Pathfinderizing the Natural Philosopher

I'm going to use NC as my default Pathfinder setting, and I have a player interested in the natural philosopher.

I'm concerned that the natural philosopher won't be well balanced against the updated Pathfinder core classes. The fact that their phenomena aren't hindered by spell resistance or dispel/antimagic spells is a good boost, but in general play I'm not sure if that alone is enough.

Does anyone familiar with Pathfinder and Northern Crown have any suggestions on what to add and/or alter to address this concern?

maybe given them bonuses similar to the bards like use X skill add 1/2 your philosopher level and bonus feats?


Would you mind posting what you came up with?



I never came up with anything that really satisfied me. I switched to Savage Worlds a while ago, since it comes with a "weird scientist" type built in to the rules.

I'm getting started on my own project to do this, and I found the likely first step is to balance the Natural Philosopher with the Cleric, Wizard, and Sorcerer. To do this, I'm giving them degree powers, like the granted powers of cleric domains, and arcane school powers of wizards.

The first problem I ran up against was in looking over the existing descriptions of the different sciences, in particular, Magnetism. The problem? Well, Doug described students of magnetism as studying galvanic forces, being called galvanists, and utilizing Galvanic belts as their apparati. The problem is, Galvani is significantly anachronistic, and as much as the anachronisms are part of the fun and flavor of NC, I feel like too many straws start to strain the camel's back.

My solution? Looking at the history of electromagnetism, I find two great possible characters to replace Galvani's role: Otto von Guericke, and William Gilbert- Elizabeth I's personal physician! If John Dee can have a small place in Northern Crown, then why can't the man who identified the Earth itself as a magnet be one of the patrons of Magnetism as a science?

Thus, I've replaced the Galvanic belt with the terrella array, combining von Guericke's electrostatic generator and Gilbert's own terrella as a set of spheres- one to model the magnetosphere, and one to generate static electricity through friction. It's mostly a change in flavor, but it's an important first step- and I think it lends a bit more of the "weather wizard" notion to the science.

That's enough fluff, on to the crunch: I'm giving the Antimagic degree the following powers for now, taken mostly from the Counterspell focused school of the Abjuration arcane school:

Counterspell: You have the ability to create phenomena that directly counter magic spells. This is identical to a spellcaster's ability to use counterspells, save instead of casting the same spell as the target, you must be able to create a phenomena with the same name as that spell.

Disruption: You gain the ability to disrupt spellcasting with a touch. As a melee touch attack, you can place a disruptive field around the target. While the field is in place, the target must make a concentration check to cast any spell or to use a spell-like ability in addition to any other required concentration checks. The DC of this check is equal to 15 + twice the spell’s level. If the check is failed, the target’s spell is wasted. This field lasts for a number of rounds equal to 1/2 your natural philosopher level (minimum 1). You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence modifier.

Counterspell Mastery: At 6th level, you gain Improved Counterspell as a bonus feat. You may attempt to counterspell (as detailed above) an opponent’s spell once per day as an immediate action (instead of a readied action). You must use a phenomena at least one level higher than the spell being countered to use this ability. You can use this ability once per day at 6th level, plus one additional time per day for every 4 levels beyond 6th.

Which brings us back to simulation. The question is, why bother when you can just use an emulator to play the real game?