So, I’m sitting here thinking of what to do next, right? I figure I’ll do something for the newcomers. Really give back to the community. And after doing a big think I realized that Pathfinder 2e has a staggering lack of guides to help new players learn the game. Yep, a total lack of guides. Not a single one out there. I literally cannot believe that no one has thought to make any. But since Pathfinder is a game about solving problems with a level of violence that could be charitably described as biblical, I’m going to give you something that fits the tone.
This is a Pathfinder Class Guide for Terrible People.
Hello and welcome to Eldritch Excursion, the blog that guides you through mechanics to find some delightfully devilish flavor. Today, I’ll be giving you very serious and highly optimized advice about choosing a class from the core rulebook. I would normally cover other options and expanded content, but we already know the coolest ancestry and the best class. Plus, when it comes to backgrounds, I have nothing to say about murder hobos that aren’t honest with themselves.
With below par accuracy, mediocre armor class, and a dearth of class abilities beyond your consumables, it’s not hard to see alchemist as little more than a sentient vending machine. But most fail to realize is that your greatest feature: a complete lack of ethics. You don’t have to be accurate; you just have to upgrade enemies from “dearly departed” to “closed casket funeral.” You don’t need survival when your enemies are rolling on the ground while suffering from multiple warcrimes. Just remember that you need to earn your spot on that watch list, no matter what your side hustle suggests, and you’ll be fine.
This is what happens when you want to upgrade your violence into ultraviolence. Playing a barbarian is all about getting mad, no matter the reason. Are you mad about Dungeons and Dragons being more popular? Are you mad about large sized ancestry feats taking until the end of the campaign to get? Or do you really like to emphasize the indiscriminate half of indiscriminate violence? Regardless of what gets you slamming the Caps Lock key, there’s a barbarian playstyle for you.
Everyone knows the memes about seductive bards, but that was mostly a distraction for you to spend time consorting with eldritch powers beyond space and time. Bard is actually one of the more difficult classes to play; not because it’s inherently complicated or taxing, but because you’ll need the willpower to avoid spamming some of the best cantrips in the entire game, and just one of these spells is strong enough to banish the entire witch class back to Hot Topic.
The artist formerly known as paladin is a class we all know and love. We’re also well aware of the moral failings and problematic historical context that can come with these cross-country crusaders. However, anyone familiar with my works already knows that my response is to kick down the door and flashbang the entire discussion, so my advice is to do that, but get as many party members in on it as possible. Make a whole team of champions. Stack your masochistic meat walls and endure more suffering than the quality assurance team at Bethesda.
I could copy paste the champion section and call it a day, but I’d like the unusual relationship cleric has with their favorite ability score. Thanks to the divine list’s access on no-save buff spells, it’s entirely possible to build a cleric with a focus on charisma, thanks to your Divine Font turning a high charisma modifier into a ridiculous pool of spells. And as a bonus incentive, you can achieve some of the highest damage per round by dropping three one-action Harm spells on one opponent in a maneuver I like to call the Vibe Check.
Sure, the alchemist may be responsible for the majority of lethally addictive substances on the street, but he wouldn’t be anywhere without your supplies. You are the master of nature, a child of the wild, and out of every class you are the one with the greatest obligation to finally avenge Harambe. In fact, you are the most equipped to deal with the ongoing issue of animal cruelty; Not to end it, but to turn it into a mutual exchange. No matter what you do, always remember that it’s only a crime if you get caught, and the authorities never investigate bear attacks.
For generations, players who refuse to contribute to the party in any way outside of initiative have flocked to the fighter. Looking back at any version of the class will show you one with a focus on combat to the point of it being a detriment. The fighter is uninterested in magic, dismissive of skills, and outright refuses to deal with any issue that isn’t measured in hit points. In fact, Fighter Enjoyers have single-handedly sustained this class for so long that the rest of the game has actively evolved around them. And with a flat “because reasons” attack bonus above other classes in the same role, it’s safe to say that the long con has paid off with interest.
A class for people who take the “with my bare hands” approach to their crimes against the multiverse, monks are powerful fighters who are especially good at fighting skeletons. And I don’t mean undead, though they are good at that, I mean the ability to debone your opponents through sheer bult trauma. Whether you roll decide to make homages with your cool and original OC named Bruce Vee, or you’re fighting in the streets as the equally inventive Kyu, you’ll have plenty of fun with a rousing game of Stance Dance Revolution.
If you want to play ranger, you’re one of two kinds of players. Either you’re a refugee from DnD fifth edition and you want to know what the class would look like if it were actually viable, or you’re an old hat from previous editions that’s nostalgic for your favorite mechanic and have unironically used the term “managing biodiversity” in an online debate. Thankfully, we have a more thoughtful and enlightened ranger for the modern era. And by that, I mean rangers have begrudgingly admitted that if there were no more kobolds then they wouldn’t get to fight them anymore.
A rogue is a master of the three S’s: Snark, Sneak, and Stab. These veteran cutthroats have been around since the early days, where their sole reason for existing at all was to deal with the game’s most historically annoying mechanic. Thankfully, they’ve grown beyond that legacy to become a class in their own right, and this version has a ridiculous level of choice from the get go. Just remember that every rogue is still a murderer at the end of the day. As every alchemist is an international incident waiting to happen no matter what they tell themselves to sleep at night, every kind of rogue is trained in finding just where to stick a knife to put someone into the past tense.
People say the bards are the ones who treat the average monster encounter like a dating simulator, but you’re the one with great grandfather decided to get saucy with the hottest shoggoth in the club. This manifestation of super powers might allow you to engage in some analogous roleplay, but in the face of fey tricksters, invasive necromancers, and a world-threatening Sigma Lich, the ability to cast mage armor and magic missile twice per day might seem quaint in comparison.
Ah, the wizard. A class for the kind of person who has no power, but slowly learns how to seize it from reality. A class for the kind of person who wishes to look upon the entirety of the cosmos, find it wanting, and distort it to their will. And whether you wish to do this by violating the rules of nature, trying to beat the alchemist’s atrocity count, or destroying the very idea of compliance with facts and logic, rest assured that by simply picking this class you’re doing your part to continue a legacy of power, arrogance, and gaslighting reality itself. There’s a good reason why so many villains are some variation of wizard.
And there you have it. Community Service obligation fulfilled. It’s a long story, but there was a class action lawsuit from the Church of Oras, an alleged bioengineered virus, yadda yadda, all in the past. Let’s put it all behind us and focus on the future. Come back next time and I’ll stress test that theory about whether or not people can hear me screaming in space.