Thursday, June 4, 2015

Races of Pathfinder: Shabti

Shabti are "immortal facsimiles of death obsessed nobles," human-like outsiders that are made to take the godly judgement for human error.  Their traits are interesting from a flavor perspective, but not terribly interesting from a mechanical perspective.

Racial Traits:
Ability Scores: +2 to both Constitution and Charisma with no penalties is probably the best part of this race.  These are broad bonuses that a range of classes can take advantage of.

Type: Shabti are outsiders, meaning they are immune to any spell that targets humanoids.  While this will exclude some buffs, by and large this will help you avoid some enemy spells.

Size: Medium - nothing special here. 

Speed: 30 ft. - again, average.

Darkvision: Yay darkvision!  See in the dark!

Immortal: Shabti can't age, even though spells with aging effects affect them as normal.  Fine, but likely to not come up in and practical sense in a campaign.

Immune to Undeath: Shabti are immune to undeath.  Again, not terribly likely to come up in a campaign.

Resist Level Drain: Shabti are immune to energy drain.  This is far more likely to be relevant, but still isn't terribly.

Past Life Knowledge: Treating all knowledge skills as class skills is pretty nice, particularly if you are an intelligence based class.  It makes skill monkeying a heck of a lot easier.

Shattered Soul: Shabti more difficult to raise.  This is far more likely to happen in a campaign than aging into death, and outweighs the previous unlikely bonuses.  Still, it's not too likely in and of itself.

Spell Like Ability: Suggestion: Suggestion is a reasonably high level spell as these things go, being a level 3 wizard/sorcerer spell.  It's a multi-use spell that you will find a time for from level 1 to 20.  I'm not sure what the DC of this is though.

With pretty broad, un-mechanically-interesting abilities, the only real trait that we have to discern the Shabti's suitability for classes are his ability scores.
The charisma casters, such as the Sorcerer, Summoner, Oracle, and Bard, all benefit from both Charisma and Constitution Bonus.  Clerics, Paladins, Ninjas, and many Cavaliers benefit from both as well.  The Mysterious Stranger Gunslinger can make use of Charisma as well, and won't turn down a chance for more Constitution.
Besides that, basically everybody benefits from the extra constitution.  There's no reason you can't make a good Barbarian, Monk, Fighter, Druid, Rogue, or Magus.  Only the Witch, Wizard, and Alchemist fall on the second tier, but only because they don't make as much use of either ability score.

In short, the shabti are extremely bland from a mechanical perspective.  Play them for the flavor, not for the interesting perks they might give to optimization.


  1. Assuming that the Shabti's spell-like ability is based from the sorcerer class list, that would mean that it's DC would be 10(Base) + 3(Spell Level) + it's Charisma Modifier.

    1. At least, this would be the most favorable.