Everyman Minis: Unchained Fighter Archetypes
This Everyman Mini clocks in at 9 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 4 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
In case you were wondering, this obviously builds upon Everyman Gaming’s unchained fighter from the supplement of the same name. The first page recaps the advanced armor and weapon training options from said pdf, as well as the fighter training component. This makes that particular page an excellent sales-pitch, in case you were wondering. I assume familiarity with the unchained fighter in my review.
The first archetype would be the Charming Champion (who has a superfluous “s” after “archetype”), who alters class skills to include Bluff and Diplomacy instead of Craft, Knowledge (engineering) and Survival. These fellows design their own signature weapon group! The champion gets 6 points, plus another 4 at 2nd level and every fighter level thereafter. Adding a simple weapon costs 2 points, martial weapons cost 3, and an exotic weapon costs 4 points. All points must be spent upon gaining a level, so think carefully about martial weapons…Still, a really cool way to add player agency here. Instead of bravery and 2nd level’s bonus feat, we get Psychological combat synergy here: 1 stamina as a swift action can either dazzle creatures (or daze those with lower HD) or buff the champion. Neat.
The mystic kensai chooses only a single weapon instead of a weapon group, gaining Weapon Focus with it – this is the focus weapon. The archetype can spend 1 stamina point to grant the weapon a +1 enhancement bonus that increases by +1 for every 4 levels thereafter. Stacking is covered properly, and the ability cannot be cheesed – but to make up for this, the archetype may not spend stamina to gain a bonus to atk. At 4th level, unsurprisingly for the veteran PFRPG connoisseur, we build on this with special weapon properties, with the mechanics remaining pretty damn tight and precise regarding the limitations imposed here. To make up for this potent ability, the archetype loses martial spontaneity. The archetype adds either Strength or Wisdom bonus to AC and CMD when unarmed and unencumbered – Strength is applied for melee weapons as a focus weapon, Wisdom for ranged ones. A further bonus is applied over the levels. The split here makes an otherwise classic ability sequence interesting and ties it closer to the choice of focus weapon. 6th level nets focus weapon training: Whenever the kensai gains a fighter bonus feat, he may choose an advanced weapon training instead. The kensai may choose one such option at 6th level, and another one every 4 levels thereafter. 19th level replaces armor mastery reduced the stamina cost for the enhancement bonus granting, to a minimum of 0. The capstone provides immunity o being disarmed when wielding a weapon enhanced via the class features, and increases crit multiplier by 1. (This should probably have a cap, but it’s the capstone, so I’ll let it slide.)
The Massive Weapons Fighter (Archetype) oddly is missing the “Fighter” in the brackets, and is excluded from a couple of weapon training and expanded weapon training choices. At first level, we have a notoriously tough cookie to get right: Oversized weapon proficiency. When attacking with a weapon of the chosen fighter weapon group that is one or more size categories larger, the archetype may spend up to 4 stamina points to reduce the penalty taken to atk with that weapon by an amount equal to the points spent. This reduction lasts until next turn. To make up for this, no spending stamina for competence bonuses to atk for this fellow. 7th level lets the archetype use the oversized weapon as a shield for stamina cost when fighting defensively or in total defense. Really cool one! It works with the system, instead of against it.
Warmarshals lose the 1st level bonus feat and may use a move action to coordinate allies against an enemy within 60 ft., bestowing a +1 competence bonus to attack versus the foe until next round. This bonus persists even if the enemy goes out of range. 5th level and every 6 levels thereafter increases this bonus. The warmarshal can, you guessed it not spend stamina for a competence bonus to atk. 4th level replaces the usual bonus feat with warmarshal’s support. When the warmarshal uses martial spontaneity to gain a combat feat that is also a teamwork feat, he can spend up to 5 stamina to grant it to an ally within 30 ft. for every stamina point spent. Kudos: No cheesing/stacking! Additionally, the warmarshal may use second wind on nearby allies as a move action. Instead of 5th level’s advanced weapon training, we have an ability that penalizes opponents hit by the warmarshal when they attack allies of the character, and stamina-based synergy with Cleave et al. is included.
Editing and formatting are very good on a rules language level. On a formal level, there are a few harmless, but somewhat glaring minor hiccups of an aesthetic nature. I’d consider this to be still good in that regard. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, the artwork is kickass, and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.
Blaine Bass delivers some interesting unchained fighter options here. While none of them truly reinvent the wheel, they all do have something interesting going on for them, some aspect that makes them viable and intriguing choices. Since all gripes I can field here remain cosmetic, I will round up from my final verdict of 4.5 stars.
You can get this neat little pdf here!
Missed the excellent unchained fight? You can get this cool fellow here!
The first big expansion pdf for the unchained fighter can be found here!
And you don’t have enough yet, there are two more Everyman Minis devoted to the fellow: