Archetype Tier List: A Guide to Picking Archetypes


Advice

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The Martyr's expanded Auras would also stack with the effect of the Half-Elf Favored Class Bonus for Paladin, although with diminishing returns -- but then if you put Widen Aura and Aura of Greater Courage on top of that, then the returns aren't so diminishing after all.


Link to the document

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deuxhero wrote:
Familiars have gotten a lot of support over the years, but the thing that makes them so much better is smashing the action economy with UMD, which was in core. This was true in 3E, it's where the Lightning Warrior joke came from, it's just nobody really wanted to use them since they'd destroy your hard earned XP if killed.

I see. So would you then rather have the Familiar or Bonded Items ratings?

Keeping in mind that a Familiar is available with 2/3 feats.

****

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Community-Minded is one of those Rahadoum anti-divine traits, so it might be hard to get on a Paladin.

...yes that might be a problem for paladin.

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Notification sent. Let's see if they'll accept this as valid Errata.

Fingers crossed, but I'm a bit doubtful considering they've ignored this Mounted Combat FAQ for five years and counting.

****

Temperans wrote:
The Widen Aura and Aura of Greater Courage spell would work great with Martyr, going from a 20ft to 40ft radius immunity to fear. Combined with Bestow Aura targeting a mid ranged character and most of the group should be inside.

I hadn't considered the Aura of Greater Courage spell, but it still won't save the archetype as the Fearless Aura feat is still preferable to the Martyr (available at lv 9 with Magical Knack). Since both Martyr and the feat sets the new aura radius to 20 ft, a normal paladin would also reach a 40 ft radius immunity to fear (but doesn't have to spend actions or gold on wands).

Temperans wrote:
Not sure how the stigma works for pre-reqs but depending on if it counts as Bardic Performance it could be at least interesting.

It only duplicates the effects, which means no Lingering Performance or Tuned Bowstrings. I wish they'd considered that when they gave the Martyr only one additional round of Stigmata per level.


The ease of reaquiring a familiar was considered in those ratings. Use the bonded item ones, but note at top the action economy manipulation makes familiars more attractive than replacements.


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Paladin... almost there:
Gray Paladin
Power -1, Versatility +1
The boss wants to fire you for not following the regulations, but you're just too good at your job, dammit!
This paladin archetype focuses more on 'Good' and less on the 'Lawful', giving you a bit more leeway with your code and allowing you to smite neutral enemies. Your fear immunity can be bought back with the Fearless Aura feat, and Charm/Compulsions are covered by Protection from Evil, so Divine Grace is the real loss.

Holy Guide
Power 0, Versatility +1
Whenever you would gain a new Mercy, you can choose to pick a Favored Terrain and improve one you already have as the Ranger class feature. You qualify for Extra Mercy first at level 9 aince the first and second Mercies are replaced. Holy Guide stacks with the Hunting Paladin archetype so that you can cast Terrain Bond at higher levels, but since you don't have any class features that depend on Favored Terrain it's mostly a bonus to Initiative and Perception.

Redeemer (Half-orc)
Power 0, Versatility -1
Smite Evil can now deal nonlethal damage, but since it replaces the normal ability it doesn't count as Smite Evil for feats/items/etc.
The Pact of Peace ability given at level 8 functions as Lesser Geas, which has a HD limit of 7. This means you'll not be able to use it against level-appropriate foes, but rather petty criminals during downtime.

Tranquil guardian (Aasimar)
Power -1/-2, Versatility 0
I'm pretty sure they just completely forgot to make the Touch of Serenity feat scale off Charisma and to make you count as a Monk for the number of uses per day you have. I hope so at least. But as it is, you trade away your Smite Evil class feature for a feat which really isn't a good match for a Charisma-based class.
Taking the Ascetic Form feat would solve your uses per day issue, but not the low DC.

Undead Scourge
Power +1, Versatility 0
Double smite damage on all attacks against undead creatures, but no extra damage on the first strike against evil dragons and outsiders. The 11th level ability would allow you to hit outside of your weight class with some save debuffs, as the limitation of "double your hit dice" won't ever come up unless your GM is out to kill you.
Obviously worse if you don't expect to fight a lot of undead, so a versatility drop is to be expected then.

Warrior of the Holy Light
Power 0, Versatility -1
The nimbus of light won't help you as much as the spell list would have, but it is less bookkeeping for those who just wants to hit stuff. The 4th level benefit can be increased from +1 to AC/Att/Dmg to +3 with the Extreme Mood Swings feat, making it a pretty strong option if you play at the lower levels.
And for the record: If your deity didn't want you to get drunk for higher morale bonuses, they would have made you immune to poison.

Oaths:

Oath against Chaos
Power 0, Versatility 0/+1
Smite Chaos is almost a sidegrade, but there's one simple reason why Smite Evil is preferable.
As a Paladin you should have no business attacking chaotic good creatures, meaning that you can only smite CN or CE foes instead of all evil ones. Luckily you can spend LoH uses to get the normal Smite Evil, so what you gain is actually the ability to smite CN in addition to evil.
This is the best oath you can take if you have a rogue in your party, though.

Oath against Fiends
Power +1, Versatility +1
Dealing with teleporting enemies can be a martial's worst nightmare, so having an aura that forces will saves for evil outsiders is pretty damn convenient. Do keep in mind that the immediate action targeted Dimensional Anchor ability is a supernatural effect, so it is not subject to SR.
And those spells aren't bad either.

Oath against Savagery
Power -1, Versatility 0
Reach increases are valuable, but not so valuable that you'd set aside both Divine Grace and Smite Evil for it. Adding your charisma bonus to the number of AoO you can make (at lv 11) helps Strength based builds considerably, but I'd say the power rating goes back up first at level 13 or higher when you have enough Smites to last you a day.

Oath of Charity
Power -1, Versatility 0/+1
If you know exactly what you'll be facing during the day, then choosing all your Mercies anew each morning is great. But if you don't, then you'll be left guessing as every other paladin.

Oath of Chastity
Power 0, Versatility 0
Losing immunity to charm spells seems a bit suspicious considering the oath, but I'd bet that critical hits and sneak attacks turns up more frequently anyway.
While you lose two thirds of Divine Grace, you still get it to Will saves, which is the most important one.

Oath of Loyalty
Power -1/2, Versatility 0
Instead of smiting, you grant a single adjacent ally your charisma modifier to AC and Saves. That's not worth the headache of staying glued to an ally throughout combat, or losing your strongest offensive class ability.

Oath of the Crusade / Oath of the Mendevian Crusade
Power +1, Versatility +1
It's literally the Oath against Fiends, but now you can also apply Evil Outsider Bane through your Divine Bond. While an obvious upgrade compared to the previous Oath if you've chosen a weapon, keep in mind that this Oath is not compatible with archetypes that modify your Divine Bond.

Oath of the Seeker / Oath of the Skyseeker (dwarven pantheon)
Power +1, Versatility +1
Chain-smiting is a really strong ability, allowing you to easily cut through hordes of enemies as long as they're the same subtype. I'd recommend a ranged build since you'll otherwise want to move around a lot. The spell-like abilities replacing Aura of Justice are mostly useful outside of combat, but if you need to escape a battle on another plane you could Plane Shift away.
Adding Enlarge Person to your spell list allows you to enlarge your Mount with Share Spells, granting it reach and more damage.

***


Wonderstell wrote:

Gray Paladin

Power -1, Versatility +1
The boss wants to fire you for not following the regulations, but you're just too good at your job, dammit!
This paladin archetype focuses more on 'Good' and less on the 'Lawful', giving you a bit more leeway with your code and allowing you to smite neutral enemies. Your fear immunity can be bought back with the Fearless Aura feat, and Charm/Compulsions are covered by Protection from Evil, so Divine Grace is the real loss. {. . .}

Charm/Compulsion are only covered by Protection from Evil if you know roughly when you're going to need to cast it. If you get surprise attacked, you're in trouble. Fearless Aura is good to have, but doesn't make up for greatly weakening Divine Grace and Divine Health. I am still inclined to put this archetype (which seems to have been invented as a bad joke for people wanting non-LG Paladins) at Power -2. Note that despite being Good-Focused, it adds Lawful Neutral (but not Neutral) as an acceptable alignment just as much as it adds Neutral Good, which is not objectionable, but conceptually weird given its abilities and modified Code of Conduct.

I'd say Vindictive Bastard (did anybody already do this archetype?) is somewhat less bad than Gray Paladin, since at least it gives you Solo Tactics and a few bonus Teamwork Feats and DOESN'T get rid of Aura of Courage. Power -1, Versatility +1.


What's left for pallies?


UnArcaneElection wrote:
Charm/Compulsion are only covered by Protection from Evil if you know roughly when you're going to need to cast it. If you get surprise attacked, you're in trouble. Fearless Aura is good to have, but doesn't make up for greatly weakening Divine Grace and Divine Health. I am still inclined to put this archetype (which seems to have been invented as a bad joke for people wanting non-LG Paladins) at Power -2. Note that despite being Good-Focused, it adds Lawful Neutral (but not Neutral) as an acceptable alignment just as much as it adds Neutral Good, which is not objectionable, but conceptually weird given its abilities and modified Code of Conduct.

I see the modified Divine Health as an upgrade, myself. Poison is far more common than disease, and an immediate threat whenever it shows up. Disease can be dealt with outside of combat, either with the Diseased Mercy or some Antiplague.

I guess it's standing on the brink of -2, with some losses that can be worked around but requires resources to do so.

UnArcaneElection wrote:

I'd say Vindictive Bastard (did anybody already do this archetype?) is somewhat less bad than Gray Paladin, since at least it gives you Solo Tactics and a few bonus Teamwork Feats and DOESN'T get rid of Aura of Courage. Power -1, Versatility +1.

Vindictive Bastard is probably weaker than the Gray Paladin in most cases, though. The action cost and low amount of rounds per day makes the Solo Tactics ability more of a luxury than something to rely on, which with the loss of Divine Bond makes it harder to put those teamwork feats to use.

Add in the loss of healing from LoH and condition removal from Mercies, and we're behind the Gray Paladin since their faults can at least be circumvented with items or feats.

****

Cavall wrote:
What's left for pallies?

What's left for pallies:
Archetypes:

Divine Hunter
Dusk Knight
Enforcer
Enlightened Paladin
Faithful Wanderer
Forest Preserver
Forgefather Seeker
Hospitaler
Pearl Seeker
Stonelord
Temple Champion
Wilderness Warden

Oaths:
Corruption
Grotesquery
Way
Wyrm
Undeath
People's Council
Oath of Vengeance

***


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More pally stuff. I would rather we used the official names than made up srd names.

Spoiler:

Divine Hunter
Power 0 Versatility +1
Archery based Paladins that can make the whole group into archers. One thing to note is the ability to expend smites to gain and share archery feats with a party... but it doesnt have to be against evil targets. If this was gained earlier this would be a +2 versatility ability.

Dusk Knight
Power -1 Versatility 0
You gain stealth but keep the armour penalty until 8th. You lose divine bond. You gain dark vision to stack upon your dark vision.... If we play pretend that you start at mid levels some decent fun could be had. The only thing this is best for is a lawful good rogue dip because smite adds concealment... but not any damage.

(Iomedaen Enforcer) Enforcer

Power 0 Versatility 0
While it's been noted already that smiting chaos means accidently smiting good, this archetype just trades the words evil away for chaos for the class. The alterations arent enough to change the numbers. In a fey heavy game this would be a stronger archetype.

(Iroran Paladin) enlightened Paladin
Power +1 Versatility +2
You lose detect evil to detect Ki. Kind of useless. You'll also lose channels. Not a huge loss. You gain free skills, free feats, a ki poolsmites that work on anyone and a paladin code you can make up yourself. Your smites even boost versus spells of your target, you retain saves and make reroll abilities rips for abuse. Almost a perfect archetype do long as you can boost that AC up.


Solo tactics doesn't have a rounds per day, it's an always on feature. You just get to count others as having teamwork feats. I think you may be thinking of tactition.


@Cavall

Yeah that's the idea. I just have no clue which SRD archetypes are real without comparing them to a list of the actual names, which is a real chore when a class has like 50+ archetypes. I'm mostly hoping someone gets upset I'm missing the real names, and decides to comment on every archetype that is SRD-ized.

Sooner or later, I'm gonna have to change all the double-name archetypes from "SRD name[Link] / real name" to "real name / SRD name[Link]". So that they come up in the correct order.

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@baggageboy

While that mistake would have made total sense, in this case the Vindictive Bastard is given a limited version of the Inquisitor's ability.

Quote:
Solo Tactics (Ex): At 2nd level, a vindictive bastard gains solo tactics, as per the inquisitor class feature. She can activate this ability as a swift action and gains the benefits of it for 1 round. She can use this ability a number of rounds per day equal to half her paladin level + her Charisma modifier.


Oh man, I'd missed the restriction before. That's terrible :(


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Last Paladin Oaths:
Oath against Corruption
Power +1, Versatility -1
If you're only going to fight aberrations, +4 to all saves in place of Aura of Courage is great. The save bonus doesn't stack with the lv 11 ability, though.

Oath Against Grotesquery (worshipers of Shelyn)
Power 0, Versatility -2
Harmful transmutation effects aren't too common, but the same can be said about diseases. I'm sure there's some way to make use of the Charisma damage reduction, I just can't think of anything myself.
The Code of Conduct is way too harsh though. While a normal paladin of Shelyn can destroy art if necessary, an oathbound paladin can never willfully cause damage to works of art or crafted objects. You could actually make your paladin fall by kicking in a door, but let's hope your GM is more lenient in their interpretation.

Oath Against the Way / Oath against the Whispering Way
Power +1, Versatility 0
This oath works like the Oath Against Undeath, but replaces the bonus vs negative levels with a much more broad bonus vs Necromancy spells and spell-like abilities. Even if you're not fighting undead every single day, Necromancy effects aren't uncommon when you're fighting evil.

Oath Against the Wyrm
Power 0/+1, Versatility 0
This oath may as well be called Oath Against the Bard, as your Code of Conduct forces you to "prevent bloodlines from being corrupted with draconic power".
Getting dragon Bane as a Divine Bond option is nice if you're expecting to fight them a lot. As for the other alternative, your mount would share your class immunities at the cost of your auras which might be preferable depending on your party composition. Enlarge Person is good to have for Share Spells, too.

Oath Against Undeath
Power 0/+1, Versatility -1
Ghost Touch at level 3, save bonus vs negative levels, and cheaper channel vs undead at level 11. Great if you're fighting incorporeal undead often.

Oath of the People’s Council
Power -1, Versatility +1
The Full BAB Bard, as it were. Stronger at early levels when the few uses of Smite Evil you would have don't last a day, and more useful in campaigns without a strong focus on Evil. It's too bad it doesn't stack with the Knight of Coins archetype for more skill ranks.

Oath of Vengeance
Power +1, Versatility 0
Converting LoH uses into Smite means that you can now from an early level have enough uses of Smite Evil to last you a whole day. This benefit might not be noticeable at higher levels unless you've got some way to spend extra uses of Smite Evil, such as Smite Evil Magic, Righteous Orator, or cheesing the Bracers of Celestial Intervention.

***


baggageboy wrote:
Oh man, I'd missed the restriction before. That's terrible :(

I missed the restriction too. Changing my rating of Vindictive Bastard to Power -2, Versatility +0 or Power -1, Versatility +1 depending upon whether anyone else in your party actually takes the same Teamwork Feats (if you actually get to use these on a sustained basis because the rest of your party took the same Teamwork Feats, and you are able to convince them to choose good ones, the bonus feats really do help -- even though they aren't very many, Paladin is hurting for feats enough that it would make a decent difference). I guess Paizo REALLY didn't want anyone who was not Lawful Good or some brand of Evil (preferably Chaotic Evil(*)) to get a usable Champion archetype before 2nd Edition.

(*)At least Insinuator and Tyrant Antipaladin are serviceable if not great, unlike Gray Paladin and Vindictive Bastard without a Teamwork-oriented party.


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All the ex-class archetypes I can remember are weak, I think intentionally. Not just paladins and in fact I steer clear of paladins reflexively and haven't read up on the VB.

Anyway while you guys are slogging thru those, mediums are an interesting class (at least if you don't do the champion spirit only, don't care about anything else medium) and I'll take a look at their archetypes.

Spoiler:
Fiend Keeper
Power +1, Versatility +1
Great concept, and a mechanic for giving into temptation which works I think. Of course if your GM loves seeing paladins fall you may want to steer clear of this archetype as falling to evil will likely lose you your character. Otherwise you get a number of options which include serious info-gathering and moderate buffs for the cost of some speak with dead abilities you didn't care about anyway.

The intended race is clearly grippli but it's written as if a medium-sized character might take it occasionally, so it can't be restricted to only them.

Kami Medium
Power -1, Versatility -2
Even the fairly mild restrictions on where you can channel the base mediums' spirits are intended to be worked around easily. The kami medium has more restrictions which may not be intended to be worked around (and no archmage spirit) which is a huge hit to versatility especially. You're required to take the revere nature and never wear metal armor taboo. Any buffs and most debuffs they use can be removed in combat by snagging the ofuda. Getting a shikigami improved familiar is nice but doesn't make up for these.

Legend Channeler | Nexian Channeler
Power 0, Versatility -1
You channel a slight variant when you get the archmage spirit and get the Third Eye feat (and upgrades to it) in place of a whole raft of minor class features. Most of the upgrades aren't especially good for their level, but darkvision at 3rd and arcane sight at 7th are worth using a standard action for in the right situation.

Medium of the Master
Power 0, Versatility -2
You can only channel a champion spirit and get a couple extra ways to do so (to make sure that you always can). This archetype makes you into something like a monk with 4-level spellcasting and the ability to use light armor, but with flurry & style strikes delayed until 6th level and ki until 15th. It's effective within its niche, but losing most of the spirits and the shared seance keeps that niche very narrow.


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avr wrote:
The intended race is clearly grippli but it's written as if a medium-sized character might take it occasionally, so it can't be restricted to only them.

But since the intention is grippli, would you say that the archetype features more small mediums at large?


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Wonderstell wrote:
avr wrote:
The intended race is clearly grippli but it's written as if a medium-sized character might take it occasionally, so it can't be restricted to only them.
But since the intention is grippli, would you say that the archetype features more small mediums at large?

Yes, though not in huge numbers. I expect that only a tiny fraction of the colossally powerful evil outsiders have been caught this way.

more mediums:
Outer Channeler
Power +1, Versatility -1
Your intermediate (L6) spirit power for each spirit gets replaced by one which depends only on which set of outer planes you revere; if you're into agathions that power is lay on hands for you for example. You're also required to take an extra taboo, your list of available taboos changes, there's more links to your alignment in the powers and you get a free familiar (later improved), and you lose the speak with dead abilities of the base medium. The familiar is worth a power bump IMO, the restrictions and fixed power a drop in versatility.

Reanimated Medium
Power 0, Versatility 0
Inverting the gain/loss of influence and having your character fall unconscious at zero influence instead of losing control of your character for 24 hours at 5 influence is a headache, but the main difference is that you have 2 less points of influence available total and you'll be suffering influence penalties at the start of the day rather than at the end. The other changes are minor until L20. I wavered but the changes aren't big enough to be worth a drop in rated power.

Relic Channeler
Power +1, Versatility -1
More choices (more exotic weapon proficiencies from champion, more skills from trickster etc.) but those choices are fixed forever once made. Also you're particularly hurt by losing your gear but can teleport the most important bits to you. Getting more choices is good, but some of those choices (e.g. trickster bonus skills) are much better if you can choose them when you know what you'll need. This archetype is better for a medium who's focusing on a particular setup (which usually means a champion with a particular fighting style) than one who truly wishes to be able to fill any role.

Rivethun Spirit Channeler
Power 0, Versatility +1
You can be a Wis-based spirit dancer medium! See that archetype review later, but basically it's a neat trick for combat flexibility but being very limited in rounds/day cuts off out of combat flexibility. Also you get even less spells known and can get rid of annoying conditions on others (not yourself) with a diplomacy check, which more or less requires you to take the empathic diplomat trait.


I would say Vindictive Bastard may become power 0 at high levels due to granting 1/2 Vindictive Smite to all allies and eventually what's effectively a free desintigrate.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

The Martyr's expanded Auras would also stack with the effect of the Half-Elf Favored Class Bonus for Paladin, although with diminishing returns -- but then if you put Widen Aura and Aura of Greater Courage on top of that, then the returns aren't so diminishing after all.

Ha! I had an idea for a Half-Elf Martyr Paladin for years now. It was all about the auras. I didn't clue in on the spells though. I was using some aura boosting feats. :)

Probably going to save this character for an NPC. I really like the background I came up with for this character though.(Own horn tooted!) The Martyr archetype lends itself really well to some great themes.


And ya'll forgot the Death Druid! (At least I didn't find anything with a search on the thread.)

I'm playing one right now in Iron Fang. I love it. Granted I never played a regular Druid(1st druid I played in an AP. I think I played a Naga Aspirant for a session or two in a home brew.) Frankly with all the record keeping with wild shape I like options that trade it out. :)

DEATH DRUID!!!.


Death Druid? I'd say this largely depends on how Phantom compares to animal companion+wild shape since the other abilities are solid improvements to largely niche abilities but minor compared to AC+wildshape. I don't really know spiritualist class enough to tell if one is even worth just the AC, let alone both.


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Pallies

Spoiler:

Faithful Wanderer
Power -1 Versatility-1
You are now a focused planar attacker. More skills (hey perception!) and "smites" are more like favoured enemy, but the focus is narrow.
In a planar based game this is +1 in both columns at the very least; otherwise you won't be as useful.

Forest Preserver
Power 0 Versatility-1
This is best used with druids (or other plant/animal summoners) in a group as you can help with summoning buffs so long as a tree is around. Given the dependacy on wilderness, a tree should always be around. In this case this archetype is rather potent. Otherwise it simply falls flat with a need to consistently be in the forest.


Death druid would be a solid improvement over an actual spiritualist, but I'm not sure how it compares to a druid with wildshape and a pet. Having a better spell list to work with phantom's spell delivery options may be worth it, but I doubt it. Immune to negative energy and energy drain is a pretty good deal though.


More pallies

Spoiler:

Forge Father Seeker
Power -1 versatility -1
Unlike the Ghost hunter archetype this has too narrow a focus to come up and handicaps the player for it. The cap is great but the build up towards it is a wasted theme.

Hospitalier
Power 0 Versatility +1
Rare healing build that provides more than what it loses. The level 11 ability is a great group buff and the archetype adds a second channel pool. For oradins this could be a number 1 contender, even with the 11th level ability delay. Less smites can always be made up for.

Pearl seeker
Power 0 versatility -1
If you're not under water you're a paladin with a mount that has little speed and is dying. Spontaneous casting and psychic add ons make this a quirky little archetype with some potential. Powerfully insane underwater as a charge build.

Stonelord (dwarf only)
Power 1 versatility 0
This archetype plays entirely on dwarven strengths (i.e. dropping divine grace for a race that has massive saves vs spells already) and completely negates negatives (no charsima factoring in here, and defender ability working with lack of dwarven speed.) On any other race this would be weaker but it simply fits with dwarves. Getting undersized mount and retraining later on is almost a must at 9th level. The result is something entirely tank like but wholly unpaladin in how it plays out. Great example of theme used well.

Temple Champion
Power -1 Versatility -1
Losing spells is usually ok for a caster with a negative 3 penalty and only 4 levels of casting. But losing divine bond as well for a trade off that demands absolute perfect choices for domains to even attempt to break even is a poor archetype. Better to play a different spell less paladin

Wilderness Warden
Power 0 Versatility 0
A nature themed archetype that trades off and gains a fairly equal amount of power and versatility, albeit in some abilities being better and others worse. Perfect for a far traveling group always on the road, adding +1 versatility.


My own experience with the Death Druid is that the phantom is more versatile than an animal companion. Walk through walls, talk, has hands, intelligent, portable(summon/unsummon) etc. It's very durable with DR and your pc can feed it their own hp.

You get some additional spells added to your spell list. Some of which are very good.

The only problem with the spells is that you don't get mage armour or shield which are really needed for the phantom. I get around that by asking the arcanist to cast mage armour on the phantom. Shield is a no-go. So even with mage armour it will technically be 4 ac lower than a spiritualist phantom as the spiritualist can cast both mage armour and shield.

I still think it will be more durable than an animal companion but perhaps it does not do as much damage. Not that I have much experience with animal companions.

Overall, I think what you lose for what you gain is at worst close to equal, at best slightly better than equal power wise. I'd say this archetype is more versatile in that you can still cast spells to change into animals etc. Which I never do! lol :)

Interested in what others think. Has anyone else played one?


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Temperans wrote:
I would say Vindictive Bastard may become power 0 at high levels due to granting 1/2 Vindictive Smite to all allies and eventually what's effectively a free desintigrate.

It is a good martial buffer, but a normal paladin can also give out smites at higher levels. The pros of Gang Up is the larger range and that it doesn't care about alignment. But Aura of Justice gives everyone the full benefits of Smite, ignores DR, and can be used against different targets. The Vindictive Bastard can only target someone who has dealt HP damage, and must either wait one turn to give out Gang Up or lose their full-attack.

***

Lemartes wrote:
And ya'll forgot the Death Druid! (At least I didn't find anything with a search on the thread.)

Updating these documents will be the death of me.

***

@Cavall

Just one more to go, then!


Ha! ;)


Did I forget one? Thought I did the whole list for Paladins, oaths aside.


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Nah, you didn't forget. I just found an archetype that had been hiding from me, so the Invigorator wasn't in the document.
Found a couple others too, so now there's a bunch of classes that aren't finished.

But I can confidently say that over 99% of all archetypes should be accounted for now, we just gotta write a review for them all now.


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Idealist (Cleric):
Best case: Power: +2 Versatility: +2
Worst case: Power +0 Versatility +1

Planar Bond is a straight upgrade, giving extra spells as spontaneous options for no cost. The real big star here is Invoke Realm. Invoke Realm's power is highly variable with plane selection, which is very setting dependent if you aren't using Golarion. Regardless, it's pretty easy to bust.

Note the bolded part in it "Within the radius of the idealist’s channeling, all alignment and magic planar traits are suppressed and replaced with the traits of the plane that matches the idealist’s planar bond. This includes alignment, gravity, and magic traits (see pages 58–63 for information on planar traits.)". It includes those effect, not is limited to them.

This means, depending on your plane, you can render flightless creatures unable to move, give some kind of pseudo flight, make the ground sapient, make objects impervious to everything, create an area of water, make people save or be blinded as well as save or explode if they're at full HP, stop magic, give everyone (including yourself) +2 CL, and everything time trait can do. Remember: the only spell that even slightly fiddles with time, Time Stop, is a 9th level spell for a very good reason, and one could argue that only speeds you up.

Even if Invoke Realm did nothing and just cost Channel Energy, for several planes the extra spells are worth what is normally just a battery of extra healing.

Sunsinger (Skald)
Power -1 Versatility -2
An archetype replacing Spell Kenning, a classmaking source of tremendous versatility for a Skald, needs to have a damn good ability to make it worthwhile. Channel energy but slightly better against sun hating creatures is a horrible trade.

Invigorator (Paladin)
Power -2 Versatility -2
You get to give (not that much) damage reduction a very limited number of times per day in exchange for smite? That's giving up most of your offensive for very little defense.

Sword Devil (Ranger)
Power -2 Versatility -2
In exchange for pretty much anything class defining (other than combat style), you get a random assortment of swashbuckler levels, including strictly worse weapon finesse at level 4, three levels after you want to start hitting things with dexterity.


Forgive me but I thought 2 was showing the archetype was fundamentally broken as far as function, either for weal or woe. Have I been too conservative with them or am I not understanding this system?


The whole phrase is:
"Within the radius of the idealist’s channeling, all alignment and magic planar traits are suppressed and replaced with the traits of the plane that matches the idealist’s planar bond. This includes alignment, gravity, and magic traits"

That looks like it only includes magic and alignment traits to me, with your quoted line adding gravity. Regardless, having a suped up anti-magic field for (charisma+1)(charisma+3) rounds per day is pretty nice.


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@ Cavall: +2 Power is good enough you shouldn't consider the base class by comparison, -2 Power is a note you shouldn't consider this archetype, the way I've been doing it. +/-2 Versatility I have less compunction about using.

Even more druids hiding in the undergrowth? OK...

Spoiler:
Death Druid
Power +1, Versatility +1
A phantom is easier to use than an animal companion even if the raw numbers don't get as high, and if you don't want the trouble of using a pet at all you can stuff it into your druids head and just use the bonded manifestation bonuses instead. Share Spells also helps make the phantom this archetype gives a very interesting creature; a spiritualist isn't a full caster and can't buff their phantom nearly as much.

Getting a bunch of spells added to your spell list (some good, some bad) is likely better than wild empathy and nature sense by a fair margin, and immunity to death effects, negative energy and energy drain is a lot better than venom immunity, especially when delay poison and similar are on your spell list already and death ward isn't. Overall if this archetype matches your character concept it's going to be good.

Nature Priest
Power 0, Versatility +1
Effective access to any one domain and the corresponding deities' favored weapon in exchange for some slightly worse minor powers, and you also get the planar ally line added to your spell list though you lose venom immunity. Useful though there's no killer app.


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Sword-Devil Ranger also gets to give a similar bonus to a bard's inspire courage (+1 at L4, increasing at L8/12/16/20, vs. +1 at L1, increasing at 5/11/17), albeit only vs. one target and only ever as a standard action. It would stack with anything being untyped though. And they get monk AC bonus using Cha. Aside from Cha for combat feat prereqs and their D&D 3.0 weapon finesse I don't see swashbuckler features. I don't think I disagree with the numbers deuxhero (maybe power -1?), just with how you got there.

mediums of S:
Spirit Dancer
Power +1, Versatility -1
In exchange for being able to select which spirit you want for a given combat (with a 1 minute cooldown, it's one spirit max in any combat), you effectively give up being able to use spirit abilities which require any significant time to use. You can't use most skills via trickster when you're paying rounds to use each (or effectively use spirit surge similarly), or cast scrying as an archmage, or wear armor as a guardian. Even casting lesser restoration as a heirophant is a strain. Using your increased spells as archmage or heirophant to make magic items is right out.

I think being able to pick spells or champion combat bonuses for the fight which needs such is an advance in power, and losing non-combat power is a drop in versatility and have rated this archetype accordingly.

Spirit Eater
Power 0, Versatility 0
Trading the non-combat ability to speak with the dead for combat bonuses (if and only if you've fought incorporeal creatures recently) narrows your abilities and increases potential power IMO, but not enough to be worth rating.

Interestingly since it doesn't affect spirit or spirit surge this is the only medium archetype you can stack with another - with medium of the master, spirit dancer, or vessel of the failed.

Storm Dreamer
Power 0, Versatility +1
Most of a domain is probably better than spirit surge, and a package of weak defensive/perception powers in place of speak with dead abilities is better there too. The SLA options drawing on the same pool are iffy but do add some more (uncommon) situations you can deal with. Good but not amazing.

Storyteller
Power -1, Versatility +1
You lose the seance boon and shared seance, speak with dead abilities, and a lot of your uses of spirit surge. You gain bardic performance abilities, weakened bardic knowledge and some divination SLAs which are powered by rounds of performance. It's doable though it lacks a certain oomph.


Cavall wrote:
Forgive me but I thought 2 was showing the archetype was fundamentally broken as far as function, either for weal or woe. Have I been too conservative with them or am I not understanding this system?

Personally I'm a bit more careful with handing out -2s, as that in my opinion means the original purpose of the class has been compromised. deuxhero handed out several extreme ratings here, but in this case many of these archetypes were actually that extreme.

*****

@deuxhero

Re: the Idealist

I'm in agreement with ErichAD that the Idealist only includes alignment, gravity, and magic traits. Especially since the very next sentence states that the time trait isn't affected.

Idealist wrote:
In the case of the Astral Plane, since the time trait remains unaltered, your spellcasting only feels fast—you gain a +4 bonus on all concentration checks rather than the ability to apply Quickened Spell effects.

So no time shenanigans or exploding people with positive energy.

Alignment traits can give opponents a -2/-4 penalty to all mental attribute checks, while subjective gravity seems to be the only gravity trait worth mentioning.
Magic traits are interesting, like forcing caster level checks on alignment or elemental spells that conflict with your chosen plane and getting +2 CL on spells that are in line. There's also Wild Magic and Fey Magic from the Maelstrom and First World, which some people would intentionally fail.

And while I'd love to dip one level into this archetype and channel from a plane with Dead Magic, none of the planes have that specific magic trait. So unless you homebrew your own deity that lives in a plane devoid of magic, that ain't gonna fly.

****

Re: the Sunsinger

While Spell Kenning is awesome, the Skald already has a pretty big toolbox so losing it isn't the end of the world. I'd say Versatility -1 instead of -2.

***

Re: the Invigorator

Power takes a hit, no questions asked. But I don't see how Versatility changes that much, if at all.


I think you're underestimating how useful Spell Kenning is. At the very least it's a way to remove conditions at a speed (same day instead of next day) even prepared casters often struggle to do and spontaneous casters (like Skald) are totally inept at if it's not scroll friendly. That's not even getting into the utility of having any sorc/wiz spell usable on tap or the many ways to expand what list you can pull from. Spell Kenning is so good that if an archetype gave a fullcaster Diminished Spellcasting in exchange for Spell Kenning, I think it would be worth a serious look.

As for Idealist effecting time or not, the change to Astral Plane isn't actually related to the time effect: The Astral Plane is merely listed as "Timeless". The line is actually overwriting the Astral Plane's magic trait of "enhanced (see Magic on the Astral Plane on page 153)".

Page 153 wrote:
All spells and spell-like abilities used within the Astral Plane can be employed as if they were improved by the Quicken Spell or Quicken Spell-Like Ability feats, though this has no effect on spells and abilities that have already been quickened or on spells from magic items. Spells thus quickened are prepared and cast at their unmodified level. As with the Quicken Spell feat, only one quickened spell or ability can be cast per round.


deuxhero wrote:
Spell Kenning is so good that if an archetype gave a fullcaster Diminished Spellcasting in exchange for Spell Kenning, I think it would be worth a serious look.

Losing the arcane school costs as many spell slots as diminished spellcasting, and the spell sage wizard is indeed worth a look.

mediums, the last 3:
Uda Wendo
Power +1, Versatility +2
You have what amounts to 1 point of burn most days, and you get a 1st level power and spells known from a domain of your choice (including druid animal/terrain domains, not including about a third of the domains, & not including inquisitions) each day. This is pretty abusable. A disposable familiar goes a long way, and you'll want a conductive ranged weapon for various things you might send down it. Shared seance goes and you add Cha and Int to all knowledge checks.

Vessel of the Failed
Power +1, Versatility 0
You can extend the amount of influence you can take slightly, and reckless surge costs 2 influence for a sizable if unreliable bonus to a d20 roll. You can't choose to channel a weaker spirit but then you should seldom want to, the base spirit surge isn't as good as all that. It's an upgrade to the base medium; not a huge one, but solid.

Voice of the Void
Power -1, Versatility 0
Influence acts as a penalty to Will saves as well, and you get a few abilities you'll seldom want to use. The archetype exists for cultists worshiping Lovecraftian horrors, but unlike some options Paizo's printed for that there's not much reason a PC would want to take this one.


@avr: I do not see Death Druid as being +1/+1. Giving up Wild Shape is a huge downgrade. Players that do not play Druids do not get how great Wild Shape is for defensive and utility purposes. Being able to transform into an animal makes most social and stealth challenges trivial. It means all day flight or climbing or swimming (plus water breathing). It means that you can easily fit into the smallest places or just Earth Glide through them. In combat it grants all sorts of abilities that you might want like pounce, whirlwind,poison, regeneration, energy resistance or DR. Combine this with Planar Wildshape and you get even more. How can a player even consider giving this up?


Most social and stealth challenges? A small minority of both IME. All day flight or swimming is great, but for swimming at least the rest of the party needs a means of surviving in the water too (generally a boat, sometimes with spells like touch of the sea or water breathing) which limits the added usefulness. Whirlwind is seldom useful, ditto poison, regen isn't available until druid 12 (tendriculous if you're not likely to be attacked with natural attacks or fire, green man if mythic material is allowed), energy resistance has other sources - resist energy or even protection from energy are on the druid list. DR isn't available to most druids via wild shape, and in any case clay skin and stone skin exist.

It's not that it's bad but other than flight and natural attacks druid spells generally cover those effects, and often better. And the death druid can do natural attacks via bonded manifestation.


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(I really should check this more often)

The idealist is great for a Gravitational or Subjective Slam Vital Strike build.

For the first, you can grab the required acclimation feat and roll an extra weapon dice with Vital Strike while also not suffering the gravity penalties.

For the second, you can go into Heritor Knight and then uses Subjective Slam and Subjective to deal 6d6 dmg; Just Vital Strike would be 12d6 damage. If you can use Gravitaional Vital Strike you can effectively deal minimum 18d6 as a standard action touch attack.


Btw I dont see why Sword Devil is -2/-2 the damage boots that it gets are on par or better than base ranger and unless tracking is very important the biggest benefit of Quarry is the crit auto confirmation (which is more a quality of life upgrade).

The loss of favored terrain however is quite harsh considering its needed for Camouflage and Hide in Plain Sight (probably an oversight). Still it's not too hard to regain of it's that important.

I personally would say its Power 0/Versatility -1 (-2 if tracking is important for the campaign).


It also loses spells Temperans. No wand of cure light wounds, no instant enemy (not that it'd work with death vow), no utility stuff like pass without trace. No hunter's bond, so no animal companion, or at least two more feats required for one (and the better options aren't available that way).


Sorry its had for me to judge Ranger spells, people are often saying how underwhelming they are and other negative things so I undervalued it.

Part of the reason I have -1 was because it only partially got rid of Hunter's Bond. The replacement ability does the same thing as choosing allies for Hunter's Bond but using Death Vow instead.

So in that case I would say Power 0, Versatility -2. It still doesn't deserve to get -2 to power from what I have seen.


deuxhero wrote:
As for Idealist effecting time or not, the change to Astral Plane isn't actually related to the time effect:

Please read the bolded part carefully.

Idealist wrote:
In the case of the Astral Plane, since the time trait remains unaltered, your spellcasting only feels fast—you gain a +4 bonus on all concentration checks rather than the ability to apply Quickened Spell effects.

While the change is to the Magic Trait, it is explicitly stated that the Idealist doesn't interact with the Time Trait. So only Alignment, Gravity, and Magic. What would your rating be with this new knowledge?

***

deuxhero wrote:
I think you're underestimating how useful Spell Kenning is.

Maybe I am, but the point about rating archetypes is that we're comparing the archetypes to the base class. The Skald still has multiple class features left, which in my opinion means the Versatility loss isn't so debilitating as to deserve a full -2.


Lose song of marching to regain fascination.

Lose spell kenning to channel and completely negate invisibility concealment and darkness.

That's not a -2. And it isn't a -1 on power either.

I'd have gone 0 -1.


If we rate Idealist only on Alignment, Gravity and Magic...
Power +1, Versatility +1
Power +2, Versatility +1 for a plane with no gravity, and/or dead magic when paired with selective channel.
Power +0, Versatility +1 for a plane with normal alignment, normal gravity, and normal/narrow changes to magic (worst case).

The extra spells have no cost and are strictly better than not getting them. Alignment trait allows you to inflict a -4 penalty to all mental score based checks in the bubble, which an OK effect. High or, especially, no Gravity can totally shut down a good number of enemies, especially at low levels where flight is less common. Adding plus two to the caster level of your entire party via enhanced magic is a pretty good trade for channel energy. Having an anti-magic field you and your allies are immune to is a really nice effect.

@Cavall
Sorcerer/Wizard and Cleric list (plus Druid/Witch with item/feats) have plenty of raw power spells within them in addition to their versatility.


Just made a ton of UnMonk suggestions.


Odd ones left from Fighter, Inquisitor and Ranger:
Fighter:

Dragonheir Scion
Power 0, Versatility 0
So your magic blood wasn't magic enough for you to be a Sorcerer or Bloodrager? Disappointing.
Getting Arcane Strike as a bonus feat might have lead somewhere if you counted as a spellcaster for prerequisites, but I hope you're at least supposed to get the extra damage that is normally dependent on your Caster Level. The archetype doesn't change much except Wings at 15th level, which probably makes the Armor Training trade even.

Warlord
Power -1, Versatility -1
Incredible. Evasive Dueling may be the dumbest class feature I have ever seen. You are essentially given the ability to take the Dodge feat with every single bonus fighter feat you're given, with the caveat that you only get the AC bonus while unarmored. pfft, what!?
Add in the loss of Armor Training and Armor Proficiency, and we have a winner.

Inquisitor:

Sworn of the Eldest (Gathlain)
Power -1, Versatility -1/0
Charisma-based for some reason. You're forced into choosing a Domain or Subdomain of one of the Eldest, and actually gain domain spell slots. But these domain slots are given to you the exact level before you gain a new spell level, so they'll never give you a power spike.
Useful if you have some spells you really want, but the loss of Solo Tactics should make you think twice.

Ranger:

Jungle Lord
Power -1, Versatility -1
It's Tarzan.
You kinda get the Monk's AC bonus at 4th level, but since you lose spells you have no other abilities based on Wisdom so you could just wear armor. If you hadn't lost proficiency, that is.
Favored Enemy is traded for Animal Focus that only affects you, and you get better choices of companions. Getting an Axe Beak or Tiger might help you at the lower mid-levels, but other than that it's pretty weak.

***

Secret Wizard wrote:
Just made a ton of UnMonk suggestions.

It feels like everyone, myself included, forgot that was an actual option. I'll look into them in more detail tomorrow, but I can tell you're a fan of Stunning Fist.


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avr wrote:

Most social and stealth challenges? A small minority of both IME. All day flight or swimming is great, but for swimming at least the rest of the party needs a means of surviving in the water too (generally a boat, sometimes with spells like touch of the sea or water breathing) which limits the added usefulness. Whirlwind is seldom useful, ditto poison, regen isn't available until druid 12 (tendriculous if you're not likely to be attacked with natural attacks or fire, green man if mythic material is allowed), energy resistance has other sources - resist energy or even protection from energy are on the druid list. DR isn't available to most druids via wild shape, and in any case clay skin and stone skin exist.

It's not that it's bad but other than flight and natural attacks druid spells generally cover those effects, and often better. And the death druid can do natural attacks via bonded manifestation.

I don't think that we are even close to our evaluation of how good Wild Shape is which helps to explain why you think the Death Druid is better than a standard Druid.

You can copy most of the Druid's Wild shape ability by casting spells but those spells generally do not last for hours at a time. Wild Shape gives you the ability to have multiple hour/level buffs up a time without using any slots. Your mileage may vary by campaign but I have found it extremely useful in almost every adventure.

With Planar Wildshape you can get DR 10, Energy Resistance 15 to 2-3 types and Smite. Elemental Wildshape can give you useful immunities (to crits and sneak attacks) as well as DR. The fact that you can mix and match these abilities as needed makes it powerful and flexible.


Wonderstell wrote:

It feels like everyone, myself included, forgot that was an actual option. I'll look into them in more detail tomorrow, but I can tell you're a fan of Stunning Fist.

1. Unlike CRB Monks, UnMonks usually have good enough WIS that enemies COULD fail the roll, particularly casters. A CR 6 caster NPC usually has +3 or +4 Fort.

2. But most importantly, Stunning Fist is a prereq to Dragon Ferocity.


XD
Fighter Warlord is a funny archetype its effectively the archetype for a Fighter that for who know what reason doesn't want to wear armor. Also you might be laughing about it, but it might work as a replacement for Scaled Fist for unarmored Cha to AC that also want to get Weapon Training (3+Cha for Warlord vs 1+Cha for Scaled Fist at lv 4).

* P.S. I'm not saying to change the rating; Just an interesting observation of a fringe benefit.

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