Echoes of Heaven
Below is an overview of the classes from the Pathfinder system and how they will be modified for the Epic 6 (E6) Echoes of Heaven campaign. Please note that I am not using the Pathfinder Unchained sourcebook, so those classes (unchained barbarian, unchained monk, unchained rogue and unchained summoner) will not be allowed. Additionally, all Archetypes must be approved by the GM to ensure they appropriately fit the setting.
It is also worth noting here that most NPCs in the Echoes of Heaven setting are of the “standard NPC” classes (aristocrat, expert, warrior, etc.). The primary distinguishing factor is the Divine Spark. Only someone with the Divine Spark (or Infernal Taint) can become one of the PC classes. A soldier without the Divine Spark would have levels of the Warrior Class, while the soldier with the Divine Spark can choose to advance as either a Warrior or as a Fighter (or ranger, paladin, etc) and a soldier with the Infernal Taint can choose Warrior, Fighter or Anti-Paladin (etc.).
Alchemist: While not strictly falling under the jurisdiction of the Witch Laws, alchemists walk the edge of the law. While most alchemists are viewed simply as non-magical apothecaries (in fact, the “Alchemist’s Guild” manages to operate legally as the “Apothecary Guild”), if an alchemist is witnessed using too many elixers and extracts, they could potentially be arrested. While it is doubtful they would actually face any punishment, the hassle of dealing with the Church in these matters is time consuming and potentially expensive (if it escalates to needing legal assistance). Having said that, many cities and larger towns (generally at least 3,000 population) maintain an Apothecary Shop/Guild House.
Anti-Paladin: This is an NPC class only and players will not be able to choose this class for their characters.
Arcanist: Many natural born sorcerers will specifically learn to cast from spellbooks to hide their true natures from the Church. In game terms, this will either manifest as a multiclass character (particularly for those who only “dabble” in one of their classes) or as the Arcanist.
Barbarian: While barbarians are certainly present in the Echoes of Heaven campaign setting, most of the lands in the known world are “civilized”. As such, most barbarians will have originated in the far western lands and need GM permission (and appropriate backstory) to justify being present in the city where the campaign starts. The class itself does not have any modification from the Core Rulebook.
Bard: This class is exactly as presented in the Core Rulebook with no special notes.
Bloodrager: Much like the barbarian, the bloodrager comes from the far western lands and will need GM approval of the background to justify their presence in the urban-heavy campaign.
Brawler: While the class itself is unchanged from the standard rules (Pathfinder Advanced Class Guide), it is worth noting that its selection should impact the background of the character. In general, “dignified” men do not engage in fisticuffs. As long as the character is from a lower class area, or if they have a reasonable backstory to explain why someone of their “breeding” is a brawler, this class is acceptable with no modification.
Cavalier: In the (primarily) feudal setting of Echoes of Heaven, the knightly cavalier is fairly common in the lower levels of aristocracy. The class itself has no particular modification, however, the Orders have been modified to fit the setting. Wiki pages for the various orders have been created and can be searched for using the tags “Knightly Orders” (national/secular) or “Ecclesiastic Orders” (for religious orders – many of which have benefits for cavaliers.)
Cleric: While the base class is unmodified from the Core Rulebook, it is important to note how domains are distributed. Unlike most fantasy settings, there is only One True God. Directly under God are the Five Prophets and directly under the Prophets are their saints. Each saint has two domains attached to them that represent their core values in life. A cleric in the Echoes of Heaven campaign will select a patron saint. During character generation, the player making a cleric should select two domains they want to utilize during the game. They will then work with the GM to adapt this to an existing saint or create a new one representing the ideals highlighted by the chosen domains.
Druid: The Druid class does not have any modifications from the Core Rulebook. However it is important to consider during character generation that a druid in Echoes of Heaven is neither the classic druid of D&D nor the historic druid of the real world. Rather, a druid is a priest of the Atavistic Church which practices a form of nature worship (seeing God as a part of the world around them). Details on the Atavistic Church can be found in that Wiki. There are limitations surrounding animal companions and require GM approval.
Fighter: This class is exactly as presented in the Core Rulebook with no special notes.
Gunslinger: While guns are not new, the skill to make/repair them is still fairly uncommon. Because of this, guns are expensive. And because of that, gunslingers are fairly rare (although it is a little more common to find someone with the Amateur Gunslinger feat who uses his/her gun as a supplement to his primary weapon). The exception to this is the Bolt Ace archetype which is the choice for many professional soldiers.
Hunter: This class is not modified from the Pathfinder Advanced Class Guide. However it is worth noting that the Echoes of Heaven campaign will be about 50% urban with a mix of dungeon and wilderness for the remaining adventures. Make sure to plan appropriately to take best advantage of class abilities. There are limitations surrounding animal companions and require GM approval.
Inquisitor: Due to the importance of the Church in everyday life throughout most of the human lands, the Inquisitor class has become much more significant.
Investigator: This class is not modified from the Pathfinder Advanced Class Guide.
Magus: As an arcane spellcaster with spellbooks, the magus can submit to the Church to become sanctioned. If they choose not to be, they usually choose to pretend to be more warrior-like and tend to choose spells they can channel directly through their weapon rather than anything that can be easily witnessed (and challenged).
Monk: While the standard D&D monk class draws images of the Eastern martial arts master, the Echoes of Heaven campaign doesn’t work within this confine. Not that their isn’t an oriental counterpart, but rather that the distance is great enough that they are rare to the point of near uniqueness in this western European setting. If the player wishes to have a traveler from the East, this will require GM approval based on an appropriate back story. However, the Echoes of Heaven campaign can have a standard monk class (per the Core Rulebook) by having their character belong to the Order of St. Tacceus – a monastic order which dedicates itself to seek God in perfection of the body (and specialize in unarmed combat). If the player would prefer to create their own order, this can be done with GM approval and input.
Ninja: Because Echoes of Heaven is a Western European type setting, this class does not fit thematically as written. However, many governments maintain spies or secret police which fill similar roles to the Ninja. This class will require GM approval to customize it for the appropriate government or organizational sponsor.
Oracle: Oracles tend to face a great deal of uncertainty. While the Church recognizes that their visions (and spells) come from God and are therefore welcomed, they tend to play outside the rules of the Church. With no official position from above, the reactions of locals vary by community. Some see oracles as prophets from God without the restrictions of the Church and welcome them while others view them as little better than witches and suffer them only because of the general recognition the Church offers. In Atavistic or Pagan nations, oracles are much more widely accepted with positive reactions.
Paladin: While the standard paladin can follow a general philosophy in Pathfinder rather than a specific religion, the inclusion of Saints offers enough diversity for a paladin to allow them to customize their faith. A paladin must therefore choose to follow one of the Churches of the Savior (specifically depending on their race), but may modify their specific tenants to follow one of the saints of that church. As with the cleric class, the player may either use one of the existing saints or work with the GM to create a new one to fit their need. Also unlike the standard Pathfinder settings, a paladin may also choose to follow the Atavistic Church. While this is normally the church of druids (and therefore most commonly considered “neutral”), the Atavistic Church still follows God – they just prefer to put their faith in how God manifests in nature rather than how mortals reflect the face of God.
Ranger: This class is not modified from the Core Rulebook. However it is worth noting that the Echoes of Heaven campaign will be about 50% urban with a mix of dungeon and wilderness for the remaining adventures. Make sure to plan appropriately to take best advantage of class abilities. There are limitations surrounding animal companions and require GM approval.
Rogue: This class is exactly as presented in the Core Rulebook with no special notes.
Samurai: Because Echoes of Heaven is a Western European type setting, this class does not fit thematically. Therefore it is not allowed without GM approval based on the background concept.
Shaman: As with witches, shaman usually come from less “civilized” areas which tend more toward pagan worship (the nations of Aphimi, Hofgrin, Malveig and Naili). In these regions, shaman (and witches) tend to be highly respected by the community.
Skald: As with the barbarian class, the skald tends to come from less “civilized” areas. As such, most skalds will have originated in the far western lands and need GM permission (and appropriate backstory) to justify being present in the city where the campaign starts.
Slayer: This class is not modified from the Pathfinder Advanced Class Guide.
Sorcerer: As spontaneous spellcasters, the Church bans sorcerers. While there is no change from the class as presented in the Core Rulebook, they have the added risk of being hunted and persecuted if they are witnessed performing their “black magic” in public.
Summoner: This is an NPC class only and players will not be able to choose this class for their characters.
Swashbuckler: This class is not modified from the Pathfinder Advanced Class Guide.
Warpriest: Warpriests, much like inquisitors and paladins, tend to be much more active in the various church orders rather than serving congregations directly. This class is not modified from the Pathfinder Advanced Class Guide.
Witch: Generically speaking, most people in the civilized human world will refer to all spellcasters as witches. However, true witches do exist. They usually come from less “civilized” areas which tend more toward pagan worship (the nations of Aphimi, Hofgrin, Malveig and Naili). In these regions, witches (and shaman) tend to be highly respected by the community.
Wizard: Since Wizards are required to maintain spellbooks, they are eligible to become Church Sanctioned, allowing them freedom to use their magic in public. However, even this comes with scrutiny. At any time, a Church official can demand to see proof that the wizard is sanctioned and have the spellcaster arrested if they cannot provide the evidence (even if they simply “lost” the paperwork). Additionally, if witnessed casting an “evil” spell, the official can have the spellcaster arrested and held for review, even if they have already been sanctioned.