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The Shape of Gelatinous Evolution

Idea: Gelatinous Oozes change shape from cubes as they age, and gain special powers, based on their shape.

Gelatinous Torus: Gets increased speed and Spring Attack
Gelatinous Pyramid: Gets Spell Resistance equal to 15 + CR
Gelatinous Reuleaux Triangle: Gains the power of two other oozes, selected as random.
Gelatinous Apollonian Gasket: Can cast enlarge and reduce person, even on oozes, at will
Gelatinous Hyperboloid: Can cast haste and slow at will, and time stop once per day
Gelatinous Lemniscate: Gains the ghost’s rejuvenation ability.

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36 Years of Thought on Alignment in 500 Words

So, here is my entirely personal and unofficial guideline to alignment, based not on any one game system within the D&D/D20 lineage, but my opinions evolving over 36 years of playing in games with systems using Lawful, Chaotic, Neutral, Good, and Evil to make 9 alignments.

Lawful characters believe orderly systems are most likely to achieve their goals and be most effective overall, and consider the faults of orderly systems to be more acceptable compared to the dangers of a system that is too lose and disorganized. They fear anarchy more than tyranny.

Chaotic characters believe loose, adaptable systems are most likely to achieve their goals and be most effective overall, and consider the faults of loose systems to be more acceptable compared to the dangers of a system that is too strict and rigid. They fear tyranny more than anarchy.

Characters who are neutral rather than Lawful or Chaotic see strengths and weaknesses to both ways of doing things, and tend to work with whatever seems best on a case by case.

Good characters are willing to suffer to save others from suffering, and generally think most people should feel the same way at least to some degree (and that those that don’t are amoral).

Evil characters are willing to make others suffer to avoid suffering themselves, and generally think most people should feel the same way (and that those who don’t are stupid).

Characters neutral rather than Good or Evil would rather no one suffer to save someone else from suffering, and think both extremes are based more on dogma or emotion than rationality or realism.

True Neutral characters either don’t have strong opinion on any of this, or actively strive towards a cosmic balance.

For characters without some supernatural element to their alignment, these are trends, not absolutes. A lawful good character can generally believe that orderly systems are the most effective and that everyone should be willing to suffer to prevent the suffering of others, but still have a prejudice against orcs and think laws protecting orcs are wrongheaded. They are, in those moments, neither lawful nor good, but as long as those moments are not common or major (or cause the character to act in a way majorly at odds with their alignment), that’s an aberration, rather than something that automatically changes their alignment.

Characters with supernatural alignment elements still feel the same way as those without, but as a result of their very essential nature rather than merely their experience and opinions.

And in the short form, that’s it. It’s a set of tendencies that express your characters attitudes and methodology in the broadest of terms. Except where constrained by class, a character that is 51% lawful and 49% chaotic can be described as of lawful alignment (as can a character that is 34% lawful, 33% on the fence, and 33% chaotic). Characters are not assumed to be paragons of one of nine possible ethos descriptions, just trending toward one of them.

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A Post Script

I have never understood wanting to use game rules to claim a fictional reality must conform to some very narrow view of how it’s cosmology or physics “work” because of how the game rules are written.,

Yes, those are the mechanism we use to have fictional characters interact with a fictional world. But the game rules are always a simplified expression of the complexity of a whole reality, even an imaginary one.

No one claims that in a d20 game, science will have determined that every creature in existence can only increase in lifting capacity by certain quanta of increased weight, even though by the game rules that’s true–when you go from a 17 Strength to an 18 your lifting capacity jumps by a set amount which is the same for everyone. But we all know that’s a granular simplification in order to have a playable game.

The same is true of absolutely every aspect of an RPG, from economy to ability scores to alignment to skills. Including alignment.

Index of Old School Ideas for Pathfinder

I admit it–I lost track of what Old School gaming ideas I did Pathfinder versions of.

So, time for an index!

Multiclass Hybrid Classes

These are ways to have the feel of 1st and 2nd edition multiclass characters, by creating a new class for Pathfinder. These work a lot like hybrid classes (and there aren’t combinations for things already covered by hybrid classes–who needs a cleric/fighter when you have the warpriest?), and don;t duplicate things that already work fine with pathfinder’s multiclassing rules (a fighter/thief already works well, and if not just take levels of slayer). These new multiclass combo rules give a balanced way to have the same kind of character feel the old multiclass combinations offered.

Cavalier/Paladin

Cleric/Assassin

Cleric/Fighter/Magic-User

Cleric/Fighter/Thief

Cleric/Ranger

Druid/Fighter

Druid/Magic-User

Fighter/Magic-User/Thief

Illusionist/Thief

And over at my Patreon, my patrons can enjoy the Illusionist/Fighter!

Other Concepts

There are some Old School ideas worth porting over beyond multiclass character combinations. here are three!

“Druidic” Bard (the Anruth)

Thief-Acrobat

Randomly Acquired Psionics

Mega-Patrons and Monthly PDFs

Heya folks!
So, it’s no secret that a lot of Patreon campaigns lost a lot of pledges when Patreon announced they would be charging patrons more than their pledge levels. I added some emergency pricing tiers to prevent people from having to pay more to get the same rewards, but even so many people just left the platform entirely. So even though Patreon has decided not to change how they bill (for now, anyway), the damage is done.
While removing the no-longer needed emergency pricing levels, I decided I wanted my mega-patron level, where you get a monthly pdf of all the free content I release in a month, to be more affordable. So I’ve brought that down from $20 to $10.
And so you-all have some idea what those monthly pdfs of free content are like, I’m posting the August pdf on my Patreon sight, but leaving the post available for all my fans to enjoy! The amount of content I produce each month varies, but this gives you an idea what kinds of material to expect. This one has some old-school inspired material for Pathfinder (randomly acquired psionics, archetypes and hybrid classes for old 2nd ed muticlass character concepts such as the cleric/fighter/magic-user, cleric/fighter/thief, cleric/ranger, illusionist/thief, and more ), some Starfinder material (the pistol of tricks, belt of veskkind, folding torpedo minisub, trenchcoat of the bat, and more), and some of the extras each pdf includes (random supers ideas, essays on the game industry and my life intersecting with it, and random things like song lyrics, game night quotes, and every funny thing I posted over 31 days).
So check out the pdf and, if you want more like it, become a mega-patron today!
Cover

Dirty Delvers Treasure Division

Two things are on my mind at the moment. “Dirty Santa” style gift –exchange games, and treasure division in dungeon-delving style fantasy RPGs. These two things have nothing to do with each other, and yet…

Let me interrupt my own train of thought to point out that I’m not claiming this is a good idea. I strongly suspect it’s a bad idea. But, it IS an idea, and sometimes those demand our attention.

So, let’s combine Dirty Santa and Treasure Division.

Decide how many items there are to be divided. We’ll call this the number of “picks.” If there’s money or other bulk valuables you can divide the total value by the number of people in the party who get treasure (we’ll call them folks), and treat each amount of that value as one pick. (So if there is 2400 gp of coins and gems, and five folks dividing the treasure, that’s five picks worth 480 gp each.)

Divide the total number of picks by the number of folks, and round up.

Double that number, and each of the folks get that many takes. A take represents selecting an item of loot to keep. They should track their takes.

To decide who gets to spend a take first, players all secretly bid how many takes they will spend for that privilege. Then reveal the bids. Whoever bid the most goes first, and the order after id determined by who bid the 2nd most, and so on. In case of ties, roll off to see who goes earlier.

The person who goes first expends 1 pick to select an item. At least for the moment, it is theirs.

The next person may expend 1 pick to select an item left in the pool, or may expend TWO picks to take the item already selected by the person who went first. If that happens, the person who went first gets one pick back.

Proceed in order. On each turn, a folk can do one of these things:
A: Expend one pick to select an item no one has selected yet.
B: Select an item someone else has. This requires you to spend a number of picks equal to 1 + the number of people who have already picked it. So if two people have already picked it, you have to spend three picks. No matter how many picks you spend, one pick goes back to the person you take it from.
C: Select an item someone else has that you were the very first person to pick. This costs only one pick, no matter how many people have picked it since.

Repeat this process until you run out of items, or everyone runs out of picks. If you run out of items, the process is over. If everyone runs out of picks when there are still items left, everyone gets back all the picks they began with, and keep going.

Speaking of Ideas

Here’s an idea; why not support my Patreon? It’s the main way to encourage me to produce more blog posts so if you enjoyed this, maybe it’s worth a dollar a month?

Return of the Druid/Magic-User!

When I get on a “old-school multiclass concepts for Pathfinder” kick I generally do several in a row as ideas rattle around in my head. So far I’ve done the anruth (an old school druidic bard), cavalier-paladincleric/assassin, cleric/fighter/magic-usercleric/fighter/thiefcleric/rangerdruid/fighterfighter/magic-user/thiefillusionist/thiefthief-acrobat, as well as randomly acquired psionics, and even the fighter/illusionist at my patreon.

If we restrict ourselves to “legal” old-school multiclass combinations that means our list of options grows thin… but it DOES leave us the underrated druid/magic-user.

When looking at ways to do a dual spellcasting character in pathfinder official material gives us two broad routes. One is to create a prestige class, such as the mystic theurge, to try to make multiclass spellcasting less terrible and specifically combine arcane and divine classes. This route traditionally gives lots of spells-per-day, at the cost of little to no increase in class features. That works fairly well for a cleric-wizard combination, but not as well for anything wishing to build off the druid, which carries a great deal more of its class identity in class features.

The other option is to create a hybrid class, such as the arcanist or shaman. (Technically the hunter also combines two spellcasting classes, but the ranger’s spellcasting is so minor as to not have a major impact on the hunter’s DNA except to give it very early access to spells the ranger normally doesn’t get until the mid-game.) These methods generally give a more typical spellcasting power level, and can blend in class features, but don’t traditionally allow arcane and divine classes to combine.

However, given I think druid-based classes in particular need access to class features to feel druidic, I believe a hybrid class is the better route.

DRUID/MAGIC-USER

Alignment

Druid/magic-users have one foot in the natural world, and one foot in the arcane world, and both color their worldview. A druid/magic-user must have a neutral element to her alignment, but cannot be true neutral.

Hit Die: d8

Starting Wealth: 4d6 × 10 gp (average 140 gp.)

Class Skills: The druid/magic-user’s class skills are Appraise (Int), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: Druid/Magic-User
Level  BAB                Fort     Ref      Will     Special
1st       +0                    +2        +0        +2        Spellcasting
2nd      +1                    +3        +0        +3
3rd       +2                    +3        +1        +3        Eldritch bond
4th       +3                    +4        +1        +4
5th       +3                    +4        +1        +4
6th       +4                    +5        +2        +5        Woodland Stride
7th       +5                    +5        +2        +5
8th       +6/+1              +6        +2        +6
9th       +6/+1              +6        +3        +6        Bonus Feat
10th     +7/+2              +7        +3        +7
11th     +8/+3              +7        +3        +7
12th     +9/+4              +8        +4        +8       Venom Immunity
13th     +9/+4              +8        +4        +8
14th     +10/+5            +9        +4        +9
15th     +11/+6/+1       +9        +5        +9        Timeless body
16th     +12/+7/+2       +10      +5        +10
17th     +12/+7/+2       +10      +5        +10
18th     +13/+8/+3       +11      +6        +11      Bonus Feat
19th     +14/+9/+4       +11      +6        +11
20th     +15/+10/+5     +12      +6        +12    Second Bond

Proficiency: The druid/magic-user is proficient the following weapons: club, dagger, dart, quarterstaff, scimitar, scythe, sickle, shortspear, sling, and spear. She is also proficient with all natural attacks (claw, bite, and so forth) of any form she assumes with wild shape (see below).

Druid/magic-users are proficient with light and medium armor but are prohibited from wearing metal armor; thus, they may wear only padded, leather, or hide armor. A druid/magic-user may also wear wooden armor that has been altered by the ironwood spell so that it functions as though it were steel. Druids/magic-users are not proficient with shields, but if they gain proficiency they must use only wooden ones.

A druid/magic-user who wears prohibited armor or uses a prohibited shield is unable to cast spells or use any of her supernatural or spell-like class abilities while doing so and for 24 hours thereafter. She can cast arcane druid/magic-user spells while wearing nonmetallic armor without suffering a risk of arcane spell failure. If she casts spells from other classes, she suffers normal ASF chances.

Prerequisites: The druid/magic-user treats her class level as her druid level and her wizard level for purposes of prerequisites.

Favored Class Bonus: If druid/magic-user is your favored class, you can take any favored class bonus that you would be allowed to take for the druid, shaman, or wizard classes, as long as it does not modify a class feature the druid/magic-user does not have.

Spells: The druid/magic-user casts spells drawn from the druid and wizard spell lists. When casting a spell from the druid spell list, it acts as a divine spell. When casting a spell from the wizard spell list, it acts as an arcane spell. If it is on both spell lists, the druid/magic-user selects whether it is arcane or divine each time it is cast. A wizard/magic-user’s bonus spells and maximum spell level cast are determined by her Wisdom score, while her spell DCs are determined by her Intelligence bonus. If using a feat or ability from a soruce other than this class that affects spells or spellcasting that has a calculation or check based on Intelligence or Wisdom (including any calculation that is part of a spell she casts, such as the ability check in detect poison), she may use the higher of the two scores.

A druid/magic-user keeps a spell fetish, which records all her spell knowledge. This follows the rules for a wizard’s spellbook, including weight and cost, but may take any of a number of forms. Many druid/magic-users carve their spell knowledge on sticks, or have long cords with informative knotwork, or store the information on fingerbones kept in a bag which can be arranged in many different ways. A druid/magic-user may learn spells from the spell fetish of other druid/magic-users, the spellbooks of wizards, or scrolls. Wizards cannot learn from the spell fetishes of druid/magic-users.

A druid/magic-user begins play with a spell fetish with all 0-level druid and magic-user spells, plus a number of 1st level spells drawn from the list equal to her Wisdom or Intelligence modifier (whichever is higher). At each new druid/magic-user level, she automatically adds one wizard spell, and a number of druid spells equal to her Wisdom bonus. These may be any spells of her choice of a level she can cast.

A druid/magic-user has spells per day equal to a wizard of her class level, and must prepare her spells in advance. Her spellcasting, spell recovery, and spell preparation otherwise follow the rules for a wizard.

Eldritch Bond: At 3rd level the druid/magic-user forms a special bond with the mystic forces of the universe. This bond takes one of three forms.

At 20th level, the druid/magic user selects a second bond.

Beast Bond: The druid/magic user gains an animal companion, as a druid 2 levels lower than her class level. The animal companion also gains the abilities of a familiar of a wizard 2 levels lower than her class level.

Change Bond: The druid/magic-user gains the transmutation arcane school, as the wizard class feature, treating her wizard level as 2 levels lower than her class level. Additionally, beginning at 6th level, the druid/magic-user can wild shape once per day (as the druid class feature) into a Small or Medium animal. This functions as beast shape I. At 8th level she can assume the form of a Large or Tiny animal, and the ability functions as beast shape II. At 10th level she can wild shape twice per day, and can assume the form of a Huge or Diminutive animal, and the ability functions as beast shape III. At 16th level, she can use this ability three times per day, and it functions as beast shape IV.

Elemental Bond: The druid/magic-user gains an elemental arcane school, as the wizard class feature, treating her wizard level as 2 levels lower than her class level. Additionally, beginning at 8th level, the druid/magic-user can wild shape once per day (as the druid class feature) into a Small elemental. The druid/magic-user can only take the form of an element matching her elemental arcane school. This functions as elemental body I. At 10th level she can assume the form of a Medium elemental, and the ability functions as elemental body II. At 12th level she can wild shape twice per day, and can assume the form of a Large elemental, and the ability functions as elemental body III. At 14th level she can assume the form of a Huge elemental, and the ability functions as elemental body IV. At 18th level, she can use this ability three times per day.

Woodland Stride, Venom Immunity, Timeless Body: These act as the druid class features.

Bonus Feat: At 9th and again at 18th level, the druid/magic-user gains a bonus feat. This must be a metamagic feat, and item creation feat, or a feat or ability a wizard may take in place of their bonus feat.

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Return of the Illusionist/Thief!

There aren’t a lot of classic “old school” multiclass combinations left I haven’t addressed, having done the anruth (an old school druidic bard), cavalier-paladincleric/assassincleric/fighter/thief, cleric/rangerfighter/magic-user/thiefthief-acrobat, as well as randomly acquired psionics, and even the fighter/illusionist at my patreon. At least—there aren’t a lot left I think actually need any help to be used in Pathfinder. There are good ways to create characters filling the roles of the cleric/fighter (warpriest, inquisitor), cleric/magic user (Rogue Genius Games’ magister class), fighter/magic-user (magus), fighter/thief (just do a multiclass fighter/rogue), fighter/assassin (a fighter/rogue can take the assassin prestige class, or you can just play a slayer), and magic-user/thief (the eldritch scoundrel rogue archetype).

But there is still at least one I think would be tricky to build in a satisfying way in Pathfinder—the illusionist/thief. Being an illusionist has specific keynotes in Pathfinder, and it’s hard to hit those with any class with good rogue ability without losing significant effectiveness.

So, taking notes from the unchained rogue, the eldritch scoundrel, the arcanist, and my own fighter/illusionist, here’s a hybrid class for the illusionist/thief.

The Illusionist/Thief

Alignment: Any

Hit Die: d8

Starting Wealth: 5d6 × 10 gp (average 140 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills

The illusionist/thief’s’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Table: Illusionist/Thief

Level  Base Attack Bonus    Fort Save        Ref Save         Will Save        Special

1st       +0        +0        +2        +0        Finesse training, sneak attack +1, trapfinding

2nd      +1        +0        +3        +0        Rogue talent

3rd       +2        +1        +3        +1        Finesse training, sneak attack +1d6

4th       +3        +1        +4        +1        Debilitating injury, rogue talent, uncanny dodge

5th       +3        +1        +4        +1        Sneak attack +2d4

6th       +4        +2        +5        +2        Rogue talent

7th       +5        +2        +5        +2        Sneak attack +2d6

8th       +6/+1  +2        +6        +2        Rogue talent

9th       +6/+1  +3        +6        +3        Sneak attack +4d4

10th     +7/+2  +3        +7        +3        Advanced talents, rogue talent

11th     +8/+3  +3        +7        +3        Finesse training, sneak attack +3d6

12th     +9/+4  +4        +8        +4        Rogue talent

13th     +9/+4  +4        +8        +4        Sneak attack +4d6

14th     +10/+5 +4        +9        +4        Rogue talent

15th     +11/+6/+1       +5        +9        +5        Sneak attack +5d6

16th     +12/+7/+2       +5        +10      +5        Rogue talent

17th     +12/+7/+2       +5        +10      +5        Sneak attack +6d6

18th     +13/+8/+3       +6        +11      +6        Rogue talent

19th     +14/+9/+4       +6        +11      +6        Finesse training, sneak attack +7d6

20th     +15/+10/+5     +6        +12      +6        Master caster, rogue talent

Class Features

The following are the class features of the illusionist/thief.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Illusionist thieves are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the hand crossbow, rapier, sap, short sword, and shortbow. They are proficient with cloth light armor (but no armor with a significant amount of metal or leather), but not with shields. Their illusionist/thief spells suffer no ASF when they wear light armor composed primarily of cloth.

Favored Class Bonuses

A character that takes a level of illusionist/thief as a favored class can select any favored class bonus the character would receive as a rogue or a wizard, as long as the selected favored class bonus does not grant or modify a class feature the illusionist/thief lacks.

Spellcasting and Illusions

An illusionist/thief has access to a broad range of magic, but can only cast a very few spells per day. This requires her to depend on her skills and talents for much of her adventuring effectiveness, while giving her the option to use spells when a situation becomes dire or when she can find some long-term synergy to deal with a problem.

At 1st level the illusionist/thief casts spells drawn from the bard class list (though she cannot cast any spell that requires or modifies a class feature she does not have, such as bardic performance), and all wizard illusions spells. The illusionist/thief gains the arcane school wizard class feature (including being able to prepare one additional spell of the specialized school for each spell level she can cast), but may only select the illusion school (or its associated focused schools) to specialize in, and automatically has evocation as its opposed school (but does not have to select a second opposed school). The illusionist/thief uses her illusionist/thief level as her wizard level for the illusion arcane school abilities.

An illusionist/thief must prepare her spells ahead of time, but unlike a wizard, her spells are not expended when they’re cast. Instead, she can cast any spell that she has prepared consuming a spell slot of the appropriate level, assuming she hasn’t yet used up her spell slots per day for that level. An illusionist/thief can prepare a number of spells per day as a magus of her level, and uses Charisma to determine her bonus spells, maximum spell level she can learn or prepare.

To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, the illusionist/thief must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell’s level. The saving throw DC against an illusionist/thief’s spell is 10 + the spell’s level + the illusionist/thief’s Intelligence modifier.

An illusionist/thief can only cast a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Illusionist/thief under “Spells per Day.” In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Charisma score.

An illusionist/thief may know any number of spells, but the number she can prepare each day is limited. At 1st level, she can prepare four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells each day. At each new illusionist/thief level, the number of spells she can prepare each day increases, adding new spell levels (using the same chart as the spells per day of the magus). Unlike the number of spells she can cast per day, the number of spells an illusionist/thief can prepare each day is not affected by her Charisma score. Feats and other effects that modify the number of spells known by a spellcaster instead affect the number of spells an illusionist/thief can prepare.

An illusionist/thief must choose and prepare her spells ahead of time by getting 8 hours of sleep and spending 1 hour studying her spellbook. While studying, the illusionist/thief decides what spells to prepare and refreshes her available spell slots for the day.

Like a sorcerer, an illusionist/thief can choose to apply any metamagic feats she knows to a prepared spell as she casts it, with the same increase in casting time (see Spontaneous Casting and Metamagic Feats). However, she may also prepare a spell with any metamagic feats she knows and cast it without increasing casting time like a wizard. She cannot combine these options—a spell prepared with metamagic feats cannot be further modified with another metamagic feat at the time of casting.

Table: Illusionist/thief Spells Per Day

Class               Spell Level

Level   1          2          3          4          5          6

1          1          –           –           –           –           –

2          1          –           –           –           –           –

3          1          –           –           –           –           –

4          2          1          –           –           –           –

5          2          1          –           –           –           –

6          2          1          –           –           –           –

7          3          2          1          –           –           –

8          3          2          1          –           –           –

9          3          2          1          –           –           –

10        3          3          2          1          –           –

11        3          3          2          1          –           –

12        3          3          2          1          –           –

13        3          3          3          1          1          –

14        3          3          3          1          1          –

15        3          3          3          1          1          –

16        3          3          3          2          1          1

17        3          3          3          2          1          1

18        3          3          3          2          1          1

19        3          3          3          2          2          1

20        3          3          3          2          2          1

Sneak Attack

If an illusionist/thief can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage.

The illusionist/thief’s attack deals extra damage anytime her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the illusionist/thief flanks her target, or when the illusionist/thief has convinced the target she is something other than an armed humanoid (normally with an illusion)—in which case the illusion ends with the first sneak attack. This extra damage is +1 point at 1st level, 1d6 at 3rd level, 2d4 at 5th level, 2d6 at 7th level, 4d4 at 9th level, 3d6 at 11th level, and increases by 1d6 every 2 illusionist/thief levels thereafter. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet. This additional damage is precision damage and is not multiplied on a critical hit.

With a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (such as a sap, unarmed strike, or whip), a illusionist/thief can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. She cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack—not even with the usual –4 penalty.

The illusionist/thief must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A illusionist/thief cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with total concealment.

Trapfinding

An illusionist/thief adds 1/3 her level on Perception checks to locate traps and on Disable Device checks (minimum +1). An illusionist/thief can use Disable Device to disarm magic traps.

Finesse Training (Ex)

At 1st level, an illusionist/thief gains Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat. In addition, starting at 3rd level, she can select any one type of weapon that can be used with Weapon Finesse (such as rapiers or daggers). Once this choice is made, it cannot be changed. Whenever she makes a successful melee attack with the selected weapon, she adds her Dexterity modifier instead of her Strength modifier to the damage roll. If any effect would prevent the illusionist/thief from adding her Strength modifier to the damage roll, she does not add her Dexterity modifier. The illusionist/thief can select a second weapon at 11th level and a third at 19th level.

Rogue Talents

As an illusionist/thief gains experience, she learns a number of talents that aid her and confound her foes. Starting at 2nd level, an illusionist/thief gains one unchained rogue talent. She gains an additional rogue talent for every 2 levels attained after 2nd level. An illusionist/thief cannot select an individual talent more than once. She may select evasion (as the rogue lass feature) as a talent and, if she does, may select improved evasion as a talent beginning at 8th level. She may also select uncanny dodge as a talent and if she does, may select improved uncanny dodge as a talent beginning at 8th level.

Talents marked with an asterisk add effects to an illusionist/thief’s sneak attack. Only one of these talents can be applied to an individual attack, and the decision must be made before the attack roll is made.

Debilitating Injury (Ex)

At 4th level, whenever an illusionist/thief deals sneak attack damage to a foe, she can also debilitate the target of her attack, causing it to take a penalty for 1 round (this is in addition to any penalty caused by a rogue talent or other special ability). The illusionist/thief can choose to apply any one of the following penalties when the damage is dealt.

Befuddled: The target becomes befuddled, taking a –2 penalty to saving throws against illusions and to Perception checks, and being considered distracted for purposes of creatures being able to make Stealth checks against it. The target takes an additional –2 penalty to saving throws against illusions cast by the illusionist/thief and to Perception checks regarding the illusionist/thief. At 10th level and 16th level, the penalties increase by –2 (to a total maximum of –8).

Disoriented: The target takes a –2 penalty on attack rolls. In addition, the target takes an additional –2 penalty on all attack rolls it makes against the illusionist/thief. At 10th level and 16th level, the penalty on attack rolls made against the illusionist thief increases by –2 (to a total maximum of –8).

Hampered: All of the target’s speeds are reduced by half (to a minimum of 5 feet). In addition, the target cannot take a 5-foot step.

These penalties do not stack with themselves, but additional attacks that deal sneak attack damage extend the duration by 1 round. A creature cannot suffer from more than one penalty from this ability at a time. If a new penalty is applied, the old penalty immediately ends. Any form of healing applied to a target suffering from one of these penalties also removes the penalty.

Advanced Talents

At 10th level and every 2 levels thereafter, an illusionist/thief can choose an unchained rogue advanced talents in place of a rogue talent.

Master Caster (Ex)

At 20th level, once per round an illusionist/thief can combine the casting of a spell with a casting time of 1 standard action or less with a sneak attack. The spell affects only the target of the sneak attack, the number of sneak attack dice done is reduced by the level of the spell cast, and the spell does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If the spell has a range of touch, the attack roll for the sneak attack counts as the touch attack roll.

If I May Steal a Moment of Your Time.

I have a Patreon. I even posted two illusionist/thief talents there, as bonus content, currently exclusively for patrons.

Check it out!

Return of the Cleric/Ranger!

Since I seem to be slowly going through all the Old School multiclass options to create archetypes, hybrid classes, or alternate classes to cover the concept in Pathfinder, there’s no real surprise (having done the anruth [an old school druidic bard], cavalier-paladin, cleric/assassin, cleric/fighter/thief, fighter/magic-user/thief, thief-acrobat, as well as randomly acquired psionics, and even the fighter/illusionist at my patreon) that I have gotten to the cleric/ranger. While it’s never the first thing that gets mentioned when I talk about tackling fighters/magic-user/thieves and thief-acrobats, I’m actually a little surprised how popular it is. And it’s true, there’s not a great way to build this concept as a satisfying character in pathfinder.

But it shouldn’t be too hard to build one.

And given the warpriest is already a cleric/fighter hybrid, that seems a solid place to start. We just need a giant syringe to suck out all the fightiness, and then we can add rangerocity.

Cleric/Ranger

A warpriest archetype

Proficiency

A cleric/ranger does not gain proficiency with heavy armor.

Spells

Your spell list includes all 0-6th level cleric spells and most ranger spells. You cannot cast spells that modify a class feature the cleric/ranger does not possess (such as hunter’s bond).

Blessings

A cleric/fighter/thief does not gain a blessing at 1st level, or greater blessing at 10th level.

Sacred Weapon

You do not gain the sacred weapon class feature.

Bonus Feats

Rather than a warpriest’s bonus feats, the cleric/ranger selects a ranger combat style at 3rd level, and must select all its bonus feats from the associated list of combat style feats. The cleric/ranger treats its class level as its ranger level to determine what feats it can select, but need not otherwise meet the feat’s prerequisites.

Favored Foe

At 1st level, a cleric/ranger selects a creature type from the ranger favored enemies table. He gains a +1 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks against creatures of his selected type. Likewise, he gets a +2 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against them. A cleric/ranger may make Knowledge skill checks untrained when attempting to identify these creatures. Favored foe counts as favored enemy for prerequisites, and effects that modify favored enemy.

At 5th level and every five levels thereafter (10th, 15th, and 20th level), the cleric/ranger may select an additional favored foe. In addition, at each such interval, the bonus against all favored enemies increases by +1.

If the cleric/ranger chooses humanoids or outsiders as a favored foe, he must also choose an associated subtype, as a ranger does. When selecting outsiders, he may only pick outsiders with a alignment that does not match the alignment of the cleric/ranger’s deity. If a specific creature falls into more than one category of favored enemy, the cleric/ranger’s bonuses do not stack; he simply uses whichever bonus is higher.

Wild Empathy

At 1st level the cleric/ranger gains wild empathy as the ranger class feature.

Favored Environment

At 4th level the cleric/ranger selects a favored environment from the ranger favored terrain class feature. The cleric/ranger gains a +1 bonus on initiative checks and Knowledge (geography), Perception, Stealth, and Survival skill checks when he is in this environment. A ranger traveling through his favored terrain normally leaves no trail and cannot be tracked (though he may leave a trail if he so chooses). Favored environment counts as favored terrain for prerequisites, and effects that modify favored terrain.

At 8th level and every four levels thereafter, the cleric/ranger may select an additional favored environment. In addition, at each such interval, the skill bonus and initiative bonus in all favored environments increases by +1.

Master Hunter

At 20th level the cleric/ranger gains the master hunter class feature of the ranger, rather than the aspect of war class feature.

 

 

 

Return of the Cleric/Fighter/Thief

Okay, so it’s back to Old School Character Concepts. I never played a cleric/fighter/rtheif that I can recall (though some of those games were more than 30 years ago, so I’m willing to believe I just forgot a character or two), but it interests me as another idea it’s hard to pull off in Pathfinder. Given there’s already a warpriest for cleric/fighters, it seems clear an archetype for that class is the way to build such a class.

Cleric/Fighter/Thief

A warpriest archetype

Proficiency

A cleric/fighter/thief does not gain proficiency with medium or heavy armor.

Spells

Your spell list includes all 0-6th level cleric spells and most inquisitor spells. You cannot cast spells that modify a class feature the cleric/fighter/thief does not possess (such as judgment).

Blessings

A cleric/fighter/thief does not gain a blessing at 1st level, or greater blessing at 10th level.

Fervor

You cannot use fervor to heal yourself or harm foes. You can still use it to cast a spell on yourself as a swift action.

Channel Energy

You do not gain the channel energy class feature.

Sacred Weapon

You do not gain the sacred weapon class feature.

Bonus Feats

You may, in place of a bonus feat, select a rogue talent (but not advanced talent). When selecting feats (even non-bonus feats), treat your warpriest level as your fighter level and your BAB for purposes of prerequisites. When selecting rogue talents, treat your cleric/fighter/thief level as your rogue level for prerequisites and calculations made by the talent. You cannot select a rogue talent that modifies a class feature you do not possess.

Divine Finesse Training (Ex)

At 1st level, you gain Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat. In addition to the normal list of weapons it functions with, you can use it with your deity’s favorite weapon. In addition, starting at 3rd level, you can select any one typ e of weapon that can be used with Weapon Finesse (such as rapiers or daggers, though you may also choose your deity’s favorite weapon). Once this choice is made, it cannot be changed. Whenever you make a successful melee attack with the selected weapon, you add her Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier to the damage roll. If any effect would prevent you from adding your Strength modifier to the damage roll, you do not add your Dexterity modifier. You can select a second weapon at 11th level and a third at 19th level.

Trapfinding

At 1st level you add 1/2 your level on Perception checks to locate traps and on Disable Device checks (minimum +1). You can use Disable Device to disarm magic traps.

Sneak Attack

At 4th level you gain sneak attack, as the rogue class feature. This increases by +1d6 at 8th level, and by an addition 1d6 every 4 levels thereafter.

Patreon

The cleric/fighter/thief archetype for the warpriest mostly functions fine without any additional feats or talents, since it can borrow from those designed for fighters and rogues. But it seems a sneaky warrior of a deity out to have at least one trick that combines hurting, sneaking, and spellcasting up her sleeve. Thus, the Divine Retribution feat was born and presented (as least for now) as Patreon-exclusive content.

 

Check it out!

Return of Randomly Acquired Psionics!

You can’t have a complete discussion 1e/Old School character concepts, without touching on psionics. While many players and GMs dislike psionics, they have a long history with the game. Notably, in early editions your chance of being psionic was determined randomly, and while that often lead to unexpected developments that some groups enjoy, it also meant some characters were randomly more powerful than others.

But that core concept, that it’s possible for a random roll outside of a player’s control to grant special powers, is one that many playstyles work well with. To make that idea work with Pathfinder, it needs to have an acquisition cost or method associated with it as well,

Thus, the Nescient Psionic feat. The feat gives you psionic power (so the feat-for-power paradigm is maintained), but characters must roll to be allowed to take the feat (and may take it more than once, if dice are with them).

This rule assumes you use the excellent psionics rules from Dreamscarred Press, much of which is on d20pfsrd.com.

Nescient Psionic

You did not train for your mental powers. They simple evolved in your mind.

Prerequisites: No psionic powers gained form a class, successful d% roll (see first Special entry).

Benefit: You gain a 1st level psionic power of your choice. If you take this feat multiple times, each time you may either gain one psionic power of your choice that is one level higher than the highest-level power you have gained with this feat, or gain a number of lower-level powers that would (collectively) take as many power powers to activate once each as it would take to activate a psionic power one-level higher than the highest-level power you have gained with this feat.

You manifest your psionic power using the normal rules for psionics. Use the highest of your Int, Wis, and Cha modifier to determine save DCs. Your manifester level is equal to your HD or character level. You gain a pool of power points equal to the number needed to activate each power you gain from this feat once, which can only be used to activate psionic powers gained from this feat.

Special: You can take this feat more than once… maybe. Each time you wish to take this feat (including the first time), you must make a d% roll. Add the highest of your Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma ability scores, plus your ability modifiers for the other two abilities, as a bonus to this roll. If your total is 100 or higher, you may take the feat. If not, you must wait until the next level you have an available feat. Even if you can take multiple feats at the same level, a failed roll prevents you from trying again until you gain a new level and have a new open feat slot.

The effects of taking the feat more than once are detailed in the benefit.

Special: If you gain psionic powers from a class, you can replace with feat with any other psionic feat you qualify for.

Patrons

Speaking of d20pfsrd.com, this post is sponsored by that site’s webstore arm, the Open Gaming Store! Along with juice and toast, part of a complete breakfast!*

*You know, metaphorically.