Older editions of the game handled multiclassing much differently, and as a result triple-class characters were not only viable, in many cases they were significantly stronger than single-class characters. There’s good reason to move away from the way that rules edition handled the concept, but it does mean the fighter/magic-user/thief (a staple, especially for elves and half-elves) ceases to be an effective, easy class to build, and that’s kind of a shame.
However, with the advent of hybrid classes (from the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Advanced Class Guide), there’s no reason a balanced, fun and effective f/m-u/t can’t be re-introduced into the game. It just needs some creative application of the design rules, some way to avoid the pitfalls such multi-focus characters often suffer, and some careful balancing. Such an effort is presented below. (And I did something similar with the cavalier-paladin, some time ago, if you want to look at that.)
For extra flavor, a GM might consider limiting the class to half-elves. 😀
A hybrid class.
Hit Die: d8
Parent Classes: Fighter, Rogue, Wizard
Starting Wealth: 5d6 × 10 gp (average 175 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.
Class Skills: The fighter/magic-user/thief’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all, each taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), Perception (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), and Swim (Str).
Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.
Level BaB Fort Ref Will 0th 1st 2nd 3rd Special
1 +0 +1 +1 +1 2 – – – Broad training
2 +1 +1 +1 +1 2 – – – Sneak attack +1 point, trapfinding
3 +2 +2 +2 +2 2 – – – Knack
4 +3 +2 +2 +2 2 0 – – School (1st)
5 +3 +3 +3 +3 3 1 – – Sneak attack +1d4
6 +4 +3 +3 +3 3 1 – – Knack
7 +5 +3 +3 +3 3 1 0 – Evasion
8 +6* +4 +4 +4 3 1 1 – Sneak attack +2d4
9 +6* +4 +4 +4 4 2 1 – Knack
10 +7* +5 +5 +5 4 2 1 0 Uncanny dodge
11 +8* +5 +5 +5 4 2 1 1 Sneak attack +3d4
12 +9* +5 +5 +5 4 2 2 1 Knack
13 +9* +6 +6 +6 4 3 2 1 Bravery +2
14 +10* +6 +6 +6 4 3 2 1 Sneak attack +4d4
15 +11* +7 +7 +7 4 3 2 2 Knack
16 +12* +7 +7 +7 4 3 3 2 School (6th/8th)
17 +12* +7 +7 +7 4 4 3 2 Sneak attack +5d4
18 +13* +8 +8 +8 4 4 3 2 Knack
19 +14* +8 +8 +8 4 4 3 3 Improved uncanny dodge
20 +15* +9 +9 +9 4 4 4 3 Sneak attack +6d4
*The fighter/magic-user/thief receives iterative attacks as normal, the chart does not show them to simply presentation
Proficiency: You are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and light and medium armor. Because all your fighter/magic-user/thief spells are considered to have the Still Spell feat (see “Spells,” below), you can ignore arcane spell failure.
Spells: You casts spells drawn from the wizard spells list, and keep a spellbook, learn and prepare spells like a wizard, and gains 2 new spells known of a level you can cast at each new class level . Your caster level is equal to your class level. All your spells automatically gain the benefit of the Still Spell feat, allowing you to cast spells in armor without dealing with arcane spell failure and while wielding 2-handed weapons.
Because of your training in methods of combat and the ways of stealth and subterfuge, your spells are powered less by how smart you are than by how nimble you are. You use Dexterity to determine what level spell you can cast, your spells’ save DCs and bonus spells, and any calculation that uses Intelligence in a spell (or your school, see below) is instead calculated using your Dexterity.
Broad Training: You are considered to have a base attack bonus of +1, the ability to cast 1st level spells, and 1d6 of sneak attack, for purposes of meeting prerequisites and drawing a weapon as part of a move action when moving. You treat your class level as your fighter level, rogue level, and wizard level when meeting prerequisites including feat prerequisites). If this is your favored class, you can take a racial favored class bonus for fighter, rogue, or wizard at each level. Although you do not have the armor training or weapon training class features, for purposes of prerequisites you are treated as having them if a fighter with a level equal to your class level had them (and of having them with the same bonus as a fighter of your class level when calculations use that information). For weapon training, you also select weapon groups it would have applied to, if you had it, for use with the Advanced Weapon Training feat, even though you do not actually gain the normal bonuses from weapon training with those groups.
Sneak Attack: As the rogue class feature, except when you first gain this ability it deals only +1 point of damage (though it qualifies for any sneak attack talent you select with your knack). This increases to +1d4 at 5th level, and by an additional 1d4 every 3 levels thereafter.
Trapfinding: As the rogue class feature.
Knack: At 3rd level, and every 3 level thereafter, you gain a bonus combat feat, a bonus metamagic feat, a bonus item creation feat, or a rogue talent. You must meet the selection’s prerequisites, and have any relevant class feature it modifies. Each time you gain a new knack, you may choose to learn a new knack in place of a knack you have already learned. In effect, you lose the knack in exchange for the new one. The knack cannot be one that was used as a prerequisite for another feat, prestige class, or other ability. You can only change one knack at any given level and must choose whether or not to swap the knack at the time you gain a new knack for the level.
School: At 4th level, you select one wizard school. You are not considered specialized in the associated school, and you to not pick opposition schools—this has no effect on how many spells per day you can prepare or your chance to learn spells of various schools. You do, however, gain the abilities from this school that a wizard gains at 1st level. Your class level acts as your wizard level for any calculations of these abilities.
At 16th level, you also gain any abilities from the school that a wizard would have by 8th level (regardless of what level the wizard would have gained them, if it is before 8th level).
Evasion: At 7th level you gain evasion, as the rogue class feature. It functions if you are in no armor, light armor, or medium armor.
Uncanny Dodge: At 10th level you gain uncanny dodge, as the rogue class feature. At 19th level this upgrades to improved uncanny dodge. Both functions if you are in no armor, light armor, or medium armor.
Bravery: At 13th level your gain bravery, as the fighter class feature, with a flat +2 bonus.
Speaking of Old school Ideas
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A Modest Alternate Hybrid Class: The War-Locke
So, what if we decided to use the bloodrager as the basis for an extensive archetype (*one that rose to the level of alternate class) to trade out sorcerer- and barbarian-like abilities in return for fighter-like abilities and retaining basic spellcasting? As a thought experiment, we’ll call this the war-locke. As with any archetype, we need to look at each swap-out individually, to make sure we don’t create a more powerful class. So we’ll look at what fighter class features we want to add, and what bloodrager features we need to lose to gain them. Let’s see if we can tack on all fighter abilities when they are gained for the fighter, as a starting point.
Skills. Bloodragers get 11 class skills. Fighters get 10. I think you can swap those lists with no increase in power, and obviously keep the 4 skill points/level.
Armor and weapon proficiencies. Bloodragers get light, medium, and shields other than tower shields, and can cast in light and medium. I think we’ll just leave that alone for our fighter-like archetype. If you want heavy armor, take the proficiency and deal with the ASF.
Fighters get bonus feats beginning at 1st, and have a total of 11 over 20 levels. Bloodragers get 5 bonus bloodline feats. We can also trade in fast movement, uncanny dodge, improved uncanny dodge, indomitable will, and tireless bloodrage to make the trade 11 feats for 10 feats & abilities at least some of which are provably better than equivalent feats. That looks like a fair trade.
Bravery is much maligned, but it’s not terrible. We don’t want to give up anything gained at the same level you first get bravery, but we can give up the 1st level bloodline power, which is at least as good, on average. As bravery increases, we can also give up the bloodline power gained at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th. That clearly covers the benefits of bravery.
Armor training comes in for the fighter the same time blood sanctuary does for the barbarian. That’s 1 better armor check penalty and max Dex to AC, AND movement at full speed in medium armor, compared to a untyped +2 bonus against saves cast by the PC or allies. +2 is nothing to sniff at though it’s only going to come up when allies peg you in an area… but then increased max Dex to AC isn’t always helpful. Still, that seems like armor training 1 is slightly better.
When armor training 2 comes in, the bloodrager gets a bloodline spell (we’ll handle DR separately, in a minute). A bonus 1st level spell is nice, but it’s not as good as full speed in heavy armor plus a reduced armor check and increased max Dex.
Armor training 3 stacks against greater bloodrage. Greater bloodrage is the clear winner here. So much so we can use that to cover armor training 4, as well.
That still leaves an imbalance at 4th and 7th. But if we decide we trade in the bloodline powers gained at 4th, and all bonus spells, that clearly makes up for any power gap.
Weapon mastery is offensive and so is rage, so let’s compare those two. The berserker ability for the viking fighter archetype tells us that weapon mastery 1, 2, 3, and 4 are as good as the ability to rage as a barbarian 3 levels lower. Since the bloodrager class has a bloodrage ability that is as good as barbarian rage, we can call that an even swap. So get rid of rage, and add weapon mastery.
Armor mastery vs barbarian DR is tricky, since so few archetypes remove it from the barbarian, or add it to the fighter. The savage barbarian replaces DR for an AC bonus when not wearing armor… but that archetype also has naked courage (which is clearly better than trap sense), which suggests that’s NOT an even swap. There isn’t a magic armor ability that gives you DR/–, though invulnerability does DR 5/magic (which is pretty good against monsters, but not humanoids) for a +3 cost, and adamantine full plate gives you DR 3/– for 15,000 gp (roughly the same cost as a +3 bonus laired onto existing +1 magic armor, though the stacking issue makes this murky). Still we can likely safely call that a wash and just sap them out.
Weapon mastery looks like a fair swap for mighty bloodrage.
We give up any ability to take bloodrage- or bloodline-related feats or abilities or prerequisites in trade for counting as a fighter for fighter-only feats and prerequisites.
So what does that leave us?
The war-locke, a class with all a fighter’s special abilities, almost as much armor, more skills, and 4 levels of casting. And Eschew Components. Perfectly balanced for Pathfinder. I’d even allow war-lockes to take fighter archetypes, as long as the archetype didn’t give up heavy armor or tower shield proficiency.
Feel free to swap the bloodrager spell list for magus (spell levels 1-4 only, obviously).
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Sagani. A sagani is a mystic who has made a connection to the elemental powers, and attuned their soul to the four elements. This allows them to draw on elemental power and eventually even take on elemental forms. A sagani uses the hit dice, proficiencies, class skills, skill points per level, base attack, base saves, starting wealth, and starting age as a hunter. A sagani has spells per day and spells known as a bard and is a divine spellcaster. The sagani’s class spell list is comprised of all wizard elemental specialist spells, and all druid spells (which are treated as being one spell level higher than they are for a druid). At 1st level and every odd level thereafter a sagani gains a favored terrain or terrain mastery from the horizon walker class features. If at least 11th level the sagani may instead select a terrain dominance or the ranger abilities of camouflage or (if camouflage has been taken) hide in plain sight.
At 4th level, a sagani gains the ability to turn herself into an elemental back again once per day. The effect lasts for 1 hour per class level, or until she changes back. Changing form is a standard action and doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity. A sagani does not lose her ability to speak while in elemental form, and can automatically speak the elemental language connected to her elemental form (even if she doesn’t normally know it). A sagani can use this ability an additional time per day at 6th level and every two levels thereafter, for a total of eight times at 18th level. At 20th level, a sagani can use this ability at will. At 8th level, a sagani can choose to become one size category larger or smaller when assuming an elemental form. At 12th level, a sagani can choose to become two sizes larger or smaller when assuming an elemental form. At 16th level, a sagani can choose to become three sizes larger or smaller when assuming an elemental form. This acts as monstrous form I, II, or III (for modifiers based on size, without granting the abilities of any specific monstrous humanoid). The sagani builds its four elemental forms by gaining the base form of an unchained summoner elemental eidolon and adding the base evolutions of an eidolon of a summoner equal to the sagani’s class level. The base form does not gain any other evolutions. A sagani cannot cast air spells as an earth elemental (and vice versa), or fire spells as a water elemental (or vice versa).
The sagani gains no other class features. #QuickBaseClass
Warcaster. A warcaster is a powerful tool of divine retribution answering to a god or some other spiritual power. Use hit dice, proficiencies, class skills, base attack, base saves, starting wealth, and starting age as a cleric. Gain 4 skill points/level. Gain spells known and spells per day as a medium, selecting spells from the cleric or inquisitor spell list.
The warcaster gains a spirit blade as a supernatural ability at 1st level. This functions as the spell spiritual weapon except as follows: the base damage is equal to the sacred weapon damage of a Medium warpriest of the same level (rather than 1d8); it threatens on a 20 and has a x2 crit multipler; the weapon has a range of 10 feet + 10 feet per class level; it uses your caster level as its base attack bonus (including multiple attacks as caster level 6th or higher); it strikes as a weapon rather than a spell (ignoring SR but subject to DR, and subject to spells and feats that augment weapons); it may take the appearance (and deal the damage type) of any weapon you wish (but once selected this cannot be changed). The spirit blade takes a full round action to summon, can be summoned an unlimited number of times per day (though never more than 1 at a time), and remains until dismissed or dispelled (as a spell). The warcaster has an arcane pool as a magus of the same level, which can only be used to augment the spirit blade. At 2nd level the warcaster gains spell combat as a magus of the same level, but attacks made when using this ability can only be made with the spirit weapon. (This functions as improved spell combat at 9th level, and greater spell combat at 15th level.) At 4th level the warcaster gains spellstrike as a magus, but attacks made when using this ability can only be made with the spirit weapon. When using spellstrike, the warcaster may choose for the spirit blade to deal no damage.
The warcaster gains no other class features. #QuickBaseClass
Spellbinder: A spellbinder is a powerful spellcaster that can manipulate and adjust spells on the fly, producing magic effects more powerful than other spellcasters of the same experience. Use hit dice, proficiencies, class skills, base attack, base saves, starting wealth, and starting age as a wizard, and 4 skill points per class level. The spellbinder casts spells as a wizard, with the following exceptions. The spellbinder does not need a spellbook – while the spellbinder takes the same time and cost and skill checks to learn a spell as a wizard does to scribe it into a spellbook, and the spellbinder succeeds the spell is known and can be prepared without referring to any other source. The spellbinder prepares two spells in every spell preparation slot, but can only cast one of them (selected when the spell is cast). The spellbinder gains four spells known when gaining a class level (rather than the two spells known of a wizard). The spellbinder can select spells from the druid or wizard spell lists for these four spells known, and can learn spells from alchemist formula books and wizard spellbooks. The spellbinder treats his class spell list as including all wizard spells, and any alchemist extract or druid spell he knows.
At 1st level and every level thereafter, the spellbinder gains a bonus metamagic feat. These metamagic feats cannot increase the spell slot of spells cast with them by more than half the spellbinder’s class level (minimum 1). A spellbinder cannot prepare spells with metamagic feats, but instead adds them later using a metamagic pool. A spellbinder has a number of points in his metamagic pool equal to half his class level (minimum 1) plus his Intelligence modifier (to a maximum of half his level, minimum 1). When a spellbinder casts a spell he may add a metamagic feat (as if a spontaneous spellcaster) by spending a number of points from his metamagic pool equal to the additional spell levels required by the metamagic added (minimum of 1 metamagic point per metamagic feat added, and to a maximum spell adjustment equal to 1/3 her caster level – minimum of 1). A spellbinder cannot add metmagic feats to a spell if she lacks the metamagic points to cover it’s spell level adjustment.
The spellbinder gains no other class features. #QuickBaseClass
Virago: Viragoes are skilled combatants who focus on victory through cooperation and wise decisions. Though able to fight valiantly on her own, a virago is at her best when she has tools and allies to direct to the defeat of her foes. Because most of the cultures that commonly train viragoes treat men and women equally, many scholars of more patriarchal lands claim viragoes are exclusively female, though this is untrue. Use hit dice and base attack bonus as a fighter. Use the base saves, class skills, skill points/level, starting wealth, and starting as a skald. At 1st level the virago gains a Wise Bond. This may be a mount (as the cavalier class feature, using her virago level as her cavalier level), the ranger favored terrain class feature (gaining an additional terrain and +2 bonus to any one favored terrain at 5th and every 4 levels thereafter), a bond with her hunting companions (as the hunter’s bond ranger class feature), or a druidic animal/terrain domain (with granted spells gained from the domain cast once per day as spell-like abilities). Also at first level she gains the ability to declare a specific foe a favored enemy as a standard action (as the ranger class feature) but with a +1 bonus. It remains a favored enemy until killed or 24 hours, whichever comes first. She can do this a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Wisdom bonus, and the bonus increases by +1 at 5th level, and every 5 levels thereafter.
At 2nd level, the virago gains the cavalier’s tactician class feature. She gains an additional bonus teamwork feat, and an additional use per day of this ability, at 4th level and every even level thereafter. At 3rd level she gains the inquisitor’s solo tactics class feature. At 5th level she can use tactician as a move action. At 7th level she can change her more recent teamwork feat (as the inquisitor teamwork feat class feature). At 9th level tactician’s range expands to 60 feet. At 11th level she can use tactician as a swift action. At 13th level she can change her last two most recent teamwork feats. At 15th level tactician applies to any ally able to see and hear her. At 17th level she can use tactician to grant any two teamwork feats she knows. A Virgo is treated as being trained in Use Magic Device at 3rd level (with a skill check of class level + Wisdom bonus) and meets prerequisites as if she had ranks equal to her class level. At 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th level she gains a bonus Item mastery feat (for which she must meet the prerequisites). A number of times per day equal to her Wisdom bonus, she may use an Item mastery feat without it counting against her maximum uses per day of that feat. At 20th level, she can use Item mastery feats as swift actions.
The virago gains no other class features. #QuickBaseClass
Nazar: The nazar is a base class that learns to fight with her helgaze, a psychic assault on the very existence of her enemies using power drawn from the fiendish planes. Though not necessarily evil, nazar are mistrusted for their use of power drawn from the realms of divs and qlippoth. Use hit dice, base attack, base saves, proficiencies, skill points/level, starting wealth, and starting age as a ranger. Use the inquisitor’s class skills. The nazar is a psychic spellcaster that gains spells known and spells per day as a bloodrager of the same level, but drawn from the psychic, sorcerer/wizard, and witch spell lists. However, the nazar can only select rays and spells that make ranged attacks against specific targets and can only cast them against the current target of her helgaze. (A nazar can select a spell that is a touch attack against a single creature, but must do so as a spell one level higher and treats it as having the Reach metamagic.) She uses Charisma to determine spell saves and max spell level.
At 1st level the nazar gains a helgaze, which functions as the mesmerist’s hypnotic stare class feature with the following changes: the penalty can be applies to any one category of saving throw (as determined by the nazar when the ability is used); it is a true gaze attack (and can be avoided as such); it is not a mind-affecting ability; the target receives a saving throw against the helgaze (of the same type it applies a penalty to, DC 10 + 1/2 nazar level + Cha modifier), but this save is made with the helgaze’s penalty; a creature that saves against a nazar’s helgaze can’t be have the same saving throw category affected by that nazar’s helgaze for 24 hours. At 2nd level the nazar gains the painful stare class feature, applied to her helgaze, and treats her nazar level as her mesmerist level for prerequisites relating to hypnotic stare. At 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter, the nazar gains either a bold stare (though no bold stare can apply a penalty to the same save category the nazar’s helgaze is penalizing) or a stare feat (for which the nazar meets the prerequisites); alternatively the nazar may choose to gain the misfortune hex (which can only be used on the target of her helgaze).
The nazar gains no other class features. #QuickBaseClass