Monday, June 3, 2013

Alternate Rules: Racial Archetypes

Everyone knows what archetypes are, yeah? For a refresher, they're a modification of an existing class. They usually modify skill selection, armor and weapon proficiencies, and a few class abilities. Basically they either change how they work, or switch them out for something completely new. This tends to keep the main flavor of the class, except in situations like the Gunslinger, Ninja, and Samurai classes. Those are archetypes of the Fighter, Rogue, and Cavalier that change so much about the way the base class works that an entirely new class was much simpler to create instead of listing a bunch of exchanged features. Anyway, usually this is something simple. The Archer archetype for the Fighter loses his armor mastery and weapon mastery abilities to gain some special ways of using bows, like making ranged combat maneuvers like disarm and sunder actions, which isn't normally possible. When the Advanced Race Guide came out, they added racial archetypes to the game, something I'm not entirely sure I like the concept of. Most of these are along the same lines as normal archetypes, you just have to be a member of the race to take them. Generally speaking, this is stupid. I feel this way because the majority of these racial archetypes have no intrinsic connection to the race that uses them. Some, such as the Gray Disciple Duergar Monk archetype and the Cavern Sniper Drow Fighter archetype, utilize certain innate abilities of the race (the Gray Disciple can use ki points to utilize Duergar invisibility and enlarge abilities) in a unique way. But most don't. Anyway, I got to thinking about this and wondered if any of these restricted archetypes might be appropriate for Hekinoe. So that's what this post is about.

Hateful Rager (Half-Orc Barbarian): This is an archetype that rages less and is less aware of their surroundings, they gain a favored enemy ability instead. It is restricted to Half-Orcs with the flavor text saying that a lot of times they're bullied by Humans or Orcs and made to feel like outcasts, so they learn to be extra savage when fighting one of those races. Because nobody but Half-Orcs is ever bullied and made to feel an outcast and get really mad about it, apparently. Anyway, this archetype would be totally appropriate for some of the warring clans in The Beast Lands or The Wild Lands. Or even in the Plains of Dust where the plainsmen are almost as xenophobic about non-Uncout, non-Elduman races and sorcerers as The New Empire is. 

Prankster (Gnome Bard): This archetype focuses on inflicting penalties to attack rolls and using the hideous laughter spell via bardic performances. This archetype would be completely appropriate for my campaign world. There are lots of sorcerers out there, and with the Bardic Colleges of the City-State of Meroteth adding sorcery into their curriculum, a Bard that can use sorcery to send enemies into crippling fits of sorcerous  laughter wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility. Even if he isn't small and friendly with burrowing animals. 

Shadow Puppeteer (Wayang Bard): Wayangs are a planar race from the Plane of Shadow in Pathfinder, just to clarify. These bards use their bardic performances to create shadow puppets that act like summon monster spells. With D'alton Braun as one of the iconic characters of Hekinoe and with him having shadow powers that included having a sentient shadow, this Bard archetype would be totally appropriate for Fell Humans in my campaign. I've always envisioned Shadowdancers as needing some sort of sorcerous ability to develop their powers, whether it be class levels or simply being a Fell Human and having sorcerous blood. Never made any such restriction though, obviously. 

Foehammer (Dwarf Fighter): No Dwarves in Hekinoe, so obviously no one can use hammers. Seriously. Really, guys? A special hammer archetype restricted to Dwarves? Next you'll tell me that no one but Dwarves can use a Dwarven Waraxe because it is a Dwarven weapon. Sigh. This archetype would be fine in Hekinoe, because, you know, hammers exist in Hekinoe. 

Ironskin Monk (Hobgoblin Monk): This Monk archetype loses a lot of flippy ninja shit and replaces it with durability. I think it'd be totally appropriate for Hekinoe. Look at the Rankethlek. A half ton Rankethlek isn't going to be flipping around and twisting out of the way of blows. He's going to chuckle as your sword bounces off of his armored hide and he is going to pound you into ruin with his big metal fists. Hobgoblins are tough customers, but I don't think they have a monopoly on being tough guys.

Underfoot Adept (Halfing Monk): This archetype centers on running in between people's legs and being small and generally causing trouble that way. I wouldn't expect to see it much, but it'd be fine for any small size character, and Fell Humans and I believe Soulless both have the capability to start play as small characters. 

Wanderer (Human Monk): This archetype is focused on being able to walk long distances and to be tricky and inscrutable. I think Elduman are probably better at being inscrutable and mysterious, but nothing about this archetype is remotely centered on being Human, so I can't see any reason to say nobody in Hekinoe can have it. 

Cat Burglar (Catfolk Rogue): This archetype centers on stealthy entrances and exits and generally being good at avoiding traps and not having your presence detected after the fact. I think that's appropriate for any graduate of the Bardic Colleges or any second story man, not just the ones that are bipedal cats. 

Deadly Courtesan (Vishkanya Rogue): This archetype grants a Rogue some bardic performance abilities in exchange for a Rogue abilities. With the Bardic Colleges having a curriculum that involves entertainment and assassination and combining the two, this archetype makes a lot of sense for Hekinoe.   I can't fathom why it should be only restricted to snake men when Bards of any race can use bardic performances and multiclass as Rogues if they want to, but whatever. 

Eldritch Raider (Gillmen Rogue): This archetype trades out some thieving abilities to gain access to some Rogue talents that allow them to cast some spells. With the prevalence of sorcery in The Known World and the Bardic Colleges of the City-State of Meroteth incorporating sorcery into their curriculum, this is a pretty appropriate archetype to include in The Known World, if not all of Hekinoe.

Filcher (Halfling Rogue): This archetype is what was called a pickpocket in my day. They steal things from people, potentially in the middle of combat. I don't want to live in a world where Halflings are the only people that can competently pick a pocket. Just kill them all and all your town watchmen are out of a job. It'd break the game world's economy. Anyway, since The Known World is a pretty well populated place and some Kusseth cities are sprawling masses of cramped streets, I feel like any urchin of any race could get fairly adept at stealing things from people in the midst of a crowd. 

Wild Shadow (Half-Elf Ranger): So Half-Elves are apparently the only race in Pathfinder that can feel isolated (because of their heritage, obviously) and isolate themselves in the wilderness and be really good about moving through terrain they were isolated in and using it against their enemies. Sigh. Lots of people lead isolated little hermit style lives in Hekinoe. It's ok with me if they don't have slightly pointed ears and scraggly half-breed beards that take six months to come in all patchy and lame looking. 

Spellbinder (Elf Wizard): This Wizard archetype has the ability to select several spells over his career that he can convert already memorized spells into on the fly. Given the prevalence of sorcerous races and sorcery in The Known World, I feel like this archetype is more than welcome to join us in Hekinoe. 

Wind Listener (Sylph Wizard): This Wizard archetype is good at divination and stealthy eavesdropping. I don't see any reason why it would be restricted to Sylphs. It says Sylphs are really curious about stuff, so maybe that's why. I can't imagine why any Wizard would try to develop his talents so he was good at learning secrets and could remain hidden from sight. Who wants to learn ancient lore and secrets? There are fireballs to be thrown and spells to write down in your spellbook. I think this archetype is appropriate for any world that has magic. Specific to my world, any Wizard wandering in or near the Plains of Dust and The New Empire would find the ability to fade from sight and the ability to know when people are coming after you really handy. 

Bogborn Alchemist (Grippli Alchemist): This archetype uses a mutagen that conveys amphibious traits, in addition to the normal one. It would never be my first choice for an Alchemist archetype, but I imagine it'd come in handy in a wetter place than The Known World. 

Bramble Brewer Alchemist (Half-Elf Alchemist): This archetype has a mutagen that is very tree-like, and convey photosynthesis powered fast healing. I think it fits in in Hekinoe. But only on continents that have access to sorcery and also have trees. Which is, you know, all of them. Probably be weird for Dwenoren to use it though, but whatever. Dwenoren are weird. 

Fire Bomber (Goblin Alchemist): These guys use fire and bombs to explode things and catch them on fire. There are pyromaniacs to be found everywhere on Hekinoe, so it makes sense for this archetype to be allowed in Hekinoe. 

Plague Bringer (Ratfolk Alchemist): This Alchemist archetype uses plague instead of a mutagen. They basically store a plague inside of them and use it to give enemies the sickened condition. I can't see any reason to restrict this archetype to a specific race. Doctors and such are weird, and some of them like to do weird experiments. I'll allow it. 

Saboteur (Gnome Alchemist): This Alchemist uses a mutagen that augments stealth and has a few special discoveries that specialize in destroying materiel. I think this archetype is very very appropriate for guys like Kusseth's Blackcoats, or any crazy sorcerous chemist guy that wants to be stealthy instead of tough, fast, or strong at the expense of brain power.

Fell Rider (Hobgoblin Cavalier): This Cavalier archetype has a really tough and nasty mount. Cavalry isn't used extensively in The Known World anymore, but this archetype might be appropriate for any rider that has a particularly big and angry mount. Perhaps even a tribesman from The Beast Lands that uses a young great beast as a mount. It also might be appropriate for the dragon mounted cavalry that Meroteth used to field back in the city's heyday. 

Buccaneer (Human Gunslinger): I've already allowed this archetype, but still. Really Pathfinder? Humans are the only sea-faring Gunslingers that do things differently than other Gunslingers? No other race can wander out onto a boat and use the pirate jargon deed? There are only three requirements for this archetype, having a gun, using it better than other classes, and being a pirate. None of the other pirate class archetypes are restricted to a specific race. Seems retarded to do that to Gunslingers. 

Bushwacker (Kobold Gunslinger): This archetype focuses on making Gunslingers sneakier and gives them a sneak attack ability and the ability to restore grit points by attacking from hiding. I know the cowardice of Kobolds is well known, but I don't exactly think they have a monopoly on ambushes and such. Given the nature of combat in The Known World, I'm going to welcome this archetype to Hekinoe with open arms. 

Experimental Gunsmith (Gnome Gunslinger): This archetype modifies their firearms with extra capacity and utility abilities. It's kind of neat, and it would be very appropriate for any tinkerer style character. They gain four modifications they can apply to a firearm over twenty levels, but there are only five modifications to select from, so yeah. I can think of a wide variety I'd add to the archetype. They'd be a pretty appropriate archetype for Kusseth's Brasscoats, if they had a wider selection of modifications. 

Gulch Gunner (Ratfolk Gunslinger): This archetype is all about up close firearms combat, specifically in tunnels. Because only Ratfolk use firearms in cramped spaces? Whatever. This archetype would be very appropriate for nations/warriors that are primarily underground, like The Fell Peaks and Whurent. I can see them being very appropriate for Blackcoats fighting in The Great Trench, what with all the cramped spaces and tunnels and guns and whatnot. 

Spell Dancer (Elf Magus): This Magus archetype focuses on mobility. That's it. They use magic to move around better and to be harder to hit while wandering through a battlefield. I think they'd fit in pretty well in The Known World, using sorcery to be faster than everyone else isn't exactly a unique or unheard of idea. 

Shadow Caller (Fetchling Summoner): It should be noted that in regular Pathfinder, eidolons are summoned from elsewhere in the planes. In Hekinoe, eidolons (and all summoned/conjured creatures) are merely a sorcerous construction of the Summoner's mind imbued with his lifeforce and not a planar entity. Shadow Callers make shadowy critters instead of regular meat and potatoes ones. Given what I've said before about D'alton Braun, I can't see any reason to exclude Shadow Callers from Hekinoe.  

Shaitan Binder (Oread Summoner): Shaitan are earth genies and Oreads are their Tiefling version. This archetype creates a very earthy eidolon. Seems ok to me to allow natives of Hekinoe to come up with earthy imaginary friends, even if they aren't part rock. 

Wild Caller (Half-Elf Summoner): This archetype switches out the majority of the Summoner's summon monster stuff for summon nature's ally. I don't see why people of Hekinoe that create sorcerous companions to fight for them couldn't base them on natural creatures. It would certain be appropriate for the tribes of The Beast and Wild Lands to base such creatures off of the great beasts. 

Scarred Witch Doctor (Orc Witch): This Witch archetype uses Constitution as their casting statistic. They focus on being tough and scarring themselves, their familiar is actually a horrific mask they wear that is full of dark power. This archetype would be appropriate for any tribal character on Hekinoe, though the nature of the class is kind of dark and masochistic, so the Witch in question is likely not a friendly individual prone to healing weary travelers in their woods.

Alright, so there are some racial archetypes that are now available in Hekinoe without a racial restriction. There are plenty more racial archetypes out there, but they either didn't fit with Hekinoe or they actually involved unique racial features of the race they are tied to. 

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