I was asked by a patron what Super Genius Games classes I would recommend to replace the existing Paizo base and core classes. The answer got lengthy, so I decided to include it here in case anyone else was interested in that idea.
Alchemist: I don’t want to suggest a replacement for the alchemist, but I DO want to suggest a way to make the class feel very different with SGG products – specifically Advanced Options: Alchemists’ Discoveries. That’s because in addition to the standard “more discoveries” material, it includes two alternate forms of alchemy – spagyric devices and metamorphosis – that can replace mutagens, or extracts, or bombs. Spagyric devices are essentially “DaVinci Punk” age-of-enlightenment mad scientist creations, and metamorphosis is an in-and-out-of-combat set of options to turn lead into gold, or sweat into acid, or whatever.
With these options not every alchemist is a bomb-throwing Mr.Hyde wannabe, allowing the class to be much more flexible and much less predictable).
Barbarian: The Mighty Godling (from The Genius Guide to the Godling). Like the barbarian, the mighty godling does well in a ‘hit-it-until-it-stops’ moving capacity, and has a set of expansion options (godling stuff rather than rage) allowing for expansion beyond thews and axe-swinging.
Bard: If what you want from a bard is a spellcaster with a different flavor I suggest the Mosaic Mage (from The Genius Guide to the Mosaic Mage), Ryan Costello, Jr.’s awesome take on a caster that ties magic abilities thematically to one (or two) colors.
Cavalier: I’ll go with the War Master (from The Genius Guide to the War Master), as a full-attack-progression class with group-augmentation abilities). It has group tactics powers, ties to the upper class, and fair fighting capacity on its own.
Also, the talented cavalier (The Genius Guide to the Talented Cavalier), which (along with Genius Guide to More Cavalier Talents) can be used to create everything from knights to samurai to sheriffs to naval officers.
Cleric: Though the end results can be very different, I’d recommend either the adept or eldritch godling (from The Genius Guide to Mythic Godlings). You’d have to pick the right spell lists to really fill the same niche, but the spellcaster-with-divine ties comes through nicely.
Druid: Oddly, the Death Mage from The Genius Guide to the Death Mage. The death mage is to wizards as the druid is to clerics — a similarly-built spellcaster with a strong thematic link to one concept. It won’t work as well if you want your druid-replacement to be a strong healer, but if you just want a spellcaster who is useful but doesn’t feel like a typical cleric or wizard, it fills the “other spellcaster” role well.
Fighter: I’d use the Armiger, from The Genius Guide to the Armiger. Oddly the armiger only has a 2/3 base attack progression, but its focus on defense (for itself AND for others, to encourage foes to attack the armiger first even if other PCs are doing more damage) does a good job for the “tank” role some players desire with fighters.
Also, the talented fighter (The Genius Guide to the Talented Fighter), which can turn your fighter into any of a wide range of classic combatant-types.
Gunslinger: The Fusilier, an alternate class or gunslinger presented in Ultimate Options: Grit and Gunslingers. It replaces Wisdom-based Grit with Charisma-based panache, and can use deeds with precision weapons (including rapiers), allowing it to be useful even in games with no firearms.
Inquisitor: The Justicar, an alternate class of inquisitor presented in Advanced Options: Inquisitor’s Judgments. The Justicar is a full-attack-progression class with no spellcasting, but a much wider range of judgments available.
Magus: The Archon, from The Genius Guide to the Archon. The archon has a full attack progression, and arcane spellcasting similar to the paladin and ranger’s divine spellcasting. If the magus is an even mix of fighter and wizard, the archon is more like a fighter with a dash of wizard for spice.
Monk: I recommend the clever godling, from The Genius Guide to the Godling. Like a monk it’s a combatant, but has tricks up its sleeve and can be surprisingly self-sufficient.
Also, the talented monk (The Genius Guide to the Talented Monk), which lets you built traditional students of eastern fighting philosophies, or more rough-and-tumble martial arts of any alignment, or even highly trained masters of the samurai fighting styles (with or without weapons, with or without armor, and so on)
Paladin: The Templar, from The Genius Guide to the Templar. This class can be of any alignment and serves as the militant arm of a religion, rather than a beacon of justice and order, but a LG templar is going to act a lot like a paladin. Full attack progression, no spells, but prayers and granted powers in keeping with their religious background.
Oracle: The Magister, from The Genius Guide to the Magister. A spontaneous class with some neat abilities, the magister’s main claim to fame is it can pick spells from multiple class lists (subject to some well-proven restrictions to maintain balance). In fact, almost any spellcasting class *can* be swapped out for a magister, but I think it’s most likely to scratch the same itch as the oracle for PCs.
Ranger: The Vanguard, from The Genius Guide to the Vanguard by Marc Radle. It’s a hybrid fighting/casting class with moderate attack and 6 levels of spells, but it does very well as an in-the-door-first character, and compliments other classes well in much the same way the ranger does.
But also, the Spell-Less Ranger, ALSO by Marc Radle. It’s not a SGG book, but it does a GREAT job of turning the ranger into a class that depends on knacks and talents over spells, and I am a big fan. I even wrote #1 With a Bullet Point: 6 Spell-Less Ranger Feats to support it!
Rogue: The Shadow Assassin, from The Genius Guide to the Shadow Assassin. A class with specialty darkness powers and a lot of stealth, that can do many of the same jobs a rogue does, even though it has an almost totally different set of abilities.
Also, the talented rogue (The Genius Guide to the Talented Rogue), which lets you build everything from cold-blooded killers to criminal thugs, confidence men, and bounty hunters.
Sorcerer: I’m not sure anything can replace a sorcerer but more sorcerers. Instead I am again going to suggest just changing how your sorcerers play without getting rid of the class. Use the Endowments from Sorcerer’s Options: Beyond Bloodlines. These are like the sorcerer version of wizards’ discoveries, but focus on the idea that magic is *innate* to sorcerers, making them even more different from preparation spellcasters.
Summoner: If you like the link to another creature that is a big part of your class power, and some spellcasting, AND you happen to like dragons, you might like the more martial version of that connection from The Genius Guide to the Dragonrider. (My FIRST Pathfinder-compatible product!)
Witch: The hellion, from The Genius Guide to the Hellion. The hellion is to the witch as the magus is to the wizard, along with having options different from either of its predecessors. I am very happy with this design, and it seems to be a fan favorite in play.
Wizard: The Time Thief, from The Genius Guide to the Time Thief. Which is NOTHING like a wizard, but I haven’t mentioned yet, and it’s my favorite of all the classes I have designed as a 3pp Pathfinder writer. 🙂 If you want a little more magic with your time control, try The Time Warden, instead.