» Character Builds

Occultist

by ASH LAW

The occultist is an odd class—there is only ever one occultist in any campaign. The occultist is The occultist, singular.

As the occultist you’ll need to pay careful attention to what is happening at the table. Most of the occultists powers involve rewinding time, nudging reality, and so forth. Your powers all interact with and are triggered by the actions of others, so you’ll be keeping a constant eye on what is going on at the game table.

As an occultist you get more talents than just about any other class: six compared to the usual three. Your choice of talents is far more important than your spell selection to what your character can do—after all your spell selection can be chosen anew at the start of each day. In addition, your flexible recharge feature lets you pick a new spell when one recharges instead of recharging the same spell (in effect you roll to recharge spell slots rather than spells). So with the spells listed in occultist builds I’m listing the spells that you are most likely to pick at the start of each day, rather than the totality of occultist spells that you might use throughout the day.

Focused-Rebuke Occultist

Download Focused-Rebuke Occultist character sheets here.

This build is intended to maximize your potential damage output by making enemies vulnerable to you, increasing your chances of karmically rebuking them, and enabling you to target the lowest of MD or PD.

In battle whenever you start a turn with focus you should immediately use a quick action to cast karmic rebuke, then use your standard action to regain focus. As soon as you cast an interrupt spell and lose focus you should use your superior rebuke talent to attempt a free karmic rebuke. The rest of the tactics for this character involve staying out of melee combat, but close enough to the fight that you can be effective with your interrupt-action spells.

Oh, and by using unwinding the soul we increase the chance of critting (paired with superior rebuke that gives us a lot of potential crits).

Talents

Brain-Melting Secrets

When you hit an enemy with a psychic attack they can’t attack you on their next turn unless you are the only nearby enemy. As we are going to try for the maximum rebukes possible that means we’ll also shut down potential attackers from targeting the occultist. The adventurer feat makes this talent play nicely with warp flesh.

Superior Rebuke

With the feat that we’ll take at 1st level this talent gives a 30% chance of casting karmic rebuke whenever you lose focus. At champion tier rebukes also happen 20% of the time when you roll initiative (but see the racial choice for how we’ll get that number higher).

Unwinding the Soul

On a natural 11+ spell attack make the target vulnerable to your attacks until the end of the battle.

Warp Flesh

Twist your spells to target PD instead of MD if that would work better for you, and get bonus temporary hit points with that feat.

Icon Channeler (gained at 5th level)

You lose three icon dice (giving you only one at champion tier and two at epic tier) but you always get a ‘free’ 5 result which you can apply to any icon when you roll your icon dice.

Otherworld Shadow (gained at 8th level)

Your shadow is a companion to you, taking attacks on your behalf.

Race

Humans with their quick to fight racial power tend to act first—meaning that you’ll be able to get focus early in the battle. That extra human feat is going on improved initiative to further improve the chances of getting initiative early and to make up for the low Dexterity of this build. At champion tier, the human racial power meshes nicely with the champion feat for superior rebuke—increasing the chances of an early rebuke to 40%!

Attributes

Intelligence is sovereign for this character, with and Wisdom it’s equal consort: Str 8 (-1) Con 10 (0) Dex 8 (-1) Int 19 (+4) Wis 19 (+4) Cha 8 (-1).

1st level

Attributes: Str 8 (-1) Con 10 (0) Dex 8 (-1) Int 19 (+4) Wis 19 (+4) Cha 8 (-1).

Racial Power: quick to fight

Talents: brain-melting secrets, superior rebuke, unwinding the soul, warp flesh

Spells: karmic rebuke (class feature), better yet-here, moment of karma, brilliant comeback, inevitable fall

Feats: improved initiative, superior rebuke

2nd level

Spells (1st level: karmic rebuke (class feature), better yet-here, moment of karma, brilliant comeback, inevitable fall, timely mistake), new feat (brain-melting secrets).

3rd level

Spells (1st level: better yet-here, moment of karma 3rd level: karmic rebuke (class feature), blood for blood, fortune smiles, strike of the last breath), new feat (warp flesh).

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom), spells (3rd level: karmic rebuke (class feature), better yet-here, moment of karma, blood for blood, fortune smiles, strike of the last breath, brilliant comeback), new feat (unwinding the soul).

5th level

New talent (icon channeler), spells (3rd level: better yet-here, moment of karma, blood for blood, 5th level: karmic rebuke (class feature), crooked step, stifle, fortune smiles), new feat (superior rebuke).

6th level

Spells (5th level: karmic rebuke (class feature), better yet-here, moment of karma, crooked step, stifle, blood for blood, fortune smiles, strike of the last breath), new feat (brain-melting secrets).

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom), Spells (5th level: better yet-here, moment of karma, blood for blood, fortune smiles, 7th level: karmic rebuke (class feature), crooked step, stifle, arcane loop, liberating blow), new feat (unwinding the soul).

8th level

New talent (otherworld shadow), spells (7th level: karmic rebuke (class feature), better yet-here, moment of karma, crooked step, stifle, blood for blood, fortune smiles, strike of the last breath, arcane loop, liberating blow), new feat (superior rebuke).

9th level

Spells (7th level: better yet-here, moment of karma, crooked step, stifle, 9th level: karmic rebuke (class feature), blood for blood, arcane loop, liberating blow, hasten fate, rewind the skeins), new feat (brain-melting secrets).

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom), Spells (9th level: karmic rebuke (class feature), better yet-here, moment of karma, crooked step, stifle, blood for blood, fortune smiles, arcane loop, liberating blow, hasten fate, rewind the skeins), new feat (unwinding the soul).

Ocultist

By ASH LAW

The occultist is an odd class—there is only ever one occultist in any campaign. The occultist is The occultist, singular.

As the occultist you’ll need to pay careful attention to what is happening at the table. Most of the occultists powers involve rewinding time, nudging reality, and so forth. Your powers all interact with and are triggered by the actions of others, so you’ll be keeping a constant eye on what is going on at the game table.

As an occultist you get more talents than just about any other class: six compared to the usual three. Your choice of talents is far more important than your spell selection to what your character can do—after all your spell selection can be chosen anew at the start of each day. In addition, your flexible recharge feature lets you pick a new spell when one recharges instead of recharging the same spell (in effect you roll to recharge spell slots rather than spells). So with the spells listed in occultist builds I’m listing the spells that you are most likely to pick at the start of each day, rather than the totality of occultist spells that you might use throughout the day.

Shadow-Blade Occultist

Download Shadow Blade Occultist character sheets here.

This build is all about survivability—increasing defenses, avoiding damage, and preventing enemies from attacking you. Meanwhile the build gives you the flexibility to either cast spells or use an edged weapon in melee combat.

Your hewer of truth talent lets you use edged melee weapons without penalty, and an epic feat for your implements will let you use a magic weapon you find as a spellcasting implement. However, keep in mind that you’ll want to gain focus to cast spells, and that requires a standard action. If you choose to attack with a melee weapon, you’ll not be using that action to gain focus. The otherworld shadow and stance of necessity talents give you the ability to either negate damage against you, or to boost your defenses. The fourth starting talent is brain-melting secrets which prevents enemies that you attack from attacking you back.

At champion tier the icon envoy talent gets you the ability to mess with icon rolls to the party’s benefit. At epic tier superior rebuke gives the ability to cast karmic rebuke when you lose focus.

Talents

Brain-Melting Secrets

When you hit an enemy with a psychic attack they can’t attack you on their next turn unless you are the only nearby enemy. This means our usual spell choices are going to focus on psychic damage whenever possible.

Hewer of Truth

Use edged melee weapons without penalty, using Intelligence to attack and Wisdom for damage. When you hit an enemy engaged with you with a spell, you deal twice your miss damage to that enemy.

Otherworld Shadow

Your shadow is a companion to you, taking attacks on your behalf and giving you extra recoveries.

Stance of Necessity

Boost your defenses for a whole battle, and with the right feats aid your allies too.

Icon Envoy (gained at 5th level)

Improve the icon rolls of the party.

Superior Rebuke (gained at 8th level)

A 15% chance of casting karmic rebuke whenever you lose focus.

Race

For this odd class, why not an odd race? The twygzog (13th Age Bestiary page 87) is a rare plant rather than humanoid race. Their fungal biology power gives a once-per-battle save reroll (including death saves), and the fungal survivor feat gives mid-battle healing when you miss with a melee attack—pairing nicely with your higher likelihood of making melee attacks with this occultist build and ensuring the no melee attack you make is ever wasted.

Attributes

Intelligence and Wisdom are key attributes, with Constitution is also useful for higher hit points: Str 8 (-1) Con 16 (+3) Dex 10 (0) Int 18 (+4) Wis 15 (+2) Cha 10 (0).

1st level

Attributes: Str 8 (-1) Con 16 (+3) Dex 10 (0) Int 18 (+4) Wis 15 (+2) Cha 10 (0).

Racial Power: fungal biology

Talents: brain-melting secrets, hewer of truth, otherworld shadow, stance of necessity

Spells: karmic rebuke (class feature), bitter lessons, inevitable fall, moment of karma, timely mistake

Feats: otherworld shadow

2nd level

Spells (1st level: karmic rebuke (class feature), moment of karma, bitter lessons, timely mistake, inevitable fall, brilliant comeback), new feat (retain focus).

3rd level

Spells (1st level: inevitable fall, brilliant comeback 3rd level: karmic rebuke (class feature), moment of karma, bitter lessons, diversion of pain), new feat (hewer of truth).

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom), spells (3rd level: karmic rebuke (class feature), moment of karma, timely mistake, bitter lessons, inevitable fall, brilliant comeback, diversion of pain), new feat (delayed magical healing).

5th level

New talent (icon envoy), spells (3rd level: bitter lessons, timely mistake, inevitable fall, 5th level: karmic rebuke (class feature), moment of karma, fateful confrontation, call of doom), new feat (fungal survivor).

6th level

Spells (5th level: karmic rebuke (class feature), moment of karma, fateful confrontation, call of doom, bitter lessons, timely mistake, inevitable fall, brilliant comeback), new feat (retain focus).

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom), Spells (5th level: fateful confrontation, bitter lessons, timely mistake, inevitable fall, 7th level: karmic rebuke (class feature), moment of karma, liberating blow, call of doom, brilliant comeback), new feat (otherworld shadow).

8th level

New talent (superior rebuke), spells (7th level: karmic rebuke (class feature), moment of karma, liberating blow, fateful confrontation, call of doom, bitter lessons, timely mistake, inevitable fall, brilliant comeback, diversion of pain), new feat (arcane implements).

9th level

Spells (7th level: fateful confrontation, bitter lessons, timely mistake, inevitable fall, 9th level: karmic rebuke (class feature), moment of karma, rewind the skeins, liberating blow, call of doom, brilliant comeback), new feat (retain focus).

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom), Spells (9th level: karmic rebuke (class feature), moment of karma, rewind the skeins, liberating blow, fateful confrontation, call of doom, bitter lessons, timely mistake, inevitable fall, brilliant comeback, diversion of pain), new feat (hewer of truth).

Demonologist

By ASH LAW

The demonologist is the class for players who like things a little risky—who like playing close to the edge. Sure, you get to raise demons and bind them to your will, but if you falter you’ll unleash something very nasty into the world (and potentially against the party).

Demonologists get three talents, and how those talents are spent determine the path or paths that your demonologist is on, and the benefits that those grant.

Dilettante Demonologist

Download Dilettante character sheets here.

This demonologist refuses to be bound to any one path, instead drawing power and using it as they choose. This makes for a character with a lot of flexibility, but at the cost of some of the benefits that fully committing to a path would grant. An initiate of all paths, master of none.

This build concentrates on keeping effects going, and trying to get extra actions. To that end the build focuses more on curses and dealing ongoing damage than on summoning demons.

As an initiate of all three path’s you’ll get: resist poison 12+, ignore poison resistance 14+ or lower, resist fire 12+, ignore fire resistance 14+ or lower, and resist melee damage 10+.

You also get these bonus spells: summon corruption demon (1x daily), summon fire demon (1x daily), and summon slaughter demon (1x daily)

Additionally, as a slaughter path initiate your base AC in light armor is 13 and your base AC in heavy armor is 14 with a -2 attack penalty.

Talents

Contagion

Transfer a save-ends effect from a dead enemy to a new enemy.

Flare Up

When an enemy saves with an odd roll against an effect you caused, move the effect to a new enemy.

Sacrificial Blade

When one of your attacks drops a non-mook enemy (or the last mook in a mob), roll a save to get an extra standard action.

Race

The wood elf’s elven grace gives a good chance of extra standard actions, a nice synergy with sacrificial blade.

Attributes

Charisma is vital, Constitution is secondary, and we don’t want to skimp in too many other areas so we’re going for a fairly balanced build: Str 14 (+2) Con 16 (+3) Dex 10 (0) Int 10 (0) Wis 10 (0) Cha 17 (+3).

1st level

Attributes: Str 14 (+2) Con 16 (+3) Dex 10 (0) Int 10 (0) Wis 10 (0) Cha 17 (+3).

Racial Power: Elven Grace

Talents: contagion, flare up, sacrificial blade

Path bonus spells (daily): summon corruption demon, summon fire demon, and summon slaughter demon

Demons on the roster: demon toad, burner, claw demon

Path of Corruption spells: stab in the soul

Path of Flame spells: feed the flame demons

Path of Slaughter spells: the rending

Resistances: resist poison 12+, resist fire 12+, resist melee damage 10+

Ignores resistances: ignore poison resistance 14+ or lower, ignore fire resistance 14+ or lower

Feats: sacrificial blade

2nd level

Corruption spells (stab in the soul), flame spells (feed the flame demons), slaughter spells (the rending), new feat (stab in the soul). Demons on the roster: demon toad, burner, claw demon.

3rd level

Corruption spells (stab in the soul, misfortune), flame spells (feed the flame demons, keep burning please), slaughter spells (the rending), new feat (keep burning please). Demons on the roster: hopping imp, hellhound, hungry maw.

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Charisma), corruption spells (stab in the soul, misfortune), flame spells (feed the flame demons, keep burning please), slaughter spells (the rending), new feat (misfortune). Demons on the roster: hopping imp, hellhound, hungry maw.

5th level

Corruption spells (stab in the soul, misfortune), flame spells (feed the flame demons, keep burning please), slaughter spells (the rending, implacable destruction), new feat (sacrificial blade). Demons on the roster: vulture demon, big burner, frenzy demon.

6th level

Corruption spells (stab in the soul, misfortune, killing doubt), flame spells (feed the flame demons, keep burning please, golden claw), slaughter spells (the rending, implacable destruction), new feat (elven grace). Demons on the roster: vulture demon, big burner, frenzy demon.

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Constitution, Dexterity, Charisma), corruption spells (stab in the soul, misfortune, abyssal bargain), flame spells (feed the flame demons, keep burning please, golden claw), slaughter spells (the rending, implacable destruction), new feat (keep burning please). Demons on the roster: hezrou, pincer demon, laughing demon.

8th level

Corruption spells (stab in the soul, misfortune, abyssal bargain), flame spells (feed the flame demons, keep burning please, golden claw), slaughter spells (the rending, implacable destruction), new feat (sacrificial blade). Demons on the roster: hezrou, pincer demon, laughing demon.

9th level

Corruption spells (stab in the soul, misfortune, herald of the apocalypse), flame spells (feed the flame demons, keep burning please, golden claw), slaughter spells (the rending, implacable destruction), new feat (keep burning please). Demons on the roster: boar demon, lesser balor, marilith.

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Constitution, Charisma), corruption spells (stab in the soul, misfortune, herald of the apocalypse), flame spells (feed the flame demons, keep burning please, golden claw), slaughter spells (the rending, implacable destruction, blood for blood), new feat (blood for blood). Demons on the roster: boar demon, lesser balor, marilith.

ROGUE

By ASH LAW

Rogue Overview

The 13th Age rogue is a team player, using allies to help them gain sneak attack bonuses.

Rogues have a lot to track—momentum (a binary state, do you have it or not?), sneak attack bonuses, and complicated class talents make this class one for the pros (or for beginners who don’t mind a challenge).

The rogue has three class features. You gain momentum when you hit an enemy with an attack, lose it when you are hit, and some powers require you to have momentum or spend momentum. Secondly there is sneak attack bonus damage. Thirdly is a reroll on failed skill checks to find traps.

You should also note that for rogues, daggers and the like use d8s for damage instead of d4s.

Assassin Rogue

Download the Assassin Rogue character sheets here.

This rogue build revolves around making maximum use of sneak attacks and shadow walking, together with powers that improve damage output. Use deadly thrust on staggered enemies, evasive strike to get out of trouble and gain momentum, sure cut to deal maximum damage, and flying blade against ranged enemies. Bleeding strike and cruel let you deal lots of ongoing damage.

This character benefits from backgrounds relating to being sneaky, getting into places, and perhaps disguises. If you fancy playing a mysterious character with a deep hood and a love of poisons, this one’s for you.

Talents

Improved Sneak Attack

Your sneak attack bonus damage increases, and with the feats you’ll sneak attack more often.

Shadow Walk

Disappear, only to reappear later and deal double damage. Note that if you crit after shadow walking you deal x3 damage, not x4 damage.

Murderous

Your crit range against staggered enemies expands by 2, perfect for an assassin who appears from nowhere to finish enemies off with decisive attacks.

Race

Dark elves with their bonus to Dexterity or Charisma and their cruel racial power work well thematically with the assassin concept.

Attributes

Dexterity and Charisma are important, but Dexterity more so: Str 9 (-1) Con 12 (+1) Dex 19 (+4) Int 8 (-1) Wis 10 (0) Cha 17 (+3).

1st level

Attributes: Str 9 (-1) Con 12 (+1) Dex 19 (+4) Int 8 (-1) Wis 10 (0) Cha 17 (+3).

Racial Power: cruel

Talents: improved sneak attack, shadow walk, murderous

Feats: sneak attack

Powers: evasive strike, deadly thrust, sure cut, flying blade

2nd level

Powers (evasive strike, deadly thrust, sure cut, flying blade, roll with it), new racial feat (shadow walk).

3rd level

Powers (evasive strike, deadly thrust, sure cut, flying blade, roll with it), new feat (improved sneak attack).

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Constitution, Dexterity, Charisma), powers (evasive strike, deadly thrust, sure cut, flying blade, bleeding strike, roll with it), new feat (bleeding strike).

5th level

Powers (evasive strike, deadly thrust, sure cut, flying blade, bleeding strike, roll with it), new feat (improved sneak attack).

6th level

Powers (evasive strike, deadly thrust, sure cut, flying blade, bleeding strike, spiky bastard, roll with it), new feat (sneak attack).

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Constitution, Dexterity, Charisma), powers (evasive strike, deadly thrust, sure cut, flying blade, bleeding strike, spiky bastard, roll with it), new feat (improved initiative).

8th level

Powers (evasive strike, deadly thrust, sure cut, flying blade, bleeding strike, spiky bastard, assassin’s gambit, roll with it), new feat (sneak attack).

9th level

Powers (evasive strike, deadly thrust, sure cut, flying blade, bleeding strike, spiky bastard, assassin’s gambit, roll with it), new feat (improved sneak attack).

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Charisma), powers (evasive strike, deadly thrust, sure cut, flying blade, bleeding strike, spiky bastard, assassin’s gambit, death’s twin, roll with it), new feat (assassin’s gambit).

DRUID

By ASH LAW

Druid Overview

The druid, more than any other class, is shaped by its talents. A shape-changing druid with an animal companion will play very differently from a caster-style druid, and both will play differently from a warrior druid or a healing-focused druid.

If you like the idea of building a class as you build your character, or if you love the idea of a character whose magic is linked to the natural world, this class is for you.

Wildblood Druid

Download the Wildblood character sheets here.

This druid is in touch with their animal side—really in touch. Being a shifter adept gives you the ability to transform into a dangerous animal at-will, and gives you the ability to scout about in the form of something small like a ferret, bat, snake, large spider, or sparrow.

As an animal companion initiate you have an wild beast friend that sometimes shows up and helps you out. It isn’t always around, but turns up when you need it most (it an fight every other battle).

Nature talking and wilderness survival means you can talk to animals and plants, and survive in the wilds.

You are very much a front-line fighter, taking on your enemies face-to-face and claw-to-claw. Get stuck in, giving your allies space to do their thing (which likely involves healing you on occasion).

This character isn’t complex to play—no hard decisions here. You scout ahead, and report back, and when danger rears its ugly head you turn into something even more dangerous.

Talents

Shifter (adept—two talents)

Turn into animals, to scout or fight. You also get some recharge 16+ beast aspects to make your transformations even more dangerous in battle.

Animal Companion (initiate)

You sometimes gain help in battle from an animal that has formed a mystic bond with you.

Race

Wood elves with their racial elven grace gives the possibility of extra attacks—very useful for this melee-focused character.

Attributes

Strength is the primary attribute for this build, with Constitution secondary (for AC and HP): Str 20 (+5) Con 16 (+3) Dex 10 (0) Int 8 (-1) Wis 10 (0) Cha 8 (-1).

1st level

Attributes: Str 20 (+5) Con 16 (+3) Dex 10 (0) Int 8 (-1) Wis 10 (0) Cha 8 (-1)

Racial Power: elven grace

Talents: shifter adept, animal companion initiate

Feats: Beast form attack

Animal Companion Level: 0

Daily Scout Form Shifts: 1

Daily Beast Form Aspects: Wolverine

2nd level

New feat (wolverine), Animal companion level (1), Daily scout form shifts (1), Daily Beast Form Aspects (wolverine, bear)

3rd level

New feat (bear), Animal companion level (2), Daily scout form shifts (1), Daily Beast Form Aspects (wolverine, bear, tiger)

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution), new feat (tiger), Animal companion level (3), Daily scout form shifts (1), Daily Beast Form Aspects (wolverine, bear, tiger)

5th level

New feat (beast form attack), Animal companion level (4), Daily scout form shifts (2), Daily Beast Form Aspects (wolverine, bear, tiger, owlbear)

6th level

New feat (elven grace), Animal companion level (5), Daily scout form shifts (2), Daily Beast Form Aspects (wolverine, bear, tiger, owlbear)

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution), new feat (wolverine), Animal companion level (6), Daily scout form shifts (2), Daily Beast Form Aspects (wolverine, bear, tiger, owlbear)

8th level

New feat (beast form attack), Animal companion level (7), Daily scout form shifts (3), Daily Beast Form Aspects (wolverine, bear, tiger, owlbear, behemoth)

9th level

New feat (wolverine), Animal companion level (8), Daily scout form shifts (3), Daily Beast Form Aspects (wolverine, bear, tiger, owlbear, behemoth)

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution), new feat (toughness), Animal companion level (9), Daily scout form shifts (3), Daily Beast Form Aspects (wolverine, bear, tiger, owlbear, behemoth)

DRUID

by ASH LAW

The druid, more than any other class, is shaped by its talents. A shape-changing druid with an animal companion will play very differently from a caster-style druid, and both will play differently from a warrior druid or a healing-focused druid.

If you like the idea of building a class as you build your character, or if you love the idea of a character whose magic is linked to the natural world, this class is for you.

Jack-Of-All-Magics Druid

Download the Jack of all Magics Druid character sheets here.

This druid is all about the wild magic of nature, and lives partway between cleric and wizard in terms of its abilities. This caster-style druid can heal, call on the elements, and draw power from the land itself.

Judging what powers to use and when is important. Timing is everything, and you’ll need to carefully ration the use of your daily powers.

Thankfully spending some feats gives this character a couple of at-will spells to fall back on when it isn’t appropriate to use a daily power.

You might not have all the bells and whistles of a cleric or a wizard—but you can talk to plants and animals and understand their replies. In many ways that is more powerful than anything a wizard or cleric can do, if you can find the right thing to use nature talking on. You also benefit from the wilderness survival feature, meaning that no matter where you are you’ll probably be fine.

You aren’t a front-line fighter, so hang back and let tougher characters slog it out. Or pair up with a druid who specializes in melee combat. You don’t get a decent at-will ranged spell until 3rd level, so you’ll carry a shortbow for emergencies.

Talents

Elemental Caster (initiate)

You can cast elemental spells. Like wizards and clerics, at the start of each day you pick which daily spells you cast. For this build I’ve determined the most likely spell, but if you are playing this build you can swap that spell out—for example you might want to swap out summoning an earth elemental for a water elemental if you are adventuring at sea. Starting at 3rd level you’ll gain the ability to summon elementals, but only once per day.

Terrain Caster (initiate)

Cast terrain spells—and when you cast a daily spell it is determined by the terrain you are in. As the terrain you are in determines your daily spells I’ve just noted for each level how many you get and of which level (or lower) you can cast them from.

Wild Healer (initiate)

You can use the druidic regeneration ability at least once per battle, and often more. Your healing gets better as you level up.

Race

Humans get an extra feat, and with our two starting feats we’ll improve our healing and pick up an at-will elemental attack.

Attributes

Wisdom is the primary attribute for druid casters: Str 12 (+1) Con 16 (+3) Dex 14 (+2) Int 10 (0) Wis 18 (+4) Cha 8 (-1).

1st level

Attributes: Str 12 (+1) Con 16 (+3) Dex 14 (+2) Int 10 (0) Wis 18 (+4) Cha 8 (-1).

Racial Power: quick to fight

Talents: elemental caster, terrain caster, wild healer

Feats: wild healer, earth mastery

Spells/powers: ripping vines (at-will), regeneration (1/battle + 1/day), wild heal (1/day), earth strength (1/day), one 1st lvl terrain daily.

2nd level

New feat (behemoth terrain mastery), healing (regeneration 1/battle + 1/day, wild heal 1/day), 1st level at-will spells (ripping vines, whoomph), daily spells (1st level: earth strength, one 1st lvl terrain daily).

3rd level

New feat (plains/overworld terrain mastery), healing (regeneration 1/battle + 1/day, wild heal 1/day), 3rd level at-will spells (ripping vines, whoomph, sunbeams), daily spells (3rd level: summon earth elemental; two 3rd lvl terrain dailies).

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Dexterity, Constitution, Wisdom), new feat (mountain terrain mastery), healing (regeneration 1/battle + 1/day, wild heal 1/day), 3rd level at-will spells (ripping vines, whoomph, sunbeams, spark), daily spells (1st level: earth strength; 3rd level: summon earth elemental; two 3rd lvl terrain dailies).

5th level

New feat (wild healer), healing (regeneration 1/battle + 2/day, wild heal 2/day), 5th level at-will spells (ripping vines, whoomph, sunbeams, spark), daily spells (3rd level: earth strength; 5th level: summon earth elemental; two 5th lvl terrain dailies).

6th level

New feat (druidic summoning), healing (regeneration 1/battle + 2/day, wild heal 2/day), 5th level at-will spells (ripping vines, whoomph, sunbeams, spark), daily spells (5th level: earth strength, summon earth elemental; three 5th lvl terrain dailies).

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Dexterity, Constitution, Wisdom), new feat (druidic summoning), healing (regeneration 1/battle + 3/day, wild heal 2/day), 7th level at-will spells (ripping vines, whoomph, sunbeams, spark), daily spells (5th level: earth strength; 7th level: summon earth elemental; three 7th lvl terrain dailies).

8th level

New feat (wild healer), healing (regeneration 1/battle + 3/day, wild heal 2/day), 7th level at-will spells (ripping vines, whoomph, sunbeams, spark), daily spells (5th level: gust; 7th level: earth strength, summon earth elemental; three 7th lvl terrain dailies).

9th level

New feat (druidic summoning), healing (regeneration 1/battle + 3/day, wild heal 3/day), 9th level at-will spells (ripping vines, whoomph, sunbeams, spark), daily spells (7th level: gust, earth strength; 9th level: summon earth elemental; three 9th lvl terrain dailies).

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Intelligence, Charisma), new feat (earth mastery), healing (regeneration 1/battle + 3/day, wild heal 3/day), 9th level at-will spells (ripping vines, whoomph, sunbeams, spark), daily spells (7th level: gust; 9th level: earth strength, summon earth elemental; three 9th lvl terrain dailies).

THE PALADIN

By ASH LAW

Paladins are among the simplest class to play—high hp, high AC, and hitting the unrighteous with a big weapon. They have no special powers, and are in some ways even simpler than barbarians.

The first paladin build of these two plays to those strengths—focused on smiting others as hard as they can.

The second paladin build is a holy warrior, optimized for smiting and using cleric-style powers that work alongside the paladin’s smite ability.

Thrash Paladin

Download the Thrash Paladin character sheets here.

This paladin is focused around beating up the bad guys in melee combat, and not much else. They are a ‘glass cannon’ in that their AC and hp are relatively low (for a front-line combatant)… but what a cannon! Your smite attacks will be the envy of all other warriors.

Your tactics are to hit hard and fast, finish enemies quickly, and hope for healing to pick you back up; this build is best for groups with strong teamwork, where you can depend on the support of a healer character. Thankfully your lay on hands talent means that you can do some self-healing when the situation calls for it.

This paladin uses a halberd (a combined spear and battle-ax) which we’ll be pairing with the reach trick feat for once-per-battle unexpected attacks. Smite early and often, using it to clear out mobs of mooks or hammer tougher foes into the dirt. Save your lay on hands healing for yourself, you’ll need it! If possible avoid using bastion to take damage for allies, unless you are protecting the party healer in which case protect them at all costs (and remind them of that fact when you need healing).

This paladin’s third talent implies that they are not entirely righteous—perhaps they are an avowed servant of evil, or merely a tarnished knight seeking redemption. Don’t be afraid to ‘kill-steal’ with your smite attack, it lets you avoid expending it and your allies are freed up to go fight something else.

Talents

Bastion

A +1 bonus to AC, and the ability to aid allies by taking the brunt of blows.

Lay on Hands

Heal an ally (or most likely yourself) when the going gets tough.

Way of Evil Bastards

When we smite somebody to death that use of smite is not expended.

Race

We need something with a Constitution bonus to get our hit points as high as possible. The dwarf’s is that your best shot? power makes sense for a paladin who is likely to need a mid-battle pick-me-up.

Attributes

This build is all about high charisma to gain as many smites per day as possible, and high Strength to hit enemies: Str 19 (+4) Con 10 (+0) Dex 8 (-1) Int 8 (-1) Wis 8 (-1) Cha 19 (+4).

1st level

Attributes: Str 19 (+4) Con 10 (+0) Dex 8 (-1) Int 8 (-1) Wis 8 (-1) Cha 19 (+4).

Racial Power: is that your best shot?

Talents: bastion, lay on hands, way of evil bastards

Feat: reach trick

2nd level

New feat (smite evil).

3rd level

New feat (lay on hands).

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Constitution, Charisma), new feat (way of evil bastards).

5th level

New talent (implacable), new feat (smite evil).

6th level

New feat (lay on hands).

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Constitution, Charisma), new feat (way of evil bastards).

8th level

New talent (fearless), new feat (smite evil).

9th level

New feat (lay on hands).

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Constitution, Charisma), new feat (implacable).

PALADIN

By ASH LAW

Paladins are among the simplest class to play—high hp, high AC, and hitting the unrighteous with a big weapon. They have no special powers, and are in some ways even simpler than barbarians.

The first paladin build of these two plays to those strengths—focused on smiting others as hard as they can.

The second paladin build (this one) is a holy warrior, optimized for smiting and using cleric-style powers that work alongside the paladin’s smite ability.

Divine Paladin

Download the Divine Paladin character sheets here.

Paladins are holy warriors, with shared access to features found in the cleric class. This paladin is focused on melee combat (as paladins should be) but aids their allies too, shining good’s light upon evil to banish it… or you could play this character as a servant of evil, granted strength by dark gods to further their malign agenda.

This paladin uses a longsword and shield, valuing defense over offence. Your job with this paladin build is to get out in front of the squishier members of the party and take the attacks that would otherwise be targeting them, while providing your allies with healing and buffs. Tactically you are a mix of front-line fighter and support/healer—ideal for smaller parties who need both roles covered. This character is a bit more complex to play than other paladins, as you’ll need to monitor the rest of your party to make best use of your healing and other support abilities.

Divine-domain wise this character’s story probably revolves around a sun god who sends mirages and warm healing light to protect the faithful (domains of sun, illusion, and healing).

Talents

Cleric Training

You can cast one cleric spell of your level or lower, which you can switch out each day for a different spell. Bless, cure wounds, shield of faith, turn undead, etc… are all available to you from the start, but you choose ahead of time which one you’ll pick so think ahead. If in doubt pick cure wounds, you can’t go wrong with a bit of extra healing to hand out when the going gets tough.

Divine Domain (Sun)

Your attacks deal HOLY damage.

Lay on Hands

Additional healing for your party.

Race

It’s aasimar for this character—the halo ability fits perfectly with the build concept of a warrior with a link to divine power.

Attributes

This character keeps things balanced: Str 16 (+3) Con 14 (+2) Dex 14 (+2) Int 10 (0) Wis 10 (0) Cha 16 (+3).

1st level

Attributes: Str 16 (+3) Con 14 (+2) Dex 14 (+2) Int 10 (0) Wis 10 (0) Cha 16 (+3).

Racial Power: halo

Talents: cleric training, divine domain (sun), lay on hands

Feat: toughness

Spells: One 1st level cleric spell, can change each day

2nd level

New feat (smite evil).

3rd level

New feat (cleric training).

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Constitution, Dexterity), new feat (lay on hands).

5th level

New talent (divine domain: illusion), new feat (smite evil).

6th level

New feat (cleric training).

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Constitution, Dexterity), new feat (lay on hands).

8th level

New talent (divine domain: healing), new feat (lay on hands).

9th level

New feat (cleric training).

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Constitution, Dexterity, Charisma), new feat (smite evil).

The ranger is one of the simplest classes to build and play, but your choices of talents will determine what kind of ranger you are. Rangers can vary from animal-companion assisted trackers, deadly archers, to frighteningly efficient melee characters.

The ranger is a simple class, nothing flashy. Basic attacks, modified with expanding crit ranges or increasing the number of attacks possible. The first build focuses on multiple attacks, the second here on expanded crit ranges.

A third build possible involves magic (fey queen’s enchantments and ranger ex cathedra), animal companions, and ranger’s pets. This has the ranger as a magic user who supports their animal companion with spells. I’ve seen such builds work very well in the past, with a panther as the front line fighter and the ranger staying in cover and picking off enemies that try to hurt the beast.

Ranger talent clarifications

You should note two important things about the ranger’s talents. The first is that the ranger’s animal companion talent is superseded by the druid’s version found in 13 True Ways. If you only have the core book don’t worry about it, if you have both books use the updated version of the talent.

The second note about talents is a tiny wrinkle in favored enemy. Favored enemy lets us pick a race type (aberration, beast, construct, dragon, etc…) against which our attacks have an expanded crit range. Picking the humanoid type as your favored enemy is worth two talent slots instead of just one. The wrinkle comes in the adventurer-tier feat which lets us switch favored enemies during a full heal-up. What happens if you spend two talents on favored enemy to get humanoid but then switch to a non-humanoid favored enemy? The answer is that if you spend two talent slots and a feat you can get humanoid as your favored enemy and switch to two non-humanoid monster types simultaneously (dragon and ooze, beast and plant, devil and demon, etc).

Multi-attack ranger

Download the Multi-Attack Ranger character sheets here.

This ranger focuses on making as many attacks in a round as possible. It’s simple to play—attack and see if you can keep attacking.

Tactically your best bet in a fight is to get stuck in to melee, withdrawing and switching to ranged attacks when you get hurt, and returning to the fray once you’ve received some healing.

At champion tier you get access to a tiny bit of healing magic (a once per battle heal and a daily cure wounds), which you should use wisely to keep yourself and your allies in the fight. Being a ranger we’ll rename heal ‘Verdant Vitality’ and cure wounds ‘Wild Restoration’ on our character sheet.

Talents

Double Melee Attack

This talent drops damage dice down one die type (d8s become d6s, d6s become d4s), but when a melee attack roll is a natural even (hit or miss) a second melee attack is possible.

Double Ranged Attack

This is the same as double melee attack, but for ranged weapons.

Two-Weapon Mastery

This gives a +1 bonus when fighting with two melee weapons, with feats that increase miss damage and give extra attacks when enemies fumble.

Race

Wood elves’ elven grace grant extra standard actions, increasing the potential number of attacks.

Attributes

For this ranger, Dexterity is most vital, with Strength important for melee damage: Str 17 (+3) Con 12 (+1) Dex 19 (+4) Int 9 (-1) Wis 10 (+0) Cha 8 (-1)

1st level

Attributes: Str 17 (+3) Con 12 (+1) Dex 19 (+4) Int 9 (-1) Wis 10 (+0) Cha 8 (-1)

Racial Power: elven grace

Talents: double ranged attack, double melee attack, two-weapon mastery

Feats: heritage of the sword

2nd level

New feat (two-weapon mastery).

3rd level

New feat (double melee attack).

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Constitution, Dexterity), new feat (double ranged attack).

5th level

New talent (ranger ex cathedral: cure wounds as 5th level spell), new feat (ranger ex cathedral: heal).

6th level

New feat (double melee attack).

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Constitution, Dexterity), new feat (elven grace), level-up spells (cure wounds).

8th level

New talent (favored enemy), new feat (double melee attack).

9th level

New feat (favored enemy), level-up spells (cure wounds).

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence), new feat (favored enemy).

The ranger is one of the simplest classes to build and play, but your choices of talents will determine what kind of ranger you are. Rangers can vary from animal-companion assisted trackers, deadly archers, to frighteningly efficient melee characters.

The ranger is a simple class, nothing flashy. Basic attacks, modified with expanding crit ranges or increasing the number of attacks possible. The first build focuses on multiple attacks, the second here on expanded crit ranges.

A third build possible involves magic (fey queen’s enchantments and ranger ex cathedra), animal companions, and ranger’s pets. This has the ranger as a magic user who supports their animal companion with spells. I’ve seen such builds work very well in the past, with a panther as the front line fighter and the ranger staying in cover and picking off enemies that try to hurt the beast.

Ranger talent clarifications

You should note two important things about the ranger’s talents. The first is that the ranger’s animal companion talent is superseded by the druid’s version found in 13 True Ways. If you only have the core book don’t worry about it, if you have both books use the updated version of the talent.

The second note about talents is a tiny wrinkle in favored enemy. Favored enemy lets us pick a race type (aberration, beast, construct, dragon, etc…) against which our attacks have an expanded crit range. Picking the humanoid type as your favored enemy is worth two talent slots instead of just one. The wrinkle comes in the adventurer-tier feat which lets us switch favored enemies during a full heal-up. What happens if you spend two talents on favored enemy to get humanoid but then switch to a non-humanoid favored enemy? The answer is that if you spend two talent slots and a feat you can get humanoid as your favored enemy and switch to two non-humanoid monster types simultaneously (dragon and ooze, beast and plant, devil and demon, etc).

Easy-crit ranger

Download the Easy Crit Ranger character sheets here.

This ranger build is focused on tracking down enemies and ending them, with a crit range that can be as low as 10+, and dealing triple damage!

This tough little ranger doesn’t care what they fight with—they are equally at home with a bow or with a two-handed great-axe. No subtlety here—just devastatingly accurate attacks.

Tactics with this ranger involve looking for ways to maximize the expanded crit rang—marking favored enemies and first striking them. Keep in mind how and when the crit range expands for this ranger; critting over 50% of the time, if the right confluence of factors comes into play, rocks—the key with this character is hitting the right enemies at the right time to get the maximum crit range possible.

Talents

First Strike

Expanded crit range with opening attacks.

Lethal Hunter

Mark enemies to gain an expanded crit range.

Favored Enemy

Pick a creature type that you have an expanded crit range against. The adventurer feat lets the creature type picked to be changed, and spending a second talent lets us pick ‘humanoid’ as a monster type.

Race

The halfling’s evasive and small racial powers gives this ranger extra survivability in combat.

Attributes

For this ranger, Strength is vital for our melee attacks, with Dexterity needed for ranged attacks and Constitution for much-needed hit points.

1st level

Attributes: Str 17 (+3) Con 17 (+3) Dex 15 (+2) Int 10 (0) Wis 10 (0) Cha 8 (-1)

Racial Powers: evasive, small

Talents: first strike, lethal hunter, favored enemy

Feats: favored enemy

2nd level

New feat (lethal hunter).

3rd level

New feat (first strike).

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Constitution, Dexterity), new feat (toughness).

5th level

New talent (favored enemy), new feat (favored enemy).

6th level

New feat (lethal hunter).

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Constitution, Dexterity), new feat (first strike).

8th level

New talent (archery), new feat (archery).

9th level

New feat (lethal hunter).

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Constitution, Dexterity), new feat (first strike).

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