Archetype Tier List: A Guide to Picking Archetypes


Advice

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avr wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Regarding the Vexing Daredevil and multiclassing I’ve tried this myself and went meh

Inspired blade 1/Mesmerist X, which was fine but it still wasn’t exactly making the most of feinting

I’ve thought about snakebite brawler as well but I think too much Mesmerist casting it lost,

Any suggestions for what multi clashing you’d actually try with it?


VMC rogue would probably be the best option, plus maybe a snakebite brawler dip.


Link to the document for the top of the page.


baggageboy wrote:
VMC rogue would probably be the best option, plus maybe a snakebite brawler dip.

For either to be worthwhile you have to take a 3 level dip though, which to me, makes me question why one would want to be a Mesmerist at all at that point.

Which is the problem I’ve been running into


VMC rogue isn't a class of it's own, you trade half your feats for the benefits. If you stacked this with snakebite brawler 1 and accomplished sneak attacker you could get a total of 6d6 sneak attack dice by 20. It's not a great build, but it's one of the better ones for building sneak attack on a caster class.


Besides Baggageboy's idea (which looks good) there are a few possibilities which treat mesmerist as a dip to some degree, e.g. Unchained rogue 3 / vexing daredevil mesmerist 4 / devoted muse X. 3+ levels in vexing daredevil will give you one dazzling feint, presumably one without a save. 7 levels gives you the option of squeezing in another attack with the surprise strike dazzling feint.

Then there's the feinting feats which simply require more feats than a mesmerist can get in any reasonable time (e.g. Weapon trick (weapon and shield) & related feats, or disengaging flourish & reach weapon tactics). Mesmerist 7 / esoteric knight X could get into these late, or dip levels into other classes to get them early.


Devoted Muse would definitely work well with Vexing Daredevil. Partly because Devoted Muse's Flourish and Harmonious Strike have great synergy with it, but also because of the bonus feint feats.

For reach tactics and light armored class, than Spear Fighter is truly one of the best archetypes Paizo has created (so much dip potential).


Cyclopean Seer
Versatility -1 Power -1
Getting spells from any list while keeping their level is normally great, but you're restricted to . The only good thing in this is Flash of Insight, which would be great except for the fact that you can buy it for 5600 GP with a Cyclops Helm. Everything else is bad or meh. If you somehow have a good save or die spell you are immune to the effects of (but still a valid target) that can target you and enemies, increase the power to +0.

Divine Herbalist
1-6: Versatility -1, Power +0
7+: Versatility +2 Power +0

For the first six levels, this trades your skills and first revelation for a Land on Hands without mercies. At level 7, everything changes as Master Healing Technique allows easy, preparation free, condition removal with minimal cost. This solves one of the Oracle's major issues of being terrible for condition removal.

Divine Numerologist (has wrong link in document)
Power +1, Versatility +1
Adding your charisma to any d20 roll a few times a day is absolutely worth a revelation. Being able to take 10 on anything a few times a day is absolutely worth a revelation. One thing in the archetype's favor is that these are revelations instead of revelation like abilities, thus qualifying for Extra Revelations and Abundant Revelations. The spells aren't great (Numerological Evocation is completely the wrong level for its placement), but not so horrible to be a cost.


^Should be labeled Oracle archetypes.

deuxhero wrote:

Cyclopean Seer

Versatility -1 Power -1
Getting spells from any list while keeping their level is normally great, but you're restricted to . {. . .}

Should say Divination spells.

deuxhero wrote:

Divine Herbalist

1-6: Versatility -1, Power +0
7+: Versatility +2 Power +0


Idk doomsaying from Cyclopean seer seems really strong. Its effectively a guaranteed penalty (of up to -20) which combos really well with save or suck spells. Also Cyclopean Helmet would grant 2 uses, 1 using a limited list (the helmet) and 1 using the full power (the oracle).

I would say that power is 0 on average but no sure.


Divination spells are limited but not so much as you'd think if you can get all sources, all lists. You can get some useful non-cleric spells early off the medium list, medium spells are often 2 levels lower than their sorc/wiz equivalents. Then there's the spells you don't necessarily realise are divinations - named bullet, heightened awareness, coordinated effort, glimpse of the akashic. And last there's those few divinations which everyone knows are divinations and which many want anyway even at full level - scrying, detect thoughts (level 1 off the psychic list, BTW), maybe see invisibility.


last of Cavalier, Gunslinger, and cMonk:

Verdivant Cavalier (Vine Leshy)
Power +1, Versatility +2

Let's start with the mount. It's a plant basically in name only, except it doesn't breathe and won't be affected by charm animal. If it dies (or you simply want a new ride) you can regrow your mount in as quickly as a day at level 4.
This is crazy useful, actually. You can change both your companion creature, archetype, and feats just by waiting one day.

After that, we throw out Tactician, Banner, and the Bonus feats. In return, we can use our inherent plant powers(TM) to give different benefits to everyone close by.
We're talking scaling bonuses to all saving throws, Fast Healing, Freedom of Movement, Energy Resistance, Break Enchantment, Air Walk.
The duration is equal to your Cavalier level, so they're sure to lasts for the whole combat at higher levels.

Graveslinger Gunslinger
Power +0, Versatility -1

You lose a bunch of deeds for special bullets that works better against incorporeal undead. If you know you'll be mainly fighting incorporeal undead from an early level, getting Ghost Touch on your ammunition is pretty neat.

Soul Shepherd cMonk
Power -1, Versatility -1

Haunts and incorporeal undead beware! But not really, no.
Lots of specific abilities in place of your better ones like (Improved) Evasion and Abundant Step, but the DR is kinda nice.

***

Is there any way to count as a Vine Leshy for prerequisites?


Huh, I didn't think of checking the occult lists for early access divination. I just checked Ranger+Paladin and saw nothing and knew divination wizards struggled to find something worthwhile for each slot. +0 versatility at least in that case

Cyclops Helms don't have an attunement period, you can just buy more than one.


Wonderstell wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

Is there any way to count as a Vine Leshy for prerequisites?

I don't believe so. Leshys aren't humanoids so they're not a valid option for racial heritage. The closest I found was the Leshy Warden Druid archetype and the Leshy Subdomain. Both of these let you count as a plant creature for purposes of creating leshys.


I don't see a "leshy" requirement on the archetype on AoN. Not even for PFS play.


ErichAD wrote:
I don't see a "leshy" requirement on the archetype on AoN. Not even for PFS play.

it's in the last line of the description at the top.

Verdivant wrote:

This archetype is typically available only to vine leshys, but with the GM’s permission, other races can take it as well.


Ranger:
Realm Wanderer
Power +1, Versatility +1

Your animal companion gets the Fiendish Template (DR, Energy Resistance, Darkvision, SR) in return for taking a scaling attack penalty equal to 1/5 your level. Easily worth it, and you have the option to remove this feature if you really want to.
The scaling bonus to Diplomacy/Bluff that doubles when in your first two Favored Terrains allows you to be the party face pretty easily, especially with the Terrain Bond spell at higher levels. I'd check out the Student of Philosophy trait, but a negative Charisma modifier will hardly make a difference after a while.

Bow Nomad (Kasatha)
Power +1, Versatility -1

TWF with bows. Not as exciting as it's made out to be, actually. You simply don't have the feats to spare to take the TWF feat chain, and that -4 penalty to attacks in addition to splitting your wealth on two weapons... Yeah you'll actually deal less damage on average than someone with just one bow. Seems like someone realized this though, because the intended playstyle of the Bow Nomad isn't TWF. At level 11 you can apply the Manyshot feat to every BAB attack you make, but the extra arrow comes from the Bow in your other hand. So you split your wealth on two bows, and basically get double iterative damage for no attack penalty.
Again, not as exciting as you'd think. Most of your damage comes from the accuracy of your Full-BAB attacks, so it's worth around +20% DPR depending on your attack bonus. You pay with Camouflage and HiPS, both of which are very useful. But hey, you couldn't use them anyway because your Favored Terrain ability is traded out for Trick Shot. Deflecting Arrow and especially Exploit the Gap are good abilities, but I think you'd get more mileage over your career out of the Initiative and Stealth bonus from Favored Terrain.

Dusk Stalker (Fetchling)
Power -1, Versatility -1

Favored Terrain is better when in the Shadow Plane, but worse everywhere else. The ability replacing Hunter's Bond is pretty lackluster, especially since it's a standard action.

Wave Warden (Merfolk)
Power +0, Versatility -1

If it hadn't touched your Combat Style it would have been a lot better. Works for TWF builds, but not much else.
Watery Summons needs a better progression or more uses per day to affect your playstyle.

Wild Shadow (Half-Elf)
Power -1, Versatility -1

The most noteworthy thing this archetype has is the Wild Stalker ability, which increases your miss chance from concealment while in a Favored Terrain. Synergizes well with HiPS, but these are all late-game abilities. Losing access to one of the most common Favored Terrains, Urban, isn't great either.

***


Good job on the ratings. I would personally rate the Exploiter Wizard as +1 Power +2 Versatility. Potent Magic is either +2 DC or +2 CL that is a massive boost in power to a good deal of spells. IMO Potent Magic is THE reason to be an Exploiter Wizard.


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Alright, trying my hand now at some Inquisitor archetypes:

These are definitely a mixed bag...:
Faith Hunter
Power -1/0 Versatility -1
You gain power against one specific alignment, but lose it (especially Bane) against everyone else. There might be campaigns where you predominantly face enemies of one alignment, such as Wrath of the Righteous, but the Ravener Hunter is a much stronger archetype than Faith Hunter for demons. Enemy Revealed is a very interesting ability but the fact that it is still in essence a spell that requires verbal and somatic components means its usefulness is limited to targets who will stand idly by for 12-18 seconds while you cast a spell and focus on them. Versatility drop is due to loss of domain and loss of general Detect Alignment.

Ravener Hunter
Power +0/+1 Versatility -1/0
Apparently this is supposed to be a Catfolk archetype, but if you need to kill demons then THIS is the archetype for you. The loss of a domain hurts, but some oracle revelations could more than make up for it (in Wrath of the Righteous this archetype is potentially +2). Added cleric spells can boost versatility, but greater alignment restrictions on spells brings it back down, as does the loss of a domain and the delay of teamwork feats and Solo Tactics.

Urban Infiltrator
Power +0 Versatility +1
This archetype gives two very useful benefits and trades away very situational aspects. You gain Disable Device and while you can’t get Trapfinding until level 8, you can still get it. The extra bonuses to Bluff, Disguise, and information gathering are strong, especially if you go for the Conversion inquisition. And if the party/DM doesn’t like rolling Knowledge checks to learn about monsters, you give up essentially nothing by choosing this archetype. Potentially worth it even as a dip since all the abilities are front-loaded.

Tactical Leader
Power +0 Versatility -1/0
Giving your party members the use of teamwork feats is a definite boost of power. However, the limited daily uses at low levels and the loss of Solo Tactics arguably brings the power scale back down. Still possibly better than vanilla Inquisitor, but not enough to warrant a full +1 to power at least until higher levels. The loss of changeable teamwork feats also is a downgrade, although in this case perhaps not enough to warrant a full -1.

Traceless Operative
Dip: Power 0 Versatility 0/+1
Full: Power -1 Versatility 0
Any archetype which gives up Bane needs to offer something good in return…and Uncanny Dodge doesn’t really cut it. Trackless is interesting but unlikely to be meaningful; Conceal Evidence, on the other hand, is arguably the standout ability in campaigns which will call for subterfuge of various sorts, 10-30 minute use time notwithstanding. Dipping this in a subterfuge campaign is arguably a boost for your character. Dipping to level 2 to add Cunning Initiative and Detect Alignment may also be worth it to your character, but anything beyond that is debatable on the power side. Versatility takes a hit since you give up Monster Lore and the ability to stack any other archetypes that increase your social side. Perhaps the best thing that can be said is that this archetype still stacks with Monster Tactician, Sacred Huntsmaster and Sanctified Slayer, so you can still end up with a fairly strong Inquisitor overall despite losing Bane.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mage of the Wyrmkin wrote:
Good job on the ratings. I would personally rate the Exploiter Wizard as +1 Power +2 Versatility. Potent Magic is either +2 DC or +2 CL that is a massive boost in power to a good deal of spells. IMO Potent Magic is THE reason to be an Exploiter Wizard.

Staying power is also a type of power, and the loss of the specialist spell slots is a huge reduction in that regard. Exploits do give it some powerful options, but this is tempered by the loss of daily resources, so I stand behind the neutral power rating.


Re the Ravener Hunter Inquisitor, it's an improvement if you build to use it IMO. A couple of well-chosen revelations are better than an inquisition for most purposes.

Losing access to chaos/lawful/evil spells is a pretty minor problem on the whole, there may be occasions when you really wish you could use a scroll of magic circle against chaos to stop those summoned proteans but they're...rare. Burst of radiance more than makes up for those.

Power +1, Versatility 0 seems about right to me. You can make a good, well-focused ravener hunter; if you really value teamwork feats call losing the first one a case for versatility -1, but I don't think I do.


Definitely agree with Burst of Radiance making up for it. My original impression of the Ravener Hunter a long time ago was a solid Power +1, so I'd be fine with your rating.


Dasrak wrote:
Mage of the Wyrmkin wrote:
Good job on the ratings. I would personally rate the Exploiter Wizard as +1 Power +2 Versatility. Potent Magic is either +2 DC or +2 CL that is a massive boost in power to a good deal of spells. IMO Potent Magic is THE reason to be an Exploiter Wizard.
Staying power is also a type of power, and the loss of the specialist spell slots is a huge reduction in that regard. Exploits do give it some powerful options, but this is tempered by the loss of daily resources, so I stand behind the neutral power rating.

I understand your point as having more spells is always better. In practice and I have played an Exploiter Wizard to level 15. I find that being able to win on round one on encounters that will challenge the party is far more important and powerful than having extra spells for cleanup. Generally in most scenarios there are only 1-2 encounters that are a true challenge to the party. You just do not need that many spells to win the game.


Hmm, Bow Nomad is interesting because while yes it's very resource heavy, any ability that gives him free access becomes deadly. For example: Eldritch Archer/Bow Nomad can spend his gold on the Main Weapon (normally can be avoided) and his Arcane Pool on the Secondary; Otherwise a Warpriest or Paladin with Dual Enchanment would also work while saving on enchantment bonuses. Deadeye Devotee would also work and can be done with only ranger levels but very slowly.

Btw I'm not saying the rating, just a few interesting combos that might work really well.

***************
Also, the Prestige class archetypes need to be added.

Deadeye Devotee and Thought Thief.


@Temperans

If you're looking to TWF with bows, you'll need a huge attack bonus to even make it worth considering. Even if you were given the whole TWF feat tree for free, you still don't want to use it if your non-TWF attack rolls has lower than 90% chance of hitting your target. (assuming BAB between 11-15, Greater TWF)

The 11th level ability has some unforeseen uses however, since you never actually attack with your off-hand bow. Your main bow rolls for attack, and the off-hand bow simply adds it's damage.
So your while your main bow needs Seeking and all that, you could completely neglect your off-hand and only use it to add Str/Deadly Aim twice. Clustered Shots helps avoid any DR.

========

...so there's prestige class archetypes now. Interesting.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mage of the Wyrmkin wrote:
I find that being able to win on round one on encounters that will challenge the party is far more important and powerful than having extra spells for cleanup. Generally in most scenarios there are only 1-2 encounters that are a true challenge to the party. You just do not need that many spells to win the game.

A 15th level Exploiter only has two 8th level spell slots. A specialist with his third slot could support preps like Mind Blank and Discern Location while still having a slot left over for combat. Something has to give for an Exploiter since he doesn't get that bonus spell slot; in this way you feel the reduced spell slots even before the very first combat encounter of the day. This isn't a versatility drop because you still have lower-level slots as an alternative, it just means you will be at reduced power in some respects because you didn't have enough high-level slots to cover all your needs. So yes, even if it's just 1-2 encounters per day you're still feeling the Exploiter's reduced slots.

Beyond that, by-the-books encounters aren't particularly challenging, especially at high levels. AP's in particular are built to a conservative baseline, and GM's raise the difficulty to match their own table's needs. A strong archetype should be able to handle a "stress test" of more difficult encounters, encounters with better tactics, and more frequent encounters. The Exploiter's lack of spell slots puts it under much more pressure than a standard specialist Wizard in this regard. Again, it's still not a power drop since Exploits do make up for it, but I wouldn't rate it any higher than neutral in that respect.


Dasrak wrote:


A 15th level Exploiter only has two 8th level spell slots...

In all fairness you are probably right here. Power can stay at +0. It is still a very solid archetype and my first pick for a generalist Wizard.


I gotta say, gotta have spells to be a wizard. I think reduction hits them pretty hard. Harder than say a cleric who at least has AC and HP and BAB to fall back on.

You could have one spell to end a fight but if it's the wrong spell you're not doing much without another option. I have to agree with the sentiment it's not +2 and barely +1. I think on paper it's amazing but it's going to make a 15 min adventure day more standard than ever.


Well I was just saying some ways to double enchanments on the bow. Double enchantment would even allow you to get up to a free +4 (with enough levels), but yeah it's more novelty (impossible for basically everyone else thou).

My though on Bow Nomad twf, this is very long read at your own risk (took me a few hours to compose my though and check things):

First I want to say I agree, Bow Nomad does not work as a TWF build. The biggest problem the bows have with TWF is the -4 penalty from not being light weapons.

************
However, it can technically be fixed, but it would take way too long and too many resources.

11 levels in 2-weapon Warrior, which also gives more feats (you need lots of them) and BAB. If at least one of those feats is spent on Empty Quiver Style, at level 11 you take -1 penalty for TWF with bows: Bow into heavy mace which is then treated as a light weapon. Getting Empty Quiver Flexibility brings the mace back to speed, letting you use Bow feats/class features with it.

Going to lv 13 with 2-weapon Warrior would then allow you to 2 attacks with no penalty as part of 1 AoO trigger 30 ft away (Interfering): 4 attacks if the also have Fortuitous. This with Paired Opportunist and/or allies that make targets provoke would be potentially very dangerous.

Empty Quiver Style + Bow Nomad also works great for Opening Volley, potentially getting +4 on every other attack.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Wonderstell wrote:


...so there's prestige class archetypes now. Interesting.

It's basically a Divine caster version of the Arcane Archer and a Psychic caster version of the Arcane Trickster. This doesn't really fit within the scope of the guide, as it's actually swapping your base class completely rather than just a couple class features.


What book do these prestige archetypes appear in?


They almost appeared in Chronicles of Legend, but only made it as far as a blog post. I think they're too minor to be worth rating, frankly - presumably if printed they would have had another eye run over them. As is (note the thought thief archetype doesn't actually advance psychic casting as written) they're basically a Paizo writer's homebrew.


I think at the very least they should get a mention, since they are "official". But yeah it's sad they didnt include them in the book, or that they waited until support for the game ended to release archetypes and feats for Prestige classes.


Cavall wrote:

I gotta say, gotta have spells to be a wizard. I think reduction hits them pretty hard. Harder than say a cleric who at least has AC and HP and BAB to fall back on.

You could have one spell to end a fight but if it's the wrong spell you're not doing much without another option. I have to agree with the sentiment it's not +2 and barely +1. I think on paper it's amazing but it's going to make a 15 min adventure day more standard than ever.

My personal experience with the Exploiter Wizard has been stellar. At first level you can easily put out a 5d4 Burning Hands (with Potent Magic and Spell Specialization) and a Will DC 18 Color Spray. This is scary good.

This is at first level when a Wizard is at his weakest. By around 5th level you will have enough castings to keep a couple of slots open and fill them with the Fast Study discovery in 1 minute. Considering that you are a generalist Wizard this is especially sweet.

Pearls of power and latter on a staff will give you as much endurance as you will ever need if you would like to spam spells instead of selectively cast spells as a god wizard.


Heh, I think for Exploiter Wizard it's a bump to power and possibly 0 versatility. Anyway...

Revising my Ravener Hunter review:

Ravener Hunter
Power +1 Versatility 0
This archetype gives you lots of interesting options by way of Oracle Revelations, and if you need to kill demons then THIS is the archetype for you. The loss of a domain hurts, but some oracle revelations more than make up for it(Wood Domain's scaling attack bonus to bow users and Lunar or Nature's animal companion are two highlights). Added cleric spells can boost versatility and power, but greater alignment restrictions on spells brings versatility back down, as does the loss of a domain and the delay of teamwork feats and Solo Tactics. Stacks with Sanctified Slayer and Monster Tactician for extra oomph.


As far as I can tell from just now re-reading the text of the Quick Study Arcanist Exploit(*), an Exploiter Wizard can use this to be much more sure than a normal specialist Wizard of getting the best use of the less extensive pool of spell slots. Some nasty surprise come up and show you that you prepared the wrong spells? Normal Wizard: Uh oh . . . Exploiter Wizard: No problem. Eventually, a normal Wizard can get the Fast Study Arcane Discovery(*), but has to wait until 5th level, and doesn't have as large a pool of Arcane Discoveries as the Exploiter Wizard has of Arcane Exploits (while still having Arcane Discoveries), and in an uncertain situation has to leave a LOT of spells unprepared, whereas the Exploiter can go ahead and prepare the most likely guesses, and then Use Quick Study to back out of any wrong guesses, even at 1st level. If you also want the Potent Magic Arcanist Exploit at 1st level, that's what Extra Arcanist Exploit is for. If you're Human, you could even get Extra Reservoir to make sure you don't run out, and then retrain it later when you level up to have enough without it (like for instance, retrain it to Fast Study when you get to 5th level, thus reducing the number of Arcane Reservoir points you have to spend swapping spells for which you really couldn't get a good guess). If you have decent Charisma, the School Understanding Arcanist Exploit is also an option. to get back some of the Arcane School you traded out. So definitely Versatility +2 like it says in the guide, and Power definitely not less than +0, and situationally may even be Power +1.

(*)(Sorry, Archives of Nethys doesn't seem to have a separate page for each Arcane Exploit or Arcane Discovery, so you have to scroll down 1 page of all the Exploits or Arcane Discoveries.)


It's not that quick/fast study is bad, but if you're concerned about that sort of thing an arcane bonded item and/or magical epiphany is usually enough, and faster. And spending 15 minutes to fill an empty spell slot takes no resources other than being of a class which prepares spells. Quick/fast study comes a long way down my priority list.


Arcane Bonded Item helps, but is only total 1 spell per day.

Magical Epiphany is good if you are a worshipper of Nethys, but even then is just once per day.

Spending 15 minutes to fill an empty spell slot is okay when you can afford to take 15 minutes. This is not always the case.


Sure. Hopefully not every spell you prepared is useless. If that happens often, consider playing a character class which requires less forethought. IME one or two spells prepared on the spur of the moment is plenty.


Added the Inquisitor reviews.

====

Regarding the Traceless Operative, don't forget that you also get a domain/inquisition at level 1. Getting Wisdom to Bluff/Diplomacy/Intimidate as per the Conversion Inquisition and the Conceal Evidence ability is definitely a strong 1 level dip for a social campaign.


avr wrote:
It's not that quick/fast study is bad, but if you're concerned about that sort of thing an arcane bonded item and/or magical epiphany is usually enough, and faster. And spending 15 minutes to fill an empty spell slot takes no resources other than being of a class which prepares spells. Quick/fast study comes a long way down my priority list.

I am a big fan of the Fast Study discovery for a Wizard. In play there is an enormous difference between a 1 minute delay and a 15 minute delay. You can often squeeze a 1 minute break in when people are looting/healing etc. after combat. Spending 15 minutes of downtime prepping spells is fine when you are back at the lodge but not in a dungeon/adventure setting. Many characters will have 1-10 min/level buffs up and will not want to take a break or are being pushed to rush for plot purposes.


avr wrote:
Sure. Hopefully not every spell you prepared is useless. If that happens often, consider playing a character class which requires less forethought. IME one or two spells prepared on the spur of the moment is plenty.

No matter how much forethought you have, if you're in a really unpredictable situation, not only any spell may be at high risk of being suboptimal, but you have no good way of predicting which really weird spell you might really need on fairly short notice, so it's good to be able to respond quickly to unexpected demands on your magical skill. Note that the same situation also will be hard on a Sorcerer, with their limited total spells known (the selection of which requires its own forethought, just at much longer intervals). Arguably, for such situations you'd be best off as an actual Arcanist, but Exploiter Wizard is still pretty good for this.


@UnArcaneElection: I find that Fast Study is actually much better than Quick Study in practice as it does not use up an Exploit or any points from your Arcane Reservoir. However you can choose to use either as an Exploiter Wizard.


^If you haven't already prepared all your spell slots, Fast Study is better if you have a minute or so, while Quick Study is better if you don't. If you have already prepared all your spell slots, because it looked like you were going to need those spells, and then you realize it was a trick, you really need Quick Study.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

^If you haven't already prepared all your spell slots, Fast Study is better if you have a minute or so, while Quick Study is better if you don't. If you have already prepared all your spell slots, because it looked like you were going to need those spells, and then you realize it was a trick, you really need Quick Study.

I guess you can it argue it either way. Fast Study rewards you for leaving spell slots open to be filled while Quick Study punishes you for using it (by spending an Arcane Point) when you guess wrong. In the end they are both great as they are both powerful options.


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Vigilante A-F:
Agathiel
Power -1, Versatility -2

The biggest fault of this archetype is that you're only gaining access to one animal form which can't be changed. It doesn't really matter that you'll get access to one ability from Beast Shape IV at level 16, since the small or medium creature you've chosen at level 1 probably can't benefit from it.
So you lose a bunch of Vigilante Talents and you're forced into a Natural Attacks/Unarmed Strikes build as your Vigilante Identity is an animal. But on the bright side, your equipment doesn't meld into your form so you can use armor.

Avenging Beast
Power -1, Versatility +0

Okay, contrary to the name I see no point in actually using the "Beast" aspect of this archetype. The Wild Shape ability you get at 5th level is restricted to one specific small or medium animal, and won't progress past Beast Shape I. Which makes it only useful for scouting as a flying creature.
The real trade is losing half your Vigilante Talents, your Vigilante Specialization, and going from 6 to 4 skill ranks per level in return for spellcasting as a hunter. As usual for all of the spellcasting archetypes, you lose so much of what makes the Vigilante their own class that you might as well just play whatever class they took the spell list from.

Brute
Power -1, Versatility -2

So your saving throws are now inverted, which sucks. The bad Will save progression sucks especially hard since you now have to succeed on a Will save to not attack your allies or bystanders after combat has ended when in your "Brute Form". Oh, and this DC scales faster than your Will save. Lovely.
But even if we assume you have a bunch of allies who assists you in turning back after each combat, negating the biggest problem of the archetype, it's still not a fair trade. Whenever you want to fight you lose a full round transforming, which makes ambushes impossible and makes you start every combat at a disadvantage.

Darklantern (Elf Subtype)
Power +0, Versatility +1

There's quite a few movies about the undercover agent struggling to keep their real persona in control. This is basically it, but as an Elf suffering from sunlight with-drow-al.
So for the cost of one Social and one Vigilante talent you gain a +2 bonus to Dexterity and Charisma, Darkvision 120 ft, Spell Resistance, and some SLAs. Your dual identities can also be of two completely different alignments, although your Vigilante Identity must be CE.

Dragonscale Loyalist
Power +1, Versatility +0

The Vigilante's class features that doesn't involve talents are pretty lackluster. This archetype trades them out for more useful abilities, and makes you lose your first Social talent for EWP (Dueling Sword).

Experimenter
Power -1, Versatility +1

In return for your Specialization you gain the Mutagen ability and can take Discoveries improving on it. Unfortunately this means no Hidden Strike or full BAB, and only general Vigilante Talents. Brew Potion and Craft Construct as a non-caster is pretty nice, especially since they don't replace any of your Vigilante Talents. And although there is a forced transformation mechanic, I wouldn't worry much about it since you're supposed to already be transformed in combat anyways.

Ferocious Hunter (Half-Orc)
Power +0, Versatility +0

You're forced into taking Signature Weapon at level 2, and gain Improved Critical in place of your 8th level talent. In return you get some bonuses related to being a Half-Orc.

***

I gotta say I dislike any vigilante archetype that removes Vigilante Specialization. That's pretty much the most important class feature vigilantes have, and the class just doesn't feel like itself without it. I'd much rather see forced choices between Avenger and Stalker, like the Serial Killer does.


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Brute's worse than you realise there. Losing your armour unless you pay a vigilante talent (2-3 feats worth), -2AC in addition to the size change (separate from armour loss), being fatigued/exhausted/KO when you change back, being flat footed for 1 full round while changing (whether the change is voluntary or not) - brute is a solid entry in the 'worst archetype ever' event at the Olympics.

Agathiel's kind of funny at levels 1-3, where you disguise yourself as an animal. You pretend to be a lion. Meow.

Some archetypes basically are another vigilante specialization, it's not always unreasonable to lose that.


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@avr

Yeah there's no defending the Brute. It doesn't do anything better than an Avenger with Enlarge Person does.

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Vigilante G-O:
Gunmaster
Power -1, Versatility -1

Getting some watered down Gunslinger's Deeds as Talents isn't that exciting. Probably better to just dip one level into Gunslinger if that's your jam.
What's worse is that you've lost your Specialization, so you're 3/4 BAB and relying on Deadly Aim to deal damage. Even with the scaling bonus to to Att/Dmg, you're behind someone at full BAB.

Hangman
Power +0, Versatility +1

By weaving a Whip or Net into a noose, you can get weapon enhancement bonuses to your Grapple checks. And since you also get the ability to wield a noose as a Net or Whip, you can wield your Whip as a Whip and either attack or grapple. The difference between this and using a weapon with the 'Grapple' feature is that you're still making a normal grapple check. So you can choose to pin or tie up as normal, but still get enhancement bonuses to grapple.
It has a slow start since you lose your 2nd and 4th level Vigilante Talent, and probably want to take the Whip of Vengeance talent as your 6th.

Harvester
Power -2, Versatility -1

An NPC archetype.

Hidden Current
Power +0, Versatility +0

Getting Many Guises at level 1 could have made this archetype a nice dip, but unfortunately you lose your 2nd level Vigilante Talent for a circumstancial bonus to Stealth.

Imperial Agent
Power +0, Versatility +1

A scaling bonus to the social uses of Bluff and Intimidate is nice. The Slander ability however, is great. Do note that your target only realizes somebody is spreading malicious rumors if you fail.

Masked Maiden
Power +0, Versatility -2

This archetype makes the Dual Identity ability a bit more challenging, as you have to make Will saves to both enter and avoid entering your Vigilante Identity. And although the description talks about hiding your identity with full plate armor, the archetype loses Seamless Disguise. Even though you wear plate, everyone will still recognize you without that +20 to Disguise. Another complication is that you can't benefit from morale bonuses or bardic performances while in your Vigilante Identity, which will happen sooner or later. I wouldn't take this archetype if another player picks bard.
But hey, you get Armor Training as a fighter so Advanced options are on the table. Too bad you lose half of your Social Talents for it.

Mounted Fury
Power +1, Versatility +1

Alright, the list of available mounts is far too short. If we assume that it should be subject to the same additions Cavalier has gone through, or you snag an upgrade through feats such as Beast Rider, the archetype becomes way better.
As for the mount itself, the archetype seems to have taken inspiration from both Cavalier and Hunter, so you ignore ACP and share teamwork feats with your mount. The teamwork part is nice since you can choose teamwork feats in place of vigilante talents, which at level 10 retroactively becomes two feats per talent.
You do lose your Vigilante Specialization, but you're still allowed to take Avenger Vigilante Talents. So you basically trade full BAB for a mount and the ability to share teamwork feats with it. Worth it.

Oni Enforcer
Power -1, Versatility +1

You get a couple mismatched abilities, such as Alter Self (later Giant Form), a Gore attack, ranged touch fire beam from your eye, and basically the Fist of the Avenger Vigilante Talent which stacks with said talent. Too many Vigilante Talents lost for my taste, though.

***


Wonderstell wrote:

@avr

Yeah there's no defending the Brute. It doesn't do anything better than an Avenger with Enlarge Person does.

====

** spoiler omitted **...

I view the brute as an NPC class for sure. Its just...all around terrible.


^I view the Brute as too terrible even for most NPCs.

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