Some people are just more fit than their kindred and allies. For whatever reason, some physical exemplars are able to perform feats of muscle, speed, and endurance at the outer edge of mortal capability. Some physical exemplars focus all their development on a single aspect of their physique while others work to be better in all areas. Some families produce natural physical exemplars every few generations, but most are products of relentless regimens of self-improvement. This archetype package is most commonly taken by barbarians and monks, though certainly any fighting character can benefit from it.
Physical exemplars are almost always local legends—the barmaid renowned for drinking even hardened veterans under the table, the sprinter who is rumored to race gods through the fields near her home, and the strong-woman who can lift a bench with four men sitting on it.
Though they often are born to humble families, physical exemplars are almost always drawn at a young age into lives of adventure and danger.
Many feel they must use their great potential to improve the lives of those less fortunate, while others feel their tangible superiority is a sign that they should rule over lesser beings. Even a physical exemplar who tries to live a normal, unremarkable life soon finds travelers spread tales about her and that competitors consistently arrive to put her legendary natural gifts to the test.
At 2nd level, the physical exemplar increases her Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution by +1. The physical exemplar gains an additional ability score increase (which in all cases must be to Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution) at 6th level and every 4 levels thereafter. This is in addition to (but otherwise treated exactly the same as) the ability score increases all characters receive at 4th level and every 4 levels after that.
At 5th level, the physical exemplar gains a bonus feat. This feat cannot grant the physical exemplar any benefit to spellcasting, spell-like or supernatural abilities, or Int-, Wis-, or Cha-based skills or ability checks. The physical exemplar gains an additional bonus feat of this type at 10th, 15th, and 20th levels.
Martial Archetypes – Special Notes
Archetype packages are sets of class abilities characters may select in place of some of the normal abilities gained from a class.
This book was written with the assumption that every class has at least one archetype package built into it which represents a standard set of powers all members of that class receive (see below for details). It is designed with the premise that one can remove some of the standard abilities of a class and replace them with new options that, while different from what the core rulebook says, have no detrimental effect on the class’s mechanical balance or ability to contribute to an adventuring team.
An obvious example of an existing archetype package can be seen in the cleric, who gets to pick two domains. These are in addition to the cleric’s core abilities (and clerics have a broad range of options even without domains). Even if a player neglected to ever select those domains, the character would be able to perform the cleric’s core function and maintain the same role in a well?built team. However, over 20 levels these domains give the cleric access to nine spell slots, eighteen spells known, four special abilities, and in some cases up to two additional class skills or bonus feats.
In the context of this product, the cleric’s two domains represent a single archetype package—the Domain Servant. That package becomes just one option a cleric can take, with the new archetypes in this volume representing some alternative options. A player who wants to play a cleric that also has an increased level of battle expertise (perhaps as a priest serving a deity of war) gives up the Domain Servant archetype package and selects one of the new martial archetypes described in the following pages.
Below we define the archetype packages already included as part of the heroic base classes presented in this game. To gain a new archetype, a character must forgo one of the archetypes normally granted to his class. While most classes have only one archetype, a few (alchemist, bard, cavalier, inquisitor, paladin, and ranger) have two. Classes with multiple archetypes only need to give up one in order to take a new archetype package.
The alchemist has two archetype packages: Grenadier and Mad Chymist.
Grenadier: The Grenadier package includes all the alchemist’s bomb abilities, throw anything, and the advancement of bomb damage. It also includes the discoveries normally gained at 8th and 14th levels. Without this archetype package, an alchemist never gains or advances the bomb ability.
Mad Chymist: The Mad Chymist package includes the mutagen and persistent mutagen abilities, and the discoveries normally gained at 2nd, 6th, 10th, and 18th levels. Without this archetype package, an alchemist never gains or advances the mutagen ability, and is treated as not being an alchemist if a mutagen is consumed.
The barbarian has one archetype package: Berserker.
Berserker: The Berserker archetype includes a barbarian’s rage class ability and all rage powers, including greater rage, indomitable will, tireless rage, and mighty rage. A barbarian that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
The bard has two archetype packages: Performer and Spellsinger.
Performer: The Performer archetype grants a bard all the bardic performance class abilities plus the versatile performance and well-versed class abilities. A bard that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
Spellsinger: The Spellsinger archetype grants a bard all his spellcasting ability. A bard that gives up this package gains no caster level, has no spells known or spells/ day, and has no access to the bardic spell list.
The cavalier has two archetype packages: Knight and Horseman.
Knight: The Knight archetype package includes 1 use/day of the challenge ability gained at 1st level, 1 use/day gained at 16th level, and the cavalier’s order. A cavalier without this archetype package gains the challenge ability at 4th level, but has 1 fewer uses/day (and beginning at 16th level, 2 fewer uses/day).
The cleric has one archetype package: Domain Servant.
Domain Servant: The Domain Servant archetype grants a cleric two domains, and one spell slot/level for domain spells. A cleric that gives up this package does not receive one additional spell slot per spell level for domain spells, and gives up all domain granted powers and domain spells.
The druid has one archetype package: Beastlord.
Beastlord: The Beastlord archetype grants the druid the spontaneous casting, wild empathy, and wildshape class abilities (including all improvements to wildshape). A druid that gives up this archetype never receives any of these abilities.
The fighter has one archetype package: Battle Master.
Battle Master: The Battle Master archetype grants a fighter the bonus feats gained at 1st, 6th, 12th, and 18th levels, bravery, and weapon training. Additionally, without this archetype package the character cannot take feats whose prerequisites include levels in the fighter class (such as Weapon Specialization).
The inquisitor has two archetype packages: Executioner and Magister.
Magister: The Magister archetype package includes the spells and orisons abilities. An inquisitor without this archetype is not a spellcaster. The inquisitor retains the domain ability, and if a caster level is required for a class ability it is considered to be equal to the inquisitor’s level.
The monk has one archetype package: Ki Master.
Ki Master: The Ki Master archetype grants a monk the flurry of blows, bonus feat gained at 2nd level, ki pool, wholeness of body, abundant step, and empty body class abilities. A monk that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities, has no ki pool, and cannot spend ki points as part of the high jump ability.
The oracle has one archetype package: Mystic.
Mystic: The Mystic archetype package includes the oracle’s mystery plus all the class skills, bonus spells, and revelations it includes. An oracle without this archetype package may choose to have an oracle’s curse or not, as the player prefers. This decision is made at first level, and once made it cannot be changed.
The paladin has two archetype packages: Avenger and Divine Guardian.
Avenger: The Avenger archetype grants a paladin the smite evil, lay on hands, mercy, channel positive energy, and divine bond class abilities. A paladin that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
Divine Guardian: The Divine Guardian archetype grants a paladin the detect evil and aura of courage class abilities, plus all of the paladin’s spellcasting ability. A paladin that gives up this package never receives any of those abilities, gains no caster level, has no spells/day, and has no access to the paladin spell list.
The ranger has two archetype packages: Scout and Woodland Spellcaster.
Scout: The Scout archetype grants a ranger the favored enemy, combat style feat, favored terrain, and hunter’s bond class abilities. A ranger that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
Woodland Spellcaster: The Woodlander Spellcaster archetype grants a ranger Spellcraft as a class skill, 2 of the ranger’s 6 skill points per level, the ranger’s wild empathy ability, and all the ranger’s spellcasting ability. A ranger that gives up this package never receives any of those abilities, gets only 4 skill points (plus Int bonus) per level, gains no caster level, has no spells/day, and has no access to the ranger spell list.
The rogue has one archetype package: Sneak.
Sneak: The Sneak archetype grants a rogue the sneak attack dice gained at 1st, 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th levels, as well as the trap sense class ability. A rogue that gives up this package still receives sneak attack dice at 3rd, 7th, 11th, 15th and 19th levels, but never receives the trap sense abilities.
The sorcerer has one archetype package: Heritage.
Heritage: The Heritage archetype grants a sorcerer one bloodline—including the bloodline class skill, bonus spells, bonus feats, bloodline arcana, and bloodline powers. A sorcerer that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities or bonus items.
The summoner has one archetype template: Augmenter.
Augmenter: The Augmenter template includes the summoner’s 1st-level and higher spells (but not his access to cantrips or his special summon monster spell-like ability). A summoner that gives up this package never gains spells of 1st-level and above.
The witch has one archetype package: Hexen.
The wizard has one archetype package: Arcane Master
Arcane Master: The Arcane Master archetype grants a wizard the arcane bond and arcane school class abilities. The wizard does not choose a school (not even the universalist school) to specialize in, and never gains any of the abilities granted for specializing in a school. The wizard also does not need to choose two opposing schools.
The adept godling has one archetype package: Blood of Magic
Blood of Magic: The Blood of Magic archetype grants an adept godling the lineage domain and divine trait class abilities. An adept godling that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
The archon has one archetype package: Riven Lord
The armiger has one archetype package: Rampart
Rampart: An armiger without this archetype package grants only partial soft cover to adjacent allies with the bulwark class ability. He also does not gain an armiger talent at 2nd level, or an advanced armiger talent at 20th level. Without this package the armiger does not gain armored DR at 4th level, and his armored DR is reduced by 1 at all other levels.
The clever godling has one archetype package: Like My Father
Like My Father: The Like My Father archetype grants a clever godling the lineage domain and scion talent class abilities. A clever godling that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
The death mage has one archetype package: Death Master
The dragonrider has one archetype package: Dragon Kith
Dragon Kith: The Dragon Kith archetype grants a dragonrider low-light vision, spells, and darkvision. A dragonrider without the Dragon Kith base archetype package has only two good saving throw advancements, chosen when the package is selected. The other saving throw advances at the same rate as a barbarian’s Reflex save. A dragonrider that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
The eldritch godling has one archetype package: Blood of Magic
Blood of Magic: The Blood of Magic archetype grants an eldritch godling the lineage domain and divine trait class abilities. An eldritch godling that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
The magister has one archetype package: Master of Mysticism
Master of Mysticism: The Master of Mysticism archetype grants a magister the mystic bond, mystic talents, and advanced mystic talents class abilities. A magister that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
The mighty godling has one archetype package: Like My Father
Like My Father: The Like My Father archetype grants a mighty godling the lineage domain and scion talent class abilities. A mighty godling that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
The shadow assassin has one archetype package: Shadow Cunning
Shadow Cunning: The Shadow Cunning archetype grants a shadow assassin the shadow style class ability. A shadow assassin built without this archetype package has only 4 skill points/ level and must choose 4 of the shadow assassin’s normal class skills to not be class skills for the character. A shadow assassin that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
The shaman has one archetype package: Spirit Talker
Spirit Talker: The Spirit Talker archetype grants a shaman the spirit companion class ability. A shaman built without this archetype package has only 2 skill points/level and does not have Craft (focus) on its class skill list. A shaman that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
The time thief has one archetype package: Temporal Rogue
Temporal Rogue: The Temporal Rogue archetype grants a time thief the temporal talents class ability. A time thief without this package receives half as many motes after all calculations have been made (rounding any fractions down). A time thief that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
The vanguard has one archetype package: Battle Mage
Battle Mage: The Battle Mage archetype grants a vanguard the arcane strike, combat casting, bonus feats granted at 4th, 16th, and 19th level, spell block, spell sunder, and spell grapple class abilities. A vanguard that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
The war master has one archetype package: Student of Battle
Student of Battle: The Student of Battle archetype grants a war master the war master talents and advanced talents class abilities. A war master built without this archetype package has only 2 skill points/level. A war master that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
The witch hunter has one archetype package: Devoted
Now that we know what an archetype package is and how to get one (and at what cost), we can present new archetype options for characters. While the archetypes were often designed with a specific class or set of classes in mind, they are all designed to be as generic as possible. Though only specific types of characters benefit from taking most of these martial archetypes, none are forbidden from doing so. A few archetype packages even have abilities that aid in spellcasting. It is worth noting that the Spellhammer is only of use to characters with at least a modicum of spellcasting ability.
While some of these archetype packages work quite well with characters that primarily use ranged weapons, there is a slight bias in favor of melee weapons in these packages. Players looking for packages designed to cater specifically to characters using bows or other ranged options would do well to look at The Genius Guide to Archer Archetypes, which has 5 ranged-weapon-specific archetype packages. Players looking for packages designed to provide more spellcasting options would do well to look at The Genius Guide to Arcane Archetypes or The Genius Guide to Divine Archetypes.
The Genius Guide To: Martial Archetypes. Copyright 2010, Super Genius Games. Author: Owen K.C. Stephens