There comes a time in every adventurer’s life when the call of the road loses some of its luster. A time where those nesting instincts kick in. A time where a land of opportunity is more enticing than nomadic wandering. And whether you’re a cabal of villains, a league of heroes, or a polycule that goes dungeon delving on date night, you’ll eventually need a place to put all your sick loot.
Hello and welcome to Eldritch Excursion, the blog that has mixes the mechanics of proper hideout management with the flavor of tasteful interior decorating. Today I’ll be offering up a new archetype that allows your second edition Pathfinder characters to establish a home base. It comes with an extra special rule that allows your entire party to make a group effort towards the same investment.
An archetype represents an individual’s exploration of an alternate path, but they need not go into it by themselves. Collective archetypes represent investments on a larger scale, such as a massive golem that requires multiple experts to construct or a fortress that is maintained by a dedicated team.
One character must take the archetype’s dedication feat as normal. They may then declare that the other PCs are part of the archetype’s collective. Each member of the collective counts as having the dedication feat for the purposes of prerequisites and may take additional archetype feats, but will still need to meet other prerequisites. For example, if the party’s alchemist invests in a giant golem to ferry the party around, the party’s wizard can use a follow-up feat to graft a ballista onto the golem’s arm, but only that wizard may take a feat to upgrade the ballista into a lightning cannon.
Some collective archetypes grant minions or other helpful companions. These companions are helpful and obedient to all members of the collective, but prioritize orders from their original master.
Hideout Dedication Feat 2
[Archetype] [Collective] [Dedication]
You’ve established a safe haven from the troubles of the world and a home away from home for your team. This takes the form of a room roughly shaped like a 10-foot cube. This may be its own construction, or it may be a safe location within a larger structure. While the hideout requires a further investment for protection, you’ve taken great care to keep it hidden; any check to find its exact location must beat a DC equal to your class DC or spell DC, whichever is higher.
Further investments in the hideout also expand its space. Each additional feat for this archetype adds an additional room up to one 10-foot cube in size. This room houses the necessary accommodations for the feat’s function and can’t be significantly repurposed without retraining the feat.
Each new room must be connected to the rest of the hideout. Players should be allowed some leeway in placement, but these shouldn’t take up more than one or two 5-foot cubes of connecting hallways per room added.
Collective Each member of the collective may take this dedication feat, granting an additional 10-foot cube of free space and allowing the highest of their class or spell DCs to determine the difficulty of finding the hideout. If a member of the collective dies or leaves their team, their contributions to the hideout slowly lose effectiveness and generally become inoperable after one month; minions leave for greener pastures, equipment fails, and portions of the base eventually collapse.
Hired Spellcaster Feat 4
Prerequisites Hideout Dedication or membership in a hideout collective
You recruit a spellcaster to live in your hideout and provide their services. This may be an eager apprentice or a powerful creature offering a fraction of their power. Choose a spellcasting archetype to represent their contributions. Your hired spellcaster gains the dedication feat for that archetype, using your level as their own. Their key spellcasting ability is the same as your key ability score. They can cast spells or use items such as wands, staves, and scrolls, but will only do so within the safety of your hideout.
You may take the related Basic, Expert, and Master spellcasting feats as though they were part of the Hideout archetype, granting the benefits to your hired spellcaster. For casters such as wizards and witches, you may add spells to their spellbook or familiar, paying the necessary costs as normal.
Collective The spellcaster can be called upon for support. Once per encounter within the hideout, any member of the collective may have the hired spellcaster cast a spell, spending the same number of actions (or reaction) as the spell requires in order to give the command. For the purposes of range and line of effect, the spell originates from whoever gives the command.
Hired Staff Feat 4
Prerequisites Hideout Dedication or membership in a hideout collective
Whether its friends, servants, or noncombative members of the party, you were able to recruit a group of hirelings to maintain the hideout. This includes several unskilled hirelings that perform basic maintenance as well as one specialist hireling who can perform checks for one skill and one Lore with a modifier equal to your level +2. These hirelings can only operate in and around the hideout with any reliability.
Collective Each member of the collective may take this feat once. Each time beyond the first, the hideout only gains an additional specialist hireling.
Environmental Accommodations Feat 6
Prerequisites Hideout Dedication or membership in a hideout collective; trained in Crafting and Survival
You manage to set up a system of pipes, heaters, and imported flora to accommodate a wider variety of inhabitants. Choose one kind of natural environment such as aquatic, forest, or swamp. The room granted by this feat contains everything you need to create an approximation of those living conditions in your hideout. When you first gain this feat, you may apply the changes to that room, any room adjacent to it, or any other room adjacent to a room with the same environment. Adding or removing these conditions can take as little as an hour (adjusting the temperature) or as long as a week (converting a large hall into an aquarium) depending on how drastic the change is. The GM may rule that some changes, such as creating an arctic biome within a volcano hideout, is impossible.
Collective Each member of the collective may take this feat once, choosing a new kind of environment and adding a new room from which to generate it.
Scrying Wards Feat 6
Prerequisites Hideout Dedication or membership in a hideout collective; expert in Arcana, Nature, Occultism, or Religion
Through a careful ritual, you protect the hideout’s objects and occupants from prying eyes. This has the effects of nondetection using your modifier in the prerequisite skill for the counteract DC and half your level for the counteract level.
Collective You may spend one week of downtime adjusting the ritual with the help of another member of the collective, using their modifier in any of the prerequisite skills of the counteract DC of nondetection.
And there we have it, a decent start on ways to share the love and have your whole party contribute to a sweet pad that’ll make all the other adventurers jealous. If you’re already considering scaled-down Kingmaker variations and watching Let’s Plays of Dwarf Fortress for inspiration, then it means I’ve done my job.
That said, I’ve got a LOT more ideas than just five feats and I still want to ramble about ways to use this kind of thing in a campaign, so I’m going to make this one a two-parter. Tune in for the next episode of PFS Cribs when I unleash a great battle cry and show you my “Sword & Floorboards” fighting style.