about the Weapon Bearer Squire fighter?


Dragonflyer1243 wrote:
I would suggest Totem Warrior Barbarian, but that just does nothing.

An archetype that does nothing is automatically better than an archetype that trades something useful for something less useful. If you wanted to throw in a Totem Warrior Barbarian, you could specify one of the bad totems (e.g. Chaos) and mandate that the character take the appropriate feats, this will cost the player feats and bar them from taking one of the good totems. Probably still not as bad as true primitive though.


I actually kinda like the true primitive. No, it is certainly not optimal. But it is no where near as bad as many of the others mentioned here.

4/5

The vampire hunter inquisitor archetype is horrible.


You could do something like take Monk of the Empty Hand and Monk of the Seven Forms with all of the monk vows. That would be a pretty terrible character choice. You could also force the assassin prc for added fun.

4/5

Think folks are missing the original point. Its not to build a horrible character... but to find bad archetypes, and then let their players try to make them viable.

Dark Archive

Go White Haired Witch going into Cyphermage.
There's very little that is worse or more non-effective then that.


ryric wrote:

Yeah I don't think geisha is that bad either - you don't gain much but you also don't lose much.

How about Detective as a bad bard archetype? Lose Inspire Courage to get a version that only adds to Initiative, Perception, and Disable Device. Oh and bonuses versus traps, for all those times you already have bardic music going when you trigger a trap. Also lose bardic knowledge and versatile performance for more situational stuff.

The detective bonus lasts for an hour so you often do have the buff up

Not a bad archetype at all and can disarm magical road as well


A few PrC suggestions:
Dwarf Celebrity Bard/(pick bad archetype) Rogue/Arcane Trickster

Holy Gun Paladin 1/Crossblooded Sorcerer (with two non-synergistic bloodlines) Sorcerer 4/Dragon Disciple


Phosphorus wrote:
every character must enter a class appropriate Prestige Class.

Is the appropriate prestige class tied to the archetype when the archetype is selected,or can a player select whichever class-appropriate prestige class they prefer once they have selected a class?

I see some people suggesting non-synergistic PrCs and I'm not sure if that's in keeping with the premise. I would think that players would optimize the heck out of their bad archetypes, which would involve making good choices for PrCs.

Scarab Sages

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Phosphorus wrote:
every character must enter a class appropriate Prestige Class.

Is the appropriate prestige class tied to the archetype when the archetype is selected,or can a player select whichever class-appropriate prestige class they prefer once they have selected a class?

I see some people suggesting non-synergistic PrCs and I'm not sure if that's in keeping with the premise. I would think that players would optimize the heck out of their bad archetypes, which would involve making good choices for PrCs.

A Survivalist rogue is pretty bad, but a Survivalist Rogue/Horizon Walker is thematic as hell and is one of the most OP builds you can make as a martial. I'm not sure this is what they are looking for.

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