Thursday, June 4, 2015

Races of Pathfinder: Kasatha


-this page by Voyd

Kasathas are four-armed denizens of a desert world, looking for a way home. Obviously, they’re best in desert environments, but as probably the most defensively powerful Bestiary 4 race, the frail-looking greys can serve surprisingly well as tanks for any party.

Racial Traits:

Ability Scores: Kasathas have +2 Dex and +2 Wis, making them well-suited for monks, rangers, gunslingers, and divine spellcasters. Without any penalties, though, there’s nothing stopping a kasatha from shining as other classes.

Defensive Training: This is the main reason most GMs will NOT allow a kasatha. Without any class features, feats or traits whatsoever, kasathas have a built in +2 DODGE BONUS TO THEIR ARMOR CLASS. I REALLY shouldn’t need to explain why this is just incredible.

Type: Kasathas, oddly enough, are humanoids. They have the kasatha subtype, but I doubt most rangers will have any reason to hate you.

Desert Runner: The usefulness of this ability depends on whether or not you’re playing in a desert. Basically, if you die in the desert, it won’t be from heat or exhaustion.

Desert Stride: It's as situational as Desert Runner, but even better overall. No penalties on difficult terrain in deserts? Yes please!

Jumper: This ability is like getting the monk’s high jump five levels early! If you like vaulting all over the place, then you’ll like the kasatha, even if you aren’t using a monk.

Multi-Armed: What can you actually do with four arms?  There are six things that stick out as options, but the rules get a bit muddled in these waters.  First, you can wield two-weapon fighting two different weapons with two hands each.  However, wielding a light weapon with two hands gives no advantage on damage, so you'd want to wield two large weapons and take the penalty to attack.  You could also potentially take two-weapon fighting and wield two projectile weapons.  Second, you have extra hands to reload firearms and crossbows, which is much more of a clear bonus.  Third, you can use a two-handed weapon and grab a shield as well.  If you can't think of another use for them, I would highly recommend going the shield route. Fourth, you can carry a litany of wands or metamagic rods for various uses, and be better able to choose on the fly without having to rifle through your backpack.  Fifth, if you grow two claws, you can use them in conjunction with two hands holding manufactured weapons.  There's even an argument to be made for being able to gain four claw natural attacks. Sixth, you can gain a bunch of extra attacks with multi-weapon fighting.

Stalker: You get Perception, the most important skill in the game, in-class? Groovy! Stealth is just sweet gravy, so why isn’t this sky blue? That’s because you don’t get any actual bonuses from this ability, just the class skills. In-class Perception is still a huge boon for any character, though.


Alchemist: With a Dexterity bonus, the only real option for a kasatha alchemist is a bomber. However, the vestigial limb discovery does bring up the ridiculous idea of a SIX-armed kasatha. I guess if you wanted to play as Asura, this is how you’d do it.

Barbarian: With no bonus to Strength or Constitution, a kasatha barbarian is only so-so. The Wisdom bonus does offset your pathetic Will save, though.

Bard: Like the barbarian, there's nothing really helping you as a bard.

Cavalier [Samurai]: The Dex bonus does make the kasatha a good rider, they can hold two lances, and a desert nomad atop some exotic steed is super thematic... a kasatha makes for a better cavalier than one might think. While I personally have not looked at the UC alternate classes that much, I imagine that they're even better samurai, since those guys have mounted archery.

Cleric: With their being aliens, a lot of questions get asked of a kasatha cleric. Are you a traditionalist, worshipping some imagined kasatha deity? Or are you a happy immigrant that follows one of the setting’s normal gods? Regardless, a Wisdom bonus will be quite helpful in this role.

Druid: I am left to wonder what kind of beasties a kasatha druid would be packing. Anyway, like a cleric, the kasatha's Wisdom bonus will help as a druid.

Fighter: Without a Strength bonus, a kasatha probably isn't going to excel in melee, unless you load him up with Dervish Dance and a few scimitars. If you're not doing that, go ranged.

Gunslinger: Leaving aside the +2 DODGE BONUS, the kasatha’s ability scores and multiple arms lend themselves well to the Pistolero. And even if you don’t take the obvious route of quad-wielding, you can dual-wield and still be able to reload both weapons. Also, they already live in deserts, so kasatha cowboys are thematically appropriate. This wasn’t the role kasathas were designed for, but it sure as hell feels like it.

Inquisitor: See also the Gunslinger. Seriously, they rely on the same statistics. The 'slinger is just flashier and does more damage.

Magus: I do believe the authors of Ultimate Magic didn’t anticipate a four-armed race. This does raise the question: How does this affect spell combat? Can you wield any combination of spells and weapons, one weapon/three spells or vice versa, or can you still only use two arms, with the other two being free? Ultimately, this is up to you GM, but if they let you have however many spells and weapons you want, go for it! Other than spell combat, there’s nothing going for or against a kasatha magus.

Monk: THIS is the role the kasatha was meant to play. Seriously. Look at those ability scores, and Jumper, AND the extra arms, AND the built-in AC bonus. It’s like the developers were trying to build a race that simply excelled at being a monk; hell, even the “iconic” kasatha in Bestiary 4 is a monk! Make no mistake, this is the best class you could ever pick as a kasatha. The only other race with +2 Dex and Wis without penalty is the garuda-blooded aasimar, and, well, he doesn’t have a +2 DODGE BONUS TO AC, now does he?

Oracle: Probably the only divine spellcasting role that the kasatha isn't amazing at. With no Charisma bonus, you're not going to be a great oracle; however, with no Charisma penalty, you're also not going to be a terrible oracle.

Paladin: The kasatha paladin suffers from the same problem that oracles, bards and barbarians do: There is just nothing about the kasatha that would really help with this role.

Ranger: You want a ranged or natural-weapons ranger? Then the kasatha is your friend. You can dual-wield all the bows you want, or you can have four claws to scratch people with. Just make sure you grab Weapon Finesse first if you're going the natural route. As for that Wisdom bonus, it's helpful if you cast spells, as well as boosting Survival.

Rogue: The Dex bonus helps you out in general, while the Wisdom bonus boosts your Perception. Sadly, the Stalker ability is rendered completely redundant by the rogue, as rogues already get both Perception and Stealth in-class.

Sorcerer: Even without a Charisma bonus, the kasatha sorcerer can do pretty well if he uses the Empyreal bloodline. Does your desert nomad have a little bit of angel in him? Otherwise, a kasatha sorcerer is just okay.

Summoner: Move along, folks. You're not going to find anything amazing here.

Witch and Wizard: Nothing to see here. A kasatha witch or wizard isn't anything spectacular. If you want an arcane caster, go Sorcerer or Magus.

Racial Feats, Archetypes and Favored Class Options:

Unfortunately, as a Bestiary 4 expanded race, kasathas do not have any of these.

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