What is the worst archetype?


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I’m wondering: What would you consider the worst archetype in the game?

Not just “Oh it’s bad for its class” or “I don’t like it’s features.” And not in a specific class (though I am curious about that as well) but what archetypes are just so rotten, so bad, that not even the most skilled Min-Maxer could fix them to be usable?

What puts them above ALL the others in terms of their badness, and not just worse than the others in their class?


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Brute Vigilante.

Having a bad will save, and having to make will saves to stop fighting once all the enemies have been defeated is just a recipe for disaster. It would be a worse recipe for disaster, mind you, if the brute was actually especially threatening when "hulked up".


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I always feel in these type of threads that the OP should at the minimum put forward their own suggestion to get the ball rolling.....


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I mean ... I feel like PossibleCabbage has already ended the thread with the first/last entry, so it doesn't matter too much whether the OP joined in or not.


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Rageshaper Shifter.

Same problem as the Brute Vigilante, but you lose almost all your class features for an ability that requires a full-round action to enter, a will save to end, and the total duration is rounds equal to your level.

So you'll spend the majority of any day as a chump with one class feature. Your Shifter Claws.
Even if you completely ignore your combat aspect as the Brute Vigilante, you still have Social Talents. The Rageshaper is just a wandering pile of hit dice.


To truly be the "worst", the archetype should have enough of a deliciously poisonous sugar-frosting coating to actually be taken by a player, else it won't ever be a factor in torpedoing an encounter. (Has anyone ever played a Brute Vigilante? I don't think so.)

My picks are two archetypes that many people love, and think are just full of the purest dope: Divine Hunter and Oath of Vengeance Paladin. Why? Because both willingly forfeit the strongest martial feature in the game in high-level play: the ability to turn all of your allies into paladins just like you! --Why on earth would you ever give that up? Yet they do, even when submitting and defending their high-level build.

(There are other paladin archetypes that forfeit OoV, but those two are the ones I see most frequently. Divine Hunter is worse than Oath of Vengeance, but it's less commonly taken, so I'm calling it a toss-up between them in the shortsighted sweepstakes.)


Wonderstell wrote:
Even if you completely ignore your combat aspect as the Brute Vigilante (...)

You can't, you need to make a save or forcibly enter your vigilante identity. For Rageshaper on the other hand it's a choice.

Slim Jim wrote:
To truly be the "worst", the archetype should have enough of a deliciously poisonous sugar-frosting coating to actually be taken by a player, else it won't ever be a factor in torpedoing an encounter.

In that case, (pre-FAQ) Oozemorph? You take it because it sounds cool, and then during actual play you realize that your character can't even move?


Derklord wrote:
Wonderstell wrote:
Even if you completely ignore your combat aspect as the Brute Vigilante (...)
You can't, you need to make a save or forcibly enter your vigilante identity. For Rageshaper on the other hand it's a choice.

I meant more along the lines of "not even bothering with combat", which would still let you contribute with Social Talents. Just run away when combat starts, or dump your attack bonus with Combat Expertise/Fighting Defensively to become a non-threat.


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I'm not sure if any of them are actually worse then Brute Vigilante, but most of the slayer archetypes seem to be pretty anemic. Any time I've tried to make a slayer build I end up going with vanilla slayer because none of the archetypes seem to support what I'm trying to do.

IIRC, Brute Vigilante was called out by the designers as being an example of an archetype that "isn't intended for PCs". Meaning it was designed to be in the same vein as adept, commoner, noble and expert. I guess they succeeded?


Slim Jim wrote:
My picks are two archetypes that many people love, and think are just full of the purest dope: Divine Hunter and Oath of Vengeance Paladin. Why? Because both willingly forfeit the strongest martial feature in the game in high-level play: the ability to turn all of your allies into paladins just like you! --Why on earth would you ever give that up? Yet they do, even when submitting and defending their high-level build.

While I'm not a huge fan of the Oath of Vengeance or Divine Hunter, they're really not what the OP was asking about. Without Aura of Justice you're still nearly invincible and can still smite evil yourself. These archetypes may be weaker than their vanilla counterparts but can still make perfectly viable characters.

SilverDingo wrote:
...what archetypes are just so rotten, so bad, that not even the most skilled Min-Maxer could fix them to be usable?

Dark Archive

And you are assuming some people aren't like "Hey what if instead of using two smites to let party member smite, I'd instead just smite two different creatures myself?" :D

I mean, people ARE often stingy with limited resources.


I don’t know about the worst, but the Ecclesitheurge is pretty bad. You cannot use any armor or shields or you lose almost all class abilities. It basically turns you into a divine wizard. The problem being is that the clerics spell list is not really suited for this. They have very few good offensive spells other than those targeting outsiders and undead. They don’t have many really defensive spells. Sure they have spells that boost defenses, but they don’t get the stand alone defensive spells like Mage Armor, Mirror Image that can compensate for not wearing armor.

Not being able to wear armor means that you will need to boost your DEX to get AC. This makes the archetype incredibly M.A.D. Now you need a high WiS to cast, decent CHA for channel, and need a decent score in both CON and DEX. Sine you only get 2 skill points as a cleric dumping INT means you have no skills. STR can be dumped because without armor and a decent weapon you are not going to be engaging in combat if you can help it.


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Most fighter archetypes now. Advance weapon and armor training is so good, and most archetypes give this up for bonuses that now aren't worth it.

I feel like this is a heavy trap, since as mentioned, Brute won't likely be taken at all, but fighter and these archetypes are.


What it comes down to is more smites for you better than a lot less for the party. Assume the paladin has at least a 16 CHA. The standard paladin can grant smite evil to the party 2 times per day at 10th level, but that leaves him no other smite evil for his own use. The Oath of Vengeance paladin would have 8 smite evils available to him.


I'd opt Driver, the rogue archtype as worst of all.

Giving up the most iconic rogue traits (Trapfinding and Trapsense) for such a situational trait is, IMHO, the worst thing anybody can do. By RAW, the Driver traits also only work/are active when the character is driving a vehicle.

Do won't be driving a vehicle into dungeons or castles, so taking the Driver Archtype is, IMHO, throwing away you character.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:

I don’t know about the worst, but the Ecclesitheurge is pretty bad. You cannot use any armor or shields or you lose almost all class abilities. It basically turns you into a divine wizard. The problem being is that the clerics spell list is not really suited for this. They have very few good offensive spells other than those targeting outsiders and undead. They don’t have many really defensive spells. Sure they have spells that boost defenses, but they don’t get the stand alone defensive spells like Mage Armor, Mirror Image that can compensate for not wearing armor.

Not being able to wear armor means that you will need to boost your DEX to get AC. This makes the archetype incredibly M.A.D. Now you need a high WiS to cast, decent CHA for channel, and need a decent score in both CON and DEX. Sine you only get 2 skill points as a cleric dumping INT means you have no skills. STR can be dumped because without armor and a decent weapon you are not going to be engaging in combat if you can help it.

I agree it is pretty bad..... but amazing as it might sound, in terms of cleric there is worse!

I give you...

The legendarily bad Cloistered Cleric and the supremely pointless Cardinal!!


doc roc wrote:
I always feel in these type of threads that the OP should at the minimum put forward their own suggestion to get the ball rolling.....

I actually do have my own suggestion!

The Dreamthief Rogue Archetype.

While I'm a huge fan of Persona 5 and a fan of rogues so seeing them together is great, and it might not be mechanically as bad as some others, I feel like it's bad because it's an incredibly niche archetype that relies on the enemy being asleep in order to work its magic.


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Totem warrior, because it literally doesn't change anything, thereby taking up space in the book that could haven used for something else.


Firebrand gunslinger.

So the dragons breath pistol kind of sucks. Misfire on a 1 and you roll 2d6?
Hey here's a archetype that fixes that! Now they have to roll TWO ones! A minor adjustment that could solve the issue.

Only... then they level up and get more d6 damage. Not adjusting the amount of ones needed to misfire still.

So as you level you're more likely to do nothing but have your gun explode. On a full BAB character with more attacks to make it even more likely to misfire, or having misfired eastern all your attacks.

And all it costs you to have the increased chance to lose all your actions clearing your guns out?

5 bonus feats.

You also get bombs like an alchemist!
And... trade away dex to damage, its 4 levels lower than an alchemist and doesnt stack with any other bomb class. Meaning the dip people actually DO with the class is now not only voided, but cemented into the class to keep you locked into it.

And hey, don't forget while you're locked into it, your dragons breath pistol keeps getting worse! Hooray!

Completely fixable with the simple rule that all d6 must show 1 to misfire. Or even drop the 2 must roll one and state that for every die added on, add a 1 that must show up to misfire so that at 3d6 you need 2 4d6 you need 3 etc. But it doesn't do that. So it's horrible, and you spend all your time clearing your guns rather than doing full BAB attacks.

For 5 bonus feats and no dex to damage.


It's the Hex Channeler, for no doubt.
At Lv1, you exchange a Hex for a channel ability, Not a bad deal. But after that, your channel dice doesn't grow unless you keep giving up your hexs. So you end up either giving up a Hex for a 1d6 channel(Unless you choose Variant Channeling, provided it's avaiable) , or all your Hexs for a standard progressing channel. Can't find a reason to take that archetype.

Grand Lodge

Oozemorph Shifter...even after 2 rounds of FAQs and updates, it is barely playable...1 use of your functional form per day until level 4+, your attacks never count as magical or bypass any DR, while in your base form you are utterly useless, cannot equip any items, cast any spells, use anything requiring an activation, etc. You trade out the shifters defense for the worst DR in the game.


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SorrySleeping wrote:
Most fighter archetypes now. Advance weapon and armor training is so good, and most archetypes give this up for bonuses that now aren't worth it.

The archetypes are still useful if you're only taking 1 or 2 levels in fighter since those builds never see the training bonuses anyway. For them you're trading away nothing for something. It definitely sucks for builds are mostly fighter levels though.

shadowskinC wrote:

It's the Hex Channeler, for no doubt.

At Lv1, you exchange a Hex for a channel ability, Not a bad deal. But after that, your channel dice doesn't grow unless you keep giving up your hexs. So you end up either giving up a Hex for a 1d6 channel(Unless you choose Variant Channeling, provided it's avaiable) , or all your Hexs for a standard progressing channel. Can't find a reason to take that archetype.

I have a witch based necromancer build that has this archetype. It allows you to grab the feat command undead which doesn't care how many channel dice you have. It is painful that you have to pick between how much you want to heal your undead vs hexes. But it's still useful even if you only spend one hex on it.


Since the Hex Channeler still gets the level 1 hex, you *could* maintain full channeling progression while grabbing the hexes you want via "Extra Hex".

It's not great, but it's not exactly terrible.


Familiar Adept is pretty impressive here. It “unlocks the true power”. Which means giving up:
(1) a feat at 1st level scribe scroll
(2) a feat at 5th level (Wizard feat)
(3) a feat at 10th level (Wizard feat)
(4) some options: you are locked into familiar as bond, and the school familiar archetype
(5) which is a bad archetype, giving up most spell sharing and all compatibility with other familiar archetypes, probably including improved familiar
(6) and it’s not actually school familiar, it’s a modified lower power (don’t get 1st level ability until level 4) version
(7) you lose Spellbook for the witch’s painful familiar-based spell knowledge thing, including the high cost of familiar replacement.

In exchange you get
(1) greater school familiar feat, which I’ve never heard of anyone taking, but probably has no prereqs other than school familiar
(2) your familiar gets a few extra uses of your 1st level school power

So good trade? Oh, I forgot, you have to take an extra opposition school. Because why not.


While it isn't unusable, I personally find problems with the dragonblood chemist

This is not an archetype that trades away class features in return for things that are not worth it. The problem is that it heavily restricts your options, and then gives you nothing that you cannot get with the regular base class (not even super specialized advantages that could be useful in an NPC set up- you can set up an event where the day is saved by underwater basket weaving).

The alteration to the mutagen is basically just regular mutagen combined with feral mutagan and the imporved/greater mutagens. Since it takes 3 discoveries from you, that doesn't actually give you anything. But it has less stats that the regular mutagen, and you are stricted from taking other mutagen discoveries.

Similar, the option for the breath weapon directly references the breath weapon bomb, but it forces you to make EVERY bomb into a breath weapon bomb.

Together, this makes you take a playstyle... that you could do anyway. Feral mutagen brutes are common alchemists, and the lack of AoOs for the breath weapon bomb discovery makes it good for close quarters melee against a group. But you can do that without ever looking at the dragonblood chemist. And even in terms of flavor... I could do it better with a beastmorph alchemist anyway.


MrCharisma wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
My picks are two archetypes that many people love, and think are just full of the purest dope: Divine Hunter and Oath of Vengeance Paladin. Why? Because both willingly forfeit the strongest martial feature in the game in high-level play: the ability to turn all of your allies into paladins just like you! --Why on earth would you ever give that up? Yet they do, even when submitting and defending their high-level build.
While I'm not a huge fan of the Oath of Vengeance or Divine Hunter, they're really not what the OP was asking about. Without Aura of Justice you're still nearly invincible and can still smite evil yourself. These archetypes may be weaker than their vanilla counterparts but can still make perfectly viable characters.

It's not that they aren't "viable" in stand-alone analysis, it's that they forfeit the team-player role of paladin. --To be near your party's paladin is to be continually bathed in +4 to various saves without needing to spend an action. Oh, yeah, that's the stuff; a little more over here please! But a Divine Hunter who runs off to plink from a distance removes that defense, and also isn't around to soak up the huge enemy melee blitz to then be ameliorated by swift-LoH. I.e., the party, rather than the paladin, takes it in the shorts. And yet they're still a paladin not getting all of a fighter's open feat slots to make archery really shine. The OoV paladin can smite more often, but gives up channeling, meaning that the feat Extra Channel is no longer available (so, subtract +4 daily LoH usages making EC a gimmie). And, by giving up Aura of Justice's charisma bonus to hit and DR-bypassing granted to allies (since AoJ replaced by his much weaker Powerful Justice), the party as a total package will be doing less damage during those climactic encounters where everything's on the line.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lelomenia wrote:


Familiar Adept is pretty impressive here

It's very important to note that D20PFSRD fails to communicate that the School Familiar familiar archetype is restricted and you cannot select it without having an archetype or feat. This was never explicitly stated in the printed copy of Familiar Folio (after all, it literally appeared on the same page as the feat and archetype that lets you take it, so it's pretty obvious) but when it was ported over to D20PFSRD and split into separate pages this clear link was lost. So the archetype does do a bit more than it first appears.

The archetype still terrible because those tradeoffs are simply ludicrously over the top for what you're getting, but it's just a bad archetype and not "the worst" as it might appear at a glance.


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The ragechemist alchemist isn't as bad as the brute vigilante but it did hold this title for some time. Stacking Int (& later Dex) penalties every time you're hit, which can knock you out...since it's a stacking penalty rather than Int damage you can't even heal it early.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:

I don’t know about the worst, but the Ecclesitheurge is pretty bad. You cannot use any armor or shields or you lose almost all class abilities. It basically turns you into a divine wizard. The problem being is that the clerics spell list is not really suited for this. They have very few good offensive spells other than those targeting outsiders and undead. They don’t have many really defensive spells. Sure they have spells that boost defenses, but they don’t get the stand alone defensive spells like Mage Armor, Mirror Image that can compensate for not wearing armor.

Not being able to wear armor means that you will need to boost your DEX to get AC. This makes the archetype incredibly M.A.D. Now you need a high WiS to cast, decent CHA for channel, and need a decent score in both CON and DEX. Sine you only get 2 skill points as a cleric dumping INT means you have no skills. STR can be dumped because without armor and a decent weapon you are not going to be engaging in combat if you can help it.

It’s not that bad. It’s just not that self reliant, especially at low level, so you’ll probably need to rely on a wand or a teammate for your mage armor. But one of your better early level defensive spells will probably be sanctuary.

I feel like the updated version gives as much as it takes anyway. It’s a good fit for someone who wants to be a typical fantasy priest type of character. It’s only real problem is that herald caller overshadows it in its niche.

What it gives:
1. Ranged spammable skill buff, which will be used almost constantly out of combat.
2. One of your domain’s spell lists basically added to your regular spell list.
3. The other domain, gets a replaceable spell list. And with some domains having great powers but bad spells, this can be a strong option.
4. A bonded object that allows you to spontaneously cast any cleric or domain spell of your level at a moments notice, once per day.

That’s a pretty nice list. And that’s just the highlights of what it can do.


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Slim Jim wrote:
MrCharisma wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
My picks are two archetypes that many people love, and think are just full of the purest dope: Divine Hunter and Oath of Vengeance Paladin. Why? Because both willingly forfeit the strongest martial feature in the game in high-level play: the ability to turn all of your allies into paladins just like you! --Why on earth would you ever give that up? Yet they do, even when submitting and defending their high-level build.
While I'm not a huge fan of the Oath of Vengeance or Divine Hunter, they're really not what the OP was asking about. Without Aura of Justice you're still nearly invincible and can still smite evil yourself. These archetypes may be weaker than their vanilla counterparts but can still make perfectly viable characters.
It's not that they aren't "viable" in stand-alone analysis, it's that they forfeit the team-player role of paladin. --To be near your party's paladin is to be continually bathed in +4 to various saves without needing to spend an action. Oh, yeah, that's the stuff; a little more over here please! But a Divine Hunter who runs off to plink from a distance removes that defense, and also isn't around to soak up the huge enemy melee blitz to then be ameliorated by swift-LoH. I.e., the party, rather than the paladin, takes it in the shorts. And yet they're still a paladin not getting all of a fighter's open feat slots to make archery really shine. The OoV paladin can smite more often, but gives up channeling, meaning that the feat Extra Channel is no longer available (so, subtract +4 daily LoH usages making EC a gimmie). And, by giving up Aura of Justice's charisma bonus to hit and DR-bypassing granted to allies (since AoJ replaced by his much weaker Powerful Justice), the party as a total package will be doing less damage during those climactic encounters where everything's on the line.

I really don't see how archetypes that make you weaker in a support role but stronger as the primary damage dealer can possibly compete with archetypes that risk turning you against your party in terms of worst ever. You can argue that the OoV Paladin is worse than an unarchetyped Paladin if you like, I think there's give and take on that (for example, if the other DPR character in your party is a ranged character that won't get the benefits of Aura of Justice anyways because they're out of range) but you cannot possibly argue it's at the same level of bad as the Rageshaper.


As a general rule I think reverse order of archetype value is something like.
1. Lose control
2. Lose options
3. Power is lower than raw HD advancement

I think the brute wins out here since its brute form can be triggered by others and the subject loses control. Once others learn the character's identity, they will know that simple shooting him while invisible will be enough to get the character killed, imprisoned or abandoned.

Oozemorph is certainly up there for similar reasons, but you can get around their main liability by using natural shapeshifting races.

Tree and River soul oracles are also in a similar boat. River being the worst since you need to carry water from a specific body of water with you at all times to gain access to your powers.

My submission for worst is probably hagbound witch. You lose all your spells if someone kills your familiar just like a normal witch, and you trade almost all of your hexes for strength boosts, alter self, and a curse hex, on a 1/3 BAB character. Your first free hex choice is level 6, meaning you don't have the hex class feature till then and thus can't take feats related to hexes till then. You also can't multiclass, need to start the archetype/class at first level, and must be evil.


Arachnofiend wrote:
I really don't see how archetypes that make you weaker in a support role but stronger as the primary damage dealer can possibly compete with archetypes that risk turning you against your party in terms of worst ever.
As I alluded in my first post in the thread, if an archetype is so terrible that no player actually ever plays one, then it's a non-factor. Ergo, the truly "worst" ones are those suboptimal choice that get played.
Quote:
archetypes that risk turning you against your party in terms of worst ever.

By that metric, the Wild Rager barbarian is worse than the Rage Shaper shifter due to being frighteningly effective at it.


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@Melkiador, MS: In particular you could make an ecclesitheurge like this. Bastet as the deity, which gives you a reason not to want to wear armor (you're wearing comfortable clothes or show-off clothes, as a cat-worshipper should), trickery/deception as the primary domain where you keep the granted powers and the spells, animal/fur as the secondary domain where you keep the granted powers - a meat shield, mainly - and don't usually have the spells, and swap between the other domains as you like daily for the domain spells.

Note that you can prepare mirror image in your normal spell slots, besides having a murder-kitty to distract the enemy from attacking you.

Dark Archive

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But the two archetypes you mentioned aren't THAT bad anyway :P I mean, you are assuming "one or three encounters per day and then retire to sleep" type of adventuring if you think being able to let others smite once is that much better than being able to smite something 8. From perspective of parties who complete whole dungeon in single day without novaing, latter is much more useful.


From a mathematical stand point getting 2 smites for the whole party or 8 smites for yourself is about equal. This assumes a party of 4 with now pets, and 8 lay on hands. If the party has more combatants than the whole party smites become more effective. On the other hand if the paladin has more lay on hands available the personal smites gain the advantage.

The other thing to consider is how tough is the creature you are fighting. Sure if you are fighting a power full dragon or demon the whole party smite is great. If on the other hand you are fighting number of strong foes that are not overwhelming they become a lot less useful.

The oath of vengeance archetype should definitely not be included in the list of worst archetypes

Dark Archive

Yeah, but difference is that 2 smites for whole party you likely use in two encounters while 8 smites you might only use one per encounter if at all (like if you don't want to bother smiting mooks)


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

I dislike all archetypes that require a certain race.

I don't care how awesome they are.

Restrictions based on race were 99% of why I stopped playing 1st and 2nd edition


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captain yesterday wrote:

I dislike all archetypes that require a certain race.

I don't care how awesome they are.

Restrictions based on race were 99% of why I stopped playing 1st and 2nd edition

I'm pretty okay with these, as they are usually meant to be a race and culture specific sort of thing.

The problem is when they're presented as something that should be generally available to players, instead of something that is generally restricted and might be available to players.

Dark Archive

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captain yesterday wrote:

I dislike all archetypes that require a certain race.

I don't care how awesome they are.

Restrictions based on race were 99% of why I stopped playing 1st and 2nd edition

Hey, I love race specific archetypes :P

Though I admit that I'm not keen on the ones where it doesn't really make sense why its race specific in the "Wait, why is this one specific to this race? There is nothing cultural or biological about this archetype specific to one race"


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Claxon wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:

I dislike all archetypes that require a certain race.

I don't care how awesome they are.

Restrictions based on race were 99% of why I stopped playing 1st and 2nd edition

I'm pretty okay with these, as they are usually meant to be a race and culture specific sort of thing.

The problem is when they're presented as something that should be generally available to players, instead of something that is generally restricted and might be available to players.

Absolutely! I love that they have archetypes for different races and what not, it just annoys me when it specifically restricts it to a certain race.

It's not a big deal or anything I'm going to crusade on, just an annoyance.


I feel like the racial archetypes are one things where we really want to be careful about separating culture from genetics. It's one thing if we're talking about a technique developed in a specific culture based on the priorities of that culture, it's another thing entirely if we have an "archetype focused around the use of a specific people's poison blood" since that's going to be much less useful to people who lack poison blood.


captain yesterday wrote:

I dislike all archetypes that require a certain race.

I don't care how awesome they are.

Restrictions based on race were 99% of why I stopped playing 1st and 2nd edition

I'd agree if most of the race archetypes weren't bad. Or you know, -Wis races with a Wis focused class.

Talking about you Catfolk Druid and Catfolk Monk


Mysterious Stranger wrote:
From a mathematical stand point getting 2 smites for the whole party or 8 smites for yourself is about equal.
It's not even close. Figure that most mid-adventure encounters are just winnable storytelling in which smite is just a minor luxury. It's the multiple-death-threatening "boss" encounters that matter, and the action economy involved when all of your allies are also able to smite is insane in those situations, The TPK Spectre whimpers and mewls in a corner.
Quote:

This assumes a party of 4 with now pets, and 8 lay on hands. If the party has more combatants than the whole party smites become more effective. On the other hand if the paladin has more lay on hands available the personal smites gain the advantage.

The other thing to consider is how tough is the creature you are fighting. Sure if you are fighting a power full dragon or demon the whole party smite is great. If on the other hand you are fighting number of strong foes that are not overwhelming they become a lot less useful.

The oath of vengeance archetype should definitely not be included in the list of worst archetypes

OoV forfeits channeling, and hence cannot take Extra Channel (which is worth +4 daily LoH), and must sacrifice two LoH to gain each extra smite. This takes him right out of the primary "damage sponge" role if he's to ever even remotely dream about unloading eight smites in one day.

Let's say we're a 6th-level halfling, gnome, or elf paladin with Fey Foundling and Greater Mercy, and are taking the racial FCB. Each LoH is worth 4d6+8 = 22hp at 6th. Extra Channel is therefore worth 88hp additional on-demand daily healing at 6th, and hence a tempting feat at 5th. A 6th-level OoV paladin is basically sacrificing 132hp worth of swift-action bandaging to gain just his first extra smite over the core class. 132? ...that's twice the party barbarian's raging hitpoints at 6th.

--Where the paladin is "most effective" is in managing attrition; swift-action Lay on Hands enables him to mitigate more raw damage than any other martial class in the game. As noted above, smite is just gravy most of the time. It's the other abilities of the class, LoH in particular, that make paladin rock. --The archetype-writer tempting you into frittering them away is evil. Make the save!


Having the option to do something doesnt make it a demand to do so. You can lay on hands just fine. You have the OPTION of not doing so. And indeed instead of channel can do smite? That's a great pay off.

Yeah I am with the majority here there isn't a bad archetype at all. Certainly not in the running for worst.


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SorrySleeping wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:

I dislike all archetypes that require a certain race.

I don't care how awesome they are.

Restrictions based on race were 99% of why I stopped playing 1st and 2nd edition

I'd agree if most of the race archetypes weren't bad. Or you know, -Wis races with a Wis focused class.

Talking about you Catfolk Druid and Catfolk Monk

A Wis penalty Druid is mean, but Nimble Guardian is pretty damn good. Your Wis mod is probably only one lower than it would be normally since wisdom isn't your primary stat, and you get Beast Shape III for the trouble. Combine it with the Nornkith archetype to key everything off Charisma, and it really shines for Catfolks.


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Extra channel doesn't exactly give 4 LoHs to a paladin. It gives 4 LoHs which can only be used to channel positive energy, i.e. 2 uses of channel positive energy to the paladin. The wording is just a workaround for the fact they don't have actual uses of channel energy. More often than not channeling energy is a waste of actions to a paladin because they don't have the spare feats to make it worthwhile; this is a bad feat for them.

Having a solid buff at level 11 is nice but 1) that's at level 11, 2) it requires the other party members to be really close and to use it immediately (which can be harder to set up than you think) and 3) it takes a standard action from the paladin to start - it's not a direct equivalent to the paladin's smite evil. It doesn't even affect the paladin directly, they'll need to use smite evil again (a 3rd use and a swift action) to be able to smite in the same encounter.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I don't know where it stands in terms of ranking, but I've always thought the Siege Mage archetype for Wizards was rubbish. Partially because siege weapons themselves aren't particularly impressive in Pathfinder, partially because wizards are veritable siege engines of their own (lobbing fireballs and disintegrating castle walls and teleporting defenders behind it, etc.!), and partially because taking *three* opposition schools of magic is a pretty high price for what you get.


It's a niche archetype that does well in siege games like Skull and Shackles.

Much like playing certain land type druids or fire oracles... if you're on the right setting they do amazing.

I can't say it's a great archetype for all games but if it's a game where "this comes up every other session"... yeah it don't suck.

Some, like the driver archetype above... that's going to pop up less so.


avr wrote:
Extra channel doesn't exactly give 4 LoHs to a paladin. It gives 4 LoHs which can only be used to channel positive energy, i.e. 2 uses of channel positive energy to the paladin. The wording is just a workaround for the fact they don't have actual uses of channel energy. More often than not channeling energy is a waste of actions to a paladin because they don't have the spare feats to make it worthwhile; this is a bad feat for them.
Since the paladin will be using those LoH to heal owies 99.99% of the time, it's well worth it. (And charisma-advancing paladins are much better at channeling than most clerics, and don't have fewer feat slots than clerics.)
Quote:
Having a solid buff at level 11 is nice but 1) that's at level 11, 2) it requires the other party members to be really close and to use it immediately (which can be harder to set up than you think) and 3) it takes a standard action from the paladin to start - it's not a direct equivalent to the paladin's smite evil. It doesn't even affect the paladin directly, they'll need to use smite evil again (a 3rd use and a swift action) to be able to smite in the same encounter.

As a standard action, it can be readied. I.e, "If I see a big dragon or demon on the other side of this teleportation circle, it's going off!" Unlike a readied buff spell, Aura of Justice deployment can’t be disrupted or counterspelled, and doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity.

Silver Crusade

Cavall wrote:

It's a niche archetype that does well in siege games like Skull and Shackles.

When we played Skull and Shackles we tried the ship combat rules and quickly decided they totally sucked and from then on just got the PCs onto the other ship as quickly as possible and kicked NPC ass.

That was the first few books only so maybe the actual siege rules came into effect later. But I agree, fireballs, dim door etc are probably MUCH more useful

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