Rare Magic: The Wildling, a Fifth Edition Druid

Wildlings are those who have made the wilderness their home, whether by choice or by circumstance. Rather than draw upon magic, the wildlings’ power comes from their ability to blend into the wild, to mimic the form of its many creatures, and to use the wilderness to their tactical advantage. Cunning of Nature Wildlings revere nature, using it as their home and their means of defense. They study animals for long periods of time, learning how to...

The Anti-Undead Necromancer

The necromancer is an archetype whose power players crave, but whose darkness many gamemasters will look askance at. This is particularly true for gamemasters who want groups of heroes, not simply characters who are a lighter shade of gray than the servants of darkness they’re standing against. Those who deal with the dead are often seen as unclean, secretive, or malicious… but what if they used their powers in service of a greater...

Rare Magic: The Friar, a Fifth Edition Variant Cleric

Friars are the spiritual leaders of their community, protecting the bodies and souls of their people from the temptation and evil that plagues the hearts of humanity. Friars are ordinary men and women who are made powerful by their faith in their deity, and the faith their followers have in them. Healers and Inspirers The power of a person’s faith can be just as strong as any magic. It can renew strength, give them the confidence to fight, and...

In Memoriam: Obituaries for Four Imprudently Optimized Pathfinder PCs

Let’s take a moment to remember those brave souls who are no longer with us. They were so full of life when penciled onto their character sheets and brimming with synergistic crunch. Now struck down before their time. Some found themselves in the wrong type of campaign while others just weren’t cut out for the day-to-day tasks of adventuring. Aldinas Sharpeye, half-elf [Bonus Feat: Skill Focus (Perception); +2 racial bonus to Perception; +2...

Former Cultist: A Fifth Edition Background

You grew up in a cult, worshiping a demon, evil god, or some unpronounceable horror from beyond time and space. You were not a priest or anyone in power—just one of the chanting horde. Good thing for you that you found your way out of that mess. Work out with your gamemaster the nature of the thing worshiped, how you got into the cult, and why and how you left. Skill Proficiencies: Religion, Deception Language: Abyssal Tool Proficiencies: One...

Planar Nomad: A Fifth Edition Background

You spent your early life going from one plane to another. Perhaps you were born to it or perhaps you are but a refugee from a cosmic disaster that spilled into your native plane. Your formative years spent thus, you have acquired a unique perspective on the multiverse, and while you may have settled down, for now, you understand the desire to see new skies. Skill Proficiencies: Arcana, Survival Languages: Any two planar languages (such as...

Mish-Mashing: A Way to Keep Track of Complicated Characters

With all the different play styles and current ways to customize characters with archetypes, it can be overwhelming enough to do a straight-up 1-20 level class. Even more so if one is using one of those really cool 15-20 page character portfolios that spread out and detail all the facets of the PC. Do any player characters still use prestige classes? Or better yet, do any players still multiclass? For those who do, consider taking a look at the...

The Swashbuckling Brute

Precision over power is the credo of the swashbuckler. Daring swordfighters who rely on skill and speed, most people picture swashbucklers as swaggering bravos with dueling capes over their shoulders. However, while a duelist in a feathered hat or a pirate captain storming the deck of a ship may be swashbucklers, it’s important to remember those aren’t the only characters who can make this class work for them. The Mechanics Most...

Martial Flexibility: The True Power of the Brawler

Among all the new hybrid classes in the Advanced Class Guide, few of them got as big a cheer as the brawler. “Finally,” the cry went up, “we can play unarmed fighters without having to take even a single level of monk!” That probably would have been enough, but the brawler gave us even more toys to play with. In addition to the unarmed damage, we got a knockout ability, martial training so we can use brawler levels to qualify for fighter feats,...

What’s in a Name? The Swashbuckler vs. the Duelist

Fighters come in all shapes and sizes, but for the longest time any player who wanted to really capture the flash of steel and the swagger of characters like Inigo Montoya or d’Artagnan had to make do with the duelist prestige class. Then the Advanced Class Guide came out, and it brought the swashbuckler to the table. The usual talk started up about how, now that we had this new expansion, the old class was left in the dust. Even though...

Heavy Metal Bards: The Pros and Cons of the Skald

Bards have a long and storied history of being the butt of a party’s jokes. Fighters and barbarians fight, rogues and rangers skulk, wizards and sorcerers fling spells, and clerics make sure no one dies. What does the bard do? All of that, but none of it very well. While it’s possible for bards to become quite powerful, they have a bad reputation as a useless class, a waste of time, or, at best, something that’s only useful...

The Paladin: Expanding the Boundaries of Faith, Part V

Through this series, I’ve argued that paladins should not be relegated to a single alignment, and I’ve given rules and advice for playing paladins of other alignments. This installment will detail my rules on playing a paladin who worships a chaotic neutral deity. If you’ve been following thus far, I hope you’ve enjoyed everything up to this point, and I hope you enjoy this last presentation. Without further ado, I present the rules for...

The Paladin: Expanding the Boundaries of Faith

The Paladin. To many roleplaying groups, this character doesn’t even have a name; he, or she, is simply “The Paladin,” as if there is no point in further description or that word is enough to convey the entire personality of an individual. The character’s backstory is irrelevant, the paladin’s physical features are fluff, and the player playing the paladin is subconsciously pigeonholed by friends into the role of...

The Expanded Six Talismans Monk

The six talismans monk, an archetype for the monk class detailed in New Paths #5: The Expanded Monk and Ninja, introduced a monk that utilizes ki-infused paper talismans in combat to damage, bind, or seal away opponents. These feats present new options for the six talismans monk, broadening the possible application of paper talismans. Greater Fifth Seal of Emerald Barriers Using paper talismans as anchors, you can ward an area with a shimmering...

The Troubadour

Often confused with lay minstrels, fireside storytellers and scoundrels, the troubadour is a highly skilled chronicler of events, an orator, a counselor, and a musician. Relying on his or her ability to weave a convincing story, morality play, or sonnet, the troubadour is often seen among the upper crust of society. The adventuring or wandering troubadour has added many survival skills to an already formidable set of talents, making this...


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