Favorite Prestige Classes


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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UnArcaneElection wrote:

Related to this thread:

Base Classes and Archetypes that Should Be Prestige Classes

Inquisitor: See previous post above. Would any self-respecting religion trust some random 1st level worshipper to become their behind-the-scenes, above-the-law Troubleshooter?

Paladin/Antipaladin: See previous post above. Would any self-respecting religion trust some random 1st level worshipper to be an exemplar holy warrior?

Monk: Like the above, but an exemplar of Order and Discipline of different style from the Hellknights (and often probably not getting along with them), and often more connected with a philosophy than with a religion.

Cardinal Cleric: Wait a minute, Cardinal is something you are supposed to become after rising through a lot of ranks within the church heirarchy? Another one that doesn't work conceptually at 1st level (never mind the mechanical deficiencies).

Witchguard Ranger: If you're going to be a Witch that needs a bodyguard, do you really want to trust somebody unproven?

Any of the Pathfinder-Society-specific archetypes.

You and I often agree, UAE, but I chuckled a bit at paladin because my favorite pally archetype - Chosen One - kind of addresses exactly this point :)

Otherwise, I tend to agree with a lot of your list (including paladin in general), other than Monk. I don't have any issues imagining a level 1 martial artist trained in a monastic tradition.


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

I love Inquisitor.


For Monk, I partially agree, but I would have them start from a monastic archetype of something else -- for instance, Unarmed Fighter.

For Paladin, I also had the thought that Base Class Paladin and Prestige Paladin might even coexist to some extent, but most deities quit commissioning Base Class Paladins ("they keep falling"), and only the most desperate deities (like Iomedae, cracking under pressure from the Worldwound Incursion and subtle corruption from Asmodeus) continue to commission Base Class Paladins, whereas everybody else now only commissions Prestige Paladins and looks askance at the remaining deities who do otherwise.


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I love Inquisitor as is, one of my favorite classes, and would be really disapointed if it will be demoted to prestige class. Inquisitor does really well the "divine skilled" niche, something that base cleric and later an Inquisitor prestige class will surely be horrible at. I prefer Paladin as a base class better than Prestige class, but can see the argument. But the loss of Inquisitor would destroy too many character concepts.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

Related to this thread:

Base Classes and Archetypes that Should Be Prestige Classes

Inquisitor: See previous post above. Would any self-respecting religion trust some random 1st level worshipper to become their behind-the-scenes, above-the-law Troubleshooter?

Paladin/Antipaladin: See previous post above. Would any self-respecting religion trust some random 1st level worshipper to be an exemplar holy warrior?

Monk: Like the above, but an exemplar of Order and Discipline of different style from the Hellknights (and often probably not getting along with them), and often more connected with a philosophy than with a religion.

Cardinal Cleric: Wait a minute, Cardinal is something you are supposed to become after rising through a lot of ranks within the church heirarchy? Another one that doesn't work conceptually at 1st level (never mind the mechanical deficiencies).

Witchguard Ranger: If you're going to be a Witch that needs a bodyguard, do you really want to trust somebody unproven?

Any of the Pathfinder-Society-specific archetypes.

Remember that level and age are not linked. A 16 year old could be level 20 and standing next to a 30 year old level 1 cleric.


Alaryth wrote:
I love Inquisitor as is, one of my favorite classes, and would be really disapointed if it will be demoted to prestige class. Inquisitor does really well the "divine skilled" niche, something that base cleric and later an Inquisitor prestige class will surely be horrible at. I prefer Paladin as a base class better than Prestige class, but can see the argument. But the loss of Inquisitor would destroy too many character concepts.

Don't get me wrong -- I like the Inquisitor chassis and would keep it around for other purposes, probably remixed with Warpriest (but keep a good number of skill ranks per level, at least 4 + IntMod and preferably 6 + IntMod). I'd just move the Inquisitor profession to a prestige class, because this makes more sense thematically. Would also need to make the Prestige Inquisitor work well with a 6/9 spellcasting base class (this is something that needs to be fixed for almost all prestige classes that progress spellcasting at all).

HyperMissingno wrote:
Remember that level and age are not linked. A 16 year old could be level 20 and standing next to a 30 year old level 1 cleric.

True enough, but since the best explanation for this is that people advance up to their level of incompetence, this does not bode well for the vetting of somebody who has been an adult for over 10 years and is still 1st level.


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

I completely disagree on Inquisitor, vampire hunters are a thing, for that matter every single movie depiction of people fighting undead have at least one Inquisitor, to say nothing of it being infinitely more fun to play then almost every single other divine class.


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...UnArcane...1 level in an NPC class is equal to a normal person, 1 level in a PC class is a noteworthy person...more than 5 levels in a PC class gives you a superhero.

Someone stuck in low levels hasn't gotten enough exp for whatever reason, maybe they're still doing training or maybe the area they're from is actually peaceful. It's not that they're incompetent and drooling on the floor like you think they are.


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

To say nothing of child prodigies. :-)


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"Why a religion should trust someone that is directly empowered by the deity after years of training?"

Truly a mystery


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I think UAE's point is more that the flavor text of the Inquisitor class is more appropriate as a PrC. Mechanically, the class known as "Inquisitor" is an incredible base class.

Personally, I'm a bit more 1E on this, I suppose, in the sense that I personally don't see you as fully being a member of your class until you reach like 3rd or 4th level (anyone else remember the level-based titles? Like, a level 1 cleric was an Acolyte, a level 2 cleric was an Adept, you weren't a Priest until 3rd level? A level 1 thief was an Apprentice. A ranger didn't earn the Ranger title until 8th level, and a paladin didn't earn the Paladin title until 9th level, etc?)

Classes, to me, are more abstractions compared to the much more fixed natures of prestige classes.


^Yeah, that's what I meant, although 1st Edition's "Name Levels" were usually in the range 8 to 10, with even higher exceptions for classes with limited progression and limited numbers of members having the highest levels (with an exception within this for Monk, which started being in limited numbers at level 8).

That's why I said I'd keep the Inquisitor base class chassis around, just putting different RP on it, and remixing in some Warpriest stuff. Of course, I'd also redo the 9/9 Cleric as well to be less martial (it steps on the Warpriest's and Inquisitor's toes as it is now) but have more class features other than spellcasting and simple combat. But now we're approaching Pathfinder 2.0 territory . . . .


One day I want to try a Human Bloodrager/Arcane Archer named Neeba, or a Human Fighter/Stalwart Defender named Gil.


Gulthor wrote:

I think UAE's point is more that the flavor text of the Inquisitor class is more appropriate as a PrC. Mechanically, the class known as "Inquisitor" is an incredible base class.

Personally, I'm a bit more 1E on this, I suppose, in the sense that I personally don't see you as fully being a member of your class until you reach like 3rd or 4th level (anyone else remember the level-based titles? Like, a level 1 cleric was an Acolyte, a level 2 cleric was an Adept, you weren't a Priest until 3rd level? A level 1 thief was an Apprentice. A ranger didn't earn the Ranger title until 8th level, and a paladin didn't earn the Paladin title until 9th level, etc?)

Classes, to me, are more abstractions compared to the much more fixed natures of prestige classes.

3.x in general seems to go back and forth on how ingame it wants class names to be.

For the most part my characters are never 'A member of their class' weather its a base class or a prestige class. The class is just a shorthand name for the collection of mechanical abilities that are appropriate to my theme. If the prestige class in question requires membership in a particular organization that's different but i also play games in Golarion so rarely it hardly comes up.

Hell back in AD&D I had a troll PC who introduced himself as a wizard because he used a greatsword instead of his claws and thus the other trolls thought his improved killing ability was the result of spellcasting. That his only spell was 'Whack 'em with shiney hurty stick.' in no way made him less of a mage in his mind.

As to the original question I loves me some rage prophet. Divine Buff and Bash has been one of my favorite ways to sling dice dice for the past several years and I'm just not super huge on the Warpriest.


VargrBoartusk wrote:
Gulthor wrote:

I think UAE's point is more that the flavor text of the Inquisitor class is more appropriate as a PrC. Mechanically, the class known as "Inquisitor" is an incredible base class.

Personally, I'm a bit more 1E on this, I suppose, in the sense that I personally don't see you as fully being a member of your class until you reach like 3rd or 4th level (anyone else remember the level-based titles? Like, a level 1 cleric was an Acolyte, a level 2 cleric was an Adept, you weren't a Priest until 3rd level? A level 1 thief was an Apprentice. A ranger didn't earn the Ranger title until 8th level, and a paladin didn't earn the Paladin title until 9th level, etc?)

Classes, to me, are more abstractions compared to the much more fixed natures of prestige classes.

3.x in general seems to go back and forth on how ingame it wants class names to be.

For the most part my characters are never 'A member of their class' weather its a base class or a prestige class. The class is just a shorthand name for the collection of mechanical abilities that are appropriate to my theme. If the prestige class in question requires membership in a particular organization that's different but i also play games in Golarion so rarely it hardly comes up.

Hell back in AD&D I had a troll PC who introduced himself as a wizard because he used a greatsword instead of his claws and thus the other trolls thought his improved killing ability was the result of spellcasting. That his only spell was 'Whack 'em with shiney hurty stick.' in no way made him less of a mage in his mind.

As to the original question I loves me some rage prophet. Divine Buff and Bash has been one of my favorite ways to sling dice dice for the past several years and I'm just not super huge on the Warpriest.

On a similar note, I have a Gunslinger who claims to be a Wizard.

"I only know the one spell, and it has expensive components, but it's a good'un"


The Shadowdancer is my favorite prestige class. I haven't had a chance to play it. But the idea of being able to jump around and be one of the sneakiest sneaks appeals to me.

Also with the release of the Blood of Shadows book it got some nice new options.


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Two that I haven't seen mentioned but that I personally love:

Halfling Opportunist, because Exploitative Maneuver is just plain awesome in its potential. I wish the class were limited to small size characters (like Goblins and Gnomes) and not just Halflings.

Living Monolith, in part because a 1 level dip gives you a self-only Enlarge Person as a swift action 1/day (along with a host of other things) but also in part because an all-Dwarven party venture into the Emerald Spire resulted in re-flavoring this class and merging it into Dwarven culture as a sort of bloodline of sacred guardians and champions. Make a few minor changes, like summoning earth elementals instead of sphinxes and the sphinx language requirement with Terran instead, and you've got a fantastically flavorful Dwarven prestige class...


Golden Legionnaire always seemed neat. Gives a martial a whole grab bag of team-oriented tricks to use. Seemed like a nice class for a martial who wants to be more of a tanky-support than pure "hit things with weapon until they fall down".

Base Fighter has gotten a great deal better lately, of course, so I don't think it's quite as good as it used to be. But I think there's potential.

Otherwise, always been a fan of Dragon Disciple, probably always will.


Hellknight and Signifier. The fluff is amazing and I actually really like that each Order has specific abilities and focus.

Grand Lodge

I like the Shadowdancer. Like so many others I haven't gotten to play one yet but that is true for most Prestige Classes I like sadly.

I like most all Prestige classes really, the idea of having to build towards and qualify to be one is something I liked. Some I find interesting that I haven't seen listed yet are Demoniac, Mystery Cultist, Soul Drinker, and Sentinel.


Seconding the Living Monolith, great fluff and the abilities are always in demand for martial classes.


Shadow dancer on a slayer or thug .
Battle herald with horse master feat. A full mount, decent bard , aid another or charging .


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

I have a soft spot for the Aldori Swordlord. Granted, mechanically it's not that good but I love the flavour. Besides that I also like the Shieldmarshal for similar reasons, I just wish these PrC were a tad better. Red mantis Assassin is what the Assassin should be imo.


I found out I really like the Ulfen Guard / Furious Guardian. Has anyone tried taking it on a non-barbarian?

Scarab Sages

I am involved in a variety of games, and I absolutely LOVE PRCs.

Currently playing a Gnome Arcanist/Veiled Illusionist. Very fun!

Also playing a Human Wizard/Bloat Mage. Very fun!

I have played a Kobold Sorcerer/Dragon Disciple, hella fun!

About to start playing 2nd Darkness, will be a Halfling Witch/Agent of the Grave, super creepifying.

I think my next big one will be a Samurai/Bard/Battle Herald.


Mammoth rider (has been mentioned twice so far) is the only one I actually played. Went in via halfling paladin. Pretty amazing stuff.

I really want to play an Arcane Archer next.


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The Shaman wrote:
I found out I really like the Ulfen Guard / Furious Guardian. Has anyone tried taking it on a non-barbarian?

I went with a Viking archetype fighter. Still got rage but it made for a better bodyguard with shield feel that we wanted in our campaign. Very fun to play.


captain yesterday wrote:
Skyseeker also looks like fun. :-)

They reach their true potential in the Giantslayer Adventure Path.

Gerald wrote:
But I think my favorite is the Veiled Illusionist. If you like illusionist characters, this is a must take IMHO.

When I look at these guys I cant help but see the Pathfinder version of an Enchanter from Everquest (which I am totally cool with).

Dark Archive

Gisher wrote:
Naal wrote:
I have wanted to play a Magaambyan Arcanist ever since I first read about it. Its prerequisite feats are Scholar and Spell Mastery, and I don't even care; my next wizard/arcanist is going to take them and like it.
If you haven't seen the Magaambyan Initiate Arcanist Archetype, you should take a look. (Note that d20pfsrd altered the name for legal reasons.)

The Magaambyan Arcanist PrC is super-cool, and, along with the Hellknight Signifer, one of my absolute favorites for Golarion flavor. (although a version of Hellknight Signifer that stacked with psychic casting classes, such as a Mesmerist, would rock my world!).

From core, I'm fond of the Loremaster and the Shadowdancer.


I am just disappointed that I can't play a Aspis Agent in PFS. Mechanically not exciting, but the fluff of a double agent would be so much fun.

I am working up to a Diabolist in PFS though, it seems pretty worth it - even if only used for a 1 level dip for the super pet.


As much as I feel like Prestige Classes are often getting outclassed by archetypes or even hybrid classes, I do like the Mammoth Rider, simply because you receive a Huge animal companion, which the Barbarian, Druid, Ranger and Hunter can get, be normally or via an archetype. Only complaint is that the PrC has a rather limited companion list... that or there are obvious omittions, like the bear, boar and roc. Even if the GM can expand the list to his liking, some animals should have been there initially; even aquatic companions have been omitted from that list, as sharks and whales should be suitable.

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