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WhiteTiger
10-02-2009, 09:48 AM
Back from the Future, Part 2
Friday, October 2, 2009
One of the big highlights of Gen Con Australia 2009 was the "What’s Next for Pathfinder?" seminar that took place Saturday afternoon. The Pathfinder players at the show were so excited for this seminar that they took a break from their Pathfinder Society games to attend. Not surprisingly, it was pretty packed.
Although much of what was covered during this seminar had already been announced, there were a few surprises in store, including the final two new base classes being planned for the Advanced Player’s Guide and a special surprise, a first look at one of the base classes from that book. At Gen Con Indy this year, we announced four of the six base classes slated to appear in the Advanced Player’s Guide: the alchemist, the cavalier, the oracle, and the summoner. During this seminar, the final two were revealed: the inquisitor and the witch.
The inquisitor class is going to look a lot like your Van Helsing-type character, dedicated to hunting down and killing monsters. This means that the class is going to have a fair number of skills and some limited divine spellcasting ability. In addition, the inquisitor is going to have the ability to designate a foe during combat, and the longer the combat progresses, the more damage he will deal to that foe in combat. Unlike a ranger, the inquisitor’s abilities are not based on monster type. Instead he has to carefully study his targets, learning how to more effectively deal with them as a combat progresses. Higher-level inquisitors will learn how to exploit monster weaknesses and possibly even add additional weaknesses to a monster using special attacks.
The witch class is going to be a class that fully embraces both the arcane and divine spell lists, taking select spells from each to make for one intriguing list. The big news for the witch is the focus on her familiar. This will function like a wizard’s familiar, but with additional powers and abilities, with maybe a few extra limitations thrown in to balance out the rules. You can also expect some new mechanics for witch curses, through some new spells and class features.
While the crowd was certainly excited to hear about these new classes, the room grew rather quiet as I handed out a sample oracle character for them to analyze. But rather than leave you out in the cold, here is that character, updated with the most recent version of the class.
Sample Oracle
This sample shows one of the first builds of the new oracle class. The relevant class abilities are summarized, but they do not include additional bonuses that Areanna would gain at higher levels. For example, at 9th level, Areanna’s form of flames ability improves, allowing her to assume the form of a Medium fire elemental.

Areanna
Female human oracle 7
CG Medium humanoid
Init +6; Senses Perception –1
Defense
AC 19, touch 14, flat-footed 16; (+5 armor, +1 deflection, +2 Dex, +1 dodge)
hp 49 (7d8+14)
Fort +4, Ref +5, Will</B> +5
Offense
Speed 40 ft.
Melee +1 flaming shortspear +7 (1d6+2 plus 1d6 fire)
Ranged dagger +7 (1d4+1/19–20)
Special Attacks fire breath (2/day, 7d4 fire damage, DC 17), form of flame (Small fire elemental)
Spells Known (CL 7th)
3rd (5/day)—cure serious wounds, dispel magic, fireball (DC 17)
2nd (7/day)—aid, augury, resist energy, summon monster II
1st (7/day)—bless, cure light wounds, divine favor, produce flame, remove fear, shield of faith
0 (At Will)—guidance, light, purify food and drink, read magic, resistance, stabilize, virtue
Focus fire
Statistics
Str 12, Dex 14, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 18
Base Atk +5; CMB +6; CMD 18
Feats Combat Casting, Dodge, Eschew Materials, Improved Initiative, Mobility, Nimble Moves, Toughness
Skills Acrobatics +12, Intimidate +14, Knowledge (religion) +10, Perform (dance) +14, Spellcraft +10
Languages Common, Ignan
SQ oracle’s curse (speak in tongues), orisons, revelations (cinder dance, fire breath, form of flame)
Combat Gear elemental gem (fire), elixir of fire breath, wand of cure light wounds; Other Gear +1 flaming shortspear, daggers (4), +2 studded leather armor, cloak of resistance +1, ring of protection +1
Special Abilities
Cinder Dance (Ex): Areanna’s base speed increases by 10 feet. At 5th level, she receives Nimble Moves as a bonus feat.
Fire Breath (Su): As a standard action, Areanna can unleash a 15-foot cone of flame from her mouth. This flame deals 1d4 points of fire damage per level, maximum 10d4. A Reflex save halves this damage. The save DC is equal to 10 + 1/2 her oracle level + her Charisma modifier. She can use this ability once per day, plus one additional time per day for every four oracle levels she possesses.
Form of Flame (Su): As a standard action, Areanna can assume the form of a Small fire elemental, as elemental body I. She can use this ability once per day, but the duration is 1 hour/level.
Speak in Tongues: In times of stress, Areanna speaks in tongues. Whenever she is in combat, she can only speak and understand Ignan. This does not interfere with spellcasting, but it does apply to spells that are language dependent. She gains Ignan as a bonus language.
As you can see, oracles are spontaneous divine spellcasters, working in a manner similar to sorcerers. Instead of bloodlines, each oracle has a focus (fire in Areanna’s case). At 1st level, 3rd level, and every four levels thereafter, oracles can select one revelation from their focus to learn. These revelations grant them special powers and abilities, such as the ability to breath fire, turn into a fire elemental, or even call down a storm of fire (Areanna is not quite high enough level for that one). In addition, oracles must select a curse at 1st level. These curses are a mixed blessing, with each one limiting the oracle in one way, while granting special bonuses in other areas. Areanna’s curse is perhaps one of the easiest to deal with, which is why it grants one of the smallest bonuses.
Well, that about wraps up my summary of Gen Con Australia 2009. I want to thank Ian Houlihan, the convention director, for bringing me down to the show, Mark Rogerson, the events manager, for showing me a great time in Brisbane, and Peter Ball, the seminar manager, for setting up some great panels. I am hoping to make this show a regular in my convention schedule. Maybe next year, you will too.
Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
--- Merged from Double Post ---
I am really liking the fact that it appears as though the primary ability is tied directly to charisma which is so much better than the old favored soul that required you to have both high wisdom & high charisma. It also looks like that you get bonus spells and powers based on the focus you take.

My group will definitely be doing some playtesting when the beta comes out. :biggrin:

I think this character concept is potentially an EPIC win!!! :first:

dracosian23
10-02-2009, 05:45 PM
Sounds loike fun. So does the inquisitor.