Anyone actually use most of these Prestige Classes?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Looking on d20pfsrd.com, I see a HUGE number of Prestige Classes, much more than any I have heard people express interest in, much less use. So, going down the list, does anyone actually use any of these? The ones that I have seen guides for have the existence of the guides as strong circumstantial evidence for PCs, but in many cases I have yet to see a PC.

Core list:

Arcane Archer -- seen a guide for this, but no actual PC or NPC
Arcane Trickster -- seen a guide for this, and 1 PC in a PbP
Assassin -- seen a guide for this, but no actual NPC or PC; various single classes would seem to do the job better
Dragon Disciple -- seen a guide for this, but no actual PC or NPC
Duelist -- seen a guide for this, but no actual PC or NPC
Eldritch Knight -- seen a guide for this, but no actual PC or NPC
Loremaster -- no guide, PC, or NPC; didn't seem to get much of an update from 3.5, in which it was good, but now it seems only mediocrely okay
Mystic Theurge -- no guide, but actually found 1 PC in a PbP who is building for it
Pathfinder Chronicler -- seen a guide for this, but no actual PC or NPC
Shadowdancer -- seen a guide for this (oddly enough, a guide specific to a two-handed weapon strength build), but no actual PC or NPC

Expanded list (specific name listed after generic name, when applicable):

Agent of the Grave -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Arcane Savant (Pathfinder Savant) -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Battle Herald -- seen a guide for this, but no actual PC or NPC, although 1 PC in a Kingmaker PbP might be building for this
Bloodmage (Bloatmage) -- no guide, PC, or NPC; sounds dangerous to the user
Brightness Seeker -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Brother of the Seal -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Darkfire Adept (Blackfire Adept) -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Group Leader (Bellflower Tiller) -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Mage of the Third Eye (Arclord of Nex) -- no guide, PC, or NPC; seems like this would be the place where a Universalist Wizard could really shine
Celestial Knight (Knight of Ozem) -- no guide, PC, or NPC; whenever I see this I keep thinking they need a Wizard of Ozem . . .
Champion of the Enlightened (Champion of Irori) -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Chevalier -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Coastal Pirate (Shackles Pirate) -- no guide, PC, or NPC; seems like they interchanged the generic names they attached to this and Inner Sea Pirate
Collegiate Arcanist (Magambyan Arcanist) -- no guide, PC, or NPC; name seems obsolete now that an Arcanist Base Class is out
Crimson Assassin (Red Mantis Assassin) -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Cyphermage -- no guide, PC, or NPC (surprising given that the Cyphermage organization features semi-prominently in Second Darkness)
Daivrat -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Dark Delver (Pathfinder Delver) -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Deep Sea Pirate (Inner Sea Pirate) -- no guide, PC, or NPC; seems like they interchanged the generic names they attached to this and Shackles Pirate
Demoniac -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Diabolist -- no guide, PC, or NPC; strange that it is NOT the Lawful Equivalent to Demoniac or Mystery Cultist
Dissident of Dawn (Dawnflower Dissident) -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Divine Assessor (Balanced Scale of Abadar) -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Divine Scion -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Envoy of Balance -- no guide, PC, or NPC (although this one is really new)
Evangelist -- no guide, PC, or NPC (although this one is really new)
Exalted -- no guide, PC, or NPC (although this one is really new)
Field Agent (Pathfinder Field Agent?) -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Furious Guardian (Ulfen Guard?) -- no guide, PC, or NPC (although this one is really new)
Genie Binder -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Golden Legionnaire -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Grand Marshal (Shieldmarshal) -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Gray Warden (Gray Gardener) -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Green Faith Acolyte -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Guild Agent (Aspis Agent) -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Guild Poisoner (Daggermark Poisoner) -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Halfling Opportunist -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Harrower -- no guide, PC, or NPC; seems like a cool idea, but the implementation seems somewhat suboptimal; mentioned enough on the messageboards that somebody must have tried this
Hell Knight Commander (Hellknight) -- no guide or PC, but a fair number of NPCs
Hell Knight Enforcer (Hellknight Signifer) -- no guide or PC, but a few NPCs, and I ran across a PC who might have been building for this
Holy Vindicator -- seen a guide, but no PC or NPC
Horizon Walker -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Inheritor's Crusader -- no guide, PC, or NPC (and this one seems really strong for a 3 level Prestige Class, too)
Justiciar -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Lantern Bearer -- no guide, PC, or NPC (although presumably they'll show up later in Second Darkness)
Liberator -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Lion Blade -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Living Monolith -- no guide, PC, or NPC; seems rather suboptimal
Low Templar -- no guide, PC, or NPC (although presumably they'll show up later in Wrath of the Righteous)
Mammoth Rider -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Master Chymist -- no guide, PC, or NPC; sounds dangerous to the user
Master Spy -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Mystery Cultist -- no guide, PC, or NPC
False Priest -- no guide, PC, or NPC, but mentioned enough on the messageboards that somebody must have tried this
Natural Alchemist -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Nature Warden -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Noble Scion -- no guide, PC, or NPC (Aristocrat NPC Base Class seems to be used instead)
Pain Taster -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Pit Fighter -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Planes Walker (Riftwarden) -- no guide, PC, or NPC (although presumably they'll show up later in Wrath of the Righteous)
Purity Legion Enforcer -- no guide, PC, or NPC (although this one is really new)
Rage Prophet -- seen a guide, but no PC or NPC, although 1 PC in a Rise of the Runelords PbP and 1 PC in a Kingmaker PbP seem to be building for this
Master of Storms (Stormbinder) -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Sanctified Prophet (Prophet of Kalistrade) -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Sentinel -- no guide, PC, or NPC (although this one is really new)
Sleepless Detective -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Soul Warden -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Souleater (Souldrinker) -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Spherewalker -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Stalwart Defender -- seen a guide, but no PC or NPC
Steel Falcon -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Student of War -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Sun Seeker (Skyseeker) -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Swordlord (Aldori Swordlord) -- seen a guide section (not a whole dedicated guide), but no PC or NPC
Tattooed Mystic -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Technomancer -- no guide, PC, or NPC (although this is really new; presumably they'll show up later in Iron Gods)
Umbral Agent (Umbral Court Agent) -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Veiled Illusionist (Mage of the Veil) -- no guide, PC, or NPC
Winter Witch -- no guide, but has gotten a fair amount of mention, and 1 PC in a Kingmaker PbP is presumably building for this (Winter Witch Base Class archetype), and Reign of Winter does have them

So we have a whole slew of Prestige Classes, of which most seem to get no easily visible use. Probably the same could be said for Base Class Archetypes, but that would REALLY be too long to go through now.


I have a master Chymist planned, We have a dragon disciple in the works already. We have a master spy in a KM game right now... We'll have an arcane trickster join up with our RotRL Monday... We even turned an NPC in Serpent Skull into a pathfinder chronicler...

of all our charcters... that's a pretty small group, but we do use them. I love the idea of so many of them... but they did go out of their way to make 'base classes' better then multiclassing... so it's gotta be a strong character idea to justify the nerf....


There is an Evangelist in a game I'm dming.

I think I had a character with a few levels of vindicator.

As for Archetypes I use them about 50% of the time.


My wife played a Dragon disciple that was a barbarian/sorc before PRCing.

A bloodrager base would have made that character even scarier.
She was the first human, Ive ever seen bite a vampire to death during a grapple fest.

Ive both seen and played a Rage Prophet.

In Iron Gods, my new PC is set up for yet another Rage Prophet.

Ive seen more than one Hell Knight, including my wife who played an ex-gray maiden/hellknight in crystal shard.

My wife played a winter witch in Reign of winter, we TPK'd in the second book.
My wife has also played a Battle Herald, although use only got to 2nd level of the PrC.

I have seen numerous Eldritch Knights and Shadow Dancers.

I had a very prevalent NPC that I ran in a campaign for along time that was an Arcane Trickster (and made a better assassin than an assassin)

I played a character in Curse of the Crimson throne, who eventually PrC'd into Red Mantis Assassin, but only one level… he was "infiltrating the organization" (infiltrator inquisitor)


I have built half or most of those PRC's before, but I've never actually gotten to play them (either for story reasons or much much more often, my group's pretty high end, and most of those PRC just aren't particularly epic, outside of very specific builds).

One I want toplay a lot (perhaps with Arcanist) is Harrower.


I have a one character for Grey Warden and another for a Battle herald.

The problem I tend to have is that my groups tend to be all like "PRD only!" which kills the use of the greywarden or "15 point buy!" which kills my battle herald who is like crazy MAD.

Dark Archive

I'm going to preface this by saying that I *like* that there's a ton of prestige classes, including niche ones, out there. I like having all the options at my disposal even if I haven't actively used them yet.

As to what I've seen in action (going off of vague memories of what I *think* builds were in a some of the cases and including a few short games that were only an adventure or two as opposed to full-length campaigns):

Agent of the Grave-
1 PC (Not mine)

Arcane Archer-
1 NPC (Not mine)

Assassin-
Multiple (5+) NPCs (Mine and other GMs)

Bloodmage/Bloatmage-
1 PC (Mine)
2-3 NPCs (Me running them)

Coastal Pirate/Shackles Pirate-
Had two PCs interested in it in games that folded before it happened

Crimson Assassin/Red Mantis Assassin-
1 PC (Not mine)
Multiple (5+) NPCs (Mine)

Cyphermage-
1 NPC (Mine)

Diabolist-
1 PC (Mine)

Divine Assessor/Balanced Scale of Abadar-
1 PC (Not mine)
1 NPC (Mine)

Dragon Disciple-
2-3 PCs (Not mine)
2-3 NPCs (Not mine)

Eldritch Knight-
1-2 NPCs (Not mine)

Evangilist-
On the list of 'things I specifically want to run someday'

Harrower-
1 PC (Not mine)
2 NPCs (Not mine)

Hell Knight Commander/Hellknight-
3 PCs (1 Mine, 2 Not mine)
Multiple (5+) NPCs (Mine)

Hell Knight Enforcer/Hellknight Signifier-
1 NPC (Mine)

Lion Blade-
1 PC (Not mine)

Living Monolith-
I had a PC who wanted to be one of these for a while but veered toward something else

Loremaster-
2 NPCs (Not mine)

Mammoth Rider-
On the list of 'things I specifically want to run someday'

Master Spy-
1 PC (Not mine)
1 NPC (Not mine)

Mystic Theurge-
Multiple (5+) PCs (2 Mine, Several not mine)
Multiple (5+) NPCs (Mine and other GMs)

Natural Alchemist / Thuvian Alchemist-
On the list of 'things I specifically want to run someday'

Pain Taster-
1 PC (Not mine)
2-3 NPCs (Mine)

Shadowdancer-
3 PCs (Not mine)
3-4 NPCs (Not mine)

Sleepless Detective-
I have a player who specifically wants to run one of these sometime. It's also on my list of 'things I specifically want to run someday'

Souleater / Souldrinker-
1 PC (Not mine)
1-2 NPCs (Not mine)

Swordlord / Aldori Swordlord-
2 PCs (1 Mine, 1 Not mine)

Winter Witch-
On the list of 'things I specifically want to run someday'


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Quote:
Champion of the Enlightened (Champion of Irori) -- no guide, PC, or NPC

I think you missed something here...

prototype00


I played an eldritch knight from 1st to 10th level (pre magus days). Not the most optimal build (ftr 3/wiz 5/EK 10) but very fun. The GM portrayed them as a knightly order with entrance requirements and a paladin-style code of conduct. Lesson learned: the right fluff can make any class appealing.


We had an Arcane Trickster last campaign, I'm considering Eldritch Knight for next campaign, and Rage Prophet sounds like loads of fun and I'll want to give it a try when we hit a campaign it feels like it will fit. And if I ever play or have a party member playing a Bloodrager, I'll make sure Dragon Disciple is brought up as an option.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

They are options and some are specific in what they are doing. I have a celestial knight and lantern bearer npc at least planned for my campaign. But with the incredible amount of archetypes out there...I can already tell many stories without having to go into any prc. Now with the hybrid classes and mythic rules added some of these prcs aren't as appealing, since you can customize your npc however you want with some mythic rules or the right archetypes. The epic wizard in your campaign? Wizard 20//Archmage 8 , he would definitely appears godlike to most people in your game.

Essentially just saying we have many options, it's good to know that they are there and would be used when necessary.


Ones I've used or seen used:
Aspis Agent, Loremaster, Arcane Trickster, Arcane Archer, Sleepless Detective, Mystic Theurge, Pathfinder Savant, Magaambyan Arcanist, Bloatmage, Brother of the Seal, Dragon Disciple, Shadowdancer, Horizon Walker, Mammoth Rider, Eldritch Knight

Unless the prestige class is letting you do something you can't do in a base class, there are only story reasons to use them I find. Some of those classes were played for cool factor as well. Aspis Agents were used heavily in my last campaign and the players paranoia was three notches higher than usual. As a GM finding a suboptimal prestige class and making an adventure around it can be lots of fun.


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in our king maker campaign the king is a dragon disciple and his twin brother, the general (me) is also DD (king is caster, I am melee) and the grand diplomat is a bard/pathfinder chronicler


I have a character concept which uses the ShadowDancer class, and I'm currently playing a Nature Warden.


I've used diabolist, I saw someone build for arcane archer, The next character I play I plan to make a bloatmage.


The reason you haven't most of this prestige classes is that they mostly suck even at things they're supposed to be good at.

Assassins are outclassed by Slayers. Eldritch knights aren't as good as Magi. Lion Blades are just laughable even compared to a properly archetyped rogue which is just awful.

Honestly I'd use prestige classes for their original intent of being NPC classes. Has some nifty abilities but not fit for a PC to use. It gives them flavor without necessarily overshadowing the PCs. Another benefit is that most prestige classes are only really viable or fun at high-levels and a NPC designed to take on the PCs by themselves should be oeverlevelled comparatively.

Most of the decent prestige classes are holdovers from 3.5 which favored prestige a lot more.

Paizo seems to prefer people staying in their class without multiclassing or prestiging. I like this philosophy but others chafe under it.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

i've personally played a dragon disciple, more than one eldritch knight, more than one mystic theurge, and a rage prophet. i've also played with or helped build (for a campaign i didn't have time to play in) an arcane archer, an evangelist, an outrageous mammoth rider in a gestalt campaign, at least one shadow dancer, a master chymist, a horizon walker, and a winter witch. i also built a pretty cool monk[sensei]/cavalier[musketeer]/battle herald but the campaign fell through and i never got to use him.

if you get into all the NPCs i've slapped together for various adventures the list would be much longer.


prototype00 wrote:
Quote:
Champion of the Enlightened (Champion of Irori) -- no guide, PC, or NPC

I think you missed something here...

prototype00

Whelp, that brings back memories.

Could use some updates thanks to warpriest, nerfed crane wing, Ki channel now being things though.


I've had a friend run an Agent of the Grave that eventually became a lich. Personally, I'm running a barbarian I intend on prestigious into Chevalier after I grab Come And Get Me. I think out of most of those options, Chevalier is the PrC that deserves most love. It's practically a dip as opposed to the 10 level paths most other prestige classes offer.


I have used quite a few of these as NPC's in games. It's actually really fun to throw something very unexpected at the players.

I have played as a PC:

Inheritor's Crusader
Student of War
Harrower
Agent of the Grave (full disclosure: he died literally minutes into the session after taking his first level of this PrC)

Created a character intended to be a Rage Prophet, but died prior to reaching PrC

... and I had a Pain Taster... but, this had been a super-lethal campaign. Everyone was on at least a third generation character. We were carrying on mostly because the DM wanted to... character creation had gotten a little wacky.

I have seen as PC's:

Divine Scion
Arcane Archer
Arcane Trickster
Pathfinder Savant
Diabolist
Duelist
Battle Herald
Holy Vindicator
Low Templar

The really funny thing to me... reading through that list... is how many of them I'm surprised that I've never seen played!

So many of those have been bandied about as possibilities, that I guess got discarded or ruined by character deaths, campaign endings, etc... Chevalier really shocked me. That one has been discussed so many times. It gets brought up all the time. I really can't believe I've never seen one! But, there you have it...


Master Chymist is covered in all of the Alchemist guides; since Alchemists are the only class that can qualify, there's no real reason for it to have a guide of it's own.

It's fairly popular, and (at least as a 3 level dip, if not a full 10 levels), very strong.


I thought I had played a lot of prestige classes until I saw that list!


Two of my three recent characters have used prestige classes - one was an elven archer ranger2/wizard5/eldritch knight # (which you can't use a magus for), and one was a barbarian1/inquistor2/ranger2/rogue3/chevalier2/student of war #. The other is a drunken master/four winds monk. Next up I want to play a sylvan sorcerer with a pig familiar, but after that I'd like to get around to a bloatmage.


I've used a number of prestige classes for NPCs in my current campaign. Specifically, I've statted up a dragon disciple, green faith acolyte, several assassins, and I created a master spy as a cohort for the party's sorcerer. I really enjoy the prestige classes in terms of flavour, and so like making NPCs to fill specific roles. Not sure I would be that keen on playing them as PCs - the master spy, for instance, is pathetic in combat, but has amazing bluff/disguise/etc bonuses. I do like the new prestiges classes from Inner Sea Gods though.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

OP: Paizo's design philosophy for prestige classes is to make them either for fairly specific "niche" characters (to include specific multiclass combinations) or pretty vanilla (i.e., eldritch knight and loremaster). Unlike 3.x, prestige classes are not "everything a base class does, plus extras;" archetypes fill most of the function of 3.x prestige classes in Pathfinder.

That said, eldritch knight tends to get used a lot (especially with SLA early entry), even with magi being around; typically in combination with arcane archer or dragon disciple. It's a way to get 8th or 9th level arcane spells and +15 to +17 BAB; nothing to sneeze at. With the release of the Advanced Class Guide, I expect to see several inspired blade swashbuckler 1/blade adept arcanist 6 or 7/eldritch knights with Eldritch Blade and Spell Strike exploits alongside the [fighter or ranger] 1/[wizard or sorcerer] 6/eldritch knight 2/arcane archer 3/eldritch knight +X. The only things that the magus has over the blade adept/eldritch knight are Spell Combat (granted, it's nice, but that -2 on attack rolls hurts for a +3/4 BAB class) and the Accurate Strike arcana (which is expensive).

Most of the other prestige classes are at least worth looking at for dips or specific concepts. That they aren't "must haves" for most characters is actually a feature, IMO. Especially after 3.x, where you basically had to take levels in prestige classes to stay effective.

bodhranist wrote:
elven archer ranger2/wizard5/eldritch knight # (which you can't use a magus for)

Myrmidarch magus, arguably.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've played Eldritch Knight, Loremaster, and Arcane Trickster, and I'd play them again. Looking at Lantern Bearer as the next thing to try.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have a 3rd level cleric Pharasma/3rd level wizard (necromancer) /8th level Mystic Theurge in PFS.

I have a 12 level Magus/2nd level Arcane Archer in PFS

I have a 1 paladin / 1 sorcerer / 1 Eldritch Knight (Aasimar) in PFS.

I also have a Tiefling Rogue 1 that I'm planning to do an Arcane Trickster with

I also have a Aasimar Oracle 1 (Life) / Sorcerer (Celestial Bloodline) that I'm planning to build towards Mystic Theurge.

I am sure there are more opinions about optimization then you can shake a stick at, but I have enjoyed my high level Mystic Theurge, and Magus/Arcane Archer. We shall see how the other classes go.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I have a retired cohort with one level each in Harrower and Holy Vindicator. If she has not retired, her plan was to retrain that Harrower level to a second Holy Vindicator level and then advance in the latter class all the way to level 10.

There was a PC in our game who would have become a Master Chymist if he had lasted long enough (and had not taken that two level detour into the rogue class to pick up evasion).

The Chevalier is mentioned in a guide to the Iroran Paladin as a way for an Iroran Paladin to qualify for the Champion of Irori prestige class.


Arcane Archer -- Seen a couple and playing with one now
Arcane Trickster -- Played 2 of these and have met 2 of these. My all time favorite class.
Assassin -- I have played with one of these, many years ago when there were many less splat books and probably pre-archetypes.
Dragon Disciple -- Tons of these.
Duelist -- I've seen 2
Eldritch Knight -- Probably seen half a dozen of these at least. Many more with early entry. Someone in my home game is playing one and he's probably the best character in the party.
Loremaster -- No, though I would play one in a longer game
Mystic Theurge -- I've seen three since early entry came out.
Pathfinder Chronicler -- Someone in one of my home games planned to play one but he died before then.
Shadowdancer -- TONS of these, and most of them do two hand it. Also, shadowdancers are SO BROKEN! Especially in PFS.

Expanded list (specific name listed after generic name, when applicable):

Agent of the Grave -- Nope
Arcane Savant (Pathfinder Savant) -- Nope

Battle Herald -- Seen 2
Bloodmage (Bloatmage) -- Seen a few. Its pretty popular in PFS as its the only archetype you can complete in standard play.
Brightness Seeker -- Nope
Brother of the Seal -- 1
Darkfire Adept (Blackfire Adept) -- No
Group Leader (Bellflower Tiller) No
Mage of the Third Eye (Arclord of Nex) -- No

Celestial Knight (Knight of Ozem) -- Played one
Champion of the Enlightened (Champion of Irori) -- Seen 2
Chevalier -- This is a very popular dip in my circles, probably seen half a dozen.
Coastal Pirate (Shackles Pirate) -- no
Collegiate Arcanist (Magambyan Arcanist) -- Played 1 and seen 1. Very powerful choice.
Crimson Assassin (Red Mantis Assassin) -- no, but its not PFS legal or I would
Cyphermage -- Played one
Daivrat -- no but I would use this class
Dark Delver (Pathfinder Delver) -- Had one in a homegame I ran before he died.
Deep Sea Pirate (Inner Sea Pirate) -- no
Demoniac -- no

Diabolist -- Heck yeah! I play one in society and I've seen one other one
Dissident of Dawn (Dawnflower Dissident) -- no
Divine Assessor (Balanced Scale of Abadar) -- no but I'd play one
Divine Scion -- no

Envoy of Balance -- Playing one now, and someone in my current home game planned to play one with his cleric, but the PC died before she hit the proper level. This one is AMAZING IMO!
Evangelist -- Seen 3 already and playing one.
Exalted -- no but seems decent
Field Agent (Pathfinder Field Agent?) -- no
Furious Guardian (Ulfen Guard?) -- no but seems decent
Genie Binder -- no but would sport it

Golden Legionnaire -- Yes, twice
Grand Marshal (Shieldmarshal) -- I plan to take this on my gunslinger
Gray Warden (Gray Gardener) -- One
Green Faith Acolyte -- no
Guild Agent (Aspis Agent) -- no
Guild Poisoner (Daggermark Poisoner) -- no and poisons suck in PFS

Halfling Opportunist -- Played one and met another one
Harrower -- I've seen one
Hell Knight Commander (Hellknight) -- Lots
Hell Knight Enforcer (Hellknight Signifer) -- Met a couple. It synergizes well with eldritch knight for casting in plate armor with no spell failure.
Holy Vindicator -- seen a few and have had many players plan to make one.
Horizon Walker -- Met one
Inheritor's Crusader -- no )
Justiciar -- no
Lantern Bearer -- no
Liberator -- no
Lion Blade -- no, but I REALLY like this class. If I ever play city of thieves or curse of the crimson throne I'd play this. Too weak for society though where I usually play.

Living Monolith -- I've met at least 3, all were 1 level dips.
Low Templar -- I know 1 person whose played one.
Mammoth Rider -- I play with someone whose planning to take this, not high enough level yet.
Master Chymist -- Met 1.
Master Spy -- no but see Lion Blade. Super powerful, but niche class
Mystery Cultist -- 1
False Priest -- no
Natural Alchemist -- no
Nature Warden -- no
Noble Scion -- no

Pain Taster -- Know 2 people who have played them.
Pit Fighter -- no
Planes Walker (Riftwarden) -- no
Purity Legion Enforcer -- no

Rage Prophet -- Ran into at least 2.
Master of Storms (Stormbinder) -- no
Sanctified Prophet (Prophet of Kalistrade) -- no
Sentinel -- no
Sleepless Detective -- no but I think its awesome
Soul Warden -- no
Souleater (Souldrinker) -- no but someone in my home game was going to take this, but he switched characters because of party composition.
Spherewalker -- no

Stalwart Defender -- Seen 1
Steel Falcon -- no
Student of War -- Seen one
Sun Seeker (Skyseeker) -- no
Swordlord (Aldori Swordlord) -- I know at least 2 people who have played this. With certain builds can hit 60+ AC.
Tattooed Mystic -- no
Technomancer -- no
Umbral Agent (Umbral Court Agent) -- no

Veiled Illusionist (Mage of the Veil) -- I play one
Winter Witch -- Have met one in society and I play one in ROW

If you play society a lot you'll see quite a few more classes, especially online when you aren't limited to your geographic area for players. I also have a friend whose a professional GM (runs 13 games right now) so a lot of the builds I've heard about come from his games. Also, I have 14 PFS characters at 4th level or above, so I get to play with weird builds a little more than some people.


shadow dancer that is : ranger 6 or lorewarden 3\thug scout 3 is a great character.
OP ? ofc not. fun to play? ofc yes!

another is the mystic theruge that enter the prestige at lvl 4.


I have seen several of them

Multiple Eldritch Knight and Mystic Theurge

The Hellknight and bloatmage were very popular in my PFS local for awhile

There are at least 2 diabolist and dragon disciple

One shadow dancer

I will soon be starting winter witch


I have a sleepless detective in pfs


Fun list idea

PC = My own PC
AP = seen as a character in an AP I've played/run
PFS = seen as a character in a PFS scenario I've played/run
HG = seen as a character in an Home Game I've played/run
NPC = NPC in AP or PFS

Spoiler:

Arcane Archer -- AP
Arcane Trickster -- PC
Assassin -- HG
Dragon Disciple -- HG
Duelist -- HG
Eldritch Knight -- PC
Loremaster -- HG
Mystic Theurge -- HG
Pathfinder Chronicler -- AP
Shadowdancer -- NPC

Non-Core:

Agent of the Grave -- No
Pathfinder Savant -- PC
Battle Herald -- No
Bloatmage -- PC
Brightness Seeker -- No
Brother of the Seal -- NPC in HG
Darkfire Adept (Blackfire Adept) -- No
Bellflower Tiller No
Arclord of Nex -- No
Knight of Ozem -- No
Champion of Irori -- No
Chevalier -- No
Shackles Pirate -- No
Magambyan Arcanist -- No

Red Mantis Assassin -- NPC
Cyphermage -- No
Daivrat -- AP
Pathfinder Delver -- PFS
Inner Sea Pirate -- No
Demoniac -- No

Diabolist -- NPC
Dawnflower Dissident -- No
Balanced Scale of Abadar -- No
Divine Scion -- No
Envoy of Balance -- No
Evangelist -- No
Exalted -- no but seems decent
Pathfinder Field Agent -- No
Ulfen Guard -- No
Genie Binder -- No
Golden Legionnaire -- No
Shieldmarshal -- No
Gray Gardener -- Not yet
Green Faith Acolyte -- No

Aspis Agent -- NPC
Daggermark Poisoner -- No
Halfling Opportunist -- Almost PC (couple more levels)
Harrower -- PC
Hellknight -- PFS
Hellknight Signifer -- PFS
Horizon Walker -- No
Inheritor's Crusader -- No
Justiciar -- no

Lantern Bearer -- PC
Liberator -- AP
Lion Blade -- NPC
Living Monolith -- PFS (not a dip)
Low Templar -- AP
Mammoth Rider -- Not yet
Master Chymist -- No
Master Spy -- No
Mystery Cultist -- No

False Priest -- Maybe PFS
Natural Alchemist -- No
Nature Warden -- No
Noble Scion -- No

Pain Taster -- NPC
Pit Fighter -- No
Planes Walker (Riftwarden) -- HG planned (prev. character thought dead but wasn't)
Pure Legion Enforcer -- no
Rage Prophet -- PFS
Stormbinder -- No
Prophet of Kalistrade) -- No
Sentinel -- No

Sleepless Detective -- HG
Soul Warden -- No
Souldrinker -- No

Spherewalker -- Almost PC
Stalwart Defender -- Oddly no
Steel Falcon -- No
Student of War -- No
Skyseeker -- No
Aldori Swordlord -- No
Tattooed Mystic -- No
Technomancer -- No
Umbral Court Agent -- No
Mage of the Veil -- No
Winter Witch -- No


I've played an eldritch knight, and other players in my group played mystic theurge, dragon disciple, and rage prophet.

I ran Reign of Winter so Winter Witch was used.


I've used a few of these as NPCs, have seen a few in play, and have played a few. They might occupy a very small niche only, but when you do need that niche, it's nice to have a prestige class that fits it.

My favourite ones are probably Shadowdancer and Master Spy... Shadowdancer because of the Malazan book of the Fallen, and the Master Spy because you can just do something plain nasty with them.

The Big List of Appearances:
Arcane Archer - Planned
Assassin - PC, not mine
Eldritch Knight - Planned
Mystic Theurge - PC, not mine
Pathfinder Chronicler - NPC
Shadowdancer - PC, mine

Non-Core:

Pathfinder Savant - NPC
Battle Herald - NPC
Magambyan Arcanist - Planned
Red Mantis Assassin - PC, will take levels in this soon
Pathfinder Delver - NPC, Planned PC
Evangelist - PC
Horizon Walker - PC, mine
Justiciar - PC, not mine
Master Spy - NPC

Master Spy:
Give a Doppelganger class levels in this. If it's a high level character, you can turn into an absolutely perfect copy of any other character, you gain magical protection to keep you from being detected, and you gain a bonus to bluff... So much synergy there. I've only just introduced that NPC to my players, but already it's wreaking havoc on their minds. He's gonna make for a fun long-term enemy.

Scarab Sages

I played a Nature Warden in a Kingmaker campaign. Unfortunately, the game went on an indefinite hiatus before I got to designate our capitol city as my guarded land.


I played a Battle Herald for my Kingmaker campaign, and it was pretty awesome. I'm planning a Shadow Dancer in a PbP but it's gestalt, so prestige classes are very easy to take.

Sovereign Court

In curse fo the crimson thrown I had a shadow dancer PC.

In serpent Skull I had a Dark (pathfinder) delver.

That is pretty good considering I am in the GM seat 80% of the time.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

Looking on d20pfsrd.com, I see a HUGE number of Prestige Classes, much more than any I have heard people express interest in, much less use. So, going down the list, does anyone actually use any of these? The ones that I have seen guides for have the existence of the guides as strong circumstantial evidence for PCs, but in many cases I have yet to see a PC.

My group has used the following from that lists.

Arcane Archer, Assasin, Dragon Disciple, Eldritch Knight, Mystic Theurge, Shadowdancer, Bloatmage, Darkfire Adept, Exalted, Justicar, and Tatooed Mystic


Pendagast wrote:

My wife played a Dragon disciple that was a barbarian/sorc before PRCing.

A bloodrager base would have made that character even scarier.
She was the first human, Ive ever seen bite a vampire to death during a grapple fest.
{. . .}

Wouldn't you still want to take a dip in Sorceror to have the "+1 arcane spellcasting class" advance a good spell progression rather than the Bloodrager's anemic progression?

prototype00 wrote:
Quote:
Champion of the Enlightened (Champion of Irori) -- no guide, PC, or NPC

I think you missed something here...

Thanks -- I did indeed miss this (although pieces of it seem familiar -- maybe I actually saw a very different version?).

LessPopMoreFizz wrote:

Master Chymist is covered in all of the Alchemist guides; since Alchemists are the only class that can qualify, there's no real reason for it to have a guide of it's own.

{. . .}

Wait -- doesn't Investigator with the Mutagen discovery also qualify?

Larkos wrote:


The reason you haven't most of this prestige classes is that they mostly suck even at things they're supposed to be good at.

Assassins are outclassed by Slayers. Eldritch knights aren't as good as Magi. {. . .}

At least on paper, an Orc Any_Martial 1/Scarred Witch Doctor 5 (preferably 6)/Eldritch Knight should be really awesome (this even gets mention in a couple of guides).

Larkos wrote:


{. . .}
Most of the decent prestige classes are holdovers from 3.5 which favored prestige a lot more.

That sounds like a plausible reason for the core Prestige Classes (many of which are holdovers or updated from 3.5) being the more popular ones in this thread.

Larkos wrote:


Paizo seems to prefer people staying in their class without multiclassing or prestiging. I like this philosophy but others chafe under it.

Nevertheless, they keep churning them out (although the REALLY BIG bolus of them was in 2012, in Pathos of Prestige).

Actually a bit surprised that they didn't bother to update the Harrower in the recent Harrow Handbook (which instead gave a bunch of Harrowing archetypes of Base Classes), when they went to the trouble to update the Pain Taster in the even more recent Occult Mysteries.


Not once.

I haven't used any on my characters, nor have any of my players. Multi-classing isn't very popular in my games overall (which I honestly prefer).

Even going back to 3.0/5 when PrC were second helpings of dessert, I only played one (planar agent, from manual of the planes), and one person went arcane archer.

Liberty's Edge

UnArcaneElection wrote:
LessPopMoreFizz wrote:

Master Chymist is covered in all of the Alchemist guides; since Alchemists are the only class that can qualify, there's no real reason for it to have a guide of it's own.

{. . .}
Wait -- doesn't Investigator with the Mutagen discovery also qualify?

Nope. You need Infused Mutagen or Feral Mutagen, which the Investigator never gets (though an archetype that did would be pretty great).

Shadow Lodge

For pfs I currently have three of 10 characters with prcs:
barbarian 1/sorceress 4/dragon disciple 4
Ranger 1/Ninja 4/shadowdancer 3
Ranger 3/gunslinger 1/monk 2/horizon walker 1

IMO Single class is so appealing with all the added abilities at higher levels. Prestige classes are designed to keep multiclass characters on par with single class ones. If you play straight one class, prcs generally aren't very appealing. If you like to multi class, they open up even more possibilities. It is definitely true that they aren't very popular. I rarely see other players with prcs. It doesn't help that several of the prcs (eldrich knight and duelist for example) were obsoleted by base classes that were released later.

Shadow Lodge

Also paizo came up with archetypes. With the exception of new players, I rarely see anyone playing a base class without any archetypes. In 3rd edition prcs were a way to add variety to your characters, now archetypes fulfill that desire.

Sovereign Court

I play only in PFS. My most successful build was a Fighter 8 Duelist 2 Aldori Swordlord PrC 2.

I also have a Mystic Theurge and an Eldritch Knight who will take 2 levels of Arcane Archer.

A friend of mine is also taking Mystic Theurge.


Prestige Classes I have seen used by PCs:

Rage Prophet (Spirit totem turned out to actually kinda hurt...)

Dragon Disciple (Typical Pally munchkinism)

EK (I made a W1/F1/EK5/AA 10 for a home game)

Shadowdancer (made this as a fun little Anti-Paladin)

Winter Witch (enemy caster built up to PC specs to challange the PCs... i.e. me)

Master Chymist (my gf at the time wanted a hulk thing going on)

Mammoth Rider (I made a hunter who dipped into mammoth rider to get a huge Constrictor pet and abused the Final Embrace Chain)

Master Spy (DMPC)

Champion of the Irori (screw you AC character I made with old Crane Wing)

Bloatmage (always fun blasting times)

Hellknight Enforcer- Way to abuse the Gestalt thing even more... I am currently playing an Aasimar Arcanist with the blade adept archetype/Antipaladin/EK/Hellknight Enforcer... always fun times!

Dark Archive

I'd like to see more PCs take them, but I still like the weird PrCs, especially the ones absolutely intended for NPCs.

Take Prophet of Kalistrade. They would make a horrible, terrible PC. No combat abilities, and the extremely limited spellcasting (Divination and Enchantment only, poor progression) do not make up for it. Most of the abilities involve being really good at trading. Even the capstone doesn't really work (a bonus to Planar Ally which they can't cast). On top of this, they have a horrible code of conduct, (no sex, be all about the profit, no nice food).

It's dreadful for a PC.

But it is terrific for an NPC. He has divination and Enchantment, which means that a meeting with him is fraught with danger. You can't trick him. He's a merchant Prince , so he will have bodyguards. He will have stuff you want to rob.

It's a great class, I'd just hate to play one.

N.B. While rereading it, it seems a 1 level dip might be alright if you can a) roleplay the odd fluff and b) if you are a Rogue or something. For 1 level investment you get +1 Dodge, +1 on all saves and a couple of spells (True Strike is the peach, maybe get Anticipate Peril too)


Hang on why would any class have a capstone that does nothing for it?

Dark Archive

Dunno.

It's thematic...

Prophet of K wrote:

Planar Contacts (Su)

At 9th level, a sanctified prophet can purchase an outsider's services for half the normal cost when he casts a Planar Ally spell or is within 30 feet of an ally who casts a Planar Ally spell. When negotiating with a creature called by a Planar Binding spell (either his own or an ally's), the prophet gains a +4 bonus on any opposed Charisma checks.

But the PoK only gets Divination and Enchantment spells (Planar Ally and Binding are Conjuration) and only gets 4th level spells at that (both are 6th). He doesn't get Magic Circle either which you need for Binding.

He does get UMD as a class skill and plenty of cash, though.

I guess the point is to drive home how NPCish the class is. It's a capstone a PC will not get anything out of, if you are the sort of PC who can cast a 6th level spell you should be capable of blowing a bit of cash every now and again.

However, if you have a Merchant Prince who is paying a Wizard to summon some outsider for him, for the purposes of strangling a trade route you now have a plot for an adventure. The Prophet, the Wizard, the monster and the various trade thugs and guards are your antagonist cast.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

A prophet, a wizard and a monster walk into a bar. The prophet watch's the landlord run screaming from the monster before saying "See I told you we'd get free beer here."

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