Archetype Tier List: A Guide to Picking Archetypes


Advice

951 to 1,000 of 1,127 << first < prev | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | next > last >>

Other than Sacred Servant+Oath of Vengeance (which can trade SS's extra LoH for extra smites, negating its one weakness) and Musketeer+Luring Cavalier (which is required for Musketeer to function), are there any combined archetypes that compliment eachother beyond just both being good? Only other one I can think of is Sniper+Stygian Slayer for Slayer (Sniper requires an unaware enemy, Stygian Slayer gives invisibility), but that's not on the level of the other two.

edit: New page, so link to document.

Cloistered Cleric could use an expanded description. Here's an attempt.

It seems whoever made the PF version of this heard the 3.5 Cloistered Cleric was brokenly powerful and decided to nerf it into the ground without actually knowing why it was broken. In 3.5 this was broken by
1: The free Knowledge Domain being swapable for the very good Knowledge Devotion feat, which isn't a problem in PF because that feat doesn't exist.
2: The fact that Divine Power overwrote its poor BAB and could easily be persisted to last all day with Divine Metamagic. This isn't a problem in PF either because Divine Power no longer overwrites BAB, persist spell doesn't exist, and divine metamagic doesn't exist.
What you get instead is a class that's got a crippling Diminished Casting feature for basically nothing of importance. With a straight port of the 3.5 version it would be a good for what it is but not stellar archetype, without the Diminished Casting "feature" this would be a meh but usable archetype, with it it's just a waste of space.

A few Druid archetypes since nobody seems to have done any.

Goliath Druid
Power: +1 Versatility -1/-2

This archetype trades some utility stuff (wildshaping into small stuff to scout, some out of combat utility) for becoming a really nasty melee brute with either a melee focused domain or having another melee brute on your side.

The archetype isn't exactly clear what "Megafauna"is. In the bestiaries "Megafauna" describes some large prehistoric beasts that aren't dinosaurs, most of which aren't valid animal companions, but in the real world just means "pretty big animal", which is most animal companions worth using. If it's only the monsters marked that way, this is -2 versatility. If it's "prehistoric animal" (which the use of Pterosaur as a summon indicates it should and would include Sabertooth Tiger) or just "big animal" it's only -1 in versatility.

Fey Speaker
Power: -1 Versatility: +2
Fey Speaker trades your main casting stats to Charisma, which is generally considered worse than Wisdom since it doesn't boost will save or perception, lowers your base attack bonus and nerfs wild shape so you can't enter melee (though it doesn't reduce your HD) and loses medium armor (but you're still a divine caster if you somehow get it back). In exchange you get more skill points each level, four new class skills that all compliment your new ability score, and some spells off the Wizard/Sorcerer list, plus you're near guaranteed access to the Fey Spell Lore feat, which gives several further good Wizard/Sorcerer spells. Absolutely worth a look if your druid doesn't plan to enter melee.


avr wrote:

Link to the document for the top of the page.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
doc roc wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
Blossoming Light also makes it a lot easier to dump charisma. You get so many channels, that the number granted by your charisma modifier doesn't matter as much. This could free you to invest more in dexterity or constitution, if you are worried about survival.

Big problem with that rationale is that plenty of people dump CHA on a cleric anyway.... why?.... Because channeling is pretty crap and CHA is overall the least useful stat!

CHA 8 - 10 on a cleric is pretty common if you're looking to be optimal. I've played several dwarf clerics with CHA 7 and not batted an eyelid.
{. . .}

This makes sense if you're ignoring Channeling, but since Channeling is a Blossoming Light's main schtick, you wouldn't want to skimp on (let alone dump) Charisma, because you would be impairing your Channeling DC.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

It's also very hard to make 2 posts about why their channeling is actually awesome and be told "but channeling is pretty crap." I don't find that to be a great way to approach archetypes is to look at how the ability used to be before the archetype. It is no longer applicable.

I maintain my rating on blossoming light, having seen 2 in actual game play for a total of 30+ sessions.

They are powerful due to keeping their spells longer throughout the day, they can play around with feats rarely taken but overly powerful for them to take but lose a lot of melee options.


UnArcaneElection wrote:


This makes sense if you're ignoring Channeling, but since Channeling is a Blossoming Light's main schtick, you wouldn't want to skimp on (let alone dump) Charisma, because you would be impairing your Channeling DC.

But this is the problem, the whole basis of all these rating operates on the concept that the base vanilla class is standardised at:

Power = 0
Versatility = 0

To give BL a Power = +1 directly and unambiguously states that it is a power upgrade over the vanilla cleric, which it patently isn't.

I dont see how being able to do something that is a weak ability, lots of times at the expense of other more useful abilities, can be a power upgrade?!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Doing something that used to be an ok meh ability that's been changed to be the focus of the class with multiple applications and uses ceases to be a meh ability.

Again I wrote 2 posts on how it can be used more effectively from weapon buffs armour buffs versatile buffs debuffs and straight up AOE damage as a move action for well over a dozen uses at even the lowest levels.

It has ceased to be weak. It became strong. And since standard spells per day are retained longer, the class over all is more powerful. Therefore, power goes up.

Let's make it simple.

When looking at cleric and asked what it does you would say "9th level spells and channels energy"

This does the latter better and keeps the former around longer because of it.

No one says"they are the class with medium armour proficiency "

The main features are bettered. Domain spell loss excepting. Which given the list of domain spells are chosen for you, isn't that big a loss. The domain powers remain.

I am patently and unambiguously saying this is an upgrade. It's just one that requires imagination to use. Which is why I gave 2 posts of examples of how it can be.

If all you use it for is standard channels I would agree it's just ok. If you invest in feats to boost a pool that's 4x bigger than any other cleric you get 4x the payout. So it's better.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Channeling was never really a weak ability though. It’s just that it’s part of a bigger whole.


Personally I've always felt so too. But the applications of even just using it to harm (even without the Fear the Sun spell) is pretty amazing.

Edit for example. Channel to hurt those that worship CE gods be undead or be evil outsider..

Some ap that this will be great with.

Rise of the runelords
Giant Slayer
Second Darkness (of course)
Carrion crown
Mummy's mask
Host of others of course like serpent skull...

But you could just channel quick every turn for half a dozen turns and retain standard actions. By level 3? Just great.


Channeling is and always will be a weak ability..... yes Paizo has released some channel feats but these are largely irrelevant, due party to the fact that clerics dont have feats to spare!

In terms of using it, in reality it requires both feat and ability score investment..... both incredibly precious resources

Selective channel, quick channel and CHA 16 are the minimum basics. For this archetype especialy, quick channel quickly becomes mandatory.

So already a cleric, which unlike virtually all other casters does not receive bonus feats or similar compensatory abilities as they level up, has invested 2 feats and ability score points. A very poor return.

For healing, it is pretty pointless since a wand of CLW is a better investment as they are relatively cheap and ideal for out of combat use.

As has been stated many times by many people, in combat healing is a waste of an action and is evidence of poor planning... healing is something that should be done inbetween not during encounters.

Also, it scales poorly, this I know is deliberate so as to avoid it overpowering the damage done by the enemy. So you have a BL cleric specialising is something that is deliberately designed to scale poorly. Not good.

The ability of the BL to use it offensively is limited, above that of undead (which a vanilla cleric can do anyway), and again faces the problem that has been known to neg. channelers since Day 1.... its damage scales poorly:

A 7th level BL could do a 4D6 channel attack to some CE outsiders - this will cause on average 14 points and 7 points on a save.... this is trivial at this level and a save becomes more likely as you level.

Yes I hear you cry...." But you can quick channel!!"

.... You're right, but this burns through your channels twice as fast and removes your move action. All so that you can do a small amount of damage to a very select group of possible creatures. Terrible.

And hears the thing you overlook, in order to achieve all of the above mediocrity, not only are you giving up feats and ability points!

- Big alignment and behaviour restrictions
- No domain spells
- No armour or shields

The last one is a massive downer as to be a channel specialist, you will have to get in the mix of the combat. You cant just sit at the back with the wizard..... you'll be out of range! You run the significant risk of getting chopped into pieces.

The final damning piece of evidence against the BL is that if it is this obvious upgrade over the vanilla cleric then why do you never see them getting played? I've played a lot of PF (both PFS and regular) and I haven't seen a single one. And why aren't the worlds PF players all discussing on the web what a great and obviously powerful archetype it is?

The answer is simple.... its a bad archetype because its focussed on the least powerful aspect of the class. An aspect that is frequently minimised or dumped by minmaxers or optimisers.

I've seen played vanilla clerics, herald callers, ecclesitheurge, the occasional separatist and a few evangelist, divine paragon and devout pilgrim. Now obviously my experiences are not definitive evidence but they are indicative.

If you want to play uber-healbot then wonderful... but other than that its an obvious downgrade.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Blossoming cleric

Power +1
Versatile 0

Tired of wasting page space convincing someone I never needed to convince. I made my case.


Cleric: Blossoming light

Power = -1
Versatility = -1

This cleric is a channel specialist, but due to this it necessitates feat (selective channel + quick channel as a minimum) and CHA ability score investment, straight off the bat. This is not good as these are precious resources, made especially so since the cleric receives no bonus feats as standard. Also, specialising in channeling means that you are specialising in something that is generally weak and does not scale well in terms of output. To cap it off, the archetype gives up domain spells, prohibits armour and shield and imposes alignment and deity restrictions.

Great for uber-healbot, terrible for anything else.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

A lot of people being wrong together doesn’t make them right. In combat healing is niche but very doable and useful. Channeling scales fine when combined with shield other.

Later options just make it better.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
deuxhero wrote:

Fey Speaker

Power: -1 Versatility: +2
Fey Speaker trades your main casting stats to Charisma, which is generally considered worse than Wisdom since it doesn't boost will save or perception, lowers your base attack bonus and nerfs wild shape so you can't enter melee (though it doesn't reduce your HD) and loses medium armor (but you're still a divine caster if you somehow get it back). In exchange you get more skill points each level, four new class skills that all compliment your new ability score, and some spells off the Wizard/Sorcerer list, plus you're near guaranteed access to the Fey Spell Lore feat, which gives several further good Wizard/Sorcerer spells. Absolutely worth a look if your druid doesn't plan to enter melee.

Versatility +0 or +1 in my opinion. The extra skill ranks are offset by having to lower your intelligence in place of charisma, and the new spells are cast at one level higher than normal.

***

doc roc wrote:

To give BL a Power = +1 directly and unambiguously states that it is a power upgrade over the vanilla cleric, which it patently isn't.

I dont see how being able to do something that is a weak ability, lots of times at the expense of other more useful abilities, can be a power upgrade?!

You got a point. It might be proper to clarify that the review is being based on a channeling cleric, rather than a standard cha 8 caster cleric build.

***

Cleric archetypes, filling in:
Angelfire Apostle
Power -1, Versatility +0

You lose one spell slot from each spell level for the ability to convert uses of channel energy into spell-like abilities of spells you already have access to.

Cardinal
Power -1, Versatility -1

You become more wizardly in all the bad ways, and lose your domain. The extra skill ranks are nice, and it would maybe have been a worthwhile trade if you only lost armor proficiency and your 3/4 BAB.

Channeler of the Unknown
Power -1, Versatility -1

The Ex-Cleric archetype. You're no longer restricted by alignment on your spell list, but lose one spell per spell level in return. This is kind of mitigated by getting double the normal domain spell slots, but as you now only have one domain (chosen from a list of five) you may not have useful domain spells.

Crashing Wave
Power +0, Versatility -1

Gozreh-worshipers only. It mostly screws up your channel energy, making it dependent on alignment.

Divine Paragon
Power +0, Versatility +1

You trade one domain's granted powers (but not the spells) for getting deific boons at lv 5, 11 and 14 instead of 12, 16 and 20.
It's a full-class alternative to the Obedience prestige classes, which is a pretty big deal for a 9th level caster.
You do get to choose between all three different kinds of boons instead of just exalted, so the archetype is worth considering even at level 20 when the accelerated progression no longer matters.

Divine Strategist
Power +0, Versatility -1

So you lose a domain and channel energy. It's kinda worth it.
You can Aid Another on caster level/concentration checks, and add your intelligence modifier to attack rolls (at lv 8) when you're flanking or making an attack of opportunity. You'll probably not find those abilities that useful. The main attraction is the ability to always act in surprise rounds, a scaling bonus to Initiative, and half of that bonus to all your allies. Acting first is great, especially for a caster.

Foundation of Faith
Power +1, Versatility +0

You lose Channel Energy for a bunch of abilities scaling of your Constitution. If you were dumping charisma anyway, it's a straight upgrade.

Lawspeaker
Power -1, Versatility -1

One domain, and it must be Law. May convert uses of channel energy into some Spell-like abilities you already have access to.

Stoic Caregiver
Power -1, Versatility -1

All spells of the healing subschool basically get the Persistent Metamagic without increasing the spell level, and you can both harm and heal at the same time with your channeling. Might be worth losing a domain if you're in an undead-heavy campaign.

Demonic Apostle (Drow)
Power -1, Versatility -1

An improved familiar in place of a domain, and the one you have left must be either Chaos or Evil (may add the Demon subdomain). Pretty restrictive, all in all.

***

Cleric archetypes left:

Triadic Priest
Power , Versatility

Fiendish Vessel (Tiefling)
Power , Versatility

Forgemaster (Dwarf)
Power , Versatility

***


doc roc wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:


This makes sense if you're ignoring Channeling, but since Channeling is a Blossoming Light's main schtick, you wouldn't want to skimp on (let alone dump) Charisma, because you would be impairing your Channeling DC.

But this is the problem, the whole basis of all these rating operates on the concept that the base vanilla class is standardised at:

Power = 0
Versatility = 0

To give BL a Power = +1 directly and unambiguously states that it is a power upgrade over the vanilla cleric, which it patently isn't.

I dont see how being able to do something that is a weak ability, lots of times at the expense of other more useful abilities, can be a power upgrade?!

I didn't say that the archetype is good. I just said that if you're going to use it, you wouldn't want to skimp on Charisma.

That said, if you want to be a Channeling monster, as long as you don't HAVE to have prepared spells, you're better off being an Oracle of Life with the Channel Revelation (with or without an archetype as you see fit for other purposes). Then elevation of Charisma does double duty, and you don't have to give up armor proficiency; you also have NO alignment restrictions (yes, Channel Positive Energy is technically legal for an Evil Oracle of Life -- as far as I know, this is the only way to get Channel Positive Energy on an Evil character, other than being a Necromancer Wizard with Turn Undead, which doesn't really count since you can ONLY use it for Turn Undead).

Another option that gets the same thing is Seducer Witch (last mentioned quite a way back if I recall correctly) combined with Hex Channeler, that DOES keep prepared spellcasting, but in practice requires you to be rather . . . icky, even though it doesn't technically have a requirement for Evil alignment. Note that while this does trade out several Hexes, the 1st level Hex substitute is a modified Charm Hex and therefore technically still a Hex, so you can still take Extra Hex early if you need to. Also note that while Hex Channeler doesn't give scaling Channel Energy damage (unless you consume more Hexes on it), the Channeling DC (and the Channel Bonus of Variant Channeling) does scale fully with your level, so you MUST use this for rider effects to use it effectively.

Whether you go the Blossoming Light Cleric or Oracle or especially the Seducer + Hex Channeler Witch route, you will want Variant Channeling so that you can apply rider effects (note that while Turn Undead or Command Undead are valid options, they do not apply at the same time as Variant Channeling effects, at least according to the text in Turn Undead). Although the options in Variant Channeling (which, by the way, was introduced as sort of a Cleric archetype) include a fair number of stinkers, they include some gems. Maybe Variant Channeling should get its own set of ratings (1 for each Variant Channeling option, but note that each option has different effects riding on channeling to Heal and channeling to Harm, although you can't separate them unless you have Channeling Variance -- too bad Blossoming Light doesn't give this to you as a bonus feat).


@Wonderstell
What does feyspeaker have to do with intelligence?

The druid list normally has a mere EIGHT illusions and less than 15 enchantments that aren't animal specific. These two areas are absolutely weak points of druids, and even with the level penalty a lot of the spells you can cherry pick are still pretty good a level higher (just for starters, Mirror Image on an animal companion is a pretty solid defensive buff). Either these extra spells or the extra skill (points) alone would up the versatility,


deuxhero wrote:

@Wonderstell

What does feyspeaker have to do with intelligence?

Charisma is the obvious dump stat for every character whose class doesn't force them to invest in it. By making the Druid a Cha-based caster you'll have to compensate somewhere else. In this case, Intelligence will take a hit.

20 PB, caster (wis-based)
Str 12, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 16+2, Cha 7

20 PB, caster (cha-based)
Str 10, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 16+2

deuxhero wrote:
The druid list normally has a mere EIGHT illusions and less than 15 enchantments that aren't animal specific. These two areas are absolutely weak points of druids, and even with the level penalty a lot of the spells you can cherry pick are still pretty good a level higher (just for starters, Mirror Image on an animal companion is a pretty solid defensive buff). Either these extra spells or the extra skill (points) alone would up the versatility,

The extra spells definitely ups the versatility. But the slowed/restricted Wild Shape, loss of spontaneous casting, and lowered BAB/AC hurts the versatility.


Wonderstell wrote:

Angelfire Apostle

Power -1, Versatility +0
You lose one spell slot from each spell level for the ability to convert uses of channel energy into spell-like abilities of spells you already have access to.

It's important to note that spell-like abilities don't have material components. Free resurrections and restorations aren't bad, no? I really wouldn't call this a minus 1 in power, especially when it essentially lets you trade Channel Energies for spellcasting, and keeps you from having to have healing spells prepared.


Am I the only one having an issue with the document. Each time I click on the link I am sent to a doc. as expected but I cannot access any of the links.

EtG


Kaouse wrote:
Wonderstell wrote:

Angelfire Apostle

Power -1, Versatility +0
You lose one spell slot from each spell level for the ability to convert uses of channel energy into spell-like abilities of spells you already have access to.
It's important to note that spell-like abilities don't have material components. Free resurrections and restorations aren't bad, no? I really wouldn't call this a minus 1 in power, especially when it essentially lets you trade Channel Energies for spellcasting, and keeps you from having to have healing spells prepared.

Welp, let's say you've made the minimum investment into channeling and have Cha 12. The archetype gives you Extra Channeling as a bonus feat, so you're sitting on six uses per day. That's three 'spontaneous' spells per day, but the SPs themselves are (almost) always of spell levels lower than the highest spells you're capable of casting. The only exception being at level 5-6.

Between levels 7-16 you'll in the best case scenario gain three extra spells of one level lower than your highest, in return for one spell slot of each spell level. You could have simply used your lost spell slots to prepare these SPs, instead of betting that you really wanted two more 5th level spells than 6th level spell.

SP Restoration doesn't affect permanent negative levels, so it's not that valuable. SP Resurrection is breath of life on crack, but the question is if the 17th level power should affect the power rating of the whole archetype.

Aaaand in addition you lost your channel.


^The links work for me, but I think they might depend upon JavaScript permissions for Google Docs, since they produce slow popups that have the actual sub-document links.


Document Changes:

The Blossoming Light cleric review has been updated.

The Cloistered Cleric's review has been updated.

The Divine Strategist has been updated, since I apparently missed the existing review.

Document Additions:

Goliath Druid, and a bunch of Cleric archetypes.

***

I'll wait with the Fey Speaker and Angelfire Apostle for a moment, since it seems there's conflicting evaluations. Everyone is free to voice concerns on any other cleric evaluation, though.

===========

@Eldred the Grey

It might work to just right-click on the hyperlink and then select >Open Link if you don't get any pop-up.


Wonderstell wrote:
deuxhero wrote:

@Wonderstell

What does feyspeaker have to do with intelligence?

Charisma is the obvious dump stat for every character whose class doesn't force them to invest in it. By making the Druid a Cha-based caster you'll have to compensate somewhere else. In this case, Intelligence will take a hit.

20 PB, caster (wis-based)
Str 12, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 16+2, Cha 7

20 PB, caster (cha-based)
Str 10, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 16+2

deuxhero wrote:
The druid list normally has a mere EIGHT illusions and less than 15 enchantments that aren't animal specific. These two areas are absolutely weak points of druids, and even with the level penalty a lot of the spells you can cherry pick are still pretty good a level higher (just for starters, Mirror Image on an animal companion is a pretty solid defensive buff). Either these extra spells or the extra skill (points) alone would up the versatility,

The extra spells definitely ups the versatility. But the slowed/restricted Wild Shape, loss of spontaneous casting, and lowered BAB/AC hurts the versatility.

Crazy, why not just take Steadfast Personality instead? Just drop Wisdom to 10, and boost Intelligence to 10, and you are done. Now, at the cost of a single feat, you have bonus skills. Heck, you could take an 8 on wisdom, and boost Intelligence to 12. The Will save will suffer a little bit, but your charisma should more then make up for it.


Legowarrior wrote:
Crazy, why not just take Steadfast Personality instead? Just drop Wisdom to 10, and boost Intelligence to 10, and you are done. Now, at the cost of a single feat, you have bonus skills. Heck, you could take an 8 on wisdom, and boost Intelligence to 12. The Will save will suffer a little bit, but your charisma should more then make up for it.

Steadfast Personality is a good choice, but now you're using feats to shore up the weaknesses of the Cha build. Feats that the Wis build didn't spend. The point is that you just lost a dump stat, and other ability scores will suffer because of it.


Yes, you lose a feat you decide to get that feat and I assume that every sorcerer, Skald, Bard, and Summer suffer in the exact same way.

With the 6 skill points, sorcerer BAB, and light armor though, you can't play as a regular Druid any more. You aren't going where near the front lines, but now you can be the party face, and back up healer and skill monkey (with a bit of shape shifting for good measure). So, you really can save a lot of feats by avoiding close combat.

And, now that you aren't dumping charisma, you are now an expert at handling animal, opening more options for your animal companion.

But, you aren't exactly going to take a Fey Speaker unless your party needs a Face though, are you? If that is the case,going from Wisdom to Charisma is a huge net positive.

You have got all the Charisma skills you need built in. You can even grab Eldritch Heritage or Draconic Heritage for more fun. And, now that you aren't dumping charisma, you are now an expert at handling animal, opening more options for your animal companion.

You are like a super skilled sylan sorcerer with a better animal companion, better saves, and free toughness. And worse spells.


Well. On the plus side it makes the ability of wild empathy almost passable even with magic beasts. An ability I almost always look to trade out because of how useless it is for them to even attempt

I gotta agree theres a lot of trade off though. The chance to be a face is nice but dropping 2 levels off wild.shape and then BAB on top of that? Means wild shape isnt even a fun option. I can't think of that being MORE versatile.

I think if you want to be a skill based charisma illusionist youd be better off playing a bard than a feyspeaker. The spell list would be more complimentary too.


9th level spells though. It's hard to get 9th level spells on a character that isn't hurting for skill points, and can be an effective party face. I think it's lame that the illusion and enchantment spells take one level higher though.

With low BAB, wild shape would probably be reserved for scouting or party travel, rather then combat. Even if you had full wildshape, you probably couldn't use it effectively, since the hit to BAB.

It's a weird archetype. Probably best for the Gnome or Halfling Druid.


Wonderstell, I pretty much wrote the original Court Bard description and the only thing I would add is that the ability to make opponents flat-footed can decide encounters making it easily one of the most powerful performances. It provides a tactical option to the debuff which can make your enchantment save dcs silly, increase your front-liners ac and give them some D.R. and yes, whilst language dependant you can always fall back on buffing spells like Heroism and Haste for some opponents. On top of that you can have amazing diplomacy/sense motive/other social skills (level buff plus versatile performance). In short it is an amazing archetype, possibly near over-powered.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
doc roc wrote:
Cavall wrote:

Ok.

Blossoming light.
Power+1 versatility 0
While you gain a host of new channels and can dip freely into channel feats, you're giving up ever being near the front line. Heavy investments must be made to not be hit by every attack, leading to a even gain loss in versatility.

I completely disagree....

To give a 'Power +1' implies that this is a power upgrade on the basic cleric.

A BL gives up all of its domain spells, armour proficiencies and restricts alignment. And in return it gets to be better at healing via channels and some related fluff.

Channeling is widely viewed as being sub-optimal and so all that you are really doing is being able to do something that is bad more often!

I could MAYBE see how a '+1 Versatility' could be argued but its never in a million years a 'Power +1'.

eeeeh, blossoming light isn't about being better at healing via channels, its about being better at HARMING via channels while channeling positive energy.

Blossoming light wrote:
At 3rd level, when a blossoming light channels energy to harm undead, her channeled energy also harms chaotic evil outsiders, worshipers of chaotic evil deities, and evil creatures with light sensitivity or light blindness as if they were undead.

It basically gets free alignment channel and the bolded sections include a LOT of potential enemies depending on the BBEG of the campaign. Its probably the best framework to build a channel focused cleric on.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
strayshift wrote:
Wonderstell, I pretty much wrote the original Court Bard description and the only thing I would add is that the ability to make opponents flat-footed can decide encounters making it easily one of the most powerful performances. It provides a tactical option to the debuff which can make your enchantment save dcs silly, increase your front-liners ac and give them some D.R. and yes, whilst language dependant you can always fall back on buffing spells like Heroism and Haste for some opponents. On top of that you can have amazing diplomacy/sense motive/other social skills (level buff plus versatile performance). In short it is an amazing archetype, possibly near over-powered.

I'm also a huge fan of this archetype. Theres some creatures you can work around that would normally be immune but the fact most of the game has no save vs a massive debuff, not to mention making it a rogues wet dream later on... it's a great concept for an "anti bard" and a well executed concept at that


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Honestly I would say Channeler of the Unknown is Power 0 Versatility 0 (or +1).

Yes, you lose 1 domain, 1 spell slot/spell level and cant channel to heal (which apparently people think is bad but meh); However, in exchange you dont radiate an alignment (which can be very useful specially for evil clerics), knows and can use all cleric spells regardless of alignment (this reads like you also get access to region/deity/race exclusive spells), your channels can damage anything and everything including constructs, and you gain 2 domain spell slots with the ability to cast them spontaneously.

Effectively, you can now prepare all the utility spells you want mixing both Good and Evil descriptor spells, and spontaneously cast offensive spells when needed. The "weak" channels ("weak" damage and utility) keeps the damage, but is now always applicable.

***********
Side note

Why is the standard for the cleric is, "it should get these feats, so it's not good" but other archetypes that require certain feats (looks at archery archetypes) are okay? I mean we are talking about a class with the second strongest spell list and the ability with the most potential costumization and feat support, besides spells.

A Blossoming Cleric specifically wouldn't even need to worry to much about channeling to heal as they can spend their Channel on Variant channel buffs and Bless/Align equipment. And spending feats to provide buffs to others doesn't really seem like a problem (except for maybe the combat builds).

Even if you do decide to go for Quick Channel, they get so many that using it multiple times a day become very viable.

some math:

A lv1 Cleric with 0 Cha gets 3 uses as a standard action (1 use of quick channeling). A lv1 Bloosoming Cleric with 0 Cha gets 5 uses as a standard action (2 uses of quick channeling).

A lv10 Cleric with 0 Cha (no extra channel) still gets only 3 uses.
A lv 10 Bloosoming Cleric (no extra channel) gets a 10 uses as a standard action (or 5 uses of quick channeling).

In terms of Bless Equipment (assuming Improved Bless Equipment) the Bloosoming Cleric even with 0 Cha can give 10 uses of Bane for 5 rounds each. At lv 13 for Greater Bless Equipment, and now you can give an effective 20 uses of Bane for 14 rounds each (up to 280 turns of bane). For reference, a lv13 Inquisitor would get 13 rounds of 4d6 (equivalent to 26 rds of 2d6).

So yeah if you build it as a Heal bot it's not much, but as a buffer and support caster its easily +1 Versatility even if you lost domain spells.


Yeah I think we've carried on the blossoming light convo as far as itll go. You're not going to invest in feats other clerics do, or play it as other clerics so it's a fun take.

But we've gone far enough. I think most of us have weighed in enough to show it's got a lot of things going on you dont see at first glance. There is other archetypes to chat about, including some with no opinion at all.


@strayshift

Updated the review.

***

@Temperans

It feels as if the archetype has more restrictions than a +0/+1 Versatility would imply.
You are forced into preparing one spell slot of each spell level, of spells you already had prepared in your original Domain spell slots. Domain spells belonging to one of only five options.
And not having access to Variant Channeling pretty much removes the whole reason to use offensive channeling, too.

But let's say you love your domain spells and don't mind preparing them twice. Let's say you were definitely going to take one of those five domains (they are pretty strong, tbh).
Is the free access to the cleric spell list and one free casting of a lv 2 spell once per day (undetectable alignment) worth losing a domain for?


@Cavall
That's fair, I just wanted to give my point before moving on.

@Wonderstell
Channel Entropy is the same as Channel Energy with the exception you have no limit on who you can harm. Which means you can apply Channeling Variance and any Variant channel to any target.

You are forced to prepare you domain spells twice which okay I get is less variability. But I really do think gaining open access to the entire list (no ifs or buts) is a fair trade, after you just gained access to double the amount of aligned spells.

The loss of a domain does hurt a bit, which I can see as an argument for power -1 or keeping versatility 0, but (at least to me) doesn't really say it should have versatility -1. Overall, I would say yes, losing a domain for the ability to cast any spell, damage any creature, and not have to worry about a paladin smithing me is worth it.


Channelers of the Unknown no longer gain power from a deity, I don't think they qualify for the Channeling variance feat. Also, a number of channeling feats specifically require positive or negative channeling, or a specific deity, so those aren't options either. They aren't restricted by alignment, but I see nothing indicating they can draw special spells from any or all deities. It would be a huge boost to versatility if you interpreted their lack of alignment restriction as permission to access all deity special options, but some are mutually exclusive so I doubt that's the case.
The big draw for Channeler of the Unknown is that their channel is untyped damage, so you never have to worry about damage resistance. It's not that largest benefit, but I like that sort of thing.
You are still subject to smiting, your alignment is hidden not gone. The loss of aura also means you can't take sacred summons, so you lose the option to cast summoning spells as a standard action.


It looks slightly underwhelming unless you have a domain you're absolutely in love with.

Basically you get less spells but a lot of one kind of spell.

Just seems like if you want specific spells that badly, play an oracle. You'll have more chances to cast that one spell per day.

I was going to say the opportunity to not need a holy symbol is nice but again oracles dont need a divine focus.

I had something more typed out about how it had some nice tricks but honestly it's just a downgraded oracle.


The access to all spells come from this phrase,

Channeler of the Unknown wrote:
She is no longer restricted by alignment descriptors, and she gains access to all spells on the cleric spell list, even spells her alignment would normally prohibit.
In order to become a Channeler of the Unknown you have to become an Ex-Cleric (do something your deity doesn't like). It doesn't say you have to stop worshiping (become an atheist), what it does say is that you dont know who/what you are worshiping,
Channeler of the Unknown wrote:
Among these, an even smaller number find that while their original deity no longer answers their prayers, something else does: an unknown entity or force of the universe channeling its power through a trained and practicing vessel.

You are right they dont have access to channel negative/positive feats or those of a specific deity. But there was a long discussion on how channel is "too weak" and how even with a ton of uses.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ninja Archetypes:
Frozen Shadow
Power -1, Versatility +1

You get a couple out-of-combat abilities that help you track down and find disguised creatures. One of them being allowed to always attempt a Perception check to see through disguises, even if the disguised creature did nothing to draw attention to itself.
That's in place of your Uncanny Dodge (+Improved), so if you're Strength-based and looking to trade it out you may as well take this archetype.

Gunpowder Bombardier
Power +1, Versatility +1

Ratfolk and anyone who likes bombs has access to this archetype, which allows you to create bombs with Ki points. The damage actually scales really well considering that you deal AoE damage and target a square instead of a creature (AC 5, baby!). It functions more like a physical fireball than the Alchemist's Bombs, which unfortunately means no Sneak Attack.
Starting at level 4, you can spend an additional Ki point to make the bomb inflict conditions if they failed your Dexterity-based Bomb DC. These conditions lasts for a number of rounds equal to your Ninja level, which goes from 'useful' to 'awesome' at level 8 when you can apply the stunned or nauseated conditions on a failed save.
The high Ki point cost prevents these bombs from being your primary tactic, but it's a great option to have if you encounter something immune to SA or every enemy is conveniently grouped at the start of combat. The loss of Uncanny Dodge is worth it.

Hunting Serpent
Power -1, Versatility -1

You lose a bunch of abilities for a once per day use of Studied Target.

Mask of the Whispering God
Power +0, Versatility +0

So you can no longer use a Ki point to gain an additional attack. Instead, you can spend a Ki point when you damage someone to make them mute. Would be pretty great against casters if it wasn't a will save.

Petal Ninja (Ghoran)
Power +1, Versatility +2

In return for temporarily losing Sneak Attack dice you can create an AoE effect which inflicts debilitating conditions if the creatures fail your Charisma-based Will save. As you must give up offensive capability to use the main ability, it's probably best to use against targets you couldn't sneak attack. Loss of Uncanny Dodge is as usual a bummer, but it's not the whole world.
The save DC scales way too fast, and as you can spend more SA than needed it will continue being high.

***


Temperans wrote:
The access to all spells come from this phrase,
Channeler of the Unknown wrote:
She is no longer restricted by alignment descriptors, and she gains access to all spells on the cleric spell list, even spells her alignment would normally prohibit.
In order to become a Channeler of the Unknown you have to become an Ex-Cleric (do something your deity doesn't like). It doesn't say you have to stop worshiping (become an atheist), what it does say is that you dont know who/what you are worshiping,

If you were getting power from a deity you wouldn't be an ex-cleric, would you? I know you need to atone to gain levels as a cleric of the same deity, but it would seem like you could regain your powers by changing deities to someone who supports your actions. But there's no rules for that, so you're probably right. This idea seems to rub elbows with the idea that you can worship and gain the advantages of worshiping as many deities as you like which has always been a weird rules vacancy. All that aside, the removal of the limit on spell selection in the archetype is replacing the limit placed in the spells section of the original class. It shouldn't be construed to do more than remove the previous restriction.

Temperans wrote:
Channeler of the Unknown wrote:
Among these, an even smaller number find that while their original deity no longer answers their prayers, something else does: an unknown entity or force of the universe channeling its power through a trained and practicing vessel.
You are right they dont have access to channel negative/positive feats or those of a specific deity. But there was a long discussion on how channel is "too weak" and how even with a ton of uses.

Regardless of channel's power, I felt there needed to be some clarification in how well their channel was supported. Saying that it is the same as normal channel energy isn't accurate as it lacks feat support. It's unfortunate that it is less supported since being untyped damage makes it far more valuable than normal negative channeling.


Here's one that I think is worth mentioning.

Wyrm Singer Skald: -1 Power, +1 versatility

The biggest change to this archetype is that you change inspired rage attribute bonuses for direct moral bonuses to hit and damage (think unchained barbarian vs barbarian). This makes it a more versitile song because allies that relied on dexterity for damage or to hit benefit just as well as your typical strength melees.

You lose sign of the fallen to give someone form of the dragon 1 iwhich is probably a decent trade. You are going to use this on a buddy with decent melee prowess. It's best when you first get it and will fall off in value compared to the song of the fallen as time goes on. This is assuming that your friends can't actually be raised with song of the fallen. If your group does allow for that that this is a total downgrade.

The breath weapon trick is a loss. It:s a weak blast instead of a rage power that is a perminant buff to your song.


Its obviously too late to change but I do feel that the definition of 'Power' is off when I look at the ratings...

All of these archetype ratings are (or should be!) based on the concept that the base vanilla class is standardised at:

Power = 0
Versatility = 0

A 'Power = +1' rating is stating unequivocally that the archetype is better at doing the majority of the same roles as the base class.


doc roc wrote:

Its obviously too late to change but I do feel that the definition of 'Power' is off when I look at the ratings...

All of these archetype ratings are (or should be!) based on the concept that the base vanilla class is standardised at:

Power = 0
Versatility = 0

A 'Power = +1' rating is stating unequivocally that the archetype is better at doing the majority of the same roles as the base class.

i think a reasonable person could interpret Power +1 as being focused in a small number (1-2) of primary roles where the versatility column would be there to reflect competency change in secondary and tertiary roles. In that interpretation, power +1 or even +2 would commonly be achieved without being better in ‘a majority of roles’.

Also, a lot of classes are pretty bad non-archetyped and for some of them there are a lot of archetypes that are straight upgrades but still don’t get used because there are other better straight upgrade archetypes.


doc roc wrote:

Its obviously too late to change but I do feel that the definition of 'Power' is off when I look at the ratings...

All of these archetype ratings are (or should be!) based on the concept that the base vanilla class is standardised at:

Power = 0
Versatility = 0

A 'Power = +1' rating is stating unequivocally that the archetype is better at doing the majority of the same roles as the base class.

Yes I should quantify this by stating that it means being better at a primary feature of the base class and without a corresponding balancing loss of power in another primary feature.

If Class X has 2 primary features, A and B, and archetype XY is better at A but proportionally worse at B then overall still:

Power = 0


1 person marked this as a favorite.

@doc roc

Here's the original idea behind the two different ratings. It may have changed over the course of four years and multiple document migrations, but if you're an "Archetype Thread Purist" then this is the definition you should use.

Dasrak, Page 1, on Versatility and Power:
Perhaps the archetypes should be ranked on two axes: versatility and power. Rankings would go from -2 to +2 ("great", "good", "average", "bad", "terrible") on each axis.

The versatility axis measures how much the class can do, particularly within any single build. To get maximum ranking in versatility an archetype must not only allow the build do things that the vanilla class could not, but without sacrificing any of the capabilities of the vanilla class. Those that make strong gains but sacrifice key abilities elsewhere will only get +1. To get a -1 a class must not only give up important class features, but what they get in return is either very specialized or much more limited than what they gave up. A -2 in the versatility category means the class's ability to fulfill its intended role is compromised, and while they may still function in some limited respects they are poor substitutes for their vanilla class.

The power axis measures how effective the class is at its intended roles. To get a maximum ranking in power an archetype must be an unambiguous improvement to the base class without any significant tradeoffs. The benefits should be broad and applicable to many different builds. Those with significant drawbacks, or whose power is only applicable to very specific builds merit only a +1. To get a -1 the archetype not only makes tradeoffs, but significant ones that eat into its primary abilities without comparable gains elsewhere. To get a -2 the class has to be significantly less powerful, to the point at which it simply cannot compete with the vanilla class in the same roles.

***

doc roc wrote:

Yes I should quantify this by stating that it means being better at a primary feature of the base class and without a corresponding balancing loss of power in another primary feature.

If Class X has 2 primary features, A and B, and archetype XY is better at A but proportionally worse at B then overall still:

Power = 0

Well, it would seem most people don't agree with that conclusion. If an archetype becomes worse at B to become better at A, it's a +1/-1 in Power/Versatility.

Stronger at the archetype's intended playstyle, but more specialized.

==========

@baggageboy

What a coincidence! The incredibly gifted author of that specific Skald review also gave it a -1/+1

Wyrm Singer:
Power -1, Versatility +1
Morale bonus to Att/Dmg instead of Str/Con, and the saving throw bonus is against Sleep and Paralysis instead of all Will saves. I'd probably value this archetype higher if it didn't trade away your 12th level Rage Power, since that's when you get access to the real good ones. Song of the Fallen is also very useful when people start dropping at higher levels, so transforming into a dragon might just not be worth it.

***

Anything you want added?


Nope, that's pretty much my assessment. I'm going to try to do a review or two each day for a while. There's still a lot of holes.

Maybe I followed a link to an older version of the document. Can someone post the link again? It can be hard to dig through the whole thread to find the latest link.


We normally have one at the top of each new page. deuxhero posted one, but I guess it wasn't very visible.

Wonderstell wrote:
avr wrote:

Link to the document for the top of the page.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ninja archetypes updates:

Gunpowder Bombardier
Just realized that the Gunpowder Bombardier Ninja's Explosive Impairment ability adds to the original Ki point cost, so a Ring of Ki Mastery would lower the cost by one. Makes it a lot more useful at higher levels, even though I misread the duration. It's supposed to be half of your level in rounds, not equal to your level.

Petal Ninja
What makes this archetype extremely attractive for dipping is that the save DC (and effects) scales with your Sneak Attack dice, not your Ninja level. Even the duration of the inflicted conditions is a flat 1d6, unaffected by your level. In fact, the only thing that scales with your Ninja level is the number of rounds the Blossom Shower lasts. Which, interestingly enough, is the exact same duration that you lose your Sneak Attack for.

So a Petal Ninja 2-3 who then multiclassed into Serial Killer Vigilante, Vivisectionist Alchemist or maybe Arcane Trickster would be able to Stagger/Nauseate enemies in return for losing their Sneak Attack for 1 round. Which means they have it back their next turn. With a moderate Charisma and the Extra Ki Point feat you should have enough Ki for a day.

***


Ok, this one is a hard one, but I'll give it a go.

Nature Fang Druid: Power 0, Versatility -1

This is a crazy archetype because it trades away a huge number of classic druid features for a bunch of Slayer talents. Most of the features lost aren't all that painful, the exception being the loss of wild shape. This is a big loss on both power and versatility. Studied target is a gem though. Because you gain a bonus to you spell DCs for a studied target this is actually a pretty good archetype for a caster focused druid. Also this is a nice for a player who doesn't want to deal with all of the bookkeeping wild shape can be, in that you can get a bunch out of trading away a feature that, while powerful, might not be used due to the effort required.


Here's another tough one that I personally like a lot.

Living Grimoire Inquisitor: Power 0, Versatility 0

This achetype turns the Inquisitor into a odd inrtelligence based warprist/Inquisitor hybrid. You lose spontaneous Wis casting for prepared casting based of intelligence using a book in a similar way to a wizard for what spell you know and using the warprist spell progression. This is a boost to versatility, but now you don't have as good a will save.

You do have a ton of skill points now though, making you one of the most skilled classes in the game behind only the chronicaler of worlds Bard with 6 per level and intelligence as a key stat.

Also on the plus side you do get to use intelligence for your Inquisition powers on place of wisdom. If you take the conversion Inquisition for example you can be a stellar face character with completely dumped charisma.

You lose judgment and bane which is bad. In return you get to use your book for literally everything. It's a scaling weapon like the warpriest's. You can enchant it on the fly in the same way as a warpriest, and you even get bane as a option for the enchants you can place. Also it comes with an extra +1 to hit and does damage as a cold iron weapon without having to pay the extra 2000gp when you enchant it. Oh and it's also a divine focus.

However, you are such with using a book as your everything. This is super limiting on your combat style and flavor.

All on all it's hard to say, but I think it comes out to be about even with the vanilla inquisitor.


The living grimoire has its points as a skill-focused character (even though it loses monster lore), but I can't agree that a fancy light mace is a match for judgement + bane + cunning initiative. It's a definite step down in combat power, as well as being limited in which combat style you take (weapon + buckler/light shield, without shield bashing or power attack basically).

-1 in either power or versatility would cover it. Probably power -1.


That's fair. I think this big boost in either power or versatility is the prepared casting. You aren't as well off as a proper divine caster, but you are only a 6th level caster so the 2 per level freebies works out pretty well. Still it may not be enough to offset the loss.

951 to 1,000 of 1,127 << first < prev | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / Archetype Tier List: A Guide to Picking Archetypes All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.