Older editions of the game handled multiclassing much differently, and as a result triple-class characters were not only viable, in many cases they were significantly stronger than single-class characters. There’s good reason to move away from the way that rules edition handled the concept, but it does mean the fighter/magic-user/thief (a staple, especially for elves and half-elves) ceases to be an effective, easy class to build, and that’s kind of a shame.
However, with the advent of hybrid classes (from the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Advanced Class Guide), there’s no reason a balanced, fun and effective f/m-u/t can’t be re-introduced into the game. It just needs some creative application of the design rules, some way to avoid the pitfalls such multi-focus characters often suffer, and some careful balancing. Such an effort is presented below. (And I did something similar with the cavalier-paladin, some time ago, if you want to look at that.)
For extra flavor, a GM might consider limiting the class to half-elves. 😀
A hybrid class.
Hit Die: d8
Parent Classes: Fighter, Rogue, Wizard
Starting Wealth: 5d6 × 10 gp (average 175 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.
Class Skills: The fighter/magic-user/thief’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all, each taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), Perception (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), and Swim (Str).
Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.
Level BaB Fort Ref Will 0th 1st 2nd 3rd Special
1 +0 +1 +1 +1 2 – – – Broad training
2 +1 +1 +1 +1 2 – – – Sneak attack +1 point, trapfinding
3 +2 +2 +2 +2 2 – – – Knack
4 +3 +2 +2 +2 2 0 – – School (1st)
5 +3 +3 +3 +3 3 1 – – Sneak attack +1d4
6 +4 +3 +3 +3 3 1 – – Knack
7 +5 +3 +3 +3 3 1 0 – Evasion
8 +6* +4 +4 +4 3 1 1 – Sneak attack +2d4
9 +6* +4 +4 +4 4 2 1 – Knack
10 +7* +5 +5 +5 4 2 1 0 Uncanny dodge
11 +8* +5 +5 +5 4 2 1 1 Sneak attack +3d4
12 +9* +5 +5 +5 4 2 2 1 Knack
13 +9* +6 +6 +6 4 3 2 1 Bravery +2
14 +10* +6 +6 +6 4 3 2 1 Sneak attack +4d4
15 +11* +7 +7 +7 4 3 2 2 Knack
16 +12* +7 +7 +7 4 3 3 2 School (6th/8th)
17 +12* +7 +7 +7 4 4 3 2 Sneak attack +5d4
18 +13* +8 +8 +8 4 4 3 2 Knack
19 +14* +8 +8 +8 4 4 3 3 Improved uncanny dodge
20 +15* +9 +9 +9 4 4 4 3 Sneak attack +6d4
*The fighter/magic-user/thief receives iterative attacks as normal, the chart does not show them to simply presentation
Proficiency: You are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and light and medium armor. Because all your fighter/magic-user/thief spells are considered to have the Still Spell feat (see “Spells,” below), you can ignore arcane spell failure.
Spells: You casts spells drawn from the wizard spells list, and keep a spellbook, learn and prepare spells like a wizard, and gains 2 new spells known of a level you can cast at each new class level . Your caster level is equal to your class level. All your spells automatically gain the benefit of the Still Spell feat, allowing you to cast spells in armor without dealing with arcane spell failure and while wielding 2-handed weapons.
Because of your training in methods of combat and the ways of stealth and subterfuge, your spells are powered less by how smart you are than by how nimble you are. You use Dexterity to determine what level spell you can cast, your spells’ save DCs and bonus spells, and any calculation that uses Intelligence in a spell (or your school, see below) is instead calculated using your Dexterity.
Broad Training: You are considered to have a base attack bonus of +1, the ability to cast 1st level spells, and 1d6 of sneak attack, for purposes of meeting prerequisites and drawing a weapon as part of a move action when moving. You treat your class level as your fighter level, rogue level, and wizard level when meeting prerequisites including feat prerequisites). If this is your favored class, you can take a racial favored class bonus for fighter, rogue, or wizard at each level. Although you do not have the armor training or weapon training class features, for purposes of prerequisites you are treated as having them if a fighter with a level equal to your class level had them (and of having them with the same bonus as a fighter of your class level when calculations use that information). For weapon training, you also select weapon groups it would have applied to, if you had it, for use with the Advanced Weapon Training feat, even though you do not actually gain the normal bonuses from weapon training with those groups.
Sneak Attack: As the rogue class feature, except when you first gain this ability it deals only +1 point of damage (though it qualifies for any sneak attack talent you select with your knack). This increases to +1d4 at 5th level, and by an additional 1d4 every 3 levels thereafter.
Trapfinding: As the rogue class feature.
Knack: At 3rd level, and every 3 level thereafter, you gain a bonus combat feat, a bonus metamagic feat, a bonus item creation feat, or a rogue talent. You must meet the selection’s prerequisites, and have any relevant class feature it modifies. Each time you gain a new knack, you may choose to learn a new knack in place of a knack you have already learned. In effect, you lose the knack in exchange for the new one. The knack cannot be one that was used as a prerequisite for another feat, prestige class, or other ability. You can only change one knack at any given level and must choose whether or not to swap the knack at the time you gain a new knack for the level.
School: At 4th level, you select one wizard school. You are not considered specialized in the associated school, and you to not pick opposition schools—this has no effect on how many spells per day you can prepare or your chance to learn spells of various schools. You do, however, gain the abilities from this school that a wizard gains at 1st level. Your class level acts as your wizard level for any calculations of these abilities.
At 16th level, you also gain any abilities from the school that a wizard would have by 8th level (regardless of what level the wizard would have gained them, if it is before 8th level).
Evasion: At 7th level you gain evasion, as the rogue class feature. It functions if you are in no armor, light armor, or medium armor.
Uncanny Dodge: At 10th level you gain uncanny dodge, as the rogue class feature. At 19th level this upgrades to improved uncanny dodge. Both functions if you are in no armor, light armor, or medium armor.
Bravery: At 13th level your gain bravery, as the fighter class feature, with a flat +2 bonus.
Speaking of Old school Ideas
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Sagani. A sagani is a mystic who has made a connection to the elemental powers, and attuned their soul to the four elements. This allows them to draw on elemental power and eventually even take on elemental forms. A sagani uses the hit dice, proficiencies, class skills, skill points per level, base attack, base saves, starting wealth, and starting age as a hunter. A sagani has spells per day and spells known as a bard and is a divine spellcaster. The sagani’s class spell list is comprised of all wizard elemental specialist spells, and all druid spells (which are treated as being one spell level higher than they are for a druid). At 1st level and every odd level thereafter a sagani gains a favored terrain or terrain mastery from the horizon walker class features. If at least 11th level the sagani may instead select a terrain dominance or the ranger abilities of camouflage or (if camouflage has been taken) hide in plain sight.
At 4th level, a sagani gains the ability to turn herself into an elemental back again once per day. The effect lasts for 1 hour per class level, or until she changes back. Changing form is a standard action and doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity. A sagani does not lose her ability to speak while in elemental form, and can automatically speak the elemental language connected to her elemental form (even if she doesn’t normally know it). A sagani can use this ability an additional time per day at 6th level and every two levels thereafter, for a total of eight times at 18th level. At 20th level, a sagani can use this ability at will. At 8th level, a sagani can choose to become one size category larger or smaller when assuming an elemental form. At 12th level, a sagani can choose to become two sizes larger or smaller when assuming an elemental form. At 16th level, a sagani can choose to become three sizes larger or smaller when assuming an elemental form. This acts as monstrous form I, II, or III (for modifiers based on size, without granting the abilities of any specific monstrous humanoid). The sagani builds its four elemental forms by gaining the base form of an unchained summoner elemental eidolon and adding the base evolutions of an eidolon of a summoner equal to the sagani’s class level. The base form does not gain any other evolutions. A sagani cannot cast air spells as an earth elemental (and vice versa), or fire spells as a water elemental (or vice versa).
The sagani gains no other class features. #QuickBaseClass
It’s become something of a joke among my friends and online followers that when I am suffering from massive sleep deprivation, or am on powerful narcotic painkillers, or both, I tend to be more creative in my online writing. I think some of this is the killing of my internal censor, that often squelches ideas before they have a chance to grow. It’s also been suggested that these ideas may be the fleeting flashes of inspiration I’m always having, but must postpone to be responsible and get my work done. Obviously when I can’t focus for more than a few minutes at a time and don’t trust my ability to do quality work, I tend not to worry about restricting myself to crucial projects.
So it is, tonight.
I had a flash of nostalgia tonight for the cavalier-paladin class from the days of Dragon Magazine. One of my early rpg experiences was playing a fighter in thrown-together night of gaming, where all the characters were competing in a tournament. Someone who became one of my very best friends played a cavalier-paladin who, despite my rolling something like 5 natural 20s in 10 rounds of combat, still kicked my ass. But she also decided my character was valiant and worthy, and the two PCs became good friends.
Just like the two players.
So most of the actual features of the cavalier-paladin aren’t things that would work well as a focus mechanic for a Pathfinder class. But in my mental haze, I decided I really wanted to create cavalier-paladin hybrid class, and one with very little “new” mechanical consideration. I expected to jot down some notes to maybe work on some other day. Instead, 30 minutes later it was done. (Writing this foreword has taken longer than writing the hybrid class rules.)
So I am proud to present the world’s first Hybrid Nostalgia Class: the cavalier-paladin.
A select, worthy few are called to be warriors for the divine, and seek to perfect their skill by dedicating themselves to an organization fighting for a cause. Though still entirely devoted to the service and justice and righteousness, these crusaders believe they can best serve as part of a larger whole. Known as cavalier-paladins, these fearless knights are blessed with boons to aid them in their quests, but also ceaselessly train to improve and inspire others. The cavalier-paladin’s power comes from adherence to ironclad laws of morality and discipline, the conviction of her ideals, the oaths that she swears, and the divine power to smite the wicked.
Role: Cavalier-paladins serve as beacons for their allies within the chaos of battle, marshalling allied forces and controlling the flow of the fight. While deadly opponents of evil, outside of battle cavalier-paladins can be found advancing their cause through diplomacy and, if needed, intrigue. Their magical and martial skills also make them well suited to defending others and blessing the fallen with the strength to continue fighting.
Alignment: Lawful good
Hit Die: d10
Parent Classes: Cavalier and paladin
Starting Wealth: 5d6 × 10 gp (average 175 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.
The cavalier-paladin’s class skills are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Swim (Str).
Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.
Order: Abilities from her order that state they function when a cavalier of the order is using her challenge ability instead function when the cavalier-paladin is using smite evil.
Every cavalier-paladin follows a paladin code (either the standard code from the base paladin class, or a special code determined by the deity the cavalier-paladin worships). A cavalier-paladin must select an order that has edicts that do not violate the paladin’s code. If a cavalier-paladin violates her code, she loses all cavalier-paladin spells and class features (including the service of the cavalier-paladin’s mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). She may not progress any further in levels as a cavalier-paladin. She regains her abilities and advancement potential if she atones for her violations (see atonement), as appropriate.
If a cavalier-paladin violates the edicts of her order without violating her paladin code, she loses the smite evil benefits from her order, and all order abilities (though not the order’s skill benefits) for 24 hours.
Divine Bond: If the cavalier-paladin selects a weapon bonus, initially enhancing the weapon only causes it to shed light as a torch and count as a magic weapon for those purposes where a magic weapon functions differently than a mundane weapon (such as bypassing DR). Beginning at 5th level, the weapon bond functions normally.
If she selects a bonded mount, this works normally as the paladin option.
Spells: Beginning at 8th level, a cavalier-paladin gains the ability to cast a small number of divine spells which are drawn from the paladin spell list. A cavalier-paladin must choose and prepare her spells in advance.
To prepare or cast a spell, a cavalier-paladin must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a cavalier-paladin’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the paladin’s Charisma modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a cavalier-paladin can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Cavalier-Paladin. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Charisma score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells). When Table: Cavalier-Paladin indicates that the cavalier-paladin gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, she gains only the bonus spells she would be entitled to based on her Charisma score for that spell level.
A cavalier-paladin must spend 1 hour each day in quiet prayer and meditation to regain her daily allotment of spells. A cavalier-paladin may prepare and cast any spell on the paladin spell list, provided that she can cast spells of that level, but she must choose which spells to prepare during her daily meditation.
Through 7th level, a cavalier-paladin has no caster level. At 8th level and higher, her caster level is equal to half her cavalier-paladin level. Unlike a paladin, a cavalier-paladin never gains 4th level spells.
Bonus Feat: The cavalier-paladin gets a single bonus feat at 6th level. No additional bonus feats are gained every 6 levels thereafter.
Warcaster. A warcaster is a powerful tool of divine retribution answering to a god or some other spiritual power. Use hit dice, proficiencies, class skills, base attack, base saves, starting wealth, and starting age as a cleric. Gain 4 skill points/level. Gain spells known and spells per day as a medium, selecting spells from the cleric or inquisitor spell list.
The warcaster gains a spirit blade as a supernatural ability at 1st level. This functions as the spell spiritual weapon except as follows: the base damage is equal to the sacred weapon damage of a Medium warpriest of the same level (rather than 1d8); it threatens on a 20 and has a x2 crit multipler; the weapon has a range of 10 feet + 10 feet per class level; it uses your caster level as its base attack bonus (including multiple attacks as caster level 6th or higher); it strikes as a weapon rather than a spell (ignoring SR but subject to DR, and subject to spells and feats that augment weapons); it may take the appearance (and deal the damage type) of any weapon you wish (but once selected this cannot be changed). The spirit blade takes a full round action to summon, can be summoned an unlimited number of times per day (though never more than 1 at a time), and remains until dismissed or dispelled (as a spell). The warcaster has an arcane pool as a magus of the same level, which can only be used to augment the spirit blade. At 2nd level the warcaster gains spell combat as a magus of the same level, but attacks made when using this ability can only be made with the spirit weapon. (This functions as improved spell combat at 9th level, and greater spell combat at 15th level.) At 4th level the warcaster gains spellstrike as a magus, but attacks made when using this ability can only be made with the spirit weapon. When using spellstrike, the warcaster may choose for the spirit blade to deal no damage.
The warcaster gains no other class features. #QuickBaseClass
Spellbinder: A spellbinder is a powerful spellcaster that can manipulate and adjust spells on the fly, producing magic effects more powerful than other spellcasters of the same experience. Use hit dice, proficiencies, class skills, base attack, base saves, starting wealth, and starting age as a wizard, and 4 skill points per class level. The spellbinder casts spells as a wizard, with the following exceptions. The spellbinder does not need a spellbook – while the spellbinder takes the same time and cost and skill checks to learn a spell as a wizard does to scribe it into a spellbook, and the spellbinder succeeds the spell is known and can be prepared without referring to any other source. The spellbinder prepares two spells in every spell preparation slot, but can only cast one of them (selected when the spell is cast). The spellbinder gains four spells known when gaining a class level (rather than the two spells known of a wizard). The spellbinder can select spells from the druid or wizard spell lists for these four spells known, and can learn spells from alchemist formula books and wizard spellbooks. The spellbinder treats his class spell list as including all wizard spells, and any alchemist extract or druid spell he knows.
At 1st level and every level thereafter, the spellbinder gains a bonus metamagic feat. These metamagic feats cannot increase the spell slot of spells cast with them by more than half the spellbinder’s class level (minimum 1). A spellbinder cannot prepare spells with metamagic feats, but instead adds them later using a metamagic pool. A spellbinder has a number of points in his metamagic pool equal to half his class level (minimum 1) plus his Intelligence modifier (to a maximum of half his level, minimum 1). When a spellbinder casts a spell he may add a metamagic feat (as if a spontaneous spellcaster) by spending a number of points from his metamagic pool equal to the additional spell levels required by the metamagic added (minimum of 1 metamagic point per metamagic feat added, and to a maximum spell adjustment equal to 1/3 her caster level – minimum of 1). A spellbinder cannot add metmagic feats to a spell if she lacks the metamagic points to cover it’s spell level adjustment.
The spellbinder gains no other class features. #QuickBaseClass
Virago: Viragoes are skilled combatants who focus on victory through cooperation and wise decisions. Though able to fight valiantly on her own, a virago is at her best when she has tools and allies to direct to the defeat of her foes. Because most of the cultures that commonly train viragoes treat men and women equally, many scholars of more patriarchal lands claim viragoes are exclusively female, though this is untrue. Use hit dice and base attack bonus as a fighter. Use the base saves, class skills, skill points/level, starting wealth, and starting as a skald. At 1st level the virago gains a Wise Bond. This may be a mount (as the cavalier class feature, using her virago level as her cavalier level), the ranger favored terrain class feature (gaining an additional terrain and +2 bonus to any one favored terrain at 5th and every 4 levels thereafter), a bond with her hunting companions (as the hunter’s bond ranger class feature), or a druidic animal/terrain domain (with granted spells gained from the domain cast once per day as spell-like abilities). Also at first level she gains the ability to declare a specific foe a favored enemy as a standard action (as the ranger class feature) but with a +1 bonus. It remains a favored enemy until killed or 24 hours, whichever comes first. She can do this a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Wisdom bonus, and the bonus increases by +1 at 5th level, and every 5 levels thereafter.
At 2nd level, the virago gains the cavalier’s tactician class feature. She gains an additional bonus teamwork feat, and an additional use per day of this ability, at 4th level and every even level thereafter. At 3rd level she gains the inquisitor’s solo tactics class feature. At 5th level she can use tactician as a move action. At 7th level she can change her more recent teamwork feat (as the inquisitor teamwork feat class feature). At 9th level tactician’s range expands to 60 feet. At 11th level she can use tactician as a swift action. At 13th level she can change her last two most recent teamwork feats. At 15th level tactician applies to any ally able to see and hear her. At 17th level she can use tactician to grant any two teamwork feats she knows. A Virgo is treated as being trained in Use Magic Device at 3rd level (with a skill check of class level + Wisdom bonus) and meets prerequisites as if she had ranks equal to her class level. At 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th level she gains a bonus Item mastery feat (for which she must meet the prerequisites). A number of times per day equal to her Wisdom bonus, she may use an Item mastery feat without it counting against her maximum uses per day of that feat. At 20th level, she can use Item mastery feats as swift actions.
The virago gains no other class features. #QuickBaseClass