Archetype Tier List: A Guide to Picking Archetypes


Advice

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I'd add to Warlord
(Dip) Power +0, Versatility +0
The class don't actually lose anything at the first two levels (the ones everyone dips) except armor and all martial weapons and Evasive Dueling is 100% optional. If you already have proficiency with armor and all martial weapons, you don't actually lose anything but do gain a few exotic weapon proficiencies.


Secret Wizard wrote:

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.

1. How so? I understand they have a higher incentive because of their weak will save, but unless the UnMonk dumps Con because they have a higher hit dice I don't see why their Wis should differ.

2. Which is a really bad trade if you were taking that specific style, but arguably worse overall for the UnMonk who normally has 1.5x Str with weapon flurry attacks.

====

@deuxhero

Eeeh.. I don't really see a point of including dip ratings unless it's a +1/+2. Especially not for the incredibly niche benefit of getting Whip proficiency.
If we did that, each review would be two pages long.


UnMonk gets 1.5 as normal, which doesn’t include unarmed strikes (dragon style is for unarmed strikes).

I’d rate wildshape as maybe the 4th or so most valuable class feature in PF1, after spellcasting, eidolon, and possibly fighter bonus feats, but above hexes, sneak attack, etc. ton of both utility and straight power there (pounce is kind of the holy grail of PF1 melee combat, among 50 or so other things), but I understand it’s not going to be evryone’s cup of tea.


Wonderstell wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:

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.

1. How so? I understand they have a higher incentive because of their weak will save, but unless the UnMonk dumps Con because they have a higher hit dice I don't see why their Wis should differ.

2. Which is a really bad trade if you were taking that specific style, but arguably worse overall for the UnMonk who normally has 1.5x Str with weapon flurry attacks.

1. Exactly. CRB Monks need 16 CON to equivalent HP to a 12 CON UnMonk. Given that you also have higher incentives to lean towards STR, and by virtue of how the PB system works, you are more inclined to invest in WIS for defence, which means better Stunning Fist DCs. CRB Monks usually preferred to get massive DEX at the expense of everything, or went with Sohei so they didn't care about WIS.

EDIT: Oh, and UnMonks have Spinning Kick, which allows them to ensure their stunning fist connects.

2. Weapon Flurry is not very good unless you have access to Ascetic Style (not an option in PFS), because otherwise you cannot apply Style Strikes with it. So then you either need to invest in another magic item to enhance your unarmed strikes... or alternatively, just go unarmed. Dragon Style, for this reason, remains one of the best styles out there, as it saves you money. It's also MUCH less feat intensive than Ascetic Style... and if you have access to Ascetic Style, you have access to handwraps.


Secret Wizard wrote:

1. Exactly. CRB Monks need 16 CON to equivalent HP to a 12 CON UnMonk. Given that you also have higher incentives to lean towards STR, and by virtue of how the PB system works, you are more inclined to invest in WIS for defence, which means better Stunning Fist DCs. CRB Monks usually preferred to get massive DEX at the expense of everything, or went with Sohei so they didn't care about WIS.

EDIT: Oh, and UnMonks have Spinning Kick, which allows them to ensure their stunning fist connects.

You mean 14 Con, right? Most people don't play with maximized hit dice, and certainly not PFS. If we take a standard 20 PB spread for a Str CMonk, what changes are made to make Stunning Fist that much better?

Str 16+2, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 7

Even in your theoretical example, the CMonk's wisdom shouldn't be lower than 12. So maybe +1 to Stunning Fist's DC, but more likely the same Wisdom.

***

The archetypes replacing Stunning Fist are obviously bad for Dragon Style builds, but there are other style paths to take. It could be useful to note that you lose stunning fist, but rating the archetypes on the idea that every build is using Dragon Style won't hold up.


Wonderstell wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:

1. Exactly. CRB Monks need 16 CON to equivalent HP to a 12 CON UnMonk. Given that you also have higher incentives to lean towards STR, and by virtue of how the PB system works, you are more inclined to invest in WIS for defence, which means better Stunning Fist DCs. CRB Monks usually preferred to get massive DEX at the expense of everything, or went with Sohei so they didn't care about WIS.

EDIT: Oh, and UnMonks have Spinning Kick, which allows them to ensure their stunning fist connects.

You mean 14 Con, right? Most people don't play with maximized hit dice, and certainly not PFS. If we take a standard 20 PB spread for a Str CMonk, what changes are made to make Stunning Fist that much better?

Str 16+2, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 7

Even in your theoretical example, the CMonk's wisdom shouldn't be lower than 12. So maybe +1 to Stunning Fist's DC, but more likely the same Wisdom.

***

The archetypes replacing Stunning Fist are obviously bad for Dragon Style builds, but there are other style paths to take. It could be useful to note that you lose stunning fist, but rating the archetypes on the idea that every build is using Dragon Style won't hold up.

For UnMonk:

Why 12 INT? Go with 15 WIS, pop that 4th level +1 there, gives you more ki, more AC, more DC.
Plus, I'd highly prefer Dual Talent Human for +2 STR and WIS.

For CRB Monk:
You literally have no good choices for STR Monks unless you ignore WIS and go with Sohei.
Even if you played a Monk with 19 starting DEX, you'd still be behind on attack bonus or damage (due to Flurry's -2 or not spending resources on damage).

Bottomline:
CRB Monks have a ton of pressure on CON and DEX, and the one that doesn't have that much pressure (Sohei), have less incentive to get WIS.
UnMonks have a lot more leeway and incentive to get STR and WIS, and have Spinning Kick to ensure hits.
Ergo, Stunning Fist is better for UnMonks.


Gunslinger and Investigator:
Gunslinger:

Planar Rifter
Power 0, Versatility 0
Flexible Energy Resistance, can shoot open a portal between planes (at lv 15), and you can choose to deal half energy damage with bullets. But you'll find it harder to regain Grit, and it messes with your Gun Training.
If you want to deal energy damage with firearms that you can change from day to day, it's a pretty fun archetype.

Investigator:

Holomog Demolitionist
Power -1/0, Versatility +1
Poison stuff away, Studied Strike at half progression, and two talents gone. But you can quickly create difficult terrain relatively early, and the level 11 ability to instantly pulverize walls is pretty useful (Prismatic Wall is a wall, right?). I've no idea what "Acrobatics checks to move through difficult terrain" would entail, but you get a big insight bonus to it.
If you're making a sunder build then raise the Power to 0, as you get a couple complementary abilities.

***

****

Secret Wizard wrote:

For CRB Monk:

You literally have no good choices for STR Monks unless you ignore WIS and go with Sohei.

Okay, so you believe that no Str-based CMonks are viable except Sohei. And all these Sohei apparently dump Wisdom. That's definitely an opinion.

But what I wanted was for you to show me the differences in point buy that would allow Stunning Fist to become so much better for a UnMonk. Saying that strength CMonks are all bad doesn't really help you prove anything.

I can definitely see that you could squeeze another +1 to the save DC out of lowering Con from a 14 to 12 if you really wanted to. But that +1 DC isn't magically gonna make Stunning Fist into the best class feature in the game.

Why we're having this conversation is because some of your ratings implies you think Stunning Fist is worth more than a feat. Which it only is for a specific type of build, and then mostly for skipping prerequisites.


Wonderstell wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

****

Secret Wizard wrote:

For CRB Monk:

You literally have no good choices for STR Monks unless you ignore WIS and go with Sohei.

Okay, so you believe that no Str-based CMonks are viable except Sohei. And all these Sohei apparently dump Wisdom. That's definitely an opinion.

But what I wanted was for you to show me the differences in point buy that would allow Stunning Fist to become so much better for a UnMonk. Saying that strength CMonks are all bad doesn't really help you prove anything.

I can definitely see that you could squeeze another +1 to the save DC out of lowering Con from a 14 to 12 if you really wanted to. But that +1 DC isn't magically gonna make Stunning Fist into the best class feature in the game.

Why we're having this conversation is because some of your ratings implies you think Stunning Fist is worth more than a feat. Which it only is for a specific type of build, and then mostly for skipping prerequisites.

My argument is that +1 DC and higher attack bonus make it more of a valuable tool.

The problem of CRB Monk's Stunning Fist is wasted attempts + bad DC.

UnMonk has a) higher attack all the time (+2 vs CRB while flurrying), b) Spinning Kick, which make it better at hitting.

UnMonk also has more incentives towards higher WIS, so better DC.

In combination, that means Stunning Fist becomes much more viable, and not just "a feat". It's a BAB +8 feat that you get for free, and you get to apply more and more conditions with it as you level up.

It becomes something that, if traded off, COSTS something from the build.

Black Asp is an example for sure. You can now spend money on poisons, which is nice, but Stunning Fist will outscale poisons quite handily, more enemies are weak to it than they are to poison, and one single failed throw is all you need to get an enemy off the playing field.
Is that a free trade that you make at 0 Power?


This conversation is at least better than "channels are useleas" "no heres what you can do with 15 a day" "but channels are useless".

Still. Let's get back on topic. I personally see no reason in a points buy how wisdom changes from one to the next, but the unchained will have on average a few more hp. Call that an upgrade and off we go.


The biggest benefit of the chained monk is access to all those archetypes. Mainly Master of Many Style, Sohei, and Zen Archer. If you are going vanilla (or one of the few U.Monk archetypes) then yeah that's best, otherwise it's a non option.


This is not UnMonk vs CRB Monk.

This is whether Stunning Fist is better for UnMonk, in terms of power, than it is for the CRB Monk.


Well it sounded that way based on the how I read it.

The only difference is that U. Monk has a better to hit, but C. Monk has access to MoMS which means taking multiple Stunning Fist styles.


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Alchemist and Bard:
Alchemist:

Perfumer
Power -1/-2, Versatility -1
Losing Mutagen isn't normally a great loss as you can buy it back with a Discovery. This archetype explicitly disallows you from ever getting Mutagen, while the replacement is literally the worst stat boost combination possible for an Alchemist. Bonus charisma, penalty constitution.
Bombs now function like small fireballs (with a lasting area effect), which both means you don't have to target enemies and that good reflex saves are your greatest weakness. You'll deal less damage per bomb, but as you target 4 squares at a time it is more useful against hordes.

Bard:

Pitax: Academy of Grand Arts:
Power 0, Versatility -1
Four Extra Performance feats over your career in place of Versatile Performance. Saving one feat at early levels helps, but it ain't great to lose Advanced Versatile Performance in addition to all those skill ranks.

***

Secret Wizard wrote:
In combination, that means Stunning Fist becomes much more viable, and not just "a feat". It's a BAB +8 feat that you get for free, and you get to apply more and more conditions with it as you level up.

The majority of those conditions are worse than the stunned condition.

Stunned is already awesome, that ain't the problem with the feat. Targeting Fort saves, few uses per day at lower levels, keying off a secondary attribute, and one of the most common enemy types being immune to it. That's what holding it back.

Secret Wizard wrote:

It becomes something that, if traded off, COSTS something from the build.

Black Asp is an example for sure. You can now spend money on poisons, which is nice, but Stunning Fist will outscale poisons quite handily, more enemies are weak to it than they are to poison, and one single failed throw is all you need to get an enemy off the playing field.
Is that a free trade that you make at 0 Power?

Yeah I'm not a big fan of poisons. But the real draw of the Black Asp is the added choices of ki powers, with the poison stuff being an afterthought. Losing Stunning Fist and Still Mind without context is a loss, but even then not close enough to being a -1 power since the Stunning Fist class feature is hardly better than the feat.

If you're actually making a poison build, then Adder Strike is a feat you definitely wanted. If you're not, then you've lost one specific feat and can take it back at BAB +8.


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Hey let's actually talk about the perfumer. I think they are getting shortchanged here.

1. Bomb damage is every round in the area. That means anyone in the area is now subject to concentration checks for constant damage. That's int+1d4 bomb damage /2 +10 + spell level. You're GOING to eff up some casters that way. Plus while it doesnt do direct damage you can hit someone directly WITH it and add on bomb discoveries. So tanglefoot bomb one of them and then fast bomb stack on some deadly effects, all of which requires that concentration check. Continuous damage is normally a level 10 ability. You get it at 1.

2. The new mutagen is a buff to charisma bluff and diplomacy that stacks and can be used on anyone. This means not getting into fights as the bards and rogues just convince the others to give you what you want. That's still winning.

3. Your buffs can be used multiple times per use. So Haste is actually useful again. As well as any personal spell can now be handed out FOUR TIMES to party members... in fact ANY target spell can be handed out FOUR TIMES.

4 times displacement. 4 times invisibilty. 4 times fly. 4 times any spell with a target or targets.

And the cost? Not a damn thing. You gain 4 times the spell buffing power and you lose nothing for it since it takes away a mutagen buff to a mutagen you dont get.

Perfumer is dope...


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Yeah I had a multi-class build for a Perfumer that I thought was pretty fun. :)


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Cavall wrote:

Hey let's actually talk about the perfumer. I think they are getting shortchanged here.

1. Bomb damage is every round in the area. That means anyone in the area is now subject to concentration checks for constant damage. That's int+1d4 bomb damage /2 +10 + spell level. You're GOING to eff up some casters that way. Plus while it doesnt do direct damage you can hit someone directly WITH it and add on bomb discoveries. So tanglefoot bomb one of them and then fast bomb stack on some deadly effects, all of which requires that concentration check. Continuous damage is normally a level 10 ability. You get it at 1.

2. The new mutagen is a buff to charisma bluff and diplomacy that stacks and can be used on anyone. This means not getting into fights as the bards and rogues just convince the others to give you what you want. That's still winning.

3. Your buffs can be used multiple times per use. So Haste is actually useful again. As well as any personal spell can now be handed out FOUR TIMES to party members... in fact ANY target spell can be handed out FOUR TIMES.

4 times displacement. 4 times invisibilty. 4 times fly. 4 times any spell with a target or targets.

And the cost? Not a damn thing. You gain 4 times the spell buffing power and you lose nothing for it since it takes away a mutagen buff to a mutagen you dont get.

Perfumer is dope...

I would like to add that a +4 alchemical bonus to Cha is extremely useful to CHA casters, especially at lo levels. There are not many sources of alchemical bonuses, and the pheromones will be much appreciated by any bard or sorcerer. In this case i could even see a power+1 justified. It is a pity there is no way to improve it.


That's a really good point. That's a +2 DC to pass off to the sorc. That's 2 feats just to get that on ONE school and it will be on all spells.

Then factor in the fact personal spells cant be handed out by other classes but you're not only doing that but 4 times... this is not a -2 power ability. That's straight up 4 dragons, or 4 twin forms or 4 Heals or 4 whatever I cant remember the spells... just good times.

Yeah honestly I'd play one in a heart beat.


Cavall wrote:
1. Bomb damage is every round in the area. That means anyone in the area is now subject to concentration checks for constant damage. That's int+1d4 bomb damage /2 +10 + spell level. You're GOING to eff up some casters that way.

You don't add Int to dmg any longer, unfortunately.

The lasting damage effect is pretty cool since there's no save, but the small area makes it hard to force enemy movement, and it affects allies. I don't think it's going to do anything against flying opponents, either.

Cavall wrote:
Plus while it doesnt do direct damage you can hit someone directly WITH it and add on bomb discoveries.

Eeeh... maybe. I got the impression Effervescent Bombs replaces the normal damage mechanic completely, so discoveries relying on direct hits shouldn't work.

Direct hits aren't even considered by the archetype since we're not given any mechanic for deciding on the puddle's center in the case of a direct hit.

Cavall wrote:
2. The new mutagen is a buff to charisma bluff and diplomacy that stacks and can be used on anyone. This means not getting into fights as the bards and rogues just convince the others to give you what you want. That's still winning.

Yeah, other classes could find a +4 bonus to Charisma very useful. The alchemist doesn't however, which is a bummer.

Cavall wrote:

3. Your buffs can be used multiple times per use. So Haste is actually useful again. As well as any personal spell can now be handed out FOUR TIMES to party members... in fact ANY target spell can be handed out FOUR TIMES.

4 times displacement. 4 times invisibilty. 4 times fly. 4 times any spell with a target or targets.

And the cost? Not a damn thing. You gain 4 times the spell buffing power and you lose nothing for it since it takes away a mutagen buff to a mutagen you dont get.

I actually completely missed that last ability (SRD hid it). Could it not also be used to buff yourself four times with the same spell?

Using up one of the four uses, and saving three for later.


No. It is clearly written that it affects up to 4 different targets.

I would personally rule if you're throwing it to hit someone they are the center of the effect and missing it follows usual grenade rules. Targets larger than a square need a square picked.

And yeah charisma buff is a bummer... but makes a HELL of a dip.


It effects creatures but it doesn't target any.

Also where is this 4 times thing coming from?


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A perfumers replacement for bombs (from 1st) or their replacement for mutagen (from 14th) can affect 4 targets, but their extracts don't have that ability. I think someone here misread the 'pheromone atomizers' as being the same as their 'atomized extracts', which by my reading they aren't.


Wonderstell wrote:


You don't add Int to dmg any longer, unfortunately.

Why? It still still uses bombs rules, it only changes the damage dices and the area of effect.

Also, i did not consider the dip possibility, it is definitely a +1/+2 power dip for cha classes.
Also, as avr says, the 14 level class feature only applies to the mutagen, not to the extracts.


MindFl*yer98 wrote:
Wonderstell wrote:


You don't add Int to dmg any longer, unfortunately.

Why? It still still uses bombs rules, it only changes the damage dices and the area of effect.

That you don't add Int to dmg any longer is clear from the fact that you don't deal direct damage any longer.

Effervescent Bombs wrote:

Rather than deal direct damage, a perfumer’s bombs create an effervescent puddle in a 5-foot radius for a number of rounds equal to the alchemist’s intelligence bonus (minimum 1). Each creature within this area takes 1d4 points of fire damage immediately and again each round it remains within or enters the puddle.

A creature caught in the puddle when it is first created can attempt a Reflex save (DC = 10 + half the perfumer’s level + the perfumer’s Intelligence modifier) for half damage. The effervescent bombs’ damage increases by 1d4 at 3rd level and every odd level thereafter. Effervescent bombs otherwise functions as bombs, and discoveries that apply to bombs apply to effervescent bombs.

This alters bomb.

normal Bombs:
Drawing the components of, creating, and throwing a bomb requires a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity. Thrown bombs have a range of 20 feet and use the Throw Splash Weapon special attack. Bombs are considered weapons and can be selected using feats such as Point-Blank Shot and Weapon Focus. On a direct hit, an alchemist’s bomb inflicts 1d6 points of fire damage + additional damage equal to the alchemist’s Intelligence modifier. The damage of an alchemist’s bomb increases by 1d6 points at every odd-numbered alchemist level (this bonus damage is not multiplied on a critical hit or by using feats such as Vital Strike). Splash damage from an alchemist bomb is always equal to the bomb’s minimum damage (so if the bomb would deal 2d6+4 points of fire damage on a direct hit, its splash damage would be 6 points of fire damage). Those caught in the splash damage can attempt a Reflex save for half damage. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 the alchemist’s level + the alchemist’s Intelligence modifier.

'
I'm also quite certain that you shouldn't get any splash damage, since that seems to be based on the direct hit damage that you don't have any longer. And I doubt it was the intention to force two reflex saves per foe (one for the puddle of xd6, and another for splash x).

I may have misunderstood the 5-foot radius though. If you can directly hit an opponent the puddle would be 9 squares, instead of the 4 squares I thought was the area. 9 vs 4 is a pretty big deal, since that prevents an enemy from 5-foot stepping away during their turn. So then they'll either take automatic damage or be forced to move.


5-foot radius should strictly be 4 squares.


Secret Wizard wrote:
5-foot radius should strictly be 4 squares.

That was also my first interpretation, then I looked at the splash weapon rules and got confused.

****

Wonderstell wrote:
I'm also quite certain that you shouldn't get any splash damage, since that seems to be based on the direct hit damage that you don't have any longer. And I doubt it was the intention to force two reflex saves per foe (one for the puddle of xd6, and another for splash x).

Based on the Throw Anything ability actually, so if the Effervescent Bombs are splash weapons you'd apply Intelligence. But I don't think they are.

***

So the Perfumer effectively gains the Infusion discovery at first level, but they lose access to any Mutagen discoveries and their replacement isn't a good fit for their own class.

The bombs have much worse single target damage than normal since you don't apply your Int mod and the original hit also allows a reflex saving throw for half damage. The lasting damage is hard to reliably use offensively, since most enemies can simply 5-foot step out of the small 5-foot radius area.
Then we have the problem that it also hurts allies and probably can't be used against flying enemies.

The amount of available bomb discoveries is really low since the new bombs lack both splash and direct hits, which pretty much only leaves the damage type changing discoveries.


Scourge (spiritualist)
Power +1, Versatility 0
This archetype is best at the lower levels when the Spell Scourge ability can easily shut down casters (or anyone else relying on concentration), but even at the higher mid levels you can get a lot of mileage out of it by using your Inflict Pain SLAs. Do keep in mind that the Spell Scourge ability is a Pain effect, so undeads don't care.
The Phantom swarm transformation ability is pretty nifty, as weapon damage immunity and the Distraction ability are both great. But the Phantom can't use its Emotional Focus abilities while in this form, and the measly swarm damage might not hit through enemy DR. A lust Phantom is a good choice if you want to pump the Distraction DC up.
The worth of losing Spiritual Interference depends on your play style. So if you were going to keep your phantom close, then losing +2/+4 to all saves is obviously a setback. If it's gonna fight far away from you, not so much.


Wonderstell wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
5-foot radius should strictly be 4 squares.

That was also my first interpretation, then I looked at the splash weapon rules and got confused.

****

Wonderstell wrote:
I'm also quite certain that you shouldn't get any splash damage, since that seems to be based on the direct hit damage that you don't have any longer. And I doubt it was the intention to force two reflex saves per foe (one for the puddle of xd6, and another for splash x).

Based on the Throw Anything ability actually, so if the Effervescent Bombs are splash weapons you'd apply Intelligence. But I don't think they are.

***

So the Perfumer effectively gains the Infusion discovery at first level, but they lose access to any Mutagen discoveries and their replacement isn't a good fit for their own class.

The bombs have much worse single target damage than normal since you don't apply your Int mod and the original hit also allows a reflex saving throw for half damage. The lasting damage is hard to reliably use offensively, since most enemies can simply 5-foot step out of the small 5-foot radius area.
Then we have the problem that it also hurts allies and probably can't be used against flying enemies.

The amount of available bomb discoveries is really low since the new bombs lack both splash and direct hits, which pretty much only leaves the damage type changing discoveries.

I think this is a case of "the specific trumps the general". Normally splash weapons do direct damage and then splash damage. In this case, they are still splash weapons (it explicitly says they function like normal bombs in everything except damage), but they don't do direct damage, they do area damage. Since the Alchemist "throw anything" feature does not say "you add your int modifier to direct and splash damage", but rather "you add your int modifier to damage done by splash weapons, including the splash damage", i rest my case that the effervescent bombs still apply the Alchemist int modifier.


The effervescent bomb doesn't do direct damage, so it doesn't do splash damage. It just creates a puddle. Since it doesn't do splash damage it's not a splash weapon by definition; splash weapons are defined by being those that do splash damage, not by a fighter weapon group or something.


avr wrote:
The effervescent bomb doesn't do direct damage, so it doesn't do splash damage. It just creates a puddle. Since it doesn't do splash damage it's not a splash weapon by definition; splash weapons are defined by being those that do splash damage, not by a fighter weapon group or something.

Splash weapons are defined only as "a ranged weapon that breaks on impact, splashing or scattering its contents over its target and nearby creatures or objects" There are some splash weapons that do no damage at all, like Ghast retch flask. In this case, it does damage in an area when it breaks. It is not splash damage, but this is irrelevant since it is still splash weapon damage.


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Spiritualist:
Plague Eater
Power 0, Versatility +2
An archetype revolving around disease would normally have a versatility drop, but this is an exception. While it does trade out more general bonuses like Shared Consciousness and Spiritual Interference for disease bonuses and immunity, the first level ability is what makes this archetype great.
Instead of bonding to one spirit, you bond to the whole Emotional Focus rooster and choose your daily phantom after resting. So that's fifteen phantoms with fifteen different sets of skill ranks and feats chosen. The trade-off is that your phantoms function as if one level lower, which hardly makes a difference after level 5.
Keep in mind that the at-will Remove Sickness is basically a +4 vs Disease, Nausea and Sickened for the whole party since it lasts for 10 minutes/level.

Priest of the Fallen
Power +2, Versatility +2
You get six phantoms with extra powers related to the six mythic paths, although they must always be manifested because they refuse to share your headspace. If this archetype only gave this benefit it would still have been a pretty fair trade considering the flexibility of getting to juggle between six different sets of feats, skills, and Emotional Focus each day.
But the archetype just doesn't stop. Channeling as a cleric opens up new option such as Versatile Channeling, which can be build-defining. The level 6 ability is amazing because if your phantom is banished to the Ethereal Plane, you have five other phantoms you can now call upon as a standard action instead of waiting a whole day. This circumvents one of the biggest weaknesses of the class, and is handed out as if it's no big deal at all. Then at level 17 you get any two Cleric Domains just to drive home the point that this archetype is completely broken.

Seeker of Enlightenment
Power 0, Versatility +1
The trades of SLAs are pretty even, with the exception of standard action Legend Lore at higher levels which is amazing. You do lose most of the mind-affecting defenses of Shared/Fused Consciousness, but the big skill bonuses and (basically) auto-success on any knowledge skill once per day are well worth it.

Totem Spiritualist
Power +1, Versatility +1
Finally. Phantoms that deal damage. Your spooky Phantom Animal has the same progression as a companion, but gains the special abilities of a phantom (but no Emotional Focus). Although a strict GM would say this results in a slower Ability Score Increase progression, that mechanic is based on their HD anyways. Handle Animal shouldn't be needed as we still have the phantom's Link ability which allows for free action communication. But you never know.
Over your career you gain up to four different Phantom Animals you can switch between during the day with a one minute ritual, and you can change your Phantom Animal completely with a 24-hour ritual. Good stuff.

***

Is there any archetype with more bookkeeping than the Plague Eater? That's sixteen character sheets at level one.


For the Priest if the Fallen, why are you only limited to 6 Phantoms? I thought there were an unlimited number of phantoms to call on.
It seems there are countless heroes to call on.

Also, note that for channel, you seem to limited to you charisma modifier for use (instead of 3 + charisma modifier) and you are at least 2 levels behind any cleric. Still, really good if you want to go with the Fractured Mind on top of the Fallen Priest.


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Legowarrior wrote:

For the Priest if the Fallen, why are you only limited to 6 Phantoms? I thought there were an unlimited number of phantoms to call on.

It seems there are countless heroes to call on.

Oh great, it's even dumber than I thought it was! I must have convinced myself it had some kind of restriction when there was none.

Legowarrior wrote:
Also, note that for channel, you seem to limited to you charisma modifier for use (instead of 3 + charisma modifier) and you are at least 2 levels behind any cleric. Still, really good if you want to go with the Fractured Mind on top of the Fallen Priest.

Less channels, which I had missed. But the DC should be the same as for an equally leveled cleric since it doesn't specify the ability works at a lower level. Fractured Mind stacking is juicy.

more Spiritualist:
Drowned Channeler
Power 0, Versatility +1/-1
Doubling the range of your Etheric Tether is a welcome upgrade, but the moment you leave the water it turns into the opposite. Great in aquatic campaigns, not anywhere else.

Ectoplasmist
Power +1, Versatility -2
This is the occult version of the Magus, allowing you to cast while full-attacking and deliver touch spells through your weapon. For some reason you must still wield the weapon with one hand, so there's no two-handed weapon shenanigans possible. Now since you can't spend a move action to center yourself before casting, your concentration DCs are gonna be sky high. The archetype circumvents this problem by giving you increased reach when you use your Ectoplasmic Lash, so you're supposed to just stand outside of their threatened area instead of casting defensively.
Your weapon is baked into the class to offset losing pretty much every class feature except spellcasting and SLAs. The increased reach is great for getting off more touch spell charges, but 19-20 crit range isn't optimal. The Ectoplasmist also has the added penalty of losing the spell charge if they miss their attack, which is odd considering the normal Spell Strike doesn't have that rule. I don't see any obvious way of getting dex-to-dmg either.
It has a slow start, and might feel a bit flat since you're basically a Magus without class abilities. Better action economy for yourself is great, but losing your phantom is losing another character. And as a spontaneous spellcaster you can't use metamagic feats with your Spiritual Combat since that would increase the casting time.

Fated Guide
Power +1, Versatility -1
You lose one of your Bonded Manifestation forms to gain more abilities while using the second, and your Remorse phantom gains +8 vs banishment (and similar) effects.

Geist Channeler
Power -1, Versatility 0
The phantom's damage takes a big hit, and the new emotional focus doesn't seem to give anything exciting in return.

***


Oh yeah, a different phantom every day, and two a day starting at 6th level.

There is the question of what happens when you go to sleep though.


Do note that the totem spiritualist taken as a dip for a class with a full companion, gets one -1 level companion and one fully leveled phantom companion.


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ErichAD wrote:
Do note that the totem spiritualist taken as a dip for a class with a full companion, gets one -1 level companion and one fully leveled phantom companion.

'

Totem Spiritualist wrote:
A totem spiritualist treats any druid levels she has as effective spiritualist levels to determine the abilities of her phantom animals, but does not treat her spiritualist levels as effective druid levels to determine the abilities of animal companions.

Wow that's dumb.

Duly noted.


ErichAD wrote:
Do note that the totem spiritualist taken as a dip for a class with a full companion, gets one -1 level companion and one fully leveled phantom companion.

THIS cheese would be what is worth going for a Pack Master, Beastmaster etc build (I'm assuming "druid levels" means "druid and any class which has 'your level counts as your druid level'") because now you don't actually have a problem with unbalanced animal companions...


Wonderstell wrote:

{. . .}

Priest of the Fallen
Power +2, Versatility +2
You get six phantoms with extra powers related to the six mythic paths, although they must always be manifested because they refuse to share your headspace. {. . .}

Now I want to see a Thassilonian Sin Specialist takeoff on this (Fallen Priest?) with the Seven Deadly Sins (and the Thassilonian take on them) manifesting as your Phantoms, but without the restriction that they must always be manifested, and Int-based instead of Wis-based: the recent film version of Dr. Sivana.

* * * * * * * *

Just realized that apparently Shaman is not done. I can't do it now myself, but in the course of looking for archetypes of normally companion classes that trade out the companion, I just happened to stumble upon Name-Keeper and it looks awesomely versatile.


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5/15 Spiritualist:
Hag-Haunted
Power -1/0, Versatility +1
Arcane spellcasting means spell failure chance, which does push you away from melee more than usual. The scale tilts in Arcane's favor though, since there's more items and feats available. The trades for Shared Consciousness and Spiritual Interference aren't great however, and overall the archetype results in a spiritualist with worse saves and less AC than normal.

Haunted
Power -1, Versatility 0
Bonded Manifestation is actually a really solid class feature, especially for those times when you haven't had time to manifest your phantom before combat started. The replacement ability forces the nauseated condition on the spiritualist in return for buffing the phantom, which is a horrible trade in action economy. It might be useful once or twice if you need to cast a spell on your phantom when it is outside of your reach, but not often.

Involutionist
Power +1, Versatility +1
Divine instead of Psychic spellcasting is preferable just because there is more content for Divine magic. Ignoring that +10 to concentration DCs and not being worthless while intimidated are both upgrades, although you now need a hand free for somatic components.
In place of the phantom's Emotional Focus you give it hexes from one Shaman spirit list of your choice, and the Spirit Animal ability. So you can start out with a phantom with DR 5/Adamantine or Fast Healing 1, but not every hex will be a winner. Speaking of, you can use these hexes yourself through your new third Bonded Manifestation option, so some hexes are great just for you (Arcane Enlightenment of the Lore spirit for example).
Although you need your phantom real close to act as a Divine Focus, you should have plenty of spells on the Spiritualist's list that doesn't require one.

Necrologist
Power +2, Versatility -1
The phantom being Undead instead of an Outsider means more immunities, and that the scaling charisma bonus now goes straight to their HP. They still keep their full BAB and phantom skills though.
The focus of the archetype is obviously on the necromancy school since you gain the effects of both the Thanatopic and Threnodic metamagics applied on every spell you cast at level 12. So you can ignore Death Ward and similar defenses, and use pretty much any Necromany spell on undead creatures too.
Spiritual Interference and the ectoplasmic Bonded Manifestation are acceptable losses, although I'm sad to see them go. Your Shared Consciousness ability affects death effects, energy drain, and negative energy instead of mind-affecting. Which means you could escape instant death once per day by shunting it on your phantom.

Onmyoji
Power +1, Versatility +1
Divine instead of Psychic spellcasting is preferable just because there is more content for Divine magic. Ignoring that +10 to concentration DCs and not being worthless while intimidated are both upgrades, although you now need a hand free for somatic components.
The loss of Shared Consciousness and Spiritual Interference means your saves takes a hit, unless you're fighting a lot of fey or outsiders. You get more spells known from the Cleric list through the archetype, and with the Dreamed Secrets feat you'd get spells known from the Wizard list, too.

***

That's three archetypes that switches your spellcasting from psychic to Divine/Arcane. Where's my prepared spellcaster archetype, dammit!


A bit of a tangent but did anyone get the Shaman to really work? My biggest problem with the class is that comparable classes just seem better. The Witch is a better debuffer and has a better spell list. The Druid has Wild Shape and an Animal Companion and a reasonable spell list. The Oracle is less MAD.


Only played a Shaman at first level, maybe a bit at 2nd level, I think the AP might have ended right as we leveled to 2nd level.

Anyways, I like it. Granted it was more for the character concept than the mechanics. :)


A shaman's spell list is limited - still better than a witches IMO - but can be extended greatly. I saw it played to 13th IIRC and between the wind spirit, wandering spirits, the arcane enlightenment hex and favored class bonuses the player seemed to have a spell for every occasion.

I don't remember seeing a prepared psychic spellcaster ever. The closest any came was the talisman crafter occultist.

Funnily enough MindFl*yer, the ghast retch flask also has a splash effect if not damage. DO you have an example of a splash weapon which doesn't?


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This one deserves its own posts. Crazy archetype.

Quintessentialist (Spiritualist):
Power -2 (early levels)/+1, Versatility -1

Ooooookay. Let's start with the good news.
It takes only a full-round action to fully manifest the phantom instead of a minute, it uses the spiritualist's ability scores, can cast your spells, and you can transfer your feats and equipment to it. It seems to be intended that it can now wield weapons/wear armor, which is a huge benefit. I'm also quite sure your phantom can't get banished any longer, since it never resides on the Ethereal plane.

Now, the bad.
All of your spells have a minimum casting time of one round. Not even a full-round action, but a whole round. This pretty much makes it impossible to cast during combat unless enemies allow you to finish casting. You also take a -2 penalty to all ability scores when your phantom is fully manifested, can't cast spells at all, and take 1d6 dmg each round.

But your phantom doesn't suffer from that horrible casting time penalty, so the intended playstyle seems to be that you switch roles. While your phantom casts spells, you're supposed to be the melee ally that the phantom normally is. It actually kinda works at mid-levels and up, as long as you have good ability scores and access to cheap healing. A possible early-level option would be to worship Cayden Cailean and pick up the Drunken Brawler feat, giving you temp HP equal to your level each time you drink a tankard of ale.

***


Mage of the Wyrmkin wrote:
A bit of a tangent but did anyone get the Shaman to really work? My biggest problem with the class is that comparable classes just seem better. The Witch is a better debuffer and has a better spell list. The Druid has Wild Shape and an Animal Companion and a reasonable spell list. The Oracle is less MAD.

Depending on what the party needs Shaman can be amazing. I'm playing an Unsworn Shaman and being able to change my hexes freely day by day is a lot of fun and gives me different options.


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Some opinions of shaman archetypes to share:

shamans, first 4:
Animist
Power 0, Versatility -1
You get the most extremely situational spells possible in place of your usual spirit magic spells which is bad, but then with exorcism and wrangle condition you get counters to a wide variety of effects that you'd usually have to prepare spells to fix. That costs you half your hexes which I rate as a hit to versatility more than power; it only costs you one hex to pick up slumber after all.

That's a weak power 0, and I could be talked into -1.

Benefactor
Power 0, Versatility 0
No curses allowed by hex or spell, and you gain access to some unexciting but probably useful buff hexes. Meh.

Crystal Tender
Power 0, Versatility -1
The theme is that you protect minerals from exploitation like a druid might protect a forest from exploitation, but of course there's no natural or sustainable level of mining so this is less defensible to society. Oh, and the replacement cost for a shaman's spirit animal, always extortionate, gets increased by 50%; keep it out of sight at all times. You get the option of very minor DR in place of a wandering spirit ability, and you lose a hex to be able to share ioun stone abilities with your spirit animal (who should still be out of sight at all times.)

Deep Shaman
Power 0, Versatility +1
An archetype which changes the waves spirit specifically. Most of the changes are minor buffs to abilities you otherwise wouldn't have used, but you do lose access to the water sight hex. It's intended for an underwater campaign, rated for that.


Deep shaman is a pretty large buff to the waves spirit in an aquatic campaign. Albeit speaking as someone who hasn’t played a shaman in an aquatic campaign. Permanent swim speed and water breathing access at level 2 instead of 8 seems like a big deal. Tacking on the ‘fatigued’ condition to one of your unlimited use/no save hexes seems pretty good. Tacking on a ‘knock prone’ condition using the scaling DC to your spirit abilities is pretty nice. Tripling the damage and quadrupling the area of your torrent spirit is significant. Impact is obviously a big upgrade to quenching. It’s kind of ‘Unchained Waves Sprit’, “the first version was bad, let’s make it a lot better.”


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9/9 Spiritualist:
Exciter
Power +1, Versatility -1
This archetype has one big glaring fault, and that is preventing you from casting spells with Verbal/Thought components while 'raging'. The Bloodrager, who the archetype is based on, is a 4th level caster that has the superior ability of simply getting to cast any spell while raging. Greater Rapture may allow you to buff yourself with one spell at the start of combat, but this still means you're locking yourself out of a big part of your spell list (metamagic wands helps). They've also shut down rage-cycling, so no shenanigans allowed.
Stacking this archetype with the Fractured Mind archetype for Cha-casting would combined with the cha-rage give you an excuse to really pump up the DC of the 7th lv phantom aura, or the ability given through Excitation. Jealousy would be a very strong choice.
I bet you could make a pretty good natural attack build by relying on the ectoplasmic Bonded Manifestation for an extra two slam attacks as a swift action each round. A very good archetype if you're looking to trade away your phantom, but still keep all the usual phantom stuff.

Fractured Mind
Power +1, Versatility 0
While I'm normally suspicious of any archetype that gives you cha-based casting, this one at least has the decency to give you a good list of SLAs (with scaling saving throws) for the trouble.

Grim Apostle
Power -1, Versatility 0
Getting to change between each Emotional Focus each day would normally be quite good, but this archetype also restricts you to four okayish Horsemen Focus.

Shadow Caller
Power -1, Versatility +1
Most of the Shade's abilities are pretty lackluster, with the exception of the 12th lv ability which would have been much better if those spells weren't already on your spell list. This and the heavily nerfed Etheric Tether means you don't really want to manifest your 'phantom' at all. Especially since you're given HiPS and Shadow Jump when it's hiding in your shadow.

Soul Warden
Power -, Versatility -
So your phantom has passed on to the afterlife, and you were graciously given an improved familiar in place of it. This archetype should never be taken willingly.

Spirit Fuse
Power 0, Versatility +1
Unlimited range with your Etheric Tether as long as you sacrifice 1 HP each turn to keep the connection stable. Incredibly useful and it negates one of the bigger faults of the phantom feature. While you do lose Bonded Manifestation, this archetype makes it a lot safer to always have your phantom manifested.

Usher of Lost Souls
Power 0, Versatility -1
You're obviously taking this archetype because you're expecting a lot of haunts. The only real loss is Spiritual Interference, but undead-specific channel could definitely be worth it even if you don't see a single haunt in the campaign. Stacks with Fractured Mind for more channels per day.

Ward Spiritualist
Power -1/+1, Versatility -1
More restrictions on your spellcasting is never good, and it was downright rude to nerf your phantom like that. The Bonded Manifestation replacement is strictly worse than your normal class feature since you replace both the Ectoplasmic and Incorporeal options for one of the two available, and the improvised weaponry manifestation is not worth considering. What you get in return is access to a single Occultist implement school and three focus powers, but no extra spells known.
I'm sure there are some powers that would make this worth it, but stay away from any power with saving throws since those are based on Intelligence.

Zeitgeist Binder
Power 0, Versatility -1
The archetype's benefits only work inside a specific settlement, but you don't really lose enough to make it a liability if you leave the area.

***

Finally done with all of the Spiritualist archetypes. There were a few odd ones, like having two Magus-related archetypes that went in completely different directions, but these are the most interesting choices in my opinion.

Totem Spiritualist:
Good option for someone who simply wants a pet that deals damage, as you add two slam attacks to the normal attack routine. But in addition to that, animal companions are a lot easier to make viable than phantoms. Good entry archetype to introduce someone to the class, and it doesn't actually shift focus to your pet any more than the base class already does.

Fractured Mind / Exciter:
Great if you don't want to bother with a phantom. And although more restricted in combat than normal you're basically a 6th lv spellcasting bloodrager with a heavy focus on charisma and dexterity.

Quintessentialist / Spirit Fuse:
Out of all the archetypes, this is the one that places the most focus on your phantom. While you could go a full campaign without manifesting your phantom and still get much mileage out of it through Bonded Manifestation, this is a complete shift in your playstyle.


In an underwater campaign the characters simply have to be able to breathe underwater and that usually means by race. A deep shaman would let you pick a surface race if you're starting above 1st level, but that's about as much as that feature's going to do for you in such a campaign. If the campaign requires it you probably won't have to spend class features on it.

The other improved features essentially make those features useful at all. Note that knocking prone underwater is, um, not that great. Pretty much only helpful against something clunking along the seabed. You still might be better with a shaman taking a different spirit even in an underwater campaign which is why I didn't rate it higher.

4 more shamans:
Draconic shaman
Power -2, Versatility -1
One of the archetypes which gives a drake companion. As with all of them you pay far too much - in this case you lose your primary spirit, the ability to take witch hexes, your spirit animal (you need the drake instead, and it doesn't get any spirit animal bonuses) and a couple of hexes. The only saving grace is that you're still a full spellcaster.

Grasping Vine
Power 0, Versatility -1
Your spirit spells and a couple of your hexes get replaced. The replacements are OK except for one of the hexes, which would be useful only in a campaign with an unusual number of plant creatures. Your spirit animal gets plant immunities which is nice.

Name-Keeper
Power +1, Versatility -1
An archetype which requires the Pathfinder Society to exist in the campaign world, though it doesn't require a PFS game. A bonded item in place of a spirit animal, not the best but OK. OK replacement spirit magic spells. Then there's the big change - in place of your wandering spirit you can focus on skills, spells or weapons each day and get some useful benefits with that category. The wandering spirit is more flexible IMO, but the Pathfinder's Past feature can be made to synergise with your primary spirit very effectively.

Overseer
Power +1, Versatility 0
Your usual spirit magic spells are replaced by some good mind-affecting attack spells. Also any mind-affecting spell can be delivered via your spirit animal to gain +2 caster levels. If nothing else this can extend buff durations. If mind-affecting stuff is what you want to do this archetype is pretty solid.


JiaYou wrote:
Mage of the Wyrmkin wrote:
A bit of a tangent but did anyone get the Shaman to really work? My biggest problem with the class is that comparable classes just seem better. The Witch is a better debuffer and has a better spell list. The Druid has Wild Shape and an Animal Companion and a reasonable spell list. The Oracle is less MAD.
Depending on what the party needs Shaman can be amazing. I'm playing an Unsworn Shaman and being able to change my hexes freely day by day is a lot of fun and gives me different options.

The impression I get is that Shaman has a low floor, but a high ceiling -- but to get the ladder, you really have to know what you're doing.


UnArcaneElection wrote:
The impression I get is that Shaman has a low floor, but a high ceiling -- but to get the ladder, you really have to know what you're doing.

I think that's very true, especially in PFS where you can't exactly tailor your build to the needs of the party. But I think in longer-form campaigns you can definitely find roles that are very strong, or even weaker ones if you don't want to outshine your party mates (my Shaman is in a game of 6 players where everyone is pretty much there to have fun and no one is super optimized...I mean I COULD be, but I choose not to be most of the time).


JiaYou wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:
The impression I get is that Shaman has a low floor, but a high ceiling -- but to get the ladder, you really have to know what you're doing.
I think that's very true, especially in PFS where you can't exactly tailor your build to the needs of the party. But I think in longer-form campaigns you can definitely find roles that are very strong, or even weaker ones if you don't want to outshine your party mates (my Shaman is in a game of 6 players where everyone is pretty much there to have fun and no one is super optimized...I mean I COULD be, but I choose not to be most of the time).

It is not a matter of outshining anyone but how long it will take a character to fill their niche. A human Witch can have three hexes at 1st level and a Druid generally starts off with an animal companion. Oracles can spam many high DC spells like murderous command at 1st level as well. The Shaman seems to lag behind all three at least from the start. The 9th level casting crowd is competitive and I don't really see the Shaman keeping up. It is an interesting character which makes the need to make it work even more compelling.

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