A character’s class is one of his most defining features. It’s the source of most of his abilities, and gives him a specific role in any adventuring party.
As player characters overcome challenges, they gain experience points. As these points accumulate, PCs advance in level and power.
The following eleven classes represent the core classes of the game.
|Barbarian||The barbarian is a brutal berserker from beyond the edge of civilized lands.|
|Bard||The bard uses skill and spell alike to bolster his allies, confound his enemies, and build upon his fame.|
|Cleric||A devout follower of a deity, the cleric can heal wounds, raise the dead, and call down the wrath of the gods.|
|Druid||The druid is a worshiper of all things natural – a spellcaster, a friend to animals, and a skilled shapechanger.|
|Fighter||Brave and stalwart, the fighter is a master of all manner of arms and armor. And this is a really long description that defeinitely goes over onto another line.|
|Monk||A student of martial arts, the monk trains his body to be his greatest weapon and defense.|
|Paladin||The paladin is the knight in shining armor, a devoted follower of law and good.|
|Ranger||A tracker and hunter, the ranger is a creature of the wild and of tracking down his favored foes.|
|Rogue||The rogue is a thief and a scout, an opportunist capable of delivering brutal strikes against unwary foes.|
|Sorcerer||The spellcasting sorcerer is born with aninnate knack for magic and has strange, eldritch powers.|
|Wizard||The wizard masters magic through constant study that gives him incredible magical power.|
While most common folk have shared ale with a fighter or perhaps even seen a wizard perform an awesome act of magic, these are not the only adventurers known to legends and history. The following character classes present new options for players and greater variety for a Game Master’s cast of nonplayer characters. The base classes are equivalent in power to the core classes.
Game Masters are encouraged to allow players to choose freely from these classes, but each GM must make a personal decision about what is and isn’t allowed in his campaign, and the relative prevalence of such character classes in his or her world. Each new class presents interesting character themes and special abilities.
|Alchemist||The alchemist is the master of alchemy, using extracts to grant him great power, mutagens to enhance his form, and bombs to destroy his enemies.||PZO1115|
|Cavalier||Mounted upon his mighty steed, the cavalier is a brave warrior, using his wit, charm, and strength at arms to rally his companions and achieve his goals.||PZO1115|
|Gunslinger||A rare warrior who forgoes blades and bows in favor of the mysterious art of black powder.||PZO1118|
|Inquisitor||Scourge of the unfaithful and hunter of horrors, the inquisitor roots out the enemies of her faith with grim conviction and an array of divine blessings.||PZO1115|
|Magus||The magus blends both the mage’s arts and the warrior’s arms with devastating results, slicing apart foes and blasting them with eldritch flames.||PZO1117|
|Omdura1||Acting as divine warriors, omduras embody the tenets of their gods and serve as divine vessels.||Niobe|
|Oracle||Drawing upon divine mysteries, the oracle channels divine power through her body and soul, but at a terrible price.||PZO1115|
|Shifter||Whether riding on the wind as a falcon or hiding in some fetid bog waiting to strike, the shifter is a true master of the wild.||PZO1140|
|Summoner||Bonded to a mysterious creature called an eidolon, the summoner focuses his power on strengthing that connection and enhancing his strange, otherworldy companion.||PZO1115|
|Witch||Lurking on the fringe of civilization, the witch makes a powerful connection with a patron that grants her strange and mysterious powers through a special familiar.||PZO1115|
|Vampire Hunter1||A vampire hunter pits his abilities not just against the creatures of the night, but also their terrifying undead overlords: vampires.||PFRPG:WoVHD|
|Vigilante2||By day, the vigilante maneuvers through society, dealing with other nobles or inf luential individuals. By night, he dons a disguise and an utterly different set of goals, taking the fight to his foes and solving problems with a blade when words will not suffice.||PZO1134|
|1These classes are adapted from other works of literature.
2Game Masters should consider carefully whether or not a vigilante will make for a good fit with their campaign.
See also: 3rd Party Classes
Most heroes progress along a single path—choosing to become a fearsome fighter, pious cleric, or mighty wizard—but some are drawn to many roads. For them, it can be hard to find a balance between abilities offered by disparate classes. Hybrid classes solve this dilemma by blending features from two classes, adding rules to make them work seamlessly together.
Parent Classes: Each one of the following classes lists two classes that it draws upon to form the basis of its theme. While a character can multiclass with these parent classes, this usually results in redundant abilities. Such abilities don’t stack unless specified. If a class feature allows the character to make a one-time choice (such as a bloodline), that choice must match similar choices made by the parent classes and vice-versa (such as selecting the same bloodline). The new classes presented here are all hybrids of two existing core or base classes.
|Arcanist||A melding of sorcerer and wizard, the arcanist is an arcane tinkerer and spell-twister, reshaping magic to her whims. Players who like options and variety in their spellcasting should consider this class.|
|Bloodrager||Blending the wrath of the barbarian with the innate magic of the sorcerer, the bloodrager taps into his rage to create brutal magical effects. Players who enjoy eldritch savagery and want their magic to support them in combat should consider this class.|
|Brawler||Unifying two of the game’s greatest pugilists, the fighter and the monk, the brawler forgoes mysticism and spiritual training to focus on raw physical mastery. Players who want to take on their opponents in fierce hand-to-hand combat should consider this class.|
|Hunter||Combining the natural skills and animal mastery of the druid and the ranger, the hunter teams up with a devoted animal ally to confront the enemies of the wilds. Players who want an animal companion to be their character’s focus should consider this class.|
|Investigator||Mixing the alchemist’s arcane insight with the shrewdness of a rogue, the investigator uses his knowledge and a wide range of talents to overcome any conundrum. Players who enjoy clever characters who are always prepared should consider this class.|
|Shaman||The occult mysteries of the oracle and witch combine in the shaman, an enigmatic spirit-speaker who calls upon powers from beyond. Players who seek new routes to eerie divine powers should consider this class.|
|Skald||The skald blends the passion and relentlessness of the barbarian with the voice of the bard, inspiring his fellows from the front lines. Players who want to both join their allies in battle and bolster their might should consider this class.|
|Slayer||Deft stalkers of the most dangerous prey, slayers merge the ranger’s combat training with the rogue’s crippling attacks. Players who seek to deal death from the shadows should consider this class.|
|Swashbuckler||Bringing together the martial mastery of the fighter and the style of the gunslinger, the swashbuckler uses fast weapons and bewildering melee skills to lay her opponents low. Players who enjoy quick, daring combatants should consider this class.|
|Warpriest||Adding a fighter’s physical might to the force of a cleric’s convictions, the warpriest strikes against enemies of his faith. Players who want to play a battle-hardened divine champion should consider this class.|
Your choice of class remains one of the most important parts of creating a character. This section presents four new takes on familiar classes, which have been redesigned to improve their ease of use and power relative to other classes.
|Barbarian||Though rage remains similar to its original design, it’s now easier to implement, and rage powers have been rebalanced to become a more important part of the class|
|Monk||Receiving the most wide-reaching changes, the monk now has expanded options in the form of ki powers, allowing you to create exactly the monk you want to play.|
|Rogue||The new version of the rogue gains enhancements to its combat abilities and solidifies its role as the master of skills.|
|Summoner||The revised summoner remains largely the same, aside from a revised spell list, but players will benefit from big changes to eidolons, which now have subtypes that flavor many of your choices.|
Beyond the worship of the divine and the studies of arcane scholars lies the mysterious terrain of the mind, accessed through psychic magic. Classes that draw upon psychic magic do so via innate mental abilities, whether they directly cast spells, create elemental effects, or focus psychic energy through objects. Members of these occult classes find themselves drawn to the strange and the hidden; they have connections to the timeless Astral Plane, the haunted bleakness of the Ethereal Plane, and the history of the Material Plane chronicled as psychic impressions in places and objects.
The six classes presented below all use psychic magic. In most cases, this means they cast psychic spells.
|Kineticist||With a connection to the elements, a kineticist can bring forth energy in the form of kinetic blasts. Instead of casting psychic spells, the kineticist uses unique psychic spell-like abilities called wild talents to manipulate elemental energy and matter.|
|Medium||By contacting spirits in places of power, the medium allows the personalities of legendary heroes to overcome his own, vastly changing his abilities and spells. He holds seances to benefit himself and his allies.|
|Mesmerist||A mesmerist’s piercing stare lets him insinuate himself into other people’s minds. A master of enchantment and illusion, the mesmerist controls and influences the behavior of others.|
|Occultist||To make use of his powers, an occultist channels psychic energy into a varied collection of antiques and mementos with storied pasts. Every type of implement allows him to use a different school of magic.|
|Psychic||With her incredibly potent mind, the psychic can cast spells that are more powerful than those of members of any other occult class. She accesses these spells through a specific discipline, and can bend and amplify psychic spells as she casts them.|
|Spiritualist||Attuned to the spirits of the dead, a spiritualist forms a bond with a phantom – a returned spirit that has unfinished business but did not become undead. This spectral ally can alternate between forms, emerging from the safety of the spiritualist’s mind to take on an incorporeal form or an ectoplasmic body.|
Alternate classes are standalone classes whose basic ideas are very close to established base classes, yet whose required alterations would be too expansive for an archetype. An alternate class operates exactly as a base class, save that a character who takes a level in an alternate class can never take a level in its associated class – a samurai cannot also be a cavalier, and vice versa.
|Antipaladin||Although it is a rare occurrence, paladins do sometimes stray from the path of righteousness.||PZO1115|
|Ninja||The ninja is an alternate class version of the rogue, one whose mystical powers augment keenly honed reflexes to make the ninja a deadly spy and assassin.||PZO1118|
|Samurai||The samurai is an alternate class version of the cavalier, a disciplined warrior whose skill is matched only by his impeccable sense of honor and ironhard resolve.||PZO1118|
See also: 3rd Party Alternate Classes
Aside from the players, every other person encountered in the game world is a nonplayer character (NPC). These characters are designed and controlled by the GM to fill every role from noble king to simple baker. While some of these characters use player classes, most rely upon basic NPC classes, allowing them to be easily generated. The following rules govern all of the NPC classes and include information on generating quick NPCs for an evening’s game.
See also: 3rd Party NPC Classes
Prestige classes allow characters to become truly exceptional, gaining powers beyond the ken of their peers. Unlike the core classes, characters must meet specific requirements before they can take their first level of a prestige class. If a character does not meet the requirements for a prestige class before gaining any benefits of that level, that character cannot take that prestige class. Characters that take levels in prestige classes do not gain any favored class bonuses for those levels.
See also: 3rd Party Prestige Classes
Base classes are a great place to start, but they can’t cover every possible character concept and specialization. Archetypes help to fill in the gaps. These are quick, plug-and-play sets of alternate class ability substitutions arranged around specific character concepts, designed to help players customize a given base class to their individual needs.