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Pathfinder - Sorcerer Archetypes Breakdown


I will use content from the core rules, but will intentionally omit any content not published on the official Pathfinder SRD due to the unmanageable volume of non-SRD content, and the wildly varying quality of non-SRD content. If you would like me to write handbooks for specific content not published on the official SRD, please email me and I will consider it on a case-by-case basis. I will use the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks. Also note that many colored items are also links to the Paizo SRD.

Temporary Note: Pathfinder Unchained and Occult Adventures were both recently added to the SRD. I'm excited to explore them, and I am actively working on adding their contents to my collection of handbooks. I appreciate your patience while I make these changes.


Sorcerers have very few archetypes because they are more commonly defined by their Bloodline. Both archetypes are compatible.


If you really want to combine two bloodlines, Crossblooded is pretty fantastic. You get both or your choice of each ability from your bloodlines, which allows for some really clever combinations. However, the drawbacks really do hurt.

Class Skill: Two bonus class skills is pretty nice, but you still only get 2+ skills, and you may have dumped intelligence.

Bonus Spells: Pick either option for your bonus spell known at each level where you gain bonus spells known.

Bonus Feat: Add all of the options to your list of selectable bonus feats. This is especially great because most bloodlines don't have enough worthwhile choices to get you to 20th level.

Bloodline Arcana: You get both bloodline arcanas, and many of them are very good.

Bloodline Powers: Select either bloodeline power at the specified level. Many bloodlines have some very good powers mixed in with some really awful ones, and this is a good way to min-max your powers.

Drawbacks: You lose one spell known from each level, which severely limits your already limited versatility. As such, you will need to depend more on your bloodline powers. You also take a permanent -2 penalty to will saves, which is pretty dangerous. You can offset the will save penalty with Iron Will, but the loss of a spells known really hurts. Selecting a favored class bonus which gets you bonus spells known can help address this, but you will always have issues with your highest-level spells.

Replaced Features: Bloodline

Compatible Archetypes: None

Eldritch Scrapper

The Eldritch Scrapper is a really weird archetype. I could see this being effective for polymorph builds, but most Sorcerers won't be able to make use of Martial Flexibility.

Martial Flexibility (Ex): Combat Feats generally aren't useful for Sorcerers, but you can use Martial Flexibility to pick up defensive feats, or you could find several useful feats for polymorphing.

Bloodline Weapons: If you're going to be in melee, polymorphed or not, the ability to grow natural attacks can be very helpful.

Replaced Features: Bloodline Powers (1st, 9th, 15th)

Compatible Archetypes: None

Mongrel Mage

The Mongrel Mage sacrifices the raw power of a single-bloodline Sorcerer for the fantastic ability to switch bloodlines on a daily basis. This adds some much-needed versatility to the Sorcerer, but adds annoying restrictions on usage of Bloodline Powers and Bloodline Spells.

Mongrel Reservoir (Su): Many bloodlines have really fantastic powers, but many are situational. This allows you to switch bloodlines to one which will meet your needs better for the day. Unfortunately, your usage of these abilities is limited by the Mongrel Pool. Your Mongrel Pool should be large enough to cover your needs on most days, but it is frustrating to need to keep track of the Mongrel Pool in addition to the limited number of uses per day provided by Sorcerer Bloodlines.

Bloodline Spells: Bloodlines provide a lot of very good bonus spells known, and delaying the new spells for several levels is very annoying.

Replaced Features: Bloodline, Bloodline Feats (7th, 13th, 19th), bloodline powers, and bloodline spells

Compatible Archetypes: None