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?
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-paladin, cleric/assassin, cleric/fighter/magic-user, cleric/fighter/thief, cleric/ranger, druid/fighter, fighter/magic-user/thief, illusionist/thief, thief-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-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.
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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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-paladin, cleric/assassin, cleric/fighter/thief, cleric/ranger, fighter/magic-user/thief, thief-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.
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.
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.
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 +3d6
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +3 Advanced talents, rogue talent
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +3 Finesse training, sneak attack +4d6
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 Rogue talent
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 Sneak attack +5d6
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +4 Rogue talent
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +5 Sneak attack +6d6
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Rogue talent
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Sneak attack +7d6
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +6 Rogue talent
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +6 Finesse training, sneak attack +8d6
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +6 Master caster, rogue talent
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 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 arcanist 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
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A warpriest archetype
A cleric/ranger does not gain proficiency with heavy armor.
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).
A cleric/fighter/thief does not gain a blessing at 1st level, or greater blessing at 10th level.
You do not gain the sacred weapon class feature.
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.
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.
At 1st level the cleric/ranger gains wild empathy as the ranger class feature.
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.
At 20th level the cleric/ranger gains the master hunter class feature of the ranger, rather than the aspect of war class feature.
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.
A warpriest archetype
A cleric/fighter/thief does not gain proficiency with medium or heavy armor.
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).
A cleric/fighter/thief does not gain a blessing at 1st level, or greater blessing at 10th level.
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.
You do not gain the channel energy class feature.
You do not gain the sacred weapon class feature.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Continuing my recent trend of looking at Old School Character Classes, I’m going to take a stab at an old favorite for a lot of folks. Back in the first edition of the game, there was a character class in the back of the main player’s book. Called a bard, it noted that the class had been modified since its original appearance (in materials prior to the codification of everything into a hardback book), and that GMs might not allow it. Taking the class also required a character to take levels in fighter, thief, and druid before they could take levels in bard.
Really, it was the precursor to later “prestige classes” that got codified in the third edition of the game.
This original bard is considered by many players to be very different from the Pathfinder version, at least in part because it gains druid spells rather than wizard-like bard spells. But also, the class could (at least early on) double in for fighters or rogues, continued to advance some of those skills, and focused as much on lore and leadership as it did music and charm. There’s at least one branch of players who miss the part of the bard that is more strongly associated with druids, Irish heroes, and the tradition of the fili who combined the functions of magician, lawgiver, judge, counsellor to the chief, and poet (before some of those functions were taken over by brehons becoming judges and druids being more aligned with supernatural roles).
Now obviously those Irish roots are only inspirations for either the original “druidic bard” or its modern replacement, or for that matter druids and various forms of fuchlucan. I am far from a scholar of Irish history, mythology, or culture, so any effort to capture the old “druidic bard” flavor is going to be similarly limited to inspiration and fantasy translations, with no claim of accuracy or even equivalency of any real-world terms.
Further, unlike things like the fighter/magic-user/thief I don’t want to just use the old name for this new take on the character concept. The bard in pathfinder is a popular and valid class, and not something I want to encourage people to replace. At the same time while the “druidic bard” had strong tied to the fighter, thief, and druid, I don’t want to build the new class as either a hybrid class or a prestige class. That leaves me wishing to create an alternate class for the bard, which means it needs a new name. Drawing from the same tradition as the fili, bard, druid, and fuchlucan, I’m naming this new alternate class the anruth.
Alignment: Anruth are trained to see all sides of a question, and to consider many different philosophies and moral systems. At least one element of an anruth’s alignment must be neutral.
Hit Die: d8
Starting Wealth: 4d6 × 10 gp (average 140 gp.)
Class Skills: The anruth’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Fly (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks per Level: 8 + Int modifier.
Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Bardic knowledge, fighting spirit, versatile performance
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Anruth performance (1st pick), trapfinding
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 Lore master 1/day, oral tradition, wild empathy
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 Bonus feat, sneak attack +1d6
5th +3 +4 +1 +4 Spell kenning 1/day, versatile performance
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 Anruth performance (2nd pick), lore master 2/day
7th +5 +5 +2 +5 Jack of all trades
8th +6/+1 +6 +2 +6 Sneak attack +2d6, woodland stride
9th +6/+1 +6 +3 +6 Lore master 3/day, spell kenning 2/day, versatile performance
10th +7/+2 +7 +3 +7 Anruth performance (3rd pick),
11th +8/+3 +7 +3 +7 Bonus feat, trackless step
12th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Lore master 4/day, sneak attack +3d6
13th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Spell kenning 3/day, versatile performance
14th +10/+5 +9 +4 +9 Anruth performance (4th pick),
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +5 +9 Lore master 5/day
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Sneak attack +4d6
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Spell kenning 4/day, versatile performance
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Anruth performance (5th pick), lore master 6/day
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Bonus feat, timeless body
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Sneak attack +5d6, spell lore
Proficiency: The anruth is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and all light and medium armors.
Favored Class Bonus: If anruth is your favored class, you can take any favored class bonus that you would be allowed to take for the bard, druid, fighter, or rogue classes, as long as it does not modify a class feature the anruth does not have.
Spells: You are a spontaneous arcane spellcaster who gains the spells per day and spells known of a bard of the same level. Your class spell list includes all 0-6th level bard and druid spells, and all 1st-4th level ranger spells. You cannot learn a spell that modifiers a class feature the anruth does not possess (such as instant enemy, as you do not have the favored enemy class feature). Your Wisdom ability score determines the maximum level of spell you can cast, your bonus spells per day, and your spell DCs. Any spell you cast that uses Intelligence or Charisma as part of its calculations you may instead calculate using your Wisdom. You do not suffer arcane spell failure for your anruth spells while wearing light or medium armor. You suffer ASFP normally for shields or heavy armor.
Bardic Knowledge (Ex): At 1st level you gain bardic knowledge, as the bard class feature.
Fighting Spirit (Su): You do not depend on the might or your arm or the speed of your body when you fight. You fight from the heart, and it is that inner power that grants your attacks accuracy and potency. At 1st level you may use your Wisdom bonus in place of your Strength and Dexterity modifiers to determine your attack bonus and damage bonus with weapons, unarmed, and natural attacks. This bonus cannot exceed your anruth class level. If your Strength of Dexterity modifier is better, you can continue to use it. If an ability score modifier is normally halved or doubled (such as the Strength bonus to damage with two-handed weapons), you halve or double your Wisdom bonus when you use it instead.
Versatile Performance (Ex): As the bard class feature, but gained at 1st level, with an additional choice every 4 levels thereafter.
Anruth Performance (Su): At 2nd level you gain the anruth performance ability, allowing you to use your knowledge of sagas, lore, epics, poems, and songs of last ages to inspire, fascinate, or change the flow of battle. This functions as the bardic performance class feature (and counts as that ability for purposes of prerequisites and abilities that modify bardic performance), but you only receive a number of round per day equal to your class level plus your Wisdom bonus, and your performances always start your performance as a move action and maintain it as a free action.
You select a single form of performance you can create with your anruth performance from the following choices, each duplicating the performance ability of the ability of the same name from the class or archetype listed in parenthesis after the ability: distraction (bard), inspire courage (bard), or inspired rage (skald). |You also automatically gain the performance ability fascinate (bard).
At 6th level, you may select an additional form of performance, this may be one of the lower-level options you have not yet taken, or one of the following options: devastating aria (diva), inspire competence (bard), song of marching (skald), or song of strength (skald). You also automatically gain the performance ability suggestion (bard)
At 10th level, you may select an additional form of performance, this may be one of the lower-level options you have not yet taken, or one of the following options: dirge of doom (bard), inspire greatness (bard), scathing tirade (diva).
At 14th level, you may select an additional form of performance, this may be one of the lower-level options you have not yet taken, or one of the following options: frightening tune (bard), song of the fallen (skald), or soothing performance (bard).
At 18th level, you may select an additional form of performance, this may be one of the lower-level options you have not yet taken, or one of the following options: inspire heroics (bard) or mass suggestion (bard).
Trapfinding (Ex): At 2nd level you gain trapfinding, as the rogue class feature.
Lore Master (Ex): As the bard class feature, but the ability to take 20 on a Knowledge skill is useable once per day at 3rd level, +1 additional times per day every 3 levels thereafter.
Oral Tradition (Ex): At 3rd level, you can memorize magic writing for use by yourself, or to reproduce later. When you encounter a scroll, you can attempt to create a poem, song, or allegory that imbeds the information and magic of the scroll in your mind. This takes one hour per spell on the scroll, and removed the spell from the scroll. You can use these spells as you would when they were scrolls (including needing to make caster level checks for spells that are too high level, or UMD check for spells not on your class list), though used in this way the spells have a minimum casting time of 1 round. Once you use a spell from your oral tradition, it is gone. You can have a maximum number of spells from scrolls stored in oral traditions equal to your class level plus your Wisdom bonus.
You can recreate these spell scrolls by writing out the spell from your oral tradition, a process that takes 1 hour per spell and materials equal to 10 gp per spell level. Doing so removes the spell from your oral tradition.
Alternatively, you can store the magic of a magic book, tome, or manual. This takes half the time it would take to use the book or manual, and it counts as two spells toward your maximum number of spells stored in your oral tradition. This destroys the magic book. You can use the book or manual yourself from memory, exactly as if you were reading the physical book, and this removes it from your memory, Or you can create it, which takes as long as it took to record it into your oral tradition and materials costing 10% of the book’s cost. This also removes it from your oral tradition.
While the ability to store the magic writings of scrolls and tomes in your head is extraordinary, the effects created by such magic writings remain magical.
Your oral traditional also allows you to use your Wisdom modifier in place of your Intelligence modifier for Knowledge skills.
Bonus Feat: At 4th level you gain one bonus feat. You must meet the feat’s prerequisites, but treat your class level as your bard, druid, fighter, and ranger class level for purposes of this feat. You gain additional bonus feats at 11th and 19th level. Alternatively at each of these levels you may select a rogue talent (but not advanced talent). You must meet this talent’s prerequisites, but use your anruth level as your rogue level.
Sneak Attack: At 4th level you gain sneak attack, as the rogue class feature. It increased by +1d6 every 4 levels.
Wild Empathy (Ex): At 4th level you gain wild empathy, as the druid class feature.
Spell Kenning (Su): As 5th level you gain spell kenning, as the skald class feature, but it is useable once per day at 5th, plus one additional time per day at 9th level, plus once more per day every 4 levels thereafter.
Jack of All Trades (Ex): At 7th level, you can use any skill, even if the skill normally requires you to be trained. At 13th level, you consider all skills to be class skills. At 16th level, you can take 10 on any skill check, even if it is not normally allowed.
Woodland Stride (Ex): At 8th level, you gain woodland stride, as the druid class feature.
Trackless Step (Ex): At 11th level you gain trackless step, as the druid class feature.
Timeless Body (Su): At 19th level you gain timeless body, as the druid class feature.
Spell Lore (Sp): At 20th level, your mastery of lore and mysteries expands your spell repertoire even further. Add one additional spell known at each spell level you can cast, drawn from the bard, cleric, druid, ranger, or sorcerer/wizard spell list. These spells are considered to be on your class spell list, as well. Also, select one 7th level spell from one of these spell lists. You can cast that spell once per day as a spell-like ability, using your Wisdom bonus to determine any of the spell’s calculations normally based on Intelligence or Charisma.
While I simply grabbed existing forms of performance for the various anruth performance options, and that works great, it occurred to me that there might be at least one option an anruth should have other performance-using classes don’t: shame.
So I wrote up a shaming performance for the anruth and put it up on my Patreon as (for the moment) patron-exclusive content.
I have no idea how long this old-school-concepts-for-Pathfinder kick will continue, but it does seem to be popular (it’s even involved the French!). Having done the cavalier-paladin, cleric/assassin, and fighter/magic-use/thief (and even a patron-exclusive fighter/illusionist, on my Patreon), I thought I’d tackle the stories thief-acrobat.
The thief-acrobat is an alternate class of the rogue, and its class features with the same names as rogue class features work as those class features (though it’s sneak attack is weaker).
Hit Die: d8
Starting Wealth: 4d6 × 10 gp (average 140 gp.)
Class Skills: The thief-acrobat’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 (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.
Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
1st +0 +0 +2 +0 Acrobatic movement, sneak attack +1d4
2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 Evasion, nimble defense, trapfinding
3rd +2 +1 +3 +1 Sneak attack +2d4, escapist +1
4th +3 +1 +4 +1 Acrobatic strike, uncanny dodge
5th +3 +1 +4 +1 Sneak attack +2d6
6th +4 +2 +5 +2 Rogue talent, escapist +2
7th +5 +2 +5 +2 Sneak attack +3d6
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +2 Improved uncanny dodge, rogue talent
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +3 Sneak attack +4d6, escapist +3
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +3 Advanced talents, rogue talent
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +3 Sneak attack +5d6
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 Rogue talent, escapist +4
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 Sneak attack +6d6
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +4 Rogue talent
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +5 Sneak attack +7d6, escapist +5
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Rogue talent
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Sneak attack +8d6
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +6 Rogue talent, escapist +6
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +6 Sneak attack +9d6
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +6 Master strike, rogue talent
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Thief-acrobats are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the rapier, sap, and short sword. A thief-acrobat can use a 10-foot pole as a club with the reach special weapon quality that requires 2-handed to use and can benefit from Weapon Finesse (and any similar ability that replaces Strength with Dexterity, if it would apply to the rapier). When wielding such a pole in 2-handed, they gain a +2 circumstance bonus to all Acrobatics checks. They are proficient with light armor, but not with shields.
Acrobatic Movement (Ex): You are a virtuoso at moving your body fluidly and twisting, flipping, hopping, and undulating however you must to get where you wish to be. You gain a bonus to Acrobatics checks equal to half your class level, and you may make Acrobatics checks in place of the following skills—Climb, Escape Artist, Fly, Stealth, and Swim. You are considered trained in all these skills if you are trained in Acrobatics.
Additionally you can move in ways and to locations others simple cannot reach without magic. At the beginning of your turn, you may make a single Acrobatics check as a free action. You gain a climb, fly, or swim movement rate (your choice) equal to your skill check. This movement rate lasts until the beginning of your next turn. If you end your movement in a spot you cannot remain at without this movement rate (such as in midair, or on a sheer wall that cannot be climbed without a climb speed), you fall at the beginning of your next turn.
Also, whenever you fall (whether on your turn or not) as long as you are conscious and able to move freely, you may make an Acrobatics check as a free action. If the check meets or exceeds the number of feet you are falling, you land on your feet and take no damage. Otherwise you subtract the skill check from the number of feet you fall when determining how much damage you take.
All acrobatic movement checks can only use a number of ranks in Acrobatics equal to your class level. Thus a multiclass fighter 7/thief-acrobatic 2 may have 9 ranks in Acrobatics, but can only use 2 of those ranks to calculate the bonus of skill checks for this class feature.
You must have no armor check penalty and be in light encumbrance to use this ability.
Nimble Defense (Ex): As long as you are not suffering an armor check penalty (either from wearing no armor, or by wearing armor with an armor check penalty of 0), you gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC. This dodge bonus increases to +2 at 4th level, and by an additional +1 every 4 additional levels thereafter.
Escapist: You are particularly difficult to slow or pin down. At 3rd level you gain a bonus to your CMD against bull rush and trip maneuvers, to Acrobatics checks made to escape from bindings or move through small spaces, and to your saving throws against any effect which would slow you, reduce your movement rate, or hold, entangle, or paralyze you (though not things that stagger or stun you, knock you out, or command you to decide not to take movement, such as command). You can also ignore a number of spaces of difficult terrain each round equal to your escapist bonus. This bonus begins at +1 at 3rd level, and increases by +1 every 3 levels thereafter. You must have no armor check penalty and be in light encumbrance to use this ability.
Acrobatic Strike: At 4th level you are so good at flipping and spinning that you can flip over, roll under, or cartwheel past a foe to position yourself to strike the foe in a vulnerable location. If you successfully make an Acrobatics check to move through a foe’s space, and you are able to make a melee attack against that foe in the same round directly after taking that movement, the first attack you make counts as flanking the foe. You gain all the normal bonuses of flanking the foe, which normally includes a +2 bonus to your attack roll and the ability to do sneak attack damage. You must have no armor check penalty and be in light encumbrance to use this ability.
Since the thief-acrobat is an alternate version of the rogue it can mostly just use rogue options for things like talents. But I did think of two talents a thief-acrobat might find useful a rogue wouldn’t have access to, and I wrote them up for backers of my Patreon.
Continuing my design trip to the ancient past of the game system (specifically the fighter/magic-user/thief, and continuing the previous trend of the earlier cavalier-paladin), I realized there are several old ideas that can be designed as alternate character classes. For example, the inquisitor is already a class that combines fighting, divine spells, and some stealth, all focused on judgment and punishment. But with a tilt of focus, the same basic frame can be used to recreate the old cleric/assassin multiclass character of early editions of the game.
A great deal of the class’s features are swapped out, but it still counts as an inquisitor for other purposes. However, it cannot select any option (spell, feat, magic items, or other option) that modifies a class feature the inquisitor has but that the cleric/assassin does not.
For extra old-school, the GM can restrict the cleric/assassin to half-orcs. 🙂
Favored Class Bonus: In addition to being able to select racial favored class bonuses for the inquisitor, the cleric/assassin can select racial favored class bonuses for the cleric or the rogue. The cleric/assassin cannot select a racial favored class bonus that modifies a class feature the cleric/assassin does not have.
Alignment: Either the cleric/assassin, or the cleric assassin’s god, must be evil. The cleric/assassin’s alignment must be within one step of her deity’s alignment.
Proficiency: Cleric/assassins are proficient with light armor, simple and martial weapons, and the favored weapon of their deity.
Spells: The cleric assassin casts spells drawn from the inquisitor spell list or antipaladin spell list, but cannot cast any spell that has an alignment element that is directly opposed to their own alignment or their deity’s, or that modifies a class feature the cleric/assassin does not have.
Sneak Attack: Cleric/assassins do not gain judgement. Instead, they gain +1d6 at sneak attack, and gain another 1d6 of sneak attack at 4th level and every 3 levels thereafter.
Poison Use: The cleric/assassin does not gain the detect alignment class feature at 2nd level, instead gaining poison use as the assassin class feature.
Talents: The cleric/assassin does not gain solo tactics or teamwork feats. Instead, she gains a rogue or ninja trick of her choice (using her cleric/assassin level as her rogue/ninja level) at 3rd level, plus one additional talent every 3 levels thereafter.
Death Attack: The cleric/assassin does not gain the bane or discern lies class features at 5th level, instead gaining the death attack assassin class feature. The cleric/assassin also does not gain greater bane at 12h level.
Evasion: The cleric/assassin does not gain the stalwart class feature at 11th level, instead gaining evasion as the rogue class feature. The cleric/assassin also does not gain the slayer class feature at 17th level, instead gaining improved evasion.
There are LOTS of old-school character ideas that can’t be easily and effectively recreated in Pathfinder, and I had an idea for a simple magus archetype that should be able to recreate the old school fighter/illusions character concept. I wrote it up as (for the time being) patron-exclusive content.