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Sean's advice for the 2013 archetype round


RPG Superstar™ General Discussion

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Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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We'll reveal the actual R2 archetype round rules (including the twist) on or shortly after 12/20 so you can get started on designing your archetype early (in other words, you shouldn't wait to see if you got voted into the Top 32 before you start working on your archetype).

Here's some advice in anticipation of that. (This is adapted from a post I did while judging the 2011 archetype round, back when archetypes were still new and there weren't a lot of guidelines or examples about them.)

1) Just because the math is the same doesn't mean it has the same value.
Not all skills have the same value. Appraise is a much weaker skill in the game than Perception. Handle Animal is weaker than Stealth. And so on.
A bonus on sunder checks is less useful than a bonus on grapple checks because grapple comes up far more often than sunder.
So when you take away bardic knowledge (+1/2 level to all Knowledge checks) and giving them +1/2 level to combat-useful skills like Bluff, Perception, and/or Stealth, it isn't an even trade. Even taking a rogue's trapfinding (+1/2 level to Perc and DD against traps) and applying it to all Perc checks is a significant powerup because you use generic-Perception far, far more than you use trap-Perception.

2) An offensive bonus is more valuable than a defensive bonus of the same number.
The game favors offense over defense. Attack bonuses increase faster than AC bonuses, and that's intentional so higher-level fights don't become stale (you hit more often at higher levels, and your iteratives are at least somewhat viable). So if you take away a class ability that gives +X to AC or saving throws and replace it with an ability that gives +X to attack rolls or DCs, that is a powerup.

3) You should trade abilities one-for-one.
It's better to swap out one existing class ability for one archetype ability of the same power level.
Don't try to swap two weak abilities for a stronger one. Odds are, those two abilities are available at different class levels, and if someone multiclasses out of your archetype before they hit that second ability's class level, they never end up paying the appropriate cost for the strong archetype ability you gave them.
Don't try to add a penalizing or limiting "ability" to compensate for a new ability that's stronger than the original class's ability.
Just focus on class abilities one at a time and balance what you're swapping in against what you're swapping out.
So if you're doing a rogue archetype and want to swap evasion for something, try to balance what you're bringing in against *just* evasion. If your ability is too powerful, don't think, "oh, I'll just say the archetype also loses trapfinding, that'll compensate for this new ability"... instead, tone down the new ability so it's balanced against evasion.
(This also means the archetype is open to more characters who want to experiment with multiple archetypes, because you're swapping fewer abilities.)

4) Limiting an existing class ability to one already-available choice isn't cool, nor is it a limitation.
A rogue archetype that says "you have to take this rogue talent at level 4" isn't cool.
A fighter archetype that says "you have to take this weapon category at level 5" isn't cool.
And, assuming that choice is especially appropriate for that character, it's not really a limitation because the character would probably want that thing anyway. A character with a dagger-fighter archetype wants to take "light blades" for weapon training, so forcing him to do it isn't a limitation to the character at all, and you shouldn't treat it like it's a penalty or weakness to justify making another new class ability better (as in, "oh, the daggermaster has to take "light blades," so to compensate for that limitation I'll give the archetype this other cool thing...").

5) Giving away too much at low levels encourages multiclass dipping.
If your class gives away a lot of cool stuff at low levels (particularly 1st or 2nd, and especially if it compensates for that by cutting higher-level abilities, which it should not do, see advice #3), you've just given minmaxers a good reason to take a level in that class just for those goodies that augment their main class.

6) Don't swap in a new ability that's simply better than the original.
Don't swap out wild shape for an ability that's wild shape + rage. Don't swap out Weapon Spec for an ability that's Weapon Spec + Improved Disarm. And so on. (See also advice #3, as that and this often go hand in hand.)

7) Keep in mind the character level where comparable abilities become available.
If another class gains a certain ability or spell at level X, don't award that spell or ability to this class before level X. Especially if that's a key ability of that class.
Frex, you shouldn't give an ability like fireball or fly before character level 5 (when a wizard could get those spells), nor should you give short-range teleport effects before character level 7 (when a wizard would have access to dimension door).

8) Write in third person singular and remember the iconics.
Archetypes are written in the third person; they say "A trapsmith can bypass traps when blah blah blah," not "you can bypass traps blah blah blah." As a developer, I'm a crusader for making the rules use second-person as much as possible, but there is a precedent for using third person for archetypes and we're not going to change that right now.
In general, rules text is cleaner if you write about one creature rather than multiple creatures. For example, "A trapsmith can bypass traps blah blah blah," rather than "Trapsmiths can bypass traps, blah blah blah." In other words, write as if you're talking about a single person with that archetype, not about all people who have that archetype. Doing so also means you can avoid using the word "they" as a gender-neutral pronoun, which is a pet peeve for at least one notable Paizo employee.
Because you're writing about a singular person and not using "they", that means you'll have to decide whether to use "he" or "she" for some of your sentences. Use the gender of the iconic associated with the original class your archetype modifies. For example, if you're writing a rogue archetype, the iconic rogue is Merisiel, who is female, so you'd say something like "A trapsmith can use this ability against magical traps, but she blah blah blah."
iconic genders. singular.

9) Avoid pseudo-talents, pseudo-rage powers, pseudo-combat feats and so on.
If your archetype replaces the level 2 rogue talent with a specific new ability, odds are you could just write up that ability as a rogue talent and make it available for all rogues. Ditto for barbarian rage powers, fighter combat feats, and so on—any rules element built into a class where the player gets to choose from a list. This kind of relates to advice #4—if you're replacing a make-a-choice ability with a specific ability, that's forcing a choice on the player.
Also, this round's challenge is design an archetype, not design a new make-a-choice ability for a class. If that's all your archetype does, you're missing the mark.
There are times where your specific idea for an archetype works best if you design it to replace a make-a-choice ability, especially if you don't want your new ability to be something available to all members of that class. For example, if you are making a "ghost hunter" rogue archetype and you want the 6th-level ability to make the rogue's weapons count as ghost touch, it makes sense that this ability shouldn't be something available to all rogues as a common rogue talent. However, you still may be better off replacing some other class ability with this new ability instead of trying to use that rogue talent slot.

10) Replace an entire ability rather than a specific level's piece of that ability.
For example, say "This ability replaces channel energy," not "This ability replaces the channel energy increase at level 5."
There are several reasons why this is so.
• A scaling ability (one which powers up at a regular increment as the character levels, such as armor training, channel energy, inspire courage, slow fall, and trap sense) is one class ability, not multiple class abilities under one class ability header. If you swap out channel energy, you should replace it with one good ability that scales up over all 20 class levels, not 10 weakling abilities that are individually worth as much as a +1d6 channel energy.
• It makes it easier for the player to track what abilities they keep or lose. If an archetype replaces channel energy (instead of just the 3rd-level channel energy), the reader knows she can immediately skip any archetype that replaces channel energy—she doesn't have to scrutinize the text to see if Archetype-A replaces the 3rd-level channel but leaves the 5th-level channel, allowing her to take Archetype-B which only replaces the 5th-level channel.
• It encourages you to think of the ability as a whole, and reinforces advice #3.
• It's not always clear what happens if the ability scales before and after where the archetype swaps it. For example, if you swap the 3rd-level increase to channel energy, when the cleric hits 5th level does she jump from channel energy 1d6 to channel energy 3d6 (in which case the "cost" paid for the archetype ability no longer matters), or is she forever one increment behind an unmodified character and therefore gains channel energy 2d6 at 5th level, 3d6 at 7th level, and so on?
Are there published archetypes that violate this bit of advice? Yes. Are these archetypes a little confusing? Some of them, yes, even with explanatory text at the beginning of the chapter clarifying how this works. That means the professional freelancers (and professional developers) sometimes have difficulty making these kinds of swaps understandable, which means you should be hesitant to try doing so.

11) The start of the ability should say what level you gain the archetype's ability.
Do it, even if you're swapping it for an ability you get at the same class level (which is how 99% of them should work, anyway).
Putting this at the front lets the reader know she can either read the ability (if she's that level) or ignore it (if she's not), and in combat when you're desperately trying to find something to save your character's life, being able to skip stuff like that helps.

12) Remember to mention the swapped-out ability at the end of your ability's description.
Specifically, add a sentence to the very end of your ability that says,
This ability replaces X.
... where "X" is the name of the ability it replaces. Please don't leave the "X" in your submission. :p

Thanks, and good luck!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka motteditor

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
We'll reveal the actual R2 archetype round rules (including the twist) on or shortly after 12/20 so you can get started on designing your archetype early (in other words, you shouldn't wait to see if you got voted into the Top 32 before you start working on your archetype).

Very cool.

If anyone wants to take this idea, I got it while congratulating a fellow competitor on his new baby: Mohel (cleric).

You know you want to do it! : )


All in all great advice and exceedingly helpful, but there's something I've been wondering since you posted a similar list a few years ago. Most of the fighter archetypes run headfirst into #4 and to a lesser extent #10. The modus operandi of the "specific fighting style" fighter archetypes is to restrict the weapon training to one weapon group, or provide a bonus similar to weapon training, and giving new abilities to replace higher tiers of weapon training, which as you point out probably won't be used since they'll be using their primary fighting style.

Do you have any advice with that in mind? This seems like it'd be an issue for many of the more feature-deficient classes like the sorcerer, oracle, cleric, or wizard, so any advice on gotchas for those type of classes would be greatly appreciated.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013 aka Shadow-Mask

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Thank you for posting this, Sean. I twitched more than a little seeing archetypes again this year. :P

Also, thank you Paizo for posting the twist before the Top 32 are announced. The extra time isn't good for the hairpulling; I may very well be bald by the time the Top 32 are announced. It is excellent for averting the panic attack I expected to occur on a three-day deadline if I make it to Round 2 this year. :)

Star Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks for this advice. From the look of it, I think a lot of it can be applied to the Wondrous Item round, as well.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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Thanks Shaun. It's good to see such thoughtful guidance on what to look out for when translating an awesome idea into an appropriately balanced and cleanly executed set of game mechanics.

Should help to raise the bar for that awkward second round.

Star Voter 2013

Will McCardell wrote:

...there's something I've been wondering since you posted a similar list a few years ago. Most of the fighter archetypes run headfirst into #4 and to a lesser extent #10. The modus operandi of the "specific fighting style" fighter archetypes is to restrict the weapon training to one weapon group, or provide a bonus similar to weapon training, and giving new abilities to replace higher tiers of weapon training, which as you point out probably won't be used since they'll be using their primary fighting style.

Do you have any advice with that in mind? ...

If I were to interpret the advice above, I'd say that you can save their word count. To use the daggermaster as an example; if it were published in Ultimate Combat or such, it probably would say 'a daggermaster must take light blades'.

When you're writing for R2, however, you could instead skip that entirely because you can assume if your other abilities are already focused on daggers, the fighter will be taking light blades anyways.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan

Marie Small wrote:
I may very well be bald by the time the Top 32 are announced.

And herein lies my advantage. Already being bald eliminates any effort wasted at pulling out my hair!

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Hi Sean & fellow designers...

Some classes are kind of odd and difficult to do an archetype for.

Take an Oracle for example.

Now, if I were to tackle that, would I replace the selections for a given miracle/revelation [item 3 in your list](effectively creating a new miracle/revelation with some choices the same as the base one), or would I have to say replace all the miracle steps in the class progression [item 10 in your list] with completely new powers/abilities instead?

Miracle is kind of the base of the Oracle, so I wouldn't want to take that away, it's what makes an Oracle an Oracle. I also want to avoid the "replaces your miracle spell choice at level X" that you advise against.

I will admit one of my archetype ideas is oracle based, but thought an open question would benefit more people regarding these more tricky classes, so I hope you don't mind me asking here an now.

Andoran RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka JoelF847

RonarsCorruption wrote:
Will McCardell wrote:

...there's something I've been wondering since you posted a similar list a few years ago. Most of the fighter archetypes run headfirst into #4 and to a lesser extent #10. The modus operandi of the "specific fighting style" fighter archetypes is to restrict the weapon training to one weapon group, or provide a bonus similar to weapon training, and giving new abilities to replace higher tiers of weapon training, which as you point out probably won't be used since they'll be using their primary fighting style.

Do you have any advice with that in mind? ...

If I were to interpret the advice above, I'd say that you can save their word count. To use the daggermaster as an example; if it were published in Ultimate Combat or such, it probably would say 'a daggermaster must take light blades'.

When you're writing for R2, however, you could instead skip that entirely because you can assume if your other abilities are already focused on daggers, the fighter will be taking light blades anyways.

Isn't it different though to say the dagger master must take light blades, which assumes that they can't then take other weapon groups at higher levels, and not saying anything, which assumes that the dagger master would take light blades as his first weapon group, but then at higher levels could still get weapon training in other groups, while their light blades training increases? Limiting weapon training to light blades not only forces the choice in a specific weapon group, but it removes subsequent weapon groups from their abilities.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Will McCardell wrote:

All in all great advice and exceedingly helpful, but there's something I've been wondering since you posted a similar list a few years ago. Most of the fighter archetypes run headfirst into #4 and to a lesser extent #10. The modus operandi of the "specific fighting style" fighter archetypes is to restrict the weapon training to one weapon group, or provide a bonus similar to weapon training, and giving new abilities to replace higher tiers of weapon training, which as you point out probably won't be used since they'll be using their primary fighting style.

Do you have any advice with that in mind? This seems like it'd be an issue for many of the more feature-deficient classes like the sorcerer, oracle, cleric, or wizard, so any advice on gotchas for those type of classes would be greatly appreciated.

And related:

Anthony Adam wrote:
Some classes are kind of odd and difficult to do an archetype for.

Rock. (You.) Hard place.

We inherited these classes from 3.5, and they weren't designed with archetypes in mind (as they weren't thought up until the APG), so some classes have fewer swappable pieces (the cleric is especially bad in this regard, as it only has spellcasting and channel energy, and we don't normally swap out spellcasting).

My advice for a fighter archetype is to look at the other class elements and find swaps for those. A standard fighter is a well-rounded class with bonuses for (eventually) several types of weapons, scaling bonuses in armor, and a resistance to fear. If you focus the archetype's weapon use on a particular type of weapon (say, daggers), the player's go-to is to choose the light blades weapon group right away, and the other weapon groups are almost ignored. So instead, you could...
• Make the archetype replace all weapon training and instead give a unique dagger-related ability (perhaps one that scales).
• And because the focus is on daggers rather than being well-rounded with respect to armor, maybe you swap out armor training for something.
• And ditto for bravery. It makes the player's choice of taking that archetype meaningful, doesn't force the character to choose a specific make-a-choice class option, and makes the class stand out from a normal version of that class.

Anthony Adam wrote:
Now, if I were to tackle that, would I replace the selections for a given miracle/revelation [item 3 in your list](effectively creating a new miracle/revelation with some choices the same as the base one), or would I have to say replace all the miracle steps in the class progression [item 10 in your list] with completely new powers/abilities instead?

I don't consider mysteries/revelations a scaling class feature in the way that trap sense or bravery is—it's more like rogue talents, combat feats, or rage powers. Mysteries/revelations are a key element of the oracle class, and if you swapped them out, you'd have a class that wasn't much like an oracle any more (as you said, it's what makes an oracle an oracle), so I do not recommend that. And even if you replace it with something parallel, you run into advice #9, in that the archetype round is about designing an archetype, not (for an oracle) a new mystery.

If you're having a hard time fitting your concept into the game mechanics "chunks" you have for a particular class, maybe it's better to try it with a different class, or try a different idea altogether.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
If you're having a hard time fitting your concept into the game mechanics "chunks" you have for a particular class, maybe it's better to try it with a different class, or try a different idea altogether.

On the other hand, I can easily see contestants picking a difficult class in order to challenge themselves and demonstrate to the judges and the voting public that they are up to it.

Marathon Voter 2013

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

That's a thought I had as well.

"What Would Neil Do?"

Pick Cleric.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Hmmm, think I,ll keep my idea for Wayfinder - the flavour just goes so tightly hand in hand with oracle it would be a real shame to try and fit it elsewhere :)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka motteditor

Cheapy wrote:

That's a thought I had as well.

"What Would Neil Do?"
Pick Cleric.

Exactly. Look at his comments over time about Gulga Cench and how he did that specifically to help show what he could do.

Andoran

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So how would you approach a potential archetype for an alternate class? I know the alternate classes were created originally as archetypes but so much changed that a whole class write-up was necessary instead of the short archetype treatment.

Are these alternate classes essentially to be treated as archetypes themselves (thus can’t get their own archetype) or are they to be treated as classes that could get their own archetypes if one were created?

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Cheapy wrote:
"What Would Neil Do?" Pick Cleric.

Possibly. Or, I may have been tempted to do a bard archetype...and swap out his bardic performance abilities. Or, maybe a cavalier...and swap out all of the mounted combat/charge abilities (though the hound master archetype the first go-around was pretty impressive, in that regard).

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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There's nothing in the game preventing you from making an archetype for an alternate class, or a prestige class or NPC class for that matter. It would work just like an archetype for a core or base class.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:

That's a thought I had as well.

"What Would Neil Do?"

Pick Cleric.

Hmmm, with Neil's word rate he would

Write a new class and get it on the product schedule and then do an archetype for it all in just 2 days lapse ;p

Marathon Voter 2013

What were the word limites for the previous archetype rounds? I am curious. I have some ideas surfacing, but they might be wordy.

Thank you.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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2011 Round 2 Rules

Cheliax Star Voter 2013

awesome advice, i'll keep it in mind if i actually make it through this year

Marathon Voter 2013

450!? Oy! I mean pffft. 450! Hahaha. 200 would have been a challenged. 450 is a walk in the park.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go cry for an unrelated reason.

Thank you, mr. Reynolds.

Star Voter 2013

Neil Spicer wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
"What Would Neil Do?" Pick Cleric.
Possibly. Or, I may have been tempted to do a bard archetype...and swap out his bardic performance abilities. Or, maybe a cavalier...and swap out all of the mounted combat/charge abilities (though the hound master archetype the first go-around was pretty impressive, in that regard).

Ssh! If you say any more all my pre-work for round 2 will make me seem like I'm trying to copy you. ;)

Dedicated Voter 2013

I am assuming it would be fair game to design an archetype for a specific race, as in the Advanced Race Guide?

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013 aka Shadow-Mask

We don't know, Correlon. That's the twist. ;)

Regardless, after going through the archetype wringer in 2011, Sean's advice still applies.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka motteditor

I wouldn't be surprised if it's not only fair game, Correlon, but a requirement. (Though I got pretty much every twist wrong last year, so take that with a grain of salt.)

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

I want this round soooooo bad. Thanks used this as a checklist for my archetype, checked good. Crossing fingers.

Osirion RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

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Will McCardell wrote:
All in all great advice and exceedingly helpful, but there's something I've been wondering since you posted a similar list a few years ago. Most of the fighter archetypes run headfirst into #4 and to a lesser extent #10. The modus operandi of the "specific fighting style" fighter archetypes is to restrict the weapon training to one weapon group, or provide a bonus similar to weapon training, and giving new abilities to replace higher tiers of weapon training, which as you point out probably won't be used since they'll be using their primary fighting style.

When I wrote those archetypes for the APG, they were part of a very specific effort to create the basic archetypes for those kind of weapon specialties. The APG was the first time archetypes were used, and Paizo wanted to create a baseline for what archetypes were and to kind of get those basics out of the way. Fighter archetypes in later products have mostly branched out into different things instead of being "I'm a specialist in THIS kind of weapon."

You can compare those archetypes to the magic items in the Core Rulebook. They work, they're useful, but they're not necessarily the sine qua non of impressive Superstar design chops. Same thing here. "Fighter-that-uses-this-weapon" is a thing that needs to be in the game, but it's not going to be your best measuring stick for making a dynamite archetype for this competition.

As is often said, Superstar is not a contest to show that you can design something that could show up in rulebook someday. You want to show that you have a spark of creativity, excellent mechanical savvy and inventiveness, and the ability to bring it over and over on tight turnaround.

Will McCardell wrote:
Do you have any advice with that in mind? This seems like it'd be an issue for many of the more feature-deficient classes like the sorcerer, oracle, cleric, or wizard, so any advice on gotchas for those type of classes would be greatly appreciated.

It does make your job harder, which leaves you with a choice: Go for something easier to make work without running into traps, or go for something harder and hope to make a bigger splash by succeeding with challenging material. Either strategy is perfectly valid; just find your best idea and go for it!

Star Voter 2013

So the funny thing is the archetype round was actually what really made me want to give this thing a go. I had my archetype made before I even knew about this contest I even had it done before I made my wondrous item. :P

Cheliax RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka Boxhead

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Rock. (You.) Hard place.

We inherited these classes from 3.5, and they weren't designed with archetypes in mind (as they weren't thought up until the APG), so some classes have fewer swappable pieces (the cleric is especially bad in this regard, as it only has spellcasting and channel energy, and we don't normally swap out spellcasting).

My advice for a fighter archetype is to look at the other class elements and find swaps for those. A standard fighter is a well-rounded class with bonuses for (eventually) several types of weapons, scaling bonuses in armor, and a resistance to fear. If you focus the archetype's weapon use on a particular type of weapon (say, daggers), the player's go-to is to choose the light blades weapon group right away, and the other weapon groups are almost ignored. So instead, you could...
• Make the archetype replace all weapon training and instead give a unique dagger-related ability (perhaps one that scales).
• And because the focus is on daggers rather than being well-rounded with respect to armor, maybe you swap out...

For an example of exactly what this might look like, with the judges' advice already in place, check out 2011!

In fact, there were two!


Thanks Sean, I have my archetype typed up (fingers crossed I make it) but I am tweaking some things here and there with this advice. I'm a little nervous that if I get to submit it, it will be a little odd...

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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@Saffire and Pendin: I'll repeat here something I said on another thread. Don't get locked into a single concept for later rounds. That's a trap. You don't know what the requirements of round two will be, and you don't want to get stuck on a concept that might just not fit. It's great that you've created an archetype already, and puts you in a good position. Now set it aside and write another one. Write a racial archetype. Write a martial archetype. Write an archetype connected to a PFS faction. Practice and hone.

Then start writing practice monsters.


Thanks for the advice Will! I was debating to try a racial archetype, but you're words put me over the top...throw it at the wall and see what sticks!

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka Ezekiel Shanoax, the Stormchild

How is a racial archetype different design-wise from a "plain" class archetype?

Obviously, since entry into the archetype requires both a specific class and a specific race, it is more restrictive. (right?) However, is there a recognized and permissible trade-off for that restrictiveness... perhaps in the form of allowing a racial archetype be slightly more powerful?

Correlon wrote:
I am assuming it would be fair game to design an archetype for a specific race, as in the Advanced Race Guide?

Andoran Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Racial archetypes can improve on a races specific abilities. For example a half orc archetype that gives bonuses during the round you are using orc ferocity.

Taldor Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Argh! I can't decide if I'm hopeful that I would get to participate in this round or terrified of it. Better get to practicing...just in case. :)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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You won't regret practicing. Even if you don't make it to round 2 this time, you could still polish up your best ideas and submit them to the next Wayfinder magazine.

And if you do make it you will be so glad of the practice. So glad!

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Can I also suggest that everyone intending to try again if they don't make it to keep their wondrous items they didn't submit, because...

When the blazing 9 community designer thread comes along, you can post them up for dissection and comment. I learnt so much in this year's thread and a lot from people who have made Top 32 and higher who often pop in, critique and pop away again.

It's a great way of keeping the Superstar spirit alive all year long.

If you really, really want to have a good read, you can find the Blazing 9 thread just finished this year here.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Hodge Podge

I have a few items that I ended up not submitting. I've been somewhat eager to show everybody since I like them so much, but I remembered something to the effect of "Don't take the spotlight away from the actual wondrous items up for consideration. Wait until the round's over!"

So yes, that thread! :)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka nate lange

am i correct in assuming that 'rule 27' applies to pretty much every round (assuming we can maintain balance still)?

also, isn't it about time we started a thread for speculating about the round two 'twist' (and bemoaning the fact that we're probably all wrong...)?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka Ezekiel Shanoax, the Stormchild

Coridan wrote:
Racial archetypes can improve on a races specific abilities. For example a half orc archetype that gives bonuses during the round you are using orc ferocity.

But what if the PC swapped out a racial ability (racial trait) with an alternate racial trait?

Is it acceptable to say that: "This racial archetype is limited to half-orc alchemists who chose the beastmaster alternative racial trait..."?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Hodge Podge

Matt Banach wrote:
Is it acceptable to say that: "This racial archetype is limited to half-orc alchemists who chose the beastmaster alternative racial trait..."?

Why not just give them the trait as part of the class?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka Ezekiel Shanoax, the Stormchild

Chris Shaeffer wrote:
Matt Banach wrote:
Is it acceptable to say that: "This racial archetype is limited to half-orc alchemists who chose the beastmaster alternative racial trait..."?
Why not just give them the trait as part of the class?

Interesting... So then what would be the trade-off for them gaining that trait? I suppose we could try and figure out what a racial trait is "worth"...

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Hodge Podge

Ooh, or even better. Make it something like the trait, only it stacks with/compliments the trait somehow if they want both.

I'm sure there's some minor thing you could switch out...
*Dives into PRD*

Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I believe that there's an Uncommon Race archetype that gives an alternative racial trait, although this is strictly from memory and may be a Rare race's archetype or feat.

Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Uncommon -> featured; rare -> uncommon. Whoops.


Cheapy wrote:
I believe that there's an Uncommon Race archetype that gives an alternative racial trait, although this is strictly from memory and may be a Rare race's archetype or feat.

Its the Grippli Alchemist archetype. Bogbrewer? Something like that. It adds or enhances the toxic skin racial trait. (Don't sue me if that's not the trait's EXACT name. :-P)

Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yea! Bogborn Alchemist. They can take the trait in place of a discovery. The thing I knew of was the catfolk's claws alternative racial trait, which you can either gain or improve upon with the catfolk exemplar feat.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka SmiloDan

I just designed a cleric archetype. I think it's pretty tight. I also made up an alchemist one and I'm working on a bard one.

I might not make 22 archetypes (one for every class) for practice, but I might not not, too. ;-)

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