Hello everyone, and welcome to another exciting edition of Best in Class, where we bring you new archetypes, prestige classes, and class features each and every week. This week we’re proud to announce the release of our latest book, Character Guide: The Wise Sage, which is available for purchase right now. This book is a comprehensive guide to all things having to do with the wise sage, a beloved character archetype (in the literary sense of the word) and a staple of the fantasy genre. Like our previous character guide for the gentleman thief, Character Guide: The Wise Sage examines the wise sage character type from several perspectives, providing an overview of the archetype, a wealth of roleplaying information, an exhaustive run-down of useful mechanics, and even some advice for GMs.
Unlike the gentleman thief book, which provided a new prestige class, the sage book offers numerous archetypes (in the Pathfinder sense of the word) for different classes, in order to give characters the chance to play something that feels sagely. Because fairly appropriate archetypes already existed for the cleric and the monk, however, they did not get their own spots in the book. What better way to celebrate Sage Week, then, than by filling in those gaps. Let’s start with the cleric, and next week we’ll cover the monk.
New Cleric Archetype
The Man on the Mountain
Often referred to as old men on the mountain, due to their supernatural age, the man on the mountain is a cleric of any mythos who has spurned society for a life of solitude in order to gain wisdom. While men on the mountain often spend the majority of their lives meditating in isolation, they are not true hermits, and are generally quite pleased to receive visitors, or even venture out into the world for a time if it suits the whims of their deity. While men on the mountain have great faith, they do not gain access to the domains enjoyed by most clerics, but rather have attuned themselves to the way of enlightenment on a purely spiritual level.
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: A man on the mountain is not proficient with any type of armor or shield, and is only proficient in the use of his deity’s favored weapon, as well as the club, quarterstaff, and sling. As a divine spellcaster, a man on the mountain can still cast spells while wearing armor or using a shield, should he become proficient with them, and his ethos does not restrict him from using any kind of weapon or armor.
Skills: A man on the mountain adds all Knowledge skills to his list of class skills. A man on the mountain receives a number of skill points each level equal to 2 + his Wisdom modifier, instead of 2 + his Intelligence modifier.
Ancient and Ageless (Su): Before becoming a man on the mountain, a candidate must undergo a process of meditation and transcendence in order to gain access to his power. This process sometimes takes decades, and, in other times, takes only hours, and is different for each individual that undergoes it. During this process, the man on the mountain gains insight into the world and its workings, as well as a deeper understanding of his deity and his own role in the world. By the time that the meditation ends, and the character is officially a man on the mountain, he emerges from the process changed.
Beginning at 1st level, the man on the mountain is supernaturally aged, advancing his age to venerable and causing him to incur all the normal benefits and drawbacks of his advanced age (this cannot cause his physical ability scores to be reduced below 3). However, this change also causes the man on the mountain to cease aging: he no longer grows older and cannot die of old age. He may still be killed by other means. He is also immune to any spell or effect which would affect his age, either by making him younger or older. When the man on the mountain reaches 20th level, he may choose at any time to spend 24 hours meditating in order to pass on into his deity’s realm, effectively dying.
Ignore Age (Su): The man on the mountain can ignore some of his penalties due to his advanced age. As a swift action, he can reduce the age-related penalties to his physical ability scores by half (causing him to suffer only a -3 penalty to these scores, instead of the normal -6 penalty for a venerable character). This ability lasts for 1 minute.
Beginning at 10th level, the man on the mountain can expend 2 uses of this ability in order to completely ignore the age-related penalties to his physical ability scores. He can use this ability once per day for every 3 cleric levels he possesses (rounded down, minimum 1).
This replaces the domain class feature.
Divine Insight (Su): Whenever a man on the mountain makes a Knowledge check, he adds his Wisdom modifier instead of his Intelligence modifier to the skill roll. Additionally, whenever he successfully identifies a creature with a Knowledge skill, he learns an additional piece of information about the creature for every 2 points by which his result exceeds the DC, instead of for every 5 points.