Guide to Adepts in Pathfinder

Wizards and Sorcerers, Clerics and Druids, Paladins and Antipaladins, Witches and Alchemists… all of these classes are more or less radically different from one another, though they do all have one thing in common: they’re magic users. To one degree or another, they’re magic users, and when you want to play as somebody with magic, you typically choose one of these classes.

But what about the poor little Adept, sitting in the corner and still learning his trade?

As far as NPC-only classes go, the Adept is probably the best of the lot thanks to his ability to use magic similar to a Cleric. Adepts, drawing on divine spells, gain a fairly respectable range of incantations each day – and thanks to familiar backup, can make decent support characters and touch casters. So why don’t more players play as Adepts?

Or, rather, why don’t any players play as Adepts?

The answer is simple: they’re an NPC class. They’re not as good as PCs. Indeed, the average Adept is nowhere near as proficient at magical casting and supporting the party as a Cleric. They don’t get domains, they can’t use as many spells, they can’t convert prepared into Cure or Inflict spells, they can’t save as well, they can’t hit as well, they can’t… you get the point. They’re not as good.

Should you automatically ignore the Adept class? In the average game, yes. Though they get a familiar, something Clerics don’t, they’re otherwise much worse. Never choose an Adept for a character unless you want a challenge.

If you do, though…

When playing an Adept, it’s essential to make the most of your Wisdom score. Pump everything into it to boost your spellcasting capabilities to their maximum, as Adepts don’t get many spells per day. Ideally you should also give the Adept lots of Dexterity, as they can’t wear any type of armor or shield, and give them Armor Proficiency in either light or medium armor to boost their AC. Constitution is a must.

The Adept is not a good up-front class. They’re apt to get hit a lot, and will die quickly. It’s best when using an Adept to remain behind tanks and buff them up constantly, or heal their hit points with Cure spells. Though the Adept can use some combat spells, namely Scorching Ray and Lightning Bolt, their daily spells are best relegated to healing and buffing.

Don’t expect any Adept you play to survive long. They’re possibly the most vulnerable class in Pathfinder. With some tweaking an Adept can make a decent follower via Leadership, however, which is probably as close to a playable character as they should get.