Best Classes for Altruism


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


So, I couldn't find anything with my admittedly weak Search-Fu, but what are the best classes for altruism?

More specifically, classes that will not be incredibly crippled by use of "large" sums of money for the welfare of others.

I know that there are the 9-level casters who look at gear and mostly laugh, and I know there are supplementary rules in the Unchained book that gets rid of gear dependency, but DM will not want to put the extra work in to adapt a campaign to them.

I also know that wealth was built into the CR system for 3.5/Pathfinder which casically actively discourages helping others with money.

But, I need some options for two upcoming urban campaigns (Hell's Rebels and CotCT).

In Hell's Rebels I am stuck being whatever I need to be to cover the weaknesses to a party of a Bard (Demagogue), Cleric (party buffing focused), and U-Rogue (will probably end up as a kamikaze play style).

In CotCT it is a bit more flexible, since that one is a ways off.

Anyways, I looking for classes that can cover the shortcomings of the party, do his job, and not have to hoard money to keep from joining the dead in the later parts of the campaign.

All Paizo book are options, DM does not do 3rd party stuff, hasn't for years so I am not going to try to bring it up.

****I should add that the members of my group often make very poor decisions on character build options, optimization wise. I don't fault them for it, just like to actually get through a campaign every now and again. We TPKed in RR, CotC (sort of, long story), SD, LoF, S&S.****

Every arcane caster in this group from 3.5 days to through WotR has been evocation focused. EVERY SINGLE ONE. I have seen haste cast in only one campaign I can think of, and even then it was rare.

I don't enjoy combat much, so I tend to build reasonably powerful characters to end combat as quickly as possible to get back to the RP.


The Hell's Rebels group is rather weak at straight melee, so I'd cover that. Many classes for this job depend on gear, but you could go for a magus.

Anyway, reconsider the thought of giving most of your money to them. First, money tends to be more useful for the group if (roughly) equally split. Second, in the hand of a more capable player, money will be used more wisely. Appearantly you are the most capable player in this group, when it comes to combat. So keep your money and use it in the favor of the group. A replacement PC should get proper wealth from the GM, anyway.

Finishing combat fast might be good for you - but would the others enjoy long battles?


Kineticist. You need your AC and save boosters, plus a physical belt. That's about it. The party seems to have most things covered, honestly. Kineticist is one of the best for not needing feats or money. Air Kineticist covers ranged combat and the lack of flight.

Alternatively, Vigilante can generate funds for donations. The social talents allow for quick Profession checks with big bonuses, and Celebrity Perks gets you free gifts. You can't sell them, but you aren't prevented from donating them to those in need. (Receive from the rich, give to the poor, like a very persuasive Robin Hood.) Run that one by the GM first, though.


If you want a "competent in melee, but doesn't need to spend money on a weapon" character you could play a kinetic blade/whip oriented Kineticist. An Earth/Aether/Water Kinetic Whip AoO build is reasonably tanky but does good damage, and as a kineticist you don't need to spend anything on a weapon. All your cash goes towards AC, saves, stat boosters, and those utility items (haversacks!) that everybody has.

The Exchange

Ecclesitheurge Cleric Archetype.

Or Unchained Monk with vow of poverty...

Maybe Redeemer Paladin.


I am not sure what you mean by altruism, but philosophy aside, anyone with bad gear is going to suffer at some point. Melee-oriented classes sooner, pure casters later - but they still need stuff to cover poor saves and various useful effects (those which can save them mostly).

Given you have a bard, cleric and rogue your party needs a solid fighter. My choice would be paladin, but the name of the AP (I don't know it) makes me wary...do you have to be evil for that one? You could also do with an arcane caster, but without a good fighter he is still a casualty waiting to happen. Maybe SheepishEidolon's suggestion of a magus is good, but I don't like the class myself.
Let me check:
- Fighter: the basic melee, and very good at what he does
- Paladin: after the universe went out, only the paladins will still exist in the darkness...
- Barbarian: nice fighter, if you like the rage thing (I don't)
- Ranger: pretty good fighter with customizing options, that works well with low point buy scores
- Magus: arcane melee with limited spells
- Brawler: basically a fighter with monkish attacks...I'd pick the fighter over him, but that comes from history, when the guys with armor and weapons won over the ones in white pajamas going "kiai", he is OK mechanics-wise
- Monk: works very well, if you have very high stats; otherwise he kinda sucks after a while

(If 3rd party wasn't out, I would suggest psychic warrior, aegis or soulknife from Ultimate Psionics. The latter two don't need armor and weapons respectively, and with the right PrC even the psychic warrior can work without weapons.)

I disregard all classes for the role of fighter who rely on buffs to make them hit for significant damage. If it doesn't work out of the box, it won't work when things get serious. Many DMs are soft and disregard various rules, but an equal number are not. This crops up more the higher the level, but I prefer safe to sorry from the start :)

Letting it slide that you have no real fighter, your other option would be a sorcerer, if your group is used to solve problems socially. That would give you a full arcane caster based on CHA, who can take the skills for that (and has little use for weapons and armor). Since you do have a bard, CHA skills are probably redundant, and I wouldn't do it. I don't know your playstyle, so maybe it could work for you?


In my opinion, the least wealth-dependent class in the game is the Summoner (both APG and Unchained). He's a spontaneous caster, so he doesn't spend a penny on obtaining spells known. He not really a combat class, so a magical weapon is unnecessary. He has plenty of spell options that don't call for saving throws, so a charisma-boosting item isn't necessary (still nice to have, though). His eidolon uses natural attacks and is prohibited from using armor, so magical weapons and armor aren't necessary there. The summoner also shares equipment slots with his eidolon (for instance, if you're wearing a magic cloak your eidolon can't), so you're prohibited from doubling up on common items.

The only thing to be mindful of is that the eidolon can be very fragile when it isn't prebuffed, since its baseline AC and HP are passable at best. However, with the Summon Monster SLA you've still got some utility even if your Eidolon is down for the day.


I second kineticist as a solid choice for a low-cost melee character. Elemental Annihilator is especially good since you can use devestating infusion from level 1 without accumulating burn and you get the benefits of perfect BAB with it. A regular kinetist is also functional since you're dealing more damage per hit, and you can negate the downsides of having a 3/4 BAB by selecting an energy blast.

A monk (regular or unchained) would also work, since they get enough abilities and bonuses to minimize the drawbacks of not having equipment.

Synthesist summoner would also be good, but I haven't played one myself so I can't speak from experience about what they usually need in terms of equipment.

Magus is always a solid choice since you can enchant your weapon when you need it, and their archetypes make them versatile enough that you can fit most offensive roles.
If you decide to go Magus, a Bladebound/Kensai is one of the best combinations for minimizing your equipment costs, since:
* Your weapon automatically becomes magical at level 3, and its enhancement bonus scales with your level.
* You get a free martial/exotic weapon proficiency of your choice, and as long as it's a sword of some kind it will work for your black blade.
* You get to add your Intelligence bonus (up to your level) as an insight bonus to your AC and you add your Intelligence to your Initiative at level 7.
You have one less spell per day at each level and you can't cast while wearing armor, but you get a lot more mileage out of your Intelligence overall, and you get a free magic weapon that you never have to pay to improve.


Kineticists, Unchained Monks, Sorcerers, Bladebound and/or kensai Magus.

They all want some gear to functions but by and large any of those options above can still hold their weight without the full Big Six.


First, thanks for all the responses.

I had not even looked at the Kineticist since it looked, at first glance, like a weird 3/4 BAB Magus-esque class. Again, did not look closely. I also had not thought about using the social talents from Vigilante to generate "disposable" revenue.

It just frustrates me that it is so difficult to create a character who fights to help the downtrodden, but doesn't almost HAVE to walk past the poor beggars and orphans on the street while carrying 50,000 gp because it he doesn't have that, he can't get the Holy enchantment that allows him to bypass the DR 10/silver and good that the BBEG has.

I have had a number of characters by the end of campaign are decked in crazy expensive gear, because they had to have it to survive, but have less than 1000 gp in their pocket.

To Vatras: I guess altruism wasn't the BEST word, close enough to not be wrong, for: gives money generously either directly to the poor or by establishing a support system.

And Hell's Rebels is the "Chaotic Good" campaign path, Hell's Vengeance the Evil one.

Liberty's Edge

I ould recommend taking Vow of Poverty. The 3.5. version not the PF as it's not worth taking imo


If you go with Kineticist, you're going to probably want air or earth. Air gets electricity, which most devils don't resist, and earth gets double-physical damage, eventually with silver. Air gets a lot flashier utility, but earth is really robust and tough to kill. I usually focus on ranged rather than melee, and start with physical before considering moving to elemental once BAB spreads out a bit.

Vigilante works well with the setting, and it avoids the issue of giving away wealth you "need". Archetypes let it act like almost any other class, which is great for fitting the role you need. (Warlock would cover arcane prepared caster, for instance, while straight Avenger specialization makes you full BAB.)


Spending money on gear helps stimulate the economy.


There are also investment rules, where you could provide low-interest loans to villagers looking to build a mill, open a tavern, dig a mine etc. and still recoup some of your money. Unless the campaign is supposed to take multiple years, it's not generally a great return (invest 1000 GP and get 30 back a year later), but you are helping people.


Best solution is to talk to your GM.

Most GMs shut down money-making schemes because of wealth by level impact. If you explained you wanted to do a big scheme to raise money for charity, he may be more lenient.


Andarion wrote:

It just frustrates me that it is so difficult to create a character who fights to help the downtrodden, but doesn't almost HAVE to walk past the poor beggars and orphans on the street while carrying 50,000 gp because it he doesn't have that, he can't get the Holy enchantment that allows him to bypass the DR 10/silver and good that the BBEG has.

I have had a number of characters by the end of campaign are decked in crazy expensive gear, because they had to have it to survive, but have less than 1000 gp in their pocket.

To Vatras: I guess altruism wasn't the BEST word, close enough to not be wrong, for: gives money generously either directly to the poor or by establishing a support system.

You shouldn't be punished for roleplaying a good character. But you also shouldn't punish yourself for roleplaying a good character.

If you choose to be 1 or 2 levels behind your party for roleplaying reasons, then that is a detrimental choice you made yourself. The same applies to giving up large amounts of gold.

Instead of severely crippling your character, you could find other ways to help those in need. Using a limitless resource or your skills to do so. For instance, using Diplomacy to convince the mayor/lord to invest in a homeless shelter or the Heal skill to give free examinations during downtime.

================

One trick with a relatively low cost of investment is to pick up the Fey Magic racial trait and choose Urban as your terrain type.

Fey Magic:
The character has a mystic connection to one terrain type, selected from the ranger's favored terrain list. The character selects three 0-level druid spells and one 1st-level druid spell. If the character has a Charisma score of 11 or higher, when in the selected terrain, she gains these spells as spell-like abilities that can be cast once per day. The caster level for these effects is equal to the user's character level. The DC for the spell-like abilities is equal to 10 + the spell's level + the user's Charisma modifier. These spells are treated as being from a fey source for the purposes of the druid's resist nature's lure class feature and similar abilities.

*****

(Available to elves, half-elves, halflings, gnomes, half-orcs, humans and dwarves)

Then you take Create Water, Mending, Purify Food and Drink as your 3 0-level spells and Recharge Innate Magic as your 1st-level spell. Effectively granting you 3 orisons/cantrips.

Now you have the ability to feed all of the beggars/orphans you want, mend their torn clothes and... water their plants?

Then buy yourself a house, make that the inofficial homeless shelter of the city, and you have your own network of spies.

Liberty's Edge

If you play a class with healing magic (especially a spontaneous caster) and spend days you aren't actively adventuring/doing other stuff burning all (or most) of your spells on healing the poor free of charge, you are effectively donating a whole crapton of gold in the form many people need the most.

A 6th level Oracle who leaves one slot free for emergencies at each level and burns the rest on healing those in need (and possibly condition removal) is effectively donating 1500 gp of healing per day. Not counting stuff with their 0-level spells (as noted above).

Now, an Oracle may not be the best choice in a party already including a Cleric, but it's just an example. A Paladin can do at least as well burning all their Lay On Hands (especially for Condition Removal stuff), and a Witch can take the Healing Hex and heal a theoretically unlimited number of people per day without expending a single spell slot (and iuse spell slots on stuff like condition removal too). And both those Classes fill needed roles in that party (main melee guy and arcane caster, respectively).


I'm surprised no one has mentioned Druid. A casting-focused druid would give your party battlefield control where you have none, give you an animal companion to help your frontline and act as a flanking buddy for the rogue, and all you ever need for items is a wisdom headband and a saving throw cloak.

Liberty's Edge

Pandora's wrote:
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Druid. A casting-focused druid would give your party battlefield control where you have none, give you an animal companion to help your frontline and act as a flanking buddy for the rogue, and all you ever need for items is a wisdom headband and a saving throw cloak.

It also works quite adequately for the 'free healing' idea I note above. Assuming you want to play one, of course.

Silver Crusade Contributor

The feyspeaker druid makes a great caster, while buffing your skills and switching your spells to Charisma. Seems great for such a campaign. ^_^

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