Archetypes for All

Friday, June 22, 2018

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Over the years, we have added a wide variety of new rules to Pathfinder First Edition, but none has been so well received as archetypes. It's no surprise that archetypes found such universal appeal. Allowing you to play a more specialized character, they let you play the character you want to play in a way that a single class often cannot support.

When the time came for us to look at archetypes for the Pathfinder Playtest, we knew that we wanted to make them a more integral part of the game, built to be an option from the very beginning. We also wanted to open them up a bit, so we could build archetypes allowing more than one class to access their features and feats, as opposed to having to recreate a concept for every applicable class with an entirely new archetype. This doesn't prevent us from creating more specific archetypes as well, but it opens up the design space further. In opening archetypes up, we realized that they might be easily abused if a player dipped into a variety of archetypes just to grab the best rules bits to make an overpowered character. It was a tough set of challenges, but fortunately for us, the answer was already built into the game.

Archetypes in the Pathfinder Playtest consist of a series of feats you can choose in place of your class feats. Every class gets its feats at roughly every other level, making them a perfect cost for archetypes. So if an archetype appeals to you—say, the pirate archetype—the only thing you need to do to gain access to it is take the appropriate dedication feat. Each dedication feat gives you some basic abilities and adds all the rest of that archetype's feats to your list of available class feats. The only catch is that you cannot take another dedication feat until after you have taken a specified number of archetype feats from the first one. So you can dip into a single archetype without too much trouble, but if you want more than one, you really have to put a fair amount of your character into the concept. For example, let's take a look at the pirate archetype.

Pirate Dedication Feat 2

Archetype, Dedication

Prerequisites Dexterity 12, trained in Acrobatics and Sailing Lore

When you Balance aboard a ship, treat a success as a critical success. You also ignore any difficult terrain, uneven ground, or incline caused by the ship's movement. You are trained with the hatchet, scimitar, and spear. In addition, Acrobatics is a signature skill for you.

Special You cannot select another dedication feat until you have gained two other feats from the pirate archetype.

As you can see, this first feat gives you a fair number of advantages while on a boat, certainly helping should combat break out, but you need to take more pirate feats before you can pick up another dedication feat. Let's take a look at two that you might choose.

Sea Legs Feat 4

Archetype

Prerequisites Pirate Dedication, trained in Athletics

Athletics is a signature skill for you. Whenever you succeed at an Athletics check to Swim, treat your result as a critical success. Additionally, you can always hold your breath for a number of actions equal to double your Constitution score when in water (this is not increased by using the Breathe Deep action).

Sea Legs really helps when you are in the water, letting you swim faster and hold your breath longer. It's also a prerequisite for Roll with the Ship, a feat that lets you reroll your Reflex saves when you are on your ship!

[[AA]] Boarding Action Feat 6

Archetype

Prerequisites Rope Runner

Swing on a rope or Stride up to twice your Speed. As long as you either boarded or disembarked a boat during this movement, make a Strike and deal an extra die of damage if you hit.

Boarding Action is one of those feats that nearly every pirate can be expected to have, since setting yourself up to board and pillage the enemy ship is going to be vital! It lets you close the distance to your foes, and if you move from one ship to another during this move, you can make a strike that deals extra damage! It's a bit more limited than the fighter's Sudden Charge, but you deal bonus damage as a benefit if you pull it off.

The pirate archetype has six feats to choose from (in addition to the dedication feat), which gives you plenty of variety if you are looking to explore the archetype before heading to the next one. The great part is that these pirate feats are part of your options list for the rest of your character's career, so you can always go back to pick up a feat that you missed.

Lastly, I want to take a look at prestige archetypes. These are archetypes whose dedication feats come with some pretty hefty prerequisites you have to meet before you can select them. In the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook, we included only one such archetype as an example for you to play around with in your campaign: the Gray Maiden. Take a look at this dedication feat.

Gray Maiden Dedication Feat 6

Archetype, Dedication, Prestige

Prerequisites Strength 16, expert in Fortitude saves, trained in heavy armor and all martial weapons, member of the Gray Maidens

Your Gray Maiden training has steeled you against harsh physical conditions. You become a master at Fortitude saves. When you succeed at a Fortitude save, treat it as a critical success. You also gain access to special armor: Gray Maiden plate. Gray Maiden plate is a level 3 item that costs 600 sp, grants +7 AC and +3 TAC, and has a Dexterity modifier cap of +0; otherwise, it uses the same stats as full plate.

Special You cannot select another dedication feat until you have gained two other feats from the Gray Maiden archetype.

Becoming a master at Fortitude saves is not something you can easily do in most classes; in fact, level 6 is sooner than even a barbarian can manage, and that armor is some of the best you can find. Of course, joining the Gray Maiden organization is no simple feat either. Once you are in, this prestige archetype includes a variety of powerful feats that you can add to your character. Here is just a taste.

Unbreakable Feat 8

Archetype

Prerequisites Gray Maiden Dedication

You can endure a staggering amount of punishment. Increase your maximum HP by your level, increasing as you gain additional levels. You die at dying 5, or dying 6 if you also have Diehard.

This grants many of the benefits of the Toughness and Diehard general feats combined, and it stacks with both to make an incredibly resilient character.

That wraps up our look at archetypes. You'll find a number of them in the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook, and we can't wait for you to give them a try. And come back on Monday for a massive blog that I am sure will resonate with many of you!

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
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2 people marked this as a favorite.

Awesome


12 people marked this as a favorite.

Prestige Archetypes sound promising, I'm glad we're not completely moving away from the notion.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

While I like the Prestige archetype, I'm personally not too crazy about the Pirate one. The Pirate feats feels like they could be covered by General feats to me, thematically speaking.

But I'm one of the ones that will miss the old archetypes far too much to appreciate anything called archetypes again.


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IT seems like no archetype can be applied from level 1 now. Is this true?


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This is awesome, just what I have imagined, this combine the best parts of archetypes and prestige classes.


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Dedication feats seem quite like a feat tax to play an archetype. Pirate dedication doesnt quite have the same power as the class feats it would replace, do the further archetypes feats make up the difference? At face value here it seems archetype players will be set back in power level a bit than a base class player.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Prestige archetypes look to be taking the place of prestige classes, I can get behind that. Putting the Gray Maiden in for testing begs the question - does the book come with any guidance on how to join them, or will such RP requirements on this (and potentially, other prestige archetypes) be left up to the GM? It's possible that the RP requirement will be waived in official playtest work and so isn't included in the playtest book. I could be tempted by this route for the playtest...


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Unicore wrote:
It seems like no archetype can be applied from level 1 now. Is this true?

This seems like it will rule out any archetypes that heavily modify a character's core concept, and it seems like level 1 class features are pretty much baked in to every character now.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I agree that, superficially at least, the pirate feats look weaker/narrower than what I expect the class feats they're replacing offer. The only caveat is that they are granting signature skills and from what we've heard so far its possible, but semi-rare, so that might be a large bit of their value.

Liberty's Edge

Cool!
Is Sea Legs a Skill Feat?

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I really like this concept, and it feels like a good place to make the prestige classes of old go. Knowing that the feats are available later feels really cool too, but it does make me question; isn't that how all feats work?

It hasn't been stated as far as I've seen, and if it has I welcome correction! But, can you go back and pick a lower level class/ancestry/skill feat at a later level, as we could in PF1, or are they locked into that level? Or, perhaps, is it a matter of selection, and if you pick one at a certain level you can't go back and pick another?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

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I likes what I sees. Can has more? :)


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Aestriel wrote:
Dedication feats seem quite like a feat tax to play an archetype. Pirate dedication doesnt quite have the same power as the class feats it would replace, do the further archetypes feats make up the difference? At face value here it seems archetype players will be set back in power level a bit than a base class player.

Considering that the Dedication feat adds a signature skill, in addition to its other benefits, I'm not sure that it's really underpowered. Signature skills are (as far as I understand) required to take a skill to Legendary proficiency, which gates a number of the most powerful skill feats. People have been wondering about ways to get additional signature skills, and the Pirate archetype chain offers at least two of them (Acrobatics and Athletics). Not too shabby IMO.

For myself, I like the design, don't think it looks at all underpowered, and plan to use the heck out of it on characters I build.

Paizo Employee Designer

8 people marked this as a favorite.
kaineblade83 wrote:

I really like this concept, and it feels like a good place to make the prestige classes of old go. Knowing that the feats are available later feels really cool too, but it does make me question; isn't that how all feats work?

It hasn't been stated as far as I've seen, and if it has I welcome correction! But, can you go back and pick a lower level class/ancestry/skill feat at a later level, as we could in PF1, or are they locked into that level? Or, perhaps, is it a matter of selection, and if you pick one at a certain level you can't go back and pick another?

No, you're right on that. The contrast Jason was setting was with PF1 archetypes, where if they overlapped in one tiny way, even if the two archetypes are really amazing together for a concept, they weren't legal to take together.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I think with the exception of heritage feats (only available at level 1), you can always chose a lower level one if you want.

Scarab Sages

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I'm not a fan of Sea Legs being the name of the feat for holding your breath and swimming well. Sea Legs, to me, more refers to exactly the abilities that the Pirate Dedication feat grants.


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Bingo. Well done, very well done. I do wish we had options for more than one archetype at a time, since I don't always want to choose which aspect of my character to begin mechanically investing in first, but I understand the need to force some balance on it by making me wait a few levels to swap out other features. This sounds very modular and effective, prestige classes are much more viable with this so long as the feats and dedications are made useful and appropriate, and I can see this working really well for the game. Now if we can see multiclassing in action, I'll be nearly set.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I kind of feel like the Pirate feats are overly specific to a particular type of campaign. Like if you're not playing a sea-borne campaign it's hard to justify them. Maybe stuff like Boarding Action shouldn't mention a Boat, for example.

Also, what happens if Acrobatics was already a signature skill? That seems like the sort of thing a lot of Rogues would have, but does it imply I never want to take a Pirate archetype as a Rogue because I'd be wasting that part of the Dedication feat?

On the other hand, I absolutely love the use of Archetypes to replace Prestige classes. That's brilliant.


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Pirate seems like a really specific kind of thing to be putting in the Playtest. Barring someone running a Skull and Shackles conversion I don't see anyone touching it.


Cheburn wrote:
Aestriel wrote:
Dedication feats seem quite like a feat tax to play an archetype. Pirate dedication doesnt quite have the same power as the class feats it would replace, do the further archetypes feats make up the difference? At face value here it seems archetype players will be set back in power level a bit than a base class player.

Considering that the Dedication feat adds a signature skill, in addition to its other benefits, I'm not sure that it's really underpowered. Signature skills are (as far as I understand) required to take a skill to Legendary proficiency, which gates a number of the most powerful skill feats. People have been wondering about ways to get additional signature skills, and the Pirate archetype chain offers at least two of them (Acrobatics and Athletics). Not too shabby IMO.

For myself, I like the design, don't think it looks at all underpowered, and plan to use the heck out of it on characters I build.

Thats a fair point. Curious to see how it pans out during the playtest.


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I should add, the playtest is the perfect place to check these out and see the relative power compared with class feats. If people find that characters built with archetypes typically underperform those built with class feats, I'm sure that would be very useful feedback for the devs.

Of course, if you're playing a pirate in an urban/high society intrigue campaign in a landlocked city-state, you're unlikely to get to use some of these abilities. So caveat emptor.


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Turning Prestige Classes into Prestige Archetypes is a fantastic choice, IMO. Carries on the spirit of my very favorite PrC, the Evangelist!

I'm a little surprised by the decision to lead with a seafaring archetype, given how poorly ocean-bound class options tended to be received in PF1 (with good reason). Would really have liked to see an example that would actually come into play in more than like 15% of adventures. That said, I do really like this implementation of archetypes - much more flexible than PF or SF!


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This looks good. I am kind of expecting the magus and warpriest to show up as archetypes.

Paizo Employee Designer

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NielsenE wrote:
I agree that, superficially at least, the private feats look weaker/narrower than what I expect the class feats they're replacing offer. The only caveat is that they are granting signature skills and from what we've heard so far its possible, but semi-rare, so that might be a large bit of their value.

Pirate is definitely the most situational archetype in the book, since if you aren't a pirate, chances are you won't want it, but it's also a really useful example archetype to learn the concept because of some of the simpler ways it comes together. I think people will be making a lot of use of some of the non-previewed archetypes, but they pretty much all have something about them that makes them a little idiosyncratic, whereas pirate is very prototypical aside from its niche of a nautical campaign being narrower than the others (which is less important for demonstration purposes).

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Xethik wrote:

While I like the Prestige archetype, I'm personally not too crazy about the Pirate one. The Pirate feats feels like they could be covered by General feats to me, thematically speaking.

But I'm one of the ones that will miss the old archetypes far too much to appreciate anything called archetypes again.

For an early accessible feat, we have a bonus to a specific circumstance, weapon proficiencies we may not already have, and a signature skill we didn't necessarily have tagged as such before. That seems like fair weight for a feat. It isn't combat crunch, no, but if one were in a Skull and Shackles type campaign (either the AP converted or a similar often-at-sea setting) this is setting up some good flavor with some options useful to the expectations of that game.

If this is generally typical of them, it's not terrible if you find one you like. There may not be many archetypes (at least early on) that will satisfy a more numbers-driven builder, but honestly the old rule of thumb for archetypes was they shouldn't be strictly more powerful than their base class, so I don't know how much room archetypes will have to deliver 'wow' options vs 'mmm tasty'.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Unicore wrote:
IT seems like no archetype can be applied from level 1 now. Is this true?

Nothing is stopping you from taking pirate dedication with your first level class feat, by the looks of it. It will probably depend on the archetype.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Archetypes on Friday, multi-class on Monday? Could it be, could it be? (Even with the resonance teaser in the parting line....)


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Unicore wrote:
IT seems like no archetype can be applied from level 1 now. Is this true?

All we know for sure is that neither of the archetypes described in this blog can be accessed before second level.


Is the distinction between archetypes and prestige archetypes really necessary? What differentiates a prestige archetype?


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For the record, though, I love that a) you're making Gray Maiden an available concept off the bat and I hope you do that with all of the major organizations in Golarion (Hellknights, Red Mantis, etc.) and b) I love that the Gray Maiden feats appear to be actually really useful for the kinds of characters who would become Gray Maidens.

Paizo Employee

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FedoraFerret wrote:
Pirate seems like a really specific kind of thing to be putting in the Playtest. Barring someone running a Skull and Shackles conversion I don't see anyone touching it.

Given that the playtest will be accompanied by a custom adventure specifically designed to stress-test different parts of the system, it's possible that there are a few aquatic combats included in that adventure. That would actually make a lot of sense since aquatic combat in the current edition has several complex layers of rules. The fact that it gives multiple signature skills could also factor in to why it was chosen, to see how classes that lack those skills are affected by using the archetype (or how many classes that get one or more of those signature skills still find value in taking the archetype).

edduardco wrote:
Is the distinction between archetypes and prestige archetypes really necessary? What differentiates a prestige archetype?

At a glance, the prestige archetype has more prereqs, those prereqs include specific roleplay elements (must be a member of the Gray Maidens), and the prestige archetype doesn't become available until around 6th level, when a current edition prestige class usually comes online.


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So are the archetypes that remove some abilities in exchange for others gone?

I like this type of archetype, because it expresses specializing in a an aspect of that class (similar to a wizard selecting a school). Two examples that come to mind are the Armor Master and Polearm Master fighter archetypes from Pathfinder 1. In these, the fighter skips some training in weapons to focus on defense, or skips some training in weapon variety to focus on a type of weapon.

The old system allowed two fighters to be very different, almost as different as a fighter and a ranger, even at first level. The new system sounds like all fighters will have the same generic base abilities and then just advance separately. This doesn't seem much different than feat trees, like the Pathfinder 1 Critical Focus tree, Blindfight tree, or Feint tree.


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I quite like this. Very similar to Starfinder.

The only concern I would have would be with classes that are heavily reliant on class feats for their class flavour. In Starfinder the Envoy for example relies completely on their 'Improvisations' for their class abilities and an Envoy character taking Starfinder archetype makes it barely an Envoy. I can see a similar problem happening here if some classes are more reliant on their class feats than others.

A Starfinder homebrew that I think might be good for Pathfinder core is to make it a choice whether to give up Class feats or some other kind of feat in order to choose the Archetype Feat. It messes with the progression by a level though... so it might just be a table rule for any game I might run.


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I like what I see with the structure of the archetypes, though my Spidey sense is tingling as to the power level. Just using the pirate dedication as an example, what if I already have acrobatics as a signature skill and am already trained with those weapon? Both of those seem like things easily gained through class (especially ones chosen for a pirate character) and greatly reduce the appeal of the dedication feat.
I worry issues like this will deter players from going with archetypes, but I withhold judgment until I have the playtest in my hands.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Ssalarn wrote:
FedoraFerret wrote:
Pirate seems like a really specific kind of thing to be putting in the Playtest. Barring someone running a Skull and Shackles conversion I don't see anyone touching it.
Given that the playtest will be accompanied by a custom adventure specifically designed to stress-test different parts of the system, it's possible that there are a few aquatic combats included in that adventure. That would actually make a lot of sense since aquatic combat in the current edition has several complex layers of rules. The fact that it gives multiple signature skills could also factor in to why it was chosen, to see how classes that lack those skills are affected by using the archetype (or how many classes that get one or more of those signature skills still find value in taking the archetype).

It's in more as a prototype/proof of concept (it's the first archetype ever built using this chassis), which makes it the obvious choice for this blog. That said, for group who don't expect much in the way of nautical or aquatic situations, you will be much more likely to use the other archetypes. Those are the ones I've seen in play (including a Gray Maiden). And some of them are really exciting (at least to me).

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
NielsenE wrote:
I agree that, superficially at least, the private feats look weaker/narrower than what I expect the class feats they're replacing offer. The only caveat is that they are granting signature skills and from what we've heard so far its possible, but semi-rare, so that might be a large bit of their value.
Pirate is definitely the most situational archetype in the book, since if you aren't a pirate, chances are you won't want it, but it's also a really useful example archetype to learn the concept because of some of the simpler ways it comes together. I think people will be making a lot of use of some of the non-previewed archetypes, but they pretty much all have something about them that makes them a little idiosyncratic, whereas pirate is very prototypical aside from its niche of a nautical campaign being narrower than the others (which is less important for demonstration purposes).

It may be good as an example of baseline for archetype design, but as with a number of previous preview blogs, it's a bit underwhelming for purposes of grabbing attention. A little bit like movie previews, the expectation is the preview will be highlighting some of the better offerings of the movie, and if the preview is a bit flat, then the reaction tends to be less enthusiastic than the preview maker wanted. And while I love you guys long time, too many of the previews have chosen to show things that aren't very sit-up-and-notice, and then try to sell us on how that piece is amazing and awesome. (I've been wanting to say that for weeks...)


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So the one thing I really hope is not gone from Pathfinder 2nd Edition is Archetypes which interact with, replace, or change class features which are not feats.

A lot of the time I might want to pick an archetype because I wanted to get rid of some class feature which did not fit my concept for my character. For example, a gentleman rogue who would not stoop to stabbing someone in the back (phantom thief), or a lady with an blade of pure energy who does not just blast people at range (kinetic knight.) Sometimes just changing the key stat of a character is really helpful for a concept- like if I imagine my Magus is charming but impulsive not very thoughtful the Eldritch Scion archetype does nicely.

So I hope upon hope, though they may not be in core, that we get some archetypes which fundamentally change a specific class and not just occupy feat slots; though I admit printing a universal "pirate" archetype or "gun" archetype is vastly superior to a dozen different "Uses boats/guns" archetypes.


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One thing I like about archetypes being feat lines is that it lets you come into them later in your character's life than PF1 archetypes would allow. This could lead to some interesting development in characters.


Agreed that pirate seems a little niche, but I think it's also fairly powerful if you are in an aquatic campaign. Just hopefully most will be designed to be a bit more broad than that.

Also, if Grey Maiden is an indication, anyone else think the Prestige Archetypes might be a little too powerful? I guess without comparing it to other level 6 or 8 feats we won't know, but it does feel a bit stronger than some of the things we've seen so far.


I'm hopeful for Archetypes to be easier to work with than in PF1, and it's looking like they'll be more versatile (certain selection of Pirate usable for any other Sailor, much?) which is another plus in my book.


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Azih wrote:

I quite like this. Very similar to Starfinder.

The only concern I would have would be with classes that are heavily reliant on class feats for their class flavour. In Starfinder the Envoy for example relies completely on their 'Improvisations' for their class abilities and an Evoy character taking Starfinder archetype makes it barely an Envoy. I can see a similar problem happening here if some classes are more reliant on their class feats than others.

A Starfinder homebrew that I think might be good for Pathfinder core is to make it a choice whether to give up Class feats or some other kind of feat in order to choose the Archetype Feat. It messes with the progression by a level though... so it might be a table rule for any game I might run.

It just adds them to your class feat pool, it doesn't preclude taking regular class feats.

(I will note it did take me a read and a half to get that, though. Could be more clearly worded in the article.)

Liberty's Edge

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Mark Seifter wrote:
kaineblade83 wrote:

I really like this concept, and it feels like a good place to make the prestige classes of old go. Knowing that the feats are available later feels really cool too, but it does make me question; isn't that how all feats work?

It hasn't been stated as far as I've seen, and if it has I welcome correction! But, can you go back and pick a lower level class/ancestry/skill feat at a later level, as we could in PF1, or are they locked into that level? Or, perhaps, is it a matter of selection, and if you pick one at a certain level you can't go back and pick another?

No, you're right on that. The contrast Jason was setting was with PF1 archetypes, where if they overlapped in one tiny way, even if the two archetypes are really amazing together for a concept, they weren't legal to take together.

Thanks for the reply, Mark! And that's good to hear and has me even more excited than I was before. I love adding more options without completely locking out old ones, that's one of the things that kept me away from some of the archetypes in PF1 that I might have otherwise taken.

So for example, even if you only took one archetype, you could come back later and pick up any class feats you might have wanted to take but missed out on at the time by picking archetype-related feats. There are, of course, only so many feats to go around, but still, I like this a lot!

Paizo Employee Designer

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kwiqsilver wrote:

So are the archetypes that remove some abilities in exchange for others gone?

I like this type of archetype, because it expresses specializing in a an aspect of that class (similar to a wizard selecting a school). Two examples that come to mind are the Armor Master and Polearm Master fighter archetypes from Pathfinder 1. In these, the fighter skips some training in weapons to focus on defense, or skips some training in weapon variety to focus on a type of weapon.

The old system allowed two fighters to be very different, almost as different as a fighter and a ranger, even at first level. The new system sounds like all fighters will have the same generic base abilities and then just advance separately. This doesn't seem much different than feat trees, like the Pathfinder 1 Critical Focus tree, Blindfight tree, or Feint tree.

There is still design space for archetypes that morph something specific in a class. However, putting out several of them for each class would take a pretty big footprint in the playtest book, and the thing we have less testing on is these types of archetypes anyone can take.

Liberty's Edge

Mark, can you tell us how many archetypes are in the book?

Scarab Sages

PossibleCabbage wrote:

So the one thing I really hope is not gone from Pathfinder 2nd Edition is Archetypes which interact with, replace, or change class features which are not feats.

A lot of the time I might want to pick an archetype because I Wanted to get rid of some class feature which did not fit my concept for my character. For example, a gentleman rogue who would not stoop to stabbing someone in the back (phantom thief), or a lady with an blade of pure energy who does not just blast people at range (kinetic knight.) Sometimes just changing the key stat of a character is really helpful for a concept- like if I imagine my Magus is charming but impulsive not very thoughtful the Eldritch Scion archetype does nicely.

So I hope upon hope, though they may not be in core, that we get some archetypes which fundamentally change a specific class and not just occupy feat slots; though I admit printing a universal "pirate" archetype or "gun" archetype is vastly superior to a dozen different "Uses boats/guns" archetypes.

Considering that most class features are now class feats, I'm not sure you are going to get what you want.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
kwiqsilver wrote:

So are the archetypes that remove some abilities in exchange for others gone?

...

I suspect that the PF1 class specific archetypes can be replicated by a simple collection of class feats (or a class feat tree) - or the Dedication feat could have a class as a prerequisite if the archetype feats change a core part of the class


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like the idea, and it seems fun. But I really do hope they actually release more narrow archetypes after core rulebook. I get why for space they can't here, but in the future I hope we do get archetypes limited to types of magic, or classes or specific religions.


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This solves the question of why wouldn't anyone just take an archetype if they just add additional feats to your character - there's an entry cost. I think the mechanic of this works well, although I think you should be able to take your entry feat at level 1, since characters do get a class feat at level 1 as I understand it. This would allow people to begin the game as an archetyped character, which would make a ton of sense for a lot of character concepts.

The power level needs to be watched closely on the archetype feats. Since they're not as broadly applicable as a general class feat, they should probably be a little stronger than a generic class feat as the benefit for their price of being more specialized.

For instance, take boarding action. I like the concept, but that scenario of boarding or disembarking a ship will only come up a few times even in an actual nautical campaign, let alone any other campaign. Even in those few combats over the course of the campaign where you do board a ship, the benefit only applies for one round in that combat. As such, it should at least always allow you to make the strike - making it an archetype-locked instead of class-locked version of Sudden Charge - with it being the bonus damage that is locked behind the disembark action.

I like prestige archetypes as a replacement for prestige classes. I was actually already doing something very similar in my houserules for my Starfinder game! Glad to see I'm on the same wavelength as the designers here.

Overall I'm very positive on this, I just want a close eye on the actual utility of these things. :)

Liberty's Edge

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Totally called it!

Class Feats to pick up Archetypes, AMAZING!

The fact that I can advance an Archetype without advancing a specific Class is just great! Multiclass Archetype support is GREATLY advanced with this approach!

Now instead of players feeling like they are "taxed" certain class abilities to get access to an Archetype, they have AGENCY to choose to focus their Class Abilities in this way.

Very well done, I love it!

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