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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CoeusFreeze wrote:
I noticed that the price of armor is listed in silver rather than gold. Is this indicative in the overall paradigm of currency shifting?

Yes.


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CoeusFreeze wrote:
I noticed that the price of armor is listed in silver rather than gold. Is this indicative in the overall paradigm of currency shifting?

I believe that's the case. If for no other reason than to let people sell unwanted magic items for plausible (and portable) amounts of money. So your unwanted +3 magic sword sells for 2 lbs of platinum pieces, not 200 lbs of gold pieces.

It's a retcon, but probably a good one since the economy aggressively failed to hold up to scrutiny in the last version.


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MER-c wrote:

{. . .}

Another way to look at it is from a programming standpoint.
Everything in Pathfinder is an object with a level attribute, Feat extend Object and add Prerequisites, Actions, and Benefits, Class, Skill, General, and Ancestry Feats Inherit from Feat and extend it with their given attributes, The individual Feats Inherit and extend their respective Feat Subclass.
{. . .}

My computer analogy on edition evolution is more analogous to my experience with Windows versions: Windows XP had its problems, but what I wanted was bug fixes to Windows XP, not Windows Vista, nor Windows 7, and absolutely not Windows 8. Pathfinder 1st Edition was to D&D 3.5 what Windows XP was to Windows 2000 -- effectively D&D 3.75. I really wanted Pathfinder 2nd Edition to be D&D 3.875 . . . .

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Time to install Linux or something, then?

(I know nothing about non-Windows operating systems.)

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kalindlara wrote:

Time to install Linux or something, then?

(I know nothing about non-Windows operating systems.)

Go back for AD&D 2nd? I'm in. :D

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
By limiting archetype access to level 2 you can't have these sorts of archetypes that presume you have some sort of pre-existing condition or relationship, which is a big loss.

I guess it depends on how you look at it. To me, it opens the chance to play those things out instead of just assuming to have them, which is more of a win to me.

I also don't think that having this at level 2 prevents you in any way of already having formed a connection to the organisation in question or whatever the PF1 archetype assumes about your past. Also, while you could technically chose the archetype at level 1 already, the powers of the archetype often kick in at later levels - to stay with your examples, the Arakineticist's first special power is given at level 4, with Living Curse being more of a prereq than a feat.
The armiger's Hellknight order is again, more of a prereq, while Studious Squire can probably be handled by the way you build your character before applying the archetype. Magaambiyan Initiate seems to be a bit more tricky because Halcyon Spell lore replaces a level 1 class feat, but then we have no idea how an arcanist in PF 2 might look like, so if that will be a problem at all is still yet to be seen.

So worst case, you might have to build your origin story a bit around the chosen archetype but I can't see anything that outrightly prevents you to use them while still having a meaningful background that builds up to them.

So apart from the mention of level 3 items (I still hate that concept with a vengeance), I have to say that I mostly like what I read about the use of archetypes within PF 2 especially with regards to prestige archetpyes


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WormysQueue wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:

Time to install Linux or something, then?

(I know nothing about non-Windows operating systems.)

Go back for AD&D 2nd? I'm in. :D

I think the RPG equivalent of Linux would be Hero, or GURPS, or Mutants & Masterminds . . . and now I am again reminded that I really want Pathfinder 3rd Edition to be an unholy hybrid of Pathfinder 1st Edition with Mutants & Masterminds . . . .


UnArcaneElection wrote:
WormysQueue wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:

Time to install Linux or something, then?

(I know nothing about non-Windows operating systems.)

Go back for AD&D 2nd? I'm in. :D

I think the RPG equivalent of Linux would be Hero, or GURPS, or Mutants & Masterminds . . . and now I am again reminded that I really want Pathfinder 3rd Edition to be an unholy hybrid of Pathfinder 1st Edition with Mutants & Masterminds . . . .

My final draft is done! (there could still be one more draft honestly)


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I don't know if someone mentioned it before but to me it suddenly occured that the grey maidens are the example prestige archetype.

They are only relevant in a single city (afaik) have pretty harsh entry requirements (as the name implies 50% of the people of golarion disqualify per default) and are not typically heroes

Hellknights would have been a somewhat more logical choice. Well they are also not typical heroes I agree, but they have a similar theme (heavily armored elite soldiers), have somewhat less harsh entry requirements (at least you can be of any gender) and are relevant in around...well I am not sure but I think around a third of avistan at least

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
UnArcaneElection wrote:
WormysQueue wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:

Time to install Linux or something, then?

(I know nothing about non-Windows operating systems.)

Go back for AD&D 2nd? I'm in. :D
I think the RPG equivalent of Linux would be Hero, or GURPS, or Mutants & Masterminds

Thought about that. But then I remembered how terribly clunky and overly complicated Linux used to be. ;)


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Seisho wrote:

I don't know if someone mentioned it before but to me it suddenly occured that the grey maidens are the example prestige archetype.

They are only relevant in a single city (afaik) have pretty harsh entry requirements (as the name implies 50% of the people of golarion disqualify per default) and are not typically heroes

Hellknights would have been a somewhat more logical choice. Well they are also not typical heroes I agree, but they have a similar theme (heavily armored elite soldiers), have somewhat less harsh entry requirements (at least you can be of any gender) and are relevant in around...well I am not sure but I think around a third of avistan at least

Its been mentioned a few times before got they got removed. Questioning the wisdom of locking "best heavy armour user" behind one of two roleplaying restricted options (alignment for Paladins and gender for Grey Maidens) in a document meant to let people test those systems, is not appropriate.

Of course to be clear. I would not ever advocate for the Grey Maidens to be removed (too late now even if I did) but I do advocate for them to release a Prestige Archetype before the end of the playtest that at least every character could TRY to join, even if they don't necessarily succeed. Grey Maidens being a way into good armour usage is awesome. Grey Maidens being one of only two restricted ways is less palatable.

Silver Crusade

Im not entirely sure how I feel about the change in how archetypes work. I think its better then starfinders (Which I VEHEMENTLY HATED) but there's still something about having things that specialise classes instead of just in general that I liked. I think I could have liked it better if they kept the old archetypes but these dedication feats are "Orders/guilds" Which give special abilities like the iron madens, maybe a sort of theives guild and bounty hunter set of feats as well.


Lithert Verloren wrote:
Im not entirely sure how I feel about the change in how archetypes work. I think its better then starfinders (Which I VEHEMENTLY HATED) but there's still something about having things that specialise classes instead of just in general that I liked. I think I could have liked it better if they kept the old archetypes but these dedication feats are "Orders/guilds" Which give special abilities like the iron madens, maybe a sort of theives guild and bounty hunter set of feats as well.

Heh Iron maidens eh? *resists urge to sing The Trooper*


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That's... Pretty uninteresting all told. Some insight into design decisions elsewhere, but a lot of what's presented here highlihts the problems of PF2 focusing so heavily on feats for everything:

Some are outright garbage, and others (like grabbing armor mastery or adjusting action economy/ignoring the brutal multi attack penalties- charge and whirlwind and power attack) are obvious picks.

And as we saw in PF1 splats and even lately in Starfinder, feat writing is often uneven. Ranging from great, mediocre, purely-a-prerequisite-tax, bad and does-this-even-do-anything.

Plus it doubles down on the labeling issue that often crops up: can you be a pirate or a maiden if you don't have the dedication feats? The obvious answer is yes, but some people are going to look at the existence of these feats and say no (much like the one true way holy warrior is only paladin). Others will ditch the minimal fluff attached to them and just see them as a way to gain abilities they want for a build.


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It's pretty much what I was afraid of. Not liking it. I know it's irrelevant, but a couple of years ago I experimented around with the idea that every class was made of two archetypes, with only a couple of class abilities at 1st level (Like rage for barbarians). Every even level you got a new ability in your first archetype and every odd level got ability in your second choice. I like my idea better even though it never reach fruition.

I rarely post because I've been unimpressed so far. I either not liked what I've read, or been very neutral in a ho hum kind of way. I don't want to a downer so I guess I'll just crawl back in my hole, viewing things from the shadows.


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Seisho wrote:

I don't know if someone mentioned it before but to me it suddenly occured that the grey maidens are the example prestige archetype.

They are only relevant in a single city (afaik) have pretty harsh entry requirements (as the name implies 50% of the people of golarion disqualify per default) and are not typically heroes

As of the Adventurer's Guide both the "single city" and "not typically heroes" are... well I won't say "not an issue" but definitely less of an issue. One of the two largest Factions definitely leans Good (for the heroes aspect), though admittedly the other largest Faction definitely leans Evil, but the AG openly mentions that there are numerous smaller groups of Maidens have basically become mercenary companies all through Varisia, which could lean any which way. The two largest factions still tend to focus on Korvosa (for the Good) or Cheliax (for the Evil) but the Mercenary groups get out.


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Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Let's drop the "everything is called a feat" discussion, as it is not really relevant to this thread. Although I must say it is kinda fascinating watching all of you mirror the internal debates we had about 18 months ago when the issue was raised in house.
I mean, I for one would find this fascinating, but y'all are likely too busy.

Methinks that is the understatement of the year


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Malk_Content wrote:
Seisho wrote:

I don't know if someone mentioned it before but to me it suddenly occured that the grey maidens are the example prestige archetype.

They are only relevant in a single city (afaik) have pretty harsh entry requirements (as the name implies 50% of the people of golarion disqualify per default) and are not typically heroes

Hellknights would have been a somewhat more logical choice. Well they are also not typical heroes I agree, but they have a similar theme (heavily armored elite soldiers), have somewhat less harsh entry requirements (at least you can be of any gender) and are relevant in around...well I am not sure but I think around a third of avistan at least

Its been mentioned a few times before got they got removed. Questioning the wisdom of locking "best heavy armour user" behind one of two roleplaying restricted options (alignment for Paladins and gender for Grey Maidens) in a document meant to let people test those systems, is not appropriate.

Of course to be clear. I would not ever advocate for the Grey Maidens to be removed (too late now even if I did) but I do advocate for them to release a Prestige Archetype before the end of the playtest that at least every character could TRY to join, even if they don't necessarily succeed. Grey Maidens being a way into good armour usage is awesome. Grey Maidens being one of only two restricted ways is less palatable.

But, neither of the grey maiden feats they showed are terribly good for heavy armor. They get a unique set of full plate. That is all. Getting good at using heavy armor is still an option for fighters (and presumably other classes with spare feats). This just gives a set of armor that is nice if you don't want a positive dex modifier (and the investment associated).


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Plus "there is only one way to do this" is a temporary condition anyway. Even if the way to get the absolute best defenses in the playtest is to play a gray maiden, that doesn't mean that there won't be other things printed later which provide equally good (or better) defenses. It's just that "doing the Gray Maidens justice" requires you to make them really very tough to bring down, since that's kind of their thing.


Quote:
AG openly mentions that there are numerous smaller groups of Maidens have basically become mercenary companies

Thats good to know, that was actually new to me, thanks


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Plus "there is only one way to do this" is a temporary condition anyway. Even if the way to get the absolute best defenses in the playtest is to play a gray maiden, that doesn't mean that there won't be other things printed later which provide equally good (or better) defenses. It's just that "doing the Gray Maidens justice" requires you to make them really very tough to bring down, since that's kind of their thing.

Oh undoubtedly there will eventually be more options. Still doesn't change the issue that in the playtest, the prestige class that is meant to be playtested to see if the new way of doing them works automatically disqualifies 50% of characters. I think it was a poor choice from a sample size perspective and would like one released that all characters could test if they so chose.

I know there isn't anything mechanically different to playing either gender and the playtest doesn't really need to test much on the RP side of things. Still I don't like the idea of having to play my character with a certain trait in order to test a relatively core element of the system.

And once again to be clear, because I really do not want to be taken out of context on this. The existence of Grey Maidens is fine.


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Ignoring the RP restrictions of Gray Maidens, I'm a bit curious how it interacts with the classes that could reasonably take the archetype. Being an expert in fortitude saves, all weapon procificiencies and heavy armor proficiency would seem to allow this only to classes likely to have master fort saves available at some point. We're told it's uncommon, but is it uncommon among those class with simple access to this archetype. If grabbing fort mastery is feat based rather than class progression based, then this serves as an alternate way of grabbing the feat with a little bonus. If fort master is part of a default class progression, then we'd need to know if that mastery is replaced with something else later, or lost due to the prestige feat granting it early.

Success upgrade abilities seem to be a common thing being featured in 3 of these feats. As written, the fort success upgrade ability seems to be the only one that's substantial, and I'm not sure how it sits among the other abilities.

Access to special armor is also a curious ability. Is this the only way to be proficient in this armor? Does the feat make the armor available for purchase, crafting, summoning? What happens when this armor is looted by a party without this feat? If it's a mere shopping restriction, then this advantage disappears in games where people aren't using the Golarian setting.

I think that, without the rest of any one class to examine, it's impossible to know what these feats are supposed to mean.


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Voss wrote:
Plus it doubles down on the labeling issue that often crops up: can you be a pirate or a maiden if you don't have the dedication feats? The obvious answer is yes, but some people are going to look at the existence of these feats and say no (much like the one true way holy warrior is only paladin). Others will ditch the minimal fluff attached to them and just see them as a way to gain abilities they want for a build.

Considering the fact that you have to already be a Gray Maiden to take the dedication feat, it's pretty impossible to say you have to have taken this feat to be part of the organization.

Liberty's Edge

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This is the first thing I haven't really liked...

1) It just looks like a feat chain which I got way burned out on on PF1

2) The potential overlap with signature skills and weapon proficiencies bugs me - do you just lose all benefit?

3) It seems way too situational, like you would never really take it... all the 'on a boat' stuff

4) I don't like not being able to take the archetype until level 2

YMMV but not liking this

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Arachnofiend wrote:
Voss wrote:
Plus it doubles down on the labeling issue that often crops up: can you be a pirate or a maiden if you don't have the dedication feats? The obvious answer is yes, but some people are going to look at the existence of these feats and say no (much like the one true way holy warrior is only paladin). Others will ditch the minimal fluff attached to them and just see them as a way to gain abilities they want for a build.
Considering the fact that you have to already be a Gray Maiden to take the dedication feat, it's pretty impossible to say you have to have taken this feat to be part of the organization.

I like that a lot. Anyone can be a pirate. The archetype and dedication feat just make you extra pirate-y.

Liberty's Edge

Lithert Verloren wrote:
Im not entirely sure how I feel about the change in how archetypes work. I think its better then starfinders (Which I VEHEMENTLY HATED) but there's still something about having things that specialise classes instead of just in general that I liked. I think I could have liked it better if they kept the old archetypes but these dedication feats are "Orders/guilds" Which give special abilities like the iron madens, maybe a sort of theives guild and bounty hunter set of feats as well.

All indications are that they are, in fact, going to do both of these things. They're just both called Archetypes and will work similarly aside from any class-feature replacement stuff.

ErichAD wrote:
Ignoring the RP restrictions of Gray Maidens, I'm a bit curious how it interacts with the classes that could reasonably take the archetype. Being an expert in fortitude saves, all weapon procificiencies and heavy armor proficiency would seem to allow this only to classes likely to have master fort saves available at some point.

Well, first, I bet you can get Heavy Armor Proficiency with a General Feat, which expands the Classes that can manage this quite a bit. Secondly, I'll bet that most Classes never get Legendary in Fort Saves but that Grey Maiden + going to Master from Class will get it for you.


This is pretty much how I assumed they'd work. I was hoping that a Pathfinder Society themed archetype was going to be presented first.

Didn't expect the prestige archetypes though. That's pretty cool. My concern with the Grey Maidens isn't the restrictions on entering but the role they play in world. In lore they were elite bodyguards to the Queen of Korvosa. I read they were disbanded but a few cells remain. I'm wondering if they will be more of a merc company or college of war now. Where there is a specific function of those organisations tied to Prestige Archetypes, how relevant will it be for adventurers to take?

Will there be prestige archetypes that build off of regular ones? For instance assassin should be a regular one ('trained from birth' thematic justification) with various organisations, such as the Red Mantis, having their own prestige spin on it.

Seeing how archetypes are handled, I am more convinced that Martial Artist should be an archetype instead of the class identity of the monk.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
ErichAD wrote:
Ignoring the RP restrictions of Gray Maidens, I'm a bit curious how it interacts with the classes that could reasonably take the archetype. Being an expert in fortitude saves, all weapon procificiencies and heavy armor proficiency would seem to allow this only to classes likely to have master fort saves available at some point.
Well, first, I bet you can get Heavy Armor Proficiency with a General Feat, which expands the Classes that can manage this quite a bit. Secondly, I'll bet that most Classes never get Legendary in Fort Saves but that Grey Maiden + going to Master from Class will get it for you.

I feel like a lot of the picture is going to come into focus when we learn how precisely one improves/gains proficiency in things that are not skills (e.g. weapons, armor, perception, saves.)

We know some specific ways classes get them, via class features, but there has to be some way for someone from a class not expected to be superb at something to nonetheless devote resources to being capable at it.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Lithert Verloren wrote:
Im not entirely sure how I feel about the change in how archetypes work. I think its better then starfinders (Which I VEHEMENTLY HATED) but there's still something about having things that specialise classes instead of just in general that I liked. I think I could have liked it better if they kept the old archetypes but these dedication feats are "Orders/guilds" Which give special abilities like the iron madens, maybe a sort of theives guild and bounty hunter set of feats as well.

All indications are that they are, in fact, going to do both of these things. They're just both called Archetypes and will work similarly aside from any class-feature replacement stuff.

ErichAD wrote:
Ignoring the RP restrictions of Gray Maidens, I'm a bit curious how it interacts with the classes that could reasonably take the archetype. Being an expert in fortitude saves, all weapon procificiencies and heavy armor proficiency would seem to allow this only to classes likely to have master fort saves available at some point.
Well, first, I bet you can get Heavy Armor Proficiency with a General Feat, which expands the Classes that can manage this quite a bit. Secondly, I'll bet that most Classes never get Legendary in Fort Saves but that Grey Maiden + going to Master from Class will get it for you.

One question that this raises: How are proficiency increases worded? Is it "At level X, A Fighter increases his proficiency in fortutude saves to Master"? Or is it "At level X, a Fighter increases his proficiency in fortitude saves one rank"? If it's the former, then all the Maiden feat does is grant you earlier Mastery in fortitude saves, while if it's the latter, that could mean that you get legendary proficiency far earlier than any other class, which seems significantly more powerful than the initial benefit of going from Mastery at X level to mastery at 6th level.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:


ErichAD wrote:
Ignoring the RP restrictions of Gray Maidens, I'm a bit curious how it interacts with the classes that could reasonably take the archetype. Being an expert in fortitude saves, all weapon procificiencies and heavy armor proficiency would seem to allow this only to classes likely to have master fort saves available at some point.
Well, first, I bet you can get Heavy Armor Proficiency with a General Feat, which expands the Classes that can manage this quite a bit. Secondly, I'll bet that most Classes never get Legendary in Fort Saves but that Grey Maiden + going to Master from Class will get it for you.

That sounds like a good guess, but I'd expect rules regarding automatic upgrades to appear in the feat text unless it was part of the core rules. If it were part of the core rules, there'd be no need to mention the specific level of advancement in the feat text. You'd also want to say "increase fort save proficiency by 1" to avoid questions regarding classes taking this feat after they'd gained master or legendary fortitude saves. It would also probably be a good idea to give the bonus a type to avoid concerns over stacking to boost the proficiency sooner than intended, mostly as protection from future versions.

These rules could also appear in the class text of course, but you'd still want to use the +1 language to avoid downgrading from legendary to master when taking this feat.

PossibleCabbage is right, we really need a class to look at in order to make sense of the feats.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Something I find utterly fascinating that I haven’t seen anyone bring up yet, is the later openess and foresight the Archetypes will now allow. Since they’re cut up into feats and doled out, that means later books can have MORE feats encompassing your favourite Archetypes, or even altering them, possibly to take advantage of new mechanics introduced or to suit a theme at the time that better aligns with it (for example we have a Pirate Archetype now, years down the line we might have an actual sea/sky/planar pirate adventure path that would benefit from more Feats for the Archetype).

In 1st Edition when an Archetype was made 99% of the time.... that was it, the end. No sequal, no enhancements, no additions. Now, instead of making an Archetype like another one “but better” you can add another Feat to that Archetype. Just like Classes in either edition constantly have new content (abilities, feats, Archetypes) put out for them, in 2e the Archetypes themselves now can get new stuff for them.


Rysky wrote:

Something I find utterly fascinating that I haven’t seen anyone bring up yet, is the later openess and foresight the Archetypes will now allow. Since they’re cut up into feats and doled out, that means later books can have MORE feats encompassing your favourite Archetypes, or even altering them, possibly to take advantage of new mechanics introduced or to suit a theme at the time that better aligns with it (for example we have a Pirate Archetype now, years down the line we might have an actual sea/sky/planar pirate adventure path that would benefit from more Feats for the Archetype).

In 1st Edition when an Archetype was made 99% of the time.... that was it, the end. No sequal, no enhancements, no additions. Now, instead of making an Archetype like another one “but better” you can add another Feat to that Archetype. Just like Classes in either edition constantly have new content (abilities, feats, Archetypes) put out for them, in 2e the Archetypes themselves now can get new stuff for them.

If that's what they wind up doing, then count me in, but I don't know if that's what we will see. I guess it will wind up partially depending on whether archetypes wane in popularity after they release new class feats (because, even if those class feats are no more powerful, the application of comination might lead to spending those feats in other ways being less desirable). But I'm not sure that we'll see that. Supporting all the normal classes will likely be a lot of work/page space, I'm not sure how much desire there'll be to support all (or at least most) classes, and archetypes.


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I think, but I'd have to look though lots of Mark's posts, that just about everything is explicitly increase to rank X (Master, etc) and not "increase one rank", so things are unlikely to accelerate proficiency by stacking things that grant proficiencies.


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ErichAD wrote:


Access to special armor is also a curious ability. Is this the only way to be proficient in this armor? Does the feat make the armor available for purchase, crafting, summoning? What happens when this armor is looted by a party without this feat? If it's a mere shopping restriction, then this advantage disappears in games where people aren't using the Golarian setting.

I think that, without the rest of any one class to examine, it's impossible to know what these feats are supposed to mean.

Well, it's just Heavy Armor so anyone should be able to equip it. However, that is a very special armor that is only used by that organization and you can't expect to be able to buy it anywhere outside of the organization except maybe some crazy black markets. My guess would be the Maidens don't appreciate non-members wearing their signature armor! Not to mention, this is a super fitted full plate mail which, in theory, would be made specifically 1 person and not function as well for others without identical body.


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NielsenE wrote:
I think, but I'd have to look though lots of Mark's posts, that just about everything is explicitly increase to rank X (Master, etc) and not "increase one rank", so things are unlikely to accelerate proficiency by stacking things that grant proficiencies.

With that version of save proficiency advancement, we have the save regression problem I mentioned before, which would need to be fixed somehow. If save proficiency advancement from classes is automatic, then that aspect of the feat is wasted on those who can acquire it most easily. If save proficiency advancement is optional, such as through feats, then it's potentially a better version of the normal feat for advancing saves and could seem non-optional. If save proficiency advancement is feat related, and those feats always do more than just advance the save proficiency, then we'd have something balanced enough to make the choice valuable.

Similarly, if the pirate dedication feat is being compared to other feats that offer 1 signature skill as their primary benefit and have a few niche side benefits, then the feat starts looking more valuable because it's sitting on the same shelf as other throw away feats.

With that possibility we're looking at something closer to the Kineticist class design than the basic Pathfinder feat design, which would also be pretty unfortunate.


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I know I've been asking for transformational options for while now and it is probably annoying at this point, but will there be archetypes allow for creature type changes? Such as becoming an outsider (Preferably non native), an aberration, a construct, or dragon and the like.


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On the endless debates about calling things feats;

It actually really serves game design a lot to call everything feats.

Look at retraining in downtime for example;

Let's say the text is written by calling things different for each class (I'm making up a fake bit of rules text to illustrate what I mean)

"You may use downtime to retrain, spending x gold and y hours to change some of your choices made in levelling up your character. You may swap one rogue talent, barbarian rage power, fighter fighting style, wizard arcana, sorcerer bloodline power, ranger fighting style, Druid connection power, monk technique, alchemist formula, cleric power, bard inspiration, or oracle revelation for another (insert that massive wall of text again) of the same type/level"

Now let's look at calling things class feats;

"You may use downtime to retrain, spending x gold and y hours to change some of your choices made in levelling up your character. You may swap one class feat for another of the same type/level"

Additionally, it makes feat prerequisites easier;

Binkles awesome technique
Prerequisites: Lay on hands feat, two monk feats

and even let's you have items or feats or class options that do this;

Mime: Each day, you can study the actions of a person of a different class and learn to mimic part of their ability.Once per day, If you spend ten minutes observing a character of a different class, you gain the benefit of a class feat from their class for the rest of the day.

It's much more versatile than having to refer to 50 different names for the same thing, and a lot more modular and easier to maintain internal consistency. (It's easier to balance optional class choices against each other if they are all class feats gained at a consistent rate).


Tender Tendrils wrote:

On the endless debates about calling things feats;

It actually really serves game design a lot to call everything feats.

Look at retraining in downtime for example;

Let's say the text is written by calling things different for each class (I'm making up a fake bit of rules text to illustrate what I mean)

"You may use downtime to retrain, spending x gold and y hours to change some of your choices made in levelling up your character. You may swap one rogue talent, barbarian rage power, fighter fighting style, wizard arcana, sorcerer bloodline power, ranger fighting style, Druid connection power, monk technique, alchemist formula, cleric power, bard inspiration, or oracle revelation for another (insert that massive wall of text again) of the same type/level"

Now let's look at calling things class feats;

"You may use downtime to retrain, spending x gold and y hours to change some of your choices made in levelling up your character. You may swap one class feat for another of the same type/level"

Additionally, it makes feat prerequisites easier;

Binkles awesome technique
Prerequisites: Lay on hands feat, two monk feats

and even let's you have items or feats or class options that do this;

Mime: Each day, you can study the actions of a person of a different class and learn to mimic part of their ability.Once per day, If you spend ten minutes observing a character of a different class, you gain the benefit of a class feat from their class for the rest of the day.

It's much more versatile than having to refer to 50 different names for the same thing, and a lot more modular and easier to maintain internal consistency. (It's easier to balance optional class choices against each other if they are all class feats gained at a consistent rate).

Very good points.


lol will "resonate" with you.

Must be about Fighters.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

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Didn't have time to read all the posts on this one, so might be repeating what's already been discussed.

Overall, I like the way archetypes are presented and the feature that they allow the same concept across multiple classes.

1) Mixed feelings about them only kicking in at 2nd level though. This seems tied to the fact that they interact only with class feats.
2) Also it doesn't seem from the examples presented that class feats always make the most sense. I think solving both issues at once could be done by having some archetype feats and/or dedications be chosen with skill feats could alleviate this. The Pirate example seems to have multiple feats which really are skill feats in disguise, both Pirate Dedication and Sea Legs. They mostly seem to impact skill use, and it seems like an odd trade off to swap a class feat for those.
3) As I know has been raise, Sea Legs is a poor name for the mechanical effect, which is all about swimming, not about actual sea legs which refers to balance on a ship, which is the benefit of Pirate Dedication
4) like how prestige archetypes take the role of prestige classes and can have a requirement of being part of an organization. However, I think that the requirements of the organization needs to be in the same book - otherwise you have situation with players/GMs who don't necessarily know what the Grey Maidens are, and a player can just say, oh, I join them. Even if you play in a different campaign setting, there should be requirements like "been tortured, have scars, and murder a puppy (that's part of the Grey Maiden initiation, right?)
5) I don't like that being able to "gain access to special armor" is part of the feat though. Why couldn't anyone buy and/or wear the armor. Having the armor be part of the organization works much better - that it's their standard uniform, and might be restricted in knowledge on how to craft it, etc. Also, that's a pretty weak part of the benefit.

Dark Archive

Completely agree with Joel on all points! I also share his concern for archetypes and prestige classes replacing your class feats, although some of them likely would likely better function as skill feats? I also think it's a bit overwhelming for new players (and probably some grogrards alike) to represent everything as feats in so many categories. On the other hand, Rysky's comment about adding new feats to archetypes is spot on.

Joel's point about gaining access to "prestige items" (Gray Maiden or Hellknight armor, for example) should not be tied to feats; it's awkward and also a weak benefit for what should be (AFAIK) a better benefit than from "standard" feats. If you dedicate your character to a path, it should grant you better rewards than what you gain from a standard feat.


JoelF847 wrote:

Didn't have time to read all the posts on this one, so might be repeating what's already been discussed.

Overall, I like the way archetypes are presented and the feature that they allow the same concept across multiple classes.

I will say I do like that idea, though some of the General Feats and Skill feats might allow people to build into certain concepts without having to take an Archetype feat. More speicalized Archetypes should be given over to each class but say "Pirate", "Undead Killer" or "Minor Mage" shouldn't be reprinted to every class. Better to have a general feat or list of them for that(Though I can still argue for each class getting different benefits for each archetype)

I also question if they'll make certain restriction on said Archetypes beyond the Devotion. As an example, I wonder if we'll see "Rangers can not take this Archetype" for one reason or another. Class, Alignment, race maybe? Sky is the limit I suppose.

I will also bring up just what will be in Feat Archetype, and not "Classic Archetype" (GAH I hope you guys come up with a better NAME for these so I don't have to juggle naming them myself). As another example, due to a game I'm going to be playing in, I started to look into how to get Channel Energy, and how to get it fast. Without being a Cleric. Will Archetype Feats let me get Channel Energy as a Fighter, or will I have to take a Class Archetype, that replaces some Fighter Abilities with Channel Energy?

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I like the idea of tackling multi-Class archetypes and this might be the best way to adress it. I understand how it makes the devs' job so much easier. It also fits the Prestige Class concept quite well

But as the blog post describes it, it shows so much mechanics and so little flavor that it feels at the moment bland and boring

I am happy to know that Class archetypes that will enable us to change features (rather than Class feats) might be in the future of the game. Not sure they will come as soon as the PF2 CRB though as they might be still another source of confusion for newcomers

That said, the above should have been stated right away in the blog post and not in a dev's post hidden within 10 pages of posts

That the name is the same while what it describes is deeply different AND offers less flexibility than the PF1 archetypes only compounds this and fostered unnecessary acrimony through misunderstanding and confusion

I guess that most PrC will go the Belong to an organization way and that is where we will find the missing requirements such as LE alignment for Red Mantis Assasin


MerlinCross wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:

Didn't have time to read all the posts on this one, so might be repeating what's already been discussed.

Overall, I like the way archetypes are presented and the feature that they allow the same concept across multiple classes.

I will say I do like that idea, though some of the General Feats and Skill feats might allow people to build into certain concepts without having to take an Archetype feat. More speicalized Archetypes should be given over to each class but say "Pirate", "Undead Killer" or "Minor Mage" shouldn't be reprinted to every class. Better to have a general feat or list of them for that(Though I can still argue for each class getting different benefits for each archetype)

I also question if they'll make certain restriction on said Archetypes beyond the Devotion. As an example, I wonder if we'll see "Rangers can not take this Archetype" for one reason or another. Class, Alignment, race maybe? Sky is the limit I suppose.

I will also bring up just what will be in Feat Archetype, and not "Classic Archetype" (GAH I hope you guys come up with a better NAME for these so I don't have to juggle naming them myself). As another example, due to a game I'm going to be playing in, I started to look into how to get Channel Energy, and how to get it fast. Without being a Cleric. Will Archetype Feats let me get Channel Energy as a Fighter, or will I have to take a Class Archetype, that replaces some Fighter Abilities with Channel Energy?

I think it's highly likely you will be able to get some cleric/paladin type powers via an archetype - starfinder has the divine champion archetype (which can be applied to any class) which adds a limited amount of divine related powers, and the phrenic adept archetype adds psychic magic to any class. I feel like a divine champion archetype would be a pretty early addition because of the amount of character concepts it enables (holy rangers who hunt demons, mystic theurges, church agents (holy rogues), fighters who are chosen champions of a god due to their deeds without being a member of the church, etc.


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If multiclassing is indeed a polished VMC, how can you make (mechanically-wise) characters like Fighters with spell slots? That it was impossible in the original VMC was why I just ignored the system without hesitation; what's the point of multiclassing into wizard if you don't progress in learning spells, anyway?


ErichAD wrote:
What happens when this armor is looted by a party without this feat?

On the post it's written: "[...] grants +7 AC and +3 TAC, and has a Dexterity modifier cap of +0; otherwise, it uses the same stats as full plate."

That word made me think that we got listed the Grey Maiden Armor Stats (that are better than a Full Plate), AND if you don't have the Feat, it just acts as a Full Plate (which I asume would has sightly worse).

At least that was my impression. And if it gives +1 AC over the best default armor in the game, it could easily be worth a Feat.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Lucas Yew wrote:
If multiclassing is indeed a polished VMC, how can you make (mechanically-wise) characters like Fighters with spell slots? That it was impossible in the original VMC was why I just ignored the system without hesitation; what's the point of multiclassing into wizard if you don't progress in learning spells, anyway?

Well, it could be an archetype and use the Spell-points mechanic.

But really, I don't think that multiclassing will be that much different than in PF1e, but actually being easier:

You don't have to calculate your BAB from different BAB-progressions. Same goes for Saves.
Proficiencies might be less clear, but I guess having a bonus of 2 points less (i.e. being just expert (+1) instead of legendary (+3)) because you have multiple classes is a serious point to consider.
I'd bet that you just use the highest proficiency from your classes.

hp are the same as before, class features progress as before.

Ancestry and Skill-Feats are granted as normal in PF2e, and are depending on your total level, while Class Feats might/should depend on your class level.

Dipping should be less of an issue, if classes are less "front-loaded".

Really the only thing that might pose a difficulty is the proficiencies for Skills, Weapons, Armors and Saves.
Oh and possibly the initial Skill-ranks.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Rysky wrote:

Something I find utterly fascinating that I haven’t seen anyone bring up yet, is the later openess and foresight the Archetypes will now allow. Since they’re cut up into feats and doled out, that means later books can have MORE feats encompassing your favourite Archetypes, or even altering them, possibly to take advantage of new mechanics introduced or to suit a theme at the time that better aligns with it (for example we have a Pirate Archetype now, years down the line we might have an actual sea/sky/planar pirate adventure path that would benefit from more Feats for the Archetype).

In 1st Edition when an Archetype was made 99% of the time.... that was it, the end. No sequal, no enhancements, no additions. Now, instead of making an Archetype like another one “but better” you can add another Feat to that Archetype. Just like Classes in either edition constantly have new content (abilities, feats, Archetypes) put out for them, in 2e the Archetypes themselves now can get new stuff for them.

Good point! For hardcover archetypes, at least. They try to avoid building off of things that aren't going to ever be available on the SRD.


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jasin wrote:
Unbreakable! They alive dammit! Grey Maidens are strong as hell!

... Just wanted to let you know you made me laugh like an idiot for the best part of a minute with that quote XD


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Lucas Yew wrote:
If multiclassing is indeed a polished VMC, how can you make (mechanically-wise) characters like Fighters with spell slots? That it was impossible in the original VMC was why I just ignored the system without hesitation; what's the point of multiclassing into wizard if you don't progress in learning spells, anyway?

Fighter/Cleric (Warpriest if you will) would get access to domain powers and spell points to cast those domain powers with. They wouldn't get any other spells. Same with a Fighter/Wizard (Eldritch Knight). It would be a complete gutting of how multiclass characters actually work and the wide variety of characters you could get (much like 4th ed did until PHB3 was published), but I am quite confident at this point it is exactly what we can look forward to. Archetypes have only strengthened that certainty.

The two biggest reasons I think that's what we're getting is Paizo have quite proudly said we only ever have to refer to 1 table even if we multiclass. The second reason is that this was how D&D 4th ed handled mutliclassing and so much of what we've seen has been "inspired" by 4th ed I fully expect they will have been inspired by 4th ed's multiclassing.

I would be delighted to be wrong. Unfortunately I have little expectation that I am.

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