Advanced Class Guide Playtest overview – Part 1

We’re going to do a 2 part overview of the new classes introduced in the Advanced Class Guide Playtest from Paizo. The preview of this book provides a TON of options for new classes – enough to necessitate two posts. Each of the new classes is a special hybrid of two existing classes. Let’s check them out!

Arcanist (Wizard+Sorceror)

Arcanists inherit aptitude for arcane magic in their blood, but they have to study to fully realize their powers. Like a wizard, an arcanist must prepare spells every day, but casting a spell doesn’t consume its preparation. Instead, arcanists can continue to cast any spell they’ve prepared (assuming they haven’t met their daily spell limit). This pooling mechanic makes arcanists extremely flexible and allows them to use a wide range of magic in their day to day dungeoneering.

Arcanists can also call upon their innate abilities with Blood Focus to selectively boost spells cast within their selected school.

Bloodrager (Barbarian+Sorceror)

The bloodrager is a powder keg with a short fuse. They have some magic in their blood, but unlike their kin, they don’t focus all of their power on spellcasting. Instead, their magic heritage is unleashed when they rage on the battlefield (Bloodrage).

Their chosen bloodline or heritage gives them fun abilities (and back-story elements) such as growing claws when they rage (Abyssal). Bloodlines also give them access to bonus feats and spells that add to their heritage. Bloodragers doesn’t experience full blown magic rage-fits until 4th level when they gain the Blood Casting class feature. This grants them access to the magus spell list in Ultimate Magic.

Brawler (Fighter+Monk)

Brawlers are monks in armor, which makes them well suited to moving about the arena and creating flanking situations. Brawlers are proficient with light armor (sans shield) and standard monk weaponry. Like monks, brawlers gain a dodge bonus which adds to their AC and CMD if wearing light or no armor. They get Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat at first level (full strength bonus added to unarmed damage) and hit for a whopping 1d6 unarmed for the first three levels (if medium sized) . Brawlers get a ton of maneuverability from a class feature they gain at first level (Martial Maneuvers) which lets them spend a move action to gain the benefit of a combat feat they don’t possess for one minute (10 rounds). Imagine being color sprayed and being able to add the Blind-Fight feat for 10 rounds… Benefits added with this ability do not stack and will replace active benefits.

Hunter (Druid+Ranger)

This nature warrior fights alongside an animal companion while taking on the abilities of various beasts. They are proficient with standard ranger weapons as well as light and medium armor but must use wooden shields. At first level, hunters gain the Animal Focus class feature which provides natural bonuses for both them and their companion and can be called upon as a swift action. The drawback with this class feature is that at first it can only be used once per day and then a limited number of times per day moving forward. Hunters also gain access to team feats at 3rd level to boost their animal duo effectiveness.

Investigator (Alchemist+Rogue)

Investigators combine the alchemical knowledge of the alchemist with the trap-sense and stealth of a rogue. You wouldn’t want to plan a dungeon heist without one. Investigators start out with the Inspiration class feature which gives them a bonus pool to apply to Knowledge, Spellcraft, or Linguistics checks. This feature gives them a leg up on any puzzles that might be thrown at the group. They can spend the points for an additional attack bonus or help with saving throws when the group isn’t especially perplexed. On top of that, at 3rd level the investigator can make all knowledge checks untrained (Keen Recollection).

Investigators do not get sneak attack until 4th level but will be adequately suited to pull their weight in combat using Alchemy until then.

Stay tuned for more Advanced Class Guide classes!

In a few days, we’ll post an overview of the next 5 classes in the Advanced Class Guide Playtest. Stay tuned!