Rise of the Runelords
While almost any class can find a place in Varisia, some are more suited to the campaign than others. The classes listed below can be considered when creating a character for Rise of the Runelords and include some GM advice.
- No alchemists, paladins, summoners or witches for this campaign.
- Favored class bonuses = Core Rulebook Only (that is, none of the race-specific nonsense from APG and ARG).
- Alignment restrictions are increased by one step. Barbarians and bards can be lawful, monks can be neutral, etc. Clerics, however, must still be within one step of their deity.
Barbarian: Although most barbarians would be a member of a Shoanti tribe, the barbarian class is also well-suited to city-born brawlers or thugs. The Armored Hulk, Drunken Brute, Indomitable Rager, and Urban Barbarian archetypes are all excellent choices for those who want to take a different approach to the class.
Bard: As characters, bards often find themselves in a purely support role. If taking the bard beyond the standard ‘minstrel’ concept, archetypes such as the Archaeologist, Archivist, Demagogue or Detective may prove useful.
Cavalier: A cavalier can fit in well, although the focus on mounted combat does put one at a disadvantage when many of the locations are indoors or in urban streets. As long as the cavalier is not build solely around their mount, this class is quite suitable to the campaign. Archetypes to consider are the Beast Rider, Emissary, or Musketeer.
Cleric: The gods of Golarion are diverse, and their clerics should be as well. While choosing a god and domains does much to provide a cleric with flavor, archetypes such as the Cloistered Cleric, Crusader, Seperatist, or the Theologian may aid in expanding upon their ideals further.
Druid: While there can be a place for a druid in the Rise of the Runelords campaign, much of the adventure is spent in towns or cities, with only later adventures taking characters outdoors. Of the druid archetypes available, the Menhir Savant or the Urban Druid seem most suited to this campaign, while the Plains Druid would be appropriate for the shaman of a Shoanti tribe.
Fighter: A fighter is defined by their feats and their archetype. Almost any archetype would fit the campaign.
Gunslinger: Firearms are extremely rare in Golarion, and virtually unheard of in Varisia except within the last five years. A gunslinger would need a background that explained their use of firearms. By deafult, there is no firearm-related gear in the adventure path, however new material (read: cool toys) can be added for a gunslinger.
Inquisitor: Like the cleric, the thematic of an inquisitor depends largely on their chosen deity and domain (or inquisition). If you don’t want to bother with tactical feats, the Preacher or Spellbreaker archetypes replace them with more useful class features.
Magus: Blending magic with martial skill, the magus suits Varisia very well. Just about any style will fit the campaign.
Monk: There are few monastaries in Varisia, as the nation’s inherent neutrality does not mesh well with the lawful requirements of monks. The Martial Artist archetype removes the alignment restriction and eastern-theme, allowing for a broader concept of character, while the Sohei turns the monk class into a mystic knight.
Oracle: Unlike clerics and inquisitors, an oracle derives their power from a concept rather than (directly) from a god. This can have a number of interesting connotations in game. Any mystery can work, although the Battle, Ether, Spirit, Stone or Void may suit best. Few of the archetypes available are particularly suited to the campaign.
Ranger: Like the fighter and the magus, rangers work well regardless of their build or concept. For a ranger that doesn’t cast spells, consider the Skirmisher archetype. For rangers suited to more urban lifestyles, see the Falconer, Trophy Hunter or Urban Ranger.
Rogue: Rogues are everywhere. Especially in Varisia. There are several additional house-rules involving the rogue class that players should be aware of.
Sorcerer: Sorcerers are very much defined by their bloodline; choices that would be especially apt for Rise of the Runelords include Aberrant, Abyssal, Arcane, Celestial, Draconic, Infernal, Orc (repackaged as a Giant bloodline), Undead, or their Wildblooded alternatives. The Tattooed Sorcerer archetype is also particularly apt for a Varisian.
Wizard: All wizards work. All schools work. Except maybe necromancy. Most of the published archetypes aren’t very good, as they focus on giving the wizard extra tricks while depleting the number of spells they can cast.