Monday, October 31, 2011

Yet More Classes for Pathfinder Lite!


 

The last months flew by. One week and a half ago this blog made one year (and this is its 200th post). I didn’t expect to reach both marks. First, because I my English is simply awful and I didn’t knew if I had enough practice to keep a blog (and yeah, I’m aware that I’m still far from good). Second, I feared I’d quickly lose my interest, forgetting to keep this Tower properly updated. To my surprise, not only new ideas for posts came with relative easy, but I also greatly enjoyed what become like a second hobby for me. Moving out of town and losing touch with most of my friends (and game groups) really changed my weekly tasks of posting in the Tower to something almost therapeutically. Now I’m finally getting used to my life in Belo Horizonte – including a new game group (and, if I had more time, maybe two) and a meeting point with local gamers. Ironically, I noted that these two elements (plus my old group, for whom I still run a game every two or three months) are taking a considerable portion of my free time and thus making this blog harder to maintain. I don’t want this to happen, as I believe that now I own lots of hours of enjoyment to this inconspicuous Tower.

So, while this post isn’t as good as the one about Vancian magic, I hope you like this Lite versions of the remaining Core Rulebook classes. I may try in the future to do the same with the new base classes from the Advanced Player’s Guide, Ultimate Magic and Ultimate Combat.

And talking about Pathfinder Lite, I’m very curious about the small alterations and simplifications done to the Pathfinder Beginner Box and I’ll try to get a copy of it in the next months.


Pathfinder Lite

The Bard

Level
Class Features
1
Bardic Knowledge, Bardic Performance, Cantrips, Countersong, Distraction, Fascinate, Inspire Courage +1, Spells
2
Versatile Performance, Well-versed
3
Inspire Competence +2, Still Spell (Feat)
4
+2 Charisma
5
Inspire Courage +2, Extra Performance (Feat), Lore Master 1/day

  • The Bard is a more complex class and too front-loaded for a Pathfinder Lite game in my opinion; because of this you’ll note that I removed the first Feat. The above build reinforces the Bard’s support role (Extra Performance) and strengths the idea that Bardic magic is more about voice than intricate hand gestures (Still Spell).
  • I was really tempted to simplify Bardic Performance in a more radical sense, chancing this class feature to a basic “anti-magic” defense. It would be less versatile and subtle, but easier to use for beginners. If you want to give it a try, remove Countersong, Distraction, Fascinate and Inspire Competence +2. Replace these with a new Bardic Performance called Spellbane: At 1st level, a bard learns to counter spells with his performances. Each round of spellbane the bard must make a Perform (keyboard, percussion, wind, string, or sing) skill check. Any target within 30 feet of the bard that attempts to cast a spell with verbal components must succeed at a Concentration check (DC is the bard’s Perform check result for the round). If a creature within this area is keeping a spell with a duration of Concentration, then he also must make a Concentration check every round. Spellbane requires that the bard spends a move-action every round to maintain it (the bard must also roll a new Performance check at the beginning of his turn). Spellbane affects a number of targets within sight equal to the bard’s level. At the beginning of his turn, a bard can change targets. Spellbane relies on audible components.

The Monk

Level
Class Features
1
Improved Grapple (Feat), Flurry of Blows, Stunning Fist, Monk Unarmed Style
2
Evasion
3
Deflect Arrows (Feat), Fast Movement, Still Mind
4
Slow Fall, +2 to Dexterity or Wisdom
5
High Jump, Blind Fight (Feat), Ki Pool (Magic), Purity of Body

  • Ok, some major changes here. The new class feature Monk Unarmed Style was created for my home games in the 3.5 edition to remove the class’s dependency on multiple Ability Scores. Monk Unarmed Style: The monk gains all the benefits of the old Unarmed Strike class feature. He also uses his total monk class level as his base attack bonus for the purpose of determining CMB and CMD. Finally he can use his Dexterity modifiers for melee attack rolls and his Wisdom modifier for damage rolls when using weapons for which the monk class is proficient (including Unarmed Strike).This new class feature substitutes the 1st and 2nd level Bonus Feats, Unarmed Strike and Maneuver Training.
  • I picked Improved Grapple, Deflect Arrows and Blind Fight as Feats. I believe that, together, they form a good “iconic monk” suit of abilities. Finally, I placed Ki Pool (Magic) at 5th level – sort of a benchmark feature. To compensate for this, I let monks choose among two Ability Scores at 4th.

The Paladin

Level
Class Features
1
Detect Evil, Smite Evil 1/day, Extra Lay on Hands (Feat)
2
Divine Grave, Lay on Hands
3
Aura of Courage, Divine Health, Mercy (Fatigue), Extra Mercy (Sickened) (Feat)
4
Channel Positive Energy, Smite Evil 2/day
5
Divine Guard, Mercy (Shaken) (Feat)

  • I removed the paladin’s spells, in part to keep the class simple, besides reinforcing its aspect as a “holy knight” instead of a “martial priest” (already taken by the cleric).
  • Divine Bond is too much to bother with. I replaced it with Divine Guard: the paladin can, a swift action, spent one use Channel Positive Energy to have protection against evil cast on himself. Use his paladin class level as caster level.


The Ranger

Level
Class Features
1
1st Favored Enemy, Track, Wild Empathy, Mobility (Bonus Feat), Run (Feat)
2
Spring Attack (Bonus Feat)
3
1st Favored Terrain, Endurance, Nimble Moves (Feat)
4
Hunter’s Guidance, +2 to Strength or Wisdom
5
2nd Favored Enemy, 2nd Favored Terrain, Catch Off-Guard (Feat)

  • I never liked of “virtual feats”, so I removed Combat Style and replaced it with Bonus Feats. Instead of choosing among different weapon styles I transformed the ranger in a scout. So now he gains Mobility and Spring Attack as Bonus Feats. Run and Nimble Moves supplement this. Catch Off-Guard is just to reinforce an idea of mine – I like the concept of the experienced ranger who can use broken weapons (or really anything at hands) as something lethal.
  • Hunter’s Guidance is just a fanciful name for Hunter’s Bond (Companions). Let’s leave Animal Companion as an iconic ability of the druid.
  • Again, I removed spellcasting but added a 2nd Favored Terrain at 5th level.

The Sorcerer

Level
Class Features
1
Cantrips, Combat Casting (Feat), Eldritch Aura, Eschew Materials
2
Eldritch Sustenance
3
Energy Resistance 5 (chose one), Silent Spell (Feat)
4
+2 to Charisma
5
Dispel Magic 1/day, Still Spell (Feat)

  • I removed Bloodlines. While I understand that they’re awesome and so, I don’t want to complicate things. Sorcerers here are – reputedly – descendants from dragons, gods and other eldritch things. They’re also magic mavericks. I replaced Bloodline’s powers with Eldritch Aura, Eldritch Sustenance, Energy Resistance and Dispel Magic.
  • Eldritch Aura (Su): as a sorcerer you always summon greater amounts of eldritch power. After casting any spell you can chose, as a free action, to be surrounded by a magical aura (it emits light like a torch). Eldritch Aura remains in effect for 1 round, plus an extra round per spell level. Each round, again as a free action, you must chose one of the following benefits – +1 bonus to AC/CMD; +1 to saves against spells (and spell-like abilities) or the ability to make touch attacks that deals 1d4 points of damage. These bonus increases to +2 at 4th level (and the touch attack to 1d6).
  • Eldritch Sustenance (Su): as a full-round action you can spend one spell slot of 1st level or higher to nourish yourself (you don’t require food and water for 1 day).
  • Dispel Magic 1/day as a spell-like ability.