Pathfinder Advances Forward

I have been playing Pathfinder for several years now, and as a system, I love it. It is relatively simple, but can have good depth and complexity if you want, as well as being very robust, with an answer for pretty much any question you could ask. Over the years of publication, it has only expanded further, giving more options to players and GMs alike.

One of those areas of expansion has been the classes. The core book gave us the classic classes, such as the Fighter, Rogue, cleric etc, the good solid choices. Then along came the Advanced Players Guide, introducing the ‘Base Classes’, like the Alchemist, Oracle and Inquisitor, among others. That book also brought in Archetypes, small modifications to existing classes, to give them a different thematic feel and allow players to further customise their characters. Ultimate Magic and Ultimate Combat brought in a few more ‘Alternate Classes’, the Ninja, Magus and Samurai to name a few, as well as more Archetypes. And, of course, there are Prestige Classes sprinkled throughout several books.

And now to further that on, we have the Advanced Class Guide.

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Overall, this Guide introduces new classes, feats, equipment, magic items, spells and archetypes. More specifically, we now have the proper versions of the new Hybrid Classes that were in the Advanced Class Guide playtests. It also has (mirroring the Advanced Race Guide) a chapter on how to create your own classes.

The Hybrid classes are quite an interesting idea, something I think is a very good idea. They are a combination of two other classes. For example, the Investigator (which I will be playing in a Rise of the Runelords campaign) is a cross between an Alchemist and a Rogue. It has elements of both classes, such as the Trapfinding and Talents system of the Rogue, and the alchemical spells system of the Alchemist, as well as completely new abilities. The blend is something altogether different. Other hybrids include the Skald (Barbarian/Bard), The Warpriest (Fighter/Cleric) and the Arcanist (Sorcerer/Wizard).

The Class Design chapter is separated into three sections, one part each for designing classes, archetypes and prestige classes. While the Advanced Race Guide has a very rigid system for race design, involving a points system, the class design system is a lot more free form, revolving more around a concept than anything else.

All in all, this is a good addition to any Pathfinder collection, especially if you are like me and like to have a lot of options for character creation.

The hard copy is not yet available locally, here in Australia. I bought the PDF, because I need it so I can play in this upcoming campaign. Another player of my group ordered the book directly from Paizo. The book is meant to hit stores here Q3, so possibly by late September I will be able to get one to add to my collection.

Have you had a look at this book already? Tell us what you think.

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