Getting a new book is always quite exciting - but Pathfinder 2.0 came as quite a surprise into my life. For the last 10+ years I have been playing DnD3.5 and then Pathfinder as much as I can - sometimes as much as 3 times per year!
All joking aside, getting a group together for tabletop gaming has been becoming increasingly frustrating over the years. I love my group quite a bit but the last campaign we spent more hours talking about how hard it was to get together than actually gaming.
Part of the problem with replacing my great group is the difficulty with which they are to replace. Hardy, creative min-maxers like me are not uncovered under every rock - but perhaps there is hope? Pathfinder 2.0 has simplified much of 50+ books and tomes of errata into one 642 page book. Anyone interested?
I spent a good bit of last night going through the book, and then I thought, what the heck, let me try to make a character. Here, for all of you to enjoy with me, is my very first attempt at character creation. My current personal preferred role in the team sport of table-top combat is that of 'Unexpected Support Class'.
Now in Pathfinder 2.0, instead of using something that has become a bit of a buzz word, Race, we now first choose an Ancestry. Interesting to note that there are only 6 (including goblin) and that the Half-people (Half-Elves, Half-Orcs, etc) are now just sub-types of Humans.
For my first Character I have chosen an Elf. Elves are kind of squishy, but I want to do something creative. My guy probably is not going to paint, I am going to need some art from some skilled STEEMIANS - look out for an art bounty at the end of this post!
My Elf Stat modifiers : dexterity +4, intelligence +2, constitution -2
Elf Super Power: Low light vision (Doesn't need to squint)
Elven Heritage: Seer Elf
This guy is all sorts of magical for all of the reasons that I haven't written yet in his backstory. He can Detect Magic as an arcane innate spell at will, and he also gets +1 to Identify Magic and Decipher Writing. When I chose this Elven Heritage, I knew I wouldn't go into spell-casting directly, because then this awesome power would be mostly mediocre. But he is definitely magical-ish.
At level 1 we also choose an Ancestral Feat, here we are taking Elven Weapon Familiarity. Truthfully, I went back and changed to this later, to gain access to more advanced proficiencies with some additional weapons options, including the composite longbow. I'll talk more about why I chose this down below.
The Background is another important piece of the puzzle now in Pathfinder 2.0, giving our character 2 ability boosts, 2 skills and a skill Feat.
For this developing Unexpected Support Character, we are going to choose Scholar, which provides him with +2 INT and +2 CON, plus training in the skills ARCANA and ACADEMIA LORE. The best part is that we gain the Assurance skill feat with ARACANA, which allows for some regularity in results. We will try to combo this power later.
Finally it is time to pick the class, or 'job' of our Character! @ecoinstar is known by some for playing CHARacter wIZARD, a dimension hopping character that has appeared in several games and stories throughout #STEEM. But we have already decided that we do not want to directly be a powerful spellcaster - after all that would not be 'unexpected'.
Instead I have opted for the slightly more nuanced class of Alchemist. The truth is, I am only guessing about the nuance, looking at the class list the Alchemist seemed the most interesting to start with right off the bat, with flavor text that supports our decision to be a unique support class character.
Choosing the Alchemist class comes with a +2 to Intelligence, as well as a several skills and powers. As a character levels up, it's their ancestry and class that determine most of the upgrades they have to chose from. Alchemists must choose a bonus in one of three research fields, and I have chosen BOMBER, which gives us a very nice ability to make the splash damage on thrown bombs optional.
Alchemists also gain the Alchemical Crafting Feat, allowing two types of 'magic' potions. I was very impressed with how Alchemy has been implemented, which was a hodgepodge of actual magic in the older edition and has been completely separated now.
Explanation: An alchemist gains each day a number of INFUSED REAGENTS (equal to level + int modifier) and with each they can either, A) prepare known formula in the morning using Advanced Alchemy, yielding 2x per 'infused reagent' used or B) prepare a known formula on the fly in combat using Quick Alchemy, yielding 1x per 'infused reagent' used.
In the following sections, I will discuss more about the SKILLS and POWERS of the new character! I have taken the liberty to level the character all the way to level 5, and have tried to mark at which level certain advancements were made.
The following skills are known by our character:
Trained in ARCANA (INT) (expert at lvl 5)
++ Skill FEAT Assurance
Trained in ACADEMIA LORE (INT)
Trained in PERCEPTION
Trained in CRAFTING (INT) (expert at lvl 3)
++ Skill FEAT Magical Crafting (level 4)
Trained in ACROBATICS (DEX)
Trained in DIPLOMACY (CHA)
Trained in OCCULTISM (INT)
Trained in STEALTH (DEX)
Trained in SOCIETY (INT)
Trained in THIEVERY (DEX)
Alchemists come trained in simple weapons, alchemical bombs, unarmed attacks, light armor, and unarmored defense. This is why I doubled back to take Elven Weapon Familiarity, to expand some weapon options to bows, rapier, etc.
Now this character's build is starting to come together!
The first power comes as a Seer Elf:
Detect Magic at will
+1 to Identify Magic and Decipher Writing
And another from his background as a Scholar:
Assurance: option to take 10 + proficiency modifier on ARACANA checks
Now the powers gained from leveling in the ALCHEMIST class:
Infused Reagents (explained above) 9/day (level 5)
Research Field - BOMER:
Opt out of splash damage with a splash trait bomb
Field discovery: Bombs - Each infused reagent can make any 3 bombs.
Our first two Alchemist Feats:
FAR LOBBER - increase range increment of thrown bombs to 30ft.
Alchemical Familiar - Gain a familiar
This Is an important place to stop - because, that's right, WE HAVE A FAMILIAR! Familiars seem very flexible, and allow up to two skills to be selected each day between familiar and master. And in the rules are built in something special for the Alchemist: Manual Dexterity and Lab Assistant powers for their Familiar.
This is going to keep our hands open by letting our familiar have access to Quick Alchemy as well as the delivery and manipulation of other items, including alchemical items needed to heal allies! This will dramatically increase our 'Unexpected Support' reach on the board.
Our level 2 skill feat is something that will combo will our other magical-ish powers, Trick Magic Item. This is what has become of 'Use Magic Device' (UMD), and will allow us to 'fool' wands and other wizard-y like items into allowing us to use them!
Now in Pathfinder 2.0, wands have been totally rebuilt, and now allow only one cast per day and an additional 'Hail Mary' overcharge - the second casting of a wand in a day has the chance to destroy the item permanently.
I imagine our Crafty, Alchemical Support Character would be absolutely stuffed with wands in every pocket.
During level 3, apart from advancing the crafting skill to expert (to unlock Magic Crafting skill feat at level 4) we will also take the General Feat: Toughness. This gives us an extra HP per level, and will help with our durability.
At level 4 we will be able to start crafting magical items like wands, perhaps buying magical scrolls and 'tricking' them into the wand, or perhaps hiring a wizard or someone else in the party to cast the spells into them.
Also we learn the Alchemist Feat: Cunning Splash, which increases the splash damage of our bombs from 1 to our Intelligence Modifier, a 4x increase by level 5. This is less dangerous as a dedicated bomber because we can 'turn off' splash damage if too much would hit our allies.
At level 5 we will get 4 more stat boosts (used on Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence and Charisma), as well as a skill advancement (we choose to take ARCANA to expert level).
A new elven power perfect for crafting comes in the form of Ageless Patience, which allows our character to spend twice as long on any skill to get a +2.
Learning Formula for an Alchemist is very important. Like a wizard, an alchemist character who spends the time and money can learn all the formulas in the game. Each level an Alchemist gains access to new formulas as well as levels of potency.
There are several categories of formula: Healing, Boosting, Bombing, Poisons, and Useful Items. The different bombs, like acid flask, bottled lightning, thunderstone, alchemist's fire and frost vial give the Alchemist access to all types of elemental damage as well as some status affects. This is what this character will specialize in, but there is plenty of room on the list for healing potions and support items like smoke sticks and tanglefoot bags.
I haven't gotten into equipment yet, but so far he will be limited to light armor and will need to keep his hands free as much as possible, so possibly a buckler. I envision the following to be the weapons used:
Okay! So there is my first stab at character creation - I really want to see what you all make of it, and if there are any artists out there, I will award 2 SBI for any serious or humorous attempt and 10 SBI for an image of my choosing that best represents this:
Crafty, wand weilding, elfen bomber with potion-manipulating Familar
I'll work on the name and maybe a companion for this fellow!