Pathfinder 1E Pathbreaker - musings of an amateur game designer

This is a thread I'm starting and will be posting in sporadically. The title "Amateur game designer" is sort of self aggrandizing. shrug. I've sold some gaming articles, but nothing huge. But I love to tinker and adjust rules - I know others do. So the purpose of this, even if no one reads it, is for me to talk about my current project, why I make the decisions I do, and some of my thought processes behind everything. Now I tend to get super enthusiastic and sort of trail off, and that is another reason for me doing this - to try and keep me focused by making a public statement about what I am doing.

First the name - I call it Pathbreaker as it my version of pathfinder 1st ed, but changed to my personal tastes (i.e. a portmanteau of Pathfinder and Fantasy Heartbreaker).. I've really only played this game solo, so I am sure some of this will be unbalanced, but if anyone gets a little spark of an idea from it, all the better. I never plan on publishing, just doing this for my own use; especially as I am copy and pasting wholesale from the many books I own. This is more a process for fun and practice than for actually publishing intent.

Now as I said I own a lot of books. And I am one of those that like lots of concurrent subsystems in a game - because mechanic (i.e. games) matter, and different mechanics lead to different play experiences. PF1st is "mostly dead" so I don't have a flood of new mechanical material coming out (aside from Stalwarts like Legendary), which makes it a good game to tinker with - and it is one of my 2 favorite PRG games system in the world- the other being HERO. I will be using things from Dreamscarred, Legendary, Rogue Genius games, the Spheres of magic/might series and a lot of other things all commingled with the original PF stuff.
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Some base assumptions for the game - this is set up for solo play, with published modules in mind. So that means that the PC must be tougher and much more broad based in ability than a regular character. The reason for this, mostly, is that the wife GMs, and I play. And (until covid) ran a group HERO game so that took most of her GM energy and focus. So if she was going to GM me, it had to be something she could just pull out, plop down read and run with few adjustments. So the adjusting for solo play has to come from the player side, rather than the GMs.

To that end we had a method of abilty score generation that usually meant mostly 16-18, gestalt and Mythic - and extra feats and ability score increased (and Mythic choices). In comparison to a regular character super overpowered, but as a solo guy, it works well enough.

More HP to take all the attacks, higher AC and hit bonus to adjust for being the only target, and some house rules to make it easier to cast in combat (no meat shield but myself) and some other things.

So that is one of the first assumptions leading to a lot of changes I am making.
Last edited:

For a single PC game, I'd recommend making use of some (or even all) of the options that Owen K. C. Stephens listed in his power fantasy for PF1E blog entry.
Thanks for the link, I've read it; huge fan of just about everything Owen has done. And while I am "writing" my heartbreaker right now, I've been playing this way since about a year and a half into playing 3.0. I just decided to write it up as a formal game now rather than just notes of houserules and class changes scattered hither and yon.

Edit to add - this may have come off as dismissive, and that wasn't my intent. It is funny that what he came up with in his advice is very very similar to the techniques I used. When I read his list I was think.. check, done that, yep, uh-huh.

At this point, I am laying ground work for assumptions that I have in putting together my version of the system, as those assumptions inform my design choices.
Last edited:

I've always like the D&D fantasy - the genre it emulates being D&D (through editions) but until 3rd came out, I was not really into system design, or seeing how things behind it went for D&D. However in 1985 I was introduced to HERO system which became my primary system for 30+ years. I loved how the power system worked, how you could use advantages and limitations and whatnot. Then I started trying to reverse engineer how they come up with some of the powers (like the fact armor was just normal defense with a +1/2 advantage to it). I had build classes and tinkered some in first edition, but finding HERO really pushed me into that direction.
However it did something else too - the freedom of point based design. Here was a game that I could build to just about any concept I wanted... sure some were too expensive, but that was just a quirk of the system, not a hard stop. I was reading the 3.0 PH because, having skipped 2nd edition due to playing HERO exclusively at that time, and had a hankering for some "good ol D&D" but didn't want to go back to 1st ed. So while I was reading it (and noticing some stuff that reminded me of rolemaster in a good way), I got to how levels classes and multiclassing worked, and that sold me.
I had never leaned into "class fantasy" and never really like niche protection, so here is this idea that a character could take levels in lots of different classes to tell his character story, and the system supported it. I realized fairly early on that this system had major issues with spellcasters, but that was later.
So with that in mind, and the fact that I looked at a class level as nothing more than a package of special abilities and numbers (saves, BAB ect), I dived in.

So with what I have, it's pretty obvious I wasn't a huge fan of super tight focused classes, except in relation to broader ones. I like open classes that you can define you character the way you want... but having more focused and specifically flavored classes are fine too, but only after the open ones are set in place. One of my problems (that I did something about) in both the Path of War and Akashic books by Dreamscarred, is there wasn't a "generic class". You had the 4 in the core game (Fighter, Rogue, Wizard and Cleric). Psionics had one (Psion), but neither of those two systems did (more on fixing that later).
I loved a lot of flavor that came out over the years of 3.PF, and incorporated a lot of it. And I'm going to mention a class that I finally got fined tuned just recently. I call the class the Shaper.
The shaper merges pieces from 3 classes, so it is broad (probably too broad for most games) but I tried not to make it as extra powered and some stuff I came up with and discarded. Those three classes were Aegis, Soulblade and using Akashic Veils. I love the Aegis, and most of it's archetypes. I love the Soulblade if a little less. So I took the base bits of those classes I liked and jettisoned most of the rest - I kept the Suit from the Aegis, and some customization for it. I kept the blade and some blade tricks. Now as I am using the Automatic bonus progression, I could toss out base AC improvements and soulblade enhancement bonus - I kept some in, and only for effects for coolness factor and utility. The thing that was the biggest change was decoupling those effects from psionics, and psi points. I wanted the ability to shape veils (which just seems to go along with being able to shape armor and weapons) so I removed any Hand slot veils, and any chest slot veils - and that chakra was now connected to essence. I had some extra abilities able to be used with essence points (for instant changes), and at 11th the suit side came online with each essence allowing that many points of a customization, but that could be moved in and out of like normal veils.

So I had what I had envisioned, a front line fighter that created his own armor, blade and extra effects, with inherent bonuses to kill the Christmas tree effect. A class I really enjoy, and who's fiction is fun. I noted a friendly rivalry between shapers, aegis and soulblade about where it came from first; fun bit of flavor, and if someone takes it way to seriously (NPC Villain) could be an interesting plot hook.

As this goes on you will find I love classes that can just walk in with no equipment and kick butt. I ran a Vow of Poverty Monk in 3.5 that was fun. So that will come up in my designs (including the fact I use inherent bonuses).

Next class I'll talk about is a generalist spellcaster, modfied from Roge Genius Games Magister.

The Magister a class by Rogue Genius Games by Owen K.C. Stephens*. (Note the link, if you might be interested from my description it is well worth the money, and it is NOT an affiliate link, just a link because I love the class so much.

This is an early attempt to make a combined arcane/divine casting class. I loved it from the moment I read it... and because class siloing is something I tended to ignore it fit my approach perfectly. Originally this class was called Magus, as it predated the official Magus class in PF, so after that was released he changed the name.

The basic mechanics for spellcaster are as sorcerer, and spells known were a little complicated. You picked one class that was your "primary" spellcaster list, generally a full spellcaster, with level 0 to 9 spells. Half of your spells known had to be off this list. You could pick any other spellcaster's list of the same "realm" (Arcane, Divine) at normal spell level, but had to be on the non primary spell list - i.e. someone who chose wizard/sorc spell list could choose witch spells as normal. If it were something else, the spells were +1 level - so cure light wounds would be a second level spell for the example above. There were some other balancing stuff for 6 level caster lists, and for 4 and such. Each Magister picked a "Mystic Bond" which gave them some non spell abilities - things like a divine domain, school for spellcaster, limited version of sorcerer bloodline.

That is the base magister.

In my case, as I disliked the strict limit between divine and arcane magic, and later psychic magic - so I added some choices. A Mystic talent that allowed a second base spell list (and a mystic ability allowing a third) so it was much easier to get spells out of each silo. Part of this is because I love the old Rolemaster Essence/Divine/Mentalist schools and something that combined them in the Arcane spells. So with that feel, I made adjustments to the Magister.

This supported both solo play and gestalt approach by allowing everything about the class to be nothing but spells, allowing a second class to cover the non spell stuff (as opposed to a regular class that needed some stuff to do outside of spellcasting), and with a class that gave access pretty easily to healing spells and damage spells, it lets the solo character have the variety needed to run a published module solo.

For variety my version of this class probably steps on the toes of 5 or 6 other classes, but for me, it ended up being the exact solution to what I needed.

* Note you will see Owen's name pop up here quite a bit, his approach to class design is something that resonated with me, so I used (and abused) much of his work in making a Pathfinder that worked for my needs.

After the last post, it got me thinking - from here on out, if I am discussing a specific piece of work that I am modifying I'll post a link, assuming the item is available for sale. Seems only fair, that if I got use of something to give back in what little way I can. ;)

The talented classes were also a huge thing for me... again by Owen K.C. Stephens originally with later books being other writers but still RGG.

I bring these up as they are a big part of how I approach game design, but specifically two books of stuff that were published by Dreamscarred Press (those will be up soon).

The talented classes, if I recall correctly, started with Talented Fighter. Each ability a fighter had (from base fighter and all the various official archetypes) were list as a "Talent"... and there was a talent that was "Fighter combat feat". The Talents were split into normal talents, advanced talents and grand talents. Advanced came online at 10th level, and the grand talents were basically capstone and you got one at 20th. So the class table listed things like BAB and Saves, then all the class ablities were just "Fighter Talent". This approach really opened up the class to make it exactly the kind of fighter you want to be. Don't like Bravery, toss it. It also let some interesting synergies which could give a power boost to fighters, and in 1st ed PF, that was something that was to be valued.

The idea that hit me was the simple way a class could represent so much, by using talents. In some ways Pathfinder 2nd ed uses something like this each level getting a type of feat from a limited choice of them to fine tune the character, but the Talented classes were much more open. As I have mentioned, I spent a lot of time playing HERO, so that freedom was something that really appealed to me.

A number of other talented classes followed, Rogue, Monk, Barbarian, Cavalier... then later Bard, Cleric and Witch. But I was mostly focused on the non or very limited casting classes for a couple of reasons: First, they needed the wider options available this way, spell-casters had a lot more flexibility, just by spells. Second I didn't especially like the way spell-casting was handled. Not that it was bad by any means, it just didn't sing to me the way the other stuff did. One other difference the later classes had were "edges" these were like super-talents, and each class access to a few of them... usually foundational concepts to the class; looking at monk edges were things like AC from Wis and raising by level, Chi pools, Evasion that sort of thing. Much fewer edges coming in with the classes.

As Rogue and Monk came out, there was an appendix that talked about merging them and/or what talents could (or should) be shared between them, with talks of balance issues with those options.

Well I was doing a solo game, so balance was not as much an issue, the more the merrier, the stronger the better. I reconfigured the Talented Monk, and then again when the Unchained Monk came out. I also got a large number of third party monk options and collected all the Paizo produced monk support stuff, and pulled that all together as options for the Talented Monk.. as well as access to Monk, Rogue and other talents.

I played a couple of monk types with that and had a blast. One of the Ionia was basically a gestalt "Talented Monk/Magister" with all the magic being flavored as "super Ch'i (fireball hadoken, CLW was healing touch as mystic ability).

I worked on a number of other talented martial classes, but as monk was always my favorite martial type class, it got the most work. Going forward in created the "final" Pathbreaker a lot of my work incorporated the "Talented" idea for class structure.

I was working on a strange class today, and had a couple of epiphanies.

The initial idea for this came to me years ago - as we use "triple gestalt" to make sure solo characters cover all the necessary roles in the party, I had a couple of character ideas that only needed 2 classes to cover for concept, but would be weaker without a third class. But I didn't want to make the class have any kind of identity in and of itself, so I have just been calling it "generic gestalt class" - it had some skill stuff, some magic, some fighting, and the ability to gain some other class abilities (those not necessary class identity type). So you have 3 people out, 2 are really into each other and the other is a friend (and sorta gets left out). So he class is now called "Third Wheel", and used somewhat humorous language in writings it's abilities. Then for the "pick an ability off this list" choices - like Rogue Talents, Magus Arcana and the like - I called them Spokes - for the third wheel.

Class is 90% done and written, and is exactly what I was looking for; and is by no means balanced for normal play.

The last half week or so I worked on finalizing two "chapters" I guess you could call them. Two classes. I have been working on this project by just fiddling with it for years, so I have lots of stuff collated, organized to be collated, copied into files, classes 90% built, but I had not formally finalized any one thing. When I decided to work on it recently, I decided to get stuff finished, and printed.

That involves waves of copy editing, grammer checking, spell checking. Then formatting the text.. which I am doing in a word processor and not layout software (I don't know how to use any, and don't have any --- recomendations for cheap or free stuff welcome). Makes sure things are bolded, indented and formatted, then adding artwork. I have said this is never planned for publication (heck, I'm copy and pasting text from other books) so this art I get from a couple of places. Google image searches, and art pulled out of other game books. I have a nifty little program that pulls art of out pdfs, so I'll grab a whole books worth of artwork.

The two classes I finished were the Magister, and the Godling. The two totaled a little over 70 pages (listing all options, including things that work with archetypes, and all direct feats and mythic abilities takes a lot of space. I'm mostly done with 2 classes that overlap - one is a aegis/soulknife/Akashic class that drives it's power from akashic stuff (even for suit and knife). But I limited the choices for blade and suit to only one chosen at character creation, and limited blade skills and customizations. I also made a Psionic combo of those two, but basically based it power level on the Soulforge prestige class combo, so there is more flexibility, and some minor psi powers (Gifted blade as in High Psionics games). The akashic add ons are generally much more powerful than the psionic abilities; so that was the reason for which got the most restrictions. The two overlap in abilities a fair amount (you could make very similar builds) but thematically and feel they are vastly apart. Those are likely my next two classes done.
After that I am putting together a Psionic Summoner, original form (I tend toward more powerful classes). Basically it looses all the summon monster, adds in psi crystal enhancements, and the Psi abilities are going to be culled from Cryptic, the Voyager and maybe a little from Psi warrior, to replace spell use. The theme of the eidolon is that it is an "unlocked" form of the psicrystal.. so you don't summon something inherently in the ether you are using the psicrystal to attach stuff to. I thought it made a great flavor. Planning on the powers to be infomational, situational and useful for utility with the main combat being the Psicrystal summoned.

Figured out how to handle a class that has been bugging me for years. I've wanted a skill based class that wasn't bard or rogue. Archeologist came close. Then third party options - a number that basically had a mechanic that you built multiple mini characters and swapped them - again didn't like the flavor.
I liked the factotum from 3rd D&D, aside from the fact I hate that the main power of a class can run out (points). So I tried various classes called Dilettante, and few others like it. I liked the idea of borrowing a few abilities (or a lot of smaller one) from other classes - to sort of help fill in weaknesses in Party (if used in normal gameplay) or character (for gestalt use for solo play.

I tried mixing and matching pieces from all the stuff above, and kludged together something - I called it dabbler, then JOT then Lore Master (but that was taken) and so on. I just never got a cohesive flavor I liked and a theme I liked. I tried Eternal student, but that didn't work. The basics of the later iterations I had abilities that you borrowed from other classes and that went up slowish, so as not to overpower the actual classes. And for the skill side, I used a lot of "extra skill, skill focus, jack of trades, bardic knowledge" kind of abilities - great for flavor and for some things, but even with the borrowed abilities, both too weak an to powerful. For this I borrowed template type concept (or school sorcerers bloodline, Psion discipline) or 5E subclasses, and made a choice that would give more meat to he class.

Trouble was I did that, and some were to powerful, especially with other class abilities. Some were too weak. So it sat for days, weeks, months, longer. I kept tinkering trying to make it fit... but it didn't. And today I realized why - I didn't have a clear vision of what I wanted the class to be, just pieces of ideas that kept banging into each other. I also never found a flavor I liked.

That changed this morning. What does Vizzinni say? Go back to the beginning! So that is what I did. I wrote down what I wanted the class to encompass. 1) Lots of skills and high skill rolls. That won't be a huge part of the class mechanically, but that is first and foremost what I wanted, so all else had to support that. 2) The Specialty - this is the subclass, and it was very broad. I had like about 5 I looked to focus on. 2 Types of spell using (Prepared and spontaneous, each had a different amount of spells). Combat dude, Total Skill monkey, Psi. 3) borrowing from other classes as to fill in corners (to quote Tolkien).

The other problem I had was balancing the abilities chosen from other classes as some are very useful and powerful and some are just there. The biggest differences were from Abilities that leveled up with you, and one and ability known (Channel Energy vs Evasion). Once I realized that the solution was obvious. Split them apart and have them run on separate mechanics.

The third aspect was mechanically the easiest. I gathered up a number of skill based class skills (skill mastery, bardic knowledge and the like) and the class got one every other level.. I layed out until level 10 then I put in a choice with about 10 possible choices for the latter half of the class. The player gets to choose a primary ability, and choose other class abilities so waiting until that point to give the player choice isn't really a drawback, plenty of other ways to customise... and I wanted to make sure certain things were in the class for sure. The fact that specific skills are not a big deal in this campaign made that easier - after all we used both grouped and consolidated skills from Pathfinder Unchained so a lot of "high skill rolls, make it easy to roll, here have more skills" worked just fine.

Long post, splitting it up.

I then went after the class abilities from other classes. Once that split was figured out it was just going through and deciding how many and what levels each of them were. I ended up with 3 raising with level, at 1,3,5 and 2nd and every even level gaining basic abilities. Early on, you can only get 1st level abilities, then it moves up in level, and then you have access to prestige class abilities and such, so even though there are a lot of them, they aren't going to overwhelm the class.

I had a huge part of the class set aside for the definitional choices. Only 1, only at first. I mentioned them last post - Psi, Prepared Magic, Spontaneous magic, Combat and skill. I can always add more if I like - utilizing the Spheres system for example.
Each of these choices got something to seriously define it. Spell use, Full BAB and fighter talents, More skills, and more skill related feats, Psi use. But I decided to make the capstone be given by your choice here. So someone that chooses that path can have something appropriate. I also gave them a skill or two. Also which saves they got for the good and bad saves. The more powerful of these choices ended up with only 1 good save, and not as much skills. The less powerful got more. And the fighter type uses Path of War Maneuvers. So physically the weakest is the skill dude, but as I plan to have the class take that role for gestalt it works for me.

Next came flavor.. well not next, as it came up as I was doing all that other stuff, but it will be the last stuff I talk about. Before today I went through 4 or 5 names but never really liked one (Dabbler, skill dude, eternal student and the best of them - Polymath. I was thinking "Eternal Student" but that gives the connotation of not having mastered your skills, so out that went. Then thoughts turned to one of my favorite books of all time - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (well maybe favorite when I was much younger) where he talks about Chautauqua. So I went with Chatauquan, nice old timey feel to it. The stuff that I had called dabbling or thinking of student, seminars and main study.. with the old time feel of Chautauqua I ended up with using Forte, I used Pursuit for the leveling ones, and Knack for the singles. At this point, the structure is fleshed out, the Fortes are set up, and it looks pretty good.

That was today's work - done a lot... all because I listened to Vizzini.
Last edited:

Today I will be discussing a class I call The Armsman. This ties into something I mentioned in passing upthread - I LOVE the Path of War System - although being been a hardcore immersionist I didn't really like it early on - same issues with Bo9S (with Path of War was a re-implementation of) and 4th edition D&D and the idea of encounter powers.

Be that as it may, I love the thing now. For those not away fighter types get per encounter combat maneuvers that are level ranked like spells. this gives martial classes nice things, and gives them more options in combat than "I full attack again". Much more vibrant, and helps the martial / caster imbalance. Now part of why I loved 3.PF is I love spellcasters so that issue (if it happened to actual be an issue at your table) I could live with.

The books have a problem (one shared by the akashic book too, but that is a post for another day) is that all of the classes have a very strong flavor. Too much flavor? How could that be? But it was missing something I wanted. A "generic" Initiator. It would be like having D&D/Pathfinder and you had Ranges, Paladins and Barbarians, even Monks, but no Fighter. There wasn't a choice for someone who just wanted to play a soldier/warrior type that just "fought good".

So I came up with the armsman. And fairly early on, I made a mistake. Being blinded by the way you could sort of make a generic talented class that covered monk, rogue or fighter I thought I could do that. Well as evidenced by the title of this thread, I am not that good a designer. It was, with the terminology from software development, feature creep. I was trying to make it that you could make a Mystic, a Warlord or a Stalker just with that class. Ooops.

When I was working on stuff this week (mostly organizing Mythic stuff the way I like it, and pulling in stuff from multiple books) I got tired of what I was working on and looked to do something else, and I pulled up the Armsman as it stood, and though "No this is way too much to deal with right now".

And I went to work on other things, but apparently my subconscious decided to fix it. I woke up this morning, stumbled to my desk and thought "Feature creep" and set to work with my digital knife - I excises about half of what I had from the class is a few swift strokes (the replicate original class stuff) and took all the abilities I'd borrowed/stole from them and trimmed them down.

I had also had previously pulled stuff from ranger, barbarian, fighter, monk, and a little stuff from bard and rogue. I started fine tuning that list. This class has maneuvers as the base identity, and variety and choice in the class, but I wanted a fairly generic frame you could build many character concepts on. I had already decided to use the Edge/Talent system and then decided what fits my concept and what does.

Now while I like the flavor of the fighter - a sort of generic fighter you can fill in background for - I hate it's mechanics, it is weak, and most importantly it is boring to play. The Unchained fighter helped a lot with some of that, and Legendary Games' Legendary Fighter did too. But by the time I had those, I had discovered Path of War and fell in love with the system. So in a lot of ways the armsman killed the fighter and took his stuff for my games.

Not much to talk about in the last week and for a bit forward - been organizing all my resources: Adventure modules for PF, 3.5, 3.0; Dungeon and Dragon Magazines; and hundreds of rule PDFs I got for both systems over the years (and that was a lot of money, still cheaper than the books though).
Getting all that organized will make working on everything easier in the future.

Got most everything organized. What started all that, is that my wife is currently running me through our normal 1 player game, and were coming to the end of the adventure, so needed to look at what comes next.. and they were such a mess, so when I got that done, I looked at the rest and though, that can't be to hard, comparitively - and it wasn't.

Next up on the design table.. the warlock. A class I have a love hate relationship with. I've generally loved most of the mechanics (I like blasting all day), but I've never got into the super creepy vibe. And I was never completely comfortable with any version I've seen. In my mind they have all been missing something - so my mission is to do something about that. I have a fair amount of source material:
Eldritch Sorcerer - Warlock in mechanics, but bloodline not pact for other stuff. Has a pool to enhance blasts rather than making permanent changes like just about every other warlock out there.
Strange Brew Warlock - didn't like the damage scaling
The Warlock from Genius Games - pact heavy, nice spell list choice. No link, it was on his patreon.
Then there are warlock type classes in the New Path Compendium, Tome of Secrets and the Book of many things.

I've just got them all together - for next few days compare, contracts, see what I like, start putting it back together - and report back here. :D
Last edited:


(he, him)
The initial idea for this came to me years ago - as we use "triple gestalt" to make sure solo characters cover all the necessary roles in the party
Funnily enough, I went with a similar approach for solo games, although from the other direction - I started with four, but that was too much to manage (although instead of the fourth class, I gave free, simplified spellcasting in addition to whatever was granted by the classes).

Regarding the only wanting two classes (or only one in normal gestalt), I had a different approach to that too: "Wide classes", which take up both sides of a gestalt progression. If you are interested, I can attach my gestalt-focussed homebrew.

The books have a problem (one shared by the akashic book too, but that is a post for another day) is that all of the classes have a very strong flavor. Too much flavor? How could that be? But it was missing something I wanted. A "generic" Initiator. It would be like having D&D/Pathfinder and you had Ranges, Paladins and Barbarians, even Monks, but no Fighter. There wasn't a choice for someone who just wanted to play a soldier/warrior type that just "fought good".
I agree with you that Path of War lacks a "generic fighter" equivalent, although the Warblade from the original Bo9S would seem to be closer. How does the finished Armsman compare with that?

Last edited:

Funnily enough, I went with a similar approach for solo games, although from the other direction - I started with four, but that was too much to manage (although instead of the fourth class, I gave free, simplified spellcasting in addition to whatever was granted by the classes).

Regarding the only wanting three classes (or only one in normal gestalt), I had a different approach to that too: "Wide classes", which take up both sides of a gestalt progression. If you are interested, I can attach my gestalt-focussed homebrew.

I agree with you that Path of War lacks a "generic fighter" equivalent, although the Warblade from the original Bo9S would seem to be closer. How does the finished Armsman compare with that?


I'd love to see it, if you don't mind. I did a few of those too. I just never found a balance I liked with them, so I went the other way.

To be honest I never really read the Bo9S that much, when it came out I had issues with per encounter mechanics for martials - looked it over and thought "interesting but not for me". It wasn't until I saw the Path of War stuff that I was able to let that go, and actually enjoy what was there, I never really went back to the original.


(he, him)
I'd love to see it, if you don't mind. I did a few of those too. I just never found a balance I liked with them, so I went the other way.
Your wish, my command. TBH, none of these have really been tested so I am not sure of the balance myself (neither of the players in my smaller group has been interested so far, and I have not had a literal solo game since they were created).



  • PF1 Gestalt Homebrew 0.11.pdf
    415.4 KB · Views: 77
Last edited:

So I went back to the 3.5 (or 3.0) version of the Warlock. Later versions made the pact and bond so important, but when reviewing this version, it's implied all over in the flavor but nothing in mechanics. So as the creepy side with those was a flavor I have issues with I tossed them (I play to make a variant class that has them built on the chassis I came up with this).

So no pact, no bond with a Grimoire or similar, no darkness. The new name Thauamaturge. The main focus of the class is the eldritch blase, modifications to it's damage type, shape and other enhancements (taking the "replace damage with effect" that was in the New Paths Compendium version) adding a pool of points - primary for shape and the replace damage abilities. This will remain unchanged in the Warlock version.

For utility and versatility - 6th level spontaneous caster. Having a mid bab 6th level arcane caster could really easily step on magus, with different specifics, I had the spells list be a combination of Sorcerer/Wizard and Psychic - but removed all Evocation and Necromancy spells. The Evocation is explained as any leaning towards that kind of magic was grabbed by the eldritch blase. Necromancy was flavor, so the Warlock version will get that back, and instead of Sor/Wiz they get the Witch list.

Lastly Invocations - these will be at will magical abilities - mostly sensory, movement or utility; nothing that is really an attack (they don't need it, as they have spells and Eldritch blast). The Warlock version will add (or replace with) Hexes. At this point the mechanics are worked out, I just need to pretty up the writing. - Instead of "Blast shape, burst 20'R", I have to do the "Once the Thaumaturge picks this blast trait she may spend a point to make her Eldritch Blast a Burst effect with a radius of 20' with a range of the normal blast." kind of thing. But the design work and bare bones are done.

Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition Starter Box

An Advertisement