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Adept Archetypes


Adept is by far the most disappointing NPC class. The other NPC classes have a clear place in the game, while the poor old adept is some sort of strange mix of arcane and divine casting abilities. I use these archetypes to fix that. Apart from the notes below, these Adept Archetypes conform to the published class specification.

While NPCs can progress in my games worlds they don't progress quickly or easily. L1 Adepts are usually in training somewhere, L2 are normally assistants completing their training and Level 3 is the base level for an adept running an establishment or business (such as a Chapel, Library, School) although you may occasionally find L4 and L5 adepts. After that they are very rare …

Character Creation

I like players to run some NPCs for me. It gives you another opportunity to RP, and helps me add diversity to the NPCs. Generally these will be Adepts, Experts or Warriors. Use a 10 point build, full HP at first level, 35gp starting money and 1x trait. At least one ability must be greater than 12, with no abilities lower than 8 or more than 14 (after racial adjustments).

If an NPC can raise an ability to 15 or greater, they might be able to retrain or multi-class into a PC class.

The Divine Adept

It seemed a shame just to have one Divine Archetype, considering there is such a wide range of clerical classes and that non Clerics can be priests of some gods as well. I have settled for three that (I think) gives me a lot of flexibility in the way I use them. Most Divine Adepts take Brother or Sister as a personal 'title'.

All divine adepts have the ability to 'activate' a shrine or an altar for 24 hours, by praying for their spells at that location. Shrines and graveyards might just have a single clergyman (low level adept) to look after the shrine and and pray there. Other religious buildings will have a group of clerics assigned to them to hold regular program of payer meetings and ceremonies, to ensure that the altar stays permanent dedicated to the deity. A shrine or an altar with these daily prayers becomes inactive and loses many of its benefits.

All Divine Adepts use the following spell list.

New Spell Lists

New Spell - Summon Ally

Old Spell List

Collegiate Adepts (Canons Regular)

Canons Regular

In the real world most monastics were not clerics but laymen, however that doesn't work very well in a fantasy world where the characters who adhere to a Deity actually get spells to prove it. However, many Collegiate style churches had/have Canons Regular who are often mistaken for monks, and these are represented by adepts. In my game worlds you will find this Divine Adept Archetype filling the junior roles in Monasteries, Abbeys, temples, Cathedrals etc - where they make up the bulk of the junior priests. Known officially as Canons, they generally take the 'title' brother or Sister. Level 1 Canons generally carry out mundane work around the church or monastery. Level 2 Canons might take responsibility for a shrine , run prayer meetings and undertake basic religious duties. A Level 3 canon may serve as a Sub-Prior or sub-deacon responsible for a chapel , function or monastic house attached to a larger monastery, and lead minor ceremonies as required. Monastic Adepts rarely rise beyond third level.

Primary Ability: Wisdom
Special Ability: Gained at L1 - Feat: Ritualistic Casting. (This replaces: Familiar)

New Feat - Ritualistic Casting

Independent Chaplains

Secular Canons

These adepts work in their community, away from a formal church or monastery and are often multi-classed. Chaplains might act as Clerk and Religious Advisor to a noble House (Adept / Expert), serve as a Military Padre (Adept/Warrior), or tends to a Village Shrine (Adept/Commoner). Chaplains may (occasionally) lead minor religious services, although they are more likely to lead prayer meetings and offer simple religious advice.

Primary Ability: Wisdom
Special Ability: Gained at L1 - One Domain - spells and abilities. (This replaces: Familiar)

Military Chaplain

Military Chaplains are trained by many of the world's religions and serve with military personnel, helping to keep them healthy in mind and body, boost morale and help them keep to the straight and narrow. Trained to use armour, many military chaplains march alongside their colleagues in times of war - even though they often stand at the back and be supportive, rather than fight. Chaplains may (occasionally) lead minor religious services, although they are more likely to lead prayer meetings and offer simple religious advice.

Primary Ability: Wisdom
Special Ability: Gained at L1 - Feat: Light Armour (This replaces: Familiar)

Nature God

Adepts dedicated to a faith of nature (Erastil, Gozreh, Green Faith etc) may get an animal Familiar to help them in their work. However, this isn't always the case, Adepts of Erastil (for example) could use any of the four Divine Adept archetypes.

Primary Ability: Wisdom
Special Ability: Gained at L2 - Animal Familiar. Make sure that it is an animal and that it reflects the deity, if possible.

These make good familiars for Adepts of Nature Gods

The Arcane Adept

Think of all of those guys who dropped out of Wizard School. They learned something, but they are never going to make it big in the world of magic. They might pick up enough knowledge to work as as a tutor, magical assistant, scroll scribe, fortune teller, hedge wizard or something similar. Arcane Adepts rarely progress beyond 5th level - lets face it, if they were that good they would have been wizards!

Primary Ability: Intelligence
Special Ability: Gained at L2 - Familiar.

Arcane Adept Spell List]

The Spontaneous Adept

They haven’t got the blood benefits of a sorcerer or the vocation of a bard, but they do have a bit of magic going for them. They may be among the least gifted of casters, but their other abilities go some way to making up for that. They often do well as merchants, store keepers, managers or political assistants. Ironically, they're versatility means they are are likely to be more successful than the other types of adept.

Primary Ability: Charisma
Special Ability: Gained at L1 - Gifted - Bonus Feats, as below (This replaces: Familiar)

  • Additional Traits:- Gain two additional character traits.
  • Eshew materials:- Cast many spells without material components.
  • Magical Aptitude:- +2 bonus on Spellcraft and Use Magic Device checks.

Spell List

Spells Known


pathfinder/npc_classes/adepts.txt · Last modified: 2020/10/12 13:49 by johnb