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Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter Update #56: Prestige Classes

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Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter Update #56: Prestige Classes

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Mon 15 June 2020, 15:33:22

Tags: Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

We've heard a lot about the base classes and archetypes in Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, but not so much about its prestige classes. The latest Kickstarter update seeks to address that. It's a comprehensive description of six of the game's new prestige classes - the Hellknight, the Student of War, the Assassin, the Loremaster, the Hellknight Signifer, and the Winter Witch.

Most of our early updates focused on aesthetics, lore, and flavor, even when discussing new classes and archetypes, which left the people who like mechanics and build-crafting hungry for more details. We want to rectify that in this update—and hopefully some future updates—by providing you with some tantalizing glimpses into upcoming additions to our already quite vast character development system.

Some of you might know about prestige classes already, from either Pathfinder: Kingmaker, tabletop RPGs, or Neverwinter Nights, perhaps. For those of you that don’t, prestige classes are uniquely specialized classes that have requirements you need to meet before attaining the first level in them. These classes only have 10 levels and are intended for people that want to spice up their character with a unique specialization, and they are often linked to a unique life path for the character as well. This update is going to be about prestige classes, specifically about new prestige classes that we plan to add to Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous.

The first of these, the Hellknight, is a knight from the devil-worshiping empire of Cheliax. Hellknights are bound to uphold the law and are the natural enemies of chaotic creatures, able to smite them in the same way that paladins smite evil. Hellknights are divided into different orders and gain access to different disciplines based on their order. One example would be an Order of the Rack Hellknight can render the targets of their smite chaos mute and unable to cast spells. Another, an Order of the Nail Hellknight is capable of unleashing devastating bursts of speed and strength in both themselves and their mount. Hellknights are also extremely resilient to many mind-affecting ailments such as fear, charm, compulsions, and illusions, and higher-level Hellknights gain exceptional bonuses to resistances and enhance their weapons with the flame of unholy law. The path of a Hellknight will be great for all fighters (and other martial classes) that want to get some cool new abilities without straying into magic, and will be of great use since all demons (the main enemies in Wrath of the Righteous) are chaotic, making them perfect targets for Hellknights.

The second prestige class is the student of war. An unconventional fighter that relies on intelligence and knowledge, a student of war specializes in learning their enemies' weaknesses and exploiting them in battle. A successful knowledge or lore check against an enemy allows the student of war to gain a significant edge on the enemy in the field of their choice, be it attack, defense, or combat maneuvers. Along with knowledge of the enemy comes knowledge of the self, which allows a student of war to use intelligence in place of dexterity for armor class calculation. At higher levels, a student of war becomes even deadlier against known foes and can ignore their damage reduction, making the student of war’s weapon a true bane of their enemies, and can even ignore immunities to critical hits and sneak attacks. A student of war provides a highly unconventional way of playing a fighter, relying on high intelligence and knowledge rolls, and can also add some novelty to magus, duelist, or eldritch knight builds.

The third is the assassin. Assassins are masters of the art of death and can down an unsuspecting opponent with a single attack. Honor matters not to the assassin, for the death of the target is their only goal, and so assassins use underhanded methods to achieve their ends. Those methods include sneak attacks and deadly poisons. They are especially good at using poisons and are capable of both making their own poisons and using those they find to exceptional effect. An assassin is the perfect prestige class for evil rogues and vivisectionists wishing to become even more deadly, as well as for evil fighters that want to gain a sneak attack. However, it can also combine pretty well with other prestige classes (such as the aforementioned student of war, as an assassin's main ability—death attack—scales with Int), and can even be an exciting way to get to arcane trickster as a wizard.

The fourth is the loremaster, who takes obsession with various pieces of knowledge to the extreme. Loremasters hone their magical and combat skills by learning long-forgotten secrets. Able to learn new feats, skills, and spells, including ones from other classes, loremasters are a class for people who want to bring versatility to their current spellcaster class. The class was lacking unique abilities in its original version, and our changes incorporated from other pen-and-paper classes should make it more interesting for character-building enthusiasts. Secrets include the ability to gain spells from other classes and even the ability to get a bonus feat without its prerequisites.

The fifth is the Hellknight signifer, hailing from the spellcasting arm of a Hellknight order, the faceless enforcers of the law. Hellknight signifers wear masks, often featureless or lacking eye sockets, to mark themselves as impersonal agents of order, unswayed by empathy, detached from emotion, and dedicated to passing impartial and blind justice upon all lawbreakers. Their helmets don’t obscure their vision—on the contrary, they can see far better than others, and nothing can hide from their piercing gaze. They are resistant to blindness and visual effects, and move and fight in heavy armor as well as any fighter, and are adept at casting in this heavy armor as well. High-level signifers become more devil-like and acquire immunities, damage reduction, and immunity to poison. The Hellknight signifer is a tasty addition to many divine classes, but to arcane classes, it provides a much-needed benefit—the ability to cast in full plate armor without any complications whatsoever.

And last but not least is the latest addition to the roster, which comes thanks to the tireless work of our backers—the winter witch. Hailing from the frozen reaches of Irrisen, the winter witch is known for their mastery of cold magic, and just becoming one is enough to add multiple cold spells to your magical repertoire. The cold they summon is far from natural, and there is no way to protect yourself from it, and no creature is immune to it. To become a winter witch, you will need access to hexes, probably as either a witch or a shaman. A winter witch continues to gain hexes on level-ups and has access to some unique ones specially made to fit this prestige class. This makes the winter witch a fun, different arc for your character, offering the chance to change from a supporting-role witch or shaman to a heavy area damage dealer and crowd controller.

We hope that this list is not yet complete—we’re planning to reveal more mechanical details, archetypes, abilities of mythic paths, and at least one more prestige class, at a later date. Stay tuned, crusaders!

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