What Classes are particularly good under water / in a watery setting?


Advice


Obviously Druids are superb with wildshape in handling aquatic settings. Having played them to death, I'm looking for other ideas so let's exclude them please.

Starting at level 6 going to about level 11. Point buy @ 20. Pathfinder published including campaigns, but no homebrew races for PCs (anyway I'd like to focus on Class rather than race here).

We will be mostly in a land based environment, but will have significant time and challenges with aquatic settings. Four PCs.

So what do you wizards out there recommend?


Water Kineticist. Quite a few options to gain swim speeds and such. Multiple gm's I have played with also remove the attack roll penalty if you go for water physical blasts, as you can control the element you are attacking through.
Your basic hydrokinesis can get fun, creating currents and such.

I am playing one in skulls and shackles and it is great fun.

You also get armor from your defensive wild talent with 0 ACP and no max dex so you can get a good underwater AC without crippling your swim skill if you are even still using it.


well, we can rule out gunslinger

monk/barbarian ru into the issues of their land speed bonuses being nullified in water

honestly I can't remember if pathfinder has rules for underwater combat, but I do feel like ranged weapon classes are in for a rough time.

bards might have trouble as well, instruments don't work very well, but you could sing/do comedy/etc

I guess that leaves you with bard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, wizard, oracle, summoner, witch, arcanist, shaman, certain kineticists, medium, mesmerist, or psychic as far as I can tell that don't have issues with weapons not working. that said I think there is an underwater enchantment for weapons, so I don't really see why any class, again except for gunslinger would have too much trouble. I am sure somewhere there's a way to use guns underwater, but my google fu is weak tonight.
plenty of options though. sad that it looks like you're going to be doing this before aquatic adventures comes out, which would probably have some nice reference info for that


Race-wise, go with Gillman. Good stats, built-in water breathing, and so on. Just watch out for Aboleths.

If you expect even more time in the water, go for a Merfolk with the Strong Tail alternate racial trait. Amazing stats, armor bonus, and other goodness.

I'll also second the benefits of a hydrokineticist.


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A cleric can get the water breathing and freedom of movement spells which would be my first thought. As a full prepared caster they get them as soon as anyone.

On the other hand if water breathing will be covered by campaign stuff (a submersible, allies with a water breathing effect, whatever) then you might look at other considerations. An extra concentration check to cast spells underwater would be annoying, so you might look at classes with (su) abilities which don't require any concentration checks. A witch with the right hexes or a hexcrafter magus similarly for example. Maybe a mesmerist or occultist.

An air/water kineticist can also handle breathing and swimming underwater without outside assistance. For some reason plain water won't give you anything like gills though.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

This is one of those questions that will have completely different answers in about six months, I suspect. Given that an adventure path and campaign setting book will heavily feature underwater adventures and rules, I think they'll try to make it at least feasible for every class to participate in underwater encounters.


Crossbow maven gunslinger with an underwater crossbow could be interesting.

The race is a bit important, because whether or not you have a swim speed can be very important for underwater combat. And if your race doesn't offer it, then you will need to seek it through class abilities or magic items.

Summoners are pretty good as the underwater summon monster options are usually strong for their level.


[url=http://www.d20pfsrd.com/races/other-races/featured-races/arg-undine/]Undines are a fun race to play in a water-themed game. Their Water Sense alternate racial trait is extremely powerful in the right circumstances.

As for classes, I'm a fan of Sea Witch or Waves Shaman, with a Tidepool Dragon Mauler Familiar.


Strongtail Merfolk Water Kineticist?

That's basically how to go all the way water. You could switch out the Water choice for Kineticist if you want to shoot other things, though. Slipstream + Non-Strongtail Merfolk can end up moving very quickly, although not as much as an Air Kineticist. Fire Kineticist can probably do pretty good damage, since I'm not sure that many underwater creatures have great fire resistance.

Undine can have Deepsight, Hydrated Vitality, and Water Sense to get an extra edge while underwater - Darkvision 120, Blindsense 30, and Fast Healing 2 for (level * 2) HP, which is a bit like +4 CON in terms of the bonus HP it grants. Makes for a good DEX/WIS Monk/UMonk, although you'll need to pick up a style that lets you deal piercing damage, or the Weapon Versatility feat.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Eternatural 1 wrote:
well, we can rule out gunslinger

Bolt ace and carry an underwater crossbow. Or pay 1,500 gp for the dry load weapon ability (although bullets still have the -2 penalty per 5 ft underwater of every projectile weapon except an underwater crossbow).

Race choices include the already mentioned gillmen, merfolk, and undines (with the Amphibious alternate racial trait to breathe underwater as well as function outside of it), plus changelings (Sea Lungs as the Hag Racial Trait), elves (Spirit of the Waters alternate racial trait), half-elves (Water Child alternate racial trait), and humans (Heart of the Sea alternate racial trait); dwarves (Saltbeard alternate racial trait) could also be used.

Class choices include any psychic caster (no verbal/somatic components), any class/archetype that gains wild shape, beastmoprh or metamorph alchemist, swashbuckler (piercing weapons, like the trident), or any water-themed class/archetype. At 8th+ level, an Order of the Beast cavalier can change their mount between aquatic and land (or flying) forms.

Scarab Sages

Air kineticists are surprisingly good, especially Undine ones. Air kineticists can do lightning blasts (not effected by water) and can take a utility talent for constant air bubble. Combined with an Undine's swim speed you'd be good.


With a Cloak of the Manta Ray, just about any class is viable.
Maybe a Rogue, that way this item allows you to have all your attacks, position yourself for sneak attacks, survive if grappled underwater, escape from and tactically move around land based enemies near a body of water, etc.


I think at this point most classes have something water themed that can help them function better in aquatic situations those that don't probably can get by with playing a aquatic race and it will handle itself.

That said Waves shaman


Merfolk Hunter with octopus companion

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I've been in a long-running PFS group going through the Skull and Shackles, Reign of Winter, and Plunder and Peril books for quite awhile now. I'd definately agree with Water Kineticists being a great option; myself, I've been playing a net-focused hunter with a constrictor snake companion for the first ten levels and then taking Mammoth Rider with an archelon from then on. Having an animal companion (or yourself, with access to Share Shape and similar spells) able to naturally tackle underwater challenges and save people who fall into the water unprepared is very useful.

Also, Hunters have access to the druid lists, meaning plenty of spells useful in underwater environments.


Cavalier with an appropriate aquatic mount.


Don't forget that piercing melee weapons don't suffer the same penalties others do underwater. Swashbucklers come to mind, but any martial class can pick up a heavy pick or scythe.


Paladin with a divine shark.

Grand Lodge

Aquatic (seaborn) Sorcerer (control spells/summoning).
Wave mystery Oracle.


Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
Don't forget that piercing melee weapons don't suffer the same penalties others do underwater. Swashbucklers come to mind, but any martial class can pick up a heavy pick or scythe.

Or snake style!

Dark Archive

Going two levels into Horizon Walker PrC can get you the ability to breath water constantly along with bonuses vs swimming creatures, favored terrain (Plane of Water), and one other favored terrain. A third level gets you completely unhindered movement and actions underwater.

A summoner could also work as you can make an aquatic Eidolon and summon monster usually has a good aquatic option at each level.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
Don't forget that piercing melee weapons don't suffer the same penalties others do underwater. Swashbucklers come to mind, but any martial class can pick up a heavy pick or scythe.
Or snake style!

Seasnake Style


Oracle with the Deep One curse nets you a swim speed from level 1.


Watersinger Bard is very cool. You can manipulate and control the shape of water. Aside of the big roleplaying potential of the class you can also make almost unlimited walls, make the water attack, sicken and reposition enemies and learn some good water spells originally unavailable to bards. And you will also have good social skills (you are a Bard, of course you will have!).

Just pick the Amphibious alternate racial trait and enjoy!


Personally, a Lizardfolk may not be able to breathe underwater at the start, but if you expect to be both underwater and above it they can be pretty good. +2 STR and CON, lots of fun natural attacks right at the start, a swim speed of 30 and +8 to swim aren't bad for an underwater campaign. Natural armor doesn't hurt, either.

Since they have no actual penalties, you can build them to be pretty much whatever you want. They'll shine in martial roles (or 3/4 BAB classes that lean on martial combat, like the Warpriest), but again: you can basically do whatever. +2 CON and +2 natural AC = good boost to your defenses for any role.

Now, if only they had the human bonus feat...


Deep One Hybrid!


A good one that most people don’t see is the Deep One Hybrid race with the Barbarian (Deepwater Rager). With the race and class you can hold your breath for a ridiculously long time and at level 1 you can still do a standard action and full attack without losing a round of breath. You get a 30ft. swim speed and at later levels you sicken people when you grapple them, you can charge in anyway you want and you constrict people while grappling. It’s a good combination that you should look at.


Eternatural 1 wrote:
well, we can rule out gunslinger

Air Bubble Spell. It's only level 1, and the whole party can use it. I'm not really arguing with you: Gunslingers need 2 air bubble spells where everyone else only needs 1.

Underwater Crossbows don't need any special training to use, and they work just as well on land.

Underwater, it tends to be dark, so a light spell is often useful

Different spells work differently underwater: familiarize yourself.

Weapons that do Piercing Damage (except Morningstars, of course) generally work fine underwater. Others work just fine with Freedom of Movement, of course. In 3.5 there was a weapon enchantment that you could put on other weapons: Aquatic.

I guess my idea of it is that every class works well underwater if prepared. Most kinds of preparation require magic, but most Wizards and Clerics really don't want to leave their Barbarians and Burglars behind while they go look for the sunken treasure.

Grand Lodge

Tidal Trickster Rogue.
Gain swimspeed
Ability to deal sneak attack damage to oozes and creatures with the water subtype that are normally immune to precision damage (such as water elementals)
Bluff check to off-balance (denied dex bonus) swimming enemies during full attack.


Undine Deep Shaman with Steam Caster- abuse the Crashing Waves Hex, get a blue ring octopus familiar that is magically amphibious.


Merfolk are Humanoids with the Aquatic Subtype with a swim speed of 50ft. Why not pick any race/class you want and get a Greater Hat of Disguise for at-will Alter Self and turn yourself into a Merfolk.

Greater Hat of Disguise is helpful even when you're doing the land-based parts of your campaign so it's not a waste of 12,000gp.


Bogborn alchemist makes a great pirate. Monkey fish makes a great spell

Sovereign Court

Ryze Kuja wrote:

Merfolk are Humanoids with the Aquatic Subtype with a swim speed of 50ft. Why not pick any race/class you want and get a Greater Hat of Disguise for at-will Alter Self and turn yourself into a Merfolk.

Greater Hat of Disguise is helpful even when you're doing the land-based parts of your campaign so it's not a waste of 12,000gp.

The Greater Hat of Disguise is also from a module soft-cover book from over a decade ago and never reprinted in any hardback source, so you may want to forgive people who have never searched 'Hat of Disguise' using an online tool.

Oh, and this threat was resurrected from 3 years ago apparently.

That said, anyone with Planar Focus and can apply it to themselves indefinitely (ie, AC is dead). It's probably my favorite 'movement' themed feat, because who doesn't want on demand burrow/swim/featherfall.


Firebug wrote:
Ryze Kuja wrote:

Merfolk are Humanoids with the Aquatic Subtype with a swim speed of 50ft. Why not pick any race/class you want and get a Greater Hat of Disguise for at-will Alter Self and turn yourself into a Merfolk.

Greater Hat of Disguise is helpful even when you're doing the land-based parts of your campaign so it's not a waste of 12,000gp.

The Greater Hat of Disguise is also from a module soft-cover book from over a decade ago and never reprinted in any hardback source, so you may want to forgive people who have never searched 'Hat of Disguise' using an online tool.

Oh, and this threat was resurrected from 3 years ago apparently.

That said, anyone with Planar Focus and can apply it to themselves indefinitely (ie, AC is dead). It's probably my favorite 'movement' themed feat, because who doesn't want on demand burrow/swim/featherfall.

I have no idea why, but there's been probably 20ish threads necro'ed in maybe two weeks or less.


It's probably a "good thing". It means a lot of new people are entering the boards and trying to learn about the game.

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