Trickster Animist (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

The trickster animist works with mischievous spirits, the trickster is often caught in his own schemes. Some tricksters are wise fools and try to teach people wisdom with tricks that play on their gullibility and inability to adjust. Others are simply wastrels and vagabonds, moving on before rumor of their tricks come back to haunt them. Any wisdom they teach is coincidental, but can still be poignant.

Class Information

This is a animist archetype.

Hit Dice: d8.

Class Information

Role: The trickster can be an excellent companion, guide, and teacher as long as his companions accept that what the trickster is out to teach might not be what they came to learn—or what they actually do learn, which can be something altogether different again. His abilities work out just often enough to make the occasional disaster worth the cost.

Alignment: Any chaotic. The trickster animist loves rules, he sees them as a test of wits, a bar to jump, a fence to dig under, a trap to escape.

Hit Dice: d8

Class Skills

The trickster animist’s class skills (and the key ability for each Skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Ingenious, inventive weapons, and improved class skills replaces spirit channel.

Class Features

The trickster animist has all the standard animist’s class features, except as noted below.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A trickster animist is proficient with the brass knuckles, club, combat scabbard, dagger, dart, gauntlet, handaxe, sap, spear, and war razor. The trickster animist is not proficient with armor or shields. Also see inventive weapons below.

Bite The Tail

A trickster shaman is too clever by half, and this sometimes works to his disadvantage. Any skill roll that comes up a natural "20" on the die (before all modifiers) means the trickster shaman somehow outsmarted himself and was clever in a way that fumbles and causes him embarrassment. The result can be the opposite of the desired one, or the task worked too well and got the trickster into trouble. These problems are rarely deadly and can create new opportunities and openings that can be exploited later. Quite inventive results are possible, but the effect only embarrasses or endangers the trickster, not his companions. Possible examples include Stealth that attracts attention to the trickster and away from his party, Bluff that convinces the trickster what he just said is true, Climb that leaves the animist alone and isolated ahead of his party, or Intimidation that is unintentionally hilarious and leaves everyone laughing. This ability also prevents the trickster from taking 20 on any skill check. This replaces animist's taboo.

Inventive Weapons (Su)

Once per day as a swift action a trickster animist can gain an intuitive understanding of a weapon he is touching. The trickster gains proficiency in the weapon for one minute per level. The trickster can use this on an improvised weapon to avoid the usual non-proficiency penalty. At 3rd level, and every 3 levels thereafter, the trickster gains an additional daily use of this ability. Ingenious, inventive weapons, and improved class skills replaces spirit channel.

Mage Armor

A trickster animist adds mage armor to the his spell list and list of spells known. At 4th level he becomes a master at using force armors, and the armor bonus of mage armor and bracers of armor stack when worn by the trickster. These bonuses do not otherwise stack with armor, either normal or force.

Trickster Guide

The trickster animist is likely to have a coyote, crow, fox, raccoon, or raven as a spirit guide. Some tricksters change spirit guides at the drop of a hat, or have spirit guides that seemingly change from one type to another. This works just like a normal spirit guide, but has a trickster personality.

Ingenious (Ex)

At level 2 the trickster animist becomes an inspired improviser. Choose one of the following abilities:

  • He can use Acrobatics in place of Climb, Swim, and Fly skills.
  • He can use Bluff in place of Diplomacy and Intimidate, but 10 minutes after parting with the trickster, any creature affected by these ersatz skills becomes unfriendly (or hostile if it was initially hostile) as it sees through the bluster.
  • He can use Disable Device in place of any Craft skill.
  • He can use Disguise in place of any Perform or Profession skill.

He can never take 10 or 20 on rolls when using this ability.

At level 7, and every 5 levels thereafter, the trickster can choose another ingenious ability. Ingenious, inventive weapons, and improved class skills replaces spirit channel.


At second level the trickster discovers a gift for transformation and the illusion of transformation. Add the following spells to the trickster's spell list at the spell levels listed.

Zero— Alter race, attract attention.

1st— Disguise self, illusion of calm, repulsiveness, vanish.

2nd— Alter self, invisibility, misdirection, steal the stars.

3rd— Fearsome duplicate, feign death, monstrous physique I, object shape I.

4th— Elemental body I, invisibility (greater), monstrous physique II, object shape II.

5th— Elemental body II, monstrous physique III, object shape III, plant shape I.

6th— Elemental body III, form of the dragon I, monstrous physique IV , object shape IV, plant shape II.

7th— Elemental body IV, form of the dragon II, giant form I , object shape V, veil.

8th— Feign death (greater), form of the dragon III, giant form II, screen.

9th— Miracle.

At level 2 and every 2 levels thereafter until level 18, the trickster animist can select one of the above spells as a known spell, as long as that spell is of a level he can cast. The animist cannot replace these spells as he advances in level. This replaces allied spirits.

Inspired Liar (Ex)

At 6th level, when confronted with a Knowledge skill roll, the trickster animist can take a standard action to make Bluff or Perform (storytelling) check against the normal difficulty. On a success, the trickster tells a story conveying information as if he had succeeded at the Knowledge check. If the roll fails, the trickster tells a story full of misleading information. The trickster can only attempt this once for each knowledge check. Whatever the result, the GM should strive to present the information as fantastic and unlikely. This replaces spirit ward.

Bluff Youkai (Sp)

At 7th level, the trickster animist can attempt to bluff a youkai. This works like the animist's bind youkai ability, with a duration three days. There is no way to tell this ability from that of an animist using bind youkai.

This ability also allows the trickster animist to bargain with the youkai. In return for releasing the youkai early, the trickster animist can gain a single use of any spell or spell-like ability the youkai has, which he must use as a spell-like ability in the next week or lose. The saving throw DC of a spell-like ability gained this way is 10 + 1/2 the trickster animit's level + the trickster animist's Charisma modifier. The youkai spends one use of the ability, but recovers it normally over time. Many youkai are eager to accept this deal rather than accepting what seems like it could be a long binding. A trickster can only have one "stolen" spell-like ability at a time.

The youkai and the trickster animist can bargain about anything else at the same time, but unlike the spell-like ability above, any such agreement is no more binding that the youkai and trickster choose to make it. This replaces bind spirit.

Table: Trickster Animist

Base Attack
Special Spells per Day
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Bite the tail, detect spirits, inventive weapons, mage armor, orisons, trickster guide 3
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Ingenious, placate spirit, transformer 4
3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 Spirit protection 5
4th +3 +1 +1 +4 Ghost warrior 6 3
5th +3 +1 +1 +4 See the unseen 6 4
6th +4 +2 +2 +5 Inspired liar 6 5 3
7th +5 +2 +2 +5 Ingenious, steal spirit 6 6 4
8th +6/+1 +2 +2 +6 Exorcism 6 6 5 3
9th +6/+1 +3 +3 +6 Spirit quest 6 6 6 4
10th +7/+2 +3 +3 +7 Ghost champion 6 6 6 5 3
11th +8/+3 +3 +3 +7 Banish spirit 6 6 6 6 4
12th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 Greater spirit protection, ingenious 6 6 6 6 5 3
13th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 Guide concentration 6 6 6 6 6 4
14th +10/+5 +4 +4 +9 Shadow walk 6 6 6 6 6 5 3
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +5 +9 Guide walk 6 6 6 6 6 6 4
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 Tie down spirits 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 3
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 Ingenious, spirit destination 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +6 +11 Spirit loyalty 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 3
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Ghost general 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Planar deputation 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6

Summary of Changed Class Abilities

These abilities of the original class are lost or modified in this archetype:

  • Weapon and Armor Proficiency
  • Animist Taboos
  • Spirit Channel
  • Spirit Ward
  • Seal Spirit
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